Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Melbourne artist Ma Petite has released details of her new album plus a new video for the track “Morning Song”. Details here

- Australian folk music legends The Waifs have announced a national tour this May. Details here

- Brisbane singer-songwriter Josh Rennie-Hynes has just released his new video “Erin”. Details here

- Jordie Lane releases his debut live album, Live At The Wheaty, today as he kicks off his shows at The National Folk Festival. Details here

- David Gray has a brand new album on the way and has released the video for the track “Gulls”. Details here

- Passenger has released the stunning track “Heart’s on Fire” as his new video. Details here

- Japanese-Australian singer-songwriter Yuko Nishiyama has released her new video “Heart of Daisies”. Details here

- Stream the Record Store Day UK only EP from Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo, Songs Beneath The River, online. Details here

- Adelaide band The Timbers have announced plans to release their debut album this May. Details here

- Roots music legend Jeff Lang has announced details of his new album I Live A Lot In My Head These Days and tour dates in June and July. Details here

- Over the past few weeks the 2014 Peak Festival has added a bunch more artists to its lineup including The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Claude Hay and the Gentle Enemies, Jordan C Thomas, Vendulka, Glenn Cardier, Shellie Morris, Azadoota, Matt Glass, The Chocolate Strings and Belle Jar. Details here

- Josh Pyke is extending his Lone Wolf tour into regional Australia and he’s bringing Jack Carty with him. Details here

- The new Eels album drops today and they’ve also released the video from the track “Mistakes of My Youth”. Details here

- Wagons have given us a taster of their new album with the release of the video for “Why Do You Always Cry”. Details here

- As well as sharing the new John Butler Trio video “Livin’ in The City”, we thought we’d also share their version of “Happy”. Details here

Blog

“If you’re experiencing the festival for the first time (or were so overwhelmed with the event last time) let Timber and Steel take you through our step by step survival guide for the National Folk Festival” – Read our survival guide to The National Folk Festival. Blog here

Releases This Week

Eels
The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver EverettEels
iTunes

Jordie Lane
Live At The WheatyJordie Lane
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Iron & Wine

Iron and Wine

In the country for Bluesfest this weekend, Iron & Wine will be performing two very special live shows in Melbourne and Sydney at two of Australia’s finest venues. If you haven’t gotten tickets to these gigs yet, and if there’s any tickets left, you need to but them. Now.

Saturday 19th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 22nd April – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Ash Grunwald
Thursday 24th April – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th April – Barwon Heads Hotel, Barwon Heads, VIC

Boy & Bear
Saturday 19th April – Brothers, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 20th April – The Venue, Townsville, QLD
Tuesday 22nd April – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Wednesday 23rd April – Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone, QLD
Thursday 24th April – Sugarland Tavern, Bundaberg, QLD

Byron Bay Bluesfest
Thursday 17th to Monday 21st April – Byron Bay, NSW

Christopher Coleman Collective
Saturday 19th April – The Pav, Launceston, TAS

Daniel Champagne
Friday 18th to Saturday 19th April – Byron Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 20th April – Ocean Street Festival, Maroochydore, QLD
Wednesday 23rd April – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 24th April – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Eleanor MCEvoy
Wednesday 23rd April – Rosie O’Grady’s, Perth, WA
Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Pinjarra, WA

Fairbridge Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April – Fairbridge, WA

Fraser A. Gorman w/ Mojo Juju, Palm Springs
Thursday 24th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Iron & Wine
Tuesday 22nd April – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Jake Bugg
Sunday 20th April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 23rd April – The HiFi, Brisbane, QLD

Jason Isbell with Tift Merritt
Friday 18th April – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC
Saturday 19th April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

John Butler Trio
Saturday 19th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay NSW

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Thursday 24th April – Braidwood Folk Club, Braidwood, NSW

Laura & Susie
Thursday 17th to Monday 21st April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 23rd April – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Friday 25th April – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Lindi Ortega
Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th April – National Folk Festival, ACT
Sunday 20th April – Boogie Festival, Tullarook, VIC
Tuesday 22nd April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Kaurna Cronin and Ben Whiting
Saturday 19th April – Treehouse On Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 20th April – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 25th April – The Aztec, Forster, NSW

Paul Greene and the Other Colours
Friday 25th April – The Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

Ma Petite
Thursday 24th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Saturday 19th April – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW

Melbourne Folk Club w/ Special International Guest, Jordie Lane
Wednesday 23rd April – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Michael Franti and Spearhead w/ Nahko and Medicine For The People
Wednesday 23rd April – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

Mount Beauty Music Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April – Mount Beauty, VIC

National Folk Festival
Thursday 17th to Monday 21st April – Canberra, ACT

Seth Lakeman
Saturday 19th April – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th April – The Factory, Sydney, NSW

St Albans Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th April – St Albans, NSW

Steve Smyth
Tuesday 22nd April – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Tanya Batt
Friday 25th April – Baha’s, Rye, VIC

The Bad Shepherds
Friday 18th April – Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury, VIC
Saturday 19th April – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 20th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Tuesday 22nd April – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 24th April – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA
Friday 25th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

The Beez
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April – Mount Beauty Music Festival, Vic

Vance Joy
Thursday 24th April – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Railroad Man” – Eels

The new Eels album The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett drops today and from what we’ve already heard from it it’s their best in years. And while The Eels like to skip around genres a bit but they have plenty of folk in their back catalogue, including this Dylan-esque gem “Railroad Man”.

Watch the New Wagons Video “Why Do You Always Cry”

Wagons
Image Courtesy of Wagons

To get a taster of the direction the new Wagons album Acid Rain and Sugar Cane a good place to start is the brand new video “Why Do You Always Cry”. With the song channeling Nick Cave, the video was shot and edited by Wagons frontman Henry Wagons himself.

Acid Rain and Sugar Cane is due on the 16th May. Watch “Why Do You Always Cry” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 28th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- A new regular country music night, Fun Shootin’ Thursdies, kicked off in Sydney last night. Details here

- NSW based singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall has made a welcome return to the scene with his new single “Angelique”. Details here

- As well as announcing a new album Wagons also have a national tour on the way this May and June. Details here

- Passenger announced plans to release his new album Whispers this year with the release of cover art and a making of video. Details here

- And just after the album was announced Passenger also released the video for its title track “Whispers” as well as the release date of the 6th June. Details here

- Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has announced plans to return to Australia this May including a performance at Vivid Sydney. Details here

- Timber and Steel are very proud to be presenting the upcoming tour from singer-songwriter Scott Matthew. Details here

- UK five-piece Eliza and the Bear have released “Brother’s Boat”, their brand new single and video. Details here

- The wonderful Hayden Calnin has announced a couple of intimate EP launch shows in May. Details here

- Little Features hits Sydney this Saturday with a lineup that includes Tom Stephens, Lily So and the Bellows, Direwolf and Maia Jelavic. Details here

- Watch “Shake It”, the new video for Sydney roots singer-songwriter Steve Smyth. Details here

- The new album from Paul Greene and the Other Colours drops today (see below) and so does the first date of their NSW tour. Details here

- US nu-folk legends Midlake will be making their way to Australia this May. Details here

- The Paper Kites have released their new video “Tenenbaum” ahead of their national tour. Details here

- UK singer-songwriter Gibson Bull has released his brand new video “Where Are You Now”. Details here

- John Flanagan is raising money to head over to Nashville to record with a tour that kicks off tonight. Details here

- Sydney seven-piece Little Bastard have released their brand new video “High For You”. Details here

Interviews

“We’re actually not fans of real gentle folk music anyway. We’re like Led Zeppelin fans and Nick Cave fans. We don’t just sit around listening to ponderous acoustic folk music all day. It sort of makes me a little bit angry and bored [laughs]. So we like things a little grittier than that. We haven’t always reflected that in our records I don’t think and it’s probably partly been my fault, reigning Tristan in thinking my voice is too blah blah blah for that. But this time we just came up with all these rock riffs and just went with it. It was a fun record to make” – Taasha Coates from The Audreys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“For us we love the sound of American music but we’re not Americans, it’s stupid for us to write about American things. It’s not because we’re just writing about Australian songs – that’s just because we’re in Australia. If you were a Scandinavian bluegrass band you should be writing about Scandinavian things. It’s about writing from your own experience, what you know and what you’re influenced by. Otherwise it comes a across as really disingenuous I think” – James Daley from The Morrisons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“It’s a bit of a tester I guess. The issue for us is that we’ve got these lives that are scattered around the country. And having young children it’s quite hard to do things like go on the road. So at the moment we’re not really in the position to play together full time or to really take the band on the road or take it overseas like we were doing before. So I guess this is a bit of a starter – we want to just ease into it a bit and see how we’re placed over the next couple of years” – Kate Burke from Trouble in the Kitchen chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The first gig we’re doing on the Friday night is on the Budawang stage which is the big one. Something Jess said was the very first time she went to The National 14 years ago or whatever she saw bands on the Budawang, this is way before Crooked Fiddle, and she said “I want to be playing on that stage”. And finally we’re playing on that stage at quite a good time on the Friday night so we’re very excited” – Gordon Wallace from The Crooked Fiddle Band chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think you learn so much from the players that you get to stand next to. When I made my first solo album I probably didn’t understand that as much and you try to keep track of it all for yourself. It was quite liberating on this album to basically hand things over and say “whatever you hear I know it’s going to be stellar and I’m grateful for you for taking that and making something amazing with it”. The players on this album certainly brought that”Kate Fagan chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Johnny Cash
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash
iTunes

Sweet Rain Falling
Sweet Rain FallingLittle Wise
Bandcamp

Nickel Creek
A Dotted LineNickel Creek
iTunes

Paul Greene
One Lap Of The SunPaul Greene and the Other Colours
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Flanagan

John Flanagan

Melbourne Americana artist John Flanagan is about to head over to Nashville to record his new album. But before he does he needs to head out on the road to raise a bit of cash for things like plane tickets and recording studios. His tour kicks off tonight with a full band show in Melbourne before heading up and down the east coast.

Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ash Grunwald
Friday 28th March – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Base Backpackers, Magnetic Island, QLD

Caitlin Park
Thursday 3rd April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 28th March – Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 28th March – The Old Manly Boatshed, Manly, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Katoomba RSL Club, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 28th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 29th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham, NSW
Sunday 30th March – St David’s Church, Dee Why, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga, SA
Friday 4th April – HATS-Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA

Ella Hooper
Saturday 29th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA
Tuesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan
Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Jordan Millar
Friday 28th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 28th March – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th April – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT

Lior
Friday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise and Megan Bernard
Sunday 30th March – Matians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 2nd April – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 3rd April – “E” For Ethel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – Café Troppo, Adelaide, SA

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 28th March – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Visy Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Pig House Flicks, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 2nd April – The Promethean, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – The Studio Underground, Perth, WA

Paul Greene and the Other Colours
Friday 28th March – The Fig, Manly, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Waterhouse, Huskisson, NSW

Sally Seltmann w/ Wintercoats
Thursday 3rd April – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 29th March – Baha, Rye, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Easy Tiger, Paddington, NSW

The Beez
Friday 28th March – Taste Canowindra, NSW
Sunday 30th March – Tamworth, NSW (house concert)

The Good Ship
Friday 28th March – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 28th March – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 28th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 29th March – Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 30th March – Live At The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS
Friday 4th April – The Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Saturday 29th March – Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

The Stray Sisters
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Monday 31st March – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

Yetis
Thursday 3rd April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“There Once Was Love”/”Innstück” – Fairport Convention

I love the way these tracks play with conventional folk time signatures to create music that has a a sense of urgency and complexity that you don’t often find in the tradition. “Innstück” itself is one of my favourite modern folk tunes.

Wagons Announce Album Launch Tour

Wagons
Image Courtesy of Wagons

Following the announcement of their brand new album Acid Rain and Sugar Cane, Wagons have backed up with the revaltion of a national tour this May and June. Taking in dates throughout most of Australia this will be Wagons’ first national tour in over three years.

Acid Rain and Sugar Cane hits stores on the 16th May. Check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 22nd May – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 23rd May – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 31st May – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 6th June – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 7th June – The HiFi, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 8th June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 12th June – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Friday 13th June – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 14th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 15th June – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 20th June – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 21st June – Railway Hotel, Darwin, NT

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- To celebrate their new album Til My Tears Roll Away The Audreys have announced a string of tour dates this June and July. Details here

- This May will see a brand new album for Wagons. Details here

- A new video directed by Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat for the late Johnny Cash has been released. Details here

- The Pierce Brothers have released their new single “It’s My Fault” and are in the middle of a national tour. Details here

- It may not be too folky but we really like the new Kate Miller-Heidke video “Share Your Air” featuring Passenger. Details here

- Roots-rocker Claude Hay is heading out on tour at the end of this month. Details here

- As they wing their way back home for their upcoming regional tour Boy & Bear have released their new video “Bridges”. Details here

- Bluesfest announced their ninth and final additions to the 2014 lineup. Details here

- Timber and Steel were lucky enough to premiere “Lost in Two Minds”, the new single from The Acfields. Details here

- Nickel Creek have revealed “21st of May”, the third track from their upcoming album A Dotted Line. Details here

- Roots duo Little Wise released their brand new track “My Pocket” and announced a tour with Megan Bernard. Details here

- The very hot-right-now Dustin Tebbutt released his very hot-right-now single “Bones”. Details here

Interviews

“On St Patrick’s night, Monday 17 March 2014, Eleanor was a very special guest of Riogh and the Illawarra Folk Club at what’s starting to look a lot like a Paddy tradition in this south coast of New South Wales town centre”Eleanor McEvoy chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Blog

- We celebrated St Patrick’s Day by brining you the entire The Craic live at The Quiet Man documentary series which explores Irish culture in Australia. Read the blog here

Releases This Week

Measured in Moons
Measured In MoonsKate Crowley
Bandcamp

Jumping on the high wire
Jumping On The HighwireThe Perch Creek Family Jugband
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

British Blues
The British Blues w/ Boy Outside, Emma Davis
Friday 21st March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Facebook Event

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Perch Creek Family Jugband

Perch Creek

Their new album dropped this week (see above) so next Thursday and Friday is the perfect time to catch The Perch Creek Family Jugband as they kick off their national tour in Tasmania.

Thursday 27th March – Fresh On Charles, Launceston, TAS
Friday 28th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Ash Grunwald
Saturday 22nd March – Bleach Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 26th March – Harvey Rd Tavern, Gladstone, QLD
Thursday 27th March – Magnums, Airlie Beach, QLD
Friday 28th March – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD

Billy Bragg
Friday 21st March – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

Breabach
Sunday 23rd March – 10 Days on the Island Festival, TAS

Caitlin Park
Friday 21st March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 27th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 21st March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 27th March – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Friday 28th March – Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 28th March – The Old Manly Boatshed, Manly, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 21st March – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd March – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Menzies Creek, Dandenong Ranges, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – Northcote Social Club, Northcote, VIC
Friday 28th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW

John Butler Trio
Thursday 27th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA

Jordan Millar
Friday 21st March – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – The Fig, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 23rd March – The Fig, Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday 27th March – Railway Friendly Bar, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 28th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Josh Pyke
Friday 21st March – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – Zierholz @ UC, Canberra, ACT

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 21st March – Rad @ Yours n Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 28th March – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Leah Flanagan
Thursday 27th March – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW

Lior
Saturday 22nd March – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 25th March – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Wednesday 26th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Lost Ragas w/ Raised By Eagles
Friday 21st March – The Tote, Collingwood, VIC
Saturday 29th Mar – Old Drouin Butter Factory, Drouin, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 21st March – Spirit Bar & Lounge, Traralgon, VIC
Saturday 22nd March – Bennett’s Lane, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Wednesday 26th March – Port Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday 27th March – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 28th March – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Peter Rowan
Saturday 22nd March – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – Burke & Wills Winery, Mia Mia, VIC

The Beez
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Vic
Friday 28th March – Taste Canowindra, NSW

The British Blues w/ Boy Outside, Emma Davis
Friday 21st March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

The Good Ship
Friday 21st March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 27th March – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW
Friday 28th March – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

The Little Stevies
Thursday 27th March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Friday 28th March – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Thursday 27th March – Fresh On Charles, Launceston, TAS
Friday 28th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

The Pierce Brothers
Saturday 22nd March – Amplifier Capitol, Perth, WA
Sunday 23rd March – Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 27th March – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The Stray Sisters
Friday 21st March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – Tilley’s Devine Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 23rd March – The Elbow Room, McLaren Vale, SA
Wednesday 26th March – The Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 27th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA (with John Butler Trio)
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA (with John Butler Trio)

TinPan Orange
Friday 21st March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March – Yackandandah, VIC

Yetis
Thursday 27th March – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Martin Wynne’s/The Longford Tinker” and “Old Hag You Have Killed Me/Dinny Delaneys/Morrisons” – The Bothy Band

St Patrick’s Day may have been way back on Monday but let’s keep the craic alive with some jigs and reels from none other than The Bothy Band.

New Wagons Album Due This May

Wagons
Image Courtesy of Wagons

After a long wait (not counting the latest solo album from Henry Wagons) Melbourne alt-country band Wagons have announced a return with a brand new album due on the 16th May. The album will be titled Acid Rain and Sugar Cane and is Wagons’ first since 2011.

Acid Rain and Sugar Cane was co-produced by Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and is described by Wagons as “long, loud and pleasurable in the making”.

There are apparently tour dates to be announced for Acid Rain and Sugar Cane very soon. Stay tuned for more more details as they get released.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- The week kicked off with a bang with the announcement of a brand new Laura Marling album in May, titled Once I Was An Eagle, with the first single “Where Can I Go?” already streaming online. Details here

- Monthly Sydney folk night MoFo has announced its March lineup including The Underscore Orkestra, The Rusty Spring Syncopators and Godfrey Uke and his Orchestra. Details here

- Mumford and Sons revealed their brand new video “Whispers in the Dark”. Details here

- Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers will be officially launching their brand new EP Winter Make Way at The Workers Club in April. Details here

- US folk duo The Milk Carton Kids released their latest video “Honey, Honey”. Details here

- Crooked Still front-woman Aoife O’Donovan has confirmed plans to release her debut solo album Fossils this June. Details here

- UK trio The Staves released their brand new video “Facing West”. Details here

- Jep and Dep celebrated the release of their new EP Through The Night with a brand new video for the track “Ain’t Coming Back”. Details here

- For the first time since 2011 the full lineup of alt-country legends Wagons will be playing at two special shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

- The new project from ex-Middle East member Mark Myers, The Starry Field, has a debut album on the way and a national tour. Details here

- The Steamgrass Boys are taking their Country Roads night in Sydney Monthly. The April lineup also includes Mustered Courage and 200k plus the MCing skills of Luke Escombe. Details here

- Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tim Guy has announced a brand new album (Dreaming of a Night Mango), a new video (“Many People I Know”) and dates for an April tour. Details here

- The Tiger and Me finally released their brand new video for “Made it to the Harbour”. Details here

- New and classic folk collide with Joanna Newsom covering Sandy Denny’s “The North Star Grassman and the Ravens”. Details here

Interviews

“Basement Birds, you know we were just trying to make a rootsy sounding kind of folk record, you know, making four part harmonies. With Jebediah’s last record we were, you know, we had so many years between records we were really trying to recreate ourselves a bit. Do a really adventurous, for us anyway, studio album that wasn’t about trying to capture our live sound. With this Bob Evans record, I was really just trying to start all over again” – Kevin Mitchell (AKA Bob Evans) chats to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

“At the Cobargo Folk Festival in February, Kim Churchill was the recipient of my vicarious joy at this news, and we spontaneously had a chat, leaning on someone’s trailer, outside a venue, out in the open — which was a bit of a mistake because as I now know: don’t try to do these things in a flukey, swirling breeze”Kim Churchill chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“At Canberra’s One Very Big Day this week to celebrate the city’s centenary, Fun Machine played to a heaving, sweaty mess of young and old beautiful people, as the last of the fireworks fell away (some into the crowd, allegedly!) as they put a fairly massive stamp on their cross-genre and cross-market universal appeal”Fun Machine chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Blog

“It’s the National Folk Festival. Arrayed in a slightly different configuration this year, with some changes, tweaks and sundry twists and turns. If you were sat at home thinking, aw, might give it a miss this year, my suggestion would be this: Don’t” – Bill Quinn reminds us it’s just two weeks until The National Folk Festival. Blog here

Reviews

Recordings

“There is a precision in the way these sounds are arranged which could only have been crafted. All the elements are carefully mixed to create a unique and fascinating texture, which surprises at every listen. It’s the kind of sound you’d expect from a dozen musicians in a world-class studio” – JDX reviews The Wolves by Brighter Later. Review here

Releases This Week

Bob Evans
Familiar StrangerBob Evans
iTunes

The Stand In
The Stand-InCaitlin Rose

Deep and Down These Walls
Deep and Down These WallsDave Di Marco
iTunes

Mala
MalaDevendra Banhart
iTunes

Through the Night
Through The NightJep and Dep
Bandcamp

Rosie
RosieThelma Plum
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Kaurna Cronin
Kaurna Cronin with Ben Whiting and Hamish Anderson
Sunday 17th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Alice Springs Courtyard Sessions feat. Sally Balfour, Katie Harder & Dom Costello, Damien Armstrong and Scotty Balfour and the Diddly e’ Dees
Sunday 17th March – Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs, NT

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March – Katoomba, NSW

Bobby Alu
Friday 15th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Saturday 16th March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 17th March – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA

Breaking Hart Benton
Friday 15th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (with Sarah Humphreys)
Saturday 16th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 20th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd March – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Brett Winterford
Friday 15th March – Mars Hill Cafe, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

Cordial Factory with Bexley De Lion and Al Parkinson
Saturday 16th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Damien Dempsey
Friday 15th March – The Bakery, Northbridge, WA
Saturday 16th March – The HI FI, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Dave Di Marco
Friday 15th March – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th March – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa, QLD
Friday 22nd March – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
15th to 16th March – Beechworth, Vic
Friday 22nd March – Springwood, NSW (house concert)

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd March – The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW

Frogfest feat. The Barons of Tang, Takadimi, GrandMasterMonk and Dave Bova Band: Divina Commedia
Friday 15th March – Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Glen Hansard and The Frames with Lisa Hannigan
Wednesday 20th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 22nd March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Jep&Dep
Sunday 17th March – The Green Room, Sydney, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 15th March – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC w/ Ruthie Foster
Saturday 16th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 17th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC, w/ Ruthie Foster
Thursday 21st March – The Factory, Sydney, NSW w/ Ruthie Foster
Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

Luka Bloom
Saturday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Monday 18th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 19th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 20th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Friday 22nd March – Wrest Point Showroom, Hobart, TAS

MoFo feat. The Underscore Orkestra and Chaika
Friday 22nd March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Friday 15th March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th March – The Hill Winery, Geelong, VIC

Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet
Friday 15th March – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Music Festival, VIC

Passenger
Thursday 21st March – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 15th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 16th March – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 21st March – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC

Paul Brady
Friday 15th March – Celtic Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – Guthrie’s, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd March – The Fly By Night, Perth, WA

Sally Seltmann
Wednesday 20th March – The Famous Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Seth Lakeman
Saturday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, VIC
Saturday 17th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, VIC
Wednesday 20th March – Notes, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 22nd March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

The Tiger and Me
Friday 15th March – Elsternwick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 22nd March – The Brisbane Markets, Brisbane, QLD

The Underscore Orkestra
Friday 15th March – The Upfront Club, Maleny, Qld

Two Crows
Thursday 21st March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 22nd March – Australian Celtic Studies Centre, Newcastle, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sonny” – Mary Black, Emmylou Harris and Dolores Keane

My Mum’s birthday happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day (this Sunday) which has its pros and cons – the pro being there’s always a party with loads of music and dancing, the con being that mum is rarely the focus of those celebrations. For her birthday I thought I’d dedicate the track “Sonny” as a FFF to her – a song I know she loves. And the fact that this version features two of Irelands greatest singers, Mary Black and Dolores Keane, is a little nod to the other celebration that’s happening this weekend (despite the fact it was written by a Canadian). Happy Birthday Mum!

Wagons is Back With the Full Band

Wagons
Image Courtesy of Wagons

Let’s get the band back together! After the local and international success of his solo album Expecting Company? Henry Wagons has hooked up with his fellow Wagons band mates and is busy reading material for their sixth studio album.

To celebrate the return to the full band mode Wagons have announced their first two shows since 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne. Tickets for the show go on sale today. The full dates are below:

Saturday 15th June – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd June – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2012

Listening to Records

Not satisfied with just providing you with our own opinions around the best albums of 2012 we have once again put the call out to some of our favourite artists to find out what they’ve been listening to this year. And the response to this call has been simply astounding – over 90 artists sent us their number one album of 2012, along with a couple of sentences as to why it’s their number one, almost tripling the amount of submissions from last year and demonstrating once again just how personal and diverse everyone’s relationship to music can be.

Once again a big thank you has to go out to all the artists who contributed along with the dedicated managers, publicity people and record labels we pestered to get this piece across the line – you’re all amazing, dedicated, wonderful people who keep this great national (and international) beast that is the music industry alive.

And now it’s time for the blogger to pass his keyboard over to the blogged as we present to you Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2012:

The Lion's ShareSarah Humphreys
Mike McCarthyThe Lion’s Share
Mike has a beautiful way with words and melodies, he can stir up feelings of love, loss, mystery and hope all in one album. Sometimes in one song! There’s a gentleness in this record, I can hear more love in his voice than ever before.

God Bless You AmigoRoland Kay-Smith (Roland K Smith and the Sinners)
Felice BrothersGod Bless You Amigo
After the brave, but often confusing album that was Celebration Florida, The Felice Brothers return to more familiar territory with God Bless You Amigo. “Her Eyes Dart Around” is a tear-jerkingly beautiful ballad, the off-kilter harmonies in “Lincoln Continental” blow my mind every time I hear them, and “Dream On” is a fantastically melancholic retelling of the Stagger Lee story. At 20 tracks it’s overlong, but the porch-strumming charm of the album makes each song a joy to listen to, and I should know, I’ve listen to this album plenty.

The AnecdotesSam Lee
Seamus Cater & Viljam NybackaThe Anecdotes
English Dutch duo based in Amsterdam who have written this chronicle of biographic songs based around cultural figures and steeped in folklore and alternative experimental theatre sound art. They have created this soundworld that is both sepia toned in 70s fender rhodes and melodic drum work and captures the sounds of revival and the monologues of obscure historical figures. A work of touching depth and simplicity.

Who's Feeling Young NowChris Stone (The String Contingent)
Punch BrothersWho’s Feeling Young Now?
Outrageously virtuosic instrumentalists, with super strong musical vision, brilliant execution, and a work ethic like no other … they are the tightest, most polished band around, and given the technical and musical complexity of there music, is both depressing and inspirational.

Carry Me BackBen and James Daley (Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys, The Daley Brothers)
Old Crow Medicine ShowCarry Me Back
This album has all the Old Crow trademarks: hard hitting blues, fast pickin bluegrass, honest singing and lyrics, great harmonies, and most importantly brilliant songwriting. The title track and “Levi” are both contenders for song of the year. This album (and Old Crow’s ever growing and ever impressive body of work) confirms them as one of the great modern American bands. I dare say when they are done they will be remembered as one of the great all time American bands.

Who's Feeling Young NowClaude Hay
SoundgardenKing Animal
This is easy for me: Soundgarden, King Animal, quiet simply my favourite singer of all time. I’ve been waiting for this release for ever, some classic dirty guitar and pure rock the world’s been missing.

The Lion's RoarTodd Sibbin (Todd Sibbin and the Opposite Ends, Traveller and Fortune)
First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar
Besides the blatantly obvious reasons (fantastic singing, fantastic songwriting), Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes fame) has nailed the “atmospheric moodiness” vibe in his production techniques. It’s got that unmistakeable old school Bright Eyes sound, with slightly more polish

Into The BloodstreamWarren Fahey
Archie RoachInto the Bloodstream
I was never a hooked Archie fan but this new collection of very personal and aspirational songs really grabbed me emotionally. Archie has seen a lot of shit in his life including the loss of his partner Ruby Hunter and, over the past couple of years, some shocker medical hurdles yet he writes and sings in such an uplifting manner you feel the joy. It is also a craftily assembled album with a great choir, really tasty musicianship and some vocal acrobatics from Archie that I just wasn’t expecting. At one stage he produces a growl befitting the blues and soul and then his voice soars to the rafters. This is a really fine album

Carried in MindHat Fitz and Cara Robinson
Jeff LangCarried in Mind
This album of 2012 is one of those albums that more than manages to carry you away into another time and world. That’s what I love about a great album, it switches off the mind and lets the imagination take over and it does that completely. One song in particular is track 3, “Fisherman’s Farewell”, co written with his wife Alison Ferrier, a truly exquisite piece of writing.

LeelanauMatt Bauer
Dana FalconberryLeelanau
It’s rare when an album is as fully realized as this. It has everything I want in music: great lyrics and melodies, strange harmonies, beautiful arrangements, unexpected rhythms, a specific sense of place, an air of mystery, and just some kind of undefinable magic. Perfect from start to finish.

Mid AirMatt Walters
Paul BuchananMid Air
Paul Buchanan is the lead singer of one of the world’s most important and underrated bands, The Blue Nile. The lead singer’s first solo offering is a quiet masterpiece. Comprised almost completely of subdued piano, and smoky, hushed vocals; this is one of the most transformative, beautiful records I’ve ever heard. Buchanan, now in his late 50′s, croons like a more poetic and mournful Sinatra – reminiscing, regretting and reconciling through some of the most poignant and intimate songs ever recorded.

Born and RaisedAshleigh Mannix
John MayerBorn and Raised
Truthfully I’ve only listened to it a few times, but it was the first album that came into my head when asked about my favourite album of the year – and for good reason! Mr Mayer always surprises with the twist and turns he has taken when recording his albums. He’s playing with more of a country vibe in this one. In the second single “Queen of California”, there’s a lyric that says “Looking for the sun that Neil Young hung/After the gold rush of 1971″. There’s definitely a Neil Young-esque vibe throughout the album. I love it! It will be my soundtrack for hungover weekend’s in the sun!

HereTigertown
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic ZerosHere
A perfect way to follow up their first album Up From Below, they have captured the large group sound that they have live while still leaving enough space for Alexander Ebert’s genius song-writing and lyrics to shine through. This record always makes a loud appearance on our touring mix tape.

Farthest FieldMike McCarthy
Daniel Martin Moore & Joan ShelleyFarthest Field
Farthest Field sounds like an album recorded in a hall, live, with four beautiful microphones between two great songwriters. Sparse and incredibly beautiful is how I would describe it.

Mad BastardsJeanette Wormald
Alex Lloyd, The Pigram Brothers, Kasey Chambers and Shane NicholsonMad Bastards: Music From the Motion Picture
I found this late in 2011 and haven’t stopped listening to it. Great colours, great artists and oh so Australian. It’s fresh and it’s interesting and I really enjoyed the collaborations between Alex Lloyd and The Pigram Brothers. The movie is incredibly compelling too. A must see for people wanting an insight into the challenges of Australians living on the fringe.

DeathFrank Turner
Jim Lockey & The Solemn SunDeath
I’ve known Jim for a while and loved his work, but I always suspected he had a record in him that would take what he did from being good to being truly great. It was with great satisfaction, then, that I listened to this one for the first time. It’s everything I was hoping for, a perfect blend of country, rock, folk and something heavier and darker. Brilliant.

The Lion's RoarCallum Adamson (ahab)
First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar
I’ve chosen First Aid Kit’s record for a few reasons.
1. The record is nothing more than great country songs beautifully produced
2. They are one of the few bands that are just as good live as on record
3. One of my “goosebumps” moments of this year was when I first heard “Emmylou” – I really really wish I’d written it.

DearEmily and the Woods
Keaton HensonDear
Keaton’s voice and lyrics cut through whatever is happening, wherever I am. There is an immediacy and strength to his words and his delivery is so full of emotion that it makes me want to cry with him. I believe in his heartache; it feels raw. This album truly reminded me how powerful it is when you tell it how you feel it. That’s my favourite kind of songwriting, and it feels exemplified in the way he phrases and sings some lines. My favourite song on the album is the closing track, “Party Song”; which is unashamedly bleak.

Stars and SatellitesThe Quarry Mountain Dead Rats
Trampled By TurtlesStars and Satellites
We were waiting for this album to be released and it didn’t disappoint. Got a good mix of slower songs and and the usual kick ass ones. Ear f*$#ingly good!

Trains I MissedNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Balsam RangeTrains I Missed
Balsam Range deliver straight up modern driving bluegrass at its best. They are world class pickers, songwriters and boy can they sing. The harmonies are super tight and I love how the vocals are mixed. It gives you that baseball bat of three part harmony hit, straight in the face.

Stars and SatellitesCoty Hogue
RodriguezSearching for Sugar Man Soundtrack
Okay, so maybe all these songs were originally released in 1970-71, but considering most all of us (at least over here in the States) had never heard of Rodriguez before this film, and the fact that these songs are absolutely BRILLIANT and beautiful, makes this my must listen to album of the year! (I should also include the original two albums that these songs come from)

Warm in the DarknessNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Liz StringerWarm in the Darkness
From the multitude of reasons why this is my favourite album this year, the overarching one is that Liz Stringer is authentic – the real deal. This album serves up some of the melting beauty of Liz’s slower songs that she has shown herself to be a master of – then whacks it for a six when she pulls out some big guns and rocks it out! It’s the triple threat of great songwriting, sublime vocals and kick-arse musicianship.

Hard RubbishLouise O’Reilly (Laneway)
Lower Plenty – Hard Rubbish
It’s stony dreamy domestic. We found it driving from Melbourne to Adelaide on our tour and it took us all the way home.

Off We GoDesert Rat Shorty (The Lurkers)
Jess and Richard ArrowsmithOff We Go
This year I have a toddler, and as a consequence, I’ve spent most of the year listening to my favourite kids CD. It’s real music for kids. No autotune, no synthesisers and no politically correct rewriting for kids (the pirates in the songs still drink rum!). The songs are all old English nursery rhymes played on traditional instruments. And our one-and-a-half-year-old loves it.

Black Vat TrioWeary Hobo and Rocky Mountain Slim (The Lurkers)
Black Vat TrioBlack Vat Trio
They are a Sydney-based trio with Rishin (trombone), Rascal (violin) and Bones (piano accordion plus drums) who play Klezma and Romani inspired originals and Eastern European Classics. Songs and tunes they perform from other traditions they acknowledge openly unlike some Australian bands in the same scene. What Black Vat Trio create themselves are soundtracks to my dirty old Sydney town. Songs like “Rapscallions” are reminiscent of Waiting for Guinness and the genuine, straightforward production of the album brings it out on top of the new releases of the year for me. This album keeps toddlers of all ages laughing and dancing!

Court The StormJeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers)
Y La BambaCourt the Storm
It’s a terrific album. Is it folk, is it world, is it singer-songwriter? I don’t know. And personally, I don’t care. Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. Just listen to the damn thing.

Spirit BirdNardi Simpson (Stiff Gins)
Xavier RuddSpirit Bird
I first heard Xavier Rudd perform over twelve years ago. I knew nothing about him but watched as he played and stomped and sang the young audience into waves of inspired frenzy. He was on the way up, he sounded great, the kids loved him and he had his own unique sound. He also played the yidaki or didjeridoo. Now as blackfullas we regularly walk around festivals and see masses of people dancing and trancing out to the sound of yidaki – but most times it is not being played by a black musician. And so we carry this with us a little bit, well I do anyway. I sat there and listened to Rudd and looked at the crowd and thought of all the brothers I knew who would never get the same chance or attention if they did. Ten years later an ‘Indig’ stage was funded at Bluesfest. We had got a gig and walked around starry eyed, shyly watching legends from the wings and spinning out on the greenroom facilities. We walked past dressing room doors…Blind Boys of Alabama, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jason Mraz, Angelique Kidjo, and as we came up to Xavier Rudd’s room out popped his head: “Brother, come and be part of this smoking ceremony”, he asked my partner. I can only guess he didn’t see or recognise me. So in he went, into this stranger/stars dressing room and did ceremony. Four months ago I saw Xavier Rudd had a new album out. I assembled together all the little pieces of him I knew and I bought it. I wanted to understand something more of the man. I listened to his songs and let them soak into me and it was at that point that our worlds collided. Where first I was a young musician, starting to sing of my world and my special place in it – and compete with all those who were doing the same, now I was a searcher of stories and of deep, and meaningful connections. I had come to the place that perhaps Rudd was at all those years ago- creating narratives to forge and maintain relationships with people, place and country. As a musician Rudd has consistently taken steps towards the place that I too now wish to explore. To show others how beautiful it is when country sings back. I still haven’t met Xavier Rudd, I doubt whether I will but I think I am a little closer to understanding him and his music. And so I see this album Spirit Bird as more than a collection of songs, it’s a story about a man on a journey. And as he walks, so do we.

BlunderbussHenry Wagons
Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
Following the epic legacy of his other bands, there is no doubt the pressure was on, whether Jack admitted it to himself or not. All the publicity said this album was kinda throwaway, recorded when another artist cancelled his session at Third Man Records. Yet, when you tune in to the opening riff of the album’s opener “Missing Pieces”, you immediately realise this album is about to deliver in spades to all those curious ears pointed towards it. It sounds so smooth, rockin’ and analogue … and seems it would have been a blast to put together. Its sense of spontaneity and creative freedom translates through to the listener. A bluesy, garage masterpiece, gloriously thrown together.

Me and MoonHannah Acfield (Dan and Hannah Acfield)
Lydia ColeMe & Moon
As I suspected, iTunes confirmed this was my most played album of 2012! I met Lydia at the APRA Song Summit earlier in the year and she was so lovely it prompted me to buy her album. Me & Moon is a stunning collection of songs, the production is delicate and raw, yet so beautiful and clever. In this case, less is certainly more. Lydia has an exquisite voice that captured me straight away. The songs are well written, am honest tale of heartbreak and loss. I had an immediate connection with this album and have not stopped playing it. Beautiful.

BlunderbussDave “Christo” Christensen (Charlie Mayfair)
Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
By far the most soulful and energetic album of the year from a man that understands the effect that the women in his life have had on his personality and the insecurities it hides. Through big speakers this album is louder than anything else out this year.

Young Man in AmericaEmily Barker
Anaïs MitchellYoung Man in America
I love the mood she creates straight from the outset; pensive and alluring. Lyrically I think it’s phenomenal – it has a stream of consciousness element and repetition of themes: childhood; parenthood; growing up in America; stories we inherit. Instrumentally it’s killer too – I love the combination of woodwind instruments, mandolin, guitars, layered vocals, such rich textures always serving the songs. I get more and more from it every time I listen to it – there is so much depth in this record.

There's No Leaving NowLittle Bastard
Tallest Man on EarthThere’s No Leaving Now
It’s great to see a modern day artist maintain the quality of songwriting up to his fourth release. He has also manage to arrange and produce the music that keeps the listener interested and shows growth from previous albums.

The Burgh Island EPHeidi Waddell (Cordial Factory)
Ben HowardThe Burgh Island EP
All I want to do is sit in a cool, dark room with my eyes closed and breathe in the sounds of this EP. Since I heard Ben Howard’s song “Depth Over Distance” last year, I had been waiting and hoping that his new EP would be much the same and it is. I love that he’s not afraid of combining stillness and passion. He’s created something really unique; it’s deep and full and haunting.

Back at the Quonset HutKetch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)
Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll BoysBack at the Quonset Hut
About 20 years ago, while Nashville was perfecting it’s recipe for the blandest batch of country music yet, a band called BR-549 was serving it up raw seven nights a week on the freaky streets of Lower Broad. This year Chuck Mead, BR’s longtime frontman, released Back At The Quonset Hut – 12 classic cuts backed by Nashville’s A-Team of sessions players, the color guard of pickers, the very men who made country music what the world knows it to be – true. It still is, and Chuck Mead proves it.

Race the LoserJohn Spiers (Bellowhead, Spiers and Boden)
LauRace the Loser
It’s got everything going for it. It’s hugely complex and experimental with some superb playing yet it bears up to repeated listening incredibly well. For me, the ability to listen to it on lots of different levels makes it the perfect album.

Adventures in Your Own BackyardPete Flood (Bellowhead)
Patrick WatsonAdventures in Your Own Backyard
Eerie, lush, cinematic and full of intriguing twists and turns – it’s like walking through a sunlit wood in late autumn. Pretentious but true.

GossamerSam Sweeny (Bellowhead)
Passion PitGossamer
It’s a perfect pop record. It combines musical simplicity with awesome technical complexity. Each track has new layers that keep jumping out at you at every listen, and to top it all, there isn’t a duff track on the album. It’s sublime music.

Time As We Know ItAdam McGrath (The Eastern)
Todd SniderTime As We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker
We spend at least 100-150 days a year sucking up bitumen, roadside pies (best one in six years is the fish pie from wairoa on the bottom of the east cape of the Nth Island of NZ), junk from junk shops, and lung disorders from the air con, in all manner of wheeled transport around New Zealand, Australia and parts and ports beyond. There are basically three rules in the van, 1) Only let Flora the fiddle player drive when no one else can possibly manage it 2) Adam must listen to Waylon Jennings on any post 1am drives (and be allowed to sing along with gusto and a slight edge of drunken melencholy) 3) and when the shit gets bad, hard, or both then we must listen to Todd Snider bootlegs (Tales From Moondog Tavern Vol. 1-5 are particular faves) or Jerry Jeff Walker, they are our road guards. This year Todd Snider released Time As We Know It an album of Jerry Jeff Walker covers, it wouldn’t have mattered if it sucked (it doesn’t) the idea alone would have made it our album of 2012. If next year he does an album of Thin Lizzy songs our lives would indeed be complete.

The Idler WheelTexture Like Sun
Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel…
Although I haven’t listened to too much new music this year this album is one that recently came to me, and floored me. It’s dark, melancholly and sparse, about what I’d excpect from a Fiona Apple album. Love the additional instumentation in some tracks (you can hear lot of things clanging in the background) – and her voice! This music makes me feel something more than most.

I've Got a Friend Called Emily FerrisJen Cloher
Courtney BarnettI’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris
The debut release from Melbourne based singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett was recorded in a friend’s lounge room in Thornbury. A lo-fi seven song collection of pop gems with plenty of psych-rock wig outs to boot. Original, often humorous lyrics tumble effortlessly over catchy-as-hell melodies. The first song, “Lance Jnr” opens with the lyric “I masturbated to the songs you wrote”. Nuff said.

The Stars Are Indifferent to AstronomyKevin Micthell (Bob Evans, Basement Birds)
Nada SurfThe Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
I’ve been a fan of this band since their seminal album Let Go around 10 years ago and they’ve barely put a foot wrong since. Their new album is another perfect template on how to write glistening power pop with intelligent, poetic lyrics. Underated? I think so.

A Different ShipHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Here We Go MagicA Different Ship
Interesting, infectious songs. A diverse album, but one that flows nicely from start to finish. Spoke to me immediately, before I had a chance to consider why – as all good albums do.

All The Little LightsHelen Croome (Gossling)
PassengerAll The Little Lights
A beautiful album with sweet and heartbreaking stories. Mike is an incredible story-teller who manages to find the perfect balance between memorable melodies and a descriptive tale. A favourite track would be “Let Her Go” with it’s beautiful lyric imagery. And the live version of “I Hate” is another favourite for it’s humour and honesty.

Out of FrequencyNikki Thorburn (ILUKA)
The Asteroid Galaxy TourOut Of Frequency
Danish psychedelic pop band The Asteroid Galaxy Tour are in a class of their own, and their second studio album Out Of Frequency proves just this. With more attitude and swagger than their debut album Fruit, this record is as innovative and refreshing as it is inviting. Drawing on array of eccentric, hypnotic and inviting sounds, they create a fantasy world that is deeply potent and entrancing. Chicago blues on “shrooms” and film noir on acid, it’s truly a case of the sum being greater than its parts.

Mirage RockMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers)
Band of HorsesMirage Rock
On first listen its hard to believe this is the same band who put out the excellent Everything All The Time album back in 2006. Raw, loose and stripped back, Mirage Rock is everything that their debut was not. Folk purists may baulk at the move in a popier direction on some tunes and whilst I agree that it is not all an easy ride, stand firm! Because with repeated listening this record will reward you if you invest the time. As all great records should.

An Awesome WaveHayden Calnin
Alt-J (∆)An Awesome Wave
This is one of those albums that you tend to pick up and chuck on pretty much every day. In my eyes (ears?) Alt-J have delivered not only the most original sounding record of the year with their very infectious compositions and hauntingly fragile yet powerful vocal style, but also the best written as well. My personal favourite “Ms” off the album takes the cake for being my favourite track of the year as well.

Mirage RockGeorge Jackson
Brittany Haas and Dan TruemanCrissCross
Here’s something you don’t hear every day, unless you have the album like me. Appalachian fiddle goddess Brittany Haas meets Norwegian style fiddler and modern composer Dan Trueman. There is no music I’ve heard before that sounds quite like this, and to top it off the performers achieve that oh so important mix of stimulating both the body and the mind! This project is full of beautiful and mind bending new compositions by both Brittany and Dan. Mix in Natalie Haas on cello + guitarist Jordan Tice along with Brittany’s Crooked Still comrade Cory Di’Mario on Double Bass = a stellar line up. The tunes literally criss-cross the complimentary fiddle styles of Norway and Appalachia, developed with masterful ensemble arrangements and some demanding modern harmony.

JerildereeLachlan Bryan
Bill JacksonJerilderee
It’s actually pretty hard to write convincingly about Australia – most people end up stumbling over the awkward sounding place names, or struggling to extract poetry from our often brutal, frequently covered-up history. Bill and his brother Ross are exceptions to the rule. They write stunning songs together, and microphones just seem to love Bill’s warm, weathered voice. Jerilderie is full of great stories, and was my favourite record this year.

PrisonerEli Wolfe
The JezabelsPrisoner
Driving on tour we have been listening to The Jezabels Prisoner, which fits the landscape perfectly. Though it was released late 2011, I only bought Prisoner this year. It’s a great vibey album and Hayley is an amazing front woman.

How About I Be MeDamien Dempsey
Sinead O’ConnorHow About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
A blinding return to form by a fearless warrior woman who is my favorite female singer. Her song “Take Off Your Shoes” makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck every time I hear it, breathtaking.

Fear FunTom Busby (Busby Marou)
Father John MistyFear Fun
This album reminds me of why I love listening to music – it makes me so happy! The songs are cheeky and full of swagger, and somehow steers away from sounding arrogant. I love the production, including the small imperfections which are clearly intended. It is obvious that there were no rules when recording the record and this is probably why I can’t stop smiling each time I hear it.

Toward The Low SunAidan Cooney (Boy Outside)
Dirty ThreeToward the Low Sun
Choose your time wisely because I cried like a mother fucking bitch recently on a long haul flight listening to this album. Melancholy to get lost in and the dirtiest violin sound known to man give you an album that should be sold with a warning.

Music From Kennedy's PoolCourtney Barnett
Merri Creek PickersMusic From Kennedy’s Pool
I have seen the Merri Creek Pickers play live about 80 times. I’ve heard them rehearsing about 400 times. I adore the gentle genius of Alex Hamilton’s songwriting, the all-inclusive yet sometimes argumentative arrangement process and the fact that it was all recorded by the band themselves live at a farm in the middle of nowhere. This is a classic album that should transcend our generation.

Warm in the DarknessCat Canteri (The Stillsons)
Liz StringerWarm in the Darkness
Beautifully tasty arrangements, playing, sounds and songs across the whole album.

HereSam Buckingham
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic ZerosHere
It’s so full of joy and somehow, every time I listen, manages to remind me to stop and enjoy the simplest and most beautiful things the world has to offer, and I have to offer the world. I love the songwriting, the production is unique and brilliant but I think, more than anything, it’s the feeling of hope and beauty that sits inside every song.

El CaminoCat Colman (Billygoat and the Mongrels)
The Black KeysEl Camino
So many albums to choose from!! The Black Keys scraped in at number 1, mainly because it has such a full solid and infectious sound.

Carry Me BackJohn Flanagan (John Flanagan and the Begin Agains)
Old Crow Medicine ShowCarry Me Back
Having just traveled to the US this year for the first time I’ve fallen in love with the mountain music that is so prominent in North Carolina and Virginia. Old Crow Medicine Show clearly draw on a wide range of influences though I love the old-timey core to their music with the claw-hammer banjo and fiddle. There are a lot of references to places we recently visited: Virginia, the Shenandoah river, etc, so for many reasons the album brings back fond memories of traveling through the South.

The Lion's RoarElla Hooper
First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar
First Aid Kit are so full of potential it hurts. I don’t think they’ve quite revealed all they will in years to come but Lions Roar boasts great lush production from Mike Mogis (a modern master) and the girls’ tight folk pop songwriting is just my kind of teenage day dream, sorry Katy Perry, but This is talent.

PackwoodJulia Johnson (Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens)
PackwoodPackwood
In all honesty, I spent much of 2012 rediscovering old favourites. I re-arranged my bedroom, which inadvertently meant it was much easier for me to use my record player. Dad’s impeccable record collection has been liberated from the garage and given a healthy airing this year. There is one 2012 release that has had a particular impact on me musically though, so that automatically catapults in to becoming my favourite release of 2012. Early in the year I supported Packwood and The Falls in Canberra, at The Front Gallery. Probably one of the loveliest gigs with some of the loveliest musicians I’ve played with all year, but I digress. I’ve never heard such an ambitious EP as Packwood’s. Simply a man, his banjo, and an orchestra. Yup, a 50 piece orchestra. With a banjo. I’ve been messing around with my banjo for a few years half-arsedly, but since hearing that EP I haven’t practiced my guitar at all. I can’t put my banjo down. So thank you Packwood, for re-invigorating my love for banjo, and sorry housemates and neighbours, I’m not going to stop playing my banjo any time soon.

Baby We Were Born to DieRosie Catalano
Jen CloherBaby We Were Born To Die
Each song on this 3-track EP is so special. “Call If You Need Me” has an incredible ability to transport me to a whole other world every time I listen to it, “Baby We Were Born To Die” leaves me awed by Jen Cloher’s way of looking at the world and the hand she has been dealt, and the lyrics in her duet with Courtney Barnett always manages to catch me by surprise and make me laugh.

Love This GiantSarah Blasko
David Byrne & St VincentLove This Giant
It’s a collaborative album that really works and feels very cohesive. The arrangements are really imaginative and it has the freshness of not sounding like anything else that’s out at the moment. The brass arrangements are fantastic. It’s a classic sounding record, it’s beautiful and rich and full.

A Creature I Don't KnowLiam Gale (Liam Gale and The Ponytails)
Laura MarlingA Creature I Don’t Know
I spent this year listening to some not-so-current music, and it seems I’ve got some catchng up to do considering the snippets of albums I’ve heard over the last twelve months. Of 2012′s offerings, Laura Marling’s A Creature I Don’t Know was one that caught my ear. It had a lilt toward that concept-album-feel, some tracks outright flowing into the next, like Floyd with banjos or something. There was this poem she’d written that came out shortly after the album was released that seemed to explore the record’s protagonist character; the Beast. It’d come up every now again, like it was teasing the other characters on the album. Trippy.

Phaux CiscoSivan (The April Maze)
VariousPhaux Cisco
It astounds me that some of the greatest songwriters of all time remain relatively unheard. James Cisco is one of them. This album was produced as a surprise gift for the songwriter and includes some great Melbourne musos doing versions of his wonderful songs. The album features versions from Jeb Cardwell, Dan Lethbridge, Jed Pickett & Kate Walker, Kate Crowley, The Shivering Timbers, Simon Hudson & Anita Quail, Adrian Whitehead and more. The songs are in chronological order of when they were written, from 1988 to 2012. Its a real genre journey and wanders through folk, rock, country, punk, soul and blues. We love it and listen to it on the road all the time.

The Great DespiserFanny Lumsden
Joe PugThe Great Despiser
To me his songs are like stories from those who don’t usually tell stories. This album feels like I’m moving forward on a monster of a drive where one has very minimal encounters with anything man made and at the same time feeling settled. Good one JPUG.

An Awesome WaveBity Booker
Alt-J (∆)An Awesome Wave
Driven by Joe Newman’s haunting melodies, vowel-curling words, heart breaking notes; each song on this album is an independent masterpiece: cohesive and scrupulous. Every track is rich in layered detail, synthesizing meticulous sounds of pianos, guitars and xylophones. “Taro” is a wonderful story and an adventure in itself. I can’t get enough of it’s obsessive melody, which reaches a haunting climax when Newman’s voice breaks in the refrain, missing the crucial note, but making it that much more important in its absence.

The Only PlaceEmma Davis
Best CoastThe Only Place
This album really just came at the perfect time. I had just returned from a long trip overseas and having had a few changes along the way I took some time out to live by the beach and write. There’s nothing really ground-breaking or creatively astounding about this record, it’s just a great record. Solid, well-constructed pop songs all the way through. It’s a more positive sounding album than the last, with cleaner production and perhaps less raw emotion but to me still has that distinct ‘Best Coast’ sound that I first fell in love with. The lyrics are beautifully simple to the point where I’m not sure sometimes how they get away with it, but they do. Overall, it simply made me feel good, and at a time when I needed it. I’ve listened to it so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if a few subconscious references to “waves” or “babes” make it into my next record.

The Money StoreMark Piccles (Tin Sparrow)
Death GripsThe Money Store
Possibly the most intense, in-your-face hip hop record I’ve ever heard, but it’s endless originality and almost tangible persona is undeniable. It’s not for everyone but if you can withstand the brutality of the initial listen, there is much to be discovered on second venture and beyond.

LonerismDean McLeod (Tin Sparrow)
Tame ImpalaLonerism
Some killer overseas albums this year but Lonerism is by far my favourite. It’s texturally amazing which is really important for me and I love Kevin’s song writing. It also expands the sound they crafted on Innerspeaker. Almost perfect psych pop. Plus after seeing them at Splendour this year I reckon they are one of the best live bands going. Conclusion: instant froth.

The Year of HibernationBen Cooper (Radical Face)
Youth LagoonThe Year of Hibernation
I’m never good at these lists. I’m almost always a year or two behind, as I tend to stop hunting new records while recording and then play catch up when I’m not. So this album was late 2011, but I was told that’s okay. Anyway, this is one of those records that feels like it was made in a bedroom and is all the better for it. It’s a record that makes me smile, and as the lyrics slowly became discernible I found I really liked them. I don’t often describe records as charming, but this one I do. And it’s good walking music. I like it a lot

Spring and FallJack Carty
Paul KellySpring And Fall
I got myself into a tis trying to choose between a bunch of amazing releases this year by First Aid Kit, The Falls, Leroy Lee, Tim Hart and Packwood (just to name a few) but when I stopped thinking too much about it and just went with my gut, I had to go with Paul Kelly’s Spring And Fall for my favourite album of 2012. I am not sure if it’s because I grew up listening to my Dad singing along to his records or just because of the beautiful, simple honesty with which he writes, but I find something about Paul Kelly’s records incredibly comforting, and Spring And Fall is among his best. Each song is a story in itself, and a paragraph in the bittersweet tale the album as a whole tells. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, just says it plain and true … Music for everyone.

Unfinished BusinessJessica Cassar and Darren Cross (Jep and Dep)
Wanda JacksonUnfinished Business
It was on our way back from our Jep and Dep tour of Germany, cheap flights with Air China, that we spent our last night in Frankfurt. With a giant stroke of luck, Wanda Jackson was performing a stones throw away from our crappy fluorescent pink hostel. After one song she blew us away. The devil’s girlfriend. Queen of Rockabilly. She is Rockabilly (no visible tattoos by the way). Her 2012 album, Unfinished Business, is mixed a saddlebag of rock, blues and country covers and originals that doesn’t try to be anything that it isn’t. It’s a fun and sassy album that pays tribute to the era the 75-year-old pint-sized, tassle wearing old school banshee reigned in. Listen to it.

SomethingEdward Deer
ChairliftSomething
For me the realm of intelligent and visceral pop music was completely owned by the ladies in 2012 (see also the exceptional recent records from Bat for Lashes, Cat Power, First Aid Kit and Sharon Van Etten, to name just a few). But the album I listened to more than any other this year was probably Chairlift’s Something. It’s full of thrilling juxtapositions – spontaneous and energetic performances meet painstaking songcraft, super hooky 80s-inspired pop melodies sit alongside bizarre sounds you’ve never heard before in your life. Caroline’s angelic, crystal clear voice is used to deliver wounded and often darkly comic lyrics, while Patrick’s bass lines are just plain killer. The band has just released some early demos from this album and those bare bones recordings reveal just how much work went into making the finished product so great.

Summer SongsJake Holmes (Merri Creek Pickers)
My Left BootSummer Songs
This is the coolest album I’ve heard in such a long time, absolute stoner heaven. “Sharks in the water” will make your hair stand on end. Roll up and just put it on.

The LumineersAchoo! Bless You
The LumineersThe Lumineers
I (Ross) heard the single “Ho Hey” in about July, and it was love at first listen. Catchy, awesome americana-folk-pop. There’s a massive scene they are championing, and they’re doing it real well.

MuseumPatrick James
Ball Park MusicMuseum
I often love albums where you can discover something new in the music every time. For me, this is one of them. I happened to catch a Ball Park Music concert at the Metro Theatre in the latter part of the year and was blown away. Since then, I keep going back to this band and especially this record, even to the point of covering one of their songs at my own live show. The songwriting is so left of field and it never fails to surprise me. Every time I listen to this album, I feel it moves me in a different way and keeps me intrigued about their music.

HypnotisedThe Twoks
Pony FaceHypnotised
Mature, fuzzy, warm and dark. The sound of three lads who know exactly how their music should sound, but (having mastered the art of subtlety) don’t shove it down your throat. Hypnotised has beautiful layers and textures. Not only does the album creep up and grow on you, but each song does. Highlights are the amazing “Alabama” (featuring the coolest laconic percussive vocal) and the spirited “Holly Said”.

Who's Feeling Young NowJane Hendry (The Tiger and Me)
Punch BrothersWho’s Feeling Young Now?
I’ve been a big fan of these guys for a few years now and this album shows just how talented they all are. I love the way they are bringing together traditional bluegrass instrumentation and techniques with songwriting that is much more indie-pop. This particular album does this probably more than their previous releases, but their complex and intricate arrangements are still there in spades, coupled with some heartbreakingly good melodies. There’s quite a bit of swagger too! Top track (changes regularly for me) – “Hundred Dollars”, where Gabe Witcher (fiddle) takes the lead vocals and swaggers all over the place.

The RubensSally Balfour
The RubensThe Rubens
Soulful, rockin’ blues; can’t get enough of The Ruben’s debut album. This album stirs something new within me each time I listen to it, especially their single “My Gun”. That track always cuts straight through to my heart. It is no wonder The Rubens are this year’s triple j Unearthed Artists of the Year.

Seven DaysAndrew Drummond
Emmy BryceSeven Days
The songs are fun and catchy and full of 90s pop influenced goodness! The EP also showed what an artist (and team) with drive and vision can achieve in a short period of time, with numerous TV show appearances (both live and soundtrack) and a national tour. Seven Days by Emmy Bryce inspired me to keep dreaming.

Ashes & FireStu Larsen
Ryan AdamsAshes & Fire
I know it was released pretty late in 2011, but all year long I just always went back to it. A classic easy listening album. I love the simplicity, I love the instrumentation and I love the way Ryan Adams’ imagery takes me some place else. My favourite track off this album at the moment is the opener, “Dirty Rain”.

Warm in the DarknessLeah Flanagan
Liz StringerWarm in the Darkness
Liz is one of my favourite Australian songwriters. The quality of musicianship and songwriting on Warm in the Darkness is incredible and it’s nice to hear her rocking out with full band and horn section. There are moments when listening to this record that I suddenly get goosebumps. They remind me of how truly beautiful her voice is. Buy it. Favourite songs are “High Open Hills” and “Warm in the Darkness”.

Slay Me In My SleepPiers Twomey
Grand SalvoSlay Me In My Sleep
The paradox about Paddy Mann – aka Melbourne’s Grand Salvo – is how he’s both adored and celebrated while also being overlooked and unsung. His critically acclaimed albums come across (to me) like profound, melodically gorgeous, yet slightly awkward museum folk songs: pure and emotionally charged vignettes from another era. Enough has been written about 2012’s Slay Me In My Sleep being one of his very best. I’ll just add that the record’s “The Boy’s Story Of His Faithful Family Dog” reduces me to tears. If you’ve ever loved and lost a family dog – and if you let it – the song may evoke the same consequence in you.

Over The SunCountry Town Collective
Tinpan OrangeOver the Sun
We love Tinpan Orange’s new album. It’s quirky, unexpected and eerily beautiful. A bit like Portishead but more organic sounding, it could be the soundtrack to an old movie, a bit James Bond theme even? It’s definitely got some magic to it.

Swing Low MagellanSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
I was surprised and satisfied by the peculiar and purposed brilliance of this record. It satisfies so many corners of my affection as it effortlessly showcased a band that are so deliberate and intentional. From the intricate electronic sounds scapes, to the biting crunch of guitar riffs, to the sweet and often bitter harmonics, dull acoustic tones, manic riffs, intimacy, mania … Lyrically prophetic both socially and emotionally and musically nostalgic yet completely original. I listened to it over and over as it continued to claimed my satisfaction.

Odd SoulPaul Brown (Arbori)
MutemathOdd Soul
This album came as a bit of a surprise to me. Mutemath have been a favourite band of mine for a while and they always do something different with each album, yet manage to create a sound uniquely theirs. Odd Soul is a masterpiece of musicianship which in my mind brings together the Mutemath feel to a very 60s soul and psychedelic sound. It is a fresh sound (albeit retro) in a market saturated in same sounding music! Fav tracks: “Cavalries” and “One More”.

RedJames Hutchinson (Arbori)
Taylor SwiftRed
We’re forgetting the biggest album of the year, the one that defines this generation and will go down in the annals of history as a watermark in the second decade of this century – Taylor Swift’s Red. It is my emotional comfort when I’m home crying myself to sleep over a lost boyfriend at night and the musical incentive to get me through the day.

Born and RaisedSibylla Stephen (The Little Stevies)
John MayerBorn and Raised
First let me say, I haven’t heard many new albums this year as I gave birth to my son in June. And like many first time mums I’ve just been tumbling my way through his first year trying to keep my head above water. It sure has been fun though, and one new album that we have sung, danced and gone to sleep to is the new John Mayer, Born and Raised. I know it’s cheesy, and it’s not all that “cool” to admit it, but I’m a big fan of his. I’ve always loved his lyrics, he had me at “I’ll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it” … Swoon … And on this new album he’s done it again. It’s full of songs I can’t stop humming and lyrics I wish I’d come up with. And he seems to have taken a little turn towards a more alt-country sound in some songs which I love. But all-in-all its just a great pop record, my favourite. Don’t judge me!!!

Young NorthZoe Elliot
The Paper KitesYoung North
The Young North EP has managed to stay true to the Paper Kites sound while still feeling fresh. My two favourite songs are “Leopold Street” due to the romantic nostalgia I hold onto of my grandparents, and “Paint” as its beautiful simplicity brought me to tears when I first turned it on sitting alone in my car – it takes a strong lyric to break me.

Goat Rodeo SessionsBayden Hine (Packwood)
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris ThileGoat Rodeo Sessions
Of all the albums that I heard over the course of 2012, the one that really stood out for me was Goat Rodeo Sessions – a collaborative album put together by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and one of my musical heroes Chris Thile. I first heard the album by way of a buddy, who told me I “had to listen to this”. Naturally I didn’t, until several months later whilst sitting in a car listening to The Punch Brothers’ latest album – at which point I remembered. The album’s title refers to a chaotic ruckus of sorts, a big ol’ mess that somehow just … works out in the end – exactly what this album is. I absolutely adore blended genres – especially blends of classical/folk/bluegrass – and so this album has been on high-rotation ever since! The stand out track for me is “Attaboy”, but if you can’t stand instrumentals and harmonies are your thing – “Here and Heaven” is sure to please.

TempestNigel Wearne
Bob DylanTempest
Yes, I’m another songwriter who’s a Bob Dylan fan but I had to choose this album because he’s still got it in spades. It’s more of a poetry reading these days but his phrasing is as good as it’s ever been. It’s pretty hard to beat a nasty 8 minute murder ballad and a beautiful 15 minute epic about the Titanic sinking. The man still has something to say!

The Rip TideJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
BeirutThe Rip Tide
I started my year off with a live Beirut show in early 2012 and it’s stayed with me as one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. The songs on The Rip Tide seem effortless and the album flows as an album should flow. I love the quirky instrumentation and clever arrangements – it’s an album from a band who don’t sound like they are trying to sound like anything other than themselves.

Win a Double Pass to Henry Wagons at The Old Museum, Brisbane

Henry Wagons
Image Courtesy of Henry Wagons

***THE DOUBLE PASS HAS BEEN CLAIMED. KEEP READING FOR MORE GIVEAWAYS***

The Henry Wagons national Expecting Company? tour has been steamrolling along for a couple of weeks now and is due to come to an end this week with a his final show of the tour taking place this Friday 16th June the the Old Museum.

And being the final show of the tour we know it’s going to be one hell of a party – so we thought you’d like to come along. We have a double pass to give away to the Henry Wagons show at the Old Museum in Brisbane to the first person to email us at timberandsteelaustralia@gmail.com with your full name along with the name of three of the six guest vocalists who appear on Expecting Company?.

As always with these giveaways it’s first in best dressed. Good Luck!

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