Artists For Sydney’s Folk Club This Wednesday 27th June

The Rolling Stones

Fifty years ago The Rolling Stones formed in London and went on to become one of the most iconic and influential bands of all time. To celebrate this achievement Sydney’s Folk Club is bringing together a collection of their favourite artists to pay tribute to The Rolling Stones, a band that has influenced so many of the artist that have graced the Folk Club stage over the last few months.

Taking to the stage and shaking it like Jagger this Wednesday the 27th June will be Saint Cecilia, The Falls, Boy Outside, Jack Carty and 49 Goodbyes all joined by a killer band for the entire night. As usual Folk Club is free (although tips for the artist are appreciated) and the night will kick off around 7:30pm. Check out the Facebook invite for more info.

Given it’s a Rolling Stones Folk Club night we have one request:

Folk Club Artists For April Featuring The Falls

The Falls
Image Courtesy of The Falls

Sydney’s Folk Club has already entered its second month with a stellar performance last week from Evil J & Saint Cecilia. Don’t believe us? Then check out the videos here from the March special guests.

Are you back? Excellent, because we need to tell you about Folk Club for the remainder of this month. This Wednesday (that’s tomorrow for those of you playing at home) will see Folk Club founders The Falls take on the feature artist spot at the Hotel Hollywood in Surry Hills – a rare opportunity to see Melinda and Simon in headlining mode. Joining them will be alt-country sweethearts 49 Goodbyes and Sydney singer-songwriter Griffith Goat Boy.

The rest of the month sees feature spots from Achoo! Bless You and Evan & The Brave. Looks like the amazing folk music is here to stay on Wednesday nights. For more details check out the official Folk Club facebook page. The full lineup for the rest of April is below:

Wed 11th April – The Falls + Griffith Goat Boy + 49 Goodbyes
Wed 18th April – Achoo! Bless You + The Falls + Lacey Cole
Wed 25th April – Evan & The Brave + The Falls + Lily So & Co.

The Grand Ole Opry Comes to Sydney

The Grand Ole Opry

This Thursday 23rd February Sydney’s iconic venue The Vanguard will be transformed into the home of country music where local musicians will pay tribute to the legendary venue The Grand Ole Opry. Opening in 1925 in Nashville, Tennessee, The Grand Ole Opry weekly stage concert has played host to every single superstar of country music from Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and The Carter Family through to Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Gram Parsons.

The Sydney tribute will see house band The Vanguard Pickers take on classics by Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard and more with a raft of guest vocalists including Kane Dyson (Spurs For Jesus), Daniel Marando (The Maladies), Emma Swift (49 Goodbyes) and a man they call Stu H. Opening the night will be local bluegrass sensations The Green Mohair Suits.

Tickets are a mere $20 for what’s bound to be an incredible night of entertainment. For more information visit the official Vanguard web site.

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2011


Every music blog, website and magazine (including us) spend their December frantically trying to distill the year into a “best of list” that is ultimately redundant given the subjectiveness of the artform. But we still do it because a) people read these publications because they trust the writers’ taste and b) everyone likes a list (usually so they can disagree with them).

But we realised that very rarely does anyone ever ask the artists – the very people who are making the music – who they’ve been listening to throughout the year. So we thought we’d buck the trend and asked a bunch of the bands and solo artists we’ve been following this year for their favourite album or EP of 2011.

The most common response was “do I have to pick just one?” or “just publish this before I change my mind!”. Despite the countless sleepless nights the artists no doubt spent agonising over their decisions we think we’ve managed to amass a pretty eclectic list from a group of people we absolutely admire. A big thank you has to go to all the artists who took the time out to contribute (as well as the patience of the various press contacts we pestered) – I think you’ll agree that this is a hell of a list from the national (and international) Timber and Steel alumni.

So without further ado we give our artist albums of the year:

Wild Beasts SmotherEmmy The Great
Wild BeastsSmother
One of the biggest growers in my record collection. Took me three listens to understand it, and all of a sudden I was in love. Truly, madly, deeply wonderful. Sexy. I bought it twice. And yes, I own it on vinyl, and yes, it sounds amazing

Laura Jean A Fool Who'llJen Cloher
Laura JeanA Fool Who’ll
LJ is a great lyricist, musician and singer but what I love about her most is that she doesn’t sound like anyone else. In fact the whole album has its own identity, which is as rare as hens teeth these days. It’s a folk rock album where Laura trades in her acoustic for a Gibson electric but the band (Jen Sholakis & Biddy Connor) have their own thing going on too. Alongside Gareth Liddiard (The Drones) Laura Jean is an uncompromising artist, whether you listen to her or not, she’ll keep making some of the best albums in Australia.

Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo The CradleFred Smith
Penny Larkins and Carl PannuzzoThe Cradle
I liked this album and not just ’cause they cover one of my songs, but also for its stripped back and interesting arrangements and tender delivery of a considered collection of songs.

The Middle East  I Want That You Are Always HappyTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
The Middle EastI Want That You Are Always Happy
Beautiful production and songwriting. A very inspiring record and a real shame that they finished up just as they were getting started.

Lanie Lane To The HorsesNikki Thorburn (ILUKA)
Lanie LaneTo The Horses
Channeling early rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and rockabilly To The Horses is one record that I found myself listening to over and over and still enjoying each time. Such catchy tunes and something refreshingly different. And oh what a voice has miss Lanie!!

The Perch Creek Family Jug Band - Tall TalesJordie Lane
The Perch Creek Family Jug BandTall Tales
A beautiful example of great bluegrass and ol’ time standards coming from this quirky Australian ‘real’ family band. With the Hodgkins kids of all different ages sharing the singing duties and some of the best players guesting. Listen out for the secret track – its a cracker!

Noah and the Whale Last Night on EarthPearl Button (Ruby for Lucy)
Noah and the WhaleLast Night on Earth
This album makes me want to write joyful songs – songs that put a spring in your step. And Charlie’s storytelling is at its best here, I think. Plus, I love a concept album. And this one was released at a time when I needed to hear that starting again is both brave and beautiful. Last Night on Earth is full of wonder. It makes me happy.

Husky Forever SoMatt Amery (Tin Sparrow):
It is a toss up between HUSKYForever So and The Middle EastI Want That You Are Always Happy.
I think that both of these are amazing albums. They are both so organic and meticulously crafted. I see these albums as one long song or journey rather than a compilation of their songs as they flow seamlessly from one song to the other. That being said i still have favourites songs from both albums but they frequently change, which I think is another sign of a great album!

Real Estate DaysMark Piccles (Tin Sparrow)
Real EstateDays
Can’t stop listening to it. Their first album was great but this is for me the most solid, straight up pop record of the year. Some of the simplest songs you will hear all 2011, and some of the best.

Alexander AlexanderFanny Lumsden
Alexander EbertAlexander
This album makes me feel like I am sitting in the sunshine eating figs straight from a fig tree … which incidentally was what I was doing the first time I listened to this album.

Build a Rocket Boys ElbowRobin Geradts-Gill (The Little Stevies)
ElbowBuild a Rocket Boys!
Not surprising that it’s a great album, as the Manc lads have outdone themselves with every release to do date. But what’s so surprising is how stripped back, ambient and almost hypnotic the album is, with stripped back song structures that play on simple riffs and melody cycles. Yet at the end of a listen, you’re left as fulfilled as can be – it feels so much bigger than it sounds.

Eddie VedderNardi Simpson (Stiff Gins)
Eddie VedderUkulele Songs
When my sister told me Eddie Vedder did a cd of ukulele songs I thought she’d got her wires crossed or lost her marbles or something…Eddie Vedder, THE Eddie Vedder, a uke? I listened to his music, that gravelly, stony, sandpaper smooth delivery, floating over that dreamy, creamy ukulele and remembered why I got into music in the first place, not only to sing, but to find ways to be different, to challenge myself and to have fun. Eddie Vedder reminded me how to have fun with sound again, how to be playful and exposed and brave all at the same time. I had got a uke earlier in the year for my birthday but the real present was from Vedder

Manchester Orchestra Simple MathShane Graham (Holland)
Manchester OrchestraSimple Math
This was a highly anticipated record for me. After their second album Mean Everything to Nothing I was curious as to the progression … It was the perfect blend of cinematic beauty and rootsy, raw down to earth rock songs

The Middle East  I Want That You Are Always HappyJordan Wilson (Georgia Fair)
The Middle EastI Want That You Are Always Happy
Some of the most beautiful and classic songs I’ve heard from a young band. “The Land of the Bloody Unknown” hit me straight away.

Beirut The Rip TideBrianne Curran (Takadimi)
BeirutThe Rip Tide
Enjoying the fresh new sounds and composition ideas that are present on Beirut’s new album The Rip Tide. Being a Beirut fan ever since a friend at uni put me onto them, I was keen to see what they would come up with next after listening to their previous albums way too many times!

The Harrow and the HarvestPete Uhlenbruch (Owls of the Swamp)
Gillian WelchThe Harrow & The Harvest
There’s something frustratingly undefinable about this album that grabs me from the very first note. The synergy between Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings is sublime on these recordings, crystallized as a marriage of yin-yang acoustic guitars and a celestial cascade of vocal harmonies. I love the sense of space and minimal arrangements, which give room for the hypnotizing melodies and lyrics to soar before sinking deep into your skin.

The King of LimbsDaniel Lee Kendall
RadioheadThe King of Limbs
I actually haven’t listened to that many new albums this year, I’ve been listening more to older stuff. But of what I have listened to, I quite liked King of Limbs. I really enjoyed the landscapes they created in this. Also that video where Thom is just dancing the whole time is brilliant. I want to dance in that room in slow-mo.

Noah and the Whale Last Night on EarthHelen Croome (Gossling)
Noah and the WhaleLast Night on Earth
It’s got a great mix of slower tracks that you can happily let wash over you, as well as the joyous up-beat songs like “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N” that can instantly pick up your mood. The arrangements and production are crazily addictive.

Ben Salter The CatThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Ben SalterThe Cat
This is an intelligent, passionate and more importantly, a complete Album. It is one of the very few records that I have to listen to from beginning to end – no track skipping forward or back. The songwriting is just like Salter’s live show – fearless, melodic and real. I can’t stop listening to this Album and I don’t think I will ever get tired of it!

The Middle East  I Want That You Are Always HappyStu Larsen
The Middle EastI Want That You Are Always Happy
For the first 3 weeks I listened to the entire album every night before I slept. It’s still one I go back to constantly. Beautiful songs beautifully recorded, a real journey album for me. I’m sad that these guys are no longer a band, but I’m happy they’ve left us with some amazing music.

Bon Iver Bon IverLissa
Bon IverBon Iver
My favourite album of the year has been Bon Iver’s self-titled album. As soon as I put it on for the first time, my eyes closed and I knew I was in for an absolute treat. This second album has much greater depth and breadth with a myriad of sounds and instruments, yet still maintains that expanse and space that I love floating around in. Vernon’s melodies and lyrics are beautiful, intriguing, captivating as always. Each track being a place name merely reinforces that you have to journey through this album as a whole. When I arrive home after a hectic day, this album is the perfect antidote.

Seeker Lover KeeperRoss James Tipper and Ash Steel (Achoo! Bless You)
Seeker Lover KeeperSeeker Lover Keeper
We can both remember quite clearly the day we first found out about the formation of the ultimate Australian folk female super group, Seeker Lover Keeper. It was as though things in the world had just become ‘right’ again. Holly Throsby, Sarah Blasko and Sally Seltman, what an absolutely perfect combination of delicate, sultry voices and sheer brilliant, sensitive songwriting talent! The sudden formation of this group had Ross secretly wishing he was a woman so he could leave Achoo! Bless You and make the Seeker, Lover, Keeper trio a quartet. What we love most about this album is the way the girls wrote the songs for each other’s voices, not their own, as per their solo material. The stand out track of the record is definitely Sally Seltman’s ‘Even Though I’m a Woman’, but it is Holly’s raw, emotive lead vocal that really brings this song into its own. And Aden Young’s performance in the accompanying video clip to this song is spot on (that little head turn at 0:11 melts Ash’s heart every time). One would expect nothing less that this brilliant, thoughtful album from three of Australia’s best singer-songwriters.

Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo The CradleLiz Frencham
Penny Larkins and Carl PannuzzoThe Cradle
I love Carl & Penny’s new album The Cradle. Such a complete experience – a piece of their lives captured in a bottle for us to share. Carl’s voice is like an ecstatic angel and blends with Penny’s so beautifully. But I’m torn. I am also really loving Lucie Thorne’s new album Bonfires in Silver City. Her voice just takes me somewhere beautiful and her songs never disappoint. Either way, Aussie indie’s all the way!

Wits EndJack Carty
Cass McCombsWit’s End
I accidentally saw Cass play whilst overseas in 2010 (I was at the show to see Lightspeed Champion who was supporting) and he blew me away. He seems to have a real enigmatic swagger (or is it an aloofness?) that allows him to deliver every single line with conviction, feeling and weight, but without sounding to sorry for himself. I still have trouble finding others that know about his music here in Australia though. This album came out in April and is beautifully and subtly put together. He uses space beautifully to create a kind of edgy longing and loneliness that lasts the whole record long in a way that comes across as both strangely creepy and strikingly beautiful. Occasional interjections by woodwind instrumentations such as bass clarinet or chalumeau help add texture sparingly and effectively and his lyrical turn of phrase is dense, melancholic and thoughtful, firmly remaining so on consecutive listens. This is no doubt a sad record, but a very very beautiful one. This guy is the real deal.

Ashes and FireCorey DiMario (Crooked Still)
Ryan AdamsAshes & Fire
I love the stripped down production of this album. It is edgy enough to be compelling but not so volatile to make it unlistenable or uncomfortable. The songwriting is sweet and low key and as always his singing is fantastic. There’s also great playing from his backup band that includes Norah Jones and Benmont Tench on keyboards.

Helplessness BluesSteven Barnard (arbori:)
Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
It’s not often you press play on a new record and the opening line echoes your exact thoughts from earlier that week. To then find this existential empathy throughout the record is what makes Helplessness Blues my favourite of the year. Musically it took a while to sink in my skin. I found myself returning to it several times through the year as it’s resonance and relevance for me became more evident. I imagine it’s the kinda music monks would be making: deeply existential and harmonic – “monk rock”.

100 Acres of SycamoreFaith Lee
Fionn Regan100 Acres of Sycamore
If you’re a fan of Fionn’s earlier albums, you may really struggle to get into this one … I know I did. Lyrically it kills me (in the best way) and even though I was expecting a full blown folk album, what I now know as Fionn Regan is a sound that some may say is even better than before. It’s a very dark version of Fionn and a completely matured sound.

Other Lives Tamer AnimalsNick Hemming (The Leisure Society)
Other LivesTamer Animals
I was a latecomer to this band, but Tamer Animals has become a bit of an obsession. The arrangements are incredibly detailed and yet subtle, if you immerse yourself in them it’s an intensely rewarding experience. The songs are beautifully written and, although singer Jesse Tabish delivers them in quite a downbeat manner, his voice drips with pathos. If you don’t like this album then you probably don’t like music.

Lykke Li Wounded RhymesPhia
Lykke LiWounded Rhymes
It’s a darker, sexier album than her first, the production is great (she teamed up with Bjorn Yttling from Peter, Bjorn and John again) and it is an intriguing, danceable LP from an artist with fantastic pop-writing instincts and tonnes of charisma.

Laura Jean A Fool Who'llJulia Johnson (Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens)
Laura JeanA Fool Who’ll
Hearing rumours that she would be playing electric guitar and saxophone, I was unsure what to expect after Laura Jean’s distinctly folky previous album, Eden Land. Upon hearing A Fool Who’ll, it became clear to me that Laura Jean is in a rare category of artists which I haven’t added to in years in the music on my computer – Artists Who Always Release Albums Which Astound Me And Will Never Make The Same Album Twice. The only other artists I have in there are PJ Harvey and The Shins.

Three Trapped TigersJoe Gould (Crooked Fiddle Band)
Gillian WelchHarrow and the Harvest and Three Trapped TigersRoute One or Die
In true Crooked style, there are two wildly different albums that I think sum up the year perfectly. Welch’s album took a little while to grow, but once it hit me, I was floored at the way she and Dave Rawlings strip things back – two voices and two guitars is pretty much all you get – and settle you into a mood across the whole album, pure country songs that transcend the need for frills. Three Trapped Tigers played before us at a festival in the UK and I was amazed at the sheer energy this band has. Over-the-top, bombastic, brash and yet still with moments of real beauty, this has to be the best instrumental album of the year.

nullBayden Hine (Packwood)
Ólafur ArnaldsLiving Room Songs
Listening to this incredibly spacious album you would never think that it was recorded in the teeny tiny living room of Icelandic native Ólafur Arnalds. Aptly named Living Room Songs, Ólafur wrote one song a day for one week (a process he has followed previously on an earlier record, Found Songs), Ólafur encompasses all that I admire in an artist; he is incredibly creative, resourceful and the album reflects this. His spare arrangements and sombre (not in a bad way, mind you) melodies are truly spectacular to behold. Iceland really seems to be a hotbed for creativity these days!

Kurt Vile Smoke RingLeroy Lee
Kurt VileSmoke Ring For My Halo
I feel stoned just thinking about this album. I think it’s a great soundtrack for a Great Depression: sitting on a bean bag wondering whether to have Cornflakes again for dinner, “Ghost Town” streaming from an old YouTube playlist.

Tell MeEmma Swift (49 Goodbyes, In The Pines)
Jessica Lea MayfieldTell Me
There’s no doubt 2011 has been a great year for twang. Emmylou Harris’ Hard Bargain and Lucinda Williams’ Blessed both made high rotation on the Swift Stereo early in the year. Jim Lauderdale’s Reason & Rhyme and Steve Earle’s I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive – I yearn to give you a bunch of gushing superlatives but we just don’t have enough word count. And Gillian Welch! If I owned Harrow & The Harvest on vinyl I would have worn out the grooves by now. Of course, looking at this little list thus far, it would seem that the life assessment I said/slurred to my pal Dobe over a few white wines last week still rings true – “Musically, I’m just a middle-aged man trapped in the body of an almost 30 year old woman.” However, if I’m wanting to fight this … Am I wanting to fight this? No, I don’t give a damn at all really. But if I’m looking to give Timber and Steel readers a heads up on something that’s younger, cooler and still blowing my tiny mind after almost ten months of non-stop play, Jessica Lea Mayfield’s Tell Me is brilliant, assured, sexy as fuck and has been criminally overlooked in Australia. If I were Santa, I’d be putting it in Christmas stockings the world over.

Review: Fanny Lumsden, Hunky Dory Social Club, Sydney

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

Fanny Lumsden supported by Emma Swift and Leroy Lee
23rd November 2011, Hunky Dory Social Club

The Hunky Dory Social Club in Sydney’s inner-Eastern suburbs is a venue that’s more renowned for its hipster clientele than it is for live music but last Wednesday night saw its rooftop was transformed into a performance space to launch the new single “Hello Bright Eyes” from local alt-country lass Fanny Lumsden. With Sydney’s unseasonal rain holding off and an eclectic mix of audience members taking advantage of the cocktail menu, the show was shaping up to be a fine way to spend a weeknight.

Having just finished up supporting Folk Uke’s national tour Emma Swift had decided to give the rest of her band the 49 Goodbyes a rest and take on the first support slot of the night in solo mode. Resplendent in a sequined dress and set against the twilight backdrop of bats making their way to Centennial Park for the night Swift regaled the early audience with her brand of melancholy country music as well as a couple of covers (Gram Parsons, Fleetwood Mac) thrown in for good measure. Swift herself would probably admit she is not greatest guitarist on the scene but her voice is perfectly suited to the Americana music she most obviously loves – I’m so glad I managed to get to the gig early enough to catch her set.

If you’ve ever regularly watched folk or acoustic music in Sydney you’ve no doubt come across Leroy Lee either as the city’s hardest working banjo playing session muso or in full solo singer-songwriter mode. By the time Lee made it on stage for his set at the Hunky Dory Social Club the audience had swelled to fill the rooftop, but sadly very few of them seemed interested in actually watching any music. Battling an apathetic (and loud) crowd and a sound system that was struggling to fill the outdoor space Leroy Lee gave the best performance he could. I enjoyed what I could hear and see of him over the audience members who had decided to park themselves right in front of the stage and then ignore the performance but this was not the best show I’ve seen Lee do.

While the sound issues continued into Fanny Lumsden’s set (setting up a PA system in an outdoor space that is not normally used for live music was always going to be tough) the audience, now shoulder to shoulder in the small space, had begun to pay attention to the stage and really get into the music.

Fanny Lumsden’s music is a mixed bag of styles and genres and her live show is eclectic to say the least. Starting with a couple of country-inspired numbers the rooftop at the Hunky Dory Social Club was very quickly turned into a hoedown complete with thumping bass and twanging guitars. Lumsden’s big voice (check out the video for “Oh Lil Lad” from the night above) is reminiscent of Dolly Parton and definitely more than carries the boisterous songs from her repertoire. But in mind it’s when Lumsden treads down the “indie” side of her songwriting that she truly shines.

There is definitely a wide diversity of genres covered in Fanny Lumsden’s music. The aforementioned “Oh Lil Lad” would not be out of place on a stage in Tamworth while the new single “Hello Bright Eyes” could slip very neatly into rotation on triple j alongside the likes of Josh Pyke, Lisa Mitchell and Missy Higgins. It was amazing to witness this diversity on stage as well as the way Lumsden adapts her voice to the needs of the song (the yodel is all but non-existent on the more “indie” tracks) – and I particularly liked the songs that seemed to shun genre convention and place feet firmly in both the country and indie camps (“The Cat Song” springs to mind).

Despite the sound problems the launch of Fanny Lumsden’s new single “Hello Bright Eyes” was a resounding success. A special mention has to go out to Lumsden’s band (including Leroy Lee on banjo) who were an extremely tight, extremely professional outfit. If you see Fanny Lumsden’s name appear on a lineup – and with festival season almost upon us she’s already confirmed for Peats Ridge – we highly recommend you check her out.

“Hello Bright Eyes” is available now from triple j Unearthed. Have a listen to it below:

“Hello Bright Eyes”

Interview: Fanny Lumsden

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

Timber and Steel will be presenting the launch of Fanny Lumsden’s new single “Hello Bright Eyes” next Wednesday 23rd of December so we thought it was the perfect time to sit down and have a chat with the Sydney based singer. A country girl at heart (“Hello Bright Eyes” was written on the back of a tractor) Lumsden opened up to Evan Hughes about her move to the big city last year, working some amazing collaborators and her love of acoustic music.

Evan Hughes: You’re going to launch your single “Hello Bright Eyes” at the Hunky Dory Social Club in Sydney on the 23rd November. How are you feeling about it? Are you excited?
Fanny Lumsden: Yeah, really excited. It’s going to be fun – hopefully the weather will be good because we’re having it on the roof. We’ve got some really great people playing with us – we just announced that Emma Swift from 49 Goodbyes will be supporting. And Leroy [Lee]’s supporting and then he’s going to be playing with us. It’s going to be really good.
EH: I saw that you added Emma Swift today. I’ve seen her before in various guises and I like what I’ve heard of 49 Goodbyes so I’m pretty excited about that.
FL: Yeah, we spoke to her today and she’s really excited. Her stuff is really nice, I really like it as well.
EH: I’ve heard a demo version of “Hello Bright Eyes” – it’s a really fun song. Is that indicative of your sound?
FL: I suppose it’s kind of the sweeter of the songs I have right now. We’ve just finished recording it and it’s getting mastered. I’m really happy with the sound, the band were great and the producer, Ian [Prichett], worked really well with us. We went up to the Blue Mountains to record it and that was just perfect.
EH: Is it going to be part of an EP?
FL: Yeah. We’re just starting to put together the EP – we’ll probably look to release it in April next year. The songs are already there – we’re never out of songs – but it’s just timing.
EH: How was recording with Ian Prichett? Does he let you do your own thing?
FL: I think he has got a really good way of going about it. To start with he just let us go in and do our thing and didn’t interfere too much. He wasn’t really dominating. Then he made really valid points and he was really helpful – I really enjoyed the process of working with him, especially up where we recorded it – I love it up there and I love getting out of the city.
EH: You’re not originally from Sydney are you?
FL: No, I’m from a farm between West Wyalong and Griffith. I lived out in the country my whole life right up until the start of last year when I moved [to Sydney].
EH: That must have been quite a big change for you.
FL: Yeah it was last year. It was a fairly big adjustment – I would get out of the city often and go to the national parks and stuff so I could breathe. I went away for the summer last year and helped with the harvest at home and then when I came back this year I really liked living in the city.
EH: I think as a musician in Australia you do need to get to a city if you want more people to hear your music.
FL: Yeah it’s true unfortunately. But I love living here at the moment. My whole band I’ve met just from moving here so that would never happened if I hadn’t moved here. I was playing a little bit when I was at Uni but definitely picked it up a bit when I came here.
EH: I think the acoustic/folk music scene in Sydney is really inclusive. Is that something you’ve found?

FL: Definitely. It’s been really great. Every time you play you meet new people and everyone goes to each others gigs – it’s really nice.
EH: You look at someone like Leroy Lee – that man is so talented and has a whole following of his own yet he is more willing than anyone I’ve come across in the Sydney music scene to muck in, play with people and support up and coming artists. He seems to be everywhere.
FL: Yeah! I just met him through mutual friends at a gig and someone suggested he play on my track and he was like “I’d love to!” and I was like “oh!”. And then I was like “why don’t you just play first at the gig?” and he was like “ok!”. He’s so willing and so nice. It’s refreshing to have people banding together – it’s good.
EH: There’s always going to be a bit of competition between musicians but in general everyone seems to be supporting everyone else.
FL: For sure. I’m really lucky to have him playing – I think it will be a really fun night.
EH: Having listened to a lot of the music you have out there it’s really obvious that you have an organic sound – lots of acoustic instruments and, especially on the version of “Hello Bright Eyes” I’ve heard, the glockenspiel or xylophone or whatever it is. What is it about those sorts of instruments and that type of music that appeals to you as opposed to electronic or rock music?
FL: I think my upbringing really had something to do with it. I just really love acoustic instruments and that kind of, um, dirt thing. It’s hard to explain it – it’s more of a feeling. My dad listened to a lot of old country but it was never really specific. And my mum’s into classical music. I’d never really listened to electronic music early – it didn’t really appeal to me, I didn’t really go through that angsty teenage stage where I liked loud music. More and more now I’m just loving having the mandolin and stuff – it’s always been about acoustic instruments.
EH: Part of it is how immediate it is – you can just pick up an instrument and start playing.
FL: Absolutely. It’s a more raw sound. I don’t really like “produced” sounds – I’d rather it all be more organic.
EH: So after the single launch and then the EP next year what’s next?
FL: We’re playing a few shows in the next few weeks. We’re playing Finders Keepers Markets, FBi Social in December and then Peats Ridge. In Januray we’re hoping to go down to Melbourne. I also want to go out to where I’m from and play in the little town hall there – take the band out and get all the community together. I’ve played there once before, earlier in the year, and everyone just comes along – it’s just like a little country hall, the CWA ladies make sandwiches. I’m hoping to take the band out there and experience something they’ve never experienced before.
EH: That’s awesome.
FL: Last time I did it I did it with my brothers and sisters – another guy was doing a concert there and we just got up and played with him and did our own songs. It’s just so fun, we’re hoping to go there. And then we’ll go up north, up to Brisbane and Armidale and Tamworth and Newcastle. We’ll flick around the country a bit in January.
EH: Well we’ll definitely be catching you at the single launch and hopefully at Peats Ridge as well.
FL: Awesome.
EH: Well that’s it for today – good luck with everything!
FL: No worries – thank you!

Fanny Lumsden will be launching “Hello Bright Eyes” on the 23rd November at the Hunky Dory Social Club in Sydney. Full details can be found on the official Facebook invite.

Sydney’s 49 Goodbyes Score Folk Uke Support

49 Goodbyes
Image Courtesy of 49 Goodbyes

There’s a lot of excitement building around the alt-country scene in Australia at the moment with American duo Folk Uke (Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson) kicking off their national tour this Wednesday 26th October. Filling the support slot for the tour is the relatively new Sydney trio 49 Goodbyes.

In their own words 49 Goodbyes “like harmonies & heartache & minor chords. We like cowboy boots in all shapes and sizes, garage sale gold, classic hits on cassette, scratched up second-hand vinyl & discarded dresses of yesteryear”. As well as scoring the Folk Uke support the folk/alt-country/Americana/sadcore three-piece are also about to launch their debut EP which contains two originals and two covers – Gram Parsons’ “A Song For You” and Big Star’s “Thirteen”. We’ve embedded EP (via youtube) below along with the full list of dates for the Folk Uke tour. Keep an eye out for 49 Goodbyes – these guys are doing some pretty exciting stuff:

Wednesday 26th October – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 27th October – Lizottes, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 28th October – Notes, Newtown, NSW
Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th October – Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, NSW
Wednesday 2nd November – Civic Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Thursday 3rd November – Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi, QLD
Friday 4th November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 5th November – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Monday 7th November – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 8th November – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Wednesday 9th November – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 10th November – Caravan Club, VIC
Friday 11th November – East Brunswick Club, Brunswick, VIC
Saturday 12th November – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide SA
Sunday 13th November – Currant Shed. Adelaide, SA

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