Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd January


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

In The Magic HourAoife O’Donovan

Desert Songs
Desert SongsPiers Faccini & Dawn Landes

Gamble for a Rose
Gamble For A RoseKing Charles

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.

Brunswick Music Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

Blind Boy Paxton
Image Courtesy of Blind Boy Paxton

I feel like the Brunswick Music Festival is the quiet achiever of the folk festival season. Taking place just after the Port Fairy Folk Festival from the 15th to 20th March, the Brunswick Music Festival in Melbourne always manages to mix the best of Melbourne’s folk and acoustic talent with the incredible touring international artists.

This year the Brunswick Music Festival has announced a raft of exciting artists including Blind Boy Paxton (above), Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Kim Salmon, Mandy Connell, Mick Thomas, Charles Jenkins, Cat Canteri & Justin Bernasconi, Sean McMahon, Jemma Rowlands, Rich Davies, Brooke Russell, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Hat Fitz & Cara, Zourouna, Lala Shouha, Sweet Mona’s Choir, Ajak Kwai, Jawa Pitu Band, Santa Taranta, Cumbia Cosmonauts, Los Kumbia Killers, La Descarga, Sonidero Esperanza, Alsarah and the Nubatones, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, Mànran, Spiro, Moxie, Shane Howard Trio, Emma Donovan and the PutBacks, Yirrmal, Mia Dyson, Jess Ribeiro and many more.

The traditional Sydney Road Street Party takes place on the 6th March with the full Brunswick Music Festival held from the 15th to 20th March. Check out the official site for all the events taking place during the Brunswick Music Festival.

Interview: Breabach, WOMADelaide

Image Courtesy of Breabach

Fans of Scottish trad band Breabach who missed their recent appearance at the Woodford Folk Festival needn’t worry – the band will be back in a few weeks time for a string of festival events including an appearance at this year’s WOMADelaide. We thought it was about we chatted the band so managed to get a hold of bass player and vocalist James Lindsay all the way in Glasgow to chat about their plans for Australia, their new album Ùrlar and the importance of the Scottish tradition in music.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Weren’t you in Australia just a couple of weeks ago?

James Lindsay: We were. We were at Woodford – enjoying the temperature there. It was up to 44 [degrees] one day.

GHE: I think you’re a bit of a glutton for punishment if you’re going to come all the way to Australia, head home to Scotland for a couple of weeks and then have to do that massive flight again to come back out to Australia.

JL: I know! We had to get our washing done done!

GHE: I guess this time of year is pretty important for British folk music with the awards and stuff on plus Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

JL: Totally. We all had to get back – we’re all involved in different things at Celtic Connections so we had to horse back and do that. That festival just finished.

GHE: How was it?

JL: It was great. We had too much fun!

GHE: We should probably talk about festivals coming up for you guys as well. You’re heading back to Australia and basically doing the folk festival circuit that tends to happen around March and April. How’re you feeling about returning to Australia again?

JL: We’re much looking forward to it and visiting a few new places. We’ve been over a few times now. We’ve spent a lot of time in Melbourne and this last trip we were in Brisbane so it will be great to get into Sydney and get to Adelaide and all that. We’re really looking forward to it – we’ve always had a great time whenever we’ve been out.

GHE: I think Australia, being a colony originally, has a big connection to celtic music, to Scottish music. It must be nice to play to overseas audiences that do feel that connection.

JL: Yeah definitely. It’s really great after shows a lot of people will come up to us and say they’re either born in Scotland or they’ve got family here and it made them homesick. It’s really nice.

GHE: I think Australians are probably pretty well versed in Irish music but maybe not so much in Scottish music – I’m not sure people realise how different the two can be. I remember asking my Mum, who’s Scottish, when I was a kid what the difference between Irish and Scottish music is and she told me “Irish music is good but Scottish music is happier”.

JL: (laughs) That could be true! But Scottish music can be a lot sadder as well I think.

GHE: That’s true – it does have the pipes which can be quite mournful.

JL: Yes exactly. The pipes can be really melancholic when you want them to be.

GHE: I really like what I’ve heard of your new album – Ùrlar right?.

JL: Yes Ùrlar. It’s a gaelic word that means “floor” or “ground”. We were talking about the mournful pipe playing – that kind of sound is a pibroch, the slow classical pipe music. It’s one of the oldest forms of pipe music. The ùrlar is actually the first movement, the first motif in one of these pibrochs. We liked the combination of the two themes.

GHE: Obviously there’s instrumentals on the album and also some songs as well – a lot of them in Gaelic. How important is it as a trad band to be singing in the native language of Scotland and continuing that tradition?

JL: We think it’s very important and we’ve got a couple of fluent speakers in the band so it seems kind of natural just to have them singing in a tongue that they’re fluent in. We also sing in Scots as well – we kind of like to represent both those languages

GHE: It feels like music is the way Gaelic can thrive – the way that people who may not be speakers can still connect with it.

JL: Definitely. It gets a lot of people interested in learning as well. At the moment it’s the highest uptake of people learning to speak Gaelic and I think a lot of that is because of the music. As you say it’s a way of getting into the language.

GHE: Listening to you guys and recent stuff from The Battlefield Band as well means I’ve been getting into Gaelic music quite a bit. It’s a very musical language.

JL: Totally – it’s very rhythmical.

GHE: I haven’t had a chance to see you guys live yet but I’ve heard that it’s very high energy. Is that a fair assumption.

JL: Yeah, I’d say that’s a good take on it. We definitely keep the live show very varied. We play to our audiences – we’ll have slower, poignant moments but towards the end of the set we like to ramp it up. We’ve got two sets of bagpipes and Megan [Henderson] our fiddle player does step dancing as well so we get all of these things combined and hopefully create a bit of a noise, a bit of energy.

GHE: When you’re performing at a festival do you tailor your set to the festival crowd, as opposed to the set you’d do at your headline show?

JL: In the UK we do a lot of sit down theatre shows where we’ll do two halves for a concert. We definitely structure that a lot differently to our one hour festival shows. We like to keep the energy up more for the festivals.

GHE: I’m really chuffed you’re doing WOMADelaide this year – it’s a fantastic festival. It’s great to see some celtic music coming back into it. Have you played WOMADs elsewhere?

JL: Yeah we’ve played WOMAD before and it’s a really great experience. We didn’t actually get to hang about that long but just wandering about the site – the music there’s so diverse. There was a fair bit of celtic stuff. It was really varied and really exciting so we can’t wait ti get to WOMADelaide.

GHE: It’s nice to present this type of music to such a wide and open audience. I feel like the people who go to WOMADelaide don’t go with a pretence of “I have to go and see this headliner” or whatever – they’re just there to discover great music.

JL: It’s a great thing. It’s a really music lovers festival these WOMADs. It’s great that people are up for opening themselves up to hear new stuff.

GHE: Once you guys finish your festival run here in Australia you’ll be heading home in time for the festival season in the UK I guess?

JL: We finish up in Sydney at the start of April. And then we fly home – April’s quite quiet for us but then in May we head off on our UK tour. And then all the UK festivals will kick off after that.

GHE: I know you’ve only just released Ùrlar but are there any plans to record again this year?

JL: There’s talk of maybe doing something next year because it will be the twelfth anniversary of the band. We kind of like that because a 12 year old bottle of whisky is the standard. There might be something to come out for that but at the moment there’s no details I’m afraid.

GHE: Well thanks so much for chatting with us today, it’s been great.

JL: We’re really looking forward to getting out and spend a good bit of time in Australia.

Breabach will be in Australia in March. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 11th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd March – 10 Days on the Island Festival, TAS
Saturday 5th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Blair Dunlop’s Australian Tour Dates

Blair Dunlop
Image Courtesy of Blair Dunlop

At just 21 years of age English folk musician Blair Dunlop is already making quite a name for himself. The son of folk legend Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Albion Band), Dunlop has been gaining some mighty praise in the folk world both for his debut solo album Blight & Blossom and for his work with the latest incarnation of The Albion Band (from which he’s just announced his retirement).

Blair Dunlop will be heading to Australia this festival season for appearances at Port Fairy Folk Festival, The Brunswick Music Festival and the Blue Mountains Music Festival. So far there’s no headline dates on the calendar but if that changes we’ll let you know. Check out the full list of dates so far below:

Friday 7th to Monday 10th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Wednesday 12th March – The Spotted Mallard (Brunswick Music Festival), Melbourne, VIC
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music, Katoomba, NSW

Breton Duo Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet Touring Australia

Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet
Image Courtesy of Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet

One of the gems of this weekend’s Cobargo Folk Festival is duo Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet all the way from Brittany, France. Combining the Celtic jigs and reels, Cajun two steps and Old-Timey, Hayes (originally from Australia, on fiddle) and Brunet (on the Spanish 12-string lute, the laúd) bring a unique Breton style to their music that sets them apart on the folk scene.

As well as appearing at Cobargo Folk Festival Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet have scheduled shows in Canberra and Melbourne along with an appearance at the Brunswick Music Festival. Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW
Monday 25th February – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd March – 303, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th March – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Music Festival, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 1st February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Brunswick Music Festival announced their full 2013 lineup which includes Seth Lakeman, Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies, Vin Garbutt, Enda Kenny, Dougie MacLean, Mike Compton, Eric Bogle, Archie Roach, Finbar Furey, Bill Jackson, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady and many more. Details here

Sarah Blasko revealed her new video “God-Fearing” from her sumptuous album I Awake. Details here

– Sydney monthly modern folk night MoFo kicks off again in 2013 with a February show featuring Modhan and Candice McLeod. Details here

– The king of English trad song, Sam Lee, released his brand new video “Good Bye My Darling”. Details here

– The final artists have been added to the 2013 Port Fairy Folk FestivalTim Finn, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Jackson McLaren & The Triple Threat, Siskin River, Shaun Kirk and Alanna & Alicia Egan. Details here

Mustered Courage have announced a Thursday night residency at The Wesley Anne in Melbourne throughout February. Details here

– UK trio Daughter released their brand new video “Still” from their upcoming debut album If You Leave. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Tom Stephens is launching his 2012 EP Wintry West at the Newsagency in Sydney next Thursday. Details here

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel are teaming up again for the forth She & Him album, Volume 3, due this May. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter De’Borah caught my attention with her beautiful new song and video “A Thousand Tongues”. Details here

Brighter Later have revealed another track from their upcoming album The Wolves, “Come and Go”. Details here

Iron and Wine have announced plans to release a brand new album, Ghost on Ghost, in April this year and are already streaming one of the tracks, “Lovers’ Revolution”. Details here

– The winners from the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were announced and some lovely videos from the ceremony have made their way online. Details here

Passenger revealed another new track, “I’ll Be Your Man”, via a live video featuring Stu Larsen, Emma Stevens and Jack Williams. Details here


“I’m basically going to go further than I did, just a little deeper into the Memphis sound. My music’s pushing more toward a blues and a soul kind of area and I’m finding a lot more comfort in that then I did in country. I can write a country song but I grew up in the city – I’m not a big fan of cows [laughs]. I think that’s the main reason it didn’t effect me the same way that soul and blues and more urban forms of music did”Justin Townes Earle chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I suppose it depends on what kind of opportunities. What you want and how you want to live your life – everyone says that Melbourne’s the music centre of Australia and it’s just abundant, so full of people. Ed [Ammendola] from Augie March once said to me ‘Melbourne is like a fruit orchard. Melbourne’s where you grow the fruit and you have to export it – if you don’t export the fruit it’ll just go to waste'” – Jess Ribeiro from Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Laylam – Carthy, Hardy, Farrell, Young

Jim James
Regions of Light and Sound of GodJim James

Friend and Lover
Friend and LoverNick and Liesl
Official Site

TalkThe String Contingent

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 1st February – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd February – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Tuesday 5th February – St Kilda Live ‘n Local Festival, The Vineyard, St Kilda, VIC
Thursday 7th February – Red Lime Shack Cafe, Port Adelaide, SA
Friday 8th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Gigs Next Week

AMP Alive feat. Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors, Hermitude, Urthboy
Friday 1st February – Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC

Saturday 2nd February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Sunday 3rd February – Tomerong Hall, Tomerong, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Arc, Yinnar, VIC
Friday 8th February – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Country Roads feat. Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys, The Green Mohair Suits, The River and The Road, All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 1st February – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Deer Tick with Two Gallants
Friday 8th February – The Annandale, Sydney, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
Saturday 2nd February – Mildura Arts Centre, Vic
Friday 8th February – Gunnedah, NSW

Justin Townes Earle with Robert Ellis
Saturday 2nd February – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 3rd February – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 5th February – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 6th February – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th February – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 1st February – Melbourne Zoo Twilight Series, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 2nd February – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Kings of Convenience
Tuesday 5th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 7th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage with Lachlan Bryan
Thursday 7th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Saturday 2nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd February – Bermagui Mudworks, Bermagui, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

Of Monsters and Men
Tuesday 5th February – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Rory McCleod
Friday 1st February – Fremantle Workers Club, WA
Sunday 3rd February – Divers, Broome, WA
Wednesday 6th February — Guthries, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 7th February — Briagalong Hotel, Vic
Friday 8th February – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, Vic

Ruby Boots
Friday 1st February – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 2nd February – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 3rd February – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 8th February – Baha Taco, Rye, VIC

Sarah Blasko
Friday 1st February – Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
Monday 4th February – Wrest Point Casino, Hobart, TAS

The April Maze
Friday 1st February – Maleny Upfront Club, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 2nd February – West End Markets, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd February – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

The Wooden Music Festival feat. The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 1st February – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 2nd February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 3rd February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 6th February – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th February – Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW

Tom Stephens with Joe Knott
Thursday 7th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Wes Carr
Wednesday 6th February – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 7th February – Bon Amici, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 8th February – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Blue Murder” – Ado Barker (Trouble in the Kitchen)

Trouble in the Kitchen’s fiddle player and sometimes vocalist Ado Barker singing a haunting a cappella version of the mining song “Blue Murder” by the late Alistair Hulett at National Folk Festival in 2010. Stunning.

Some Big Changes from The Little Stevies

The Little Stevies
Image Courtesy of The Little Stevies

When The Little Stevies announced their NSW tour last week little did we know that it was going to be their last jaunt before some big changes. In a message on their web site promoting their show at the Brunswick Music Festival this weekend The Little Stevies dropped a couple of bombshells. First up was the announcement of a new addition to the band:

“Over the last six months Byll has been working on a very special side-project – a collaboration which is due out in June. She’s been having trouble keeping it a secret lately, seeing as it’s getting so big, and if you’ve seen her recently you might know what it is. Yes, that’s right, you guessed it – there’s a little Little Stevie on the way! So once the little fella arrives the big Little Stevies will be taking a well-deserved break”

A big congratulations has to go to Byll from everyone here at Timber and Steel – its really exciting news!

However this news was coupled with another surprise from the band:

“As one Little Stevie arrives, another says goodbye. When the Stevies return it will be, sadly, without Robin. He’s off on some new adventures in distant lands, no doubt with a video camera in hand, and we wish all the very best to our dear friend and co-founding member. Never fear though, mother Byll and auntie Beth have a brand new album in the pipeline which we plan to release early next year, with live shows to follow.”

We’re sad to see Robin leaving the band but we’re sure he’ll enjoy his newest adventures. And we’re also really excited about the prospect of some new material from the ladies as well – we can’t wait.

So that means that The Little Stevies shows at the Brunswick Music Festival this weekend, a show in Freemantle at the end of the month and the NSW tour in April will be their last in the band’s current form. We highly recommend getting out and seeing these guys as they close the latest chapter on their musical story. Full upcoming dates are below:

18th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Phoenix Public House, Brunswick, VIC
29th March – Little Creatures Loft, Freemantle, WA
20th April – Camelot Lounge, Sydney NSW
21st April – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle NSW
22nd April – Clarendon Guest House, Blue Mountains NSW

Ben Sollee Announces National Tour

Ben Sollee
Image Courtesy of Ben Sollee

Kentucky based folk cellist (you read that right) Ben Sollee has just announced a string of dates in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT when he hits the country for the Port Fairy, Brunswick and Blue Mountains music festivals. Described by Bela Fleck as “up to his neck in creativity” Sollee’s unique brand of experimental, jazz infused folk and bluegrass is a must for all fans of the genre.

Joining him on his solo dates will be Sydney based experimental folkie Piers Twomey. The full list of dates are below – check Ben Sollee’s official site for more details:

Wednesday 7th March – The Basement, Sydney NSW
Saturday 10th to Monday 12th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival VIC
Wednesday 14th March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne VIC
Friday 16th March – Brunswick Music Festival VIC
Saturday 17th March – Mossvale Music Festival VIC
Sunday 18th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival NSW
Wednesday 21st March – Street Theatre, Canberra ACT
Thursday 22nd March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Interview: Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly
Image Courtesy of Alan Kelly

During the wonderful chaos that was WOMADelaide our intrepid reporter Evan Hughes managed to grab five minutes with Ireland’s premiere piano accordion player Alan Kelly. Kelly is currently touring Australia with his quartet and was here last year as part of Eddi Reader’s band. The interview took place directly after a performance by Mali duo Amadou & Mariam, right as WOMADelaide was kicking off.

Evans Hughes: I’ve seen you a couple of times when you’ve come over with Eddi Reader. Is this your first visit to Australia in a solo capacity?
Alan Kelly: No, 2009 I was here with my quartet and we played Port Fairy and Blue Mountains and Apollo Bay. And The National. We did a six week stint across the country.
EH: Wow, I must have missed that one.
AK: You must have been on holidays for six weeks (laughs). But yeah, we had a wonderful trip. It was kind of a holiday as well because we’d be off most of the week till the next festival. So this is my second time here in my own entity.
EH: Between the quartet and Eddi you should set up a permanent home here.
AK: I can’t believe it really when I think about it. I was trying to add it up – it definitely must be six years in a row between Eddi and my own thing. Has to be. And I thought I’d never get back here again, y’know? It’s been fantastic. I think Eddi might be out next year.
EH: That’s awesome – she’s here all the time.
AK: Well definitely every second year. There was talk of us coming out for the [rugby] world cup in New Zealand to do stuff and then doing a few shows at that time of the year in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. But we’ve put that off. I’d say she’ll be out soon because there’s probably a new album in the pipeline as well.
EH: You normally perform at folk festivals and WOMADelaide and other WOMADs really have a different feel to those. Normally when you think of Irish musicians you’d associate them more with a traditional folk festival.
AK: Absolutely, like the Blue Mountains style festival. My first experience of WOMAD was Christchurch last year with Eddi. For years I’ve been looking in the music magazines to see the line up for different WOMAD festivals and going “wow”. And you don’t really know anybody on the line up y’know? And that’s an amazing experience. I’m just soaking it all up and really looking forward to getting my teeth into this.
EH: There are quite a few Irish artists on the WOMADelaide bill.
AK: There is actually, surprisingly quite a number. You’re not playing to the converted here when you play your Irish folk music or your traditional tunes, which is a niche thing at the end of the day. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how that works.
EH: The kind of crowd that will come to a world music festival are probably more after the African or Eastern European music.
AK: Yeah, like the rhythms and the percussion. We don’t have the percussion but we’ve got all those intricate rhythms within our folk music. I think we can bring that out to people if they want to dance and get into the groove. And that’s what about at the end of the day isn’t it? Getting into the groove. It’ll be interesting.
EH: Are you hoping to catch a few of the acts while you’re here?
AK: I’m going to be here all day everyday. I’m not going to be in my hotel room waiting for the call to go to the gig. No I’m going to be here definitely.
EH: I did an interview with Luka Bloom a few weeks ago and we were talking about how there’s quite a lot of Irish artists here and I asked him if he was going to spend any time hanging out with them and he said “probably, but I’d probably prefer to be in front of the stages watching the music”.
AK: Absolutely. I’ll be catching a drink and hoping to catch Luka and some of these guys. Who just played there?
EH: I probably can’t pronounce their name [Amadou & Mariam]
AK: I just asked my girlfriend to pronounce them but she couldn’t do it either. They were amazing. Lovely – more of that. Stuff from the desert in Mali. Brilliant.
EH: So you’re doing Blue Mountains next weekend?
AK: Yeah, Blue Mountains next weekend. We’re down to Canberra in the meantime. We’re playing at the opening of the exhibition of the Irish in Australia. It’s a national exhibition that’s going on for three months down there. And then we do our own show there in the great hall on the St Patrick’s night [17th March]. Then straight up to the Blue Mountains and then from there we finish off at the Brunswick Music Festival over in Melbourne the following Wednesday [23rd March]. So it’s a short trip, we’ve crammed it all into about two weeks really. It’s a pity we couldn’t stay on and do The National but it was just too long.
EH: It’s been an absolute pleasure to meet you. Really looking forward to your set at WOMADelaide and the Blue Mountains Music Festival.
AK: Brilliant. Thanks a million.

Brunswick Music Festival This March

Lolo Lovina
Image Courtesy of Lolo Lovina

When you think about a folk festival you usually imagine driving to a normally sleepy country or coastal town, setting up a tent on a field somewhere and joining a temporary community of people who are all in the same place for one thing – fantastic live music. All of the major folk festivals, from Woodford to Port Fairy to Blue Mountains, are regional affairs. Even the National Folk Festival is held north of Canberra and one doesn’t have to venture into the urban environment at all to be part of it.

And this is what makes the Brunswick Music Festival different. Set up on Sydney Road in Melbourne’s Brunswick, the Brunswick Music Festival truly is an urban affair, making it one of the biggest (if not the biggest) city-based folk festivals in Australia.

This year the festival, now in it’s 23rd year, will be held from the 16th to the 27th March. The list of artists is pretty impressive and includes the likes of Crooked Still, Tony McManus, Andy Irvine, The Alan Kelly Quartet, Lolo Lovina, Flap!, Eric Bogle, Judy Small, Leah Flanagan, Shane Nicholson, Ted Egan, Vika and Linda Bull and the WooHoo Revue, just to name a few.

Details on the full lineup, playing times and tickets to the various shows can be found on the official Brunswick Music Festival web site. If you’re in Victoria or can get to Melbourne while the festival is on we think it will be well worth a look.

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