We love the banjo on Folk Roots Radio which is a very good thing, as this edition has more than the usual amount included. We talk to Ian Molesworth about Banjofest – a one day festival taking place in Guelph in March and listen to some of the artists who will be taking part. We also check in on some of the artists who will be performing at the 10th annual Hillside Inside which takes place in Downtown Guelph from February 9-12. Among the new releases, we get to hear some great musical commentary about the recent political upheaval south of the border.
Banjofest Guelph sounds like the perfect day out for anyone who love’s banjo. Guelph’s first festival devoted to banjo music takes place at Silence, 46 Essex Street in Guelph on Saturday March 11 2017. The festival features a full day of banjo music, in all its glory. The afternoon Session (2-5:30 p.m.) features Buckwheat Honey, Lotus Wight, The BIG Schotts, and Chris Coole with Arnie Naiman, commemorating the recording of their album “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records) 20 years ago. The evening session (8-11 p.m.) includes performances by The Banjo Mechanics featuring Ian Pattison and Lewis Melville, Tim Posgate with Andrew Downing and The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Tickets are $25 per session or $40 for both sessions (there are only 55 tickets available for each session) and can be purchased by emailing [email protected]. The event is co-sponsored by Woodall Music Acoustic Roots Music Instructional DVDs and Folkway Music. To learn more about Banjofest we caught up with organizer and banjo player Ian Molesworth. Music: Arnie Naiman and Chris Coole “Country Blues” from “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records), The Banjo Mechanics “Still Jiggin’ For Trout” from “JlP” (2014, Self).
Northern-Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery has just released his sophomore long-player “Let Bad In”, the follow-up to 2013’s critically-acclaimed “Not Nearly Dark”. Ciaran will be making his Canadian debut at Silence in Guelph on Monday August 15. He’ll also be opening for Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs as Case/Lang/Veirs at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on Tuesday August 16 and Wednesday August 17. Tickets for the solo show at Silence are $20 in advance/ $25 at the door and $12 for students and unwaged and available at Royal Cat Records in Guelph, Forch’s Record Store in Cambridge and online at dollartone.com. We caught up with Ciaran at home in Northern Ireland to chat about his music. For more information visit ciaranlaverymusic.com. Music: Ciaran Lavery “Shame” from “Not Nearly Dark” (2013, Self), “Okkervil River” and “Return To Form” from “Let Bad In” (2016, Believe Recordings).
Northern-Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery has been creating quite a bit of a buzz for his achingly beautiful songs and stellar songwriting, especially on his 2014 “Kosher” EP and “Not Nearly Dark” album, and top download tracks “Shame” and “Left for America”. Ciaran’s just released the very well received “Let Bad In” (2016, Believe Recordings) and he’ll be making his Canadian debut at Silence in Guelph on August 15 at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are $20 in advance/ $25 at the door and $12 for students and unwaged and available at Royal Cat Records in Guelph, Forch’s Record Store in Cambridge and online at dollartone.com. The show is a co-presentation of Guelph Roots, Hillside Festival and Dollartone and supported by Forch’s Record Store. For more information visit ciaranlaverymusic.com.
Main Stage favourites from the 2014 Kingsville Folk Music Festival, alt. folk band Fish & Bird are back on tour in Ontario during February. Raised on a diet of Radiohead and classic roots music, Fish & Bird are a fabulous live band, and well worth checking out. Their fourth album, “Something in the Ether” was released in September 2014 on Fiddlehead Records to critical acclaim. Fish & Bird play Leamington (February 25), Guelph (February 26), Hamilton (February 27), Burdock (February 28), Owen Sound (February 29). The Leamington show, presented by the Sun Parlour Folk Music Society & The Sun Parlour Players Community Theatre, takes place at The Bank Theatre, 10 Erie South, Leamington on Thursday February 25 at 8 p.m (doors 7 p.m.). Advance tickets are $20 and available online HERE. In Guelph, they’re back at Silence for a Guelph Roots show on Friday February 26 at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.). Tickets are $15 in advance ($20 at the door). Advanced tickets may be purchased online HERE. For more information about Fish & Bird visit fishandbird.ca.
Songs of the Future is the latest collection of music curated for Guelph’s Bar Code Free Music by folk and roots musician Lewis Melville. Released under the name of the Tomorrow Collective, the album features 33 songs by 31 different artists and groups (there are two songs each from Tannis Slimmon and Lewis Melville), who were asked to reflect on Canada’s place in the world and their hopes for the future in the wake of the 42nd Canadian General Election that took place on October 19 2015. We caught up with Lewis Melville at home in Guelph to chat about the project. Music: Tannis Slimmon, “In The Future” and Lewis Melville “Give It A Whirl” from “Songs of the Future” (2015, Bar Code Free Music).
Coming up as we go Live & Local on Folk Roots Radio, we’re featuring an interview with acclaimed bassist and multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead, who joins us to chat about his upcoming Ontario tour dates with his genre-defying side project Confabulation. Guelph-based storyteller Brad Woods also joins us to chat about his new live storytelling album “The Woods” and upcoming appearance at the Guelph Civic Museum for Fourth Friday on January 22nd.
Bassist and multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead is taking his side project Confabulation out on tour in Ontario during January. A world-renowned bass player, David has played on over 200 different albums, and toured with Stan Rogers, Loreena McKennitt, Valdy and James Keelaghan among others. Confabulation is an ever-evolving genre-defying showcase for some of Toronto’s most accomplished performers. Over the years its featured more than 20 different top drawer performers including Jaron Freeman-Fox, Rich Brown, Anne Lindsay and the Shuffle Demons’ Richard Underhill. The current line-up features keyboardist Doug Wilde, drummer Rich Greenspoon, reeds player Colleen Allen and guitarist Bob Cohen. Confabulation visits The Moonshine Café, Oakville (8:30 p.m.; $10) on Thursday, January 21, The Pearl Company, Hamilton on Friday January 22 ($20, advance/student/senior – $15), Silence, Guelph on Sunday January 24 – (8 p.m. ; $10) and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Club, Kingston Sunday, January 31 (2 p.m.; $15). Prepare to be enchanted by a sonic musical experience unlike any other. We caught up with David Woodhead in Toronto to learn more about the tour. For more information, visit davidwoodhead.com. Music: David Woodhead’s Confabulation “Bozeny Parasy” from “Confabulation” (2010, Self) and “Windy Apples” (Demo) (2015, Self).
Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson will be at Silence in Guelph on Friday November 20 at 8 p.m. with support from London – Toronto based sister act The Lifers, who were born and raised in Guelph. Lynne’s latest album, “7 Deadly Spins” – an album of murder ballads and songs of reckoning, has just been released. The album recorded in Ottawa with her band The Good Intentions and produced by Lynn Miles features seven original songs with murder and its impact as the central theme. Advance tickets for the Silence show are $15 and can be purchased online HERE (no booking fee!), $20 at the door.
The Lifers are a London – Toronto based duo featuring sisters Liv and Anita Cazzola, who were born and raised in Guelph. Long time listeners to this radio show will probably recognize them under their former name Detour. Lifers songs feature beautifully articulated, honest and compelling lyrics wrapped in a warm musical accompaniment by acoustic guitar, ukulele, accordion, glockenspiel and more. Their debut E.P. “Set the Sails” was recorded and released in the summer of 2014. The Lifers will be joining Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson for a show at Silence on Friday November 20. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased online HERE (no booking fee!). We caught up with Liv and Anita at their family home in Guelph. For more information visit thelifersmusic.com. Music: Lifers “Home for the Weekend” single (2014, Self) and “Lego” from “Set The Sails” E.P. (2014, Self).
Award-winning singer-songwriter Jory Nash is back in Guelph on Friday November 6 for a show at Silence with another fine singer-songwriter, Guelph’s own Jane Lewis. Jory’s latest album “The Many Hats of Jory Nash”, a beautifully textured album of folk and folk-pop in the classic singer-songwriter tradition, was released earlier this year to glowing reviews, and has since garnered Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for Contemporary Singer of the Year and Producer of the Year. We caught up with Jory at home in Toronto to chat about his upcoming Guelph show. Advance tickets for the Jory Nash / Jane Lewis show are just $15 (no booking fee) and are available on Ticketscene here. For more information about Jory’s music, visit jorynash.com. Photo: Lisa MacIntosh. Music: Jory Nash “Luger” and “Nine Miles Long” from “The Many Hats of Jory Nash” (2015, Thin Man Records).
Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Jenny Ritter is coming to Guelph for $10/PWYC show at Silence on October 21 at 8 p.m. with support from South-Western Ontario based The Oh Chays. Jenny spent a decade playing with roots outfit The Gruff, before striking out under her own name. She’s just released “Raised by Wolves”, the follow-up to her critically acclaimed album “Bright Mainland” (2012). “Raised By Wolves” is full of songs that tell stories from her “unconventional” upbringing deep in the woods on Vancouver Island featuring dreamy landscapes, pastoral imagery and some unusual people. When not touring, Jenny singlehandedly runs two rock choirs in East Vancouver. Music: Jenny Ritter “Wolf Wife”, “Turn Your Thoughts” and “Lost and Found” from “Raised By Wolves” (2015, Fiddlehead Records).
Linda McRae has just released her latest album, the Steve Dawson produced “Shadow Trails”, an album of songs inspired by workshops that she and her partner – retired rancher turned poet, James Whitmire have been doing with at risk youth. The album features Linda McRae on guitar, banjo and vocals with Steve Dawson (guitar, additional banjo and backing vocals), Steve O’Connor (keyboards) and a rhythm section of John Dymond (bass) and Gary Craig (drums) alongside a group of special guests that includes Ray Bonneville (harmonica) and Fats Kaplin (fiddle). The album is chock full of raw, honest reflections on hardship delivered in her own inimitable rough-hewn style. Linda brings the new album to Silence in Guelph on Friday October 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance (no booking fee), $25 at the door. BUY TICKETS. We caught up with Linda on the road in the US. Music: Linda McRae “Long Shadow Trail”, “My Man” and “Jesus Or Jail” from “Shadow Trails” (2015, Borealis Records). Photo: Doug Lang.
Guelph-based singer-songwriter Rob Mitchell joins us live in the studio on Folk Roots Radio Overtime on August 1 from 10-11 a.m. on CFRU 93.3fm. His latest album, “Things Could Be Worse”, is a reflection on the endless days and nights spent within hospital hallways dealing with his son’s recent diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes and reflecting on the loss of his Mother to cancer 10 years ago. His previous album “Parking Lot Sunset” featured songs that had been hanging around in his notebook like a drunken co-worker at the office party – a collection of moments in an ever-changing life. His intimate debut “On With The Show” took personal experiences of love, loss and starting over to create an album of melodic and reflective songs that allows the listener to make connections of their own. Rob has a show at Silence in Guelph on August 8 at 8:00 p.m. Cover: $10 (PWYC)
Folk Roots Radio presents… is pleased to bring the fabulous singer-songwriter Steve Poltz to Guelph, for the very first time, for an early evening show at Silence on Sunday August 30 at 7:00 p.m. (please note the Date and Time). Steve is one of the most-engaging performers you are ever, ever likely to see. Once you’ve been to a Steve Poltz show, you’ll be asking when he’s coming back.
An Evening with Steve Poltz
Sunday August 30 2015 at 7 p.m. (Doors 6:30 p.m.)
Silence, 46 Essex Street, Guelph ON
Tickets: $20 Early Bird (No Booking Fee!). BUY NOW.
At the Door: $25
For those of you looking for some great music to fill the post Hillside void, our next Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence in Guelph features two fabulous singer-songwriters, Ian Foster from St. Johns NF and Australian (but no stranger to Guelph), David Ross MacDonald. They’ll be sharing the stage, and swopping songs and stories on Thursday July 30 at 8 p.m. It promises to be a great night. We hope you’ll consider joining us!
Bridging the Miles: Ian Foster & David Ross MacDonald in Concert
July 30 2015 at 8 p.m. (Doors 7:30 p.m.)
Silence, 46 Essex Street, Guelph ON
Tickets: $15 Early Bird (No Booking Fee). BUY NOW
At the Door: $20
After spending time as a sideman for artists such as Olenka and the Autumn Lovers and Timber Timbre, Shawn William Clarke stepped into the limelight as a solo artist a few years ago. His sophomore album, “William” released in late 2014 has been praised by many, including Folk Roots Radio, for its playfulness, fine storytelling and understated warmth. Shawn will be in Guelph for a double CD release show with The Young Novelists at Silence on June 26. We reached Shawn at home in Toronto. Buy tickets for the Guelph show HERE. Music: Shawn William Clarke, “Tranzac Club” and “Ballad Of A Boorish Man” from “William” (2014, Self).
Toronto-based The Young Novelists have just released their sophomore album “Made Us Strangers”, a fine slice of mostly mellow roots rock featuring catchy tunes, thoughtful lyrics and gorgeous harmonies. Whether Graydon James & Laura Spink are performing as a duo or with a full band they put on a show that is definitely worth checking out. And guess what, they’re in Guelph for a double CD release show with Shawn William Clarke at Silence on June 26. We caught up with Graydon and Laura at home in Toronto. For more information, visit theyoungnovelists.com. Buy tickets for the Guelph show HERE. Music: The Young Novelists “Hear Your Voice”, “Always Make The Mistake” and “Brothers In The Garage” from “Made Us Strangers”.
Murder Murder are bringing their wonderful and rousing ‘bloodgrass’ (bluegrass outlaw country playing exclusively murder ballads) live roots music to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… “From The Stillhouse” album release show at Silence on June 20 for an 8 p.m. show (doors 7:30 p.m.). The support act will be Kitchener’s Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band. Come and join Murder Murder as they bring their tales of death back to life with a kick of the suitcase, saw of the fiddle, and roll of the banjo. It promises to be a great night! Advance tickets are $20 ($25 at the door). Buy tickets HERE.
Sarah Jane Scouten brings her unique blend of roots music back to Guelph on Saturday May 23 for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence, Guelph’s premier listening venue. For this show Sarah will be joined by Alan Mackie (from The Bombadils and Jaron Freeman Fox and the Opposite of Everything) on stand-up bass. The opening act for the evening will be Guelph’s own bluegrass band The Chesterfield Trio, the abbreviated version of Chester Field and The Sofa Kings. It promises to be a great night so get your tickets early! We caught up with Sarah at home in Toronto to chat about the Guelph show, and her most recent album, “The Cape” which was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards. Music: Sarah Jane Scouten, “The Cape” from “The Cape” (2014, Self).
Sarah Jane Scouten brings her unique blend of roots music back to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence on Saturday May 23 at 8 p.m. For this show she will be joined by Alan Mackie (from The Bombadils and Jaron Freeman Fox and the Opposite of Everything) on stand-up bass. The opening act for the evening will be Guelph’s own bluegrass band The Chesterfield Trio, the abbreviated version of Chester Field and The Sofa Kings. It promises to be a great night so get your tickets early!
We don’t normally promote classical events on Folk Roots Radio as they are somewhat out with our remit, however, we’re pleased to mention this one because it takes place at Silence, the great community venue in Guelph, and – it is their first classical performance. Silence has been incredibly kind in welcoming our own shows to their wonderful space. It seemed only natural that we extend that kindness and promote this event for them.
Jonathan Byrd returns to Guelph on Friday March 20 for what is expected to be a sold out show at Silence. Joining Jonathan and his band “The Pickup Cowboys” this time around will be Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Eliot Bronson, one of the hottest new acts on the folk-roots scene. It promises to be a great night so get your tickets early!
Fish & Bird will be bringing their refreshing take on folk music to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio promoted CD launch of their new album “Something In The Ether” at Silence, 46 Essex St on November 12 2014. The support act will be Guelph’s own Tannis Slimmon. I had the privilege of introducing Fish & Bird at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival this summer, and they put on a fabulous show. Their performance at Kingsville was especially memorable in that they earned, that rare distinction, a festival main stage encore. The Silence show starts at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.) Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door). Advanced tickets may be purchased online here. Silence is a fully accessible concert venue. Music: Fish & Band, “Something In The Ether” from “Something In The Ether” (2014, Fiddle Head Records).