Tom Wilson. A true rock and roll Rennaisance Man
Tom Wilson. A true rock and roll Rennaisance Man
If you happen to be out of the country or sleeping or bowling with your co-workers you may have missed the first of four outstanding Mulligan Stew Podcasts last weekend.
The first was Frazey Ford. Still to come Dan Mangan and Tom Wilson. This week our guest is William Prince.
You may have discovered William via his first album Earthly Days (2015) or the follow-up
His career was just leaving earth’s orbit when the pandemic struck.
William talks about how his songs take shape, his love of Johnny Cash, Country Charlie Pride, Kris Kristofferson, and the words of his Father about “how you speak – is how people will treat you”
And trust me – when I ask William Prince (Peguis Nation) – about the shame in Canada surrounding the Residential School deaths on children pulled from their families, Williams Words will ring through your heart and your head.
Ladies and Gentlemen – a speaker of the truth. William Prince
In a music business filled to the brim with coulda, shoulda and woulda’s – Frazey Ford is the real deal.
Her latest album is U kin B the Sun
Behind a singular voice..as comfortable on a folk festival stage in Calgary as a jazz festival stage in London (2 nights) ..she is a joy to hear and behold.
Frazey has overcome.
Family dynamics, bullying and abuse, the recent loss of 2 family members, and a male-dominated music business.
The first of four outstanding podcasts – we begin this journey with Frazey Ford.
Next week William Prince
It’s not often that we double back on a previous interview.
There has to be something interesting that makes them candidates.
What we have here are two separate interviews with the co-founders of Hall of Fame/Juno winning band Blue Rodeo, plus Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy both have solo careers on the go.
I talked to Greg in March and Jim 3 weeks ago.
I decided to cut the two interviews together to see how the responses and stories matched.
Have a listen. It’s an interesting mashup.
Blue Rodeo plays the Calgary Stampede Saturday, July 17
And The Jim Cuddy Band play the Calgary Folk Festival Summer Serenades on Prince’s Island Park Friday, July 23
Jim Cuddy was standing at the door of his Toronto house waiting for the cab that would take him to Saskatchewan and the 2020 Junos when the phone rang and he discovered it was canceled because of Covid.
Instead, he headed to his small country home and started writing. Then slowly gathered his Jim Cuddy Band – one at a time – and created tracks for his next solo album. His Blue Rodeo partner Greg Keeler then called and got things rolling on a new Blue Rodeo album. Greg would send his songs to Jim and the band. They would replace or add instruments, vocals, etc and send back. Greg did the same for Jim. Normally they’re all in the same room when they record. Jim says – you can’t tell the difference. “It was remarkable”
When I asked about Canada Day and the conflicting thoughts on that day about residential schools, indigenous rights, and other cultures, Jim gave a beautiful honest response.
Jim says the new Blue Rodeo album has a “zip in it’s step”(January) Greg wrote lots of tunes. Lots of energy.
And what Jim really liked was having the time to sculpt his songs. They felt more clearly defined. “No throw-away lyrics”
And yes he admits to changing.
And having time to watch the seasons change was wonderful – “I had to stop leaning forward and relax.”
Blue Rodeo plays the Calgary Stampede on July 18
Jim Cuddy Band plays the Calgary Folk Festival – Summer Serenades – on Prince’s Island Park on July 23rd.
Steve Marriner is our special guest this week on Mulligan Stew.
We all know Steve from the award-winning Monkey Junk and the very popular Manx Marriner Mainline.
He’s a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and newly minted mixer. . Hope Dies Last is his second solo album. His first was in 2006.
(He’s been just a tad busy)
Hope Dies Last has 15 musicians in the credits..so it’s a true group effort. And signals great things ahead in his solo career.
If you remember our Greg Keelor solo album Episode #152 it was Greg who raved about working with guitarist Jimmy Bowskill. (Sheepdogs. Jim Cuddy)
Steve worked tirelessly with the very same Jimmy Bowskill to get these songs sounding just right.
He’s written songs of pain and heartache, hitting rock bottom and working your way UP. (check out Enough)
Through his songs and albums, production and mixing what we’re hearing here is the the future of Canadian blues/roots/Americana music. Have a listen and let the stories flow.
Thanks to David GoGo for the hang.
This week’s very special interview guest is Leeroy Stagger bringing with him new music from his forthcoming album Dystopian Weekends. Leeroy lets us know that unlike the last two albums he made for wider audiences. This one he made for him. Leeroy also talks about hosting Dirty Windshields on CKUA. It got him through the lockdown. Dystopian Weekends captures the sound of early Byrds, Clapton, Laurel Canyon.
Two stand-out songs – Buffy’s song Greedy Guts and Black Teenagers.
That last song deals with the headlines this very weekend. The Floyd George Murder.
Full disclosure – I jumped the gun on the release date. It’s not coming out until October 1 but as Leeroy says “the whole model of what is an album release has changed. Given Covid, lockdown, and technical innovations it’s a whole new format. So, run with it.”
This weeks guest is singer/songwriter Romi Mayes (Winnipeg)
But she’s not introducing a tour or a new album. In 2021, she’s the Senior Producer for Curbside Concerts.
A company started in 2020 by Matt Masters and Amanda Burgener. They could both see, because of Covid, that artists in Canada were going to have a hard time working, gathering together, and paying the bills. Also, music fans were going to lose their live music.
So they created Curbside Concerts. A safe way for musicians and audiences to get together during these many months.
You chose the artist, date & time. One of their producers will work with you to make it all happen.
The stage (if required), microphones, battery-powered speakers, and anything else needed will show up with your artist.
Want some names?
Paul Pigat. Joe Nolan. Petunia (solo). Jay Semko (N Pikes) JD Edwards (Small Glories) Ridley Bent.
All safety standards are met and everyone enjoys the music.
Curbside has been a success. Now in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and BC
Over 100 artists have signed up. Concerts big and small have taken place.
Audiences have gone away with memories to last a lifetime.
Curbside Concerts have been nominated for four Western Canadian Music Awards.
We welcome the Senior Producer for Curbside Concerts – excellent singer/songwriter Romi Mayes.
If you’re an artist or want to be a Host – Romi has all the info.
This week’s guest is Terry Wickham. The hard-working and much-admired Producer of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
Thing is – there is no Festival this year.
However, after much discussion, they have come up with a Plan B.
To quote The Doobie Brothers they’re Taking it to the Streets.
It reminds me of Dan Mangan’s Sidedoor concept.
Hosts need artists. Artists need hosts.
So, Terry and his team have come up with Taking it to the Streets.
Music fans can offer their street, lawn, backyard, deck, pier.
Artists will all be from the Edmonton area.
Terry explains how you can apply to be a host.
Find the complete details so you can consider them wisely.
And check out the playlist below – Lots of new tunes from
Applications are open for Edmonton-area residents to host a street concert and enjoy the sounds of the folk fest with their neighbors from the comfort of their own front yards. Artist fees, programming, and production are covered by the festival – hosts just need to step forward to organize their street with neighbors. Information, guidelines, and forms can be found at www.edmontonfolkfest.org. The deadline to apply is June 30.
Canada’s Music Awards – The Junos – take place Sunday night.
50 years ago, the first-ever Folksinger of the Year Juno Award went to Bruce Cockburn. Also nominated were Joni Mitchell and Great Speckled Bird (featuring Ian and Sylvia)
Bruce Cockburn won 12 more Juno Awards over the past 50 years. He’s nominated again this year for his brilliant instrumental album Crowing Ignites.
We have much to talk about. Those very early days when he was just starting. “I wasn’t me yet”.
How he has sustained a songwriting and performing career, the moment when he thought perhaps he wouldn’t/couldn’t write another song and what project changed that possibility.
He touches on the state of radio, folk music, how he stayed engaged as an artist, his instincts that told him – when writing a new song – that he had already said what the song was about and finding a new way to continue saying what was in his heart, why he never entertained the idea of being star and how the songs would come to him if he just “waited for the flash”
The interview includes Bruce’s personal thoughts on the tragedy unfolding at the Residential School in Kamloops, BC.
This is the complete conversation with music included.