Stewed Roots

Stewed Roots


" seem to have the pulse of Canadians in your music.... it's sort of like a CAR BLANKET warm and cozy... one I would wrap around me on a cold drive to North Bay..."


*****Stewed Roots wins 2009 'One Fret Less' Award and a spot in the Ottawa Folk Festival****
"Some of the best songwriting I've heard in years" Brian Bowers (Autoharp Living Legend!)

We had a BLAST at the Ottawa Folk Festival...great audience and performer feed-back; got to workshop with some amazing musicians; perform for the Main Stage audience; AND we sold a whack of CDs , to boot!
Stewed Roots "In the Middle of This" ranked in the top 40 Cds of 2009 - Galexie Folk/Roots Radio
Ranked on the Galexie Folk/Roots Chart for FOUR consecutive months!

"Chart Chat: Unassuming Indies Impress

...Out of Toronto, Stewed Roots' In the Middle of This ("songs like "I Don't Think About Him Much," "Pretension Rag," and "The Fisher and Me" offer simple but affecting homespun tales -- memorable story songs that you readily want to rehear."

The Galaxie Folk/Roots Channel’s most-played, high-rotation album releases for May 2009:

1. Bruce Cockburn --- Slice of Life: Live Solo --- (True North/Linus)
2. Brian Vardigans --- Springhill --- (
3. The United Steel Workers of Montreal --- Three on the Tree (weework)
4. Stewed Roots --- In the Middle of This --- (
5. Romi Mayes --- Achin in Yer Bones --- (
We are delighted!!


After jamming together for years and years and playing in other bands, Neva and Jeff decided to perform as a duo, and Stewed Roots was born. With Neva on accordion and Jeff on vocals and guitar, Stewed Roots is a natural vehicle for fine original material , foot-stompin' old time country, traditional folk music, and anything else that the Muses send along...

Neva Tesolin started classical piano training at the age of 7, and at 16 she began working as a solo pianist and teacher in the Niagara Region. Jamming and playing in bands taught her jazz and blues, and during her classical training at Brock University she earned many music awards. On piano accordion she’s versatile in folk, blues, cajun, country and celtic music. This eclectic range of influences and experiences is at the heart of her classical suites, songs, and instrumentals. Neva currently records and is a side player on piano and accordion, in Niagara and Toronto

Jeff (Jennifer) Hale has been writing and playing music for a long, long time.She joined her first band in high school and has been performing ever since. Lead vocals, harmony vocals, a cappella, rhythm guitar, folk, blues, bluegrass, country, rock, roots, swing... Jeff lives in Toronto and performs there, and in Niagara. Recent Recordings include: Stewed Roots - In the Middle of This (2008) 'Blue Canoe Lullaby' featured on Canoesongs Volume 1 (Portage Productions) (2004); BroadBand (2002); Women in Music- Live at the Black Sea Hall (2000) ....Jeff plays a 1964 00018 Martin Guitar....


Turning 40

Written By: Jeff (Jennifer) Hale

I went to the bath and I looked in the mirror,
I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
Somebody else's face, lookin' back at me - that's not me! That's not me, that's not me!

And where did the time go-they say time goes so slowly, and where did my life go -I had so many plans
Where did my youth go -well it went by so quickly and who's in the mirror-
That's not who I am - That's not me!

I open my mouth, hear my mother's voice calling
I look at my eyes, it's my dad's eyes I see
Look at my hands- they're not my hands I'm seeing -That's not me!


I look out the window, see my son there playing
Look in his eyes, all the questions I see.
I look at his hands, and they're MY hands I'm seeing - I get it now!
That's me! That's me!

And where did the time go - they say time goes so slowly
And where did my life go -I had so many plans
Where did my youth go - well it went by so quickly, BUT
I look at my children and I understand - That's me!
That's me, that's me, that's me!

Jeff Hale C. 1999 SOCAN

Pretension Rag

Written By: Neva Tesolin

Mama always had the bright ideas,
with painted ladies and their pink carnations
all dressed up for their celebrations
And Mama knew how - she'd go dancin',
You gotta get out, go out laughin'-
You gotta let go of your pretensions.

Careful honey now, you move too fast.
Just relax you know, or it won't last.
Patience never was your finest friend so
You go and you go and you go now,
You never say no, never no now-
You gotta let go of your pretensions.

Don't you be afraid, and worry less.
No, no need to take the train express.
Life is in your face - it's no easy task, cause
You go it alone, you're at home now,
You gotta be bold, gotta know how-
Don't you give up - Life's uncertain!
You gotta let go of your pretensions -
and just relax,
(don't you wake up too early)
Just relax
(and watch the day go by)
Just relax
(enjoy being idle)
Just relax.

Neva Tesolin SOCAN

I Don't Think About Him...Much

Written By: J. Hale

I Don’t Think About Him Much - J. Hale

I met him twenty years ago
He was flyin’ in supplies
Just another ‘bush romance’
Wood smoke
Autumn came, I had to go
We said we’d keep in touch
Letters tucked in Christmas cards but
I don’t think about him much

I don’t think about him much
Strong hands, soft touch
I see his smile across the miles but I don’t think about him
I don’t think about him
I don’t think about him much

He’s got a wife in Labrador
His kids are nearly grown
And I’m an independent woman
I think I’m happy on my own
And yes I’ve heard it all before
He says he’d leave her if he could
But in this world of rights and wrongs
He’s sided with the good

So here we are in Halifax and
Have the years been kind
I see him ‘cross the hotel floor
Am I what he thought he’d find
And in the awkward silence
Somehow his hand found mine
In the shadow of the Citadel
Was there a rift in time

I asked him had there been other women
He smiled and said
There could have been a few
Nothing ever happened ‘cause
I always thought of you


The Fisher and Me

Written By: Neva Tesolin

The Fisher and Me- Neva Tesolin

The fisher and me
He tells me he can take me ‘round the strand
The windswept dunes out there are touched by no one
The cars that try get stuck in the sand and he rescues them

The fisher and me
Went out to see that bunnyland drivin’ Laura
His blue landrover racin’ down the beach to pull a tourist free
It was a mother of two, stopped to get some shells, she barely made the tide
And he says that the tide and the wind’ll wait for no one

The fisher and me
He told me of a seal out there last winter
It came ashore, let him get close, and he touched it
From then on it followed when it heard the roar of Laura
And there’s nothing that could take him from the sea
And another season of fishin’ round the strand

The fisher and me
He tells me he feels lucky to be alive here
He can read the time when the clouds’ll pour straight out of the sky
And he angles well so fish are meals on a driftwood fire
And he knows that the tide and the wind’ll wait for no one

Beer and Cajun Music (All I Need)

Written By: J. Hale

Beer and Cajun Music - J. Hale

You said you were leavin’
And you walked out that door
Well there’s just two things I need
To get me back on my feet once more

Gimme beer and Cajun music
I want a ONE chord Cajun song
Gimme beer and Cajun music
So I can TWO-step all night long
I want THREE bills in my pocket
To pay my tab when the night is through
Gimme beer and Cajun music
So I can FORget about you

When I’ve got the Blues I don’t want to hear ‘em
That Country music makes me want to pout
Don’t want to listen to the Eagles or Bob Dylan or the Beatles
Cajun music makes me ‘Twist and Shout’

Well I got my Neva on the ‘cordeen
I’d like to hear a little funky bass
A fiddle smokin’ like a reefer
Someone playin’ on a p’tit fer
Puts a big grin on my face

Did you think that you would leave me lonely
Did you think that I would come undone
Well here’s a lesson for you mister
All I need’s my friends and sisters
et du biere et la musique cajun

I Can Remember

Written By: Neva Tesolin

I Can Remember - Neva Tesolin

I heard you sing along, and you were right all along
That’s how you think of me
I remember when we prayed
We prayed for no more rainy days
And then you said you loved me

I can remember the time that you came into my life
I can remember everything
‘Cause I can see myself in the mirror
Watching out in the porch light
Wishing you were here
Holding my fingers and crossing my toes
Waiting for someone to say how it goes
Then I get up asking how can I get over you
Can I get over you

I can remember the time that you said
You’d be crazy if it weren’t for me
I can remember everything
‘Cause I can see us out on the port pier
Holding hands reminiscing
Wishing you were near

Now it’s years later, our path is set
And together is to be no more
And I still wonder why
‘Cause I can see this love last forever
Married when we are eighty
Past regrets gone by

Holding my fingers and crossing my toes
Waiting for someone to say how it goes
When I go walking the south wind blows
Can’t get over you
Can’t get over you

Time Enough

Written By: J. Hale

Time Enough - J. Hale

I went out to get drunk but I just got sad
Wonderin’ ‘bout the good times I thought we had
And how I thought that you loved me too
I went out to get drunk, but I just got blue

They say time heals all, but it won’t heal me
‘Cause there’s not time enough to soothe the hurt I feel

There’s a clock on the wall counts the moments by
And I wait for your call and my mouth gets dry
Wishing that the words I want you to say
Would come to your lips and not wash away


There’s a hallway I walk and I walk alone
And the curtains are drawn like there’s no one home
And I sit and wait for you to come
And I sit and wait

I went out to get drunk but I just got sad

Craic O' The Pub

Written By: Neva Tesolin

Craic o’ the Pub - Neva Tesolin

People don’t go to the pubs anymore
Now that the smokin’s been banned
And children have to leave by 9:00
People don’t get sitters

But I don’t care what you see
I don’t care what you heard
It’s not the end o’ the pub around here
No sir, not here
Won’t let the craic o’ the pub disappear

But the sisters and their Aunties don’t meet anymore
They smoke alone in their kitchens
And the cousins won’t come for their holidays
They jump a cheap flight to Spain


The publicans can’t pay their bills anymore
Can’t find workers who will stay
So they sell and cut loose in Nicaragua
The pub’s a ghost figure

Dirty Work

Written By: J. Hale/ N. Tesolin

Dirty Work - Hale/Tesolin

What right do you have
To order beers and drink your tears in my bar downtown
What right do you have
To lead me on
I knew along
You’d play me for your clown

It’s your dirty work, dirty work
It’s your dirty work, dirty work

What right do you have
You smooth talkin’ boy toy with one rovin’ eye
What right do you have
When it’s suspected
Be protected
From the dirty-working guy

What right do you have
You come to my place with your pretty face and make a leper out of me
What right do you have
You say your hurtin’
But your flirtin’
Shows your personality

What right do I have
To question and judge you with no reason why
What right do I have
We play the same game
I’m as much to blame
We’re two of a kind

It’s our dirty work
Dirty work


Stewed Roots "Counting The Stars" 2012

Recorded LIVE in Neva's Livingroom, 9 new tracks..just us. No fancy effects or added stuff..just Jeff and Neva playing some tunes!
Engineered by James Moore
available at CDbaby

You can listen to ALL Stewed Roots music at CBC Music

Stewed Roots "In the Middle of This" 2008

Produced by Paul Mills, with Jeff on lead vocals and guitar, Neva on piano, accordion,octave mandolin and vocals, featuring the fantastic work of guest musicians : Al Cross - drums, Bob Hewus - acoustic bass, Don Reed - fiddle, violins; Jessie Tesolin - cello; Rick Whitelaw - slide and blues guitar; Curly Boy Stubbs- guitar, mandolin, banjo, hand percussion, harmony vocals.
Available at CDbaby

Jeff and Neva are featured in the independently produced cds"BroadBand"(2002) and "Women in Music - Live at the Black Sea Hall"(2000)
Jeff has a tune 'Blue Canoe Lullaby' on Portage Productions' amazing compilation cd "Canoesongs Volume 1"(2004) , and also appears with the fabulous Glenridge Boys on their cd 'Garden City Suite'

Set List

Stewed Roots plays a mixture of originals and cover tunes, in a number of styles including folk, blues, old time country, cajun, and celtic. Anything from Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams to Bob Dylan to traditional ballads.
We usually do two 45 minute sets, but we're pretty flexible...
A typical set-
Pretension Rag - Neva Tesolin
Coal Tattoo - Billy Ed Wheeler
Time Enough - Jeff Hale
I Can Remember - Neva Tesolin
I Don't Think About Him...Much - Jeff Hale
Red Rockin' Chair - traditional
Turning 40 - Jeff Hale
The Fisher and Me - Neva Tesolin
Lost Highway - Hank Williams
WaHoo - Cliff Friend
Dirty Work - Tesolin/Hale
California Blues - Jimmie Rodgers
Beer and Cajun Music - Jeff Hale
Stewed Roots - Jeff Hale