Thank Folk It’s Friday – 24th November


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne based alt-folk-rock duo This Way North announced a huge national tour. Details here

– Folk super-group I’m With Her announced details of their debut album See You Around. Details here

– Jennifer Hankin from Vanishing Shapes and The Button Collective has started releasing solo indie-folk music under the name The Emerald Ruby. Details here

Vance Joy announced plans to release a new album, Nation of Two, in February. Details here

– Roots singer Nahko released his new single “Be Here Now”. Details here

– Irish folk-singing duo The Lost Brothers released their new video “Echoes In The Wind”. Details here

– English post-punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner released his new video “There She Is”. Details here

The Ahern Brothers announced a huge January and February tour. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter BATTS announced plans to release her debut EP 62 Moons next week. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country singer-songwriter Freya Josephine Hollick released her new single “The Pearly Gates of the Landfill”. Details here

WOMADelaide revealed their full 2018 lineup including Le Vent du Nord, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Yirrmal, Elephant Sessions, Hat Fitz & Cara, Mama Kin Spender, Tex, Don & Charlie, Hana & Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits, Mission Songs Project, Naomi Keyte and many many more. Details here

– Irish music legend Eleanor McEvoy has announced an Australian tour this January. Details here

The National Folk Festival added 13 more artists to its lineup including Ryanhood, Chrysoula K. & Púrpura, Faith i Branko, Flats and Sharps, John McSherry and Donal O’Connor Trio, Damian Howard, Miriam Lieberman, The Black Swans of Trespass, The Button Collective, Royal High Jinx, Horns of Leroy, Squeebz and Dinosaur Time Machine. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen announced her upcoming EP Keepsake. Details here

Releases This Week

Four in the Morning
Half AsleepFour In The Morning

Frank Turner
SongbookFrank Turner

The Greatest GiftSufjan Stevens
Official Site

The Staves
The Way Is ReadThe Staves & yMusic

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Snowdroppers

The Snowdroppers

The blues-rock powerhouse that is The Snowdroppers are calling it quits with two final, huge shows in their hometown of Sydney

Friday 24th November – The Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th November – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna and Alicia
Saturday 25th Novemebr – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Americana Saturday Sessions feat. Jemma Nicole
Saturday 25th November – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Appalachian Heaven Stringband w/ Knott Family Band, Luke Plumb
Sunday 26th November – The Lomond, Melbourne, VIC

Argyle Sun-Sets @ Freds feat. Handful Of Thorns, Sid Berry, Willowy
Sunday 26th November – Upstairs at Fred’s, Camden, NSW

Ashlea Reale
Friday 24th November – Dôme Waikiki, Waikiki, WA

Babaganoush Spring Gypsy & Balkan Music Fest
Saturday 25th November – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 24th November – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Batch Sessions feat. Direwolf, Kane Muir
Wednesday 29th November – Batch Brewery, Sydney, NSW

Bernard Fanning
Friday 24th November – Granada Tavern, Hobart, TAS
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds
Friday 24th November – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 24th November – Parkes Leagues Club, Parkes, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Dubbo RSL, Dubbo, NSW
Sunday 26th November – Armatree Hotel, Armatree, NSW

Candice McLeod
Wednesday 29th November – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Colleen O’Connell
Saturday 25th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Claire Anne Taylor
Saturday 25th November – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS
Tuesday 28th November – The Founders Room, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 30th November – National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT

Friday 24th November – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – The Quiet Man Irish Pub, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 24th November – Wyreena Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Craig Woodward
Sunday 26th November – Loretta’s, Melbourne, VIC

Darren Hanlon
Friday 24th November – Happy Yess, Darwin, NT

Dean Lewis
Friday 24th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Spilt Milk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 30th November – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 1st December – UOW Uni Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 25th November – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Don’t Do Me Like That – A Tribute to Tom Petty feat. Alannah Russack, Bow Campbell, Morgana Ancone, Jason Walker, Johnny G, Lozz Benson, Sam Shinazzi, Maxine Kauter, Bryan Estepa, Peta Caswell, Mark NaNa, Monica McMahon, Tom Stone, Adam Young
Friday 24th November – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ella Belfanti
Saturday 25th November – The William Wallace Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Emma Russack
Saturday 25th November – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Monday 27th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 24th November – Lacmalac Soldiers Memorial Hall, Lacmalac, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Bowna Hall, Mullengandra, NSW
Thursday 30th November – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st December – Clovass McKees Hill Hall, McKees Hill, NSW

Tuesday 28th November – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st December – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vance Gilbert, Liz Stringer
Friday 24th November – Nymboida Hall, Nymboida, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Valla Hall, Valla, NSW
Sunday 26th November – Wauchope Community Arts Centre, Wauchope, NSW
Thursday 30th November – Texas Memorial Hall, Texas, QLD
Friday 1st December – Cooranga North Memorial Hall, Bell, QLD

FolkSwagon feat. Mat Morgan, Stephanie Grace, Mandy Connell
Wednesday 29th November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Four In The Morning
Thursday 30th November – Club Voltaire, Melbourne, VIC

Fox n Firkin
Thursday 30th November – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st December – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT

Frazey Ford
Friday 24th November – Badlands, Perth, WA
Saturday 25th November – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Sunday 26th November – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Gary Óg
Thursday 30th November – Finn McCools, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 30th Novemebr – Sands Tavern, Maroochydore, QLD

Georgia Fields and The Andromeda String Quartet
Sunday 26th November – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Get Folked Punk feat. Fox n Firkin, Wilson and the Castaways, Semen and Garfuckel, Operation Ibis, Jim Lynch, Catholic Guilt
Thursday 30th November – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Grizzlee Train
Friday 1st December – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC

Homeground feat. Yothu Yindi, Gavin Campbell, Yirrmal, Constantina Bush, Yirrnga Yunupingu
Sunday 26th November – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

HONK! Oz Official Launch
Friday 24th November – Wollongong CBD Mall Stage, Wollongong, NSW

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Irish Mythen
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC

Jack Johnson
Thursday 30th November – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st November – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Jackie Marshall
Saturday 25th November – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

James Bennett
Friday 24th November – Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 26th November – The Artist Market, Port Macquarie, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Thursday 30th November – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon
Friday 24th November – House Concert, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Queen St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 26th November – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 27th November – The Great Western Hotel, Cobar, NSW
Wednesday 29th November – The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill, NSW

Jess Cornelius
Friday 24th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Locke
Friday 24th November – The Prince Of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 25th November – The Firestation Specialty Beer and Wine Bar, Busselton, WA
Sunday 26th November – Norfolk Hotel, Fremantle, WA

Jo Jo Smith w/ Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart
Thursday 30th November – St John’s Craft Beer, Launceston, TAS
Friday 1st December – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS

John Flannagan
Saturday 25th November – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke w/ Harrison Storm
Friday 24th November – Norwood Hotel, Norwood, SA
Thursday 30th November – Mt Pleasant Tavern, Mackay, QLD
Friday 1st December – Dalrymple Hotel, Garbutt, QLD

Joyce Prescher
Saturday 25th November – Charles Weston Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

Jungle Love Music and Arts Festival
Thursday 30th November to Saturday 2nd December – Sunshine Coast, QLD

Kane Muir
Wednesday 29th November – Batch Brewery, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 30th November – Black Sheep, Sydney, NSW

Karin Page
Thursday 30th November – Fox Den, Gloucester, NSW

Kasey Chambers
Friday 24th November – Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon, VIC
Saturday 25th November – York on Lilydale, Mount Evelyn, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Grand Hotel, Mornington, VIC

Kyle Lionhart
Friday 24th November – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 25th November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 26th November – The Bison Bar, Nambour, QLD
Thursday 30th November – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 1st December – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Lindi Ortega
Friday 24th November – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC

Thursday 30th November – St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Little Georgia
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Liv Cartledge
Friday 24th November – Taphouse, Bendigo, VIC

Lloyd Spiegel
Friday 24th November – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st December – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Mama Kin Spender
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Mandy Connell
Sunday 26th November – Wandi Pub, Wandiligong, VIC
Wednesday 29th November – FolksWagon, Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st December – The Paragon, Katoomba, NSW

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 24th November – House Concert, Perth, WA
Saturday 25th November – House Concert, Woodlands, WA
Sunday 256th November – House Concert, Burwood, WA

Martin Pearson
Saturday 25th November – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Matt J Ward, Gretta Ziller & Andrew Swift
Sunday 26th November – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Mia Dyson
Friday 24th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Balnarring Town Hall, Balnarring, VIC
Friday 1st December – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission
Saturday 25th November – Cheshunt Hall, Cheshunt, VIC
Friday 1st December – Saints and Sailors, Portarlington, VIC

Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen
Sunday 26th November – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Modern Sounds In Alt Country Music feat. Jason P. Walker, Raechel Whitchurch, James Van Cooper
Sunday 26th November – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

My Friend the Chocolate Cake
Saturday 25th November – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

My Nightingale
Friday 24th November – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC

Nathan Seeckts & Joshua Seymour
Saturday 25th November – Labor in Vain, Melbourne, VIC

Niksta, Camille and Stuie, The Morrisons
Friday 24th November – The Manly Fig, Balgowlah Heights, NSW

Oh Pep!
Friday 24th November – Secret Show, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Archies Couch, Archies Creek, VIC

Paul Kelly
Saturday 25th November – Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Perth, WA
Sunday 26th November – Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Perth, WA

Phia w/ Josh The Cat, Merpire
Thursday 30th November – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Pierce Brothers
Friday 1st December – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, NSW

Port Fairy Spotlight Sessions feat. Marcia Howard, The Ahern Brothers, Mission Songs Project
Friday 24th November – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Queenscliff Music Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff, VIC

Quinton Trembath
Sunday 26th November – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – Mulgara, Canberra, ACT

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Nicholas Connors, Jep and Dep, Mercurists
Wednesday 29th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Rezza’s House Concert feat. Grazy’s Country, Lloyd M Clarke
Sunday 26th November – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Rick Hart Trio
Sunday 26th November – Bellbrae Estate, Bellbrae, VIC

Run Rabbit Run
Saturday 25th November – The Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Saturday 25th November – Mick O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Brisbane, QLD

Scott Cook
Monday 27th November – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Sunday 26th November – The Golden Barley, Sydney, NSW

Sid Berry
Sunday 26th November – Upstairs at Fred’s, Camden, NSW
Friday 1st December – Black Duck Brewery, Port Macquarie, NSW

Songs In The Round feat. Claire Anne Taylor, Tom Vincent, Hairyman
Saturday 25th November – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS

Stella Donnelly
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Thursday 30th November – The Toff, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – Waves, Wollongong, NSW

Steve Tyson & The Train Rex
Friday 24th November – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

SummerSalt feat. The Cat Empire, Xavier Rudd
Saturday 25th November – Hope Estate, Pokolbin, NSW
Sunday 26th November – Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Blues & Roots Festival
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December – Hawkesbury Hotel, Windsor, NSW

Tuesday 28th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The Audreys
Friday 24th November – Lyrebird Arts Council, Meeniyan, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC

The Band Who Knew Too Much
Sunday 26th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

The Beautiful Girls
Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Thursday 30th November – Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen, NSW
Friday 1st December – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Friday 24th November – North Sydney Leagues Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Castle Hill RSL, Castle Hill, NSW
Friday 1st November – Astor Hotel, Goulburn, NSW

The Campervan Dancers
Sunday 26th November – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

The Cat Empire
Saturday 25th November – SummerSalt, Hope Estate, Pokolbin, NSW
Sunday 26th November – SummerSalt, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

The Demon Drink
Friday 1st December – Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane, QLD

The East Pointers
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Thursday 30th November – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

The Loaded Dog Folk Club feat. Martin Pearson, Barbara Sanders
Saturday 25th November – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Morrisons
Friday 24th November – The Manly Fig, Sydney, NSW

The Shifties, Joyce Prescher, Greg Steps, Hannah Potter
Sunday 26th November – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

The Snowdroppers
Friday 24th November – The Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th November – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Thursday 30th November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 1st December – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

The Waifs
Saturday 25th November – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th November – Newcastle Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 28th November – Saraton Theatre, Grafton, NSW
Wednesday 29th November – The Events Centre, Caloundra, QLD
Thursday 30th November – The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD

The Willie Wagtails
Saturday 25th November – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Willing Ponies
Sunday 26th November – The George, Sydney, NSW

Three Chords and the Truth 25th Show Listening Party
Thursday 30th November – The Humpybong Distilling Company, Brisbane, QLD

This Way North
Friday 24th November – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 25th November – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 29th November – 61st 3rd Ave, Sawtell, NSW
Thursday 30th November – Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 1st December – Record Crate, Sydney, NSW

TinPan Orange
Saturday 25th November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Tom West
Friday 24th November – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Toni Swain
Friday 24th November – Paynesville Wine Bar, Paynesville, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Snowy River Historic Bakery, Orbost, VIC
Sunday 26th November – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC

Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife w/ The Stetson Family
Friday 1st December – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Tristen Bird
Saturday 25th November – The Bridgewater Mill, Bridgewater, SA

Friday 24th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 26th November – A Day On The Grass, Port Lincoln, SA
Tuesday 28th November – Saraton Theatre, Grafton, NSW
Thursday 30th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – The Pelican Playhouse, Grafton, NSW

Twin Peaks
Friday 24th November – The George Kerferd Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 25th November – Cheshunt Hall, Cheshunt, VIC
Sunday 26th November – Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC

Ukulele Death Squad
Friday 24th November – Newport Bowls Club, Newport, VIC
Monday 27th November – Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House, Queenscliff, VIC
Tuesday 28th November – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Vance Joy
Saturday 25th November – Spilt Milk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Vanishing Shapes
Saturday 25th Novemeber – Trobadour Folk Club, Woy Woy CWA Hall, Woy Woy, NSW

Wallis Bird
Friday 24th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th November – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Sunday 26th November – Mechanics’ Institute Hall, Scottsdale, TAS
Tuesday 28th November – Founders Room, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 30th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st December – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Whiskey Dram
Sunday 26th November – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

William Crighton
Saturday 25th November – Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Wilson and the Castaways
Thursday 30th November – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st December – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT

Xavier Rudd
Friday 24th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Saturday 25th November – SummerSalt, Hope Estate, Pokolbin, NSW
Sunday 26th November – SummerSalt, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Saturday 25th November – Botanic Park, Adelaide, SA
Monday 27th November – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 28th November – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Temperance Reel” – Sierra Hull & Justin Moses

Alanna Eileen Announces New EP Keepsake

Alanna Eileen
Image Courtesy of Alanna Eileen

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen has just dropped the news that she will be releasing her new EP Keepsake on the 13th December.

The EP was recorded at folk-music mecca The Sitting Room in Lyttelton, New Zealand with Ben Edwards (Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid) and features five beautiful tracks including the single “Knowledge” from earlier this year.

Check out the full track listing plus a stream of “Knowledge” below:

1. Stay
2. Knowledge
3. In Time
4. Elias
5. Legacy

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd June


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit released their new single “Cumberland Gap”. Details here

– Scots music legends Fiona Ross and Tony McManus kick off their double-bill Australian tour this weekend. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen released her stunning new single “Knowledge”. Details here

– Sydney band The Snowdroppers are calling it quits with a final tour. Details here

Sam Buckingham announced plans to tour her new album The Water nationally. Details here

Releases This Week

Charlie Fink
Cover My TracksCharlie Fink


Sam Buckingham
The WaterSam Buckingham

BloomTimothy James Bowen

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Stop Adani Disco-Hoedown feat. Lime and Steel

Lime and Steel

Get aware, get active, and get up on the floor! Help stop the disastrous Adani mine proposal on the Great Barrier Reef with some amazing folk music.

Friday 2nd June – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 2nd June – The Naked Bean, Grafton, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Anna Cordell
Saturday 3rd June – LongPlay, Melbourne, VIC

Ben Aylward, Michael Plater, Carl Redfern, Rebecca Bastoli
Thursday 8th June – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Beth Orton
Friday 9th June – The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Bill Callahan: Smog to Dream River
Friday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Bill Chambers & Raechel Whitchurch
Saturday 3rd June – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Instore at Nepean Music Centre, Mornington, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Baha, Rye, VIC

Bob Evans
Friday 2nd June – The Croxton Front Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 8th June – Grace Emily Hotel – Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th June – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 2nd June – Launceston Country Club, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 3rd June – Wrest Point Casino Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 8th June – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 9th June – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Catherine Traicos
Thursday 8th June – The White Horse Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 9th June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 2nd June – Saints & Sailors, Portarlington, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Baha, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Martians Cafe & Bar, Deans Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 7th June – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 8th June – UOW UniBar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 9th June – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Dear Plastic, On Diamond, Broads
Friday 9th June – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Diamond Duck
Sunday 4th June – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 3rd June – House Concert, Gladstone, QLD

Fiona Ross & Tony McManus
Saturday 3rd June – Beasley Auditorium, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th June – Lauriston Hall, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Lady Lyon, Brendon Moon, Romisounds
Wednesday 7th June – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

High Tea Feat. William Crighton
Thursday 8th June – Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks and Bonnie Kay & The Bonafides
Thursday 8th June – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Jane Cameron and Greg Steps
Wednesday 7th June – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jeff Lang
Friday 9th June – Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood, WA

Jemma Nicole, Howl at The Moon, Brooke Russell, Maddy Leman
Friday 9th June – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan Trio
Friday 2nd June – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA
Saturday 3rd June – Barossa Regional Gallery, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 4th June – The Barn, Adelaide Hills, SA

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 2nd June – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 3rd June – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 8th June – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – The Skylark Lounge, Upwey, VIC

Kevin Crawford, Colin Farrell & Patrick Doocey
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, VIC

Kim Churchill
Saturday 3rd June – Fremantle Town Hall, Perth, WA

Laura Marling
Thursday 8th June – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Leah Senior
Friday 9th June – Korova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

Les Thomas
Friday 2nd June – Kingsbury Bowls Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – Kingsbury Bowls Club, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 2nd June – Music On The Hills, Red Hill, VIC

Liz Stringer’s Big Tuesday String-a-long feat. Dr Lou Bennett
Tuesday 6th June – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Lolo Lovina
Friday 9th June – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Lowdown Hokum Orchestra
Friday 9th June – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Lucy Wise
Sunday 4th June – Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Saturday 3rd June – 303, Melbourne, VIC

Mary Coughlan
Friday 2nd June – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th June – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Mick Thomas
Friday 2nd June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Lizottes Restaurant, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 4th June – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 9th June – Wagga Wagga Civic Centre, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Monni Sparrow w/ Skyscraper Stan
Sunday 4th June – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

MOTH feat. Liz Stringer, Liam Gerner
Friday 2nd June – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

National Celtic Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Portarlington, VIC

Palm Creek Folk Festival
Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th June – Mountain View Lake Eco Park, QLD

Papa Pilko And The Binrats
Saturday 3rd June – Rad, Wollongong, NSW

Perisher Peak Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Perisher, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Button Collective, Sally & George, Taryn La Fauci
Thursday 8th June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Quinton Trembath
Thursday 8th June – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Raised By Eagles
Friday 2nd June – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Lizottes Restaurant, Newcastle, NSW

Red-Eyed and Blue: Katie Brianna & Adam Young
Sunday 4th June – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Rhythm & Blues BBQ feat. That Red Head, Don Hopkins, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Jesse Redwing
Thursday 8th June – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Sally & George
Friday 2nd June – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – Megan Hall, Dorrigo, NSW
Tuesday 6th June – Newcastle Uni, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 6th June – Sunset Studio, Sandgate, NSW
Wednesday 7th June – Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th June – Porch Light Sessions at The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th June to Monday 12th June – Peak Festival, Perisher, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 3rd June – Lismore City Hall, Lismore, NSW

Sara Tindley w/ Nick Payne
Sunday 4th June – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Stop Adani Disco-Hoedown feat. Lime and Steel
Friday 2nd June – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Sun Kil Moon
Saturday 3rd June – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-together
Saturday 3rd June – Annandale Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

Taasha Coates
Friday 2nd June – Kingston Town Hall, Moorabbin, VIC
Friday 9th June – The Bison Bar, Nambour, QLD

The McClymonts
Friday 2nd June – Commercial Club, Albury, NSW
Saturday 3rd June – GV Hotel, Shepparton, VIC

The Northern Folk & This Way North
Thursday 8th June – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Shack Presents Pat Drummond, Distant Sons, Nick & Jazz
Saturday 3rd June – The Music Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Tim Hulsman Trio
Friday 2nd June – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 4th June – Sooki Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th June – KUBU Studio, Geelong, VIC

Thomas Oliver
Wednesday 7th June – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th June – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Tom Stephens
Thursday 8th June – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Tom West
Saturday 3rd June – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – Glen Helen Homestead, NT

Sunday 4th June – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Vaudevillia by Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Sunday 4th June – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Waterloo Sunset Sessions feat. Weatherboard Heart
Sunday 4th June – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

William Crighton
Thursday 8th June – High Tea, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th June – The Ex-Services Club, Mullum, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Naked As We Came” – Iron and Wine

Listen to the New Alanna Eileen Single “Knowledge”

Alanna Eileen
Image Courtesy of Alanna Eileen

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen has just released her stunning new single “Knowledge”. Spacious and ethereal, this track shows off Eileen’s incredible songwriting and captivating voice.

Take a listen to “Knowledge” below:

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015

Record Collecting

So you’ve read what we think the top 25 albums of 2015 are but here’s what you’re really waiting for – the article where we ask our favourite artists to pick their favourite recordings of the year.

Every year we reach out to artists across the Timber and Steel genre spectrum to pick their number one album or EP of the year and the results are always surprising. So get yourself a cold drink, find somewhere comfortable to site down and enjoy Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015:

Postcards From Ursa MinorFrank Turner
Will VarleyPostcards From Ursa Minor
I stumbled across Will a few years back and instantly fell in love. He’s currently my favourite songwriter, and I think this album is little short of a masterpiece.

The DeslondesJimmy Daley (The Morrisons, The Tawny Owl Stringband)
The DeslondesThe Deslondes
Heard the song “Louise” on a live music series on YouTube called Jammin In The Van and was immediately bowled over. Went and bought the album (yes I bought it) and was not disappointed. Killer songs, retro production that sounds modern at the same time, great playing and awesome singing/harmonies. I’ll be knocking back many tins over summer while listening to this album.

The Phosphorescent BluesMichael O’Donnell (The Squeezebox Trio)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
Stop reading this review right now and go listen to this album. Its just perfect. From the 10 minute opener to Debussy to one hell of an ending, this album is a game changer. There is only one (10 second) instrumental solo on the whole album, opting for lush orchestrations instead. It was a HUGE influence on us.

Paradise is ThereTaryn La Fauci
Natalie MerchantParadise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
To be able to re-release a complete new version of a record first released 20 years ago in 1995 is an incredible artstic achievement. Karl Broadie introduced me to her music and since then I have drank up her journey and past records. Her voice holds this piercing warmth and wisdom that coos you in and wraps you up like a child in its mothers arms. Getting to devour this rediscovery of Tigerlily and how she has evolved with it is why this record is my favourite release of 2015.

Wilder MindGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
This is really a no brainer for me, I absolutely adore these guys and without them I probably wouldn’t write the music I write today. This being said, their new sound took me a while to get used to and I went from loving 95% of the songs to loving 70% on this new album. Still, it shows how even a genre-defining band can have the guts and skill to reinvent their sound and write powerful songs independently of the instrumental setup.

Diamonds in the BloodstreamJosh Rennie-Hynes
Raised by EaglesDiamonds in the Bloodstream
A great collection of songs. Honest and thoughtful and the production is spot on. One of my favourite Australian bands.

But For All These Shrinking HeartsWoody Pitney
Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts
Josh Pyke delivered again with this new gem of an album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts. Staying true to his iconic style and sound, this tightly produced record is a great listen. Despite not having any stand-out hits like previous albums, it still has plenty of sparkle and charm. My personal favourites are “Hollering Hearts” and “Book of Revelations”.

Carrie & LowellCaitlin Park
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
There is no-one quite like Sufjan Stevens. It is hard to put your finger on the power of his story-telling, what it is that drags us in so. For me, it is the way he paints the picture; he writes about the little things, the smaller moments between two people. A whole album dedicated to the memory of his mother and descriptions of her passing, we are left to fill in the the rest of the story. Where they lived, their age – these things don’t matter as long as you are privy to their quiet moments alone. And then in one foul swoop, he wraps up the meaning of the song in one sentence, and your heart breaks into a thousand pieces **we’re all gonna’ die**. A lyric that will stay with me forever, a lyric i will always remember from the year 2015: “What could I have said to raise you from the dead, oh could I be the sky on the fourth of July?”

Strange New PastSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Seth SentryStrange New Past
I know this puts me at risk of losing my indie folk privileges but Seth Sentry’s second LP was simply outstanding. Kendrick Lamars to pimp a butterfly was musically more brilliant but topically from another world. His harmonic nostalgia tethered by trap beats rap ego and existential early 30’s humility is seamless. The record plays from start to finish effortlessly and voids of any Aus hip hop cringe worthy cleches that we have blushed at when measured against the likes of Kings Kunta and Kick Push. I’m a hip hop dancer and this is hands down the best Aussie rap release for getting down to ever. If you dig emotional depth, impressive musicality and need a reason to shake your ass, this record is all that and more.

sound and colorRosie Jackson-Taylor (Liam Gale & The Ponytails)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
I have been completely obsessed with every single track on the album since the first time I heard it and it was on welcomed high rotation for the entire drive of our East Coast tour earlier this year. Brittany Howard’s voice is unbelievable and every song is captivating in its own right. The whole experience of the album is kind of like listening to futuristic funk blues in space, naked.

Sol InvictusClaude Hay
Faith No MoreSol Invictus
I had been waiting for this album for years. Singer Mike Patton can put an unique infectious melody to anything he touches, melodies that stick. There’s always something different that comes from these guys that is so refreshing to my ears, the complete opposite of commercial radio.

Carrie & LowellSam Newton
The Milk Carton KidsMonterey
This is one of the most ‘pure’ sounding records that I’ve ever heard. I know that this could be said of just about all of the releases by these guys but I feel that with Monterey, they have reached all new heights in lyricism, vocal unity and the art of subtle lead/guitar fills. It says something special about the songwriting of a group when every track on an album contains a maximum of 2 voices and 2 guitars but can still hold its own from start to finish. I bought the vinyl when I saw them live earlier in the year and it has easily been one of my favourite purchases of 2015.

LoyaltyMatt Bauer
The Weather StationLoyalty
I haven’t connected with a record this strongly in a very long time. From the first lines of “The Way It Is And The Way It Could Be” I was just – there. It took me several attempts to get to the end of the record because I was so moved I kept having to turn it off.

Key ChangeMatt Corby
MockyKey Change
This album is full of songs to live life to, songs you can put on at any moment and jam out to.

Carrie & LowellDan Flynn
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
How many gobsmackingly good folk songs can you fit into one album? Eleven it seems. This album is unbelievably melancholy but also curiously uplifting and indeed healing. The vocal melodies are outrageously good, the instrumentation is pitch perfect and the production is stunning despite the fact that part of the album was recorded on his iPhone. I will be listening to this for years to come.

Darling ArithmeticKim Churchill
VillagersDarling Arithmetic
I have ogled at the songwriting abilities of Conor J O’Brien since we played a small gig in an odd venue called the Duncan Garage Showroom on Vancouver Island years ago. In the past his lyrics have portrayed a depth and insight that guided me as a person much further into myself and my unconscious emotional processes. Again he helps me make those journeys on this album but with a simplicity and vulnerability that is just profound! He has clearly had some pain and rebirth in his life and he puts it out on the table in an incredible honest way. He reaches further inside himself than many of us ever will and gives us songs that allow us to take the same journey’s into ourselves. It’s kind of creepy how he does it. But he’s always flirted with being a bit creepy. Watch the video clip to his first single off the album, “Courage”, and you’ll see what I mean. In many ways its the essence of psychedelic folk; Spooky, insightful, melodically stunning and at its core undeniably beautiful and honest.

Phosphorescent BluesBlair Dunlop
Punch BrothersPhosphorescent Blues
Whilst it’s an incredibly impressive body of work from a technical standpoint, it never strays into grandstanding or over-indulgence. Beautiful arrangements, soaring harmonies and songs that keep me guessing – a gem!

Soft Faces to HoldAlanna Eileen
Toby GrahamSoft Faces to Hold
Beautiful, surreal alternative folk music with incredible vocals, lyrically inventive and delicate in all the right places. It got me through the year.

When The Storms Would ComeBronte
Holy HolyWhen The Storms Would Come
I have been a fan of Holy Holy since they released their first EP. Their album When The Storms Would Come, which was released in July this year, has been a stand out album in my opinion. I enjoy the lyrics and the melodies that flow throughout their music which continues to improve with each release. I think the next few years for Holy Holy will be huge and they are starting to enjoy a great deal of success from overseas audiences. Stand out track is “History” but “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” just makes me want to crank up the dial and drive around all night, it is such a cruising tuneeee.

Nathaniel RateliffJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night SweatsNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Only released recently this album is straight out of the 70’s!! Full of now Motown and soul, it’s 2015’s ultimate road trip album.

NinaThe Campervan Dancers
Daniel MarchNina
So much groove! It’s really tight, shows a wonderful depth of stylistic influences. Great production and musicianship – just the whole package. These have been our chosen cruisin’ tunes in Candice-the-Campervan-Dancer-van this springtime.

If I WasJoel Barker
The StavesIf I Was
It was hard to chose against Glen Hansard’s Didn’t He Ramble but after seeing The Staves at The Beautiful Days Festival in Devon, UK a couple of years ago I had to go with their 2015 release If I Was. Hearing three sisters sing together in perfect harmony make it seems so damn easy. The addition of Justin Vernon as producer takes the intimacy of their past work and elevates it into a more accessible market. Theres a new dynamic and consideration to the recording process that really hits a note with me. Songs such as “Make It Holy” and “Steady” have magnificent vocal loops and hooks that keep you wanting more of those voices made to sing together. It’s got a lot of texture, as much intimacy of their previous releases, but additional drive which undoubtedly has introduced them to a whole new fan base. Makes we want to prop myself up against a tree, close my eyes and listen to it on repeat, over and over again.

These WallsRose Wintergreen
Anna CordellThese Walls
Sometimes, very rarely, new songs come to me in my dreams. I wake up with the melody in my bones, I sleepily reach for my phone to record it before it disappears forever. It’s happened several times recently, and I’ve been ecstatic with the deep, haunting quality of the melodies, the pleasing way they meander effortlessly like a creek rambling unselfconsciously in bushland so remote that no one will pass through for decades at a time. Unfortunately for me, I’ve realised that these melodies are actually Anna Cordell’s, from her stunning debut record, These Walls! Arresting and deeply affecting.

EPTim Guy
A force of nature in the very northern parts of NSW. They made an EP this year and squeezed 5 songs onto a little ’45. The last track comes from the view of a Bushranger being in his cell while awaiting hanging. It’s really rare and really wonderful. Great songwriting with ragged attitude to the musical accompaniment.

FourwindsThe East Pointers
After chatting about our many favourite records from this past year, the 3 of us decided that FourWinds deserve the top spot with their self-titled album. This crew from Ireland is tearing up the traditional music scene with their authentic sound and top-notch musicianship. Check ‘em out live if you can!

Modern VintageSian Evans
Cheap FakesModern Vintage
If its not for the super smooth vocals of Kiwi front man Hayden Andrews alone, it’s the funk, the phat base, totally hot horn lines and syncopated silences. Production instrumentation ties cleverly a carnival dub vintage rock’n’roll infused surf style funk and soul variety. Consistent. Solid. It dribbles dizziness, you can’t sit still!

The Woodshed SessionsScott Collins (The Mid-North)
Wood and WireThe Woodshed Sessions Vol. 1
Six tracks recorded in one take around one microphone. It is an exciting display of musicianship and energy. Very fun and awe inspiring.

Sound and ColorAlison Ferrier
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
An exciting, innovative and uplifting second release from the rock band with soul. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard’s performance is utterly inspiring: she gives it everything she’s got. I sing along with this in the car quite a lot!

The PositionsCastlecomer
Gang of YouthsThe Positions
We love that the album is so dark in theme yet the melodies could be on any pop album. It’s an impressive body of work. Our runners up are Holy Holy’s When the Storms Would Come and Tame Impala’s Currents.

AngelenoNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Sam OutlawAngeleno
California has always been a source of great country music – first with the Bakersfield Sound and then later from Los Angeles. This year Californian Sam Outlaw refused to move to Nashville to record his debut album Angeleno and instead insisted on recording in Los Angeles with the help of Ry Cooder as producer. The album is both genuine country in its sound and also its stories. This album takes me back to an earlier time in country music whilst still sounding fresh and un-clichéd.

All Your Favourite BandsTracy McNeil (Tracy McNeil, Bell St Delays)
DawesAll Your Favourite Bands
From the first drop of the needle your ears are hit with six single, drawn out notes played on one guitar against a spattering of drumrolls from off in the distance – this is the hook, the earworm of the song painted thinly as a foreshadowing of what’s to come. And what is to come? Like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, the soundscape breaks wide open as the band punches in with that very same hook – this time fully realised. Dawes always create a sound that is purposeful, epic and at times slightly over-worked in terms of lyrics, but their latest release All You’re Favorite Bands gets the balance just right. Produced by David Rawlings, Dawes will find it hard to top this collection of world-class songs, played and captured live in a room by a band at the height of their career.

Trans Arlantic HighwayLuke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles, Bell St Delays)
Lost RagasTrans Atlantic Highway
The most soul shaking cosmic country experience I’ve had since Beck tried his hand at the genre. It’s more traditional than that of course and has all the essential ingredients you need to make a good country album – pedal steel, guitars, drums, bass, great song writing – but there’s an indescribable magic to it. Something deep that runs right to the heart. Matt Walker, Shane Reilly, Roger Bergodaz and Simon Burke are like the components of a beautifully engineered vintage engine, each part absolutely essential to the whole, the art of what happens when things are put together in the right way. Buy this album – it runs like a dream.

The Stars My DestinationNick O’Mara (Raised By Eagles)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
There’s a sense of humour and a sense of dread in varying degrees throughout this album. Track 4 scares the shit out of me. Salter’s an incredible lyricist, his guitar playing’s tidy as fuck and his voice – sheesh, forget about it. This album is more than the sum of those wonderful parts I reckon. It’s just funny, thoughtful, sometimes rockin’, soulful – hope he hasn’t read this the next time I run into him at the pub. “We’ll have all the time in the world, An endless afternoon, When we’re bones under the dunes”.

Choose Your Weapon
Luke Richardson (Raised By Eagles)
Hiatus KaiyoteChoose Your Weapon
It’s complicated and tricky-clever but with grooves that are solid and so grounded. I think my favourite thing about this band is that each part – drums, keys, vocals, etc – are given their own separate sonic space so even when individually there are some pretty dense rhythmic and harmonic things going on the overall sound is still really open.

TravellerGretta Ziller
Chris StapletonTraveller
I was really excited when Gareth emailed me asking for my favourite album of 2015! Determined to do my due diligence, I got straight onto my 2015 Soundtrack on Spotify (where I put all the new music I find) and went round and round. The one album I just could not go past was Chris Stapleton’s Traveller – it’s just so dang good!!! This album came out and it was like he was holding a hand full of ace’s around a table full of jokers in the poker game they call country music! If you’ve heard of The SteelDrivers you would instantly recognise Stapleton’s voice, its a lonely shot of whiskey in an empty bar, it’s singing to Jesus on Sunday morning, it’s whispering to your lover in the dark of night and it crying over a broken heart, and of course his songs cover all this and more! On a side note, I do recommend googling Stapleton, he is no newcomer to Country music, having been involved with the aforementioned SteelDrivers, but he has also been in the background writing hit songs for major country music artists for years! I could keep gushing about this album for days, but, in short, Traveller is a return to good honest heartfelt country music – and we all say Amen!

Echolocations CanyonAinsley Farrell
Andrew BirdEcholocations: Canyon
This entire album was recorded in the Coyote Gulch Canyons in Utah. It’s the first of a series where Bird uses different components of the environment to stretch, bend and explore sound. I think it’s important to give credit to your surroundings and appreciate that the environment you’re in has a huge influence on the sound you put out.

OutsidersKate Burke (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Trouble In The Kitchen)
Heath CullenOutsiders
The fact that I love this album has only a little to do with the fact that Heath lives up the road from me. This album, where Heath is joined by Elvis Costello’s Impostors, has fantastic songs that range from the danceable “Two Left Feet” to the gorgeously Daniel Lanois-esque “Who’ll Rock the Cradle” and anthemic “One for the Road”, all lush and powerful and featuring mad, crazy, wonderful keys and piano at almost every turn. I love it more with every listen.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
A brave, bold, powerful and honest collection of songs that successfully destroys taboos and exposes truths; a very rare thing. Beautifully performed and produced, this album is laden with artistic integrity from a songwriter who’s driven from a deeply personal space and sings like a rising angel.

Carrie & LowellWilliam Fitzsimmons
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
Sufjan + return to acoustic music. What’s not to love!?!! Truth be told, even though I love and respect Sufjan’s art more than just about anybody else alive (Sorry Selena Gomez!) I was kind of bummed when I heard that he’d be returning to an “acoustic” sound for this record. Don’t get me wrong, I love acoustic music. I make acoustic music. But I cherish the fact that Sufjan has always been willing to do something kind of, well, different … and still make you hum along (e.g. that ghastly solo in “Springfield!!!”). And I snobbishly loved being one of the people who really, really loved the Adz project and his increasingly left of center writing. But once I got past the hype of Carrie & Lowell (the unopened vinyl sat in my studio for about 2 months) and actually listened, I was overjoyed. I recently lost someone very important to me, so certainly the subject matter of Carrie & Lowell hit close to home. But, moreover, it was the record’s ability to wrap these difficult ideas into such simple, small, understated songs. Nobody messes with the idea of subtlety and histrionics like Suf. And to perfect that tricky dance and sing about death at the same time is tantamount to a masterpiece.

CurrentsAnnie Hamilton (Little May)
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Tame Impala have seriously nailed it with this album, there are some excellent musical moments in there. It’s really cool to see a band evolve and grow over the course of a few albums while still maintaining their own sound and style.

Sound and ColorOlivia Hally (Oh Pep!)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
There’s only one way to listen to this album: from top to bottom and on repeat. It was already my favourite album this year and then I later discovered a bonus track called “Joe” on a TV show and I cried a little bit. It’s too good.

Ryan BinghamRuby Boots
Ryan BinghamFear and Saturday Night
I love the balance between emotive songs/story telling and grit. I am a sucker for good Americana music with raw delivery and grunt behind it and this album fulfils all of that and more. Every track on there is A grade songwriting with classy melody hooks that are not too obvious until you turn it off and they are running through your head for the rest of the day. These songs that make me a little sad but fill me full of hope at the same time, also another soft spot for me. I love this artist, and this album is my favourite album of 2015.

ShipsOscar Lush
Water MusicShips
“Four weeks after the devastating suicide of my sister, I locked myself in my shed for four days and wrote and recorded these songs on my 8-track as both tribute and therapy. I’ve had death close to me before and here I was again.” – This record absolutely broke my heart and still continues to do so. Every time I listen it brings me to tears. Mathew is such a powerful and unique songwriter. Nothing I listened to this year came close in depth and heartache to this record.

DeclarationAnna Cordell
Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration
This is REAL folk music. And these are REAL women. This music has purpose beyond the artists own egos. I am completely inspired by this album and these two women – and, well, the music is just so beautiful!

Ron BlockHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Ron BlockHogan’s House of Music
So many of my favourite contemporary bluegrass musicians are giving it their all on this creative instrumental album. Best of all, there are so many “you can’t do that on a banjo” moments!

Small Town BigshotLachlan Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
Fanny is a great artist and natural entertainer, her hard work and real songs have been fantastically produced on her debut record. Catchy, easy listening and a great voice makes you wanna hit repeat every time.

Don't Lose ThisSkyscraper Stan
Pops StaplesDon’t Lose This
I’ve never had much of a hard-on for Jeff Tweedy so I was skeptical when I heard he was collaborating with Mavis Staples on the final, posthumous release of her father’s music. As it turns out, both Jeff and Mavis have done an amazing job fleshing out the bare-bones recordings Pops made in 1999, a year before his death. It’s all here; tremolo guitar, reverby drum sounds and beautiful group vocals from the Staples sisters. Plus some unexpectedly clever lyricism.

The Stars My DestinationMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers, Wifey)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
Well I have to admit in the 4 years I have been doing this for you lovely folk at Timber And Steel I have had the hardest time choosing. Kudos to Buddy Glass and Bad Dreems for almost getting there. It took me a week but I’m giving my gong to Ben Salter for My Stars The Destination. The thing that kills me about this guy is that he just improves artistically and vocally with every release. His debut The Cat was a magnificent effort but he has raised the bar again here. As a songwriter he is up there in my book with Gareth Lilliard, Tim Rogers, Mick Thomas and Paul Kelly. I don’t think it would be overselling to say he is possibly the best vocalist in the land right now. Listen to the title track when the vocals beef up half way through. If that doesn’t make your neck hairs stand up I don’t know what will. Usual story: should be huge, probably wont be. Travesty.

1989Ryan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan Adams1989
I’ve always been a fan of Ryan’s ability to take a song and completely own it, especially in cover songs (We all remember his haunting version of ‘Wonderwall’ don’t we?). He took probably the most commercial and poppy sounding album and turned it into a very solid folk rock album that you wouldn’t know wasn’t if they didn’t happen to be mega-hits that he was covering. The production is great and I think maybe most noteworthy is his ability to spin somewhat jovial adolescent lyrics and somehow add that signature Ryan Adams melancholy. Respect.

HighRoland Kay-Smith
Royal HeadacheHigh
The formula these guys have is irresistible. I’m not much of a heavy rock guy, traditionally favouring more Timber-and-Steel-esque tunes, but the whole blue-eyed garage soul thing just gets me. Some of it’s silly, some of it’s naff, but there are enough great tunes here to keep me coming back again and again.

ValleywoodNad Budge (The Stetson Family)
Dan ParsonsValleywood
I first heard Dan Parson’s new album Valleywood whilst driving around Nashville in a crappy rental car with a really crappy sound system, and it blew me away – Valleywood, that is, not the car! I was first struck by how great the production came across, full, rich and really well balanced – then I was drawn into Dan’s songs, each one wanting me to listen to what he had to say, and giving me a sense of nostalgia as well as excitement for this next generation of great songwriters.

CurrentsDustin Tebbutt
Tame ImpalaCurrents
This was my favourite release this year. I hadn’t really listened to the band before this album, and it was an incredible introduction. For me, it’s the beautiful combination of genres in here that gives this record so much depth. A lot of the song structures and mixing techniques borrow heavily from house music (the extensive use of filters for example), and a lot of the beats are a mix of old school soul and breaks. These fundamentals are then built upon with psychedelic guitar parts and raw, dreamy vocals. The record has attitude, vibe, heart and a real overarching journey. I just love it.

The Phosphorescent BluesJon Boden (Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
I was a bit late to the Punch Brothers party, but what a sound! It’s not really bluegrass, more experimental art-pop with bluegrass instrumentation. Beachboys-esque vocals, mandolin funk workouts, beautiful style and tone throughout by five masters of their instruments.

Carrie & LowellSam Sweeney (Bellowhead)
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
This is such a beautiful and poignant record. It’s hard to listen all the way through without shedding a tear. After The Age Of Adz, this a welcome return to Sufjan’s folkier side. It’s a heart breaking album about his relationship with his mother who died of cancer in 2012 after a long history of substance abuse and mental health issues. It’s a painful listen and yet so perfect.

Mellow DramaMark Lucas
James McMurtryComplicated Game
It’s the narrative, those fragile vignettes that come alive with truth and a sheer humanity that doesn’t preclude a little bitterness but is always tempered by a dry humour. As he says himself, like his American literary giant father, Larry McMurtry (“The Last Picture Show”, “Lonesome Dove” etc.), James is a fiction writer. His dad was an inspiration to me before I stumbled across his son’s work on a drive across Texas in ‘89. It’s been a heck of a journey in song and, to my way of thinking, that’s what it’s all about – a Complicated Game indeed and I still “miss my dog from years ago” too.

TrackerBob Barford (Bloodwood)
Mark KnopflerTracker
Mr Laidback personified. I reckon he put this album together for his own amusement and just because he could. While not overly impresive on the first few listens, like any good album it grows on you. It’s an insight into what he is up to at this point in time.

Shadows In The NightMark Moldre
Bob DylanShadows In The Night
So many iconic artists have tried the “American Songbook” album and have dismally failed. This is Dylan at his most intimate and unguarded. We hear every drawn breath from Dylan at microphone, every finger touching a string, the slow drag of a bow across a double bass string, a quiet movement or shifting of feet in the room – nothing is hidden from the listeners ear. No careful ProTools editing. A band in a hushed room. Guitars are caressed, sweeping pedal steel is syrupy and lush, drums are ever so softly brushed, tempos remain languid and dreamy while Dylan growls and croons his way through the mist. Lyrics written decades ago seem timeless, ironic and strangely poignant in Dylan’s gentle phrasing. Imagine granddad at the family reunion recalling songs of his younger days at the upright piano in the corner of your lounge room as the warm glow of an open fire crackles and pops. Nostalgia, sadness, wry humour and regret all seep and melt into one another until you feel you’re drifting in a grainy sepia haze. Perfect.

The Hedge SchoolsColm Mac Con Iomaire (Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The Frames)
The Hedge SchoolsAt the End of a Winding Day
My favourite albums involve time and space travel. They bring you places. This album At the End of a Winding Day by Dublin songwriter Patrick Barrett and Producer and co-conspirator Joe Chester AKA The Hedge Schools is a warm, golden, sonic-embrace. Visit this place and be well.

WindfallBrad Butcher
Joe PugWindfall
As much as I loved Rodney & Emmylou’s Traveling Kind or Isbell, Stapleton, or Oz’s very own songsmith Shane Nicholson’s great albums of 2015 Windfall speaks to me the most from an artistic point of view and holds the elements of music I love dearly; great songwriting recorded in a moving an honest way.

Kill It YourselfJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Jess RibeiroKill It Yourself
The latest album from Jess Ribeiro creates an entire world. It’s a fully cohesive album with songs that draw you in and make you want to listen harder – it feels as though you might miss something important if you’re not paying full attention. Each song is beautiful and the production is perfect.

TelegraphCara Robinson (Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson)
Kevin DohertyTelegraph
I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Doherty’s live set while in a play in Dublin, Ireland. I fell in love with the stories that he made into song about his insight into the world today, the world that has passed and indeed the world too set before us. His own stories in song take on the heroism, evil, love, madness all words and more that is more than the story itself he quotes. The album itself is personal and inviting and welcomes you in with the warmth and depth that he has in his voice to listen with intent as the album unfolds. There is a sense of awareness that is brought forward from a time long forgotten in the music and it is so important in song writing today that these stories of historical changes are kept alive as it seems a lot of the modern day writing is about surface subjects only a few dare to reiterate in a whole album. Recorded by a mighty line up of artists indeed within their own right, Liam Bradley, James Delaney, Paul Moore, Paul Rodden, Nicky Scott, Enda Walsh and Kevin Doherty set the tempo aptly. Favorite tracks “Camden Street” and “Tug Boat” The story and historical references are poetical and strong and is indeed offered beautifully and honestly to the listener. Inspiring writing.

Marlon WilliamsPatrick James
Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams
Although I’m in a library, listening with headphones and writing about this, it’s almost as if I am sitting in a tin shed listening on a half broken record player with a glass of aged scotch delving into something from my mum and dad’s music collection. Obviously this guy has such an incredible vocal ability, but sometimes that’s hard to capture and draw an intimate focus to on record. He and his team have nailed that and the band compliments it so well. I tend to be drawn to albums that inspire my own writing or change the way I think for a minute about music. This album does that for me. Not because the production is over the top or revolutionary but because it’s raw and honest and it takes me to a specific setting. It’s also performed in a refined way that almost seems theatrical, I think that’s what gets in me in from the start.

Hell Breaks LooseImogen Clark
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
Hell Breaks Loose is like a glass of whisky you want to drink, and love to drink, even though you know that when you ingest it, it’s going to bring to the forefront of your mind some of the most heartbreaking truths you’ve ever known and expose things you didn’t even know you felt or thought. Gut-wrenching lyrics and beautiful melancholic melodies, and more honesty than even whisky could bring.

Lianne La HavasBlood
Lianne’s voice is so velvety and intoxicating and enveloping, and the songs she writes are deep and powerful. She writes a killer pre-chorus too. The production is also fantastic, highlighting the light and shade and rough and smooth of her voice and songs. I can’t stop listening to it!

One Song RomanceNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Michael BarnettOne Song Romance
This album is a precision powered product of over 50 years of stringband music in America. Michael is a champion of the newest ilk in bluegrass and old-timey, and can play the fiddle like you wouldn’t believe. The front porch isn’t enough these days and folk musicians that were inspired by the likes of Bela Fleck and Chris Thile a decade ago are now taking to advanced tertiary institutions like Berklee and Juliard to hone their craft. If you like Punch Brothers, Crooked Still, or The Deadly Gentlemen, then rosin up to One Song Romance.

GoonJon O’Neill (Forest Falls)
Tobias Jesso JrGoon
It’s been hard as of late to find music that gives me a comforting chill down my spine, but this album did. Every one of Jesso’s masterpieces is straight from the heart and has an overwhelming sense of home and familiarity. I love this album because it doesn’t rely on production to make the songs “better” – rather, they are simple, beautiful and raw.

10Bill Jackson
Darrell Scott10: Songs of Ben Bullington
Darrell Scott met Ben Bullington during a trip to Yellowstone National Park with his children. Bullington was a small town Montana doctor who happened to write songs in his spare time and a mutual friend thought they might enjoy each other’s company – two single dads on vacation in the wilderness with their offspring. In fact, they wound up good friends with more in common than they probably thought at first. Bullington, it turned out, was fighting a cancer diagnosis that wound up taking his life. But, before he passed, he wanted to play a songwriters-in-the-round show in Nashville, and the date was set at the Station Inn. According to the liner notes on Scott’s new album, 10: Songs of Ben Bullington, that was the first time that he’d heard Bullington’s songs. And, as we can hear on the disc, Bullington was a remarkable songwriter. His lyrics have a natural musicality, and the nuance of his stories is bowl-you-over good in places. Scott’s treatment of the songs is pure and arresting. Here’s one of the most versatile artists in the Americana/roots world, whose instrumental prowess is well documented, giving one strum per measure in some cases, leaving room for the songs to create their own life. Not a lot of songs could stand up when stripped back to such simplicity. On the one hand, it’s a shame that a songwriter the calibre of Ben Bullington lived most of his whole life without his songs getting much further than his own guitar. On the other hand, it’s a blessing that his friend Darrell Scott picked up that very guitar and immortalized them. Favourite tracks: “I’ve Gotta Leave You Now”, “Born in 55”.

Mellow DramaAriela Jacobs
Kevin GarrettMellow Drama
Colouring was the first track I heard off Garrett’s debut EP and I immediately fell in love with the rest of the compilation. Similar to the James Blake aesthetic, his songs are punctuated with electronic beats but they are used gently and sparingly. Lyrically, he grabs your attention from the get go and although simplistic in narrative, he reels you in with unheard of metaphors to symbolise a broken relationship. Kevin may make you weep your eyes out, but I’m telling you it’s worth the sob and the copious amounts of ice cream afterwards.

Dogs at BayThom Lion
Bad DreemsDogs At Bay
I haven’t heard rock this real in a while. The songs and sound are unashamedly Australian. A raw record that hits you right in the face!

Daniel RomanoHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel RomanoIf I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Canadians do country well and Daniel Romano is no exception. On his fourth solo album the Ontarian moves away from the country folk of early material and beyond the twangy honky tonk of his 2013 release. This time it’s a modern interpretation of the countrypolitan sound which emerged in the 1960s. Some will accuse him of pastiche, and this is tempting if only the songwriting, instrumentation and vocal phrasings weren’t so damned good. George, Merle, Willie and even Charlie Rich would be happy to have written these songs. Romano knows he’s writing classics too, his brashness is evident through the use of rich synth-strings and drum machines. This was album of the year before I’d reached the end of my first listen.

Daniel KnoxJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel KnoxDaniel Knox
The 2015 release from Chicago troubadour Daniel Knox is my fave album of the year – the top of a very long short list. The album is rich with gorgeous instrumentation, surprising given the stark piano and vocal package of his earlier releases. The arrangements complement the sharpness of his songwriting and his utterly enchanting voice. I love the breadth of the album – Knox gives us hazy dream trance on “Blue Car”, sharp and catchy on “Don’t Touch Me” and even a hypnotic choir in 14 15 111. Lyrically, Knox’s observations of the sometimes mundane imbue the entire album with an undercurrent of creepy menace

Imaginary ManAshleigh Mannix (Ashleigh Mannix, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
I was hooked on the first listen. The first track “Mr. Rodriguez” had me bopping from the intro, and by the time the second verse had kicked in, I was swinging my hair and red wine around the kitchen like no tomorrow. My favourite song is “My Captain”, followed closely by “Rugged Lovers”. Both songs make me stop whatever I’m doing, and just listen. He makes me want to be a better songwriter. It’s just such a friken great album.

Imaginary ManJustin Carter (Justin Carter, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
A lyrically inspiring album from start to finish.

Multi-LoveSahara Beck
Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
Every song makes me fall in love again and again, not only with its extremely catchy melodies which dance through every instrument but also the lyrics that call you in with their familiar and relatable subject of thought. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have been on repeat in my mind all year long, this album is a wise old ear worm that I welcome into my mind with a warm accommodating smile

Chaos and the CalmMark Wilkinson
James BayChaos and the Calm
This record is really strong from top to bottom. It has a fantastic energy about it and the production hasn’t been overdone which really allows Bay’s voice to shine. The songs are catchy and accessible without being soulless and Bay’s vocals can stretch from intimate to powerful giving the album space for light and shade.

Sam AmidonCatgut
Sam AmidonHome Alone Inside My Head
Sam Amidon can go from quietly beautiful to shockingly abrasive in seconds. For Home Alone Inside My Head he put together a bunch of field recordings captured in 2002 after studying with old time fiddler Bruce Greene and free jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins. It’s not easy listening but it’s a glimpse inside the musical mind of someone we find very inspiring.

CurrentsTom Stephens
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Couldn’t deny Kev the props he deserves. The tunes are written, recorded, performed and produced all by the man himself, on his lonesome. There wasn’t even a dude around to get him a coffee when he was feeling flat. When it dropped the band and I listened to it five times in a row driving back from Melbourne. Everything is perfectly placed. The man is a master.

Yours DreamilyEddie Boyd (Eddie Boyd and the Phatapillars)
The ArcsYours, Dreamily,
The album is just filled with bangers from start to finish. Really great songwriting, catchy as f*@k and really interesting production. I would best describe it as soul/motown rock meets wild wild west. Super cool.

Ben MastwykJustin Bernasconi (Justin Bernasconi, The Stillsons)
Ben MastwykMornin’ Evenin’
Mastwyk’s beautifully crafted debut album is full of gems, the songs gently pushes and pulls you all the way from Texas to Melbourne inner north in one long dance.

The GleanerJordie Lane
Brendan WelchThe Gleaner
Thanks to local new Ballarat label, Heart Of The Rat Records, this brilliant album was given new life in October. Undoubtedly my favorite Australian voice, Brendan’s epic songs are matched by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate) with the producer hat on! I know already it’s gonna be one of my favorite records of all time!

Coming HomeBroads
Leon BridgesComing Home
Our pick for 2015’s top album was the debut album from Texan soul singer Leon Bridges. Co-written with members of Texan band White Denim, the album perfectly pays homage to that moment in history when gospel music bled into the world of soul. Particularly reminiscent of the velvet tones of Sam Cooke, the charismatic charm of this album had us absolutely bowled over, and has been played on high rotation since its release mid way through the year. Check out the single “Lisa Sawyer” – absolute retro gold.

Father John MistyTanya Batt
Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
I can’t even express what this album did to me the first time I heard it. It’s no hidden secret that Joshua Tillman is one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation/ever. His lyrical ability to tell a story is like no other. Then throw in the incredible voice and arrangements within his work and you just die a little inside with the pain he shares with you. I am a bit of a sucker for a concept album also so this is why this ended up being the winner. It’s such an honest album, so honest that he found it incredibly hard playing these songs in front of those close to him, and I feel that’s something I can relate to. I love you, Father John Misty. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

Such JubileePaddy Connor (Lime and Steel)
Mandolin OrangeSuch Jubilee
This duo have a magic touch of writing and playing songs that seem deceptively simple: and sometimes just that little extra beat or chord that grabs you. That can really play, but it’s never flashy: feels like you’re around a kitchen table at 2am with old friends singing that one song that opens their heart.

Jason IsbellAndrew Swift
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
A lot of my friends ok the music industry were raving about Jason Isbell, especially the women. If his name got mentioned on social media it was often followed by “swoon” or “my future husband” but it was actually my Dad that handed me his album and upon first listen I didn’t understand the fuss. As I’m lazy when it comes to changing CDs in my car it stayed in there for a while and played through several times and I came to realise just how impressive this man is. Something More Than Free is an album of songs I wish I had written. They’re not catchy when you first hear them but they grow on you, become a part of you, draw you in so you want to listen to the lyrics and thank god they do, the man is a wordsmith! This is one of those album where you don’t skip a song from start to finish.

Hell Breaks LooseTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
We don’t always agree on things like this, but in the case of the best album of 2015, my band-mate Taasha and I are in complete agreement. Shane Nicholson’s Hell Breaks Loose is a killer record. A break-up album for the educated country set (I think that’s us) that hums with vibrant melodies, deadly hooks and stinging lyrics, it sets a new bar for roots acts in our neck of the woods. Gently driving acoustic guitars and shuffling drums support a singer in search of a new start – confident, melancholy and yet tuned to hope.

Be ItThe April Maze
Jesse WitneyBe It
Four tracks of gold. The musicianship, arrangements and production are off-hook. Track 2, “Higher”, really takes you higher, it is so uplifting. But track 4, “Australia”, Jesse does something really special – it is very beautiful and captures the true essence of Australia. The perfect soundtrack for a roadtrip.

Glass FoolTodd Sibbin
Kaurna CroninGlass Fool
I’ve watched Kaurna’s development through four releases and on every level Glass Fool marks a significant step up. The songwriting, both lyrically and melodically, arrangement, production and his band’s cohesion (particularly Chris Panousakis’ lead guitar work) combine for a very tidy release indeed.

PondBetty & Oswald
PondMan It Feels Like Space Again
Oh boy the new Pond album has been round the block a few times at our place. Sonically arousing and drenched in all that bowie-esque glamour, these guys are right on!

Glass FoolBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Tim GuyChords
The first thing that stood out to me hearing Chords for the first time was the song arrangements. I suspected from the moment I heard them that a lot of thought had gone into the structure of the songs and the lengths of the sections in each song. None of the songs are too over played, it’s full of great guitar licks and vocal hooks, the melodies and chord progressions are really interesting and unexpected, and Tim has given great vocal performances on all tracks. He’s used his whole vocal range and included stacks of killer harmonies. The album covers a range of genres which I think can be risky sometimes in terms of keeping a natural flow. But Tim pulled it off. My fav’s are “Footsteps” and “It’s The Weekend”. Chords is a strong collection of strong stand alone songs.

Kendrick LamarHayden Calnin
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
This is a piece of art. Kendrick has made what I consider to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. He’s doing wonders for an ever-rising genre of music and delivers an intelligent, modern, original, political and poetic masterpiece with this LP. Fav track: “Alright”

Glass FoolWillowy
The Weather StationLoyalty
Beginning with a stumbling fast paced picking of the guitar and warped percussion – the mood of this album is immediately established, taking the listener on a somber yet hopeful sonic journey. Even with upbeat songs like the title track “Way it is, Way it Could Be” there lies a weight in expectation. Noticing this year a pull towards a fuller and often more electric centered production, each track on this album unashamedly bares it soul with a stripped back, predominantly acoustic, yet thoughtful layering of instruments that builds when needed. The album highlights Tamara Lindeman’s emotional and warmly experimental vocals that compliment her soul bearing songwriting.

Jason IsbellEmily Barker
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
Like many, I adore Jason’s record, Southeastern, so it was always going to be a difficult album to follow up. I bought Something More Than Free at Grimey’s record shop in Nashville and it was the only CD I had in my hire car for the week I was there. It is fantastic. As always, his raw lyrics and vocal delivery are arresting. Dave Cobb’s production is also killer. My favourite track is “Children of Children” because it reminds me of the beautiful, haunting Dillard and Clark record, Through the Morning, Through the Night.

TravellerTimothy James Bowen
Chris StapletonTraveller
He’s got a voice that will leave you mouth-gapingly speechless and a beard/hat combo to match. Do your ears a favour and get into it as fast as humanly possible. In particular, listen out for the track, “Tennessee Whiskey”. Good Lord.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLiz Stringer
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah has always been one of my favourites. As a writer and performer. This new collection of songs, recorded with Jeff Lang at his studio and a stellar band, is another heartbreakingly beautiful one. One of the few artists that consistently brings me to tears, Espie has trawled some depths lyrically throughout this album that few would be brave enough to attempt and, in doing so, has cracked open a vein of shining gold. It’s stunning.

Songs to PlayJulia Jacklin
Robert ForsterSongs to Play
I hadn’t heard of Robert Forster until I listened to him being interviewed by Richard Fidler about story songs from the 1970s. I liked his talking voice and his passion for Carly Simons “You’re So Vain”, I’d never really listened closely to the lyrics. So I looked up his record and it made me really happy! His wobbly vocals, Australian accent, the Christmas bells in “And I Knew”. Listen to “A Poet Walks” if you need a confidence boost over the Christmas socialising period.

Dorsal FinsRoscoe James Irwin
Dorsal FinsMind Renovation
An absolute cracker of a record from some of the best dudes in Melbourne. With Ella Thompson (GL), Jarrad Brown (Eagle and The Worm) and Liam McGorry (Saskwatch) at the helm, there was no chance this record wasn’t going to rule. Sweet 90s garage vibes and some great electro boogie, all without actually sounding like a retro throwback record. “Nothing Left to Hide” with its Iggy-ness, and “Heart On The Floor” are standouts. One of the best live bands kicking around as well.

MotorheadShane Nicholson
MotorheadBad Magic
After 40 years in the game, they have just released one of their best records ever. The songs, the execution, the sheer power, the consistent disregard for trends. Best band that ever was.

Hell Breaks LooseThe Weeping Willows
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
The combination of skilfully crafted songs and his soul-soothing voice place Shane Nicholson in the world-class league of singer-songwriters. To us, “Hell Breaks Loose” is Song of the Year and we challenge you to stay dry-eyed throughout “Single Fathers”, “Secondhand Man” and “Hermannsburg”.

PassengerThe Once
PassengerWhispers II
Passenger is a songwriting king. There are songs on this record that will kick you in the guts, make you question your very own choices of the heart, make you remember all the feelings that you stopped allowing yourself and all in the most positive way. AND he is donating ALL of the album sales to UNICEF in a quest to help end painful hunger in Liberia. What? He’s unreal. Just sayin’.

RadiusThe Brouhaha
Allen StoneRadius
The lead single “Freedom” hooked me in. Live video on top of Capitol records, so much soul, so much vibe. Love love love 🙂

The MiraculousMusketeer
Anna Von HausswolffThe Miraculous
I had the pleasure of watching Anna play the pipe organ at the Town Hall in Sydney early in the year. I also had the pleasure of exploring and playing music in her home country of Sweden, in their summer months. So, when she dropped this album I couldn’t help but fall back into that vivid northern world. I guess that makes me a little biased, but The Miraculous is probably the most well crafted piece of music I have heard all year. I would call it gothic folk rock. It is unique and moving and Anna’s voice will open your soul.

Deeper SouthRosie McDonald (RAPT, Folklore)
Shane HowardDeeper South
So many great albums out this year, but the one that stays with me, like a prayer shawl, is Deeper South by Shane Howard with Ewan Baker and John Hudson. I have huge respect for Shane. His music, poetry, philosophy and voice now seem to have been honed by the elements, love and love lost, empathy with others and his own life struggles. There is no preaching, no soap box, just wry observations of love, despite the struggles and realities of living. The first track, the windswept evocative “Deeper South”, got under my skin and recently when all the news was so dire, I’ve played it like a psalm. I can come back and back to it and each time is moves and calms me. The album has celtic, jazz and folk influences and the other musicians, Ewan on fiddle and mando, and John on beautifully played guitar, complement the songs exquisitely along with guest performers. Live, the experience is just as meaningful but this crowd sourced and lovingly packaged album, like a small hard cover book, is a true work of brilliance and worthy of a place in any collection.

Kendrick LamarMatthew Black (The Bottlers)
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar takes to his expansive african-americana scrapbook with a cleverly glinted and winking poet’s eye view of everyday life based subject matter with 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly. 

Swaggering back into beat poetesque lyricism mixed with gritty urban, jazz draped drawls he looks at today’s America and further into tommorow’s American influenced world from the perspective of a young black man still fighting the battles his radical forebearers fought. Casting aside industry pushed gangster rap stereotypes this illuminating stew all cooks down into what very well could be classified as the next leap in the evolution of hip hop music.

Universal ThemesGeorgia Fair
Sun Kil MoonUniversal Themes
Because my girlfriend hates it and “Birds of Films” is so beautiful.

courtney barnettLauren Moore (Pepperjack)
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett is undeniably a force in the Australian music industry. She has the complexity and aloofness of an aging rock star but with the level headed intellect of a philosopher. The elaborately titled Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit showcases her signature lyrical witticisms and deadpan vocal style but also brings some unexpected angst. It’s refreshing and relatable. Barnett has something to say and the world is listening. I can’t wait to hear more.

Bird Under WaterTom West
Arooj AftabBird Under Water
Bird Under Water is a beautifully serene and lush record by Brooklyn Based Arooj Aftab. I have found myself getting lost time and time again in her complex, haunting melodies and flawless vocals, often splendidly layered and harmonised. The songs feel skilfully composed and even after repeated listens I still get a thrill out of the many unexpected turns and instrumental surprises. I can’t recommend this record highly enough.

Weight of the WorldGeorge Jackson (One Up, Two Down, The Company, Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass, Buffalo Nickel)
10 String SymphonyWeight Of The World
Nashville based 10 String Symphony released a great full length album this October which has been on high rotation for me since. The 5-string fiddle/banjo duo consists of Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer who are both fantastic and acclaimed fiddlers, though interestingly this album is strongly song-centric. The minimal instrumentation and vocal arrangements are super interesting to listen to, they’ve come up with some really interesting solutions to creating a full sound with just the two voices and two fiddles (or one fiddle and one banjo) to work with.

Carly Rae JepsonImogen Bel
Carly Rae JepsenE-mo-tion
I was definitely a sucker for Jepsen’s huge hit “Call Me Maybe” but it seemed as though she was headed for one hit wonder territory after that. Not the case! This album is full of fun and catchy hook-filled tunes with production that makes me feel like I’m dancing under a mirror ball on prom night in 1985. It’s full of the energy and naivety of a first crush, and it’s a lot of fun to get swept away in the drama of it all. Best tracks: “E-mo-tion”, “All That”, “Run Away With Me”.

Cold SummersFraser A Gorman
CrepesCold Summers
Tim Karmouche’s songwriting is some of the most exciting music I’ve heard lately. He retains a classic style akin to the Beatles/John Lennon but it’s contemporary, exciting, lyrically interesting pop music at its best.

Loren KateKris Morris
Loren KateTil Night Meet’s The Sun.
Loren is an amazing story teller and the EP captures the honesty and fragility of what she does perfectly. It’s a heartbreaker but there’s hope and love in there. It’s really something.

Blessing and CursingMandy Connell (Mandy Connell, Stray Hens)
Jimmy DowlingBlessing and Cursing
Co-produced by Matt Walker, with harmonies from Lucie Thorne. Simple instrumentation, very Aussie writing style, with stark images of our industrial landscape mixed with the light and space of the countryside. His best realisation yet.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLes Thomas
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah Espie’s courageous album Mother’s Not Feeling Herself Today tops my list because it shows how music and songwriting can express topics that are usually too taboo to speak about. The honesty and generosity she shares about getting through post-natal depression and early motherhood is extremely rare and beautiful, and for that reason I hope these songs can be heard everywhere. Yes, it’s pretty heavy, but it’s also done in a supremely artful and moving way that would no doubt help countless people to process these under-acknowledged challenges and hardships.

Dick DiverDarren Hanlon
Dick DiverMelbourne, Florida
Boisterous, erudite, effortlessly nostalgic. All four songwriters share an aesthetic of detailed suburban minutiae and find poetry, humour and melancholy in the commonplace. This album feels like such an important beacon of light in Australian music at the moment, so therefore it’s criminal that they don’t play live more.

Tomorrow is my TurnSam Lee
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
This is more than a covers album – Rhiannon has taken some classic American song book standards and also lesser known blues and old time songs and crafted the most elegant dynamic and rich album that keeps so much of the original’s flare but represents these songs as though they were brand new and freshly forged. A true pioneer and gifted singer and musician coming into her own.

Brandie carlileFanny Lumsden
Brandi CarlileFirewatcher’s Daughter and Kacey MusgravesPageant Material
Just bloody great music. Purely honest to themselves in their songwriting and production and vocal delivery. Sassy, Classy and smart assy.

Skull n BonesThe Dead Maggies
So we marched through the woodlands to meet up ’round a campfire, and decide on the best album of 2015. After a few gallons of rum we decided that there was nothing good released in 2015. In fact we draw our inspiration from 1830s Tasmanian bushranger music, so we don’t listen to modern stuff. We can however give you a couple of tips for 2016… The Australian Beefweek Show (Newcastle pub-rock-cow-punk yobs) and Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble (Hobart, deep-intelligent-folk-rock), check them both out when they release albums next year. Now, where did I leave that rum…

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Lachlan Bryan and Aleyce Simmonds have announced a collaborative east coast tour. Details here

– US singer-songwriter Sean Rowe covered “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country band The Wild Comforts released their new album Silver City Sorrow this week and are heading out on tour. Details here

– Sydney’s Darren Cross released his new video “And The New York Rain Came Down”. Details here

The Pigs announced details of their new album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics as well as releasing the video for the track “Devil Inside”. Details here

– Brisbane alt-folk quartet Elbury released their brand new video “Caught Out Alone”. Details here

Nova and The Experience released their new video “We Made” from their brand new EP Where We Go. Details here

– Perth singer Husband released his new video “The Money”. Details here

– US Americana singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham has announced a new album, Fear and Saturday Night. Details here

– Next week will see The Wild Wild Inner West Review hitting sydney featuring Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels, Amber Rae Slade, Fanny Lumsden and Chris Murphy. Details here

– Watch “Home”, the new single from young sister duo Charm of Finches. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen is set to launch her new EP Absence next weekend. Details here

– Folk-blues artist Seasick Steve has announced details of his new album due this March. Details here

– Perth based singer-songwriter Joel Barker kicks off his national tour in Sydney tonight. Details here

Jim Lawrie (now without the Grizzly prefix) gave us a taste of his upcoming album EONS. Details here


“We always make a new setlist for each concert, and for festivals we usually add quite a few up-tempo tunes to fire up under the dancers”Afenginn chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Festival shows are always a bit special- the audiences are always a bit excited because there’s been a lot of word of mouth about us, and they’ve read about us in the program. There’s always the opportunity to bring guests up on stage too, which we haven’t had much chance to do in 2014. But ultimately I think we are always a bit excited to be at a festival and that boosts the energy of the set. We’re all festival babies and ge a buzz from the babel of culture at a big gathering- the music, food, seeing people we haven’t seen in ages- meeting new ones”Stray Hens chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“At Illawarra this year I will be concentrating on my audio-visual presentation The Anzacs: 100 Years On. It runs for 75-80 minutes and Nerys (Evans) and I do it together. I present, she presses the buttons. There is a great deal of audience participation and even reluctant singers find themselves joining in. Was that me singing??? I think I do Anzacs twice at Illawarra and have a couple of other “concert spots” as well. Looking forward to it as usual”Ted Egan chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We are really looking forward to 2015. More touring is on the cards; new songs and a new album are on the way. Plenty of gigs and good times to be had for sure”Big Erle chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here


“I had probably my most memorable NYE a few years ago in the then Duck and Shovel, at a Beatles Singalong of all things, but this year, it was a case of same venue, completely different music on offer” – bring in the New Year again with the Woodford Folk Festival, Black Market Tune and Bill Quinn here

“I was like an excited 10yo boy. Heightening the experience just behind me was an almost two year old who was in paroxysm and frissons of delight and was joining in, improve-style, during the choral bits. Wonderful. An absolutely stunning achievement” – Bill Quinn enlightens us on the Woodford Folk Festival Fire Event. Check it out here

Releases This Week

Where We GoNova and the Experience

The Wild Comforts
Silver City SorrowThe Wild Comforts

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Cygnet Folk Festival


Tassie’s little festival has become a must stop for many touring folk musicians and this year’s lineup is spectacular including Afenginn, Black Market Tune, Charm of Finches, Dan and Amy, Daniel Champagne, Dear Orphans, Fred Smith, John Smith, Lucy Wise, The BordererS, The Company, The East Pointers, The Mae Trio, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, The String Contingent and many many more.

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Archie Roach
Saturday 10th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 11th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Black Market Tune w/ Folklore
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Tuesday 13th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Charm of Finches
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

Debashish Bhattacharya
Thursday 15th January – City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Bulli, NSW

Jessica Pratt
Saturday 10th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Friday 9th January – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 15th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

John Smith
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Kim Churchill
Thursday 15th January – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Wednesday 14th January – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 15th January – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW

Olivia Chaney
Sunday 11th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Paper Lions
Friday 9th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th January – Transit, Canberra, ACT

Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS

Slow Club
Thursday 15th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – George Town, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The East Pointers w/ The Button Collective
Wednesday 14th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. David Francey, James Kenyon, Lucy Wise
Wednesday 14th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Friday 9th January – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 10th January – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Thursday 15th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Wild Wild Inner West feat. Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels, Amber Rae Slade, Fanny Lumsden, Chris Murphy
Thursday 15th January – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Thredbo, NSW

Tim Edey
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Tiny Ruins
Friday 16th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Upstairs & Underground feat. Betty & Oswald, Jacob Pearson, Caitlin Harnett, Goodtimes She Wrote
Saturday 10th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Shape of My Heart” – Noah And The Whale

Noah and the Whale were always going to move away from their acoustic roots so much so that we haven’t covered their latest album Heart of Nowhere anywhere on Timber and Steel. But we still love the music these guys make and we’re sure you do too!

Alanna Eileen to Launch Debut EP in Melbourne

Alanna Eileen
Image Courtesy of Alanna Eileen

Melbourne folk musician Alanna Eileen has the last little part of 2014 recording her debut EP with Mark Myers (The Middle East), the go to producer for indie-folk artists the country over. The EP, titled Absence, is due for release on the 18th January. Take a listen to a preview of the track “Clear” here:

To launch Absence Alanna Eileen has announced a very special show on Sunday 18th January at The Toff in Town Melbourne following by an east coast tour. Check out the full list of dates below:

Sunday 18th January – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 24th January -Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 25th January – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 29th January – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 4th February – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 19th February – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 24th February – New Farm Bowls Club, Brisbane, QLD

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