Full Lineup of the 2017 Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival
Image Courtesy of The Illawarra Folk Festival

One of my favourite folk festivals of the year, The Illawarra Folk Festival, hits the Bulli showground in New South Wales on the 12th to the 15th of January and the lineup is incredible.

Despite being a medium sized festival The Illawarra Folk Festival manages to attract some pretty amazing acts and this year is no different. The lineup includes, but is not limited to, Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb, FourWinds, Tattletale Saints, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Tim O’Brien, Wallis Bird, Daniel Champagne, Echo Deer, Handsome Young Strangers, Lime and Steel, Mandy Connell, Martin Pearson, Nigel Wearne, Shanty Club, The Squeezebox Trio, Tinpan Orange, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Lurkers and many many more.

Tickets are still available for the festival and can be picked up here. If you live in Sydney I’d recommend jumping on one of the Music Trains down to Bulli for the full festival experience.

The full lineup for The Illawarra Folk Festival is below:

International Artists:
Andy Irvine (Ire) and Luke Plumb, Azzband (Italy/Spain), Christine Collister (UK) & Michael Fix, FourWinds (Ire), George & Noriko (Japan), Girls with Knives (Canada), Gregory Page (USA), Ken Field’s Hoot Band (USA), Kenta Hayashi (Japan), Kirsty Bromley (UK), London Klezmer Quartet (UK), Tattletale Saints (NZ), The Haywood Billy Goats (USA), The Outside Track (Scot) , The Sauerkrauts (Germany), The Whitetop Mountaineers (USA), Tim O’Brien (USA), Wallis Bird (Ire), Winter Wilson (UK)

National Artists:
1917: Strike!, 8Foot Felix, Adder’s Fork, Alanna and Alicia, Albion Fair Morris Dancers, Alex Hood, Baltic Bar Mitzvah, Black Bear Duo, Black Joak Morris, Blakboi, Brian Bell, Bruce Mathiske, Bush Music Club, Charlotte Emily, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Col Hardy, Colleen Z Burke, Daddy Longlegs & the Swamp Donkeys, Daniel Champagne, Dave de Hugard, Dave Elliston, Den Hanrahan & the Rum Runners, Dingo’s Breakfast Oz Music & Poetry Band, Echo Deer, Equus, Errol Gray, Fettler’s Yard, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, Free Fried Chicken, Genni Kane, Geoffrey W Graham, Glenn Skuthorpe, Glover & Sorrensen, Gone Molly, Good Tunes Band, Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band, Graham Maureen Seal, Rob & Olya Willis, Gregory North, Handsome Young Strangers, Hillbilly Goats, Homegrown Quartet, Ionia, Jaga Band, Jay Wars & The Howard Youth, Jim Haynes, Jody + Innes, John Broomhall, Junkadelic Brass Band, Kate Maclurcan & The Loose Ends, Lime and Steel, Lindy lady of the Forest: Storyteller, Lisa Couper, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning, Low Down Riders, Malcura, Mandy Connell, Mark Cryle & Carmel Newman, Martin Pearson, Matthew Dames , Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Men With Day Jobs, Nigel Wearne, Out of Abingdon, Pat Drummond, Pete Denahy, Peter Hicks, Peter Mace, Peter Willey & Matthew Hobbs˜, Rory Faithfield, Rosie Burgess Trio, Rough Red, Rusty & The Saint, Sadie & Jay, Shanty Club, Sissybones, Taylor Pfeiffer – The Banjo Girl, The Good Girl Song Project, The Northern Folk, The Squeezebox Trio, The String Family, The Three Marketeers, The Trippy Hippy Band, The Wish List, Tinpan Orange, Tom Dockray, Tulalah, Women in Docs , Yellow Blue Bus

Local Artists:
Alex Boston, Astarte Studio’s Steampunk Gypsies, Big Erle, Brian Jonathon, Brynn Luker, Cake Tin Rattlers, Carefree Road Band, Cat Walk City and Friends, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus WOW, Chinese Lion Dancers, Cross Rhythm Dance Company, Dani Karis, Erika Steller, Festival Choir & Orchestra, Five Sad Men, Gobsmacked!, Grace Gladwin, Harman & Hellens, Illawarra Breakfast Poets, Illawarra Flame Three, James R Cooper, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, John Littrich & The Water Runners, Josh Maynard, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley/Super Kenny, King & Queen of Green – The Pearlies, Leo, Lizzie Bennet Band, Love In The Jungle, Man from the Misty Mountains, Maya & Tala, Maypole with Molly, Melanie April, Moscateros, Murmur, My Secret Window, No Such Thing, Paddy & The Wonderband, Patrick Lyons & The American Creek Band, Patron Saints Of Folk, Ralph Scrivens, Rani’s Fire, Ribbon Gang, Ruido Indy Flamenco, Scientists Behaving Badly, Shalani & Chloe, Shelley’s Murder Boys, Silver Lotus Tribal Bellydance, SingGongGo, Soul Flamenco, Southern Gentlemen, Story Beats, Stringline, Swamp n’ Beats, The Beatmeisters, The Bowhemians, The Calamities, The Con Artists, The Derby Dolls, The Lighthouse Keepers, The Lurkers, The Scratchies, The Swingaleles, Three-Sixty, Vic Janko Orkestar, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret, Zumpa

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015

Record Collecting

So you’ve read what we think the top 25 albums of 2015 are but here’s what you’re really waiting for – the article where we ask our favourite artists to pick their favourite recordings of the year.

Every year we reach out to artists across the Timber and Steel genre spectrum to pick their number one album or EP of the year and the results are always surprising. So get yourself a cold drink, find somewhere comfortable to site down and enjoy Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015:

Postcards From Ursa MinorFrank Turner
Will VarleyPostcards From Ursa Minor
I stumbled across Will a few years back and instantly fell in love. He’s currently my favourite songwriter, and I think this album is little short of a masterpiece.

The DeslondesJimmy Daley (The Morrisons, The Tawny Owl Stringband)
The DeslondesThe Deslondes
Heard the song “Louise” on a live music series on YouTube called Jammin In The Van and was immediately bowled over. Went and bought the album (yes I bought it) and was not disappointed. Killer songs, retro production that sounds modern at the same time, great playing and awesome singing/harmonies. I’ll be knocking back many tins over summer while listening to this album.

The Phosphorescent BluesMichael O’Donnell (The Squeezebox Trio)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
Stop reading this review right now and go listen to this album. Its just perfect. From the 10 minute opener to Debussy to one hell of an ending, this album is a game changer. There is only one (10 second) instrumental solo on the whole album, opting for lush orchestrations instead. It was a HUGE influence on us.

Paradise is ThereTaryn La Fauci
Natalie MerchantParadise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
To be able to re-release a complete new version of a record first released 20 years ago in 1995 is an incredible artstic achievement. Karl Broadie introduced me to her music and since then I have drank up her journey and past records. Her voice holds this piercing warmth and wisdom that coos you in and wraps you up like a child in its mothers arms. Getting to devour this rediscovery of Tigerlily and how she has evolved with it is why this record is my favourite release of 2015.

Wilder MindGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
This is really a no brainer for me, I absolutely adore these guys and without them I probably wouldn’t write the music I write today. This being said, their new sound took me a while to get used to and I went from loving 95% of the songs to loving 70% on this new album. Still, it shows how even a genre-defining band can have the guts and skill to reinvent their sound and write powerful songs independently of the instrumental setup.

Diamonds in the BloodstreamJosh Rennie-Hynes
Raised by EaglesDiamonds in the Bloodstream
A great collection of songs. Honest and thoughtful and the production is spot on. One of my favourite Australian bands.

But For All These Shrinking HeartsWoody Pitney
Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts
Josh Pyke delivered again with this new gem of an album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts. Staying true to his iconic style and sound, this tightly produced record is a great listen. Despite not having any stand-out hits like previous albums, it still has plenty of sparkle and charm. My personal favourites are “Hollering Hearts” and “Book of Revelations”.

Carrie & LowellCaitlin Park
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
There is no-one quite like Sufjan Stevens. It is hard to put your finger on the power of his story-telling, what it is that drags us in so. For me, it is the way he paints the picture; he writes about the little things, the smaller moments between two people. A whole album dedicated to the memory of his mother and descriptions of her passing, we are left to fill in the the rest of the story. Where they lived, their age – these things don’t matter as long as you are privy to their quiet moments alone. And then in one foul swoop, he wraps up the meaning of the song in one sentence, and your heart breaks into a thousand pieces **we’re all gonna’ die**. A lyric that will stay with me forever, a lyric i will always remember from the year 2015: “What could I have said to raise you from the dead, oh could I be the sky on the fourth of July?”

Strange New PastSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Seth SentryStrange New Past
I know this puts me at risk of losing my indie folk privileges but Seth Sentry’s second LP was simply outstanding. Kendrick Lamars to pimp a butterfly was musically more brilliant but topically from another world. His harmonic nostalgia tethered by trap beats rap ego and existential early 30’s humility is seamless. The record plays from start to finish effortlessly and voids of any Aus hip hop cringe worthy cleches that we have blushed at when measured against the likes of Kings Kunta and Kick Push. I’m a hip hop dancer and this is hands down the best Aussie rap release for getting down to ever. If you dig emotional depth, impressive musicality and need a reason to shake your ass, this record is all that and more.

sound and colorRosie Jackson-Taylor (Liam Gale & The Ponytails)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
I have been completely obsessed with every single track on the album since the first time I heard it and it was on welcomed high rotation for the entire drive of our East Coast tour earlier this year. Brittany Howard’s voice is unbelievable and every song is captivating in its own right. The whole experience of the album is kind of like listening to futuristic funk blues in space, naked.

Sol InvictusClaude Hay
Faith No MoreSol Invictus
I had been waiting for this album for years. Singer Mike Patton can put an unique infectious melody to anything he touches, melodies that stick. There’s always something different that comes from these guys that is so refreshing to my ears, the complete opposite of commercial radio.

Carrie & LowellSam Newton
The Milk Carton KidsMonterey
This is one of the most ‘pure’ sounding records that I’ve ever heard. I know that this could be said of just about all of the releases by these guys but I feel that with Monterey, they have reached all new heights in lyricism, vocal unity and the art of subtle lead/guitar fills. It says something special about the songwriting of a group when every track on an album contains a maximum of 2 voices and 2 guitars but can still hold its own from start to finish. I bought the vinyl when I saw them live earlier in the year and it has easily been one of my favourite purchases of 2015.

LoyaltyMatt Bauer
The Weather StationLoyalty
I haven’t connected with a record this strongly in a very long time. From the first lines of “The Way It Is And The Way It Could Be” I was just – there. It took me several attempts to get to the end of the record because I was so moved I kept having to turn it off.

Key ChangeMatt Corby
MockyKey Change
This album is full of songs to live life to, songs you can put on at any moment and jam out to.

Carrie & LowellDan Flynn
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
How many gobsmackingly good folk songs can you fit into one album? Eleven it seems. This album is unbelievably melancholy but also curiously uplifting and indeed healing. The vocal melodies are outrageously good, the instrumentation is pitch perfect and the production is stunning despite the fact that part of the album was recorded on his iPhone. I will be listening to this for years to come.

Darling ArithmeticKim Churchill
VillagersDarling Arithmetic
I have ogled at the songwriting abilities of Conor J O’Brien since we played a small gig in an odd venue called the Duncan Garage Showroom on Vancouver Island years ago. In the past his lyrics have portrayed a depth and insight that guided me as a person much further into myself and my unconscious emotional processes. Again he helps me make those journeys on this album but with a simplicity and vulnerability that is just profound! He has clearly had some pain and rebirth in his life and he puts it out on the table in an incredible honest way. He reaches further inside himself than many of us ever will and gives us songs that allow us to take the same journey’s into ourselves. It’s kind of creepy how he does it. But he’s always flirted with being a bit creepy. Watch the video clip to his first single off the album, “Courage”, and you’ll see what I mean. In many ways its the essence of psychedelic folk; Spooky, insightful, melodically stunning and at its core undeniably beautiful and honest.

Phosphorescent BluesBlair Dunlop
Punch BrothersPhosphorescent Blues
Whilst it’s an incredibly impressive body of work from a technical standpoint, it never strays into grandstanding or over-indulgence. Beautiful arrangements, soaring harmonies and songs that keep me guessing – a gem!

Soft Faces to HoldAlanna Eileen
Toby GrahamSoft Faces to Hold
Beautiful, surreal alternative folk music with incredible vocals, lyrically inventive and delicate in all the right places. It got me through the year.

When The Storms Would ComeBronte
Holy HolyWhen The Storms Would Come
I have been a fan of Holy Holy since they released their first EP. Their album When The Storms Would Come, which was released in July this year, has been a stand out album in my opinion. I enjoy the lyrics and the melodies that flow throughout their music which continues to improve with each release. I think the next few years for Holy Holy will be huge and they are starting to enjoy a great deal of success from overseas audiences. Stand out track is “History” but “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” just makes me want to crank up the dial and drive around all night, it is such a cruising tuneeee.

Nathaniel RateliffJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night SweatsNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Only released recently this album is straight out of the 70’s!! Full of now Motown and soul, it’s 2015’s ultimate road trip album.

NinaThe Campervan Dancers
Daniel MarchNina
So much groove! It’s really tight, shows a wonderful depth of stylistic influences. Great production and musicianship – just the whole package. These have been our chosen cruisin’ tunes in Candice-the-Campervan-Dancer-van this springtime.

If I WasJoel Barker
The StavesIf I Was
It was hard to chose against Glen Hansard’s Didn’t He Ramble but after seeing The Staves at The Beautiful Days Festival in Devon, UK a couple of years ago I had to go with their 2015 release If I Was. Hearing three sisters sing together in perfect harmony make it seems so damn easy. The addition of Justin Vernon as producer takes the intimacy of their past work and elevates it into a more accessible market. Theres a new dynamic and consideration to the recording process that really hits a note with me. Songs such as “Make It Holy” and “Steady” have magnificent vocal loops and hooks that keep you wanting more of those voices made to sing together. It’s got a lot of texture, as much intimacy of their previous releases, but additional drive which undoubtedly has introduced them to a whole new fan base. Makes we want to prop myself up against a tree, close my eyes and listen to it on repeat, over and over again.

These WallsRose Wintergreen
Anna CordellThese Walls
Sometimes, very rarely, new songs come to me in my dreams. I wake up with the melody in my bones, I sleepily reach for my phone to record it before it disappears forever. It’s happened several times recently, and I’ve been ecstatic with the deep, haunting quality of the melodies, the pleasing way they meander effortlessly like a creek rambling unselfconsciously in bushland so remote that no one will pass through for decades at a time. Unfortunately for me, I’ve realised that these melodies are actually Anna Cordell’s, from her stunning debut record, These Walls! Arresting and deeply affecting.

EPTim Guy
BumspaEP
A force of nature in the very northern parts of NSW. They made an EP this year and squeezed 5 songs onto a little ’45. The last track comes from the view of a Bushranger being in his cell while awaiting hanging. It’s really rare and really wonderful. Great songwriting with ragged attitude to the musical accompaniment.

FourwindsThe East Pointers
FourWindsFourWinds
After chatting about our many favourite records from this past year, the 3 of us decided that FourWinds deserve the top spot with their self-titled album. This crew from Ireland is tearing up the traditional music scene with their authentic sound and top-notch musicianship. Check ‘em out live if you can!

Modern VintageSian Evans
Cheap FakesModern Vintage
If its not for the super smooth vocals of Kiwi front man Hayden Andrews alone, it’s the funk, the phat base, totally hot horn lines and syncopated silences. Production instrumentation ties cleverly a carnival dub vintage rock’n’roll infused surf style funk and soul variety. Consistent. Solid. It dribbles dizziness, you can’t sit still!

The Woodshed SessionsScott Collins (The Mid-North)
Wood and WireThe Woodshed Sessions Vol. 1
Six tracks recorded in one take around one microphone. It is an exciting display of musicianship and energy. Very fun and awe inspiring.

Sound and ColorAlison Ferrier
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
An exciting, innovative and uplifting second release from the rock band with soul. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard’s performance is utterly inspiring: she gives it everything she’s got. I sing along with this in the car quite a lot!

The PositionsCastlecomer
Gang of YouthsThe Positions
We love that the album is so dark in theme yet the melodies could be on any pop album. It’s an impressive body of work. Our runners up are Holy Holy’s When the Storms Would Come and Tame Impala’s Currents.

AngelenoNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Sam OutlawAngeleno
California has always been a source of great country music – first with the Bakersfield Sound and then later from Los Angeles. This year Californian Sam Outlaw refused to move to Nashville to record his debut album Angeleno and instead insisted on recording in Los Angeles with the help of Ry Cooder as producer. The album is both genuine country in its sound and also its stories. This album takes me back to an earlier time in country music whilst still sounding fresh and un-clichéd.

All Your Favourite BandsTracy McNeil (Tracy McNeil, Bell St Delays)
DawesAll Your Favourite Bands
From the first drop of the needle your ears are hit with six single, drawn out notes played on one guitar against a spattering of drumrolls from off in the distance – this is the hook, the earworm of the song painted thinly as a foreshadowing of what’s to come. And what is to come? Like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, the soundscape breaks wide open as the band punches in with that very same hook – this time fully realised. Dawes always create a sound that is purposeful, epic and at times slightly over-worked in terms of lyrics, but their latest release All You’re Favorite Bands gets the balance just right. Produced by David Rawlings, Dawes will find it hard to top this collection of world-class songs, played and captured live in a room by a band at the height of their career.

Trans Arlantic HighwayLuke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles, Bell St Delays)
Lost RagasTrans Atlantic Highway
The most soul shaking cosmic country experience I’ve had since Beck tried his hand at the genre. It’s more traditional than that of course and has all the essential ingredients you need to make a good country album – pedal steel, guitars, drums, bass, great song writing – but there’s an indescribable magic to it. Something deep that runs right to the heart. Matt Walker, Shane Reilly, Roger Bergodaz and Simon Burke are like the components of a beautifully engineered vintage engine, each part absolutely essential to the whole, the art of what happens when things are put together in the right way. Buy this album – it runs like a dream.

The Stars My DestinationNick O’Mara (Raised By Eagles)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
There’s a sense of humour and a sense of dread in varying degrees throughout this album. Track 4 scares the shit out of me. Salter’s an incredible lyricist, his guitar playing’s tidy as fuck and his voice – sheesh, forget about it. This album is more than the sum of those wonderful parts I reckon. It’s just funny, thoughtful, sometimes rockin’, soulful – hope he hasn’t read this the next time I run into him at the pub. “We’ll have all the time in the world, An endless afternoon, When we’re bones under the dunes”.

Choose Your Weapon
Luke Richardson (Raised By Eagles)
Hiatus KaiyoteChoose Your Weapon
It’s complicated and tricky-clever but with grooves that are solid and so grounded. I think my favourite thing about this band is that each part – drums, keys, vocals, etc – are given their own separate sonic space so even when individually there are some pretty dense rhythmic and harmonic things going on the overall sound is still really open.

TravellerGretta Ziller
Chris StapletonTraveller
I was really excited when Gareth emailed me asking for my favourite album of 2015! Determined to do my due diligence, I got straight onto my 2015 Soundtrack on Spotify (where I put all the new music I find) and went round and round. The one album I just could not go past was Chris Stapleton’s Traveller – it’s just so dang good!!! This album came out and it was like he was holding a hand full of ace’s around a table full of jokers in the poker game they call country music! If you’ve heard of The SteelDrivers you would instantly recognise Stapleton’s voice, its a lonely shot of whiskey in an empty bar, it’s singing to Jesus on Sunday morning, it’s whispering to your lover in the dark of night and it crying over a broken heart, and of course his songs cover all this and more! On a side note, I do recommend googling Stapleton, he is no newcomer to Country music, having been involved with the aforementioned SteelDrivers, but he has also been in the background writing hit songs for major country music artists for years! I could keep gushing about this album for days, but, in short, Traveller is a return to good honest heartfelt country music – and we all say Amen!

Echolocations CanyonAinsley Farrell
Andrew BirdEcholocations: Canyon
This entire album was recorded in the Coyote Gulch Canyons in Utah. It’s the first of a series where Bird uses different components of the environment to stretch, bend and explore sound. I think it’s important to give credit to your surroundings and appreciate that the environment you’re in has a huge influence on the sound you put out.

OutsidersKate Burke (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Trouble In The Kitchen)
Heath CullenOutsiders
The fact that I love this album has only a little to do with the fact that Heath lives up the road from me. This album, where Heath is joined by Elvis Costello’s Impostors, has fantastic songs that range from the danceable “Two Left Feet” to the gorgeously Daniel Lanois-esque “Who’ll Rock the Cradle” and anthemic “One for the Road”, all lush and powerful and featuring mad, crazy, wonderful keys and piano at almost every turn. I love it more with every listen.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
A brave, bold, powerful and honest collection of songs that successfully destroys taboos and exposes truths; a very rare thing. Beautifully performed and produced, this album is laden with artistic integrity from a songwriter who’s driven from a deeply personal space and sings like a rising angel.

Carrie & LowellWilliam Fitzsimmons
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
Sufjan + return to acoustic music. What’s not to love!?!! Truth be told, even though I love and respect Sufjan’s art more than just about anybody else alive (Sorry Selena Gomez!) I was kind of bummed when I heard that he’d be returning to an “acoustic” sound for this record. Don’t get me wrong, I love acoustic music. I make acoustic music. But I cherish the fact that Sufjan has always been willing to do something kind of, well, different … and still make you hum along (e.g. that ghastly solo in “Springfield!!!”). And I snobbishly loved being one of the people who really, really loved the Adz project and his increasingly left of center writing. But once I got past the hype of Carrie & Lowell (the unopened vinyl sat in my studio for about 2 months) and actually listened, I was overjoyed. I recently lost someone very important to me, so certainly the subject matter of Carrie & Lowell hit close to home. But, moreover, it was the record’s ability to wrap these difficult ideas into such simple, small, understated songs. Nobody messes with the idea of subtlety and histrionics like Suf. And to perfect that tricky dance and sing about death at the same time is tantamount to a masterpiece.

CurrentsAnnie Hamilton (Little May)
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Tame Impala have seriously nailed it with this album, there are some excellent musical moments in there. It’s really cool to see a band evolve and grow over the course of a few albums while still maintaining their own sound and style.

Sound and ColorOlivia Hally (Oh Pep!)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
There’s only one way to listen to this album: from top to bottom and on repeat. It was already my favourite album this year and then I later discovered a bonus track called “Joe” on a TV show and I cried a little bit. It’s too good.

Ryan BinghamRuby Boots
Ryan BinghamFear and Saturday Night
I love the balance between emotive songs/story telling and grit. I am a sucker for good Americana music with raw delivery and grunt behind it and this album fulfils all of that and more. Every track on there is A grade songwriting with classy melody hooks that are not too obvious until you turn it off and they are running through your head for the rest of the day. These songs that make me a little sad but fill me full of hope at the same time, also another soft spot for me. I love this artist, and this album is my favourite album of 2015.

ShipsOscar Lush
Water MusicShips
“Four weeks after the devastating suicide of my sister, I locked myself in my shed for four days and wrote and recorded these songs on my 8-track as both tribute and therapy. I’ve had death close to me before and here I was again.” – This record absolutely broke my heart and still continues to do so. Every time I listen it brings me to tears. Mathew is such a powerful and unique songwriter. Nothing I listened to this year came close in depth and heartache to this record.

DeclarationAnna Cordell
Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration
This is REAL folk music. And these are REAL women. This music has purpose beyond the artists own egos. I am completely inspired by this album and these two women – and, well, the music is just so beautiful!

Ron BlockHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Ron BlockHogan’s House of Music
So many of my favourite contemporary bluegrass musicians are giving it their all on this creative instrumental album. Best of all, there are so many “you can’t do that on a banjo” moments!

Small Town BigshotLachlan Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
Fanny is a great artist and natural entertainer, her hard work and real songs have been fantastically produced on her debut record. Catchy, easy listening and a great voice makes you wanna hit repeat every time.

Don't Lose ThisSkyscraper Stan
Pops StaplesDon’t Lose This
I’ve never had much of a hard-on for Jeff Tweedy so I was skeptical when I heard he was collaborating with Mavis Staples on the final, posthumous release of her father’s music. As it turns out, both Jeff and Mavis have done an amazing job fleshing out the bare-bones recordings Pops made in 1999, a year before his death. It’s all here; tremolo guitar, reverby drum sounds and beautiful group vocals from the Staples sisters. Plus some unexpectedly clever lyricism.

The Stars My DestinationMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers, Wifey)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
Well I have to admit in the 4 years I have been doing this for you lovely folk at Timber And Steel I have had the hardest time choosing. Kudos to Buddy Glass and Bad Dreems for almost getting there. It took me a week but I’m giving my gong to Ben Salter for My Stars The Destination. The thing that kills me about this guy is that he just improves artistically and vocally with every release. His debut The Cat was a magnificent effort but he has raised the bar again here. As a songwriter he is up there in my book with Gareth Lilliard, Tim Rogers, Mick Thomas and Paul Kelly. I don’t think it would be overselling to say he is possibly the best vocalist in the land right now. Listen to the title track when the vocals beef up half way through. If that doesn’t make your neck hairs stand up I don’t know what will. Usual story: should be huge, probably wont be. Travesty.

1989Ryan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan Adams1989
I’ve always been a fan of Ryan’s ability to take a song and completely own it, especially in cover songs (We all remember his haunting version of ‘Wonderwall’ don’t we?). He took probably the most commercial and poppy sounding album and turned it into a very solid folk rock album that you wouldn’t know wasn’t if they didn’t happen to be mega-hits that he was covering. The production is great and I think maybe most noteworthy is his ability to spin somewhat jovial adolescent lyrics and somehow add that signature Ryan Adams melancholy. Respect.

HighRoland Kay-Smith
Royal HeadacheHigh
The formula these guys have is irresistible. I’m not much of a heavy rock guy, traditionally favouring more Timber-and-Steel-esque tunes, but the whole blue-eyed garage soul thing just gets me. Some of it’s silly, some of it’s naff, but there are enough great tunes here to keep me coming back again and again.

ValleywoodNad Budge (The Stetson Family)
Dan ParsonsValleywood
I first heard Dan Parson’s new album Valleywood whilst driving around Nashville in a crappy rental car with a really crappy sound system, and it blew me away – Valleywood, that is, not the car! I was first struck by how great the production came across, full, rich and really well balanced – then I was drawn into Dan’s songs, each one wanting me to listen to what he had to say, and giving me a sense of nostalgia as well as excitement for this next generation of great songwriters.

CurrentsDustin Tebbutt
Tame ImpalaCurrents
This was my favourite release this year. I hadn’t really listened to the band before this album, and it was an incredible introduction. For me, it’s the beautiful combination of genres in here that gives this record so much depth. A lot of the song structures and mixing techniques borrow heavily from house music (the extensive use of filters for example), and a lot of the beats are a mix of old school soul and breaks. These fundamentals are then built upon with psychedelic guitar parts and raw, dreamy vocals. The record has attitude, vibe, heart and a real overarching journey. I just love it.

The Phosphorescent BluesJon Boden (Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
I was a bit late to the Punch Brothers party, but what a sound! It’s not really bluegrass, more experimental art-pop with bluegrass instrumentation. Beachboys-esque vocals, mandolin funk workouts, beautiful style and tone throughout by five masters of their instruments.

Carrie & LowellSam Sweeney (Bellowhead)
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
This is such a beautiful and poignant record. It’s hard to listen all the way through without shedding a tear. After The Age Of Adz, this a welcome return to Sufjan’s folkier side. It’s a heart breaking album about his relationship with his mother who died of cancer in 2012 after a long history of substance abuse and mental health issues. It’s a painful listen and yet so perfect.

Mellow DramaMark Lucas
James McMurtryComplicated Game
It’s the narrative, those fragile vignettes that come alive with truth and a sheer humanity that doesn’t preclude a little bitterness but is always tempered by a dry humour. As he says himself, like his American literary giant father, Larry McMurtry (“The Last Picture Show”, “Lonesome Dove” etc.), James is a fiction writer. His dad was an inspiration to me before I stumbled across his son’s work on a drive across Texas in ‘89. It’s been a heck of a journey in song and, to my way of thinking, that’s what it’s all about – a Complicated Game indeed and I still “miss my dog from years ago” too.

TrackerBob Barford (Bloodwood)
Mark KnopflerTracker
Mr Laidback personified. I reckon he put this album together for his own amusement and just because he could. While not overly impresive on the first few listens, like any good album it grows on you. It’s an insight into what he is up to at this point in time.

Shadows In The NightMark Moldre
Bob DylanShadows In The Night
So many iconic artists have tried the “American Songbook” album and have dismally failed. This is Dylan at his most intimate and unguarded. We hear every drawn breath from Dylan at microphone, every finger touching a string, the slow drag of a bow across a double bass string, a quiet movement or shifting of feet in the room – nothing is hidden from the listeners ear. No careful ProTools editing. A band in a hushed room. Guitars are caressed, sweeping pedal steel is syrupy and lush, drums are ever so softly brushed, tempos remain languid and dreamy while Dylan growls and croons his way through the mist. Lyrics written decades ago seem timeless, ironic and strangely poignant in Dylan’s gentle phrasing. Imagine granddad at the family reunion recalling songs of his younger days at the upright piano in the corner of your lounge room as the warm glow of an open fire crackles and pops. Nostalgia, sadness, wry humour and regret all seep and melt into one another until you feel you’re drifting in a grainy sepia haze. Perfect.

The Hedge SchoolsColm Mac Con Iomaire (Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The Frames)
The Hedge SchoolsAt the End of a Winding Day
My favourite albums involve time and space travel. They bring you places. This album At the End of a Winding Day by Dublin songwriter Patrick Barrett and Producer and co-conspirator Joe Chester AKA The Hedge Schools is a warm, golden, sonic-embrace. Visit this place and be well.

WindfallBrad Butcher
Joe PugWindfall
As much as I loved Rodney & Emmylou’s Traveling Kind or Isbell, Stapleton, or Oz’s very own songsmith Shane Nicholson’s great albums of 2015 Windfall speaks to me the most from an artistic point of view and holds the elements of music I love dearly; great songwriting recorded in a moving an honest way.

Kill It YourselfJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Jess RibeiroKill It Yourself
The latest album from Jess Ribeiro creates an entire world. It’s a fully cohesive album with songs that draw you in and make you want to listen harder – it feels as though you might miss something important if you’re not paying full attention. Each song is beautiful and the production is perfect.

TelegraphCara Robinson (Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson)
Kevin DohertyTelegraph
I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Doherty’s live set while in a play in Dublin, Ireland. I fell in love with the stories that he made into song about his insight into the world today, the world that has passed and indeed the world too set before us. His own stories in song take on the heroism, evil, love, madness all words and more that is more than the story itself he quotes. The album itself is personal and inviting and welcomes you in with the warmth and depth that he has in his voice to listen with intent as the album unfolds. There is a sense of awareness that is brought forward from a time long forgotten in the music and it is so important in song writing today that these stories of historical changes are kept alive as it seems a lot of the modern day writing is about surface subjects only a few dare to reiterate in a whole album. Recorded by a mighty line up of artists indeed within their own right, Liam Bradley, James Delaney, Paul Moore, Paul Rodden, Nicky Scott, Enda Walsh and Kevin Doherty set the tempo aptly. Favorite tracks “Camden Street” and “Tug Boat” The story and historical references are poetical and strong and is indeed offered beautifully and honestly to the listener. Inspiring writing.

Marlon WilliamsPatrick James
Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams
Although I’m in a library, listening with headphones and writing about this, it’s almost as if I am sitting in a tin shed listening on a half broken record player with a glass of aged scotch delving into something from my mum and dad’s music collection. Obviously this guy has such an incredible vocal ability, but sometimes that’s hard to capture and draw an intimate focus to on record. He and his team have nailed that and the band compliments it so well. I tend to be drawn to albums that inspire my own writing or change the way I think for a minute about music. This album does that for me. Not because the production is over the top or revolutionary but because it’s raw and honest and it takes me to a specific setting. It’s also performed in a refined way that almost seems theatrical, I think that’s what gets in me in from the start.

Hell Breaks LooseImogen Clark
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
Hell Breaks Loose is like a glass of whisky you want to drink, and love to drink, even though you know that when you ingest it, it’s going to bring to the forefront of your mind some of the most heartbreaking truths you’ve ever known and expose things you didn’t even know you felt or thought. Gut-wrenching lyrics and beautiful melancholic melodies, and more honesty than even whisky could bring.

BloodPhia
Lianne La HavasBlood
Lianne’s voice is so velvety and intoxicating and enveloping, and the songs she writes are deep and powerful. She writes a killer pre-chorus too. The production is also fantastic, highlighting the light and shade and rough and smooth of her voice and songs. I can’t stop listening to it!

One Song RomanceNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Michael BarnettOne Song Romance
This album is a precision powered product of over 50 years of stringband music in America. Michael is a champion of the newest ilk in bluegrass and old-timey, and can play the fiddle like you wouldn’t believe. The front porch isn’t enough these days and folk musicians that were inspired by the likes of Bela Fleck and Chris Thile a decade ago are now taking to advanced tertiary institutions like Berklee and Juliard to hone their craft. If you like Punch Brothers, Crooked Still, or The Deadly Gentlemen, then rosin up to One Song Romance.

GoonJon O’Neill (Forest Falls)
Tobias Jesso JrGoon
It’s been hard as of late to find music that gives me a comforting chill down my spine, but this album did. Every one of Jesso’s masterpieces is straight from the heart and has an overwhelming sense of home and familiarity. I love this album because it doesn’t rely on production to make the songs “better” – rather, they are simple, beautiful and raw.

10Bill Jackson
Darrell Scott10: Songs of Ben Bullington
Darrell Scott met Ben Bullington during a trip to Yellowstone National Park with his children. Bullington was a small town Montana doctor who happened to write songs in his spare time and a mutual friend thought they might enjoy each other’s company – two single dads on vacation in the wilderness with their offspring. In fact, they wound up good friends with more in common than they probably thought at first. Bullington, it turned out, was fighting a cancer diagnosis that wound up taking his life. But, before he passed, he wanted to play a songwriters-in-the-round show in Nashville, and the date was set at the Station Inn. According to the liner notes on Scott’s new album, 10: Songs of Ben Bullington, that was the first time that he’d heard Bullington’s songs. And, as we can hear on the disc, Bullington was a remarkable songwriter. His lyrics have a natural musicality, and the nuance of his stories is bowl-you-over good in places. Scott’s treatment of the songs is pure and arresting. Here’s one of the most versatile artists in the Americana/roots world, whose instrumental prowess is well documented, giving one strum per measure in some cases, leaving room for the songs to create their own life. Not a lot of songs could stand up when stripped back to such simplicity. On the one hand, it’s a shame that a songwriter the calibre of Ben Bullington lived most of his whole life without his songs getting much further than his own guitar. On the other hand, it’s a blessing that his friend Darrell Scott picked up that very guitar and immortalized them. Favourite tracks: “I’ve Gotta Leave You Now”, “Born in 55”.

Mellow DramaAriela Jacobs
Kevin GarrettMellow Drama
Colouring was the first track I heard off Garrett’s debut EP and I immediately fell in love with the rest of the compilation. Similar to the James Blake aesthetic, his songs are punctuated with electronic beats but they are used gently and sparingly. Lyrically, he grabs your attention from the get go and although simplistic in narrative, he reels you in with unheard of metaphors to symbolise a broken relationship. Kevin may make you weep your eyes out, but I’m telling you it’s worth the sob and the copious amounts of ice cream afterwards.

Dogs at BayThom Lion
Bad DreemsDogs At Bay
I haven’t heard rock this real in a while. The songs and sound are unashamedly Australian. A raw record that hits you right in the face!

Daniel RomanoHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel RomanoIf I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Canadians do country well and Daniel Romano is no exception. On his fourth solo album the Ontarian moves away from the country folk of early material and beyond the twangy honky tonk of his 2013 release. This time it’s a modern interpretation of the countrypolitan sound which emerged in the 1960s. Some will accuse him of pastiche, and this is tempting if only the songwriting, instrumentation and vocal phrasings weren’t so damned good. George, Merle, Willie and even Charlie Rich would be happy to have written these songs. Romano knows he’s writing classics too, his brashness is evident through the use of rich synth-strings and drum machines. This was album of the year before I’d reached the end of my first listen.

Daniel KnoxJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel KnoxDaniel Knox
The 2015 release from Chicago troubadour Daniel Knox is my fave album of the year – the top of a very long short list. The album is rich with gorgeous instrumentation, surprising given the stark piano and vocal package of his earlier releases. The arrangements complement the sharpness of his songwriting and his utterly enchanting voice. I love the breadth of the album – Knox gives us hazy dream trance on “Blue Car”, sharp and catchy on “Don’t Touch Me” and even a hypnotic choir in 14 15 111. Lyrically, Knox’s observations of the sometimes mundane imbue the entire album with an undercurrent of creepy menace

Imaginary ManAshleigh Mannix (Ashleigh Mannix, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
I was hooked on the first listen. The first track “Mr. Rodriguez” had me bopping from the intro, and by the time the second verse had kicked in, I was swinging my hair and red wine around the kitchen like no tomorrow. My favourite song is “My Captain”, followed closely by “Rugged Lovers”. Both songs make me stop whatever I’m doing, and just listen. He makes me want to be a better songwriter. It’s just such a friken great album.

Imaginary ManJustin Carter (Justin Carter, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
A lyrically inspiring album from start to finish.

Multi-LoveSahara Beck
Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
Every song makes me fall in love again and again, not only with its extremely catchy melodies which dance through every instrument but also the lyrics that call you in with their familiar and relatable subject of thought. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have been on repeat in my mind all year long, this album is a wise old ear worm that I welcome into my mind with a warm accommodating smile

Chaos and the CalmMark Wilkinson
James BayChaos and the Calm
This record is really strong from top to bottom. It has a fantastic energy about it and the production hasn’t been overdone which really allows Bay’s voice to shine. The songs are catchy and accessible without being soulless and Bay’s vocals can stretch from intimate to powerful giving the album space for light and shade.

Sam AmidonCatgut
Sam AmidonHome Alone Inside My Head
Sam Amidon can go from quietly beautiful to shockingly abrasive in seconds. For Home Alone Inside My Head he put together a bunch of field recordings captured in 2002 after studying with old time fiddler Bruce Greene and free jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins. It’s not easy listening but it’s a glimpse inside the musical mind of someone we find very inspiring.

CurrentsTom Stephens
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Couldn’t deny Kev the props he deserves. The tunes are written, recorded, performed and produced all by the man himself, on his lonesome. There wasn’t even a dude around to get him a coffee when he was feeling flat. When it dropped the band and I listened to it five times in a row driving back from Melbourne. Everything is perfectly placed. The man is a master.

Yours DreamilyEddie Boyd (Eddie Boyd and the Phatapillars)
The ArcsYours, Dreamily,
The album is just filled with bangers from start to finish. Really great songwriting, catchy as f*@k and really interesting production. I would best describe it as soul/motown rock meets wild wild west. Super cool.

Ben MastwykJustin Bernasconi (Justin Bernasconi, The Stillsons)
Ben MastwykMornin’ Evenin’
Mastwyk’s beautifully crafted debut album is full of gems, the songs gently pushes and pulls you all the way from Texas to Melbourne inner north in one long dance.

The GleanerJordie Lane
Brendan WelchThe Gleaner
Thanks to local new Ballarat label, Heart Of The Rat Records, this brilliant album was given new life in October. Undoubtedly my favorite Australian voice, Brendan’s epic songs are matched by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate) with the producer hat on! I know already it’s gonna be one of my favorite records of all time!

Coming HomeBroads
Leon BridgesComing Home
Our pick for 2015’s top album was the debut album from Texan soul singer Leon Bridges. Co-written with members of Texan band White Denim, the album perfectly pays homage to that moment in history when gospel music bled into the world of soul. Particularly reminiscent of the velvet tones of Sam Cooke, the charismatic charm of this album had us absolutely bowled over, and has been played on high rotation since its release mid way through the year. Check out the single “Lisa Sawyer” – absolute retro gold.

Father John MistyTanya Batt
Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
I can’t even express what this album did to me the first time I heard it. It’s no hidden secret that Joshua Tillman is one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation/ever. His lyrical ability to tell a story is like no other. Then throw in the incredible voice and arrangements within his work and you just die a little inside with the pain he shares with you. I am a bit of a sucker for a concept album also so this is why this ended up being the winner. It’s such an honest album, so honest that he found it incredibly hard playing these songs in front of those close to him, and I feel that’s something I can relate to. I love you, Father John Misty. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

Such JubileePaddy Connor (Lime and Steel)
Mandolin OrangeSuch Jubilee
This duo have a magic touch of writing and playing songs that seem deceptively simple: and sometimes just that little extra beat or chord that grabs you. That can really play, but it’s never flashy: feels like you’re around a kitchen table at 2am with old friends singing that one song that opens their heart.

Jason IsbellAndrew Swift
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
A lot of my friends ok the music industry were raving about Jason Isbell, especially the women. If his name got mentioned on social media it was often followed by “swoon” or “my future husband” but it was actually my Dad that handed me his album and upon first listen I didn’t understand the fuss. As I’m lazy when it comes to changing CDs in my car it stayed in there for a while and played through several times and I came to realise just how impressive this man is. Something More Than Free is an album of songs I wish I had written. They’re not catchy when you first hear them but they grow on you, become a part of you, draw you in so you want to listen to the lyrics and thank god they do, the man is a wordsmith! This is one of those album where you don’t skip a song from start to finish.

Hell Breaks LooseTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
We don’t always agree on things like this, but in the case of the best album of 2015, my band-mate Taasha and I are in complete agreement. Shane Nicholson’s Hell Breaks Loose is a killer record. A break-up album for the educated country set (I think that’s us) that hums with vibrant melodies, deadly hooks and stinging lyrics, it sets a new bar for roots acts in our neck of the woods. Gently driving acoustic guitars and shuffling drums support a singer in search of a new start – confident, melancholy and yet tuned to hope.

Be ItThe April Maze
Jesse WitneyBe It
Four tracks of gold. The musicianship, arrangements and production are off-hook. Track 2, “Higher”, really takes you higher, it is so uplifting. But track 4, “Australia”, Jesse does something really special – it is very beautiful and captures the true essence of Australia. The perfect soundtrack for a roadtrip.

Glass FoolTodd Sibbin
Kaurna CroninGlass Fool
I’ve watched Kaurna’s development through four releases and on every level Glass Fool marks a significant step up. The songwriting, both lyrically and melodically, arrangement, production and his band’s cohesion (particularly Chris Panousakis’ lead guitar work) combine for a very tidy release indeed.

PondBetty & Oswald
PondMan It Feels Like Space Again
Oh boy the new Pond album has been round the block a few times at our place. Sonically arousing and drenched in all that bowie-esque glamour, these guys are right on!

Glass FoolBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Tim GuyChords
The first thing that stood out to me hearing Chords for the first time was the song arrangements. I suspected from the moment I heard them that a lot of thought had gone into the structure of the songs and the lengths of the sections in each song. None of the songs are too over played, it’s full of great guitar licks and vocal hooks, the melodies and chord progressions are really interesting and unexpected, and Tim has given great vocal performances on all tracks. He’s used his whole vocal range and included stacks of killer harmonies. The album covers a range of genres which I think can be risky sometimes in terms of keeping a natural flow. But Tim pulled it off. My fav’s are “Footsteps” and “It’s The Weekend”. Chords is a strong collection of strong stand alone songs.

Kendrick LamarHayden Calnin
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
This is a piece of art. Kendrick has made what I consider to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. He’s doing wonders for an ever-rising genre of music and delivers an intelligent, modern, original, political and poetic masterpiece with this LP. Fav track: “Alright”

Glass FoolWillowy
The Weather StationLoyalty
Beginning with a stumbling fast paced picking of the guitar and warped percussion – the mood of this album is immediately established, taking the listener on a somber yet hopeful sonic journey. Even with upbeat songs like the title track “Way it is, Way it Could Be” there lies a weight in expectation. Noticing this year a pull towards a fuller and often more electric centered production, each track on this album unashamedly bares it soul with a stripped back, predominantly acoustic, yet thoughtful layering of instruments that builds when needed. The album highlights Tamara Lindeman’s emotional and warmly experimental vocals that compliment her soul bearing songwriting.

Jason IsbellEmily Barker
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
Like many, I adore Jason’s record, Southeastern, so it was always going to be a difficult album to follow up. I bought Something More Than Free at Grimey’s record shop in Nashville and it was the only CD I had in my hire car for the week I was there. It is fantastic. As always, his raw lyrics and vocal delivery are arresting. Dave Cobb’s production is also killer. My favourite track is “Children of Children” because it reminds me of the beautiful, haunting Dillard and Clark record, Through the Morning, Through the Night.

TravellerTimothy James Bowen
Chris StapletonTraveller
He’s got a voice that will leave you mouth-gapingly speechless and a beard/hat combo to match. Do your ears a favour and get into it as fast as humanly possible. In particular, listen out for the track, “Tennessee Whiskey”. Good Lord.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLiz Stringer
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah has always been one of my favourites. As a writer and performer. This new collection of songs, recorded with Jeff Lang at his studio and a stellar band, is another heartbreakingly beautiful one. One of the few artists that consistently brings me to tears, Espie has trawled some depths lyrically throughout this album that few would be brave enough to attempt and, in doing so, has cracked open a vein of shining gold. It’s stunning.

Songs to PlayJulia Jacklin
Robert ForsterSongs to Play
I hadn’t heard of Robert Forster until I listened to him being interviewed by Richard Fidler about story songs from the 1970s. I liked his talking voice and his passion for Carly Simons “You’re So Vain”, I’d never really listened closely to the lyrics. So I looked up his record and it made me really happy! His wobbly vocals, Australian accent, the Christmas bells in “And I Knew”. Listen to “A Poet Walks” if you need a confidence boost over the Christmas socialising period.

Dorsal FinsRoscoe James Irwin
Dorsal FinsMind Renovation
An absolute cracker of a record from some of the best dudes in Melbourne. With Ella Thompson (GL), Jarrad Brown (Eagle and The Worm) and Liam McGorry (Saskwatch) at the helm, there was no chance this record wasn’t going to rule. Sweet 90s garage vibes and some great electro boogie, all without actually sounding like a retro throwback record. “Nothing Left to Hide” with its Iggy-ness, and “Heart On The Floor” are standouts. One of the best live bands kicking around as well.

MotorheadShane Nicholson
MotorheadBad Magic
After 40 years in the game, they have just released one of their best records ever. The songs, the execution, the sheer power, the consistent disregard for trends. Best band that ever was.

Hell Breaks LooseThe Weeping Willows
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
The combination of skilfully crafted songs and his soul-soothing voice place Shane Nicholson in the world-class league of singer-songwriters. To us, “Hell Breaks Loose” is Song of the Year and we challenge you to stay dry-eyed throughout “Single Fathers”, “Secondhand Man” and “Hermannsburg”.

PassengerThe Once
PassengerWhispers II
Passenger is a songwriting king. There are songs on this record that will kick you in the guts, make you question your very own choices of the heart, make you remember all the feelings that you stopped allowing yourself and all in the most positive way. AND he is donating ALL of the album sales to UNICEF in a quest to help end painful hunger in Liberia. What? He’s unreal. Just sayin’.

RadiusThe Brouhaha
Allen StoneRadius
The lead single “Freedom” hooked me in. Live video on top of Capitol records, so much soul, so much vibe. Love love love 🙂

The MiraculousMusketeer
Anna Von HausswolffThe Miraculous
I had the pleasure of watching Anna play the pipe organ at the Town Hall in Sydney early in the year. I also had the pleasure of exploring and playing music in her home country of Sweden, in their summer months. So, when she dropped this album I couldn’t help but fall back into that vivid northern world. I guess that makes me a little biased, but The Miraculous is probably the most well crafted piece of music I have heard all year. I would call it gothic folk rock. It is unique and moving and Anna’s voice will open your soul.

Deeper SouthRosie McDonald (RAPT, Folklore)
Shane HowardDeeper South
So many great albums out this year, but the one that stays with me, like a prayer shawl, is Deeper South by Shane Howard with Ewan Baker and John Hudson. I have huge respect for Shane. His music, poetry, philosophy and voice now seem to have been honed by the elements, love and love lost, empathy with others and his own life struggles. There is no preaching, no soap box, just wry observations of love, despite the struggles and realities of living. The first track, the windswept evocative “Deeper South”, got under my skin and recently when all the news was so dire, I’ve played it like a psalm. I can come back and back to it and each time is moves and calms me. The album has celtic, jazz and folk influences and the other musicians, Ewan on fiddle and mando, and John on beautifully played guitar, complement the songs exquisitely along with guest performers. Live, the experience is just as meaningful but this crowd sourced and lovingly packaged album, like a small hard cover book, is a true work of brilliance and worthy of a place in any collection.

Kendrick LamarMatthew Black (The Bottlers)
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar takes to his expansive african-americana scrapbook with a cleverly glinted and winking poet’s eye view of everyday life based subject matter with 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly. 

Swaggering back into beat poetesque lyricism mixed with gritty urban, jazz draped drawls he looks at today’s America and further into tommorow’s American influenced world from the perspective of a young black man still fighting the battles his radical forebearers fought. Casting aside industry pushed gangster rap stereotypes this illuminating stew all cooks down into what very well could be classified as the next leap in the evolution of hip hop music.

Universal ThemesGeorgia Fair
Sun Kil MoonUniversal Themes
Because my girlfriend hates it and “Birds of Films” is so beautiful.

courtney barnettLauren Moore (Pepperjack)
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett is undeniably a force in the Australian music industry. She has the complexity and aloofness of an aging rock star but with the level headed intellect of a philosopher. The elaborately titled Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit showcases her signature lyrical witticisms and deadpan vocal style but also brings some unexpected angst. It’s refreshing and relatable. Barnett has something to say and the world is listening. I can’t wait to hear more.

Bird Under WaterTom West
Arooj AftabBird Under Water
Bird Under Water is a beautifully serene and lush record by Brooklyn Based Arooj Aftab. I have found myself getting lost time and time again in her complex, haunting melodies and flawless vocals, often splendidly layered and harmonised. The songs feel skilfully composed and even after repeated listens I still get a thrill out of the many unexpected turns and instrumental surprises. I can’t recommend this record highly enough.

Weight of the WorldGeorge Jackson (One Up, Two Down, The Company, Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass, Buffalo Nickel)
10 String SymphonyWeight Of The World
Nashville based 10 String Symphony released a great full length album this October which has been on high rotation for me since. The 5-string fiddle/banjo duo consists of Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer who are both fantastic and acclaimed fiddlers, though interestingly this album is strongly song-centric. The minimal instrumentation and vocal arrangements are super interesting to listen to, they’ve come up with some really interesting solutions to creating a full sound with just the two voices and two fiddles (or one fiddle and one banjo) to work with.

Carly Rae JepsonImogen Bel
Carly Rae JepsenE-mo-tion
I was definitely a sucker for Jepsen’s huge hit “Call Me Maybe” but it seemed as though she was headed for one hit wonder territory after that. Not the case! This album is full of fun and catchy hook-filled tunes with production that makes me feel like I’m dancing under a mirror ball on prom night in 1985. It’s full of the energy and naivety of a first crush, and it’s a lot of fun to get swept away in the drama of it all. Best tracks: “E-mo-tion”, “All That”, “Run Away With Me”.

Cold SummersFraser A Gorman
CrepesCold Summers
Tim Karmouche’s songwriting is some of the most exciting music I’ve heard lately. He retains a classic style akin to the Beatles/John Lennon but it’s contemporary, exciting, lyrically interesting pop music at its best.

Loren KateKris Morris
Loren KateTil Night Meet’s The Sun.
Loren is an amazing story teller and the EP captures the honesty and fragility of what she does perfectly. It’s a heartbreaker but there’s hope and love in there. It’s really something.

Blessing and CursingMandy Connell (Mandy Connell, Stray Hens)
Jimmy DowlingBlessing and Cursing
Co-produced by Matt Walker, with harmonies from Lucie Thorne. Simple instrumentation, very Aussie writing style, with stark images of our industrial landscape mixed with the light and space of the countryside. His best realisation yet.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLes Thomas
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah Espie’s courageous album Mother’s Not Feeling Herself Today tops my list because it shows how music and songwriting can express topics that are usually too taboo to speak about. The honesty and generosity she shares about getting through post-natal depression and early motherhood is extremely rare and beautiful, and for that reason I hope these songs can be heard everywhere. Yes, it’s pretty heavy, but it’s also done in a supremely artful and moving way that would no doubt help countless people to process these under-acknowledged challenges and hardships.

Dick DiverDarren Hanlon
Dick DiverMelbourne, Florida
Boisterous, erudite, effortlessly nostalgic. All four songwriters share an aesthetic of detailed suburban minutiae and find poetry, humour and melancholy in the commonplace. This album feels like such an important beacon of light in Australian music at the moment, so therefore it’s criminal that they don’t play live more.

Tomorrow is my TurnSam Lee
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
This is more than a covers album – Rhiannon has taken some classic American song book standards and also lesser known blues and old time songs and crafted the most elegant dynamic and rich album that keeps so much of the original’s flare but represents these songs as though they were brand new and freshly forged. A true pioneer and gifted singer and musician coming into her own.

Brandie carlileFanny Lumsden
Brandi CarlileFirewatcher’s Daughter and Kacey MusgravesPageant Material
Just bloody great music. Purely honest to themselves in their songwriting and production and vocal delivery. Sassy, Classy and smart assy.

Skull n BonesThe Dead Maggies
So we marched through the woodlands to meet up ’round a campfire, and decide on the best album of 2015. After a few gallons of rum we decided that there was nothing good released in 2015. In fact we draw our inspiration from 1830s Tasmanian bushranger music, so we don’t listen to modern stuff. We can however give you a couple of tips for 2016… The Australian Beefweek Show (Newcastle pub-rock-cow-punk yobs) and Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble (Hobart, deep-intelligent-folk-rock), check them both out when they release albums next year. Now, where did I leave that rum…

Full Lineup Announced for the 2015/16 Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford
Image Courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

Over the weekend the Woodford Folk Festival revealed their 2015/16 lineup and it’s time to get excited. As usual the Woodford Folk Festival have delivered a lineup of artists taken from the best of folk, roots, rock and world music that’s bound to satisfy any music lover.

If you head to Woodford over the New Year period you’ll get a chance to see the likes of Dougie Maclean, Michael Franti, Harry Manx, The East Pointers, Irish Mythen, Marlon Williams, Kim Churchill, Lanie Lane, Josh Pyke, Katie Noonan, The Paper Kites, Tinpan Orange, Timberwolf, Jacinta Price, Tolka, Starboard Cannons, Davidson Brothers, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Hat Fitz & Cara, Broads, Andrew Clermont, Catgut, Lime and Steel, One Up, Two Down, Kaurna Cronin, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Loren Kate, Totally Gourdgeous, The Little Stevies, Daniel Champagne and many more.

The Woodford Folk Festival takes place near Woodford, Queensland from the 27th December to 1st January. Check out the official website for the full lineup and more information.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) in Melbourne has announced its first and second round of artists including Henry Wagons, HOWQUA, Jess Ribeiro, Ruby Boots, Skipping Girl Vinegar, The Audreys and many more. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Alex Edwards released his new video “Revolutions”. Details here

– The next Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney is this Sunday featuring James Thomson and Katie Brianna. Details here

Lime and Steel are hitting the road for a string of dates from this weekend. Details here

– Queensland alt-country singer Dana Hassall released her new video “Spinning Wheels”. Details here

– We very proudly debuted the new live EP from Forest Falls. Details here

The April Maze are back and hitting the road from this weekend. Details here

The Decemberists are going to release a new EP Florasongs at the start of October. Details here

– We premiered “My Jumpers”, the new single from Kiama based singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan. Details here

Boy & Bear released their new video “Walk The Wire” and announced a January tour. Details here

– Perth singer-songwriter Riley Pearce released his new video “Brave”. Details here

– The Northern Beaches Music Festival has announced a bunch of artists for 2015 including Dave Calandra and The Min Min Lights, Folklore, Green Mohair Suits, Luke Escombe, The Vegetable Plot, Wheeze & Suck Band and many more. Details here

– Jazz-folk singer Girl Friday released her new video “Forget You Not”. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Hannah Blackburn released her new single “Beach House”. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Rowen is packing up and heading to the states, but not before a farewell show. Details here

Sufjan Stevens announced plans to return to Australia next year. Details here

Releases This Week

Nashville Obsolete
Nashville ObsoleteDave Rawlings Machine
iTunes

Dustin Tebbutt
HomeDustin Tebbutt
iTunes

Fanny Lumsden
Small Town Big ShotFanny Lumsden
iTunes

Glen Hansard
Didn’t He RambleGlen Hansard
iTunes

Madeleine Duke
Madeleine DukeMadeleine Duke
Bandcamp

Simone Felice
From the Violent Banks of the KaaterskillSimone Felice
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Timbers w/ Wasted Wanderers, Koral

The Timbers

Adelaide folk favourites The Timbers will be launching their brand new single “All I’ve Got Time For” in a massive home town show before heading out on tour. The boys will be joined by Wasted Wanderers and Koral

Saturday 19th September – The Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Alex Edwards
Friday 18th September – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

April Maze
Saturday 19 September, Kuranda Amphitheatre Understage, Kuranda, QLD
Sunday 20th September – Private House Concert, QLD
Thursday 24th September – Townsville Folk Club, Bellevue Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Friday 25th September – Private House Concert, QLD

Ash Grunwald
Thursday 24th September – The Grand, Mornington, VIC
Friday 25th September – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC

Bony Mountain Folk Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Bony Mountain, QLD

Catgut
Friday 18th September – Lord Raglan, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th September – The Little Guy, Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Saturday 19th September – Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Thursday 24th September – The Walrus Club, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 25th September – Johnny Cash: The Concert, The Events Centre, Caloundra, QLD

Dustin Tebbutt
Friday 18th September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th September – Adelaide Uni, Adelaide, SA
Friday 25th September – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 18th September – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW
Saturday 19th September – The Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 20th September – Beaches, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 25th September – Baroque, Katoomba, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 25th September – Wanganella Hall, Wanganella, NSW

Folkswagon w/Betty & Oswald, The Campervan Dancers, Davy Simony
Wednesday 23rd September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Forest Falls
Friday 18th September – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Gold Coast Folk Festival
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September – Nerang, QLD

Guildford Banjo Jamboree
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Guildford, VIC

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. James Thomson, Katie Brianna
Sunday 20th September – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 19th September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Joan Baez
Sunday 20th September – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th September – Arts Centre Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Friday 18th September – Maleny Neighbourhood Centre, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 19th September – Bison Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 20th September – Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Lime and Steel
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Turning Wave Festival, Yass, NSW

Little May
Friday 18th September – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th September – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th September – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Mildura Country Music Festival
Friday 25th September to Sunday 4th October – Mildura, VIC

National Folk Festival at Floriade Nightfest
Wednesday 23rd September – Inspiration Hub, Canberra, ACT

Not Good With Horses & Friends w/ Leah Flanagan
Thursday 24th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Riley Pearce
Saturday 19th September – Hunt & Gather Markets, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 24th September – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Newton, Hollie Matthews, William Alexander
Thursday 24th September – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The BordererS
Friday 25th September – The Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT

The Mae Trio
Friday 18th September – 63 First Avenue, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 19th September – Beer InCider Experience, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 20th September – Beachside Manor, Suffolk Park, NSW

The Plough
Wednesday 23rd September – The Corridor, Sydney, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Saturday 19th September – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Saturday 19th September – The Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA
Friday 25th September – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD

The Vegetable Plot
Saturday 19th September – Marrickville Town Hall, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 20th September – Marrickville Town Hall, Sydney, NSW

The Waifs
Sunday 20th September – Roebuck Bay Hotel, Broome, WA

Turning Wave Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Yass, NSW

Upstairs and Underground feat. Liam Gale & The Ponytails, Chloe Harrison, Echo Deer, Mama Schultz, Swords
Friday 18th September – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Wallaby Creek Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September – Rossville, QLD

Winterbourne
Friday 18th September – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Saturday 19th September – Red Earth Arts Festival, Karratha, WA
Friday 25th September – Club 54, Launceston, TAS

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 18th September – Costa Hall, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th September – Mt Gambier Gaol, Mt Gambier, SA
Sunday 20th September – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 23rd September – Goldfields Art Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA
Thursday 24th September – Civic Centre, Esperance, WA
Friday 25th September – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Rattle & Your Roll” – Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers

Today our dear friend Fanny Lumsden releases her amazing debut album Small Town Big Shot. We’ve been following Fanny’s career since she reached out to Timber and Steel 4 years ago to present her first single launch in Sydney. We’re so proud of everything Fanny Lumsden and the boys have achieved over the years and are looking forward to celebrating her success for years to come.

Check the Water and Oil! Lime and Steel on the Road

Lime and Steel
Image Courtesy of Lime and Steel

Blue Mountains-based folk band Lime and Steel are hitting the road this month, making sacrificial offerings to the gods of automobile reliability and keepgoingability from Melbourne’s CBD up the east coast to Brisbane planned (with a stop-off in the nation’s capital).

Lime and Steel began as a rootsy folk duo of Paddy Connor and Ben Scott, but over the years, their composition has changed, and indeed, their compositions have changed. Look, as much as a banjo and a set of uilleann pipes are going to keep you firmly catalogued under ‘F’ for ‘Folk’, if you go and add a pub rock drummer and a jazz bass player, you’re bound to start to develop a stellar groove somewhere along the road.

Paddy says that the band definitely has a love for bluegrass and Americana (with two-fifths of the lineup from the US of A, that’s more or less inevitable), but always with an Australian intonation.

“When we’re not singing a bogan bluegrass love song, its always about the underdog and the dirty stories in Australia’s culture. We’re all about Howard’s black armband view of Australia’s history: who the hell cares about a happy white armband mateship story of who we are?”

Anyone who’s seen or heard Lime and Steel will know that their music is delivered with a generous scoop of political commentary, though Paddy feels this comes across more in the stage banter and intros than the actual songs themselves. The last two years has particularly provided an embarrassment of riches for pondering our political landscape.

“There’s plenty of material for political anthems,” Paddy agrees. “That said, I’ve always been a bit wary of really overtly political songs: at least when there’s an easy message to read. I’m always drawn to writing songs that paint a few shadows and make you think about what might be hiding there in the dark. There the songs I can listen to over and over: when my imagination is sparked. That’s the genius of writers like Paul Kelly.”

Lime and Steel are on the roll with their current record, Won’t Back Down, and to tell the tale of it, is to recite something of an epic ballad of its production and realisation.

“We took quite a few hits at it, and there were some major obstacles along the way. A [band] baby was born, the studio was at one point evacuated for bushfires, our recording producer (jazz musician Neil Duncan) got cancer and ended up with an arm amputation. We had to persevere!

“But we’re loving this CD. The mastering (by Michael Lynch) was sweet too.”

Lime and Steel are equally suited to both the festival scene and to intimate pub gigs, as anyone who’s seen them at The Turning Wave Festival, or The Old City Bank in Katoomba can attest.

They’re also having a secular world-sized punt on attracting a crowd to the re-imagined Smith’s Alternative venue in Canberra on the evening of the AFL Grand Final, so they’d love their Canberra fans and newbies to get along to that one. Pop in after Floriade?

“We’ve had a busy old touring year in 2015, and it’s not letting up. We do talk of taking our American band members back to their homeland, but that’s talk at the moment. Our next mission is always the next gig.”

Speaking of which, you can catch Lime and Steel in the not too distant future:

Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September – Turning Wave Festival, Yass, NSW
Thursday 1st October – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 3rd October – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, NSW
Saturday 31st October – Oktoberfest at the Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 13th November – Trade Winds Folk Club, Newcastle, NSW

The National Folk Festival Announce Even More Artists for 2015

Kutcha Edwards
Image Courtesy of Kutcha Edwards

A bunch more artists were added to The National Folk Festival lineup this week and we can’t tell you how excited we are.

Firstly a plethora of indigenous artists will be gracing the stage at The National Folk Festival this year including soul/blues icon Kutcha Edwards, celebrated duo Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Golden Guitar winner Col Hardy, singer-songwriter John Bennett and the Djaadjawan Dancers.

These artists will be joined by the freshly announced My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard, Christopher Coleman Collective, Restless Legs, Alex and Annette Hood, The Bush Music Club, The Button Collective, The Coalbrook Band, Coolfinn Mac, Folklore, John Peel, Lime and Steel, Round Mountain Girls, Ryebuck Bush Band, Scots on the Rocks, Señor Cabrales, Southern Cross Trawlers, The Transylvaniacs, Waiting For Guinness, The String Contingent, Ukulele Republic of Canberra, Cathie O’Sullivan, Coral Eden and the Melbourne Colonial Dancers, Dingo’s Breakfast, Frank Povah and Chris Cruise, Keith McKenry and Santa Taranta.

The National Folk Festival takes place over the Easter Long Weekend from the 2nd to the 6th April 2015. For more information check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The great Pete Seeger passed away from natural causes on the 27th January, aged 94. We collected some of our favourite obits from around the web. Details here

– We round up all of the folk, alt-country and roots winners in the triple j Hottest 100, The Grammys and The Golden Guitars last weekend. Details here

– The new Seth Lakeman album hits stores today and you can get a taster with his new video for “The Courier”. Details here

Matt Corby revealed his new single “What The Devil Has Made” from the Spirit of Akasha surf documentary soundtrack. Details here

– The National Folk Festival has added a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites to its 2014 lineup including Archie Roach, Lindi Ortega, Ange Takats, Castlecomer, Leah Flanagan, The Little Stevies, Martin Pearson, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Morrisons, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Stetson Family, Tolka, Zeptepi and many many more. Details here

– Regular Sydney night The Folk Informal has announced its lineup for February including James Kelly, Ryan Collings, Betty & Oswald and Timberwolf. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tim Guy released his new video “Armour Weight”. Details here

Dustin Tebbutt has released a mesmerizing new video for his track “White Lines”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Mark Wilkinson is heading out on a massive national tour this March, April and May. Details here

– Melbourne’s James Teague has scored a residency at The Workers Club every Wednesday through February. Details here

– Blue Mountains based folk-bluegrass four piece Lime and Steel have announced a show in Canberra next Saturday with Vendulka in support. Details here

Timber and Steel favourites Achoo! Bless You will be launching their new single “Wild Eyes” in Sydney this February. Details here

– The wonderful Sam Buckingham has announced a national tour as well as the launch of her Patreon crowd sourcing campaign. Details here

– The new Nick Mulvey track “Cucurucu” now has an expansive new video. Details here

– UK duo Paper Aeroplanes released their new video for “Circus” along with details of their new EP. Details here

– Brisbane based roots singer Jimmy Watts released his new video “Driving”. Details here

– Chamber folk singer-songwriter Packwood has announced a handful of album preview shows this February. Details here

– Donna and Vikki from The Waifs are touring this March as The Stray Sisters. Details here

– The new William Fitzsimmons track “Fortune” has a beautiful new video. Details here

Releases This Week

Asgeir
In The SilenceÁsgeir
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Green Mohair Suits w/ The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas

Green Mohair Suits

After a successful tilt at the Tamworth Country Music Festival earlier this month The Green Mohair Suits return to Sydney in time to launch their latest EP Baby, You Just Want To Give Up. Along for the ride are their fellow Tamworth stage mates The Morrisons and All Our Exes Live in Texas – so it looks like it’s going to be a huge night of pickin’ and harmonies. We’ll be there for sure!

Friday 31st January – The Loft at UTS, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Andy Irvine
Friday 31st January – Music in the Park, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 2nd February – Trinity Sessions at Trinity Church, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 6th February – House Concert, Alice Springs, NT

Cass McCombs
Thursday 6th February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Daughter
Tuesday 4th February – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Vedder
Friday 7th February – Riverside Theatre, Perth, WA

Emily Barker
Sunday 2nd February – Astor Lounge, Perth, WA

Imogen Clark and Joe Mungovan
Sunday 2nd February – Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW
Friday 7th February – Corner Store, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 31st January – House Concert, Pemulwuy, NSW
Saturday 1st February – House Concert, Sutherland Shire, NSW
Sunday 2nd February – House Concert, Morisset, NSW.
Monday 3rd February – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 6th February – House Concert, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 7th February – House Concert, Canberra, ACT

James Teague
Wednesday 5th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Kim Churchill
Friday 31st January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st to Sunday 2nd February – Festival of King Island, King Island, TAS

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Saturday 1st February – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Laneway Festival
Friday 31st January – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 1st February ­- Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 2nd February – Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th February – Harts Mill, Adelaide, SA

Mat McHugh
Friday 7th February – Torquay Hotel, Torquay VIC

One Up Two Down and Oh Pep!
Thursday 6th February – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 7th February – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

The Beez
Saturday 1st Febraury – Tilba Winery, NSW
Sunday 2nd February – The Artists Shed, Queanbeyan, NSW
Thursday 6th February – Braidwood Folk Club, NSW
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February – National Multicultural Festival, ACT

The Green Mohair Suits w/ The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas
Friday 31st January – The Loft at UTS, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 31st January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Traveller & Fortune
Friday 31st January – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st February – JIVE, Adelaide, SA

Unpaved Sessions feat. Justin Bernasconi (The Stillsons), Nia Robertson, Sophie Klein, Kaidee Grzankowski and more
Monday 3rd February – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Woody Pitney with Zoe Elliot, James Kelly
Thursday 6th February – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“To My Old Brown Earth” – Pete Seeger

When choosing a FFF track this week I knew it had to be something from the late Pete Seeger. I settled on this track after it was posted by Billy Bragg with the following blurb: “One last thing about Pete Seeger before I turn in: if anyone’s planning to make a tribute to the great man, I would heartily suggest playing this song. Everyone knows the 60s classics, but this, from 1996, is the song we should be listening to as we contemplate with his passing.” RIP Pete Seeger.

Lime and Steel Announce Canberra Show Next Week

Lime and Steel
Image Courtesy of Lime and Steel

Blue Mountains based folk-bluegrass four-piece Lime and Steel have announced plans for a very special show in Canberra next week. On the 8th February Lime and Steel will be picking and harmonising up a storm at The Front Gallery Cafe in the nation’s capital. Joining them in the support slot will be (recently) local singer-songwriter Vendulka who is also one third of festival favourites The Miss Chiefs.

Tickets for the show are just $10 with the night kicking off at 7:30pm. For more information on the gig check out the official Facbook invite here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Folk four-piece Lime and Steel have a couple of gigs around NSW while they’re busy recording a new album. Details here

– Sydney’s Belle and the Bone People have released their new video “The Boy”. Details here

– The very buzz-worthy Mikhael Paskalev has announced Australian tour dates next March. Details here

– Gold Coast singer-songwriter Weathered has released his new video “Coast”. Details here

– In the year’s most unexpected collaboration Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong are releasing an album of traditional Americana songs inspired by The Everly Brothers. Details here

– Melbourne duo Sweet Jean have released their new video “Annabelle”. Details here

– Adelaide based singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin will be heading out on a national tour this weekend. Details here

Matt Walker, the singer-songwriter NSW readers would recognise from the NRMA adverts, has a brand new band called Lost Ragas. Details here

The April Maze are back in the country and are celebrating with a residency at The Toff in Town in Melbourne. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs has released her debut single “The Sound”. Details here

– Canberran six-piece The Ellis Collective have released their brand new single “Walk Back Down” after a two year hiatus. Details here

– UK based singer-songwriter Gibson Bull will be releasing his new EP Skin and Bones at the start of next month. Details here

WOMADelaide revealed their full 2014 lineup including Billy Bragg, Sam Lee, Breabach, Washington, Hanggai, Jeff Lang, Mikhael Paskalev, Neko Case, Loren Kate, Thelma Plum, Tinpan Orange and many many more. Details here

– George Jackson, Daniel Watkins and Andrew Small have a new bluegrass and old time trio that will be touring the country next year. Details here

The Pierce Brothers will be launching their new single “Tallest Teepee in Town” with shows in NSW and VIC. Details here

– The Blue Mountains Music Festival has revealed the first lineup of artists for 2014 including Xavier Rudd, Ash Grunwald and Lior, Rory McLeod, Eleanor McEvoy, Hanggai, Blair Dunlop, Peter Rowan Band with Richard Greene, Rose Cousins, Eric Bogle, Jeff Lang, Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, Flap!, Sunas, The Woohoo Revue, The Pigs, The BordererS, The Tiger And Me, Jack Carty, Mustered Courage, George & Noriko, Hat Fitz & Cara, Dan Parsons, The Mae Trio and many many more. Details here

– Sydney’s Little May have released their new video “Hide” as well as being announced as supports for the upcoming Mikhael Paskalev tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Jake Bugg
Shangri-LaJake Bugg
iTunes

I Spy
I SpyMikhael Paskalev
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Alex Bowen
Alex Bowen with Tash Sultana, Callee
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Boy Outside
Boy Outside, The British Blues, All Our Exes Live In Texas
Thursday 21st November – The Mac Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
Friday 15th November – Waves Nightclub, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Wrestpoint Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 21st November – HQ, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – Metropolis, Fremantle, WA

Busby Marou
Friday 15th November – Flinders Social, Townsville, QLD
Saturday 16th November – Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, QLD
Friday 22nd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Damien Dempsey
Sunday 17th November – The Cab Bar @ Rosie O’Grady’s, Perth, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 17th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 15th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th November – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 22nd November – Balnarring Community Hall, Balnarring, VIC

Emma Davis and Brian Campeau
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 15th November – Nerrigundah Ag Bureau, Nerrigundah, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW

Gossling with Whitaker
Friday 15th November – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 20th November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jacinta Price
Thursday 21st November – Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs, NT

James Kenyon
Friday 15th November – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Thirty Three on Hickory, Dorrigo, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – The Tree House, Byron Bay, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 15th November – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Monday 18th November – Music Lounge, Manly, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – Lizotte’s, Central Coast, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Mullumbimby Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Kate Martin
Friday 15th November – Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th November – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 17th November – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 19th November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Thursday 21st November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Laura & Susie with Wartime Sweethearts
Friday 15th November – Cafe Church Space, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Saturday 16th November – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

Lost Ragas
Sunday 19th November – Northcote Social CLub, Melbourne, VIC

Love Over Gold
Friday 15th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Saturday 16th November – The Town Hall, Candelo, NSW (Lucie Thorne Solo)
Wednesday 20th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 15th November – The Fly Trap, Fremantle, WA
Friday 22nd November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Saturday 16th November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Raindrops on Rooftops feat. Grim Fawkner, Oh Pep!, Christopher Coleman Collective
Saturday 16th November – TBA House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Robert Ellis and Corey Chisel with Marlon Williams
Friday 15th November – The Substation, Newport, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 17th November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 20th November 20 – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st November – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 22nd November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 15th November – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Sunday 17th November – The Wollombi Tavern, Wollombi, NSW
Thursday 21st November – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 22th to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 15th November – Wollongong Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 15th November – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Tanya Batt
Friday 15th November – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA

Whitley
Friday 15th November – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Goodgod, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Roving Gambler” – The Stanley Brothers

This song has crossed my desk twice this week. First of all it appears on the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack courtesy of The Downhill Strugglers and then again as part of the Billie Joe and Norah album of Americana covers Foreverly. Listen to this classic version from The Stanley Brothers.

Lime and Steel Announce November Tour Dates

Lime And Steel
Image Courtesy of Lime and Steel

The band most commonly confused with this blog, Lime and Steel, have a handful of gigs planned this month that you’d be well advised to check out. Lime and Steel are in the midst of putting together a brand new album (and they nearly lost all of their rhythm tracks in the recent bushfires) so these shows will be a great opportunity to see the band and possibly catch some of their new material.

The full list of dates are below:

Saturday 16th November – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW w/- Crooked Fiddle Band
Thursday 28th November – Union Hotel, Newtown, NSW w/- The Handsome Young Strangers

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