Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016

Child Records

You’ve heard what we think the top albums of 2016 were, but lets be honest this is the piece you’ve really been waiting for.

Every year we reach out to the community of folk and acoustic musicians in Australia and around the world to ask them to pick their favourite album or EP of the year, and this year they came through in spades.

So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016.

Bill ChambersEagle & The Wolf
Bill ChambersCold Trail
What a record. Bill just turns up when he feels like it and shows us all how it’s done. The title track is one of the best driving songs ever written and we’ve done A LOT of driving this year! This record has been with us on every trip and inspires us as artists of the alt. country genre to dig deep and keep being real, in life and in music. He’s the baddest and the best.

James KenyonAnna Cordell
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
This album takes me into such a beautiful space, it is so beautifully written and produced, I find myself smiling every time I listen to it – I’m entranced and inspired.

Joe MungovanImogen Clark
Joe MungovanWay Down South
Joe totally embodies the Joni Mitchell quote about songwriting, “The closer you get to your heart is the closer you get to everyone else’s”. This EP is an evolution for him, the production is so sparse and spacey, almost Bon Iver-ish, and very different from the folky style of his first EP. But what remains is Joe’s amazing ability to capture so perfectly the melancholy of the human condition with his beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics. A big 5 stars from me. Love ya, Joe!

Piers FacciniSam Lee
Piers FacciniI Dreamed An Island
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago but I think needs mentioning in this years crop. Piers is one of the finest male singers and his musicianship is exquisite. It’s an album of great sensitivity with deep thought and poetry inside. The songs are so well formed, he has a knack at creation of timeless soundings orgs.

DD DumboDan Flynn
D.D DumboUtopia Defeated
Oliver has really found his own unique sound while incorporating some diverse influences including folk, electronic and world music. I was really impressed with his songwriting and his ability to draw you in to his strange little world. I also love the production with all those sonic layers that reveal themselves over repeated listens. Amazing debut.

Michael KiwanukaSkyscraper Stan
Michael KiwanukaLove and Hate
I got hooked on this album while touring around New Zealand. The songwriting is melodic, the dynamics are masterful and the closing track, “Final Frame”, kicks me in the guts.

William CrightonJosh Rennie-Hynes
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I first heard William at Nannup at the start of this year and loved it. He’s a great performer and his songs are top notch. This album captures all of that perfectly. The production is spot on and is a testament to the benefits of what a more DIY approach to recording can achieve.

Bon IverTanya Batt (BATTS)
Bon Iver22, A Million
There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, Canary, Braille Face and Hayden Calnin were three I wanted to choose too. However, it had to be Bon Iver. The most highly anticipated album in my life, it did not disappoint. This album means so much to me, It’s an extremely innovative album within soundscapes and also so raw, filled with emotion. Many tears were shed when I first listened.

MoulettesClaude Hay
MoulettesPreternatural
Moulettes new album Preternatural really grabed me from the first second, Distorted Cello, Oboe, guitar bass drums and they all sing insane harmonies perfectly live….Audio candy

Bill HuntLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
Bill HuntUpwey
Conversational, melodic, witty and hooky songwriting flood through the beautiful ebb and flow of Upwey, Hunt’s first of many offerings. The songs are hued by a consistent arrangement of drums, bass, violin and Hunt’s subtle and precise guitar style. But they don’t rely on these arrangements; each song a story, assisted by the swell of instrumentation to convey the tales that swing from the near Latin grooves of “Odalik” to the slow sexy grind of “Sea of Love”. At six tracks long, it leaves you wanting more. Perfect.

Childish GambinoSahara Beck
Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
Listening to this album is like switching off the real world and stepping into an original and new world. I find it very inspiring.

Oh PepThe Little Stevies
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I think the songwriting on Stadium Cake is really interesting. The songs take me to a place that I’m not expecting both lyrically and musically when I begin listening to them and they keep me guessing, which I absolutely love. The arrangements and production are also super cool, and I’m simply just a big fan of talented women and female partnerships doing great things in the arts.

Side PonyFanny Lumsden
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
It seriously makes me the most joy filled human ever. Side Pony is possibly my biggest songwriting envy of late and they just really nail that motown meets pop retro good times.

Nick CaveMiles O’Neil (Miles and Simone)
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
I was scared to listen to this album due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it. Finally
mustering the courage one bright morning I listened to it through while walking beside the sea.
I stopped many times during that walk to sit and, floored, marvel at the breathtakingly
sadness and beauty captured in what is, to me and I’m sure many others, a masterpiece.

Hayden CalninForest Falls
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1/2
Hayden is an absolute stayer of the Melbourne music scene, but it’s for good reason. This record is world-class. Sparse, rich, cinematic, and desperate in its feel, it holds on to you long after the first listen.

Button CollectiveThe Bottlers
The Button CollectiveThe Lonesome Sea
As a softly lilting mandolin emerges from the silence of the opening track, Brodie’s haunting lyrical ballad begins to unravel the story of the heartbreak of a man, torn between travelling the lonesome sea and those who he has left behind. This beautiful yet bittersweet combination of well-travelled wordsmithing and an instrumental palate carrying a nostalgically truthful warmth, could be heard in any far-flung tavern in the dead of night, as tired candles flicker. Finishing with a raucous fling titled “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, the Button Collective’s release concludes on a stirring high, twisting your arm to crave another ale. The EP’s recording, mixing and mastering add a special flair, as you hear the charismatic live-elements that give you a heart-swelling, beer-swilling singalong that you can partake in at any time. Well done fellas!

The Dreaming RoomPhia
Laura MvulaThe Dreaming Room
Her lyrics explore feminism, faith, self-worth, race, and her harmonies, arrangements and production are deep and multi-hued. One of the most exciting songwriters around, unafraid to experiment with multi-genre collaborations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and Nile Rodgers.

JoyGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
The Peep TempelJoy
This is a great third album by the Melbourne based three piece that has initial flavours of 90s Aussie pub punk/bloke rock (like Cosmic Psychos) but that is just the beginning – the album is musically quite varied, with intelligent, dark, caustically humorous and often political lyrics with moments of honest beauty.

Wartime SweetheartsJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
It’s always great when a local artist drops something as fully formed and self-assured as Louise Nutting’s second album under the Wartime Sweethearts moniker. Experimental without forgetting the songcraft, it deserves its rightful place amongst the St Vincents, Dirty Projectors and My Brightest Diamonds of the art pop world. Props to local label Art As Catharsis, whose releases in October alone spanned from Wartime Sweethearts to Hashashin’s eastern mathrock and No Haven’s dark hardcore. Eclecticism rules the day!

BeyonceTaryn La Fauci
BeyoncéLemonade
To create and release a piece of work that is so intricately linked and ordered, one you must listen to from start to finish to understand the whole was really refreshing! The film that accompanied the album was also richly interesting, deep and powerful. To address themes such as infidelity and race and then to weave them powerfully into a full album, which on release caused so much controversy and started a conversation world wide, I thought was really great.

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Another beautiful record from the most under-rated songwriter in Australia. “Love, She Loves Me” gives me goose bumps every time.

Winter WheatFrank Turner
John K SamsonWinter Wheat
I am a long term partisan of John’s work, so it’s not surprising that I liked this record. But god-DAMN, the man just keeps delivering. This record had me in tears three times on my first listen through, and it gets better with age.

David BowieWilliam Crighton
David BowieBlackstar
My favourite album from 2016 is Blackstar from David Bowie. There were a lot of great albums but I listened to it the most.

TigallerroSteven Barnard (Arbori, Jon Cotton)
Phonte and Eric RobersonTigallerro
Smooth grooves, dope rhymes, sweet melodies. You’d be hard pressed to find another 2016 record his year that has this flow, though Anderson Paaks’ Malibu is a close second. It rolls effortlessly from track to track and the inevitable ass shaking comes with a no “slutty table top twerking” guarantee. It’s rare that a hip hop record explores what it means to be a man of sexual fidelity, a family man, and even man of faith in higher power. Getting hype or turning down, my morning wake up or my party starter, this record has been a solid find.

Julia JacklinJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
This album is a gem. The more I listen to this record, the more the songs shimmer and shine with a beautiful honesty. Jacklin’s songwriting is earnest and her voice perfect – it feels like an important voice which dances delicately on a wire between mundanity and profundity.

Bon IverOliver’s Army
Bon Iver22, A Million
Although becoming more and more electronic heavy, Justin Vernon’s signature haunting melodies and dynamic vocals remain consistently endearing. I found the production to be quite bold and experimental, and I love that they’re continuing to explore their sound and push it in new directions. Sonically, it’s spacious and beautiful.

RadioheadKim Churchill
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
My top album of 2016 has probably got to go to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead. It really hit me at the perfect moment. I was deep in the studio and sometimes getting a bit overly flustered by how complex the process of recording can be. I think Radiohead have done something incredible in the way this album is so relaxed, so subtle, but so powerful. There is this beautiful calm confidence that I am completely in awe of. To be alive whilst their legacy is still being added to is a real treat!

Conor OberstThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Conor OberstRuminations
Brave, personal and heart achingly real. It feels like you’re in the room with him as he’s pouring his heart out.

Iggy PopEm George
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
It would be a total lie for me to say that I have been patiently and politely waiting for a new Iggy Pop record because I’ve been extremely impatient and downright rude, mouthing off to my vinyl copy of Lust for Life, begging to the Iggy Pop gods for a new release and then Post Pop Depression hit in March this year. Produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), the entire album is gritty and dark, sharp and tight with that small hint of sadness that lies just under the surface of Iggy Pop’s music. However in true Iggy fashion, the melodies and heavy drums lift the album into something that is hard to define, taking you to another place. My pick for 2016!

KaleoGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
KaleoA/B
I came across these guys on Spotify a few months ago as they were our number one associated artist then. I had never heard of them before but their album has been on repeat ever since. Their album is incredibly varied, with high-energy songs like “Way Down We Go” and soft ballads like “Save Yourself”. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.

Gregory PorterJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, Backsliders)
Gregory PorterTake me to the Alley
I watched a YouTube clip of Gregory Porter performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and watched it several times over, absolutely mesmerised. The album is just as mesmerising; full of soul, jazz and RnB, beautiful arrangements and Porter’s effortless delivery; just enough grit and soul to keep the jazz interesting! I listen to this album when I want something that will absolutely zone me out of where I am and what I am doing, Porter’s soothing voice is like being wrapped up in blanket and given a cup of hot cocoa.

Bruce MolskyShell Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Bruce MolskyCan’t Stay Here This a-Way
Bruce Molsky always manages to bring such a rich, unique sound to the old-time classics. His latest album is no exception. His fiddle-singin’ gives me warm fuzzies akin to sitting by a campfire under a starry sky.

David BowieJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
David BowieBlackstar
It was hot, humid January afternoon driving through a sun-shower when I first listened to David Bowie’s Blackstar album. Released just 2 days after his death aged 69 this is an amazing final piece of work from this incredible artist. The hauntingly beautiful voice and instrumentation echos with songs about finality and death. Listening to this I was filled pure joy, sadness and reflection of this artist’s inspirational legacy.

Black Mountain String bandThe Plough
Black Mountain String BandTime Traveller
This year The Plough discovered the Canberra based Black Mountain String Band and can’t get enough of them. The exuberance and variety they bring to a live show is showcased beautifully in their recording. Their mix of traditional and original songs and instrumentals take the listener back in time through a landscape of high energy Old Time, Western Swing, triangle pumping Cajun and plucky Fiddle polkas. This CD’s been on high rotation in the Lancer’s CD stacker ever since it was launched in the bush capital on a chilly winters night.

TyrannamenFraser A Gorman
TyrannamenTyrannamen
A brilliant, gruff mixture of Memphis Garage-soul blended deep in a gravel filled, VB bottle of Australian 70’s pub rock. Eight tracks long, all killer no filler.

Margo PriceNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo is one of the first of a new breed of Americana artists to come out of the new epicentre of country music in East Nashville. Alongside Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, et al., these guys are playing authentic honky-tonk reminiscent of 1970s outlaw country, yet with their own fresh take. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter reminds me of the edgiest tracks from Dolly Parton, and the fact she is the first country act signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records is a testament to the quality of this album.

Oh PepJames Kenyon
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Stadium Cake is a brilliant album – brave arrangements, tight pop writing, great lyrics and Liv’s voice is a pleasure. I love the ambition of the album, and the assuredness the result. It’s an inspiring record

Julia JacklinAinsley Farrell
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
I’ve had the chance to see Julia perform these songs over the past couple years so I’ve been very excited for her album. She has an incredible songwriting talent topped by this powerful yet vulnerable voice that’ll break your heart and put it back together again all in one go. If you get the chance to see her and her band live I wouldn’t miss it.

Liz StringerMel Parsons
Liz StringerAll The Bridges
I have been a fan of Liz for a good few years now, I’m completely smitten with her voice – all husk, beauty and pain. I had high expectations for her new album, and All The Bridges delivers and then some, it’s been on repeat in my house since it arrived.

CanaryKathleen Mary Lee
CanaryI Am Lion
I like this because it is a celebration of very big, very beautiful feelings that I reckon have no other way of being celebrated other than through this kind of emotionally epic music. The lyrics are attempts at honesty and the music is always their non verbal emotional equivalent, making the album a very cathartic experience. If you want it to be. A bit of a masterpiece

Eagle and the WolfSam Buckingham
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Sarah brings out Kris’s sweetness and Kris brings out Sarah’s no bullshit strength – making this album the perfect balance of heart and “fuck you”. It just sounds like two musicians being real and having a ball. Awesome songwriting, perfect harmonies – it’s golden.

Sian EvansTori Forsyth
Sian EvansHow Time Has Treated Thee
This EP has only swept across my table recently but it is hands down a stand out. It makes me feel happy, sad and inspired all in one hit!

Songs From DanLucie Thorne
Dan TuffySongs From Dan
Aussie expat (now Dutch resident) and legend Dan Tuffy (Big Low, Wild Pumpkins at Midnight) has made one of my favourite albums not just of 2016 but of all time (seriously!). Co-produced by Melbourne’s Matt Walker, and recorded partly here in Melbourne, and partly in Holland, this album is an extraordinary collection from a true poet who sings straight to the heart of it all. Check it out folks!

Sian EvansHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Damien JuradoVisions Of Us On The Land
While this is Damien Jurado’s twelth album, it is the first I heard of him. Visions is a psychedelic, mystical odyssey, one that takes place within and without. The internal wanderings, the struggles and revelations, mirror an external landscape that is both beautiful and haunting. Each listen draws you further into these mirror worlds and all the while Jurado’s songs and sounds are immediately and undeniably striking.

Tracy McNeilLeah Flanagan
Tracy McNeil and the Good LifeThieves
Thieves is such an enjoyable record to listen to. It’s poppy and catchy yet underneath the veneer of fun singalong good times the songs themselves incredibly well crafted and arranged. Tracey writes a damn good song and if you’re lucky enough to see her band live, you’ll see them play those songs damn well too.

Adora EyeMusketeer
Adora EyeIf You Need A King, I’ve Been Prepared All My Life
This is probably the most raw and enduring folk album I have listened to all year. I am sure that this Swedish singer-songwriter was up all night writing this album in a smokey boat in the Stockholm harbour somewhere. You can almost see him clutching that ink pen with a red right hand, as his pet raven swings in a cage above his head eating dead beetles.

Hiss Golden MessengerDave Powys (The Paper Kites)
Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like A Levee
I heard this album playing in a record store in London, and as I flicked through racks of vinyl I was drawn into the melodies and depth of his song writing. Every now and then you come across an artist who really moves you, or scratches an itch you never knew you had – this album has done both for me.

The Kill Devil HillsCatherine Traicos
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
This album encapsulates all that I love about the The Kill Devil Hills. A mad racket of noise, it pulses with life and is as ripe with heartfelt ballads as it is with sexy, sinister, badass, guitar driven numbers. Enjoy with whiskey.

Robert Ellis10 String Symphony
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
His first self-produced effort combines thoughtfully crafted songs with unique and interesting arrangements, expertly performed by him and his killer band. It’s the full package real deal and we love it so much.

The Dead MaggiesThe Dead Maggies
The Cloves and The TobaccoAcross The Horizon
TCATT are one of many celt-punk bands making great music in Java, and this album is a standout. It’s straight up driving celtic punk, with big powerful singalong choruses that tug the heartstrings. Good arrangements and musicianship help make this album great. We played with them in their hometown of JogJakarta, in the attic of a vegetarian cafe. The power cut out just before the gig, so the bands went ahead and played unplugged, it was a great moment of sweaty singalongs.

Howe GelbMark Moldre
Howe GelbFuture Standards
Late night meanderings. Laid back, whisky infused jazz piano. Wordplay and lyrical twists that stand alongside the wit of Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael with the quiet phrasing of Chet Baker. Gelb continues to walk to his own beat – confounding expectations whilst smashing and recreating genres. His history has always hinted towards a love of jazz and occasionally detoured into Monk style musings – here Gelb embraces it wholeheartedly.

TullaraSian Evans
TullaraBetter Hold On
Earthy folk and roots with a dash of dirty grunge, Tullara presents her debut EP Better Hold On. Featuring her superb guitar slinging and percussive finger tapping wizardry, genius pop-roots arrangements and powdery vocals; it’s as if an Aussie Taylor Swift, John Butler and Andy Mckee were entrapped in a love triangle and spawned gold threads of wild honesty weaving together this admirable little Roots record. It’ll jerk a tear and invoke a bit of primal badass equally.

TaliskJake Pember (The Button Collective)
TaliskAbyss
Ever since first hearing Mohsen Amini’s amazing concertina playing earlier this year I have been a little bit obsessed with this band. They have the perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, and each member has such command of their instruments that every track feels as natural and flowing as a conversation.

Max SavageKaurna Cronin
Max SavageTrue Believers
Max has a brilliant ability to invite his audiences into the narrative of his works. With brilliant imagery and musicianship True Believers captures a great snapshot of true Australian culture, while also creating a great sense of nostalgia by grasping that 80’s Australian rock sound perfectly. The perfect soundtrack for an Australian road trip or any suburban household.

Nick CaveAlex L’Estrange
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
Amongst all the huge artists that dropped albums in 2016, and the loads of Australian artists that arguably dropped career highlights (Ball Park Music, These Guy, D.D Dumbo), there was one album that I found myself frequently listening to, uninterrupted, alone on the hi-fi, and that was Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s not necessarily my favourite, I think it’s an impossible task to name a favourite, but it was the first album that came to mind for this list, and that means more than anything. Hearing it coupled with the film One More Time With Feeling was challenging, given its subject matter. But its atmosphere was expertly executed; dynamic, fluid, smooth and heartbreaking. The rooms of Air, La Frette and Retreat studios are beautifully on display in songs like “Girl in Amber”, where the wispy backing vocals of The Bad Seeds hauntingly resonate across the walls. These contrast the desperate and almost maddening mantras of “I Need You”. What makes it a truly extraordinary album, is that it isn’t just doom and gloom. ‘Skeleton Tree’ doesn’t dwell on tragedy, it addresses it as part of the human condition, and there is an underlying beauty in that.

William CrightonClaire Ann Taylor
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
The storytelling and the whole atmosphere created by Crighton on this album is incredible. His dark, brooding voice and emotive style of delivery, commanded my attention from the first moment I heard it.

Andy ShaufWilliam Fitzsimmons
Andy ShaufThe Party
This was my favorite album of the year for one simple reason: MELODY!!! Andy is everything that’s right about classic “pop” music; never playing a note without a damn good reason for doing so, and songwriting that makes you feel something deep in your gut. He’s the worthy musical son of Harry Nilsson that we’ve longingly been waiting for.

LuciusRuby Boots
LuciusGood Grief
I have to choose this album because I’m still, since its release, pulling away the layers on it. Although it’s a predominantly pop record, the lyrical content and melodic arrangements are so intelligent and accessible all at once – a fine line that is hard to walk. The girls’ voices are otherworldly and tend to make me forget where I am and what I’m doing every time I put this album on. I still can’t get enough of it.

WetLacey Cole (Lazy Colts)
WetDon’t You
If you have a soft spot for B-grade pop ballads/R&B this Brooklyn-based three piece may just have written the soundtrack of your 90s-nostalgia drenched dreams. Their latest album Don’t You is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Helmed by the stunning front-woman Kelly Zutrau, her unusual vocal inflections and impassioned delivery suggest an emotional complexity in what may otherwise be confused as banal sentiments (one song is called “Baby, You’re The Best”). Once combined with the lush production and rhythms of the band – assigned with the noble task of turning tears into toe-tappers – these songs are wonderfully earnest, rarely overwrought and exactly what you need right now.

James KenyonJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
I have been lucky enough to see James play a couple of times. His beautifully crafted songs are reminiscent of great songwriters like Paul Kelly. The album is a stunning representation of his work.

JRHMabel Windred-Wornes (Charm of Finches)
Josh Rennie-HynesFurthermore
I love this album. It’s got so much warmth, it’s spacious. I listen to it late at night doing my homework and it’s so calming. It’s like the energy he captured recording it in the hills of Woodford transmits. We met him at Bendigo Blues and Roots Fest this year and felt we’d discovered a rare gem. He’s an amazing songwriter.

Tom BrosseauMatt Bauer
Tom BrosseauNorth Dakota Impressions
Beautiful storytelling, vivid imagery, and an incredible sense of place. I’ve always loved Tom’s records and he’s at the top of his game here writing about his native North Dakota.

Jim JamesTimberwolf
Jim JamesEternally Even
It’s a pretty passionate political plea and America needed a timely voice. He even released it the day before election day. I think his voice is very much from another world, so that’s an important “third person” kind of perspective. It’s a well sequenced collection of songs, and I really love the warm psych and soul inspired production/composition. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that Jim James and Blake Mills would make up my sonic dream-team.

Nigel WearneJustin Bernasconi (The Stillsons)
Nigel WearneDrawing Circles
Nigel has really forged his own fingerpicking techniques on both the banjo and guitar on this album, and his voice tenderly delivers every song with intense concern and passion. Just check out the live version of the title track.

The Kill Devil HillsMark ‘Looch’ Lewis – (Wifey/Handsome Young Strangers)
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
I have always loved this band. In all their incarnations and styles whether that is folk, country, gospel, rock or what I call the “WA dirge” (Kim Salmon, Drones type bass driven tunes). Hard to believe it is now 12 years since the release of their debut Heathen Songs when that “Drinkin’ Too Much” song first got my attention. And while it has been 7 years since the last studio album Man You Should Explode, the good news is that I reckon this is the most cohesive album yet. Cracking harmonies, great playing and strong tunes. Tracks like “The Nets”, “Chinese Burns” and notably “The Kid” are 3 of the best tunes they have released. Let’s hope there is more output and touring to come.

Austin LucasMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Austin LucasBetween the Moon & the Midwest
I spend a fair bit of time on the road traveling to see my partner and this record became the perfect traveling companion for me. Took a few listens to get into and also realise it’s a concept album which draws from Lucas’ own past experiences. Without spoiling the outcome, it follows the luckless musician Richard, his partner Kristie Rae and his best friend William. It features killer song writing with pedal steel, twangy tele, country influences with punk rock subtlety, numerous guest vocals from the likes of John Moreland and Corey Brannan, and a cracker duet with Lydia Loveless “Wrong Side of the Dream”, dealing with the struggles and plights that many musicians face. My song of the record is “William”, the solo acoustic number at the end that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the guts. Songwriting at its finest.

Cody JinksAndrew Cavalieri (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Cody JinksI’m Not the Devil
Raw, honest and heartache. That is this album! The first track really sets the mood for the rest of the album, but is broken up by “Chase This Song” which is a damn banger of a driving song! The outlaw vibe flowing from Junks’ music really prepares you for some hard times and disappointment in life. Bloody hell I love this album! Honorable mentions: Murlocs – Young Blindness, Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep and Mudcrutch – 2.

Wartime SweetheartsLaura Bishop (Chaika)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
A killer voice, some super awesome writing skills, and an obsession with bodybuilders (hello Ms Olympia!) make this my favourite album of 2016. Wartime Sweethearts, aka singer-keyboardist-loop artist-songwriter Louise Nutting, signed to Art As Catharsis Records this year and released an album full of all the beats and electric piano and vocal harmony sounds that I like to hear (and I wish I could make) – and my favourite track “Figure It In, Figure It Out” has all the unexpected twistings and turnings of chord progressions that I wish I could write. One day Chaika will make sounds like this! One day…

Neil YoungTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Neil YoungPeace Trail
Well with everyone saying we should just put 2016 behind us (although to be honest we should probably be approaching 2017 with a little trepidation too) I’ve decided not to dig too deeply into the past when thinking of my favorite record release of the year. I’ve loved many, but my recent love is the just-released 37th album by Neil Young. Peace Trail is short, musically experimental within its tight three piece band approach, and lyrically angry and poignant. I love it for the drummer’s drummer Jim Keltner and the way his delicate touch chases Neil’s quirky phrasing around the songs. I love it because it captures another freeze frame moment from a restless and undaunted songwriter, and I love it, of course, for those mighty guitar tones.

Davey CraddockLachlan Bryan
Davey CraddockCity West
2016 was a great year for my friends releasing good music. Melody Pool comes to mind, as do The Weeping Willows, Henry Wagons, Ange Boxall and Bill Jackson. It’s actually really hard to contribute to a “best of” list when you’re close to many of the artists – it’s hard to be objective – even after I rule out the records I was actually involved in making. Actually – it’s always hard to be objective, whether you know the artists or not. Furthermore, judging a whole body of work is hard – and for me, more than ever, 2016 was the year of the song (as opposed to the album or EP). And as songs go, the one that’s really stuck with me this year is the song “Number 9” by Davey Craddock. I love the cricket references. I asked Davey if he was a diehard cricket fan like me. He’s not. I was bitterly disappointed.

The Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsMagic Fire
The Stray Birds made our fave album of 2014 and they’ve done it again in spectacular style with Magic Fire. It’s everything about this album and this band, the playing, the three part harmony and songs that are unabashed, true and unadorned. Magic Fire is a reminder of the things that matter, it’s definitely a fire and maybe a little bit magic.

Tori ForsythAndrew Swift
Tori ForsythBlack Bird
This EP is right up there as one of my favourite releases of 2016. From the moment I heard the opening title track, “Black Bird”, I knew that I was in for a treat. The diversity on display within the 5 tracks of Tori Forsyth’s debut release excites me. The songs are so well crafted and presented with such a mature sound, especially for someone so young. I’m eagerly awaiting the next release from one of Australia’s most promising young songwriters.

Hayden CalninRoscoe James Irwin
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1
A beautiful album from Melbourne artist Hayden Calnin. Drenched in melancholy and ambient awesomeness, this album had me at hello. (One of my favourite live shows of 2016 as well).

Jordie LaneNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
Have to say I’ve been particularly digging Jordie Lane’s GLASSELLLAND this last couple of months – with mighty input from the multi-talented Clare Reynolds. Let’s face it, Jordie’s a bit of an all-round talented guy!

Melody PoolDavey Craddock
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
One of my fave local album’s of the year was Melody Pool’s Deep Dark Savage Heart. I’m a sucker for strings and a massive chorus and I love the way the songs build from really intimate, delicate and ornate passages into full-blown, wailing-on-a-mountain top with Stevie Nicks, 100 soaring bats and a thunderstorm moments. I saw her launch it at the Abbotsford Convent earlier this year and it was a really powerful and affecting show for me.

Methyl EthylTim Guy
Methyl Ethel – “No.28”
I know it’s not an album, but I’ve listened to this song more than any other this year, and it only came out a little while back. It has a lot going for it – great rhythm behind a smart piece of songwriting and then the whole thing is bathed in a deep silver mercury type thing. An Australian classic I swear.

DocksThe Staves
Amanda BergmanDocks
Our favourite album of 2016 is Docks by Amanda Bergman. Her voice is utterly sublime. You want to listen to every word she says. The music is dreamy, deep, soft, moody with melodies that whirr deliciously around your mind for days and weeks on end.

Katie BriannaRaechel Whitchurch
Katie BriannaVictim or the Heroine
I picked this album up when Katie and I did a songwriters showcase together. Sitting beside her listening to her songs was so magical – her voice is one of the most enchanting I have ever heard and her lyrics hit you right in the feels every time. Reminds me of a young Lucinda!

James KenyonMandy Connell (Stray Hens)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
James’ lyrics have that magic of time and place usually associated with voices like Paul Kelly or Bruce Springsteen. You can practically smell his scenes. You’re there. This album captures the voice but better than that, like a Tim Winton book, its a record that makes you present in Kenyon’s stories.

Jordie LaneLiz Stringer
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
It’s no secret that Jordie Lane and I are good mates. We grew up together, musically speaking, and I am more familiar with his work than with most other artist’s. His new album, his first full-length release in five years, is called GLASSELLLAND, recorded by Jordie himself in various make-shift recording spaces in North Los Angeles and co-produced by his fiercely talented partner, Clare Reynolds, who also co-wrote half of the songs and sings and plays a heap of instruments on the record. Jordie’s songwriting and musicianship continue to evolve and stretch out with the years and these songs, and the way they’re recorded, ache with longing while driving forward with a swagger and a playful showmanship, melodically rich and hooky as fuck. I always become a bit weepy listening to Jordie sing. And, now, the combination of him and Clare ruins me every time. Beautiful.

David BowieColin Jones (Colin Jones & The Delta Review)
David BowieBlackstar
An exceptional reflection on final days and the unknown. Every note by Bowie, McCaslin and the band emphasize the chaos and fragility of life. There is no better swansong for an artist.

A Moon Shaped PoolEmma Anglesey
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool completely surrenders to simple truths that both lie in plain sight and in the messy tangled, kicking and screaming realities of life. The epic levels of angst in the opening track “Burn the Witch” are like an exorcism – Jonny Greenwood’s sharp string arrangement take you right to the edge – and then from there it’s like Alice falling through the rabbit hole of raw emotion and you go deeper and deeper.

DawesTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
DawesWe’re All Gonna Die
Some of the best lyric writing welded on to some pretty simple, but catchy, pop songs. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama shakes, Laura Marling), this is a great record start to finish if you can forgive some slightly John Mayer sounding guitars that pop their head up from time to time. This I the record I keep coming back to this year

Oh PepRebecca Bastoli
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I don’t think I have ever been so entranced, excited or exhausted by the journey of listening to an album start to finish.

Bon IverDustin Tebbutt
Bon Iver22, A Million
Bon Iver has once again exceeded expectations on this release. It’s both familiar and foreign, delicately coloured, softly focused yet angular and stark. It’s brave, honest and all the things that I loved about Justin’s earlier works, without coming close to formulaic. It’s colloquial and conversational, yet inherently profound. Incredible stuff both musically and sonically.

Margo PriceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
There’s something comforting about Margo Price’s debut album, almost like I’d listened to it before, but not in an overly familiar sort of way. Perhaps there’s something in her glorious voice that reminds me of my parent’s Dolly Parton records. She’s a great story teller, and I want to know more about her heartaches and headaches, particularly when accompanied by her crack band. I’m also proud to say my 4 year daughter keeps calling for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle)” when we’re in the car – and I can’t think of anything else I’d want her to be listening to right now.

BJ BarthamHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
BJ BarhamRockingham
It pains me to say this but BJ Barham’s new-found sobriety has coincided with a serious coming of age as a songwriter. Taking a (very) short break from American Aquarium duties, BJ’s solo release (a genuine side-project) is seriously hard-hitting stuff. It rivals Aquarium’s 2012 release Burn. Flicker. Die. for intensity, but of a completely different nature. With sparse arrangements (often acoustic) Barham, as storyteller, gives you an uncensored and unashamed glimpse into how rural America has been left behind. Not for the faint hearted.

William CrightonSam Newton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I’d caught Crighton perform a bunch of times at local venues around Sydney and really dug his tune (and especially the music video) “Woman Like You” prior to this album’s release. So I was anticipating this release. Really excited for it. I was stoked when I heard that he and producer Matt Sherrod came through with the goods. Big time. Highlights for me are “Riverina Kid”, “Priest” and “2000 Clicks”. In my mind, this one is about as strong as debut albums get.

Chaim TannenbaumEliza Carthy
Chaim TannenbaumChaim Tannenbaum
The album that I have most enjoyed and most visited this year is the debut of the kind, quiet genius Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound Records). I’ve had the privilege of working with Chaim over the years but it was only recently I realised that I have lived with his distinctive voice and gorgeous humility since I first began to love music. It’s his voice that forms the third harmony in “Complainte pour St Catherine” on the first McGarrigle sisters’ album, a song I played over and over as a child until you could almost see through the record, and he has been quiet companion and producer to theirs and their extended family’s work ever since. It’s somewhat typical of his humility that he has waited this long to make an album, produced by his dear longtime friend and collaborator Loudon Wainwright III. It’s a collection of avuncular stories told in his gorgeously expressive voice with beautiful, minimal production. Some trad, some conversational originals covering everything from the fate of the baseball stadium Ebbets Field to living in a depressing grey London in the endless rain in the 1960s. An album to listen to with your eyes closed by the fire. Again and again, and again.

PinegroveQuinton Trembath
PinegroveCardinal
The lyrics on this album read like the private diary of a well spoken (and well read) guy filled with both anxiety and excitement for life. The musicianship and dynamics complement this introspectiveness well, making it perfectly suited for intense solo listening as well as for being cranked on road trips with friends.

Sean McMahonAlison Ferrier
Sean McMahon and the MoonMenShiner
Sean McMahon’s laid back yet somehow intense vocal brings this fantastic collection of songs to life in my living room. Shiner’s ragged elegance is full of the sort of raunchy country rock I can’t get enough of. Stand out tracks for me: “Shiner” and “Here Comes the Night Again”.

WhitneyEddie Boyd
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
This album just grew and grew on me since my first listen. Simple, catchy tunes that make me wanna dance or go driving for a long time. I think Whitney nailed everything about this album – the instrumentation, the production, obviously the songs. Also, they’re heaps good live.

Secret PathThe Once
Gord DownieSecret Path
The Tragically HipMan Machine Poem
This year was a hard year in Canadian Music. We have a fella here by the name of Gord Downie. He is a legend. He has helped raise Canadians to be more real with his music. He is the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. There are not many people in Canada who don’t know who The Hip are. Their music has become part of our DNA. Gord, this year, made a statement saying he has terminal brain cancer so he obviously fighting for the men and women of the north. The folks that have needed a voice for far too long. He is being that voice. He is showing us how to be Canadian and that we can’t be without acknowledging the needs of all of our people, without respecting all of our people. This year, instead of succumbing to his illness, he put out two albums. One with The Hip and one solo. Here they are. They are magic and will go down in history in our great nation. It’s amazing to watch one man build his second legacy.

Cash SavageJessica Cassar (Jep and Dep)
Cash Savage & The Last DrinksOne Of Us
This has everything you want from a record. It’s dirty and beautiful, and dark as hell. Cash sings with a thunderous anguish that cracks, rumbles and echoes so perfectly any sorrow you might have ever had. And like any good storm, the album’s darkness reveals a little light, one that roars some sort of painful end, or much needed beginning. I love this record!

Tracy McNeilGretta Ziller
Tracy McNeil & The GoodlifeThieves
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to the game when it comes to Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife. I caught their set at Out on the Weekend and was captivated! Their 2016 album Thieves is just so dang easy to listen to, I will confess it is turning into a “chilling on the deck summer favourite” of mine! Please, if you haven’t already, pick up or download a copy of this album and chill!!

Bill JacksonRosie McDonald (RAPT, Trippy Hippy Band, Seanchas)
Bill JacksonThe Wayside Ballads Vol. 2
Bills’ reputation had preceded him before I heard him at Fairlight folk with Ruth Hazelton and Pete Fiddler. I grabbed the opportunity to contribute to his The Wayside Ballads Vol. 2 crowd funding campaign to get Bill and Pete over to Nashville to record with some very fine session players. Bill kept me updated with postcards and messages so I felt like a sideline cheerer in this whole project. Then the CD arrived! Magnificent songs, co-written with Bills’ brother Ross. Bills’ time worn voice, rich and mellow, rootsy, Americana-ish but very very homegrown, local accent, stories big and small, tender and big hearted. Pete’s playing shines in amongst the session guys, a great listen. Music for travel, the cabin, the verandah, anywhere.

Kate Burke and Pete WildMelanie Horsnell
Kate Burke and Pete WildLive at St Peters
In my small town we have the most marvellous artists touring through, but I also love our sweet locals, and I adore this live record by Kate Burke and Pete Wild. Pete Wild’s “Mars 1” is a love song about a person who goes on the Mars mission leaving his forever love behind, the Martin-Martin song is an old village favourite and the last love song between Doris and Arthur makes me giggle and lament at the same time. And I adore playing Kate Burkes version of Frozen Man on repeat when everything in life gets a bit much.

MontaigneGretta Ray
MontaigneGlorious Heights
My favourite record that was released in 2016 is without a doubt, Montaigne’s Glorious Heights. What impresses me most about this record is the fact that it is rather evident that the artist went into this project with the intention of experimenting with her sound and taking risks, drawing inspiration from a range of her influences and assuring that each song conveyed a slightly different emotion from the previous track. I believe it was this approach of 20-year-old Jess Sero’s (Montainge) that resulted in the production of what I perceive to be a very imaginative and bold debut album. This record showcases the fact that Jess has, unquestionably, one of the strongest and most commanding voices in the Australian music industry, this being exemplified through the outstanding production and arrangements of the songs that make up Glorious Heights. As well as this, each song is demonstrative of Jess’ incredibly clever and unique songwriting, which I cannot wait to hear more of in years to come; the simplicity yet complexity and quirkiness of a lyric such as “when you touch my skin, I think ‘this isn’t boring'” makes one ponder on such a line, as Jess’ way of writing is different, daring and something that never fails to make me smile. Glorious Heights made me so very excited about how extravagant pop music is becoming in this day and age, and on the whole made me very proud to be a young woman in the Australian music scene.

WhitneyTreetop Flyers
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
I first started hearing about this band online, so was waiting for the album with anticipation. When it dropped I must have played it back to back straight away, which rarely happens. They are hard to put in a genre, which is really great. No Woman is one of our faves of the year. They are great live and do a version’s of NRBQ’s Magnet, so happy campers over here.

Drive By TruckersShane Nicholson
Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
In a year of many great records, this stands tall above the crowd. It’s everything I love about the Truckers: gutsy and raw, clever and thoughtful, sometimes irreverent and full of attitude, and sometimes tender and restrained. Imagine a bastard-child born to Son Volt, Matthew Ryan and Uncle Tupelo, but all dressed up in those well-worn and unmistakable Drive-By Truckers clothes. How could that not make for the coolest kid on the block this year?

Conor OberstJack Carty
Conor OberstRuminations
It’s bloody beautiful in its simplicity. Gorgeous songs performed honestly. It seems like every track is a complete performance and any imperfections only enhance the sincerity of it all for me. Such an incredibly good songwriter.

Hayes CarllThe Weeping Willows
Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Lovers and Leavers is Hayes Carll’s most personal, introspective and “exposed” album to date, both in terms of the intimate, confessional songwriting and the stripped back arrangements, reminiscent of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams, never saying too much – or too little. This intimacy draws you in, while Carll’s vulnerability captures you and takes you on a journey through heartache and reflection. Hayes was always in good hands with dynamic duo Joe Henry (producer) and Ryan Freeland (engineer) at the wheel, steering gently towards a common, graceful goal. Henry’s arrangements are characteristically unique yet elegant and tasteful, while Freeland brings his trademark clarity and warmth. Check it out if you’re fans of the late, great Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt or fellow Texans, Steve Earle and Kevin Welch. Stand out tracks: “Sake of The Song”, “The Magic Kid” and “Drive”.

Iggy PopKelly Day (Broads)
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
Sometimes you’ll find a record that makes you feel high from the moment it begins. Iggy’s new album, channelled through the hooky sounds of Josh Homme and given a Bowie-esque lean, made me grin like a mad person. And then immediately take it for another spin.

Robert EllisMegan Cooper
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
I was waiting to go on air for an interview. While we were pfaffing around getting ready “The High Road” came on. I pretended I knew who Robert Ellis was when I was advised who the artist was that had pretty much hypnotised me in 30 seconds flat. I went out and paid cash money for the album the next day. Every song got me on first listen. Cinematic moments. Super personal bits. Non-standard approaches. Aspirational.

PassengerSam Brittain
PassengerYoung As The Morning, Old As The Sea
Mike has always had a wonderful way of crafting simple and memorable melodies. Combine this with his always captivating lyrics and you have a master songwriter who’s tunes that sneak their way into your day. Songs that sooner or later without realising you find yourself humming whilst waiting in line for your morning coffee. Although often his storytelling veers on on the darker side of heartbreak and loss this latest album has a lighter touch, proving Passenger is and a yard stick for the aspiring modern folk troubadour. A dynamic artist who’s albums have been true to his own brand since day one. Additionally his band on this record are also fantastic live. I recently caught his show to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin, it was one I won’t soon forget.

Bon IverAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Bon Iver22, A Million
Another great record from Bon Iver – I have loved all three so far. I like how it also pushes into some new and interesting territory with the production. The auto-tuned a cappella of “715 – CR∑∑KS” is a particular highlight

Margaret GlaspyMaia Marsh
Margaret GlaspyEmotions and Math
It makes me feel really empowered whenever I listen to it, as a woman myself playing music. The songs are strong, guitar tone is great and her voice has this amazing growl that cuts through a sincere sensitivy at the same time.

BlondDirewolf
Frank OceanBlond
My hat is profusely off to an artist who can seamlessly bridge so many facets of musical integrity. What I mean by that nonsensical shit is that the entire record is some kind of highly strung soundboard (literally) which either sends you flying high just to get high, or high because you’re just too fucking upset. “Skyline To” and “Seigfried” are perfect examples. The whole collective arrangement kills me too, it’s like listening to recent Bon Iver whilst playing Sega in a radio store – the musicality is superb. I could say a lot more, but I’ll safely surrender by saying it definitely influenced the direction of my mind in doing another record.

Bon IverWildwood Kin
Bon Iver22, A Million
Easily. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. It’s just genius.

Tattletale SaintsGeorge Jackson (The Company, Buffalo Nickel, One Up, Two Down)
Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints
Nashville based, New Zealand duo Tattletale Saints released their self-titled, second album this year, and it’s beautiful. Cy Winstanley (Guitars, Vocals) can pen songs with the best of them, his offerings on this album range from self-reflective and insightful, to sometimes cynical and cutting but always with a masterful craftsmanship. Vanessa McGown (Double Bass, Vocals) provides both solid and virtuosic Double Bass playing and vintage tinged country vocals. The new album is definitely a departure from their earlier acoustic recordings – but for a new fan, like me coming along, this is a bold and engaging listen complete with a production dripping in vintage tones and depth. Listen, and enjoy!

Genni KaneBill Jackson
Genni KaneSelfies
Ex-member of seminal Australian band, The Flying Emus, Genni Kane has a voice that can’t be denied. This long awaited record shows she is also a very gifted songwriter and the opening track “Little White Dog” is the beginning of a beautiful journey that deserves your attention.

Nancy KerrRuth Hazleton (http://www.billjacksonmusic.com/, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Nancy KerrInstar
A heady mix of poetry, politics and social commentary, Nancy Kerr’s Instar is an achingly beautiful collection of original songs framed within the landscape of traditional folk music. Beautifully performed and produced, Instar is, without doubt, one of the masterpieces of folk from 2016 and a work that will inform the tradition for a long time to come.

Fanny LumsdenThe Pigs
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
This album is full of great songs written from Fanny’s heart. She’s the real McCoy. Whenever we see her play live her songs get stuck in our head for weeks after. “Bravest Of Hearts”, “Soapbox” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down” are just a few of the crackers on this rekid. This is a breath of fresh air for Australian Country Music. We love Fanny! More… More…

Side PonyHannah Acfield (The Acfields)
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
Give me a bit of 60’s sounding soul any day of the week! The songs are catchy, nice melodies and make you wanna move. I’m a sucker for a sterling vocalist. This was fav album for me.

Julia JacklinWillowy
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
An album about the little things in life that somehow manages to sum up the bigger things as well, cutting right through the mess to the heart of it all. Beautifully written and perfectly executed. It’s lovely to see an artist from the Sydney folk music family reaching great heights with an exceptional debut album.

John FlanaganSal Kimber (Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel)
John FlanaganThere’s Another Way To Where You’re Going

Bill ChambersRicky Pann (The Willing Ponies)
Bill ChambersCold Trail
Jen MizeWarnings and Wisdom
Sam BushStoryman
Bill Chambers is an Australian Journeyman troubadour. Songwriter, producer, sideman and front man, Bills live shows have influenced many and earned him a legion of devoted fans. Cold trail is Bills first studio album in four years and reminds the rock pop acts infiltrating modern country of where the heart of country lies. Cold Trail is a collection of honky-tonk “life lived” country that is the real deal. Produced by Bill and Recorded at his son Nash Chambers foggy mountain studios, Cold Trail is a world class record that draws on many influences to deliver country authenticity with Aussie perspective. A cracker record.
It’s a long way from Jen Mize roots in the Appliacian mountains of Georgia and North Carolina as a decedent of Lumbee Tribe of native Americans to the Sunshine coast of Queensland. Jen Mize is the real deal in every respect. An American songwriter with an incredible voice delivering an album packed with dynamic, well-crafted songs that’s all killer no filler. Shane Nicholson’s earthy production, arrangments and playing provide a tastefully rich sonic pallet that does this fine singer justice. The album glides from old-timey to traditional country and honky tonk, setting a very high bar of authenticity. An absolute stand out record.
Sixty-four-year-old Sam Bush has many stories to tell as a musician, innovator, writer and singer. One of my favourite musicians on the planet, Sam is a bluegrass master and the father of newgrass music spawned from his groundbreaking band the New Grass Revival. Sam is arguably one of the most influential mandolin players in history having played with just about everyone from Bill Monroe to Leon Russell. This record is a collection of finely crafted songs with a crack band featuring vocals from Emmylou Harris and Alison Kraus. A masterful record.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Bon Iver announced their first album in 5 years with 22, A Million plus a stream of the first two singles. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Passenger has announced plans to come back to Australia in January for a series of full band shows. Details here

– US fiddle duo 10 String Symphony will be coming to Australia for the first time this October. Details here

– Canadian singer Irish Mythen returns to Australia for a tour this October. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Rowena Wise will be launching her debut album in September and is heading out on a national tour. Details here

– Tasmanian folk-punk festival HOBOFOPO announced a bunch of lineups including The Dead Maggies, The Go-Set, The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, The Australian Beefweek Show, Fox ‘N’ Firkin, The Stragglers, This Is A Robbery, Squid Fishing and Hairyman. Details here

– Acclaimed Melbourne singer-songwriter Jordie Lane has revealed details of his new album and upcoming national tour. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman released his new single “Meet Me In The Twilight”. Details here

Boy & Bear announced a massive regional tour from October. Details here

Releases This Week

Katie
Victim Or The HeroineKatie Brianna
iTunes

Lisa
At SwimLisa Hannigan
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar

Jack Carty

Jack Carty kicks off his Home State album tour this week with gigs in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. And equally exciting is the fact Emily Barker and Jordan Millar are supporting the tour.

Friday 19th August – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th August – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 26th August – Boo Radley’s Hall, Glenreagh, NSW

Bill Chambers & Lachlan Bryan
Friday 19th August – Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Saturday 20th August – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Corey Harris w/ Kris Morris
Friday 19th August – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20the August – Harvester Moon Cafe, Bellarine, VIC
Sunday 21st August – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd August – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 24th August – Harmonie-German Club, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Blues & Roots Stage, Gympie Muster, QLD

DEAR Monday feat. waywardbreed, Nigel Wearne, Ma Petite, Erik Parker
Monday 22nd August – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Sunday 21st August – Lounge Sessions at Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Wednesday 24th August – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Robbie Miller, Woodes
Friday 19th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th August – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th August – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, WA

Eddie Boyd
Wednesday 24th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Kwinton Trembath, The Dead Maggies, The Delta Revue
Wednesday 24th August – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

GrandMasterMonk w/ Crazy Old Maurice
Saturday 20th August – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Gympie Muster
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Gympie, QLD

Hootenanny feat. Jep & Dep
Sunday 21st August – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Concert feat. The Thomsons, Olympic Mystery Act
Sunday 21st August – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Imogen Clark
Sunday 21st August – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar
Friday 19th August – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th August – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan Trio
Saturday 20th August – Kelly Country Pick, Beechworth, VIC
Friday 26th August – Suttons House of Music, Ballarat, VIC

Kelly Country Pick
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August – Beechworth, VIC

Lazy Colts
Saturday 20th August – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Liam Gale with Henry Manuell
Thursday 25th August – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Friday 19th August – Hornsby Folk Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 21st August – Lounge Sessions at Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

Marrickana feat. Andy Baylor and His Cajun Roots Trio, Not Good With Horses, Brother Jimmy
Saturday 20th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Nick Payne
Friday 26th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Oh Willy Dear & Peter Head
Sunday 21st August – The Union, Sydney, NSW

Songwriters In The Round feat. Leroy Lee, Caitlin Rose Harnett, Colin Jones
Tuesday 23rd August – The Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Dead Maggies
Friday 19th August – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th August – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st August – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 26th August – Psyfari Festival, Capertree Valley, NSW

The Willing Ponies w/ Don Drapers Sofa
Friday 19th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Big Country” – Béla Fleck

From what I’m hearing “Big Country” has been a highlight of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s recent Australian shows. So I thought I’d share one of my favourite versions from the Transatlantic Sessions.

Boy & Bear Announce Regional Tour

Boy & Bear
Image Courtesy of Boy & Bear

This November and December Boy & Bear will be taking their latest album Limit of Love around the country with a bunch of regional shows in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT.

Check out the full list of shows below:

Wednesday 9th November – Regent Theatre, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 10th November – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 11th November – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 12th November – The Cube, Wodonga, VIC
Wednesday 16th November – C.Ex Coffs, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thursday 17th November – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 18th November – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 19th November – Lake Kawana Community Centre, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 20th November – The Mills Precinct, Toowoomba, QLD
Wednesday 23rd Novemeber – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Thursday 24th November – MECC, Mackay, QLD
Friday 25th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 27th November – The Venue, Townsville, QLD
Friday 2nd December – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA
Saturday 3rd December – 3 Oceans, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 4th December – Fremantle Prison, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 7th December – Orange Ex-Services Club, Orange, NSW
Thursday 8th December – ANU, Canberra, ACT
Friday 9th December – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 10th December – Wests City, Newcastle, NSW

A Folky Guide to the 2016 Spledour in the Grass Lineup

Splendour
Image Courtesy of Splendour in the Grass

After a couple of years of slim-picking for indie-folk fans today’s massive Splendour in the Grass lineup announcement came as a pleasant surprise to Timber and Steel. In amongst massive headline names like The Strokes, The Cure, Flume, The Avalanches and James Blake is a bunch of folk-leaning artists you should be getting excited about.

  • Matt Corby – The singer-songwriter released his debut album Telluric this year chich has been getting plenty of air time on national radio.
  • Boy & Bear – No strangers to the Splendour stage, Boy & Bear have already toured their latest album Limit of Love with a bunch of sold out shows at the beginning of this year.
  • Jake Bugg – I first discovered Bugg at Splendour in 2013 and I was impressed with the singer-songwriter’s ability to command an audience with just himself and a guitar.
  • Leon Bridges – American gospel and soul singer returns to Australia with a bunch of buzz behind him.
  • James Vincent McMorrowSplendour will be McMorrow’s only Australian show this time around. It’s been a while since he could be considered a “folk singer” having gone down an electronic route in recent years, but there’s no denying how amazing this man is live.
  • Michael Kiwanuka – The UK soul-folk singer has a brand new album, Love & Hate, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo due in May. We have a feeling it’s going to be huge.
  • Marlon Williams – Our love of Marlon Williams is well documented. Splendour will no doubt open the alt-country singer-songwriter up to a whole new fanbase.
  • Kim Churchill – A longtime favourite of Timber and Steel, Kim Churchill’s rootsy sound was built for festivals.
  • Little May – The indie-folk trio have an epic sound that is just made for the Splendour stage.

Splendour in the Grass 2016 will take place from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 24th July at the North Byron Parklands, Yelgun. Tickets will go on sale on the 21st April.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne indie-folk darlings TinPan Orange announced details of their new album, released a new video “Rich Man” and announced national tour dates. Details here

The Gum Ball have announced their final artists for 2016 including William Crighton, Devon Sproule, Davidson Brothers, Grace Turner, Galleri and many more. Details here

If You See Her, Say Hello comes to the Adelaide Fringe Festival this weekend featuring the music of Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA and more. Details here

– Brisbane’s Sahara Beck released her new single “Here It Comes”. Details here

– Sydney folk-fusion trio Devil on the Rooftop have announced a show with The Crooked Fiddle Band. Details here

The Brisbane Folk Club has announced its March lineup including The Timbers, Anna & Jordan and Luke Morris. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Liam Gerner has announced a national tour. Details here

William Fitzsimmons announced details of his new EP Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2. Details here

– Sydney alt-country band Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters have a new album and an upcoming east coast tour. Details here

– Violinist Jane Aubourg released her new single “The Girl with the Ash Brown Hair”. Details here

– UK based nu-folk five-piece Treetop Flyers released their new video “31 Years”. Details here

– NZ songstress Aldous Harding has announced a couple of Australian shows. Details here

Blog

“This year’s Cobargo Festival presents a great opportunity to take a world tour of the different styles of Celtic music and dance” – Peter Logue outlines the Celtic music program at the Cobargo Folk Festival. Blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“This is a band that has reached its stride and now has a career pace that they could maintain for the veritable marathon ahead. While their new stuff is developing a new sound and direction, their old stuff is just as open to new interpretation and appreciation. Their rendition of “Rabbit Song” was beautiful, with a slowed bridge the seems to hang in its own air only to roll and tumble down from the stage, out across the audience. The quality of this performance brought a whole new grace and beauty to a well known favourite”KT Bell reviews Boy & Bear. Details here

Releases This Week

Elsewhere
ElsewhereGretta Ray
iTunes

The Continental Drift
The Continental DriftMark Lucas and The Dead Setters
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 3rd March – Brisbane Folk Club, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 4th March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA

If you see her

If You See Her, Say Hello comes to the Adelaide Fringe Festival showcasing some of Australia’s top artists for one night only

Saturday 27th February – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Amistat, Ben Whiting, Oliver’s Army
Thursday 3rd March – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Burnt Creek Deviation
Friday 4th March – The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Brisbane Folk Club feat. The Timbers, Anna & Jordan, Luke Morris
Tuesday 2nd March – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

Calexico
Wednesday 2nd March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Catherine Traicos
Saturday 28th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo, NSW

Colin Hay
Friday 4th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Fanny Lumsden
Friday 4th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Friday 26th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 28th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Dawn Landes
Friday 4th March – Jet Black Cat Music, Brisbane, QLD

Elwood Myre
Friday 26th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 4th March – The Odd Fellow, Perth, WA

Exile: Songs & Tales of Irish Australia
Monday 29th February – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Frances, SA

Get Folked! English Bitter Launch feat. The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Baudelaires, Handsome Young Strangers, BDSM
Sunday 28th February – Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Thursday 3rd March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, WA

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Amy Parkinson, Brooke Russell, Cookie Baker, Elizabeth Barker, Emilee South, Gretta Ray, Jac Tonks (Amarillo), Jemma Nicole, Kate McMahon, Kelsey James, Layla Fibbins (The Sideshow Brides), Loni Rae, PHIA
Saturday 27th February – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

James Thomson
Friday 26th February – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Saturday 27th February – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Baha, Rye, VIC

Kasey Chambers
Saturday 27th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Wednesday 2nd March – The Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th March – J-Shed, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, WA

Lady Sunday feat. The Lyn Taylor Band, Megan Cooper, Georgia Mulligan
Sunday 28th February – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gerner
Thursday 3rd March – Four5Nine, Perth, WA
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA

Lime and Steel
Saturday 27th February – Humph Hall, Allambie Heights, NSW
Sunday 28th February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

Little Features feat. Gentle Leader, The Campervan Dancers, Gostwyck, Ed Wells
Saturday 27th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Nannup Music Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup, WA

Not Good With Horses
Sunday 28th February – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Passenger
Saturday 27th February – The Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 1st March – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Patrick James
Friday 26th February – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong NSW
Friday 4th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Pocket Fox
Saturday 27th February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Joole Band w/ Ainsley Farrell
Thursday 3rd March – Spring Street Social, Sydney, NSW

Sam Newton
Saturday 27th February – Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 28th February – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

Sian Evans
Saturday 27th February – Club Greenslopes, Brisbane, QLD

Sufjan Stevens
Friday 26th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 28th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 2nd March – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA
Friday 4th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Beards
Friday 26th February – Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 27th February – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS

The East Pointers
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – Bulli Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA

The Little Stevies
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW
Wednesday 2nd March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd March – Adelonia Theatre, Adelong, NSW
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC

The Plough
Sunday 28th February – The Coach and Horses, Sydney, NSW

The Rambling Boys
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Friday 4th March – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

The Timbers
Wednesday 2nd March – Brisbane Folk Club, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 3rd March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th March – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC

Tim Easton
Friday 26th February – Major Tom’s, Kyneton, VIC
Saturday 27th February – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 28th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 1st March – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 2nd March – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Vin Garbutt
Friday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Willowy
Friday 26th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Raggle Taggle Gypsy” – Planxty

Another version of the “Gypsy Davy” tradition, this time performed by the amazing Planxty.

Review: Boy & Bear at Hordern Pavilion

Boy&Bear Hordern Pavilion

Boy & Bear with Art of Sleeping and Montaigne
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Friday 12th February, 2016

We hurried on a Friday night to the Hordern Pavilion to catch the Sydney leg of Boy & Bear’s Limit of Love tour. Unfortunately, we missed support act Montaigne but the praise heaped upon her from The Art of Sleeping and the guarantee of her amazing voice is testament to both a strong camaraderie on tour, and the real talent that we had missed. We’ll be tracking down Montaigne for sure.

We did manage to catch the majority of Brisbane 5-piece Art of Sleeping who filled the stage with confidence, man-bun styling and a considerable bit of alternative musical goodness. Man-bun aside, their set covered both new and old tracks and was punctuated by solid rhythmic openings, glorious sliding melodies and musical tones that seems to recreate the very sound of shining light. The audience had been growing throughout the set and the majority were seriously engaged with the show on stage. To round out their set, the boys played Crazy complete with bold opening solo, subsequent big sound all the time underpinned by a chilled piano melody paired with statement drums.

David Hosking - Boy & BearThe main event arrived without too much fanfare, just the signature opening beats of Limit of Love infused with an upbeat vibe and the Boy & Bear guys owning the stage. Their title track performance set the tone for the rest of the show and had the audience ready to roll. The first noticeable feature of the show was the very high production standards, lighting, sound and transitions between songs was flawless and smooth. It’s those little elements that make a concert so much more enjoyable and are a sign of an excellent touring collective effort. The entire show was slick and inclusive of all the band members, each having their own moments, their own feature parts and at times, and even their own lighting states at times.

Stand outs included Bridges, Three Headed Woman, and Man Alone with the silence of the stage broken only by Hosking’s finger clicks. Seeing him commit his entire self to Old Town Blues showed just how the changes to the line up and the increased prevalence of his performing without an instrumented on the freedom to delve deep in to the song. All of the band members were playful and relaxed on stage, the obvious sign it’s been a good tour and everyone can play on stage in a fun way.

The night was full of moments. That moment when a whole crowd moves the same to a song. That moment when every pair of lips sang along to every word. That moment when everyone in the crowd gave genuine applause for the support acts when asked. That moment when the clap from the crowd grows to a point that unites stage and audience in to one musical creation.

Jon Hart - Boy & BearThere was a slick, cool, moody intro filled with hollow drum beats and a building echoey bass that was so atmospheric. The sheer clarity and quality of sound was evidence of an excellent sound tech I assume was travelling with them to achieve such great effects live on stage.

This is a band that has reached its stride and now has a career pace that they could maintain for the veritable marathon ahead. While their new stuff is developing a new sound and direction, their old stuff is just as open to new interpretation and appreciation. Their rendition of Rabbit Song was beautiful, with a slowed bridge the seems to hang in its own air only to  roll and tumble down from the stage, out across the audience. The quality of this performance brought a whole new grace and beauty to a well known favourite.

Their now famed ‘Like a Version’ cover is a source of on stage jokes as they tease the audiences in each city that they won’t play it. Back to Black brought the phenomenal harmonies from their radio performance to the live stage and impresses, reminding us of their particularly tight brand of close harmonies.

Tim Hart - Boy & BearAll the big favourites stirred the crowd, but the rumbling bass of Feeding Line had the intensity in the pavilion escalate. An epic western-alt country style opening to Golden Jubilee had everyone wondering what was coming and was testiment that the band were really having fun with it, changing it up, breathing a new life in to the song we thought we knew.

By the time their back catalog had been thoroughly brought to the stage, punctuated by their new tracks from Limit of Love, it was nearing the end of a massive hour and a half set. Hosting pointed out that, from the very beginning, they are a band who never do encores. They usually make that announcement and then play two final songs, but tonight we were in for a treat with three.

Big twangy chords heralded the opening of Part Time Believer that went on to treat the crowd. The synth-pop vibe of Harlequin Dream countered the encore feel with their surprise sax player turning up on stage to play that interlude live! The announcement of last song rightfully drew huge applause as they broke in to a final song from their new album, Walk the Wire.

This wasn’t just a good concert, this was a great show, an entertainment form start to finish. A high quality production that will stay with audiences for a long time to come.

Photos from the set can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Canberra indie-folk band Pocket Fox released their new single “Kingdom Come”. Details here

Boy & Bear kicked off their national tour this week. Details here

– Canadian trad trio The East Pointers have added three months worth of dates to their Australian tour. Details here

– Adelaide based troubadour Tom West released his new single “High Again”. Details here

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel announced details of their upcoming album Southern Light. Details here

Timber and Steel will be presenting the upcoming national album launch tour from The Timbers. Details here

The National Folk Festival added a bunch of indigenous artists to its lineup including Stephen Baamba Albert, Rayella, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Jacinta Price, The Djaadjawan Dancers, Larry Brandy and more. Details here

– American folk icon Dawn Landes has announced a couple Australian shows next month. Details here

– Rowdy folkers The Button Collective have released their new video “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”. Details here

– Sydney jam and concert night Bluegrass @ Yulli’s is back this February with The Sweet Jelly Rolls. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Sam Newton announced an east coast tour this February. Details here

Blog

– We picked 10 artists to watch in the first half of 2016 including All Our Exes Live in Texas, Bon Iver, Eagle & The Wolf, Imogen Clark, John Flanagan, Matt Corby, Matthew and The Atlas, Radical Face, Rowena Wise and The Timbers. Check out the blog here

Reviews

Gigs

“For the first time in ages I committed to heading to the Illawarra Folk Festival for the three main days this year, even if it meant commuting to and from my base in Sydney every day. I was determined to see as much music as possible without dealing with the inevitable clashes that comes from trying to see everything in one day. This year I was going to lose my weekend to the Illawarra Folk Festival”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival. Review here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch

How could I not choose the first round of Australian shows from Gillian Welch? These shows are going to magical – have you got your tickets?

Saturday 30th January – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

A Man Called Stu w/ The Morrisons, Post To Wire DJ
Thursday 4th February – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Ainsley Farrell
Thursday 4th February – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 29th January – Ocean View Hotel, Urunga, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW
Thursday 4th February – Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 29th January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 30th January – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA

Elwood Myre
Saturday 30th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 4th February – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 5th February – Nimbin Hotel, Lismore, NSW

Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd
Friday 29th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Gillian Welch
Saturday 30th January – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Honey
Saturday 30th January – Roth’s Wine Bar, Mudgee, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 29th January – The Wesley Anne, Northcote, VIC
Saturday 30th January – Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, VIC

John Butler Trio
Thursday 4th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 5th February – The Cube, Wodonga, VIC

José González
Friday 5th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 29th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Canberra Theatre Playhouse, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 4th February – Studio 56 @ Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 5th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Little Rabbit w/ Fat Cousin Skinny
Thursday 4th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

One Up, Two Down
Friday 29th January – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Out of Abingdon
Saturday 30th January – The Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 31st January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Pepperjack
Saturday 30th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Boots
Saturday 30th January – Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd February – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth NSW
Thursday 4th February – Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst NSW

Sam Newton
Friday 5th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The Brisbane Folk Club feat. Sons of the East, The Forty Thieves, Andrea Kirwin
Wednesday 3rd February – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

The Brouhaha
Friday 29th January – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

The Button Collective
Sunday 31st January – Black Wire Records, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 4th February – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW

The Franklin Electric
Friday 29th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th January – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

The String Contingent
Thursday 4th February – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Waifs
Saturday 30th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 31st January – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 2nd February – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 4th February – Bathurst Entertainment Cent, Bathurst, NSW

Tom West
Sunday 31st January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Willowy, Direwolf, Maia Jelavic
Friday 5th February – Desire Books & Records, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Blacksmith” – Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny’s Mozaik

I saw The Button Collective perform a cracking version of this song at their Illawarra Folk Festival blackboard set and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I had to chose the Mozaik version of the track for my FFF just because of how much energy it has.

Boy & Bear kicks off national tour

Boy&Bear2016Image courtesy of Boy & Bear

2016 is gearing up to be a big year for Boy & Bear. With a National Tour kicking off in Tasmania last Friday followed by Melbourne on Saturday and with another four capital cities to entertain over the coming weeks, they have really laid a solid foundation for a strong year.

Celebrating the launch of their album, Limit of Love with the release just over a week ago of the band’s video of title song, ‘Limit of Love’, and in a well timed appearance, the boys took to Triple J’s Like a Version on Friday morning giving Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ the Boy & Bear treatment.

We can only hope this moody cover will warrant a spot on the stages around the nation for the rest of their tour.

Remaining tour dates :

Friday 29 January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide SA
Saturday 30 January – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth WA
Friday 12 February – Hordern Pavillion, Sydney NSW (All Ages)
Saturday 13 February – Riverstage, Brisbane QLD

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American singer-songwriter Matt Bauer released his new video “What The White Book Said”. Details here

Radical Face announced that he will be releasing the final album in his trilogy, The Family Tree: Leaves, this March. Details here

The Brunswick Music Festival has announced its 2016 lineup including Blind Boy Paxton, Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Mandy Connell, Charles Jenkins, Cat Canteri & Justin Bernasconi, Brooke Russell, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Hat Fitz & Cara, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, Mànran, Spiro, Moxie, Shane Howard Trio, Mia Dyson, Jess Ribeiro and many more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Clark released her new video “Take Me For A Ride”. Details here

– UK nu-folkers Matthew and the Atlas released their new single “Elijah”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Zac Saber released his new single “Soak Up The Sun”. Details here

Boy & Bear released their new video “Limit of Love” ahead of their national tour. Details here

– Folk trio Applewood Road released their new video “Lovin’ Eyes”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter James Thomson has announced an East Coast tour this February and March. Details here

– We were really proud to debut the new single from The Campervan Dancers, “Slow Down, Butterfly”. Details here

– English nu-folk artist King Charles released his new single “Choke”. Details here

– Perth based Americana singer Davey Craddock released his new single “Peaceful Bay”. Details here

Releases This Week

Aoife
In The Magic HourAoife O’Donovan
iTunes

Desert Songs
Desert SongsPiers Faccini & Dawn Landes
iTunes

Gamble for a Rose
Gamble For A RoseKing Charles
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tom West

Tom West

Singer-songwriter Tom West returns to his spiritual home of The Grace Emily in Adelaide to play the first of two live album recording sessions

Thursday 28th January – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

40 Ways to Love Your City w/ Warren Fahey, Christa Hughes and Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Saturday 23rd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Monday 25th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Allison Forbes
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Andrew Swift
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Beth Patterson
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th January – Newstead Live Folk Festival, Newstead, VIC
Thursday 28th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 29th January – Ocean View Hotel, Urunga, NSW

Country Conquers Cancer feat. Paddy McHugh, Pat Tierney, Megan Cooper, Dana Hassall, Sian Evans, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Brad Butcher, Dana Gehrman, The Mighty Kind, Jen Mize, The Floyd Family Breakdown, Ben Bunting, Andy McDonnell, Cameron Milford, Emma Bosworth, Hayley Marsten, Ellie Jane, Boatkeeper, Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies
Thursday 28th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Boy & Bear
Friday 22nd January – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 23rd January – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Cake & Cordial Sessions feat. Paddy McHugh, Megan Cooper, Gretta Ziller, Andy Golledge, Brad Butcher
Friday 22nd January – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tamworth, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 22nd January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Songwriters Round, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Davey Craddock w/ The Waifs
Sunday 24th January – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller
Sunday 24th January – The Stag, Newcastle, NSW

Eagle & The Wolf
Friday 22nd January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW

Elwood Myre
Tuesday 26th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 22nd January – Capitol Theatre, The Songwriters Round, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Longyard Deck, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Longyard Goonoo Goonoo Room, Tamworth, NSW

Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd
Friday 29th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Comedownsundown, The Campervan Dancers, Special Guest
Wednesday 27th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny Bluegrass Sundays feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 24th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Imogen Clark
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Upstairs, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd Januray – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 22nd January – The Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – The Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 29th January – The Wesley Anne, Northcote, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 22nd January – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Upper Swan, WA
Saturday 23rd January – Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 24th January – Quindanning Tavern, Quindanning, WA

Josh Pyke
Friday 29th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Friday 22nd January – The Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW

Megan Cooper
Friday 22nd January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Tamworth, NSW

Michael Hurley and Meg Baird
Sunday 24th January – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Newstead Live! Music Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Numeralla, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd January – Andrew Clemont’s Supper Club, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – West Leagues Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 27th January – Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 29th January – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW

Out of Abingdon
Saturday 23rd January – Nethercote Music Factory, Nethercote, NSW
Wednesday 27th January – Hippo Co, Canberra, ACT

Ryley Walker
Friday 22nd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th January – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 25th January – The Toff, Melbourne, VIC

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Saturday 15th to Sunday 24th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Audreys
Saturday 23rd January – Live at the Vines, Kay Brothers Winery, McLaren Vale, SA
Sunday 24th January – Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC
Monday 25th January – Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC

The Brouhaha
Friday 29th January – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Button Collective
Friday 22nd January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd January – Swamp Collective, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 24th January – Oriental Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 22nd January – Chudleigh Community Hall, TAS
Saturday 23rd January – Queenstown Memorial Hall, TAS
Sunday 24th January – Southport Community Centre, TAS

The Franklin Electric
Friday 22nd January – The Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA
Friday 29th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Waifs
Saturday 23rd January – Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 24th January – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

The Wayward Henrys
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Cafe, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 23rd January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW

Tom West
Thursday 28th January – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Johnny Stewart, Drover” – John Thompson

This week we lost Chris Buch who wrote this magnificent song.

Watch the New Boy & Bear Video “Limit of Love”

Boy and Bear
Image Courtesy of Boy & Bear

The national tour from Boy & Bear kicks off this week and to celebrate the band have just released their excellent new video “Limit of Love”.

“I’ve seen lots of friends lose themselves while searching for love,” Boy & Bear frontman Dave Hosking explained of the song. “We all need to be loved and when people don’t get their fix, it can drive them to do strange things. We liked the idea of looking at love as a drug, something more sinister, something we quite powerfully depend on.”

Check out the video for “Limit of Love” below:

The full list of upcoming dates on the Boy & Bear national tour are as follows:

Friday 22nd January – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 23rd January – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th January – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 30th January – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA
Friday 12th February – Horden Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th February – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

« Older entries