The Port Fairy Folk Festival Announces More Artists for 2018

Port Fairy
Image Courtesy of Port Fairy Folk Festival

The early bird tickets for the 2018 Port Fairy Folk Festival have just gone on sale and the festival has just announced a bunch of new artists on the lineup.

This time around Port Fairy has announced Amistat, Ben Waters Band (UK) with Derek Nash (UK), Black Sorrows, Blair Dunlop (UK), Davidson Brothers, Frank Burkitt Band (NZ), Lily & King, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Rory Ellis Trio, Ted Egan, Victoriana Gaye, Brian Nankervis, 10 String Symphony (USA), The Grigoryan Brothers with Adam Page, Hillbilly Goats, Hussy Hicks, Josienne Clarke & Ben Waters (UK), King Marong & Afro Mandinko, La Busca, Lost Ragas and more.

They join the likes of Alan Kelly Gang, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Harry Manx, The Ahern Brothers, The Teskey Brothers and many more.

The Port Fairy Folk Festival is held in Port Fairy, Victoria from the 9th to the 12th March. For more information check out the official site here.

More Artists Added to the 2017 Queenscliff Music Festival

QMF
Image Courtesy of Queenscliff Music Festival

The Queenscliff Music Festival has this week added a bunch more artists to its already huge 2018 lineup.

Joining the Queenscliff Music Festival this time around are Andie Isalie, Black Rabbit George, Caiti Baker, Creek, Hussy Hicks, The Imprints, James Franklin, Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence, The Mae Trio, Miss Eileen & King Lear, Pat Tierney, Sex On Toast, Spiritus, Ukulele Death Squad and Vince Peach.

These artists will be joining the likes of The East Pointers, Irish Mythen, Lindi Ortega, Bernard Fanning, Mama Kin & Spender, The Teskey Brothers, Xavier Rudd, Bob Evans, Hat Fitz & Cara, Little Georgia, The Wilson Pickers and many many more.

Along with the new artists the Queenscliff Music Festival has also announced their comedy lineup including Ivan Aristeguieta, Harley Breen, Demi Lardner and Nath Valvo.

The Queenscliff Music Festival is held in Queenscliff, Victoria from the 24th to 26th November – check out the official site for more details including the full list of artists announced so far.

The Mullum Music Festival Announces Full Lineup

Mullum
Image Courtesy of The Mullum Music Festival

Having already announced the first ten artists for their 10 year anniversary the Mullum Music Festival has this week revealed its full 2017 lineup, and boy are you going to be excited.

As always the festival includes more a bunch of folk, roots, Americana and acoustic artists including the likes of Marlon Williams, Frazey Ford, Lindi Ortega, Harry James Angus, Z-Star Delta, Tinpan Orange, The Teskey Brothers, Mama Kin Spender, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Vance Gilbert, Liz Stringer, Suzannah Espie, Wallis Bird, Áine Tyrrell, The East Pointers, Irish Mythen, Loren Kate, Hussy Hicks, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Sara Tindley, Sal Kimber & the Rollin’ Wheel, The Twoks, Angie Hudson, Rebecca Ireland, Cecilia Brandolini, Domini Forster, Heartworn Highway, Jimmy Dowling, Low Down Riders, Queen Porter Stomp and many more.

The Mullum Music Festival takes place in Mullumbimby, NSW from the 16th to the 19th November. Fore more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full list of artists for 2017 is below:

Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen (us), Marlon Williams (NZ), Frazey Ford (CAN), Lindi Ortega (CAN), Harry James Angus, Too Many Zooz (US), Jazz Party, Z-Star Delta (UK), Tinpan Orange, Gabriel Garzon-Montano (USA), OKA, The Teskey Brothers, Mama Kin Spender, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Small Halls feat. Vance Gilbert (US) and Liz Stringer, Suzannah Espie, Wallis Bird (IRE), Ron Artis II (USA), Áine Tyrrell (IRE), Sex On Toast, The East Pointers (CAN), Irish Mythen (IRE/CAN), King Tide, Ladyslug, Brian Nankervis, Mandy Nolan, Joel Salom, Dustyesky, Gabriel Otu Orchestra (GH), Moussa Diakite and Wassado (Mali/AU), Ollie McGill Trio, Greg Sheehan, Loren Kate, The Coconut Kids, Jojo Smith, Hussy Hicks, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Scott Cook (CAN) Sara Tindley, Sal Kimber & the Rollin Wheel, Charles Maimarosia (Sol Is) His Merry Men, The Twoks, Angie Hudson, Rebecca Ireland, Ethno Folk Orchestra, Cecilia Brandolini, Domini Forster, Heartworn Highway, Jimmy Dowling, Levingstone, Low Down Riders, Mandy Hawkes, Megan And The Vegans, Palm Wine Ambassadors, Queen Porter Stomp, Raku One O’Gaia, Sal Wonder, Shanteya and Jo The Lion and the Leaves, Tin Can String Band, Titan Sky, Ukulele Death Squad, Vesica Pisces, Welcome To Country, The Biggest Little Town Choir, Roundabout Theatre, Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Spaghetti Circus, Bollywood Sisters, The Magic Bus, Workshops

Review: 5 things we learned at Bluesfest

Kale plays at Bluesfest 2016Kaleo playing Bluesfest
Photos by Stuart Bucknell

Year after year, Bluesfest manages to bring the big names and the impressive acts to Byron Bay for the annual Easter pilgrimage. Heading to Bluesfest this year, we really didn’t know many of the acts listed on the bill and wondered just what was in store for us, Timber and Steel wise. So here’s 5 things we learned at this year’s wildly successful, ultimate music sampler opportunity that is, Bluesfest.

#1 – Peter Noble knows how to program…

One thing is for sure, Peter Noble knows how to curate an inclusive, diverse and engaging festival. The big names drew enormous crowds to all their sets. City and Colour had the crowd from the first note and Dallas Green was on form all night.  The Decemberists gave their usual charming set delving in to a fabulous back catalogue of favourites. Not to go without a bit of political comment, they also played a song they thought to offer Donald Trump as his new campaign tune, ‘The Calamity Song’. The Cat Empire delivered a solid hour and a half set jam packed with both new tracks and past hits and favourites to wow the crowd. The biggest coup was probably The Original Blues Brothers Band closing out the weekend with a stellar set of their signature blues.

The festival was dappled with big names throughout the program. Archie Roach was in fine form, weaving his musical spell over the crowd and telling the tales of the land with strength and beauty, and a focus on songs from Charcoal Lane, the title track being a particular stand out moment of the set. Jason Isbell had his one an only set up against The Original Blues Brothers Band, so splitting our time between the two was challenging but rewarding as Isbell’s enigmatic style caught watchers in it’s thrall delivering a contemporary counterpoint to the old school blues on the other stage.

Kim Churchill plays BluesfestBut one of the most notable names for me, still playing midday sets, was Kim Churchill. Getting his big break on the Bluesfest Buskers stage all those years ago, Churchill has been a staple name on the line up ever since. His absence in 2015 was noted and the crowds that gathered for this sets this year spoke strongly of his popularity for the Bluesfest crowd. Watching him command the stage, with the occasional accompaniment of a fiddle player or percussionists, was a joy to witness and testament to the following he has. It felt like he had come home, and in the process had evolved from a keen boy with a guitar to a passionate man with a solid musical career stretching before him.

#2 – It’s never just about the Blues. Folk, Country, and Americana all strongly represented in 2016

Strolling from stage to stage, the peeling licks and plucky chords of the more folky persuasion were both notable and popular with punters, letting us stumble across all kinds of gems.  LA based Lord Huron made quite the entrance with a tension building soundscape and crescendo, an upbeat strummy and infectious style, inventive percussion beneath the acoustic lead and an ability to morph between styles, from the old school feel reminiscent of the 50s and 60s summer soundtracks, through alt country and indie folk rock vibes. A particular highlight from the four-piece was ‘Hurricane’, billed as a song about “getting in trouble”, turns out it was aptly named.

Described as an Icelandic Indie pop/rock/folk band, Kaleo was a light and lyrical delight. Building from their delicate opening style to gutsy, rhythm driven choruses, through alt-country sensibilities to deep southern style blues, and a soulful cover of Bang Bang, Kaleo didn’t hesitate to transcend styles and genres to sign off with a blues rock riff and howling vocals when warranted.

The Bros Landreth, hailing from Canada, brought their alt-country and folk laden cover of Wings’ ‘Let ‘Em In’ to break the ice and then let the Americana tinged goodness flow forth. A family affair, big brother David couldn’t attend so father Wally came in his place and whipped the crowd in to a cheering craze.

The Mastersons were touring with Steve Earle & The Dukes, and made appearances both on Earle’s sets and one of their own solo shows for Bluesfest. Their lyrical country styling, featuring voices working together in diverse melodic harmony gave their day opening set a contemplative mood, transporting the crowd to simpler days. Earle’s set was one great big treat of blues soaked tunes with toe-tapping jivey bluegrass edge, all with the sweet country counterpoint of The Mastersons.

Hound mouth playing Bluesfest 2016

It seemed to be a fatherly affair this Bluesfest, with Hussy Hicks welcoming Julz’s dad Greg to their set to deliver some blistering harmonica to their upbeat tempo and at times Joplin-esque wails and passion. Indiana’s Houndmouth however had no dad’s on their line up but did have plenty of twangy blues and American drawl to open their show and unravel your soul where you stood.

#3 – Word of Mouth is King

You know when you look at a line up and you’re not really sure what acts to check out? Well Bluesfest was that way inclined for many but within the first 8 hours, gossip was abuzz with recommendations and wild tales of phenomenal shows and must see acts to catch. So here’s what we checked out based purely on word of mouth.

Steve Smyth plays at Bluesfest 2016

OK, so Steve Smyth isn’t exactly news to us, but the stir on site had his name on the tips of peoples tongues and boy did he live up to the hype. Sheer genius stood on that stage in the form of master lyricist and vibrant stage presence. Smyth’s beautiful voice and stunning vibrato was just powerful solo as with the support backing instrumentalists. His performance of ‘Southland’ blew socks off across the festival.

Shooglenifty, also known as ‘that band I can’t pronounce’, was not what you expect when you read “Celtic” on the program, but a glorious blend of traditional highland derived tunes that were heavy on the fiddle and a mandolin at the ready, intricately twined with modern rhythms, a few electric guitars and a toe tapping beat, drew punters in before they could saunter too far past the heaving tent.

Blind Boy Paxton plays at Bluesfest 2016

The was no way to walk through the site without hearing the name, Blind Boy Paxton. Listening to his set was like a walk through time, from a fiddle calling a country dance and bransles, to a lightning speed banjo frenzy, a soothing guitar tune and even a lone harmonica telling you it’s tale. All this from one man on stage – simply astonishing.

#4 – The Ladies are out in force! And you should catch all of them live

There was a lot of talk about various acts, and word of mouth certainly got us to see some great performers, but thanks to emphatic and multiple recommendations from all kinds of punters, we discovered some of the most phenomenal women who stamped their mark and left as some of the powerhouses of Bluesfest.

We caught Sahara Beck for her last set and were immediately struck by her stage presence, the smooth set up with band and back up singers added the pizazz to her swag and gave her sultry vibe a ‘pop’ on stage.

Elle King had tongues wagging as word spread that after her first, expletive laden set, her set list had to be ‘revised’. However her husky, growling vocal licks were well and truly flowing when we caught her set in a heaving tent overflowing in to the customary Bluesfest rain. Sass and attitude would be the plainest way of describing King, her vibrancy comes from her musical versatility and ability to weave country vibes and bluegrassy panache throughout her ballsy bluesy set. A chameleon of style, King bowled over crowds with big notes, fiery wit and feisty repartee.

Elle King plays at Bluesfest 2016

Hailing from Ireland, via Canada, Irish Mythen is a modern troubadour equipped with a powerhouse voice and emphatic lyrics. Mythen might have been the grittiest, most real musician seen at Bluesfest this year, armed only with her guitar and her stories, she held hundreds of people spellbound, hanging on her every word any time she took to the stage. We caught her multiple times, and laughed, cried, cheered and sung along to songs we had only heard the first time days before. She regularly had the crowd in stitches with her sense of humour and story telling capers, and woe betide any punter brave enough to heckle her! Four stand out moments stayed with me, even though I saw them all more than once. Her performance of ‘Tullamore Blues’ almost defies description, except that the crowd was with her, in that space, singing every word and feeling every sentiment. Jesus is an experience to behold, hilarious in it’s explanation and empowering in it’s performance, I sincerely hope every person gets to experience it live. Her a Capella rendition of ‘The Auld Triangle’ gives me chills and is simply astounding.  And finally ’55 Years’ had me (and most in the crowd) in tears for the beauty it captures in it’s tale. A truly moving experience. Irish Mythen is awe inspiring and we’re excited she’ll be visiting Australia again soon.

Rhiannon Giddens plays at Bluesfest 2016

And finally, probably the all-singing, all-dancing highlight of the ladies was Rhiannon Giddens. Establishing herself originally as a part of Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens’ solo work is a sight to behold and a treat to hear. Her stunning vocals are soulful yet soar high in beautiful arcs and trills of an almost Celtic style. The skill of her band melds electric with acoustic in wonderful instrumental breaks, bouncing off one another jamming to a crescendo and returning the spotlight to her lead when the time was right. Her banjo crept through tunes to pounce on you unawares, yet could alternate and become the hero of the song. Old Bob Dylan lyrics never previously turned in to songs until Giddens got her hands on them offered a treasure trove to discover. Doing a Dolly Parton cover can be tough, but Giddens’ rendition of ‘Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind’ saw her own the song completely, from every element of style through to her emotive connection with both lyrics and sentiment. From start to finish and for each and every set, she wowed the crowd with fiddle, banjo, modern takes on traditional style, soul stirring lyrics and even a step back in time to the 1920s. Her fancy footwork went down a treat and her ability to connect with the audience and tether them to her tale as the most exquisite experience to behold. She could chat to the crowd but make you feel like she spoke to you and you alone, and yet at all times Rhiannon Giddens continued to exist as her own ineffable self.

#5 – Soul is in, along with BIG bands

Now strictly speaking, Timber and Steel doesn’t really cover Soul, but the prevalence of the big band style soul injections at Bluesfest is worthy of admiration and appreciation, so it gets a gong here.

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks were a sight to behold as Donovan put her own stamp on soul, with earthy tones and a voice that rolled over the crowd, calling to them, beckoning them to hear her story. The combination of her stories and passionate, soulful delivery made for a tight set and profound performance.

I wrote down 4 words when seeing The Word, and two of them were expletives… “holy f***ing sh*t wow.” The couple of songs we caught were incredible, full of funky groves and some sweet slide guitar, all topped off with an electric organ. Very smooth and cool indeed.

Ash Grunwald plays at Bluesfest 2016Ash Grunwald hasn’t moved in to soul, but his Bluesfet setup did resemble the big backing bands of the soul acts and boy did it compliment his wailing blues. Never conforming to just one genre, Grunwald drew on bluegrass vibes, some indie rock to his blues and of course his signature commentary on Australian life. Playing River from his new album, Grunwald spoke about the anti-CSG message prevalent throughout his most recent recordings and confirmed he was among friends int he Bluesfest crowd. His set was punctuated with old favourites as highlights, crowds rollicking in his passionate performance and joining in to sing along on choruses, and the utter delight when Kasey Chambers joined him on stage for a brand new song was palpable.

Another of the tongue wagging recommendations was for Vintage Trouble, and my first impression was that lead singer Ty Taylor was sex on legs, with enough swagger stuffed in to a cravat and suit to fell an army. And when the full band kicked in, it blew the show off the Richter scale. A set full of southern blues, call and response, screaming and wailing blues breaks and enough on stage antics to warrant a lie down after watching. This was my kind of place, 1950s style jazzy blues, complete with energy and onstage charisma!

Vintage Trouble plays Bluesfest 2016

Now, if you haven’t yet heard of the phenomenal popularity and praise for Bluesfest debutants St. Paul and The Broken Bones, then you haven’t been doing the internet properly. Of all the word of mouth recommendations, St Paul and The Broken Bones was THE most talked about act at Bluesfest, and not without good reason. A big band blues-laden soul outfit, oozing funk, with a big personality for a front man in Paul Janeway. Opening with an almighty wail and sliding in to a crooning style track, the crowd knew exactly where they stood and were rooted to the spot to witness the explosive show by one of the most engaging acts we’ve seen in years. Janeway, on behalf of the entire band, exclaimed that Bluesfest was the best experience they had ever had and they would definitely be coming back to Australia, to which the crowd erupted with delight. A set filled with rumbling soul, emotive ballads and big, ballsy blues, St Paul and The Broken Bones is sure to be a high rotation favourite on many punters playlists for some time to come.

St Paul and The Broken Bones plays Bluesfest 2016

Without a doubt, Bluesfest’s skillfully curated 2016 lineup was a smash hit success, sure to be spoken of for years to come. Can’t wait to see what Peter Noble comes up with for 2017!

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Lumineers announced details of their new album Cleopatra which is due this April. Details here

Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings Machine will perform together with Willie Watson and Haas Kowert Tice at Dream A Highway in Melbourne this month. Details here

The National Folk Festival has programmed a number of events to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Ireland Easter Rising. Details here

– Justin Vernon from Bon Iver released a live video covering Sharon Van Etten’s “Love More”. Details here

– The Meatstock festival in Sydney this weekend has a great musical lineup including Adam Eckersley Band, Mustered Courage, The Snowdroppers, The Beards, Henry Wagons, Davidson Brothers, Big Blind Ray, The Buffalo Grass Boys, The Punk Rock Hillbilly, Sahara Beck, Hussy Hicks, Roy Rose and more. Details here

– The brand new Summer Hill Folk Festival announced its lineup including Pat Drummond, Catgut, Brian Campeau, Fanny Lumsden, The Tawny Owl String Band and many more. Details here

Matt Corby released his new single “Knife Edge” and announced a national tour in April. Details here

– Sydney artist Willowy released her new album and has tour dates in NSW, VIC and SA. Details here

– Melbourne duo Oh Pep! have announced a national tour this April. Details here

Miss Peaches in Sydney has announced a new folk themed night on Sundays titles Hootenany. Details here

– Gold Coast duo Hussy Hicks released their new album Lucky Joe’s Wine (and other tales from Dog River) today. Details here

Interviews

“For the first visit there, I think it’s a lot of fun to try to hit all the records. Of course for me personally, the newer songs tend to be closer to where I’m at emotionally. But there’s this cool thing that happens when you revisit a song you haven’t played in several years. You start to hear it in a different way, almost like it’s not even your song. I have this personal rule that I’ll only play songs which I have a strong emotional connection to at a given time. Old or new, doesn’t matter. If I can’t mean what I’m singing I won’t do it”William Fitzsimmons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Applewood Road
Applewood RoadApplewood Road
Bandcamp

Yesteryear
YesteryearAriela Jacobs
iTunes

Henry Wagons
After What I Did Last NightHenry Wagons
iTunes

Hussy Hicks
Lucky Joe’s Wine (and other tales from Dog River)Hussy Hicks
iTunes

Pocket Fox
The Brightest LightPocket Fox
Bandcamp

Button Collective
The Lonesome SeaThe Button Collective
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Friday 12th February – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 13th February – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 14th February – Braidwood Hotel, Braidwood, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. A Man Called Stu, Dan & Dan

A Man Called Stu

Regular Sydney night Heartbreaker Sessions returns for 2016 with a new night (Thursday!) and the same heady mix of Americana, alt-country and singer-songwriters. The first Heartbreaker Sessions features local favourites A Man Called Stu and Dan & Dan (Oh Willy Dear) along with DJ sets from Post to Wire and Daz.

Thursday 18th February – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Andrew Phelan
Saturday 13th February – The Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Wednesday 17th February – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 12th February – Horden Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th February – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Dave Rawlings Machine
Friday 12th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th February – A&I Hall, Bangalow, NSW
Tuesday 16th February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 17th February – The Playhouse, Canberra, ACT
Friday 19th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Elwood Myre
Thursday 18th February – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Fairlight Folk feat. David Bridie, Jed Rowe
Saturday 13th February – Fairlight Folk Acoustic Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 17th February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. A Man Called Stu, Dan & Dan
Thursday 18th February – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Hootenany feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 14th February – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 12th February – Beaches, Thirroul, NSW
Saturday 13th February – Lazybones, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th February – Meatstock Festival, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th February – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 19th February – Seaview Hotel, Woolgoolga, NSW

James Thomson
Friday 12th February – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 13th February – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th February – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 12th February – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 12th February – Alexandra Town Hall, Alexandra, VIC
Saturday 13th February – Live at the Bundy, Bundalaguah, VIC
Friday 19th February – Belbrae Hall, Belbrae, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 12th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th February – The Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Friday 19th February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA

José González
Friday 12th February – Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 12 February – Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, QLD
Sunday 14th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18th February – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th February – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW

Lucy Wise and Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 13th February – House on the Hill, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters w/ Buck Loner Revue
Sunday 14th February – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Meatstock
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February – Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Missy Higgins
Saturday 13th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 19th February – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

Phia w/ Ka-Tya
Wednesday 17th February – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Pocket Fox
Saturday 13th February – White Eagle Polish Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 19th February – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Riverboats Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February – Echuca-Moama, VIC

Ruby Boots
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February – Riverboats Festival, VIC

Sam Newton
Friday 12th February – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th February – Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet, VIC

The Audreys
Friday 12th February – Speigeltent, Adelaide, SA

The Beards
Saturday 13th February – Meatstock, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 12th February – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 13th February – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 14th February – Braidwood Hotel, Braidwood, VIC

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 14th February – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Vin Garbutt
Thursday 18th February – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA

William Fitzsimmons
Sunday 14th February – Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth, WA

Willowy
Friday 12th February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Friday 19th February – The Eastern, Ballarat, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Letters” – Matt Corby

Possibly one of my favourite Matt Corby tracks of all time – this is the singer-songwriter at his folky best.

Hussy Hicks Announces New Album and Tour Dates

Hussy Hicks
Image Courtesy of Hussy Hicks

Gold Coast based folk and alt-country duo Hussy Hicks have been making plenty noise on the local scene recently and they’ve announced plans to release their brand new album Lucky Joe’s Wine (and other tales from Dog River) today.

The album was recorded in Alabama by Hall of Fame legend Rick Hirsch and marks an evolution in Hussy Hicks’ sound to a more solid country flavour. For a taster check out their video “That Old Heartache”:

Hussy Hicks are currently touring Lucky Joe’s Wine (and other tales from Dog River) around the country – check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 12th February – Beaches, Thirroul, NSW
Saturday 13th February – Lazybones, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th February – Meatstock Festival, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th February – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 19th February – Seaview Hotel, Woolgoolga, NSW
Thursday 3rd March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Thursday 10th March – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Saturday 12th March – Sing for the South West, Old Coast Road Brewery, Myalup, WA
Sunday 13th March – Clancy’s, Dunsborough, WA
Tuesday 15th March – Perth Blues Club, Perth, WA
Thursday 16th March – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Saturday 19th March – Nukara Festival, WA
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Folk and Roots Bands Announced for Meatstock

Meatstock
Image Courtesy of Meatstock

This weekend in Sydney prepare to celebrate all things meat with the Meatstock Festival at the Sydney show grounds. Held on the 13th and 14th February Meatstock brings some the cities finest meat based food together with some of Australia’s finest musicians – almost all of which will delight readers of Timber and Steel.

The musical lineup for Meatstock includes Adam Eckersley Band, Mustered Courage, The Snowdroppers, The Beards, Henry Wagons, Davidson Brothers, Big Blind Ray, The Buffalo Grass Boys, The Punk Rock Hillbilly, Sahara Beck, Hussy Hicks, Roy Rose and more. Quite a lineup right? Enough even to entice your vegetarian friends to Meatstock.

For more information on Meatstock including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass Announces First Round of Artists for 2015

Wilson Pickers
Image Courtesy of The Wilson Pickers

After a successful inaugural event in 2014 the Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass returns in 2015 with an already amazing lineup. Held in Bangalow in the Byron hinterland, the Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass will this year take place on the 7th and 8th August.

The first round of artists for Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass were announced last week and it’s looking pretty exciting. The lineup so far includes the likes of The Wilson Pickers (above), The Company, Green Mohair Suits, Hussy Hicks, Sian Evans, The Button Collective and the Cath Cooper All-Stars.

The Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass will feature an old-time variety show on the opening night, a picker’s competition and of course the now famous low ‘n’ slow BBQ competition.

For more information about Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass check out the official site here.

Review: The Snowy Mountains of Music Festival, Perisher

Snowy
Photos and Review by Mandy Lamont

It was a mixture of ski boots and sound boards, goggles and guitars, musicians and skiers all converging in the most picturesque of places for great music and entertainment for the 4th Snowy Mountains of Music Festival.

It was the biggest opening weekend to the ski season with thanks to big early snowfalls, fabulous weather and the festival. Set amongst the ski fields of Perisher, Guthega and Smiggins, there was something for every taste in music. A huge mixture of reggae, folk, blues, bluegrass to poetry, plenty of entertainment for the kids and workshops on hand and body percussion, open tune and slide guitar and east european fiddle and accordion.

Opened and closed by A French Butler Called Smith from the Gold Coast singing new songs still to be recorded. Hot off the Byron Bay Blues Fest they had the crowds at Smiggs dancing the house down doing the ‘Tugan Shuffle’ at the finale.

There were fewer venues this year which made getting around even easier. Most venues were a short stroll from the Perisher Centre, or there were shuttle buses to get up the hill to the Sundeck or over to The Smigs Hotel, where most of the headline acts played. A rockin’ Penny and the Mystics got things started on Friday night followed by one man band Claude Hay on guitar, bass, drums and sitar with an amazing bluesy sound. The Hussy Hicks and Marshall Okell with the guys from Chase the Sun got the crowds warmed up for a great weekend of music.

Snow

On a more sombre note, there were tributes to Birdy. Local musician, producer and friend to many in the industry, who passed away earlier this year. And Brendan Gallaher shed a tear during his performance when talking about his friend, the very talented Jimmy Little, who also passed away earlier this year.

Highlights for me were The Dead Quarry Mountain Rats, His Merry Men, Afro Moses, Nicky Bomba, Claude Hay, the first international act for the festival; The Black Seeds and poet and comical man of many hats, Gregory North.

Plenty of foot tappin’, thigh slappin’, and something new to the folk festival scene, ski boot dancing at the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music this June long weekend! The perfect way to kick off the winter season in the Snowy Mountains.

Snow

Gulgong Folk Festival Wrap Up

The Jam
The TBONE Jam

Well what a festival that was. 75 bands over 4 stages for 3 days. Gulgong hasn’t seen a musical event like that since the gold rush and this was certainly a Gold rush of music. A lot if not all of the young up and coming bands would have been unknown to the locals but are very much sought after nationally and their immense collective talent became obvious as the event unfolded. There were some pretty amazing moments … the legendary TBONE Jam (above) at the Commercial late on Sunday where even the corrugated iron wall was being played with beer bottles by Matt Southon whilst Todd from April Maze played on the bar with the banjo as the locals filmed the fun on their iPhones. The storm which brought down a tree at the Memorial Hall Main stage in front of amazed musos and patrons out dancing in the rain then the blackout which left a huge percussive jam going during Paul Greene’s closing set. The combined performance of the 10 Pound Circus/Brothers 3 tap routine all to the frenetic drumming of an expanded Kings of Congo Congo Percussion line up in the hot midday sun during the free entertainment and market in Coronation Park on the Saturday. The celebrated workshops of Guitar virtuoso Daniel Champagne (below) and the stunning song writing workshop of Anne Kirkpatrick and Bill Chambers.

Daniel Champagne
Daniel Champagne

All these artists are festival favourites and worked their way to Gulgong via the Woodford and Peats Ridge Festivals after the scheduled change of the Festival to the free weekend of the 7th/8th January and then after the fest were making their way on to Tamworth and the Illawarra Folk Festival and back overseas and word has it they are raving about what a beautiful and authentic town we have here. They loved it.

April Maze
April Maze

The festival kicked off with performances at the Trad Stage [Opera House] and Unplugged [Centennial] and New Stage [Bowling Club] before the main bands started kicking in on the Main Stage at the Memorial Hall. Friday highlights included Hussy Hicks, April Maze (above), The Yearlings, Jamie Hutchings and Suzy Connolly and the young celebrated Emma Barlow (below) at the Main Stage on her way to Tamworth. With well over 600 patrons , musos and visitors alike the town swelled up quickly.

Emma Barlow
Emma Barlow

Saturday was a blur of action kicking off with the market in Coronation park and Poets Breakfasts a the Commercial which had some luminaries like Arch Bishop/Tom Hamilton/Pat Drummond/Allan Caswell and Kevin Pye in attendance. The music kicked in at the Centennial from 10AM and didn’t let up for the next 14 hours culminating in sublime performances by Genevieve Chadwick, Daniel Champagne (jaw dropping virtuosity!!), Bill Chambers and Anne Kirkpatrick (below) to a packed Memorial Hall main stage.

Anne and Bill
Bill Chambers and Anne Kirkpatrick

Sunday kept up the pace where the workshops came into their own and an eclectic performance on the Steinway Grand in the Opera House by rising piano star Sophie Hutchings (below) then the madness of the Golden Fingers comp with fiddle virtuoso Marcus Holden nudging out the more fancied young guns Daniel Champagne and Genevieve Chadwick – surely one for the ages. Then the party closed at the Main Stage with ABC Music signing Paul Greene’s climactic set being upstaged by the storm.

Sophie Hutchings
Sophie Hutchings

All the while the back alleys and bars reverberated to impromptu jams and performances which went well into the dawn hours

The Yearlings
The Yearlings

Festival organiser and promoter Richard Lawson is to be congratulated for his hard work over the last year on resuscitating the festival in such a huge way with an enormous publicity push for Gulgong right across the ABC state-wide and with both WIN and Prime TV in attendance. Let’s hope there is support for a follow up festival next year because this one was unforgettable.

Caitlin Harnett
Caitlin Harnett

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