Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015

2015

Ok, so we have one final best of list to round out the week and then I promise you we’re done. Our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans has sifted through the wealth of music that’s been released this year and whittled it down to his top 25 tracks of 2015. Some of these are album tracks that haven’t been released as singles, some are singles from albums that were released last year and at least one or two have only seen light as live versions – but one thing that’s certain is that this is a pretty good snapshot of all of the music we’ve been loving throughout the year.

So without further ado please enjoy Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015.

1. Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”
While I loved the direction that Sufjan Stevens took with his Age of Adz album, when “Should Have Known Better” dropped earlier this year I almost wept. This was Stevens leaning back into to his acoustic roots without denying where his sound has evolved in recent years (the electronic middle eight in the track is a nice nod to Age of Adz). Despite the heavy subject matter of the track (“When I was three, three maybe four, She left us at that video store”) it is overwhelmingly uplifting and I can’t help but smile as I let the melody wash over me. It’s good to have you back Sufjan!

2. John Flanagan – “The Last of the Cassette Men”
A core element of “folk music” as an overarching genre is the story song and John Flanagan has written the best story song of the year, recounting the time Flanagan was tasked with driving his songwriting hero Paul Kelly to a show. John Flanagan’s easygoing, personal narrative style works perfectly in this track, almost aping the songwriting style of Kelly without descending into parody. With this track John Flanagan has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on.

3. Packwood – “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”
With four EPs released this year there’s a wealth new Packwood material to choose from, but I can’t help but come back to “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”, his first single from 2015. The track is everything I want from a Packwood song – soaring melodies, delicate finger-picked guitar, orchestral arrangements (including a choir!) and Bayden Hine’s vulnerable vocal style. Another work of genius from Australia’s king of chamber folk.

4. Patrick James – “Bugs”
“Bugs” has been a standard of Patrick James’ live set for much of his career, including his time as a busker, but it’s only in 2015 that it’s been released as a single thanks to his debut album Outlier. What makes “Bugs” such a great song is hands down the chorus: a catchy, loopy piece of music that always stimulates a sing along. With live versions of “Bugs” available on the internet for years now I’m glad James has not gone crazy on the production of this track, keeping the arrangement subtle and familiar.

5. The Morrisons – “Wild Eleanor”
Despite being probably the most recognisable Bluegrass band in Sydney the amount of recorded music available from The Morrisons is pretty light on the ground. Which is why I’m so chuffed they’ve chosen to record and release one of my favourite of their tracks, “Wild Eleanor”. The frantic single shows off just how skilled each of the members of The Morrisons are. And yes, I even like the hokey clip shot at Sydney’s Hibernian House.

6. Laura Marling – “False Hope”
This is Laura Marling’s Dylan-going-electric moment. When “False Hope” hit earlier this year the first thing that fans noted was just how rock driven it was- Marling has swapped the acoustic guitar for a choppy electric and surrounded herself with a traditional rock lineup. But Laura Marling’s lyrical style and vocals shine through – you know this song is unmistakably a Laura Marling track despite the instrumentation and for that reason alone it’s something special.

7. Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton – “Waly Waly”
I was trying to put my finger on what it is about “Waly Waly” that stands out for me on the excellent album Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and it hit me – about halfway through the song Ruth Hazleton brings in this minor led banjo lick that just, well, grooves. It’s that lick, and the minor arrangement over the chorus, that gets my toe tapping and my head bobbing every time. It’s not often that you mention the word “groove” in reference to a Child Ballad but that’s how clever Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton are.

8. Mumford & Sons – “Ditmas”
“But this is all I ever was, And this is all you came across those years ago, Now you go too far, Don’t tell me that I’ve changed because that’s not the truth, And now I’m losing you”. Could this be the catchiest chorus of 2015? Forget that Mumford & Sons ditched the banjo and the acoustic guitar – what they’ve created in “Ditmas” is the perfect Mumford & Sons song. Restrained verses, blistering choruses and lyrics you want to sing along to at the top of your lungs.

9. The Paper Kites – “A Silent Cause”
To be honest “Electric Indigo” has been the track on highest rotation from twelvefour for me this year, but every time I’m listening to the album from start to finish I always have to go back and listen to “A Silent Cause” again and again. It’s such a simple song – lead vocals, guitar and subtle vocal harmonies – but it’s just mesmerising. It’s a nod to The Paper Kites’ earlier work and there’s a real Paul Simon feel to the way its been written. “A Silent Cause” has not (yet) been released as a single from twelvefour but it’s definitely the standout for me.

10. Fanny Lumsden – “Soapbox”
Fanny Lumsden’s incredibly catchy single “Soapbox” is the driving force behind the success of her album Small Town Big Shot. The track’s driving back-beat courtesy of the clapping percussion drives the song forward and that banjo riff is so hum worthy. I love how crisp Lumsden’s vocals are on this track – you get to follow the narrative elements of the song without having to distance yourself from the rest of the instrumentation. It’s a great track to see live as well!

11. William Fitzsimmons – “Pittsburgh”
There’s such a lean-in quality to William Fitzsimmons’ voice – it’s so delicate over the top of his acoustic guitar and the result is beautiful. The album version of this song is supplemented by subtle piano, electric guitar and backing vocals but if you’ve managed to hear any of the live versions floating around Youtube you’ll know just how good this song is with just Fitzsimmons and his guitar.

12. Matt Corby – “Monday”
The first new music from Matt Corby in quite a while ends up being classic Matt Corby. That layered, looped vocal and hand percussion. The blues inspired melody. That voice. It’s good to have you back Matt Corby.

13. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.”
The transformation of Nathaniel Rateliff from sensitive acoustic singer-songwriter to full blown gospel-blues master has been one of the unexpected joys of 2015. Together with his outstanding band The Night Sweats, Rateliff released one of the year’s catchiest tunes in “S.O.B.” complete with a Blue Brothers inspired video.

14. Bellowhead – “Roll Alabama”
Bellowhead tempered the news that they’d be wrapping things up this year with the release of their new single “Roll Alabama”. The track is filled with Bellowhead’s usual bombast but also manages to balance this with fine arrangement – at no point is the song overwhelmed by the instrumentation. The clip for “Roll Alabama” is a loving ode to Bellowhead as a live band, making me wish they’d made the trip to Australia at least once.

15. The East Pointers – “The Drift”
I love that the tenor banjo, after being maligned by its five stringed cousin in recent years, is making a bit of a resurgence. And Canadian trio The East Pointers are leading the tenor banjo charge. I love the way “The Drift” plays with tempos and instrumentation, building and dropping throughout, providing texture to the traditionally inspired music. A highlight from Secret Victory which is stuffed full of amazing tracks.

16. Yetis – “Luckiest Guy Alive”
Yetis were another band that we said goodbye to in 2015 but who left us with an amazing goodbye track. “Luckiest Guy Alive” is beautiful – five part harmonies over a solo piano – and it just seems to sore. I’m not sure Yetis every really reached their full potential and I would have loved to have seen more from them before they went their seperate ways – but “Luckiest Guy Alive” is a nice way to say goodbye.

17. Boy & Bear – “Walk the Wire”
Boy & Bear have embraced the 70s and early 80s on their new album Limit of Love and the greatest example of this is “Walk the Wire”. Embracing synths and crisp guitars, “Walk the Wire” still has that undeniable Boy & Bear groove to bop your head along to. The video is also hilarious – don’t just listen to this track on YouTube in the backgound, make sure you give it your full attention.

18. Ruby Boots – “Wrap Me In A Fever”
No this is country music. Ruby Boots’ big voice just powers through this track as the drums shuffle, the steel guitar twangs and an organ adds just a touch of class. “Wrap Me In A Fever” is a song full of heartbreak and lonliness but Ruby Boots also imbues a sense of strength into it with her big voice.

19. Gurrumul & Paul Kelly – “Amazing Grace”
The moment I heard that Gurrumul was turning his voice to gospel music for his latest album my first thought was “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”. The fact that he’s joined by Paul Kelly on possibly the most iconic gospel song of all time is just incredible. Here are two artists at their best breathing life into a classic and reinventing it for an Australian audience.

20. Passenger – “Fools Gold”
The ever prolific Passenger this year released an album (Whispers II) and then a series of videos for brand new songs that were shot while he toured the world. To be honest I could have picked any number of the songs that Passenger released this year but this is the one that stuck in my head. The song is textbook Passenger – delicate vocals over finger-picked guitar – but that little lick at the start and the “Hey-ey-ey” of the chorus are what gives “Fools Gold” the ear-worm quality.

21. Josh Pyke – “Hollering Hearts”
From the opening ukulele to the “oh oh oh” backing vocals there’s something insanely catchy about this song. No one quite writes folk-flavoured pop music like Josh Pyke and “Hollering Hearts” is pretty much a perfect Josh Pyke tune. I’m not sure how I feel about the lyric video (if you’re going to go to that much effort animating it why not just make a video?) but at the end of the day this is all about the music.

22. Falls – “When We Were Young”
I chose to post the live version of this song purely for the nostalgia of it. This is Falls performing at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney during one of their rare visits back to our shores – and for these guys this is where it all started. I love how infectious this song is, almost willing you to clap along and stomp your feet. Of all the new material on Omaha this is the track that really captured me – I feel like it’s the bridge between their Hollywood EP and the tracks they’ve been writing since they’ve relocated to the USA.

23. Sam Amidon – “Blue Mountains”
“Blue Mountains” is not taken from Sam Amidon’s 2015 album of home and field recordings Home Alone Inside My Head but is rather the final single from his amazing 2014 record Lily-O. This is Amidon at his most coherent and accessible – the track has a pretty conservative structure and vocal line which is something he’s not always known for. I love the 6/8 drum beat that comes in about half way through this song giving it that extra drive, and of course Amidon’s meandering fiddle lines are just beautiful.

24. We Banjo 3 feat. Sharon Shannon – “The Fox”
This is traditional music at its most polished, with none of the rough edges you’ll find on other versions of this classic track. But that’s not a bad thing – We Banjo 3 have perfectly captured the rollicking fun of “The Fox”. Strangely Sharon Shannon’s accordion seems to be relegated to the back of the mix until they break into the reel two thirds of the way through (known as “Clumsy Lover” for those of you playing at home) – but I guess that’s why this is We Banjo 3 featuring Sharon Shannon and not the other way around.

25. Nick Payne – “Old Sydney Town”
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Nick Payne workshopping his convict folk song at jam sessions and festivals over the past 18 months and what he’s managed to capture on tape is pretty bang on what you’ll get live. I love the old time feel of this track and the fine group of musicians he’s managed to amass to accompany him (including many members of his band Dear Orphans) elevate the song to another level. I love the “behind the music” style of the video as well – very nice.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 11th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne folkies The Mae Trio released their new single, an acoustic cover of Lorde’s “Buzzcut Season”. Details here

– Next week’s Bluegrass @ Yulli’s in Sydney will feature a performance from The Tawny Owl Stringband. Details here

Jinja Safari released their new single “Accident”. Details here

– Before they call it a day Bellowhead will be releasing a greatest hits album. Details here

Loren Kate announced details of her new EP, single and national tour. Details here

Damien Rice released his new video “Hypnosis” from the Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet soundtrack. Details here

– The artist previously known as Major Chord has revealed his new project Dan Flynn and The State of Things plus plans for a new album in October. Details here

– Folk-roots duo Pierce Brothers have announced a new EP Into The Dirt. Details here

– The 2015 lineup for The Fleurieu Folk Festival was announced featuring Beccy Cole, Senor Cabrales, Appalachian Heaven String Band, Liz Stringer, The Timbers, The BordererS, Danny Spooner, Charm of Finches, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Kaurna Cronin, Tom West, Scott Balfour and many more. Details here

Passenger released his new video “The Long Road”. Details here

Gurrumul and Paul Kelly have come together for a stunning version of “Amazing Grace”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Tim Guy released his new video “Footsteps”. Details here

– Cosmic country band Lost Ragas announced a tour through October. Details here

Releases This Week

Beirut
No No NoBeirut
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Falls

Falls

Timber and Steel favourites Falls return to their home town of Sydney after 18 months in the USA to play three very special and intimate shows at the Hotel Hollywood. The Hollywood is where it all began for Falls all those years ago so seeing them back in there will be something special.

Tuesday 15th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 16th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW *SOLD OUT*
Thursday 17th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW *SOLD OUT*

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding
Friday 11th September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Ash Grunwald
Friday 11th September – Divers Tavern, Broome, WA
Saturday 12th September – The Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Sunday 13th September – Mojos Bar, Nth Fremantle, WA

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. The Tawny Owl Stringband
Wednesday 16th September – Upstairs at Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Bony Mountain Folk Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Bony Mountain, QLD

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Jesse Davidson, Caitlin Park
Friday 18th September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolabah, QLD
Friday 18th September – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW

Falls
Tuesday 15th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 16th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th September – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW

Guildford Banjo Jamboree
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Guildford, VIC

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 11th September – Trinity, Adelaide, SA

Joan Baez
Thursday 17th September – Royal Theatre, Canberra, ACT

John Blake w/ Ben Stephenson
Tuesday 15th September – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Friday 11th September – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn SA
Saturday 12th September – Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Thursday 17th September – House Concert, Healesville, VIC
Friday 18th September – Maleny Neighbourhood Centre, Maleny, QLD

Little May
Friday 18th September – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Live ‘n’ Lounging feat. The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Kay Proudlove, Huckleberry Hastings
Sunday 13th September – Macarthur, Sydney, NSW

Neurum Creek Music Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, QLD

Perch Creek
Friday 11th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th September – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

The Mae Trio
Friday 11th September – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 13th September – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th September – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 18th September – 63 First Avenue, Sawtell, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolaba, QLD

The Waifs
Saturday 12th September – Esperance Civic Centre, Esperance, WA
Sunday 13th September – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA
Tuesday 15th September – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Wednesday 16th September – Queens Park Theatre, Geraldton, WA
Thursday 17th September – Carnarvon Civic Centre, Carnavon, WA

Turning Wave Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Yass, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 11th September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th September – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 13th September – Country Club, Launceston, TAS
Tuesday 15th September – The Capitol, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 17th September – Kay St Saloon, Traralgon, VIC
Friday 18th September – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Flax in Bloom/The Wind That Shakes The Barley” – Tommy Peoples and Liam O’Flynn

I felt this Friday called for trad. You’re welcome.

Watch the New Gurrumul Video “Amazing Grace” Featuring Paul Kelly

Gurrumul
Image Courtesy of Gurrumul

The lastest video from Gurrumul’s new album The Gospel Album is a stunning version of “Amazing Grace” featuring Australian legend Paul Kelly. “Amazing Grace” is one of those timeless folk songs that everyone is intimately familiar with, yet Gurrumul manages to add something new to the tradition.

Watch “Amazing Grace” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We were very sad to hear that Bellowhead have decided to call it a day. Details here

– Brand new Americana festival Dashville Skyline announced their first round of artists including Wagons, Bahamas (CAN), All Our Exes Live in Texas, Green Mohair Suits, Melody Pool, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, The Lonesome Heroes (USA), Olympia, Bell St Delays, Papa Pilko & The Bin Rats, Perry Keyes, Ben Wright Smith and Elwood Myre. Details here

– Irish band The Frames will release their new album Longitude this month. Details here

– Tonight the legendary Cj Shaw returns to Sydney for one night only. Details here

– Country & Inner Western returns to Sydney this week with music from Cruisin’ Deuces, Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars and Harry Love. Details here

– Nu-folkers Beirut announced details of their upcoming album No No No. Details here

Jenny Lewis has announced a single Sydney headline show when she’s here for Splendour. Details here

– To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Autumn Flow Lior has announced a series of shows in October. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Sam Newton will be premiering his new video “Bill’s Lost Love” at a live show next Friday. Details here

The Staves team with the amazing video series La Blogothèque for their latest video “Teeth White”. Details here

– Sydney’s Lacey Cole & The Lazy Colts released their new video “Slackjaw”. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country legends The Stetson Family will be launching their new album with a gig at the end of July. Details here

Richard Thompson released his new single “Broken Doll”. Details here

Gurrumul has released details of his third studio album, The Gospel Album, and national tour. Details here

– The new Nathaniel Rateliff project Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats release their debut EP today. Details here

– UK nu-folk singer Lucy Rose released her new video “Like An Arrow”. Details here

Frank Turner has announced plans to release his new album Positive Songs For Negative People. Details here

Releases This Week

Nathaniel Rateliff
EPNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Rebecca Bastoli w/ Laura & Susie, Catgut, Poppy Burnett

Bec Bastoli

Rebecca Bastoli has been a huge supporter of local folk music and now it’s your turn to give back as she fundraises for her debut EP. When you add Laura & Susie, Catgut and Poppy Burnett in support you’re in for a pretty sweet show.

Saturday 20th June – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Cj Shaw w/ Echo Deer
Friday 19th June – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Country & Inner Western feat. Cruisin’ Deuces, Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars, Harry Love
Wednesday 24th June – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock & The Spectacles
Saturday 20th June – Clancy’s, Fremantle, WA
Monday 22nd June – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
Sunday 21st June – Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Tuesday 23rd June – AIS Event Centre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th June – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld
Friday 19th June – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Jed Rowe
Friday 19th June – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC

Rebecca Bastoli w/ Laura & Susie, Catgut, Poppy Burnett
Saturday 20th June – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 19th June – Ex-Services Club, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 20th June – Barossa Regional Art Gallery, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 21st June – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA

Sam Newton w/ Direwolf
Friday 26th June – Glebe Justice Centre, Sydney, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers with Run Rabbit Run, Open Swimmer
Friday 19th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Friday 19th June – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 20th June – Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Varsity Lakes, QLD

Tracey McNeil & The Goodlife
Friday 26th June – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall” – Tom Russell

With the recent comments made by Donald Trump and the constant immigration “debate” in this country I was reminded of this song.

Gurrumul Announces The Gospel Album

Gurrumul
Image Courtesy of Gurrumul

Celebrated NT singer-songwriter Gurrumul has announced plans to release his highly anticipated third studio album, The Gospel Album, on the 31st July this year. The album features songs reimagined from the spirituals that were brought to north-east Arnhem Land by the Christian missionaries.

The full track listing for The Gospel Album is below:

1. Jesu
2. Trinity
3. Nhaku Limurr
4. The Sweetest Name
5. All God’s Children (Yo Djamarrkuli)
6. Baptism
7. Garray Jesu (My Lord)
8. Hallelujah
9. Walu (Time)
10. Saviour
11. Amazing Grace
12. Riyala (There Is A River)

To celebrate the release of The Gospel Album Gurrumul has announced a national tour. The full list of dates are as follows:

Wednesday 29th July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd August – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 5th August – Festival Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 8th August – Supersense Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 10th August – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 12th August – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 11th July

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The John Butler Trio have announced a bunch of regional Queensland tour dates this October. Details here

– Regular Sydney jam night Bluegrass @ Yulli’s takes place again this Wednesday featuring There Will Be Banjo. Details here

– Victorian five-piece Sagamore released their twang-indie-pop new single “Feelings”. Details here

– Brisbane prog-folk four piece Elbury have announced an east coast tour kicking off tonight in the Gold Coast. Details here

Old Crow Medicine Show have reworked another unfinished Bob Dylan song for their latest single “Sweet Amarillo”. Details here

– Stream the brand new EP from The Brouhaha, Smile It’s Free before its official launch on the 26th July. Details here

– New Zealand singer-songwriter Aldous Harding has a new album hitting stores later this month. Details here

– Australian country royalty Kasey Chambers is releasing her tenth studio album, Bittersweet, this August. Details here

– The fabulous Fanny Lumsden has announced tour dates in WA with Ruby Boots as well as an appearance at the Darwin Festival. Details here

– Folktronica artist Rose Wintergreen has released her new video “This City”. Details here

– Sydney duo Jep and Dep have announced a string of dates to support their new single “Babe Come Down”. Details here

– A new tribute album to Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. record featuring Americana artists like Jason Isbell, Joe Pug, Trampled by Turtles, Justin Townes Earle and more has been announced. Details here

Wagons released the new claymation clip to their track “Chase the Eclipse”. Details here

– Bellowhead have recorded a track by track video for their excellent new album Revival. Details here

– Sydney based folk-rock quintet Citizen of the World have released their new video “Citizen of Million Lives”. Details here

– If you missed Blair Dunlop’s performance at the Port Fairy Folk Festival this year you can stream his set online. Details here

– Check out the new single from the UK’s Seán McGowan, “Come Unstuck”, featuring Frank Turner on backing vocals. Details here

Ryan Adams has announced plans for a brand new self-titled album. Details here

– Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins has just released his new solo album and his new video “Wave As We Run”. Details here

Releases This Week

Sometimes Life
Sometimes LifeDan and Amy
Bandcamp

Broken Lines
Broken LinesPatrick James
iTunes

Vagabond
VagabondStu Larsen
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Husky

Husky

Friday 18th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Jen Cloher

Jen Cloher

Jen Cloher returns to Sydney for her only planned headline show of 2014, complete with full band

Friday 18th July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s
Wednesday 16th July – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Caitlin Park
Friday 11th July – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Clare Bowditch with Adalita
Friday 11th July – Festival of Voices Tasmania, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart TAS
Thursday 17th July – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 18th July – The Corner Hotel, Richmond, VIC

Elbury
Friday 11th July – Mandala Organic Arts Café, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 12th July – Riverfront Café, Evans Head, NSW
Tuesday 15th July – Bar 34 Bondi, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 16th July – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 17th July – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Fanny Lumsden and The Thrillseekers with Ruby Boots
Friday 18th July – Tooma Hall, Tooma, NSW

Husky
Friday 18th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Imogen Clark (above), Darcy Fox and Paige Renee Court
Sunday 13th July – The Vine Hotel, Wangaratta, VIC
Wednesday 16th July – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 18th July – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Jeff Lang
Friday 11th July – Mullumbimby Town Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 12th July – Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD
Sunday 13th July – The Ruins, Darwin, NT
Friday 18th July – Williamstown RSL, Williamstown, VIC

Jen Cloher
Friday 18th July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 11th July – MoFo Folk Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows
Sunday 13th July – Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Friday 18th July – Holgate Brewery, Wooden, VIC

Little Bastard
Friday 11th July – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 12th July – Railway Friendly Bar, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 13th July – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Mark Wilkinson
Saturday 12th July – Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney, NSW

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams
Thursday 17th July – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 18th July – Leaps & Bounds Festival, Fitzroy Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC

MoFo at The Gaelic feat. Justin Bernasconi, Spyglass Gypsies, Brendan Reed Dennis
Friday 11th July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 11th July – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Peasant Moon
Sunday 13th July – Menagerie at The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Rose Wintergreen
Thursday 17th July – The Ararat Hotel, Ararat, VIC

The Audreys
Friday 11th July – Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA

The Beards
Friday 11th July – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 12th July – Port Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 13th July – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Wednesday 16th July – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 17th July – The Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday 18th July – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC

The Man in Black feat. Tex Perkins
Tuesday 15th July – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 16th July – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th July – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th July – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 11th July – Hotel High Plains, Dinner Plain, VIC
Saturday 12th July – The General, Mt Hotham, VIC

The String Contingent
Sunday 13th July – The Old Courthouse, Gunning, NSW

The Yearlings
Friday 11th July – No 5, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 12th July – The Block (PRIVATE FUNCTION), Martinsville, NSW
Sunday 13th July – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 17th July – Django, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th July – Smiths Alternative Book Shop, Canberra, ACT

Tom Stephens
Friday 11th July – The Aztec, Forster, NSW
Saturday 12th July – Private House Show, Forster, NSW
Sunday 13th July – Goldfish, Hunter Valley, NSW
Friday 18th July – TBA, Byron Bay, NSW

Tracy McNeil
Friday 11th July – The Stag & Hunter, Mayfield, Maitland, NSW
Saturday 12th July – Junkyard, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 13th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 18th July – Baha Taco Joint, Rye, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Warwu” – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Missy Higgins

We hope you’ve been celebrating National NAIDOC Week by listening to some of your favourite indigenous folky artists. We thought we’d help you along with this stunning version of “Warwu” featuring Gurrumul and Missy Higgins from the 2011 ARIA Awards.

Splendour in the Grass 2013 Lays on the Folk

Mumford and Sons
Image Courtesy of Mumford and Sons

You’ve no doubt seen the massive Splendour in the Grass lineup that was released this morning – we’re far far far from the first blog to run these names and we’ll unlikely be the last. We just felt we had to comment on just how many Timber and Steel friendly indie-folk and acoustic acts are on the bill this year – including the headliners Mumford and Sons in their only Australian show of the visit.

Along with the Mumfords there’s also Laura Marling, Of Monsters & Men, Matt Corby, Boy & Bear, Sarah Blasko, Gurrumul, Daughter, Vance Joy, Art Of Sleeping and so many many more.

Splendour in the Grass runs from the 26th to the 28th July in the North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay. Tickets are on sale on the 2nd May. Check out the full lineup in the video below:

Port Fairy Reveals First Lineup

Lisa Hannigan
Image Courtesy of Lisa Hannigan

Following a few “leaks” – the most exciting of which was the addition of Eric Bogle and Arlo Guthrie – the Port Fairy Folk Festival finally announced its 2013 lineup yesterday featuring a mixture of already-confirmed touring artists and exciting new additions. The official lineup includes Arlo Guthrie, Eric Bogle, Finbar Furey, Glen Hansard, Gurrumul, Kim Churchill, Lisa Hannigan (above), The Little Stevies, Tuba Skinny and many more

The Port Fairy Folk Festival takes place from the 8th to 11th March with tickets available at the official web site. The full lineup announced so far is below:

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Hass, Arlo Guthrie, Blue Shaddy, Chris Smither, Christine Anu, Eric Bogle, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Finbar Furey, Glen Hansard, Go Jane Go, Grace Barbe Afro Kreol, Gurrumul Yunupingu, John McCutcheon, Kate Miller-Heidke, Kim Churchill, Lisa Hannigan (above), Ruthie Foster, Suzannah Espie, Tank Dilemma, The Bedroom Philosopher, The Bostocks, The Hog Stompin’ Zydegators, The Little Stevies, The Popes, Tom Richardson Project, Tuba Skinny

First Round of Artists for the Blue Mountains Music Festival 2013

Gurrumul
Image Courtesy of Gurrumul

The latest festival to give us a glimpse at their 2013 lineup is the wonderful Blue Mountains Music Festival. Held in Katoomba on the 15th, 16th and 17th March the Blue Mountains of Music Festival celebrates the best in folk, roots and contemporary music and is close to one of our favourite festivals of the year.

And a big part of that is the artists they’re able to attract. In this announcement alone we have the likes of Arlo Guthrie, Gurrumul (above), Luka Bloom, Seth Lakeman, Ngaiire, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Kim Churchill, The April Maze, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Jack Carty, Nick And Liesl, Bellyache Ben And The Steamgrass Boys and many more fine performers. See what we mean?

Tickets to the 2013 Blue Mountains Music Festival go on sale mid November – for more information check out the official site. The full lineup announced so far is below:

Arlo Guthrie, Gurrumul, Luka Bloom, Zoe Keating, Chris Smither, London Klezmer Quartet, Seth Lakeman, Sarah Lee Guthrie And Johnny Irion, Joseph Tawadros Trio, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Ngaiire, Spooky Mens Chorale, Mike Mcclellan, Red Molly, Kieran Kane, David Francey & Lucas Kane, Sean Taylor, The Popes, The Volatinsky Trio, Kim Churchill, Sue Ray, The April Maze, Fiona Boyes, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Jack Carty, Nick And Liesl, A.J. Leonard’s Tropical Lounge, Bellyache Ben And The Steamgrass Boys, The Field, Gabe Andrews, Imogen Clark, Laura Zarb, The Three Sisters

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Roland K Smith & The Sinners are launching their debut album Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls with a month long Wednesday night residency at The Sandringham Hotel in Sydney. Special guests throughout the month include Billygoat & The Mongrels, Handsome Young Strangers, CJ Shaw & The Blow Ins, The Green Mohair Suits, Emma Swift and many many more. Details here.

– The first single from Leroy Lee’s upcoming Arcadia EP, the Nick Drake-esque “Window Sill” was released and we really dig it. Leroy Lee will be launching his EP on the 9th August at FBi Social in Sydney. Details here.

– Following a successful performance at Splendour over the weekend Missy Higgins has announced another national tour this summer with Gurrumul and Emma Louise in support. Details here.

– We fell in love with Sydney musician Mammals who released his gorgeous single “Carried” earlier this month. Details here.

– Sydney six-piece Little Bastard have announced a Thursday night residency at the Oxford Art Factory’s Gallery Bar throughout August and they’re bringing a bunch of friends with them. Details here.

– Folk music legend Billy Bragg will be visiting our shores in October and November for a series of two part shows – the first half celebrating Woody Guthrie, the second half covering Bragg’s own material. Details here.

– Adelaide folky Vorn Doolette gave Timber and Steel an exclusive stream of his brand new album The Further Adventures of Vorn Doolette. Details here.

– The newly christened Fanny Lumsden & the Thrillseekers released a wonderfully country video for their new single “Firing Line”, shot in Lumsden’s home town of Tallimba. Details here.

Nick Cave latest foray into film, Lawless, will feature a bluegrass and country soundtrack featuring Cave and Warren Ellis as The Bootleggers along with music from Emmylou Harris, Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) and Ralph Stanley. Details here.

– Sydney duo Jep&Dep released their official debut single “The Fall of the Leaves Never Cease” with a moody black and white video. Details here.

Ben and the Sea released their latest single “Snow” which we managed to get a stream of. Details here.

Chugg Entertainment have revealed a shortlist of 20 Australian towns where Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road event might take place as well as a competition to guess the correct one. Details here.

Rob Young, the author of the outstanding book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music which chronicles the rise of Brittish folk music from the 19th century to today, has put together a companion soundtrack double album featuring the likes of Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Steeleye Span, David Bowie, Nick Drake and many many more. Details here.

Grizzly Bear revealed the latest track from their upcoming album Shields, titled “Yet Again”. The band will be in Australia this November for Harvest. Details here.

– Australian/Swedish duo Nick and Liesl have announced a series of East Coast dates including their first shows in Sydney and Canberra for over a year. Details here.

Cordial Factory are everywhere at the moment and with good reason – they produce some gorgeous folk music. Their new track “What Did You Ask For” has just had its video released and we love it. Details here.

Releases This Week

Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls
Breaking Hearts and Saving SoulsRoland K Smith & The Sinners
iTunes

Hollywood
HollywoodThe Falls
iTunes

Further Adventures
The Further Adventures of Vorn DooletteVorn Doolette
Official Site

Timber and Steel Presents

Whitaker
Whitaker (with Roscoe James Irwin and Blue Sun)
Sunday 4th August – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys and The Green Mohair Suits
Sunday 5th August – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Cordial Factory with The Former Love and Secondhand Heart
Wednesday 8th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, QLD

Dan and Hannah Acfield
Saturday 4th August – Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Darwin Festival
9th to 26th August – Darwin, NT

Jinja Safari
Wednesday 8th August – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Thursday 9th August – Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 10th August – The Hi-fi, Melbourne, VIC

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp
Saturday 4th August – Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville, QLD

Lanie Lane
Friday 10th August – Stones of the Yarra Valley, Coldstream, VIC

Leroy Lee (with Sui Zhen and Eli Wolfe)
Thursday 9th August – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Little Bastard (with Papa Pilko & the Bin Rats and Jack Dawson)
Thursday 9th August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

MoFo feat. The Leichhardt International Ukestra and Stephen O’Hern
Friday 10th August – The Gaelic Club (Upstairs), Sydney, NSW

Nick and Liesl
Friday 10th August – Catharsis at The J Theatre – Noosa, QLD

Punch Brothers
Monday 6th August – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 8th August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th August – Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Adelaide, SA

Roland K Smith & The Sinners with Billygoat & The Mongrels and The Ramalamas
Wednesday 8th August – Sandringham Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The AU Review 4th Birthday Party (Fanny Lumsden, Winter People)
Saturday 3rd August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 3rd August – Magnums Hotel, Airlie Beach, QLD
Saturday 4th August – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 5th August – Brothers Leagues, Cairns, QLD
Friday 10th August – Coolum Civic Centre, Coolum, QLD

The Falls
Saturday 4th August – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th August – Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC

The Good Ship
Friday 3rd August – Great Northern, Newcastle NSW
Saturday 4th August – Good God Small Club, Sydney, NSW

The Rescue Ships
Friday 3rd August – The Front Bar, Canberra, ACT

Friday Folk Flashback

“Rye Whiskey” – Punch Brothers

With three Australia shows in the coming week (Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide) we’re officially dubbing this Punch Brothers Week. This was the song that first turned us onto the band and we’ve never looked back since. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to one of the Punch Brothers gigs we’ll see you there!

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