The Woodford Files: The Lettering House

Lettering House

Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters.

To people.

With certain characteristics like a writer from Sydney (“Hello!”) with blue eyes (“Strike one!”)

And then someone with odd socks.

What could possibly be happening? What was this specifically non-specific form of delivering items of mail?

After an intrepid search through the back-blocks behind the Holy Cow chai tent, we managed to find Roger the Postie who explained all.

And as mentioned in the rambling intro, and to Roger off air, the whole shebang gave a strong resonance of Jacques Tati in Jour de Fete.

UPDATE 1: Wednesday 31 December 2014

Todd and Julie in The Lettering Office, Woodford Folk Festival

On New Year’s Eve in the Woodford Folk Festival media centre, a young couple walked in with a story to tell and wanted someone to tell it to. Megan and Jake had come to the right place to tell the story of Megan’s mum, Julie and the letter she’s received from Todd.

Listen in for the full romantic story:

UPDATE 2: Wednesday 31 December 2014

After posting this article, someone picked it up because the number of reads keeps rolling around like a poker machine dial, and this morning, it was getting a lot of interest in USA.

Then on Twitter, a lovely man named Geoff Richards piped up and told me about a song of his called ‘Write A Letter Home’. An’ it goes a little somethin’ like this:

Tolka Announce New Album, One House

Image Courtesy of Tolka

Australian trad band Tolka have had a busy 2014, heading over to Belfast for four months to record their new album with producer and whistle player Brian Finnegan (Flook). The result is One House, the band’s second album which is due for release on the 1st March, 2015.

“This collection of music is, in a literal sense, caught between two places,” Tolka explained via their Bandcamp (where you can also order One House). “As musicians we grew up on the opposite side of the world to the music that we had come to love and play together. The Australian folk scene shaped the tunes we played and wrote for many years, and this is a part of our music that we will always take pride in. Yet it seemed right that, for our second album, we should seek out the Irish tradition and music that has been part of our lives for so long, to find a new place from which to write and grow as a band.”

Tolka are previewing four tracks which you can listen to below:

The Woodford Files: Underwater Basket Weaving with Aly de Groot

Aly De Groot
Image Courtesy of Aly de Groot

Woodford Folk Festival has an amazing array of hands-on arts workshops clustered into an alley called Artisania.

Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops.

Book for Aly’s workshops at the Artisania office opposite the Coopers Bar.

The Woodford Files: Tim Edey Trio feat. Mal Webb

Tim Edey
Image Courtesy of Tim Edey

Tim Edey Trio were back-announced in The Duck as being originally from the UK but are now from Scotland.

That might be a referendum reference; we’re not quite sure just yet.

On Tuesday, our intrepid reporter Bill Quinn blundered in to catch just the last part of a rousing finale song featuring Mal Webb on beat box.

Gig times for Tim Edey Trio at Woodford and beyond:

Wednesday 31 December, 1.30pm – The Duck
Thursday 1 January, noon — Coopers Bar (workshop)
Thursday 1 January, 2pm  – Smail Hall (workshop)
Thursday 1 January, 5pm – Grande

Saturday 3rd January – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Mountain Mummas, Sheffield, TAS
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live, VIC
Wednesday 28th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 29th January – Vencia Hall, Briagalong, VIC  
Friday 30th January – Harvest Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Flying Saucer Club, Caulfield RSL, VIC

The Woodford Files: Paper Lions, David Cyrus MacDonald and Confederation Entertainment Inc.

Paper Lions
Image Courtesy of Paper Lions

While sitting in the media centre, writing in the last post about how Overheard Productions got its name, Bill Quinn overheard David Cyrus MacDonald drop in to talk with the office staff.

About 3.6 minutes later, David and Bill were outside the donga by the Spirit of Woodford office, standing variously on the wooden palets or in the mud, dodging dangerous ants the size of small cats, and speaking over the sound spill creeping up the hill from Bluestown, chatting about Paper Lions, music advocacy and the wondrous, wonderful Woodford.

And Confederation Entertainment Inc.

Gig venues and times for Paper Lions at Woodford Folk Festival and beyond:

Tuesday 30 December, (12.20am Wed) – Grande
Wednesday 31 December, 7.30pm – Grande
Thursday 1 January, 3.40pm – Grande

Friday 2nd January – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane), QLD
Saturday 3rd January – Newton Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 7th January – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 9th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th January – Transit, Canberra, ACT

The Woodford Files: Miami Marketta and Rabbit Radio (Gold Coast)

Rabbit Radio
Image Courtesy of Rabbit Radio

Bill Quinn’s Overheard Productions title is about many things, but mostly about the chance slivers of conversation or even a word or two that leads to a new discovery.

Standing in The Duck at The Chef’s Table, waiting on a plate full of life-giving nachos, Bill chanced to hear and then see Joey Channon, the stage manager at The Duck for the morning and early afternoon sessions, and had his interest piqued by Joey’s t-shirt (Rabbit Radio).

Two days later, and Bill and Joey were seated in the most salubrious of surrounds (on the slippery slope at the back of the gent’s toilets next to The Duck and The Travelling Sisters‘ caravan), chatting about performance spaces, and radio, and grass roots music development.

Oh, shivers up and down the spine. Be still, my irregularly beating heart!

Joey isn’t performing at Woodford per se, but you can enjoy his seamless stage management at The Duck from 8am to 1pm every day, including the Poets Breakfasts and some of the finest acoustic and folkie acts getting around on the precinct.

It’s almost enough to make you want to move to Queensland!

Black Market Tune’s Woodford Sideshows

Black Market Tune
Image Courtesy of Black Market Tune

If you’ve been up at the Woodford Folk Festival this year you may have been lucky enough to catch European Celtic four piece Black Market Tune. And if you haven’t managed to catch them don’t worry – they have plenty more dates to come.

With members from Austria and Scotland, Black Market Tune draw on a rich tradition of music blending Ethno, American and European folk. In the band’s own words this is “modern folk music with a Scottish backbone”.

Make sure you catch Black Market Tune at one of the upcoming dates:

Monday 29th December to Thursday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Thursday 8th January – Jetty Cafe, Dennes Point, Bruny Island, TAS
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Tuesday 13th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 21st January – Sale Performing Arts, Sale, VIC
Thursday 22nd January – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 25th January – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Roxby Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Woodford Files: I Viaggiatori, Songs and Tales of Italy

I Viaggiatori
Image Courtesy of I Viaggiatori

I Viaggiatori came together as a band to provide the music for the 1924 silent film Dall Italia All Australia. 

But they’ve stuck together to appear at gigs and festivals and to occasionally do the accompaniment for the film, all of which they are doing at the 2014-15 Woodford Folk Festival.

Here are the band performing on Sunday night at The Duck with an emotional rendition of Bella Ciao.

Gigs for I Viaggiatori, including the Good Tune Sessions which have temporarily relocated from their home in the Illawarra:

Tuesday 30 December, 6.15pm – The Bazaar (Film and music, Dall Italia All Australia)
Wednesday 31 December, 9.30pm – Coopers Bar (Good Tunes Session)
Wednesday 31 December, 12:40am (New Year’s night) – The Duck
Thursday 1 January 2015, 6pm – Folklorica, Canto D’Amore di Taverna

John Smith’s First Ever Australian Tour

John Smith
Image Courtesy of John Smith

Acclaimed UK folk singer John Smith is in the country for his first ever tour of Australia. As well as appearing at the Woodford and Cygnet Folk Festivals, Smith will be bringing tunes from his latest album Great Lakes to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 27th December to Thursday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

The Woodford Files: Andrew Clermont (Woodford Supper Club and Totally Gourdgeous)

Totally Gourdgeous
Image courtesy of Totally Gourdgeous

Andrew Clermont is a hard man to miss or lose in a crowd. So when Bill Quinn was tip-toeing around the outskirts of the musos’ precincts, it wasn’t hard to spot the towering fiddle-player from Tamworth.

Andrew, like many folkies, wears many hats (some of them at the same time) and at Woodford he’s virtually juggling them. His supper club has two showings at Bill’s Bar every day, and Totally Gourdgeous are launching their new live DVD. Also, in the background, Andrew’s Blu Guru fusion band has found a surprising niche.

Bill caught up with Andrew under slightly trying circumstances in the media centre with a couple of locals providing some sound spill to give that really authentic festival feel.

(Luckily you can’t hear the sound of me throwing books of post-it notes at one individual as Andrew was talking about what he’s been up to.)

Gig times for the Andrew Clermont Supper Club:

Daily at 3pm and 9.30pm
EXCEPT New Year’s Day at 10pm

Totally Gourdgeous and various members will be playing here, there and everywhere around the festival and details are on Mal Webb’s Totally Gourdgeous page.

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