Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Jen Mize released her new video “Forget Her” featuring Duncan Toombs. Details here

– Former Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink released two more tracks from his upcoming solo album, “Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way” and “I Was Born To Be A Cowboy”. Details here

– Jazz-folk sister duo Alanna and Alicia released their new video “Mockingbird Hill”. Details here

Fleet Foxes released their new video “Fool’s Errand” ahead of their visit to Australia. Details here

– Trad music trio Trioc announced plans to launch their album in Melbourne. Details here

Lloyd Spiegel announced details of his upcoming album This Time Tomorrow. Details here

– To celebrate the vinyl release of The Harrow & The Harvest in July Gillian Welch has a new video for “Dark Turn Of Mind”. Details here

– The Fleurieu Folk Festival have announced their Winter Warmup mini festival featuring Eric Bogle, Soursob Bob, Astráil, Courtney Robb, Gillian Murray, The Cajun Band, Hut and many more. Details here

– New duo The Ahern Brothers (made up of Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady) have announced their debut album and national tour. Details here

– American roots singer Pokey LaFarge released his new video “Riot in the Streets”. Details here

Taasha Coates announced her High Times tour. Details here

The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney announced details of their new Offa Rex trad-folk project and upcoming album The Queen of Hearts. Details here

Releases This Week

Barefoot Wonderland
Barefoot WonderlandJustin Bernasconi
iTunes

The Records Were Ours
The Records Were OursPierce Brothers
iTunes

Pokey LaFarge
Manic RevelationsPokey Lafarge
iTunes

The Mountain Goats
GothsThe Mountain Goats
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Paddock Sessions feat. Imogen Clark, Abby Dobson, Joe Mungovan, Martha Marlow, This Way North, Vanishing Shapes, John Flanagan Trio, Finnian Johnson

Paddock Sessions

Some of our favourite musicians head out to the Hunter Valley for a day of amazing music.

Saturday 20th May – Taer Angwidd Farm, Wollombi, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 19th May – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD

Ainsley Farrell w/ Aldous Monroe, Lady Lyon
Tuesday 23rd May – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Alan Gogoll w/ Small Town Romance
Friday 19th May – Wirra Creek Music, Willunga, SA

Amber Lawrence & Catherine Britt w/ Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th May – Pretoria Hotel, Mannum, SA
Saturday 20th May – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 25th May – Glen Innes District Services Club, Glen Innes, NSW
Friday 26th May – Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Grafton, NSW

Banquet feat. Ainsley Farrell
Friday 26th May – World Bar, Sydney, NSW

Ben Whiting
Thursday 25th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Blues on Broadbeach
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st May – Gold Coast, QLD

BRISFOPO
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th May – Brisbane, QLD

Busby Marou
Thursday 25th May – 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 26th May – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Cash Savage & The Last Drinks
Friday 19th May – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th May – Blues at Broadbeach, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 26th May – Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Celebrate with Us feat. Yirrmal and Black Rock Band
Wednesday 24th May – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

Craig Woodward’s Flying Engine String Band
Saturday 20th May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Friday 19th May – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 20th May – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygney, TAS
Sunday 21st May – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS
Wednesday 24th May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

De’May
Saturday 20th May – The Golden Barley, Sydney, NSW

Echo Deer, Paco Wolfe, Burralow
Sunday 21st May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Elbury
Saturday 20th May – The Haunt, Brisbane, QLD

FolkSwagon feat. Joey Marsh, Sasha March, Ollie Brown
Wednesday 24th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fleet Foxes
Friday 26th May – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Georgia Fields w/ Jessie L. Warren
Friday 26th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Hana & Jessie-Lee
Sunday 21st May – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

HeART of Annandale Music Festival feat. Leichhardt International Ukestra, Bo0ze Hounds, Yutrio, Glenn Lumanta Trio, Gene Fehlberg Trio, Cruisin’ Deuces, Cameron James Henderson Band, My Perfect Sunday, Alan Watters, Naomi Nash, Nick Payne, Pat O’Grady, Chris Gillespie, Lee and Me
Saturday 20th May – Village Church Annandale, Sydney, NSW

High Tea feat. Broads
Thursday 25th May – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Drey Rollan Acoustic Blues
Sunday 21st May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Sunday 21st May – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 19th May – Hardys Bay Club, Hardy’s Bay, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Sunday 21st May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 26th May – Bowral Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Jen Mize
Sunday 21st May – Bohemian Bungalow, Eumundi, QLD

Jep and Dep w/ Swamp Fat Jangles
Thursday 25th May – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW

Jess Locke
Friday 19th May – Beatdisc Records, Parramatta, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Barbara, Brisbane, QLD

John Flanagan Trio
Friday 19th May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Paddock Sessions, Wollombi, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st May – Coffee Whole, Berkley Vale, NSW

Julia Jacklin
Wednesday 24th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 19th May – Basement Discs In-Store, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 19th May – Saint Monday, Yackandandah, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 21st May – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th May – The Shared, Yandina, QLD

Kim Churchill
Friday 19th May – Meat Market, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 20th May – Verbruggen Hall, Sydney NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes and The Weeping Willows
Friday 19th May – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT

Lalor and Plumb
Saturday 20th May – Boite World Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Leah Senior
Friday 26th May – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Lisa Hannigan
Tuesday 23rd May – Fly by Night, Perth, WA
Thursday 25th May – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th May – Angelsea Memorial Hall, Angelsea, VIC

Man Of Constant Sorrow: The Music of O Brother Where Art Thou feat. The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Brian Campeau, Luke Escombe
Friday 19th May – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Mandy Connell w/ Layla Jean and Alysia Manceau
Sunday 21st May – Tago Mago, Melbourne, VIC

Mick Thomas
Friday 19th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 21st May – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 25th May – Hobart Gaol, Hobart, TAS
Friday 26th May – Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Paddock Sessions feat. Imogen Clark, Abby Dobson, Joe Mungovan, Martha Marlow, This Way North, Vanishing Shapes, John Flanagan Trio, Finnian Johnson
Saturday 20th May – Taer Angwidd Farm, Wollombi, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Saturday 20th May – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Thursday 25th May – The Academy, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th May – The Croxton, Melbourne, VIC

Radical Face
Friday 26th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Raised By Eagles
Friday 19th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th May – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 21st May – Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC

Rough River
Wednesday 24th May – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ryan Adams
Tuesday 23rd May – The Tivol, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 26th May – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Sarah Blasko
Thursday 25th May – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 26th May – GPAC, Geelong, VIC

The Button Collective
Thursday 25th May – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Fitzgerald All Stars
Sunday 21st May – The Last Jar, Melbourne, VIC

The Hampshire Hoedown feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Sunday 21st May – The Lady Hampshire, Sydney, NSW

The McClymonts
Friday 19th May – Brothers Leagues Club, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 20th May – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 21st May – Proserpine Entertainment Centre, Proserpine, QLD

The Squeezebox Trio
Thursday 25th May – Johnson St Jazz, Annandale Creative Arts Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 21st May – Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 24th May – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW

This Way North
Friday 19th May – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th May – Paddock Sessions, Wollombi, NSW

Tim Guy & Alex Lashlie
Tuesday 23rd May – The Tramway, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Moxam & Liz Stringer
Friday 19th May – Bassendean Hotel, Perth, WA
Saturday 20th May – House Concert, Denmark, WA
Sunday 21st May – House Concert, Albany, WA
Tuesday 23rd May – Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, WA
Wednesday 24th May – Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, WA

Tim Solly
Friday 19th May – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 21st May – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th May – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW

Whoa Mule w/ Su Morley & George Woods
Friday 26th May – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW

Wild Honey & Golden Whistler
Friday 19th May – Mac Towns Music Club, Richmond, NSW

William Crighton
Saturday 20th May – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Birmingham” – Shovels and Rope

Lloyd Spiegel Announces New Album and East Coast Tour

Lloyd Spiegel
Photo by Stuart Bucknell

If you read our review of this year’s Bluesfest you’ll know that Lloyd Spiegel was one our favourite artists of festival. So we’re super excited to hear that Spiegel has just announced a new album and an east coast tour.

The album is titled This Time Tomorrow and is due for release on the 3rd July. Lloyd Spiegel wrote the album while travelling through Europe, Central and North America, all of which had a influence on his blues and roots sound.

“I’ve never written at home,” Spiegel explained. “I find it hard to be creative in my lounge room looking at bills and checking footy scores – and find that the inspiration to write comes from those few quiet hours in a hotel room on tour, the airport transit lounge or the long bus ride. This is where I can reflect and put those experiences into lyric. I’ve travelled most of my life so really, they’re like letters home.”

To celebrate the release of This Time Tomorrow Lloyd Spiegel is heading out on an east coast tour this June and July. Check out the full list of dates, plus the new track “Devil On My Shoulder”, below:

Friday 16th June – The Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 17th June – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 18th June – The Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, Windsor, NSW
Friday 23rd June – The Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove, VIC
Friday 30th June – The Skylark Room, Upwey, VIC
Friday 7th July – Hickinbotham Winery, Dromana, VIC
Friday 14th July – Suttons House of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 20th July – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 21st July – The Mullumbimby ex-Services Club, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 22nd July – The Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Saturday 5th August – The Melbourne Guitar Show, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th August – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th August – The Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Bluesfest Review: Monday Monday

St Paul & the Broken Bones at Bluesfest. Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

It’s the final day of Bluesfest and emotions are a mixed bag of excitement for what ahead, sadness that it’s ending and a bit of relief from the continual stimulation and inspiration from so many amazing artists.

We have to see Blind Boy Paxton again after last year’s show, so we’re here at 1:30pm at the Delta stage as Paxton starts on the keyboard with a sound sentimental to the golden age of Hollywood, a delightful dash of honky tonk and and old times blues sensation. With a dextrous trill of the keys, he has us all enthralled. Paxton says he’s starting off easy “as you all partied to hardy at the festival” last night, and we all laugh, evidence of how he easily builds rapport with the crowd with delightfully timed jokes and comments. He quips “Y’all let me sit off centre [of the stage] and not tell me. Is there anything on my face!?” and breaks in to a huge grin, we chuckle and settle in to enjoy his acoustic guitar dripping in old time blues. The twinkle of his eye matches the twinkle of the guitar strings before he pulls out the harmonica for a spirited performance with rhythm sticks, which keep the momentum going as he sings the refrains.

As fans of early 2000s rockers, Jet, we thought we’d better check in at Crossroads stage to see where the band’s Nic Chester is at these days, and for a 2:15pm chill out, we’re not disappointed. A delicious blend of indie rock and blues soaked riffs greets. His signature vocals hammer home his comfort and familiarity on stage, bringing the crowd in to the fold of his stories.

At 3pm we wander to the Jambalaya stage for Tony Joe White and the crowd erupts in applause as the legend takes to the stage. It seems appropriate at Easter to have a voice as deep and smooth as chocolate smother you in blues, and we all revel in its seductive tones. White rumbles along like percolating coffee, earthy, enticing and altogether satisfying with tones and tales.

After yesterday’s teaser, we decide to head to Delta stage at 4:30pm to see more of Lloyd Spiegel than a passing glimpse. It’s clear pretty quickly that Spiegel is a tongue in cheek wit as he jests that he “might as well tune my guitar on stage” before showing off fingers moving so fast there we half expect to see smoke rising from the fast finger friction! Clearly this set should have come with a warning sign! Amazing sounds stream out of one guitar, the likes equivalent of multiple guitars, and a stomp box the stamp out a hectic beat. Just as we think it’s reached it’s peak, Spiegel unleashes a laconic voice that dances with his guitar string. Ever the comedian, stories are told between songs making us all laugh. Did you know “the Queen thinks he world smells like fresh paint? Because everywhere she goes has been freshly painted!” And blues isn’t safe as he declares “Jeff Lang has never seen a guitarist play to their full capacity because they all shit themselves when he walks in!” His infectious sense of humour has the crowd in stitches and his ferocious fret work has us all in awe. If you want a real laugh, ask his about the guy who “won” the guitar in the raffle – the story is a corker!

As 5pm rolls around we dash to see St Paul & The Broken Bones at the Mojo stage. Their set flawed us last year and this year they’re up there as a must see! With a pre-recorded intro like something out of old Hollywood, but overtaken by old soul, the melody acts like siren song luring people in to join the crowds eagerly anticipating their show. After their 2016 roustabout style performance, this year they deliver a much more soulful and serene performance. The crowds are absorbed, transfixed and transported to another time through the multilayer musings, the sultry, emotive dalliances, and the standing ovation inspiring instrumentals. As we’re all lulled in to their rhythm, they segue in to an upbeat and energetic full band piece laden with funk, just to wake up all of our senses and have us all moving to the beat!

Noticing a name we recognise, Ashleigh Mannix, as part of the folk-grunge duo line up for Little Georgia, we head to Juke Joint to catch their 6pm set. We’re greeted with “This Old House” in sublime harmonised vocals and one-two combination of an acoustic and an electric guitar working together like the best sweet and sour you’ve ever tasted. Delivering an electrified indie vibe with a side of dirty grunge, the duo still trips lightly along the line between acoustic sensibilities and a fully electric sound. The instruments sonically dance together rather than battling for supremacy and a gutsy, punchy opening cements them within the minds of the crowd. Mannix’s vocals offer a depth of tone and nuance, highlighted by Carter’s higher pitched twang. Together they have an intimacy on stage that connects the two yet invites the crowd in to fully experience the counterpoints of lyrical progression. As they both switch to acoustic guitars, the difference has a significant change to their sound and vibe creating a very upbeat and organic sound. Their set wanders deeply in to the folk and indie realms, revels in its joyousness, crosses in to mournful lament, a sentimental melancholy with the sweetest treatment musically, and dives back in to the grunge element seamlessly. Definitely an act to keep an eye on!

We decide to venture to the Craft Beer Bar and grab a stool out the front to catch some of Kasey Chambers‘ 6:45pm set at Crossroads stage. She has everyone singing, even the guy in the crowd sporting a full beard and passionate rendition of “Not Pretty Enough”. Chambers charms the crowd with her deliciously harmonised songs where country meets blues and spell binding rendition of crowd favourites.

Since it’s the last night, and we saw Sir Rosevelt the other night, we figure we should go and catch Zac Brown Band at 8:15pm on the Mojo stage. Our first reaction? “Holy shit!” That rumbling guitar opening and a whole bunch of country style toe tapping, hand clapping, clear plucking, good-time hoe-down style cacophony hits us like a wave, picking us up and taking us on a wild ride. There is wild fiddle tearing the house down with an electric boost smashing “Whiskey’s Gone” in to the ether. Lead singer Brown has the crowd in palm of hand, we’re cheering at the intro and singing along in a heartbeat, whether we know the words or not. A full spectrum performance where we traverse the upbeat, the solemn, the optimistic, heartfelt and the lamentful touch points of life. And to top it off, for the second time this festival, we are treated to a spirited cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.

To finish the night, and bring our festival to an end, we swing by the Delta stage at 9pm to witness The Record Company. Reminiscent of Ash Grunwald’s vigor with harmonica, distorted mic but with a kicking bass guitar and hefty drums backing up. As a delectable counterpoint, the fine harmonica trills are the main instrument when lead singer Vos is not singing. A powerful rock crescendo to finish our Bluesfest experience.

If you think you’d like to head to Bluesfest 2018, early bird tickets are now available to buy at heavily discounted prices. Essentially, every time we’ve ever been, it’s guaranteed a great line up and festival. If you’ve never been, do what you can to make it one year!

Trip back over our full weekend at Bluesfest:

5 Things We Learned at Bluesfest 2017
Bluesfest Review: Good Friday is a fine day!
Bluesfest Review: Saturday Celebration
Bluesfest Review: Sweet Sunday

Head to our Facebook Page to see our full collection of photos from the festival

Highlights from Monday at Bluesfest

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Bluesfest Review: Sweet Sunday

Buddy Guy at Bluesfest. Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

It’s chocolate day! And as we enter through the Southern gates the sounds of Lloyd Spiegel making the crowd laugh with his tales welcomes us to another glorious day of Blues, before we can hear Spiegel breaking in to a blistering rendition of “Lucille”. It’s his last tune, so maybe we’ll catch him again tomorrow.

Our main aim is to grab lunch and make haste to see Glenn Cardier and the Sideshow, at 1:30pm on the Delta stage. It’s a modest but keen crowd as Cardier’s moody blues kicks off the day. The Sideshow delivers a tight meld of consummate musicians, producing a slick sound and emotive melody from the album ‘Stranger Than Fiction’. A high energy and animated performance of “Rust in my Tail Fin” has us all going, and you’ve got to love a piano accordion in the mix with electric guitar, acoustic drums and a double bass!

Heading to the Mojo stage for a 2pm grin-fest Jake Shimabukuro and his wicked ukulele. Touting his new album recorded in Nashville, Shimabukuro is accompanied only by an electric bass. The strummy sound of a ukulele can brighten the most melancholy tune and the Beatle’s “Eleanor Rigby” does just that as an opening, a delicate and haunting treatment of a favourite that turns up the energy with smooth bass underpinning. Shimabukuro’s sense of humour and light banter is perfect for the sunny afternoon and he introduces a song inspired by his favourite show growing up. The song is called “Ukelele-5-0” and we all laugh along with the joke as high energy and spirited number traverses tempo and vibe, delivering a sense of emotion, through a journey that awakens the mind and heart of us all. His epic dexterity and speed builds to crescendo and then lulls in to a beautifully entwined and intricate plucked wonder. After a decadent medley of some favourite pop tunes, and something with a Spanish flair, he finishes the set with a crowd sing-a-long to Bohemian Rhapsody!

We make our way to catch Mud Morganfield at 3pm on the Delta stage. With a honky tonk style sound filled with riffing beats, twanging electric guitar, jiving keys and a whole lot of sass pouring forth from the stage, we’re all bopping along before we even know it. A wicked harmonica solo herald the entrance of the man himself, the son of legend Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield steps out on stage. This is real old school blues, where you can’t help but sway along. The entire crowd is tapping, bopping or swaying to the old time jive sensibilities transporting us to another time.

After grabbing a quick drink and bite to eat, we settle in to witness Buddy Guy take over Bluesfest in his 5:30pm set on the Crossroads stage. His performance is so highly anticipated that the crowd not only packs out the tent and overflows behind, but is also overflowing to the sides, all the way to the big screen and back to the craft beer bar. And Buddy didn’t disappoint. Starting big and only going bigger, he may be 80 but he gives the rest of his band a run for their money. Resplendent in polka dots, Buddy commands the stage with both his presence and his swaggering guitar riffs. His voice shackled the high notes and melted all the way down through every blues note with such passion and showmanship. The extremely talented members of his musical collective frame his iconic style perfectly, as he brings it right down and plays with the audience, teasing us right up to the punchy, powerhouse moments. When an Octogenarian plays the guitar with his goddamn elbow, followed by his “belt buckle” you know this is the cheekiest 80-year-old we’ll ever see.

We pop up to the Juke Joint at 6:30pm to check out Max Jury. Opening with a chilled vibe with just Jury on keyboard and singing a solemn love song, it’s a great stepping stone to the full ensemble as the 5-piece band joins him on stage, complete with two female backing singers. We’re treated to “Numb”, a soul filled tune with glorious backing vocal harmonies and followed by “Little Jean Jacket” a tender melancholy, with sweet backing vocals building a soft cocoon around the sentimentality of the song, as the mellow bass and drums slide in underneath and lift the music to flow out over the crowd. As Jury moves from the keys to strings, glorious uplifting backing vocals presents “Ella’s Moonshine”, a more upbeat tempo shifts the whole vibe to more of a troubadour or journeyman style.

After some delicious dinner, we visit the Mojo stage for Michael Kiwanuka’s 8:30pm set and are greeted with an epic intro full of synth, and eventually Kiwanuka joins the stage with a guitar that sings its way through the crowd, calling us together to join the night. A smooth, soulful “Cold Little Heart” rolls forth with velvet like vocals and the crowd flocks to him, drawn by the enigmatic quality of his music.

We move along, wearied by the days of music to experience, and make one last stop for the day at 9pm to Jambalaya for legend Mavis Staples. We saw her last year and could not miss her this year, even if just for a glimpse. Staples walks on stage oozing style and panache, and gives a cheeky knowing look as she and her retinue blasts out  a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” as a statement opening number with signature beautiful harmonised backing and an edge of funk to the whole delivery. The entire performance demonstrates Staples’ professionalism, working with the backing vocalists and delivering a slick production that is rehearsed and wonderfully collaborative in its style. Opportunities to showcase each vocalist and their contribution or specialty are plentiful and it’s clear that time was taken to plan the set to highlight different members of the ensemble. Staples addresses the crowd, telling us that “at Bluesfest, the people are so warm and beautiful, we are welcomed, hospitality plus, personality plus. It’s our family! We bring you greetings from the Windy City. We’ve come this evening to bring you some joy, some happiness, some inspiration” as the most glorious rendition of “The Weight” then carries us in to the night.

It may have been traditionally a day filled with chocolate, but we’ve filled our senses with spectacular performances and astounding music, and very excited for the last day of Bluesfest still to come.

Catch up on all the action:
Good Friday Review
Easter Saturday Review

View our full Bluesfest photo gallery on our Facebook Page.

Highlights from Sunday at Bluesfest

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First Round Of Artists Announced for Port Fairy Folk Festival 2016

Mary Black
Image Courtesy of Mary Black

It looks like we’re well and truly into that time of year when the major folk festivals start announcing their lineups. The next cab off the rank is the Port Fairy Folk Festival, arguably one of Australia’s top folk events, which next year will be held from the 11th to the 14th March.

The Port Fairy Folk Festival enters its 40th year in 2016 so as you’d expect the lineup is going to be huge. The first round of artists did not disappoint either – announced this time around were Ayleen O’Hanlon, Claymore, DakhaBrakha (Ukraine), Dave Arden, Eric Bogle, Fourplay, Grigoryan Brothers, John McCutcheon (USA), Katie Noonan’s Vanguard, Lloyd Spiegel, Manran (Scotland), Mary Black (Ireland, above), Moxie (Ireland), Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento, Pierce Brothers, Ruby Boots, Steve Poltz (USA), Sara Storer, Shellie Morris, Suzannah Espie, The Bushwackers, The East Pointers (Canada), The Ugly Uncles, Truckstop Honeymoon (USA), Three Kings, The Woohoo Revue and The Young’uns (UK) with plenty more to come.

Tickets for the 2016 Port Fairy Folk Festival are already on sale. Check out the official web site for more information.

Folk In Broke Announces Full Lineup

The Timbers
Image Courtesy of The Timbers

Intimate Hunter Valley based folk festival Folk In Broke has been busy putting together its lineup for 2015 over the last few months and it looks like it’s come up with the goods. Taking place in Broke, NSW on Saturday 28th March Folk In Broke has announced a lineup of 11 diverse artists spanning the wide variety of music we like to call folk.

The 2015 lineup includes Lloyd Spiegel, Alex Bowen, Gambirra, Gordi, Hillbilly Goats, Good Corn Liquor, Nic Cassey, Galleri, Oscar Lush, The Timbers (above) and Dave Well.

The festival will actually kick off the night before with an intimate in the Broke Community Hall for an entry of $5. For more information on Folk In Broke check out the official Facebook page here.

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