A selection of our articles about folk/roots music in Canada.

New Single: Belle Plaine, “Golden Ring”

We first wrote about Belle Plaine’s terrific music in 2016 when we were exploring the SaskMusic end-of-year longlist.  Her 2016 project, Unrequited Love, was a tour de force live album that left us anxious for fresh music from this incredible talent…. Continue Reading →

New Single: Big Little Lions, “Alive and Well”

Big Little Lions have released a new single, “Alive and Well,” in advance of their next studio album, set for release on 23 February. It will feature 13 original songs that deliver their signature pop-folk shimmer with a new lyrical… Continue Reading →

Ben Caplan and Harrow Fair: Live in Pittsburgh, PA

With our scaled down travel schedule through December, we were definitely fighting the effects of ‘cabin fever’ (also known as ‘no live music’), and eager to greet the arrival of a New Year and new concert schedule.  In 2017, we… Continue Reading →

Review: VK, “Terms and Conditions”

As music bloggers, we are always happy to share the music of artists both firmly established and previously unknown to us.  Social media has led us to many new artists from all over Canada, and recently, musicians have discovered our… Continue Reading →

Review: Steve Maloney, “The Memory Game”

In response to our year-end roundups, a Facebook reader pointed us to the longlist for the 2017 Borealis Music Prize for more terrific albums from Newfoundland.  I’m delighted that he took the time to make the suggestion.  There are several… Continue Reading →

Coming Soon to Your Player: Looking Forward to Upcoming Releases

Now that we’re thoroughly into 2018, it’s time to look forward instead of backward.  We already know of a number of great albums coming in the next few months… here are a few that we’re especially eager to hear. 26… Continue Reading →

Find a New Favorite: Kelly Song Collective, “Unless and Until”

Every now and then, we encounter the music of a new (or recently established) artist, and naturally want to share their music with a wider audience.  Glancing back at our last two “Find a new Favorite” articles, we featured The… Continue Reading →

Review: Ian Sherwood, “Bring the Light”

I must confess to not being at all familiar with the music of Ian Sherwood, but upon my first listen of his fifth studio album, this Halifax, NS, native has certainly inspired me to seek out much more of his… Continue Reading →

Interview: Taivi, “Rising Tide”

With her new album “Rising Tide,” singer-songwriter Taivi is breaking fresh ground for herself, exploring a bluegrass sound with the help of her mentor Claire Lynch.  Indeed, not only did Lynch advise on the project, but she connected Taivi with… Continue Reading →

Interview: Qristina Brooke, “Linger”

Last September, we had the opportunity to hear Qristina and Quinn Bachand during their fabulous appearance at the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA.  We were thus primed with excitement to hear the solo work Qristina was recording, and when the… Continue Reading →

Lily & Madeleine: Live in Vienna, VA

While we remain dedicated to promoting the wonderful Canadian music scene to a much wider audience, sometimes we also want to share other artists with our Canadian friends too.  With our occasional “Commonwealth Connections” features, we look at non-Canadian artists… Continue Reading →

Interview: Thelonious Hank, “Walk Between the Raindrops”

As I was listening to the new album from Thelonious Hank the other night, M stopped in his tracks and said, “Wow – that’s old school.”  And yes, that’s precisely what “Walk Between the Raindrops” is – a delightful visit… Continue Reading →

Review: Black Suit Devil, “The Freedom Sessions”

On a recent road trip that saw Team GDW once again heading north to catch a live show in Southern Ontario, L took charge of the DJ duties and was incredibly eager to share some new tunes with me that… Continue Reading →

Interview: Ambre McLean, “My Heart”

We’ve been waiting three years for Ambre McLean to release a new album – but “My Heart,” released just last month, was well worth the wait.  This collection of reflective, thoughtful songs, with Ambre’s astonishing voice over a primarily acoustic… Continue Reading →

The Fortunate Ones: An Intimate Evening at The Sanderson Centre

It is well known that Team GDW has a strong bond with The Sanderson Centre in Brantford, ON.  Retuning once again to this wonderful venue, we chose to spend our Black Friday in the company of the Newfoundland folk duo,… Continue Reading →

Interview: Maxim and Gervais Cormier, “Cape Breton Guitar”

The superb flatpicking skills of Maxim Cormier first came to our attention with his last album, a collection of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach.  Now, he has released a fabulous album of Cape Breton tunes with his father, multi-instrumentalist Gervais… Continue Reading →

Interview: Piper Hayes, “Piper and Carson”

With her gorgeous new album (out 8 December), “Piper & Carson,” Piper Hayes has created a soundscape not only of her life (depicted as a day, start to finish) but also a statement about how we can and should live… Continue Reading →

Emm Gryner: Live in Forest, ON

One of the wonderful things about the US Thanksgiving Holiday is that it gives Team GDW a great opportunity to savor one last ‘long’ weekend in Southern Ontario before the close of the year.  Always happy to venture up north… Continue Reading →

Snappy Snippets, Holiday Style: O’Pears, Bros, Tomato Tomato, Emilie-Claire Barlow

For many people, the Christmas holidays are a time to pull out scads of holiday albums and crank up those old, familiar Christmas songs on the player.  For others of us, it’s a time to avoid stores and malls precisely… Continue Reading →

Le Vent du Nord: Live in Pennsylvania

We are incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful folk music society here in Central Pennsylvania that has an uncanny knack for bringing traditional Canadian musicians to our part of the world.  Indeed, over the last couple of years, the Susquehanna… Continue Reading →

Interview: The Dreadnoughts, “Foreign Skies”

As regular readers of GDW know, we’re big fans of folk music and write about it frequently.  What you may not know is that L is a history geek from way back… so when an album comes out that is… Continue Reading →

Interview: Josh Sahunta, “Dissonance”

With his recent release “Dissonance,” Edmonton-based artist Josh Sahunta has made a bold statement – of musicianship, of creativity, of talent.  This seven-song EP is a delight to the ears and a tremendous accomplishment, especially when you consider that all… Continue Reading →

David Myles Brings Real Love to The Sanctuary

We have been fans of David Myles for a long time now, and naturally become very excited when we see him announce tour dates in and around PA.  Earlier this summer David was part of a show in State College,… Continue Reading →

Trent Severn: Live at the Burlington PAC

Having been fans of Trent Severn since their debut self-titled 2012 album release, it would take several years before we had an opportunity to see them live.  Indeed, it was on a whim last year when Trent Severn announced their… Continue Reading →

Interview: Dave Allen, “When the Demons Come”

Toronto singer/songwriter Dave Allen recently released his debut solo album, “When the Demons Come,” a tour de force exploration of love, loss, and questions about religion and spirituality.  I would suspect that the issues with which Dave is wrestling in… Continue Reading →

The Karpinka Brothers Live in Kingston

There have been many instances in our blog articles about how important it is to support live music, and to get out and attend shows when your favorite artists are playing nearby.  Being strong advocates of practicing what we preach,… Continue Reading →

Rawlins Cross Release New Single, Announce Album

Beloved Celtic rock band Rawlins Cross have announced the 1 December release of a new EP, “Rock Steady.”  The first single from this six-song collection, “Hold You Tonight,” is now available, and you can preorder “Rock Steady” beginning this Friday… Continue Reading →

An Enjoyable Midweek Evening With Whitehorse

It is amazing, given the frequency of our visits to the GTA, how there are a handful of well-established musical acts from that part of the province that we have not yet been fortunate enough to experience live.  Household names… Continue Reading →

Review: Over the Moon, “Moondancer”

Alberta folk/swing duo Over the Moon has released a delightful set of songs with their debut album, “Moondancer.”  Suzanne Levesque and Craig Bignell, multi-instrumentalists who met several years ago, married, and decided to pair up professionally, have together created a… Continue Reading →

Interview: Lydia Persaud, “Low Light”

A few weeks ago, we were privileged to be able to feature a video from Lydia Persaud.  As soon as we heard her fabulous voice, we were eager to hear more, and we’re thrilled that she took the time to… Continue Reading →

Snappy Snippets: Music From the Maritimes

Still reeling from the abundance of traditional music that we experienced during the recent Celtic Classic festival here in PA, our craving for finding a ‘few more’ East Coast Celtic artists remains strong.  Given the wealth of Maritimes artists that… Continue Reading →

Interview: Kat Goldman, “The Workingman’s Blues”

With her new album, “The Workingman’s Blues,” singer/songwriter Kat Goldman is stretching into deep and occasionally dark waters: the plight of the working class in the United States.  For obvious reasons (Team GDW being based in the US), this is… Continue Reading →

Elliott BROOD: Live at Avening Hall

Team GDW were incredibly eager to hit the road once again during the final weekend of October, armed with a pair of tickets to the sold-out Elliott BROOD concert taking place at The Avening Hall in Creemore, ON.  We secured… Continue Reading →

Interview: Wilderness of Manitoba, “Across the Dark”

No matter who the artist or what type of music, when one of your favorite bands are set to release a new album, the pulse always accelerates a little at the thought of finally getting to hear some new material. … Continue Reading →

New Video: Edward Sayers, “Rose”

Toronto singer/songwriter Edward Sayers has just released the first single, “Rose,” from his forthcoming album.  “Underdog Overlord” will be available from 24 November; of the new project, Sayers says, “Lyrically the songs deal with struggling in an urban environment, longing… Continue Reading →

Interview: VISSIA, “Place Holder”

Listening to this terrific new album from Edmonton-based VISSIA, it’s perfectly evident that it is the fruit of significant effort on her part.  The album, she says, took four years to write – four years of experiences that have been… Continue Reading →

New Video & Upcoming Album: Les Tireux d’Roches

Folk/trad group Les Tireux d’Roches will release a new album, “Tarmacadam,” on 24 November, with an album release event scheduled for 23 November at Le Ministère in Montréal. Les Tireux d’Roches was originally formed in 1998 in Mauricie by original… Continue Reading →

Review: The Deep Dark Woods, “Yarrow”

One of the most unique aspects of the Canadian folk music scene is just how diverse this genre has proven to be.  From the mainstream to the obscure, there really is something across this spectrum to appeal to most listeners’… Continue Reading →

New Album Next Week From De Temps Antan!

One of Team GDW’s favorite groups, De Temps Antan, is releasing a new album next week!  We originally saw them here in central Pennsylvania; we were thrilled that a Québecois group were coming to our area, and when we heard… Continue Reading →

Review: Émilie Landry, “Être social”

In her new EP, “Être social,” New Brunswick artist Émilie Landry explores a very personal landscape: relationships with others, relationships with herself, and the intersections between those.  This project, Landry’s first solo effort, provides a glimpse into a very promising talent. … Continue Reading →

Julian Taylor Band: Live at Mills Hardware

Having enjoyed a handful of great Canadian music festivals over the summer, Team GDW became exposed to several new artists previously unknown to us.  It was at the inaugural Sawdust City Music Festival last August when we first encountered The… Continue Reading →

Interview: Skydiggers, “Warmth of the Sun”

From the first few chords of “Warmth of the Sun,” it’s utterly clear that the Skydiggers are not only not resting on past laurels, but they are fired up with an urgency and energy to speak their truth.  The album, just… Continue Reading →

Review: Terra Lightfoot, “New Mistakes”

I have often mentioned that given the seemingly endless supply of new Canadian music, an artist has to offer up something special to separate themselves from the pack and grab my attention.  Prior to her 2014 release “Every Time My… Continue Reading →

New Single: Iskwé, “Soldier”

In a world where the sum of our lives is defined through another’s gaze, genuinely unchained artists like Winnipeg-bred, Hamilton-based Iskwé (pronounced iss-kway) are a rare breed. Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch’ by CBC Music, Iskwé… Continue Reading →

Finding God in Everything: Annie Sumi, “In the Unknown”

Way back in another lifetime, I wrote a paper for a theology course in which I intimated that God is present and visible in all things – and was roundly roasted by my professor for borderline heretical thinking.  So hearing… Continue Reading →

New Single: Olympic Symphonium, “Coat of Arms”

The Olympic Symphonium have emerged from a three-year silence with a new song, “Coat of Arms.”  The song, says band member Graeme Walker, “wrestles with figuring out an identity and then bringing that individual into relationships. What qualities do we… Continue Reading →

Interview: Beatrice Keeler, “Bygone”

In 2016, Beatrice Keeler, a creative writing student at Concordia University, surprised many by reaching the semifinals of “La Voix” (Québec’s version of “The Voice”) with a tremendous talent that impressed the judges (even though she wasn’t fluent in French). … Continue Reading →

Interview: O Frontera, “In the Arms of Stoics”

O Frontera, an experimental post-rock group based in Toronto, will release their new album, “In the Arms of Stoics,” tomorrow (6 October).  They’ll also play an album release show on Saturday 7 October at Toronto’s Art Square Gallery. This unique… Continue Reading →

New Single: Terra Lightfoot, “Norma Gale”

JUNO Award nominated songwriter Terra Lightfoot is sharing another track from her forthcoming album, “New Mistakes” – a song which Lightfoot considers to be her first ‘songwriter’s song.’ “Norma Gale” was inspired “after meeting a Canadian woman named Norma Gale… Continue Reading →

Interview: Winona Wilde, “Wasted Time”

A few weeks ago, I was offered the chance to hear Winona Wilde’s latest album, “Wasted Time.”  I am so, so very glad that I grabbed this opportunity – this fabulous set of songs has been my companion now for… Continue Reading →

Take a Chance On Me: The Dead South, “Good Company”

Taking time once again to sift through a collection of ‘unheard’ CDs that have accumulated over the last year or so, my eyes were drawn to “Good Company” by The Dead South.  With their recently publicized (mis)adventures attempting to cross… Continue Reading →

Annie Sumi Releases Gorgeous New Song, “In Everything”

Ontario-based singer-songwriter will release her second album, “In the Unknown,” next month, and has just released a live performance video of the lead track “In Everything” in partnership with Mitch Fillion (Southern Souls). “In Everything” is a clarion call for… Continue Reading →

Shawn William Clarke: Album Release Party

As we approach the first birthday of Great Dark Wonder, one of the founding principles upon which we based this blog was to connect ‘new’ Canadian music and artists with a much wider audience.  We have been incredibly fortunate (in… Continue Reading →

Skydiggers Announce New Album, Single, and Tour

In what was already a fantastic week for Canadian music, The Skydiggers announced last week that they are releasing a new album in October.  Additionally, they plan to tour in support of the new project beginning in November.  This terrific… Continue Reading →

Interview: The Karpinka Brothers, “Talk Is Cheap”

The Karpinka Brothers first came to our attention when we interviewed them prior to their performance at this summer’s Gateway Festival in their home province of Saskatchewan.  And they didn’t just tiptoe onto our radar – from the first song… Continue Reading →

Interview: Civil Wray

if you don’t recognize the name Civil Wray, that’s perhaps understandable – for now, anyway.  Andrea de Boer might be better known to you as blueVenus, the previous moniker under which she worked as a musician.  Now, with a new… Continue Reading →

Elliott BROOD: Interview, “Ghost Gardens”

Here at Team GDW, we thrive on juggling our listening habits to experience as many great Canadian artists as is possible (both for our own enjoyment and for future blogs posts).  But even amongst all of the choices presented to… Continue Reading →

Are You Ready for Super Friday? Elliott BROOD, David Myles, Karpinka Brothers, Wilderness of Manitoba

To me, Christmas isn’t more than three months away – it’s only three days away.  We’ll awaken Friday (15 September) to a plethora of presents under the autumnal trees – new albums from Elliott BROOD, David Myles, the Karpinka Brothers, and… Continue Reading →

Last Minute Live Music Events (Jane’s Party, The Sadies, NQ Arbuckle)

Having enjoyed our previous evening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Team GDW had originally planned to have a day of leisure in and around the GTA.  But, as time drew closer to the weekend, the seeming… Continue Reading →

2017 Celtic Classic (Bethlehem, PA): Canadian Artist Preview

Several months ago, one of the artists we actively follow reached out to alert us that they would be coming to our area to perform.  We immediately put the event on our calendar and have been counting down the days… Continue Reading →

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings: Live at Jackson-Triggs

Concert season has been in full swing this summer for Team GDW.  With our previous weekend taking in The Sheepdogs at Jackson-Triggs and Blue Rodeo et al. at Budweiser Stage, and then the quick stop with Ian Foster and Harrow… Continue Reading →

See the Latest Video From Pat Maloney, “The Gypsies and I”

Hamilton-based songwriter Pat Maloney has recently released the video for “The Gypsies and I,” a song from his latest album “RIGHTHERE.” Of the song, Maloney says, “The Gypsies and I was written in the toilet at the Traveller’s Inn, in Earl… Continue Reading →

Harrow Fair and Ian Foster: Live in Exton, PA

We wrote recently about our wonderful experience at The Sawdust City Music Festival in Gravenhurst, ON.  During this all-weekend event, we had the opportunity to spend time with both Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner from Harrow Fair.  Whilst aware that… Continue Reading →

Interview: Shawn William Clarke, “Topaz”

This Friday, Shawn William Clarke releases his latest album, the gorgeous “Topaz.”  This terrific album starts with the lovely instrumental “Back to Breath,” rolls into “Autumn in New Brunswick” (which Shawn describes as an “homage to finding windows of solace… Continue Reading →

Blue Rodeo and Friends: Live at Budweiser Stage

Within the Blue Rodeo community, the annual summer concert in Toronto is an absolute must for those in and around the GTA.  Having not yet experienced this for ourselves, we happened to be in town this particular weekend, and thus… Continue Reading →

Interview: Tony Dekker – New Music and New Challenges

Team GDW have been strong fans of Great Lake Swimmers for several years now, and we were fortunate to catch them live twice last year.  From the Homecoming concert in Port Colborne, ON, to their co-headlining event with Elliott Brood… Continue Reading →

Lydia Persaud: New Single, “Low Light”

Raised on a healthy dose of the country music narrative and the spiritual motivation of gospel hymns, Toronto songstress Lydia Persaud is reconnecting with her roots on her debut EP “Low Light.” Set for an independent release on October 20,… Continue Reading →

“Dance in the Sun” – Video From Jon Stancer

Toronto singer/songwriter Jon Stancer has released a new video for “Dance In The Sun,” one of the standout tracks from his debut solo album, “For The Birds.” The video beautifully captures the song’s dreamy, free-spirited message, while reflecting the music’s… Continue Reading →

“Wait”: New Single From The Cedar Sisters

Readers of this site may recall our feature some time back about London-based The Marrieds.  Recently, Jane Carmichael (half of that terrific duo) has partnered with Elle Hermansen to form The Cedar Sisters. The Cedar Sisters have used their similarities… Continue Reading →

“Panorama High”: New Single From Dennis Ellsworth & Kinley Dowling

Prince Edward Island-based singers Dennis Ellsworth and Kinley Dowling have teamed up on a new album, “Everyone Needs to Chill Out,” and have just released the project’s first single, “Panorama High.” Listen to this great new song below: The pair… Continue Reading →

Sawdust City Music Festival 2017: The Jim Cuddy Family Band

Having outlined our appreciation of the public events at the inaugural Sawdust City Music Festival in Gravenhurst, ON, our attention is now focused on the Saturday evening entertainment held in the historic Opera House.  The Jim Cuddy Family Band would… Continue Reading →