Thank Folk It’s Friday – 7th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Melbourne artist Yuko Nishiyama has revealed her brand new single “Heart of Daisies”. Details here

- The March edition of The Folk Informal in Sydney takes place next Thursday featuring Oliver Downes, Luke Watson’s Golden Bridges project, Lola and the Captain and Jep and Dep. Details here

- UK eight-piece Cocos Lovers released their new single “Walk Among The Ghosts”. Details here

- The National Folk Festival shocked everyone with the exclusive addition of folk music legend Martin Carthy to their 2014 lineup. Details here

- Two of Australia’s top trad bands, Sásta and Tolka, will be making Sydney their home on St Patrick’s Day. Details here

- The Beards have announced a massive national tour from May through to August. Details here

- Melbourne newgrass quartet Mustered Courage have just released an awesome animated video for their track “Powerlines”. Details here

- Brisbane Americana artist Phil Smith will be launching his new album Year of the Dog this Saturday night. Details here

- Matt Walker’s Americana infused band Lost Ragas have announce tour dates this month. Details here

- The Perch Creek Family Jugband have announced a new album, single and tour. Details here

- The amazing Dom Flemons has a new version of the traditional “Po’ Black Sheep”. Details here

- Melbourne’s Kate Crowley will be launching her new album next week. Details here

- Folktronica artist Caitlin Park has released her new single “Hold Your Gaze”. Details here

- Timberwolf has released a really nice cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. Details here

- The British Blues have released their debut single and video “2001″. Details here

- Sydney band Arbori have announced a very special EP preview show next week. Details here

- This Sunday Jimmy Watts and Cameron Milford will be facing off in a songwriter showdown. Details here

- Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes continue their domination of the country scene with their new video “Black Coffee”. Details here

- The new Diane Cluck album came out this week (see below) and she also released a video for the track “Sara”. Details here

- We think you’re really going to like “Tightrope”, the new single and video from UK quintet Boat to Row. Details here

Releases This Week

Boneset
BonesetDiane Cluck
Official Site

Scattered Reflections
Scattered ReflectionsLior
iTunes

Mikhael Paskalev
What’s Life Without LosersMikhael Paskalev
iTunes

Wyatt
Sanitary ApocalypseWyatt Moss-Wellington
Official Site

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

WOMADelaide

Womadelaide

Mad March continues in Adelaide this weekend with the wonderful WOMADelaide festival. Set in the botanic gardens just north of the CBD, WOMADelaide always boasts an impressive lineup, a stunning location and some of the most exciting music you’ll hear all year.

Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Adelaide Fringe Festival
Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th March – Adelaide, SA

Ash Grunwald
Friday 7th March – Great Northern, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th March – Port Fairy Festival, VIC
Thursday 13th March – Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW
Friday 14th March – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

Billy Bragg
Sunday 8th March – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide Festival, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 12th March – Hellenic Hall, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 13th March – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th March – Katoomba, NSW

Breabach
Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 11th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC

Brunswick Music Festival
Sunday 2nd to Sunday 16th March – Melbourne, VIC

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Thursday 13th March – The Spiegeltent, Hobart, TAS

Darren Hanlon
Friday 7th March – Town Hall, Candelo, NSW
Sunday 9th March – Queens College, Melbourne, VIC

Glen Hansard with Lisa O’Neill
Friday 14th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Jordan Millar
Friday 7th March – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 8th March – Boat Harbour Surf Club, Boat Harbour, TAS
Friday 14th March – Free The Wild Presents, Sydney, NSW

Josh Pyke
Friday 7th March – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Wednesday 12 March – Live At The Quarry, Perth, WA

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 7th March – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 14th March – YouAreHere Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lior
Friday 7th March – York Theatre @ Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 14th March – Orange Civic Theatre, Orange, NSW

Lost Ragas w/ Raised By Eagles
Friday 14th March – Coogee Diggers, Coogee, NSW

Mikhael Paskalev
Friday 7th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Neko Case
Friday 7th March – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, SA

Peter Rowan
Friday 7th March – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 8th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Monday 9th March – Brisbane Music Bureau, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 12th March – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass, Dorrigo, NSW
Thursday 13th March – Carrington Bowling Club, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 14th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW

Pokey LaFarge
Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Botanic Park, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 12th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 13th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Morrisons, Lacey Cole, Leroy Lee
Thursday 13th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Port Fairy Folk Festival
Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – Port Fairy, VIC

Sam Buckingham
Thursday 13th March – The Front, Canberra, ACT

The Beez
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th March – Burke and Wills Festival, Mia Mia, Vic
Friday 14th March – Old Mill Flour Gallery, Mildura, Vic

The Folk Informal feat. Oliver Downes, Golden Bridges, Lola and the Captain, Jep and Dep
Thursday 13th March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Good Ship
Friday 7th March – The New Globe Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 8th March – Queen St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 8th March – The Royal Mail, Goodna, QLD

The Little Stevies
Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th March – Burke & Wills Folk Festival, Lancefiled, VIC
Thursday 13th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

The Stray Sisters
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Wednesday 12th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Thursday 13th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Unpaved Sessions w/ Little Rabbit, The Weeping Willows
Monday 9th March – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

WOMADelaide
Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“24″ – Emmy The Great

All the talk of the new Diane Cluck album this week has meant I’ve had “24″ stuck in my head, mainly because of the lyric “You are still not Charles Bukowski and I am not Diane Cluck”. This is a great song and this live version is a nice take on the track.

TinPan Orange Announce Tour and Remix EP

Tinpan Orange
Image Courtesy of TinPan Orange

Timber and Steel favourites TinPan Orange have announced plans for a quick Australian tour this March after they take to the stage at WOMADelaide. The tour comes off the back of a brand new remix EP featuring tracks from their album Over the Sun remixed by producers Way of the Eagle, Laser Cat and Spender.

The tour will be TinPan Orange’s last for a while with front-woman Emily Lubitz and keyboardist Harry James Angus expecting their second child in early June. Check out the full list of dates below along with a stream of the remix EP:

Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 16th March – Oakleigh Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 21st March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 14th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Stream the new EP from One Up, Two Down. Details here

- Achoo! Bless You have released the video for their new track “Wild Eyes”. Details here

- Canberra duo Sparrow-Folk combine folk music and boobs for their latest video “Ruin Your Day”. Details here

- Sydney indie folk night Little Features returns this month with a lineup that includes Mimi Gilbert, The Maple Trail, Packwood and Charlie Gradon. Details here

- WOMADelaide’s final lineup addition for 2014 is singer-songwriter Lior. Details here

- Vance Joy may be seeing success overseas but he hasn’t forgotten us with national headline dates this April and May. Details here

- Cabaret-folk big band The Good Ship are heading out on a national tour this March. Details here

- Leroy Lee will be hosting a new monthly folk night at the Petersham Bowling Club, Porch Light Sessions, starting in March. The first night features Lee, The Morrisons and Lacey Cole and the Lazy Colts. Details here

- The Audreys have released the video “My Darlin’ Girl”, the first track from their upcoming new album. Details here

- Frank Turner released a video for his new song “Sweet Albion Blues”. Details here

- Conor Oberst has announced plans for his new album Upside Down Mountain. Details here

- UK singer-songwriter Johnny Flynn has released his new video “Bottom of the Sea Blues” plus news of a deluxe version of his new album Country Mile. Details here

Interviews

“I’m actually recording songs now from people that have never been recorded before, songs that may have been noted back in the time of the nineteenth century by Cecil Sharp but have never been sound recorded. I’m also discovering songs that have no known origin, that have never been documented before. It is like finding these undiscovered species that nobody knew existed, happily living in their native habitat in the minds of old gypsies – it’s wonderful! So there are discoveries to be made”Sam Lee chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We definitely keep the live show very varied. We play to our audiences – we’ll have slower, poignant moments but towards the end of the set we like to ramp it up. We’ve got two sets of bagpipes and Megan [Henderson] our fiddle player does step dancing as well so we get all of these things combined and hopefully create a bit of a noise, a bit of energy” – James Lindsay from Breabach chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

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Gigs

“I don’t recall much of the actual New Year, with MGMT running over time, a quick countdown before kissing and hugging your nearest and dearest, or the random crowd members beside you, and then finally The Wombats hitting us with an onslaught of hits and subsequent dancing frenzy, it all just blurs together to be an energy filled night of frivolity with a matching hangover the next morning” – Part 2 of KTBell’s Falls Festival review. Review here

Releases This Week

It's all Good
It’s All GoodDamien Dempsey
iTunes

Lets Go Extinct
Let’s Go ExtinctFanfarlo
iTunes

The Wheel EP
The Wheel EPJordan Millar
Bandcamp

One Up Two Down
One Up, Two DownOne Up, Two Down
Bandcamp

Robert Ellis
The Lights from the Chemical PlantRobert Ellis
iTunes

Between Bars
Between BarsThe Civil Wars
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Little Bastard w/ OXBLVD, Ranger Spacey

Little Bastard

Sydney folk renegades Little Bastard will be taking to the stage at the Factory Floor for their first hometown headline show of the year. Fresh from conquering the Falls Festival in Lorne and laying down tracks for their debut album (due in May) the seven-piece are ready to make 2014 theirs and this gig is going to be a cracker.

Saturday 15th February – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Adelaide Fringe Festival
Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th March – Adelaide, SA

Andy Irvine
Thursday 20th February – Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 21st February – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Ann Vriend
Friday 14th February — The Homestead, North Hobart, TAS
Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th February — MONA, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 20th February — Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February – Cobargo, NSW

Eddie Vedder
Sunday 16th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 18th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February – Frances, SA

Jack Carty
Saturday 15th February – House Concert, Hazelwood Park, SA
Sunday 16th February – House Concert, Grange, SA

James Teague
Wednesday 19th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 14th February – The Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 15th February – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 21st February – Paradiso Spiegeltent @ The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Friday 14th February – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW

Leah Flanagan w/ Kieren Glasgow
Thursday 20th February – Vic on the Park, Enmore, NSW

Lior
Friday 21st February – Southern Peninsula Arts Centre, Rosebud, VIC

Little Bastard w/ OXBLVD, Ranger Spacey
Saturday 15th February – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Okkervil River
Wednesday 19th February – Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth, WA
Friday 21st February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

One Up Two Down and Oh Pep!
Friday 14th February – The Danish Club, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 16th February – Eudlo Hall, Eudlo, QLD
Wednesday 19th February – Anglican Church, Dorrigo, NSW
Thursday 20th February – Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Friday 21st February – No.5, Bellingen, NSW

Packwood
Saturday 15th February – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 16th February – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 19th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Wednesday 19th February – Revolver, Prahran, VIC
Thursday 20th February – Baha’s, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Friday 21st February 0 Fringe Festival, Adelaide, SA

The Beez
Friday 14th February – Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club, NSW
Saturday 15th February – Blackheath, NSW
Sunday 16th February – Bundanoon, NSW (house concert)
Wednesday 19th February – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, ACT

Unpaved Sessions w/ Matt Green, Emilee South, James Kenyon, Lisa Wood, Ruth Kateleros and Monique Kenny
Monday 17th February – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes

Three years we published a couple of Valentine’s Day related playlists – one for the loved up and one for the heartbroken – that always get a lot of hits at this time of year. Given FFF has fallen on Valentine’s Day this year we thought we’d share one of our favourite loved up tracks (with one of the sweetest loved up videos) with you. Enjoy the love!

Interview: Breabach, WOMADelaide

Breabach
Image Courtesy of Breabach

Fans of Scottish trad band Breabach who missed their recent appearance at the Woodford Folk Festival needn’t worry – the band will be back in a few weeks time for a string of festival events including an appearance at this year’s WOMADelaide. We thought it was about we chatted the band so managed to get a hold of bass player and vocalist James Lindsay all the way in Glasgow to chat about their plans for Australia, their new album Ùrlar and the importance of the Scottish tradition in music.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Weren’t you in Australia just a couple of weeks ago?

James Lindsay: We were. We were at Woodford – enjoying the temperature there. It was up to 44 [degrees] one day.

GHE: I think you’re a bit of a glutton for punishment if you’re going to come all the way to Australia, head home to Scotland for a couple of weeks and then have to do that massive flight again to come back out to Australia.

JL: I know! We had to get our washing done done!

GHE: I guess this time of year is pretty important for British folk music with the awards and stuff on plus Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

JL: Totally. We all had to get back – we’re all involved in different things at Celtic Connections so we had to horse back and do that. That festival just finished.

GHE: How was it?

JL: It was great. We had too much fun!

GHE: We should probably talk about festivals coming up for you guys as well. You’re heading back to Australia and basically doing the folk festival circuit that tends to happen around March and April. How’re you feeling about returning to Australia again?

JL: We’re much looking forward to it and visiting a few new places. We’ve been over a few times now. We’ve spent a lot of time in Melbourne and this last trip we were in Brisbane so it will be great to get into Sydney and get to Adelaide and all that. We’re really looking forward to it – we’ve always had a great time whenever we’ve been out.

GHE: I think Australia, being a colony originally, has a big connection to celtic music, to Scottish music. It must be nice to play to overseas audiences that do feel that connection.

JL: Yeah definitely. It’s really great after shows a lot of people will come up to us and say they’re either born in Scotland or they’ve got family here and it made them homesick. It’s really nice.

GHE: I think Australians are probably pretty well versed in Irish music but maybe not so much in Scottish music – I’m not sure people realise how different the two can be. I remember asking my Mum, who’s Scottish, when I was a kid what the difference between Irish and Scottish music is and she told me “Irish music is good but Scottish music is happier”.

JL: (laughs) That could be true! But Scottish music can be a lot sadder as well I think.

GHE: That’s true – it does have the pipes which can be quite mournful.

JL: Yes exactly. The pipes can be really melancholic when you want them to be.

GHE: I really like what I’ve heard of your new album – Ùrlar right?.

JL: Yes Ùrlar. It’s a gaelic word that means “floor” or “ground”. We were talking about the mournful pipe playing – that kind of sound is a pibroch, the slow classical pipe music. It’s one of the oldest forms of pipe music. The ùrlar is actually the first movement, the first motif in one of these pibrochs. We liked the combination of the two themes.

GHE: Obviously there’s instrumentals on the album and also some songs as well – a lot of them in Gaelic. How important is it as a trad band to be singing in the native language of Scotland and continuing that tradition?

JL: We think it’s very important and we’ve got a couple of fluent speakers in the band so it seems kind of natural just to have them singing in a tongue that they’re fluent in. We also sing in Scots as well – we kind of like to represent both those languages

GHE: It feels like music is the way Gaelic can thrive – the way that people who may not be speakers can still connect with it.

JL: Definitely. It gets a lot of people interested in learning as well. At the moment it’s the highest uptake of people learning to speak Gaelic and I think a lot of that is because of the music. As you say it’s a way of getting into the language.

GHE: Listening to you guys and recent stuff from The Battlefield Band as well means I’ve been getting into Gaelic music quite a bit. It’s a very musical language.

JL: Totally – it’s very rhythmical.

GHE: I haven’t had a chance to see you guys live yet but I’ve heard that it’s very high energy. Is that a fair assumption.

JL: Yeah, I’d say that’s a good take on it. We definitely keep the live show very varied. We play to our audiences – we’ll have slower, poignant moments but towards the end of the set we like to ramp it up. We’ve got two sets of bagpipes and Megan [Henderson] our fiddle player does step dancing as well so we get all of these things combined and hopefully create a bit of a noise, a bit of energy.

GHE: When you’re performing at a festival do you tailor your set to the festival crowd, as opposed to the set you’d do at your headline show?

JL: In the UK we do a lot of sit down theatre shows where we’ll do two halves for a concert. We definitely structure that a lot differently to our one hour festival shows. We like to keep the energy up more for the festivals.

GHE: I’m really chuffed you’re doing WOMADelaide this year – it’s a fantastic festival. It’s great to see some celtic music coming back into it. Have you played WOMADs elsewhere?

JL: Yeah we’ve played WOMAD before and it’s a really great experience. We didn’t actually get to hang about that long but just wandering about the site – the music there’s so diverse. There was a fair bit of celtic stuff. It was really varied and really exciting so we can’t wait ti get to WOMADelaide.

GHE: It’s nice to present this type of music to such a wide and open audience. I feel like the people who go to WOMADelaide don’t go with a pretence of “I have to go and see this headliner” or whatever – they’re just there to discover great music.

JL: It’s a great thing. It’s a really music lovers festival these WOMADs. It’s great that people are up for opening themselves up to hear new stuff.

GHE: Once you guys finish your festival run here in Australia you’ll be heading home in time for the festival season in the UK I guess?

JL: We finish up in Sydney at the start of April. And then we fly home – April’s quite quiet for us but then in May we head off on our UK tour. And then all the UK festivals will kick off after that.

GHE: I know you’ve only just released Ùrlar but are there any plans to record again this year?

JL: There’s talk of maybe doing something next year because it will be the twelfth anniversary of the band. We kind of like that because a 12 year old bottle of whisky is the standard. There might be something to come out for that but at the moment there’s no details I’m afraid.

GHE: Well thanks so much for chatting with us today, it’s been great.

JL: We’re really looking forward to getting out and spend a good bit of time in Australia.

Breabach will be in Australia in March. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 11th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – 10 Days on the Island Festival, TAS
Saturday 5th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Lior Added to the WOMADelaide Lineup

Lior
Image Courtesy of Lior

This week WOMADelaide added the final artist to it’s already amazing lineup – and it’s none other than Australian singer-songwriter Lior. This will be Lior’s first appearance at the festival since 2007 and he’ll be peforming tracks from his new album Scattered Reflections which is due on the 7th March.

Lior joins the likes of Billy Bragg, Sam Lee, Breabach, Hanggai, Jeff Lang, Mikhael Paskalev, Neko Case, Loren Kate, Thelma Plum, Tinpan Orange and many more at this year’s WOMADelaide.

WOMADelaide takes place in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from the 7th to 10th March. For more details including a full list of festival performers check out the official website here.

And Lior will be heading out on a national tour from the end of this month to support Scattered Reflections – the full list of dates are below:

Friday 21st February – Southern Peninsula Arts Centre, Rosebud, VIC
Thursday 27th February – The Playhourse Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Friday 28th February – Devonport Tas Entertainment Centre, TAS
Saturday 1st March – Burnie Arts & Function Centre, Burnie, TAS
Thursday 6th March – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th March – York Theatre @ Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 14th March – Orange Civic Theatre, Orange, NSW
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
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
Sunday 6th April – The Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool, VIC
Monday 7th April – Portland Arts Centre, Portland, VIC
Tuesday 8th April – Hamilton Performing Arts Centre, VIC
Wednesday 9th April – Wesley Performing Arts Centre, Horsham, VIC

Interview: Sam Lee, WOMADelaide

Sam Lee
Image Courtesy of Sam Lee

I think I’ve gushed about UK singer, collector and performer Sam Lee enough times for you all to understand how much I love the man’s music. When I learned that he was heading to Australia, for just one show as part of WOMADelaide, I knew I had to finally interview the man. We ended up chatting via phone to England about his trip downunder, his passion for collecting and conserving traditional songs and the work he’s doing on his new album.

Gareth Hugh Evans: You’re album Ground of its Own is one of my favourites of 2012 because it was just so different from any other folk record that came out that year. You’re dealing with traditional music but your presenting it in such a new an innovative way. Is that something you set out to do or is it just the way the songs took hold and needed to be presented?

Sam Lee: I never went to try and make a weird album or do anything that was controversial or actively different. That’s the way I heard those songs. I always do things the way that I want to do them – it was really for me a marriage of the songs that I love the most, which are obviously really unique songs even within the tradition, and then matching them up with the sounds that inspired me. It was all about the love of the songs and the psychologies of them. I did want to try and eke the beauty in the music in a way that I wasn’t hearing anywhere else and hadn’t found myself.

GHE: I think one of the first times I heard you was on the Propermusic Podcast, going back a few years now. You made a comment on the podcast of not wanting to present the songs with just a singer and a guitar – you wanted to move away from the guitar and use other instrumentation. Was that a conscious decision to move away from the guitar sound that we’re all comfortable with?

SL: Yes! I don’t really play, it’s not my instrument. I don’t hear the songs in a guitar way. I love it, there’s some wonderful stuff, but it doesn’t identify with the songs that I’ve always wanted to hear. It’s too conforming and it’s been done. There’s so many incredible, virtuosic guitarists, young and old – I’m never going to compete and I don’t see how I’m going bring anything new in a guitar sort of way. I felt like there’s so many other instruments in the world why go to the one that everybody else is using. In many ways that’s the same as the songs – there are so many great folk songs that get sung all the time, that were well famous in the sixties and seventies, why would I go ahead and sing [them]? For me it’s about exploring the unknown and stepping into different places. I must say though actually that we have just recorded a song on the next album with a guitar however we’re not playing the guitar – we’ve turned it around and we’re hitting it (laughs).

GHE: I think one of the things that’s most interesting about you and your music is that you’re a collector of songs as well as a performer. You spent some time apprenticing with the late Stanley Robertson and also collecting songs from the Traveller communities in the UK. Is the preservation of those songs – I hate to use the word “preservation” as that sounds like it needs to be put in a glass box and never touched – let’s say the collection of those songs something that drives you?

SL: Absolutely. More than anything else that I do in my life and work. And I’m actually really pleased that you questioned the word “preservation” because I’ve always said it’s conservation and not preservation. It’s a really important difference and not many people think of it like that so I’m pleased that you know it’s the wrong word. That’s really my motivation – about not just finding them but actually making them accessible and putting a sense of value on them. In fact in the last year and a half I’ve set up an organisation called The Song Collectors Collective which is an online archive of all my recordings and training up a whole new army of song collectors so that I’m not the only person – there are many people out there gathering who are able to return it, repatriate it back to the communities who kept it alive, are actually the ones who valued it the most, more than us settled lot. So there’s a lot of work that I’m doing to try and make that an ongoing activity.

GHE: There does seem to be a feeling in the British folk community, at least from what I read, that all of the great collecting has already been done, that all the great collectors that people refer back to at the turn of the twentieth century were collecting the songs just before they all died out and there’s nothing else to discover. Obviously that’s not the case because you’re out there finding new songs or finding new versions of existing songs. There’s still traditional music to discover and conserve.

SL: Yeah, it’s so exciting. I rallied against the advice and judgement of a lot of very eminent academics who all said “it’s long gone”. And I have to say, being pragmatic about it, within the next five, ten years the last of it will, in its oral tradition state, will have died and taken it to the grave. To such a degree that the young ones who do know the songs will not remember a fraction of what exists in the mind of those few people who’re still singing it. But I’m actually recording songs now from people that have never been recorded before, songs that may have been noted back in the time of the nineteenth century by Cecil Sharp but have never been sound recorded. I’m also discovering songs that have no known origin, that have never been documented before. It is like finding these undiscovered species that nobody knew existed, happily living in their native habitat in the minds of old gypsies – it’s wonderful! So there are discoveries to be made.

GHE: Considering the work that went into Ground of its Own, where you were living with the Traveller communities and collecting these songs and then whittling them down to the songs that you chose to record, have you had to go through the same process for the album you’re working on now? Are they new songs or are they from your original collections?

SL: The new album, in many ways, is kind of like an exaggerated scale. In many ways the first album was made while I was still pretty new [to collecting] and some songs were … I was unaware of their importance. This one, this album, is literally straight from field to dinner table – I recorded the songs a month before I’m arranging them for the album. I got this amazing thing where I’m arranging and I’m talking to the family who taught me the song and I’m telling them how I’m arranging it. It hasn’t got this long journey of being discovered to being recorded – it’s immediately been washed, cut up, fried and served.

GHE: When you tour you tour as “Sam Lee & Friends“. Is that a consistent, solid band or is it just the musicians you can get for each particular gig?

SL: It’s a very solid band. In fact the new record is a band album. We’ve worked together completely to create this new record which means it’ll be very different sound to the last one. Still eccentric but very strings based – much closer to the live show in some ways. The band have been very instrumental in the kind of next generation of how Sam Lee sounds and I owe a huge amount to them – they’re taking on more prominence in that which is exciting.

GHE: And obviously you’re making your way down to Australia for WOMADelaide in March which is very fantastic. Although I’m a little disappointed that you’re not doing a wider Australian tour while you’re here. You’re doing the NZ WOMAD as well I think but that’s it.

SL: I’m doing New Zealand, yeah, and also Hong Kong on the same trip so I’m super excited. I’ve been to New Zealand but never Australia and Hong Kong. But really Australia, that’s it – if I’ve made it to Australia I’ve arrived! I can give it all up! Even though it’s just for a weekend (laughs). So excited to see the life, the world of WOMADelaide and your country.

GHE: Have you played WOMAD’s elsewhere?

SL: Yeah I played at WOMAD Cheltenham Park in England back in the summer which was a career pinnacle because it was the big tent – it was literally the dream. All of my friends that I’ve grown up with have all gone to WOMAD all their lives so it was like a home coming. It was a bit weird because it’s a festival of exotic, foreign music and there I was up there and literally half the tent knew me from growing up. It was a bit like the bloke from down the road was suddenly doing it – it was kind of funny and kind of wonderful. English folk music has finally made its way onto the big stage of WOMAD – that’s a seal of approval I think.

GHE: WOMADelaide in Australia is one of my favourite festivals because it’s set in the botanic gardens in Adelaide. So rather than being out in a field you’re walking through all these trees and gardens to get from stage to stage. I think you’ll really really like it.

SL: Sounds Amazing.

GHE: Is the eventual plan to come back to Australia and do a much wider tour?

SL: Yes! Of course! At the drop of a hat I would come over and do whatever. It’s a matter of getting invitations and the arrangements to be able to do it because it’s not cheap – to bring six of us over, it would have to balance off in the end. I’d love to be able to spend the time and not just rush in and out, get to learn about the culture and communities. I’ve got so many friends out there and so many friends here from there so I feel a little guilty that I don’t know more about the country.

GHE: This time of year is the big folk festival season so maybe you should aim for the start of 2015?

SL: I think I’ll be doing Woodford next year hopefully – I’m working on that one.

GHE: Excellent – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

SL: Put in some good words for us!

GHE: I will! Well I think I might leave you there. Good luck with recording the new album and your very quick trip to Australia in March.

SL: Lovely – thank you very much!

Sam Lee will be performing at this year’s WOMADelaide in Adelaide from the 7th to 10th March.

Interview: Pokey LaFarge, WOMADelaide

Pokey LaFarge
Image Courtesy of Pokey LaFarge

Americana singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge is possibly one of the most interesting artists I’ve ever had the chance to interview. His music draws on a rich American tradition – folk, country, jazz, blues and Ameriacana – to create something unique. I would like to say that I interviewed Pokey LaFarge – but if you read the below it may be that he was the one asking the questions.

Gareth Hugh Evans: How are you?

Pokey LaFarge: Gareth I’m doing well. I was just talking to Paula there about weather. You guys are opposite us right now, you’re in summer and we’re in winter time.

GHE: Yeah and we’ve been having heat waves and you guys have been having arctic winds and things.

PL: Correct, yeah. Weird how the rest of the world is quite warm right now, even for summer standards. And of course we’re quite cold, even for winter standards.

GHE: Thanks for taking the time to chat to us today – I appreciate it.

PL: It’s my pleasure. I’m very much looking forward to the trip over there. Being the first time I’m all up for doing whatever I need to do to let people know what I do.

GHE: My site Timber and Steel which focuses on folk music in the broadest sense of the term – encompassing everything from traditional music to singer-songwriter, to Americana, alt country and beyond.

PL: Well that’s what folk music is. It’s very broad. It’s something that you can never quite explain and it’s something that you can never sum up. I’m glad you guys are continuing to follow modern folk music as well – some traditionalists get really boggled done and are closed minded, think that music hasn’t gotten any better since the 20s and 30s and 40s and 50s. To a certain extent I’d agree with them but there’s a lot of new music out there to listen to and appreciate.

GHE: And the folk process is about taking what’s come before and reinventing it for a new audience. Taking styles of music and themes of music and evolving them.

PL: Absolutely Gareth. I want to ask you something – have you ever heard of TED talks?

GHE: Of course!

PL: I’m actually doing one in St Louis and I’m going to be talking about that very thing that you just said. Which is sort of my underlying premise. My title is called Evolution Through Preservation.

GHE: So it’s obviously something you’re passionate about.

PL: Certainly. My music and my lifestyle on stage and off stage is pretty much one and the same. That’s what some people don’t realise. It’s coming from a good place, it’s coming from a true place. It’s the way that I’ve been living and studying since I was very young. It’s interesting to hear it because the traditionalists see me as progressive and modern, not traditional enough. But to progressive people who don’t listen to a lot of traditional music I’m seen as a novelty or as retro. It’s an interesting place that I’m in.

GHE: You probably find your audience falls somewhere in between the traditionalists and people who aren’t as familiar with the traditions you draw from. Speaking of which, how did you find yourself drawing on traditional American music forms to begin with?

PL: This music was my punk rock – that’s what I used to revolt against a lot of modern music. At the same time I was writing a lot – I started writing at an early age before I ever started playing music. I also started getting into early American literature so I was seeing a different part of America that I wasn’t being taught in school, that I wasn’t seeing around me today with qualities that felt were lacking.

GHE: It seems that a lot of artists are drawing on early 20th century literature at the moment. There’s lots of Steinbeck and Hemingway creeping into modern music.

PL: As well it should. I think that they were the Lefty Frizzell’s, the Hank Williams’s, the Johnny Cash’s of the literary world. I certainly feel the connection between good American literature and country music, certainly. There’s even great modern writers who are in the same world but just like a lot of the best music they’re all in the underground.

GHE: So you said this is your first trip to Australia and New Zealand, is that right?

PL: It is, yes. I’m looking forward to it.

GHE: And you’re doing a couple of festivals while you’re out here – WOMADelaide and Port Fairy.

PL: We’re doing WOMAD in Australia and New Zealand right?

GHE: Yeah. And there’s a couple of headline shows as well.

PL: Yeah, in each country.

GHE: Does your live show change depending on whether you’re doing a festival or a healdine show?

PL: It depends. Certainly the venues alter your plan of performance. In a festival setting you traditionally get a shorter set. You can’t play really more than an hour. In my own show I’m playing nothing less than an hour and a half.

GHE: That’s awesome. I think you’re going to really enjoy WOMADelaide in particular. It’s in the botanic gardens in Adelaide. It’s a bit different to other outdoor festivals in that instead of being out in a field it’s in amongst the trees. It’s really beautiful.

PL: That sounds wonderful. I’ll make sure to bring my safari gear! Let me ask you – we’re used to hot weather at festivals but you’re saying it’s in the botanical gardens and there’s going to be trees and things like that? Is there going to be poisonous snakes and spiders and stuff like that there?

GHE: No – it’s right next to the city. Generally the snakes and spiders and things stay away from built up areas. There might be a couple of spiders but you should be alright. Nothing to worry about.

PL: [laughs] Well we get all that stuff here too you know. But isn’t Australia home to the most varying species of poisonous snakes?

GHE: We have some of the top ones yes.

PL: Oh my God. That’s crazy. You’ve got black mambas and stuff like that?

GHE: No black mambas. You have to look out for king browns or red belly black snakes. And death adders as well.

PL: But they’re out in the outback right?

GHE: They’re all out in the bush. You don’t need to worry too much.

PL: I’ll be alright.

GHE: So Pokey LaFarge is really a band right?

PL: That is the case. And it’s been the case now for about five or six years.

GHE: And you’re bringing the band out to Australia.

PL: That’s true. Me plus five. I’ll have my whole current setup with me.

GHE: That’s great news – I know how hard it is to bring people out here. A lot of artists end up doing solo shows out here.

PL: I’m not going to discount the opportunity to do that in the future. But do you know what? I need to express myself more when I have more people around me expressing themselves. It does more justice to my songs as well.

GHE: I’m really excited that you’re coming out here – there’s a big scene of people out here interested in Americana music in all its shapes and forms. You’ll find an audience here for sure.

PL: That is great.

GHE: Well that’s all we have time for today – thanks again for taking the time.

PL: My pleasure as well.

Pokey LaFarge’s full Australian tour dates are below:

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Botanic Park, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 12th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 13th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Folk four-piece Lime and Steel have a couple of gigs around NSW while they’re busy recording a new album. Details here

- Sydney’s Belle and the Bone People have released their new video “The Boy”. Details here

- The very buzz-worthy Mikhael Paskalev has announced Australian tour dates next March. Details here

- Gold Coast singer-songwriter Weathered has released his new video “Coast”. Details here

- In the year’s most unexpected collaboration Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong are releasing an album of traditional Americana songs inspired by The Everly Brothers. Details here

- Melbourne duo Sweet Jean have released their new video “Annabelle”. Details here

- Adelaide based singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin will be heading out on a national tour this weekend. Details here

- Matt Walker, the singer-songwriter NSW readers would recognise from the NRMA adverts, has a brand new band called Lost Ragas. Details here

- The April Maze are back in the country and are celebrating with a residency at The Toff in Town in Melbourne. Details here

- Melbourne based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs has released her debut single “The Sound”. Details here

- Canberran six-piece The Ellis Collective have released their brand new single “Walk Back Down” after a two year hiatus. Details here

- UK based singer-songwriter Gibson Bull will be releasing his new EP Skin and Bones at the start of next month. Details here

- WOMADelaide revealed their full 2014 lineup including Billy Bragg, Sam Lee, Breabach, Washington, Hanggai, Jeff Lang, Mikhael Paskalev, Neko Case, Loren Kate, Thelma Plum, Tinpan Orange and many many more. Details here

- George Jackson, Daniel Watkins and Andrew Small have a new bluegrass and old time trio that will be touring the country next year. Details here

- The Pierce Brothers will be launching their new single “Tallest Teepee in Town” with shows in NSW and VIC. Details here

- The Blue Mountains Music Festival has revealed the first lineup of artists for 2014 including Xavier Rudd, Ash Grunwald and Lior, Rory McLeod, Eleanor McEvoy, Hanggai, Blair Dunlop, Peter Rowan Band with Richard Greene, Rose Cousins, Eric Bogle, Jeff Lang, Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, Flap!, Sunas, The Woohoo Revue, The Pigs, The BordererS, The Tiger And Me, Jack Carty, Mustered Courage, George & Noriko, Hat Fitz & Cara, Dan Parsons, The Mae Trio and many many more. Details here

- Sydney’s Little May have released their new video “Hide” as well as being announced as supports for the upcoming Mikhael Paskalev tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Jake Bugg
Shangri-LaJake Bugg
iTunes

I Spy
I SpyMikhael Paskalev
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Alex Bowen
Alex Bowen with Tash Sultana, Callee
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Boy Outside
Boy Outside, The British Blues, All Our Exes Live In Texas
Thursday 21st November – The Mac Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
Friday 15th November – Waves Nightclub, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Wrestpoint Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 21st November – HQ, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – Metropolis, Fremantle, WA

Busby Marou
Friday 15th November – Flinders Social, Townsville, QLD
Saturday 16th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Friday 22nd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Damien Dempsey
Sunday 17th November – The Cab Bar @ Rosie O’Grady’s, Perth, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 17th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 15th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th November – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 22nd November – Balnarring Community Hall, Balnarring, VIC

Emma Davis and Brian Campeau
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 15th November – Nerrigundah Ag Bureau, Nerrigundah, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW

Gossling with Whitaker
Friday 15th November – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 20th November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jacinta Price
Thursday 21st November – Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs, NT

James Kenyon
Friday 15th November – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Thirty Three on Hickory, Dorrigo, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – The Tree House, Byron Bay, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 15th November – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Monday 18th November – Music Lounge, Manly, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – Lizotte’s, Central Coast, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Mullumbimby Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Kate Martin
Friday 15th November – Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 17th November – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 19th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Thursday 21st November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Laura & Susie with Wartime Sweethearts
Friday 15th November – Cafe Church Space, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Saturday 16th November – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

Lost Ragas
Sunday 19th November – Northcote Social CLub, Melbourne, VIC

Love Over Gold
Friday 15th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Saturday 16th November – The Town Hall, Candelo, NSW (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Wednesday 20th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 15th November – The Fly Trap, Fremantle, WA
Friday 22nd November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Saturday 16th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Raindrops on Rooftops feat. Grim Fawkner, Oh Pep!, Christopher Coleman Collective
Saturday 16th November – TBA House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Robert Ellis and Corey Chisel with Marlon Williams
Friday 15th November – The Substation, Newport, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 20th November 20 – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 22nd November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 15th November – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 17th November – The Wollombi Tavern, Wollombi, NSW
Thursday 21st November – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 22th to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 15th November – Wollongong Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 15th November – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Tanya Batt
Friday 15th November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA

Whitley
Friday 15th November – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Goodgod, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Roving Gambler” – The Stanley Brothers

This song has crossed my desk twice this week. First of all it appears on the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack courtesy of The Downhill Strugglers and then again as part of the Billie Joe and Norah album of Americana covers Foreverly. Listen to this classic version from The Stanley Brothers.

WOMADelaide Reveals Full 2014 Lineup

Neko Case
Image Courtesy of Neko Case

WOMADelaide has this morning revealed it’s full 2014 lineup and we have to say it’s pretty amazing. Having teased us with a few lineup additions over the last month or so including Billy Bragg, Sam Lee and Breabach, WOMADelaide have gone the extra mile announcing the likes of Washington, Hanggai, Jeff Lang, Mikhael Paskalev, Neko Case (above), Loren Kate, Thelma Plum, Tinpan Orange and many many more.

WOMADelaide takes place, as the name would suggest, in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from the 7th to 10th March. For more details including a full list of of speakers and kids festival performers check out the official website here. The full lineup of musical acts is below:

Arrested Development (USA), Femi Kuti & the Positive Force (Nigeria), Billy Bragg (UK), Washington (Australia), Fat Freddy’s Drop (NZ), Hanggai (China), Hiatus Kaiyote (Australia), Jeff Lang (Australia), Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen (UK/USA), Sam Lee & Friends (UK), Mehr Ensemble (Iran/Turkey/Australia), Mikhael Paskalev (Bulgaria/Norway), Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), DJ Muro (Japan), Neko Case (USA), Ngaiire (Australia), Osaka Monaurail (Japan), Pokey LaFarge (USA), Quantic (UK), Saskwatch (Australia), Ade Suharto & Peni Candra Rini “Ontosoroh” (Indonesia/Australia), Airileke (PNG/Australia), Ane Brun (Norway), Antonio Serrano (Spain), Asif Ali Khan (Pakistan), Awesome Tapes from Africa (USA), Azadoota (Iraq / Australia), Baby et Lulu (Australia), The Baker Suite (Australia), Balanescu Quartet (UK), Breabach (Scotland), The Brown Hornet (Australia), Buika (Guinea/Spain/USA), Carminho (Portugal), Coloured Stone (Australia), Danyel Waro (Reunion), DJ Yoda (UK), Dub Inc (France/Algeria), The Electrolounge (No Birds, Question Question, Menagerie, Oddessa – with Young Black Youth VJing every night), Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia), Kutcha Edwards (Australia), La Chiva Gantiva (Colombia/Belgium), Les Gitans Blanc (Australia), Living Room (Austria), Loren Kate (Australia), Los Coronas (Spain), Makana (USA), Red Baraat (USA), Roberto Fonseca (Cuba), Shanren (China), Sitara (Australia), Thelma Plum (Australia), Tinpan Orange (Australia)

Stream Ùrlar, the New Album by Breabach

Breabach
Image Courtesy of Breabach

If you’ve seen the upcoming WOMADelaide and Woodford Folk Festival lineups you’ll have seen that award winning Scottish trad five-piece Breabach will be in the country very very soon. And while they’re here they’ll be touring their new album Ùrlar which has been recently released online.

Ùrlar was produced by Kris Drever and can be picked up via the Breabach’s Bandcamp page. Stream Ùrlar as well as watching the album trailer below:

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