Every artist needs a holiday album – South West Ontario singer-songwriter Francine Honey has just released hers. Eight songs, including some well chosen Christmas classics, and two originals, the title track “Take Me To The North Pole” and “Christmas Round My Tree”. As a child, the idea of being taken to the North Pole to visit Santa, seemed to young Francine, like the best thing ever; which makes the playful title track the perfect way to share that sentiment. “Christmas Round My Tree”, was written for those who will be alone at Christmas. “When I was in my teens, I would go to nursing homes and sing Christmas carols for the elderly. My heart always sank when I would see some of them had no family. As I got older and saw my own family members deal with a first Christmas after a loved one passed away. I witnessed their determination to still find a sense of Christmas tradition and the knowledge of what truly matters is being together and not the gifts you buy”. The album wraps with Francine’s version of Verlon Thompson’s “My Heart Is There With You”, a song she wanted to record from the first time she heard Verlon sing it at a workshop. “When he played it, I immediately felt tears running down my cheeks, because of its honesty, and how I feel about my family and friends who I don’t get to see over the holidays and at other times.” The new album was recorded in Nashville with Neilson Hubbard who also produced Francine’s 2018 album “To Be Continued”. Joining them in the studio were a great group of support players, including guitarist Will Kimbrough, pianist Dan Mitchell, and bassist Dean Marold – and Verlon Thompson himself. Francine Honey and her band The Stingers will be releasing the new album at a special release party at The Bank Theatre in Leamington ON on Saturday, December 7 (Doors 6:30 pm, Show 7:30 pm). Tickets are $25 per person and are available online HERE. For more information about the music of Francine Honey, visit francinehoney.com. Music: Francine Honey “Christmas Round My Tree”, “Take Me To The North Pole” and “My Heart Is There With You” from “Take Me To The North Pole” (2019, Self).
We’re changing things up on Episode 456 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you London ON singer-songwriter Sarah Smith and her band live from an under renovation Bank Theatre in Leamington ON, as part of a wonderful session recorded for our video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. Four songs from a fabulous live performer and her band, and an opportunity to chat to Sarah while on stage. We also check out new music from Jon Brooks, Logan and Nathan, Jessica Heine, Leaf Rapids, Vishtèn, Mark Martyre and Hugo Alley. Check out the full playlist below.
Jody Raffoul is just about to release his latest album “9 Wigle St Leamington Ontario”. Ten years in the making, it’s the story of his life so far, and a collection of true stories of love, loss, trials and triumphs with an emphasis on family. Often thought of as Canada’s answer to Bruce Springsteen, Jody Raffoul has built a very successful career as a working class pop-rock singer/songwriter who is as much at home in a small club as on the big stage. The Jody Raffoul Band will be performing CD Release shows at The Bank Theatre in Leamington on Friday, November 30 or Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m (doors at 6:30 p.m.) and Sunday, December 2 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) with an opening performance from Jody’s son Billy Raffoul, who is now out in L.A. developing his own musical career. Jody Raffoul joined Jan Hall in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about this very special album and his hometown release shows. For more information about Jody Raffoul, visit jodyraffoul.com. To get tickets for the CD release shows (and they’re selling out quickly), visit banktheatre.com. Jody Raffoul will also be performing as part of the supergroup The S’Aints at Caesar’s Windsor for Sleighing Hunger, an annual holiday music show that raises funds for food banks in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. That event takes place on Friday December 21 this year. For more information, visit sleighinghunger.com. Music: Jody Raffoul “Feel Your Own Love”, “I’m So In Love With You” and “A Long Way Back” from “9 Wigle St Leamington Ontario” (2018, Self).
Windsor singer-songwriter Karen Morand is getting ready to release her latest album with her band Bosco, “Junkyard Heart”. Junkyard Heart features eight new Karen Morand songs with more of a confessional revival meeting style than her previous work, while still retaining the warm acoustic feel we associate with her band. The CD release takes place at The Bank Theatre in Leamington with special guest, the fabulous Aussie-Canadian bluesy country roots singer-songwriter Gina Horswood on April 22 2017. GET TICKETS. Following the album release, Karen and Gina head off across Southern Ontario together on their Saints & Sinners tour. Bosco features Aaron Verhulst on guitars and mandolin and Benny Santoro on cajon, with Karen Morand on lead vocals, guitar, ukulele, accordion and banjo. We caught up with Karen Morand at home in Windsor to chat about the new album. For more information about Karen Morand and the rest of the tour dates, visit karenmorand.com. Music: Karen Morand “Sucker Creek”, “Junkyard Heart” and “Big Muddy” from “Junkyard Heart” (2017, Self).
On the back of rave reviews at this summer’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival, Toronto’s folk quintet Union Duke are heading back down into Ontario’s banana belt for a show at Leamington’s Bank Theatre on Saturday November 26 at 8 p.m. (Doors 7 p.m.) The band released their third album “Golden Days”, the follow-up to the very well received “Cash & Carry” earlier this year. With a lively alt.folk bluegrass pop sound, the band inhabit the same territory as Mumford & Sons and The Strumbellas. They have a fabulous live show, and are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t yet done so. Get your tickets online HERE. Check out Union Duke online at unionduke.com.
Roots Songstress Allison Brown has a couple of special band shows coming up in October in South Western Ontario. Allison will be bringing her band The Assembly Line to The Bank Theatre in Leamington Ontario on Friday October 14, and the following night, Saturday October 15, she’s at the Kordazone Theatre in Windsor. Tickets for both shows are $12 in Advance, and $15 at the door. Joining Allison as part of The Assembly Line will be Jedd House on Upright Bass, ‘Uncle’ Dan Henshall on Mandolin, and Vera Colley from Whoa Nellie! Vera & Johnny on accordion & harmony vocals. You can get tickets for The Bank Theatre show online at allisonbrown.bandcamp.com or reserve by calling the box office at 519-326-8805. Tickets for the Kordazone Theatre show are available at Levigator Press, Dr. Disc Records, and Nancy John’s Gallery. We caught up with Allison Brown at home in Paquette Corners to chat about her upcoming shows. Music: Allison Brown “Your Enemy” and “Scavengers” from “Stitches & Incisions” (2015, self).
We’re playing catch up as far as new releases are concerned on Folk Roots Radio, so there’s no interview in this episode as we focus on bringing you some of the best new music we’ve received over the past few months. We hope you enjoy it.
Dale Butler has been making music in Essex County in South-Western Ontario for over forty years. A full time musician, singer-songwriter and storyteller Dale performs solo, as a duo with wife Judy and also with his band “Dale Butler & Friends”. He also hosts Dale’s Friday Coffee House, formerly known as the Last Friday Coffee House, a Leamington musical institution that takes place monthly at The Bank Theatre and helps nurture the careers of young and new performers. Dale is also known for a great folk festival workshop where he shows participants how to play a guitar in two minutes even if they’ve never ever held a guitar before – a hold over from his days as a music store proprietor in Leamington. Dale joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about his music and play a few songs live. Music: Dale Butler “Love That Grows” from “Aiming For Left Field” (2014, Self), “My Life” (Live), “Let’s Write Our Song” (Live), “Question Marks on My Windshield” from “Now I See” (2013, Self), “Lonely Child” (Live), “Thirty Years On” (Live) and “Summertime” from “Butler Tunes 1” (2012, Self).
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.