Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2017

Merle

It’s difficult to find an overriding theme in our picks for this year’s top albums. There’s a bit of trad in there, a lot of singer-songwriter and a decent amount Americana and country music. Overall 2017 has been another amazing year for folk music and we couldn’t be happier.

As always we have more “best of” lists coming this week so please stay tuned for them. But in the meantime check out Timber and Steel’s top albums of

Offa Rex
1. Offa RexThe Queen of Hearts
When you get nostalgia right the result can be pure gold. As someone who was brought up on late-60s/early-70s English folk-rock (think Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, etc) The Queen of Hearts feels like home and, as my friends and family can attest, the album has truly been on constant rotation since its release in July.

Offa Rex is the coming together of Portland nu-folk heroes The Decemberists and English folk-singer Olivia Chaney, inspired by the second-wave folk revival of the British isles. Somehow they’ve managed to capture this very distinct period of music, staying true to the instrumentation, production values and aesthetic of the time without descending into kitsch or parody (as many of the bands from the time ended up doing themselves in the 70s and 80s). Rigid rock rhythm sections over murder ballads, harpsichords and reverb-heavy electric guitars, ethereal vocals – The Queen of Hearts feels more like a rediscovered gem than an album recorded and released in 2017.

And let’s make one thing clear – it’s Olivia Chaney who makes this record. While The Decemberists are obviously the driving force behind The Queen of Hearts it is Chaney’s vocals that pull you right back into the early 70s. She somehow channels the likes of Maddy Prior, Sandy Denny, Anne Briggs, et al, while still bringing her own unique sound to the vocals. The tracks where Colin Meloy takes the lead (such as “Black Leg Minor”) or the instrumental “Constant Billy (Oddington) / I’ll Go Enlist (Sherborne)”, while still amazing in their own right, just don’t have the same impact as “The Queen of Hearts”, “Flash Company”, “The Old Churchyard” or any of the other amazing songs with Olivia Chaney front and centre.

Picking favourite songs from an album of standouts is very very hard. I love the nods to early Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath on “Sheepcrook and Black Dog”, probably the most epic of all the songs on the album. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is a beautiful tribute to Anne Briggs, with Chaney’s voice just resonating over the drone of a harmonium. And Offa Rex’s version of “Willie o’ Winsbury” may be my favourite of all time.

Even if you only have a passing interest in British folk music, in the second wave folk revival or in The Decemberists’ ongoing evolution as one of the most interesting folk bands in the world, give The Queen of Hearts a listen and see exactly why this is our album of the year for 2017.

The East Pointers
2. The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
Canadian trio The East Pointers up the production ante with their new album What We Leave Behind, expanding their sound with new instrumentation, increasing their song-to-tune ratio and generally producing one of the most interesting folk albums of the year. And the best part about it is there’s still a focus on ensuring that every bit of the album can be reproduced live with just the three of them – something I can confirm is the case having caught them in Melbourne recently. What We Leave Behind sees The East Pointers grow as a band, deftly straddling the worlds of traditional and modern fold music.

The Ahern Brothers
3. The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady are two voices that seem destined to be together. The Ahern Brothers are the latest in collection of modern artists taking inspiration from close harmony singing in the vein of The Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel and the result is really something special. Their self-titled debut album is a pure delight and elevates everything we’ve heard from Rennie-Hynes and Grady individually to date. There’s a reason these guys are selling out shows and taking the country by storm.

Fanny Lumsden
4. Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
Fanny Lumsden continues her domination of Australian country music with the 2017 release of Real Class Act. The album is very strongly informed by Lumsden’s decision to live her life on the road with husband Dan Stanley Freeman rather than opting for the relative comfort of a major Australian city (where, let’s be honest, the vast majority of Australia’s country music is produced), and you can really hear the expanse of our wide brown land all over the album. With each release Fanny Lumsden’s songwriting just gets better and better, adding a modern sensibility to a genre that all to often falls into cliche or nostalgia. Real Class Act is what Australian country music should be about.

The Morrisons
5. The MorrisonsThe Morrisons
Australia’s premiere bluegrass and alt-country band The Morrisons released their long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album this year and it has fast become one of my favourite album’s of ever. No one quite takes such a quintessentially American genre like bluegrass and passes it through the Australian lens in the way The Morrisons do. And it doesn’t hurt that individually each of The Morrisons is a master of their respective instrument making the album as technically brilliant as it is artistically brilliant.

Willie Watson
6. Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol. 2
Willie Watson’s exploration of America’s rich vein of traditional folk music continues with the second volume in his Folksinger series. Somehow he finds a way to take traditional and vintage folk and blues songs and modernise them without losing what makes them great songs to begin with. Watson treats this material with respect and reverance, almost taking a step back and letting each song speak for itself. When Willie Watson left Old Crow Medicine Show he expressed a desire to find a softer side of the folk genre, and that’s something he’s truly captured with Folksinger Vol. 2.

All Our Exes Live In Texas
7. All Our Exes Live In TexasWhen We Fall
Taking out this year’s ARIA for Best Blues and Roots Album was just the icing on the cake for what has been a massive year for All Our Exes Live In Texas. When We Fall is an album of fine songwriting, pitch perfect production and a true celebration of the four part harmony. Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts and Georgia Mooney each bring a unique set of influences and musical styles to All Our Exes Live In Texas which somehow all blend together into something sublime. With the momentum on When We Fall expect All Our Exes Live In Texas to continue crushing it into 2018 and beyond

Laura Marling
8. Laura MarlingSemper Femina
Laura Marling goes deep on her exploration of the feminine and what it means to be a female artist. It’s amazing to watch Marling grow with every album she releases while never really losing track of what drew us all to her in the first place – beautifully written songs and masterful guitar work. Laura Marling truly is one of the greatest artists of our generation.

Charlie Fink
9. Charlie FinkCover My Tracks
My love for Cover My Tracks one hundred per cent stems from my nostalgia for Noah and The Whale’s 2009 concept album The First Days of Spring. Charlie Fink revisits the style and feeling from The First Days of Spring throughout his 2017 solo outing and it’s a welcome return to form for a songwriter that had definitely strayed a little far from his strengths towards the end of Noah and The Whale’s time, prefering a Springsteen-light pop sound to substantial, heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting. The album is raw, emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking – everything I want from a Charlie Fink record.

Packwood
10. PackwoodVertumnus
The culmination four seasonally focused EPs from the last couple of years, Vertumnus is a beautiful opus to the natural world. Packwood’s unique brand of chamber folk has reached its pinnacle with this record, filled with lush compositions and stunning musicianship. Bayden Hyne, along with his arrangers Tilman Robinson (orchestral) and Miriam Crellin (choral) have pefectly crafted each track on Vertumnus making the most of choirs, strings, pianos, finger-picked guitars and banjos and more to compliment Packwood’s trademark fragile vocal style. Taking this work out of the studio and onto the stage is an expensive undertaking but I still hold out hope that we’ll see Vertumnus live before too long.

Kasey Chambers
11. Kasey ChambersDragonfly
Kasey Chambers mixes things up on her latest double album working with two different producers – Paul Kelly and Nash Chambers – and collaborating with a diverse range of artists from multiple genres, resulting in one of her most interesting releases in recent years.

David Rawlings
12. David RawlingsPoor David’s Almanack
David Rawlings and Gillian Welch find a way to write original Americana songs that sound like traditional songs that have been re-discovered and updated for a modern audience – and why can’t I get “Money is the Meat in the Coconut” out of my head?

Billy Bragg
13. Billy BraggBridges Not Walls
Billy Bragg returns to his activist roots on this EP with his electric guitar turned up and his wit as sharp as ever.

Lisa Mitchell
14. Lisa MitchellWhen They Play That Song
Out of no where Australia’s queen of indie-folk delivers the sweetest covers EP of the year, with quirky takes on 90s favourites from Phantom Planet, Spice Girls, Placebo, Letters To Cleo and The Cardigans

Timothy James Bowen
15. Timothy James BowenBloom
Bloom bookends a couple of years of massive upheaval in Timothy James Bowen’s life, while capturing an artist at the peak of his powers as a singer and songwriter.

Husky
16. HuskyPunchbuzz
Husky continue to push the boundaries of their indie-folk sound with an album that borrows as much from eighties pop as it does from lyric-driven singer-songwriter music.

BATTS
17. BATTS62 Moons
Moving away from her electro-folk roots toward a stripped back sound has proven a success for BATTS who’s delivered an EP of really stunning songs.

Gretta Ziller
18. Gretta ZillerQueen of Boomtown
Gretta Ziller has delivered one of the best Americana albums of the year that deserves all the nominations, awards and accolades it will no doubt continue to receive over the coming months

Paul Kelly
19. Paul KellyLife Is Fine
After a couple of genre projects Paul Kelly returns with his most Paul Kelly album in recent memory, further cementing him as Australia’s greatest living songwriter.

Nick Mulvey
20. Nick MulveyWake Up Now
The English singer-songwriter continues to produce interesting, acoustic driven indie music full of weird guitar tunings, multi-tracked vocals and songs just waiting to hit a Hollywood soundtrack.

Emily Barker
21. Emily BarkerSweet Kind of Blue
Emily Barker deftly combines country, blues and folk styles, harkening back to a tradition while still producing a sound that is fresh and engaging.

Stu Larsen
22. Stu LarsenResolute
Australia’s favourite troubadour produces another album of straight up singer-songwriter gems documenting his travels around the world.

Lankum
23. LankumBetween The Earth & Sky
Lankum, the band formally known as Lynched, are producing some of the most raw traditional Irish music going around, complete with the thickest Dublin accent you’re likely to hear this year.

Old Crow Medicine Show
24. Old Crow Medicine Show50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde
Old Crow Medicine Show pay homage to Dylan with this live stringband version of the classic Blonde On Blonde

Johnny Flynn
25. Johnny FlynnSillion
An absolute gem of an album that sees Johnny Flynn’s distinctive voice and resonator front and centre, but a willingness to play with production a bit more than previous releases, adding more texture and nuance to each of the tracks.

Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2017 You Should Own

Records

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through 2017? What a crazy year it’s been so far – and what a year of music we’ve had!

For us at here at Timber and Steel 2017 has been a lot about reconnecting with new music from the amazing folk artists who first inspired us to start writing about this music, as well as the debut albums from a bunch of artists that we’ve been patiently waiting to release music for what feels like years.

So we thought we’d continue our tradition of the last couple of years to highlight ten albums and EPs we think should be part of your collection – as well as tell you exactly what it is about these records that we love.

So without further ado here’s our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2017 You Should Own:

When We FallAll Our Exes Live In Texas

AOELIT
Watching All Our Exes Live In Texas transform from a one-off coming together of Sydney singer-songwriters a few years ago to the musical powerhouse they are today has been just a joy. When their debut album When We Fall dropped this year fans were rewarded with some fine fine songwriting, pitch perfect production and a true celebration of the four part harmony. Despite the disparate styles of each member’s solo work, When We Fall is a beautiful, cohesive album that demands to be listened to over and over again.

Cover My TracksCharlie Fink

Charlie Fink
Noah and The Whale’s 2009 concept album The First Days of Spring is easily one of my favourite releases of the last 10 years. Its sprawling dissection of frontman Charlie Fink’s break up with Laura Marling is a true masterpiece. So when Fink’s promo around his new solo album Cover My Tracks likened it as an unofficial sequel to The First Days of Spring I was more than a little skeptical, especially given the Springsteen-light pop direction Noah and The Whale took in its final years. But the truth is that Cover My Tracks delivers. It still doesn’t hold a candle to The First Days of Spring but Charlie Fink has captured some of his early magic with his solo album. The release is another concept album (which also comes accompanied by a play written by David Greig) and it deserves to be listened to from start to finish. It’s great to have Charlie Fink back doing what he does best.

Sweet Kind of BlueEmily Barker

Emily Barker
I was lucky enough to see Emily Barker at a super intimate show in Melbourne back in April, just as she was about to release Sweet Kind of Blue. Watching Barker on stage with just herself, her guitar and an accompanying double bass just solidified how good she is as a songwriter – when you strip back the production of Sweet Kind of Blue there’s still something amazing at the core. She deftly combines country, blues and folk styles, harkening back to a tradition while still producing a sound that is fresh and engaging. It’s about time Australia started paying more attention to Emily Barker, esepcially if she keeps producing music like Sweet Kind of Blue.

Crack-UpFleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes
Following a six-year break Fleet Foxes return with their very special brand of 70’s folk nostalgia on Crack-Up. Robin Pecknold and co’s harmonic, sweet vocals over Fleet Foxes’ epic, rhythmic melodies have been sorely missed and it’s great to see them balancing the nostalgia of their earlier work with their need to grow artistically. Despite the off-putting opening track “I Am All That I Need/Arroyo Seco/Thumbprint Scar” Crack-Up is a solid album that can stand proudly next to Helplessness Blues and their self titled debut. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years for album number four.

SillionJohnny Flynn

Johnny Flynn
The return of Johnny Flynn to folk-singing this year came as a bit of surprise given his recent focus on his screen and stage acting career (if you haven’t seen Lovesick on Netflix we can recommend giving it a crack). But we’re so glad Flynn’s picked up the resonator again because Sillion is an absolute gem of an album. Johnny Flynn’s distinctive voice is once again front and centre on the album but he seems to be playing with the production a bit more, adding more texture and nuance to each of the tracks. I don’t know if this is the start of a new direction for Johnny Flynn – if it is I’m interested to see where he goes next.

DragonflyKasey Chambers

Kasey Chambers
There are two big things that excited me about Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly. Firstly the fact that the double album had two different producers – Paul Kelly and Nash Chambers respectively – giving each disc a distinct sound. And secondly the raft of collaborations with really interesting artists such as Vika & Linda Bull, Keith Urban, Paul Kelly, Foy Vance, Harry Hookey, Ed Sheeran and Grizzlee Train – many of those, you’d agree, wouldn’t normally be associated with Kasey Chambers’ music. The result is one of Kasey Chambers’ most interesting and dare we say best albums to date.

Semper FeminaLaura Marling

Laura Marling
Laura Marling has gone deep on her exploration of the feminine in her brand new album Semper Femina and I love it. It was really interesting watching Marling explore feminine creativity in her podcast series Reversal of the Muse earlier this year and Semper Femina seems to be the artistic extension of the conversations she was having with the likes of Marika Hackman, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The album is yet another example of Laura Marling’s skills as a songwriter, guitarist and singer – each song is perfectly crafted. Laura Marling truly is one of the greatest artists of our generation.

The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers

The Ahern Brothers
The Ahern Brothers is the perfect coupling of singer-songwriters Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady, bringing two-part male harmony singing in the vein of The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel and more recently The Milk Carton Kids to an Australian audience. Their self-titled debut album is a pure delight and elevates everything we’ve heard from Rennie-Hynes and Grady individually to date. I have a sneaking suspicion this album is going to make it onto a lot of people’s best of end of year lists. Beautiful.

The MorrisonsThe Morrisons

The Morrisons
We’ve already said plenty about The Morrisons’ long awaited self-titled debut album but there was no way it was going to get left off this list. The Morrisons are easily one of Australia’s best bluegrass and alt-country bands, it’s just a pity it takes them so long to get a record in stores. The Morrisons is an album of quintessentially Australian songs set to the familiar chop of a quintessentially American musical style. And it doesn’t hurt that individually each of The Morrisons is a master of their respective instrument making the album as technically brilliant as it is artistically brilliant. Now what do we have to do to get The Morrisons back in the studio for a followup?

BloomTimothy James Bowen

Timothy James Bowen
If you’ve been following Timothy James Bowen’s story over the last couple of years you’ll know it’s not been an easy journey for the singer songwriter. Diagnosed with Primary Mediastinal B Cell Lymphoma (a type of blood cancer), Bowen spent much of 2016 in treatment before going into remission. Bloom bookends this massive upheaval in his life, but it also shows how a songwriter of Timothy James Bowen’s talent is able to channel his experience into his art. Even without the personal context Bloom is an amazing EP – here are five incredible songs from a master songwriter.

And of course special mention also has to go to so many other albums and EPs that were released in the first six months of 2017 including (but not limited to):

VacancyBroads
Postcards From The Shell HouseBusby Marou
All You Need Is MusicDavidson Brothers
÷Ed Sheeran
PunchbuzzHusky
The Nashville SoundJason Isbell & The 400 Unit
UnchartedJoel Barker & The Low Company
Jordan Ireland With Purple OrchestraJordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra
Barefoot WonderlandJustin Bernasconi
Universal FavoriteNoam Pikelny
50 Years Of Blonde On BlondeOld Crow Medicine Show
Good Days, These DaysQuinton Trembath
Freedom HighwayRhiannon Giddens
The WaterSam Buckingham
PlanetariumSufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister
CyclingTaryn La Fauci
Take Care Take CoverThe Mae Trio
IronbarkThe Waifs
A Fair WindTrioc

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Jen Mize released her new video “Forget Her” featuring Duncan Toombs. Details here

– Former Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink released two more tracks from his upcoming solo album, “Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way” and “I Was Born To Be A Cowboy”. Details here

– Jazz-folk sister duo Alanna and Alicia released their new video “Mockingbird Hill”. Details here

Fleet Foxes released their new video “Fool’s Errand” ahead of their visit to Australia. Details here

– Trad music trio Trioc announced plans to launch their album in Melbourne. Details here

Lloyd Spiegel announced details of his upcoming album This Time Tomorrow. Details here

– To celebrate the vinyl release of The Harrow & The Harvest in July Gillian Welch has a new video for “Dark Turn Of Mind”. Details here

– The Fleurieu Folk Festival have announced their Winter Warmup mini festival featuring Eric Bogle, Soursob Bob, Astráil, Courtney Robb, Gillian Murray, The Cajun Band, Hut and many more. Details here

– New duo The Ahern Brothers (made up of Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady) have announced their debut album and national tour. Details here

– American roots singer Pokey LaFarge released his new video “Riot in the Streets”. Details here

Taasha Coates announced her High Times tour. Details here

The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney announced details of their new Offa Rex trad-folk project and upcoming album The Queen of Hearts. Details here

Releases This Week

Barefoot Wonderland
Barefoot WonderlandJustin Bernasconi
iTunes

The Records Were Ours
The Records Were OursPierce Brothers
iTunes

Pokey LaFarge
Manic RevelationsPokey Lafarge
iTunes

The Mountain Goats
GothsThe Mountain Goats
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Paddock Sessions feat. Imogen Clark, Abby Dobson, Joe Mungovan, Martha Marlow, This Way North, Vanishing Shapes, John Flanagan Trio, Finnian Johnson

Paddock Sessions

Some of our favourite musicians head out to the Hunter Valley for a day of amazing music.

Saturday 20th May – Taer Angwidd Farm, Wollombi, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 19th May – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD

Ainsley Farrell w/ Aldous Monroe, Lady Lyon
Tuesday 23rd May – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Alan Gogoll w/ Small Town Romance
Friday 19th May – Wirra Creek Music, Willunga, SA

Amber Lawrence & Catherine Britt w/ Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th May – Pretoria Hotel, Mannum, SA
Saturday 20th May – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 25th May – Glen Innes District Services Club, Glen Innes, NSW
Friday 26th May – Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Grafton, NSW

Banquet feat. Ainsley Farrell
Friday 26th May – World Bar, Sydney, NSW

Ben Whiting
Thursday 25th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Blues on Broadbeach
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st May – Gold Coast, QLD

BRISFOPO
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th May – Brisbane, QLD

Busby Marou
Thursday 25th May – 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 26th May – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Cash Savage & The Last Drinks
Friday 19th May – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th May – Blues at Broadbeach, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 26th May – Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Celebrate with Us feat. Yirrmal and Black Rock Band
Wednesday 24th May – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

Craig Woodward’s Flying Engine String Band
Saturday 20th May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Friday 19th May – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 20th May – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygney, TAS
Sunday 21st May – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS
Wednesday 24th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

De’May
Saturday 20th May – The Golden Barley, Sydney, NSW

Echo Deer, Paco Wolfe, Burralow
Sunday 21st May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Elbury
Saturday 20th May – The Haunt, Brisbane, QLD

FolkSwagon feat. Joey Marsh, Sasha March, Ollie Brown
Wednesday 24th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fleet Foxes
Friday 26th May – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Georgia Fields w/ Jessie L. Warren
Friday 26th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Hana & Jessie-Lee
Sunday 21st May – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

HeART of Annandale Music Festival feat. Leichhardt International Ukestra, Bo0ze Hounds, Yutrio, Glenn Lumanta Trio, Gene Fehlberg Trio, Cruisin’ Deuces, Cameron James Henderson Band, My Perfect Sunday, Alan Watters, Naomi Nash, Nick Payne, Pat O’Grady, Chris Gillespie, Lee and Me
Saturday 20th May – Village Church Annandale, Sydney, NSW

High Tea feat. Broads
Thursday 25th May – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Drey Rollan Acoustic Blues
Sunday 21st May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Sunday 21st May – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 19th May – Hardys Bay Club, Hardy’s Bay, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Sunday 21st May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 26th May – Bowral Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Jen Mize
Sunday 21st May – Bohemian Bungalow, Eumundi, QLD

Jep and Dep w/ Swamp Fat Jangles
Thursday 25th May – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Jess Locke
Friday 19th May – Beatdisc Records, Parramatta, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Barbara, Brisbane, QLD

John Flanagan Trio
Friday 19th May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Paddock Sessions, Wollombi, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st May – Coffee Whole, Berkley Vale, NSW

Julia Jacklin
Wednesday 24th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 19th May – Basement Discs In-Store, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 19th May – Saint Monday, Yackandandah, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 21st May – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th May – The Shared, Yandina, QLD

Kim Churchill
Friday 19th May – Meat Market, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 20th May – Verbruggen Hall, Sydney NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes and The Weeping Willows
Friday 19th May – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT

Lalor and Plumb
Saturday 20th May – Boite World Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Leah Senior
Friday 26th May – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Lisa Hannigan
Tuesday 23rd May – Fly by Night, Perth, WA
Thursday 25th May – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th May – Angelsea Memorial Hall, Angelsea, VIC

Man Of Constant Sorrow: The Music of O Brother Where Art Thou feat. The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Brian Campeau, Luke Escombe
Friday 19th May – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Mandy Connell w/ Layla Jean and Alysia Manceau
Sunday 21st May – Tago Mago, Melbourne, VIC

Mick Thomas
Friday 19th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 21st May – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Hobart Gaol, Hobart, TAS
Friday 26th May – Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Paddock Sessions feat. Imogen Clark, Abby Dobson, Joe Mungovan, Martha Marlow, This Way North, Vanishing Shapes, John Flanagan Trio, Finnian Johnson
Saturday 20th May – Taer Angwidd Farm, Wollombi, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Saturday 20th May – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – The Academy, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th May – The Croxton, Melbourne, VIC

Radical Face
Friday 26th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Raised By Eagles
Friday 19th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 21st May – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC

Rough River
Wednesday 24th May – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ryan Adams
Tuesday 23rd May – The Tivol, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 26th May – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Sarah Blasko
Thursday 25th May – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 26th May – GPAC, Geelong, VIC

The Button Collective
Thursday 25th May – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Fitzgerald All Stars
Sunday 21st May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

The Hampshire Hoedown feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Sunday 21st May – The Lady Hampshire, Sydney, NSW

The McClymonts
Friday 19th May – Brothers Leagues Club, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 20th May – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 21st May – Proserpine Entertainment Centre, Proserpine, QLD

The Squeezebox Trio
Thursday 25th May – Johnson St Jazz, Annandale Creative Arts Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 21st May – Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 24th May – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW

This Way North
Friday 19th May – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Paddock Sessions, Wollombi, NSW

Tim Guy & Alex Lashlie
Tuesday 23rd May – The Tramway, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Moxam & Liz Stringer
Friday 19th May – Bassendean Hotel, Perth, WA
Saturday 20th May – House Concert, Denmark, WA
Sunday 21st May – House Concert, Albany, WA
Tuesday 23rd May – Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, WA
Wednesday 24th May – Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, WA

Tim Solly
Friday 19th May – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th May – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW

Whoa Mule w/ Su Morley & George Woods
Friday 26th May – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW

Wild Honey & Golden Whistler
Friday 19th May – Mac Towns Music Club, Richmond, NSW

William Crighton
Saturday 20th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Birmingham” – Shovels and Rope

Two New Charlie Fink Tracks “Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way” & “I Was Born To Be A Cowboy”

Charlie Fink
Image Courtesy of Charlie Fink

Since we first posted about Charlie Fink’s upcoming solo album Cover My Tracks (due on the 2nd June) the former Noah And The Whale frontman has released two new tracks.

“Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way” is a simple finger-picked guitar song reminiscent of brighter songs on Noah And The Whale’s First Days of Spring album. “I Was Born To Be A Cowboy” is a little more kitsch (as the title would suggest) but delightful all the same.

Check out both of Charlie Fink’s new tracks below:


Thank Folk It’s Friday – 14th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American singer-songwriter Joe Pug is heading to Australia for a string of dates in July. Details here

Fanny Lumsden released her new video “Totem Tennis”. Details here

– UK songstress Beth Orton announced Australian tour dates. Details here

– Northern Territory based festival The Top Half Folk Festival has announced The Ten Cent Shooters as its 2017 feature artist. Details here

– Ex-Noah and The Whale frontman Charlie Fink has announced plans to release his debut solo album Cover My Tracks. Details here

Interviews

“I am fortunate to know a couple of really great musicians who will be joining me on stage. They have an amazing ability to know what sound I want to create without me having to ask, and because of this they compliment my style and create space and depth to my writing”Sally Balfour chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“My sister Ivy creates beautiful and sometimes surprising vocal harmonies. We’ve been told our voices together sound like one voice singing two notes, yet our voices individually are quite different” – Mabel Windred-Wornes from Charm of Finches chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“When I hear a song, and I know and read it’s background and history and meaning, and if it sings to my heart then I need to sing it”Aoife Scott chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Take Care
Take Care Take CoverThe Mae Trio
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bluesfest and The National Folk Festival

Majestic

It’s that time of year again where folk, roots and acoustic fans are faced with the Easter dilemma: do you head to Byron Bay for Bluesfest or Canberra for The National Folk Festival. We can never decide so this year we’re doing both!

Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Alan Reid & Rob van Sante
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Andrew Bird
Saturday 15th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – The Playhouse, Canberra, ACT

Bluesfest
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Bob Evans
Thursday 20th April – Front Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 21st April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

Boogie
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th April – Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC

Busby Marou
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Candelo Village Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Candelo, NSW

Colin Lillie
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 19th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st April – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Ed Wells
Wednesday 19th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Emily Barker
Saturday 15th April – Port City Folk Festival, Fremantle, WA

Fairbridge Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Pinjarra, WA

Folkswagon feat. Nick Kingswell, Darby, Timothy James Bowen
Wednesday 19th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Golden Whistler & Whoa Mule
Saturday 15th April – Old City Bank Bar, Katoomba, NSW

Gretta Ray
Tuesday 18th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Henry Wagons, Jonny Fritz and Ruby Boots
Friday 14th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 21st April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Irish Mythen
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 21st April – The Gum Ball Festival, Dashville, NSW

Jane Cameron & the Crazy Carnival
Saturday 15th April – St Leonards Winery, Wahgunyah, VIC
Sunday 16th April – St Leonards Winery, Wahgunyah, VIC

Jeff Lang
Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Jonny Fritz
Friday 14th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th April – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 21st April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Kasey Chambers
Thursday 20th April – Geelong Playhouse, Geelong, VIC
Friday 21st April – The Regent Theatre, Yarram, VIC

Les Poules à Colin
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th April – South Coast Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 21st to Monday 24th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Martha Tilston
Friday 14th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, ACT

Michael Kiwanuka
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Monsieur Camembert
Saturday 15th April – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Nahko and Medicine for the People
Sunday 16th April – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

National Folk Festival
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Canberra, ACT

Neil Murray & Lucie Thorne
Wednesday 19th April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

Oh Pep!
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th April – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC
Friday 21st April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 14th April – Barwon Heads Hotel, Barwon Heads, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 21st April – International Convention Centre, Sydney, NSW

Port City Folk Festival
Saturday 15th April – The Railway Hotel, Fremantle, WA

Round Mountain Girls
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Sally Balfour
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

St Albans Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – St Albans, NSW

Ten Cent Shooters
Sunday 16th April – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

The Dead Maggies
Friday 14th April – The Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th April – The Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st April – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

The End Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Hill End, NSW

The Gum Ball
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Dashville, NSW

The Lumineers
Monday 17th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Mae Trio
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 18th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The McClymonts
Friday 21st April – Bathurst RSL, Bathurst, NSW

The Mountain Goats
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

The Rheingans Sisters
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 19th April – Foundry616, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – TBC, Katoomba, NSW

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Waifs
Saturday 15th April – The Roebuck Bay Hotel, Broome, WA

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 16th April – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Tony Joe White
Saturday 15th April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 16th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 20th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“To Be Alone With You” – Sufjan Stevens

Charlie Fink (Noah and The Whale) Announces Solo Album

Charlie Fink
Image Courtesy of Charlie Fink

When we first started Timber and Steel way back when Noah and The Whale were one of a handful of nu-folk bands we wanted the world to know about. In the years since Noah and The Whale drifted away from their folk roots and eventually disbanded back in 2013.

Now Noah and The Whale lead-singer Charlie Fink has returned with the announcement of his debut solo album Cover My Tracks.

“What does 10 years of being in a touring band give you permission to do afterwards?” Charlie Fink said of Noah and The Whale’s breakup. “If you decide you want a break from music, it’s not a great CV item. But the really scary thing was that at that moment I didn’t feel passionate about wanting to write.”

As well as being an album Cover My Tracks is also a play by the award-winning playwright David Greig, which will debut in London this June. The album is being likened to Noah and The Whale’s second (and in my opinion most outstanding) record The First Days of Spring in its delicate, yet expansive narrative.

“I think the sound of this record is the natural place I go to when I pick up a guitar,” Fink says. “The idea of simple, storytelling songs appealed to me. I feel like we could have followed up The First Days of Spring quite naturally with this record.”

Cover My Tracks is set to be released on the 2nd June and will feature string arrangements by Trey Pollard (Natalie Prass, Matthew White), backing vocals from The Staves, and the acclaimed classical guitarist Laura Snowden.

Check out the full track listing and the first single “Firecracker” below:

1. Firecracker
2. Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way
3. I Was Born To Be A Cowboy
4. The End Of The Legendary Hearts
5. Give Me The Road
6. Orpheus Is Playing The Troubadour
7. The Howl
8. I’m Through
9. Someone Above Me Tonight
10. Here Is Where We’ll Meet
11. Firecracker Pt II
12.

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