Thank Folk It’s Friday – 30th January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– London based Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker has announced a new solo album The Toerag Sessions. Details here

Timothy James Bowen released his new video “Let Me Be Your Fire”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new video “Master Pretender”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Jess Locke released her new video “Change The Sheets” from her forthcoming album Words That Seem To Slip Away. Details here

Bear’s Den have released their new video “Think of England”. Details here

– Bluegrassers The Pigs released their new video “You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed” featuring Fanny Lumsden and Red Symons. Details here

– English husband-wife duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman released their video for the track “Child Owlet”. Details here

Brad Butcher confirmed his new album Jamestown will be out in March along with dates for a national tour. Details here

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations have announced a new album plus dates for a national tour. Details here

The Wild Comforts released their new video “Better Off Dead”. Details here

– UK four-piece Stornoway have released the video for “The Road You Didn’t Take” along with details of their new album. Details here

– Perth Bluegrassers The Seals have announced their plans to finish up this year but not before a final show in their hometown. Details here

– English folk darling Bella Hardy has announced her new album With The Dawn. Details here

– Sydney old-timey three-piece Catgut are streaming their new album Flying Spiders Over Texas online. Details here

The National Folk Festival added more artists to its 2015 including Kutcha Edwards, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, the Djaadjawan Dancers, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard, Christopher Coleman Collective, Restless Legs, The Button Collective, Folklore, Lime and Steel, The String Contingent and many more. Details here

– Sydney duo Winterbourne have announced their first ever national headline tour. Details here

Darren Hanlon has announced details of his new album Where Did You Come From? as well as a national tour this March and April. Details here



“One House is an outstanding release from one of the true rising stars of the Australian folk scene. A completely contemporary folk album that is rooted heavily in the tradition, One House is Tolka at the peak of their powers”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews One House by Tolka. Review here


“And then I was off! Having just a day at the festival meant I needed to see as much as possible in a small amount of time. Anyone tracking my progress around the showground would have seen me almost running between venues, ducking in halfway into sets, saying g’day to the artists as they clambered off stage only to then piss-bolt to the next gig”Gareth Hugh Evans recounts his 12 hours at the Illawarra Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Flying Spiders Over TexasCatgut

SEmmy The Great
Rough Trade

Sailing By The Stars
Sailing By The StarsRoland Kay-Smith

The Lone Bellow
Then Came The MorningThe Lone Bellow

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays, the duo project of singer-songwriters Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles) make their way to Sydney and Maitland this weekend bringing their beautiful harmonies and stunning folk songs to their NSW fans

Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Wednesday 4th February – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Angus and Julia Stone
Wednesday 4th February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA
Friday 6th February – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Ann Vriend
Friday 30th January – Sovereign Resort Hotel, Cooktown, Qld
Saturday 31st January – The Reef Casino, Cairns, Qld
Sunday 1st February – Brisbane Jazz Club, Fortitude Valley, Qld
Thursday 5th February – House Concert, Tallai, Qld
Friday 6th February – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Friday 30th January – Twilight At Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Bell St Delays
Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Black Market Tune
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Roxby Hotel, Sydney, NSW

CW Stoneking
Friday 6th February – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Friday 30th January – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA

John Flanagan
Wednesday 4th February – The Yarra Hotel, Abbottsford, VIC
Thursday 5th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Friday 6th February – The Bluebee room, Adelaide, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 30th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 31st January – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 1st February – Festival of King Island, TAS
Thursday 5th February – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 6th February – Amplifier Bar, Perth, WA

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Friday 30th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Monday 2nd February – The Loft, Melbourne, VIC

Mandy Connell with Tom Ciccone
Saturday 31st January – Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 4th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Melody Pool
Tuesday 3rd February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Thursday 5th February – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Peasant Moon
Friday 30th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Jeff Lang, Emma Swift, Matt Langley
Wednesday 4th February – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Saturday 31st January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Edey
Friday 30th January – Harvest Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Flying Saucer Club, Caulfield RSL, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“‘S iomadh rud tha dhith orm/Ciamar a ni mi ‘n dannsa direach” – Carolina Chocolate Drops

This is one of my favourite tracks from the Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis live album where Carolina Chocolate Drops singer Rhiannon Giddens performs it which then prompted me to hunt out some CCD versions on Youtube. Look out for the traditional “raising of the foot” to signify the change in songs in this video!

Bella Hardy Announces New Album With The Dawn

Bella Hardy
Image Courtesy of Bella Hardy

Celebrated English folk singer Bella Hardy has announced plans to release her seventh solo album. Titled With The Dawn, the album is an account of her life over a one year time period and features electronic sounds and loops interspersed with traditional folk instrumentation. With The Dawn is due for release on the 30th March this year.

The first new track from With The Dawn is the wonderful “The Only Thing To Do” – check out the video below:

Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

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

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

Lifetime Achievement Award
Clannad & Martin Carthy

Good Tradition Award
Cambridge Folk Festival

Folk Singer of the Year
Bella Hardy

Best Duo
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group
The Full English

Best Album
The Full English – The Full English

Horizon Award
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar

Musician of the Year
Aidan O’Rourke

Best Original Song
“Two Ravens” – Lisa Knapp

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

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
The Mischa Macpherson Trio

Hall of Fame
Cecil Sharp

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

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2013

Carol Singers

It’s Christmas Eve which means we have one last tradition to attend to – the annual Timber and Steel list of the best folky Christmas songs of the year. If you’re a constant reader of Timber and Steel you’ll know our love of Christmas music, both traditional and new and as usual there are some amazing gems this year.

We hope you have a safe and merry Christmas wherever you find yourself this year. We look forward to folking with you in the New Year!

Nick Lowe – “I Was Born In Bethlehem”
Punk and new wave legend Nick Lowe has embraced his inner folky singer-songwriter for his Christmas album Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family. The album is a mixture of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs with this track, “I Was Born In Bethlehem”, penned by Lowe himself.

Fabian Holland – “Christmas In Jail, A’int That a Pain”
Singer-songwriter Fabian Holland has been joining the Albion Christmas Band (Simon Nicol, Kellie While, Simon Care and Ashley Hutchings) on their UK tour dates celebrating 15 years of Christmas celebrations. Holland has offered up his own Christmas song for the occasion, the bluesy “Christmas In Jail, A’int That a Pain”.

Bella Hardy – “I Would Bring You The Moon”
English folk singer Bella Hardy released her Christmas single “I Would Bring You The Moon” in November, a follow up to last year’s Christmas album Bright Morning Star. The single also comes with two other tracks – “The Christmas Waltz” and “O Holy Night”.

Bellowhead – “Christmas Bells”
Based on the words of an ancient mummers play traditionally performed around the Christmas period, “Christmas Bells” is this year’s offering from Bellowhead complete with home made video. The downloadable single for this track also comes with a version of “Jingle Bells”.

Alessi’s Ark – “Joy To The World”
The first in our picks from the annual For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas compilation, this is a really sweet reimagining of the traditional “Joy To The World” from Alessi’s Ark.

Stornoway – “Gondwanaland”
Another take from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas Stornoway’s “Gondwanaland” originally appeared on their album I Saw You Blink but gets the Christmas tick of approval due to its many wintery lyrics (they are after all a northern hemisphere band).

Left With Pictures – “The Coldest Night”
For the Left With Pictures contribution to the For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas album, “The Coldest Night”, the band have actually made a really sweet, vintage style music video with scenes of Christmas in Sweden. This track also appears on the Highline Records compilation album Festivus 2.

Laish – “Silentish Night”
The final inclusion from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas is the Laish track “Silentish Night”, a rewording of the Christmas classic “Silent Night”. This may be a rather bleak look at Christmas but given the scenes in our major cities in the lead up to the big day it hits pretty close to home.

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker – “We Three Kings”
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have had a massive year following the success their album Fire and Fortune, especially in their native UK. As a follow up Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have quietly released an album of traditional Christmas tracks titled Midwinter, the proceeds of which go to Unicef’s Children of Syria Appeal (you can buy it here). Every song on the album is a gem but we’ve chosen “We Three Kings” as this seems to be getting the most buzz on the blogs.

Land of Leland – “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
I came across the Land of Leland track “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” thanks to the excellent Grass Clippings blog. Land of Leland is the moniker of Brooklyn based folk singer Justin Keller and the track is from his mini-album Christmas Time.

Gareth Davies-Jones – “Love Came Down”
Gareth Davies-Jones, the Northern Irish folk singer with one of the Welsh-est names I’ve ever heard, released his Christmas album Nine Lessons last year so this one sneaks in just because I’ve only just discovered it. I love Davies-Jones’ accented singing voice on this track – beautiful.

Yetis – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Yetis were a real discovery for me this year – I caught them at a Little Features I think and was mesmerised. They didn’t make a lot of my end of year lists because they didn’t release much music this year but I’m really hoping that changes in 2014. I love that they chose “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as a Christmas song to cover this year – so good!

Gaoler’s Daughter – “Cuddling A Cigarette”
London four-piece Gaoler’s Daughter have contributed this slide-guitar filled, indie-folk gem to the charity Christmas album It’s Coming On Christmas.

Paper Aeroplanes – “In The Bleak Midwinter”
Also from the It’s Coming On Christmas compilation, this traditional carol gets a beautiful modern take from Paper Aeroplanes – a band that is a firm favourite of Timber and Steel contributing editor KT Bell.

De Temps Antan – “Dans la mémoire longtemps”
I don’t speak French but this clip from Québécois trad trio De Temps Antan, “Dans la mémoire longtemps” or “In The Long Memory” (thanks Google translate), has a Christmas tree in it so that’s Christmasy enough for me.

Imogen Clark – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Clark just made the cut this year releasing her jazzy take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” just days before Christmas eve.

Tom Mitchell – “Fairytale of New York”
A big thank you to blog Cover Lay Down for bringing this version of the classic “Fairytale of New York” to my attention. I can’t think of a better way to cap off this year’s list. Merry Christmas!

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The latest song from the upcoming album Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys has hit the internet and it’s a version of “Shenandoah” featuring Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Details here

– UK indie-folk darlings Daughter has announced the details of their upcoming debut album If You Leave, complete with 10 single word track titles. Details here

The Crooked Fiddle Band are taking the crowdfunding route with their second album and are asking fans to contribute to a Pozible campaign. Details here

– UK singers Eliza Carthy, Lucy Farrell, Kate Young and Bella Hardy have joined their considerable talents for a brand new folk supergroup project Laylam, with a new album due on the 28th January. Details here

Donavon Frankenreiter is bringing his brand of surf-roots (and his moustache) back to Australia this February and March for a massive 30+ shows. Details here

– The new video from Hayden Calnin, “Summer”, is better written, acted, shot, directed and of course soundtracked than anything on Australian television at the moment – that’s my claim anyway. Details here

– The Counting Crows have confirmed a handful of sideshows when they’re in the country for Bluesfest. Details here

– Melbourne instrumental three-piece The String Contingent announced their new album Talk and started streaming it online all at once. Details here

– “Winter Make Way”, the new single from Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers is pretty stunning. Details here

Matt Walters has finally released his Vacant Heart EP, four months after the original release date. Details here

– Ex-Middle East memeber Mark Myers has unveiled his new solo project, The Starry Field, with a poppy debut single and a bunch of east coast tour dates. Details here

The Starry Field’s debut single “All Of My Love” also has a brand new video to go with it. Details here

The Perch Creek Family Jug Band have teamed up with the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats and the Bearded Gypsy Band for a east coast mini-festival tour this February. Details here

– “Line of Fire” is the brand new single from Junip from their upcoming self titled album. Details here

The Staves released their brand new video “Winter Trees”. Details here

– UK trio Bear’s Den have made their latest single, “Pompeii”, available as a free download. Details here

Passenger has revealed a brand new song “A Thousand Matches” via a live video that also features Stu Larsen and Isobel Anderson on backing vocals. Details here


“We started off on New Year’s Eve at Peat’s Ridge, and that was amazing. We’ve also ended up with large amounts of nude Australians, twice in a fortnight” – Jorge Kachmari from The Underscore Orkestra chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“We’ve decided quite recently that we’re not going to record anything all three of us together. Because Laura wants to focus on her career and I want to focus on mine. And I’m happy to play with Amelia and Laura when we’re together, but it’s kind of like a side project being The Miss Chiefs”Laura Zarb, Amelia Gibson and Vendulka Wichta of The Miss Chiefs chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here



“As a country-wide heat wave began to take hold you’d be forgiven for thinking only a crazy man would leave the beach lined coastline of Sydney for a weekend in New South Wales’ central west. And you’re probably right except I was driving over the mountains to take part in the Gulgong Folk Festival, an event I had heard so many good reports on in 2012 and which boasted a 2013 lineup that seemed lifted straight from the pages of Timber and Steel – how could I not attend?”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Gulgong Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Vacant Heart
Vacant HeartMatt Walters

Timber and Steel Presents

Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Grizzly Jim Lawrie with Kat Arditto
Sunday 20th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Archie Roach
Friday 25th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th Januray – Bulli, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 18th January – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 19th January – Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th January – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Tuesday 22nd January – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 23rd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 25th January – The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW

Leah Flanagan
Sunday 20th January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Lianne La Havas
Friday 18th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival
18th to 27th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 18th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th Januray – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

The Starry Field
Sunday 20th January – The Public Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – The Round, Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – The Barcode, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 25th January – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

The Underscore Orkestra
Tuesday 22nd January – Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Waterboys
Wednesday 23rd January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Don’t Forget Your Shovel” – Christy Moore

Was stoked to discover this song has an official film clip complete with a shirtless Christy Moore. This was one of those songs I used to love when I was a kid, mainly because the lyrics (and the way Moore sings it in his staccato Irish accent) are just so absurd, at least to a kid. But it really has a timeless message – that “if you’re going to do it don’t do it against the wall”. Mind your sandwiches.

Carthy, Hardy, Farrell and Young Team for New Project Laylam

Image Courtesy of Eliza Carthy

Folk-blogs the world over have been abuzz this week with news of a brand new UK folk supergroup made up of Eliza Carthy, Lucy Farrell, Kate Young and Bella Hardy. The group, called Laylam (meaning “chorus”), is unique in that all four artists are known for singing while playing the violin – although that is not the reason they got together.

“This musical journey began through the joint efforts of the Sage Gateshead and Alan Bearman at King’s Place in London – Kathryn Tickell thought we would sound good together, and it turns out she was right. She later said that it hadn’t occurred to her that we were all women who played the violin and sang at once,” explained Eliza Carthy. “Happy coincidence then, and one that is working well for our sound-tight harmonies and rhythms in voices and bows. And we had such a good time, and such nice tunes, that we thought we would make this album as an excuse to hang out some more. We played everything pretty much live in a room, with fancy bits added later and mistakes glossed over. Oliver Knight added ideas and hobnobs, made killer coffee and tried to work out how to make us sound alright.”

Laylam’s debut self titled album is scheduled for release on the 28th January with the quartet about to embark on a UK tour. We’ll let you know as soon as some audio or video hits the web from these talented ladies.

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