The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2016

Little Drummer Boy

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie & The Barrows – “Christmas Brand New”

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

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

Brooke Annibale – “This Holiday”

Caroline Pennell Feat. Aaron Espe – “This Year”

Miranda Dodson – “Christmas Glow”

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

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

Freedom Fry – “Oh Santa (Bad World)”

Woodsy Pride – “It’s Merry Christmas”

Marié Digby – “Venice Beach Christmas”

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

Low – “Some Hearts (at Christmas Time)”

Jack Skuller – “Stuck In This Holiday”

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

Loretta Lynn – “To Heck with Ole Santa Claus”

Skinner and T’witch – “The Winter Song”

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

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

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

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

Jennifer Licko – “The Holly and the Ivy”

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

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

The Secret Sisters – “The Little Drummer Boy”

Hattie Briggs & Natalie Holmes – “Christmas Bells”

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 24th October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Woodford Folk Festival dropped its massive 2014 lineup including Violent Femmes (USA), The Cat Empire, Archie Roach, Nahko and Medicine for the People (USA), Jeff Lang, Lau (SCOT), Tiny Ruins (NZ), We Two Thieves, Shooglenifty (SCOT), Flap!, Husky, Lior, Mama Kin, Siskin River, Andrew Clermont, The Mae Trio, Fred Smith, Lucy Wise Trio, Oh Pep!, Betty & Oswald, The Company and so so so much more. Details here

The Staves released their latest video “Blood I Bled”. Details here

The National Folk Festival revealed its first six 2015 artists including Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Mark Moldre, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, Fred Smith, Chloë and Jason Roweth and Dark Horses. Details here

– The Port Fairy Folk Festival have added Buffy Sainte-Marie and Richard Thompson to their 2015 lineup. Details here

– Another festival to reveal its lineup this week was the Illawarra Folk Festival who added to the likes of Afenginn, Eric Bogle, Ted Egan, Big Erle, The Bottlers, The BordererS, Chloë and Jason Roweth, Claude Hay, Cloudstreet, Fred Smith, The Go Set, Lime & Steel, The Lurkers, The Mae Trio, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Martin Pearson, The Morrisons, Sparrow-Folk, Stray Hens, Takadimi, Timothy James Bowen and many more to its 2015 program. Details here

Passenger released his brand new video “27”. Details here

– The new track from Caitlin Park, “Hunt for the Young” featuring Aidan Roberts (The Maple Trail) now has a brand new video. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk band Georgia Fair have announced a handful of shows for November. Details here

– UK based singer-songwriter Hattie Briggs released her new video “Share Your Heart”. Details here

– Perth’s Joel Barker gives us a laugh with his new video “Casual Batman”. Details here

– Blue Mountains roots trio Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars have announced a massive national tour from next week. Details here

Lachlan Bryan and Harmony James have announced a joint tour this November. Details here

– The October edition of Little Features takes place tomorrow night and will feature The Bon Scotts, Ella Fence, Ollie Brown and more. Details here

The Wilson Pickers are reuniting for a series shows in Victoria this November. Details here

The Bearded Gypsy Band will be touring their new EP Leaving Town this November and December. Details here

Interviews

“I’m from a place called Lyttelton which is just outside of Christchurch. It’s a town of about 3,000 people but per capeta it’s got the most country music of any place I’ve ever been to. Inexplicably – I don’t know why there would be country music there. Before we had the earthquakes there were about six or seven really good venues in a town of 3,000. Now there’s two or three”Marlon Williams chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Eddie Berman
PolyhymniaEddie Berman
iTunes

Jep and Dep
Word Got OutJep and Dep
Bandcamp

Lanie Lane
Night ShadeLanie Lane
iTunes

Pepperjack
Buckles & BruisesPepperjack
iTunes

The Staves
Blood I BledThe Staves
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Country & Inner Western feat. Shane Nicholson, Jenny Queen, Ruby Boots, Andy Golledge, The Morrisons

Country and Inner Western

The Country & Inner Western nights in Sydney have become legendary, with some of the countries best and brightest folk, alt-country and Americana artists getting together for one big jam session. This time around Shane Nicholson, Jenny Queen and Ruby Boots, Andy Golledge will take to the stage with local Sydney legends The Morrisons playing ad jamming throughout the night.

Wednesday 29th October – GoodGod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 24th October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 25th October – Katoomba RSL, Blue Mountains, NSW
Sunday 26th October – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Buby Marou
Friday 24th October – Kidgeeridge Music Festival, Conjola, NSW (Full Band)
Saturday 25th October – Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, Windsor, NSW (Full Band)
Thursday 30th October – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 31st October – Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW

Caitlin Park
Saturday 25th October – The Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Country & Inner Western feat. Shane Nicholson, Jenny Queen, Ruby Boots, Andy Golledge, The Morrisons
Wednesday 29th October – GoodGod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 31st October – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th October – Dorrigo, NSW

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Thursday 30th October – Some Velvet Morning, Clifton Hill, VIC
Friday 31st October – The Crown and Sceptre, Adelaide, SA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Andy Brown, The Mae Trio
Friday 31st October – Isisford, QLD

Fred Smith
Saturday 25th October – Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW

Jack Carty
Thursday 30th October – Babushka Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

JamGrass Music Festival
Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Jep and Dep
Friday 24th October – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Saturday 25th October – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st October – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Katie Noonan, Angie Hart, Melody Pool, Sam Buckingham
Thursday 30th October – Artbar, Perth, WA

Lanie Lane
Wednesday 29th October – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 30th October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 31st October – Anita’s, Wollongong, NSW

Little Features feat. The Bon Scotts, Ella Fence, Ollie Brown
Saturday 25th October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Liz Stringer
Friday 31st October – Basement Discs In Store, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st October – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Mark Moldre
Thursday 30th October – Quattro, Erina, NSW

Mark Wilkinson
Sunday 26th October – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 31st October – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Missy Higgins
Saturday 25th October – AEC – Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 29th October – Regent Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Nikki Lane and The Delines with Ruby Boots
Friday 24th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Oh Pep!
Thursday 30th October – Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford, VIC

One Up, Two Down and Dan Parsons
Friday 24th October – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th October – Dorrigo Folk And Bluegrass Fest, NSW
Tuesday 28th October – Mother’s Milk, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Wednesday 29th October – Newcastle Uni, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 30th October – Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 31st October – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Out on the Weekend
Sunday 26th October – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD

Sahara Beck
Friday 24th October – The Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 25th October – Babushka, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 1st November – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Newton
Friday 24th October – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 25th October – Belongil Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 29th October – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 30th October – The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 31st October – Roundabout Inn, Gloucester, NSW

Steve Smyth
Sunday 26th October – The Wollombi Tavern, Wollombi, NSW
Friday 31st October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Blues and Roots Festival
Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th October – Windsor, NSW

Tattletale Saints
Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November – JamGrass, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 5th November – Araluen Town Hall, Araluen, NSW
Thursday 6th November – The Front Gallery and Café, Canberra, ACT
Friday 7th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Acfields
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th October – Tablelands Folk Festival, Atherton, QLD
Thursday 30th October – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa, QLD
Friday 31st October – Rainbow Beach Hotel, Rainbow Beach, QLD

The Gloaming
Saturday 25th October – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, NSW
Monday 27th October – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 24th October – The Substation, Newport, VIC
Saturday 25th October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 24th October – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25th October – Swagger Music Festival, Mountain View Hotel, Wandiligong, VIC
Friday 31st October – Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Ballad of ’75” – Roaring Jack

There have been a lot of musical tributes to the late Gough Whitlam this week, many featuring “From Little Things Big Things Grow” from Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody and of course “Gough” by The Whitlams. I thought I’d add this Roaring Jack/Alistair Hulett classic to the mix. Maintain your rage and enthusiasm!

Watch the New Hattie Briggs Video “Share Your Heart”

Hattie Briggs
Image Courtesy of Hattie Briggs

I predicted that you’d be hearing a lot more from Hattie Briggs – and lo and behold we have a brand new video. The new track is “Share Your Heart” and it’s already creating a bit of buzz on the folk blogs.

Check out the video below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Genre defying singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow released his new video “Look Out”. Details here

– Sydney trio Little May have released their new video “Dust” and have a national tour planned this November with Winterbourne. Details here

– The next Little Features takes place in Sydney this Saturday featuring Caitlin Harnett, Hannah Rosa and Jon Reichardt along with poetry from Kaveh and live art from Sally Conwell. Details here

Dallas Green and Pink gave us a little more information on what went into their new folk project You+Me. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Jack Carty has announced 25 additional dates for his album launch tour this October, November and December. Details here

Ryan Adams released his new video “My Wrecking Ball”. Details here

Fred Smith kicked off his album launch tour yesterday. Details here

The Perch Creek Family Jugband are hitting the road when they return to Australia next month for an east coast tour. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Hattie Briggs released her new video “Old Eyes”. Details here

– Canadian singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega released her new video “Lived and Died Alone”. Details here

– Folk rock legends The Levellers have collaborated with Imelda May, Frank Turner and Billy Bragg on new versions of their classic tracks. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Hozier has released his new single “Take Me To Church”. Details here

All Our Exes Live In Texas have released their hilarious new clip for “Tell Me” staring Jake Stone, Phil Jamieson, Jackson Gallagher and Lawrence Leung. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Ruby Boots, “Oh Lover”. Details here

– Sydney’s Jep and Dep revealed details of their new album Word Got Out along with the video for “Granted” and tour dates from this October. Details here

– Folk trio RAPT will be launching their self-titled album at Folk By The Sea tomorrow. Details here

Interviews

“I enjoyed writing songs and when I went to record the first album I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a great deal of direction. I had the songs that were acoustic and that was the way they were so I didn’t want to stray too far from the way that I’d written them. Luckily Anthony Lycenko and Ben McCarthy who co-produced that one, they got me onto people like Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams, along those sort of Americana, alt-country lines. It fit very well. Those guys knew what they were doing so under their guidance and advice, off I went”Brad Butcher chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I love country music. It’s only been this year. I recently went away to Europe and all I listened to was Gillian Welch, Bill Callahan, Johnny Cash – all my favourites. And I was like “You know what Bree? You loved country music. Don’t be ashamed of it anymore”. I used to be really apologetic about it but now I know that I love it”Bree De Rome chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Billy The Kid
Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesBilly The Kid
iTunes

Jack Carty
EskJack Carty
iTunes

Lost Brothers
New Songs Of Dawn and DustThe Lost Brothers
Official Site

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Folk By The Sea

Button Collective

Today, Saturday and Sunday Kiama in NSW will be getting its folk on with the Folk By The Sea festival hitting town. A bunch of Timber and Steel’s favourite artists are playing including Mic Conway & Phil Donnison, The Bottlers, The Button Collective, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan, RAPT and many more. Who’s thinking road trip?

Friday 26th to Sunday 27th September – Kiama, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Angus and Julia Stone
Friday 26th September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Boy & Bear
Friday 26th September – Bunbury Entertainment Centre, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 28th September – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Castlecomer
Friday 26th September – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 27th September – Spring Soiree, Toowoomba, QLD
Sunday 28th September – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Cat Canteri
Friday 26th September – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Saturday 27th September – Queens St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 27th September – St Martin’s Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Sunday 28th September – LiveSpark, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 28th September – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 2nd October – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 3rd October – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Andy Brown, The Mae Trio
Thursday 2nd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Friday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD

Folk By The Sea
Friday 26th to Sunday 27th September – Kiama, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 26th September – Taste Canowindra, Canowindra, NSW
Saturday 27th September – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 3rd October – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW

Green Mohair Suits
Friday 26th September – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 28th September – The Junction hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 3rd October – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Helen Begley and Penny Larkin
Sunday 28th September – Sappho Books Cafe, Sydney, NSW

Lacey Cole
Friday 3rd October – St John’s Glebe, Sydney, NSW

Little Features feat. Caitlin Harnett, Hannah Rosa, Jon Reichardt
Saturday 27th October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Missy Higgins
Friday 26th September – The Events Centre Theatre, Caloundra, QLD
Saturday 27th September – BCEC – Great Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 28th September – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD
Tuesday 30th September – GCAC – Arts Theatre, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 1st October – Lismore City Hall – Churchill Auditorium, Lismore, NSW
Friday 3rd October – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 26th September – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Sahara Beck
Sunday 28th September – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 3rd October – Studio 188, Ipswich, QLD

Steve Smyth
Friday 26th September – Baroque Bar, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 28th September – The Rhythm Hut, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 3rd October – The Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo, VIC

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 3rd October – Turner Bowls Club, Canberra, ACT

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD

Wagons
Friday 26th September – Under the Clothesline, Perth, WA
Saturday 27th September – Wave Rock Festival, WA

Wollombi Music Festival
Saturday 27th September – Wollombi, NSW

Xander Smith
Sunday 28th September – Wave Rock Weekender, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Big Sciota” – David Benedict

So I get obsessed with fiddle tunes and this is my current obsession. There’s literally hundreds of versions out there (it’s a bluegrass and old timey standard) but I just like the clean recording on David Benedict’s recording.

Watch the New Hattie Briggs Video “Old Eyes”

Hattie Briggs
Image Courtesy of Hattie Briggs

I think you’re going to be hearing a lot from Hattie Briggs. The English singer-songwriter was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2014 and has been scoring some pretty sweet festival spots and supports in the UK.

Her new single is “Old Eyes” which has a nice, simple video to go along with it. Check out Hattie Briggs’ “Old Eyes” below:

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