Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Laura Marling added Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne dates to her tour schedule this June. Details here

Folk ‘Til Ya Punk Records announced Brisbane folk-punk festival BRISFOPO featuring The Dead Maggies, Fox n Firkin, The Button Collective, The Rogue Scholars, Andy Paine, The Dangerous Folk, Quinton Trembath and Jim Mongrel and more. Details here

– The Davidson Brothers released their new video “Take A Little Drive”. Details here

Emily Barker released her new video “Sunrise” and announced that she’s in Australia this week and next with tour dates in south west WA, Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

Releases This Week

Imelda May
Life Love Flesh BloodImelda May
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Broads

Broads

Melbourne alt-country duo Broads launch their new album Vacancy in their home town.

Saturday 1st April – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Amber Lawrence & Catherine Britt
Friday 31st March – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS
Saturday 1st April – Granada Tavern, Hobart, TAS
Friday 7th April – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW

Archer, Sweet Jelly Rolls, Simone East
Saturday 1st April – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

BATTS
Sunday 2nd April – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Bill Chambers, Raechel Whitchurch
Thursday 6th April – House Concert, Parkes, NSW
Friday 7th April – Club Mudgee, Mudgee, NSW

Bonnie Raitt
Friday 7th April – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Broads
Saturday 1st April – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Brigadoon Highland Gathering
Saturday 1st April – Bundanoon, NSW

Darcy Fox
Friday 31st March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Emily Barker
Tuesday 4th April – The Cidery and Blackwood Valley Brewing Company, Bridgetown, WA
Wednesday 5th April – Little Village Music, Dunsborough, WA
Thursday 6th April – Babushka, Perth, WA

Eveleigh Works Grand Opening feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Indigo Rising, Skyscraper Stan
Sunday 2nd April – Eveleigh Works, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 7th April – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Georgie Fisher, Burden Man, Maia Marsh
Wednesday 5th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Grigoryan Brothers
Saturday 1st April – City Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 4th April – Macquarie Conservatorium of Music, Dubbo, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 6th April – TAS Hoskins Centre, Armidale, NSW
Friday 7th April – Bellingen Memorial Hall, Bellingen, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. De’May, Bill Hunt
Sunday 2nd April – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Hinterlandt
Saturday 1st April – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 2nd April – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW

Hollie Matthew, Swamp Fat Jangles
Saturday 1st April – Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Holly Throsby
Friday 31st March – Babushka, Perth, WA

Irish Mythen
Friday 31st March – Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 1st April – Baby Black, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 2nd April – Old Church on The Hill, Bendigo, VIC
Wednesday 5th April – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 6th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th April – The Heritage, Bulli, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 31st March – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 6th April – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA
Friday 7th April – Always Good Nights, Bunbury, WA

Jeff Lang
Friday 31st March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 1st April – Lefties, Whyalla, SA
Thursday 6th April – Royal Oak, Launceston, TAS
Friday 7th April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Friday 31st March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Kasey Chambers
Friday 7th April – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 8th April – Country Club Showroom, Launceston, TAS
Sunday 9th April – Burnie Arts Centre, Burnie, TAS

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 31st March – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Friday 7th April – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Kasey Chambers
Thursday 6th April – Devonport Entertainment Centre, Devonport, TAS
Friday 7th April – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS

Last Weekend at The Newsagency
Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd April – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Les Poules à Colin
Friday 31st March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – Upper Landsdowne Memorial Hall, Upper Landsdowne, NSW
Thursday 6th April – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Liv Cartledge
Saturday 1st April – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Sunday 3rd April – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

Martha Tilston
Friday 31st March – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 1st April – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Sunday 2nd April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Peasant Moon w/ Sam Shinazzi and Arna Georgia
Thursday 6th April – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Rick Hart’s Bare Bones Quartet
Friday 7th April – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Sarah Belkner
Friday 31st March – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 6th April – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Sleepy West, James Franklin, Cat Canteri
Saturday 1st April – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-together
Friday 1st April – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Bean Project w/ Patrick Wilson
Friday 7th April – The B.East, Melbourne, VIC

The Button Collective
Friday 31st March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th April – The Two Goats, Armidale, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 31st March – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 1st April – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Thursday 6th April – Club Mullum (Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club), Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 7th April – Eatonsville Hall, Eatonsville, NSW

The Man From Snowy River Festival
Thursday 30th March to Sunday 2nd April – Corryong, VIC

The McClymonts
Friday 7th April – Goulburn Workers, Goulburn, NSW

The Mountain Goats
Thursday 6th April – Badlands, Perth, WA
Friday 7th April – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, SA

The Sauerkrauts
Friday 7th April – House Concert, Nowra, NSW

The Waifs
Saturday 1st April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd April – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 4th April – Bangalow Hall, Bangalow, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – Bangalow Hall, Bangalow, NSW
Thursday 6th April – The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

This Way North
Saturday 1st April – Prince Of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 2nd April – The Carine, Duncraig, WA

Tim Guy
Friday 7th April – Edinburgh Castle, Melbourne, VIC

Violent Femmes
Friday 31st March – Twin Towns, Coolangatta, QLD
Saturday 1st April – The Shed at Aussie World, Sunshine Coast, QLD

William Crighton
Friday 5th May – Bella Union Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Stags Bellow” – Martha Tilston

Emily Barker Releases New Video and Announces Australian Tour Dates

Emily Barker
Image Courtesy of Emily Barker

The wonderful Emily Barker has just released her cute new video “Sunrise”. Barker is an Australian ex-pat based in the UK who creates country-leaning folk music and “Sunrise” is her latest output:

“I wrote this song when I was on a road trip through Sweden,” Emily Barker explained on her Youtube channel. “I was sleeping in my car and doing what I call a “slow-tour”, when you have equal part holiday and shows. It was the peak of summer and the light was gorgeous; long lasting and gentle. There is so much water in Sweden; so many lakes and beautiful beaches; you feel like you’re on the edge of the world when you’re that far north. “Sunrise” is a song about escaping and it seemed very fitting to record it in Memphis, with the road trip being such a feature in American literature, music and popular culture.”

“Sunrise” is the new single from Emily Barker’s upcoming album Sweet Kind of Blue which is due on the 19th May. Check it out below:

In extra exciting news Emily Barker is flying back into Australia this week and has organised a bunch of shows in her home state of WA plus gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. The full list of dates are below:

Tuesday 4th April – The Cidery and Blackwood Valley Brewing Company, Bridgetown, WA
Wednesday 5th April – Little Village Music, Dunsborough, WA
Thursday 6th April – Babushka Leederville, Perth, WA
Tuesday 11th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 12th April – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Watch the New Davidson Brothers Video “Take A Little Drive”

Davidson Brothers
Photos by Elizabeth Walton

Victorian bluegrass legends Davidson Brothers have just released their brand new video “Take A Little Drive”. The track is a taster of the duo’s eighth studio album All You Need Is Music which is due on the 7th April.

“Take A Little Drive” is a wonderful slice of classic country and bluegrass music – check out the video below:

To celebrate the release of All You Need Is Music Davidson Brothers just announced an album launch show at the newly opened Longhorn Saloon in Melbourne on the 28th April. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

Folk ‘Til Ya Punk Records Announce BRISFOPO Folk Punk Festival

BRISFOPO
Image Courtesy of Folk ‘Til Ya Punk Records

Following the huge success of the inaugural folk-punk festival HOBOFOPO (Hobart’s Original Folk Punk Orgy) Folk ‘Til Ya Punk Records are heading north and doing it all again in Brisbane this May.

BRISFOPO will celebrate Brisbanes burgeoning folk-punk scene from the 25th to 28th May. The festival will take place in venues across Brisbane with a focus across the wide rand of folk-punk sub genres (sub sub genres?) – from Celtic punk to Australiana bluegrass to acoustic protest songs and more.

A number of bands have already been announced for BRISFOPO including The Dead Maggies, Fox n Firkin, The Button Collective, The Rogue Scholars, Andy Paine, The Dangerous Folk, Quinton Trembath and Jim Mongrel with many more to be announced.

To find out more information check out the official BRISFOPO site here.

Laura Marling Announces More Australian Dates

Laura Marling
Image Courtesy of Laura Marling

When Laura Marling was announced as part of the VIVID LIVE lineup in Sydney this year we new it would only be a matter of time before the rest of Australia was treated to dates as well.

This week Marling has announced further shows in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne this June. She will be touring her amazing new album Semper Femina – check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 8th June – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 10th June – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 11th June – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 12th June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 24th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Brisbane alt-folk four-piece Elbury released their new video “Past Life Memories”. Details here

Bob Evans announced a national tour kicking off this April. Details here

– Indie-folk duo Oh Pep! released their new video “Crazy Feels”. Details here

– Queensland duo Busby Marou have announced national tour dates. Details here

– Melbourne electro-folk artist BATTS released her new song “For Now”. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country duo Broads announced national tour dates. Details here

William Crighton announced a May tour plus the release of his new 7-inch vinyl “Hope Recovery”. Details here

Blog

“Trad purists will no doubt look down there nose at Ed Sheeran’s folky offerings on ÷, the same way they have with other pop crossover songs over the years. Some of that will be justified – in reality “Galway Girl” is not a great song despite Beoga’s influence – but much of this will be a knee jerk reaction to a perceived popularisation of the tradition”Gareth Hugh Evans argues that the trad inspired songs on Ed Sheeran’s new album are a good thing for the scene. Blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“The full gamut of natural disasters may have threatened to unleash the doors of doom upon the festival many of times– yet they never have. From deep mud to the high winds that huffed and puffed til they blew Lurline Pav down before opening a few years back, to this year’s demise of the main indoor venue – Katoomba RSL – which burnt to the ground just a couple of weeks ago, this festival, like Katoomba itself, is a foot soldier of survival. You can blow her big top down, you can burn her to the ground, but the show will go on, and the founding Festival Co-Directors Bob Charter and Al Ward are well seasoned masters of the quick switch”Elizabeth Walton reviews this year’s Blue Mountains Music Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Chapter One
Chapter OneDarcy Fox
iTunes

Johnny Flynn
SillionJohnny Flynn
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Button Collective

Button Collective

Folk favourites The Button Collective hit up shows in Wollongong and Byron this week before the official launch of their new album Hall on the Hill in Brisbane next Friday with The Long Johns and Paddy McHugh in support

Friday 24th March – Howlin’ Wolf, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 30th March – Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 31st March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Amber Lawrence & Catherine Britt
Friday 31st March – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS

Argyle Sun-Sets @ Freds feat. Ackers, Ali Morgan, Nicole Issa
Sunday 26th March – Upstairs at Fred’s, Camden, NSW

Belle Jar
Friday 24th March – The Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Boy & Bear
Sunday 26th March – A Day on the Lawn, Hobart, TAS

Burrows w/ James Teague, Happy Axe
Saturday 25th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Craig Woodward
Sunday 26th March – Bluebonnet BBQ, Melbourne, VIC

Darcy Fox
Saturday 25th March – House Concert, Gippsland, VIC
Friday 31st March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Dusty Ravens
Saturday 25th March – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Eddi Reader
Friday 24th March – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA

Elwood Myre
Saturday 25th March – The Stag & Hunter, Mayfield, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Mat Morgan, Mama Schultz, Liam Gale & The Ponytails
Wednesday 29th March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Frank Sultana and The Sinister Kids
Friday 24th March – Southern Comfort Carnival, Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

Get Folked Punk 1st Birthday Party
Thursday 30th March – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Grigoryan Brothers
Saturday 25th March – Prom Coast Seachange Festival, Foster, VIC
Sunday 26th March – Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, VIC

Hinterlandt
Friday 24th March – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW

Holly Throsby
Saturday 25th March – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 26th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th March – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Friday 31st March – Babushka, Perth, WA

Irish Mythen
Friday 24th March – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandanda Folk Festival, Yackandanda, VIC
Thursday 30th March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st March – Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC

Jack Carty
Saturday 25th March – Bella Union Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st March – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 24th March – Golden Vine, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 25th March – Suttons, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 31st March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Jessie Lloyd: The Mission Songs Project
Friday 24th March – Eltham World Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Saturday 25th March – Stone Pony, Wilunga, SA
Friday 31st March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 24th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 31st March – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Les Poules à Colin
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Friday 31st March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW

Martha Marlow
Monday 27th March – Nowra, NSW
Wednesday 29th March – Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW

Martha Tilston
Friday 24th March – Newham Hall, Newham, VIC
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Thursday 30th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 31st March – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Martha Wainwright
Friday 24th March – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC

Ocean Rhythms Music Festival
Saturday 25th March – Old Bar Beach, Old Bar, NSW

Peasant Moon w/ Rick Hart
Saturday 25th March – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Papa Pilko And The Binrats
Saturday 25th March – Southern Comfort Carnival, Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

Quarry Mountain Death Rats, The Scrims
Friday 24th March – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Raised By Eagles
Saturday 25th March – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

Roland Kay-Smith
Thursday 30th March – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Sancha & the Blue Gypsies
Sunday 26th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Southern Comfort Carnival
Wednesday 15th to Saturday 25th March – Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

Steampacket Sessions Irish Music Weekend
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Steampacket Hotel, Nelligan, NSW

The Basin Music Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – The Basin, VIC

The Button Collective
Friday 24th March – Howlin’ Wolf, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 30th March – Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 31st March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

The East Pointers
Friday 24th March – Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 25th March – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Sunday 26th March – Cedar Bar, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 30th March – Bellevue Hotel: Townsville Folk and Acoustic Music Club, Townsville, QLD
Friday 31st March – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

The Man From Snowy River Festival
Thursday 30th March to Sunday 2nd April – Corryong, VIC

The McClymonts
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – CMC Rocks 2017, Ipswich, QLD

The Morrisons
Friday 24th March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 25th March – Oceans Rhythm Festival, Old Bar, NSW

The Northern Folk
Thursday 30th March – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Séamus Begley Trio
Saturday 25th March – The Fly By Night Club, Fremantle, WA

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Friday 24th March – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

The Waifs
Saturday 25th March – The Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 26th March – The Don Centre, Devonport, TAS
Tuesday 28th March – The Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Wednesday 29th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

This Way North
Thursday 30th March – Settlers Tavern, Margret River, WA

Timberwolf
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – The Hills Are Alive, South Gippsland, VIC

TinPan Orange
Friday 24th and Saturday 25th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC
Sunday 26th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Violent Femmes
Friday 24th March – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 25th March – Annies Lane, Queanbeyan, NSW
Monday 27th March – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 29th March – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 31st March – Twin Towns, Coolangatta, QLD

Warrandyte Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Warrandyte, VIC

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Minute 5” – Beoga

If you’ve listened to Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl” here’s the tune that’s playing behind it.

William Crighton Announces East Coast Tour and 7-Inch Vinyl

William Crighton
Image Courtesy of William Crighton

On the 31st March celebrated singer-songwriter William Crighton will be releasing his brand new 7-inch vinyl (and digital signal) “Hope Recovery”.

To celebrate its release William Crighton will be hitting the road for a series of East Coast dates throughout May and June, and those shows are set to offer up a bunch of surprises for fans.

“I don’t want to give too much away,” Crighton explained. “Expect a host of special guests and a mixture of unplugged and electric sounds, but essentially it’ll be unlike anything else we’ve ever done.”

Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 5th May – Bella Union Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 7th May – Grampians Grape Escape, Halls Gap, VIC
Friday 12th May – Leadbelly, Newtown, NSW
Saturday 13th May – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 27th May – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 9th June – The Ex-Services Club, Mullum, NSW
Saturday 10th June – Diggers Tavern, Bellingen, NSW

Ed Sheeran and Beoga: Pop’s Latest Flirtation with Trad Music

Ed Sheeran
Image Courtesy of Ed Sheeran

A couple of weeks ago Ed Sheeran cemented his status as the biggest male popstar on the planet with the release of his smash hit new album ÷ (pronounced Divide).

If you follow the trad music or Irish music press you’ll know that for at least two of the tracks on ÷ Sheeran collaborated with Northern Irish trad group Beoga.

The first of these tracks, “Galway Girl” (not the Steve Earle track of the same name), was actually inspired by Beoga’s fiddle player Niamh Dunne and features their tune “Minute 5” over the chorus. The lyrics of “Galway Girl” are peppered with trad references (this may be the first number one track to reference Irish song “Carrickfergus”) and Dunne gushed about Sheeran’s love of “Planxty, The Chiefains and … Irish music” in recent interviews.

The second track on ÷ with a piece of Beoga trad is “Nancy Mulligan”, inspired by the story of Sheeran’s Irish grandparents. The track has more trad feel than “Galway Girl” and even features a bit of an Irish-pub-like-singalong during the lead break.

“Galway Girl” was released as a single on St Patrick’s Day and hit the top 10 in a bunch of countries. In an interview with The Guardian Sheeran said that he had to fight to keep the “folk” songs on the album.

“They were really, really against “Galway Girl”, because apparently folk music isn’t cool,” Ed Sheeran explained. “But there’s 400 million people in the world that say they’re Irish, even if they’re not Irish. You meet them in America all the time: “I’m a quarter Irish and I’m from Donegal.” And those type of people are going to fucking love it. My argument was always: well, the Corrs sold 20 million records. The label would say, “Oh the Corrs, that was years ago,” but who’s tried it since the Corrs? There’s a huge gap in the market, and I promise you that in two years’ time there will be a big folk band that comes up that’s pop, and that will happen as a result of labels being like: “Oh shit, if he can put a fiddle and uilleann pipe on it, then we can try it as well”.”

As Sheeran points out trad music in pop music isn’t new. The Corrs practically owned the folk-pop genre in the late 90s and early 2000s. B*Witched 1998 hit “C’est la Vie” was has an Irish whistle solo played over DJ scratching. Even the oft-criticised-for-not-being-real-folk-music Mumford and Sons kick off their track “Roll Away Your Stone” with the Irish trad fiddle tune “Merrily Kissed the Quaker”.

Trad purists will no doubt look down there nose at Ed Sheeran’s folky offerings on ÷, the same way they have with other pop crossover songs over the years. Some of that will be justified – in reality “Galway Girl” is not a great song despite Beoga’s influence – but much of this will be a knee jerk reaction to a perceived popularisation of the tradition.

In truth having an artist of Ed Sheeran’s stature declare his love for Irish trad music can only have upside for the genre.

Think of Sheeran as a trad gateway drug. For many of his fans “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” will be their first exposure to this kind of music and even if only a small percentage follow the influences of the songs back to Planxty, The Dubliners, The Chieftains and beyond, that’s still a bunch of music fans that may never have discovered this music otherwise.

While trad may have a reputation in the wider community as twee or old fashioned those “in the know” know it’s a vibrant genre with a bunch of really exciting young artists coming up through the ranks. If you’ve ever caught a set from Trouble In The Kitchen, Tolka, Sásta or any of the other amazing local trad bands around the country you’ll know how much their music can capture your attention, can fill you up and most importantly can make you want to dance.

The best case scenario is the local and international trad scene will see a spike in activity and interest thanks to Sheeran’s flirtation with the genre and that can only be positive. Every fan who clicks a “like” button on social media, watches a Youtube video, comes to a gig or session featuring traditional music because they’re new favourite song is “Galway Girl” is a new part of our community.

So when you hear “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” blaring on a pop radio station or out of your kid’s Spotify account take a moment to recognise that this could be the first step on the trad music journey for a new fan. That’s got to make you happy.

Broads Announce National Tour Dates

Broads
Image Courtesy of Broads

Melbourne alt-country duo Broads have announced plans to hit the road this April, May and June to celebrate their brand new album Vacancy.

Vacancy, which was released at the end of February, has already garnered a bunch of critical acclaim. These shows are not to be missed – check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 1st April – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th May – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 28th May – Hardy’s Bay Club, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 23rd June – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 25th June – Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 15th July – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Listen to the New BATTS single “For Now”

Batts
Image Courtesy of BATTS

Melbourne musician BATTS (aka Tanya Batt) has just released her brand new single “For Now”. The track is a slight change of direction for BATTS who has been very electronically influenced in recent years – “For Now” is more acoustically driven with an ambient slant you’d expect from artists like Bon Iver or Daughter.

We really love everything BATTS does and this is one of our favourite tracks yet – take a listen below:

To celebrate the release of “For Now” BATTS has a residency on Sunday’s through April at Melbourne bar Some Velvet Morning – the full list of dates is below:

Sunday 2nd April – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 9th April – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd April – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 30th April – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

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