We’re getting close to the end of 2020, which means it’s time to announce our favourite albums of the year. After the challenging year we’ve all had, it’s tempting to just want to put 2020 behind us and move on to 2021 to what will, hopefully, be a much better year for everyone. And yet, despite everything, 2020 has actually been a great year for recorded music – especially for those us who tend to focus on music that artists release independently, or via small and boutique record labels. Many artists have actually been making excellent use of the lockdown time forced on them by the coronavirus pandemic to record some wonderful ‘Covid Tune’ singles, EPs and in some case, even full albums. We’ve had great fun sharing them with you this year. We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with regularly scheduled releases. It gives us great pleasure each year, once we have put holiday radio episodes to bed, to consider our favourite albums of the year. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on Episode 560 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, that’s likely because it didn’t make it up on our radar because we didn’t receive a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 on this episode, and check out the full playlist and the rest of our long list below. Enjoy!
Yellowknife based indigenous singer-songwriter Leela Gilday joins us on Episode 480 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her great fifth album “North Star Calling” which was inspired by a need for self-empowerment, facing your fears, and living with courage, boldness and joy. North Star Calling is a fabulous recording, and Leela Gilday is always a great interview. We also include new music from Doug McArthur, Stephen Fearing, Miranda Mulholland, Sam Weber, The Red River Ramblers, Bobtown, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen and Jessica Rhaye and the Ramshackle Parade. Check out the full playlist below.
Steve and Marni Van Kessel, who make music together as VK, join us on Episode 471 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their new album – album number three, “Charm”, a wonderful bluesy Americana folk-rock recorded with their new band Legends of THE DEEP. We also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Catherine MacLellan, Connie Kaldor, Jake Morley, Unfaithful Servants, Kevin K Gagnon, Adrian Sutherland, Kete Bowers, Lizanne Knott and Stephen Fearing. Check out the full playlist below.
Guelph alt.folk singer-songwriter Innes Wilson joins us on Episode 408 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album, a four song E.P. “Seaview”. We also check out more of the latest new releases we’ve received including new music from Lucy Wainwright Roche, John Wort Hannam, Monika Wall, Ray Bonneville, Ivan Rosenberg, John Muirhead, Stephen Fearing and Tomato Tomato. Check out the full playlist below.
Stephen Fearing is heading out on the road this Spring for a solo tour that takes in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. We catch up with Stephen, on the road from Regina to Winnipeg, to chat about the tour and his very well received ninth solo album 2017’s “Every Soul’s A Sailor”, which took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year. And among the new music on Episode 373 of Folk Roots Radio we check out the latest releases from Julie Ross, Ambre McLean, Dennis Ellsworth & Kinley Dowling, Vi Wickam & Justin Branum and Crystal Shawanda. Check out the full playlist below.
Stephen Fearing hits the road in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario this spring. Hot on the heels of a great response to his ninth solo album, 2017’s “Every Soul’s A Sailor”, which took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year, his solo career is still going strong – alongside his very busy ‘other job’ as one of the leaders of Canadian supergroup Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. We caught up with Stephen on the road in Saskatchewan to chat about this tour, his long career (his first recording, a cassette entitled “The Yellow Tape” came out in 1986) and latest solo album. Check out Stephen Fearing’s tour dates at stephenfearing.com. Music: Stephen Fearing “Red Lights In The Rain”, “Blowhard Nation” and “Every Soul’s A Sailor” from “Every Soul’s A Sailor” (2017, Lowdenproud).
The winners of the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards were recently announced at a couple of very special gala evenings in Ottawa. On Episode 351 of Folk Roots Radio we feature music from some of the award winners alongside an interview with double award-winning singer-songwriter Ken Yates, recorded at this year’s Summerfolk. Ken took home the awards for both English Songwriter of the Year and New/Emerging Artist of the Year for his wonderful 2016 album “Huntsville”. Check out the playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 305 of Folk Roots Radio as we take a look at more of the latest new releases, including a first look at the new Blackie & The Rodeo Kings duet album “Kings & Kings”, a political single from Ernest Troost, a new gritty Lynne Hanson release and a great compilation from the Battlefield Band. You can check out the full playlist to Episode 305 below.
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.
Folk-noir singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell joins us on Episode 294 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her sophomore release, “Hide Nor Hair”. Heavily influenced by her time in the art folk scene in Montreal in the 2000s, and recorded with mood maestro Chris Stringer (Ohbijou, Timber Timbre) in Toronto, the album features ten songs with a cinematic quality that take love and loss as their central theme. We also check out some of the best of the latest new releases.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features two interviews – Stephen Fearing joins us to chat about his songwriting workshop and concert, taking place on Friday September 25 in Waterloo ON. And later, we catch up with Newfoundland band The Once at this summer’s Hillside Festival. As always, there’s a lot of new music on the show, and we continue our run down of the nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing will be in Waterloo ON on Friday September 25 2015 for a day-long songwriting workshop and a solo evening concert. The songwriting workshop takes place at The Button Factory, 25 Regina St. S.in Waterloo. The evening concert takes place at First United Church, 16 William St. W., Waterloo at 8:00 pm. We caught up with Stephen at his new home in B.C. to chat about his music and this special opportunity to catch him live. Music: Stephen Fearing “The Golden Days” and “As The Crow Flies” from “Between Hurricanes” (2013, Lowdenproud). Photo: Jason MacNamara.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an excerpt from our recent in-depth interview with Toronto-based singer-songwriter Jory Nash. Jory has just released a smashing new album, ‘The Many Hats Of Jory Nash’, an album that pays homage to his extensive hat collection. It’s a beautifully textured album of folk and folk-pop and well worth checking out. As usual there’s lots of new music on this week’s show – plus, as always, our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Stephen Fearing is back in the Guelph ON area for an Eden Mills Community Hall fundraiser on Saturday April 4 2015 at 7 p.m. Stephen’s solo performance will draw on his eighth and most recent solo recording “Between Hurricanes” (2013). Guelph based singer-songwriter Jane Lewis, who released her debut self-titled album in 2014, will be the opening act. It is hoped that the concert will help pay for the ongoing refurbishment and energy-retrofit of the venue. Check out our recent interview with Stephen Fearing HERE.
Fearing & White are back on tour in Ontario and Alberta. Stephen Fearing & Andy White released their second album as a duo, “Tea & Confidences” earlier this year. We caught up with Andy White prior to their barnstorming appearance at the 2014 Hillside Festival. You can check out that interview on the website HERE. As it seemed only fair that we check in with the other half of this pair of wandering minstrels, we caught up with Stephen Fearing at home while on a short touring break. During our fun and wide-ranging conversation we tackled such topics as balancing solo and band commitments, recording and touring “Tea & Confidences”, why Gary Craig is such a great drummer, music as a business for independent artists 101 and the ‘Manzer guitar / Air Canada incident’. It’s a great interview and well worth checking out. Music: Fearing & White, “Emigrant Song”, “Tomorrow Takes A Long Time”, “We Came Together” and “To The Great Unknown” from “Tea & Confidences” (2014, Lowdenproud).
Fearing & White, the great collaboration between Stephen Fearing and Andy White, will be back in Ontario in September for a few shows to promote their second album “Tea & Confidences”. Coming up after an outstanding performance at the Hillside Festival, they are definitely well worth checking out in concert. As usual, sidesman extraordinaire Gary Craig (Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Bruce Cockburn, Tom Cochrane) will be sitting in on drums. They will be at Neat, Burnstown (Sep 12), Aeolian Hall London (Sep 13), The Acoustic Grill Picton (Sep 14), The eBar Guelph (Sep 16), The Moonshine Café Oakville (Sep 17), Hugh’s Room Toronto (Sep 18), Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield QC (Sep 19) and The Pearl Company, Hamilton (Sep 21). For more information, visit fearingandwhite.com. Check out the new single, “We Came Together” from Tea & Confidences (2014, Lowdenproud Records)
Singer-songwriters Stephen Fearing and Andy White will both be playing the Hillside Festival this year. This year’s visit will be a bit different from previous appearances because they will be playing together as Fearing & White, the project they started with a self-titled album in 2011. They’ve just released its follow-up, “Tea & Confidences” and we talked with Andy White from Edmonton. For more information on Fearing & White visit fearingandwhite.com. Music: Fearing & White, “We Came Together” and “Think Of Me Like Summer” from “Tea & Confidences” (2014, Lowdenproud Records)
Fearing & White release their second album, Tea and Consequences on March 4 2014. The album, recorded at The Cottage in Guelph in January 2013, features Stephen Fearing and Andy White with Gary Craig on drums/percussion alongside special guests Guelph-based multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird on harmonica and Lee Harvey Osmond’s Ray Farrugia (drums). Fearing and White are on tour in Western Canada during March and April, and will surely be coming through southern Ontario later in the year. Check out the tour dates online at www.fearingandwhite.com.