Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Our first ever New Music Monday featured new tracks from the last few weeks from the likes of Alana Wilkinson, Aldous Harding, Anna Smyrk, Bear’s Den, Citizen Of The World, Courtney Marie Andrews, Garrett Kato, Hussy Hicks, James Bennett, Joe Mungovan, John Smith, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers, Madison Violet, Ordinary Elephant, Radical Face, The Leisure Society. Listen and watch them here

Releases This Week

Georgia Spain
Trouble Isn’t Something You Can HoldGeorgia Spain
Bandcamp

Joy Williams
Front PorchJoy Williams
iTunes

Kim Churchill
I AmKim Churchill
iTunes

Little May
Blame My BodyLittle May
iTunes

Ordinary Elephant
HonestOrdinary Elephant
iTunes

Passenger
Sometimes It’s Something, Sometimes It’s Nothing at AllPassenger
iTunes

Peta Caswell
Peta Caswell & The Lost CausePeta Caswell & The Lost Cause
iTunes

Matt Ward
HeartlandMatt Ward
iTunes

Undress
UndressThe Felice Brothers
iTunes
Bandcamp

The Maes
The MaesThe Maes
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Drunken Piano Bar feat. Lachlan Bryan, Rose Zita Falko, Gretta Ziller, Brooke Russell, Dan Parsons, Pat Wilson, Mitch Power, Ben Mastwyk, Katie Bates, Julian Abrahams, Hana Brenecki

Drunken Piano Bar

Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 10th May – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 3rd May – Newport Bowling Club, Newport, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Potato Shed, Drysdale, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Scrub Hill 1869, Newlyn, VIC
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC

Aisling Vaughan & Friends
Friday 10th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Anna Smyrk
Sunday 5th May – The Folk Studio, Armidale, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 8th May – Can You Keep a Secret?, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW

Archer
Friday 3rd May – The Guildford Family Hotel, Guildford, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Edinburgh Castle, Melbourne, VIC

Ash Bell and Sara Tindley
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Ashlea Reale & The Outlaws
Friday 3rd May – Fremantle Prison YHA, Perth, WA

Australian Celtic Festival
Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th May – Glen Innes, NSW

Backsliders
Friday 3rd May – Wollongong Town Hall, Wollongong, NSW

Baerami Bush Dance and Camp-Out
Saturday 4th May – Baerami Hall, Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

Ben Mastwyk
Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th May – Coburg RSL, Coburg, VIC

Benny Walker
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Big Sky Mountain w/ Dande and The Lion, The Villebillies
Thursday 9th May – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Bob Barford
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Friday 3rd May – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Botany View Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Burrows, Julia Johnson, Happy Axe
Sunday 5th May – Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, ACT

Busby Marou
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Bush Gothic
Friday 3rd May – Selby Folk Club, Selby, VIC

Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys
Thursday 9th May – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW

Carl Pannuzzo
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Cash Savage and The Last Drinks
Saturday 4th May – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Chaika
Friday 3rd May – Wauchope Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Saturday 4th May – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Brisbane Jazz Club, Brisbane, QLD

Citizen of the World w/ Slewfoot
Friday 3rd May – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Claire Anne Taylor
Friday 3rd May – Sedgwick Hall, Sedgwick, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Sandy Point Community Centre, Sandy Point, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Newlyn, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Caldwell Hall, Caldwell, NSW
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC

Claude Hay
Friday 3rd May – Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Harrington Hotel, Harrington, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Colin Lillie
Friday 3rd May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Cabaret Club, Ballarat, NSW
Friday 10th May – The Royal Hotel, Queenbeyan, NSW

Country Comes to Town feat. The Prairie Oysters, Rattlincane, Allan Caswell, The Weeping Willows
Saturday 4th May – Newport Bowls Club, Newport, VIC

Dan Sultan
Sunday 5th May – Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Friday 10th May – The Conservatorium, Newcastle, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 3rd May – Fyrefly, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Town Hall, Yackandandah, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Phoenix Theatre, Cobden, VIC
Thursday 9th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 10th May – Town Hall, Deans Marsh, VIC

Dean Lewis w/ Winterbourne
Monday 6th May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Doc & The Delegates
Tuesday 7th May – The Underground, Newcastle, NSW

Drunken Piano Bar feat. Lachlan Bryan, Rose Zita Falko, Gretta Ziller, Brooke Russell, Dan Parsons, Pat Wilson, Mitch Power, Ben Mastwyk, Katie Bates, Julian Abrahams, Hana Brenecki
Thursday 9th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Dusty Ravens w/ Liz Martin Band
Sunday 5th May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 3rd May – Albany Arts Festival, Albany, WA

Flat Rock Boys
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Flats and Sharps
Saturday 4th May – Manjimup Hotel, Manjimup, WA
Tuesday 7th May – Ferntree Gully Bowling Club, Ferntree Gully, VIC
Wednesday 8th May – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Pan-Pacific Grand Prix, Rees Lucia, Indira Elias
Wednesday 8th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 3rd May – New Hall, Point Lonsdale, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery, Cororooke, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Old Gold Rush Pub, Steiglitz, VIC
Friday 10th May – House Concert, Boreen Point, QLD

Freya Josephine Hollick
Sunday 5th May – Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC

Grigoryan Brothers
Wednesday 8th May – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Cooma, NSW
Thursday 9th May – Twyford Hall, Merimbula, NSW
Friday 10th May – St Peter’s Anglican College, Canberra, ACT

Grizzlee Train
Friday 3rd May – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Hayley Marsten
Sunday 5th May – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Henry Wagons
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Sunday 5th May – Dromedary Hotel, Tilba, NSW

Honky Tonkin’ feat. King Arthur
Thursday 9th May – The Rook’s Return, Melbourne, VIC

Huckleberry Hastings
Friday 10th May – Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Presents: A Celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th Birthday feat. Maurie Mulheron, The Lurkers, Sally Forth, Paul Spencer
Saturday 4th May – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Irish Seisiún
Sunday 5th May – Croatian Wickham Sports Club, Newcastle, NSW

Jacob Diamond
Friday 3rd May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 4th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Johnson
Friday 3rd May – Finders Keepers Markets, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, ACT

Kallidad
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Kyle Lionhart
Friday 3rd May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Sunday 5th May – God’s Kitchen, Mornington, VIC

Liam Gale & The Ponytails
Thursday 9th May – Slyfox, Sydney, NSW

Lily and King
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Little Georgia w/ Charm of Finches
Saturday 4th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Quirks
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Mal Webb
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Mandy Connell
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Mànran
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 3rd May – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Club York, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Matt Ward
Friday 3rd May – Stein’s Taphouse, Nuriootpa, SA
Saturday 4th May – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 5th May – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Meatstock Sydney
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Medusa’s Wake, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Bottlers
Saturday 4th May – The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Melbourne Celtic Piping Session
Sunday 5th May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Saturday 4th May – Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Thursday 9th May – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 10th May – Banyena Town Hall, Banyena, VIC

Mojo Juju
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Nat Henry
Sunday 5th May – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Nathan Power
Sunday 5th May – Daylesford Cider Company, Musk, VIC
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet
Friday 3rd May – Shedshaker Brewery, Castlemaine, VIC

Northern Beaches Music Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Narrabeen RSL, North Narrabeen, NSW

Penelope Swales
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Quinton Trembath
Saturday 4th May – The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Rezza House Concert feat. Dan Howls
Sunday 5th May – House Concert, Reservoir, VIC

Rick Hart Trio
Sunday 5th May – Mitcham Social, Mitcham, VIC

Riley Pearce
Friday 3rd May – Secret Show, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Secret Show, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 5th May – Secret Show, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 10h May – Secret Show, Melbourne, VIC

Rosie McDonald & Nigel Lever
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Round Mountain Girls
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Ruby Gill
Friday 10th May – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Russell Morris
Friday 3rd May – Freo Social, Fremantle, WA
Friday 10th May – Paddington RSL, Sydney, NSW

Sara Storer
Friday 3rd May – Macksville Ex-Services Club, Macksville, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Casino RSM Club, Casino, NSW
Friday 10th May – Hamilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 8th May – The Brother’s Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Sebastian Field
Friday 3rd May – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Shane Nicholson
Saturday 4th May – The Barn at Wombat Flat, Neales Flat, SA
Sunday 5th May – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Saturday 4th May – The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Galleria, Ettalong Beach, NSW

Slim Dime
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Smith & Jones
Friday 3rd May – The Agrestic Grocer, Orange, NSW

Songlines Singing Session
Sunday 5th May – The Australian Heritage Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Stu Tyrrell
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-Together
Saturday 4th May – Annandale Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

The BUg Weekly Tues New Farm Folk Night feat. The Swing Beans, 3 Miles From Texas
Tuesday 7th May – New Farm Bowls Club, Brisbane, QLD

The Djangologists
Wednesday 8th May – Jazz Behind the Green Door, Sydney, NSW

The Hillbilly Goats
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD
Friday 10th May – The Surf Club Palm Cove, Cairns, QLD

The Little Stevies
Friday 3rd May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The Long Johns, Whiskey Dram
Friday 10th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The Maes
Wednesday 8th May – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

The Ocelots
Friday 3rd May – NEA Gallery, Benalla, VIC
Saturday 4th May – The Old Church on the Hill, Quarry Hill, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Daylesford Cider Company, Musk, VIC
Friday 10th May – Duke of George, Fremantle, WA

The Pigs
Friday 10th May – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The Planting Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Woodfordia, QLD

The Royal High Jinx
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

The Slipdixies
Sunday 5th May – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May – Meatstock Sydney, Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Yulli’s Brews, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 8th May – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Thursday 9th May – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The Trippy Hippy Band
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

The Vegetable Plot
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

This Way North
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Tiffany Eckhardt & Dave Steel
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Wintermoon Festival, Camerons Pocket, QLD

Tiny Ruins w/ Ryan Downey
Friday 3rd May – Sound Doctor, Angelsea Hall, Angelsea, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 8th May – UOW UniBar, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 9th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Totally Gourdgeous
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife w/ Georgia State Line
Sunday 5th May – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Traditional Graffiti
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – Northern Beaches Music Festival, North Narrabeen, NSW

Tullara
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May – The Planting Festival, Woodfordia, QLD

Whoa Mule, Jess Dale, Daisy and the Space Leopards
Saturday 4th May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

William Crighton
Friday 3rd May – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC
Saturday 4th May – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Wednesday 8th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – Dusty Attic Music Lounge, Lismore, NSW
Friday 10th May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Wintermoon Festival
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May – Camerons Pocket, QLD

Yirramboi Festival feat. Dan Sultan, Alice Skye, Kalaji
Sunday 5th May – Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“#41” – Dave Matthews Band

New Music Monday – 29th April

Aldous Harding
Image Courtesy of Aldous Harding

Welcome to the first edition of New Music Monday where we collect some of our favourite tracks and videos from the previous week for your listening pleasure. As this is the first one of these we’re reaching back a little further than just one week, with a collection of songs we’ve been obsessing over for the last month or so. Enjoy!

Alana Wilkinson – “Partner In Crime”

Australian folk singer Alana Wilkinson’s new single “Partner In Crime” perfectly captures the nostalgia of childhood as well as being a poignant tribute to a childhood friend who has sadly passed away.

“I needed to write a song that painted a picture of the colourful friendship we shared as kids,” Wilkinson explained. I think you’ll agree the result is something special.

Aldous Harding – “The Barrel”

Last Friday New Zealand bassed singer-songwriter Aldous Harding released her third album Designer which features this stunning track “The Barrel”. I can definitely hear the influence of Nick Drake in the finger-picked guitar and production of “The Barrel” and Harding’s vocals are mesmerising. Maybe my favourite song of hers to date.

Anna Smyrk – “Benjamin”

Victorian folk singer Anna Smyrk has been popping up on radar a lot over the last few months. I managed to catch a couple of songs at her recent National Folk Festival blackboard set and she’s just come off the back of a weekend at the St Alban’s Folk Festival.

Smyrk’s new single “Benjamin” is inspired by her travels to places like the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and the Philippines and features a really sweet backing track of guitar, mandolin, dobro and bass. The track will likely feature on an EP that Smyrk has planned for later in the year and she’s got a bunch of tour dates throughout the east coast in the coming weeks:

Wednesday 1st May – Scullion Sessions, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 5th May – The Folk Studio, Armidale, NSW
Tuesday 7th May – Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 8th May – Can You Keep a Secret?, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 9th May – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW
Friday 14th June – Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC

Bear’s Den – “Crow”

Another beautiful song and video, this time from UK favourites Bear’s Den.

“The song “Crow” was written in memory of my Mum’s boyfriend who lived with us growing up,” Bear’s Den lead singer Andrew Davie explained. “He was an awesome guy and somewhere between a father figure and a best friend to me growing up but unfortunately he passed away when I was 15. I wrote this song as I wanted to acknowledge how important and thankful I am to him for helping to raise me and my sister.”

This is taken from the band’s latest album So That You Might Hear Me, released last week, and is probably our favourite song from the release.

Citizen Of The World – “Deep Blue Eyes”

The evolution of Sydney’s Citizen Of The World continues with the release of their new track “Deep Blue Eyes”. A lot of the folk influences of their earlier work have been softened as the band moves towards a more expansive indie sound similar to the likes of Winterbourne, Dean Lewis or Vance Joy.

“Deep Blue Eyes” is taken from the band’s new EP Window To Your Mind which they’ll be launching this Friday 3rd May at Lazybones Lounge in Sydney,

Courtney Marie Andrews – “May Your Kindness Remain (Acoustic)”

Our favourite track of 2018 gets given the stripped back, acoustic treatment by US singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. While not being too far from the original, this version of “May Your Kindness Remain” does get to the essence of what makes this a great song – and so much of it is about Andrews’ amazing voice.

“May Your Kindness Remain” is one of four acoustic tracks Courtney Marie Andrews has released to celebrate the one year anniversary of her amazing album of the same name. The other tracks – “I Took You Up”, “Rough Around The Edges” and “Border” are available to stream and download in all the usual places.

Garrett Kato – “River Mouth (Live Forest Session)”

There’s something really special about this live video recording of Australian/Canadian singer-songwriter Garrett Kato’s latest single “River Mouth”. I’m a sucker for a finger-picked guitar and evocative lyrics to “River Mouth” is right up my alley. “River Mouth” is taken from Kato’s upcoming EP Distant Land which is due for release this coming May.

Hussy Hicks – “Get Ready”

Hussy Hicks channel their inner-Mavis Staples for this slice of soul infused magic. “Get Ready” is the Australian duo’s first release since their 2017 album On The Boundaries and dropped right before their recent performance at Bluesfest.

James Bennett – “Weird World”

Prolific roots singer-songwriter James Bennett has just dropped his new “Weird World” as a sneak peak into what we can expect from his upcoming third album This Time Tomorrow.

“The single Weird World is a song about the times we live in, how lucky we are just to be here and observing the show from the sidelines,” Bennett explained. “It’s an upbeat, cant get it outta your head kinda song.”

Joe Mungovan – “Lost Myself”

Kiama based singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan has really doubled down on the clean, expansive production for his latest single “Lost Myself”. The track was written after an extensive tour of Europe and Australia

“After I came back from touring overseas I rented a house in the bush and set up my studio for a few months,” Mungovan explain. “I was strumming on my dad’s old nylon string guitar that I took out there and “Lost Myself” sort of just fell out. It was the last song that I wrote whilst in that house and by then I had spent far too much time alone. I guess the song comes from a place of solitude and confusion. It is easy for me when I’m in that situation to live in my head and get lost in different thoughts and questions. That is the beauty but also the downside of isolation.”

John Smith – “Hummingbird”

Every time the new single, “Hummingbird”, from UK based folk singer John Smith has crossed my ears in the last few weeks I’ve sat up and paid attention. I don’t know what it is about this track – I think it’s absolutely stunning. Everything from Smith’s vocals to the simple arrangement it pitch pefect.

“Hummingbird” is taken from John Smith’s new album of the same name and is one of only a handful of originals amongst mainly traditionals on the record.

“The song itself is really the catalyst for the whole album,” Smith explained. “I didn’t want to give it a title that belonged to something someone else wrote 100 years ago. So when I sat down to write, “Hummingbird” came out of me really quickly, within an hour. It’s the rare song that tumbled out, and I was lucky to capture all the pieces. As soon as it arrived I thought, “This is the glue that’s gonna hold the whole thing together”.”

Justin Townes Earle – “Frightened by the Sound”

American singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle returns with “Frightened by the Sound”, a track that sounds like, well, a Justin Townes Earle song (and trust us, that’s a good thing). This is the latest taste of Earle’s upcoming album The Saint Of Lost Causes, due on the 24th May.

Kasey Chambers – “Hey Girl”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut album Kasey Chambers will be releasing a deluxe edition of The Captain on the 17th May complete with this recently unearthed track “Hey Girl”. I love this song for the nostalgia of classic Kasey Chambers.

Madison Violet – “Tell Me”

Canadian duo Madison Violet have gone deeply autobiographical on their new single and video “Tell Me”. The track details a time early in their career where they formed a band and became a couple – something they were advised to hide by some industry folk.

I think you’ll agree this is a pretty special track.

Ordinary Elephant – “Jenny & James”

Were you lucky enough to catch Ordinary Elephant when they toured Australia recently? Amazing, right?

The duo’s latest single “Jenny & James” tells the story of an interracial couple struggling to keep their relationship together with a society that doesn’t approve. It is taken from their album Honest which will be available this Friday 3rd May.

Radical Face – “Doubt”

Following the expansive folk songs of his The Family Tree three album project, Ben Cooper, AKA Radical Face has started to explore other parts of his sound. The latest single from Radical Face, “Doubt”, sparkles with eighties synths and a driving drum beat while still championing Cooper’s unique indie-folk vocal style. “Doubt” is taken from Radical Face’s latest album Therapy which was released last Friday.

The Leisure Society – “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity”

Ok, I’m a huge fan of English folk-rock band The Leisure Society, but I had absolutely no idea that they had a new record out (Arrivals & Departures for those playing at home). “A Bird, A Bee, Humanity” is their latest single and I doubt I’m the only one who things the opening refrain sounds very very like the theme for the Serial podcast. I’ll just leave that there.

Woodford in a Nutshell


Photos by Stuart Bucknell, full album on our Facebook page

Timber and Steel loves a good festival, and Woodford is no exception. The premiere Folk Festival is forever growing and developing to highlight and showcase both the beauty of the natural surrounds, and a diverse array of musical greats and emerging artists.

The beauty of Woodford is it’s a week long festival, culminating in a liminal Fire Event timed to usher in the new year rising from the ashes of the old. However, even someone only able to attend for two to three days can still catch a majority of the performers, and be immersed in a whole other world, where music reigns supreme, and almost every interest is catered too.

For the 2018/19 Woodford experience, our intrepid reporters spent a little over 2 days exploring Woodford’s many stages and acts.

Bright and early on the Friday morning of Woodford, our two trepidation reporters trundled in to Woodfordia. It’s been an age since we last visited but it still felt like home. In our brief visit, we caught as many acts as we could, here are our highlights.

Our first stop was to catch the Hussy Hicks and in spite of the early time of day, The Pineapple Lounge was PACKED! Their healthy rhythms kept every foot tapping as the days’ heat began to rise. Their musical passion was on display as Through The Windmill enthralled the throngs and the hot guitar interlude had the crowd cheering. The dynamic duo’s strong connection on stage commanded all attention and ensured rapturous applause. See our photos online.

Mark Lang (of Skipping Girl Vinegar fame)’s only Woodford set had something for everyone, whether you were a fan or new to Lang’s melodic storytelling. With tunes “for our good friend Donald Trump”, to songs about “letting go of all your frustrations”, or just a true reminder of “living in the now, living in the present”, Lang proved time and time again how his music welcomes audiences, connects, and entices them to participate, punching the air hammering home political commentary, or singing along in full voice. See our photos online.

The Strangest Dreamers delivered a dreamy set of layers and stories to entreat and enchant. They had us with a bluesy lament, kept us with a song from the history books of Joe Hill, about The Rebel Girl Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; and delighted us as they trilled through their eclectic set of fun and frivolity. See our photos online.

Scandinavian fiddle trio Fru Skagerrak had the crowd clapping along from the very opening. Their trad style fiddle to warmed up the crowd as we all enjoyed a refreshing brew. Their skill and prowess shone on stage, the sensitivity of every nuance and note had us enraptured, and Scandinavia’s best was truly in fine form for all to see. Though something tells me this may have been their mellow set, for the daytime crowd… See our photos online.

Lindsay Lou gave us a delectable Americana, full of sass treating us to a set full of songs like Sugar with beautiful harmonised backing vocals, mandolin, and just the right amount of funk to give it that tap along beat. Her delightful accent trilled through the lyrics giving them a lively interplay amongst the skilled musicianship of the tight knit group. Stunt Double, written for her brother, gave a deeper, more earthy opening with lyrics and vibe reminiscent of a Missy Higgins style tale. Her cover of Bill Withers’ I Wish You Well showcased that she is sunshine personified on stage. See our photos online.

The Halcyon stage, we could hardly catch a view of The Fergies as they absolutely packed out the place, and the humans filling the space moved as one to their fun, upbeat, frivolity. They were the name on lips around the festival, ‘did you see The Fergies??’ See our photos online.

Tullara seemed like a dark horse, but the beautiful harmonies proved it was a golden set to capture. Joined on stage at times by additional friends, she delivered heartfelt and raw honesty with tales of her life through song. Particularly beautiful and melancholic was the emotive Five Weeks which then lead in to Six Months – a powerful storytelling experience for the audience.

The Loveys were perhaps the most aptly named act, with classic one liners, witty remarks and sensational sense of style teamed with dulcet tones and a European Cabaret vibe. I never thought I would say the words “she is rocking the bassoon” but here I was, saying them out loud to a bassoon solo. Their set had everything from a comedic lament about old age, to a lullaby about dementia Daddy Joined The Circus, and the terrific harmonies in Beautiful Woman dedicated to a French cross dresser.It was a set that caught you off guard at the same time as being completely in tune with the vivacious women. At one point I realised the drummer was playing a tea cup. Literally, rhythm section on a tea cup – and that of course was perfectly normal and in tune. They had the whole audience clapping along, and to no surprise, inspired a standing ovation.

The Cat Empire can always be relied on to bring the party to any hill, dale or amphitheatre, and Woodford was no exception. With an extensive back catalog mixed in with new album songs, their set was utter decadence from start to finish. Their new songs like Killer, and unreleased Anybody, demonstrated the enthusiasm for their infectious brand of music, playing homage to The Cat Empire of old while injecting some of their newer sound and style melding is infinitely danceable, clap-alongable. Steal The Light, written as joyful instead of happy, featured a chorus horn interlude that was spine tingling, and a call to action that the crowd wilfully answered with their cheers and dancing. As always, a world class entertainment.

Les Poules a Colin brought delicate fiddle and mandolin intricately woven with electric instruments in a blanket of sound that wrapped the audience up and drew them closer. Singing songs in native French, the group from Quebec somehow made French sound more musical than English, especially lifted by stunning twin harmonies. A real stand out was a kind of murder story, performed in bi-lingual tandem with haunting banjo, occasional stomp box, and dual vocals telling the tale, punctuated with stunning three part harmonies. By their own admission, their final song was “very danceable” – they weren’t kidding, the dance floor was full within seconds!

We could only stop in briefly by for Hat Fitz and Cara’s Breakfast BBQ, with Sally and the sizzling sausages already well underway! Cara gave us a new song never played live, played with a “we’ll just see how it goes” finesse that charmed the morning crowd.

Irish Mythen, one of our all time favourite performers, delivered yet another powerhouse set on the Woodford Grande stage. Starting out with something a bit political in What If We Built A Wall, it didn’t matter the time of day, or the lack of sunglasses, Irish was on fire with lyrical passion and gutsy guitar filling one of the largest venues, and taking every audience member along for the ride. Mythen has such a powerful voice, and a Capella prowess that makes your spine tingle, inspiring rapturous rounds of applause. Between songs, her wit and banter is so effective, we could mistake her for a stand up comedian. We were transfixed as she effortlessly brought us to tears with 55 Years, elated by a spirited rendition of I Wanna Dance With You, and a moved with the gravitas of Little Bones. As always, Tullamore Blues had the entire crowd singing along enthusiastically, only to be surpassed by a rousing, a Capella rendition of Mercedes Benz that everyone stood and sang along too.

Lucy Wise was the epitome of sweet and pure as her voice descended on the expanding crowd, infused with good humour delivered in earnest. She shared her New Year song, inspired by her mother, accompanied by ukulele. Her set was down to earth and personal, with You Are Here about facing anxiety, Winter Sun about the affects of Melbourne’s weather and accompanied by her sister Rowena, and the heartbreaking Where Did You Go with her other sister Ruth – glorious harmony woven with beautiful sentimentality and sense of loss.

Trad Attack, a blast of energy from Estonia, used archival recordings alongside lead vocals creating the most fascinating soundscapes. Immediately the dance floor is full and enthusiastic. Most of their set was full energy with moment where we simply wondered what next crazy instrument would be brought to the fray. The fact the crowd can sing along with an archival recording how to make butter demonstrated they are clearly the party folk band – reminiscent of Australia’s own Crooked Fiddle Band.

The Spooky Men’s Chorale were the cheeky chaps as we always expect, taking great pleasure in testing the Auslan interpreter with the many abstract concepts in We Are Not A Men’s Group. Ever a popular act, the audience was large, and delighted with the quirks and perks of the Chorale and all their interpretations of everyday life.

The Raglins poured copious harmonies you could drown in with renditions of favourites like The Palmers Song, and The North Country Maid getting everyone in the mood. Song after song delivered in a spellbinding performance. Particular highlights were Robert’s admission that he’d always promised himself he’d never write a love song, that was until he fell in love, inspiring Luna, and the performance of an old Bush Ranger ballad rewritten with new melody and less racism, Ben Halls Gang.

Glenn Cardier and Christian Marsh at Pineapple Lounge had the bluesy goodness rolling forth with licks of harmonica on A Case of Mistaken Identity. Their set was peppered with fun, moving in to rockabilly swamp thing with a raucous jam in Ringmaster Blues, and sliding through mellow, energetic, enchantment and more.

Mel Parsons unleashed a voice and style so mellow, yet steeped in luxury and richness. Opening with some slow songs to warm up the crowd, then picked up the tempo and vibrancy with I Got The Lonely, and a great selection of tracks from her new album, Glass Heart.

Julia Jacklin treated everyone at the Ampitheatre to a spellbinding night of favourites, like Eastwick, Leadlight, and Don’t Let The Kids Win. Her laid back style soothed the audience as the days heat was swiftly replaced with a cool evening chill. Everything about Jacklin is enchanting, her guitar  declared “You Got This!!” on a hand written tape sticker, and she certainly did, the picture of cool, calm and collected. Hay Plain had the crowds transfixed and swaying along in pure bliss, awakened as the intensity pops and Jackson’s vocals oozed over the audience.

The Little Stevies battled adversity as Byl’s voice had gone AWOL and they were down on numbers as Cliff on electric guitar had been too sick to make Woodford. But Beth stepped in to the spotlight and delivered exquisite lead vocals throughout the set, while Byl managed to bring harmonies and jovial, if quiet, banter between. Old favourites like Accidentally and I hold My Breath had everyone delighted, while the new tracks were a fresh and exciting journey to explore. 

The Waifs were much anticipated and the Ampitheatre was alive with energy and enthusiasm. Old favourite Lighthouse struck a note with everyone singing along, while Sun, Dirt, Water gave a sexy and sassy edge. Love Serenade was a bit more lighthearted and playful, while London Still was breathlessly perfect, much to the acclaim of the audience.

Two days at Woodford were glorious, and we couldn’t leave without squeezing just a couple of last acts in the morning of our departure.

The Bushwhackers were a blast with a shanty, a whirl and jig, a sparkly coat and largaphone, a hoedown and everything in between. Leave it in the Ground elicited a positive response from the gathering crowd in spite of the early time. The most amusing highlight was the enthusiastic Auslan interpreter who was literally dancing and sign-singing along with each and every song. Another Trip To Bunnings now comes with its own audience participation thanks to the Auslan sign for Bunnings (bunny ears).

The final set we caught at Woodford was a firm favourite, the Stiff Gins. As always, their music is storytelling and evocative, we could see the east win gently stir the blossoms over the land, their glorious harmonies had us winging our way home with them, and we witnessed the leaves turning in  Narrandera. You know you’re a part of the band when you’re allowed to sing a song, and Lucas on guitar also brought to the stage Chance Meeting. It was a delightful start to the day, and still a wonderful way to end our festival visit.

As always, Woodford Folk Festival delivered diversity, beauty, and glorious memories in a world made perfect by music. If you’ve never been, you really must put it on your bucket list!

Peak Festival Announces First Round of Artists for 2018

Sahara Beck
Image Courtesy of Sahara Beck

It may be the height of Summer but it’s time to start planning your Winter escapades with the first round of artists announced for the Peak Festival in New South Wales.

So far nine artists have been revealed including Hot Potato Band, Sahara Beck (above), Electrik Lemonade, His Merry Men, Hussy Hicks, Aliensworth, Felicity Lawless, Matiu, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning and Pete Denahy. And you know there’s a lot more goodness to come especially as this is the Peak Festival’s 10th anniversary.

Peak Festival is held in Perisher, NSW over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend from the 8th to the 11th June. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Roots duo Hussy Hicks announced a collaboration with Rapahel White for their fifth album On The Boundries. Details here

Tim Hart, drummer with Boy & Bear, has returned with new solo material plus tour dates next year. Details here

Paul Kelly released his new video “Rising Moon”. Details here

– Alt-country legends Calexico announced their ninth studio album The Thread That Keeps Us. Details here

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s announced their annual UNHCR fundraiser with Whoa Mule (above), Shelley’s Murder Boys, Flat Rock Boys, Simone East and more performing “bluegrassified” versions of classic country tracks. Details here

– Canadian soul-country singer-songwriter Frazey Ford has announced Australian tour dates. Details here

Angus & Julia Stone announced 2018 tour dates. Details here

– The final show for Blue Mountains mainstays Lime and Steel is this Saturday. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country band James Ellis and the Jealous Guys released their new video “Have You Ever Seen Her”. Details here

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nights Sweats announced plans to release their first live album Live at Red Rocks. Details here

– Victorian alt-folk collective The Northern Folk released the video for their new single “Get On”. Details here

– Melbourne based alt-folk trio Four In The Morning released their new single “Terrified”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter Tom Dockray released his new video “Here’s To Me & You”. Details here

Father John Misty announced Sydney and Melbourne headline shows while he’s in the country for Laneway. Details here

– Fremantle singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly announced national tour dates. Details here

– Sydney folk-pop duo The Campervan Dancers released their new single “Let Me Go (Eiffel Tower)”. Details here

Releases This Week

Powerful Owl
Powerful OwlBelle Miners
iTunes

Billy Bragg
Bridges Not WallsBilly Bragg
iTunes

Wild and Reckless
Wild & RecklessBlitzen Trapper
Bandcamp

Wild
Wild & FreeVanessa Delaine
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Lime and Steel w/Julien Joel Clement, Neil Duncan

Lime and Steel

Iconic Blue Mountains band Lime and Steel call it a day with their last ever show.

Saturday 4th November – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Sunday 5th November – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW

Alanna and Alicia
Saturday 4th November – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC

Alex The Astronaut
Friday 3rd November – Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Perth, WA

Americana Music Association of Australia Birthday Bash feat. Anne Kirkpatrick, Gretta Ziller, Small Town Romance, The Ahern Brothers, Andrew Swift, Georgia State Line, Hana and Jessie-Lee, The April Family
Friday 3rd November – Cronulla, NSW

Americana Music Association of Australia Conference
Saturday 4th November – Cronulla, NSW

Andy Golledge
Friday 3rd November – Giant Dwarf, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Bitter & Twisted Fest, Maitland Goal, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 5th November – The Junkyard Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Wednesday 8th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Australian Music Week
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Sydney, NSW

Band of Brothers
Thursday 9th November – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Beechworth Celtic Festival
Friday 10th and Saturday 11th November – Beechworth, VIC

Beltane Festival
Friday 3rd to Tuesday 7th November – Wolfgang’s Palace, Nalangil, VIC

Ben Salter
Friday 3rd November – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th November – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th November – Castlemaine Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Thursday 9th November – St John Craft Beer, Launceston, TAS
Friday 10th November – The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS
Friday 10th November – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS

Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival
Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th November – Bendigo, VIC

Bernard Fanning
Saturday 4th November – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

Betty & Oswald
Thursday 9th November – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th November – Yah Yah’s, Melbourne, VIC

Blackwood Festival of Music and Culture
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th November – Blackwood, VIC

Blues at Bridgetown
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bridgetown, WA

Bob Evans
Friday 10th November – C.ex, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 3rd November – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW
Friday 10th November – House Concert, Ferntree Gully, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 3rd November – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Saturday 4th November – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Tuesday 7th November – Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, QLD
Wednesday 8th November – Townsville Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD

Byron Bay Guitar Festival
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Candice McLeod
Friday 3rd November – House Concert, Wakerie, SA
Sunday 5th November – House Concert, Ararat, VIC
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival, Bendigo, VIC

CanManouche Gypsy Jazz Jam
Saturday 4th November – Gang Gang Cafe, Canberra, ACT

Charlie & Jensen
Sunday 5th November – Cinema Paradiso, Ettalong Beach, NSW

Chris Jagger
Friday 3rd November – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Stag N’ Hunter Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Monday 6th November – Bird’s Basement, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival, Bendigo, VIC

Cider Fest feat. The Pitts Family Circus, The Barkers Vale Brothers, Honey & Knives, The Button Collective
Saturday 4th November – Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 3rd November – Family Hotel, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Beaches Hotel, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 10th November – Labour in Vain, Melbourne, VIC

Code Red Festival
Friday 3rd November – Murdoch, WA

Colin Lillie
Friday 3rd November – El Sol, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Cronulla, NSW

Datson Hughes
Saturday 4th November – Live and free @ Brat Cave, Brisbane, QLD

Devil Goat Family String Band
Sunday 5th November – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Diana Anaid
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW

Dusty Ravens
Saturday 4th November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Echo Deer
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Majors Creek Festival, Majors Creek, NSW

Eden Whale Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Eden, NSW

Ella Belfanti
Saturday 4th November – Paddo RSL, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Byron Bay Guitar Festival, Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Emma Davis
Thursday 9th November – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Emma Russack
Friday 3rd November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 3rd November – Giant Dwarf, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Eurongilly Hall, Eurongilly, NSW
Friday 10th November – Majors Creek Festival, Majors Creek, NSW

Finders Keepers Brisbane Market
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane, QLD

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Blackwood Festival of Music and Culture, Blackwood, VIC

Folk Alliance Australia Conference
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Cronulla, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Suami Amabel, Jason Lowe, Matt Owens
Wednesday 8th November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 3rd November – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Thursday 9th November – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Garrett Kato
Friday 3rd November – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD

Glenmaggie Country Rock Festival
Saturday 4th November – Glenmaggie Hall, Glenmaggie, VIC

Great Aunt
Thursday 9th November – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

Gretta Ziller
Saturday 4th November – Glenmaggie Country Rock Festival, Glenmaggie, VIC
Tuesday 7th November – Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 9th November – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

Grizzlee Train
Friday 10th November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Hana & Jessie-Lee
Saturday 4th November – The Golden Barley, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 9th November – South Australian Music Awards, Thebarton Theatre Adelaide, SA

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 3rd November – Upper Lansdowne Hall, Upper Lansdowne, NSW

Healesville Music Festival
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Healesville, VIC

Holly Throsby
Friday 3rd November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th November – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White
Saturday 4th November – Leftie’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 8th November – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Thursday 9th November – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bridgetown Blues Festival, Bridgetown, WA

Inland Sea of Sound Festival
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW

James Bennett
Friday 10th November – Avoca Beach Hotel & Resort, Avoca Beach, NSW

James Kenyon
Friday 3rd November – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 5th November – The Lost Ones, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 10th November – The Lounge, Albury, NSW

James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims
Thursday 9th November – Gypsy Tapas House, Fremantle, WA

Jed Rowe
Friday 3rd November – Skylark Lounge, Upwey, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Saint Monday, Yackandandah, VIC
Sunday 5th November – Merry Muse, Canberra, ACT

Jeff Lang
Saturday 4th November – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 5th November – Tablelands Music Lovers The ORB, Atherton, QLD

Jess Locke
Friday 3rd November – The Foundry Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 4th November – Crown and Anchor, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 8th November – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 9th November – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 10th November – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

John Butler Trio
Friday 3rd November – Corxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Hanging Rock, Macedon Ranges, VIC

Jordan Merrick w/ Sam Newton
Sunday 5th November – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Josh Pyke w/ Harrison Storm
Friday 3rd November – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Long Point Vineyard, Port Macquarie, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 4th November – Readings St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC

Karin Page
Saturday 4th November – WAMfest, Perth, WA

Kasey Chambers
Friday 3rd November – Tank Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

King Arthur w/ Lucky Oceans
Monday 6th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Kyle Lionhart
Thursday 9th November – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday 10th November – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 10th November – Piping Hot Chicken, Ocean Grove, VIC

Likely Celts
Sunday 5th November – Warrnambool RSL, Warrnambool, VIC
Friday 10th November – The Old Priory Beechworth, Beechworth, VIC

Lime and Steel w/Julien Joel Clement, Neil Duncan
Saturday 4th November – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

Lizzie Flynn
Tuesday 7th November – The Bug – Brisbane Unplugged Gigs, Brisbane, QLD

Lloyd Spiegel
Saturday 4th November – Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, Wangaratta, VIC

Low Down Riders, Ruby Gilbert & Ramblin’ Ash
Friday 10th November – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Lyall Moloney
Friday 3rd November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 9th November – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th November – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Lyn Bowtell
Friday 3rd November – Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music, Muswellbrook, VIC
Thursday 9th November – Bayview Country Art Club, Bittern, VIC
Friday 10th November – The Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC

Maia Marsh
Saturday 4th November – Secret Garden, Sydney, NSW

Majors Creek Festival
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Majors Creek, NSW

Maldon Folk Festival
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th November – Maldon, VIC

Mama Kin Spender
Friday 3rd November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Mandy Connell
Friday 10th November – The Skylark Room, Upwey, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Thursday 9th November – House Concert, Belmont, VIC
Friday 10th November – House Concert, Wyndham Vale, VIC

Martin Pearson
Friday 10th November – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC

Melody Moko
Sunday 5th November – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Mia Dyson
Friday 3rd November – Inland Sea of Sound Festival, Bathurst, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Bitter & Twisted Festival, Maitland, NSW
Friday 10th November – SS&A, Albury, NSW

Mile Twelve
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC

Monique Clare
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Sydney, NSW

Monthly Oldtime Jam
Sunday 5th November – Brothers Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Mr Alford
Sunday 5th November – Daylesford Cider Company, Daylesford, VIC

Neil Murray
Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Northern Beaches Music Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Collaroy Beach, Sydney, NSW

Ocean Grove International Americana Music Festival feat. Gallie, Twin Peaks, Liam Gerner
Friday 10th November – The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill, Ocean Grove, VIC

Ollie Brown w/ Andy Golledge, Brendon Moon
Wednesday 8th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Out of Abingdon
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Eden Whale Festival, Eden, NSW
Thursday 9th November – Doo-Bop Jazz Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Paddy McHugh
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Franks Wild Years, Thirroul, NSW

Patonga Blues Across The Bay
Saturday 4th November – Broken Bay Sport & Recreation Centre, Brooklyn, NSW

Paul Kelly
Friday 3rd November – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Saturday 4th November – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Tuesday 7th November – Convention Centre Great Hall, Cairns, QLD
Wednesday 8th November – Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD
Thursday 9th November – Great Western Hotel, Rockhampton, QLD

Peasant Moon
Friday 3rd November – Orient, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Quarry Mountain Dead Rats w/ The Drunken Poachers
Friday 10th November – Baha, Rye, VIC

Porch Light Sessions feat. Shelley’s Murder Boys, David Ross Macdonald, Darby
Thursday 9th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ralway Bell
Saturday 4th November – WAMFest Live, Perth, WA

Red-Eyed And Blue feat. That Red Head, Ben Leece
Sunday 5th November – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Rick Hart
Sunday 5th November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Russell Morris
Sunday 5th November – Satellite Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 6th November – The Yarraville Club, Yarraville, VIC

Sásta
Friday 3rd November – Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 4th November – Sandgate Town Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 5th November – The Colmslie Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

Simon Imrei
Friday 10th November – Brass Razu, Mornington, VIC

Sneaky Jams feat. Ned Mcphie, Sam IAm, Michelle Benson, Lucas
Wednesday 8th November – Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

Stella Donnelly
Friday 3rd November – Code Red Festival, Murdoch, WA
Saturday 4th November – WamFest, Perth, WA
Sunday 5th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Stockley
Friday 3rd November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Tex Perkins – The Man In Black, The Songs of Johnny Cash
Friday 3rd November – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Audreys
Saturday 4th November – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 4th November – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 5th November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 8th November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 9th November – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 10th November – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

The Band Who Knew Too Much
Sunday 5th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Friday 3rd November – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay, NSW
Saturday 4th November – John Wright Park, Tuncurry, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Hoey Moey Beer Garden, Coffs Harbour, NSW

The Button Collective
Friday 3rd November – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Cider Fest, Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW

The Central Coast Scottish Spectacular
Sunday 5th November – The Entertainment Grounds, Gosford, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band w/ The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 3rd November – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Montgomery Brothers
Thursday 9th November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th November – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Northern Folk
Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th November – Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival, Bendigo, VIC

The Nukes
Friday 3rd November – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Saturday 4th November – Jive, Adelaide, SA

The Songwriter Sessions feat. Paul Andrew Carey, Sarah Carroll and Matt Glass
Sunday 5th November – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 3rd November – Ravenswood Tavern, Mandurah, WA
Saturday 4th November – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 5th November – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Tuesday 7th November – Perth Blues Club, Perth, WA
Thursday 9th November – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Blues at Bridgetown Festival, Bridgetown, WA

The Weeping Willows
Saturday 4th November – Glenmaggie Country Rock Festival, Glenmaggie, VIC

The Willing Ponies
Sunday 5th November – The George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Timberwolf
Friday 3rd November – Secret Location, Adelaide, SA

TinPan Orange
Friday 3rd November – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Saturday 4th November – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA
Friday 10th November – Hudson Ballroom, Sydney, NSW

Tom Dockray w/ Mitch Power
Friday 3rd November – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 8th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bendigo Blues Festival, Bendigo, VIC

Tom West
Friday 3rd November – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 10th November – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Tristen Bird
Friday 3rd November – Willie Smith’s Organic Cider, Grove, TAS
Saturday 4th November – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS
Sunday 5th November – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 9th November – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 10th November – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT

Twin Peaks
Sunday 5th November – Jacaranda River Feast, Grafton, NSW
Tuesday 7th November – Red Gum BBQ, Red Hill, VIC
Wednesday 8th November – Wine Whiskey Women, The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th November – Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove, VIC

Wallis Bird
Thursday 9th November – Wauchope Arts, Wauchope, NSW
Friday 10th November – Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen, NSW

WAMFest Live
Saturday 4th November – Northbridge, Perth, WA

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Wangaratta, VIC

William Crighton and Terra Lightfoot
Friday 3rd November – Central Bar, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 4th November – Inland Sea of Sound Festival, Bathurst, NSW
Sunday 5th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Monday 6th November – Yah Yah’s, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 9th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Majors Creek Festival, Majors Creek, NSW

Z-Stay Delta
Friday 3rd November – Baha, Rye, VIC
Saturday 4th November – Deep West Block Party, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 9th November – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wayfaring Stranger” – Ed Sheeran

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White Announce Collaboration On The Boundries

Hussy Hicks
Image Courtesy of Hussy Hicks

Roots duo Hussy Hicks have announced plans to release their fifth studio album On The Boundries on the 10th November, this time collaborating with Raphael White.

Raphael White has played with Hussy Hicks on a number of tours and albums and even lived with them in London for a while. For On The Boundries Raphael White is flexing his production muscle and the whole thing was recorded in the UK.

To celebrate the release of On The Boundries Hussy Hicks will be touring Australia from the beginning of November – full list of dates are below:

Saturday 4th November – Leftie’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 8th November – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Thursday 9th November – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November – Bridgetown Blues Festival, Bridgetown, WA
Tuesday 14th November – Perth Blues Club, Perth, WA
Wednesday 15th November – Clancy’s, Fremantle, WA
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Friday 8th December – Tintenbar Hall, Tintenbar, NSW
Saturday 9th December – House with No Walls, Eumundi, QLD
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo, NSW

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!

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