Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2018 including releases from Courtney Marie Andrews, Emma Davis, First Aid Kit, Gregory Alan Isakov, I’m With Her, Imogen Clark, Iron & Wine, Jack Carty & Gus Gardiner, John Flanagan Trio, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, Kasey Chambers, Laura Veirs, Lúnasa, Marlon Williams, The Milk Carton Kids, Mustered Courage, Old Crow Medicine Show, Passenger, Sam Newton, The Low Anthem, The Paper Kites, Tim Hart, Whoa Mule, William Fitzsimmons and more. Details here

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2018 including songs from Cat Canteri, Courtney Marie Andrews, Emma Davis, Fanny Lumsden, Gregory Alan Isakov, Husky, I’m With Her, Imogen Clark, Jack Carty & Gus Gardiner, John Flanagan Trio, Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples, Laura Veirs, Marlon Williams, Missy Higgins, Mustered Courage feat. Mark Gable , Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Paddy McHugh, Sufjan Stevens, The Ahern Brothers, The Decemberists, The Low Anthem, Tim Hart, Whoa Mule, William Fitzsimmons, Willie Watson & Tim Blake Nelson and more. Details here

Releases This Week

Traveling On
Traveling OnThe Decemberists
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

A Celtic Christmas feat. Claymore, Colin Lillie, Saoirse, Hawthorn City Pipe Band, Glenbrae Celtic Dancers

A Celtic Christmas

Saturday 22nd December – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

A Celtic Christmas feat. Claymore, Colin Lillie, Saoirse, Hawthorn City Pipe Band, Glenbrae Celtic Dancers
Saturday 22nd December – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Adam Young and Sam Shinazzi
Sunday 23rd December – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Alex the Astronaut
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Alice Skye
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Andrew Swift, Gretta Ziller & Brad Cox
Thursday 27th December – Anglesea Family Caravan Park, Anglesea, VIC
Friday 28th December – Ocean Grove Holiday Park, Ocean Grove, VIC

Angus & Julia Stone
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Ben Leece
Friday 21st December – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Dan Sultan
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Darren Hanlon
Friday 21st December – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd December – Church in the Graveyard, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Dean Lewis
Friday 21st December – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Friday 28th December – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Dermot Kennedy w/ Sam Fender
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Emily Wurramara
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Falls Festival
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Lorne, VIC

Festival of Small Halls feat. Old Man Luedecke, Lucy Wise
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

First Aid Kit
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Hat Fitz and Cara
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Hussy Hicks
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Irish Mythen
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

James Thomson
Sunday 23rd December – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Jen Cloher
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Jess Locke
Friday 21st December – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd December – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Jacklin
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Kallidad
Friday 21st December – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 22nd December – Diggers Tavern, Bellingen, NSW

Karl S Williams
Sunday 23rd December – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Les Poules a Colin
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Liam Gerner
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Lucy Wise
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Magpie Diaries
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mal Webb & Kylie Morrigan
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 21st December – Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd December – Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney, NSW

Matt Joe Gow
Friday 21st December – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Mel Parsons
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Friday 21st December – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission w/ Ayleen O’Hanlon
Saturday 22nd December – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd December – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Monday 24th December – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mojo Juju
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Monique Clare
Friday 21st December – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Nariel Creek Folk Festival
Thursday 27th December to Thursday 3rdt January – Nariel Creek Recreation Reserve, Nariel Valley, VIC

Neil Murray
Friday 28th December – The Sewing Room, Perth, WA

Old Man Luedecke
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Paddy McHugh
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Paul Kelly – Making Gravy feat. Angus & Julia Stone, Alex Lahey, Mojo Juju
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Richard Lawson
Wednesday 26th December – Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui, NSW

Round Mountain Girls
Saturday 22nd December – Cabarita Sports Club, Cabarita Beach, QLD

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 26th December – The Brothers, Melbourne, VIC

Southern Gentlemen
Sunday 23rd December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Sparrow-Folk
Friday 21st December – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Stella Donnelly
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Stiff Gins
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Andy Golledge Band
Saturday 22nd December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 22nd December – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC
Friday 28th December – Bird’s Basement, Melbourne, VIC

The Bushwackers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Cat Empire
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Little Stevies
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Maes
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Montgomery Brothers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Northern Folk
Thursday 27 December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Teskey Brothers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Waifs
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Water Runners
Friday 21st December – Servo Food Truck Bar, Port Kembla, NSW
Friday 28th December – The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama, NSW

Timberwolf
Friday 21st December – Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA

Top End Folk Club Sunday Sessions
Sunday 23rd December – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Vance Joy
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Whiskey Dram
Saturday 22nd December – Bombay Rock, Melbourne, VIC

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

Xavier Rudd
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Fairytale of New York” – Jeff Tweedy, Punch Brothers, Sarah Jarosz, The Staves

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2018

2018

As is tradition the Timber and Steel Editor-in-Chief Gareth Hugh Evans brings you his top 25 tracks of the year. As always he’s tried to only pick one song per artist with the occasional album track trumping the singles from the same release. We think you’ll agree it’s been an amazing year for folk, roots, acoustic and singer-songwriter based music

But enough of our jabbering – it’s time to get to the music. Without further ado we present Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2017.

1. Courtney Marie Andrews – “May You Kindness Remain”

2. Missy Higgins – “Futon Couch”

3. The Low Anthem – “Give My Body Back”

4. Jack Carty & Gus Gardiner – “Antipodes”

5. Emma Davis – “Best of Times”

6. Cat Canteri – “Fitzroy Bowl”

7. Sufjan Stevens – “Mystery of Love”

8. Fanny Lumsden – “Real Men Don’t Cry (War On Pride)”

9. The Decemberists – “Severed”

10. Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples – “Go On Your Way”

11. Whoa Mule – “Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom”

12. John Flanagan Trio – “Something To Complain About”

13. Paddy McHugh – “Down To Sydney”

14. I’m With Her – “Game to Lose”

15. Imogen Clark – “Collide”

16. Marlon Williams – “What’s Chasing You”

17. The Ahern Brothers – “There’s a Light”

18. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “You Worry Me”

19. William Fitzsimmons – “Angela”

20. Gregory Alan Isakov – “San Luis”

21. Laura Veirs – “The Lookout”

22. Husky – “Walking In Your Sleep”

23. Tim Hart – “All in All”

24. Mustered Courage feat. Mark Gable – “Run to Paradise”

25. Willie Watson & Tim Blake Nelson – “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2018

Steeleye Span

Despite a quiet year on the blogging front from Timber and Steel 2018 was still a huge year for folk, roots, singer-songwriter and acoustic music with some amazing albums and EPs dropping throughout the year.

So we couldn’t resist continuing the tradition and once again bring you our top albums of the year.

Emma Davis
1. Emma DavisDemons
When we picked her single “Danger in Me” as our top track of 2017, it was almost a forgone conclusion that Emma Davis’ 2018 follow up album Demons would rank highly in this list.

Davis is one of the most talented lyricists in Australia right now and Demons is testament to her talents.

The singles that Emma Davis has drip fed us throughout the last few years have always had stunning production values and this album ties those earlier songs together seamlessly with her newer material to create 38 minutes of pitch-perfect folk-pop.

Go out and listen to Demons from start to finish right now.

Laura Veirs
2. Laura VeirsThe Lookout
Laura Veirs takes a huge leap forward as a singer and a songwriter with an album that’s more complex than her earlier work without losing sight of everything we’ve always loved about her music.

Hospital Hill
3. Jack Carty & Gus GardinerHospital Hill
The passion project from BFF’s Jack Carty and Gus Gardiner, Hospital Hill perfectly marries Carty’s beautiful songs with the string arrangements they’ve always deserved.

I'm With Her
4. I’m With HerSee You Around
Three of the best Americana singer-songwriters coming together for a collaborative album that manages to feel totally modern while still having its roots firmly in folk.

Courtney Marie Andrews
5. Courtney Marie AndrewsMay Your Kindness Remain
Courtney Marie Andrews is easily the most buzz-worthy Americana artist coming out of the US at the moment and if you listen to May Your Kindness Remain you’ll understand why.

Honest Man
6. John Flanagan TrioHonest Man
The evolution of John Flanagan continues with his trio (plus more) coming together for an album that leads with its lyrics and then knocks you over with the sheer mastery of the musicianship.

Passenger
7. PassengerRunaway
If there’s a year that Passenger releases an album then you can guarantee that’s a year he appears on this list – one of our favourite songwriters.

Evening Machines
8. Gregory Alan IsakovEvening Machines
The long awaited new album from Gregory Alan Isakov lives up to the expectations. Seriously can’t wait to see him when he hits these shores next year.

Johnny Flynn
9. Johnny Flynn & The Sussex WitLive At The Roundhouse
While live albums are not usually our cup of tea, Johnny Flynn has delivered something very special here – a career retrospective with all the “hits”, masterfully arranged with The Sussex Wit. Plus we finally have a recording of all three verses of “Detectorists”

Iron & Wine
10. Iron & WineWeed Garden
A beautiful EP featuring everything you want from Iron & Wine. This one was on repeat for much of this year.

The Low Anthem
11. The Low AnthemThe Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea
We feel like we’ve been waiting for a new album from The Low Anthem for far too long and when The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea we were delighted with the result. A stunning, stripped back piece of nu-folk

OCMS
12. Old Crow Medicine ShowVolunteer
OCMS have doubled down on their old time and bluegrass roots with Volunteer which may be one of their best albums to date.

Collide
13. Imogen ClarkCollide
With Collide Imogen Clark has really started to embrace her country, pop and Americana roots without losing her confessional singer-songwriter style.

First Aid Kit
14. First Aid KitRuins
The Swedish sisters have done it again with an album that wears its influences like a badge of honor.

Sam Newton
15. Sam NewtonStare Into The Dark
Sydney’s hardest working singer-songwriter has really delivered with his latest album, leaning in on the full band sound and giving us 11 amazing songs to play over and over again.

Milk Carton Kids
16. The Milk Carton KidsAll The Things That I Did and All The Things That I Didn’t Do
The masters of the two part harmony release another gem of an album with All The Things That I Did and All The Things That I Didn’t Do.

William Fitzsimmons
17. William FitzsimmonsMission Bell
Our love for William Fitzsimmons continues to grow with his latest release. Less stripped back than his previous albums, Mission Bell still captures his wistful, ethereal folk sounds.

The Paper Kites
18. The Paper KitesOn The Corner Where You Live
The 80s influences have once again be ramped up on The Paper Kites 2018 album On The Corner Where You Live, but their folk roots are still there to be uncovered.

Marlon Williams
19. Marlon WilliamsMake Way For Love
A big part of me hopes that half the people who saw Marlon Williams’ cameo in A Star Is Born went out and bought Make Way For Love and fell in love with the New Zealand crooner. This man deserves to be a superstar.

Whoa Mule
20. Whoa MuleGet You House In Order
Possibly our favourite bluegrass and old time group in Australia right now. Their musicianship is outstanding and sets the bar very high for the rest of us.

Mustered Courage
21. Mustered CourageWe Played With Fire
The boys make a huge splash on their latest album with some tight bluegrass inspired tunes including a killer collaboration with Fanny Lumsden on “Best Impressions”.

Cas
22. LúnasaCas
There’s a reason that Lúnasa are considered the premiere trad band in the world right now – Cas is a truly a masterpiece.

Campfire
23. Kasey ChambersCampfire
With each album Kasey Chambers is leaning more heavily on the roots and Americana parts of her sound and we love it.

Take Me To Town
24. VariousTake Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Compilation
Take Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Compilation captures an important point in the Australian Americana and alt-country story, showcasing the quality songwriters and artists who make up the local scene. A must have for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Australian country music.

Tim Hart
25. Tim HartThe Narrow Corner
The long awaited new solo album from Boy & Bear alumni Tim Hart is another lesson in heart-on-sleeve lyrics and understated folk song writing.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2017 including releases from All Our Exes Live in Texas, BATTS, Billy Bragg, Charlie Fink, David Rawlings, Emily Barker, Fanny Lumsden, Gretta Ziller, Husky, Johnny Flynn, Kasey Chambers, Lankum, Laura Marling, Lisa Mitchell, Nick Mulvey, Offa Rex, Old Crow Medicine Show, Packwood, Paul Kelly, Stu Larsen, The Ahern Brothers, The East Pointers, The Morrisons, Timothy James Bowen and Willie Watson. Details here

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

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2016 including songs from All Our Exes Live in Texas, BATTS, Billy Bragg, Charlie Fink, David Rawlings, Diamond Duck, Emma Davis, Fanny Lumsden, Gretta Ziller, I’m With Her, Johnny Flynn, Julia Johnson, Laura Marling, Nick Mulvey, Offa Rex, Paul Kelly, Stella Donnelly, Stu Larsen, Taryn La Fauci, The Ahern Brothers, The East Pointers, The Morrisons feat. Georgia Mooney, The Northern Folk, The Young’uns, and Willie Watson. Details here

– We review The Beautiful Girls in Sydney. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift

Gretta Ziller

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift kick off their summer holiday tour of caravan parks around the nation. Will they stumble across your holiday park?

Wednesday 27th December – Discovery Parks Lake Hume, Ebden, VIC
Thursday 28th December – Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park, Porepunkah, VIC
Friday 29th December – Omeo Caravan Park, Omeo, VIC

Gigs Next Week

A Celtic Christmas feat. Damien Leith, Claymore
Saturday 23rd December – The Palms at Crown, Melbourne, VIC

A Country Christmas Revue feat. Raised By Eagles, Lost Ragas, The Ahern Brothers, Sarah Carroll
Friday 22nd December – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

A Very Country Christmas feat. James Ellis, Cold Heart, Roz Girvan, Bakersfield Glee Club
Saturday 23rd December – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

A Xmas Happening Love In! feat. Zoùkeys, Hippy Trippy Trio, Jewels’ Blues Explosion
Friday 22nd December – The Bank, Melbourne, VIC

Alex The Astronaut
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Lost Paradise, Glenworth Valley, NSW

Andrew Swift
Saturday 23rd December – King Island Club, Currie, TAS
Wednesday 27th December – Discovery Parks Lake Hume, Ebden, VIC
Thursday 28th December – Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park, Porepunkah, VIC
Friday 29th December – Omeo Caravan Park, Omeo, VIC

Andy Baylor
Friday 22nd December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Benjamin Roberts w/ Daniel J. Townsend
Thursday 27th December – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Breaking Trad
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Cat Canteri and Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 23rd December – The Bridge, Castlemaine, VIC

Craig Woodward
Sunday 24th December – Loretta’s, Melbourne, VIC

Dane Blacklock, Velvajayne
Saturday 23rd December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Friday 22nd December –
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 23rd December – The Old Museum
, Brisbane, QLD

Edgelarks
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Falls Festival
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Lorne, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Marion Bay, TAS

Fleet Foxes
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS

Get Folked Punk Xmas Blowout feat. Vetty Vials & The Sandpit Turtles, Whispering Jackie, Jonno Read, Billy Demos, Billy Puntton, Uke-paley, Jethro Morris, Ess-em, Sooze
Friday 22nd December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Good Option
Friday 22nd December – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift
Wednesday 27th December – Discovery Parks Lake Hume, Ebden, VIC
Thursday 28th December – Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park, Porepunkah, VIC
Friday 29th December – Omeo Caravan Park, Omeo, VIC

Handsome Young Strangers, Steph Miller and Jim Mongrel’s Anti-Christmas Bash
Saturday 23rd December – MoshPit, Sydney, NSW

Helen Townsend
Friday 22nd December – Amble Inn, Corindi, NSW
Saturday 23rd December – The Naked Bean, South Grafton, NSW

Honey
Monday 25th December – Parklands Resort, Mudgee, NSW

James Bennett
Friday 22nd December – Avoca Beach Hotel & Resort, Avoca Beach, NSW
Saturday 23rd December – The Lounge Room, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 24th December – Town Green Inn Port Macquarie, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 29th December – Sacred Tree Markets, Nelson Bay, NSW

Jess Locke
Saturday 23rd December – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

John Butler
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Julia Jacklin
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 22nd December – The Guildford Family Hotel, Guildford, VIC
Saturday 23rd December – The Bridge, Castlemaine, VIC

Kallidad
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Lost Paradise
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st December – Glenworth Valley, NSW

Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission
Friday 22nd December – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 23rd December – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 24th December – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC

Microwave Jenny
Sunday 24th December – Bombini, Avoca Beach, NSW

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

One Hot Night feat. Busby Marou, Amy Shark, Timberwolf, Pandamic
Friday 29th December – Rockhampton Showgrounds, Rockhampton, QLD

Pam Hata
Sunday 24th December – The Duck on Clarence, Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday 28th December – Oasis by the River, North Haven, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 29th December – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC

Rita B
Saturday 23rd December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers, Arbes, Sean Watson
Friday 22nd December – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

That Red Head
Saturday 23rd December – Wayward Brewing Company, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Beautiful Girls
Thursday 28th December – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Bluegrass Playgirls with GlenyRae & JennyShimmin, Robbie Long & Smithy
Saturday 23rd December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Demon Drink
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Drunken Poachers
Saturday 23rd December – Labour in Vain, Melbourne, VIC

The East Pointers
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Heggarties and Matt J Ward
Friday 22nd December – Exeter Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Railsplitters
Friday 29th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS

This Way North
Saturday 23rd December – Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet, VIC
Friday 29th December – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Woodford Folk Festival
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford, QLDFriday Folk Flashback

“How to Make Gravy” – Paul Kelly

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2017

Merle

It’s difficult to find an overriding theme in our picks for this year’s top albums. There’s a bit of trad in there, a lot of singer-songwriter and a decent amount Americana and country music. Overall 2017 has been another amazing year for folk music and we couldn’t be happier.

As always we have more “best of” lists coming this week so please stay tuned for them. But in the meantime check out Timber and Steel’s top albums of

Offa Rex
1. Offa RexThe Queen of Hearts
When you get nostalgia right the result can be pure gold. As someone who was brought up on late-60s/early-70s English folk-rock (think Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, etc) The Queen of Hearts feels like home and, as my friends and family can attest, the album has truly been on constant rotation since its release in July.

Offa Rex is the coming together of Portland nu-folk heroes The Decemberists and English folk-singer Olivia Chaney, inspired by the second-wave folk revival of the British isles. Somehow they’ve managed to capture this very distinct period of music, staying true to the instrumentation, production values and aesthetic of the time without descending into kitsch or parody (as many of the bands from the time ended up doing themselves in the 70s and 80s). Rigid rock rhythm sections over murder ballads, harpsichords and reverb-heavy electric guitars, ethereal vocals – The Queen of Hearts feels more like a rediscovered gem than an album recorded and released in 2017.

And let’s make one thing clear – it’s Olivia Chaney who makes this record. While The Decemberists are obviously the driving force behind The Queen of Hearts it is Chaney’s vocals that pull you right back into the early 70s. She somehow channels the likes of Maddy Prior, Sandy Denny, Anne Briggs, et al, while still bringing her own unique sound to the vocals. The tracks where Colin Meloy takes the lead (such as “Black Leg Minor”) or the instrumental “Constant Billy (Oddington) / I’ll Go Enlist (Sherborne)”, while still amazing in their own right, just don’t have the same impact as “The Queen of Hearts”, “Flash Company”, “The Old Churchyard” or any of the other amazing songs with Olivia Chaney front and centre.

Picking favourite songs from an album of standouts is very very hard. I love the nods to early Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath on “Sheepcrook and Black Dog”, probably the most epic of all the songs on the album. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is a beautiful tribute to Anne Briggs, with Chaney’s voice just resonating over the drone of a harmonium. And Offa Rex’s version of “Willie o’ Winsbury” may be my favourite of all time.

Even if you only have a passing interest in British folk music, in the second wave folk revival or in The Decemberists’ ongoing evolution as one of the most interesting folk bands in the world, give The Queen of Hearts a listen and see exactly why this is our album of the year for 2017.

The East Pointers
2. The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
Canadian trio The East Pointers up the production ante with their new album What We Leave Behind, expanding their sound with new instrumentation, increasing their song-to-tune ratio and generally producing one of the most interesting folk albums of the year. And the best part about it is there’s still a focus on ensuring that every bit of the album can be reproduced live with just the three of them – something I can confirm is the case having caught them in Melbourne recently. What We Leave Behind sees The East Pointers grow as a band, deftly straddling the worlds of traditional and modern fold music.

The Ahern Brothers
3. The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady are two voices that seem destined to be together. The Ahern Brothers are the latest in collection of modern artists taking inspiration from close harmony singing in the vein of The Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel and the result is really something special. Their self-titled debut album is a pure delight and elevates everything we’ve heard from Rennie-Hynes and Grady individually to date. There’s a reason these guys are selling out shows and taking the country by storm.

Fanny Lumsden
4. Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
Fanny Lumsden continues her domination of Australian country music with the 2017 release of Real Class Act. The album is very strongly informed by Lumsden’s decision to live her life on the road with husband Dan Stanley Freeman rather than opting for the relative comfort of a major Australian city (where, let’s be honest, the vast majority of Australia’s country music is produced), and you can really hear the expanse of our wide brown land all over the album. With each release Fanny Lumsden’s songwriting just gets better and better, adding a modern sensibility to a genre that all to often falls into cliche or nostalgia. Real Class Act is what Australian country music should be about.

The Morrisons
5. The MorrisonsThe Morrisons
Australia’s premiere bluegrass and alt-country band The Morrisons released their long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album this year and it has fast become one of my favourite album’s of ever. No one quite takes such a quintessentially American genre like bluegrass and passes it through the Australian lens in the way The Morrisons do. And it doesn’t hurt that individually each of The Morrisons is a master of their respective instrument making the album as technically brilliant as it is artistically brilliant.

Willie Watson
6. Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol. 2
Willie Watson’s exploration of America’s rich vein of traditional folk music continues with the second volume in his Folksinger series. Somehow he finds a way to take traditional and vintage folk and blues songs and modernise them without losing what makes them great songs to begin with. Watson treats this material with respect and reverance, almost taking a step back and letting each song speak for itself. When Willie Watson left Old Crow Medicine Show he expressed a desire to find a softer side of the folk genre, and that’s something he’s truly captured with Folksinger Vol. 2.

All Our Exes Live In Texas
7. All Our Exes Live In TexasWhen We Fall
Taking out this year’s ARIA for Best Blues and Roots Album was just the icing on the cake for what has been a massive year for All Our Exes Live In Texas. When We Fall is an album of fine songwriting, pitch perfect production and a true celebration of the four part harmony. Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts and Georgia Mooney each bring a unique set of influences and musical styles to All Our Exes Live In Texas which somehow all blend together into something sublime. With the momentum on When We Fall expect All Our Exes Live In Texas to continue crushing it into 2018 and beyond

Laura Marling
8. Laura MarlingSemper Femina
Laura Marling goes deep on her exploration of the feminine and what it means to be a female artist. It’s amazing to watch Marling grow with every album she releases while never really losing track of what drew us all to her in the first place – beautifully written songs and masterful guitar work. Laura Marling truly is one of the greatest artists of our generation.

Charlie Fink
9. Charlie FinkCover My Tracks
My love for Cover My Tracks one hundred per cent stems from my nostalgia for Noah and The Whale’s 2009 concept album The First Days of Spring. Charlie Fink revisits the style and feeling from The First Days of Spring throughout his 2017 solo outing and it’s a welcome return to form for a songwriter that had definitely strayed a little far from his strengths towards the end of Noah and The Whale’s time, prefering a Springsteen-light pop sound to substantial, heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting. The album is raw, emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking – everything I want from a Charlie Fink record.

Packwood
10. PackwoodVertumnus
The culmination four seasonally focused EPs from the last couple of years, Vertumnus is a beautiful opus to the natural world. Packwood’s unique brand of chamber folk has reached its pinnacle with this record, filled with lush compositions and stunning musicianship. Bayden Hyne, along with his arrangers Tilman Robinson (orchestral) and Miriam Crellin (choral) have pefectly crafted each track on Vertumnus making the most of choirs, strings, pianos, finger-picked guitars and banjos and more to compliment Packwood’s trademark fragile vocal style. Taking this work out of the studio and onto the stage is an expensive undertaking but I still hold out hope that we’ll see Vertumnus live before too long.

Kasey Chambers
11. Kasey ChambersDragonfly
Kasey Chambers mixes things up on her latest double album working with two different producers – Paul Kelly and Nash Chambers – and collaborating with a diverse range of artists from multiple genres, resulting in one of her most interesting releases in recent years.

David Rawlings
12. David RawlingsPoor David’s Almanack
David Rawlings and Gillian Welch find a way to write original Americana songs that sound like traditional songs that have been re-discovered and updated for a modern audience – and why can’t I get “Money is the Meat in the Coconut” out of my head?

Billy Bragg
13. Billy BraggBridges Not Walls
Billy Bragg returns to his activist roots on this EP with his electric guitar turned up and his wit as sharp as ever.

Lisa Mitchell
14. Lisa MitchellWhen They Play That Song
Out of no where Australia’s queen of indie-folk delivers the sweetest covers EP of the year, with quirky takes on 90s favourites from Phantom Planet, Spice Girls, Placebo, Letters To Cleo and The Cardigans

Timothy James Bowen
15. Timothy James BowenBloom
Bloom bookends a couple of years of massive upheaval in Timothy James Bowen’s life, while capturing an artist at the peak of his powers as a singer and songwriter.

Husky
16. HuskyPunchbuzz
Husky continue to push the boundaries of their indie-folk sound with an album that borrows as much from eighties pop as it does from lyric-driven singer-songwriter music.

BATTS
17. BATTS62 Moons
Moving away from her electro-folk roots toward a stripped back sound has proven a success for BATTS who’s delivered an EP of really stunning songs.

Gretta Ziller
18. Gretta ZillerQueen of Boomtown
Gretta Ziller has delivered one of the best Americana albums of the year that deserves all the nominations, awards and accolades it will no doubt continue to receive over the coming months

Paul Kelly
19. Paul KellyLife Is Fine
After a couple of genre projects Paul Kelly returns with his most Paul Kelly album in recent memory, further cementing him as Australia’s greatest living songwriter.

Nick Mulvey
20. Nick MulveyWake Up Now
The English singer-songwriter continues to produce interesting, acoustic driven indie music full of weird guitar tunings, multi-tracked vocals and songs just waiting to hit a Hollywood soundtrack.

Emily Barker
21. Emily BarkerSweet Kind of Blue
Emily Barker deftly combines country, blues and folk styles, harkening back to a tradition while still producing a sound that is fresh and engaging.

Stu Larsen
22. Stu LarsenResolute
Australia’s favourite troubadour produces another album of straight up singer-songwriter gems documenting his travels around the world.

Lankum
23. LankumBetween The Earth & Sky
Lankum, the band formally known as Lynched, are producing some of the most raw traditional Irish music going around, complete with the thickest Dublin accent you’re likely to hear this year.

Old Crow Medicine Show
24. Old Crow Medicine Show50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde
Old Crow Medicine Show pay homage to Dylan with this live stringband version of the classic Blonde On Blonde

Johnny Flynn
25. Johnny FlynnSillion
An absolute gem of an album that sees Johnny Flynn’s distinctive voice and resonator front and centre, but a willingness to play with production a bit more than previous releases, adding more texture and nuance to each of the tracks.

Riverboats Music Festival Announces 2018 Lineup

Riverboats
Image Courtesy of Riverboats Music Festival

The Murray River’s annual celebrations of live music, the Riverboats Music Festival, has just announced its 2018 lineup and Timber and Steel fans have so much to look forward to.

The headliners next year will be none other then Neil & Liam Finn, Kasey Chambers and Josh Pyke.

Joining them will be The Black Sorrows with Vika & Linda Bull, The Teskey Brothers, Henry Wagons & The Only Children, Gawurra, Mojo Juju, Neil Murray, Caiti Baker, Jazz Party, Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife and Eaten By Dogs.

Riverboats 2018 will present arguably the festival’s most eclectic and exciting lineup to date,” Festival Director David Frazer said. “It’s been a dream of ours to welcome Neil and Liam Finn to Riverboats for many years, and to be presenting these phenomenal artists alongside Australian icons including Kasey Chambers and Josh Pyke. is something we’re incredibly proud of.”

The Riverboats Music Festival takes place in the twin-towns of Echuca-Moama, two and a half hours north of Melbourne, from the 16th to the 18th February. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official web site here.

Review: First Annual Australian Americana Honours Night

Americana Honours
Image Courtesy of the Americana Music Association

Australian Americana Honours Night feat. Old Crow Medicine Show, Valerie June, Kevin Welch, Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Yirrmal, Bernard Fanning, Catherine Britt, Henry Wagons, Emily Barker, Ruby Boots, Jordie Lane & The Sleepers
Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 2nd October, 2017

Like many people I woke up Tuesday morning to the horrible news that an evil individual had killed dozens and injured hundreds of people in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. What’s really hit home about this latest atrocity is that it was committed at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival – a festival not unlike the festivals the Timber and Steel community attends all the time here in Australia. Words cannot describe the emotions I’m feeling right now. It’s senseless, just senseless.

As the events in Vegas were unfolding on Monday night night I was sitting in the warm confines of Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre for the first annual Australian Americana Honours Night. It was a coming together of the Australian Americana community and a celebration of a genre that has so much heart and soul behind it. As so often happens with these events I was overwhelmed with the community that’s been created around the music we love.

From the opening marching-band entrance of Old Crow Medicine Show’s live version of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” to the closing singalong of “May The Circle Be Unbroken” featuring Old Crow, Valerie June, Kasey Chambers and Kevin Welch, the Australian Americana Honours Night was pure joy from start to finish.

Americana Honours

It would be too easy to look at the events in Vegas and decide that you’re not going to music festivals anymore. Despite how irrational it is, despite the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of festivals are held around the world every year without incident, it would be easy to walk away from live music.

If it wasn’t for the Australian Americana Honours Night last night maybe I would have made the easy decision and walked away from live music festivals. At the very least maybe I would’ve reconsidered my bucket list of international festivals, striking all off the US-based events.

But when you’re listening to Kasey Chambers and Bernard Fanning duet on “Watch Over Me”, when you can feel the goosebumps from Yirrmal’s surprise performance with Shane Howard, when Henry Wagons literally owns the entire stage while performing “King Hit”, when artists you’ve been following and supporting for years like Ruby Boots, Emily Barker, Catherine Britt, Jordie Lane and Busby Marou get roaring applause from the gathered fans and industry folk, you know there’s no way you can give this up.

Americana Honours

Kasey Chambers and Brian “BT” Taranto were both honoured with vanguard awards on the night and both of them gave passionate speeches about how important Americana music is. How much the community means. To me it was almost a call to arms – a plea to keep the candle burning for good music. To keep going to festivals, to gigs, to keep buying records and to keep the passion alive.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, before I turned to my smart phone, before I knew the full extent of what had happened in Las Vegas, I was still buzzing from the Australian Americana Honours Night, and the 3+ hours of amazing music I’d witnessed the night before. And even as the world came crashing down around me as I scrolled through the news it wasn’t enough to extinguish the light that is burning for live music.

The best way to not let the bastards win? Keep going to live music. Keep going to festivals. Show your support, be part of the community of amazing people who keep this music alive, and enjoy every minute of it.

Thank you Australian Americana Honours.

Details of the First Annual Australian Americana Honours Night in Melbourne

Australian Amerciana Honours
Image Courtesy of the Americana Music Association

Americana fans rejoice – Australia is about to get it’s very own Americana Honours Night this October.

The inaugural Australian Americana Honours Night will take place in Melbourne at the Thornbury Theatre on Monday 2nd October. The event is being presented by Michael Chugg, Nash Chambers and the international Americana Music Association and will celebrate the diverse artists that make up the Australian Americana scene.

The Australian Americana Honours Night will feature a raft of performers including international icons Old Crow Medicine Show, Valerie June and Kevin Welch along with Australian favourites Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Bernard Fanning, Catherine Britt, Henry Wagons, Emily Barker, Ruby Boots and Jordie Lane & The Sleepers.

During the night the Americana Music Association will present the inaugural Americana Vanguard Awards to Kasey Chambers for her deep commitment to roots music and to Brian “BT” Taranto, founder of the Out on the Weekend festival, who has been championing the Americana Community for more than a decade.

“For those of us who love roots and Americana Music, this is a dream line-up to have at our inaugural event,” Nash Chambers explained. “We’re mighty proud to be building awareness of Americana Music in Australia with the US Association and Tennessee Tourism. We also believe this is just the beginning of a genre that is exploding worldwide.”

For more information on the night including how to get your hands on tickets head over to Chugg Entertainment here.

The Wingham Akoostik Festival Announces 2017 Lineup

Russell Morris
Image Courtesy of Russell Morris

Every October the small town of Wingham on the NSW mid north coast comes alive with some amazing folk and acoustic music for the Wingham Akoostik Festival.

The lineup for this year’s Wingham Akoostik Festival has just dropped and it’s absolutely huge with artists from around the country (and around the world) representing. The festival will be headlined by country legend Kasey Chambers, multiple-ARIA award winning roots artist Russell Morris and Killing Heidi front-woman Ella Hooper. These guys will be joined by the likes of The Turner Brown Band, Eagle & The Wolf, Sara Tindley, Colin Lillie, Matt Joe Gow and many many more.

The Wingham Akoostik Festival is held on Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October – for more information check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

Kasey Chambers, Russell Morris, Eurogliders, Ella Hooper, The Turner Brown Band, Eagle & The Wolf, The Kava Kings, Glen Mead Band, Harry’s Lookout, The Trapps, Riley Phillips, Twin Peaks, Minnie Marks, Bad Pon, James Bennett, Sara Tindley, Ralway Bell, Colin Lillie, Matt Joe Gow, Roy Rose, D’Boyzos, James Van Cooper, Sam Hasty, Scott Darlow, Jake Davey, Hillbilly Hoppers, The Travelling Teardrops, Soar, L’Wren, Waang Djarii Dancers, Josh Needs, Lexi Jade, Wingsong, Reece Lalor

Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2017 You Should Own

Records

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through 2017? What a crazy year it’s been so far – and what a year of music we’ve had!

For us at here at Timber and Steel 2017 has been a lot about reconnecting with new music from the amazing folk artists who first inspired us to start writing about this music, as well as the debut albums from a bunch of artists that we’ve been patiently waiting to release music for what feels like years.

So we thought we’d continue our tradition of the last couple of years to highlight ten albums and EPs we think should be part of your collection – as well as tell you exactly what it is about these records that we love.

So without further ado here’s our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2017 You Should Own:

When We FallAll Our Exes Live In Texas

AOELIT
Watching All Our Exes Live In Texas transform from a one-off coming together of Sydney singer-songwriters a few years ago to the musical powerhouse they are today has been just a joy. When their debut album When We Fall dropped this year fans were rewarded with some fine fine songwriting, pitch perfect production and a true celebration of the four part harmony. Despite the disparate styles of each member’s solo work, When We Fall is a beautiful, cohesive album that demands to be listened to over and over again.

Cover My TracksCharlie Fink

Charlie Fink
Noah and The Whale’s 2009 concept album The First Days of Spring is easily one of my favourite releases of the last 10 years. Its sprawling dissection of frontman Charlie Fink’s break up with Laura Marling is a true masterpiece. So when Fink’s promo around his new solo album Cover My Tracks likened it as an unofficial sequel to The First Days of Spring I was more than a little skeptical, especially given the Springsteen-light pop direction Noah and The Whale took in its final years. But the truth is that Cover My Tracks delivers. It still doesn’t hold a candle to The First Days of Spring but Charlie Fink has captured some of his early magic with his solo album. The release is another concept album (which also comes accompanied by a play written by David Greig) and it deserves to be listened to from start to finish. It’s great to have Charlie Fink back doing what he does best.

Sweet Kind of BlueEmily Barker

Emily Barker
I was lucky enough to see Emily Barker at a super intimate show in Melbourne back in April, just as she was about to release Sweet Kind of Blue. Watching Barker on stage with just herself, her guitar and an accompanying double bass just solidified how good she is as a songwriter – when you strip back the production of Sweet Kind of Blue there’s still something amazing at the core. She deftly combines country, blues and folk styles, harkening back to a tradition while still producing a sound that is fresh and engaging. It’s about time Australia started paying more attention to Emily Barker, esepcially if she keeps producing music like Sweet Kind of Blue.

Crack-UpFleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes
Following a six-year break Fleet Foxes return with their very special brand of 70’s folk nostalgia on Crack-Up. Robin Pecknold and co’s harmonic, sweet vocals over Fleet Foxes’ epic, rhythmic melodies have been sorely missed and it’s great to see them balancing the nostalgia of their earlier work with their need to grow artistically. Despite the off-putting opening track “I Am All That I Need/Arroyo Seco/Thumbprint Scar” Crack-Up is a solid album that can stand proudly next to Helplessness Blues and their self titled debut. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years for album number four.

SillionJohnny Flynn

Johnny Flynn
The return of Johnny Flynn to folk-singing this year came as a bit of surprise given his recent focus on his screen and stage acting career (if you haven’t seen Lovesick on Netflix we can recommend giving it a crack). But we’re so glad Flynn’s picked up the resonator again because Sillion is an absolute gem of an album. Johnny Flynn’s distinctive voice is once again front and centre on the album but he seems to be playing with the production a bit more, adding more texture and nuance to each of the tracks. I don’t know if this is the start of a new direction for Johnny Flynn – if it is I’m interested to see where he goes next.

DragonflyKasey Chambers

Kasey Chambers
There are two big things that excited me about Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly. Firstly the fact that the double album had two different producers – Paul Kelly and Nash Chambers respectively – giving each disc a distinct sound. And secondly the raft of collaborations with really interesting artists such as Vika & Linda Bull, Keith Urban, Paul Kelly, Foy Vance, Harry Hookey, Ed Sheeran and Grizzlee Train – many of those, you’d agree, wouldn’t normally be associated with Kasey Chambers’ music. The result is one of Kasey Chambers’ most interesting and dare we say best albums to date.

Semper FeminaLaura Marling

Laura Marling
Laura Marling has gone deep on her exploration of the feminine in her brand new album Semper Femina and I love it. It was really interesting watching Marling explore feminine creativity in her podcast series Reversal of the Muse earlier this year and Semper Femina seems to be the artistic extension of the conversations she was having with the likes of Marika Hackman, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The album is yet another example of Laura Marling’s skills as a songwriter, guitarist and singer – each song is perfectly crafted. Laura Marling truly is one of the greatest artists of our generation.

The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers

The Ahern Brothers
The Ahern Brothers is the perfect coupling of singer-songwriters Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady, bringing two-part male harmony singing in the vein of The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel and more recently The Milk Carton Kids to an Australian audience. Their self-titled debut album is a pure delight and elevates everything we’ve heard from Rennie-Hynes and Grady individually to date. I have a sneaking suspicion this album is going to make it onto a lot of people’s best of end of year lists. Beautiful.

The MorrisonsThe Morrisons

The Morrisons
We’ve already said plenty about The Morrisons’ long awaited self-titled debut album but there was no way it was going to get left off this list. The Morrisons are easily one of Australia’s best bluegrass and alt-country bands, it’s just a pity it takes them so long to get a record in stores. The Morrisons is an album of quintessentially Australian songs set to the familiar chop of a quintessentially American musical style. And it doesn’t hurt that individually each of The Morrisons is a master of their respective instrument making the album as technically brilliant as it is artistically brilliant. Now what do we have to do to get The Morrisons back in the studio for a followup?

BloomTimothy James Bowen

Timothy James Bowen
If you’ve been following Timothy James Bowen’s story over the last couple of years you’ll know it’s not been an easy journey for the singer songwriter. Diagnosed with Primary Mediastinal B Cell Lymphoma (a type of blood cancer), Bowen spent much of 2016 in treatment before going into remission. Bloom bookends this massive upheaval in his life, but it also shows how a songwriter of Timothy James Bowen’s talent is able to channel his experience into his art. Even without the personal context Bloom is an amazing EP – here are five incredible songs from a master songwriter.

And of course special mention also has to go to so many other albums and EPs that were released in the first six months of 2017 including (but not limited to):

VacancyBroads
Postcards From The Shell HouseBusby Marou
All You Need Is MusicDavidson Brothers
÷Ed Sheeran
PunchbuzzHusky
The Nashville SoundJason Isbell & The 400 Unit
UnchartedJoel Barker & The Low Company
Jordan Ireland With Purple OrchestraJordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra
Barefoot WonderlandJustin Bernasconi
Universal FavoriteNoam Pikelny
50 Years Of Blonde On BlondeOld Crow Medicine Show
Good Days, These DaysQuinton Trembath
Freedom HighwayRhiannon Giddens
The WaterSam Buckingham
PlanetariumSufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister
CyclingTaryn La Fauci
Take Care Take CoverThe Mae Trio
IronbarkThe Waifs
A Fair WindTrioc

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