Shane Nicholson Announces the Inaugural Americana Music Prize of Australia

Americana Music Prize
Image Courtesy of Shane Nicholson

Huge news this morning. Shane Nicholson/The Sound Hole, Forbes Street Studios and Lost Highway Australia have come together today with the announcement of The Americana Music Prize of Australia, an annual grant to support up-and-coming artists in the genre.

The winner of the prize will be rewarded with a $10,000 prize pack which includes services from some of the best in the business:

“We want to support, encourage, mentor and resource aspiring unsigned artists in the Americana/alt-country scene in Australia and this is a great way to kick start a career,” explained Shane Nicholson.

The judging panel for the prize has been chosen by Nicholson himself and includes Rod Yates (Editor, Rolling Stone), Brian Taranto (Love Police), Bernard Zuel (Journalist), Chris Familton (Post To Wire), Tim Daley (Country Music Channel), Michael Taylor (Lost Highway/Universal), Tracey Griffiths (Dashville Skyline), Graham Thompson (Artist Manager), Matt Fell (Record Producer), Alison Avron (The Newsagency), Jeremy Dylan (Filmmaker), Henry Wagons (Artist), Brian Wise (Rhythms magazine founder and music writer), Jane Gazzo (Triple M) and Denise Hylands (RRR-Twang).

More information, including how to apply for the prize, head over to The Industry Observer.

Details of the First Annual Australian Americana Honours Night in Melbourne

Australian Amerciana Honours
Image Courtesy of the Americana Music Association

Americana fans rejoice – Australia is about to get it’s very own Americana Honours Night this October.

The inaugural Australian Americana Honours Night will take place in Melbourne at the Thornbury Theatre on Monday 2nd October. The event is being presented by Michael Chugg, Nash Chambers and the international Americana Music Association and will celebrate the diverse artists that make up the Australian Americana scene.

The Australian Americana Honours Night will feature a raft of performers including international icons Old Crow Medicine Show, Valerie June and Kevin Welch along with Australian favourites Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Bernard Fanning, Catherine Britt, Henry Wagons, Emily Barker, Ruby Boots and Jordie Lane & The Sleepers.

During the night the Americana Music Association will present the inaugural Americana Vanguard Awards to Kasey Chambers for her deep commitment to roots music and to Brian “BT” Taranto, founder of the Out on the Weekend festival, who has been championing the Americana Community for more than a decade.

“For those of us who love roots and Americana Music, this is a dream line-up to have at our inaugural event,” Nash Chambers explained. “We’re mighty proud to be building awareness of Americana Music in Australia with the US Association and Tennessee Tourism. We also believe this is just the beginning of a genre that is exploding worldwide.”

For more information on the night including how to get your hands on tickets head over to Chugg Entertainment here.

Timber and Steel Presents: Best Live Roots Act at the AU Live Music Awards

AU Review

Timber and Steel are proud to announced that we’ll be presenting the Best Live Roots Act at the second annual AU Awards.

The AU Awards celebrate the best in live performances around the country between 1st November 2014 and 31st October 2015 and are the brainchild of our friends over at the AU Review.

The nominees for this year’s AU Award for Best Live Roots Act are as follows:


Marlon Williams


Kim Churchill


Fanny Lumsden


Fraser A Gorman

Ruby Boots

Ruby Boots

The AU Awards winners will be revealed on 9th December at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. Stay tuned for more details!

Broadwing Takes out NT Song of the Year

Image Courtesy of Broadwing

Music NT last month announced their prestigious NT Song of the Year winners last month with the top gong going to Katherine based singer Broadwing for his track “Pockets”. The song also took out the folk category and another of Broadwing’s tracks, “Maple”, won in the best electronic/dance category.

“The overall win obviously was just bizarre … and especially winning with the folk song as well, that was a huge surprise,” Ben Allen, AKA Broadwing, told the ABC. “Folk isn’t something I’ve seen as a strength of mine in the past, I’ve always been a fairly electronic kind of guy.”

To further display his talent Broadwing was also a finalist in the country category of the contest. Take a listen to the winning song “Pockets” below:

The Country category was taken out by Neil Camm for his song “Blackfella ANZAC” with Rambutan Jam Band taking out the Blues and Roots gong with their track “Clocks”. The full list of winners can be found on the Music NT site here.

Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

The 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night in a ceremony which featured a ton of Timber and Steel favourites both as winners and as performers.

The winners on the night included the likes of Bella Hardy, The Full English and Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer picking up gongs. This year the Young Folk Award, always a one-to-watch artist, went to The Mischa Macpherson Trio while the first ever recipient of the Hall of Fame award went to Cecil Sharp. Check out the full list of winners below:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Clannad & Martin Carthy

Good Tradition Award
Cambridge Folk Festival

Folk Singer of the Year
Bella Hardy

Best Duo
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group
The Full English

Best Album
The Full English – The Full English

Horizon Award
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar

Musician of the Year
Aidan O’Rourke

Best Original Song
“Two Ravens” – Lisa Knapp

Best Traditional Track
“Willie of Winsbury” – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
The Mischa Macpherson Trio

Hall of Fame
Cecil Sharp

And of course the night also showcased a bunch of great performances that the BBC has already made available online. Check out hightlights from Peggy Seeger, Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, The Fisherman’s Friends, Clannad, The Full English, Suzanne Vega, Martin Simpson & Richard Hawley and Bellowhead. Watch them all below

Weekend Awards Round Up

Golden Guitars
Image Courtesy of the CMAA

The long weekend was also a massive weekend for awards with the Golden Guitars, triple j’s Hottest 100 and The Grammys all vying for attention. If you were too busy to take everything in never fear – we have a nice little Timber and Steel friendly wrap up for you here:

triple j Hottest 100

Vance Joy

As you’re no doubt aware the top spot was taken out this year by the folky “Riptide” from Australia’s Vance Joy, pipping favourites “Royals” by Lorde and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk at the post. Vance Joy also came in at number 95 with his track “Play With Fire”.

Other notable Timber and Steel faves to make it into the list include Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke, Matt Corby, Dustin Tebbutt and more. The full list of winners can be found here with a snap shot of our favourites below:

1. Vance Joy – “Riptide”
8. Matt Corby – “Resolution”
41. Boy & Bear – “Southern Sun”
44. Dustin Tebbutt – “The Breach”
55. Boy & Bear – “Harlequin Dream”
75. Mikhael Paskalev – “I Spy”
87. John Butler Trio – “Only One”
88. Josh Pyke – “Leeward Side”
95. Vance Joy – “Play With Fire”

The Grammys

The Grammys

Due to the sheer number of categories at The Grammy’s it’s very easy to look past the glitz, glamour and mounty hats to find some amazing music being recognised. Big winners on the folk, roots and country side of the fence include The Civil Wars, Ben Harper, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell and many more.

We’ve listed our top categories below – check out the full winners here.

Best Country Solo Performance
Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Civil Wars – “From This Valley”

Best Country Song
Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go ‘Round”

Best Country Album
Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park

Best American Roots Album
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You

Best Americana Album
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – Old Yellow Moon

Best Bluegrass Album
Del McCoury Band – The Streets Of Baltimore

Best Blues Album
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite – Get Up!

Best Folk Album
Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture Of You

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience – Dockside Sessions

Best World Music Album
Gipsy Kings – Savor Flamenco

The Golden Guitars

Lachlan Bryan

So many of our favourite artists have spent the last couple of weeks up in Tamworth for the Country Music Festival which culminated in the Golden Guitar awards on 25th Januray.

We’re really proud that Timber and Steel favourite Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes walked away with Alternative Country Album of the Year for Black Coffee, Ashleigh Dallas was named the Qantaslink New Talent of the Year and that Ted Egan was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Check out the full list of winners here.

Finally Timber and Steel favourite, The Mid North, also walked away from Tamworth winners with both the Battle of the Bands and Buskers Competition gongs under their belt. Definitely a well deserved win!

The Mid North

Ben Howard Shines at The Brit Awards

Ben Howard
Image Courtesy of Ben Howard

It was another big night for folk and acoustic music yesterday with some Timber and Steel favourites taking out Brit Awards. Singer-songwriter Ben Howard was the toast of the night with gongs for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist. Mumford and Sons also scored on the night with the Brit for British Group.

Both Ben Howard and Mumford and Sons performed at the Brit Awards ceremony. Check out their performances below:

Live Music at The Grammys

Levon Helm Tribute

Following yesterday’s Grammy Awards and the big wins from the folk side of the fence (including Album of the Year for Mumford and Sons) we thought we’d post some of our favourite performances from the ceremony.

Because of the nature of The Grammys (in taht they want to protect when and where the broadcast takes place) these videos are not “official” and there’s a very good chance they’ll get taken down – so jump in quick if you want to see some amazing performances.

First up is The Lumineers performing their mega-hit “Ho Hey” in a way only they know how – stripped back, raw and pure.

Next is Mumford and Sons with their first 2012 single “I Will Wait”.

But the highlight for us was the tribute to the late great Levon Helm, singer and drummer for The Band. The tribute song was, naturally, “The Weight” and featured performances from Elton John, Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Mumford and Sons. Check out a rehearsal video here:

And then the final tribute performance is here:

Folk Wins Big at The Grammys

Mumford Grammys
Image Courtesy of Mumford and Sons

With the nation a-buzz about Gotye’s triple Grammy win we thought we’d steer some of that attention toward the fact that folk and acoustic music also had a massive night. The big winner of course were Mumford and Sons who managed to snatch the Album of The Year title from the likes of The Black Keys and Jack White. Mumford and Sons, along with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show, also took out the Best Long Form Music Video for their Big Easy Express documentary.

Other Timber and Steel favourites who received a nod included Bonnie Raitt (Best Americana Album), Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile’s excellent Goat Rodeo Sessions project (Best Folk Album, Best Engineered Album Non Classical) and Taylor Swift (hear us out) with The Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett (Best Song Written for Visual Media).

The full list of Grammy winners we think Timber and Steel readers will be interested in are below. All the winners can be found at the official Grammy site here.

Album of the Year
Babel – Mumford and Sons

Best Country Solo Performance
“Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Pontoon” – Little Big Town

Best Country Song
“Blown Away” – Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)

Best Country Album
Uncaged – Zac Brown Band

Best Americana Album
Slipstream – Bonnie Raitt

Best Bluegrass Album
Nobody Knows You – Steep Canyon Rangers

Best Blues Album
Locked Down – Dr. John

Best Folk Album
The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile

Best Regional Roots Music Album
The Band Courtbouillon – Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy

Best World Music Album
The Living Room Sessions Part 1 – Ravi Shankar

Best Song Written for Visual Media
“Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)” – T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy Williams, songwriters

Best Engineered Album, Non Classical
The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering engineer (Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile)

Best Long Form Music Video
Big Easy Express – Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros & Old Crow Medicine Show

2013 Coopers AMP Shortlist Announced

Jess Ribeiro
Image Courtesy of Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors

The 2013 Coopers Australian Music Prize shortlist was announced over the weekend and there’s plenty of folk, acoustic and singer songwriter talent amongst it to keep Timber and Steel readers happy. Among this year’s finalist are Grand Salvo (for Slay Me In My Sleep), Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors (above, for My Little River) and Liz Stringer (for Warm In the Darkness).

The winner of the Coopers AMP will be revealed in March. The full shortlist is below:

Flume – Flume
Tame Impala – Lonerism
The Presets – Pacifica
Grand Salvo – Slay Me In My Sleep
Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors – My Little River
Liz Stringer – Warm In the Darkness
Daily Meds – Happy Daze
Hermitude – Hyper-Paradise
Urthboy – Smokey’s Haunt

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