Opinion

Opinion

Why streaming concerts should never end – even when social ...

It couldn’t have been a week from that first big wave of COVID-19 cancellations that musicians – the great innovators and adapters that they are – began taking to Facebook to perform online.  At first, they were often impromptu sessions, ...
Opinion

Love and art at the edge of apocalypse

Ever since Grade Seven social studies class, I’ve been walking around waiting for a piano to drop on my head. I remember going home to my parents and asking why they’d never told me about the prospect of a nuclear ...
Opinion

We’re Back!

Folks, it’s Gordy the Moose here.  As I write this, there’s a bright sun shining over moose country, and I’m getting a little misty thinking about what we’re doing here today. Folks, Roots Music Canada is back. I’m not going ...
Opinion

How do we learn folk music? Part II

In the last article, I tried to avoid answering the question of whether written music is still relevant in folk music by posing two more questions, “What motivates one to learn to play or sing folk music?” and, “How do ...
Opinion

How do we learn folk music?

Part 1 of a two-part series by Jack Cooper. When I studied the Introduction to Western Music History at Conrad Grebel College back in the early eighties, I came upon my first definition of folk music. It wasn’t anything cute ...
Opinion

JP Cormier reaches the end of a long road

The burly Nova Scotian known for his lightning precision on anything with strings, JP Cormier, strode onto stage in Perth, ON, recently to a full house and announced this was to be his last tour. After 30 years on the ...
Opinion

Back to the Garden at Winterfolk

Road veteran Jay Aymar was one of many acts showcased this past weekend at Winterfolk’s 10th anniversary festival in Toronto, held for the first time at the Delta Chelsea Hotel. Jay’s keen eye makes this post, from the performer’s perspective, ...
Opinion

Play for free, but not for nothing

I play if you have the money Or if you’re a friend to me But the one man band By the quick lunch stand He was playing real good, for free. -Joni Mitchell, Real Good for Free Despite my best ...
Opinion

The folk in festival

With all the excitement following the Canadian Folk Music Awards this past weekend, we’d like to share a piece written by Roots Music Canada’s Editor-in-Chief, David Newland, for the CFMA gala’s programme. Imagine a place where children can run and ...
Opinion

The lonesome death of the scary song

It’s that time of year again – when the late Bobby ‘Boris’ Picket’s greatest hit, “The Monster Mash” comes back to life for its annual appearance on radio playlists across the land. But aside from the ritual revival of the ...