Snowy Mountains Music Festival Becomes Peak Festival

Snowy
Image By KT Bell

Australia’s favourite winter festival, The Snowy Mountains of Music, is getting a facelift in 2014 including a brand new name – Peak Festival.

Held at the Perisher snow fields from the 6th to 9th June, Peak Festival will this year feature a diverse range of musical acts including The Herd, Dereb The Abassador, Lachy Doley and Timber and Steel favourites The Little Stevies.

More acts will be announced over the coming months – to stay up to date make sure you check out the official Peak Festival facebook page here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Laura Marling has added a second Melbourne and Sydney date to her July tour of Australia. Details here

- The video for Matt Corby’s new single “Resolution” arrived late last week. Details here

- The enigmatic Whitely made a return to the Australian music scene after a three year absence with a brand new single, news of a new album and a tour this July. Details here

- The amount of success Passenger is seeing at the moment is phenomenal – we’re so proud of you Mike! And we’re so excited that Passenger’s coming back to Australia this year for a national tour in December. Details here

- The final artists have been added to the Snowy Mountains of Music lineup before it hits Perisher next weekend. Details here

- Listen to the new track from folk duo Sweet Jean, “Tomorrow Morning”. Details here

- And Sweet Jean are heading out on tour in July when they release their new album Dear Departure. Details here

- Folk-punk singer-songwriter Isaac Graham has announced plans for a new album and is already giving away three of its tracks as free downloads. Details here

- Next week will see the release of Wayward Daughter, the best of CD from folk legend Eliza Carthy. Details here

- The debut single/video from singer-songwriter Dustin Tebbutt, “The Breach”, is really sweet. Details here

- The wonderful Patrick James has announced a couple of all ages headline shows at the end of June in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

- Harmonic four-piece Evan and the Brave have announced a single launch show in Sydney mid-June. Details here

- Alt-country singer-songwriter Lachlan Bryan has a new video for the track “Whistle and Waltz”. Details here

- The Finders Keepers Markets hit Sydney tonight and tomorrow with lots of lovely live music for you. Details here

- Listen to “You Can Stay”, the new single from Melbourne’s Woody Pitney. Details here

- The latest track and video from Bernard Fanning’s new album definitely harkens back to his Tea and Sympathy days. Details here

Interviews

“‘The Hypnotist’ is a taste of the album to come with a deeper involvement in digital palettes and working with producers in the studio. The last album was quite ‘home-made’ so I’d love to experience the process of a more ‘studio’ record – Pete Uhlenbruch of Owls of the Swamp chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Spotlight On

Paper Aeroplanes

Paper Aeroplanes

“With their evident evolution through each recording, the Paper Aeroplanes are are duo (currently touring with band) that should definitely be watched. They are the kind of act that would be at home in an intimate venue as well as on a main stage of a large summer festival”KTBell spotlights Paper Aeroplanes. Profile here

Blog

“How am I doing? Exhausted. Optimistic, but a bit anxious. It feels very pushy and demanding to be spending all of my time (yes, all of it – yesterday I worked a 17 hour day) asking people for things”Rose Wintergreen talks Crowd Funding in the third of a four part series. Blog here

Timber and Steel Presents

Owls of the Swamp

Owls of the Swamp
Friday 31st May – The Hideaway, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 2nd June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tickets

Gigs Next Week

Achoo! Bless You and The Mountains
Saturday 1st June – Baha Tacos, Rye, VIC
Sunday 2nd June – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 31st May – Wollongong Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 1st June – Cat & Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd June – Humph Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 5th June – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 6th June – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – The National Celtic Festival, Port Arlington, VIC

Finders Keepers Markets
Friday 31st May – Carriageworks, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 1st June – Carriageworks, Sydney, NSW

Martha Wainwright
Friday 31st May The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 1st June Byron Theatre Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 2nd June Byron Theatre Byron Bay, NSW

Matt Corby with Grace Woodroofe
Friday 31st May – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st June – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th June – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 31st May – Clancy’s Fish Bar, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 1st June – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Sunday 2nd June – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 7th June – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

Jep and Dep
Thursday 6th June – Terrace Bar Newcastle, NSW
Friday 7th June – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW

Palm Creek Folk Festival
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – Palm Creek, QLD

Snowy Mountains of Music
Friday 7th to Monday 10th June – Perisher, NSW

Sounds of the South feat. Megafaun, Fight the Big Bull, Justin Vernon and Frazey For
Saturday 1st June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Texture Like Sun, Ella Hooper, Roscoe James Irwin
Tuesday 4th June – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Milk Carton Kids with Melody Pool
Tuesday 4th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 6th June – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 7th June – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Tom West
Wednesday 5th June – The Front Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 6th June – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th June – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June – Glen Helen Resort, NT

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Fox” – Nickel Creek

Big thanks to Timber and Steel contributor/co-founder MackaJay for getting this song stuck in my head this week. There’s worse ways to spend a week I suppose.

Snowy Mountains of Music Reveals Final Artists for 2013

Saritah
Image Courtesy of Saritah

It’s just two weeks until the June long weekend which means it’s just two weeks until The Snowy Mountains of Music festival hits Perisher. The festival has been putting the finishing touches on the 2013 event with the final artists added to an already impressive lineup.

Saritah (above), The Ministry of Truth and Tjupurra will be joining the likes of Jeff Lang, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star, Mustered Courage, Blue King Brown, Oh Pep!, Sunas, Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens and many many more for a weekend of amazing music.

The Snowy Mountains of Music takes place from the 7th to 10th June and tickets are still available. Check out the official site for more information.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- We exclusively debuted the video for “TipToe” from Aluka. Details here

- The wonderful Aoife O’Donovan has released her new single “Red & White & Blue & Gold”. Details here

- Timber and Steel’s favourite son Matt Corby has announced an Australian tour with Grace Woodroofe in support. Details here

- The Snowy Mountains of Music festival have announced their second round of artists including Blue King Brown, Kylie Auldist, Gang of Brothers, The Fraudsters, Oh Pep!, Sunas and Mzaza. Details here

- Ella Hooper has just released her second solo single and video “Haxán”. Details here

- Listen to the brand new single from The Stillsons, “Break and Keel”. Details here

- Listen to Buffalo Tales completely re-imagining Rhianna’s “Diamonds” as his new single. Details here

- This July we’re going to see a brand new album from Josh Pyke. Details here

- Darren Cross has revealed the slightly creepy new video for his track “Get My Revenge”. Details here

- Today will see the release of Frank Turner’s fifth studio album Tape Deck Heart. Details here

- Laura Marling revealed another brand new track from her upcoming album, the Dylan-esque “Master Hunter”. Details here

- Julia literally battles herself in the new clip from Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, “Adeleine”. Details here

- Melbourne’s Major Chord has released his new single “Transition”. Details here

- Listen to James Vincent McMorrow cover “Higher Love”. Details here

- Folk music legend Joan Baez has announced her first Australian tour in 25 years this August. Details here

Reviews

Recordings

“Listening to Creatures, I get the feeling that they were experimenting in the studio with some of the many songs they had to hand, trying to see which style fits them best”JDX reviews Creatures from Sleepy Dreamers. Review here

Releases This Week

Space
SpaceAluka
iTunes

Freak Out Inn III
Freak Out Inn IIIDarren Cross
Bandcamp

Tape Deck Heart
Tape Deck HeartFrank Turner
iTunes

Ghost on Ghost
Ghost on GhostIron and Wine
iTunes

Way To Blue
Way to Blue – The Songs of Nick Drake – Various
iTunes

Gigs Next Week

Aluka
Friday 19th April – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA

Bob Evans
Friday 19th April – Discovery, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 24th April – Hotel New York, Launceston, TAS
Friday 26th April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Bobby Alu
Friday 19th April – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th April – Big Pineapple Festival, Woombye, QLD
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April – Apollo Bay Music Festival, Apollo Bay, VIC

Communion Melbourne feat. Thelma Plum, Deja, Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Jack Carty, Ali Barter
Sunday 21st April – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Eli Wolfe
Friday 19th April – Bon Amici Winebar and Cafe, Toowoomba QLD
Saturday 20th April – The Upfront Club, Maleny, QLD
Sunday 21st April – Mandala Cafe, Mermaid Beach, QLD

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Saturday 20th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th April – The Aztec, Forster, NSW

James Kenyon
Friday 19th April – The Naked Bean, Grafton, NSW
Sunday 21st April – The End, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 25th April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 26th April – 5 Church Street, Belingen, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 19th April – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 20th April – The Reading Room, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 21st April – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 25th April – Secret Show, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th April – Gum Ball, Hunter Valley, NSW

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Sunday 21st April – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Major Chord
Friday 19th April – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Sunday 21st April – Pier One Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 19th April – The Shellharbour Club, Shellharbour, NSW
Saturday 20th April – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

Stu Larsen and Natsuki Kurai
Saturday 20th April – The Waratah, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 21st April – Communion Melbourne, The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th April – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Hillbilly Killers
Friday 19th April – Meeniyan Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 21st April – Northcote Social Club, Northcote, VIC
Wednesday 24th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 25th April – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Friday 26th April – Rooty Hill RSL Club, Rooty Hill, NSW

Tim Guy
Friday 19th April – The Old Mt Gambier Gaol, Mt Gambier, SA
Wednesday 24th April – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Turin Brakes
Thursday 25th April – The Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Ashokan Farewell” – Jay Ungar

Tomorrow my sister is getting married and she’s asked me to play “Ashokan Farewell” at her wedding, which I’m absolutely honoured to do. The tune was written by Jay Ungar and was made famous in the 1990’s thanks to its inclusion in the television mini-series The Civil War. Congratulations Kirsty and Toby!

The Snowy Mountains of Music Reveals Second Artist Announcement

Blue King Brown
Image Courtesy of Blue King Brown

Our favourite Winter festival, The Snowy Mountains of Music, last week announced its second round of artists for 2013. Heading up this round of artists are roots legends Blue King Brown (above) and Kylie Auldist, leading lady from The Bamboos, with her band the Glenroy All Stars. Also added to the lineup are Gang of Brothers, The Fraudsters, Oh Pep!, Sunas and Mzaza. These artists join the likes of Jeff Lang, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star, Mustered Courage and more.

The Snowy Mountains of Music is held in Perisher over the June long weekend, Friday 7th to Monday 10th June. For more information and tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Melbourne singer-songwriter James Kenyon has announced a string of dates up and down the east coast this April. Details here

- Fiddlers Feast released the video for their fantastic track “The Devil Went Down To Tamworth”. Details here

- Timber and Steel favourites The Falls scored the support slot for The Lumineers’ sold out shows this weekend. Details here

- Country supergroup The Hillbilly Killers have revealed their first three tracks online. Details here

- Darren Cross, one half of Sydney alt-country duo Jep and Dep, has just released his new solo single. Details here

- Details of the 2013 Festival Folk Sing album, Festival Folk Sing Judy Small have been released ahead of this weekend’s National Folk Festival. Details here

- We finally have an official video for the track “Run Boy” from Kaurna Cronin. Details here

- The Snowy Mountains of Music have revealed the first artists on their 2013 lineup including Jeff Lang, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star and Mustered Courage. Details here

- MoFo in Sydney announced its special April lineup that includes Lucy Wise and the B’Gollies and Mem Davis and the Kindred Spirits. Details here

- Next Saturday sees World Musician Day take over Sydney Park in Sydney’s inner-south with a lineup that includes The Crooked Fiddle Band, Betty & Oswald, The Lunch Mothers and more. Details here

- Regular Sydney night Upstairs and Underground is returning for 2013 with a folk-flavoured lineup. Details here

- Communion Melbourne announced a massive lineup for next weekend including Willy Mason, Deap Vally, Jordie Lane and Playwrite. Details here

Interviews

“Ann Vriend (Canada) is a very regular and very welcome visitor to Australia and this week she’s touched down in Sydney to kick off a month of shows that will take her south to Tasmania and north to Queensland — with appropriate stops along the way”Ann Vriend chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“You could say that singer-songwriters are being opportunistic in that some of our traditional avenues might have even closed down. But then you could say the folk club scene is being opportunistic because they’re getting young, fresh, interesting talent to just revitalise their thing. It’s a happy marriage I think”Brett Winterford chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Interviewing Andrew Cronshaw is a bit like watching Waragamba Dam in flood. There’s a mighty capacity, but the volume contained therein and the urge for it to surge out means there’s a fair old splashing and cascading over the spillway”Andrew Cronshaw from SANS chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“They’re just my favourites and I adore their music and I’ll hunt them down at every festival and sing along, and sometimes dance along, and that’s just the way it is and ever shall be, Wheezer World without end, amen. So yeah, I quite like the Wheeze and Suck Band” – Tony Pyzarkowski from The Wheeze and Suck Band chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“I interviewed Griff at Punchbowl Boys’ High School in Sydney’s south-west earlier this week and we spent a bit of time talking about the benefits to be had from inter-meshing music and education. And by and by we did discuss music, and Grimick’s first foray to the National Folk Festival this weekend” – Chris “Griff” Griffiths from Grimick chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Blog

“It’s no secret that we’re fans of beards here at Timber & Steel. From Joe Purdy to Ray LaMontagne, William Fitzsimmons to Josh T Pearson and obviously the likes of The Beards, we find beards to be synonymous with folk, blues and roots music. While at Womadelaide this year (which is essentially beard paradise) we took the opportunity to take some photos of some pretty cool beards”Thom Owen Miles and Arcade Photo document the Beards of WOMADelaide. Blog here

“At the beginning of the new year I drove to Melbourne for three days. There were no hot meals and we only stopped to sleep in the closest located motel off the Hume highway. If you’re road tripping this year to a festival, a new city or even just heading home; I recommend pillows, pit stops and a well-considered soundtrack for your journey. Behold – my tried and true top 10″Laurenandmoore gives us her top road trip tunes. Blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“After a couple of years of mud-inducing torrential rain the Blue Mountains Music Festival was this year blessed with un-seasonally warm sunny days and crisp clear nights – a combination that drew some of the biggest crowds I’d ever seen at the festival. The market stalls were humming, the venues were pumping and the atmosphere was electric – and of course the music was spectacular”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Review here

“WOMADelaide has been running for 21 years now and I suppose they’ve essentially perfected it because for as long as I’ve been attending the festival it’s kept the same site layout, precincts, stages and amenities, which definitely contributes to the comfort levels of repeat attendees”Thom Owen Miles reviews WOMADelaide. Review here

“As the throng of spectators pushes to the front, I’m not the only one feeling claustrophobic. There’s dudes with dark armpit patches sharing stories about ex-lovers, a few oldies leaning on the far wall with a modest beer, groups of excited girls wielding handbags and a clear backwards cap to energy drink ratio. I get the impression that most of these people know each other. A crew of friends and family whistles and barks as The Pierce Brothers enter with a traditional, “G’day!””Laurenandmoore reviews The Pierce Brothers at The Evelyn in Melbourne. Review here

“There was so much happening on stage that I struggled to write it all down. One minute the horn section were dancing; then they were jumping; then they abandoned their instruments altogether as the piano had a jazz aneurysm. A few false endings and they finished with flashing lights and wailing. His Merry Men are such a visually engaging band and definitely brought their own house party tonight. I would love to catch these guys again on a bigger stage, with or without the pajamas”Laurenandmoore reviews His Merry Men at The Empress Hotel in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

The Ash and Clay
The Ash & ClayThe Milk Carton Kids
iTunes

Gigs Next Week

Ann Vriend
Saturday 30th March – The Stage, Hobart, Tas
Sunday 31st March – Jazz at Mona, Hobart, Tas
Monday 1st April – private rural house concert, Tas
Tuesday 2nd April – Skwiz Cafe Gallery, Sheffield, Tas
Friday 5th April – The Upfront Club, Maleny, Qld

Ben Howard
Wednesday 3rd April – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Bluesfest
Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April – Byron Bay, NSW

Bobby Alu
Friday 5th April – Nayri Niara Festival, Bruny Island, TAS

Counting Crows
Saturday 30th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner and Swingin’ Utters
Sunday 31st March – Panthers, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 1st April – Big Top Luna Park, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Eli Wolfe
Wednesday 3rd April – The Old Kirk, Yamba, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Saturday 30th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 3rd April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th April – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads, QLD
Friday 5th April – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD

Jake Shimabukuro
Sunday 31st March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 1st April – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Wednesday 3rd April – Lizottes, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 4th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 5th April – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Laneway
Sunday 31st March – The End, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW

Luka Bloom
Sunday 31st March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Fly By Night Musician’s Club, Fremantle, WA

Michael Kiwanuka
Tuesday 2nd April – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD

National Folk Festival
Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April – Canberra, ACT

Passenger
Saturday 30th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd April – Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Patrick James
Friday 29th March – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th March – Barcode, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 3rd April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Paul Simon with Rufus Wainwright
Saturday 30th March – Hope Estate, Hunter Valley, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Entertainment Centre, Sydney, NSW

Seth Lakeman
Friday 29th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 31st March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Monday 1st April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Simone Felice with Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 30th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 31st March – Boogie Festival, Tallarook, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers with Brightly, Run Rabbit Run
Thursday 4th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Hillbilly Killers
Saturday 30th March – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Sunday 31st March – Boogie Festival, VIC
Thursday 4th April- Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

The Lumineers
Friday 29th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th March – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD

The Starry Field
Friday 29th March – The Clever Duck, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 31st March – The Old Magistrates Courthouse, Townsville, QLD
Wednesday 3rd April – The Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 5th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Tim Guy
Thursday 4th April – Lock n Load Bistro, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 5th April – Sol Bar, Maroochydoore, QLD

Wilco
30th March to 1st April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Japanese Whaling Song” – Martin Pearson with Liz Frencham

In 1999 I volunteered at the National Folk Festival after spending my teenage years ignoring folk music for the most part. The experience was amazing – when I wasn’t working I was absorbing every single artist and experience I could. And I’ve been going back whenever I can, including this year. So I thought I’d give you a little bit of a Folk Festival experience from the wonderful Martin Pearson – a man whose intros are always longer than his songs.

Snowy Mountains of Music Announces First 2013 Lineup

Jeff Lang
Image Courtesy of Jeff Lang

If you were worried that the festival season is drawing to a close as the cold weather begins to move in never fear – The Snowy Mountains of Music festival is just ramping up with its first lineup announcement for 2013. Held in Perisher over the June long weekend (Friday 7th to Monday 10th June), with eight venues showcasing over 120 acts, the Snowy Mountains of Music is just the cure you need from the winter blues.

The first lineup is headed up by the wonderful Jeff Lang (above) and also features King Tide, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star, Keyim Ba, Rapskillion, Mustered Courage and Los Chavos. Earlybird tickets are now on sale – for more information check out the official site here.

Snowy Mountains of Music Interview: Brendan Gallagher

Brendan Gallagher

Interview by Snowy Mountains of Music Blogger Amber Gardaya
Photo by Mandy Lamont

We all expect the unexpected. I personally didn’t expect to be sitting with the iconic Brendan Gallagher, conducting an interview in the snowfields at Perisher. I had just won a competition to be the Festival Blogger for the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music, this was my first foray into interviewing and I was still a little shell-shocked. But Brendan was a real pleasure to have a chat with, and despite being one of Australia’s most formidable musicians, he put me at ease straight away.

Brendan is probably best known as singer/guitarist with Karma County who over the last fifteen years has produced five albums and toured extensively. For the past two years Brendan has also been an Ambassador for Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and is proud to have his name alongside other great APRA Ambassadors including the likes of Jimmy Little.

But it was by chance that as a boy home sick with the flu, feeling bored with nothing else to do, that he picked up the guitar. Brendan’s mother was more interested in him pursuing the violin, which he really wasn’t impressed with at all. Brendan says that his family finally got the message when he kept leaving his violin on the train on his way home from lessons. He went about teaching himself the guitar with the aid of a good ear, a great record collection and a classic Coles guitar book. This was just the beginning of his relationship with the guitar, which would take him on a worldwide journey that he is still drawing inspiration from today.

Brendan’s been in the news a lot lately due to his long working relationship with one of Australia’s top Aboriginal Artists, the late Jimmy Little. He remembers Jimmy with a high reverence “Jimmy was a very gentle sweet man, but he was ferociously determined nothing got in his way”. And Brendan would know better than most- he produced many of Jimmy’s albums including his Australian classic “Messenger”.

Another stand-out experience in Brendan’s career was recording with David Bowie. It was in the September of 1999 when Marius De Vries (producer to the likes of Bjork, Neil Finn and Madonna) invited Brendan to play guitar on his remix of David Bowie’s song ‘Survive’ from Bowie’s ‘Hours’ album. He actually didn’t meet Bowie until a year later, which Brendan describes as one of those pinch-yourself moments and one of the highlights of his career.

Another surprise to me is that Brendan is also an author and wrote ‘The Open Tuning Chord Book for the Guitar’. For all those non-players out there, an open chord is tuning your guitar to your key of choice. (By the way, Brendan’s choice of open chords are G and D). The book has been popular with a wide range of artists including the likes of Arlo Guthrie, Peter Buck (REM), Chris Cheney (Living End), and it has even found its way into the guitar case of the Red Wiggle Murray Cook. Within the last five years this book has been published worldwide, which Brendan is very proud of.

As the interview was coming to an end, Brendan was wrapping his jacket around him and contemplating leaving the warm environment of Smiggins Basement to journey out into the snow, something he expressed he wasn’t overly fond of. My last question had to be what’s next for Brendan Gallagher? He is now working ferociously on finishing off his new solo album which will be called Wine Island and is set to be released as a double vinyl album later on this year.

Review: The Snowy Mountains of Music Festival, Perisher

Snowy
Photos and Review by Mandy Lamont

It was a mixture of ski boots and sound boards, goggles and guitars, musicians and skiers all converging in the most picturesque of places for great music and entertainment for the 4th Snowy Mountains of Music Festival.

It was the biggest opening weekend to the ski season with thanks to big early snowfalls, fabulous weather and the festival. Set amongst the ski fields of Perisher, Guthega and Smiggins, there was something for every taste in music. A huge mixture of reggae, folk, blues, bluegrass to poetry, plenty of entertainment for the kids and workshops on hand and body percussion, open tune and slide guitar and east european fiddle and accordion.

Opened and closed by A French Butler Called Smith from the Gold Coast singing new songs still to be recorded. Hot off the Byron Bay Blues Fest they had the crowds at Smiggs dancing the house down doing the ‘Tugan Shuffle’ at the finale.

There were fewer venues this year which made getting around even easier. Most venues were a short stroll from the Perisher Centre, or there were shuttle buses to get up the hill to the Sundeck or over to The Smigs Hotel, where most of the headline acts played. A rockin’ Penny and the Mystics got things started on Friday night followed by one man band Claude Hay on guitar, bass, drums and sitar with an amazing bluesy sound. The Hussy Hicks and Marshall Okell with the guys from Chase the Sun got the crowds warmed up for a great weekend of music.

Snow

On a more sombre note, there were tributes to Birdy. Local musician, producer and friend to many in the industry, who passed away earlier this year. And Brendan Gallaher shed a tear during his performance when talking about his friend, the very talented Jimmy Little, who also passed away earlier this year.

Highlights for me were The Dead Quarry Mountain Rats, His Merry Men, Afro Moses, Nicky Bomba, Claude Hay, the first international act for the festival; The Black Seeds and poet and comical man of many hats, Gregory North.

Plenty of foot tappin’, thigh slappin’, and something new to the folk festival scene, ski boot dancing at the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music this June long weekend! The perfect way to kick off the winter season in the Snowy Mountains.

Snow

More Artists Added to the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music

Claude Hay
Image Courtesy of Claude Hay

We’re just six weeks out and the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music are still adding artists to their lineup. Along with headliners The Black Seeds (who were added a few weeks back) the Snowy Mountains of Music have announced Afro Moses, Marshall Okell, Claude Hay (above), His Merry Men, The Rhythm Hunters and recent Timber and Steel interviewee Daniel Champagne. These new additions join an already jam packed lineup that boasts The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Frencham Smith, Cj Shaw and the Blow Ins, Mal Webb and many many more.

The Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music takes place over the June long weekend (8th to the 11th June). As far as we understand it there’s still some tickets left – check out the official web site for more details.

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