National Folk Festival Announces First Major Lineup for 2018

Ten Strings and a Goat Skin
Image Courtesy of Ten Strings and A Goat Skin

After teasing us with six artists for 2018, The National Folk Festival has finally revealed its highly anticipated first major lineup announcement.

Headlining the 2018 lineup are Scottish superstars Breabach, Nashville singer-songwriter Lindsay Lou, American favourite Steve Poltz, Celtic band Cara, acclaimed Canadian trio Ten Strings and A Goat Skin and Indigenous performer Gina Williams.

Joining them will be a bunch of festival favourites along with a few first-timers including Amistat (VIC), Bush Gothic (VIC), Cat and Clint (VIC), Chaika (NSW), Charm of Finches (VIC), Chordwainers (TAS), Chris Duncan, Catherine and Jennifer Strutt (NSW), Chris While and Julie Matthews (UK), The Coconut Kids (SA), Daniel Champagne (NSW), Fred Smith (ACT), The Good Lovelies (Canada), Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys (Canada), Hat Fitz and Cara (QLD), John Flanagan Trio (VIC), Marcia Howard (VIC), Ryan Garth and Emily Wolfe (TAS), Sparrow-Folk (ACT), The Tassie Devil’s Own Band (TAS), The Western Flyers (US) and more.

The National Folk Festival takes place in Canberra over the Easter long weekend, 29th March to the 2nd April. For more information, including how to pick up early bird tickets, check out the official web site here.

The full list of artists announced so far are below:

Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Amistat, Belshazzar’s Feast, Breabach, Bush Gothic, Cara, Cat and Clint, Chaika, Charm of Finches, Chordwainers, Chris Duncan, Catherine and Jennifer Strutt, Chris While and Julie Matthews, The Coconut Kids, Daniel Champagne, Faustus, Fred Smith Band, Frumious, Gina Williams, The Good Lovelies, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Hat Fitz and Cara, John Flanagan Trio, Katey Brooks, Lindsay Lou, Madhouse Circus, Marcia Howard Quartet, Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission, 19-Twenty, Pirateman Michael, Ryan Garth and Emily Wolfe, Sparrow-Folk, Steve Poltz, The Tassie Devil’s Own Band, Ten Strings and A Goat Skin, The Western Flyers

Full Lineup of the 2017 Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of The Illawarra Folk Festival

One of my favourite folk festivals of the year, The Illawarra Folk Festival, hits the Bulli showground in New South Wales on the 12th to the 15th of January and the lineup is incredible.

Despite being a medium sized festival The Illawarra Folk Festival manages to attract some pretty amazing acts and this year is no different. The lineup includes, but is not limited to, Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb, FourWinds, Tattletale Saints, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Tim O’Brien, Wallis Bird, Daniel Champagne, Echo Deer, Handsome Young Strangers, Lime and Steel, Mandy Connell, Martin Pearson, Nigel Wearne, Shanty Club, The Squeezebox Trio, Tinpan Orange, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Lurkers and many many more.

Tickets are still available for the festival and can be picked up here. If you live in Sydney I’d recommend jumping on one of the Music Trains down to Bulli for the full festival experience.

The full lineup for The Illawarra Folk Festival is below:

International Artists:
Andy Irvine (Ire) and Luke Plumb, Azzband (Italy/Spain), Christine Collister (UK) & Michael Fix, FourWinds (Ire), George & Noriko (Japan), Girls with Knives (Canada), Gregory Page (USA), Ken Field’s Hoot Band (USA), Kenta Hayashi (Japan), Kirsty Bromley (UK), London Klezmer Quartet (UK), Tattletale Saints (NZ), The Haywood Billy Goats (USA), The Outside Track (Scot) , The Sauerkrauts (Germany), The Whitetop Mountaineers (USA), Tim O’Brien (USA), Wallis Bird (Ire), Winter Wilson (UK)

National Artists:
1917: Strike!, 8Foot Felix, Adder’s Fork, Alanna and Alicia, Albion Fair Morris Dancers, Alex Hood, Baltic Bar Mitzvah, Black Bear Duo, Black Joak Morris, Blakboi, Brian Bell, Bruce Mathiske, Bush Music Club, Charlotte Emily, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Col Hardy, Colleen Z Burke, Daddy Longlegs & the Swamp Donkeys, Daniel Champagne, Dave de Hugard, Dave Elliston, Den Hanrahan & the Rum Runners, Dingo’s Breakfast Oz Music & Poetry Band, Echo Deer, Equus, Errol Gray, Fettler’s Yard, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, Free Fried Chicken, Genni Kane, Geoffrey W Graham, Glenn Skuthorpe, Glover & Sorrensen, Gone Molly, Good Tunes Band, Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band, Graham Maureen Seal, Rob & Olya Willis, Gregory North, Handsome Young Strangers, Hillbilly Goats, Homegrown Quartet, Ionia, Jaga Band, Jay Wars & The Howard Youth, Jim Haynes, Jody + Innes, John Broomhall, Junkadelic Brass Band, Kate Maclurcan & The Loose Ends, Lime and Steel, Lindy lady of the Forest: Storyteller, Lisa Couper, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning, Low Down Riders, Malcura, Mandy Connell, Mark Cryle & Carmel Newman, Martin Pearson, Matthew Dames , Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Men With Day Jobs, Nigel Wearne, Out of Abingdon, Pat Drummond, Pete Denahy, Peter Hicks, Peter Mace, Peter Willey & Matthew Hobbs˜, Rory Faithfield, Rosie Burgess Trio, Rough Red, Rusty & The Saint, Sadie & Jay, Shanty Club, Sissybones, Taylor Pfeiffer – The Banjo Girl, The Good Girl Song Project, The Northern Folk, The Squeezebox Trio, The String Family, The Three Marketeers, The Trippy Hippy Band, The Wish List, Tinpan Orange, Tom Dockray, Tulalah, Women in Docs , Yellow Blue Bus

Local Artists:
Alex Boston, Astarte Studio’s Steampunk Gypsies, Big Erle, Brian Jonathon, Brynn Luker, Cake Tin Rattlers, Carefree Road Band, Cat Walk City and Friends, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus WOW, Chinese Lion Dancers, Cross Rhythm Dance Company, Dani Karis, Erika Steller, Festival Choir & Orchestra, Five Sad Men, Gobsmacked!, Grace Gladwin, Harman & Hellens, Illawarra Breakfast Poets, Illawarra Flame Three, James R Cooper, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, John Littrich & The Water Runners, Josh Maynard, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, King & Queen of Green – The Pearlies, Leo, Lizzie Bennet Band, Love In The Jungle, Man from the Misty Mountains, Maya & Tala, Maypole with Molly, Melanie April, Moscateros, Murmur, My Secret Window, No Such Thing, Paddy & The Wonderband, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Patron Saints Of Folk, Ralph Scrivens, Rani’s Fire, Ribbon Gang, Ruido Indy Flamenco, Scientists Behaving Badly, Shalani & Chloe, Shelley’s Murder Boys, Silver Lotus Tribal Bellydance, SingGongGo, Soul Flamenco, Southern Gentlemen, Story Beats, Stringline, Swamp n’ Beats, The Beatmeisters, The Bowhemians, The Calamities, The Con Artists, The Derby Dolls, The Lighthouse Keepers, The Lurkers, The Scratchies, The Swingaleles, Three-Sixty, Vic Janko Orkestar, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret, Zumpa

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Punch Brothers and More Announced for the Adelaide Guitar Festival

Bela Fleck
Image Courtesy of Punch Brothers

Looks like it’s time to book tickets to Adelaide. The Adelaide Guitar Festival has this year announced a killer lineup that could well be its best ever with plenty for Timber and Steel fans to enjoy.

American banjo maestros Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn have been announced as co-headliners along with progressive bluegrassers Punch Brothers. That alone should be enough to get you down south but the lineup has plenty more to offer with 18 international acts, 66 national artists and almost 200 local musicians including Daniel Champagne, Genevieve Chadwick, Matt Walker, Slava Grigoryan, The Panics, Dr Zane Banks (The Morrisons, Cruisin’ Deuces) and many more.

The Adelaide Guitar Festival takes place from the 11th to 14th August. For more information check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Singer songwriter William Crighton released his new single “Priest” from his brand new, self titled album. Details here

– St Patrick’s Day may have been yesterday but The Gaelic Club in Sydney is still celebrating with a session tonight, The Button Collective tomorrow night and a film on Sunday. Details here

– Canadian songstress Ann Vriend is currently touring Australia. Details here

– Sydney band Bears With Guns released their new single “Let Go”. Details here

– Newcastle based alt-country duo The Wayward Henrys released their new video “Early Grave”. Details here

– Alice Springs based singer-songwriter Colin Lillie released his new video “Give Thanks”. Details here

Radical Face released “The Ship In Port” ahead of his album release next week. Details here

– Sydney bluegrassers The Buffalo Grass Boys released their new video “Lonely Nights”. Details here

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros released their new video “No Love Like Yours”. Details here

– Canadian prog-folk band Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything have announced Australian tour dates. Details here

Daniel Champagne has announced a massive Australian tour through March and April. Details here

– Brisbane based singer-songwriter Sian Evans released her new single “Cold Feet”. Details here

Bon Iver announce that they’re returning to Australia as part of Vivid Sydney this year. Details here

Passenger, All Our Exes Live In Texas and Luke Thompson shared a live version of “Caravan”. Details here

Interviews

“We’ve just recorded our third album of thirteen original tracks, some of which you’d call bluegrass and some of which I don’t know what you’d call it. But it’s all great music and we’ve pulled it off – it’s a really fun band in that respect” – George Jackson from The Company chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We started playing music together as friends and then came across the Bluegrass and Old Time Society and started going there a lot. We’d learn three songs to play at that gig – every month we’d learn three more songs. And we slowly built up a set and we ended up having enough to do a gig on our own. It was pretty slow but also really nice” – John Healy and Francis Duffy from The Plough chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“For the 1979 National Festival, which was in Melbourne, one of the reasons Bloodwood got together in the first place was to promote the 1980 festival which was to be held in Alice Springs. We went down there and had a fabulous reception. We had terrific posters and terrific t-shirts and all that stuff designed by a lady in Alice Springs. It was a knock out design and the strange thing is we were actually asked to stop promoting the 1980 festival by the Melbourne organisers because no one was buying their t-shirts. That is deadset true!” – Bob Barford from Bloodwood chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I have a deep relationship with Scottish music, as I spent one year of my life in Glasgow, to absorb the music from its source. The music can be really gentle and smooth, when it comes to ballads but also really ferocious and rythmically driving in strathspeys or reels – I really like the broad spectrum of expression and energy when it comes to Scottish Music” – Paul Dangl from Black Market Tune chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

William Crighton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
iTunes

Way Down South
Way Down SouthJoe Mungovan
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bloodwood

Bloodwood

Seminal Australian bush band Bloodwood have reformed for The National Folk Festival next week and are performing two shows in their hometown of Alice Springs in preparation. If you’re in either of Australia’s Territories this week these are gigs not to be missed.

Friday 18th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Saturday 19th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Adam Young w/ Den Hanrahan, Not Good With Horses
Saturday 19th March – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ann Vriend
Tuesday 22nd March – The Toff, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th March – The Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

April Maze
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Black Market Tune
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yacandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Monday 21st – Kedron State High School Auditorium, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Blind Boys of Alabama
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Bloodwood
Friday 18th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Saturday 19th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Katoomba, NSW

Blue Mts Festival Hillbilly Fringe
Saturday 19th March – Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Bluesfest
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Byron Bay, NSW

Bob Barford
Sunday 20th March – Ooraminna Supper Club, Ooraminna, NT

Broadie Bunker Benefit
Wednesday 23rd March – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

Brunswick Music Festival
Tuesday 15th to Sunday 20th March – Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Friday 18th March – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 19th March – The Royal Oak Hotel – Boat Shed, LauncestonTAS
Sunday 20th March – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS

Davidson Brothers
Saturday 19th March – Terang Country Music Festival, VIC

Emily Barker
Friday 18th March – Margaret River Cultural Centre, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th March – The Bakehouse, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 21st March – Sun Theatre, Yarraville, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Friday 18th March – Willaura Memorial Hall, Willaura, VIC
Saturday 19th March – Dalgety Hall, Dalgety, NSW
Sunday 20th March – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Folkswagon feat. Leroy Lee, The Delta Revue, Carlos Arango
Wednesday 23rd March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gaelic Club Session
Friday 18th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Goin’ Back – Moreland’s History in Song feat. Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Tracy McNeil, Luke Sinclair, Van Walker, Gretta Ray, Mandy Connell
Friday 18th March – Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanic’s Institute, Melbourne, VIC

Gordie Tentrees
Friday 18th to Monday 21st March – Yachandandah Folk Festival, Yachandandah VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – Murrah Hall, Murrah NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Whiskey Jeff
Thursday 24th March – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Holler & Haul’s Backyard Picnic feat. The Button Collective, Rebecca Bastoli, Grace Turner
Sunday 20th March – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 20th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Saturday 19th March – Nukara Festival, WA
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Imogen Clark
Thursday 24th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Irish Mythen
Wednesday 23rd March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Irish Trad Workshops
Friday 18th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney

James Thomson w/ Ruby Boots
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 22nd March – Araluen Gold Concert Series, Araluen, NSW
Wednesday 23rd March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 24th March – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Jason Isbell
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Jimi Beavis
Friday 18th March – Pistol Pete’s Food ‘n’ Blues, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th March – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jordie Lane
Friday 18th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 19th March – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 18th March – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Sunday 20th March – Leftys Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Luke Morris
Saturday 19th March – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Friday 18th March – The Merton Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Mary Black
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, NSW

Moxie
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Wednesday 23rd March – Cat & Fiddle Hotel, Balmain, NSW
Friday 25th March – Fly By Night Club, Fremantle, WA

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 18th March – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 19th March – Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA

Pocket Fox
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Ruby Boots
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Sahara Beck
Sunday 20th March – Bleach Festival, Brisbane, QLD

Sian Evans
Friday 18th March – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th March – Peregian Hotel, Peregian Beach, QLD
Saturday 19th March – The Porch Project, Yandina Creek, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Steve Earle & The Dukes w/ The Mastersons
Friday 18th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Mackay QLD
Thursday 24th March – Tanks, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Sturgill Simpson
Tuesday 22nd March – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW **CANCELLED**
Wednesday 23rd March – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC **CANCELLED**

The Button Collective
Saturday 19th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Decemberists
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Little Stevies
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Warrandyte Festival, Warrandyte, VIC
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The National Anti-Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The National Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Canberra, ACT

The Once
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW

The Peninsula Picnic
Sunday 20th March – Mornington Racecourse, Mornington, VIC

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Saturday 19th March – Courthouse Café, Camperdown, VIC
Sunday 20th March – Burke & Wills Winery, Mia Mia, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – TBA, Upwey, VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – Valencia Creek Hall, Valencia Creek, VIC
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Rambling Boys
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, ACT

The Sydney String Band Hootenanny feat. Devil on the Rooftop, Dear Orphans, Squeeze Box Trio, Burnt Creek Deviation
Sunday 20th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Weeping Willows
Friday 18th March – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th March – The Basin Music Festival, The Basin, VIC
Friday 25th March – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC

The Young’uns
Friday 18th to Friday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 22nd March – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Tim Guy
Friday 18th March – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th March – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 20th March – Melbourne Folk Club, Bakehouse, Melbourne, VIC

Tweedy
Sunday 20th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Monday 21st March – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Solsbury Hill” – Peter Gabriel

Daniel Champagne Announces Massive Australian Tour

Daniel Champagne
Image Courtesy of Daniel Champagne

Australian guitar master and singer-songwriter Daniel Champagne released his new live album The Heartland Hurricanes at the start of the month and is heading out on a massive national tour to celebrate.

The tour will see Champagne take in dates all around the country through March and April – check out the full list of shows below:

Wednesday 16th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 17th March – Gioconda Coffee, Devonport, TAS
Friday 18th March – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 19th March – The Royal Oak Hotel – Boat Shed, LauncestonTAS
Sunday 20th March – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS
Thursday 31st March – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 1st April – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd April – Mumbulla School Hall, Bega, NSW
Sunday 3rd April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th April – Townsville Folk and Acoustic Music Club, Currajong, QLD
Friday 8th April – Visy Theatre, New Farm, QLD
Saturday 9th April – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 10th April – The Wheaty, Thebarton, SA
Tuesday 12th April – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Wednesday 13th April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 14th April – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 15th April – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th April – Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 17th April – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Review: Mudsling Festival, Mudgee

Mudsling
All Photos by Elizabeth Walton, 2016

Mudsling!!!

What a fabulous event and success! For a first time event it was great to see so many people.

The crowd just kept on coming all through the day and they were ready to enter well before kickoff time of 2.00pm. The workshops created a lot of interest with Warwick Hargreaves and Daniel Champagne giving very generously of their time and talent plus playing a few select songs to display their talent and know how. Then the action moved to the front bar with Franke Stoove from Brisbane and Garry Furlong from Kiama delighting the audience with their home spun songs and covers before local musical luminaries Nick Wall and Euripi revved up the energy meter…it was just like the Roth’s Wine Bar of old (oldest continual license in NSW circa 1923) with the standing room only space rollicking along to hearty singing.

A short rest before the big bands kicked off on the main stage with Mudgee based band Honey sending everyone into passion and delight with their delicate sounds and thunder. Look out for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter.

Honey

A very special moment was when Out of Abingdon joined Honey on stage for a set including the beautiful rendition of “Blue” by Vince Jones sung by Elizabeth Walton and a haunting stirring version of “Amazing Grace” with Tina from Out of Abingdon’s arced bass. An audience member Craig from Mudgee remarked it was the most moving part of the whole event.

Next Out of Abingdon cut swathes of cool jazz through the hot summer evening and their sassy approach had the place humming. This date is kicking off their Long Hot Summer tour and they are ready to swing. Their takes on Kylie and Bjork, where they jazzified the songs added to their cool and already apparent hip instincts. In anticipation for the main attraction the crowd was swelling and an audience member from Leura was quite taken by their interpretations of unlikely songs.

Daniel Champagne

Daniel Champagne certainly knows how to fill a room and by now the place was full. The surprise of an artist (Sam Paine) onstage painting him live while he played only added to the drama of the evening. It definitely was a sight to see and will have people talking about it for a long time to come in this little town. His dexterity and energy were light as a feather and cutting like a knife and the crowd was stunned by his show stopping virtuosity.

Showcasing new material from his American tour this is his second stop, after Woodford, on his short Australian Tour before he heads back stateside. Mudgee was very lucky to snaffle him during his quick stopover. He was like a purring engine and fully on fire after racking up 250 shows last year alone.

The raffle was huge and festival director Richard Lawson said a quick speech while he got Warwick Hargraves from Out of Abingdon to draw the lucky winning ticket who took off the 2500 dollar prize.

Saltwater Sound System

Benji and the Saltwater Sound system are formerly Southerly Change and they closed out the evening. Ben Fowler, the leader, is just back from a year in the Solomon Islands and this was their first show since their sellout show in January at Tomerong Hall on the South Coast of NSW. He rounded up his South Coast cohorts in the Saltwater bus and they headed to Mudgee to be joined on drums and percussion by former Lime Spiders drummer Richard Lawson and his best student Jacob Barnes. They filled the venue with the rousing sweet sounds of dance reggae. Sometimes it became a frenetic percussive filled African vibe with a swirling wall of rhythm. By now the crowd was well and truly sweaty and dancing up a storm.

The night finished with the crowd joining in with vocal harmonies and the lines between the audience and performer were blurred and everyone became equal…but isn’t that what the best festivals are all about!!!

POSTSCRIPT

Out of Abingdon continue their Long Hot Summer tour at the Illawarra Folk Festival this week for the rest of January before heading back to Europe in Autumn.

Daniel Champagne is also stopping in at Illawarra before finishing his short Australian Tour and heading back to the states.

Ben from Benji and the Saltwater Sound System is boarding a plane to back to the Solomons Islands.

Mudgee’s own Honey are preparing for the imminent release of their debut album at Easter

Details of the 2016 Cobargo Folk Festival

Cobargo
Image Courtesy of Cobargo Folk Festival

By Peter Logue

As it is for many things in life, for folk festivals, timing is everything. With the festival calendar now stretching from September through to late April, it becomes difficult to keep festival artistic programs fresh and exciting.

I have attended hundreds of folk festivals, here and in Europe, over the past 45 years and – I know it’s a big call and I’ll be accused of bias because I’m on the organising committee – I’ve never seen such an outstanding small festival line-up as you’ll see late in February in Cobargo.

Cobargo, in the magnificent Bega Valley, this year boasts eight world-class international acts, most of whom will go on to headline at major festivals like Port Fairy, Blue Mountains and the National in Canberra.

This includes heavy Celtic influences from the likes of Ireland’s Rambling Boys – lead by Four Men and a Dog bodhran master Gino Lupari – Canada’s exciting East Pointers, Irish bouzouki whiz Beth Patterson from the US and Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet, now based in Brittany.

The English tradition is also strongly represented with the multi-talented Kirsty Bromley, troubadour Alistair Brown who’s becoming a Cobargo regular, and one of my personal favourites Vin Garbutt – still making people laugh and cry at the same time.

A late and welcome inclusion from the US is the punk/bluegrass/soul duo Truckstop Honeymoon. I’d need a whole article to describe what they do – but here’s a clip that might explain them better than any words.

When you add local talents like Trouble in the Kitchen, Fred Smith and Liz Frenchman, blues legends The Backsliders (in acoustic mode), Daniel Champagne, Danny Spooner, the outrageous Old Empire Band and many, many more – it’s quite festival for such a small, but perfectly formed, village.

We’re particularly pleased to receive a grant Arts NSW’s Country Arts Support Program for Neil Murray, formerly of the Warumpi band, to run workshops in the Dhurga language with the local Yuin Community.

Back to the issue of timing. Cobargo Festival does not have deep pockets or particularly wealthy sponsors.

Most international acts tour for a month to six weeks at the most and generally time their run to take in the major festivals in March and early April.

Cobargo does well because it has a great reputation for hospitality, great scenery not far from a hundred pristine beaches, and knowledgeable audiences – many of whom have been coming to the festival for the 21 years it has been going.

It gives acts time to settle in, shake off the jet lag and get their sets in order, plus they can cover expenses and seel a lot of CDs to the 3000 plus people who attended.

Run by volunteer from the community, Cobargo spends any profits it makes wisely. Since last year it has worked closely with co-venue partners the Showground Trust to improve facilities, adding a big new shower and toilet block and improving camping areas at the Showground.

We’re expecting a bumper crowd this year and are thankful for a grant from Destination NSW to help promote the festival outside our area. Of course, we don’t want to get too big and lose that wonderful intimate atmosphere of the small festival.

Dates are February 26th-28th: so get in early and look for tickets on www.cobargofolkfestival.com

Details of the Mudsling Mini-Festival in Mudgee

Mudslig
Image Courtesy of Mudsling

As we all wake up from the inevitable Christmas and New Year coma this January and realise that the sun is still shining and the working year hasn’t really kicked in yet, we’ll all no doubt be looking for some sweet, live music to keep the holiday spirit alive. And do we have the perfect event for you!

On the 9th January Roths Wine Bar in Mudgee, NSW will be hosting the mini-festival Mudsling featuring ten artists across two stages all for just $50.

The lineup for Mudsling has been confirmed with Daniel Champagne, Saltwater Sound System, April Maze, Out of Abingdon and Big Erle all making the trip out west to join local bands Honey, Euripi, Nick Wall and more.

Mudsling will be a taster of what punters can expect from the first Mudgee Music Festival which is due to kick off over the October long weekend in 2016.

“The thriving town of Mudgee in the Central West of NSW has always been a haven for artists and musicians and the home of the fantastic Huntingdon Music Festival and Day on the Green,” Mudgee Music Festival organiser Richard Lawson explained. “Now there is a festival coming to Mudgee that bridges the gap between the big production worlds of rock and classical. We want to bring quality music to a larger audience in Mudgee, by bringing it off the main stage and into a relaxed, eclectic range of venues that really add to the art of the sound – from churches to wine bars, from pubs to parks and cafes  – to truly bring out the vibrancy and independence of a wonderful musical world.”

For more information on Mudsling check out the official Facebook event here or head over to the Mudgee Music Festival web site here.

The Illawarra Folk Festival Drops Its 2016 Lineup

Dougie MacLean
Image Courtesy of Dougie MacLean

You know that the year is getting well and truly getting away from you when 2016 festivals start to drop their lineups. The first to do so is the incredible Illawarra Folk Festival and it’s simply amazing.

If you’ve never made it down to the Illawarra Folk Festival before then 2016 might be your year. Held in the historic town of Bulli just north of Wollongong, the festival is held from the 14th to the 17th January and manages to attract an impressive lineup of international, national and local artists.

The 2016 lineup includes the likes of Dougie MacLean (above), The East Pointers, Catgut, Daniel Champagne, Handsome Young Strangers, Liz Stringer, Rebecca Bastoli, Shane Howard, Shanty Club, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove and many many more.

For more information about the festival including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

NTERNATIONAL ACTS: Beth Patterson (USA), Donna Dean & The Tui Melody Boys (NZ), Dougie Maclean (SCOT), The East Pointers (CANADA), Environmental Encroachment (USA), Irish Mythen (CANADA), Jonathan Bob Lynn (CANADA), Ken Field (USA), Paul McKenna Band (SCOT), Reg Meuross (UK), Santa Taranta (ITALY), The Poozies (UK), Tim Scanlan & Toshi Bodhran (JAPAN), Underscore Orkestra (USA), Ward Macdonald (CANADA)

NATIONAL ACTS: Alma Mater, Ami Williamson, Andalus Arabic Choir, Astro Cobalt, Banjo Jackson, Black Joak Morris, Black Vat Trio, Bob Rummery, Bush Music Club Inc., Catgut, Chloe & Jason Roweth Band, Craig and Simone Dawson, Daniel Champagne, David Beniuk, David Bridie, Denis Murphy Puppets, Dingo’s Breakfast, Duo Agogo, Ethnodelica, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, Frank Yamma, Fresh Off The Boat, Glover & Sorrensen, The Goodwills, Handsome Young Strangers, Harman and Hellens, Humbug, Inka Marka, Innes, James Blundell, Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus, Jeannie Lewis, Jordan McRobbie, Kaisha, Karen Lynne Bluegrass Circle, Ken Field, Keystone Angel, Kutcha Edwards Duo, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, Lily and King, Liz Stringer, Lorraine McCrimmon, Matt Glass and the Loose Cannons, Maypole with Molly, Mexidhalia Dance Group, Merryweather, Mia Wray, Mick Daley, Mick Thomas, Mike Martin, Neil Murray, O’Leary, Out of Abingdon, Peter Mace, Peter Willey and Matthew Hobbs, Queen Porter Stomp, Rebecca Bastoli, Riogh, Santa Taranta, Scarlet’s Revenge, Señor Cabrales, Shane Howard Trio, Shanty Club, Solidarity Choir, Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, The East Pointers, The Goodwills, The haBiBis, The Junkadelic Brass band, The Pie Eaters, The Rhythm Hustle , The Settlement, The Wish List, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Union Choirs

LOCAL ACTS: Ana Otero Flamenco, Aviva Sheb’a, Ayanamsha, Az-I-aM, Beatmeisters, Big Erle, Brynn Luker, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus Wow , Curious Rendition Orchestra, Dane Overton, Declan Jenkinson, Denis McKay, Doux Manouche, Dru Yoga with Erika Steller, Duncan Chalmers, Eaton Gorge Theatre Company, Fly With Me, Gobsmacked!, Good Tunes Session, Hernan & Janis , Illawarra Breakfast Poets, Illawarra Pipe Band, Illawarra Union Singers, Joe Mungovan, John Broomhall, John Littrich, John Tubridy, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, Lilli Story, Love In The Jungle, Melanie April, Merryweather, Middle Eastern Jam, Mz Mally Moo, No Such Thing, Paddy & The Wonderband, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Rani’s Fire, Ribbon Gang, Ruido, Scientists Behaving Badly, SingGongGo, Southern Crane Martial Arts Academy Inc., Steve Robinson, Stewart Holt, Swing Booty, Swingaleles Ukulele Group, Tamnesia, The Con Artists, The Humphreys, The Legs, The Scratchies, The Shield Maidens & the Celt, Three-Sixty, Tia Juana, Vic Janko Orkestar, Zingara, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret, Zondrae King, Zumpa

The Joy of Small Folk Festivals

Top Half
Photo of The Top Half Folk Festival by Barry Skipsey

By Guest Contributor Peter Logue*, repurposed political journalist, festival tragic and accordion pest

It’s probably safe to assume that almost all readers of Timber and Steel have been to a music festival: most will have been to a large folk festival e.g. Woodford, Port Fairy, Blue Mountains or The National in Canberra.

Here’s a question, though: how many have been to a small regional folk festival? By small, I’m talking about the likes of Fleurieu in South Australia, Cygnet in Tasmania, Maldon in Victoria, Gulgong in NSW, The Top Half in NT (above), or the one I’m now involved in after eight years on the Board of the National – Cobargo, in the glorious Bega Valley on the NSW Far South Coast.

(There are many, many more small festivals, most of which are listed here)

I ask this because I believe it is important for the folk movement that people younger than me – which is lot of people – get involved in the smaller festivals, either through volunteering, applying to perform, just turning up and doing a blackboard, or paying the usually small amount to attend.

Why? Well, firstly they are just great fun, full of surprises and creators of those special memories that stay with you until you’re dribbling.

Take as an example the Cobargo Festival, in its 20th year this year.

For the pittance you pay, the program is just outstanding, musically diverse, challenging at times, international in flavour and inclusive.

That last word “inclusive” is the key to the success of the smaller festivals. Unlike some of the larger events (I exclude The National because of (a) the session bar and (b) its focus on learning and participation), smaller festivals are family, along with crazy uncles who play the banjo, daft grannies who play the one row button box, and the multi-talented kids who seem to be, and are, much better musicians than were around when I was their age.

Artists are approachable, usually do more than they’re asked to do, the sessions are diverse and sometimes really hot, and most people retire late at night to playing around a campfire, or sometimes a LED lamp.

At Cobargo this year you can meet the cream of Irish musicians, like Arty McGlynn and his wife Nollaig Casey, part of the Heart Strings Quartet. Arty started off playing covers in Showbands and spent many years as Van Morrison’s lead guitarist. (He must be a very patient man).

He wrote the book on guitar accompaniment for Irish music, though Paul Brady reckons – half jokingly – he taught has old friend Arty everything he knows.

Nollaig is an outstanding fiddler, her sister Maire NiChathasaigh is a world class harpist, and if you haven’t seen Chris Newman flat pick a guitar, you’re missing one of life’s big treats.
Cobargo will be their first festival in Eastern Australia, but you will never get as close to them as you will at this festival.

This excellent clip recorded by ABC Radio National on their short visit last year gives you a taste:

That’s the thing about small festivals; international and top level local performers love them, not because they pay well (they don’t) but because it gives them a chance to warm up before the big gigs, to perfect new material, and to see parts of the country they wouldn’t normally see.

Small festivals are also places for new or relatively inexperienced soloists or bands to get noticed. There is a formal and an informal network on the folk scene of promoters, staff and organisers from the big and small festivals and “wise heads” who spread reputations by word of mouth.

That’s how bands like The Waifs, Riogh and The Lurkers and countless others got noticed and built a name.

All of the many small festivals I go to each year have workshops, sessions, spoken word, blackboards and dancing as well as concerts.

Most have good food on site and a bar for relaxing in or singing or playing tunes.

All of them have major local involvement. In the case of Cobargo – which I’ve attended for 14 years – the community engagement is extensive.

Small festivals also build the folk community. Those locals who volunteer without any real knowledge of the folk scene, get the bug. They like that a few thousand people can get together for two or three days, have a rip roaring time, get maggotted, laugh sing and dance, and not a bad word is spoken or a punch thrown.

And they suddenly hear the quality of the music that they would never hear on their local commercial radio station or even on the ABC.

Small festivals are the modern day meeting places for our diverse folk tribes. They are also places of great learning. Ask anyone involved in the running and programming of any of our large folk festivals where they learned their skills and you’ll find a vast majority started with the small festivals.

If you haven’t been, try Cobargo from February 27th to March 1st. www.cobargofolkfestival.com

As well as the Heart Strings Quartet, you can see class acts like Archie Roach, Shellie Morris, Steeleye Span’s Ken Nichol, Chaika, Daniel Champagne, Ami Williamson, Nick Charles, Fiona Boyes and dozens more, all in a geographical setting that will take your breath away. And you can join or meet a very special family.

*Peter Logue is a member of the Cobargo Folk Festival organising committee

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