A Folky Guide to the 2016 Spledour in the Grass Lineup

Splendour
Image Courtesy of Splendour in the Grass

After a couple of years of slim-picking for indie-folk fans today’s massive Splendour in the Grass lineup announcement came as a pleasant surprise to Timber and Steel. In amongst massive headline names like The Strokes, The Cure, Flume, The Avalanches and James Blake is a bunch of folk-leaning artists you should be getting excited about.

  • Matt Corby – The singer-songwriter released his debut album Telluric this year chich has been getting plenty of air time on national radio.
  • Boy & Bear – No strangers to the Splendour stage, Boy & Bear have already toured their latest album Limit of Love with a bunch of sold out shows at the beginning of this year.
  • Jake Bugg – I first discovered Bugg at Splendour in 2013 and I was impressed with the singer-songwriter’s ability to command an audience with just himself and a guitar.
  • Leon Bridges – American gospel and soul singer returns to Australia with a bunch of buzz behind him.
  • James Vincent McMorrowSplendour will be McMorrow’s only Australian show this time around. It’s been a while since he could be considered a “folk singer” having gone down an electronic route in recent years, but there’s no denying how amazing this man is live.
  • Michael Kiwanuka – The UK soul-folk singer has a brand new album, Love & Hate, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo due in May. We have a feeling it’s going to be huge.
  • Marlon Williams – Our love of Marlon Williams is well documented. Splendour will no doubt open the alt-country singer-songwriter up to a whole new fanbase.
  • Kim Churchill – A longtime favourite of Timber and Steel, Kim Churchill’s rootsy sound was built for festivals.
  • Little May – The indie-folk trio have an epic sound that is just made for the Splendour stage.

Splendour in the Grass 2016 will take place from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 24th July at the North Byron Parklands, Yelgun. Tickets will go on sale on the 21st April.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 11th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Australian troubadour Paul Kelly has announced he’ll be covering Shakespeare for his new album Seven Sonnets & A Song. Details here

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes released their new video “The Mountain”. Details here

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel and John Flanagan have extended their joint album launch tour. Details here

– Perth based singer-songwriter Riley Pearce announced EP launch dates. Details here

– Nu-folk trio Little May released their new video “Remind Me” and announced a headline national tour. Details here

– Alt-country newcomer Tori Forsyth released her debut video “Johnny And June”. Details here

– Austo-Scottish trad band Black Market Tune kick off their Australian tour today. Details here

Ruby Boots released her new video “Middle of Nowhere”. Details here

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s announced their March show for this week featuring Devil on the Rooftop. Details here

– Folk singers Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop have announced plans for a joint album, Love Letter For Fire. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Jordie Lane released his new “Frederick Steele McNeil Ferguson”. Details here

Hayden Calnin released his new single “Cut Love”. Details here

Interviews

“We got nominated to be a part of the [Folk Alliance] showcase at the National Folk Festival last year. I’d never been to The National so it was more just going along and being part of it – we didn’t really realise it was a competition as such. So we went up and played a couple of songs and at the end they said “you guys are the winners”. It was kind of weird and we didn’t really know what we got. But it’s been amazing working with them – they’re super helpful”Kaurna Cronin chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Emmy the Great
Second LoveEmmy The Great
GetMusic

Cut Love
Cut Love Pt1Hayden Calnin
iTunes

Matt Corby
TelluricMatt Corby
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

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

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

St. Patrick’s Day at the Gaelic feat. Fresh off The Boat

St Patrick's Day

This Thursday is St Patrick’s Day and there’s a wealth of Irish and celtic music happening around the country. But if we were to place a bet on where the best St Paddy’s craic will be on the 17th our money is on The Gaelic Club in Sydney – trad music sessions and the best Guinness in town. Along with the sessions there’ll be live music from the incredible Fresh off The Boat. What more do you need?

Thursday 17th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Ann Vriend
Wednesday 16th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th March – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Black Market Tune
Friday 11th March – Pirates Tavern, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th to Monday 14th March – Bourke & Wills Folk Festival, Mia Mia, VIC
Thursday 17th March – Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yacandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

Bloodwood
Friday 18th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Katoomba, NSW

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. Devil on the Rooftop
Wednesday 16th March – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Brunswick Music Festival
Tuesday 15th to Sunday 20th March – Melbourne, VIC

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

Calexico
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 16th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, WA

Cosmic Country Nights feat. Not Good With Horses, The Ramalamas, Cobden Social
Sunday 13th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking w/ Marlon Williams
Friday 11th March – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Saturday 12th March – RADA Studios, Perth, WA

Emily Barker
Sunday 13th March – Bridgetown Town Hall, Bridgetown, WA
Thursday 17th March – Emergence Festival, Margaret River, WA
Friday 18th March – Margaret River Cultural Centre, Margaret River, WA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Friday 11th March – Toongi Hall, Toongi, NSW
Saturday 12th March – Nangiloc Public Hall, Nangiloc, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Old Glenlyon Shire Offices & Hall, Glenlyon, VIC
Thursday 17th March – Apollo Bay Mechanics Institute, Apollo Bay, VIC
Friday 18th March – Willaura Memorial Hall, Willaura, VIC

Folk Among the Artworks feat. Sam Newton, Chris Gillespie
Thursday 17th March – Heart of Annandale, Sydney, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 16th March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney NSW

Gordie Tentrees
Thursday 17th March – The Bunker, Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th to Monday 21st March – Yachandandah Folk Festival, Yachandandah VIC

Goin’ Back – Moreland’s History in Song feat. Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Tracy McNeil, Luke Sinclair, Van Walker, Gretta Ray, Mandy Connell
Friday 18th March – Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanic’s Institute, Melbourne, VIC

Holler and Haul at Spectrum Now
Friday 11th March – The Domain, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th March – The Domain, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 13th March – The Domain, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Elwood Myre
Sunday 13th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 11th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Saturday 12th March – Sing for the South West, Old Coast Road Brewery, Myalup, WA
Sunday 13th March – Clancy’s, Dunsborough, WA
Tuesday 15th March – Perth Blues Club, Perth, WA
Wednesday 16th March – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA

Imogen Clark
Thursday 17th March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

James Thomson w/ Ruby Boots
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Jimi Beavis
Saturday 12th March – Smith’s Alternative Book Store, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 13th March – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th March – Pistol Pete’s Food ‘n’ Blues, Geelong, VIC

Jordie Lane w/ Sweet Jean, Leah Senior
Friday 18th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 11th March – Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, VIC
Saturday 12th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 12th March – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 11th March – Billy Roy Blues, Bendigo, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th March – The Stag, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 18th March – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Luke Morris
Sunday 13th March – Lincoln Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 17th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Friday 11th March – The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 12th March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 13th March – Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin, NSW
Friday 18th March – The Merton Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Mary Black
Saturday 12th to Sunday 13th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival
Tuesday 15th March – QPAC, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 16th March – Capri Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 17th March – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Moxie
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 17th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW

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

Patrick James
Saturday 12th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 18th March – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide, SA

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

Ruby Boots
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Thursday 17th March – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Riley Pearce
Friday 11th March – The Monkey Bar, Mandurah, WA

Scott Cook w/ Mandy Connell, John Flanagan, Michael Waugh, Kate Crowley
Wednesday 16th March – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

St. Patrick’s Day at the Gaelic feat. Fresh off The Boat
Thursday 17th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

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
Wednesday 16th March – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 17th March – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Sweet Jean
Saturday 12th March – Panama Festival, Panama Forest, TAS

The Beards
Friday 11th March – Bar Indigo, Rockingham, WA
Saturday 12th March – Rosemont Hotel, Perth, WA
Sunday 13th March – Wintersun Hotel, Geraldton, WA

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

The East Pointers
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC
Thursday 17th March – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

The Little Stevies
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Old Glenlyon Shire Offices & Hall, Glenlyon, VIC
Thursday 17th March – Apollo Bay Mechanics Institute, Apollo Bay, VIC
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Warrandyte Festival, Warrandyte, VIC

The Once
Saturday 12th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 13th to Monday 14th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 16th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 17th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Wednesday 16th March – Yinnar Hotel, Yinnar, VIC
Thursday 17th March – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

The Rambling Boys
Friday 11th to 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC
Tuesday 15th March – The Spotted Mallard, Mebourne, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Thursday 17th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW

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

The Weeping Willows
Saturday 12th March – Republic Bar & Café, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 13th March – The Pizza and Wine Club, Kyneton, VIC
Monday 14th March – House Concert, Ferntree Gully, VIC
Friday 18th March – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

The Young’uns
Thursday 10th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Wednesday 16th March – Bird’s Basement, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 18th to Friday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Tim Guy
Friday 18th March – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

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

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

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wicked Game” – James Vincent McMorrow

If anyone checked out the Game of Thrones trailer this week they may have wondered who was doing the stunning acoustic version of “Wicked Game”. Well wonder no more – it was Timber and Steel favourite James Vincent McMorrow from his 2012 EP We Don’t Eat.

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2014

2014

Ok we promise one more list and then we’re done. For the second year in a row our illustrious editor-in-chief Gareth Hugh Evans has picked his top 25 tracks from the entirety of 2014.

Most of these tracks were singles although some are just taken from albums released this year and others are previews of releases due next year. But if this list proves anything folk music is a wide and varied genre that is going from strength to strength. We hope you enjoy – let’s do it all again next year!

1. Passenger – “Heart’s On Fire”
“Heart’s On Fire” has been my favourite Passenger track live for many years so it’s fantastic to see it finally “officially” released. I’ve seen this song silence a sold out, 1,000 capacity crowd at the HiFi in Sydney and it sent chills down my spine. I love the simplicity of this song, the way the fiddle dances over the finger-picked guitar, the rousing harmonies in the chorus, the subltle strings and mandolin – it all comes together to create something magical.
Watch an early video of “Heart’s On Fire” here

2. Nick Mulvey – “Meet Me There”
To be honest I could have picked any of the tracks from Nick Mulvey’s album First Mind for this list so picking just one (to give tracks from other artists a chance) was agonising. I chose “Meet Me There” because I think it showcases Mulvey’s unique guitar style as well as the gorgeous production that’s all over First Mind. I’m so sour I missed Nick Mulvey when he was in the country earlier this year and just hope he’ll be back soon.
Learn to play all of the songs from First Mind here

3. Bellowhead – “Jack Lintel’s Jig”
First of all this is not a jig, it’s a hornpipe. Secondly it’s not commonly known as “Jack Lintel’s…” – most people probably know it as “Cam Ye O’er Frae France”. But when you listen to the way Bellowhead have constructed this track as a round that builds and builds on the hornpipe’s three parts before abruptly halting leaving the rhythmic fiddle hanging in the air you can forgive all this. It makes me wish Bellowhead did more instrumentals.
Watch Bellowhead take you through their album Revival track by track

4. James Vincent McMorrow – “Gold”
I saw James Vincent McMorrow at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year and it was one of the most spellbinding performances I’ve seen in years. “Gold” is a highlight from his album Post Tropical showcasing his rich falsetto, punctuated by harps and horns and backing vocals. Is this folk? Probably not in the strictest sense but it’s a definite evolution of James Vincent McMorrow’s sound from his earlier incarnation as an acoustic singer-songwriter.
Watch James Vincent McMorrow’s latest video “Look Out” here

5. Oh Pep! – “Rest Assured”
There’s something insanely catchy about the syncopated melody of this mandolin driven folk-pop song. It’s just so listenable and is definitely one of my favourite songs to see them perform live. The clip for “Rest Assured” is a little surreal but there’s something I like about it – it has a quirky appeal.
Read our interview with Pepi Emmerichs from Oh Pep! here

6. Pepa Knight – “Rahh!”
I love the fact that Pepa Knight’s solo effort feels like he’s taken all the world music influences of his band Jinja Safari, thrown them into a big pot, distilled them into something pure and then produced what is one of the most unique releases in 2014. “Rahh!” packs such a musical punch and is the perfect addition to any mixtape or playlist to make your listener sit up and take notice.
Find out more about Pepa Knight’s EP Hypnotized here

7. Husky – “I’m Not Coming Back”
“I’m Not Coming Back” announced Husky’s triumphant return to our eardrums and heralded the coming of their amazing new album Ruckers Hill. This track is classic Husky, all interwoven harmonies and intricate melodies. I especially love the bridge, which has almost a call-and-reply gospel feel to it. Superb.
Find out more about Husky’s new album here

8. Patrick James – “Message”
“Message” continues Patrick James’ winning streak as far as I’m concerned. James consitently writes some of the best indie-folk tunes in Australia and with astounding frequency as well. The clip for “Message” is one of my favourites of the year as well.
Find out more about Patrick James’ EP Broken Lines here

9. Gregory Alan Isakov – “Amsterdam”
The Weatherman was one of my favourite albums of 2013, and “Amsterdam” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, having been released as a single this year. I love the lo-fi sound of this track – the whole thing feels like it was recorded in an echo chamber which gives the song a real ethereal feel.
There’s more information on the animated video for Amsterdam here

10. Dan and Amy – “Pretend”
This song transports me back to the sounds of the 60s and 70s English folk revival with its medieval melodies and liberal use of woodwind. Again, the bridge of this track is what makes it with Dan’s gregorian vocals and strange time signatures driving the song forward.
Find out more about Dan and Amy’s EP Sometimes Life here

11. Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys – “A Hymn to the Wolves”
I’ve said it before but I love what Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys are doing with for contemporary folk music in the UK. Songs like “A Hymn to the Wolves” are just stunning – taking the tradition well and truly into the twenty-first century on the backs of guitar, fiddle and their stunning voices.
Listen to more tracks from Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys’ new album Any Other Morning here.

12. Missy Higgins – “Shark Fin Blues”
It was Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens who first introduced me to “Shark Fin Blues” (check out their version here) and I immediately fell in love. However when I hunted out the original version from The Drones I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed – unlike a lot of music lovers I just can’t get into Gareth Liddiard’s distinctive voice. This didn’t diminish the song however and as Missy Higgins’s version proves it is one of best Australian songs ever written.
Find out more about Missy Higgins’ covers album and book OZ here.

13. Bear’s Den – “Above The Clouds Of Pompeii”
The new Bear’s Den album Islands really stretches the UK trio, seeing them move beyond the indie-folk of their earlier EPs. But it’s the indie-folk sounds that I love about Bear’s Den so I’m glad there’s a couple of gems like “Above The Clouds Of Pompeii” on Islands – this is the band at its best.
Read our interview with Kev Jones from Bear’s Den here

14. Jordan Millar – “If Only…”
Every time I play “If Only…” on loud speakers anyone who is within earshot immediately looks up from whatever they’re doing and enquires who is singing. It goes to show just how catchy Jordan Millar’s single is. This is probably my favourite Jordan Millar song to date, and it can be picked up for nothing as part of the free EP The Wheel.
Stream and download The Wheel EP online here.

15. Lisa Mitchell – “Wah Ha”
“Wah Ha” is Lisa Mitchell’s return to acoustic, folk-inspired pop music and I love it. The track seems to take its cue from 70’s Burt Bacharach tracks in its writing, arrangement and production. I really hope that Lisa Mitchell has a lot more tracks like this in her because it’s this kind of music that I love hearing her produce.
The full dates for Lisa Mitchell’s 2015 acoustic tour are here.

16. Kim Churchill – “Window to the Sky”
Ah, the song that brought Kim Churchill to a wider audience. I’ve been a fan of Churchill’s since Timber and Steel contributor KT Bell first badgered me to listen to his music a number of years ago but honestly I think “Window to the Sky” is his catchiest track yet and deserves all the attention it’s been getting. The track sits somewhere between the roots of the John Butler Trio and Xavier Rudd and the indie-folk of Matt Corby and Boy and Bear and will definitely get stuck in your head when you press play.
Check out the full dates for Kim Churchill’s 2015 tour here

17. Kasey Chambers – “Wheelbarrow”
My favourite albums from Kasey Chambers’ back catalogue are those she recorded with then husband Shane Nicholson, Rattlin’ Bones and Wreck & Ruin. I feel like “Wheelbarrow” takes a lot of their rootsy Americana elements and layers them with some of the crunchiest guitar I’ve ever heard on a country track. Kasey Chambers has never been a conventional country songwriter but with tracks like “Wheelbarrow” she’s challenging all expectations and is producing some of her best music to date in the process.
Listen to Kasey Chamber’s duet with Bernard Fanning, “Bittersweet”, here.

18. The New Basement Tapes – “Spanish Mary”
What happens when you take the “forgotten” lyrics of 1967’s Bob Dylan and give them to a supergroup made up of Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons) plus super producer T Bone Burnett to put to music? Pure magic. This is by far and away my favourite track on the album from The New Basement Tapes – part old timey picker (courtesy of Rhiannon Giddens’ beautiful vocals), part psychedelic romp, the track feels as much 1867 as it does 1967 or even 2014. Love it!
Check out full details of The New Basement Tapes project here.

19. First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining”
“My Silver Lining” transports you back to the 70s, invoking early Neil Young mixed with a heavy doses of Emmylou Harris. The lush strings and reverb heavy melodies wouldn’t be out of place in a Western movie and I love the way First Aid Kit pace their lyrics throughout the track – at some points they manage to fit more words than should be possible into a phrase, at other points they drag a single word out over an entire melody. It’s amazing that some of the best Americana in the world is coming out of Sweden.
Check out the full 2015 Australian tour dates for First Aid Kit here.

20. Jack Carty – “What Am I Gonna Do With All Of My Love Now?”
You’d be hard pressed to find a Timber and Steel “Best of” list without some mention of Jack Carty. And there’s a reason or that – Carty is the master of the story song and Timber and Steel loves a story song. “What Am I Gonna Do With All Of My Love Now?” is just one of the many gems on the new album Esk and only really pipped songs like “Be Like The Water”, “The Universe” and “The Joneses” at the post because of the Lord of the Rings reference.
Listen to Jack Carty’s duet with Katie Noonan, “The Universe”, here

21. All Our Exes Live in Texas – “Tell Me”
“Tell Me” is what happens when four of Sydney’s best songwriters – Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts and Georgia Mooney – get together and write a folk song. The track is insanely catchy and makes the most of All Our Exes Live in Texas’ stunning four part harmonies. If “Tell Me” is a taste of what we can expect from All Our Exes Live in Texas in 2015 then I’m very excited.
Read our interview with All Our Exes Live in Texas here.

22. The Staves – “Blood I Bled”
I’d argue that “Blood I Bled” is The Staves’ most traditional-folk inspired track to date. The melody sounds like it could have been written 100 years ago. And the production is exquisite – which it should be considering it was brought to life by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. I love the way this song builds from a picked ukulele to driving horns, all the while never overpowering the vocal harmonies. I’m so excited about the releae of If I Was next year.
Find out more about the new album from The Staves If I Was here.

23. Ruby Boots – “Oh, Lover”
When Ruby Boots asked Timber and Steel to debut the video for “Oh, Lover” I was overcome by just how good the track was. I love Ruby Boots’ music live but “Oh, Lover” is just on another level – the unconventional verse structure, the Spanish inspires rhythm section, the surf-guitar riff. The video is wonderfully surreal as well with Ruby Boots floating on a bed through a flooded forest. You’ll want to listen to this song over and over again.
Stream Ruby Boots’ self titled EP here.

24. Stu Larsen – “San Francisco”
“San Francisco” is what pop music should be. A simple melody. A story told through verse. Stu Larsen (with Mike Rosenberg, AKA Passenger, and Chris Vallejo on production duties) has produced a little bit of magic with this track. There’s something effortlessly classic about the song from beginning to end and it’s the perfect accompaniment to long drives on hot summer days.
Watch Stu Larsen’s latest video “King Street” here.

25. Vena Portae – “Flames & Fury”
This is probably the newest song on the list, having only been released in the last few weeks, but when I heard it I couldn’t stop playing it over and over again. I guess it’s kind of country music. It’s kind of folk. It’s kind of pop. But whatever it is it’s super catchy and Emily Barker’s voice is in fine form. Listen to this song twice straight through and I can guarantee by the third time you’ll be singing along.
Read our interview with Vena Portae’s Emily Barker here.

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2014

Records

It that’s time of year again when we sit down and wade through the wealth of amazing releases from throughout 2014 and try to put them into some sort of order. For the past few years we’ve asked Timber and Steel contributors to list their top five albums or EPs from the past 12 months, but this year we thought it was time to provide a single, consolidated list.

It was another cracker year for folk and acoustic music and putting this list together was so difficult – you’ll notice that there’s a few omissions that were on our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2014 You Should Own showing just how strong the last six months were.

So here it is, our top 25 albums and EPs from 2014. Hopefully your favourite is here or you’ll discover some of the fantastic music from the year that was.

Nick Mulvey

1. Nick MulveyFirst Mind
While Timber and Steel skews towards Australian music I’m always interested to see what’s happening in the folk scenes around the world, in particular the UK and USA. The amount of music from overseas can be overwhelming so I usually go to sources I trust – and the top of that list is the Communion community which is where I discovered Nick Mulvey.

There’s something really special about the way Nick Mulvey approaches songwriting – manipulating his guitar into non-standard tunings with multiple capos, building rhythms and riffs on top of each other and layering in his understated vocals. The entire album is insanely listenable and while highlights are hard to pick the singles – “First Mind”, “Fever to the Form”, “Cucurucu” and “Meet Me There” – always stand out.

I hope that when Nick Mulvey visited our shores earlier this year he gained more than a handful of Australian fans because I’d love to see him back here at some point. His music is simply magical.

Caitlin Harnett

2. Caitlin HarnettThe River Runs North
Where did you come from Caitlin Harnett? Well, I know where you came from. I’ve seen you a number of times over the years in and around Sydney. But when The River Runs North came out it completely blindsided me. Here is one of the most powerful, sensitive, eloquent and strong releases of the year. Caitlin Harnett has a clear musical voice that shines through on the most exciting debut in Australia in 2014.

Sam Amidon

3. Sam AmidonLily-O
2013’s Bright Sunny South was such a revelation for me, the way Sam Amidon was able to reinvent traditional music. I thought it would be impossible to top but then Lily-O came along and all my epectations were blown out of the water. Maybe it’s his work with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell this time around. Or that Lily-O is a little more rhythm section driven than Amidon’s previous effort. Whatever it is, this album is a masterpiece that I just can’t stop listening to. Can’t wait to see you try and top this one Sam Amidon!

Husky

4. HuskyRuckers Hill
“I’m Not Coming Back” announced Husky’s triumphant return with their second full length album Ruckers Hill, giving us another slice of indie-folk goodness. Husky Gawenda’s songwriting is at its best with gutsy melodies and sweet harmonies all over this album. I feel like Husky’s sound has been cemented here – they’ve grown up without losing their essence, without feeling the need to reinvent. I was lucky enough to make it to the Sydney launch of Ruckers Hill and I can say that all of the tracks translate really well live which is just the icing on the cake.

Sweet Jean

5. Sweet JeanGreetings From Goodbye
Sime and Alice from Sweet Jean refer to Greetings From Goodbye as their “folk album” – a strange turn of phrase considering folk is at the heart of pretty much everything they produce. But when you sit down and listen to Greetings From Goodbye you understand exactly what they mean. Recording in the duo’s converted-laundry studio and featuring traditionals, covers and originals, the album is a laid back, stripped back, heartbreaking masterpiece that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more (seven tracks is never enough).

Bears Den

6. Bear’s DenIslands
When I asked Kevin Jones why he and Andrew Davie ended their original band Cherbourg to only then start Bear’s Den he said “It was quite a set formula with Cherbourg and I think we’re all multi-instrumentalists in Bear’s Den and it allows us to be a lot more fluid with the sort of sounds we can make and what we choose to do with them”. And this fluidity has culminated in Islands. The album has some really touching folky moments in tracks like “Elysium”, “Above The Clouds of Pompeii” and “Isaac” but is not afraid to embrace the rock side of the spectrum as well with the likes of “Think of England”. A wonderful album that I just can’t put down.

JVM

7. James Vincent McMorrowPost Tropical
Post Tropical would have made my best of list last year if its release wasn’t delayed until January – even though I had an advance copy at the end of 2013 I still consider this a 2014 release. Post Tropical is the evolution of James Vincent McMorrow from acoustic singer-songwriter to synth-driven, pop purveyor. This will likely be the last album of McMorrow’s that we cover – there’s an essence of folk in tracks like “Look Out”, “Gold” and “Red Dust” but it feels like he’s saying goodbye to the genre. As a transitional record I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

OCMS

8. Old Crow Medicine ShowRemedy
When this album came out I listened to it non-stop for two weeks. Everything else fell by the wayside as I found myself transported to Tennessee and beyond, travelling with the world’s best string band. Sure, some tracks are silly (“Brushy Mountain Conjugal Visit”, “8 Dogs 8 Banjos”) and their latest Bob Dylan collaboration on “Sweet Amarillo” is no “Wagon Wheel”, but the album as a whole is one of my favourites to date from Old Crow Medicine Show and is well worth investing time in. In fact I might go and listen to it right now.

Passenger

9. PassengerWhispers
Passenger has faced down the pressure of following up the massive international success of All The Little Lights by producing another classic in Whispers. It’s a little more slickly produced than his previous work but at the core of Whispers is the solid songwriting and storytelling that Passenger is renowned for. And the more I listen to it the more I’m convinced that “Heart’s on Fire” is my favourite Passenger song to date.

Bellowhead

10. BellowheadRevival
I love Bellowhead dearly but sometimes their bombasity makes it difficult to make it through an entire album in one sitting. But with Revival this all changes making it their most listenable album to date. Jon Boden’s voice is still in fine form (and fast becoming synonymous with modern English traditional music) and the arrangement of each track is pitch perfect. I love their version of Richard Thompson’s “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight”, the only contemporary song amongst eleven traditionals but its the instrumental “Jack Lintel’s Jig” that is by far and away my favourite.

Jack and Charlie

11. Jack McNeill and Charlie HeysAny Other Morning
A contemporary folk gem, combining fiddle, guitar and the Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys’ beautiful voices in some of the best music of the year.

Jack Carty

12. Jack CartyEsk
Jack Carty finally seems happy in his 2014 offering, but don’t let that scare you away – Esk is his most mature record to date and confirms Carty as one of the finest songwriters in the country.

First Aid Kit

13. First Aid KitStay Gold
Filled with lush arrangements, beautiful harmonies and First Aid Kit’s trademark cascading lyrics, Stay Gold transports you to a 70s summer somewhere on the west coast of the USA.

Patrick James

14. Patrick JamesBroken Lines
Patrick James’ output is consistently brilliant and Broken Lines sees him continue to shine as a songwriter creating little drops of folk gold with every lyric, chord and melody.

The Staves

15. The StavesBlood I Bled
It may only be a precursor to their upcoming Justin Vernon produced album If I Was, due in January next year, but Blood I Bled is three songs of pure harmonic wonder and joy that you need to buy right now.

One Up Two Down

16. One Up, Two DownOne Up, Two Down
On the surface this is a bluegrass release but One Up, Two Down are so well versed in the folk traditions that you can feel celtic, blues and country influences creeping in to make a wonderful, folky mess.

Davidson Brothers

17. Davidson BrothersWanderlust
The Davidson Brothers are not only some of the best musicians – of any genre – in Australia but they’re also amazing bluegrass songwriters – I just couldn’t stop listening to Wanderlust when it was released this year.

Jordan Millar

18. Jordan MillarThe Wheel EP
The song “If Only…” sucked me into this EP early and I stayed because I love the way Jordan Millar writes pop music – although I suspect he’s a folkie at heart.

Kasey Chambers

19. Kasey ChambersBittersweet
There’s so much to love about Bittersweet, from its old-timey Americana influences to the collaborations with Bernard Fanning, Dan Kelly, Bill Chambers and more, that I reckon it could be Kasey Chambers’ best solo effort yet.

Stu Larsen

20. Stu LarsenVagabond
Travelling the world, playing to thousands of people every night – none of this deterred Stu Larsen from creating an intimate, stripped back album with Vagabond, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

New Moon

21. Sarah HumphreysNew Moon
This has been a big year of change for Sarah Humphreys and this has bled into her music – the cutesy pop-folk princess has been dismantled and in her place a confident, mature singer-songwriter has emerged.

Emma Swift

22. Emma SwiftEmma Swift
There’s nothing technically amazing about Emma Swift’s self titled EP, but its simple, stripped back, three-chords-and-the-truth style harkens back to country music of old and is one of the most honest releases of the year.

Little May

23. Little MayLittle May
Epic indie-folk from the Sydney trio whose star is most definitely on the rise, the EP is full of hamonies, building crescendos and catchy melodies.

Winter Pick

24. Justin BernasconiWinter Pick
Justin Bernasconi is one of the best folk/country/blues guitarists in the business right now and Winter Pick is full to the brim with awe inspiring instrumentals and deceptively laidback songs.

Aubergine

25. Green Mohair SuitsAubergine
I honestly wasn’t expecting to like Aubergine as much as I do but I was so impressed with just how tight it is, how good the songwriting is and how much fun The Green Mohair Suits are having taking Bluegrass seriously.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interviews

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

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

Releases This Week

Billy The Kid
Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesBilly The Kid
iTunes

Jack Carty
EskJack Carty
iTunes

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

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Folk By The Sea

Button Collective

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

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

Gigs Next Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wollombi Music Festival
Saturday 27th September – Wollombi, NSW

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

Friday Folk Flashback

“Big Sciota” – David Benedict

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

Watch the New Video from James Vincent McMorrow, “Look Out”

JVM
Image Courtesy of James Vincent McMorrow

The latest track to get the video treatment from James Vincent McMorrow is “Look Out” from his amazing, genre defying album Post Tropical.

“I made this video because I wanted to capture on camera the lights and 3D mapping we’ve created to use on tour,” James Vincent McMorrow explained. “The song is one of my favourites to play off of Post Tropical, I chose it because I face out on stage every single night and I’ve always wanted to see what the lights look like choreographing the flow of it, and have a record of it to keep. It’s not a single, I made it purely to capture something that I love, and to share with people before we start touring again in a few weeks.”

Check out the video for “Look Out” below:

Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2014 You Should Own

Choosing Records

We’re halfway through 2014 and it’s already shaping up to be a good’un in the world of folk, alt-country and acoustic music with some ripper albums released in the last 6 months. While we normally save our “best of” lists for the end of the end of the year we thought it might be worthwhile to give you a list of what we’re digging so far and what you should be adding to your collection (if you haven’t already).

Stay GoldFirst Aid Kit

Stay Gold

First Aid Kit’s 2012 album The Lion’s Roar took the folk world by storm and Stay Gold is more of the good stuff. Filled with lush arrangements, beautiful harmonies and their trademark cascading lyrics, Stay Gold transports you to a 70s summer somewhere on the west coast of the USA. Devine.

WanderlustDavidson Brothers

Wanderlust

Despite being a fan of the Davidson Brothers for a number of years it took me until this year’s National Folk Festival to see them live – and they blew me away. They’re not only some of the best musicians – of any genre – in Australia but they’re also amazing bluegrass songwriters. They gave me a sneak peak at Wanderlust a few days before it was released and I just couldn’t stop listening to it.

AubergineGreen Mohair Suits

Aubergine

With their new EP Aubergine the Green Mohair Suits have well and truly shaken off their original standing as a tongue-in-cheek side project for a bunch of highly respected Sydney artists and become a must seen act live. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like Aubergine as much as I do but I was so impressed with just how tight it is, how good the songwriting is and how much fun these guys are having taking Bluegrass seriously.

Any Other MorningJack McNeill and Charlie Heys

Any Other Morning

I sometimes feel like I may be the only one in Australia listening to UK duo Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys but I’m doing everything in my power to get the word out here. Any Other Morning is a another contemporary folk gem, combining fiddle, guitar and the duo’s beautiful voices in some of my favourite tracks of the year. Buy this album now.

Post TropicalJames Vincent McMorrow

Post Tropical

When a preview copy of Post Tropical landed in my mailbox last year I have to admit I was bindsided. Up until this point I had always known James Vincent McMorrow as an acoustic singer-songwriter, and here was his debut album full of blissed out synthesizers and drum samples. Is James Vincent McMorrow folk enough for Timber and Steel now? Probably not, and if he stays in this musical vein we’ll probably stop covering him in the future. But Post Tropical is just too wonderful to ignore.

Winter PickJustin Bernasconi

Winter Pick

I’m going to stop referring to Justin Bernasconi as “the guitarist and singer from The Stillsons” because with Winter Pick he’s showed himself to be a solo artist to watch. Quite simply Justin Bernasconi is one of the best folk/country/blues guitarists in the business right now and Winter Pick is full to the brim with awe inspiring instrumentals and deceptively laidback songs. The more I listen to this album the more I get into it.

First MindNick Mulvey

First Mind

When he first came to my attention as part of the UK Communion “family” of artists, I picked Nick Mulvey as an singer-songwriter to watch. First Mind is one of those albums that I feel is going to be a slow burner in this country – it’s been out for a while but people probably won’t pick up on it until after Mulvey visits our shores for Splendour in the Grass. Which is a shame because it’s such a beautiful, fully formed piece of art and deserves to be on high rotation everywhere.

A Dotted LineNickel Creek

Dotted Line

I’m not sure many people thought there’d be another Nickel Creek album. With all three members busy with multitude other projects we’d kind of assumed Nickel Creek had been left behind. So I’m glad Chris Thile, Sean Watkins and Sara Watkins decided another turn around the block was in order as A Dotted Line is a masterpiece of modern bluegrass and country music. When you get three virtuosos in a room together you can’t go wrong.

One Up, Two DownOne Up, Two Down

One Up

The self-titled EP from George Jackson, Andrew Small and Daniel Watkins is a piece of pure folk gold. It’s a shame that Small lives in the states as the opportunities to see One Up, Two Down are limited, but if you do get a chance to see them grab it with both hands. On the surface this is a bluegrass release but these guys are so well versed in the folk traditions that you can feel celtic, blues and country influences creeping in to make a wonderful, folky mess.

WhispersPassenger

Passenger

How do you follow up your last record after you went number one in over twenty countries? If you’re Passenger you do what you do best and write some stunning story songs. I feel like Whispers is Passenger’s most slickly produced album since he took the moniker solo, but it doesn’t suffer from too much sheen with his lyrics and songwriting still front and centre. It helps that “Heart’s on Fire”, my favourite live track for a while now, has made this album

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Timber and Steel are very proud to announce that we will be presenting Husky’s single tour this July. Details here

– Adelaide indie-folk duo Climbing Trees released their new single “Campfire Sky”. Details here

– Tonight will see Liam Gale & the Ponytails, The Double Shadows and Charlie Gradon at FBi Social. Details here

– Melbourne’s Tanya Batt has released a brand new track “Graveyard”. Details here

– We have a stream of the new Starboard Cannons album The Valiant and the Brave. Details here

– Sydney instrumental three piece The String Contingent are currently on a house concert tour and are about to wrap up their Pozible campaign. Details here

Patrick James has released details on his upcoming EP Broken Lines. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Jack Carty released a brand new single “The Joneses” co-written with Josh Pyke. Details here

Leah Flanagan is celebrating her birthday this weekend by putting on a gig in Sydney featuring Liz Stringer and The Re-Mains. Details here

James Vincent McMorrow released his brand new video “Gold”. Details here

– We have a stream of the debut self titled album from Melbourne’s Rough River. Details here

– Listen to the latest single from Nick Mulvey, “Fever to the Form”. Details here

– Another new Angus and Julia Stone single, “Death Defying Acts”, hit the internet. Details here

– The July edition of Sydney night The Folk Informal will feature Kay Proudlove, Dylan Orsborn, Ainsley Farrell and Tom Stephens. Details here

– The amazing Justin Townes Earle has announced plans to release his new album Single Mothers in September. Details here

– July’s MoFo at the Gaelic Club in Sydney will feature Justin Bernasconi and Sloe Gin Junkies. Details here

– Melbourne based folk singer, blogger and activist Les Thomas has released his scathing new track “Budget Reply (Hey Joe)”. Details here

Tom Stephens has released his new single “Nowhere to Roam” ahead of a string of dates next month. Details here

Owls of the Swamp released his brand new video “The Hypnotist”. Details here

Releases This Week

Bellowhead
RevivalBellowhead
iTunes

Winter Song
Winter SongDavid Blyth
Official Site

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tiny Ruins

Tiny Ruins

New Zealand’s Tiny Ruins return to our shores off the back of a bunch of international buzz. This may be your last chance to see Tiny Ruins in such intimate venues so you should jump on top of these shows quick smart

Tuesday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Anitas, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 4th July – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Daniel Champagne
Friday 27th June – The Red Room, Ararat, VIC

Graveyard Train
Friday 27th June – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th June – RAD [Yours N Owls Presents], Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 29th June – The Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Friday 4th July – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Husband with David Craft, The Lammas Tide
Friday 4th July – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Jackson McLaren & The Triple Threat
Saturday 28th June – Little Features at Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th June – Menagerie, The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 27th June – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th June – Camelot Lounge, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday 29th June – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 4th July – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 27th June – Manning Entertainment Centre, Taree, NSW
Saturday 28th June – Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Cessnock, NSW
Friday 4th July – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Wednesday 2nd July – The Song Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 4th July – Taps, Mooloolaba, QLD

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th July – Revolver Bandroom, Prahan, VIC

Leah Flanagan Presents Liz Stringer and The Re-Mains
Saturday 28th June – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gale & The Ponytails w/ The Double Shadows, Charlie Gradon
Friday 27th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Little Bastard
Thursday 3rd July – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 4th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Features feat. Jackson McLaren, Arbori, Timothy James Bowen, Original Sin, Aquila
Saturday 28th June – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Marmalade Ghost
Wednesday 2nd July – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Mustered Courage
Friday 27th June – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th June – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th June – Winter Sun Festival, Eumundi, QLD

Sleepy Dreamers
Sunday 29th June – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Taliska
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th June — Camperdown Burns Festival, VIC

The Audreys
Friday 27th June – Tapas, Devonport, TAS
Saturday 28th June – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 4th July – Fly By Night, Perth, WA

The Beards
Friday 27th June – The Lionleigh, Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 28th June – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 29th June – The Jack, Cairns, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 3rd July – Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Friday 4th July – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

The Paper Kites
Friday 27th June – The Anthenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 27th June – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th June – Spirit Bar, Traralgon, VIC

The String Contingent
Friday 27th June – House Concert, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 28th June – Lot 19 Arts Hub, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 29th June – Bella Union, Melbourne VIC

The Yearlings
Wednesday 2nd July – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Tiny Ruins
Tuesday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Anitas, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 4th July – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Tracy McNeil
Saturday 28th June – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Clouds (Both Sides Now)” – Dave Van Ronk

I’ve spent the last week devouring Dave Van Ronk’s memoir of the 1960’s New York folk scene, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, and as an offshoot have fallen down many a youtube rabbit hole listening to his music. This version of the Joni Mitchell’s classic “Both Side’s Now” (which Van Ronk called “Clouds”) is just stunning.

Watch the New James Vincent McMorrow Video “Gold”

JVM
Image Courtesy of James Vincent McMorrow

Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow was recently in the country wowing audiences once again with songs from his amazing album Post Tropical. The latest single and video from that album is “Gold” which you can check out below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 28th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– A new regular country music night, Fun Shootin’ Thursdies, kicked off in Sydney last night. Details here

– NSW based singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall has made a welcome return to the scene with his new single “Angelique”. Details here

– As well as announcing a new album Wagons also have a national tour on the way this May and June. Details here

Passenger announced plans to release his new album Whispers this year with the release of cover art and a making of video. Details here

– And just after the album was announced Passenger also released the video for its title track “Whispers” as well as the release date of the 6th June. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has announced plans to return to Australia this May including a performance at Vivid Sydney. Details here

Timber and Steel are very proud to be presenting the upcoming tour from singer-songwriter Scott Matthew. Details here

– UK five-piece Eliza and the Bear have released “Brother’s Boat”, their brand new single and video. Details here

– The wonderful Hayden Calnin has announced a couple of intimate EP launch shows in May. Details here

Little Features hits Sydney this Saturday with a lineup that includes Tom Stephens, Lily So and the Bellows, Direwolf and Maia Jelavic. Details here

– Watch “Shake It”, the new video for Sydney roots singer-songwriter Steve Smyth. Details here

– The new album from Paul Greene and the Other Colours drops today (see below) and so does the first date of their NSW tour. Details here

– US nu-folk legends Midlake will be making their way to Australia this May. Details here

The Paper Kites have released their new video “Tenenbaum” ahead of their national tour. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Gibson Bull has released his brand new video “Where Are You Now”. Details here

John Flanagan is raising money to head over to Nashville to record with a tour that kicks off tonight. Details here

– Sydney seven-piece Little Bastard have released their brand new video “High For You”. Details here

Interviews

“We’re actually not fans of real gentle folk music anyway. We’re like Led Zeppelin fans and Nick Cave fans. We don’t just sit around listening to ponderous acoustic folk music all day. It sort of makes me a little bit angry and bored [laughs]. So we like things a little grittier than that. We haven’t always reflected that in our records I don’t think and it’s probably partly been my fault, reigning Tristan in thinking my voice is too blah blah blah for that. But this time we just came up with all these rock riffs and just went with it. It was a fun record to make” – Taasha Coates from The Audreys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“For us we love the sound of American music but we’re not Americans, it’s stupid for us to write about American things. It’s not because we’re just writing about Australian songs – that’s just because we’re in Australia. If you were a Scandinavian bluegrass band you should be writing about Scandinavian things. It’s about writing from your own experience, what you know and what you’re influenced by. Otherwise it comes a across as really disingenuous I think” – James Daley from The Morrisons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“It’s a bit of a tester I guess. The issue for us is that we’ve got these lives that are scattered around the country. And having young children it’s quite hard to do things like go on the road. So at the moment we’re not really in the position to play together full time or to really take the band on the road or take it overseas like we were doing before. So I guess this is a bit of a starter – we want to just ease into it a bit and see how we’re placed over the next couple of years” – Kate Burke from Trouble in the Kitchen chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The first gig we’re doing on the Friday night is on the Budawang stage which is the big one. Something Jess said was the very first time she went to The National 14 years ago or whatever she saw bands on the Budawang, this is way before Crooked Fiddle, and she said “I want to be playing on that stage”. And finally we’re playing on that stage at quite a good time on the Friday night so we’re very excited” – Gordon Wallace from The Crooked Fiddle Band chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think you learn so much from the players that you get to stand next to. When I made my first solo album I probably didn’t understand that as much and you try to keep track of it all for yourself. It was quite liberating on this album to basically hand things over and say “whatever you hear I know it’s going to be stellar and I’m grateful for you for taking that and making something amazing with it”. The players on this album certainly brought that”Kate Fagan chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Johnny Cash
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash
iTunes

Sweet Rain Falling
Sweet Rain FallingLittle Wise
Bandcamp

Nickel Creek
A Dotted LineNickel Creek
iTunes

Paul Greene
One Lap Of The SunPaul Greene and the Other Colours
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Flanagan

John Flanagan

Melbourne Americana artist John Flanagan is about to head over to Nashville to record his new album. But before he does he needs to head out on the road to raise a bit of cash for things like plane tickets and recording studios. His tour kicks off tonight with a full band show in Melbourne before heading up and down the east coast.

Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ash Grunwald
Friday 28th March – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Base Backpackers, Magnetic Island, QLD

Caitlin Park
Thursday 3rd April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 28th March – Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 28th March – The Old Manly Boatshed, Manly, NSW
Saturday 29th March – The Katoomba RSL Club, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 28th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 29th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham, NSW
Sunday 30th March – St David’s Church, Dee Why, NSW
Thursday 3rd April – South Coast Folk Club, Port Noarlunga, SA
Friday 4th April – HATS-Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA

Ella Hooper
Saturday 29th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA
Tuesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan
Friday 28th March – Lomond Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Jordan Millar
Friday 28th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 28th March – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th April – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT

Lior
Friday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise and Megan Bernard
Sunday 30th March – Matians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC
Wednesday 2nd April – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 3rd April – “E” For Ethel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – Café Troppo, Adelaide, SA

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 28th March – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29th March – Visy Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 30th March – Pig House Flicks, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 2nd April – The Promethean, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th April – The Studio Underground, Perth, WA

Paul Greene and the Other Colours
Friday 28th March – The Fig, Manly, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Waterhouse, Huskisson, NSW

Sally Seltmann w/ Wintercoats
Thursday 3rd April – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 29th March – Baha, Rye, VIC
Thursday 3rd April – Easy Tiger, Paddington, NSW

The Beez
Friday 28th March – Taste Canowindra, NSW
Sunday 30th March – Tamworth, NSW (house concert)

The Good Ship
Friday 28th March – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29th March – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 28th March – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 28th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 29th March – Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport, TAS
Sunday 30th March – Live At The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS
Friday 4th April – The Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Saturday 29th March – Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills, NSW
Sunday 30th March – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

The Stray Sisters
Friday 28th March – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Swan Valley, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Saturday 29th March – Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, WA (with John Butler Trio)
Monday 31st March – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

Yetis
Thursday 3rd April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 4th April – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“There Once Was Love”/”Innstück” – Fairport Convention

I love the way these tracks play with conventional folk time signatures to create music that has a a sense of urgency and complexity that you don’t often find in the tradition. “Innstück” itself is one of my favourite modern folk tunes.

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