When The Blues Slide Back To Town

backsliders kit
Words and Pictures by Elizabeth Walton. Interview at Narooma Golf Club, Narooma, NSW

When God made good musicians he sent them to church on Sundays. When he made really great ones, he sent them to the mouth of the Mississippi, to drink from the unholy waters of the delta blues. For even God could tell the devil was onto something there. Something driven and raw, something eternal that surpassed all sense of time, something that could get the people onto their feet, now, then, and always. And so it was that The Backsliders began, and no matter how much they drank, their cup remained full, as they continued flooding the dance floors of the nation for over 30 years.

That’s the way the story goes with legendary outfits, those who capture the sound of an era, but capture it in a way that isn’t gimmicky or contrived, isn’t hemmed into a stylistic paddock that is quickly overgrown, all weeds and useless stems that can’t be whittled or chewed. The Backsliders’ unique form of blues isn’t a style that the crowd comes to like then quickly forgets, like moths chasing the light around the next contemporary sound. This is a style that has easily stood the test of time.

When the best music has been on the scene in a continuously evolving format for an entire generation it becomes a backdrop for our times. A great song can track a moment in time as freshly as a scent, a taste, a remembrance of an old friend or even your favourite dog. But when a project has continued to be there in the landscape of the culture for as long as The Backsliders, it becomes something even more significant than just one song that throws you back to year dot.

You hear the sound at the festivals down south, up north, in the city, all around the country, and the songs become the aural licks for the great Australian drama of our times. You hear it in the Tim Winton screen adaptations of the dirty Australian ballads of the outback, that sound. That vision is there when you hear this very Australian form of blues. And it’s there in every other epic Australian drama of our times as well, from the softer cliched stories of Sea Change, to the harsher scenes of Underbelly, those tales that trace the seedier side of the national narrative and our love of the outsider, the lost larrikin, the dangerously compelling stories of the evil who walk among us. For The Backsliders aren’t just hot performers, their themes are there on the screen too.

These are the songs that fit so snugly into the storyline it’s as though the music was an extension of the scenery, a backdrop, and the song itself has become the dialogue, the lyric.

hirst and turnerSo goes the story of The Backsliders, a band put together a generation ago by Australia’s favourite bluesman Dom Turner, with his iconic high voice reminiscent perhaps of the growling plantation gospel singer Pops Staples. The outfit was joined in its adolescence by searing hot rock drummer Rob Hirst who may now be pushing into his mid 60’s, but he looks like he’s been bathing all these years  in the fountain of youth. Turner and Hirst both do.

The Backsliders are an outfit with not just national but international respect. And despite 30 years in action, the music is as fresh and relevant today as it ever was. There is not a quiver of energy held back from Rob Hirst’s intensely delivered searing hot rhythm, yet he plays this particular set straight off the tarmac from a world tour with Midnight Oil.

fast sticksDespite his own hot blooded performance, Dom Turner maintains a cool hand, barely breaking a bead of sweat. “It’s easy to maintain our momentum,” Turner says, “because we have always had the understanding that working on our other projects gets you coming back with something fresh”. Working with a rotating line of three harp players – this set featuring Joe Glover – also brings an individuality to every performance, something Turner is keen to capture, which is the basis for the decision to stick with the simple three part lineup – one string man, one harp man, and one percussion man, front and centre.

“Playing as a trio gives us the freedom to pursue that grittiness as an art form – we can seek out the imperfections and impurities of early acoustic blues, and our material can have its own unique structure, so we’re not limited to a 12 bar blues format. It’s highly improvised, based on that very African style emanating from the North of the Mississippi.”

“If we used a bass player we would all have to move at the same time, but this way we can follow those African and also at times South East Asian beats more fluidly,” he says.

 

Turner creates his sound calling on the subtle timbre of a glass slide, searching for that gliding sustain and the sweetness of the glasswork over the frets. When he moves to a metal slide he leans towards a heavier chrome style that produces less friction and a leaner sound. For this tour he uses three guitars and a mandola, selecting each for its sonic differences, rather than just the economy of time in altering the tunings, which for the most part remain tuned to various open chords.

With improvisation at its core. communication for the band is essential, so the men prefer their stage lineup positioned for optimum line of sight, an important departure from the standard setup of kit in back, strings out front. It certainly allows for a highly visual experience of Hirsts’ high energy infectious playing. The drum kit is a somewhat sentimental assemblage of an old marching band drum, an ice bell, piccolo, two snares and hand made cymbals that serve as clanky hi hats, finished with a high tech Dyson fan to help the rhythm man bring down the heat.

When the band kicked off back in the 80’s the iconoclastic sound was nudged along by a washboard and a reinforced hatbox fitted with a mic inside. The collaboration with Hirst has seen a move to a more tribal sound, which is created in part by writing songs separately, then working on them together in the studio, for the continuing roll of recordings the band produces. The next installation is due for sketches, directions and ideas in the coming months, but the album won’t reach its zenith until the band gets together within the sanctum of the studio.

 

The Backsliders put an unmistakably Aussie spin on the deep traditions of the delta blues, an art form arising from the darkest sorrows of the downtrodden, the forgotten, the ripped off oppressed and poverty stricken. It’s a style that originated from the starving disenfranchised blacks of the American south, whose fight against oppression overreached the Civil War’s success in remaining impossibly inhumane long after the war was won. These conditions still impose the questionable will of powerful men during times of the greatest hardship and suffering, often when a helping hand is needed the most. It’s a suffering that still goes on today, long after the storms of Hurricane Katrina have passed on into legend, not just for the way she lashed at the heart of New Orleans, but for the way the powers that be gave very little warning, with next to no planning, and the way the then President barely turned his head while America’s greatest roots tradition drowned alongside the most mighty songsmen of the South, like so many disregarded notes and souls.

So the world has come to treat its roots musicians, a forgotten underclass, amongst whom those most talented are those most likely to be found in a burger joint, flipping refried beans or taking out the trash. And this is the sound The Backsliders have summoned from the murky swamp to translate into an endless realm of Australian anthems, distilling the essence of the troubles of the South, in all its desolation and heathen ways. Their delivery is a sound that defers to the Australian wide open landscape for its meaning, rendering an antipodean condition to their interpretation of Cajun influenced blues, with their ditties of moving on, getting away from it all, getting your bags packed and getting lost, losing all sense of that purpose which once flashed before you, before your dreams got flushed away.

viewThe Backsliders have a long history touring the far south coast of New South Wales, playing the blues festival at Narooma that finished when its saviour hung up his saddle a few seasons back. No one has taken up the mantle, and the old festival office remains For Lease, fronting the road as the Pacific Highway heads up the hill and meanders around the town. Yet the band still returns to the scene, creating their own scene now, where old mates put on the big party at the biggest venue in town, and easily fill the Narooma Golf Club on a lazy Sunday evening. The festival scene may have been the birthplace of the romance with the coast, but the story has outlived the event. After all, nothing speaks summer in a more sultry seawater way than the Mississippi blues, especially in its local incarnation, hollered out so loud by The Backsliders.

Upcoming live dates for The Backsliders are below:

Sunday 28th January – Waterfront Cafe Church Point, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd February – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 3rd March – Girrakool Blues and BBQ Festival, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th May – Blues on Broadbeach, Broadbeach, QLD

Watch the New Marlon Williams Video “What’s Chasing You”

Marlon Williams
Image Courtesy of Marlon Williams

Kiwi country crooner Marlon Williams has just released his new single and video “What’s Chasing You”. The track is the second single from Williams’ highly anticipated new album Make Way For Love which is due on the 16th February.

“It’s an earnest question,” Marlon Williams said about the track. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to know of another human being. Like all good questions, it’s childishly simple. We all want to live inside the fears of the ones we love, if not to dispel them then at the very least to understand, empathize and let’s be honest, compare hands. I’m not convinced truly understanding another’s woes would really bring anyone happiness, but I am a nosey boy. What’s chasing you?”

Watch the video for “What’s Chasing You” below:

Marlon Williams will be heading out on an Australian tour this May along with Canadian singer-songwriter The Weather Station. The full list of dates are here:

Saturday 12th May – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 14th May – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 15th May – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
Wednesday 16th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 17th May – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Husky Announce Intimate Walking In Your Sleep Tour

Husky
Image Courtesy of Husky

Melbourne indie-folkers Husky are planning a string of intimate shows this April following the release of their latest single “Walking In Your Sleep”.

The track is taken from Husky’s highly successful 2017 album Punchbuzz which we picked as one of our favourites from last year.

“”Walking in Your Sleep” is a song I wrote during a period of intense dreaming brought on by the meticulous recording of my dreams,” frontman Husky Gawenda explained. “I became obsessed with the possibilities of the dream realm – lucid dreaming, self-exploration, unlocking the unconscious – and how that would affect my waking life and perhaps more so, my writing. The more I slipped in and out of this dream realm, the less I knew the difference between dream and reality and the more they mirrored each other. If I listen back to the song now, I hear an exploration of longing that in my waking life I was trying to escape, but was wrestling with every night in my sleep.”

Husky will be hitting the road this April with shows planned in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle – check out the full dates plus a stream of “Walking In Your Sleep” below:

Friday 13th April – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th April – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th April – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 21st April – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

The Low Anthem Announce New Album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea

The Low Anthem
Image Courtesy of The Low Anthem

Indie-folk favourites The Low Anthem have announced plans to release their brand new album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea on the 23rd February.

The concept album was birthed following a tour van crash which wiped out band member Jeff Prystowsky for several weeks and wreaking a bunch of of the band’s gear and instruments.

“One second you’re dozing off in the passenger seat on the way to a gig, and the next, there’s fire and hell flames and black smoke and your face is bleeding and you can’t see, and you can’t process information, and you think it’s all over,” Prystowsky explained.

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea is in part inspired by John Cage’s biography Where The Heart Beats, by Kay Larsen. Ben Knox Miller from the band became transfixed by the salt doll fable he came across in the book which tells the story of a doll that wants to know itself, and what it’s made of. A teacher tells it, “salt comes from the ocean,” so it goes to the sea. When the doll puts its toe in, it knows something, but loses its toe. Then it puts its foot in, knows even more but loses its foot … and so on, until it’s completely dissolved, never to return to the shore.

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea is a concept album with a story arc weaving through the songs like a constellation,” Jeff Prystowsky said. “It’s an underwater circular journey to the bottom of the sea following the salt doll who, attempting to measure the sea (and thus, know its true origins), in the end, becomes part of it. Along the way this non-human, conscious chemical compound, encounters all kinds of fantastical oceanic things.”

Below is a track listing for The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea along with a really sweet album trailer:

1. Bone of Sailor, Bone of Bird
2. River Brine
3. Give My Body Back
4. Drowsy Dowsing Dolls
5. The Krill Whistle Their Fight Song
6. Toowee Toowee
7. Coral Crescent
8. Dotwav
9. Cy Twombly By Campfire
10. Gondwanaland
11. To Get Over Only One Side
12. Final Transmission From The Diving Umbrella

Listen to Laura Marling’s Bob Dylan Cover “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”

Laura Marling
Image Courtesy of Laura Marling

If you saw the series finale for Peaky Blinders last year you might have recognised the wonderful Laura Marling on the soundtrack.

Marling has covered Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” for the show and has just released the track as a streamable single, available in the all the usual places.

Listen to “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney based folk-rock band Fallon Cush released their latest single and video “Achilles Heel”. Details here

– The Peak Festival in Perisher this June announced its first nine artists including Hot Potato Band, Sahara Beck, Electrik Lemonade, His Merry Men, Hussy Hicks, Aliensworth, Felicity Lawless, Matiu, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning and Pete Denahy. Details here

– Adelaide indie-folk night The Porch Sessions has headed out on tour again this month with Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart and Ryan Martin John hitting the road. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his new single “Hazel Eyes”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country six-piece Papa Pilko and the Binrats released their new video “Surrender”. Details here

– We premiered two new songs from The Ahern Brothers, “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new 80s inspired video “Fireworks”. Details here

– Folk trio I’m With Her released their new single “Game To Lose”. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“Our pick of the Falls Festival Byron Bay programming at The Grove was Ben Wilson – performing as a 3 piece act that had us hooked from from the first strum of a string. Between them, the outfit sported double bass, violin, acoustic guitar and harmonica, plus their fabulous harmonised vocals, crowded round a very vintage microphone, managing to capture their tunes before the breeze could” – Part 1 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

“From emotive choruses, to beautiful moments of quiet among the electricity of the band, Julia Jacklin had it all going on. Her rendition of folk song “Wonderland” showcased the solace of her voice accompanied by only her electric guitar, and the vibrato timbre to her voice had an enchanting effect on the audience” – Part 2 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

Releases This Week

Bahamas
EarthtonesBahamas
iTunes

Winners 2018
Winners 2018 – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival

January means it’s Illawarra Folk Festival time. The intimate event takes advantage of being right in the middle of Folk Festival season with a bunch of international touring artists and local favourites. If you live in Sydney take advantage of the musical trains to get you to the festival.

Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 12th January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall & Happenings, Upper Lansdowne, NSW
Friday 19th January – Thredbo Resort, Thredbo, NSW

Allison Forbes
Friday 19th January – Tamworth Shopping World, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Backsliders
Saturday 13th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Andy Golledge Band, Emma Russack, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, The Singing Skies
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass at Yulli’s Presents Bluegrass at Balls Head
Wednesday 17th January – Balls Head Reserve, Sydney, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 19th January – The Green Owl, Brisbane, QLD

Breaking Trad
Friday 12th January – Heyfield War Memorial Hall, Heyfield, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Old Kilmore Gaol, Kilmore, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Monday 15th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds
Sunday 14th January – The Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 19th January – Whitsundays Clipper Race Party, Airlie Beach, QLD

Candice McLeod
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Catgut
Saturday 13th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet, TAS

Dan Vogl
Friday 12th January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Dane Overton and the Joy Williams Band
Friday 12th January – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darby w/ Audrey MacAlpine, Rachel Ellis
Thursday 18th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings
Friday 12th January – Araluen Hall, Araluen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darren Cross
Friday 12th January – Katoomba Social Club, Katoomba, NSW

Deadwood 76, Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes, Ben Leece
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 13th January – House On The Hill, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Monday 15th January – Masonic Hall, Lindisfarne, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Mountain Mumma, Launceston, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Jack Duggans, Bathurst, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Emma Russack
Friday 12th January – The Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Faith i Branko
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th January – Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall, Ben Lomond, NSW

Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour feat. Claire Anne Taylor, The Small Glories
Tuesday 16th January – Dunalley Hall, Dunalley, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Triabunna Hall, Triabunna, TAS
Thursday 18th January – Broadmarsh Hall, Broadmarsh, TAS

Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions feat. John Maddox, Banks Brothers, When Hawk Met Sparrow, That Red Head
Thursday 18th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Frank Sultana, Jessy Wadeson, Gentle Leader
Wednesday 17th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Georgia State Line
Sunday 14th January – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift
Friday 12th January – BIG4 Narooma Easts Holiday Park, Narooma, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Murramarang Beachfront Nature Resort, South Durras, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Lake Conjola Entrance Holiday Park, Lake Conjola, NSW
Monday 15th January – Shoalhaven Heads Holiday Park, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Easts Beach Holiday Park, Kiama, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, Toowoon Bay, NSW
Friday 19th January – Opening Concert, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

Grizzlee Train
Friday 12th January – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW

Gypsy Romp feat. Greshka, Hello Tut Tut, Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Hello Tut Tut
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 19th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Friday 12th January – Bingie Pottery, Bingie, NSW

Honk! Oz Street Music Festival
Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th January – Wollongong, NSW

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival – Folk School
Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January – Illawarra Uniting Church, Thirroul, NSW

James Bennett
Saturday 13th January – Seabreeze Hotel, South West Rocks, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Tacking Point Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW

Jana Garjana Dhol Pathak, Newport Gypsy Djangos, The Mudcakes
Saturday 13th January – Summer Sounds, McCormack Park, Melbourne, VIC

Jane Aubourg
Saturday 13th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Jed Rowe
Saturday 13th January – Bond Street Event Centre, Sale, VIC

Jess Cornelius
Friday 12th January – Polyester Records, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Holland
Friday 19th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 12th January – Arts Theatre at QSU, Toowoomba, QLD

Katie Brianna
Friday 19th January – FanZone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Kelly Brouhaha, Rose Zita Falko, Andrew Thomson
Friday 12th January – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Kincumber Hotel, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 14th January – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 12th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Tea Club, Nowra, NSW
Friday 19th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Lucy Wise
Sunday 14th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Friday 12th January – The Dungeon, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folks Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Mofo at Mona
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Montgomery Church
Saturday 13th January – Rydges Hotel, Jindabyne, NSW

Mustered Courage
Saturday 13th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Oi Dipnoi
Wednesday 17th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Paddy McHugh
Thursday 18th January – Junkyard Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Paul Hayward and Sidekicks
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Wollongong, NSW
Monday 15th January – Nethercote Hall, Pambula Beach, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – House Concert, Mount Martha, VIC
Thursday 18th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Quinton Trembath
Saturday 13th January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, The Weeping Willows, Peta Caswell
Wednesday 17th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, Peta Caswell, Sam Shinazzi
Thursday 18th January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Rich Davies & The Low Road
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Rising Appalachia
Friday 12th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 13th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Joinery, Adelaide, SA
Friday 19th January – Church of The Trinity Uniting Church, Clarence Park, SA

Rooftop Sessions feat. Craig Woodward, Jeremiah Johnson, Katherine Vavahea
Sunday 14th January – Oatley Hotel, Oatley, NSW

Shawn Lidster
Friday 19th January – Halekulani Bowling Club, Budgewoi, NSW

Smith & Jones
Saturday 13th January – Betties, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 16th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 28th January – Tamworth, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival Opening Concert
Friday 19th January – Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

That Red Head
Sunday 14th January – The Orient Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions, Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th January – North Sydney Twilight Food Festival, Sydney, NSW

The Ahern Brothers
Friday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 12th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay, QLD
Thursday 18th January – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Friday 19th January – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 13th January – Satellite Lounge, Wheelers Hill, VIC

The Djangologists
Friday 12th January – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Glorious North
Saturday 13th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Gypsy Scholars w/ Joe Oppenheimer, FÎntan, Ben K
Friday 19th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

The Johnny Can’t Dance Cajun Band w/ Craig Woodward & Jeremy Marcotte
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Tuesday 16th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Railsplitters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – Rosny Barn, Hobart, TAS

The Swamp Stompers
Friday 12th January – Club Sapphire, Merimbula, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Steampacket Hotel, Nelligen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba, NSW
Friday 19th January – Katoomba, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Monday 15th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18tth January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 14th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Fox Den, Gloucester, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW

The Willing Ponies
Sunday 14th January – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo, NSW

This Way North
Friday 19th January – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Twin Caverns w/ Deepsea Lights
Saturday 13th January – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Ukulele Death Squad
Friday 19th January – Circa 1902, Queenscliff, VIC

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW

Wartime Sweethearts and Ben Panucci Band
Sunday 14th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Whiskey Dram
Friday 12th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 13th January – The Old Factory, Myrtleford, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Empire Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Cookie Baker, Ash Sumpter
Wednesday 17th January – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project
Friday 12th January – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wildflowers” – The Wailin’ Jennys

Listen to the New I’m With Her Single “Game To Lose”

I'm With Her
Image Courtesy of I’m With Her

US trio I’m With Her have just given us another taster from their upcoming album See You Around (due on the 16th February) – the divinely syncopated track “Game To Lose”.

As with the rest of the album “Game To Lose” was co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) – take a listen to the track below:

Watch the New First Aid Kit Video “Fireworks”

First Aid Kit
Image Courtesy of First Aid Kit

Swedish Americana duo First Aid Kit have just released the wonderfully 80s video for their new track “Fireworks”.

The song is taken from First Aid Kit’s upcoming album Ruins which is due for release on the 19th January.

Check out the video for “Fireworks” below:

First Aid Kit will be in Australia this April for Bluesfest and a handful of sideshows supported by Stella Donnelly. The full list of shows are here:

Thursday 29th March to Monday 2nd April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 3rd April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 5th April – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 6th April – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 7th April – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Timber and Steel Premiere: The Ahern Brothers’ singles “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”

Ahern brothers
Image Courtesy of The Ahern Brothers

After a huge 2017 harmony singing folk duo The Ahern Brothers are getting ready to hit the road one last time before they take a well deserved break.

The Ahern Brothers released their amazing self-titled debut album in 2017 to much acclaim – we described it as “a pure delight” and picked it as number three in our top albums of the year – and now they’ve announced plans to release two more singles and a cover before they hit the road.

The two singles, “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”, will be released next Monday 15th January but Timber and Steel has been given the opportunity to give you a sneak preview.

The songs were written while The Ahern Brothers toured late last year.

“”There’s A Light” is the first song we wrote together after the release of our first album,” Josh Rennie-Hynes explained. “We were getting ready to begin our debut album tour and had a few days to kill in Queensland so we decided to make the most and write – that’s how it was born.”

“It’s a strange and wonderful song, largely inspired by Jim Carey’s parody song “Cold Dead Hand”,” Steve Grady adds. “In the studio we decided to just throw everything at it, full band production, however at the heart of it we still recorded us singing and playing together. That’s the number one rule for The Ahern Brothers – no matter what we add on top of it, we have to be able to perform it solely as a duo.”

Take a listen to “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through” below:

In addition to the new tracks, The Ahern Brothers also recorded a cover of Ryan Adams’ song “Prisoner”.

“We decided to record “Prisoner” by Ryan Adams as a tribute to the influence he’s had on us as artists,” Grady explained. Because the original recording has a full band production we wanted this one to be stripped back to our two guitars and voices.”

Watch a video of “Prisoner” here:

The Ahern Brothers head out on tour this week, kicking things off at the Cygnet Folk Festival. Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th January – Rous Mill Hall, Rous Mill, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Pelican Playhouse, Grafton, VIC
Wednesday 31st January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 1st February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd February – 63 First Ave, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 3rd February – Stag & Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 4th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th February – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 9th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Thursday 15th February – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 9th to Monday 12th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

Watch the New Papa Pilko and the Binrats Video “Surrender”

Papa Pilko and the BinRats
Image Courtesy of Papa Pilko and the Binrats

Sydney alt-country six piece Papa Pilko and the Binrats are kicking off their 2018 with a brand new single and video “Surrender”.

The track is the first new music from Papa Pilko and the Binrats since 2016 and was produced by Wade Keighran (Wolf & Cub, Polish Club). Check out the dirty-mariachi-meets-country-soul of “Surrender” below:

To celebrate the release of “Surrender” Papa Pilko and the Binrats will be touring up and down the east coast this Summer – the full list of dates are here:

Saturday 27th January – The Wickham Park Hotel, Islington, NSW
Friday 2nd February – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW
Saturday 3rd February – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 23rd February – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 24th February – The B.East, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 3rd March – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 16th March – Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 17th March – Bloodhound Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 18th March – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW

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