Ten Artists to Watch in the First Half of 2017

Bob Dylan

With the new year upon us it’s time to look ahead at some of the great folk, roots and acoustic music that will be coming our way in 2017. And it’s already shaping up to be an amazing year with a bunch of very exciting albums already announced (see the list at the bottom of this piece) and even more in the works. We had a stab at picking 10 artists we think you should be keeping an eye on in the coming months but as always this is far from exhaustive. We hope you enjoy and a happy 2017!

All Our Exes All Our Exes Live in Texas

A perennial for this yearly article it would seem. Somewhere in between tour commitments last year All Our Exes Live in Texas found time to get into the studio and record their debut album When We Fall. The album was produced and engineered by Wayne Connolly (Sarah Blasko, Silverchair, You Am I) and will likely hit stores around March. Expect to see a lot of All Our Exes Live in Texas in the coming months – they’re set to explode.

Davidson Brothers Davidson Brothers

Late last year Australian bluegrass duo Davidson Brothers headed to Nashville to record with Larry Marrs at Mark Thornton for an upcoming album. The Davidson Brothers released their last album Wanderlust back in 2014 so a new record is very much anticipated and if you’ve managed to catch them live yet this year you’ll know they continue to be one of the most exciting live acts in the country. Stay tuned for news of their new album soon!

Fleet Foxes

While there’s been no official announcement of a new Fleet Foxes album this year, their first since 2011’s Helplessness Blues, all signs are pointing toward a release very soon. Frontman Robin Pecknold has been hinting at a new Fleet Foxes long player (plus a solo album) over the last couple of months and the band also reassured fans via social media that they wouldn’t have to fly to an announced show in Ireland in July because “we’ll be doing a full world tour in 2017-18 so no need to spend a lot on travel”. Watch this space for more information when it’s announced!

Husky Husky

Don’t be surprised if Husky’s 2016 single “Late Night Store” makes an appearance in this year’s triple j Hottest 100 – the national youth broadcaster has been hammering it of late. The track is the first taster from the Melbourne indie-folk duo’s third album which is due for release at “some point” in 2017. That’s all the information we have now but expect some more news to drop soon.

Jordan Jordan Ireland

The ex-member of The Middle East announced plans to release his new album Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra on the 20th January. The first track from the album “East Coaster” is a lot more acoustically driven than Ireland’s previous project Stolen Violin, but that’s not to say the rest of Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra will follow suit. We’ll have to wait and see what the album brings but I have a feeling it’s going to be something special.

Laura marling Laura Marling

A new album from Laura Marling in 2017 – Semper Femina due on the 10th March – is in itself not a surprise. The prolific singer-songwriter has released five albums over the last nine years with Semper Femina marking her sixth long player. But on hearing the first single “Soothing” it’s clear that Marling is experimenting with her sound and Semper Femina may not be as “folk” as we’re used to from her. The album will apparently focus heavily on female characters and creativity, a theme Laura Marling explored in her excellent 2016 podcast Reversal of the Muse which we highly recommend you download.

Punch Brothers Punch Brothers Side Projects

While things are pretty quiet on the Punch Brothers front the various members are keeping themselves very very busy. As well as hosting the new season of A Prairie Home Companion mandolinist and singer Chris Thile will release his album with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, on the 27th January. Banjo player Noam Pikelny’s new solo album Universal Favorite is due for release in March this year and was produced by Punch Brothers fiddle player Gabe Witcher. Witcher has also produced a solo album for guitarist Chris “Critter” Eldridge which will hopefully come out this year. Bassist Paul Kowert is prepping a new album as well with his trio Haas Kowert Tice (featuring Brittany Haas and Jordan Tice). All in all this might be the biggest year ever for fans of Punch Brothers.


Rhiannon Giddens Rhiannon Giddens

With her new album Freedom Highway due on the 24th February and an Australian tour this April (including an appearance at Bluesfest), 2017 could well be the year Rhiannon Giddens solidifies her Australian fanbase. Freedom Highway delves deep into black American history with songs based on slave narratives of the 19th century through to the civil rights movements of the 1960s. This may be Giddens’s most powerful work to date.

The Morrisons The Morrisons

There was a time when you couldn’t move in Sydney without bumping into a gig from The Morrisons. But over the last 18 months or so The Morrisons have become a little more scarce as the members focus on their side projects, although they continue to shine with their Paul Kelly and O Brother Where Art Thou? theme shows. In recent months the band have started posting photos from the studio and as we write this it looks like The Morrisons are on the verge of announcing the release of their debut album and a bunch of tour dates – 2017 is going to be the year The Morrisons come back in a big bad way.

Timberwolf Timberwolf

Adelaide based indie-folk singer-songwriter Timberwolf has been quietly plugging away at the scene for a while now and I feel as though 2017 will be his year. Having already garnered attention from triple j for his new single “Washed Out” Timberwolf is about to release his debut album and has a bunch of tour dates through the end of January and the start of February. Once the album is announced expect to see Timberwolf through 2017.

2017 Album Release Schedule

6th January: 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory – Dropkick Murphys
13th January: Gentlewoman, Ruby Man – Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White
13th January: Laws of Gravity – The Infamous Stringdusters
13th January: Endless – The McClymonts
20th January: Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra – Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra
20th January: Dragonfly – Kasey Chambers
27th January: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau – Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
27th January: Seven Long Years – Musketeer
27th January: Stitch of the World – Tift Merritt
3rd February: Big Machine – Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band
10th February: Memories Are Now – Jesca Hoop
10th February: Best Of – Old Crow Medicine Show
17th February: Windy City – Alison Krauss
17th February: Postcards From The Shell House – Busby Marou
17th February: Life Will See You Now – Jens Lekman
17th February: Highway Queen – Nikki Lane
17th February: Prisoner – Ryan Adams
24th February: Freedom Highway – Rhiannon Giddens
27th February: Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood – Sun Kil Moon
March – Universal Favorite – Noam Pikelny
3rd March: When We Fall – All Our Exes Live In Texas
3rd March: Ironbark – The Waifs
10th March: Semper Femina – Laura Marling
16th March: The Order of Time – Valerie June
31st March: Life Love Flesh Blood – Imelda May

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 25th November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Irish music legend Sharon Shannon announced an Australian tour this January. Details here

The Lumineers relased their new video “Sleep On The Floor”. Details here

The National Folk Festival added a bunch of artists to its lineup including Jarlath Henderson, Katey Brooks, Mel Parsons, Melisande, Andy Salvanos, Catherine Fraser Trio, David Spry, Colin Lillie, YuNiOn with Stonewave Taiko, Dubmarine, Kutcha Edwards, Zulya and the Children of the Underground, Sparrow-Folk, The Martins and 19-Twenty. Details here

– We finally posted the new Rowena Wise video “Hollow Hearts”. Details here

– Progressive folk mandolinist Chris Thile and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau have announced a duo album to be released in January. Details here

– Perth folk-rock band Joel Barker & The Low Company released their new video “Make It Good”. Details here

– The new Gillian Welch album Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg is released today. Details here

– Irish born, Melbourne based singer-songwriter Gallie performs in Sydney tomorrow night. Details here

Bear’s Den released their new video “Emeralds”. Details here

– The amazing Rhiannon Giddens is returning to Australia next year. Details here

– American folk singer Willie Watson returns to Australia next year. Details here

Releases This Week

Buffalo Nickel
Buffalo NickelBuffalo Nickel
Bandcamp

Gillian
Boots No 1: The Official Revival BootlegGillian Welch
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Kay Proudlove w/ Melanie April

Kay

South Coast singer-songwriter will take to the Bulli School of Arts this weekend to record some of her new songs live to an intimate crowd

Saturday 26th November – Bulli School of Arts, Woonona, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Wednesday 30th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

BBQ & Blues feat. The Plough
Wednesday 30th November – Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Saturday 26th November – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Monday 28th November – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 30th November – Kings Park, Perth, WA

Boy & Bear
Friday 25th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 27th November – The Venue, Townsville, QLD
Friday 2nd December – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

Crowded House
Friday 25th November – Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Syndey, NSW

Davey Craddock
Saturday 26th November – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Eilen Jewell
Friday 25th November – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Saturday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Fairgrounds Festival
Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd December – Berry, NSW

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers
Saturday 26th November – Spring Plains Hall, Wee Waa, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Candice McLeod, Alister Turrill, Lazy Colts
Wednesday 30th November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

FRACK OFF! Concert feat. John Butler Trio, The Pigram Brothers, Mama Kin, Ten Cent Shooters w/ MC Peter Rowsthorn
Saturday 26th November – 3 Oceans Winery, Cowaramup, WA
Sunday 27th November – 3 Oceans Winery, Cowaramup, WA

Gallie w/ Seanchas
Saturday 26th November – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Green Mohair Suits w/ Luke Escombe
Friday 25th November – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Handsome Young Strangers
Friday 2nd December – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Haywood Billy Goats w/ The Tawny Owl Stringband, Rebecca Bastoli
Friday 25th November – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hashshashin, Vanishing Shapes, Kurushimi, Raven
Thursday 1st December – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. The Faraway Eyes
Sunday 27th November – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride feat. Night Kite, Mudlarks Choir, Christina Mimmocchi
Saturday 26th November – Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
Friday 25th November – The Pretoria, Mannum, SA
Saturday 26th November – Clandys Fishpub, Dunsborough, WA
Sunday 27th November – Live at the Orchard, Perth, WA
Friday 2nd December – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Julia Jacklin
Friday 25th November – Paradise Music Festival, VIC
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Thursday 1st December – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 2nd December – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 2nd December to Saturday 3rd December – Fairgrounds Festival, NSW

Kay Proudlove w/ Melanie April
Saturday 26th November – Bulli School of Arts, Woonona, NSW

Kasey Chambers w/ Eagle & The Wolf
Friday 2nd December – Revesby Workers’ Club, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gerner & The Sunset Pushers
Friday 25th November – Leftys, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 26th November – Drill Hall, Mullum, NSW
Thursday 1st December – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 2nd December – Lazy Bones, Sydney, NSW

Little Wise
Friday 25th November – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC
Sunday 27th November – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Matt Andersen
Friday 25th November – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Tuesday 29th November – The Front Gallery & Café, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 1st December – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 2nd December – The Music Lounge, Wollongong, NSW

Matt Joe Gow
Thursday 1st December – The Unicorn, Sydney, NSW

Mel Parsons
Saturday 26th November – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 27th – Djangos, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 30th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 1st December – The V Room, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Friday 2nd December – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Music for a Warming World – Green Music benefit
Sunday 27th November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Nick Payne, Matt J Ward, Peasant Moon
Thursday 1st December – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen
Tuesday 29th November – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA
Wednesday 30th November – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

PJ Michael & The Banditas
Saturday 26th November – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Queenscliff Music Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff, VIC

Steve Poltz
Friday 25th November – Blue Mountains, Warrimoo, NSW
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Wednesday 30th November – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 1st December – Bridgetown Hotel, Bridgetown, WA
Friday 2nd December – Ravenswood, Ravenswood, WA

Stray Hens
Friday 2nd December – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative Xmas Market feat. The Detonators, The Morrisons, The Cruisin’ Deuces, The Drey Rollan Band
Sunday 27th November – Manning House, Sydney, NSW

The Buck Loner Revue
Sunday 27th December – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Button Collective
Friday 25th November – The Bellingen Brewery & Co., Bellingen, NSW

The Tallest Man On Earth
Wednesday 30th November – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 1st December – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd December – Fairgrounds Festival, Berry, NSW

The Wilson Pickers
Thursday 1st December – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd December – Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Friday 25th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Tom West
Thursday 1st December – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th December – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Diamantina Drover” – Hugh McDonald with John Schumann & The Vagabond Crew

We sadly lost the great Hugh McDonald this week. Hugh very kindly let us publish his review of the Top Half Folk Festival in 2013. Here’s probably his most well known track from the 2010 Woodford Folk Festival. RIP Hugh McDonald.

Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau Announce Duo Album

Chris Thile
Image Courtesy of Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau

Prolific mandolinist Chris Thile has announced plans to team with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau for an upcoming album.

The self-titled album is due to be released on the 27th January and will feature interpretations of tracks by Gillian Welch, Elliot Smith, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and more.

Check out the full track listing and a live version of Gillian Welch’s “Scarlet Town” below:

1. The Old Shade Tree (Brad Mehldau & Chris Thile)
2.Tallahassee Junction (Brad Mehldau)
3. Scarlet Town (David Rawlings & Gillian Welch)
4. I Cover the Waterfront (Johnny Green & Edward Heyman)
5. Independence Day (Elliott Smith)
6. Noise Machine (Chris Thile)
7. The Watcher (Brad Mehldau)
8. Daughter of Eve (Chris Thile)
9. Marcie (Joni Mitchell)
10. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)
11. Tabhair dom do Lámh (Ruaidri Dáll Ó Catháin)

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