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!
Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn from Vancouver based folk collective The Fugitives join us on Episode 551 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their wonderful new album “Trench Songs”, which takes as its source material, lyrics from songs written by frontline soldiers during the First World War – set to new music from the band. It’s a great interview. We hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases, and this time around we hear from Christa Couture, Emily Rockarts, Karl Mullen, Ian Foster, The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc and James Gates. Check out the full playlist below.
Vancouver based folk collective The Fugitives have just released a fabulous new album “Trench Songs” which takes as its source material, lyrics from songs written by frontline soldiers during the First World War – set to new music from the band. The album is based on “Ridge”, a new stage show by The Fugitives’ Brendan McLeod which was due to be performed in front of a live audience at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver this past March. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, those live shows had to be cancelled – however Ridge has now been re-imagined as a feature film, using a variety of locations throughout the Chan Centre to tell the story. Co-leaders of the Fugitives Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new project. Watch the feature film version of Ridge HERE. For more information about The Fugitives, visit fugitives.ca. Music: The Fugitives “Thirteen Pence”, “Hymn 43”, “If I Could Turn The Clock Back”, “After Loos”, “The Next Man Who Dies”, “Where Do We Go, Boys” and “Take Me Back To Old Ontario” from “Trench Songs” (2020, Borealis Records).
Singer-songwriter, member of fabulous Vancouver based folk collective The Fugitives and actor, Adrian Glynn joins us on Episode 530 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his wonderful new lockdown recording “Ghostlight Sessions”, which was recorded on the stage of an empty theatre in Kamloops BC after the play he was about to star in was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a great album, and an excellent, and wide-ranging interview that moves beyond the music to discuss the impact of the pandemic on people in the arts. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Emily Barker, Lizzy Hardingham, Kristen Grainger & True North, Monica Lee, Marie Fielding, Michael Barry and Red Wanting Blue. Check out the full playlist below.
Vancouver singer-songwriter and actor Adrian Glynn has just released his third solo recording, “Ghostlight Sessions” and it’s an album with a difference – it was recorded on an empty theatre stage in Kamloops BC at the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Adrian was about to reprise his role as the ‘The Writer’ in Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, which was being put on by the Western Canada Theatre. After Covid prevention protocols forced rehearsals to stop in mid-March, the theatre company generously paid out the actors’ full contracts and allowed them to remain in their Kamloops accommodation. With time on his hands, and no place to be, Adrian elected to start work on what he describes as a homemade album – nine songs from the vault recorded in a stripped down way without much more than a single mic and guitar. An introspective, acoustic folk record, the songs on the album move from a talkin’ blues about suicidal depression, to a modern satirical take on “If I Had A Hammer”, to an ode to slide-guitar guru Kelly Joe Phelps. Ghostlight Sessions is only available as a digital download from Bandcamp. A portion of the proceeds (25%) will go to the NAACP and BIPOC-Covid related organizations. Adrian Glynn (as Adrian Glynn McMorran) also takes the lead role in a new sci-fi psychological thriller, Volition (2019), from writing/directing team, the Smith Brothers. After screening at festivals worldwide and picking up many awards, including Best Feature at several festivals and a Best Actor win for Glynn at Italy’s Ostia festival, the movie is now available for on-demand viewing on streamings services. Adrian Glynn is also co-leader of Vancouver folk collective The Fugitives with Brendan McLeod. The Fugitives have just recorded a new album, “Trench Songs”, a re-imagining of songs and poems from the First World War period. Another album of original songs is also in the works. The release dates for both new projects have yet to be determined. For more information about Adrian Glynn, visit adrianglynn.com. Music: Adrian Glynn “Acting My Age”, “Hammer”, “Kelly Joe, I Heard You Sold Your Last Guitar” and “Talkin’ Suicidal Depression Blues” from “Ghostlight Sessions” (2020, Self) CDN.
Edmonton based singer-songwriter Jay Gilday joins us on Episode 379 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music. Whether playing solo or with his power trio, Jay is a captivating performer who weaves together aspects of his own ancestral traditions: Dene spirituals, Irish ballads, into Canadian folk and rock to produce a sound that is very much his own. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received, including the latest releases from The Once, Birds of Chicago, Manitoba Hal, David Francey, Colm Gavin and The Fugitives. It’s a great episode, and definitely worth sticking around for. Check out the full playlist below.
Five times JUNO nominee and seven times Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins sat down with Jan Hall at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. He also played an instrumental and two songs live for us. We’re very pleased to bring that interview to this episode of Folk Roots Radio. As usual, we also check out more of the new albums we’ve received including new music from Anne Janelle, The Rough & Tumble, Rosie & the Riveters, Pharis & Jason Romero, The Fugitives, Gwyneth Glyn and Suzie Vinnick. It’s a great episode. We hope you’ll check it out. Check out the full playlist below.
Young country blues singer-songwriter Jeremie Albino joins us on Episode 363 of Folk Roots Radio. Jeremie sat down with us at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and played three of his original songs live. Musically he’s the real deal – when he performs, it’s like he’s channeling music from another place and time. It’s an interview that is definitely worth checking out. And as always on Folk Roots Radio, we check out more of the new folk and roots music we’ve received, including new releases from The Kelly Song Collective, KC Groves, The Fugitives and The New Customs. Check out the full playlist below.