The Gum Ball Interview: Irish Mythen

Photo by Stuart Bucknell, taken for Timber and Steel at Bluesfest 2016

We fell in love and got all fan-girly over Irish Mythen when we met her at Bluesfest last year (and we’ll see her again at Bluesfest this year), so we’re really looking forward to seeing Irish at one of the most intimate festivals in Australia, The Gum Ball!

We caught up with Irish to see what she loves and what she’s looking forward too.

When did you first visit Australia and how did it make you feel? How do Australian audiences respond to your style of music? 

I actually first arrived in Australia in 2000! Went to Perth and never left until 2005. Had a ball and met the most amazing people. Never came to the east though so when I first started touring the east in 2015 it felt like the first time. It’s just such a bloody amazing country. The Australian audience is unlike any other. They get behind a new artist like their one of their own and I’ve been shown incredible support. They learn the songs, buy the merch, follow you to all the shows. Incredible stuff

How do Festivals like BluesFest compare to your experiences back home and overseas?

The calibre of artists at a festival like Bluesfest speaks for itself so that and Woodford are unlike any other in the world. You just have to go because words don’t do them justice. The other Aussie festivals I’ve played are a little different from the rest in that people feel a real connection with the festival…they take over the space and it’s their home for the day, weekend or week. They are all so well run and so many volunteers. You turn around and there’s someone there asking if you need anything. I love the way every artist at any level is treated like the headliner. On ya Straya!

 What’s your favourite kind of show to play, venue gigs or festivals?

Well they’re completely different animals but I think festivals would sneak it but only because I get to see so much music myself at festivals so I get to also GEEK OUT!

What’s your favourite thing about your previous visits to Australia and what are you looking forward to most this trip?

Food, people, wine, weather (even the rain), crowds. Answer number two see first answer 😉

Do you find there are customs, jokes or themes that don’t translate for Australian audiences? Or perhaps that really do resonate more than expected?

I think due to the amount of world travel that goes on there’s not much of a difference BUT I surprise some Aussie audiences when I throw in a Kath and Kim reference or The Twelfth Man …hahaha can’t get enough of his Richie Benaud

What are you looking forward to about performing at The Gum Ball?

Ah look just getting back there. I was there for their other festival, Dashville Skyline, and I mean ye can’t get a more beautiful setting truly. And the people who run it, volunteers etc well they are brilliant. I also met some real characters in the crowd who’ve promised they’re all coming back so hope to see them all!

Irish Mythen plays on Friday 21st April at The Gum Ball (Dashville, Belford, Hunter Valley NSW).

Tickets are available to buy online.

Irish Mythen’s remaining tour dates are below:

Friday 7th April – The Heritage, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 8th April – Revamp The Amp, Kuranda, QLD
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 21st April – The Gum Ball Festival, Dashville, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 17th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We premiered the new EP from Joel Barker & The Low Company, Uncharted. Details here

VIVID announced its full music lineup including Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, Lisa Hannigan, Bill Callahan, Beth Orton, Taasha Coates, Crooked Fiddle Band, Mick Thomas, Brian Campeau, Nic Cassey, Swamp Fat Jangles, Sarah Belkner and more. Details here

– Indie-folk singer Radical Face has announced his first ever Australian tour. Details here

– Canadian folk singer Irish Mythen hits Australia this weekend for the start of her latest tour. Details here

The Button Collective announced a bunch of east coast dates to launch their new album. Details here

– English singer-songwriter Johnny Flynn released his new video “Wandering Aengus”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country singer Katie Brianna released her new video “King”. Details here

– Award winning Americana artist Jason Isbell has announced details of his upcoming album The Nashville Sound. Details here

Releases This Week

Salutations
SalutationsConor Oberst
iTunes

Gary Clark Jr
Live North America 2016Gary Clark Jr
iTunes

Uncharted
UnchartedJoel Barker & The Low Company
iTunes

Lindi
Til The Goin’ Gets GoneLindi Ortega
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

St Patrick’s Day Weekend

Bodrhan

Today is St Patrick’s Day and that means this weekend is going to be full of trad and folk music goodness around the country. Rather than suggesting a single show we recommend you head out and seek out folk music wherever you can find it. Below is a list of shows and events celebrating St Patricks Day, Ireland and everything that’s good about live music

Friday 17th March
Handsome Young Strangers, Operation Ibis, Mournwillow – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Mandy Connell and Kim Wheeler – Star Hotel, Yackandandah, VIC
Mighty Irish Session – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Mundy – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sarah Calderwood Duo – Brunswick Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
St Patricks Day at Adelaide Oval feat. Adelaide Irish Pipe Band, Celtic & Comhaltas Traditional Musicians, Inesheer, Dogpatch Appalachian, Scoil Rince Ní Murchú, Ceol Maith, The Timbers, Folk n Spicy, Celtic Reflections, Shambolics, Blackthorn and more – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, SA
St Patrick’s Day at The Last Jar feat. Ewen Baker, John Hudson, Áine Tyrrell, Pat McKernan, Chris Fitz, Jim Green, The Corkman traditional Irish – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC
St Patrick’s Day MOTH feat. Áine Tyrrell and The Midnight Tide, Aoife Scott Band – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC
St Patrick’s Day Festival at The Irish Club of WA feat. CraicN On, The Healy’s, Tommy O’ Brien & Co – Irish Club, Perth, WA
St Patricks Day Party: A Celebration of the Music of Ireland feat. Flangipanis, Paddy McHugh Trio, Fox n Firkin, Andy McDonell Band, Alan Boyle Band – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
The Bitter Sweethearts w/ The Bottlers, Nils Sundermann – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
The Button Collective – Finnian’s Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW
The Ramshackle Army – Loch & Key, Melbourne, VIC
The Ramshackle Army – Dan O’Connell Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
The Sweet Jelly Rolls – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW

Saturday 18th March
Aoife Scott – Tea Gardens Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride BE-IN feat. Paul Hayward & The Sidekicks, Sue Gee – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
The Buffalo Grass Boys – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW
The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, Operation Ibis, Mournwillow – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Sunday 19th March
Aoife Scott, Gallie, Áine Tyrrell – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Brisbane Irish Festival Family Day – Gaelic Park, Brisbane, QLD
Echo Deer – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW
Melbourne St Patrick’s Family Festival feat. Zeon, Paddy Fitz and friends, Comhaltas, Borderline Kaylee – Edinburgh Gardens, Melbourne, VIC
Mighty Tunes Session – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
***CANCELLED***Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Green Gathering feat. feat. Áine Tyrell, The Bottlers, Chaika, Gallie, Ecopella, UTS Ukulele Orchestra, Mark Oats & Cara Kavanagh feat. Ciaran Gribbin, Cross Rhythm Dancers, Knievel, Sydney Session Players, Aoife Scott – Prince Alfred Park, Sydney, NSW***CANCELLED***
The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, Operation Ibis, Mournwillow – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Aireys Inlet Open Mic Music Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 18th March – Aireys Inlet, VIC

Aoife Scott
Friday 17th March – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC
Saturday 18th March – Tea Gardens Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 21st March – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 22nd March – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 23rd March – The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba, QLD
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

Belle Harvey
Friday 17th March – Hardys Bay Club, Hardys Bay, NSW
Saturday 18th March – Peppertown Cafe, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Boy & Bear
Saturday 18th March – Party in the Park, Narrabeen, NSW

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Katoomba, NSW

Brisbane Irish Festival Family Day
Sunday 19th March – Gaelic Park, Brisbane, QLD

Brunswick Music Festival
Sunday 5th to Sunday 19th March – Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions Presents Goldheist
Friday 17th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions presents Skyscraper Stan
Saturday 18th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Darby
Friday 17th March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Devil on the Rooftop, Belle Jar
Monday 20th March – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Domini Forster
Thursday 23rd March – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Don Henley w/ Jewel
Saturday 18th March – A Day On The Green, Mt Duneed Estate, Surf Coast, VIC

Echo Deer
Sunday 19th March – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW

Eddi Reader
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Tuesday 21st March – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 22nd March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Friday 24th March – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA

Elwood Myre
Friday 17th March – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Saturday 18th March – Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 19th March – The Fox Den, Gloucester, NSW

Folk Uke
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Colin Jones and The Delta Revue, MoSoul
Wednesday 22nd March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Frank Sultana and The Sinister Kids
Friday 24th March – Southern Comfort Carnival, Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

Fromseier-Hockings w/ Dan & Paddy
Monday 20th March – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Girl Friday & Mandy Connell
Sunday 19th March – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Handsome Young Strangers
Friday 17th March – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 18th March – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions present Amber Rae Slade and Chris Porter
Sunday 19th March – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Hinterlandt
Thursday 23rd March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th March – Jane’s, Wollongong, NSW

Holly Throsby
Saturday 18th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Concert feat. The East Pointers, Meridian
Wednesday 22nd March – Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 23rd March – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 24th March – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 17th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th March – Canvas Coffee & Providore, Barham, NSW

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride BE-IN feat. Paul Hayward & The Sidekicks, Sue Gee
Saturday 18th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker & The Low Company
Friday 17th March – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 18th March – Green Door Wines, Ferguson Valley, WA
Sunday 19th March – Bridgetown Pottery Restuarant, Bridgetown, WA

Jordie Lane w/ Sam Buckingham, Benjamin James Caldwell
Saturday 18th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Saturday 18th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 22nd March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

Jeff Lang
Friday, 17th March – Geelong Workers Club, Geelong VIC
Saturday 18th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th March – Golden Vine, Bendigo, VIC

Jemma Nicole w/ Tom Dockray
Saturday 18th March – The B.East, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 24th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Les Poules à Colin
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

Mandy Connell and Kim Wheeler
Friday 17th March – Star Hotel, Yackandandah, VIC

Martha Tilston
Friday 17th March – Saints & Sailors, Port Arlington, VIC
Saturday 18th March – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19th March – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 24th March – Newham Hall, Newham, VIC

Martha Wainwright
Saturday 18th March – Lismore City Hall, Lismore, NSW
Sunday 19th March – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 22nd March – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 23rd March – Devonport Entertainment Centre, Devonport, TAS
Friday 24th March – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC

Melbourne St Patrick’s Family Festival feat. Zeon, Paddy Fitz and friends, Comhaltas, Borderline Kaylee
Sunday 19th March – Edinburgh Gardens, Melbourne, VIC

Mighty Irish Session
Friday 17th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mighty Tunes Session w/ Aoife Scott, Gallie, Áine Tyrrell
Sunday 19th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Monsieur Camembert
Saturday 18th March – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Mundy
Friday 17th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 17th March – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

My Bubba
Friday 17th March – Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, NSW
Tuesday 21st March – Newtown Social Club, Newtown, NSW
Wednesday 22nd March – Northcote Social Club, Northcote, VIC
Thursday 23rd March – Castlemaine State Festival, Castlemaine, VIC

Ramblin’ Nights Presents Chris Pickering & Jason Walker
Friday 17th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Roo Panes
Saturday 18th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Sarah Calderwood Duo
Friday 17th March – Brunswick Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

Sean McMahon and the MoonMen
Friday 17th March – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Saturday 18th March – Marickville Bowlo, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats
Friday 17th March – Southern Comfort Carnival, Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 18th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Southern Comfort Carnival
Wednesday 15th to Saturday 25th March – Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

St Patricks Day at Adelaide Oval feat. Adelaide Irish Pipe Band, Celtic & Comhaltas Traditional Musicians, Inesheer, Dogpatch Appalachian, Scoil Rince Ní Murchú, Ceol Maith, The Timbers, Folk n Spicy, Celtic Reflections, Shambolics, Blackthorn and more
Friday 17th March – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, SA

St Patrick’s Day at The Last Jar feat. Ewen Baker, John Hudson, Áine Tyrrell, Pat McKernan, Chris Fitz, Jim Green, The Corkman traditional Irish
Friday 17th March – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

St Patrick’s Day MOTH feat. Áine Tyrrell and The Midnight Tide, Aoife Scott Band
Friday 17th March – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

St Patrick’s Day Festival at The Irish Club of WA feat. CraicN On, The Healy’s, Tommy O’ Brien & Co
Friday 17th March – Irish Club, Perth, WA

St Patricks Day Party: A Celebration of the Music of Ireland feat. Flangipanis, Paddy McHugh Trio, Fox n Firkin, Andy McDonell Band, Alan Boyle Band
Friday 17th March – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Steampacket Sessions Irish Music Weekend
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Steampacket Hotel, Nelligan, NSW

***CANCELLED***Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Green Gathering feat. feat. Áine Tyrell, The Bottlers, Chaika, Gallie, Ecopella, UTS Ukulele Orchestra, Mark Oats & Cara Kavanagh feat. Ciaran Gribbin, Cross Rhythm Dancers, Knievel, Sydney Session Players, Aoife Scott
Sunday 19th March – Prince Alfred Park, Sydney, NSW***CANCELLED***

The Basin Music Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – The Basin Triangle Park, The Basin, VIC

The Bitter Sweethearts w/ The Bottlers, Nils Sundermann
Friday 17th March – The Townie, Sydney, NSW

The Bottlers, Bourgeois Robbery, Operation Ibis
Wednesday 22nd March – Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Buffalo Grass Boys
Saturday 18th March – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW

The Button Collective
Friday 17th March – Finnian’s Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 18th March – The Rappville Pub, Rappville, NSW
Friday 24th March – Howlin’ Wolf, Wollongong, NSW

The East Pointers
Wednesday 22nd March – Thirroul Railway Heritage Centre, Thirroul, NSW
Thursday 23rd March – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th March – Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW

The Green Gathering Offical After Party
Sunday 19th March – Jacksons on George, Sydney, NSW

The McClymonts
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – CMC Rocks 2017, Ipswich, QLD

The Morrisons
Saturday 18th March – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 24th March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

The Ramshackle Army
Friday 17th March – Loch & Key, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th March – Dan O’Connell Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 18th March – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Séamus Begley Trio
Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th March – The Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 24th March – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Friday 17th March – The Wild Rover, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 18th March – Southern Comfort Carnival, Surly’s American BBQ, Burgers & Beer, Sydney, NSW

The Waifs
Saturday 18th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 19th March – Anitas Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

The Young Folk
Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Timberwolf
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – The Hills Are Alive, South Gippsland, VIC

TinPan Orange
Friday 24th and Saturday 25th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC

Violent Femmes
Friday 17th March – Costa Hall Deakin University, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 18th March – All Saints Winery, Rutherglen, VIC
Monday 20th March – Factory, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 22nd March – NEX at Wests City, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 23rd March – Panthers, Penrith, NSW
Friday 24th March – Waves, Wollongong, NSW

Warrandyte Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Warrandyte, VIC

Willie Watson
Friday 17th March – Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Tuesday 21st March – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 22nd March – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Bucks of Oranmore” – Matt Molloy & Dónal Lunny

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!

Irish Mythen Returns To Australia with East Coast Tour

Irish Mythen
Image Courtesy of Irish Mythen

This weekend Canadian folk singer Irish Mythen will return to our shores once again for a series of east coast tour dates including appearances at the Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Yackandanda Folk Festival, Bluesfest and The Gum Ball.

Irish Mythen has been a regular visitor to Australia over the last few years and has built quite the following as a result.

Her tour kicks off this weekend – check out full list of dates below:

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 23rd March – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 24th March – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th March – Yackandanda Folk Festival, Yackandanda, VIC
Thursday 30th March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st March – Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 1st April – Baby Black, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 2nd April – Old Church on The Hill, Bendigo, VIC
Wednesday 5th April – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 6th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th April – The Heritage, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 8th April – Revamp The Amp, Kuranda, QLD
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 21st April – The Gum Ball Festival, Dashville, NSW

Bluesfest Announces First Round of Artists for 2017

Bluesfest
Image Courtesy of The Lumineers

It may only be August but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to start thinking about the 2017 festival season. This morning Bluesfest launched their first round of artists for next years festival and it’s huge.

This morning’s announcement includes Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith, The Lumineers (above), Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg, Jethro Tull, Trombone Shorty, Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Beth Hart, Laura Mvula, Roy Ayers, Booker T Jones Presents The Stax Records Revue, Andrew Bird, Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Osborne, Turin Brakes, The Strumbellas, Jake Shimabukuro, Dumpstaphunk, Nikki Hill and Irish Mythen with more to be announced.

Bluesfest takes place over the Easter long weekend for the 13th to 17th April. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Bon Iver announced their first album in 5 years with 22, A Million plus a stream of the first two singles. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Passenger has announced plans to come back to Australia in January for a series of full band shows. Details here

– US fiddle duo 10 String Symphony will be coming to Australia for the first time this October. Details here

– Canadian singer Irish Mythen returns to Australia for a tour this October. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Rowena Wise will be launching her debut album in September and is heading out on a national tour. Details here

– Tasmanian folk-punk festival HOBOFOPO announced a bunch of lineups including The Dead Maggies, The Go-Set, The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers, The Australian Beefweek Show, Fox ‘N’ Firkin, The Stragglers, This Is A Robbery, Squid Fishing and Hairyman. Details here

– Acclaimed Melbourne singer-songwriter Jordie Lane has revealed details of his new album and upcoming national tour. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman released his new single “Meet Me In The Twilight”. Details here

Boy & Bear announced a massive regional tour from October. Details here

Releases This Week

Katie
Victim Or The HeroineKatie Brianna
iTunes

Lisa
At SwimLisa Hannigan
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar

Jack Carty

Jack Carty kicks off his Home State album tour this week with gigs in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. And equally exciting is the fact Emily Barker and Jordan Millar are supporting the tour.

Friday 19th August – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th August – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 26th August – Boo Radley’s Hall, Glenreagh, NSW

Bill Chambers & Lachlan Bryan
Friday 19th August – Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Saturday 20th August – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Corey Harris w/ Kris Morris
Friday 19th August – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20the August – Harvester Moon Cafe, Bellarine, VIC
Sunday 21st August – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd August – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 24th August – Harmonie-German Club, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Blues & Roots Stage, Gympie Muster, QLD

DEAR Monday feat. waywardbreed, Nigel Wearne, Ma Petite, Erik Parker
Monday 22nd August – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Sunday 21st August – Lounge Sessions at Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Wednesday 24th August – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Robbie Miller, Woodes
Friday 19th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th August – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th August – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, WA

Eddie Boyd
Wednesday 24th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

FolkSwagon feat. Kwinton Trembath, The Dead Maggies, The Delta Revue
Wednesday 24th August – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

GrandMasterMonk w/ Crazy Old Maurice
Saturday 20th August – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Gympie Muster
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Gympie, QLD

Hootenanny feat. Jep & Dep
Sunday 21st August – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Concert feat. The Thomsons, Olympic Mystery Act
Sunday 21st August – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Imogen Clark
Sunday 21st August – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar
Friday 19th August – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th August – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan Trio
Saturday 20th August – Kelly Country Pick, Beechworth, VIC
Friday 26th August – Suttons House of Music, Ballarat, VIC

Kelly Country Pick
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August – Beechworth, VIC

Lazy Colts
Saturday 20th August – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Liam Gale with Henry Manuell
Thursday 25th August – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Friday 19th August – Hornsby Folk Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 21st August – Lounge Sessions at Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

Marrickana feat. Andy Baylor and His Cajun Roots Trio, Not Good With Horses, Brother Jimmy
Saturday 20th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Nick Payne
Friday 26th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Oh Willy Dear & Peter Head
Sunday 21st August – The Union, Sydney, NSW

Songwriters In The Round feat. Leroy Lee, Caitlin Rose Harnett, Colin Jones
Tuesday 23rd August – The Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Dead Maggies
Friday 19th August – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th August – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st August – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 26th August – Psyfari Festival, Capertree Valley, NSW

The Willing Ponies w/ Don Drapers Sofa
Friday 19th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Big Country” – Béla Fleck

From what I’m hearing “Big Country” has been a highlight of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s recent Australian shows. So I thought I’d share one of my favourite versions from the Transatlantic Sessions.

Irish Mythen Announces Australian Tour Dates

Irish Mythen
Image Courtesy of Irish Mythen

It would seem that Canadian troubadour Irish Mythen just can’t get enough of Australia. Having already visited our country for the festival season at the start of the year as well as supporting Melissa Etheridge on her recent tour Irish Mythen has announced she’ll be back in the country this October.

Irish Mythen has been announced as part of the Dashville Skyline festival after which she’ll be hitting the road for headline up and down the east coast. Check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 30th September – Dashville Skyline, Dashville, NSW
Saturday 1st October – The Camelot Lounge, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday 2nd October – The Beyond Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 6th October – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 7th October – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 8th October – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 9th October – Wauchope Arts, Wauchope, NSW
Thursday 13th October – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 14th October – Mullum Ex-services Club, Mullumbimbi, NSW
Saturday 15th October – Federal Hall, Federal, QLD
Sunday 16th October – Kuranda Amphitheatre, Kuranda, QLD
Friday 21st October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 22nd October – The Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC
Sunday 23rd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

Dashville Skyline 2016 Announces First Lineup

The Brothers Comatose
Image Courtesy of The Brothers Comatose

Hunter Valley Americana, folk and alt-country festival Dashville Skyline dropped its 2016 lineup last week and it’s pretty sweet.

The organisers are backing up a fantastic 2015 event with a lineup headlined by music royalty Brian Cadd and San Francisco folk and bluegrass band The Brothers Comatose. Joining them will be plenty of names Timber and Steel readers will be familiar with including The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Raised by Eagles, The Hello Morning, Jess Ribeiro, Davey Craddock & the Spectacles, Karl S. Williams, Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats, Irish Mythen and Andy Golledge Band with many more still to be announced.

Dashville Skyline takes place in the Hunter Valley Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October – for more information check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Matthew and The Atlas confirmed details of their new album Temple. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Irish Mythen returns to Australia this month for Bluesfest and the Melissa Etheridge tour support. Details here

– UK big band Bellowhead announced plans to release a live album in April. Details here

– 17 year old singer-songwriter Gretta Ray released her new single “Unexpected Feeling”. Details here

Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow has a new album on the way to go with her new moniker. Details here

– The ANZ Blue Stage Series for Spectrum Now announced their artist lineup including Borneo, Lissa, Dog the Duke, James Englund, Rachel Fahim, Ainsley Farrell, Ella Freestone, Ginger & Drum, Adam Harpaz, Martin Hulbert, I Am Apollo, The Khanz, Christie Lamb, Jaime Lindsay, Mabel, Nova and the Experience, Jarryn Pheagan, Aimee Lou, Planet, Lane Sinclair (Say My Name Band), Sabrina Soares, Tenderfoot, Ed Wells and Dylan Wright. Details here

– The next Festival of Small Halls tour kicked off this week featuring Vishtèn, The Little Stevies and Rob Longstaff. Details here

Sufjan Stevens announced plans to release a 10th anniversary edition of Illinois. Details here

– West Australia’s favourite absent daughter Emily Barker returns home this week for shows on the West and East Coast. Details here

– South Coast singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan released his new single “Rivers”. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Julia Johnson and Vorn Doolette have announced a joint house concert tour. Details here

Andrew Bird has collaborated with Fiona Apple on his new single “Left Handed Kisses”. Details here

– Canadian singer-songwriter The Weather Station released her new video “Floodplain”. Details here

– Celtic-punks The Go Set announced April tour dates. Details here

Releases This Week

M Ward
More RainM. Ward
iTunes

Ouroboros
OuroborosRay LaMontagne
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Friday 4th March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 5th March – The Irish Hotel, Toowoomba, QLD
Monday 7th March – The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba, QLD
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Porchland feat. Lime Cordiale, Winterbourne, Sweet Jean, Benjamin James Caldwell, Ollie English

Porch Sessions

If you don’t have tickets to Porchland, the festival presented by Adelaide’s The Porch Sessions then I’m afraid you’re out of luck because this puppy is sold out. But with a lineup that good it’s time to start begging your friends to sell you their ticket – it’s going to be an amazing show.

Sunday 6th March – Hahndorf, SA

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding w/ Jess Ribeiro
Tuesday 8th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 10th March – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Burke & Wills Folk Festival
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Burke & Wills Winery, VIC

Burnt Creek Deviation
Friday 4th March – The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Calexico
Friday 4th March – Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Spectrum Now, The Domain, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 8th March – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 9th March – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA

Catherine Traicos
Saturday 5th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Colin Hay
Friday 4th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions presents Fanny Lumsden
Friday 4th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking w/ Marlon Williams
Saturday 5th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th March – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, Nannup, WA

Elwood Myre
Friday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 4th March – The Odd Fellow, Perth, WA

Emily Barker
Friday 4th March – The Bassendean Hotel, Perth, WA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Dookie Arts Hub, Dookie, VIC
Wednesday 9th March – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Friday 11th March – Toongi Hall, Toongi, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 9th March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Helpless – The Songs of Neil Young feat. Todd Sibbin, Tom West, Ryan Martin John, Thoma Henbest, Caleb Williamson
Wednesday 9th March – The Gov, Adelaide, SA

Hootenanny feat. Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars
Sunday 6th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Thursday 10th March – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA

James Thomson
Friday 4th March – Baha, Rye, VIC
Saturday 5th March – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 6th March – The Lomond, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 4th March – J-Shed, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Montrose Town Centre, Montrose, VIC
Friday 11th March – Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Friday 11th March – Billy Roy Blues, Bendigo, VIC

Luke Morris
Friday 4th March – Noosa Festival of Surfing, Noosa, QLD
Sunday 6th March – The Sunhouse, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 10th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Man of Constant Sorrow: a Tribute to the Music of O Brother Where Art Thou feat. The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Luke Escombe, Brian Campeau
Tuesday 8th March – The Domain, Sydney, NSW

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Thursday 10th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th March – The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Mary Black
Tuesday 8th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Thursday 10th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Moxie
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Nannup Music Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup, WA

Oh Pep!
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Passenger
Friday 4th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 6th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Patrick James
Friday 4th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th March – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Porchland feat. Lime Cordiale, Winterbourne, Sweet Jean, Benjamin James Caldwell, Ollie English
Sunday 6th March – Hahndorf, SA

Port Fairy Folk Festival
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy, VIC

Queen Porter Stomp and Catgut
Saturday 5th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

RAPT w/ Beautifil Chaos, Scott Cook
Saturday 5th March – The Music Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Ruby Boots
Thursday 10th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Sam Brittain w/ Maggie Rutjens, Toby Robinson
Thursday 10th March – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Steve Earle & The Dukes w/ The Mastersons
Friday 11th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Sufjan Stevens
Friday 4th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Summer Hill Folk Festival
Saturday 5th March – Summer Hill Church, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Road Street Party
Sunday 6th March – Sydney Road, Melbourne, VIC

The Beards
Friday 11th March – Bar Indigo, Rockingham, WA

The Button Collective
Sunday 6th March – Spectrum Now, Sydney, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band w/ Devil on the Rooftop
Friday 11th March – The Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Fly by Night, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 10th March – South Coast Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC

The Little Stevies
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Glenferrie Festival, Hawthorn, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Dookie Arts Hub, Dookie, VIC
Thursday 10th March – Peace Concert, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool, VIC
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

The Once
Friday 4th March – The Music Shack, Donnybrook, WA
Saturday 5th March – Sail & Anchor, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th March – Kalamunda Hotel, Kalamunda, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

The Rambling Boys
Friday 4th March – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 5th March – Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 8th March – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 10th March – Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th to 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC

The Timbers
Saturday 5th March – The Irish Hotel, Toowoomba, QLD
Sunday 6th March – The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba, QLD
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th March – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th March – Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival, NSW
Thursday 10th March – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Friday 11th March – Spring Vale Wines, Cranbrook, TAS

Tim Easton
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA
Thursday 10th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Vin Garbutt
Friday 11th March – Burke & Wills Folk Festival, Mia Mia, VIC

WOMADelaide
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Black Jack Davey” – The White Stripes

Over the last few weeks we’ve featured various songs in the “Gypsy Davey” tradition. Here’s a relatively modern take featuring The White Stripes covering Bob Dylan’s version of “Black Jack Davey”. This is an acoustic version but there’s an electric version out there in the universe as well.

Irish Mythen Returns to Australia for Bluesfest and Melissa Etheridge Tour

Irish Mythen
Image Courtesy of Irish Mythen

If you managed to catch Irish Mythen on her recent tour of Australia over the new year period you’ll know just how amazing she is live. Watching the Irish-Canadian singer command a stage with just a guitar and her voice is just magical – and I know she was a highlight for people over the recent festival period.

Well the good news is that Irish Mythen is heading back to our shores having been announced as part of the 2016 Bluesfest lineup over Easter. And to add to that Mythen will also be opening for rock legend Melissa Etheridge for her Sydney and Melbourne shows.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Wednesday 23rd March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 26th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 30th March – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Review: Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Illawarra
Image Courtesy of Illawarra Folk Festival

As the summer roles around each year I take a look at the packed folk festival calendar and try to work out which events I’ll be attending over the season. There are always a few festivals that fall into the “one day” category because of the effort required to get to them (making it down to Cygnet and Georgetown in Tasmania for instance is a two week commitment I’m yet to make). And then there’s those events that have to be a trade off – if I head to WOMADelaide it means I’m missing out on Nannup or Port Fairy.

Then there are those events that are a must – and the Illawarra Folk Festival is at the top of that list. Just an hour and a half from Sydney by train, the Illawarra Folk Festival is a no brainer, even if just for a day or two over the long weekend. The festival sits somewhere between the smaller boutique folk festivals hosted by country towns and the “big three” folk festivals of Woodford, Port Fairy and The National – it manages to attract the best and brightest of the international and Australian folk scene while maintaining a unique community vibe.

For the first time in ages I committed to heading to the Illawarra Folk Festival for the three main days this year, even if it meant commuting to and from my base in Sydney every day. I was determined to see as much music as possible without dealing with the inevitable clashes that comes from trying to see everything in one day. This year I was going to lose my weekend to the Illawarra Folk Festival.

Friday

I walked into the festival on Friday morning nursing a slight hangover courtesy of The East Pointers, The Button Collective and a few too many Guinnesses at The Gaelic Club the night before. I had decided against patronising the opening night of the Illawarra Folk Festival in favour of The East Pointers’ headline show in Sydney – I knew I was going to catch them over the weekend but the opportunity to see them in my own backyard was just too appealing.

It’s been a long while since I’ve spent a Friday at the Illawarra Folk Festival and I have to say it was the perfect way to kick the event off. The smaller Friday crowd made for a lazy day wandering around the Bulli showground taking in music at all of the venues and getting a feel for the place.

I kicked off my day getting on top of my hangover hiding out for a couple of acts in the Grandstand restaurant. I managed to catch the amazing bouzouki player Beth Patterson who is touring the country at the moment spreading her take on traditional and contemporary folk. I’d never considered the bouzouki as a solo instrument before but Patterson brought a maturity to the instrument that was just spellbinding. I hung around for Adelaide based singer-songwriter Banjo Jackson on the recommendation of Kaurna Cronin and was not disappointed – Jackson can stand tall with the new breed of folk singers coming out of Adelaide at the moment with the type of music that is instantly relatable and the perfect pairing of solo, finger-picked guitar and effects laden fiddle.

I’d drunkenly promised Rebecca Bastoli the night before that I would be at her debut programmed festival show at 2:15pm so I staked out my spot in the Nags Lounge early. Despite a couple of unavoidable technical problems (she was mortified when she broke a string halfway through the performance) Bastoli delivered a stunning set, backed by a full band of fiddle, flute, box and bass. It boggles my mind how talented Rebecca Bastoli is – in such a short time she has mastered both the guitar and mandolin and written some of the most poignant songs I’ve heard in ages.

A revelation of the festival was Irish singer O’Leary. If I’m honest I only caught his set by accident but I was mesmerised throughout. The way he brought a humility and reverence to traditional songs was amazing and the backing percussion, electric guitar and flute just enhanced his music.

It wouldn’t be an Illawarra Folk Festival without Australiana-punks Handsome Young Strangers so I made a point of catching their set at The Miners Camp before wrapping my day up and jumping on the train back to Sydney. Handsome Young Strangers are a folk music institution and they tore through their catalogue with the usual devil-may-care attitude. It’s amazing seeing Australian bush and folk music updated for a modern audience while still maintaining respect for the work.

Saturday

Saturday at the Illawarra Folk Festival is always hectic and this year was no different. Watching the crowd stream through the front doors and fill up the venues. Watching a packed festival like this fills me with joy – it proves once again that folk music is thriving and that the people behind the Illawarra Folk Festival should be so proud of the community that they’re created.

I was determined to see local singer-songwriter Kay Proudlove after I missed her set last year, and I was not disappointed. Proudlove is the consummate performer, delighting crowds between songs and delivering lyric driven music that is instantly relatable. I am now determined to see Kay Proudlove every time she ventures north to Sydney (or at least to program future Illawarra Folk Festivals around her sets).

Having heard nothing but amazing things about Irish Mythen I just had to see what all the fuss was about – and I have to say I was not disappointed. Watching one woman with a guitar command the largest stage at the Illawarra Folk Festival was astounding – her stage presence and the way she worked the audience was truly a masterclass in performance. Her version of “The Auld Triangle” is a crowd favourite for a reason and absolutely brought the house down.

The next few hours were a blur of amazing music. Shane Howard once again proved why he is Australia’s best songwriters for those people who braved the mud to venture into the Black Diamond Marquee. Out Of Abingdon added touch of jazz to the festival with their vibey folk tunes. The Redfern Shanty Club turned their performance at The Miners Camp into an all-in singalong session. The Button Collective’s impromptu blackboard session at the Tantric Turtle was the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon coffee. And The Dead Maggies rounded out a bunch of amazing music by tearing up the stage with a mostly cobbled together new lineup.

I rounded out the day by catching trad band Fresh Off The Boat at their intimate Café de Rude. Made up of some of Sydney’s best trad players (most of which you can catch at the Friday night Gaelic Club sessions) Fresh Off The Boat breathed fresh life into traditional Irish music and delighted the local crowd. The sound at the gig was not amazing, mainly owing to the fact that the entire band couldn’t fit on Café de Rude’s stage, but just watching the skill of the players was enough to overcome any issues. The perfect way to round out a hectic Saturday of music.

Sunday

On the third day the Illawarra Folk Festival became about two things – catching all the artists I hadn’t seen yet and revisiting those that had made an impression over the weekend.

I kicked off my day with Queensland based singer-songwriter Mia Wray. Alternating between guitar and piano Wray brought a maturity to her music that seemed to defy her young age. Her original songs were just stunning and she had the audience eating out of her hand with her easygoing stage presence.

I’d seen Japanese Irish trad band John John Festival a couple of years ago at the Illawarra Folk Festival a couple of years ago so I jumped at the chance to catch bodhran player Toshi Bodhran and fiddle player Mana Okubo again as part of Tim Scalan’s band – and I was not disappointed. While I loved Scalan’s masterful singing and harmonica playing it was Toshi Bodhran who stole the show – the man can turn the bodhran into a melody instrument like no one I’ve ever seen before. Special mention has to go to Mana Okubo who performed the entire set with her baby strapped to her back.

The Wish List proved that the fiddle is all you need to accompany a voice and that three fiddles with three voices is even better. This was one of the most innovative bands at the Illawarra Folk Festival – I can’t wait to see these girls live again.

In the afternoon I dragged myself up the hill to the Small Halls Concert in order to catch Liz Stringer and then The East Pointers. For too long people have been telling me that Liz Stringer is the best songwriter in Australia and watching her set at the Illawarra Folk Festival those same people may be proved right. Stringer has an intensity to her songwriting that is tempered with a warmth in her performance not matched by many. I implore you to see Liz Stringer wherever and whenever you get the chance.

Despite having seen The East Pointers in Sydney a couple of days earlier there was no way was going to miss their final set at the Illawarra Folk Festival. These guys are probably the most exciting trad band I have seen in the last 12 months and their live set is incredibly tight. Their use of foot percussion and bass effects on the guitar elevate this three piece from session band to festival headliners and the ease at which they interact with their audience makes you feel included in the experience.

The rest of Sunday evening was spent drifting from tent to tent catching whatever music was playing before idling my way to the Grandstand Restaurant for a final set from The Button Collective and then jumping on the train home.

The organisers of this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival have a lot to be proud of, building an event that caters to almost every facet of the “folk” genre all the while maintaining a community spirit. There’s a reason why performers and punters come back to the Illawarra Folk Festival every year and why it remains a must attend on my festival calendar. Bring on 2017!

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