Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Natalie Henry released her new video “If We Said Goodbye”. Details here

Imogen Clark has announced her new album Collide, released her new video “Your Anything At All” and revealed a bunch of tour dates supporting Diesel. Details here

Bluesfest added a bunch of roots artists to its lineup including Dan Sultan, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Chain, Con Brio, Mia Dyson, Shaun Kirk, Caiti Baker, Steve Smyth, Dog Trumpet and Hanlon Brothers. Details here

Andrew Swift has announced an album launch tour this March. Details here

Busby Marou released their latest video “Got Your Back”. Details here

Releases This Week

Adam and Brooke
Adam & BrookeAdam Eckersley & Brooke McClymont

Ruby Boots
Don’t Talk About ItRuby Boots

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

In The Round feat. Sam Buckingham, Timothy James Bowen, John Vella, Hannah Acfield

Sam Buckingham

Singer-songwriter Sam Buckingham hosts the latest in Sydney’s In The Round series with fellow songwriters Timothy James Bowen, John Vella and Hannah Acfield

Wednesday 14th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Adam Eckersley & Brooke McClymont
Friday 9th February – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Coast Hotel, Budgewoi, NSW

Alanna and Alicia
Saturday 10th February – Golden Square Pool, Bendigo, VIC

Alice Skye
Friday 9th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Andy Golledge Band
Saturday 10th February – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Friday 16th February – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Ash Grunwald
Saturday 10th February – Under The Southern Stars, Broadwater Parklands, Southport, QLD
Wednesday 14th February – Mackay Entertainment Centre, Mackay, QLD
Friday 16th February – Kirwan Tavern, Townsville, QLD

Batch Sessions feat. Richard In Your Mind, Imperial Broads, Richard Cuthbert, Buddy Glass
Sunday 11th February – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Ben David
Sunday 11th February – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th February – Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Bonnie Doon Music Festival
Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February – Bonnie Doon, VIC

Brian Campeau
Friday 9th February – Edinburgh Castle, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 15th February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Brooke Russell & The Mean Reds w/ Miller
Saturday 10th February – The Skylark Room, Melbourne, VIC

Caiti Baker
Friday 9th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Caitlin Plunkett
Sunday 11th February – Old Canberra Inn, Canberra, ACT

Cass Eager
Thursday 15th February – Hume Blues Club Inc, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th February – The Skylark Room, Upwey, VIC

Cat Canteri, Ben Mastwyk
Thursday 15th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Cecilia Brandolini
Saturday 10th February – MrHenderson, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 11th February – Sassafras Canteen, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 16th February – Mundaring Sporting Club, Perth, WA

Charlie & Jensen
Sunday 11th February – Bombini, Avoca Beach, NSW

Colin Hay
Friday 9th February – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Kid Heron
Friday 16th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions feat. Lady Lyon
Friday 9th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Crookwell Irish Heritage Weekend
Friday 16th February – The Criterion Hotel, Crookwell, NSW

Darcy Fox
Friday 9th February – Lillies & Lattes, Sawtell, NSW

Davey Craddock w/ Carla Geneve, Felicity Groom, Foxleys
Saturday 10th February – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 11th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 10th February – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Direwolf, Gentle Leader
Thursday 15th February – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Evergreen Ensemble
Saturday 10th February – Cloudehill Nursery & Garden, Olinda, VIC
Sunday 11th February – The Monastery, Breakwater, Geelong, VIC

Faith i Branko
Friday 16th February – Courthouse Arts Centre – Fringe Festival, Adelaide, SA

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 9th February – Neerim Memorial Hall, Neerim, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th February – Savernake Hall, Savernake, NSW

Father John Misty
Friday 9th February – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Laneway Festival, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 11th February – Laneway Festival, Fremantle, WA

FolkSwagon feat. Ethan Conway, MoSoul, Field of Wolves
Wednesday 14th February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith & Liz Frencham
Friday 9th February – McCrossins Mill, Uralla, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Wauchope Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Sunday 11th February – Tintenbar Up Front, Tintenbar, NSW

Free Fallin’ – A Tribute To Tom Petty feat. Sweet Jelly Rolls, Jeremy Edwards, Jason Walker, Smith & Jones
Friday 9th February – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Fresh Off the Boat
Friday 9th February – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gena Rose Bruce
Tuesday 13th February – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Georgia State Line and Patrick Wilson
Saturday 10th February – Bermi’s Beachside Cafe, Bermagui, NSW

Friday 9th February – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th February – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Harry Coulson
Friday 9th February – The Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC

Heartaches & Hangovers feat. James Ellis & the Jealous Guys
Saturday 10th February – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Hello Tut Tut
Sunday 11th February – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

High Tea feat. Tim McMillan, Rachel Snow
Thursday 15th February – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Honey and Knives
Friday 9th February – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Imogen Clark
Friday 9th February – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Coast Hotel, Budgewoi, NSW

In The Round feat. Sam Buckingham, Timothy James Bowen, John Vella, Hannah Acfield
Wednesday 14th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

James Bennett
Thursday 15th January – Latin Loafer, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 16th January – Avoca Beach Bowling and Recreation Club, Avoca Beach, NSW

James Ellis & the Jealous Guys
Saturday 10th February – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 15th February – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon
Sunday 11th February – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Jess Hannan
Saturday 10th February – Heathcote Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Joe & Harmony’s Trippy Hippy Band
Saturday 10th February – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Joel Havea w/ Hollie Col, Zac Eichner
Saturday 10th February – House Concert, Camden, NSW

Friday 16th February – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS

Kate Miller-Heidke
Saturday 10th February – National Museum of Australia, Canberra, ACT

Kid Heron
Friday 16th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

King Arthur w/ James Ellis & the Jealous Guys
Thursday 15th February – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

Lady Lyon
Friday 9th February – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Louis and Grant
Thursday 15th February – The Charles Weston, Melbourne, VIC

Lucy Rose
Friday 9th February – Festival Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 10th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 13th February – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 14th February – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Friday 16th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights 2018, Melbourne, VIC

Magpie Diaries w/ Baghead
Sunday 11th February – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Mama Kin Spender
Saturday 10th February – Sunset20°N, Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW

Mandy Connell
Saturday 10th February – CERES Organic Market & Grocery, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th February – The Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC

Monthly Oldtime Jam
Sunday 11th February – The Brothers Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Neil and Liam Finn
Friday 9th February – Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 10th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 11th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 13th February – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Thursday 15th February – Chevron Gardens, Perth, WA
Friday 16th February – Bird in Hand Winery, Woodside, SA

Neil Murray
Friday 9th February – Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning, Hamilton, VIC

Not Good With Horses
Saturday 10th February – Central Coast Yak Ales BBQ Festival, Gosford, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Saturday 10th February – The Waterfront Festival, Frankston, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Summersault, Caroline Springs, VIC

Queen Porter Stomp w/ Giffen
Friday 9th February – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Freya Josephine Hollick, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Shelley’s Murder Boys
Thursday 15th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Friday 16th February – The Thornbury Local, Melbourne, VIC

Riverboats Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th February – Echuca-Moama, VIC

Romisounds & Jimothy Andrews
Friday 9th February – Glenorie RSL, Glenorie, NSW

Roy Payne’s Hillbilly Bop Safari
Thursday 15th February – National Press Club of Australia, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th February – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

Sass The Patriarchy feat. This Way North, Sal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel
Wednesday 14th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Shaky Stills
Sunday 11th February – The Rainbow Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Thursday 15th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 16th February – Hornsby Mall, Sydney, NSW

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Saturday 10th February – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 11th February – Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle, WA

St Kilda Festival
Sunday 11th February – St Kilda, VIC

Still Water
Wednesday 14th February – Bar Oussou, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 16th February – Old Canberra Inn, Canberra, ACT

Sugarman Slim
Friday 9th February – Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Drummoyne Sailing Club, Sydney, NSW

The Ahern Brothers
Friday 9th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Thursday 15th February – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Beez
Friday 9th February – Arcade Circus Shed, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 10th February – House Concert, Ourimba, NSW
Friday 16th February – Bent on Food Dinner Show, Wingham, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Friday 9th February – Bird’s Basement, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th February – Seafront Oval, Hervey Bay, QLD
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th February – Riverboats Festival, Echuca-Moama, VIC

The Bushwackers
Friday 9th February – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT

The Collingwood Casanovas
Sunday 11th February – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

The Demon Drink
Friday 16th February – Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane, QLD

The Emerald Ruby
Thursday 15th February – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW

The Galilee Three
Saturday 10th February – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

The Gypsy Scholars
Friday 9th February – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW

The London Klezmer Quartet
Saturday 10th February – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 14th February – The Stratford Courthouse, Stratford, VIC
Thursday 15th February – House Concert, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 16th February – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

The Northern Folk, Hailey Calvert and Skip
Saturday 10th February – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

The Water Runners
Friday 16th February – Sebel Harbourside, Kiama, NSW

The Willing Ponies w/ Fish Ain’t Bitin’, Where There’s Smoke
Sunday 11th February – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Sunday 11th February – Sunset20°N, Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW

Thompson Springs
Friday 9th February – The Townie, Sydney, NSW

Tim Hart
Friday 9th February – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 16th February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 16th February – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA

Tori Forsyth
Friday 16th February – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Yarra Junction Fiddlers’ Convention
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th February – Camp Eureka, Yarra Junction, VIC

Sunday 11th February – St Kilda Festival, St Kilda, VIC

Zulya and The Children of the Underground
Friday 16th February – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Outdoor Type” – The Lemonheads

Imogen Clark Releases New Single “Your Anything At All”, Announces New Album and Tour Dates

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Imogen Clark has had a huge week of announcements, revealing plans to release her new album Collide on the 27th April, dropping her catchy new single and video “Your Anything At All” and listing so many tour dates it’s impossible not to get out and see her.

Collide is Imogen Clark’s second album and was produced by Australian music legend Mark Lizotte (Diesel).

“I’ve largely been working in the alternative country scene up until now, so on this record I wanted to work with someone who understood that genre, but also had knowledge in plenty of other areas,” Clark explained. “Mark was the perfect person to help me achieve this broad, cross-over record which reflected the multitude of my musical influences. We captured everything I love to play and listen to, from country to folk and rock, and as such the album really represents the sort of singer/songwriter I want to be. It was a pleasure working with such a legend.”

The full tracklisting for Collide is here:

1. Collide
2. Late Night Girl
3. Too Late
4. You Got The World Fooled
5. Strike A Pose
6. Left Behind
7. Tear It Down
8. High Tide
9. Your Anything At All
10. Play It Safe
11. Oblivion

For the new single and video “Your Anything At All” Imogen Clark roped in the many talents of director Jeremy Dylan who she’s collaborated with on all her music video releases to date.

“I wrote “Your Anything At All” in my head while on stage at one of my gigs,” says Clark. “The song covers defiance and confidence in the face of self-doubt, and rebelling with strength against someone who’s made you feel worthless. There’s vulnerability but also sass in the song.”

Check out “Your Anything At All” here:

Imogen Clark has also announced a bunch of upcoming tour dates supporting Diesel all around the country over the coming months before she jets off to Europe. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 9th February – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th February – Coast Hotel, Budgewoi, NSW
Friday 23rd February – Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton, QLD
Saturday 24th February – Lone Star Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 2nd March – Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster, VIC
Saturday 3rd March – Macs Hotel, Melton, VIC
Friday 9th March – Villa Noosa Hotel, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Saturday 10th March – Highfields Tavern, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 16th March – Allenstown Hotel, Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 17th March – Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone, QLD
Friday 23rd March – Astor Hotel, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 24th March – Oaks Hotel, Albion Park Rail, NSW
Friday 6th April – Nelson Bay Diggers, Nelson Bay, NSW
Saturday 7th April – Laurieton United Services Club, Laurieton, NSW
Friday 13th April – Blue Cattle Dog, St Clair, NSW
Saturday 14th April – Ettamogah Hotel, Kellieville Ridge, NSW
Friday 20th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 21st April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 27th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th May – Gateway Hotel, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 5th May – Matthew Flinders Hotel, Chadstone, VIC
Thursday 10th May – Slug and Lettuce, Parafield Gardens, SA
Friday 11th May – Norwood Hotel, Norwood, SA
Saturday 12th May – Victoria Hotel, O’Halloran, SA
Friday 18th May – Shoalhaven Bowls, Shoalhaven, NSW
Saturday 19th May – Club Sapphire, Merimbula, NSW
Friday 25th May – Central Hotel, Shellharbour, NSW
Saturday 26th May – Young Ex Services, Young, NSW

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017

Record Collection

Always our most popular post of the year! Once again we’ve sent out the request to the incredible community of folk and acoustic musicians covered on Timber and Steel and they’ve responded overwhelmingly with their favourite albums of 2017.

We’ve already given you our top 25 albums and EPs – now we turn it over to the artists. So much new music still to discover! So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017.

Sarah BelknerAlison Avron
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But it Has
This album release was a long time coming and it was totally worth the wait. The lyrics are so easy to relate to, the production is sophisticated, warm and intriguing. Sarah’s voice and songwriting are absolutely sublime.

Gretta ZillerMichael Carpenter (Carpenter Caswell)
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Apart from having one of the most honest and accomplished voices in the Australian alt-country world, Gretta Ziller has developed into a world class writer in the genre. This album showcases how far she’s come in such a short time, combining her take on contemporary writing, with the amazing production of Paul Ruske. The album is strong and sensitive, ballsy and ambitious, without losing any of the heart you’d expect with the songwriting content. An outstanding release from an artist who has truly arrived, and drawn a line in the sand for the genre.

The East PointersÁine Tyrrell
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
What an impossible task, top albums, as I am only just sinking my teeth into so many of the amazing 2017 albums at the moment like Jen Cloher’s Jen Cloher, Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicles of The Great Irish Famine and so many more. But one album that has been top of my play list since release has been The East Pointers’ What We Leave Behind and I never tire of it, which is a sign of a great album. This album has great depth to it musically, lyrically and in production. There is a stunning simplicity to the way the three lads work together that creates a joyous sound much bigger than a three piece and I think they have captured it on CD which is sometimes hard to do. I love that they have been able to honour and respect their tradition and push its boundaries into some modern places. One of the stand out tracks for me is their co-write with Liz Stringer, “82 Fires”.

SOHNRosie Evelyn (Liam Gale and The Ponytails)
The general vibe is darkly sexy future blues, with simple, soulful vocals, driving percussion, major synth, and just enough movement to keep you going. A little bit James Blake, a little bit Allan Rayman.

Jed RoweLes Thomas
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
This album grabbed me instantly with the strength of its songwriting, quality of musicianship and directness of emotion. Very few songwriters I know can deliver the goods as writers and players like Jed can. The song “Tailem Bend” – a small town story with universal resonance – shows the level of accomplishment and expression he’s achieved and it’s a beautiful thing to hear.

Stu LarsenResolute
Not only is Stu a beautiful human being but also an incredible singer songwriter! Every song on this album is just beautiful and comes from a very honest and humble place.

Mexico CityM.E. Baird
Mexico CityWhen The Day Goes Dark
Why? Because they represent the real deal to me – no ego, no frills, no pretense, just damn good songs and tunes.

Hiss Golden MessengerBrooke Russell and the Mean Reds
Hiss Golden MessengerHallelujah Anyhow
There’s something about MC Taylor’s voice that makes me so happy. I’m fairly new to his music and while I’m diving into his back catalogue, this new one has arrived and I’m in love. Beautiful band sound, fab songs – something sentimental in it that feels warm to me. My rekkid for the summer!

Ryan AdamsRyan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
I love that it’s a revered, adored singer-songwriter at the top of his fame, dealing with genuine emotions and pain in the public spotlight. It may be tragic, it might be self inflicted, but I still feel like he’s a true artist who is his own worst enemy and that comes across in his heart-break ballads.

The Homeless Gospel ChoirFrank Turner
The Homeless Gospel ChoirNormal
I’ve been doing shows with Derek in Pittsburgh for a few years and he’s always been good, but this record is the sound of an artist finding his voice and spreading his creative wings. It’s been absolutely jammed in my stereo since I got hold of it.

Brooke RussellKelly Day (Broads)
Brooke Russell and the Mean RedsThe Way You Leave
This year one album really ticked all my boxes – which sounds too clinical really for something that made me splashy cry while I was driving. I particularly love that it sits outside the kind of music I tend to lean towards, but great albums are often the ones that transcend your usual inclinations. Brooke has absolutely NAILED it with this release. Stunning production, exquisite songwriting, and the most luscious, authentic, rich voice that feels like someone blowing softly on the back of your neck.

Gretta ZillerMandy Connell
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Put together with care and love, produced beautifully, and full of arrangements that feel perfect, unpredictable and just right. Every song inspires a depth of feeling, making it a really rich listen all the way through.

Offa RexMackenzie Shivers
Offa RexQueen of Hearts
Being a true lover of Celtic music, this album inspired me as an artist more than any other. From quirky folk-rock (“Queen of Hearts”) to haunting ballads (“The First Time I Ever Saw Her Face”), there is just enough variety of instrumentation and mood to keep the listener completely captivated. And Olivia Chaney’s voice is arrestingly beautiful. Favorite track: “The Old Churchyard”

Fanny LusdenMelody Moko
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I love the way Fanny has cemented her unique way of writing with the record, her blend of social commentary, vivid imagery and Australian culture is unlike anyone else. The production is lush and thoughtful and brings the album together beautifully.

Moses SumneyTulalah
Moses SumneyAromanticism
Choosing a favourite album is a hard ask, the first one that comes to mind (probably because I’m currently listening to it) is Moses’ masterpiece, Aromanticism. It’s impeccably well constructed; colour, texture, mood, feel, groove – it ticks all of the boxes and ticks them damn well.

The War On DrugsThe Once
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
A super strong, sonically rich and atmospheric follow up to previous album, Lost in the Dream. Sounds like Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen adopted a kid in the seventies and this is the result of that happy home.

Jason IsbellBrad Butcher
Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound
To make my decision for album of the year I simply refer to which album I’ve listen to most. It’s an easy choice really – The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. All class as usual, amazing sounds all throughout the record and Isbell’s songwriting is up there with the best of the best.

Jed RoweCat Canteri
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
Jed paints a beautiful and lush portrait of predominantly Australian characters and landscapes, past and present on this record. The depth of field and attention to detail in his songwriting is just wonderful and comes across as completely effortless. Sonically the album is paired back, which allows the strength and quality of the songs, performances and Jed’s voice to shine. If I can write a song like “Where The Water Meets The Sky” or “Tailem Bend” some day, I’ll be well pleased.

LordePepi Emmerichs (Oh Pep!)
Melodrama hits me in the heart every time. It’s lush, poignant, groovy and the songs make me think, all the while being incredibly catchy. Those are pretty much most of my favourite things in music!

TajMoLloyd Spiegel
TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ BandTajMo
The first time I heard Keb’ Mo’ I said “Man, this guy should sit in with Taj”. It’s about time they listened to me. Both these artists have the rare ability to modernise the blues genre while still giving it’s roots and traditions their rightful respect. Combined, this CD hit a nerve with me, in particular the gutbucket tracks “Don’t Leave Me Here” and “Diving Duck Blues”. Really though, you can’t put those two in a room and expect anything less.

Valerie JuneEmily Barker
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I learned about Valerie June on my trips to Memphis as she lived there for many years and has worked with a lot of the musicians I know out there. I heard “Long, Lonely Road”, the first song on the record, and I knew from then on I was going to love it. There’s so much space in the recordings and her unusual but beautiful vocals grabbed me instantly. I love how the production and her songs seamlessly blend a mix a folk, soul, pop and desert blues. It sounds fresh and cool, powerful and feminine.

The Ahern BrothersJoel Barker & The Low Company
The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Charming and insightful songwriting combining two voices made to sing together. Deserves to be in front of the masses. Astonishing live performances to boot!

Cigarettes After SexHusky
Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After Sex
It’s a fog of romance and nostalgia you can’t help but get lost in. Reminds me of being 16 and love sick, listening to Mazzy Star.

Lisa KnappSam Lee
Lisa KnappTill April Is Dead – A Garland of May
English folk singer Lisa Knapp has captured in this album a stunning insight into the melodic and archaic realms of May-time when all of England is blooming and the sense of ancient rites and mysticism is emerging from the dark winter. It’s an album that casts a rich and hauntingly magical spell and gives that sense of contemporary ancientness that all good folk singers are masters of.

Greg StepsFour In The Morning
Greg Steps & The Not For ProphetsThe Overland
There have been a lot of great releases this year, but our favourite from around Melbourne has to be The Overland by Greg Steps. The songs just scream of someone who has worked hard at honing their craft. Tightly woven lyrics painting little snapshots of Australia, from early morning walks in Melbourne to trains clattering across Queensland. It’s all underlaid with a warm, folky vibe that feels authentic without being derivative. The stand out track for us is “Famous Last Words”. It’s a folk song in the true sense of the word and weaves together thoughts on fame, colonialism, and folk heroes. It also introduced us to the amazing story of Breaker Morant.

Novo Amor and Ed TullettWildwood Kin
Novo Amor & Ed TullettHeiress
This is the perfect album to listen to when in need of some peace and tranquility amongst a busy schedule. They have released a set of live performance videos that capture their sound together so well; the two voices blend harmoniously together, creating an unbelievable sound of completeness and perfection. You can’t help feeling relaxed when hearing their music!

Leif VollebekkRiley Pearce
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
You know how people say they’ve had this CD in their car and have listened to it on repeat since they got it and you’re like “yeh right, no you didn’t”. Well now I understand that feeling. This album is everything. It’s emotive, it’s clever, it’s stripped and simple and it’s f#@king great!

The Teskey BrothersPaddy McHugh
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
When I first heard the track “Crying Shame” I thought that I was listening to a bunch of old African American soul men from Memphis. Then I saw a picture of the band and thought I was listening to a bunch of young white soul dudes from Memphis. Then I read they are from bloody Warrandyte in Victoria. I invited them to play live on my radio show Three Chords & The Truth and they absolutely killed it. Since then I have had the pleasure of playing on a few bills with them and can also report that they are top blokes to boot.

Big TheifFraser A. Gorman
Big ThiefCapacity
Adrianne Lenker is easily the most eloquent and beautiful songwriter I’ve heard in years.

Neil McSweeneyJon Boden
Neil McSweeneyA Coat Worth Wearing
I’ve chosen an album by Neil McSweeney, a stalwart of the Sheffield scene for many years. A Coat Worth Wearing is a fantastically literate collection of songs beautifully arranged and produced, and displaying the talents of a brilliant band of musicians including renowned folk stalwarts Ben Nicholls and Sam Sweeney. It’s an excellent album on so many levels and definitely my pick for album of 2017.

YirrmalKetch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)
I met Yirrmal Marika in Melbourne at the Australian Americana Honors Awards this past October. Yirrmal stole the show. He is a culture man. I picked up Yirrmal’s new EP Youngblood; it is the best Americana record I heard all year long. It’s got 50,000 years of soul. Crank it up.

Nadia ReidTaryn La Fauci
Nadia ReidPreservation
This record was on repeat for many many months in my car this year. I had really been craving an exquisite, cohesive and beautiful album that I could fall for, hard. This album did all of that and more, which is why it is my album of the year for 2017. I also got to see Nadia play in Sydney at The Golden Age Cinema in April and the show was stunning, it made me want to run home and learn how to play my guitar with that kind of verve.

Ryan AdamsImogen Clark
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
This album sounds to me like beautiful chaos and distress. Ryan Adams has a way of tapping into human vulnerability and woe like I don’t think I’ve ever heard from another artist. This record is just another example of his way with words and melodies that together, form the most melancholy but simultaneously kick-ass comments on the human condition you’ll ever hear from any modern day songwriter.

Sgt PepperJames Daley (The Morrisons, Diamond Duck, Tawny Owl String Band)
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th Anniversary Edition
I feel a bit a strange choosing a reissue as album of the year, but who cares, it’s Sgt Peppers. After all the music I have listened to in my life, nothing has ever captured my imagination the way The Beatles have. It is the most astonishing body of work in pop music, the same way Bach is to classical music or Shakespeare to literature. I discovered The Beatles as a teenager after I got a copy of The White Album for xmas one year and my life has never been the same. Hearing all the remastered tracks and outtakes on this reissue was a wild journey and reinvigorated my love for this music in a way I hadn’t anticipated – I have been listening to The Beatles non stop since it came out, like I’m rediscovering it all over again. There are some absolute pearlers on this – the alternate takes of “Strawberry Fields”, “Lucy In The Sky” and “Day In The Life” are really interesting. Hearing how they built these songs into what we know and love is a fascinating process. However the most astonishing track is the instrumental take of “She’s Leaving Home”. Being able to hear all the subtlety, intricacy and beauty of George Martin’s arrangement for strings/harp was such a joy. A real masterclass in arranging – plus you can sing over and pretend you are Paul McCartney, ha.

The War On DrugsDirewolf
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Don’t you just adore things that need only a moment to take a firm grip around your mind, heart and/or soul? Like a one in a million barista made coffee or takeaway Thai? Not that I’m directly drawing comparisons between those things and what I consider to be a modern day classic album. However that is how my body reacted when the first second of “Up All Night” passed by. The unmistakable soundscape, verb soaked /grunge driven guitars, the synergy of acoustic/electronic driving “Dire Straights” percussion, Adam Granofsky’s/Bob Dylan’s often confused voices are but the tip of a very large and colourful iceberg that make up the record at large. We’re only supposed to be confined to one sentence, and since I’ve already profoundly broken that line I’m going to insist you put this record on in the background and see how long it takes you to stop needle poking around on the internet and gain A Deeper Understanding.

Scott CookLiz Frencham
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
I listen repeatedly to a lot of albums for my work as an accompanist. Rarely does such an album make it past that stage into my ‘listening
for pleasure’ category let alone become my favourite. But Scott Cook’s warm and beautiful Further Down The Line is one such album. It captures his arresting live delivery and the songs are rich in detail and real, visceral experience.

Dermot KennedyHarrison Storm
Dermot KennedyDoves & Ravens
I remember stumbling upon Dermot’s music on Spotify and instantly connecting with it. I became really intrigued with his music and read in an interview where he explains his sound as a cross between Bon Iver and Drake, which is pretty accurate. This EP is full of rich lyrics and interesting sounds and each listen uncovers a phrase or sound you may have missed in the previous listen. This EP definitely inspired me this year and I am looking forward to what he releases in 2018.

Laura CorteseThe East Pointers
Laura Cortese & The Dance CardsCalifornia Calling
If there’s one album we could pick from 2017, we’d have to choose California Calling by Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. These girls are ridiculously talented (watching them perform live makes you want to go home, practice and write better songs). Their latest album combines Americana, trad, pop and folk so perfectly. Organic, yet slick. Can’t see how anyone wouldn’t like it!

FeistAinsley Farrell
Pleasure is so intimate and fragile, yet very powerful. It tugs at all my heartstrings. I recently got the chance to see her live performance at The Opera House and it blew me away.

Leif VollebekkDustin Tebbutt
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
My good friend Hayden Calnin introduced me to this guy over a late night whisky, and I have been listening ever since. The lyrics verge on stream of consciousness without being aimless, while vocally, Leif somehow manages to ride the line between being completely vulnerable and completely in control at the same time. Put this on top of some of the tastiest drum sounds I’ve heard in a long while, and simple but stunning keyboard playing, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an album. There are few bells and whistles, there aren’t really any production tricks or shoe shine here, just honest stories, and raw but precisely executed sounds.

Phoebe BridgersWilliam Fitzsimmons
Phoebe BridgersStranger in the Alps
I came upon Bridgers from my bandmate, who had done some touring with her and I was pretty caught up in it immediately. Her voice is special and there is a wisdom in her words beyond her young years. The most exciting thing for me, however, isn’t the album itself, it’s knowing that there is only more and even better from her to come. Listen to “Smoke Signals”.

The Mae TrioThe Northern Folk
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
We finally caught The Mae Trio at Dorrigo Folk this year after hearing good things for so long, and they blew us away. This is the kind of album that reminds you of how amazing our folk scene can be- heartspoken, cleverly arranged, beautifully performed and catchy as anything. “Call Me Stranger” is a particular favourite of ours, but each song on this record is so strong.

R.L. BoyceDom Turner (The Backsliders)
R.L. BoyceRoll and Tumble
It is the second album from a man at the heart of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. It contains all the style and swagger, grit and power that comes from a musician who sets perfectly gritty grooves overlain with heartfelt vocals to achieve maximum emotion.

The Button CollectiveJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Backsliders)
The Button CollectiveHall on the Hill
This album has been on constant repeat in my car, my workshop, and my Spotify from the first day I bought it – so beautifully recorded so that you feel like you are in the room with them as they emotionally belt out fantastic songs written by Brodie and brought to life by a bunch of great musicians. Hall on the Hill is an absolute cracker of an album and I think I’ll be religiously listening to it for some time to come – perhaps until their next one is released.

Willie WatsonShelley Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol.2
This album is such a clear winner for me, I’ve had it on high rotation since its release. Once again Willie brought his own feel to some classic folk songs, from the delightfully joyful harmonies in “Samson and Delilah” to his haunting take on “Gallows Pole”.

All Our Exes Live in TexasJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
All Our Exes Live in TexasWhen We Fall
Such a pleasure to finally hear this debut album after hearing the band grow and play over the past few years. What an amazing collection of songs and of course the incredible vocal performances from all 4 of these superstars. I really loved the production on the album as well by producer Wayne Connolly which added lovely colour to the beautiful songs. ARIA award winners 2017!

Kat GoldmanRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson)
Kat GoldmanWorking Man’s Blues
Nina Simone once said “It’s an artist’s duty … to reflect the times [in which we live]”. It’s been a fantastic year of new releases, though I’d like to highlight an album that nails the above brief and more. Canadian writer Kat Goldman’s Working Man’s Blues is challenging, at times fragile, brutally honest and incredibly insightful. Collectively, the songs explore contemporary working-class culture, often from the perspective of a lover who struggles to understand and accommodate the struggles of the working man. I’ve long been a fan of Kat Goldman’s writing. Her unique sound, mesmerising voice, distinctive compositions and feet-on-the-ground approach to her music make her a formidable artist of great integrity. Working Man’s Blues has been on high rotation here, and will be for some time to come.

Jed RoweBill Jackson
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
First thing that struck me about this record was the vocals and these songs provide a beautiful vehicle for a great voice. Next thing, the sparseness – the way I have been accustomed to hearing Jed over his journey. Jed Rowe has something to say – I admire that and this record puts him up there with the very best. Standout track for me is “Tailem Bend”. Beautifully produced by Jeff Lang.

Lilly HiattJames Allsopp (Ralway Bell)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
Picking one standout release for 2017 was pretty impossible in what was a year of exceptional music. Locally, Joel Barker and the Low Company’s Unchartered EP was a stand out. Otherwise, I’ve been talking up Lilly Hiatt since the moment I finished listening to Trinity Lane. Like all my favourite albums, it’s rooted in personal struggle, ebbs and flows perfectly, is filled with outstanding musicianship, and doesn’t try too hard sound like any one genre in particular. 10 stars!

Body CountMatt Black (The Bottlers)
Body CountBloodlust
Body Count’s sixth studio album Bloodlust emblazons a brutally honest sociopolitical conscience and fire eyed world view, teetering on the honed end of a pistol sight. I feel this is Ice T and band’s tried and true return to form with pinpoint, stand out tracks such as the narrative charged, “Black Hoody” and controversy ladened, “No Lives Matter”. A must listen for those thirsting for the truth beyond a media blurred world.

Bob DylanThe Welcome Wagon
Bob DylanTrouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
You might call this choice dirty pool, as the music was recorded nearly 40 years ago, but it’s only now getting a proper release, so I’m technically in the clear. This is a collection of live tracks, demos, and outtakes from Bob Dylan’s so-called “Born Again” period, stuff folks (me included) have been downloading from various sketchy websites for years, and for good reason. The songs are great – check “Solid Rock” for a straight Gospel stomper, cue up “I Believe in You” for an arresting spiritual ballad – and so are many of the live performances (the backing choir is consistently blistering). Whether you’re a believer or not, Dylan clearly is here, and it makes all the difference.

The Mae TrioJohn Flanagan
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
Sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby have such beautifully contrasting songwriting styles, Maggie is a stone cold killer Americana writer and Elsie writes stunningly original melodies with uplifting pop hook choruses. With (no exaggeration) some of the best folk harmonies in the WORLD and Anita’s impressive rhythmic cello playing, this is a truly unique and heart-grabbing band and this album is them going all out with tasteful and at times epic production.

Georgia State LineNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Georgia State LineHeaven Knows
These guys applied to play at the Americana Music Association of Australia’s takeover of Late Night Alt at Tamworth in January. Paul Heggart from The Heggarties chose them site unseen from the applications purely based on what he heard when he listened to their pre-release recordings of this album. Hailing from country Victoria these guys are a six piece featuring Georgia Delves on vocals, and songwriting. They’re all accomplished instrumentalists in their own right and Georgia’s songwriting authentically channels the best of sophisticated country songwriting from the 60s and 70s.

Fanny LusdenSam Buckingham
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I’m not just picking this album because Fanny and Dan are two of my favourite people! This album is, as the title suggests, all class. Fanny’s songwriting is beautifully Australian and the album is joyful, brilliantly performed by all involved, and completely without any ego – despite the outstanding success these guys have been earning. Fanny gives us all a lesson on how to be a ripper indie artist and how to make music that’s undoubtedly, authentically, your own. Roll on kids

LCD SoundsystemEm George
LCD SoundsystemAmerican Dream
I was moderately (read as *very*) excited when there were rumblings of talk about a new album from these guys, but like anything that was laid to rest, one always is slightly concerned that the revival won’t live up to what has come before it. So when LCD Soundsystem released their new album, I cautiously gave it a first listen and it did not disappoint. Every beat and melodic turn is so completely in tune to what has become their signature sound; that build up of tension and release, excitement and sadness, with inflections of irony that James Murphy grabs the listener with in his choice of lyrics marked with wit. There’s a touch of darkness and melancholy as each song seems to question the ending of things, the loss of once was, but that bright spark of beat this band is known for keeps it somewhere higher and closer within reach, slightly unobtainable so you keep wanting to hear it on repeat from start to finish again and again.

Aldous HardingCharm of Finches
Aldous HardingParty
Party swept us off our feet. Moody and textural, impeccable production awash with aural spectres. Horizon is addictive and moving. Aldous’ compelling voice and haunting poetics have us in thrall.

The Teskey BrothersMark Wilkinson
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
Amazing vocals and killer tracks full of old school soul. Sounds like neat whiskey and smokey bars.

The NationalBANFF
The NationalSleep Well Beast
I eagerly awaited The National’s next record, after Trouble Will Find Me kept me wrapped me up in its flawlessness for the last four years or there abouts. This year Sleep Well Beast won me over, with Matt Berninger’s candid yet agitated words luring me back into that deeply thoughtful, emotional and hauntingly beautiful sound I would’ve always come back for. The National perfectly blend understated harmony with organised chaos throughout all of their records, and this was no exception by any means. The meticulous musicianship and purposeful, but somewhat ambiguous lyrics continue unravelling more layers to this beast in itself every time I listen. This was the best record of 2017 for mine.

LankumKarine Polwart
LankumBetween The Earth and Sky
I can’t get enough of the murky drone-scapes and vocal edges of Lankum’s Between The Earth and Sky. In particular, the raw, reedy singing of Radie Peat on album opener “What Shall We Do When We Have No Money?” sounds like the ages. It’s the absolute antithesis of sweet.

The Wood BrothersBen Prest (Echo Deer)
The Wood BrothersLive at the Barn
I know it’s a live album but this release was my first exposure to the brother’s amazing songs, chops and harmonies. Their sound owes a lot to The Band, and “the barn” is at Levon Helm’s farm where he held concerts before he died, making the fantastic closing cover of “Ophelia” and dedication on “Postcards from Hell” all the more meaningful.

Jess LockeHollie Matthew (Echo Deer)
Jess LockeUniverse
A revisiting of the 80’s Australian rock sound ala Go Betweens with more sadness and slacker vibe. Killer matter of fact lyrics and chorus-y guitar sounds. Even better live. 5 Stars.

SamphaSimon Wegman (Echo Deer)
I hadn’t been aware of Sampha’s previous EP releases, but after Shazaming “Blood on Me” while in a tragically trendy sneaker store, I was moved to hunt down the British singer and producer’s debut LP. Sampha Sisay’s sensitive, soulful vocals and meditative piano (reminiscent of James Blake at his best) form the backbone of this record, while the thoughtful production touches throughout make me want to hit “play” again the second it finishes.

All Them WitchesAlexi Grivas (Echo Deer)
All Them WitchesSleeping Through the War
The latest album by All Them Witches has been my most played record this year. A four piece from Nashville – but they aren’t a country band – All Them Witches is a great new-wave heavy psychedelic band, with moments of light and shade. This record has them growing as writers and players, bringing new instruments and sounds into the mix. Can’t wait to see it live.

Sam OutlawRick Hart
Sam OutlawTenderheart
Simple, yet endearing melodies, layered with beautiful storytelling. It’s an album that is strong from start to end, in many ways reminding me of some of the great traditional country songwriters whom I love. Favourite tracks are “Now She Tells Me”, “She’s Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)” and “Bougainvillea, I Think”.

Courtney Marie AndrewsJames Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Courtney Marie AndrewsHonest Life
I knew what my favourite album of the year was going to be when I saw Courtney Marie Andrews play in Melbourne in July this year. She’s got a tremendous voice and the lyrics stand apart from almost everything else I’ve heard this year in their insight and honesty. What makes her songs exceptional is the way they all seem to come directly from her own story and experience. These are her songs and this is her life. It’s an honest life.

Mike BarnettHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Mike BarnettPortraits in Fiddles
As a fiddle player and bluegrass fanatic, I am thrilled to see Mike Barnett create a record which to me is like a cross section of all the bluegrass fiddle music I’ve devoured in the last 27 years. He collaborates with some of bluegrass music’s most vibrant talent and shines new light on a great selection of fiddle masterpieces.

Angel OlsenKate Barker (Whoa Mule, Golden Whistler)
Angel OlsenPhases
I just can’t seem to get enough of Angel Olsen’s vocals and songwriting. Her work inspires me to sing like there’s no tomorrow!

George HarrisonTim Guy
George HarrisonWonderwall Music
I know this is a turn up for the books, this was released in 1968. I was in India a few weeks back, and as we descended into the ancient blue city of Jodhpur, I had this on in my headphones and seriously guys, it was incred. Place and time – but you know what I mean.

Sarah BelknerMel Parsons
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
Sydney producer and songwriter Sarah Belkner knocks it out of the park with But You Are, But It Has. This record and its predecessor the Humans EP have been on high rotation for me all year. Brilliant songwriting, interesting and super clever arrangements and impeccable production. I will continue to listen obsessively.

Bill OrcuttMark Moldre
Bill OrcuttBill Orcutt
Orcutt wanders in and around the destruction, renovations and construction sites of melody. Tearing a well worn musical phrase apart and rebuilding it. Disassembling a traditional like it’s a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces back together in all the wrong places with gaffer tape and super glue. Attacking the guitar with a ferocious tenacity, short angry, dogged outbursts are followed by meditative beauty. “When You Wish Upon A Star” dances about the melody without ever really clearly stating the theme. “Ol’ Man River” is soft and dripping with the peaceful lapping of the Mississippi whist remaining dark and haunting, broken and fractured. Reminiscent of the solo work of Marc Ribot, Fred Frith or even the sonic explorations of Tom Verlaine in its angular assault to the senses. Jazz, traditional folk and the avant-garde smash headlong into each other with little regard for the trail of damage and re-creation left in their wake. Dissonant yet sweet, contemplative while remaining challenging. Bravely free and uncensored.

Loene CarmenCatherine Traicos
Loene CarmenLovers Dreamers Fighters
I’ve always loved the way Lo’s voice manages to be strong, vulnerable, sassy, gentle and flirty all at the same time, and on this record it achieves that in spades. Also the pacing and the production of this record are spot on.

King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardJeff Lang
King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardFlying Microtonal Banana
This is a rocking album, really fun to listen to. The band gets up quite a head of steam, the rhythm section powering with a relentless forward momentum and the various microtonal electric guitars stabbing and chattering over the top. Great riffs all over the album, fantastic energy and an adventurous, explorative mood throughout. It sounds to me like they’re having a load of fun.

Ryan AdamsJosh Rennie-Hynes (The Ahern Brothers)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
Adams has so many albums and this is one of his best. Great songs, production and tones

Pony FaceCat Leahy (This Way North)
Pony FaceDeja Vu
I’ve always been fascinated with the sonic scapes that Pony Face create. I’m a massive fan of Shane Omara’s musical mind too, so when I heard he was a new member of Pony Face, it just made so much sense. This album really speaks to me. The way the songs tail in and out, the mesmerising, pulsing tremolo on “Mt Deja Vu” the driving groove in “Justine”. It’s pretty magical. Simon’s voice is just heavenly. He’s like some kind of grungy, modern-day crooner.

Nikki LaneRuby Boots
Nikki LaneHighway Queen
I tried to pick another album for fear of seeming biased, but I really do love Nikki’s album from back to front and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get past it for this year’s top pick, I fell in love with it on first listen and over 50 listens later it still remains my fave. There’s a storyline in every song that is so easy to latch on to and make your own whilst still being cleverly written, that and the infectious melodies that take up the prime real estate on this record are the things that almost make you feel like she’s written the album just for you, the listener, yet there is enough sincerity in there to know that it’s just as much for her as it is for you, the perfect balance really! Fave song on the album: “Foolish Heart”.

Nai palmTommy Spender (Mama Kin Spender)
Nai PalmNeedle Paw
I started listening to this record while I was having a bath and it felt like it really complimented the complete surrender to the hot water. I love Nai’s passion to her artistry. She is truly gifted with a confidence and commitment to her voice that verges on punk, but her vocal has such a developed technicality, it blows me away. It’s so great hearing where she is at without the sinewy and muscular musicality of Haitus Kaiyote winding around her sound.

Scott CookAlanna and Alicia
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
Scott Cook is a natural storyteller; his songs glow with empathy, wit and warmth. This is a beautiful album, but he is even better live.
His performance on the porch at Enda Kennedy’s house concert in Northcote, Melbourne was a passport to the heartland of folk songs as they should be, as they have always been.

Colter WallHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Colter WallColter Wall
This is a sparse, flawless debut from an extraordinarily talented 22 year-old Canadian possessing an absurdly weathered baritone. Arranged mostly with acoustic guitar and pedal steel only, these songs are written with the assuredness and self-knowing of a veteran songwriter. At times channelling Haggard, others Townes, the dark, vivid storytelling is magnetic and stunning. These songs feel lived in, shaped by wisdom and experience. Here we have a voice of country music’s future.

Caroline SpenceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Caroline SpenceSpades and Roses
I’ve adored Spades and Roses this year. The songs are gentle, personal, universal, with gorgeous, sonically diverse but simple instrumentation. From the gender politics of “Softball” to the twang of “Hotel Armarillo” to the cute, lyrically playful “Wishing Well” and yearning of “Slow Dancer”, they’re songs I love to listen to, to be swept away by – what a songwriter!

Bad // DreemsMark “Looch” Lewis (Wifey, Handsome Young Strangers)
Bad // DreemsGutful
A cracking second effort from the best thing to come out of Adelaide in a long time. Big old school pub rock sound, quality songs, gruff vocals and a solid rhythm section make these guys a step above the other contenders. Bad // Dreems have always been a fantastic live act and this album gets closer to nailing that intensity and rawness. There is a reason they supported Midnight Oil recently! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Gang of YourhsGretta Ray
Gang of YouthsGo Farther In Lightness
It wasn’t a challenge in the slightest to fall completely, head over heels in love with Gang Of Youths’ record Go Father In Lightness. The lyrics throughout this album are phenomenal, philosophical, pegging together lines of innovative poetry such as “a weight that’s in youth” soon to be followed by more casual, laid-back slang “..that makes a dick of us all”. I felt that the literature, interwoven with conversational speech in this way served to make this album, an album that discusses and reflects on the pros and cons of one’s “limited life” as well as the exploration of what it is to be “human”, unbelievably moving and relatable. As a writer myself, but more importantly a listener, I perceived it to be nothing less of an honour to see the world through writer and frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s eyes whilst listening to this record, that is more than deserving of all of the acclaim it has received over the duration of this year.

Kasey ChambersTom Busby (Busby Marou)
Kasey ChambersDragonfly
I’ve spent a bit of time with Kasey and the Chambers family over the last couple of years and the more I’ve been able to watch her off stage, the more I have realised that she is a true and prolific songwriter. Constantly singing, always creating, forever exploring. That is what this record is, just like her, brave and genuine!

Kendrick LamarSahara Beck
Kendrick LamarDamn
This album has worked for me no matter what mood I’ve been in all through 2017. It’s one of those albums that, to me, will always be a classic. Driving down to the lake with the windows down loving every moment of each song. Thank you for making my 2017 that much better Kendrick.

Leif VollebekkHayden Calnin
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
Never has an album been so important. I’ve listened to this every second day, and it still feels as good as the first listen. It’s come to the point that I’ve started a petition to bring this talent to Melbourne. I’m addicted to the feeling Leif gives to me. Enjoyed best walking through chaos on a sunny day, forgetting the world around you.

Ulrika SpacekTom Stephens (Tesse)
Ulrika SpacekModern English Decoration
A lesson in the art of denial, an element is there and then it’s not. It’s driving and heavy, commanding attention, but somehow you can drift away at the same time. Melodies that have to be revisited again and again and then again.

Valerie JuneMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I listened to the first few songs online of The Order of Time when it first came out, then began calling record stores instantly to see if they had it in stock because I had to own it. This record seriously has everything I look for, its soulful, rocky, bluesy and country, with the right amount of sadness. I think I’ve listened to “Love You Once Made” every day this year since buying the record. “Got Soul” is a stunning pairing of soul and country that is this perfect happy way to close the record.

Daniel RomanoTamara Lindeman (The Weather Station)
Daniel RomanoModern Pressure
Definitely the record I listened to most this year. Just great. Perfect pop songwriting, wonderful wild drumming, insane bass playing, great solos, crazy organ jams, great everything (and every note played by Romano of course). What else do you want?

Big ThiefCy Winstanley (Tattletale Saints)
Big ThiefCapacity
After being introduced to ‘Paul’ from 2016’s Masterpiece on a late night drive, and subsequently watching their Tiny Desk concert, I have been enthralled with this band. I love Adrianne Lenker’s poetic, yet coherent and often confronting lyrics, and the stark arrangements of harmonically rich songs played with a nonchalance that belies their mastery.

Sara TindleyLucie Thorne
Sara TindleyWild & Unknown
There’s an extraordinary richness and directness to Tindley’s voice that is truly stunning. Wild & Unknown is a brave and beautiful collection of songs that’ll have you dancing one moment, weeping the next. A quiet masterpiece that creeps up under your skin and plants itself in your soul. I love this album.

Jen CloherAlison Ferrier
Jen CloherJen Cloher
I love everything about Jen Cloher’s self-titled fourth album. This comes close to the perfect album for me, it’s brilliantly written, performed, recorded and produced. Jen’s bare-faced honesty is incredibly brave and inspiring. Favourite tracks: “I Forgot Myself” and “Strong Woman”.

The Secret SistersThe Weeping Willows
The Secret SistersYou Don’t Own Me Anymore
Selecting your favourite album of the past 12 months is made all the more difficult when three of your favourite acts (Jason Isbell, David Rawlings and The Secret Sisters) all release LPs within the same calendar year. But whilst Isbell and Rawlings delivered sublime albums (as to be expected), the Sisters’ album is “all killer, no filler”, their best work yet, with no temptation to reach for the “skip” button! You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the charming trad-country harmony duo’s third album and most personal project to date. The writing is at times confessional, at others, nostalgic for simpler times; strength juxtaposed with vulnerability. Their soulful songs were lovingly and tastefully produced by good friend Brandi Carlile. Stand out tracks include “Tennessee River Runs Low”, murder ballad “Mississippi” (sister song to the wonderfully haunting, “Iuka” from their 2014 album, Put Your Needle Down), “Little Again” and title track, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore”. Check them out if you’re fans of sibling harmony (eg. The Everly Brothers) and/or the southern gothic stylings of Gillian Welch and The Civil Wars.

Lilly HiattSophie Klein (Little Wise)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
I saw Lilly perform at Third Man Records at AmericanaFest in Nashville, but the gravity of her songwriting only hit me afterwards, listening to her rocking 2017 album Trinity Lane on my headphones traveling around the States. The production, by Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope, is big, loud, gritty and more indie rock than Nashville alt-country. But Lilly’s voice still has a southern twang to it though and the melodies and words kick around my brain for days on end. “I just wanna rock n’ roll, scream out my and burn real slow” she sings on “Records”, and it makes me want to do the same.

Jamie WyattGretta Ziller
Jamie WyattFelony Blues
Although it’s been out for most of the year I’ve only just discovered Jamie Wyatt’s Felony Blues! It’s a rare thing for me to listen to something on repeat but since I’ve discovered her it’s all I’m listening to!!! It’s unashamed, uncomplicated, catchy, good old fashioned country music.

Christopher Coleman CollectiveThe Dead Maggies
Christopher Coleman CollectiveAh Winter
This is a work of art, from a guy that’s had a hard run and put his heart on his sleeve. The result is a deep, personal and moving album of mature songwriting. Musically it sits somewhere between Bright Eyes and Neil Young.

Steve EarleTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Steve Earle & The DukesSo You Wanna Be An Outlaw
Equal parts devilish invitation and cautionary tale, this killer record was a tour van favourite as we hit the road after a break this year. Steve is in fine form, as usual, and while the album is boisterous and swaggering, it also manages to highlight his songwriting craft. Highlight: Willie Nelson growling “if you wanna be an outlaw you can never go home”. Giddy-up!

LogicSteve Barnard (Jon Cotton and The Book Keepers)
Riding my push bike past all the kids and their mothers, heads adorned in their icon of piety, devotion and religious identity. The burka is far more common in this corner of Sydney than most and it puts a smile on my face to see children enjoying their walk home from school with Mum. An old bogan crossing the road to the pub yells racial cliches about going back where you came from and then turns to me for my approval of his vitriol. I inform him I’m from overseas too, I just happen to be white and he is guilty of the grossest and purest type of racism. Racism is as blatant as the inability to see past difference and as subtle as the apathy that accompanies privilege. Everybody suffers either in their oppression or privilege. Everybody.

Lawrence GreenwoodTanya Batt (BATTS)
Lawrence GreenwoodP.S. I’m Haunted
Lawrence has been a favourite of mine for a long time with his previous project. It feels so nice to have a new album from him and my gosh wow. The melodic and lyrical genius within this album actually made me cry the first time I heard it. The journey this takes you on from start to finish is incredibly special. All of the amazing detail within the album leaves you finding something new each listen.

Gretta ZillerAndrew Swift
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Maybe I’m a little biased after spending so much time on the road with Gretta, but credit where credit’s due. Queen Of Boomtown is a solid record from start to finish. With underlying blues tones throughout, Queen Of Boomtown will have you tapping your feet, singing along and wiping away a tear or two again and again. Ziller is quickly being recognised as one of this country’s best songwriters and without a doubt one of its best vocalists.

Raise By EaglesSam Newton
Raised By EaglesI Must Be Somewhere
There is a great mix of upbeat and slow-burner tracks with a sprinkle of country here and there. The record is filled with great songwriting and heartfelt lyrics.

Ben SalterShane Nicholson
Ben SalterBack Yourself
I have a lot of favourite albums of 2017. It’s been a good year. But for me, one stands above the rest – Ben Salter’s Back Yourself. It’s equal parts diverse, brave, accomplished, intelligent, exciting, original, and just plain incredible, superior record-making.

Frank OceanThe Campervan Dancers
Frank OceanBiking
Ryan is arrested by the nostalgic visions of meatophorical bike-riding. Chelsea is delighted by how they manage to execute an extensive shouting outro with great aplomb.

The East PointersThe Little Stevies/Teeny Tiny Stevies
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
This recommendation is just as much about the album as it is about the live show, because TEP have done what is often very difficult to do and that’s to capture the energy and magic of their live show on record. As a band they’ve got the full package; great songs, impressive multi-instrumental musicianship, rich 3-part harmony, and to top it off they’re genuinely nice people. My favourites on the album are the vocal lead songs because I love a catchy melody and riff. But I also really enjoy the instrumentals because they include some super interesting harmonic changes through them that don’t always go where you’re expecting them to go. It’s an album that’s made a non-fiddler make it their new years resolution to learn how to play the fiddle, so it must be pretty good.

Songs From DanMelanie Horsnell
Dan TuffySongs from Dan
I loved Dan Tuffy’s record Songs from Dan because I love the quiet back of the valley live sound and the song “The biggest bastard who ever rode the west” is every musician-having-a-low-down-day’s anthem. And I loved King Curly’s new EP but biased as now we are making a record together, so not allowed to vote for that.

Les Poules a ColinJesse Periard (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)
Les Poules à ColinMorose
Les Poules à Colin have never been a band to limit themselves. They are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territory, which sets them apart from so many traditional music groups. They’ve grown so much as a band and Morose is a true representation of where they stand in the realm of traditional Québécois music and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This album has so many complex and beautiful layers to it, and has inspired me and taken me to places I didn’t expect.

Sarah BelknerJulia Johnson
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
A record I have returned to repeatedly, finding more with every listen. The textures and arrangements glisten, but have this earthy, warm undercurrent. Her lyrics unfolded the more I honed in on them. Where I was wondering of their meaning upon first listen, months later her songs are resonating deeply with chapters and moments in my life. For me, there’s nothing more wondrous than finding a song that exposes one’s painful or wonderful experience as universal, and this album is rich with those gems. Standout track: “Cellophane”.

Jesca HoopAinslie Wills
Jesca HoopMemories Are Now
I describe this album to other people as “assertive folk” in that it has folk sensibilities and instrumentation but the song ideas are quite robust and angular at times which make it really memorable (ha! Pun not intended). Also, It has no drums which to me was really refreshing as most things these days are so banger/beat driven.

Trad AttackJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Trad.Attack!Kullakarva / Shimmer Gold
Every so often I spend some time seeking out what’s happening in other local scenes around the world, and Crooked Fiddle’s musical equivalents therein – thus leading me to Estonia’s Trad.Attack! (punctuation included). Part melodic folk pop, part updated trad folk complete with Estonian bagpipes, they sometimes come across as a Baltic equivalent to Ireland’s Kila, especially on the epic title track.

Big ThiefAngie McMahon
Big ThiefCapacity
I’ve fallen in love with this band and this album. The intimacy of the songwriting has captured me, and the so many moments in the lyrics and music have brought me to moments of realisation and clarity. Some albums make you really grateful for music and the power it has over your mind, and this year, for me, it’s been this one.

Lana Del ReyTori Forsyth
Lana Del RayLust for Life
I love that Stevie Nicks has a little part of this record, she also experiments with some rad sounds. Also, lyrically this record is incredible.

This Is The KitEmily Staveley-Taylor (The Staves)
This Is The KitMoonshine Freeze
We met Kate, Rozi and Jamie at The Funkhaus during the Michelberger festival in Berlin last year and thought they were all wonderful people making wonderful music. Then we saw them play this album live at Eaux Claires festival in the summer and were blown away. The record has so many lovely, rounded sounds on it. It feels soft, but it has a driving energy that keeps pushing it forward. Kate’s voice has a familiar, kind quality when she sings – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend when they listen to music? It’s a self-assured album by a band who seem to really know who they are. And that’s a comforting presence to be in. Plus the tunes are fucking banging. And the horns rule.

Sun Kil MoonNigel Wearne
Sun Kil MoonCommon As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
This year Sun Kil Moon has been on high rotation. Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is so different, that I honestly can’t remember hearing anything else like it. Spoken word poetry, prose, and random stories (including a Chameleon vs a Cat), diary entries, muses on David Bowie and Ali augmented by busted-up Dad hip hop. It’s completely whacked and compelling. A slow burn that requires the lyrics booklet.

Watch the New Shane Nicholson Video “Safe”

Shane Nicholson
Image Courtesy of Shane Nicholson

Award-winning Americana singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is gearing up to release his new album Love and Blood on the 28th July.

The album was produced by Matt Fell and will feature guest appearances from Josh Pyke, Andrew Swift, Fanny Lumsden and Imogen Clark plus the king of Americana music, Nashville legend Buddy Miller.

The latest taster of Love and Blood is the single and video “Safe” – check it out below:

To celebrate the release of Love and Blood Shane Nicholson will be heading out on a massive national tour from the end of July – the full list of dates are as follows:

Thursday 27th July – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 28th to Sunday 30th July – Broadbeach Country Music Festival, QLD
Wednesday 2nd August – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 3rd August – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th August – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 5th August – Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club, Wonthaggi, VIC
Friday 11th August – Anita’s Theatre, Thiroul, NSW
Saturday 12th August -Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 18th August – Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW
Saturday 19th August – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Hardys Bay Club, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 25th August – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Saturday 26th August – Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns QLD
Friday 1st September – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th September – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Friday 13th October – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 14th October – Song Room, Barossa Regional Gallery, SA
Monday 16th to Monday 23rd October – Rock The Boat Pacific Cruise Pacific
Saturday 28th October – Welcome to Morrisonville, Brisbane, QLD

The Paddock Sessions In The Hunter Valley

Paddock Sessions
Image Courtesy of The Paddock Sessions

On the 20th May the Hunter Valley will come to life with sweet sweet music at the first ever Paddock Sessions hit the Taer Angwidd farm in the beautiful Wollombi Valley.

The day will feature music from a who’s who of Timber and Steel favourites including Imogen Clark, Abby Dobson, Joe Mungovan, Martha Marlow, This Way North, Vanishing Shapes, John Flanagan Trio, Finnian Johnson and many more.

Music kicks off at 1pm and there is camping available on site. For more information check out the official Facebook page here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 17th February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The National Folk Festival announced four more international acts including Aoife Scott, Flats and Sharps, Accrowbatics Quartet and The New Macedon Rangers. Details here

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s returns for 2017 with The Willing Ponies. Details here

– Central Coast folk-rock duo Elwood Myre announced an East Coast tour. Details here

– We premiered the brand new single from Peasant Moon “Back in Time”. Details here

– American nu-folk artist Radical Face released his visual EP SunnMoonnEclippse. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Imogen Clark released her new video “Drawing Hearts”. Details here

Ryan Adams has announced Australian tour dates this May. Details here

Releases This Week

Windy City
Windy CityAlison Krauss

Busby Marou
Postcards From The Shell HouseBusby Marou

Deer Prudence
Deer PrudenceDeer Prudence

Holly Throsby
After A TimeHolly Throsby

Jens Lakeman
Life Will See You NowJens Lekman

Nikki Lane
Highway QueenNikki Lane

Radical Face
SunnMoonnEclippseRadical Face
Official Site

Ryan Adams
PrisonerRyan Adams

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Flanagan Trio


Wednesday 22nd February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 23rd February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Amanda Palmer
Wednesday 22nd February – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Friday 17th February – Holler Music Festival, Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. The Willing Ponies
Wednesday 22nd February – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Brendan Gallagher & SOBs
Thursday 23rd February – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Busby Marou
Saturday 18th February – The Great Western Hotel, Rockhampton, QLD
Thursday 23rd February – The Reef Casino, Cairns, QLD
Friday 24th February – The Reef Casino, Cairns, QLD

Carus Thompson
Friday 17th February – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo, NSW

Courtyard Sessions Presents Amber Rae Slade
Friday 24th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions Presents In The Round: Singer/Songwriter Night feat. Taryn La Fauci, Sabrina Soares, Melanie Dyer
Friday 17th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Devil on the Rooftop, Belle Jar
Monday 20th February – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Elwood Myre
Friday 17th February – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Wednesday 22nd February – Folkswagon, Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fairlight Folk feat. Equus, The Love Machine, Sako Dermenjian & The Groove
Saturday 18th February – Fairlight Folk, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Hannah Robinson, Elwood Myre
Wednesday 22nd February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Frances, SA

Gordie Tentrees
Friday 17th February – Mundaring Folk & Blues Club, Mundaring, WA
Saturday 18th February – Johns House, Gwelup, WA
Sunday 19th February – Redcliffe on Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Tuesday 21st February – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 22nd February – Club Acoustica, Scarbourough, WA
Thursday 23rd February – Lulu Concerts, Duncraig, WA
Friday 24th February – Wintersun Hotel, Geraldton, WA

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 17th February – Nightjar Festival, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 18th February – Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Hootenanny feat. Elwood Myre
Sunday 19th February – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 17th February – Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 23rd February – Latin Loafer, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 24th February – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Jep & Dep
Sunday 19th February – Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Jess Locke & Shiny Coin
Friday 17th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th February – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride feat. Paul Hayward & The Sidekicks, Tony Eardely, The Trippy Hippy Band
Saturday 18th February – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan Trio
Wednesday 22nd February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 23rd February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Kasey Chambers and Bernard Fanning
Friday 17th February – Eastbank Centre, Shepparton, VIC
Saturday 18th February – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 19th February – Lakeside Wendouree, Ballarat, VIC
Tuesday 21st February – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 22nd February – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 24th February – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD

L1-Boleyn, Huckleberry Hastings, Melancholy Flowers, Annais Paris
Tuesday 21st February – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Les Poules à Colin
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Lucie Thorne & The Yearlings
Friday 17th February – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 18th February – House Concert, Willow Vale, NSW
Sunday 19th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Margaret Walters and The Redfern Shanty Club
Saturday 18th February – Loaded Dog Folk Club, Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

Mark Lucas
Sunday 19th February – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 23rd February – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th February – Old Growler, Sydney, NSW

Mat McHugh
Friday 17th February – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Saturday 18th February – Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, VIC

Mic Conway’s National Junk
Friday 17th February – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Miriam Lieberman
Saturday 18th February – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Friday 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Ray Mann
Wednesday 22nd February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Riverboats Music Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th February – Echuca Moama, VIC

Sam Brittain w/ BR Dalton, Tara Carragher
Friday 17th February – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Wednesday 22nd February – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Skyscraper Stan
Sunday 19th February – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Taasha Coates
Friday 17th February – Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA

The McClymonts
Friday 17th February – Country Club, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 18th February – Wrestpoint Ent Centre, Hobart, TAS
Friday 24th February – Doyalson RSL, Doyalson, NSW

The Morrisons
Saturday 18th February – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

The Porch Sessions feat. Mojo Juju
Sunday 19th February – House Concert, Adelaide, SA

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Friday 17th February – Royal Theatre, Quirindi, NSW
Saturday 18th February – Gunnedah Town Hall, Gunnedah, NSW
Sunday 19th February – The Crossing Theatre, Narrabri, NSW
Wednesday 22nd February – Tenterfield School of Arts, Tenterfield, NSW
Thursday 23rd February – Glen Innes Chapel Theatre, Glen Innes, NSW
Friday 24th February – Clarence Valley Conservatorium, Grafton, NSW

The Tall Grass
Friday 24th February – The Union, Sydney, NSW

The Trippy Hippy Band
Friday 17th February – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Folk Club, Hornsby, NSW
Saturday 18th February – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Young Folk
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Saturday 18th February – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th February – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Tubular Bells for Two
Friday 17th February – Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 18th February – Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide, SA

William Crighton
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th February – Riverboats Festival, VIC

Friday 17th February – 38 Berwick, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 18th February – Nightquarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 19th Feburary – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 23rd February – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 24th February – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Golden Heart” – Mark Knopfler

Watch the New Imogen Clark Video “Drawing Hearts”

Imogen Clark
Image Courtesy of Imogen Clark

At the end of last week alt-country singer-songwriter Imogen Clark released her playful new video “Drawing Hearts”.

The track is taken from the Golden Guitar nominee’s 2016 album Love and Lovely Lies and is already charting on the CMC charts.

Check out “Drawing Hearts” below:

The Seymour Centre Courtyard Sessions Announce Lineup for 2017

The Courtyard Sessions
Image Courtesy of The Courtyard Sessions

This summer live, intimate music returns to the courtyard of The Seymour Centre in Sydney with the announcement of the 2017 Courtyard Sessions lineup.

The Courtyard Sessions are a free event every Friday night from the 13th January to the 17th March, featuring some of Sydney and Australia’s favourite up and coming artists, including a lot of Timber and Steel alumni such as Imogen Clark, Leroy Lee, Jordie Lane, Taryn La Fauci, Skyscraper Stan, The Cruisin’ Deuces and more.

The Courtyard Sessions kick off at 6pm each Friday night and will feature bar, BBQ, vintage games and more.

Check out the full line up below:

Friday 13th January – Imogen Clark
Friday 20th January – Leroy Lee
Friday 27th January – Jordie Lane
Friday 3rd February – BUOY
Friday 10th February – Frank Sultana
Friday 17th February – In The Round: Singer/Songwriter Night feat. Taryn La Fauci, Sabrina Soares, Melanie Dyer
Friday 24th February – Amber Rae Slade
Friday 3rd March – Skyscraper Stan
Friday 10th March – The Cruisin’ Deuces
Friday 17th March – Goldheist

For more information on The Courtyard Sessions check out the official Facebook page here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd December


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2016 including releases from Applewood Road, Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, Bon Iver22, A Million, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Foy Vance, Gregory Alan Isakov, Imogen Clark, Jack Carty, James Kenyon, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Oh Pep!, One Up, Two Down, Passenger, Paul Kelly, Radical Face, Rowena Wise, Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin, The Company, The Staves, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

– We reached out to the Timber and Steel community to get them to pick their top albums of the year. The results are wonderful with well over 100 artists contributing. Details here

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2016 including songs from Ariela Jacobs, Bon Iver, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Emmy The Great, Fanny Lumsden, Foy Vance, Gretta Ray, Imogen Clark, James Kenyon, Laura Marling, Matthew And The Atlas, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Mumford and Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, One Up, Two Down, Passenger with All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson, Paul Kelly with Alice Keath, Rowena Wise, Sam Newton, Seth Lakeman with Wildwood Kin, Sian Evans, The Campervan Dancers, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Woodford Folk Festival


Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Amerrycana Christmas feat. Catherine Britt, Gregory Page, Katie Brianna, Adam Young, Brielle Davis, Arna Georgia
Friday 23rd December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Get Folked 2016 New Years Eve Eve feat. Peter ‘Blackie’ Black, Dan Kemp(UK), Jim Mongrel, Whiskey Jeff Larson, James Seymour, Sooze, Jim Lynch
Friday 30th December – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Boyd
Friday 23rd December – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims w/ Magpie Diaries
Friday 23rd December – Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 24th December – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

PJ Michael & The Banditas
Thursday 29th December – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Steve Poltz
Friday 23rd December – The Govenor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 24th December – Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC

The Whitetop Mountaineers
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Woodford Folk Festival
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wexford Carol” – Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2016


To round out our week of “best of” lists our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans once again whittles down the ton of releases that crossed his ears this year to pick his 25 favourite tracks of 2016.

We’re going to get out of the way and let Gareth throw some music your way – enjoy!

1. Foy Vance – “She Burns”
Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has always been on my radar but when he released his album The Wild Swan earlier this year I was floored. The standout track, I think most people would agree, is the wonderful “She Burns”, with its pizzicato guitar, slow build percussion and choral backing vocals. Foy Vance is a singer-songwriter at the top of his game.

2. One Up, Two Down – “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie”
It seems almost unfair that I would choose a traditional song as my favourite from a band that are not only accomplished songwriters in their own right but also amazing musicians whose instrumental tracks are incredibly special. But I challenge you to listen to Dan Watkins singing “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” and not melt into a puddle. His voice and guitar, combined with George Jackson and Andrew Small’s long bowed fiddle and bass, turn this cowboy ballad into something more. Simply beautiful.

3. Burrows – “Falling Apart”
When I saw Burrows play at this year’s Summer Hill Folk Festival I was floored. Every song they played was a piece of harmonic brilliance, enhanced by the acoustics of the Summer Hill Church. When they came around to “Falling Apart” I murmured “that’s the song” – and I still maintain that this track is near perfect. I love Sam King’s understated vocals and the harmonies in the chorus are just divine.

4. Eagle & The Wolf – “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost”
The pairing of Kris Morris’ dirty blues and roots with Sarah Humphreys’ big folk voice, “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” was the perfect introduction to Eagle & The Wolf. Individually Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys are firm favourites of Timber and Steel but Eagle & The Wolf is greater than the sum of its parts and “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” is the epitome of their collaboration. This is rootsy blues done right – all crunchy guitars, clipped percussion and keyboard and big, bluesy voices.

5. Bon Iver – “22 (OVER S∞∞N)”
With its glitchy opening, distorted Mahalia Jackson samples, saxaphone solos and weird lyrics it would appear on the surface that Justin Vernon has well and truly moved on from the acoustic folk of For Emma, Forever Ago and embraced the more electronic elements of the self-titled Bon Iver. But at its core “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” is still classic Bon Iver with Vernon’s double-tracked, falsetto voice coming through loud and clear. Strip back all the beeps and bops and “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” could sit alongside any of the classic Bon Iver folk tracks.

6. Melody Pool – “Love, She Loves Me”
Since first seeing Melody Pool perform at the Gulgong Folk Festival back in 2013 I’ve been predicting big things for her. To say that her new album Deep Dark Savage Heart was highly anticipated in the Timber and Steel bullpen is an understatement and when it dropped earlier this year it was on solid repeat for ages. “Love, She Loves Me” is definitely a standout track on the album (although “Black Dog” is a close second), perfectly demonstrating Pool’s skill as a songwriter and singer. What a voice!

7. Rowena Wise – “Then We Met”
Rowena Wise owns the quirky indie-folk genre this year this this wonderfully catchy track from her 2016 self titled album. I love the twisted, bluesy finger-picked riff throughout this track and that chorus is a definite ear worm. I’ve been watching Rowena Wise cloesly since she launched a serious solo career and it’s songs like “Then We Met” that will see her successfully straddle the folk and indie worlds in the coming years

8. Matthew and the Atlas – “Elijah”
I love Matt Hegarty’s voice. “Elijah” is probably the most stripped back, acoustic track on Matthew and the Atlas’ latest album Temple and is easily my favourite as well. I love the finger-picked guitar over the swelling piano and orchestral elements and the subtle backing vocals. But most of all I love Matt Hegarty’s voice – I just can’t get passed that.

9. Paul Kelly feat. Alice Keath – “Sonnet 73”
To be honest I could have chosen any of the tracks from Paul Kelly’s marvelous album Shakespeare inspired Seven Sonnets And A Song. The reason I finally settled on “Sonnet 73” is two fold: Firstly it has a wonderful, folk-country feel with Kelly’s strummed acoustic guitar over a plucked pedal steel; And second the backing vocals from Alice Keath (Sweet Jean) are pitch perfect. Who knew you could improve on The Bard?

10. Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin – “Meet Me In The Twilight”
More than any other song on this list “Meet Me In The Twilight” gets lodged in my head and refuses to leave. Lakeman’s percussive guitar work coupled with an instantly singable (or yellable) chorus are what makes this song so catchy. Wildwood Kin add an extra level of sophistication to this track as well as the rest of Lakeman’s album Ballads of the Broken Few. I have a feeling that this track would be amazing to see live and have the crowd foot stomping and singing along.

11. Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal, The Very Best, Beatenberg – “Wona”
This collaboration between Mumford & Sons, Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, Swedish-Malawian electronic band The Very Best and South African afro-beat masters Beatenberg is just pure joy. All afro-beat goodness and nu-folk bombast, you can’t help but smile when listening to “Wona”, it’s such a breath of fresh air. I know that liking Mumford & Sons is definitely no longer “cool” but when they’re collaborating and producing music like this then you’ll still find me first in line for their next release.

12. James Kenyon – “The Motorbike Song”
I feel like James Kenyon might be one of the most underrated singer-songwriters in Australia right now. Songs like “The Motorbike Song”, with its rootsy groove and Paul Kelly-esque lyrical style, should see Kenyon a firm favourite amongst music lovers everywhere. I also have to give props to the wonderful video from Ed Bracey – it even makes Melbourne’s Docklands look stunning.

13. Michael Kiwanuka – “Black Man In A White World”
Michael Kiwanuka has always deftly woven together elements of folk, gospel, blues and old-school R&B and his single “Black Man In A White World” is the epitome of that sound. I love the gospel clapping accompanying the disco-like string stabs and R&B guitar. This could well have come straight out of the 70s – one of those songs that sound immediately timeless.

14. Fanny Lumsden – “Land of Gold”
At the time of writing Fanny Lumsden had been nominated for an ARIA award, has 4 Golden Guitar nominations and has gone to number one on the Country Music Channel charts twice. Incredible work for a singer-songwriter from the Riverina. One of those top charting songs is the nostalgic “Land of Gold”, a deceptively simple storytelling song with a big heart that has quickly become one of my favourite Fanny tracks ever. Whether she’s playing with a full band or with just her bassist Dan, “Land of Gold” always pops live. I really love this song.

15. Passenger feat. All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson – “Caravan (Live)”
It’s a bit cheeky choosing a live version of a track that’s seven years old as one of my favourites of 2016 but this video has been on serious high rotation since it was posted earlier this year. When you take possibly my favourite Passenger track of all time and throw a collaboration between All Our Exes Live in Texas and Luke Thompson into the mix you strike pure gold. Just listen to those harmonies on the choruses – magic stuff.

16. Imogen Clark – “You’ll only Break My Heart”
Imogen Clark has had a pretty big year built on the bedrock of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies and its two lead singles “Take Me For A Ride” and “You’ll only Break My Heart”. The latter is Clark’s most mature offering to date, making the most of her big voice and lyric driven song writing. I’m not sure why Imogen Clark gets lumped into the Country crowd – to my ears her music is straight up acoustic pop – but regardless of the genre “You’ll only Break My Heart” heralds big things to come from the Sydney singer-songwriter.

17. Ariela Jacobs – “Lost”
The way that Ariela Jacobs plays with melody and syncopation on “Lost” is so intriguing. The rhythmic, unpredictable verses give way to simple 4/4 choruses and then a middle eight that just launches itself at you and takes you by surprise. This song is all about Jacobs’ voice with the accompaniment – simple piano chords for the most part – taking a back seat to her lyrics. This track is powerful and vulnerable all at the same time.

18. Sian Evans – “Cold Feet”
I got to meet Sian Evans at the National Folk Festival this year where she got me to act as roadie for her as she rushed to one of her gigs. She’s spent much of 2016 carving out a solo career for herself after her work with The Rusty Datsuns and part of that has involved developing her own distinct sound. The result is the single “Cold Feat” which has a pop sensibility with a heart of folk.

19. The Weeping Willows – “River of Gold”
The Weeping Willows embrace their bluegrass side with their huge single “River of Gold”. I love Andrew Wrigglesworth flat picking guitar on this song, accentuated with a subtle banjo over the entire track. And then of course there’s the harmonies between Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates which The Weeping Willows are renowned for.

20. Gretta Ray – “Unexpected Feeling”
Triple J Unearthed High winner Gretta Ray has quite rightly had a massive year with high rotation on the national broadcaster and lots of love from the music press. Her track “Unexpected Feeling” is such a joy to listen to – and to be honest when I first heard it I had no idea that Ray was still in high school. There’s a definite maturity in her songwriting and I just love her guitar work on this track.

21. Sam Newton – “Hold You Down”
The Americana vibes of “Hold You Down” coupled with Sam Newton’s sweet, unassuming voice make this track instantly attractive. I love the way you can’t help but tap your toe along with the brushed snare drum and thumping bass. The production on this track really pulls it all together – it could well have been a straight up acoustic song but the addition of drums, bass and trembling electric guitar turn the song into something more.

22. William Fitzsimmons – “Hear Your Heart”
I was so happy that William Fitzsimmons released his mini album Charleroi: Pittsburgh Vol. 2 this year (as well as a live album) because it meant more songs like “Hear Your Heart” out in the world. Rolling fingerpicking, hushed vocals, sad subject matter – this is William Fitzsimmons in a nutshell and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

23. Laura Marling – “Soothing”
I don’t know why I was surprised when we got a new Laura Marling song this year – she’s been insanely prolific throughout her relatively short career having released five albums in the last eight years. “Soothing” is the first taste from her upcoming seventh album Semper Femina and it sees Marling depart from her usual acoustic guitar driven songwriting with a bass and percussion loop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Radiohead release. This track also sees Marling’s first foray into directing on the accompanying video (that is borderline NSFW so maybe wait until you get home to play this one).

24. The Campervan Dancers – “Slow Down Butterfly”
From what I understand “Slow Down Butterfly” was gestating for quite a while before Sydney duo The Campervan Dancers launched it at the beginning of the year. This is a track that tumbles over itself with vocals, samples, instrumentation popping up all over the place. I love the injection of chaos into what could have just been a standard piece of indie-folk pop. Let’s hope there’s more gestating where this came from.

25. Emmy The Great – “Algorithm”
My need to squeeze Emmy The Great’s recent output into the genre of “folk” so that I can justify posting it on Timber and Steel continues with “Algorithm”. The first Emmy The Great song in a while to contain a decent amount of acoustic guitar, “Algorithm” is a lovely example of the direction Emmy The Great’s songwriting has taken recently – more obscure, more pop but still with her fragile voice front and centre.

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