CJSW Profile: Mind Folk’d

By Andy Williams

Mike Aron Tod graces the radio every Thursday with bundles of folk, blues and rock on his show Mind Folk’d (pun intended). Mike plays everything from classic Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan to contemporary artists like The Burning Hell and Calgary Local Chris Gheran.

Gauntlet: How did you get involved?

Mike Aron Tod: Over the summer I started volunteering and took the volunteer course, and come fall I got my own show.

G: How do you like your slot?

MAT: It’s great, there’s a lot of really good programming on Thursdays. There’s the Soapbox Derby before me and Democracy Now after– it’s kind of just chill. Lots of people at work call in, like welders calling in and saying they are listening to it.

G: Your setlists are very specifically folk. What turned you on to folk? MAT: I’ve always kind of loved folk music and then I volunteered at Folk Fest last summer, and then I really started getting into it. When they asked me what kind of show I wanted to do, I just naturally said “folk music.” There’s only one other folk show on CJSW, which is on Thursday nights.

G: I noticed everything from the White Stripes to Muddy Waters on the same set list. Is that common?

MAT: Yah, the White Stripes are very rootsy in a modern way. They play a lot of old blues songs and people don’t really know that, and I just really love playing those. I also had an example of Nirvana playing a Ledbetter song called “Where did you sleep last night?” from last week. My favourite kind of music today is stuff that hammers on those original rootsy structures.

G: Yah the influence of folk has been pretty widespread.

MAT: Yah, I just found out the official definiton of folk. I didn’t even know it until a couple weeks ago. It’s just a word that gets tossed around a lot, and people don’t really know what it means. It means folklore music– anything that’s been passed down, which I found really interesting. It used to be that people were playing the songs that their grandfathers would play, but now it’s such a broad term, because anything can be passed down with the Internet and Youtube– you can find Woodie Guthrie and Robert Johnson on there. It’s a new form of being passed down.

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