Fast-movin' folkie

Karla Hayward
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Music

Fast. That's Tom Power. He's a mighty fast talker, a fast thinker and, judging by the fact that at 21 he's one of the youngest people to ever host his own CBC radio show (outside of a nine-year old Peter Jennings), he's on the fast track to the stars.

"Deep Roots" is the name of Power's show, heard on CBC Radio Two on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m.

According to him, the show is a "disc-driven" one, intended to showcase "new, young, hip, folk music" - and that's not, Power laughs, an oxymoron. Folk music is on the rise, Power believes, citing the increasing number of folk festivals across the nation and well as the young age and number of attendees as illustration. And that's perfect for the future of his show.

Twenty-one-year-old Tom Power is one of the youngest people to host his own CBC radio show which can be heard on CBC Radio Two on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/ The Telegram

Fast. That's Tom Power. He's a mighty fast talker, a fast thinker and, judging by the fact that at 21 he's one of the youngest people to ever host his own CBC radio show (outside of a nine-year old Peter Jennings), he's on the fast track to the stars.

"Deep Roots" is the name of Power's show, heard on CBC Radio Two on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m.

According to him, the show is a "disc-driven" one, intended to showcase "new, young, hip, folk music" - and that's not, Power laughs, an oxymoron. Folk music is on the rise, Power believes, citing the increasing number of folk festivals across the nation and well as the young age and number of attendees as illustration. And that's perfect for the future of his show.

"There are all these people who are going to folk festivals each year, and more and more people are buying folk records, but there's no real radio avenue for it. No one's really playing that, even on CBC ... and it's so hard to find - the good stuff anyway - it's like finding a needle in a haystack sometimes. Like any genre, there's a lot of garbage and you have to weed through it and find the good stuff. So, I figured I was in touch enough and I love, love the music, so I thought I was able to represent this music and show different artists and satisfy those people who don't have any way to hear this music."

Then and now

Power says that during the last folk music "revolution," musicians insisted on separating the music - "this is Acadian folk music, this is Newfoundland fiddling."

Today, things are a little different.

"With my generation, with the advent of technologies, we don't have to do that. We can mash it all together and make our own new forms of music that has all these different influences. ... Instruments are just like cars. You can go wherever the hell you want with them. ... Imagine if someone said to you that this car can only go to the Fairmont. You can do so much with folk instruments and more and more people are realizing that."

A great example of this new approach to folk is a band called The Duhks (pronounced Ducks) according to Power. "They're amazing. I can't stop talking about them."

On "Deep Roots," Power says you're not going to hear stuff that was released in the '70s or '80s. His focus is on modern and contemporary examples of the genre.

"I don't have a lot of interest in seeing men with big beards playing the juice harp, you know? ... Those generations approached it like it was something to be preserved, and a lot of people still think that. But my generation is willing to knock out the glass case and realize that music is just music."

Always been a folkie

Power says he was raised in a home alive with acoustic music, by parents who loved folk music specifically. And, he claims having his own radio show is pretty much a life-long dream.

"I was always verbose and loquacious and being moved around in class for talking too much ... I remember being in Grade 2, and being asked to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down two; I wrote that I wanted to be the Pope ... and that I wanted to call the hockey games ... I wanted to be Bob Cole, I wanted to be a broadcaster.

"The focus has always been on music for me," he continues. "I've always brought my friends over and been like, 'I want to show you this,' and that's what the show is about - me showing you cool music."

Cool music

Power makes his own cool music, too. He sings, plays a multitude of instruments and writes. He's played with the likes of Joel Plaskett, Ron Hynes, accordion player Graham Wells, jazz guitarist Duane Andrews and bluegrass innovator Bill Keith. Plus, he leads his own band, The Dardanelles, which he started after graduating high school.

"Deep Roots" airs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on CBC Radio Two. Listeners can tune in to live streaming on web at cbc.ca/nl.

Organizations: CBC Radio, The Dardanelles

Geographic location: Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments