Shawna Caspi’s Contemporary Canadian Roots

& WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for June 12, 2016

Shawna Caspi

Shawna Caspi at WFDU-FM

A recent visit from singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi helped remind me that our folk community is still producing artists that care about creating songs that tell engaging stories through honest and heartfelt lyrics. Shawna taps into her Canadian folk roots to share songs with beauty, humor and a keen eye for the world around her. Add to the fact that she is a classically trained guitarist with a stunning voice, and you have an artist that is destined to be an important artist on the folk circuit.

Shawna plays a guitar that she bought from Ottawa Folklore Center over 15 years ago. This prized possession has traveled with the young artist across Canada and into the states, accompanying her on stages of numerous festivals, cafes, folk venues and even trains. (Shawna performed as part of the VIA Rail On Board Entertainment Program.)

During her on-air visit (click below to hear the interview/in-studio performance), Shawna revealed that her musical tastes varied while growing up, but she had an affinity for the independent singer-songwriters of the folk music scene. Her classical training certainly influenced her career choice, but she admits that she needed to find her own true voice in order to share the music that was within her heart. She creates well-crafted songs that are infectious, slices of life that touch audiences with their honesty and familiarity. At the same time, her songs are complex and thought provoking.

Apartments for Lovers CD Cover

Apartments for Lovers
CD Cover

Shawna has released three CDs as well as one EP. Her most recent CD was the 2014’s Apartments for Lovers. The CD caught the attention of many of my Folk DJ peers across North America, and her attendance at Folk Alliance gatherings helped her make connections to reach new stages here in the states. When she appeared on my show, Shawna began with her powerful song “Not So Silent” – a protest song that speaks up for women who are victims of assaults and systems that do not provide adequate justice. The song is empowering and a call for action.

Her keen eye for detail is evident in her songs and it comes as no surprise that Shawna is a talented painter as well. She loves the landscapes of the places she has traveled and paints works of art inspired by scenery she sees. The cover of Apartments for Lovers features one of her paintings – a lonely trailer sitting in a desolate field. Shawna also sells her paintings at her performances.

Shawna will be performing in her native Canada during the summer and returning to the United States in September. She continues to write songs and hopes to begin a new recording in the near future. Be sure to check her schedule and catch a performance if she is near you, she will entertain you, move you and most importantly – give you hope.


Click on the link below to hear Shawna Caspi with Ron Olesko on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS
Originally broadcast on June 12, 2016

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About Ron Olesko

For over 40 years, Ron has been a radio programmer with WFDU-FM in Teaneck, New Jersey. He created WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS in 1980, a show that he continues to host and produce every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6pm Eastern Time. He's the president of and booker for the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and is a regular contributor to Sing Out! as well as the host of the Folk Music Notebook blog on this site. Ron can also be found emceeing concerts and festivals around the NYC/NJ area. A lifelong Mets fan and a rabid soccer geek, Ron is a Red Bull season ticket holder since their inception and will most likely be in his seat when not in the studio.

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