Thank Folk It’s Friday – 24th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney singer-songwriter Jordan Millar returns after a year long hiatus with his new single “Run Away, Runaway”. Details here

– Nu-folk duo Bear’s Den released their new video “Auld Wives”. Details here

The Little Stevies’ side project Teeny Tiny Stevies released their video “On The Toilet”. Details here

Dashville Skyline dropped its first lineup for 2016 including Brian Cadd, The Brothers Comatose, The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Raised by Eagles, The Hello Morning, Jess Ribeiro, Davey Craddock & the Spectacles, Karl S. Williams, Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats, Irish Mythen and Andy Golledge Band. Details here

The Avett Brothers released their new single “Satan Pulls The Strings”. Details here

– Adelaide based singer-songwriter Todd Sibbin released his new single “Firetrain”. Details here

– The Adelaide Guitar Festival announced a lineup that includes Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Punch Brothers, Daniel Champagne, Genevieve Chadwick, Matt Walker, Slava Grigoryan, The Panics, Dr Zane Banks (The Morrisons, Cruisin’ Deuces) and many more. Details here

– As well as being announced for the Adelaide Guitar Festival, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn have Australian tour dates in Melbourne and Sydney. Details here

Bob Evans announced a bunch of August tour dates with Melody Pool in support. Details here

– Two of Australia’s hottest singer-songwriters, William Crighton and Claire Anne Taylor, are heading out on tour this July and August. Details here

– Alice Springs based singer-songwriter Colin Lillie is heading to NSW and QLD to launch his latest singles. Details here

– Irish troubadour Glen Hansard has announced an Australian tour this October. Details here

Matt Corby released his video “Oh Oh Oh”. Details here

Releases This Week

Avett Brothers
True SadnessThe Avett Brothers
iTunes

Felice Brothers
Life In The DarkThe Felice Brothers
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife

Tracy McNeil

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife will laucnh their brand new album Thieves in Melbourne tomorrow night before heading out on tour

Saturday 25th June – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th June – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st July – Stag & Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 24 June – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 26th June – Cobargo Pub, Cobargo, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Wednesday 29th June – Batch Brewery, Sydney, NSW

Bill Jackson
Thursday 28th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Brooke Russell and Megan Cooper
Wednesday 29th June – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st July – The Skylark Room, Upwey, VIC

Citizen of the World
Friday 1st July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Colin Lillie
Wednesday 29th June – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 30th June – Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st July – Night Quarter, Gold Coast, QLD

Coopers After Dark feat. Ash Grunwald
Wednesday 29th June – The Great Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 30th June – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Merpire, Renetta Joy, The Delta Revue
Wednesday 29th June – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Green Room Banjo Sessions
Wednesday 29th June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Hayden Calnin
Friday 24th June – Jimmy’s Den, Perth, WA

Hootenanny feat. Mark Lucas & The Dead Setters
Sunday 26th June – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride BE-IN #6 feat. Jeremy Smith, Ionia, Catgut
Saturday 25th June – Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Joe Mungovan
Friday 24th June – House Concert, Perth, WA
Saturday 25th June – Good Nights, Bunbury, WA

Josh Pyke w/ Jack Carty
Friday 24th June – Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights, VIC
Saturday 25th June – Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave, VIC
Sunday 26th June – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

Justin Bernasconi & The Chocolate Lilies
Friday 24th June – St Margaret’s Anglican Church, Melbourne, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 24th June – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th June – Hotel Steyne, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th June – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Little Features feat. Bonniesongs, Nick Kingswell, Michael Duschesne
Saturday 25th June – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Lloyd Spiegel
Friday 24th June – The Agrestic Grocer, Orange, NSW
Saturday 25th June – The Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th June – Canberra Blues Society, The Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 1st July – The Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove, VIC

Matt Glass and the Loose Cannons
Sunday 26th June – Nauti Studios, Sydney, NSW

Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Friday 24th June – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Richard Cuthbert
Friday 24th June – Oxford Circus, Sydney, NSW

Roadhouses w/ Lisa Caruso
Thursday 30th June – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Sam Brittain
Sunday 26th June – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Skyscraper Stan
Friday 24th June – Farmer’s Arms Hotel, Creswick, VIC
Sunday 25th June – Baby black Café, Bacchus Marsh, VIC

Sweet Jean
Friday 1st July – Music on The Hill, Red Hill, VIC

Swerve Society feat. Jack Elias, Darren Cross, Luke O’Farrell
Monday 27th June – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

The Beards
Friday 24th June – The Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 25th June – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th June – Beachcomber Hotel, Toukley, NSW
Friday 1st July – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Bottlers (Acoustic) w/ Jim Mongrel, Olivia McAuliffe
Thursday 30th June – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Paper Kites
Friday 24th June – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25th June – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st July – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Tom Dockray, Mitch Power
Friday 24th June – Six String Brewing Company, Erina, NSW

Rechords w/ The Cruisin Deuces
Friday 24th June – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Weeping Willows
Tuesday 28th June – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 29th June – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 30th June – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st July – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Timothy Bowen w/ Jorja Carroll
Thursday 30th June – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife
Saturday 25th June – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th June – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st July – Stag & Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Vanishing Shapes w/ The Squeezebox Trio, Ess-Em
Friday 1st July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 24th June – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Woody Pitney w/ Rowena Wise, Lachie Ranford
Wednesday 29th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Yarramundi Music Club feat. Kit & Cub, Two Doors Down
Wednesday 29th June – University Of Western Sydney Hawkesbury Campus, Richmond, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Barrett’s Privateers” – Stan Rogers

You know when you come back from a festival with a song stuck in your head? This song has been on a constant loop since Top Half Folk Festival – with thanks to Dave Oakes for continually requesting it at sessions and for Phil Beck for acquiescing and singing it even while losing his voice.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn Announce Australian Tour Dates

Bela Fleck
Image Courtesy of Béla Fleck

Following their announcement as part of the Adelaide Guitar Festival banjo masters Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn have announced shows in Sydney and Melbourne this August.

Amazing artists in their own right, the coming together of husband and wife Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn on their self titled 2014 album was inspired. Getting the chance to see them live should not be missed.

The full list of Australian tour dates are below:

Wednesday 10th August – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th August – Adelaide Guitar Festival, Adelaide, SA
Monday 15th August – City Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Punch Brothers and More Announced for the Adelaide Guitar Festival

Bela Fleck
Image Courtesy of Punch Brothers

Looks like it’s time to book tickets to Adelaide. The Adelaide Guitar Festival has this year announced a killer lineup that could well be its best ever with plenty for Timber and Steel fans to enjoy.

American banjo maestros Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn have been announced as co-headliners along with progressive bluegrassers Punch Brothers. That alone should be enough to get you down south but the lineup has plenty more to offer with 18 international acts, 66 national artists and almost 200 local musicians including Daniel Champagne, Genevieve Chadwick, Matt Walker, Slava Grigoryan, The Panics, Dr Zane Banks (The Morrisons, Cruisin’ Deuces) and many more.

The Adelaide Guitar Festival takes place from the 11th to 14th August. For more information check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Folktronica artist Quintessential Doll have released their new video “Take Your Medication” featuring Fox & Fowl. Details here

Lisa Mitchell has announced three intimate acoustic shows next March. Details here

– We now have details of the upcoming Punch Brothers album The Phosphorescent Blues. Details here

– Another new song from The Decemberists has hit the web this week and it’s really really good. Details here

– Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros frontman Alex Ebert will release his soundtrack for the movie A Most Violent Year today. Details here

– Listen to the new Dan Mangan + Blacksmith single “Kitsch”. Details here

– The latest video from Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn is “New South Africa”. Details here

Father John Misty released his new track “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)”. Details here

The National Folk Festival added a bunch of artists to it’s 2015 lineup including London Klezmer Quartet, Nuala Kennedy, Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Lucie Thorne, Mustered Courage, Oh Pep!, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Mike McClellan, Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus, Christine Wheeler and Friends, Andrew Hull, Helen Webby and Davy Stuart and Pekka Mikkola. Details here

The Davidson Brothers released their new video “Take Me To The Mountains”. Details here

Interviews

“Yeshe is inculcated in the instruments and rhythms of Africa, and in a raw interview using a couple of cans and a piece of hemp string stretched from Liverpool to the far north coast of NSW, Yeshe explained a bit about what’s going in his musical world, and what Sydney audiences can expect on Wednesday 17 December at 505 in Surry Hill”Yeshe Reiners chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

A Most Violent Year
A Most Violent YearAlex Ebert
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Jack Carty

Jack Carty

Jack Carty wraps up his mammoth national tour this weekend with shows in Parramatta, Sydney and Bulli. It’s been a big year for the singer-songwriter with the release of his album Esk and a pretty relentless tour schedule and these shows are bound to be as much celebration as they are performance.

Friday 12th December – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW
Saturday 13th December – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th December – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 12th December – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th December – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 16th December – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD

Betty & Oswald
Saturday 13th December – Peregian Originals, Peregian Beach, QLD
Sunday 14th December – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s
Wednesday 17th December – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 12th December – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 13th December – The Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 14th December – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 19th December – The Great North Trading Post, Laguna, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets Sydney feat. Kay Proudlove, Direwolf, Peasant Moon, Bonnie Stewart, Laura Zarb, The Maple Trail, Maia Jelavic
Friday 12th December – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th December – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW

Husky
Saturday 13th December – Studio Theatre, Darwin, NT

Jack Carty
Friday 12th December – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW
Saturday 13th December – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th December – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Jep and Dep
Friday 12th December – Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT

Josh Pyke
Friday 12th December – Baroque, Katoomba, NSW

MoFo feat. Catgut, The Button Collective
Friday 12th December – Nauti Studios, Sydney, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 13th December – Festival of the Sun, Port Macquarie, NSW

Timberwolf
Friday 12th December – Festival Of The Sun, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 19th December – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Yeshe Reiners
Wednesday 17th December – 505, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Dives and Lazarus” – Martin Simpson

Our Christmas themed flashback continues with the Child Ballad and Christmas Carol “Dives and Lazarus”. There are so many amazing versions of this song out there (and the melody is shared with a number of other folk songs including “The Star of the County Down”) but I decided to go with this Simpson’s stripped back and slowed down take on the track.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8p1yZYmKhY]

Watch the New Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn Video “New South Africa”

Bela Fleck
Image Courtesy of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Do you know what today needs? More banjos! Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have just released “New South Africa”, the new video taken from their collaborative self titled album. The video demonstrates just how amazing these guys are together and will leave you pretty astounded. Check it out below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Banjo legends Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have announced their first album together to be released this October. Details here

– A bunch more sideshows for the Out On The Weekend festival were announced including tours from Ryan Bingham (with Harry Hookey and Tim Wheatley), Robert Ellis and Jonny Fritz (with James Thomson) and Nikki Lane and The Delines (with Ruby Boots). Details here

Cat Canteri, drummer for Melbourne alt-country outfit The Stillsons, has announced plans for a solo album and national tour. Details here

– The first lineup announcement from the Falls Festival is light on the folk – just The John Butler Trio, Kim Churchill and Vance Joy on the lineup so far. Details here

– Our good friends at the Seek Stumble Listen Live blog have announced their first ever multi-media music event featuring Fanny Lumsden and The Thrillseekers, Little Fox and more. Details here

– The Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) have announced the first round of artists for 2014 including Hiatus Kaiyote, Ash Grunwald, Bart Willoughby, Jimblah, Pierce Brothers, Ms Murphy, Bullhorn, Nahko and Medicine for the People (USA), Digging Roots (Canada), Estere (NZ) and Myele Manzanza (NZ). Details here

– Adelaide folk four-piece The Timbers released their new video “Mean Streak” and announced an east coast tour. Details here

The Mullum Music Festival has announced its 2014 lineup including Harry James Angus, Husky, Kim Churchill, Frank Yamma, Bobby Alu, Marlon Williams, Liz Stringer, Siskin River, The Mae Trio, The Twoks, Starboard Cannons, The Mid North, Tracy McNeil, The Yearlings and many more. Details here

Jack Carty has announced details of his upcoming album Esk. Details here

– I had to admit that I sometimes watch So You Think You Can Dance when I wrote a piece about the upcoming Hozier album. Details here

Olivers Army will be launching their new album with a tour this September. Details here

Yuko Nishiyama has just released her new album Parade and has a couple of shows left of her launch tour. Details here

Missy Higgins released the video for her beautiful version of “Shark Fin Blues” as well as announcing a massive national tour. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Patrick James is streaming his new single “Fight With Me” featuring Olympia. Details here

– Sydney’s Little May have announced details of their debut EP. Details here

Ben Howard has provided details of his upcoming album along with a stream of the title track “I Forget Where We Were”. Details here

– The wonderful Lanie Lane is back with a brand new video “Celeste”. Details here

– Watch folk, hip-hop and dance combine in the new Arbori video “Walls”. Details here

Folk By The Sea have announced their 2014 lineup including Mic Conway & Phil Donnison, The Bottlers, The Button Collective, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan and many many more. Details here

Releases This Week

Vena Portae
Vena PortaeVena Portae
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Yuko Nishiyama

Yuko

I first saw Yuko Nishiyama a few months ago and I was so impressed with her brand of folk-pop. Having just released her new album Parade Yuko Nishiyama is finishing up her launch tour in Sydney and Canberra this weekend.

Friday 22nd August – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd August – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Bob Dylan
Monday 25th August – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th August – Royal Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Busby Marou
Friday 22nd August – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 23rd August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th August – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 29th August – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Darren Cross
Saturday 23rd August – Rhino Room, Adelaide, SA

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows
Friday 22nd August – Baha in Rye, Rye, VIC

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams
Saturday 23rd August – X-Wray Café, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 24th August – Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Tuesday 26th August – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

Nova and the Experience
Saturday 23rd August – Trainspotters, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th August – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT

Olivers Army
Friday 29th August – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 29th August – Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC

Seek Stumble Listen Live feat. Fanny Lumsden, Little Fox
Friday 29th August – The Corner Store, Sydney, NSW

Spookyland
Friday 22nd August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Taliska
Friday 29th August — Conservatory Café, Wyreena, VIC

The Timbers
Friday 29th August – The World’s End, Adelaide, SA

Todd Sibbin and The Acadian Driftwood
Saturday 23rd August – Cranker, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 24th August – Evelyn, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 26th August – Record Crate, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th August – The Lass O Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW

Tom West
Saturday 23rd August – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 24th August – Evelyn, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 26th August – Record Crate, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th August – The Lass O Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW

Tracy McNeil
Friday 22nd August – Lefties Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 23rd August – The Courthouse, Mullumbimby, NSW
Sunday 24th August – TBC, Melbourne, VIC

Vincent Cross
Friday 22nd August – The Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 23rd August – Troubadour Folk & Acoustic Club, Woy Woy, NSW

Yuko Nishiyama
Friday 22nd August – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd August – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Friday Folk Flashback

“Rattlin’ Bog” – The Makem Brothers

I love it when fiddle tunes have words. I’d always played “Rattlin’ Bog” as a reel but found in sessions that people would sing along. So I’ve done my best to learn the words as well – although I doubt I could get it this fast!

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn Announce New Album

Bela Fleck
Image Courtesy of Béla Fleck

As well as being a married couple, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn are considered two of the best contemporary banjo players in the business so it’s exciting to hear they’re teaming up professionally on a new, self titled album.

The debut album from Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn will be released on the 7th October.

“We didn’t want any other instruments on there, because we’re into this idea that we’re banjo players, and that should be enough,” Béla Fleck explained about the album. “Sometimes when you add other instruments, you take away from the ability of the banjo to show all its colours, which are actually quite beautiful.”

The full track list plus a stream of their first single “Railroad” is below:

1. Railroad
2. Ride to You
3. What’cha Gonna Do
4. Little Birdie
5. New South Africa
6. Pretty Polly
7. Shotgun Blues
8. For Children: No. 3 Quasi adagio, No 10 Allegro Molto – Children’s Dance”
9. And Am I Born to Die
10. What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
11. banjo banjo
12. Bye Bye Baby Blues

Review: Womadelaide 2013

Womad 2k13 Bands-19

All Photographs courtesy of Arcade Photo

In recent years Womadelaide has given folkies as much to be excited about as just about any other festival, barring the likes of Bluesfest or Woodford Folk. In previous years we’ve seen high profile acts like First Aid Kit, Luka Bloom, Joanna Newsom, Archie Roach & Angus and Julia Stone but a surprising list of fantastic, relatively unknown international artists which gives the festival a distinct appeal to anyone who approaches the event with an open mind, ready to discover something exotic and amazing.

Womad 2k13 Bands-23One of the great things about Womadelaide to me as an Adelaidian is that it’s a constant. I can rely on it, which sounds trivial but it’s something that almost every other festival can’t live up to. I can rely on the music programming to be insightful, contrasting and varied and the quality of sound to be to the highest standard. I can rely on there being great food, enough water, and adequate toilets. I can rely on the fact that I won’t be abused or harassed by drunken bullies and I won’t get into a situation where I’m going to be cramped or trampled. I can rely on having a good, relaxing weekend shared with friends and for that reason I think it has become sacred to a lot of people. Womadelaide has been running for 21 years now and I suppose they’ve essentially perfected it because for as long as I’ve been attending the festival it’s kept the same site layout, precincts, stages and amenities, which definitely contributes to the comfort levels of repeat attendees.

For the last 3 years (at least) the festival has spanned 4 days to include the Friday night before the weekend and the Adelaide Cup public holiday on the Monday following. The great thing about this is that it’s quite commonplace for artists to have more than one performance during the festival, which allows the flexibility to get around clashing set-times or prior engagements (which is a very real danger during the peak of Adelaide’s mad march festival season).

Womad 2k13 Bands-12The Friday night was the major event of my Womadelaide. Undoubtedly the atmosphere was at its most electrifying and everybody I spoke to was restless with anticipation for The Tallest Man On Earth, aka Swedish folk singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson. The Tallest Man On Earth has been one of my favorite artists ever since I first discovered his debut album Shallow Graves in 2009. That was an exciting time in this generation’s indie-folk revival, and Matsson has been contributing increasingly jaw-dropping works since. I had the enormous pleasure of seeing The Tallest Man On Earth perform last year at Womadelaide’s spin-off festival Earth Station that was held in the Belair National Park. Since that time he’s released a brand new album There’s No Leaving Now, which was largely the focus of his Womadelaide 2013 performance. Here’s what Timber & Steel contributor JDX had to say about the album;

“I was more than just a coward. I was handsome too”. One of the best opening lyrics I’ve ever heard. I was in a doctors’ waiting room; the venue for many of my musical discoveries. Kristian Matsson’s intricate chords, his sweeping melodies, his metaphors, sharp, yet brittle, stole me from the moment, as my favourite folk music always does. Matsson said There’s No Leaving Now was about wanting to deal with your own weaknesses. I felt weak. This album made me feel stronger. I could write reams about imagery, or interpretation, about how “Bright Lanterns” is the world’s best post-colonial protest song, about how this isn’t The Wild Hunt and whether that matters. But then I’d be saying too much.

Powerful right? I think that testimonial is representative of the command Matsson has on an audience. When I turned around to survey behind me from the front of Stage 3 during the set I saw a sea of affected faces- it stole us all for the better part of an hour.

Womad 2k13 Bands-20

Matsson enters the stage and starts to play without a hint of ado, without a moment to feed his ego with the applause of an adoring mass as if to break the audience’s shackles with reality, their awareness of their surroundings and prepare them to experience the music and only the music. That’s not to say that his performance lacks humanity. Matsson is constantly, unashamedly, physically affected by his music during his performance, which can appear quite unique and peculiar at first but also allows the audience to feel uninhibited. Sometimes he assumes the famous one-legged stance of Jethro Tull flautist/front man Ian Anderson, and at other times he briskly whips back and forth the front of stage like a flamboyant magician showing the audience his empty hands before performing a trick. As per usual, The Tallest Man On Earth performed all by his lonesome until he was joined by a female vocalist (unknown to me) for a song towards the end of his set. Matsson’s trademark open-tuning, quick finger-picking guitar technique never ceases to amaze me. Among the songs from his latest album such as “1904”, “Wind and Walls”, “Leading Me Now”, and “Revelation Blues”, Matsson delved back into his back catalogue for some of his most moving tunes like “Love Is All”, “King of Spain” and “Like The Wheel” and even further back to tracks like “The Gardener”, “Where Do My Bluebirds Fly” and “I Won’t Be Found” from his debut. Below is a live version of one of my favorite tracks from his latest album for anyone who wants on the bandwagon.

Womad 2k13 Bands-25The next act I saw was the hyped Melbourne soul troupe Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, who I’d seen for the first time nearly exactly a year ago supporting Charles Bradley at Adelaide Festival’s Barrio club in 2012. The energetic horn section and spritely back-up singers gave a fantastic excitement to the show and provide the ideal backdrop for diva-queen Ms. Browne to stun the crowd with her powerful-as-all-hell vocals. You’d have all heard her tune “Love Letter” on the radio at some point, but if her Womadelaide 2013 performance proved anything to me it’s that Clairy’s not just a one trick pony.

Before calling it a night I caught the first part of The Cat Empire’s set. The enormous crowd that had gathered to the main stage was probably the biggest of the festival and really just goes to show that the Melbourne collective still has the pulling power to the “world-music” audience, even if their new tunes aren’t quite taking to “youth-radio” like they used to.

Womad 2k13 Bands-41

Unfortunately suffering from heat exhaustion brought on by an ill-fated attempt to play a Saturday morning soccer game in the high 30 degree, humid conditions, I missed out on much of the acts over Womadelaide’s Saturday and Sunday, although made it for at least a couple of hours on both days. If there’s one thing for certain, this Womadelaide was the hottest in recent years, being mid-to-high thirties for the whole weekend. All of the acts that I saw on Saturday I came across by complete accident. I delightfully observed indigenous Arnhem Land act East Journey for a few minutes before finding my way to the Morteton Bay Stage to catch a few tunes from contemporary Scottish folk group LAU. Despite being someone who is less inspired by the trad spectrum of folk music, I was incredibly impressed by the musicianship on display and could easily imagine their performance erupting into an unbridled ruckus in a smaller, enclosed venue.

Before calling it a day I stole a moment with both a genre defying group of Parisian-expats called Moriarty and a beautiful, sparse performance on an ancient discarded instrument, the viola da gamba, from viola guru Jordi Savall.

Despite lingering sickness I decided to head into botanic park on Sunday for two performances that I’d eagerly been anticipating, Mia Dyson and Abigail Washburn. Although Mia Dyson is a very well known Australian Rock/Blues & Roots artist, I think the height of her fame must have fallen slightly before my time. I was familiar with her name but not her work, despite her being widely touted by the Blues & Roots community in Adelaide and her being one of the intensely publicized headliners for last year’s Backwater Blues & Roots Festival in SA. To put it simply, I was stunned by Dyson’s Womadelaide performance. Her voice was just so intense and faultless. It made me wonder why I had never heard her music before? Perhaps her style falls on the “Adult Contemporary” side of blues/rock, rather than the “indie” side that’s considered fair game for mainstream radio… This reminded me of an interview article I read on Fasterlouder with Jen Cloher called “Why we need a Triple J for adults”- an Australian artist who’s probably been pigeonholed in the same way as Dyson. Well worth a read.

I caught Abigail Washburn’s second performance of Womadelaide with her current collaborator Kai Welch and found it equally as enlightening as it was entertaining. I had listened to Washburn’s most recent record only a couple of times. As an amateur banjo picker I’m always interested to listen to how the instrument is being used in new music and Washburn is renowned the world over for the use of that Scruggs-style clawhammer banjo in her music. What I didn’t realize was that Washburn’s obvious Appalachian/bluegrass influences are supplemented by strong ties with Chinese culture. Washburn has spent a lot of time in China writing and playing music, speaks the language fluently and draws from the culture in her music. The blend makes for an intriguing result, but is not at all gimmicky. Washburn and Welch had the crowd singing in Chinese and told stories of their shared time in the country following the ravaging earthquakes. In terms of performance, she and Welch played off each other wonderfully, hitting impossible harmonies without falter. Washburn even felt the energy to get up and clog along to a tune despite her obvious pregnancy. She did a TED talk that I found very interesting. Watch below.

Womad 2k13 Bands-48On Monday I was joined by some old friends so I spent the day less intent on seeing performances and more dedicated to catching up. Throughout the day I managed to catch sets from hearty New Zealand blues duo Swamp Thing and UK fiddle prodigy/trad heart throb  Seth Lakeman. I also had the Timber & Steel photographer playing paparazzi for an photo-article called “Beards of Womadelaide 2013”, which I would sternly urge you all to visit.

Womad 2k13 Bands-54

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– As is has been the norm in the last couple of weeks Monday morning kicked off with a brand new track from Passenger, “Golden Leaves”, in a live video featuring the Palatine Quartet. Details here

Willy Mason released the video for his latest single “Pickup Truck” from his album Carry On. Details here

– A Nick Drake tribute album based around the Way to Blue concerts has been announced for April this year featuring Teddy Thompson, Vashti Bunyan, Green Gartside, Robyn Hitchcock, Lisa Hannigan, Scott Matthews, Krystle Warren, Danny Thompson and more. Details here

Sarah Humphreys released her adorable new video “Boy Wonder” featuring her son Jude. Details here

– US banjo player Abigail Washburn and collaborator Kai Welch have revealed their full Australian tour dates when they’re in the country for WOMADelaide. Details here

– The entire first disc of the Son of Rogues Gallery pirate songs album is now streaming online. Details here

– We were blown away by the new Keaton Henson track and video “Lying to You” and we think you will be too. Details here

– Folk-rockers Dawes released the full version of their new single “From a Window Seat” after a couple of teasers. Details here

Bellowhead released the video for their latest single “Roll The Woodpile Down”, probably our favourite track from Broadside. Details here

– Check out the full list of dates for Paul Brady’s upcoming Extremely Acoustic Australian tour. Details here

– Breton folk duo Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet have a couple of shows booked on top of their Cobargo Folk Festival appearance. Details here

Stornoway released the slightly surreal video for their brand new song “Knock Me On The Head”. Details here

Simone Felice has announced his second Australian tour in 12 months this March and April with Jess Ribeiro in support. Details here

– Get yourself set for the weekend with the brand new video from party-folkers Crowns, “Four Walls”. Details here

The Gum Ball has delivered its final lineup additions for 2013 including John Schumann and Hugh McDonald (Redgum), Van Walker and Liz Stringer. Details here

– Melbourne duo Brighter Later will be launching their new album The Wolves in Melbourne this March. Details here

– Folk and acoustic music once again shone at the Brit Awards with big wins from Ben Howard and Mumford and Sons. Details here

Interviews

“Whatever happens on stage, it’s very organic, it’s very improvised. It’s not like we have a rehearsed scenario at all” – Simone Page Jones and Miles O’Neil from Miles and Simone chat to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

Beat and Holler, being my first album, was this unveiling – it took everything in me to step out in that moment and go “here am I, here’s my songs, they’re extremely personal and everything I have and am right now is in them”. So to come to the other side of that expression I was wondering what do I do here? I don’t have another body of work in me that’s of that level. I don’t want to now go and write a collection of 12 country greats. I want to go deeper. What moves me and what am I drawn towards – it just became this body of questions that I asked over time and I was confronted with as I moved further and further into the process of writing and recording Magician’s DaughterMama Kin chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“With connection and energy at the forefront of her creative design, Mama Kin and her band have more than delivered, especially with the over-all dynamic of each of the tracks. Danielle Caruana’s vocal has excelled itself, showing a much richer range and reach, with a subtle control of tone and nuance that drives the album to a new sonic dimension”Serena Skye reviews Mama Kin’s Album The Magician’s Daughter. Review here

“The Undertow EP has all the buzz and pop of his first EP with toasty, catchy tunes and soaring sounds but there’s also a darker edge. What you can hear is a maturity and perfection in each masterfully orchestrated track presented to the ear and a confidence emulated through his soothing, alluring vocals”Nikita Andrea reviews Hudson’s EP The Undertow EP. Review here

Gigs

“The performance only being contained for an hour, instead felt as though you walked atop the pages of history’s greatest musicians. Traveling through notes and crumpled paper of the days of Bob Dylan to Etta James, Gram Parsons to Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris to Sun Kil Moon. Simone holding a consistent operatic howl of inconceivable passion, coupled with an agonizing crescendo of something between great love and great despair”Janine Estoesta reviews Miles and Simone in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

Wishbone
WishboneBobby Long
iTunes

Old Yellow Moon
Old Yellow MoonEmmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
iTunes

Family Pets
Family PetsJulia and the Deep Sea Sirens
iTunes

The Magician's Daughter
The Magician’s DaughterMama Kin
iTunes

Son of Rogue's Gallery
Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 22nd February – Crossroads Wine Bar, St Helens, TAS
Sunday 24th February – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st March – Martain’s Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Arlo Guthrie with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
Thursday 28th February – Southern Cross Club, Canbera, ACT
Friday 1st March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Brett Winterford
Saturday 23rd February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Chaika
Friday 22nd February – Wollongong Conservatorium, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Independent Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February – Cobargo, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
22nd to 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Friday 1st March – Tara Guest House, Sydney, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 22nd February – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Bondi Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23 February – Newport Arms Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Cronulla Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st March – Bateau Bay Hotel, Bateau Bay, NSW

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd February – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 1st to Monday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 22nd February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Friday 22nd February – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

Melody Pool with Katie Brianna
Saturday 23rd February – Club Azzurri, Highfields, NSW

Mustered Courage with Oh Pep!
Thursday 28th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Sunday 24th February – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Wednesday 27th February – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st March – Elder Park, Adelaide, SA

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 23rd February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 22nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February – Tumbafest, Tumbarumba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 22nd February – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

The Tallest Man on Earth
Thursday 28th February – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st March – Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

The Tiger and Me
Friday 1st March – Riverside Live, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Talking With My Father” – Dougie MacLean

Today is my Dad’s birthday so I thought it was worth dedicating the FFF to him with this Dougie MacLean classic. Happy Birthday Dad!

Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch Australian Tour Dates

Abigail Washburn
Image Courtesy of Abigail Washburn

Having already been confirmed for WOMADelaide (and WOMAD NZ), Nashville based banjo player Abigail Washburn and longtime collaborator and touring partner Kai Welch have confirmed a string of other dates around Australia.

We have a feeling Washburn is going to be one of the must see acts at this year’s WOMADelaide so if you can’t make it to South Australia this March make sure you catch her at one of the following dates:

Wednesday 6th March – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th March – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 9th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 13th March – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 14th March – The Substation, Newport, VIC

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