2017 Blue Mountains Music Festival – The Wrap

Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen doing Funeral Songs

Words and Pictures by Elizabeth Walton

“Can’t wait for this to start – Paul Kelly is Australia’s answer to Bob Dylan.”  So the murmur of the audience flows while revelers wait in the light filled entrance to the Lurline Pavilion at the 2017 Blue Mountains Music Festival.

“Nah mate, Bob Dylan is America’s answer to Paul Kelly,” comes the well whittled retort, a fitting reflection on the loyalty of the Australian pilgrimage to the Blue Mountains Music Festival, where Australia’s tower of song – Paul Kelly – has appeared many times.

The punters flood the moment with favourite festival stories, washed down with a good pint of Guinness. Mustering the strength to move past the thousands to the front of stage where you can really get lost in the experience – that’s what they are pausing at the entrance to do, for this is the festival’s main event – and that’s all part of the show.

Katoomba may be the original decaf soy latte kinda town, but the Blue Mountains Music Festival is still a double ristretto kind of event. Headliners including Kelly and The Waifs may have returned countless times, but you’d wonder why you would want to change something that clearly ain’t broke.

As the rain pours down, the mud slides up. The cafes flow with conversations filled with passionate responses to Gregg Borschmann’s Heartland Conversations, the virtues of six dollar gumboots, and the best fashion statement you can make with a plastic yellow poncho without face planting in the mud.

Paul Kelly hit the stage with his latest project, Death’s Dateless Night, an album of funeral songs recorded with collaborator Charlie Owen on dobro and keys, tenderly harmonized by Kelly’s own clan of daughters, the beautiful Memphis ad Maddie. The audience loved it, but loved it even more when the band eventually visited the song man’s own material. Though Kelly invited the audience to lay him down a pallet on the floor, and to just let it be, the cheers definitely grew louder when “To her Door” finally opened on centre stage.

The festival opened with acts including Caiti Baker, whose vocal style leaves you feeling that she wants to blow the walls of the theatre down, get out into the open where she can feel the  wind moving in her hair. The space seems a little small for her raging sound, verging from lyrical blues to a good decent growl. She tells us on Saturday she’ll be down on the Lurline Pavilion, the main outdoor stage at the show, though she pronounces it less like the colloquial Lur-lign, and more like Lur-Leene, rhyming the venue with Dolly Parton’s Joe-line, and soon has the audience singing along with her to an impromptu bash at Dolly’s favourite tune.

On Saturday night the Big Tent looks like it might fill with water, instead it’s a flood of grey hair and beanies, people moshing around in the mud in their comfy hand-made  knits and sensible weather wear. But if that gives a distinctively silver streaked view of the pilgrims, that’s only because the young ones are moshing at the front of the Main Stage, grooving out to Urthboy with his dub overlays and ultra chill. If you’re lucky this weekend you’ll only have gone through three pairs of water-ready shoes a day, your children won’t have sunk chin-deep in the mud, and you will be very happy with the new era of sounds washed in by Urthboy – where it’s standing room only up near the doof as the crowd gets all up close and personal like, pressed in so close that they leave the rest of the pavilion entirely empty. Up close and personal is the real thing when techo fans assemble to watch a row of straight standing personnel in front of a giant DJ desk, laying down the riffs over a deep sonic tonic.  Meanwhile,  a raft of festival volunteers politely excuse themselves from duty so they can catch the last 15 minutes of boyfilled Urth. This has always been a festival that knew its demographic well, and takes no umbrance with serving up something for everyone. From Blue Grass to Trad Folk, the genres represented expand the very notion of what seems like a 360 degree perpetually evolving spectrum of musical styles.

In a world where festivals are born, reach their peak and quickly fade, this event is now hosting third generation folk who wouldn’t have this gig played out any other way. The audience is right at home with the cabaret style humour of The Loveys, who’ve flown all the way from Mullum, bringing along their jokes about yoga and farmers’ market twee. They clink their way through a set in German,  which slips past their too-red lips and over-stated eyewear, their gentrified hats, and putt great-grandma’s Royal Doulton to a new, unintended use as the china tinkers out a syncopated funk. Midway through the gig one of the ladies asks for LSD – but it turns out she isn’t craving the hallucinatory type, she’s just after a Latte Soy Dandelion. Nailing the piss-take on all things modern circa 2017, from transgender marital departures to personality disorders – even the pursuit of happiness isn’t spared from their material. But they’re not popular just for their good humour, they’re a festival highlight because they’re absolutely gorgeous and very bloody good – especially the well grounded Bass Uke of Madeleine Liddy, who churns out a phat sound reminiscent of McCartney’s Hoffman – a sound others in the same venue struggled to achieve.

Perhaps that’s just down to luck, or it could be technique, but Liddy doesn’t think so. “It’s because it’s preloved,” she says. “And it’s well-worn in,” she adds with a cheeky wink, much like the general spirit of these grand duchies. “Oh, and it hasn’t got any varnish”.  Well that’s definitely it, wouldn’t you think? Some might think it’s just a great attitude shared amongst these ladies, including Janet Swain, who appears clad in a spectacular green velvet robe, reclaimed from some Victorian widow’s wardrobe.  She wears her threads comfortably as she honks and hauls her bassoon like a baritone sax.

A honkin and a yankin in some unintended direction is all par for the course, from the street buskers grooving overdubbed percussive raps on part-filled glass bottles, to Mic Conway’s Junk Band, giving himself an onstage vasectomy with a saw played so nostalgically that the audience asks “who is that woman singing with that distinctive voice”. It’s not a woman singing, it’s Conway’s vitals begging for mercy as he slashes out his aptly nervous and wobbly tune. His side kick is the amazing sousaphone player dubbed “Marjorie Snodgrass” for this line up, who sometimes cameos in the Cope Street Parade.  She spends an hour after the event lavishing praise upon Lewis the Sound Guy for “getting” that she is the bass – whether she’s pumping her sousa, or an impeccably rendered mouth-impro bass jug. They don’t call it a junk band for nothing. The mutual admiration continues until Lewis and most of the band discover they’re all neighbours in Sydney’s eclectic inner west.

Lewis covers the event every year, bringing his own mics to work his room, The Clarendon Theatre, whose plush trim is renowned for delivering a distinctively flat sound that Lewis successfully overcomes without the aid of the high end, crystal clear gear and production values of the main stages. It’s a challenge, but like all Blue Mountains Festival devotees, one which he could perhaps best be described as pathologically drawn to. The rigors of the job are largely performed by the unknown and the unthanked, but the dooers of these unseen tasks are usually destined to return.  Once the festival gets into the blood, it’s a well fixed hooked.

True to form the mountains throws its unaustralian weather – unaustralian because even folk from the Arctic Circle cry that it’s freezing cold. In the Arctic at least when it rains it falls as snow – a dry white dust that easily brushes off. The Blue Mountains offer a unique kind of soak that seeps right into your soul. Then come the complaints from the uninitiated, rain weary after three days trudging around in it. “I’d rather live in Canada than live in this!” Yes, you probably would, but that’s part of the attraction of the mountains, and it’s why all those silver streaks are standing there happily in their sensible outdoor gear. There’s a saying in the mountains – there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Get the good gear and you’re right to go.

Yet for the musos actually from the Arctic Circle such as The Jerry Cans, they’ve found their ‘other world’, a far departure from the Australian places they’ve previously played, melting  in the heat, discovering only then that the reason they developed a style of playing so fast was to stop themselves from freezing to death. From Adelaide to Darwin they preserved their organs from overheating on frenetic energy at a gazillion degrees. The weather doesn’t seem to have impeded their throat singing, electrified fiddle and squeeze box filled riot of a style. Here they discover they can finally crank it up and get back to their original pace. And the crowd rises to meet them, foot stomping in the newly created dance pit at the front of the Guinness tent – a welcome inclusion in an event that has always been considered a  ”concert” festival – one where you can expect to be able to sit comfortably in your bucket seats without your view being jiggled into obscurity – now there is room for both kinds of audience – the dancers and the dedicated listeners, and a wonderful world it is that can comfortably accommodate the two.

David Ross Macdonald presents a twangy six strings of metal  guitar that looks as if it could do with a bit of new brass, but it comes across sweet like a classical guitar, using a capo fretted style so soft and light that the end result is not unlike a uke. He invites the audience to join him as he croons upon how badly he craves to be held, and though his guitar looks like it might have seen better days, it’s perfect for such a setting on a night like this, offering a sound that’s subtle yet delivers a surprising level of depth.

The Mission Songs Project brings new life to the voices of the stolen generation and indigenous Australians who were splintered from their cultures when they were made to sing in a foreign language. Today, traditional languages are so far removed from their vernacular that singing in English has become the mainstay, the local languages have become the foreign tongue. Yet everything has its resurgence if you can claim it before it achieves vanishing point. The stories are heartfelt and beautifully sung – perhaps not with the campfire instruments of their natural settings, but the end result is one that adapts well to the contemporary stage and travels to a diverse and broad audience – for The Mission Songs Project, this is mission accomplished, and accomplished incredibly well.

In a festival world where every  outfit seems to have developed the mandatory uke moment, comes the strident yards of  a bush ranging balladeer – uke man William Crighton – nine parts murderer and one part hipster, tantalising the drama enthralled-audience, half of whom are  scared out of their minds that he might wield his tiny stringed box like an axe and murder them on the spot as he thumps between the rows– the other half of whom are hoping to hell that he will! Yet William makes his way back to the stage and continues his conquest to drown you in his jaded and heartbroke view of the world without ever shedding even a drop of blood.

Meanwhile the ground becomes a cup more filled with water-making-mud than one half empty, and the deserted stalls and food courts in the school grounds stand forgotten as no-one can reach them without a plank.

The 2016 Youth Award Winners The Bean Project  pulled off a surprisingly sorrowful set of sadness for ones who’ve yet to spend their youth. The brass section of this mighty duo invokes the gentlest French horn, muted the old fashioned way, with a palm holding back the full force of the sound. It is reserved, civilized, and remains gentlemanly, until Bryce Turcato takes away his hand and builds to a punchy solo, fluid with delicately placed 9ths and unresolved 7ths, while his mate Ben Langdon stares at him earnestly through his horn rimmed glasses, and flicks back his long blonde bob as he deftly states to his departed love, “I’ve never been alone more than I am here in your bed”.  The rays of light reached down and kissed him when she left, he says, before telling us that they cut their teeth in noisy pubs where not even the walls were listening. It’s an unsettling surprise now, here, in this theatre, he tells us, to finally have our attention. After Bryce finishes ripping through his brass staccato, he falls back into a noble style, summoning images of a call to hunt, all regal caps and whips and beagles.

“This next song will be sung in Islamic,” says the singer from My Bubba. This is a duo of damsels, one of whom looks like she’s emerged from legal secretarial school, with her closed-toe cloth pumps and knee length linen black shift, a look finished with a single strand of plastic aqua coloured pearls. They sing with the restraint of those who might be found in the dusty chambers of the law academy, yet the result of all that restraint produces something akin to an angelic ascendance, with soft harmonies beautifully entwined around a heavenly, harp like instrumental style. They look as though they might butterfly kiss each other at any moment with a naked eyelash.  These are the kind of virginal maidens that can maintain their composure and remain incongruously well groomed amidst a sea of people with wet hair and faces flung with splats of rain. If you can imagine the restraint that may invoke in their vocalising, then you’ve grasped the concept.

By Sunday, Stage 6 is dubbed Big Top Lake, and the Tantric Turtle along with all the other venues on the green are pulled.  A quick rethink and the audience and most of the acts are all reshuffled. No-one who has already played misses out. A new program is issued, the details are publicised on social media, and everyone is right to go. According to the seasoned stage crew who have built this mini city countless times and painstakingly pack it all down at festival end, this decision was more to do with the indoor lake and wanting to make sure everyone had a great time than anything else. Though folklore may want it remembered differently, it was less to do with the depth of the mud, which as far as outdoor events go, wasn’t as bad as it might have been. You might say it was deep enough, but not as deep as the festival from somewhere up north, where once upon a time some chick went so far down in the mud that she completely disappeared and has never been seen since, or so the story goes. Perhaps she showed up sometime later in the Manning Bar at Sydney Uni. But this is the Blue Mountains, where you’d have to think she selected her moment of re-emergence to coincide with first beers at the ever popular Boho Bar, run by all the dedicated mums and dads and rank and file members of Katoomba’s P & Cs. The festival is the major fund raiser, and the flush of funds surging through the veins of the schools for the past 21 years has made for a formidable contribution to a cash strapped cultural enclave of a town that couldn’t have achieved this in any other way. It’s an undeniable contribution to the advancement of wellbeing for the local munchkins, but you’ve got to wonder how they get on when the playground is as trashed as this – yet Katoomba is a town with a can-do kind of pride, a place where people are going to make do with whatever they’re handed to make do with. At least there’s no cars bogged in at 3am with volunteers desperately trying to pull them out, in a push-me-pull-you kind of experience never to be forgotten. And never to be repeated, now that parking is banned from the grounds.

The full gamut of natural disasters may have threatened to unleash the doors of doom upon the festival many of times– yet they never have. From deep mud to the high winds that huffed and puffed til they blew Lurline Pav down before opening a few years back, to this year’s  demise of the main indoor venue – Katoomba RSL – which burnt to the ground just a couple of weeks ago, this festival, like Katoomba itself,  is a foot soldier of survival. You can blow her big top down, you can burn her to the ground, but the show will go on, and the founding Festival Co-Directors Bob Charter and Al Ward are well seasoned masters of the quick switch.

Though this year sees the departure of co-founder Al Ward after 21 successful years in production, Bob still managed to pull off the switch and brought the shy wallflower that is the Palais Royale into play while the cinders at the RSL were still hot. Even the most established K-Town aficionados were not yet acquainted with this grand old dame of art deco Katoomba, who willingly submitted her services to the impromptu role of third venue for the festival.  The plush comfort and stately grandeur of the Palais Royale was well admired by all – a venue whose grandiose chandeliers set  the mood for dulcet tones that could woo even the most jaded festival goer.

Reaching out to this venue is a master stroke for the festival, and you can be sure bands and revelers alike will definitely want her back. It’s too good a venue to refuse for a festival that stands proud amongst a battlefield of fallen events. And as the much loved Blue Mountains Music Festival heads towards her quarter century of service, long may she reign.  All hail The Festival, and all she represents.

– Elizabeth Walton is a freelance writer, photographer and musician

Quebec Folk-Trad Group Les Poules à Colin Announce Australian Tour

Les Poules a Colin
Image Courtesy of Les Poules à Colin

You may have seen Quebec folk-trad group Les Poules à Colin popping up on a few festival lineups recently, and now it looks like we’re getting a national tour.

As well as spots on the lineups appearances at Cobargo Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Yackandandah Folk Festival, National Folk Festival and Fairbridge Folk Festival, Les Poules à Colin have a bunch of headline dates that will take them around the country.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW
Thursday 2nd March – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd March – Masonic Hall, Lindisfarne TAS
Saturday 4th March – Broadmarsh Hall, Broadmarsh, TAS
Sunday 5th March – Longford Town Hall, Longford, TAS
Friday 10th to Monday 13th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Friday 31st March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 5th April – Upper Landsdowne Memorial Hall, Upper Landsdowne, NSW
Thursday 6th April – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 8th April – New Farm Bowls Club, New Farm, QLD
Sunday 9th April – Nanango Shed, Nanago QLD
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th April – South Coast Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 21st to Monday 24th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything Australian Tour Dates

Jaron Freeman Fox
Image Courtesy of Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything

Canadian prog-folk band Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything return to Australia this week for a couple of festival shows – Blue Mountains Music Festival and Fairbridge Festival – as well as shows all over the country including Sydney (with Edema Ruh and The Jerry Cans), Melbourne (with The Willie Wagtails) and Perth (with Turin Robinson).

Check out the full list of upcoming dates below:

Thursday 17th March – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 22nd March – Araluen Gold Concert Series, Araluen, NSW
Wednesday 23rd March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 24th March – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 27th March – The Who Club, Warburton, VIC
Monday 28th March – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 31st March – The Homestead Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st April – Live at The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS
Saturday 2nd April – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Sunday 3rd April – MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 7th April – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 10th April – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Tuesday 12th April – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA
Wednesday 13th April – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Festival, Pinjarra, WA

National Folk Festival Interview: Kaurna Cronin

Kaurna Cronin
Image Courtesy of Kaurna Cronin

After winning the Folk Alliance Youth Award at last year’s National Folk Festival Adelaide singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin returns with a full band and a new album. We sat down with Cronin to talk about the massive year he’s had.

Gareth Hugh Evans: You released Glass Fool in July last year. It’s been getting a lot of really good press – how are you feeling 6 months on? Has the album settled into itself?

Kaurna Cronin: It was such a lengthy process going into it I kind of felt, just after recording process, that it was a little bit stale. But then going on tour and releasing it with the band we adapted it for a live performance and that really gave it a lot more life and energy – that felt really good. Six months down the track it’s still a pleasure travelling around playing it. And we’re adding a lot of new songs that will be coming with the release of the new album too. We’re excited to do that too after The National.

GHE: I didn’t realise there was a new album in the works.

KC: Yeah. We’re piecing it all together now. I think it will be around July this year that we try to get it out to everybody.

GHE: Last year a massive year for you with quite a big overseas tour through Europe, the album release, a couple of Australian tours and of course you scored the Folk Alliance Youth Award at The National last year. Have you recovered yet?

KC: It was an amazing year and it was amazing to have the support of the team at Folk Alliance too. That was really amazing. And to be able to do Woodford and the Fleurieu Folk Festival and all these amazing festivals. It’s been amazing to keep really busy. All of those European shows were a lot of fun with the band over there. The Christmas period was lovely for a bit of recovery but it’s really never ending. We’ve been working on the new album pretty intensively and we’re coming up to The National and Port Fairy and the Blue Mountains Folk Festival so that’s going to be a pretty busy period too.

GHE: What was the process behind winning the Folk Alliance Youth Award?

KC: It was unexpected really. We got nominated to be a part of the showcase at the National Folk Festival last year. I’d never been to The National so it was more just going along and being part of it – we didn’t really realise it was a competition as such. So we went up and played a couple of songs and at the end they said “you guys are the winners”. It was kind of weird and we didn’t really know what we got. But it’s been amazing working with them – they’re super helpful.

GHE: What’s the prize for that?

KC: It’s essentially a collaborative work with them for twelve months. They’ve got a lot of connections with a lot of festival bookers. And a big part of it is going over to the Folk Alliance International showcase in Kansas City in the United States. That’s industry meets and establishing a network over in the States.

GHE: I first came across your music through the rest of the Adelaide folk scene – people like Tom West and Todd Sibbin. It’s a really interconnected scene down there with everyone playing together and recording on each other’s albums. And it feels like everyone from that scene has really started to focus on the Folk Festival circuit – has that been a conscious effort from you?

KC: I don’t know if it was conscious but it’s definitely sort of evolved in that way. A lot of the projects I’ve been involved with have really pushed for that triple j market or national touring but I think for me I really just wanted to release an album that I was proud of and working collaboratively with different musicians who could add different, unique styles. I think through that, and keeping on writing songs, we’ve been lucky enough to land lots of these folk festivals and keen engaging with people.

GHE: And the folk festival audiences seem to really like you. They’re a pretty unique audience in that they’re a listening audience. You go and play at a folk festival, whether it’s Woodford or Cygnet or whatever, and the people who come to your shows are there to hear you and are super attentive and engaged.

KC: They are the best crowds for sure. At a folk festival in particular people are going along to be there, to have the experience. I think it’s really beautiful, the appreciation for the artist, that comes from a folk festival.

GHE: And people a very open to different types of music as well.

KC: It’s an eclectic mix. I thought it was amazing up at Woodford – you had Marlon Williams and then you walk around the corner and it’s MC Briggs. The diversity was crazy.

GHE: So talking about The National in particular: You’re back this year in an officially capacity. Are you looking forward to playing the 50th anniversary of the festival?

KC: Yeah! Last year was my first time at The National and I was blown away. It’s an amazing festival and there’s so many great artists. I’m really excited – this is going to be the first major festival that I’ll be playing with the full band. We’ll be doing songs from the Glass Fool album and also new songs that will be on the latest album too. It’s going to be a really good opportunity to play them live to one of those beautiful folk festival audiences.

GHE: And then after The National are there more shows planned?

KC: We’ll be touring for the single in May. But other than that we’ve just got Port Fairy and the Blue Mountains Folk Festival. After this run of festivals we’ll start releasing all the singles and then we’ll be going overseas in July/August touring Germany, Belgium and Sweden for a couple of months.

GHE: You just can’t get enough of Europe.

KC: It’s always good to get away from the winter blues.

GHE: That so much Kaurna for chatting with me today. Hopefully we’ll catch up at The National. Good luck with everything you’ve got on this year!

KC: Cheers Gareth, appreciate it.

Upcoming dates for Kaurna Cronin, including all of his shows at the National Folk Festival, are below:

Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
– Friday 4pm – Scrumpy
– Saturday 10:30am – The Majestic
– Sunday 1am – Scrumpy

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Gretta Ziller released her new video “Some Kind of Habit”. Details here

– The National Folk Festival added Daniel Ho as their final exclusive headliner for 2015. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Brian Campeau revealed details of his new solo album. Details here

– Indie-folk duo Betty & Oswald released their new single “King of Bohemia”. Details here

– UK nu-folk band Stornoway released their new video “Get Low”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne released her new single “The Rushing Dark”. Details here

Michael Kiwanuka covered Led Zeppelin’s “Ten Year’s Gone” for Mojo Magazine. Details here

William Fitzsimmons released his new single “Pittsburgh”. Details here

Emily Barker released her new video “Little Deaths”. Details here

Ruby Boots released her new single “Wrap Me In A Fever”. Details here

– Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield have released a tribute album to Elliott Smith. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop released his new single “Fifty Shades of Blue”. Details here

Bill Jackson released his new Double A side “Try/Somebody’s Darlin'” online. Details here

– Irish music legend Paul Brady will be releasing his new live album Paul Brady: The Vicar Street Sessions Volume 1 featuring collaborations with the like of Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Sinead O’Connor and many more. Details here

Interviews

“I am definitely writing more about my experiences in America. There is a few place name drops in there. And that’s kind of a weird thing at first – it feels like a betrayal or something – and I’m just trying to work out what to do with that. These are songs that are in the very early stages. But coming back here right now there’s still a whole lot of stories that I’ve only half told in my head about Australia and that’s what I love doing when I’m in America with American audiences”Jordie Lane chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Details here

“For me as a young person writing music in this genre in Australia [Paul Kelly’s] the best at it. Writing songs that evoke some kind of feeling about being Australian and it’s very genuine and sincere so it resonates with me just as a person in Australia. And as a musician I admire him for doing something that I’m trying to do as well. And why these two albums? Because I like bluegrass better than I like pop music”The Morrisons chat to Gareth Hugh Evans ahead of their Paul Kelly tribute show tonight. Interview here

“All the playing that we’ve done together over the past year and a half as a trio has led us to approach this new project with a whole lot more experience of arranging together and of telling stories together”Lucy Wise chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“After recording the three albums just with us three – Graham [McLeod], Holly [Downes] and I – we really felt like we spent a lot of years and time and effort growing together musically. Learning a lot from each other. Coming from different backgrounds – Holly classical, me folk and Graham rock and pop – we had a huge amount of ground to cover to be as good as each other at various elements of music making. We had a lot of material to work with and a lot of growth and over those three albums we really felt like we did that. We sort of got to a point where we felt like significantly we could move into each other’s territory, hold our own and make that work. We had so much fun really developing and growing and struggling – actually being really inspired and forced to learn and grow – that we kind of looked around for something for our next project that would continue that direction for all of us, so that we wouldn’t stagnate and make the same album again” – Chris Stone from The String Contingent chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The [Alice Springs] folk club, there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing to compare with it now in any way whatsoever. You could write a song in a week and go and perform it in front of people and get feedback as to what they thought it was like. You can’t do that anymore hence the reason it takes me a long time to write songs” – Dave Oakes chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Gigs

“The Blue Mountains Music Festival seems to have found the perfect balance. Wedging itself between the Port Fairy and National Folk Festival/Bluesfest guarantees a high calibre of artists not normally seen at a small town event. And its proximity to Sydney makes it easy for day trippers or weekend getaways from the big city. But it still feels like an intimate, community focused event, probably because it’s mostly set on the grounds of a school and the local volunteers are front and centre”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Details here

Releases This Week

Brad Butcher
JamestownBrad Butcher
iTunes

Short Movie
Short MovieLaura Marling
iTunes

The Wild
The WildRoscoe James Irwin
iTunes

Seasick Steve
Sonic Soul SurferSeasick Steve
iTunes

Radium Death
Radium DeathWilliam Elliot Whitmore
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly

The Morrisons

Tonight Sydney pickers The Morrisons take on the bluegrass albums of Paul Kelly, Smoke and Foggy Highway, in a very special one off show

Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alabama Shakes
Thursday 2nd April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 27th March – Spiegeltent, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Bluesfest
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 27th March – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th March – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 29th March – TAPS, Mooloolooba, QLD

Candelo Village Festival
Saturday 28th March – Candelo, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Festival, NSW
Sunday 29th March – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 3rd April – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

David Gray
Wednesday 1st April – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd April -State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Elwood Myre
Saturday 28th March – Cast Off! Festival, Woy Woy, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Tuesday 31st March – Coramba Community Hall, Coramba, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Bayldon Community Centre, Toormina, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Heartstring Quartet
Friday 27th March – Southern Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 1st to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Hozier
Saturday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 30th March – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Jake Shimabukuro
Thursday 2nd April – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Jack Carty
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (Early Show)
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th March – The Porch Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Jordie Lane
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Liam Gerner, Caitlin Harnett
Friday 27th March – The Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Justin Townes Earle
Thursday 2nd April – Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 3rd April – Boogie, Tallarook, VIC

Kim Richey
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lisa Mitchell
Friday 27th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Lucie Thorne
Friday 27th March – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemain, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Velvet Room, Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lucy Wise Trio
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

National Folk Festival
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Canberra, ACT

Nuala Kennedy
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Village Festival, Candelo, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 8th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Packwood
Saturday 28th March – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA

Paolo Nutini
Tuesday 31st March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Rowena Wise
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 28th March – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Friday 27th March – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Solar Saturday Lounge Party
Saturday 28th March – Heidelberg Heights, Melbourne, VIC

Taryn La Fauci
Friday 27th March – The Bunker Room at Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly
Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 27th March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 28th March – Mallee Fire Recovery Festival, Rainbow, VIC

The Seals
Saturday 28th March – Quarry Amphitheatre, Perth, WA

Timberwolf
Friday 27th March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Hills Are Alive, VIC
Friday 3rd April – Blenheim Camping and Music Festival, SA

Vance Joy
Friday 27th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 27th March – Rad, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Front Gallery & Café, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 27th March – HQ Complex, Adelaide. SA
Sunday 29th March – West Coast Blues & Roots, Fremantle, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wrote & The Writ” – Laura Marling

Remember that time Laura Marling used the triple j Like A Version segment to sing her mate Johnny Flynn’s song “The Wrote and The Writ”? Awesome.

Review: 24 Hours at the Blue Mountains Music Festival 2015

BMMF
All Photos by Sarah Turier

I bumped into a friend of mine right at the beginning of this year’s Blue Mountains Music Festival and was surprised to see him. While my friend has a passing interest in folk music I was surprised to see him in Katoomba, especially as he’d driven over 6 hours to be there.

When pressed on why he’d made the journey he looked at me with his own surprise.

“What do you mean why did I come?” He said. “The blues lineup is amazing!”

And that is what the Blue Mountains Music Festival is all about. For me it’s a folk festival. For my friend it’s a blues festival. For someone else it might be a rock or roots or something else festival. The Blue Mountains Music Festival is exactly what you make it.

This year I only managed 24 hours at the Blue Mountains Music Festival due to an unscheduled bout of food poisoning (unlikely from the festival itself) sent me back down the mountains to the safety of my own bathroom, but while I was there I saw some amazing music.

The festival kicked off on a cold and misty Friday night. The crowds were thin as many of the punters were waiting for the weekend proper before heading up the mountain from Sydney. This meant we were eased into the Blue Mounatins Music Festival flitting between venues, getting up close and personal with some amazing artists and loving the fact we could finally crack out our winter woolies.

Castlecomer

The night saw some amazingly diverse musicians take to the stage. From the blues guitar mastery of Nick Charles to the bluegrass mastery of The Company to the epic indie-folk of Castlecomer, the opening night threw up some of the festival’s most exciting acts and I was so lucky to be a part of it.

As always The Company were a highlight, effortlessly huddled around a single microphone creating some of the countries most beautiful music. I’ve seen The Company live so many times but they never fail to amaze me – both their expert musical craft and their charismatic stage presence make their their performances must-see at any event.

The Company

Saturday morning presented a much drier, more bustling festival with locals, Sydney-siders and more making their way through the gates. There was a palpable buzz in the air all around Katoomba as the cafes and bakery filled to overflowing with punters fortifying themselves for the day of music ahead.

Rowena Wise

And what a day of music it was. Before my food poisoning got the better of me I managed to catch sets from Leah Flanagan in fine full band form, the incomparable old timey charms of The Whitetop Mountaineers (with special guest fiddle from The Company’s George Jackson), stunning singer-songwriter Rowena Wise and the blues mastery of Phil Wiggins and Dom Turner.

The Whitetop Mountaineers, favourites of the Australian folk festival circuit, were by far the highlights. Their simple, home town approach to bluegrass and old timey sucks the audience in and keeps them mesmerised throughout their set. And watching Martha Spencer clog dance is just a treat.

Whitetop Mountaineers

The Blue Mountains Music Festival seems to have found the perfect balance. Wedging itself between the Port Fairy and National Folk Festival/Bluesfest guarantees a high calibre of artists not normally seen at a small town event. And its proximity to Sydney makes it easy for day trippers or weekend getaways from the big city. But it still feels like an intimate, community focused event, probably because it’s mostly set on the grounds of a school and the local volunteers are front and centre.

If you’ve never been been to the Blue Mountains Music Festival then I suggest next March you make the trek up the mountains just to see what all the fuss is about.

Interview: Jordie Lane

Jordie Lane
Image Courtesy of Jordie Lane

Jordie Lane is back in Australia after some time in North America and he’s hot on the festival trail as well as performing at a bunch of headline dates around the country. We sat down with Lane to chat about the tour, what it’s like to be an Australian in LA and his collaborations with songwriter Clare Reynolds.

Gareth Hugh Evans: You’ve just come back from a massive tour of the US with The Stray Birds. Are you pretty much based over there now?

Jordie Lane: I’m there on a semi-permanent basis. Basically Los Angeles is my base for the whole world – it’s kind geographically in between everywhere that I’m going.

GHE: I’m assuming you still feel like a bit of an outsider there, having the accent and all.

JL: I completely feel like an outsider. But it’s a really good place to be I guess, always traveling and on the edge. It’s funny because I think that’s why you go because you want to be an outsider. I don’t really hang out with other Australians [in LA] – it’s actually pretty weird when you find yourself at some Hollywood bar with an Australian act playing and all the Aussies are there. In saying that it’s so awesome to come home. I’ve been so far away from home for a long time – this is almost a whole 12 months that we’ve spent away from home. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from Melbourne. It’s awesome to come back and soak it in. Even just looking at the way the houses look, the street signs, things like that. I didn’t realise how much I was craving a bit of my memories from home.

GHE: Does living in LA and touring America a lot impact on your songwriting? I guess the reason I ask is a lot of my favourite songs of yours – “Black Diamond”, “I Could Die Looking At You”, “The Publican’s Daughter” – are about Australia and the Australian experience. Does living in the US mean you’re writing less about Australia?

JL: Maybe not less but I am definitely writing more about my experiences in America. There is a few place name drops in there. And that’s kind of a weird thing at first – it feels like a betrayal or something – and I’m just trying to work out what to do with that. These are songs that are in the very early stages. But coming back here right now there’s still a whole lot of stories that I’ve only half told in my head about Australia and that’s what I love doing when I’m in America with American audiences – y’know, telling them stories about Australia whether it be the “Black Diamond” mining story or the two dogs trying to kill each other in my back yard in Thornbury. The audiences really love that. Hopefully it only strengthens my connections with home and hopefully I’ll sing about it more and more.

GHE: I find that the most patriotic people are the ones that don’t live in the country they’re from.

JL: Yeah, definitely. You’re flying the flag or explaining cultural misconceptions to everybody about what they think your country is like. So it keeps cementing what your country actually means to you all the time because every single day someone’s asking “where’s that accent from” or “I wish I could go to Australia”.

GHE: So now that you’re home you’re hitting the road with festivals and headline shows including Nannup and The Blue Mountains Folk Festival.

JL: We were pencilled in to do [the The Blue Mountains Folk Festival] a couple of times and things just didn’t work in anyone’s favour scheduling wise so we’re really excited to finally play the festival for the first time. I’ve been to the Blue Mountains a bunch and played The Clarendon a lot but it will be cool to do the festival. I’ve heard really good things.

GHE: And you’re playing all these shows with Clare Reynolds right?

JL: Yeah, as a duo.

GHE: I saw you guys play as a duo at The National Folk Festival last year.

JL: Yeah! That was our one thing we came back to Australia to do. We’ve amped it up a bit – Clare’s doing keyboards and drum case percussion. We’ve been doing a lot of shows in the US and Canada which have been really good for us. The piano really adds something else to it.

GHE: I love the guitar case percussion. I think that’s awesome.

JL: We’ve got that case hanging on for dear life. It’s so fragile now! We’re packing it full of underwear and t-shirts and stuff. That’s kind of become Clare’s suitcase that she’s allowed to bring on tour and then I let her put a few things in my actual suitcase. It’s hilarious – the harshest, mean sound guys in the world scoff that we’re never going get a sound out of that guitar case. And then they turn the microphone on and they’re like “Whoa! The resonate frequency’s amazing!”.

GHE: Wherever you can you seem to be playing as a duo with Clare. Is that your “act” now? Are you a duo act?

JL: Most of the tour with The Stray Birds was solo. So it really just depends. Clare is a fulltime songwriter so she’s in studios and working with artists and producers almost five days a week, every week of the year. I have to ask her to come on tour and hopefully she has time to do it. It’s a bit of both – about half and half at the moment. For festivals we’re loving doing the duo thing.

GHE: I also so that you’ve got Rowena Wise as your support for your headline dates this time around. I saw her in Sydney recently – she’s something special. She writes some really nice songs and has a great stage presence so you’ve scored with her as your support.

JL: I’m really excited for that. We met her at The National Folk Festival last year and saw her and her sister Lucy perform. I’m really excited for her – I just love her voice.

GHE: Well that’s everything I’ve got for you today. Thanks so much for spending some time with me today!

JL: Thanks mate! Talk to you soon.

The full dates for Jordie Lane’s Australian tour are below:

Friday 27th February – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 28th February to Monday 2nd March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 6th to Monday 9th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Tuesday 10th March – Ten Days On The Island Festival, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 11th March – The Melbourne Folk Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 26th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA
Friday 17th April – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 22nd April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 23rd April – Beav’s Bar, Geelong VIC
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April – Mt Beauty Music Festival, Mt Beauty, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 7th November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– UK artist Nick Mulvey released his new Australian shot video “I Don’t Want To Go Home”. Details here

Bernard Fanning has announced a solo tour for this January. Details here

The Decemberists announced plans to release their new album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World early next year. Details here

The Gulgong Folk Festival announced its 2014 lineup including The Bearded Gypsy Band, Daniel Champagne, Crooked Fiddle Band, Sweet Jelly Rolls, Freddie White (Ireland), Lexi Marie (Canada), Genevieve Chadwick, Honey (formerly Fig Jam), 19 Twenty, Squeeze Box Trio, The Fruit Trees, Southerly Change, String Theory, Allan Caswell, Out of Albingdon, Terry Serio, The Plough, Slightly Off and many more. Details here

Rufus Wainwright has announced Australian headline shows next year. Details here

– Swedish singer-songwriter José González has announced details of his new solo album. Details here

Kim Churchill released his new video “Single Spark” as well as announcing a headline tour in January. Details here

– Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has returned with his new project and single “Vessel”. Details here

Pepa Knight released his third single “Coyote Choir”. Details here

David Gray has announced a couple of headline shows when he’s in the country for Bluesfest. Details here

– Tomorrow’s Fairlight Folk in Sydney will feature RAPT, Terry Serio and the Ministry of Truth and Brendan Reed Dennis. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Timothy James Bowen, “Learn to Love Again”. Details here

– Adelaide’s Timberwolf released his new single “It Burns” and announced a national tour. Details here

– More Bluesfest sideshows were announced, this time from Jake Shimabukuro. Details here

Emmy The Great gave us a glimpse of her music with the new single “Swimming Pool”. Details here

– The new EP from Radical Face, The Bastards Volume 3, is available as a free download. Details here

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo released their new video “Letters”. Details here

– The Blue Mountains Music Festival announced its first round of artists for 2015 including John Butler, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dan Sultan, Daniel Champagne, Castlecomer, The Bearded Gypsy Band, Wagons, The Company, Leah Flanagan, All Our Exes Live in Texas, We Two Thieves, Jordie Lane, Perch Creek and many more. Details here

– Irish due The Lost Brothers released the video for their new single “Spanish Reprise”. Details here

– UK duo Paper Aeroplanes released the new video for their track “Guessing Game”. Details here

Interviews

“Nashville seems like a cool town. Just like one massive working museum. Everyone walks around in fancy shirts and expensive Stetson hats and they all love country music. I love country music so it was a thrill to hang out on Broadway and see all the places you’ve read about in these country music scrapbooks and biographies”Benjamin Folke Thomas chats to Aiden Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

Damien Rice
My Favourite Faded FantasyDamien Rice
iTunes

Nightwalk
NightWalkMatt Walters
iTunes

The Bastards
The Bastards Volume 3Radical Face
Noisetrade

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Les Thomas w/ Darren Cross, Lisa Caruso, Not Good with Horses

Les Thomas

Melbourne based singer-songwriter, blogger and activist Les Thomas makes his Sydney debut, launching his excelent debut album Survivor’s Tale.

Sunday 9th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Australasian Worldwide Music Expo
Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th November – Melbourne, VIC

Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 7th November – The Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 8th November – Tell Tale and Vine, McLaren Vale, SA

Busby Marou
Friday 7th November – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 14th November – SSA Club, Albury, NSW

Cat Canteri
Friday 14th November – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

C.W. Stoneking
Thursday 13th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 14th November – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Daniel Lee Kendall
Thursday 13th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 14th November – The Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 9th November – The B-East, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th November – The Blues at Bridgetown Festival, Bridgetown, WA
Wednesday 12th November – Four5Nine, Perth, WA
Thursday 13th November – The Swan Basement, Fremantle, WA

Fairlight Folk feat. RAPT, Terry Serio and the Ministry of Truth, Brendan Reed Dennis
Saturday 8th November – Fairlight Folk, Sydney, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Andy Brown, The Mae Trio
Friday 7th November – Cunnamulla, QLD
Saturday 8th November – Mitchell, QLD
Sunday 9th November – Charleville, QLD
Thursday 13th November – Chinchilla, QLD
Friday 14th November – St George, QLD

Fred Smith
Friday 7th November – Church of Trinity, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 8th November – Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Georgia Fair
Wednesday 12th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 14th November – Easy Tiger, Sydney, NSW

Hat Fitz and Cara
Friday 7th November – The J, Noosa Junction, QLD
Friday 14th November – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Husky
Friday 7th November – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 8th November – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 13th November – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 14th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 7th November – Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 9th November – Four 5 Nine, Perth, WA
Thursday 13th November – Lizotte’s, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 14th November – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW

Jep and Dep
Saturday 8th November – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 14th  November – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW

Katie Noonan, Angie Hart, Melody Pool, Sam Buckingham
Friday 7th November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 8th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 13th November – Joan Sutherland PAC, Penrith, NSW
Friday 14th November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan and Harmony James
Friday 14th November – Parkes Services Club, Parkes, NSW

Lanie Lane
Friday 7th November – The Bakery, Perth, WA
Saturday 8th November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA

Les Thomas w/ Darren Cross, Lisa Caruso, Not Good with Horses
Sunday 9th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Little May
Friday 7th November – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA (Supporting Rodriguez)
Sunday 9th November – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA (Supporting Rodriguez)

Liz Stringer
Friday 7th November – Darwin Railway Club, Parap, NT
Sunday 9th November – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Friday 14th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 7th November – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 8th November – Arnhem Club, Gove, NT
Sunday 9th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 14th November – Jive, Adelaide, SA

One Up, Two Down and Dan Parsons
Friday 7th November – House Show, Mildura, VIC
Saturday 8th November – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 9th November – Barb Agar’s House, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 12th November – Melbourne Folk Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 13th November – Quiet Place, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th November – MountainGrass Fest, Harrietville, VIC

Pepa Knight
Sunday 9th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 13th November – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Newton
Friday 7th November – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 8th November – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT

Steve Smyth
Friday 7th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 8th November – Royal Hotel, Springwood, NSW
Sunday 9th November – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 14th November – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Tattletale Saints
Friday 7th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Acfields
Saturday 8th November – New Tattersalls Hotel, Lismore, NSW
Friday 14th November – Acoustic Picnic (The Music Lounge), Sydney, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 7th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 8th November – Djerriwarrh Festival, Melton Recreation Reserve, VIC
Friday 14th November – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

The Stetson Family
Sunday 9th November – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Tiger & Me
Friday 7th November – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

The Wilson Pickers
Friday 14th November – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Timberwolf
Friday 7th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 9th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Wagons
Friday 7th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Bedlam Boys” – Heidi Talbot

I heard a version of this song by Green Diesel (titled “Mad Tom of Bedlam”) on FolkCast the other day which sent me down Youtube rabbit hole listening to other people doing it. I think Heidi Talbot’s is one of my favourite versions but The Tiger and Me also have a cracking take on it if you ever get a chance to hear it.

Blue Mountains Music Festival Announces First Artists for 2015

John Butler
Image Courtesy of John Butler

It feels as though we’ve been bombarded with festival announcements over the last few weeks and that’s set to continue with the Blue Mountains Music Festival confirming the first round of artists for 2015. Held in Katoomba from the 13th to 15th March, next year will mark the 20th aniversary of the Blue Mountains Music Festival.

The lineup announced so far is pretty impressive and includes John Butler (above), Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dan Sultan, Daniel Champagne, Castlecomer, The Bearded Gypsy Band, Wagons, The Company, Leah Flanagan, All Our Exes Live in Texas, We Two Thieves, Jordie Lane, Perch Creek and many many more.

Tickets for the festival go on sale this month – for more information check out the official site here. The full list of artists so far are below:

John Butler, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dan Sultan, Nick Charles, David Bridie, Dominic Turner & Phil Wiggins, Daniel Champagne, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Frank Yamma, Castlecomer, Fraser & Haas (UK & USA), Nuala Kenedy Band, Edwina Hayes, The Bearded Gypsy Band, Wagons, The Company, Himmerland (Denmark), Steve Poltz (USA), Heartstring Quartet (UK), Whitetop Mountaineers (USA), The Mighty Reapers, Leah Flanagan, Fiona Boyes, All Our Exes Live in Texas, The Baker Suite, Arabesk, Maru Tarang (India & Australia), Dewayne Everettsmith, Gordie Mackeeman & his Rhythm Boys (Canada), We Two Thieves, Yeshe & Calvin Welch, Tom Dockray, The Jordie Lane Duo, Perch Creek

The Stray Sisters (The Waifs) Announce March Tour

The Stray Sisters
Image Courtesy of The Stray Sisters

Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn from legendary Australian roots band The Waifs are returning to their roots as acoustic duo The Stray Sisters and have announced a national tour this March. As well as performances at the Port Fairy Folk Festival and the Blue Mountains Music Festival, The Stray Sisters will be performing in intimate venues around the country – plus they’ll be joining the John Butler Trio for three very special WA shows.

Joining The Stray Sisters in support will be Timber and Steel favourite Ruby Boots. For more information check out the the Facebook event here – the full list of dates are below:

Friday 7th to Sunday 9th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Wednesday 12th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Thursday 13th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, NSW
Tuesday 18th March – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 20th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 21st March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd March – Tilley’s Devine Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 23rd March – The Elbow Room, McLaren Vale, SA
Wednesday 26th March – The Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 27th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA (with John Butler Trio)
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Monday 31st March – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

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