Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We published our traditional list of our favourite Christmas carols and songs from the year including tracks from Amber Lawrence, Jennifer Hanson, Balsam Range, Paul Mosley & the Red Meat Orchestra, Bradley Palermo, Courtney Marie Andrews, Lori McKenna, Sera Cahoone, Phoebe Bridgers, Amilia K Spicer, Audio Mozaik, SUSTO, Okkervil River, Rich Krueger, Katie Garibaldi, Gregor McEwan, Butch Parnell, Renée Jonas, Kate Rusby, Emma Charleston, Waterloo Revival, Edan Archer, Prosecco Socialist (David Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy & Mike Greaves), Catherine McGrath, Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, The Emerald Ruby, Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, The Heathen and the Holy, Licking the Moose, Skinner and T’witch, Michael Carpenter, Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future, mhm., O’Hooley & Tidow, Ryanhood, Tesse, The Heather Findlay Quartet, James Hoffman, Blake Flattley, The Human Uniform Choir feat. Julianna Zachariou, Joelton Mayfield, tinkers, Dennis McCarke, Emma Huntington and Hunter Montgomery, Villagers and Jeff Tweedy, The Staves, Sarah Jarosz, Punch Brothers, Rich Dworsky and Ted Poor. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John

Stu Larsen

Adelaide music night The Porch Sessions kicks off its national tour in Queensland this week featuring Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart and Ryan Martin John

Wednesday 3rd January – Gabbinbar Homestead, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 5th January – House Concert, Gold Coast, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Alex The Astronaut
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Lost Paradise, Glenworth Valley, NSW

Angus & Julia Stone
Saturday 30th December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Saturday 30th December – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club, Torquay, VIC

Breaking Trad
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Tuesday 2nd January – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 4th January – Club Mullum, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 5th January – Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane, QLD

Candice McLeod
Sunday 31st December – House Concert, Healesville, VIC

Cat Canteri
Thursday 4th January – The George Kerferd, Beechworth, VIC

Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings
Sunday 31st December to Saturday 6th January – Sunshine Fiddle Camp, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Edgelarks
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Wednesday 3rd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 5th January – Live at The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Falls Festival
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January – Byron Bay, NSW

Fleet Foxes
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 3rd January – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Fiona Boyes
Friday 5th December – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Gabe Levin
Fridau 5th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift
Friday 29th December – Omeo Caravan Park, Omeo, VIC
Saturday 30th December – Marlo Ocean Views, Marlo, VIC
Sunday 31st December – Somers Holiday Village, Somers, VIC
Monday 1st January – Inverloch Foreshore Camping Reserve, Inverloch, VIC
Tuesday 2nd January – Phillip Island Caravan Park, Newhaven, VIC
Wednesday 3rd January – Kangerong Holiday Park, Dromana, VIC
Thursday 4th January – Anglesea Family Caravan Park, Anglesea, VIC
Friday 5th January – Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, Torquay, VIC

Grizzlee Train
Sunday 31st December – Patonga Beach Hotel, Patonga Beach, NSW

Handsome Young Strangers
Sunday 31st December – The Lady Hampshire, Sydney, NSW

Hank Williams Tribute
Friday 5th Januray – Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Harry Hookey
Sunday 31st December – The Cricket Club Hotel, Cowwarr, VIC

James Bennett
Friday 29th December – Sacred Tree Markets, Nelson Bay, NSW
Saturday 30th December – Bateau Bay Bowling Club, Bateau Bay, NSW
Sunday 31st December – JJ’s at The Marina, Batemans Bay, NSW

Jim Mongrel w/ Sim Shame, Billy Demos, Ess-Em
Satursay 30th December – Dicey Riley’s Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

Joe Mungovan
Saturday 30th December – Sussex Inlet SLSC, Sussex Inlet, NSW

John Butler
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Julia Jacklin
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

Kallidad
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Thursday 4th January – Nightjar Festival, Torquay, VIC
Friday 5th January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st December – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Kelly Brouhaha, Rose Zita Falko, Andrew Thomson
Thursday 4th January – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong, VIC
Friday 5th January – Billy Roy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC

Lost Paradise
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Glenworth Valley, NSW

Mark Lucas & the Dead Setters
Tuesday 2nd January – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Matt Ward, Haystacks Calhoon, J-Mo Stacks
Saturday 30th December – Exeter Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission
Monday 1st January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Tuesday 2nd January – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 2nd January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 3rd January – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 4th January – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Friday 5th January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW

NYE On The Hill
Saturday 30th December to Monday 1st January – South Gippsland, VIC

One Hot Night feat. Busby Marou, Amy Shark, Timberwolf, Pandamic
Friday 29th December – Rockhampton Showgrounds, Rockhampton, QLD

One Night Stand With The Blues feat. That Red Head, Sam Newton, Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Friday 29th December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John
Wednesday 3rd January – Gabbinbar Homestead, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 5th January – House Concert, Gold Coast, QLD

Pierce Brothers
Friday 29th December – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Saturday 30th December – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

Sunshine Fiddle Camp
Sunday 31st December to Saturday 6th January – Sunshine Coast, QLD

Rachel Baiman w/ One Up Two Down
Wednesday 3rd January – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th January – Megan Hall, Dorrigo, NSW
Friday 5th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall, Upper Lansdowne, NSW

The Beautiful Girls
Thursday 4th January – Miami Marketta, Miami, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 5th January – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 30th December – The Caledonian Hotel, Wonthaggi, VIC
Sunday 31st December – Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, VIC

The Collingwood Casanovas
Friday 29th December – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th December – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

The Demon Drink
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The East Pointers
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Thursday 4th January – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Friday 5th January – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

The Go Set
Monday 1st January – Nelson Hotel, Nelson, VIC

The Railsplitters
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Friday 5th January – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Saturday 30th December to Monday 1st January – NYE On The Hill, South Gippsland, VIC

This Way North
Friday 29th December – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Tom Cooney
Thursday 4th January – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 5th January – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 5th January – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW

Woodford Folk Festival
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Parting Glass” – Various

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2017

Christmas Cats

It’s Christmas Eve which means its time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2018

Amber Lawrence – “Aussie Aussie Christmas”

Jennifer Hanson – “Only Thing I Really Need”

Balsam Range – “Christmas Lullaby”

Paul Mosley & the Red Meat Orchestra – “Wintersun”

Bradley Palermo – “Christmas In Las Vegas”

Courtney Marie Andrews – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

Lori McKenna – “Mama’s Cooking”

Sera Cahoone – “Last Christmas”

Phoebe Bridgers – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Amilia K Spicer – “Love’s For Living”

Audio Mozaik – “(They Say) It’s Christmastime”

SUSTO – “Feliz Navidad”

Okkervil River – “What Friends Do”

Rich Krueger – “And It’s That Time Again”

Katie Garibaldi – “Silent Night”

Gregor McEwan – “Home For Christmas”

Butch Parnell – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Renée Jonas – “My Man In Red”

Kate Rusby – “Deck the Halls”

Emma Charleston – “O Holy Night”

Waterloo Revival – “All I Want for Christmas”

Edan Archer– “It Just Wasn’t Christmas”

Prosecco Socialist (David Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy & Mike Greaves) – “This Dog’s Just For Christmas (Not For Life)”

Catherine McGrath – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers – “All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be With You)”

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “Just One Kiss”

The Emerald Ruby – “Here Comes Santa Claus”

Lindsey Stirling – “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy”

Pentatonix – “Away in a Manger”

The Heathen and the Holy – “When Christmas Comes Around”

Licking the Moose – “Longing For Snow”

Skinner and T’witch – “I Don’t Want an iPad (I Just Want World Peace)”

Michael Carpenter – “Another Xmas Song”

Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future – “Let It Snow”

mhm. – “White Winter Hymnal”

O’Hooley & Tidow – “We Sing Hallelujah”

Ryanhood – “Sleigh Ride”

Tesse – “Fat Man In A Red Suit”

The Heather Findlay Quartet – “The Snows That Melt The Soonest/Gaudete”

James Hoffman – “Go Tell it On the Mountain”

Blake Flattley – “Silent Night”

The Human Uniform Choir feat. Julianna Zachariou, Joelton Mayfield, tinkers, Dennis McCarke – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”

Emma Huntington and Hunter Montgomery – “Once in Royal David’s City”

Villagers – “White Christmas”

Jeff Tweedy, The Staves, Sarah Jarosz, Punch Brothers, Rich Dworsky and Ted Poor – “Fairytale of New York”

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2016

Little Drummer Boy

It’s Christmas Eve which means its time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2017

The Lumineers – “Blue Christmas”
This year we were treated to a couple of versions of the Elvis Presley track “Blue Christmas” – a stripped back version from The Lumineers and an indie version from Builder of the House & Robyn Adele Anderson. We like ’em both!

Builder of the House (ft. Robyn Adele Anderson) – “Blue Christmas”

Trampled by Turtles – “Christmas in Prison”
Jone Prine’s “Christmas in Prison” is a go to cover for Americana, country and bluegrass bands each year – we like this version from Trampled by Turtles

Bonnie & The Barrows – “Christmas Brand New”

Sara Watkins – “The Holidays With You”
Sara Watkins adds a touch of ukulele to Christmas with her track “The Holidays With You”.

David Brent & Foregone Conclusion – “Don’t Cry It’s Christmas”
Ok, this isn’t folk. But you have to agree that Ricky Gervais’ David Brent owns the Christmas number one with “Don’t Cry It’s Christmas”

Brooke Annibale – “This Holiday”

Caroline Pennell Feat. Aaron Espe – “This Year”

Miranda Dodson – “Christmas Glow”

Jessica Martindale & Tyler Huston – “Angels We Have Heard”

She & Him – “Christmas Memories”
She & Him are determined to corner the indie market each and every year and their 2016 track “Christmas Memories” is another gem.

Freedom Fry – “Oh Santa (Bad World)”

Woodsy Pride – “It’s Merry Christmas”

Marié Digby – “Venice Beach Christmas”

Cara Dillon – “Upon a Winter’s Night”
A truly wonderful piece of Christmas folk music – what more would you expect from Cara Dillon?

Low – “Some Hearts (at Christmas Time)”

Jack Skuller – “Stuck In This Holiday”

The Washington Squares – “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”
“The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” gets a 60s folk makeover care of The Washington Squares.

Loretta Lynn – “To Heck with Ole Santa Claus”

Skinner and T’witch – “The Winter Song”

Jethro Tull – “Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)”

The Changing Room – “There’s Magic In Christmas Eve”

Ange Hardy – “Mary’s Robin”
Ange Hardy released a double A side for Christmas and both tracks – “The Quantock Carol” and “Mary’s Robin” – are magnificent. We chose “Mary’s Robin” because most other outlets are chosing the former.

The Gothard Sisters – “Christmas Flower”
Tightly polished Irish folk music at its best.

Jennifer Licko – “The Holly and the Ivy”

Cherish the Ladies – “Ding Dong! Merrily On High/The Cordal Jig/Old Apples In Winter/Con Cassidy’s”

Ben Abraham and Missy Higgins – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
A wonderful slice of Australian Christmas. Ben Abraham, Missy Higgins, a kiddy pool and a dog are all you need.

The Secret Sisters – “The Little Drummer Boy”

Hattie Briggs & Natalie Holmes – “Christmas Bells”

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2015

Christmas Boots

It’s Christmas Eve which means it’s time for Timber and Steel’s traditional wrap up of the best folky Christmas songs of the year. If you’re like us and you love Christmas songs and carols then you’re in for a treat.

We hope you have a safe and merry Christmas wherever you find yourself this year. We look forward to folking with you in the New Year!

Kaitlyn Baker – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff – “Surviving Christmas”

The Felice Brothers – “Carriage”
Why The Felice Brothers haven’t thought to do a Christmas album titled Felice Navidad before now is mind boggling. Here’s the first single from the album, “Carriage”.

Red Sky July – “Save Christmas Day for Me”

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – “Light of Christmas Day”
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant reunite for this contribution to the Christmas movie Love The Coopers. The video is peppered with movie dialogue which can get annoying but it’s still great to see Krauss and Plant together again.

Robert Pollard – “What Begins on New Years Day”

The Bandana Splits – “Silent Night”
The three part harmonies from Annie Nero, Dawn Landes and Lauren Balthrop on their The Bandana Splits are just stunning.

Phil Cunningham feat. Eddi Reader – “Santa Will Find You”
Phil Cunningham brings together some of folk music’s best for his Christmas album Phil’s Christmas Songbook. The lead single, “Santa Will Find You”, features none other than Eddi Reader

Joseph Bradshaw – “Christmas is Always”

Kyle Cox – “Don’t Make My Christmas Blue”

Kids – “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Kate Miller-Heidke ft. The Beards – “I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas”
Probably the best comedy Christmas release of the year. Don’t listen to this one too loudly at work.

Peter Joseph Head – “Boxing Day”

Stylus Boy – “Oh Little Town”

The Leisure Society – “2000 Miles”
The Leisure Society cover The Pretenders for their Christmas single this year. I love this track!

Burrowing – “The Morn Of Christmas Day”

Smoke Fairies – “Wild Winter”

Kate Rusby – “The Frost is all Over”
The stunning Kate Rusby brings her amazing voice to this Christmas classic, taken from her Christmas album of the same name.

Lindsay Straw – “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”

Boom Forest – “The Holly & The Ivy”
I love the way this traditional Christmas song has been given a contemporary sound by Boom Forest.

Matt Costa – “Many Memories Ago”
Roots singer-songwriter Matt Costa turns up the Christmas nostalgia with his track “Many Memories Ago”.

Lily Lambert – “Carol Of The Bells”

Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”
It wouldn’t be a list of Christmas songs without something from Sufjan Stevens. While this track came out in 2012 it’s just been given a brand new lyric video and thus qualifies for our 2015 list.

Amy Yon – “Winter”

Loralee Jessen Nicolay – “Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella”

Leaf Pile – “Deck The Halls”

Tides Of Winter – “Angels”

Sivu – “The Christmas Song”

Unwaxed Raiment – “The First Noel”

Folk Uke – All I Want For Christmas”

Marika Hackman – “River”

Elouise – “Silent Night”

The Maple Trail – “Star Wars (Is Coming Out This Christmas)”
Here it is folks – the most important Christmas song of the year. Not only do we get a Christmas folk song about Star Wars, this is also the first recorded music from The Maple Trail in a long long time.

Listen to the Kate Miller-Heidke and The Beards Charity Christmas Single “I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs for Christmas”

Kate Miller-Heidke
Image Courtesy of Kate Miller-Heidke

If you’re a constant reader of Timber and Steel you’d know we’re a sucker for Christmas songs. So when we saw that Kate Miller-Heidke and The Beards had collaborated for a charity christmas single we just had to check it out. And the result is hilarious.

The single is titled “I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs for Christmas” and is being sold to raise money for the Decembeard Bowel Cancer Australia initiative – you can buy the single here.

Take a listen to “I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs for Christmas” below:

Kate Miller-Heidke has also announced a national tour for next February and March – the full list of dates are here:

Thursday 11th February – The Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 12 February – Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, QLD
Sunday 14th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18th February – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th February – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 20th February – Estonian House, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 2nd March – The Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th March – J-Shed, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Montrose Town Centre, Montrose, VIC
Friday 11th March – Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, VIC
Saturday 12th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2014

Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve which means it’s time for Timber and Steel’s traditional wrap up of the best folky Christmas songs of the year. If you’re like us and you love Christmas song done well, then you’re in for a treat.

We hope you have a safe and merry Christmas wherever you find yourself this year. We look forward to folking with you in the New Year!

Robert Ellis – “Pretty Paper”
Americana fans were treated to a Christmas treat this year with the release of An Americana Christmas, a collection of classic and brand new holdiay tracks. We thought we’d feature the new tracks from Robert Ellis and Nikki Lane given their visits to Australia this year.

Nikki Lane – “FaLaLaLaLove Ya”

The Once – “The Light in Your Window”
Australian-bound Canadian trio The Once shared their ode to coming home for Christmas.

Scott Dean ft. Aubrey Lynn England – “We Three Kings”

Smoke Fairies – “Christmas Without A Kiss”

The Albion Christmas Band – “In The Bleak Midwinter”
The Albion Christmas Band are a Christmas institution for

The Lonely Wild – “Holidays”

Mark Kozelek – “Christmas Time Is Here”
The Sun Kil Moon frontman delivered a Christmas album, Sings Christmas Carols, this year with traditional and favourite Christmas songs including this Charlie Brown classic.

Paddy McHugh & The Goldminers – “The Old Men of The Railway Hotel”

Lindsay Phillips – “Come Home (It’s Christmas Time)”

Boat To Row – “My Darling Spark”

Clare Bowen – “Santa Baby”
I know that the American musical TV series Nasville is a guilty pleasure for many folk and country music lovers in Australia, especially as it features Australian actress/singer Clare Bowen. This is Bowen’s contribution to the Nasville cast Christmas album, Christmas With Nashville.

Jillette Johnson – “River”

Red Sky July – “Christmas Time”

Shir Soul – “Dreidel”
Because this time of year is not just about Christmas. Plus how good is a cappella music?

The National Parks – “It’s Christmas, and I Like You”

Sam Joole – “Christmas At The Zoo”
Sydney acoustic rock singer-songwriter Sam Joole covered The Flaming Lips’ “Christmas At The Zoo” for his holiday offering this year and we think you’re going to like it.

Zoë Wren – “Snow​-​white Lies”

Oxford & Co. – “Let It Snow”
I discovered Sydney nu-folk duo Oxford & Co. earlier this year and have been loving their stuff – including their version of “Let It Snow” for Christmas.

August York – “Warm Memories”

The Lost Brothers – “Little Angel”
The Lost Brothers were one of my favourite discoveries this year and I’m completely chuffed they decided to release a Christmas single so I could include it on this list. “Little Angel” is free to download with the suggestion of sending a donation to Unicef.

The Outside Track – “Get Me Through December”

Olivers Army – “All I Want For Christmas”

Todd Sibbin – “White Christmas”

Tom West – “Feliz Navidad”

Butcher Knives – “Auld Lang Syne”
What better way to finish off the year than with the classic “Auld Lang Syne”, complete with a gypsy punk twist of course.

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2013

Carol Singers

It’s Christmas Eve which means we have one last tradition to attend to – the annual Timber and Steel list of the best folky Christmas songs of the year. If you’re a constant reader of Timber and Steel you’ll know our love of Christmas music, both traditional and new and as usual there are some amazing gems this year.

We hope you have a safe and merry Christmas wherever you find yourself this year. We look forward to folking with you in the New Year!

Nick Lowe – “I Was Born In Bethlehem”
Punk and new wave legend Nick Lowe has embraced his inner folky singer-songwriter for his Christmas album Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family. The album is a mixture of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs with this track, “I Was Born In Bethlehem”, penned by Lowe himself.

Fabian Holland – “Christmas In Jail, A’int That a Pain”
Singer-songwriter Fabian Holland has been joining the Albion Christmas Band (Simon Nicol, Kellie While, Simon Care and Ashley Hutchings) on their UK tour dates celebrating 15 years of Christmas celebrations. Holland has offered up his own Christmas song for the occasion, the bluesy “Christmas In Jail, A’int That a Pain”.

Bella Hardy – “I Would Bring You The Moon”
English folk singer Bella Hardy released her Christmas single “I Would Bring You The Moon” in November, a follow up to last year’s Christmas album Bright Morning Star. The single also comes with two other tracks – “The Christmas Waltz” and “O Holy Night”.

Bellowhead – “Christmas Bells”
Based on the words of an ancient mummers play traditionally performed around the Christmas period, “Christmas Bells” is this year’s offering from Bellowhead complete with home made video. The downloadable single for this track also comes with a version of “Jingle Bells”.

Alessi’s Ark – “Joy To The World”
The first in our picks from the annual For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas compilation, this is a really sweet reimagining of the traditional “Joy To The World” from Alessi’s Ark.

Stornoway – “Gondwanaland”
Another take from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas Stornoway’s “Gondwanaland” originally appeared on their album I Saw You Blink but gets the Christmas tick of approval due to its many wintery lyrics (they are after all a northern hemisphere band).

Left With Pictures – “The Coldest Night”
For the Left With Pictures contribution to the For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas album, “The Coldest Night”, the band have actually made a really sweet, vintage style music video with scenes of Christmas in Sweden. This track also appears on the Highline Records compilation album Festivus 2.

Laish – “Silentish Night”
The final inclusion from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas is the Laish track “Silentish Night”, a rewording of the Christmas classic “Silent Night”. This may be a rather bleak look at Christmas but given the scenes in our major cities in the lead up to the big day it hits pretty close to home.

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker – “We Three Kings”
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have had a massive year following the success their album Fire and Fortune, especially in their native UK. As a follow up Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have quietly released an album of traditional Christmas tracks titled Midwinter, the proceeds of which go to Unicef’s Children of Syria Appeal (you can buy it here). Every song on the album is a gem but we’ve chosen “We Three Kings” as this seems to be getting the most buzz on the blogs.

Land of Leland – “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
I came across the Land of Leland track “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” thanks to the excellent Grass Clippings blog. Land of Leland is the moniker of Brooklyn based folk singer Justin Keller and the track is from his mini-album Christmas Time.

Gareth Davies-Jones – “Love Came Down”
Gareth Davies-Jones, the Northern Irish folk singer with one of the Welsh-est names I’ve ever heard, released his Christmas album Nine Lessons last year so this one sneaks in just because I’ve only just discovered it. I love Davies-Jones’ accented singing voice on this track – beautiful.

Yetis – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Yetis were a real discovery for me this year – I caught them at a Little Features I think and was mesmerised. They didn’t make a lot of my end of year lists because they didn’t release much music this year but I’m really hoping that changes in 2014. I love that they chose “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as a Christmas song to cover this year – so good!

Gaoler’s Daughter – “Cuddling A Cigarette”
London four-piece Gaoler’s Daughter have contributed this slide-guitar filled, indie-folk gem to the charity Christmas album It’s Coming On Christmas.

Paper Aeroplanes – “In The Bleak Midwinter”
Also from the It’s Coming On Christmas compilation, this traditional carol gets a beautiful modern take from Paper Aeroplanes – a band that is a firm favourite of Timber and Steel contributing editor KT Bell.

De Temps Antan – “Dans la mémoire longtemps”
I don’t speak French but this clip from Québécois trad trio De Temps Antan, “Dans la mémoire longtemps” or “In The Long Memory” (thanks Google translate), has a Christmas tree in it so that’s Christmasy enough for me.

Imogen Clark – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Clark just made the cut this year releasing her jazzy take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” just days before Christmas eve.

Tom Mitchell – “Fairytale of New York”
A big thank you to blog Cover Lay Down for bringing this version of the classic “Fairytale of New York” to my attention. I can’t think of a better way to cap off this year’s list. Merry Christmas!

Jack Carty Announces Christmas Party

Jack Carty
Image Courtesy of Jack Carty

If you happen to find yourself in Sydney a couple of days before Christmas you’d be well placed to head down to 505 in Surry Hills where some of our favourite musos will be getting together for a party.

On Monday 23rd Jack Carty is bringing together The Falls, Maples, Iluka, Rosie Catalano, Achoo! Bless You, Luke Wellington, Andrew Brown and James Blow for his Christmas Party. The music kicks off at 7pm and entry is via donation. For more information you can check out the 505 website here.

And whilst you’re getting in the Christmas celebration why don’t you check out some Christmas music from some of the artists involved in the night.

First there’s Jack Carty’s free 2011 EP B Sides for Christmas:

Then there’s Achoo! Bless You’s 2011 single “Coming Home (To You This Christmas)”:

And finally there’s the 2012 charity single “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)” featuring Jack Carty, Achoo! Bless You and Rosie Catalano along with Packwood and Fanny Lumsden:

For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas 2013

For Folk's Sake
Image Courtesy of For Folk’s Sake

We love Christmas music with a folky flavour here at Timber and Steel so the highlight of the season for us each year is the annual For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas album from UK folk blog For Folk’s Sake.

The album, which is chock full of folky delights, raises money each year for Médecins Sans Frontières. The album is available to download via Bandcamp as well as in CD form if you’d prefer. This year’s For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas features some amazing artists including Stornoway, Alessi’s Ark, Laish, Dark Dark Dark, Patch & the Giant and many many more.

Take a listen below:

A couple of the artists have also produced videos for their contributions to For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas. Check out videos for Laish’s “Silentish Night” and Left With Pictures’ “The Coldest Night” below:

Bellowhead’s Double A-side Christmas Single

Bellowhead
Image Courtesy of Bellowhead

It’s December! Which means the Christmas singles will be start to come out in force – and you know how much we love Christmas singles.

UK based folk big band Bellowhead announced their double A-side Christmas single “Christmas Bells/Jingle Bells” last month but it’s only today that it’s been made available to stream online via a homemade video (in the style of their Bus Song A Day tour videos) for the first track. Check it out below:

You can pick up “Christmas Bells/Jingle Bells” via iTunes here. here

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