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Favourite things Jim Marino heard in 2018

Jim Marino hosts the Freewheeling Folk Show on CFMU.  He joins us this week to share his reflections on the best new music of 2018.

Wayne Krawchuk is a local singer-songwriter who doubles with Cootes Paradise. His latest offering is a fascinating lyrical journey through various genres. There is even a tune about the legendary Jackie Washington. The best in Hamilton including Steve Sinnicks, the late Brian Griffith, Sue Leonard, Ruth Sutherland, Michael J. Birthelmir and Randall Hill support and enhance these great tunes!

Barney Bentall’s five-year hiatus has not affected his musical journey at all. The band is tight, harmonies are heavenly, and the stories and production are terrific.

Not only are the very talented Ennis Sisters back together, but they have put out a gem. The songs revolve around the concept of time. It is a genuinely sincere look at their departed father, but yet [it] celebrates living life to the fullest. Also, of course, there is that harmony of three talented sisters! Oh my!

Burlington Ontario’s John and Sheila Ludgate and family have been putting out quality music for quite a while now. Their folk tunes have been consistently strong through the years, but the addition of the younger family members have added some punch and electric to some songs. Check out “Sad and Beautiful” and you will know why I have been a fan for some time.

Since Tia McGraff and husband Tommy Parham began collaborating in Nashville, they have consistently produced the finest that the Americana genre has to offer. Accolades have come from both sides of the ocean.  Tia is one of the finest singer-songwriters around, and Tommy tastefully compliments with vocal and instrumental stylings. After the brilliant Crazy Beautiful, it was hard to believe that Stubborn in my Blood would keep the twosome on a continuous rise.

RPR – Steve and Rob Ritchie, along with fellow ex-Tanglefoot member Al Parrish, have teamed up with percussionist/singer/guitarist Beaker Grainger to take their music to new heights. The awesome vocals continue as expected from these guys, and the rock flavour that tastefully appears does not lessen the strong lyrics. We are all so fortunate to continue to have them around!

Linda Saslove has a voice that harkens back to Judy and Joni. She has written songs that really are for people of all ages. I sat in euphoria as I listened to her lyrics and voice melt my heart. A very strong debut album that leaves you wishing for more.

How would you like to have a private concert by the master? Just get a hold of Stephen Fearing’s audiophile or vinyl only album and your wish will come true. Stephen revisits seven of his own compositions and covers one Tom Waits tune.  This is destined to become a collector’s item, so don’t wait!

Lost Souls is Loreena McKennitt’s first album of original tunes since 2006. It is brilliant. Somehow this collection of leftover tunes from years ago has become one of her most consistent from beginning to end. It really is Loreena at her best once again. Solid through and through.

Jimmy Rankin has come back home and has returned to his musical roots with this new album, Moving East. He is gifted as a songwriter and storyteller who has taken us to the Maritimes, where he is definitely at his most authentic best. A perfect way to come home!!!

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