Watch the New Katie Brianna Video “Birmingham”

Katie Brianna
Image Courtesy of Katie Brianna

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Katie Brianna this week dropped her excellent new single and video “Birmingham”. The song, produced by Shane Nicholson, is full of the kind of heartbreak and longing we’ve come to expect from Brianna.

“Birmingham” is the first taste of Katie Brianna’s upcoming album Victim Or The Heroine which is due on the 19th August. Check out the video here:

Listen to the New Leah Flanagan Single “Chills” Plus National Tour Dates

Leah Flanagan
Image Courtesy of Leah Flanagan

Sydney based roots-rock singer-songwriter Leah Flanagan has been hard at work on her forthcoming album Saudades and has just released the first single “Chills”.

I like this song a lot – it’s lyrically raw but the driving beat and rich production are just captivating. Check out “Chills” below:

To celebrate the release of “Chills” Leah Flanagan will be touring nationally this July – the full list of dates are here:

Thursday 14th July – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 15th July- Leaps & Bounds Festival, Richmond Theatrette, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th July – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 17th July – The Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 21st July – Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd July – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 24th July – Front Bar and Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry Announce New Album Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad

Billy Bragg
Image Courtesy of Billy Bragg

This new project from English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg and his American contemporary Joe Henry sounds really cool.

The folk singers recorded songs originally made famous by the likes of Hank Williams, Lead Belly, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell, Gordon Lightfoot and more all while riding a train across America. The result is the album Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad.

“Railroad songs provided the bedrock of American popular music, from Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, to Lead Belly, whose repertoire provided several of the songs for this project,” Bragg explained. “Growing up in the UK, I’d always been aware of this tradition but when I travelled to the US, I was surprised to find how few people look to the railroad as a means of transport. With this project, we wanted to explore the transformative power that the coming of the railroad had on the lives of ordinary people by taking these songs back to the places that inspired their creation.”

Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad is due for release on the 23rd September. Check out the full track list below and a great live video of the classic track “The Midnight Special” below:

1. Rock Island Line – Traditional (Recorded by Lead Belly, Lonnie Donegan)
2. The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore – Jean Ritchie
3. The Midnight Special – Traditional (Lead Belly)
4. Railroad Bill – Traditional (Riley Puckett)
5. Lonesome Whistle – Hank Williams
6. KC Moan – Traditional (The Memphis Jug Band)
7. Waiting For A Train – Jimmie Rodgers
8. In The Pines – Traditional (Lead Belly, The Louvin Brothers)
9. Gentle On My Mind – John Hartford (Glenn Campbell, Aretha Franklin)
10. Hobo’s Lullaby – Goebel Reeves (Woody Guthrie)
11. Railroading On The Great Divide – Sara Carter (The Carter Family)
12. John Henry – Traditional (Doc Watson)
13. Early Morning Rain – Gordon Lightfoot

Taasha Coates (The Audreys) Announces Solo Tour

Taasha Coates
Image Courtesy of Taasha Coates

Since The Audreys announced their hiatus late last year front-woman Taasha Coates has been hard at work on her debut solo record with producer Shane Nicholson. We have it on good authority that the album is almost done and it currently has a release date of 26th August.

If you want to get a taste of Coates’ new music before then, you’re in luck! Taasha Coates has just announced a string of dates through the end of July and into August.

Check out the full list of shows below:

Friday 15th July – Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th July – Royal Oak, Launceston, TAS
Sunday 17th July – Festival of Voices, Devils Corner Vineyard, Asplawn, TAS
Saturday 6th August – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th August – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th August – The Jade, Adelaide, SA

Review: The Morrisons, Smoke on a Foggy Highway: The Bluegrass Albums of Paul Kelly

The Morrisons

The Morrisons
The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th June, 2016

A year ago I was lucky enough to sit in on Sydney bluegrass band The Morrisons as they practiced for an upcoming show. But this wasn’t any ordinary practice – The Morrisons were putting the finishing touches on Smoke on a Foggy Highway, their tribute to the bluegrass albums of Paul Kelly. And it was just magic.

Just over a week ago I found myself at The Basement in Sydney watching The Morrisons make their way through Smoke and Foggy Highway with a deftness and grace that was a testament to just how good these guys are. Despite a building a reputation off their Paul Kelly and O Brother Where Art Thou? shows, The Morrisons are no mere tribute band. They are some of the finest musicians in Australia bringing their favourite music to the stage.

For a cold winter’s night in Sydney The Basement was surprisingly packed and I found myself jostling for a position near the bar to catch a glimpse of the band. I suspect Sydney’s Vivid Festival had drawn a few people out of their houses for the show but it’s safe to assume that the majority of people were there on the reputation of the show alone – since its debut last year Smoke on a Foggy Highway has garnered something of a cult status in the folk community as a must see show.

And The Morrisons didn’t disappoint. Kicking off the show by running through Paul Kelly & Uncle Bill’s classic album Smoke and then returning for a second half exploration of Paul Kelly & The Stormwater Boys’ Foggy Highway The Morrisons made these songs come alive. Their skills as musicians meant the material was elevated above impersonation or parody – the band treated it as respectfully as they would any other part of the bluegrass canon.

James “Morri” Morrison is an affable front man whose easygoing stage presence kept the audience enthralled throughout. I love the way he personalised Paul Kelly’s songs with his introductions, espousing his personal connections to the material. Morri was joined by a band of fine musicians – Anna McInerey on fiddle, Jimmy Daley on mandolin, Dr Zane Banks on banjo (and even a little bit of guitar!), Iain Tallis on bass and Miles Fraser on lead guitar – who in turn reproduced the musical accompaniment of Paul Kelly’s bluegrass albums and also made the songs their own. For a brief moment I wondered how close the players were getting to the solos and melodies of the original albums and then I realised it didn’t matter – each song was pitch perfect.

By far my favourite parts of the night were the songs that were driven by a capella and harmony singing. From “Until Death Do Them Part” to “Shy Before You Lord” to the amazing “Meet Me in The Middle of the Air”, The Morrisons proved themselves as some of the finest harmony singers around, not just fantastic instrumentalists.

The other highlight for me this time around was Morri’s solo acoustic version of “They Thought I Was Asleep”. We don’t often get to see Morri picking out a tune on a guitar by himself as it’s easy for him to get over shadowed by the other amazing players in the band, but watching him deliver this classic Paul Kelly track all on his lonesome was truly special.

When the band finished up the night performing their own track “Wild Eleanor” I found myself grinning from ear to ear. There’s a reason that Paul Kelly is considered Australia’s finest songwriter and there’s no better band than The Morrisons to bring his music to life. These songs have grown beyond their maker and it is amazing to see bands like The Morrisons treating this material with the seriousness and reverence it deserves. Next time you see The Morrisons advertise their Smoke on a Foggy Highway show – hell, any time you see The Morrisons advertise any show – make sure you snap up tickets. You can be assured it’s going to be magic.

Watch the New Tori Forsyth Video “Black Bird”

Tori Forsyth
Image Courtesy of Tori Forsyth

I. Love. This. Song. So. Much.

The new track from alt-country singer-songwriter Tori Forsyth is the old-time infused “Black Bird”. The song is the title track of Forsyth’s debut EP from last year.

“I wrote “Black Bird just after a relationship breakdown,” Tori Forsyth explained. “The song is about the importance of moving on and letting go rather than feeling down and dwelling upon the pain. I imagined myself speaking words of advice to another woman going through the same experience while writing “Black Bird”. I hope that women will listen to the track and feel strong and empowered. Independence is an amazing thing.”

Check out the video for “Black Bird” below:

Áine Tyrrell Announces East Coast Dates

Aine Tyrell
Image Courtesy of Áine Tyrrell

Irish born singer-songwriter Áine Tyrrell is boarding her musical bus and heading north up the east coast of Australia for a series of dates in New South Wales and Queensland over the next couple of months.

Áine Tyrrell has quickly grown a loyal fanbase throughout the Australian folk music loving community and her debut release, Queen of Swords, is a firm favourite.

Check out the full list of upcoming dates below:

Saturday 2nd July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 3rd July – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Wednesday 6th July – FogHorn Brewhouse, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July – Bello Winter Music Festival, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 15th July – Miami Marketta Night Markets, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 24th July – Triffid Roots, The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 28th July – The End, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 30th July – Home Made Jam Sessions, Tintenbar Hall, Tintenbar, NSW
Sunday 31st July – Currumbin RSL, Currumbin, QLD
Sunday 7th August – Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW
Friday 12th August – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 13th – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th August – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 26th August – Boo Radley’s Hall, Glenreagh, NSW

Watch the New Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal, The Very Best and Beatenberg Video “Wona”

Mumford and Sons
Image Courtesy of Mumford & Sons

Want some uplifting music in your life? Well you’re going to love “Wona”, the new track from the collaboration between Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal, The Very Best and Beatenberg. Taken from the recently released Johannesburg EP, this is a slice of indie-pop-folk-afro-beat goodness that’s bound to put a smile on your face.

The video was filmed in eight days over three continents to capture all of the musicians in various locations. Check it out below:

Listen to the New Aidan D. Cooney (Boy Outside) Single “When the Shadows Are Long and There’s a Blood Red Sky”

Aidan D Cooney
Image Courtesy of Aidan D. Cooney

Aidan D. Cooney, the Sydney based singer-songwriter formally known as Boy Outside, has just released his wonderfully sparse new single “When the Shadows Are Long and There’s a Blood Red Sky”.

The shedding of his old moniker has inspired Cooney with his new music – raw, live tracks capturing a spontaneous moment. To see what we mean check out “When the Shadows Are Long and There’s a Blood Red Sky” below:

To celebrate the release of “When the Shadows Are Long and There’s a Blood Red Sky” Aidan D. Cooney will be bringing his captivating live show to the Golden Stage at the Golden Age Cinema in Syndey on the 2nd July – for more details check out the official Facebook event here.

The Weeping Willows Continue Album Launch Tour Through ACT, NSW and QLD

The Weeping Willows
Image Courtesy of The Weeping Willows

Melbourne based Americana duo The Weeping Willows will be calling the road home for a little while longer as they tour their amazing new album Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’ through ACT, New South Wales and Queensland.

The tour dates kick off tomorrow (Tuesday) in Wollongong and make their way up the east coast of the next couple of weeks – check out the full list here:

Tuesday 28th June – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 29th June – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 30th June – Gasoline Pony, Marrickville, NSW
Friday 1st July – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Saturday 2nd July – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 3rd July – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 5th July – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 6th July – The Bison Bar, Nambour, QLD
Thursday 7th July – Bangalow Hotel, Bangalow, NSW
Friday 8th July – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 9th July – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

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