Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th November


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The National Folk Festival announced its first round of artists for 2017 including The Bridge Project, Daoiri Farrell Trio, The Galax Bogtrotters, Himmerland, Les Poules à Colin, Martha Tilston, Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner, The Rheingans Sisters, Ami Williamson, Barry Skipsey, Charm of Finches, The Dead Maggies, Fanny Lumsden, Loren Kate, The Low Down Riders, Sally Balfour, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, Stray Hens and many more. Details here

– Folk-punks Handsome Young Strangers released their new single “Battle of Broken Hill”. Details here

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans announced a co-headline tour. Details here

– Alt-country duo Eagle & The Wolf released their new video “Hips”. Details here

– Folk and bluegrass trio Buffalo Nickel will release their self titled EP this Sunday. Details here

Releases This Week

Levelling The Land: 25th Anniversary EditionThe Levellers
Official Site

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers


Fanny Lumsden wraps up her Country Halls tour with a massive show in Sydney, in the same week she’s up for an ARIA award

Saturday 19th November – St Stephen’s Church Hall, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Tuesday 22nd November – Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th November – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Boy & Bear w/ All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 18th November – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 19th November – Lake Kawana Community Centre, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 20th November – The Mills Precinct, Toowoomba, QLD
Wednesday 23rd Novemeber – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Thursday 24th November – MECC, Mackay, QLD
Friday 25th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD

Sunday 20th November – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Buffalo Nickel w/ Rachel Baiman
Sunday 20th November – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Crowded House
Friday 25th November – Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Friday 18th November – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC

Eilen Jewell
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Tuesday 22nd November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th November – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers
Saturday 19th November – St Stephen’s Church Hall, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Bad French, Lisa Heller & Jordan Millar, Tullara
Wednesday 23rd November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Green Mohair Suits w/ Luke Escombe
Friday 25th November – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hat Fitz & Cara
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

Henry Wagons
Friday 18th & Saturday 19th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Mark Lucas
Sunday 20th November – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Joe Mungovan
Friday 18th November – Willie Smiths, Grove, TAS
Saturday 19th November – House Concert, Hobart, TAS

Jordie Lane
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November – Mullum Music Fest, Mullumbimby, NSW
Thursday 24th November – Major Tom’s, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
Thursday 24th November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 25th November – The Pretoria, Mannum, SA

Julia Jacklin
Friday 18th to Saturday 19th November – Mullumbimby Music Festival, NSW
Wednesday 23rd November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 24th November – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th November – Paradise Music Festival, VIC

Ken Nicol
Friday 18th November – West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, VIC

Laura Jean
Friday 18th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Leah Flanagan
Saturday 19th November – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Liam Gerner & The Sunset Pushers
Friday 18th November – Stone Pony, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 19th November – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th November – Bison Bar, Nambour, QLD
Friday 25th November – Leftys, Brisbane, QLD

Lime and Steel
Friday 18th November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th November – The Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Little Wise
Friday 18th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 19th November – Commonground Festival, Seymour, VIC
Thursday 24th November – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th November – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Martin Pearson
Friday 18th November – House Concert, McLaren Vale, SA

Matt Andersen
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW
Wednesday 23rd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 24th November – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS
Friday 25th November – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Mel Parsons
Thursday 24th November – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November – Harrietville, VIC

Mullum Music Festival
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th November – Mullumbimby, NSW

Nigel Wearne
Saturday 19th November – Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen
Friday 18th November – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 22nd November – St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 23rd November – St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th November – St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

PJ Michael & The Banditas
Saturday 19th November – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Queenscliff Music Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November – Queenscliff, VIC

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Emilee South, Bill Jackson, Brielle Davis
Friday 18th November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Roadhouse feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Thursday 24th November – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November – Mountaingrass Festival, Harrietville, VIC
Monday 21st November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 22nd November – Ferntree Gully Bowling Club, East Melbourne, VIC

Rhythm Hunters
Friday 18th November – Onespace HQ, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th November – Katoomba Community Centre, Katoomba, NSW

Steve Poltz
Friday 25th November – The Warrimoo Sound Lounge, Warrimoo, NSW

Taasha Coates
Saturday 19th November – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

The Button Collective
Friday 25th November – The Bellingen Brewery & Co, Bellingen, NSW

The Company
Friday 18th to Saturday 19th November – Mountaingrass Festival, VIC
Saturday 19th November – House Concert, Healesville, VIC
Sunday 20th Novemeber – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Cutting
Friday 18th November – Mr Boogie Man Bar, Abbotsford, VIC
Saturday 19th November – Surrey Hills Music Festival, VIC
Sunday 20th November – Heritage Tavern, Balnarring, VIC

The Haywood Billy Goats w/ The Tawny Owl Stringband
Friday 25th November – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 18th November – Central Hotel, Shellharbour, NSW
Saturday 19th November – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
Friday 25th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

The Plot Festival
Saturday 19th November – Parramatta Park, Sydney, NSW

The Wilson Pickers
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Hard To Love” – Old Crow Medicine Show

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans Announce Joint National Tour

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans
Image Courtesy of Josh Pyke and Bob Evans

Two of Australia’s most cherished singer-songwriters and sometimes Basement Birds band mates Josh Pyke and Bob Evans have announced a co-headline tour, Another Evening with Josh Pyke and Bob Evans, from the end of this month.

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans embarked on their first Evening with Josh and Bob tour a decade ago.

“That first Evening with Josh and Bob ten years ago was a fairly rudimental affair in retrospect,” Bob Evans explains. “We were both very much still finding our feet. Now, we have higher professional standards to which we hold ourselves and those bawdy jokes of a burgeoning bromance have developed in to, well, bawdy dad jokes. Bah, who am I kidding? We’re not that different ten years on.”

The full list of dates for the tour are below:

Thursday 24th November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 25th November – The Pretoria, Mannum, SA
Saturday 26th November – Clandys Fishpub, Dunsborough, WA
Sunday 27th November – Live at the Orchard, Perth, WA
Friday 2nd December – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 3rd December – Solbar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 4th December – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 8th December – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 9th December – The Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th December – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 15th December – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 16th December – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th April


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– UK nu-folk artist King Charles released his new video “Lady of the River”. Details here

Claude Hay released his new single “Love No More” (available for free download) and announced a bunch of tour dates through May. Details here

Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow released their new video “Cormorant”. Details here

William Fitzsimmons released his gorgeous new video “A Part”. Details here

– English soul-folk singer Michael Kiwanuka has announced details of his new album Love & Hate. Details here

Paul Kelly has revealed the first track from his Shakespeare inspired Seven Sonnets & A Song, the very folky “Sonnet 18”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Mark Wilkinson released his new single and video “Another Necklace”. Details here

– The 2016 Splendour in the Grass lineup dropped with a surprising number of indie-folk acts on the bill including Matt Corby, Boy & Bear, Jake Bugg, Leon Bridges, James Vincent McMorrow, Michael Kiwanuka, Marlon Williams, Kim Churchill and Little May. Details here

Josh Pyke announced a whole bunch of regional tour dates through June, July and August. Details here

– Queensland folk-punk stalwarts Jack Flash have called it a day with a final EP release Nothing But a Bad Dream. Details here

Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats released their new video “Always Thinking of You”. Details here

– Adelaide singer-songwriters Tom West, Todd Sibbin and Ryan Martin John collaborated on a new single “Dust”. Details here



“Year after year, Bluesfest manages to bring the big names and the impressive acts to Byron Bay for the annual Easter pilgrimage. Heading to Bluesfest this year, we really didn’t know many of the acts listed on the bill and wondered just what was in store for us, Timber and Steel wise. So here’s 5 things we learned at this year’s wildly successful, ultimate music sampler opportunity that is, Bluesfest” – we review Bluesfest 2016. Review here

Releases This Week

Person A
Person AEdward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Jack Flash
Nothing But A Bad DreamJack Flash

Sam Beam
Love Letter For FireSam Beam and Jesca Hoop

Tom West
Golden FleecesTom West

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Friday 15th April – Sarrens Restaurant, Port Lincoln, SA

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Concert for Karl feat. Kasey Chambers, Catherine Britt, Adam Harvey, Adam Eckersley, Brooke McClymont, Jasmine Rae, Luke O’Shea, Harry Hookey, Katie Brianna, Caitlin Harnett Adam Young, Den Hanrahan and more

Kasey Chambers

The country music community is coming together to support their mate, Karl Broadie, in his fight against cancer. All proceeds go directly to Karl.

Sunday 17th April – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

A Man Walks Into A Bar feat. Sam Newton
Thursday 21st April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 22nd April – Blood Moon Theatre, World Bar, Sydney, NSW

Colin Jones + The Delta Revue
Friday 22nd April – White Horse Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Concert for Karl feat. Kasey Chambers, Catherine Britt, Adam Harvey, Adam Eckersley, Brooke McClymont, Jasmine Rae, Luke O’Shea, Harry Hookey, Katie Brianna, Caitlin Harnett Adam Young, Den Hanrahan and more
Sunday 17th April – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 15th April – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th April – Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 17th April – Martians Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Davey Craddock
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Festival, WA

Devon Sproule
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Pinjarra, WA
Tuesday 19th April – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 20th April – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 21st April – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Emerging Music Live, Acoustic Sessions feat. Kit & The Cub
Wednesday 20th April – Valve Bar, Sydney, NSW

Fairbridge Folk Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge, WA

Folkswagon feat Jacob Pearson, The Delta Revue, Bree De Rome
Wednesday 20th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gordie Tentrees
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Festival, Perth, WA

Harry Hookey and Mitch Power
Thursday 21st April – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Hootenanny feat. Imogen Clark
Sunday 17th April – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Jack Flash
Saturday 16th April – The Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Festival, Pinjarra, WA

Joe Mungovan
Saturday 16th April – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd April – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Liam Gerner
Friday 15th April – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Matt Corby
Wednesday 20th April – QPAC Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Friday 15th April – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 16th April – The Bunker, Sydney, NSW

Oh Pep!
Friday 15th April – Oxford Art Factory Gallery Bar, Sydney, NSW

Rowena Wise
Saturday 16th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th April – The Homestead, Hobart, TAS
Friday 22nd April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Ryan Bingham
Friday 22nd April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel and John Flanagan
Friday 15th April – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Sian Evans
Saturday 16th April Night Quarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 22nd April – Grounded Festival, Brisbane Valley, QLD

St Albans Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th April

The Beards
Wednesday 20th April – Pier Hotel, Esperance, WA
Thursday 21st April – The White Star, Albany, WA
Friday 22nd April – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA

The Dead Maggies
Friday 15th April – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 16th April – Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 17th April – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 22nd April – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC

The East Pointers
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Festival, WA

The Go Set
Friday 15th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th April – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 22nd April – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC

The Gum Ball
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April – Dashville, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Sarrens Restaurant, Port Lincoln, SA

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 17th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Tim Guy
Sunday 17th April – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

TinPan Orange
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Tom Dockray
Friday 15th April – Six String Brewing Company, Erina, NSW
Saturday 16th April – Mr Falcon’s, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th April – Thirsty Crow Brewery, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife
Friday 15th April – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Vanishing Shapes
Wednesday 20th April – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Here’s The Tender Coming” – The Unthanks

Josh Pyke Announces Regional Tour

Josh Pyke
Image Courtesy of Josh Pyke

Having finished his recent capital cities tour in February singer-songwriter Josh Pyke is looking to take his new album But For All These Shrinking Hearts regionally with a bunch of tour dates through June this year.

The dates will also see Pyke team with former tour mate Jack Carty in support from the 10th June.

Check out the full list of shows plus the new video for “Songlines” below:

Thursday 26th May – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Thursday 2nd June – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 3rd June – Laycock Theatre, Gosford NSW
Saturday 4th June – Pier One @ Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 5th June – Jetty Theatre, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Friday 10th June – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 11th June – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 12th June – Magnums, Airlie Beach, QLD
Thursday 16th June – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW
Friday 17th June – Live at The Helm, Mooloolaba, QLD
Saturday 18th June – Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay, QLD
Sunday 19th June – Blue Mountain Hotel, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 23rd June – Saloon Bar, Traralgon, VIC
Friday 24th June – Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights, VIC
Saturday 25th June – Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave, VIC
Sunday 26th June – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC
Thursday 21st July – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Friday 22nd July – White Star Hotel, Albany, WA
Saturday 23rd July – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA
Sunday 24th July – Northshore Tavern, Hilarys, WA
Thursday 28th July – Tapas Lounge Bar, Devonport, TAS
Friday 29th July – Country Club Showroom, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 30th July – Waratah Hotel, Hobart TAS
Thursday 4th August – Home Tavern, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 5th August – Kinross Woolshed Hotel, Kinross, NSW
Saturday 6th August – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 7th August – Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool, VIC
Wednesday 10th August – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 12th August – Baroque Bar, Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 13th August – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 5th February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have announced a new album, PersonA, to be released this April. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs released her new single “Lost”. Details here

– Brisbane’s Michael David Thomas released his new video “Bad Reputation (26 January)”. Details here

– Celebrated Americana duo The Weeping Willows have announced a new album and national tour. Details here

– Melbourne indie-folk singer Phia released her new video “Do You Ever”. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Brendon Moon released his new video “Wandering Boy”. Details here

Catherine Traicos has announced album launch shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

– London nu-folkers Treetop Flyers released their new single “31 Years”. Details here

Of Monsters and Men released their new video “Wolves Without Teeth”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Tim Guy has announced east coast dates this March. Details here

The Peninsula Picnic in Victoria returns with a lineup that includes Missy Higgins, Kim Churchill, Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Timberwolf and Ruby Whiting. Details here

Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini released their new video “Book of Dreams”. Details here

– Victorian event Summer In The Hills announced their lineup including Kim Churchill, Jordie Lane, Woodlock, Phil Manning, Doc White w/ Steve Williams and Dave Diprose. Details here



“We’ve seen him in a number of settings, from large festival stages, to solo shows, from super groups, to full band concerts and even a magical collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. But it’s the witty repartee that fills the gaps between songs and reveals his inner dork that is exactly the thing that fans love about him”KT Bell Reviews Josh Pyke at Twilight at Taronga. Review here

Releases This Week

Catherine Traicos
Brave The Good DarkCatherine Traicos

Davey Craddock
City WestDavey Craddock

Southern Light
Southern LightSal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel

Zac Saber
ClearerZac Saber

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 11th February – Twilight Markets, QEII Square, Albury, NSW
Friday 12th February – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons

One of our favourite singer-songwriters, William Fitzsimmons, embarks on his first ever Australian tour. If you only see one show other than Gillian Welch this week, make it this one.

Tuesday 9th February – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ainsley Farrell, Jake Edgley
Thursday 11th February – Zigi’s, Sydney, NSW

Beth Patterson
Saturday 6th February – Royal Mail Hotel, Ipswich, QLD
Saturday 6th February – Ballina RSL Club, Ballina, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 12th February – Horden Pavilion, Sydney, NSW

Dave Rawlings Machine
Friday 12th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Elwood Myre
Friday 5th February – Nimbin Hotel, Lismore, NSW
Saturday 6th February – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 7th February – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday 10th February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gillian Welch
Friday 5th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 6th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 8th February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 9th February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th February – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

James Thomson
Friday 12th February – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 6th February – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th February – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

John Butler Trio
Friday 5th February – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 6th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 7th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 5th February – The Cube, Wodonga, VIC
Saturday 6th February – Tallangatta Valley Hall, Tallangatta Valley, VIC
Sunday 7th February – Oxley Hall, Oxyley, VIC
Thursday 11th February – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th February – Alexandra Town Hall, Alexandra, VIC

José González
Friday 5th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 6th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 7th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 10th February – Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 12th February – Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

Josh Pyke
Friday 5th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 6th February – Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW
Friday 12th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Thursday 11th February – The Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 12 February – Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, QLD

Phia w/ Clio
Wednesday 10th February – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Pocket Fox
Saturday 6th February – Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra, ACT

Porch Light Sessions feat. William Crighton, Wartime Sweethearts, Bec Bastoli
Thursday 11th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Rowena Wise and the Guys w/ James Teague
Saturday 6th February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Boots
Saturday 6th February – Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW

Sam Newton
Friday 5th February – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 11th February – The Bunker, Coogee, NSW
Friday 12th February – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Scott Balfour
Thursday 11th February – Coopers Alehouse @ Earl Of Aberdeen, Adelaide, SA

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

The Beards
Saturday 6th February – Houghton Fest, Houghton, SA

The Button Collective
Saturday 6th February – Rocks Brewing Co., Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th February – The Little Guy, Sydney, NSW

The Scrimshaw Four w/ The Twoks, Georgia Spain
Saturday 6th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Timbers
Thursday 11th February – Twilight Markets, QEII Square, Albury, NSW
Friday 12th February – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

The Waifs
Saturday 6th February – Twilights at Tarongo Zoo, Sydney, NSW

Vin Garbutt
Friday 5th February – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 7th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 10th February – Rosny Barn, Hobart, TAS

William Fitzsimmons
Tuesday 9th February – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Willowy, Direwolf, Maia Jelavic
Friday 5th February – Desire Books & Records, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wake Up” – Arcade Fire and David Bowie

I’ve been meaning to post this for weeks. It’s like the song was written for Bowie.

Review: Josh Pyke, Twilight at Taronga, Sydney

Josh Pyke with Winterbourne
Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th January, 2016

I can’t believe that Twilight at Taronga has been running for more years than I have lived in Sydney for, yet it took until 2016 for me to make it to one of the famed summer series concerts. With the city reeling from an afternoon thunderstorm that threatened to close the show before it even started, we settled in under grey skies to see one of our favourite artists of all time, Josh Pyke.

Having arrived later than intended, the available grass space was limited, but surprisingly there seems to not be a bad seat in the house for this annual pop-up venue. We grabbed our spot, picked up our fancy hamper, collected our Aperol Spritzs and made ourselves comfortable in time for support act Winterbourne to start. I admit, I hadn’t heard much by Winterbourne before last night, but knowing that Josh Pyke gigs are like a personal curation of Pyke’s favourite emerging and established acts in town, we knew we were in good hands. And, Winterbourne didn’t disappoint. With a smattering of recorded and released tracks to warm up the crowd (many of whom did know Winterbourne‘s work, much to their surprise and delight), the boys brought out some new songs from their forthcoming release that had the crowd hooked.

As a bonus, a brand new song, not yet recorded and probably only a few weeks old, was played with the caveat that the crowd’s reaction would seal the fate of the new track – and that we should not scream and shout at the end if we don’t like it. Suffice to say, they now have a crowd approved song on their hands. I found Winterbourne had a delightful spectrum of sounds and styles to their repertoire – some upbeat tunes that would get you up to dance, some ballady-folky tunes, some shades of indie-pop and some definite Pyke-esque sounds woven throughout their playbook. Winterbourne ultimately delivered an excellent, enigmatic set that warmed the crowd perfectly for the main attraction.

When I go to gigs, I usually make note of everything that is played and pay attention to which songs are highlights both personally, and for the crowd as a whole. With a consummate performer like Josh Pyke, the list is inevitably an entire list of highlights, sing alongs, huge responses and upswells from the audience and I could just resort too recounting the play list and waxing lyrical about each an every song. This concert was no exception, however the joy for me – apart from yet another brilliant Josh Pyke concert – is the reminder that his personality and banter on stage is the truly magical and endearing aspect of his live shows.


Photo courtesy of Josh Pyke

We’ve seen him in a number of settings, from large festival stages, to solo shows, from super groups, to full band concerts and even a magical collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. But it’s the witty repartee that fills the gaps between songs and reveals his inner dork that is exactly the thing that fans love about him. We all identify with getting things in the wrong order (and jokingly giving retrospective thanks for the upcoming misplaced track), having the Sydney humidity screw with your hair do, forgetting where your hands are supposed to go on the guitar for the chords you needs mid song but pretending it’s a quiet, sing-along moment for the audience, then outing yourself after the song… Ok, we might not identify with that exactly, but it’s his good humour, cheeky comments and ultimately flawed human approach to his fans that makes us all feel like we are personal friends gathering for a get together where our mate Josh pulls out his guitar.

He dedicated Leeward Side to his sons, Archer and Augie (who were in the audience with wife Sarah), which elicited the appropriate ‘aaaawww’ response and cheers from the crowd. Speaking of kids, he gave an hilarious language warning before the Lighthouse Song, which probably should have come with a language warning of it’s own. During another interlude, he asked whether anyone in the crowd did not follow him on Facebook, and for all those people to please go and immediately like his page and see if we could “crash the interweb”. Pyke announced towards the end of the set that they had a noise curfew at the venue and that he wouldn’t be doing any of that encore sh*t and to just pretend that the next song was the last if we wanted an encore. Middle of the Hill subsequently tore the house (or lawn) down and had us all cheering for more and ‘demanding’ an encore.

If the admission of no encore wasn’t funny enough, his ‘faux’ encore “oh we don’t have anything prepared” hammered home his penchant for Dad jokes and familiar rapport with the crowd. From the fans dancing madly at front of stage, to us and our fellow repose wine sippers up the back, the entire sold our audience was in raptures with Pyke‘s performance. Every person in attendance would have had as enjoyable a night as us.

You know it’s been a great show when on the Ferry back to the city, the couples around you are all singing their own two part harmonies of their favourite tracks, or humming their favourite melodies, or posting photos of the show to social media.

Twilight at Taronga was the first show in his new tour promoting But For All These Shrinking Hearts and continues around the country over the next month taking in Canberra, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Lismore, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Tickets are available on his website.

Twilight at Taronga is an exquisite concert series with a stunning backdrop, and excellent set up and is big enough to have a great vibe without having fellow music lovers in your back pocket. A string of sold out concerts limit your options for this year if you haven’t yet been, but there are definitely still some gems of the folk persuasion with tickets available, so treat yourself to some summer sounds by the harbour.


Thank Folk It’s Friday – 1st January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

John Flanagan has announced details of his new album and February tour with Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel. Details here

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes have announced an album launch show at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Details here


“I love having a strong back catalogue that people want to hear. We were rehearsing last night for these upcoming festival shows, playing songs like “Memories and Dust” and “Lines on Palms” – I love playing those songs”Josh Pyke chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Brittany Haas and Tristan Clarridge

Brittany Haas

Brittany Haas (fiddle) and Tristan Clarridge (cello) of Crooked Still fame will be making a stop over in Sydney in what is bound to be one of the most exciting and under-hyped gig of the week. If you’re around Balmain on Thursday go to this gig.

Thursday 7th January – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Brittany Haas and Tristan Clarridge
Thursday 7th January – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January – Cygnet, TAS

Falls Music & Arts Festival
Monday 28th December to Friday 1st January – Lorne, VIC
Tuesday 29th December to Friday 1st January – Marion Bay, TAS
Thursday 31st December to Sunday 3rd January – Byron Bay, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Irish Mythen, Starboard Canons
Sunday 27th December to Friday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Irish Mythen
Sunday 27th December to Friday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Saturday 2nd January- The Sheoak Shack, Fingal Head, QLD
Sunday 3rd January – Triffid Roots, The Triffid, Newstead, QLD
Friday 8th January- Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Mark Lucas
Friday 1st January – Ruby l’Otel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Sunday 27th December to Friday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Wednesday 6th January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Wednesday 30th December to Friday 1st January – NYE On The Hill, Loch Village, VIC

Sweet Jean
Saturday 2nd January – Here’s To Now Festival, McLaren Vale, SA
Sunday 3rd January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, SA

The Audreys
Friday 1st January – Taste of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 2nd January – Fresh inn Charles, Launceston, TAS

The Button Collective
Thursday 7th January – Lady Lismore’s Loft, Lismore, NSW

The East Pointers
Monday 28th December to Friday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Sunday 3rd January – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd January – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th to Saturday 9th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

The Weather Station
Saturday 2nd January – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 4th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 6th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

TinPan Orange
Saturday 27th December – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Friday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Tom Stephens, Ainsley Farrell, Scott Rudd
Thursday 7th January – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

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

Friday Folk Flashback

“Auld Lang Syne” – Eddi Reader

Interview: Josh Pyke

Josh Pyke
Image Courtesy of Josh Pyke

Having released one of the best albums of his career in 2015 with But For All These Shrinking Hearts Josh Pyke is about to head out on a national tour. We sat down with the singer-songwriter to talk about his writing process, how he chooses supports and the importance of his fans.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Let’s kick off with the new album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts. I really like it – it feels like the next musical progression for you. How are you feeling about the album?

Josh Pyke: I love it. I have to admit that I don’t listen to my own music ever. But when I make the record I really have to feel like I can stand behind every creative decision one hundred percent, and I feel like it will stand the test of time. In that regard every time I do a record I need to feel like it’s my best work otherwise I don’t want to put it out. So I feel like this album is my best work to date and that’s how I’ve felt about all my records. And of course that’s a completely subjective opinion but I need to feel that otherwise I don’t want to do it.

GHE: Is part of the reason you don’t listen back because you can hear the stuff you’d like to change or that your songs have evolved beyond the album as you’ve started touring them?

JP: I just don’t like listening to my own music. I don’t really know. I can’t imagine many musicians sit around listening to their own music – I think that would be weird. It’s just kind of like looking at photos of yourself or looking in the mirror all the time. My kids have started to listen to my music so sometimes I hear it in the car when we’re driving along. Particularly the last two albums there’s nothing when I hear them that I go “I wish I’d done that differently” because after making four and now five albums I kind of know what I’m doing. If I listen to Feeding the Wolves or Memories and Dust there’s probably moments where I go “I probably could have done that better”. But at the same time they’re moments in time – you’ve just got to remember at the point you were making them you were standing by your creative decisions at the time. As long as you always do that then even if you would do something different because your creative instincts have become more honed or more developed, you have to get behind your previous self and go “it’s ok mate, this is where you were at at the time”. But yeah I don’t listen to my music because I would rather listen to other people’s music and then make my own music.

GHE: When you’re performing you still have to reach into the back catalogue for your fans even if you’ve moved on from them creatively.

JP: I love doing that. I love having a strong back catalogue that people want to hear. We were rehearsing last night for these upcoming festival shows, playing songs like “Memories and Dust” and “Lines on Palms” – I love playing those songs. I like playing the songs, I just don’t like listening to the records. The old songs remind me times and places in my life. All of the songs are intensely personal to me and I know what they’re all about to me so it’s kind of like revisiting those experiences. It’s like going back and reading a diary when I’m playing the songs live.

GHE: I’ve seen you live a number of times, both in an intimate solo setting and with a band. You will quite often pull out a new song in those shows, especially in the “fans first” tours – is that important as part of the song writing process to workshop new songs live?

JP: It can be. I think it’s more about keeping things interesting for myself. As a punter when I go to see bands I don’t mind hearing new songs that I don’t know but I’d rather hear songs I do know. From a punter’s point of view it’s kind of why you’re going there – you’ve listened to the records and now you want to hear how that translate live, you want to hear the lyrics that you know and hear how the voice is different live. So when I’m doing it live it is a way to workshop them but it’s more for my sake that anybody else’s. If they work structure wise there’s no better setting than a live setting to hash out those things. It’s like instant market research. Also I write a lot of songs on the road. I remember I played a song “Bats” live on a tour a few years ago and it was a cool song but there was something about it that I never wanted to take further than that experience. I actually tried to demo it a couple of weeks ago and I was like “I don’t know, I think that song’s had its life”. Sometimes that’s as far as they go, playing them once or twice in a live context and then they just disappear.

GHE: A few years ago I saw you live and you’d starting playing around with looping and effects pedals. Has that influenced the way you write a song? Or are they just there to round out the sound of a solo show?

JP: I don’t think it’s influenced how I write songs. I think it’s more influenced getting together solo shows. I do try and approach them differently and sometimes it means that I change the arrangements to better suit a looping pedal. It definitely influences how the songs come up in a solo context but I don’t think it’s crept through into influencing the song writing. I like to keep the song writing pretty organic. Having said that a song like “There’s a Line” which has that kind of synth loop, I did write that not with a loop pedal but by looping that section in pro-tools when I was writing that song. Maybe on reflection it has influenced a little bit – maybe I’m more open to those kind of dynamics within a song.

GHE: Let’s talk about the upcoming tour. You’ve got a couple of festival dates and also some headline shows. Is this going to be a full band tour or is it solo Josh Pyke?

JP: This will be a full band tour which I’m really excited about because I haven’t done a full band tour for almost two years now. The last time was at the beginning of The Beginning and End of Everything so it will be awesome to get out again with the band. I was rehearsing last night with the band in my studio here at home – it’s sounding really great. The new songs in particular are translating really well, really bombastic. Songs like “Songlines” with a full band sound killer so I’m really excited.

GHE: Does playing with a full band influence the set of songs that you choose?

JP: It definitely effects the set. Songs like “Someone to Rust With” and “Late Night Driving” are probably better suited to the solo context. Whereas I have made solo versions of “There’s a Line” and “Songlines” but I love utilising the sounds and dynamics a band can bring to them. And revisiting songs like “Vibrations in Air” that I’ve played solo for years now in a band context.

GHE: One of the things I love about your tours is that you always bring along these up and coming singer songwriters as supports. People like Jack Carty and Patrick James – and this time around you’re taking out BANFF.

JP: Yeah BANFF is doing the majority of the tour and Winterbourne are doing the two Zoo shows.

GHE: Are you heavily involved in choosing who supports you?

JP: There’s been one time that I haven’t been involved and it just wasn’t right. All the other times where I’ve selected the acts myself, even if they’re a bit incongruous to what I do. Like I did a big regional tour with The Jezabels in support of me which sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it worked amazingly. So all the times when I’ve chosen the supports I feel like there’s a better connection and the whole show is more like an event, a curated event, rather than just a bunch of acts playing together on a bill. So it’s important for me to be involved. Basically every time my booking agent gives me a list of 20 acts – unless there’s somebody I just want to straight up have – that are appropriate and available. Then I just go through and listen to all of them and then it just comes down to who’s doing the music I like best.

GHE: It’s also a great opportunity for your supports because you have such a loyal audience that you’ve built up over the years. They’re loyal to you and then that means they’re loyal to artists that you want to support. Your audience becomes their audience.

JP: Yeah. That’s a beautiful thing that I feel really blessed that I can help with. That’s how I came up doing big supports for John Butler and Eskimo Joe and countless others. All these acts that I did long tours with. You still have to work hard, there’s no guarantee, you have to win every fan over one by one. But if the show is curated well then you are playing to an audience who will probably like your music. And then you just have to perform well and hopefully bring those fans over to you. I’m not covetous of my fans – I’m extremely grateful and I feel incredibly blessed to have the support base that I do but I certainly don’t think my fans only have room for being fans of me. I’m happy for them to discover new music through me and to support that music as well.

GHE: How important has the Josh Pyke fan club, Friends of Josh Pyke, to you throughout your career as a musician?

JP: They’re amazing. It’s basically Sabi [Sabrina Robertson] and she’s been doing it for 10 years. She’s amazing. She creates great content and every year she does this yearly wrap up where she runs through everything that’s happened and it’s almost like a reference for me because every year feels like a blur when you’re in the thick of it. She’s just been great and I hope she’s gotten stuff out of it as well – I know that she works in the industry now. I hope that having done some stuff with me has opened some doors and have given her some experience. I’d certainly highly recommend her to anybody, she’s fantastic. It still blows me away that people would do that for me and join a fan club or whatever you want to call it. It kind of articulates what you hope is happening which is that people are really investing in your music in an emotional way where they want to be connected to it.

GHE: So the tour goes through until the end of February. What else can we expect from Josh Pyke in 2016?

JP: I’m really excited about launching this beer with Young Henrys that I’ve been working on. The beer is called “The Summer” and it’s basically a scaled up and refined version of the home brew I’ve been making at home for a few years.

GHE: Nice

JP: The tour kicks off and we’ll expand that regionally for sure. We’re just trying to figure out if we’re going to do that solo or with the band. And then there’s a big project I’m excited about at the end of next year that I don’t want to talk about just yet in case it falls through. It’s a collaborative project – it’s kind of like revisiting a collaborative project. It’s not the Basement Birds!

GHE: That was going to be my follow up question!

JP: I’m really excited about doing that, I think it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun. Beyond that I don’t know. For the passed ten years I pretty much could have told you what I’d be shooting for in the next few years but now I find that it’s been doing my head in a bit to live like that, just trying to look into the future and think of what I’ll be doing. So I’m really trying to just focus on what I’m doing now and enjoy it. That’s one of my aims for 2016 – to stay in the present as much as possible.

GHE: Far enough! Well thank you so much for that Josh, I really appreciate your time.

JP: Thank you so much!

Josh Pyke will be touring nationally from the end of January with supports from BANFF and Winterbourne. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 29th January – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 30th January – Canberra Theatre Playhouse, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 4th February – Studio 56 @ Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 5th February – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 6th February – Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW
Friday 12th February – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th February – The Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Friday 19th February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 20th February – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015


Ok, so we have one final best of list to round out the week and then I promise you we’re done. Our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans has sifted through the wealth of music that’s been released this year and whittled it down to his top 25 tracks of 2015. Some of these are album tracks that haven’t been released as singles, some are singles from albums that were released last year and at least one or two have only seen light as live versions – but one thing that’s certain is that this is a pretty good snapshot of all of the music we’ve been loving throughout the year.

So without further ado please enjoy Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015.

1. Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”
While I loved the direction that Sufjan Stevens took with his Age of Adz album, when “Should Have Known Better” dropped earlier this year I almost wept. This was Stevens leaning back into to his acoustic roots without denying where his sound has evolved in recent years (the electronic middle eight in the track is a nice nod to Age of Adz). Despite the heavy subject matter of the track (“When I was three, three maybe four, She left us at that video store”) it is overwhelmingly uplifting and I can’t help but smile as I let the melody wash over me. It’s good to have you back Sufjan!

2. John Flanagan – “The Last of the Cassette Men”
A core element of “folk music” as an overarching genre is the story song and John Flanagan has written the best story song of the year, recounting the time Flanagan was tasked with driving his songwriting hero Paul Kelly to a show. John Flanagan’s easygoing, personal narrative style works perfectly in this track, almost aping the songwriting style of Kelly without descending into parody. With this track John Flanagan has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on.

3. Packwood – “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”
With four EPs released this year there’s a wealth new Packwood material to choose from, but I can’t help but come back to “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”, his first single from 2015. The track is everything I want from a Packwood song – soaring melodies, delicate finger-picked guitar, orchestral arrangements (including a choir!) and Bayden Hine’s vulnerable vocal style. Another work of genius from Australia’s king of chamber folk.

4. Patrick James – “Bugs”
“Bugs” has been a standard of Patrick James’ live set for much of his career, including his time as a busker, but it’s only in 2015 that it’s been released as a single thanks to his debut album Outlier. What makes “Bugs” such a great song is hands down the chorus: a catchy, loopy piece of music that always stimulates a sing along. With live versions of “Bugs” available on the internet for years now I’m glad James has not gone crazy on the production of this track, keeping the arrangement subtle and familiar.

5. The Morrisons – “Wild Eleanor”
Despite being probably the most recognisable Bluegrass band in Sydney the amount of recorded music available from The Morrisons is pretty light on the ground. Which is why I’m so chuffed they’ve chosen to record and release one of my favourite of their tracks, “Wild Eleanor”. The frantic single shows off just how skilled each of the members of The Morrisons are. And yes, I even like the hokey clip shot at Sydney’s Hibernian House.

6. Laura Marling – “False Hope”
This is Laura Marling’s Dylan-going-electric moment. When “False Hope” hit earlier this year the first thing that fans noted was just how rock driven it was- Marling has swapped the acoustic guitar for a choppy electric and surrounded herself with a traditional rock lineup. But Laura Marling’s lyrical style and vocals shine through – you know this song is unmistakably a Laura Marling track despite the instrumentation and for that reason alone it’s something special.

7. Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton – “Waly Waly”
I was trying to put my finger on what it is about “Waly Waly” that stands out for me on the excellent album Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and it hit me – about halfway through the song Ruth Hazleton brings in this minor led banjo lick that just, well, grooves. It’s that lick, and the minor arrangement over the chorus, that gets my toe tapping and my head bobbing every time. It’s not often that you mention the word “groove” in reference to a Child Ballad but that’s how clever Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton are.

8. Mumford & Sons – “Ditmas”
“But this is all I ever was, And this is all you came across those years ago, Now you go too far, Don’t tell me that I’ve changed because that’s not the truth, And now I’m losing you”. Could this be the catchiest chorus of 2015? Forget that Mumford & Sons ditched the banjo and the acoustic guitar – what they’ve created in “Ditmas” is the perfect Mumford & Sons song. Restrained verses, blistering choruses and lyrics you want to sing along to at the top of your lungs.

9. The Paper Kites – “A Silent Cause”
To be honest “Electric Indigo” has been the track on highest rotation from twelvefour for me this year, but every time I’m listening to the album from start to finish I always have to go back and listen to “A Silent Cause” again and again. It’s such a simple song – lead vocals, guitar and subtle vocal harmonies – but it’s just mesmerising. It’s a nod to The Paper Kites’ earlier work and there’s a real Paul Simon feel to the way its been written. “A Silent Cause” has not (yet) been released as a single from twelvefour but it’s definitely the standout for me.

10. Fanny Lumsden – “Soapbox”
Fanny Lumsden’s incredibly catchy single “Soapbox” is the driving force behind the success of her album Small Town Big Shot. The track’s driving back-beat courtesy of the clapping percussion drives the song forward and that banjo riff is so hum worthy. I love how crisp Lumsden’s vocals are on this track – you get to follow the narrative elements of the song without having to distance yourself from the rest of the instrumentation. It’s a great track to see live as well!

11. William Fitzsimmons – “Pittsburgh”
There’s such a lean-in quality to William Fitzsimmons’ voice – it’s so delicate over the top of his acoustic guitar and the result is beautiful. The album version of this song is supplemented by subtle piano, electric guitar and backing vocals but if you’ve managed to hear any of the live versions floating around Youtube you’ll know just how good this song is with just Fitzsimmons and his guitar.

12. Matt Corby – “Monday”
The first new music from Matt Corby in quite a while ends up being classic Matt Corby. That layered, looped vocal and hand percussion. The blues inspired melody. That voice. It’s good to have you back Matt Corby.

13. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.”
The transformation of Nathaniel Rateliff from sensitive acoustic singer-songwriter to full blown gospel-blues master has been one of the unexpected joys of 2015. Together with his outstanding band The Night Sweats, Rateliff released one of the year’s catchiest tunes in “S.O.B.” complete with a Blue Brothers inspired video.

14. Bellowhead – “Roll Alabama”
Bellowhead tempered the news that they’d be wrapping things up this year with the release of their new single “Roll Alabama”. The track is filled with Bellowhead’s usual bombast but also manages to balance this with fine arrangement – at no point is the song overwhelmed by the instrumentation. The clip for “Roll Alabama” is a loving ode to Bellowhead as a live band, making me wish they’d made the trip to Australia at least once.

15. The East Pointers – “The Drift”
I love that the tenor banjo, after being maligned by its five stringed cousin in recent years, is making a bit of a resurgence. And Canadian trio The East Pointers are leading the tenor banjo charge. I love the way “The Drift” plays with tempos and instrumentation, building and dropping throughout, providing texture to the traditionally inspired music. A highlight from Secret Victory which is stuffed full of amazing tracks.

16. Yetis – “Luckiest Guy Alive”
Yetis were another band that we said goodbye to in 2015 but who left us with an amazing goodbye track. “Luckiest Guy Alive” is beautiful – five part harmonies over a solo piano – and it just seems to sore. I’m not sure Yetis every really reached their full potential and I would have loved to have seen more from them before they went their seperate ways – but “Luckiest Guy Alive” is a nice way to say goodbye.

17. Boy & Bear – “Walk the Wire”
Boy & Bear have embraced the 70s and early 80s on their new album Limit of Love and the greatest example of this is “Walk the Wire”. Embracing synths and crisp guitars, “Walk the Wire” still has that undeniable Boy & Bear groove to bop your head along to. The video is also hilarious – don’t just listen to this track on YouTube in the backgound, make sure you give it your full attention.

18. Ruby Boots – “Wrap Me In A Fever”
No this is country music. Ruby Boots’ big voice just powers through this track as the drums shuffle, the steel guitar twangs and an organ adds just a touch of class. “Wrap Me In A Fever” is a song full of heartbreak and lonliness but Ruby Boots also imbues a sense of strength into it with her big voice.

19. Gurrumul & Paul Kelly – “Amazing Grace”
The moment I heard that Gurrumul was turning his voice to gospel music for his latest album my first thought was “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”. The fact that he’s joined by Paul Kelly on possibly the most iconic gospel song of all time is just incredible. Here are two artists at their best breathing life into a classic and reinventing it for an Australian audience.

20. Passenger – “Fools Gold”
The ever prolific Passenger this year released an album (Whispers II) and then a series of videos for brand new songs that were shot while he toured the world. To be honest I could have picked any number of the songs that Passenger released this year but this is the one that stuck in my head. The song is textbook Passenger – delicate vocals over finger-picked guitar – but that little lick at the start and the “Hey-ey-ey” of the chorus are what gives “Fools Gold” the ear-worm quality.

21. Josh Pyke – “Hollering Hearts”
From the opening ukulele to the “oh oh oh” backing vocals there’s something insanely catchy about this song. No one quite writes folk-flavoured pop music like Josh Pyke and “Hollering Hearts” is pretty much a perfect Josh Pyke tune. I’m not sure how I feel about the lyric video (if you’re going to go to that much effort animating it why not just make a video?) but at the end of the day this is all about the music.

22. Falls – “When We Were Young”
I chose to post the live version of this song purely for the nostalgia of it. This is Falls performing at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney during one of their rare visits back to our shores – and for these guys this is where it all started. I love how infectious this song is, almost willing you to clap along and stomp your feet. Of all the new material on Omaha this is the track that really captured me – I feel like it’s the bridge between their Hollywood EP and the tracks they’ve been writing since they’ve relocated to the USA.

23. Sam Amidon – “Blue Mountains”
“Blue Mountains” is not taken from Sam Amidon’s 2015 album of home and field recordings Home Alone Inside My Head but is rather the final single from his amazing 2014 record Lily-O. This is Amidon at his most coherent and accessible – the track has a pretty conservative structure and vocal line which is something he’s not always known for. I love the 6/8 drum beat that comes in about half way through this song giving it that extra drive, and of course Amidon’s meandering fiddle lines are just beautiful.

24. We Banjo 3 feat. Sharon Shannon – “The Fox”
This is traditional music at its most polished, with none of the rough edges you’ll find on other versions of this classic track. But that’s not a bad thing – We Banjo 3 have perfectly captured the rollicking fun of “The Fox”. Strangely Sharon Shannon’s accordion seems to be relegated to the back of the mix until they break into the reel two thirds of the way through (known as “Clumsy Lover” for those of you playing at home) – but I guess that’s why this is We Banjo 3 featuring Sharon Shannon and not the other way around.

25. Nick Payne – “Old Sydney Town”
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Nick Payne workshopping his convict folk song at jam sessions and festivals over the past 18 months and what he’s managed to capture on tape is pretty bang on what you’ll get live. I love the old time feel of this track and the fine group of musicians he’s managed to amass to accompany him (including many members of his band Dear Orphans) elevate the song to another level. I love the “behind the music” style of the video as well – very nice.

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2015

Record Player

If anything has characterised 2015 for me in terms of new albums it’s that we finally saw debuts from some of our favourite artists. So many bands these days are serial EP releasers so it’s great to see the likes of Patrick James, Falls Marlon Williams and more knuckle down and get into the studio. It’s also great to see the return of firm favourites after time away and an explosion of traditional music that pushes boundaries and challenges our perception of what trad music can be.

Coming up with a top 25 list is always a challenge (let alone putting them in some kind of order) but I think what we’ve come up with is a wonderful cross section of all the genres of “folk” music we cover on Timber and Steel – from singer-songwriter to Americana to indie folk to traditional and beyond.

So without further ado here it is – our top 25 albums and EPs from 2015!

Kate and Ruth

1. Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration

What a year 2015 has been for traditional music. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like a lot more trad is breaking through at the moment and the icing on the cake this year has been the incredible new album from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Declaration.

This is the duo’s first album in about eight years and their return to the studio has been a welcome one. Once again teaming with producer Luke Plumb, Declaration is loosely themed around traditional music from the female perspective with a few contemporary tracks thrown in for good measure.

The tracks are rich, heartbreaking, emotional and beautiful. So many of the songs deal with pretty heavy themes such as domestic violence (“Bleezin’ Blind Drunk”), false accusations of adultery (“Waly Waly”) and the disintegration of a woman’s public reputation (“Katy Cruel”) and these are conveyed with resonance by Burke and Hazleton. Hearing these two singing together again reminds me of why I fell in love with their harmonies all those years ago.

The two originals on the album – “The Freeze” and “Hearts Of Sorrow” – are two of my favourites and they make me wish Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton were more prolific as songwriters. Maybe one day we’ll get a full album of self penned tracks?

I love how much Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton have matured as performers over the last 15 years. Gone is the rigid need to stick 100% to the tradition and instead we have a fluid take on the material that draws as much from contemporary music as it does from Anglo, Celtic and American music. A simply wonderful album


2. Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell

Touted as the return to Folk Music for Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell is in fact the next step in his musical evolution. Rather than shrugging off the electronic chaos of his recent albums, Stevens has merely toned it down and brought back his acoustic guitar to dive into the complex relationship with his mother following her passing. This album is so raw, so nuanced and deserved of every bit of praise that has been heaped upon it.

Fanny Lumsden

3. Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot

I’ve always predicted big things for Fanny Lumsden ever since I saw her perform at a rooftop bar in Sydney many moons ago. Small Town Big Shot is the album that is currently turning Lumsden from Sydney’s alt-country darling to a favourite of the Australian country scene. The album is full of Fanny Lumsden’s true-to-life accounts of growing up in rural Australia while never straying into the Americanised, dust kicking ideal of country life so often portrayed by Australian country artists. Not to be ignored, Lumsden’s band The Thrillseekers add a rich musical tapestry to her songs and really seem to have gelled as group. Only released in September there’s a lot of life in Small Town Big Shot so we’ll continue to see Fanny Lumsden riding high off it’s ever growing success in 2016.

Paper Kites

4. The Paper Kitestwelvefour

The Paper Kites have produced what has to be one of the most interesting concept albums of recent years. twelvefour was written exclusively between the hours of 12am and 4am as frontman Sam Bentley believed this is when people are at their most creative. The result is stunning – a patchwork of eighties electro influences and the band’s trademark indie-folk – and will no doubt go down as a high watermark in their career. twelvefour feels very deliberately structured moving from the straight up electro of “Electric Indigo” and “Relevator Eyes” to more folky numbers in the second half of the album (“A Silent Cause” is a standout for me). I’m interested to see where The Paper Kites take their sound next.


5. PackwoodAutumnal

This year chamber-folk artist Packwood released four seasonally themed EPs as part of his Vertumnus album project. The first of these was Autumnal which has remained my firm favourite through all of the subsequent releases. Gone is Packwood’s trademark sparsely plucked banjo (don’t worry, it returns in later EPs) and instead we get delicately fingerpicked guitar accompanied by choir and chamber orchestra. The songs are delicate and sumptuous and Packwood has really come a long way as a songwriter since his debut. Put on Autumnal, close your eyes and let the world fall away.

Laura Marling

6. Laura MarlingShort Movie

We’re now five albums into Laura Marling’s career and her songwriting has never been stronger. On her latest release Short Movie Marling’s songwriting takes on a freeform, Dylan-esque mode only hinted at on previous albums and it takes her into some very ineteresting places. There’s a lot more electric guitar on Short Movie and at times she descends into beat-poet-like spoken word phrases (like on the amazing “Gurdjieff’s Daughter”) yet no one is crying that Marling’s turned her back on her folk roots (like Marling’s old band Mumford & Sons). Instead Short Movie is being praised as an evolution of her sound and while it is miles away from her 2008 debut Alas, I Cannot Swim, both musically and stylistically, this is 100% a Laura Marling album.


7. William FitzsimmonsPittsburgh

In his ode to his recently passed Grandmother and her home town of Pittsburgh, William Fitzsimmons has created a delicate, beautiful piece of magic. This is his first self-produced album since 2006’s Goodnight and it does feel markedly different from his recent releases – the production is not a slave to his voice and guitar, instead it sits more comfortably as part of each song. At only seven tracks long Pittsburgh leaves you warm and fuzzy and wanting more.


8. Patrick JamesOutlier

It seems like 2015 saw a lot of long time favourite Timber and Steel artists finally got around to releasing their debut album – and one of the debuts we were most excited about was from Patrick James. Over the course of a bunch of EPs Patrick James has refined his James Taylor-esque folk songs and Outlier is the culmination of years of solid songwriting. The production on Outlier makes the most of James’ unique voice and elevates his solo singer-songwriter roots into a rich, luscious landscape.

Wilder Mind

9. Mumford & SonsWilder Mind

With all of the attention on Mumford & Sons “ditching the banjo” and turning their back on folk music when Wilder Mind came out very little attention was paid to the album itself. Which is a shame because it’s another solid outing for the boys. If you push through the electric guitars and drums you discover that Wilder Mind is unmistakably a Mumford record with big choruses, melodies dripping with four part harmonies and festival ready lyrical hooks. And anyone who has seen Mumford & Sons this year will know they have in no way ditched the banjo – Wilder Mind sits perfectly within their entire catalogue.


10. FallsOmaha

It took Falls moving to LA 18 months ago (and dropping the “The”) to produce their gorgeous debut album Omaha. Falls have expanded their two-voices-and-a-guitar sound to an almost orchestral level, but at the forefront is still their lyrically driven melodies and beautiful harmonies. I’m actually really impressed that all of the tracks on Omaha having seen them perform almost exclusively from their Hollywood EP before their big move Stateside. Now we just need a national Australian tour off the back of the album!


11. TolkaOne House

The stunning result of trad band Tolka’s trip to Belfast last year to write and record a new album – one of the tightest trad bands in the country.

Limit of Love

12. Boy & BearLimit of Love

Boy & Bear return with a 70s vibe and a bunch of new tracks that saw the band collaborating on the songwriting duties.

If I Was

11. The StavesIf I Was

The Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) production on The Staves’ debut elevates their sound from simple three part harmonies to full blown indie-folk goodness.

Secret Victory

12. The East PointersSecret Victory

The result of writing sessions on their summer tour of Australia, The East Pointers have written 10 original tracks that sound as if they’ve been ripped directly from the tradition.


13. The Milk Carton KidsMonterey

Monterey is the closest The Milk Carton Kids have come to capturing their mesmerising live show on record – this is something special.


14. Dougal Adams, Ado Barker & Ben StephensonThe Freewheeler

Instead of complaining that it’s been too long between albums for Trouble in the Kitchen get your trad fix with the debut album from Dougal Adams, Ado Barker & Ben Stephenson.


15. Ruby BootsSolitude

The Perth songstress has nailed down an amazing band and has produced one of the best alt-country albums of the last few years.

Tomorrow Is My Turn

16. Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn

In her debut solo album Rhiannon Giddens has built on the trad and old time of her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and spun it into something new and very exciting.

Marlon Williams

17. Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams

With a voice that has reduced grown men and women to tears, there’s a lot to love about Marlon Williams’ debut record – this man is taking country music back to its roots and winning fans every step of the way.

Inside Llewyn Davis

18. VariousAnother Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis

The folk and Americana industry’s best come together for a night of music inspired by the 60s folk scene and to a lesser extent the Cohen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Dream's End

19. Matt BauerDream’s End

On his latest album Matt Bauer has upped the production stakes, forgoing his normally sparse folk songs and the result is wonderful.

Punch Brothers

20. Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues

I think it’s time to stop referring to Punch Brothers as “bluegrass” or “nu-grass” or anything at all – with The Phosphorescent Blues they have proven they are undefinable.


21. Mustered CourageWhite Lies and Melodies

Mustered Courage have always been the most polished bluegrass band in Australia but they’ve upped the ante with their new album adding a pop sheen to their sound.

Hell Breaks Loose

22. Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose

The godfather of the Australian Americana scene released one of the year’s best country albums – all heartbreak and whisky and everything that’s good about this kind of music.

The Decemberists

23. The DecemberistsWhat A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

A welcome return to the studio from The Decemberists to follow up their amazing 2011 album The King Is Dead – a little less folk, a little more rock and all sorts of goodness.

Josh Pyke

24. Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts

Australia’s premiere troubadour delivers yet another stunning album with his trademark wry lyrics and hooky melodies.


25. Emmy The GreatS

Emmy The Great slides into electro music while maintaining the folk-inspired melodies she’s become known for.

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