Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday Morning with Mike Regenstreif – CKCU – Saturday June 23, 2018

Saturday Morning is an eclectic roots-oriented program on CKCU in Ottawa heard live on Saturday mornings from 7 until 10 am (Eastern time) and then available for on-demand streaming. I am one of the four rotating hosts of Saturday Morning and base my programming on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches format I developed at CKUT in Montreal.

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and on the web.

This episode of Saturday Morning can be streamed on-demand at

Extended feature: “New” Songs of Woody Guthrie.

Carolann Solebello- True North
Shiver (Elizabeth)

Reggie Harris- Sheep, Sheep/Little David
Ready to Go (Reggie Harris Music)
Nefesh Mountain- Bound for the Promised Land
Beneath the Open Sky (Eric Lindberg & Doni Zasloff)

Moore & McGregor- Summertime
Dream with Me (Ivernia)
David Francey- The Flower of Colonsay
The Broken Heart of Everything (Laker)
Rod MacDonald- Genius
Beginning Again (Blue Flute Music)
Tret Fure- Lessons from Home Plate
Roses in November (Tomboy Girl)

Annie Lou- Witty Girl
End Zone (Annie Lou Music)
Pharis & Jason Romero- Old World Style
Sweet Old Religion (Lula)
Andrew Collins Trio- Cello Song
Tongue (Andrew Collins Trio)

Fink, Marxer, Gleaves- Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie
Shout and Shine (Community Music)
Rory Block- Do Your Duty

El Coyote- By the Gate
El Coyote (El Coyote)
Tom Russell- St. Olav’s Gate

Ry Cooder- Jesus and Woody
The Prodigal Son (Fantasy)

Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg & Wilco was released 20 years ago today. It was the first album of “new” Woody Guthrie songs created by contemporary artists with lyrics found in the Woody Guthrie Archive – a project spearheaded by Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter. The next 14 songs are but a small sample. Visit for more information.

Billy Bragg & Wilco- Walt Whitman’s Niece
Mermaid Avenue (Elektra)
Lisa Gutkin- From Here on In
From Here on In (Lisa Gutkin)
The Klezmatics- Come When I Call You
Wonder Wheel (Jewish Music Group)
Wenzel- I Don’t Feel at Home on the Bowery No More
Ticky Tock: Wenzel Sings Woody Guthrie (Conträr Musik)

Joel Rafael- Ramblin’ Reckless Hobo
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion- Folksong
Folksong (RTE 8)
Arlo Guthrie- My Peace
Here Come the Kids (Rising Son)

Nora Guthrie & Mike Regenstreif at the 2007 Ottawa Folk Festival
Lucinda Williams- House of Earth
John McCutcheon- Old Cap Moore
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer- Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
Little Blue Egg (Red House)
The Del McCoury Band- Ain’t a Gonna Do
Del and Woody (McCoury Music)

Janis Ian- I Hear Your Voice Again
Billie’s Bones (True North)
Jonatha Brooke- Little Bird
The Works (Bad Dog)
Jackson Browne & Rob Wasserman- You Know the Night
Note of Hope (429 Records)

David Clayton-Thomas- Sonny’s Dream
Canadiana (Antoinette/ILS)
Ron Hynes- 30 for 60
Stealing Genius (Borealis)
Cris Cuddy- The Night the Lights Blew Out (in St. John’s Newfoundland)
Dream On (Vanishing Castle)

Myles Goodwyn- Isn’t That So
And Friends of the Blues (Linus)
Jesse Winchester- Wear Me Out
Marcia Ball- A Little Louisiana
Shine Bright (Alligator)

Ron Weiss- Be a Child
Arrow & Heart (Ron Weiss Music)
Ali McCormick- Tapedeck
That Place You Know (Red Leaf Music)
Howie Hooper- Striking Matches
The Art of Procrastination (Howie Hooper)
Kinky Friedman- Me & My Guitar
Circus of Life (Echo Hill)
Laurie MacAllister & Jimmy LaFave- Poison and Wine
The Lies the Poets Tell (Laurie MacAllister)
Andrew Collins Trio- Coming into Hard Time Blues
Tongue (Andrew Collins Trio)

Dakota Dave Hull- Frankie and Johnny/Leavin’ Home
This Earthly Life (Arabica)

I’ll be hosting Saturday Morning next on July 21.

Find me on Twitter. @MikeRegenstreif

--Mike Regenstreif

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Tom Russell – Old Songs Yet to Sing

Old Songs Yet to Sing
Frontera Records

Old Songs Yet to Sing is a reunion album. A reunion of singer-songwriter Tom Russell, virtuoso guitarist Andrew Hardin – and 20 of the songs they used to play together.

Tom and Andy were an extraordinary team for about 25 or 26 years. They started playing together, circa 1980, and were at the heart of The Tom Russell Band for some years and an acoustic duo for many more. Their musical integration – on stage and on recordings – was remarkable.

Tom is one of the most prolific songwriters I know – I’ve referred to him more than once as “the best songwriter of my generation” – with an output of many great songs and brilliantly conceived albums. Last year he released two great albums, a tribute album, Play One More: The Songs of Ian & Sylvia, and Folk Hotel, two of my favorite records of 2017. He’s also never been shy about revisiting older material – those “old songs yet to sing” – in new ways that makes them seem fresh and new again.

Well after a decade of not touring or recording together, Tom and Andy reunited at Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas for two days in February to record new versions of 20 songs they used to play back in the day – songs Tom wrote or co-wrote between 1974 and 2004.

It’s just the two of them on the record – Tom on lead vocals and guitar and Andy on lead guitar and harmony vocals – and they make these songs, no matter how familiar they may be, sound fresh.

Tom Russell, Mike Regenstreif & Andrew Hardin (2005)
Highlights? How about every song? Of course there’s “Gallo Del Cielo,” Tom’s epic border ballad about a fighting rooster (the song is fictional – no real roosters were harmed in its creation); “Angel of Lyon,” co-written by Steve Young, the story of a businessman who finds salvation in Europe, a compelling song that was and remains a showcase for Andy’s virtuosity; the irresistible “Navajo Rug,” co-written with Ian Tyson; and the sad and beautiful story-song, “Blue Wing,” about an Indigenous ex-con who shared a prison cell with the real-life R&B singer and convicted killer Little Willie John (a line from “Blue Wing” gives the album its title); and, of course, 16 more.

Tom told me he thought he was singing these “old songs” better now than when they were new. With all due respect to all the great Tom Russell albums with the original versions, I’m not going to argue.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif