Mullum Music Festival Announces Its 2015 Lineup

Ron Sexsmith
Image Courtesy of Ron Sexsmith

The Mullum Music Festival returns this November with a lineup that once again boasts some of Australia and the world’s favourite artists, with plenty of folky goodness for the Timber and Steel readers.

The festival will this year be headlined by legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith who is returning to Australia for the first time in six years.

Joining Ron Sexsmith will be the likes of We Two Thieves, Ben Ottewell, Suzannah Espie, Harry James Angus, TinPan Orange, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Hat Fitz and Cara, Lucie Thorne and Hamish Stuart, Starboard Cannons, Sweet Jean, Oh Pep!, Raised By Eagles, Loren Kate, The Button Collective, Fred Smith and many many more.

The Mullum Music Festival takes place in Mullumbimby NSW from the 19th to 22nd November. For more details check out the official site here.

The Bello Winter Music Festival Announces Inaugural Lineup

Milk Carton Kids
Image Courtesy of The Milk Carton Kids

This week a brand new festival slipped onto the scene with a lineup that is bound to make any readers of Timber and Steel squeal with excitement.

The Bello Winter Music Festival is a brand new weekend festival held in Bellingen, NSW from the 2nd to 5th July this year. Bello is the sister festival to the magnificent Mullum Music Festival so you know it’s going to be pretty special.

This year’s lineup is headed up by US folk duo The Milk Carton Kids (who are yet to announce any other Australian dates) and also features Timber and Steel favourites like Ash Grunwald, TinPan Orange, Marlon Williams, The Wilson Pickers, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Perch Creek, Jack Carty, Karl S Williams, The Mid North, The Button Collective, Starboard Cannons, Sara Tindley, Oh Pep! and many many more.

“Bellingen has a similar counter-culture to Mullumbimby; it’s just back from the coastal tourist destinations and it’s a naturally beautiful area.” Glenn Wright, director of Bello Winter Music Festival and Mullum Music Festival explained. “Just like Mullumbimby, Bellingen has a diverse community, a long history of environmentalism and a vibrant local music scene. A third of the Bello line-up is made up of local musicians from Bellingen and the Coffs Coast area. Both festivals are dedicated to programming new and emerging artists – local, national and international – I’m sure Bello Winter Music, like Mullum Music Festival, will become ‘one to watch’ for exciting new acts. Creating a partner winter festival in Bellingen rather than expanding Mullum Music Festival means another community can reap the benefits of a small scale, community run festival. The Bellingen community is deeply involved in every aspect of the festival. It has been inspiring working with them to create a unique, authentic celebration of their town.”

For more information about the Bello Winter Music Festival check out the official web site here. The full lineup is below:

The Milk Carton Kids (US), Ash Grunwald, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Tinpan Orange, Dubmarine, Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders, Ainslie Wills, Bullhorn, Arte Kanela Flamenco, Rasa Duende, Fourplay String Quartet, The Wilson Pickers, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Perch Creek, Jack Carty, Sketch The Rhyme, Jones Jnr, The Seven Ups, Captain Dreamboat, Gabriel & Cecilia, Karl S Williams, Yeshe, Greg Sheehan, Kym Pitman with Chris Judd, The Mid North, The Button Collective, Starboard Cannons, Sara Tindley, Oh Pep!, The Ninth Chapter, Ebb n Flo, Golden Zephyr, Bunya, Jealous Wolfe, Mr Pip, Horns On Helium, DidJital, Tim Stokes, Honey & Knives, Shanteya & Jo, Tegan Wiseman, Yhan Leal, Fish on Fire, The Bollywood Sisters, The Cassettes, Sohum Women’s Choir, Voices From The Vacant Lot, Roundabout Theatre, talks, workshops, Bellingen LeaF (Learning Festival), THE MAGIC BUS and much more to be announced

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Gretta Ziller released her new video “Some Kind of Habit”. Details here

– The National Folk Festival added Daniel Ho as their final exclusive headliner for 2015. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Brian Campeau revealed details of his new solo album. Details here

– Indie-folk duo Betty & Oswald released their new single “King of Bohemia”. Details here

– UK nu-folk band Stornoway released their new video “Get Low”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne released her new single “The Rushing Dark”. Details here

Michael Kiwanuka covered Led Zeppelin’s “Ten Year’s Gone” for Mojo Magazine. Details here

William Fitzsimmons released his new single “Pittsburgh”. Details here

Emily Barker released her new video “Little Deaths”. Details here

Ruby Boots released her new single “Wrap Me In A Fever”. Details here

– Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield have released a tribute album to Elliott Smith. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop released his new single “Fifty Shades of Blue”. Details here

Bill Jackson released his new Double A side “Try/Somebody’s Darlin'” online. Details here

– Irish music legend Paul Brady will be releasing his new live album Paul Brady: The Vicar Street Sessions Volume 1 featuring collaborations with the like of Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Sinead O’Connor and many more. Details here

Interviews

“I am definitely writing more about my experiences in America. There is a few place name drops in there. And that’s kind of a weird thing at first – it feels like a betrayal or something – and I’m just trying to work out what to do with that. These are songs that are in the very early stages. But coming back here right now there’s still a whole lot of stories that I’ve only half told in my head about Australia and that’s what I love doing when I’m in America with American audiences”Jordie Lane chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Details here

“For me as a young person writing music in this genre in Australia [Paul Kelly’s] the best at it. Writing songs that evoke some kind of feeling about being Australian and it’s very genuine and sincere so it resonates with me just as a person in Australia. And as a musician I admire him for doing something that I’m trying to do as well. And why these two albums? Because I like bluegrass better than I like pop music”The Morrisons chat to Gareth Hugh Evans ahead of their Paul Kelly tribute show tonight. Interview here

“All the playing that we’ve done together over the past year and a half as a trio has led us to approach this new project with a whole lot more experience of arranging together and of telling stories together”Lucy Wise chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“After recording the three albums just with us three – Graham [McLeod], Holly [Downes] and I – we really felt like we spent a lot of years and time and effort growing together musically. Learning a lot from each other. Coming from different backgrounds – Holly classical, me folk and Graham rock and pop – we had a huge amount of ground to cover to be as good as each other at various elements of music making. We had a lot of material to work with and a lot of growth and over those three albums we really felt like we did that. We sort of got to a point where we felt like significantly we could move into each other’s territory, hold our own and make that work. We had so much fun really developing and growing and struggling – actually being really inspired and forced to learn and grow – that we kind of looked around for something for our next project that would continue that direction for all of us, so that we wouldn’t stagnate and make the same album again” – Chris Stone from The String Contingent chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The [Alice Springs] folk club, there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing to compare with it now in any way whatsoever. You could write a song in a week and go and perform it in front of people and get feedback as to what they thought it was like. You can’t do that anymore hence the reason it takes me a long time to write songs” – Dave Oakes chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Gigs

“The Blue Mountains Music Festival seems to have found the perfect balance. Wedging itself between the Port Fairy and National Folk Festival/Bluesfest guarantees a high calibre of artists not normally seen at a small town event. And its proximity to Sydney makes it easy for day trippers or weekend getaways from the big city. But it still feels like an intimate, community focused event, probably because it’s mostly set on the grounds of a school and the local volunteers are front and centre”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Details here

Releases This Week

Brad Butcher
JamestownBrad Butcher
iTunes

Short Movie
Short MovieLaura Marling
iTunes

The Wild
The WildRoscoe James Irwin
iTunes

Seasick Steve
Sonic Soul SurferSeasick Steve
iTunes

Radium Death
Radium DeathWilliam Elliot Whitmore
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly

The Morrisons

Tonight Sydney pickers The Morrisons take on the bluegrass albums of Paul Kelly, Smoke and Foggy Highway, in a very special one off show

Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alabama Shakes
Thursday 2nd April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 27th March – Spiegeltent, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Bluesfest
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 27th March – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th March – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 29th March – TAPS, Mooloolooba, QLD

Candelo Village Festival
Saturday 28th March – Candelo, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Festival, NSW
Sunday 29th March – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 3rd April – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

David Gray
Wednesday 1st April – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd April -State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Elwood Myre
Saturday 28th March – Cast Off! Festival, Woy Woy, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Tuesday 31st March – Coramba Community Hall, Coramba, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Bayldon Community Centre, Toormina, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Heartstring Quartet
Friday 27th March – Southern Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 1st to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Hozier
Saturday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 30th March – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Jake Shimabukuro
Thursday 2nd April – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Jack Carty
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (Early Show)
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th March – The Porch Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Jordie Lane
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Liam Gerner, Caitlin Harnett
Friday 27th March – The Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Justin Townes Earle
Thursday 2nd April – Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 3rd April – Boogie, Tallarook, VIC

Kim Richey
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lisa Mitchell
Friday 27th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Lucie Thorne
Friday 27th March – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemain, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Velvet Room, Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lucy Wise Trio
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

National Folk Festival
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Canberra, ACT

Nuala Kennedy
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Village Festival, Candelo, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 8th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Packwood
Saturday 28th March – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA

Paolo Nutini
Tuesday 31st March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Rowena Wise
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 28th March – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Friday 27th March – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Solar Saturday Lounge Party
Saturday 28th March – Heidelberg Heights, Melbourne, VIC

Taryn La Fauci
Friday 27th March – The Bunker Room at Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly
Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 27th March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 28th March – Mallee Fire Recovery Festival, Rainbow, VIC

The Seals
Saturday 28th March – Quarry Amphitheatre, Perth, WA

Timberwolf
Friday 27th March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Hills Are Alive, VIC
Friday 3rd April – Blenheim Camping and Music Festival, SA

Vance Joy
Friday 27th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 27th March – Rad, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Front Gallery & Café, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 27th March – HQ Complex, Adelaide. SA
Sunday 29th March – West Coast Blues & Roots, Fremantle, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wrote & The Writ” – Laura Marling

Remember that time Laura Marling used the triple j Like A Version segment to sing her mate Johnny Flynn’s song “The Wrote and The Writ”? Awesome.

Listen to the New Lucie Thorne Single “The Rushing Dark”

Lucie Thorne
Image Courtesy of Lucie Thorne

Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne returns with her brand new single “The Rushing Dark”. The single is taken from Thorne’s upcoming album Everything Sings Tonight, which is due for release on the 1st June.

Take a listen to “The Rushing Dark” below:

Lucie Thorne will be launching “The Rushing Dark” with a handful of shows in the coming weeks – check them out here:

Friday 27th March – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemain, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Velvet Room, Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

More Artists Added to The National Folk Festival in Their Christmas Announcement

Mustered Courage
Image Courtesy of Mustered Courage

Christmas is almost here and the National Folk Festival has a very special gift for you – another artist announcement! And it’s one of our favourites so far!

This time around the National Folk Festival has added festival favourites the London Klezmer Quartet, traditional celtic flautist and singer Nuala Kennedy, the eclectic Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, stunning singer songwriter Lucie Thorne, bluegrass fusion masters Mustered Courage (above), award winning folksters Oh Pep! and the indomitable Spooky Men’s Chorale.

The National have also announced a bunch of artists from the 2015 feature state NSW including Mike McClellan, Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus, Christine Wheeler and Friends and Andrew Hull.

Add to that a fine International contingent with New Zealand’s Helen Webby and Davy Stuart and Finland’s Pekka Mikkola.

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 – 6th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American newgrass five piece Trampled By Turtles released their new single “Wild Animals”. Details here

Mustered Courage are heading to the US for pretty much the rest of the year, but before they go they have a handful of shows planned on the East Coast. Details here

– UK folk legends Martin & Eliza Carthy have released their new single “Happiness” from their new album The Moral Of The Elephant. Details here

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams have announced a co-headline national tour this July and August. Details here

– Next week Sydney folk night Porch Light Sessions is set to feature Dave Calandra, Christopher Coleman and Elana Stone. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Imogen Clark is heading out on a three city joint tour with Darcy Fox and Paige Renee Court. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Marmalade Ghost has released his debut single “This Chest of Drawers”. Details here

– Australian singer-songwriter Stu Larsen has released the video to his new track “Thirteen Sad Farewells”. Details here

– NSW duo Siskin River released their debut video “Up”. Details here

– Americana old-timey artist Dom Flemons has confirmed a solo album for July and has released a new single “But They Got It Fixed Right On”. Details here

Matt Walters has released his highly anticipated new single “NightWalk”. Details here

– The UK’s Monument Valley has released his new single “Plans”. Details here

– Monthly Sydney jam night Bluegrass at Yulli’s returns this Wednesday with an appearance from Not Good With Horses. Details here

– Sydney gets the Autumn/Winter Finders Keepers Markets tonight and tomorrow with music from folky artists like Leroy Lee, Brian Campeau, Martha Marlow (above), Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, Bec Sandridge, Hannah Marjorie, Boy Outside and more. Details here

– We got a stream of the new Kaurna Cronin single “Goodbye to You” ahead of its launch in Adelaide tonight. Details here

– Brisbane’s Brianna Carpenter will help you chase the winter blues away with her new video “In Our Hearts”. Details here

Fanny Lumsden and the Thrillseekers have announced details of their 2014 Country Halls tour with Ruby Boots. Details here

– Sydney’s Huckleberry Hastings has started drip feeding his new mini-album and art project with the release of his track “The Sick”. Details here

Interviews

“After two successful runs in Australia in recent times with Pieta Brown, showcasing the Love Over Gold album, Lucie is back on the road solo, albeit with long time collaborator percussionist Hamish Stuart, and teaming up for a double bill in Bacchus Marsh with Liz Stringer”Lucie Thorne chats to Billy Quinn. Interview here

“From humble beginnings in 1998, in a small venue that sat 20 in the audience, Michael Johnathon has built the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour into a public broadcasting colossus, heard and seen around the globe each week from its current home in the Lyric Theatre, Lexington KY”The Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour’s Michael Johnathon chats to Billy Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

McNeill and Heys
Any Other MorningJack McNeill and Charlie Heys
iTunes

Oliver Downes
At The EndOliver Downes
Bandcamp

Whispers
WhispersPassenger
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Kaurna Cronin

Kaurna Cronin

Adelaide’s Kaurna Cronin has spent the last month touring up and down the east coast and tonight returns to his home town to launch the new single “Goodbye to You”.

Friday 6th June – Pirie & Co. Social Club, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Bluegrass at Yulli’s feat. Not Good With Horses
Wednesday 11th June – Yulli’s Upstairs, Sydney, NSW

Chaika
Friday 6th June – The Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 7th June – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Upstairs@199, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 12th June – Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, Avoca Beach, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Foundry 616, Sydney, NSW

Christopher Coleman Collective
Thursday 12th June – Porch Light Sessions, Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th June – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking
Wednesday 11th June – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th June – St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Tuesday 10th June – Burps, MacKay, QLD
Wednesday 11th June – Bellevue Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Thursday 12th June – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Finders Keepers Sydney w/ Leroy Lee, Brian Campeau, Martha Marlow, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, Bec Sandridge, Hannah Marjorie, Boy Outside
Friday 6th and Saturday 7th June – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW

Graveyard Train
Wednesday 11th June – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Isaac de Heer
Saturday 7th June – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 8th June – Red Poles Winery, Adelaide, SA

Jeff Lang
Friday 6th June – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 7th June – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 8th June – Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood, WA
Thursday 12th June – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 13th June – The Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 6th June – Montrose Town Centre, Montrose, VIC
Saturday 7th June – The Memo, Healesville, VIC
Friday 13th June – Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin, NT

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 7th June – Pizza and Wine Club, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 13th June – The Bendigo Folk Club, Bendigo, VIC

Kaurna Cronin and Ben Whiting
Friday 6th June – Pirie & Co. Social Club, Adelaide, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 6th June – The Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 7th June – Alice & Sharni Present: Theth & Gibson, Adelaide, SA

Little Bastard
Thursday 12th June – Rad (Yours & Owls), Wollongong, NSW
Friday 13th June – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Melbourne Folk Club feat/ Matt Walters, Anika Moa, Tim Guy
Wednesday 11th June – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Green and the Other Colours
Saturday 7th June – See Change Festival, Huskisson, NSW

Peak Festival
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June – Perisher, NSW

Ruby Boots
Saturday 7th June – The Astor Lounge, Mount Lawley, WA

Spookyland
Friday 13th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Taliska
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June — National Celtic Festival, Port Arlington, VIC
Tuesday 10th June — Vic Folk Music Club, Ringwood, VIC

The April Maze
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th June – Palm Creek Folk Festival, Townsville, QLD
Wednesday 11th June – House Concert, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 13th June – Dundurrabin Community Centre, Dundurrabin, NSW

The Audreys
Friday 6th June – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 7th June – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 12th June – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 13th June – Kyneton Town Hall, VIC

The Beards
Friday 6th June – Wollongong Uni, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 7th June – The Abbey, Canberra, NSW
Sunday 8th June – Captains, Batemans Bay, NSW
Wednesday 11th Jun – Carrington, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 12th June, The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Friday 13th June – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT

The Folk Informal feat. Enola Fall, Karl Christoph, Benjamin James Caldwell, Direwolf
Thursday 12th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Paper Kites
Saturday 7th June – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Friday 13th June – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Sunday 8th June – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW

Todd Sibbin and the Acadian Driftwood
Friday 13th June – Jade Monkey, Adelaide, SA

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June – Mary River, NT

Wagons
Friday 6th June – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 7th June – The HiFi, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 8th June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 12th June – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Friday 13th June – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Better Way” – Ben Harper

I’ve always said that one of the positives that comes out of having a government as divisive as the one Australia has right now is that it motivates the previously politically apathetic to take a stand. And one of the best ways to vent our frustration at the political process is through music. I believe in a better way.

The Melbourne Folk Club Announces June Program

Jack Carty
Image Courtesy of Jack Carty

The new weekly folk night The Melbourne Folk Club has gotten off to a flying start with a couple of sold out shows and plenty of buzz online. With such a strong start it’s no surprise they’ve just announced a June program that looks set to match, if not top, what’s already scheduled for May.

The Melbourne Folk Club in June is set to feature the likes of Jack Carty (above), Lucie Thorne, Steve Smyth, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Matt Walters, Jackson McLaren, Grizzly Jim Lawrie, Tim Guy and many more. The night takes place every Wednesday at Bella Union in Carlton with two sets – the first being a collaboration between two artists and the second being a solo set.

The remaining May program as well as the newly announce June program is below. For more information check out the official Facebook page here:

Wednesday 21st May – Sal Kimber, Brendan Welch, Grand Salvo
Wednesday 28th May – Davey Lane, Sara Retallick, Sweet Jean
Wednesday 4th June – Lucie Thorne, Jackson McLaren, Luka Lesson
Wednesday 11th June – Matt Walters, Anika Moa, Tim Guy
Wednesday 18th June – Jack Carty, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Wednesday 25th June – Raised By Eagles, Steve Smyth, Rowena Wise

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013

Listening to Records

In what is now an end of year tradition Timber and Steel are following up our own list of the top albums of 2013 with a piece that opens the floor to some of our favourite artists.

We reached out to musicians far and wide, from big international names to local up-and-comers, to get their thoughts on the best albums and EPs of the year and the result is once again incredible. If you ever wanted to know what the artists you listen to are listening to then look no further as we present to you Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2013:

Back on the MilksThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
The Starry FieldBack on the Milks
It’s almost impossible to slot this album into a genre because it covers almost all styles yet somehow it works perfectly. Mark Myers could be from another planet, because this seems to be a soundtrack from another world.

Picture of YouDarren Cross (Jep & Dep, Darren Cross Band)
Guy ClarkMy Favorite Picture of You
Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt have to be mentioned in the same sentence. The masters of the Texan Troubadour Genre- minimal powerful melodies and stories that change your mood-help you live. Townes is no longer around – Guy Clark is in his 70s, his songs getting stronger and more powerful. These guys wrote the rule book. Guy Clark’s latest album is amazing. In a world of autotune – Racscal Flatts / Taylor Swift mediocrity – a true country artist without any of the rhinestone cowboy bullshit is still alive and kicking and relevant and still breaking our hearts. I dare you to listen to “My Favorite Picture of You” or “Hell Bent On A Heartache” and not feel something. A true Inspiration.

Sam AmidonDevon Leger (Hearth Music)
Sam AmidonBright Sunny South
Because Sam Amidon is the most visionary folk artist of his generation. He understands musical traditions deep into his bones, and though he goes very far afield in his interpretations, he’s so grounded in the traditions that his experimentation serves as a vehicle to delve farther into the source material than ever before. He’s an uncompromising artist that reminds me again why I love folk music.

Melody PoolKristy Cox
Melody PoolThe Hurting Scene
The Hurting Scene has to be one of the most amazing debut releases of an Australian artist in a long time. It’s an album that more often than not touches on the topics of hurt and sadness – yet a notion of positivity shines through each of the songs. Melody’s vocals are shine on each track, however it’s her lyrics and the melody in each song that draw you in so you have to keep on listening! By far my favourite release of 2013! This girl is amazing!

Tiny RuinsOscar Lush
Tiny RuinsHaunts
For me, this six track EP has more depth and honesty than any other full length album of 2013. Tiny Ruins is the moniker of UK born, New Zealand based, singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook. Following up from her 2011 album Some Were Meant For Sea, the Haunts EP is a beautifully flowing fusion of modern folk, jazz and old-school country blues. Fullbrook’s rich and captivating vocals roll so smoothly over her laid back picking style as she draws you further and further into the veil of fog that hovers over this charming collection of songs. What I love most about Haunts is the way it pays tribute to so many traditional styles, from the Townes Van Zandt style of guitar on “Cold Comfort” to Fullbrook’s flawless cover of “Rolling Mill Blues”, yet I fail to compare the sound of Tiny Ruins to anything else because it’s also completely of its own world. I promise that this one really is worth all of your time.

Daft PunkKim Churchill
Daft PunkRandom Access Memories
Whilst I’ve been dancing around possible answers in my head I really have to go for one which I’ve barely stopped playing since I bought it. I know the whole world seems to have been won over, but Random Access Memories by Daft Punk has been my favourite album this year. It has such respect for music and its evolution over the past 50 years. It also has most of my favourite session players from as far back as the 60’s as well. Using drummers like JR Robinson and Omar Hakim and experimenting with things like Gorgio Moroder’s monologue over the top of those drums was incredible. Its the kind of music I dream of hearing and the ultimate experimentation in excess. Over a million dollars, 5 years the best studios and session players in the world and the occasional full orchestral and choir movements! Finally though, what mainly draws me to an album is the songs. Though I never thought I would look to Daft Punk for inspiration, the songwriting is really exquisite. Particularly the Paul Williams collaboration, “Touch’.

StreetsMike McCarthy
Isaac de HeerStreets
I am a huge fan of Isaac De Heer, his records are on high rotation here. On Streets Isaac continues on this well built path of unorthodox folk songwriting. Again, as on his previous two records, the production captures his quirky approach to writing and performing music. The melodies are strong, the lyrics are the kind you want to pore over and try to understand. Every broken piano sound and haunting backing vocal has it’s place in a very well thought out and enjoyable EP.

The PreaturesAshleigh Mannix
The PreaturesIs This How You Feel?
I cannot tell you how may times I have listened to this EP since it’s release. Its absolute killer first single “Is This How You Feel?” still has me shamelessly breaking out in dance wherever and whenever I hear it. I actually cannot stop myself! The entire EP is filled with a catalogue of influences – Fleetwood Mac, Prince and Neil Young are a few that I immediately note. Yet at the same time, The Preatures have their own captivating sound that I personally cannot get enough of. Listening to female lead, Isabella Manfredi’s voice makes me want to put on my LBD and leather jacket and paint the town red. While the lead vocals of Gideon Benson in “Dark Times” leaves me completely devastated that I’m not single … It’s funny where music can take you. Is This How You Feel? is the sound of a band doing what they do, and doing it fecking well!

Jim JamesIsaac de Heer
Jim JamesRegions of Light and Sound of God
A couple of years back I was struck by the Yim Yames EP Tribute To which is a collection of George Harrison songs – I loved how rushed the recording sounded, full of pure longing blasted into its delivery. I hadn’t heard anything about the Regions… album but bought it on a whim when I was wandering through Polyester Records, judging from the strength of that EP. What I found was a real grower with a gospel sorta vibe, mixed with huge drum sounds and wonderful imaginative lyrics and soundscapes. The whole album has a naivety and innocence about it that is captivating, flowing from song to song effortlessly, with a great instrumental track halfway through that lets it breathe. It’s well worth a few listens!

Stolen ViolinMark Myers (The Starry Field)
Stolen ViolinTemperate touch, Tropical Tears
I don’t listen to much music outside of the studio but I spent a lot of time with this album. It might not be everyone’s thing with it’s lofi guitars and hard to hear lyrics but I had tears in my eyes by the end of it.

Jimi HendrixJustin Thurgur (Bellowhead)
Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell and Angels
My album for 2013 is Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels a previously unreleased studio album that was supposed to be the follow up to Electric Ladyland. This album is full of refreshingly strong, raw, bluesy songs with a healthy funk influence played by instrumentalists who are true virtuosos and unafraid of expressing themselves. The soul pours out of these recordings.

Keston Cobblers ClubRachael McShane – (Bellowhead)
Keston Cobblers’ ClubA Scene of Plenty
This sounds like a really fun band to be in! The rich instrumentation featuring tuba, squeeze-box, banjo, strings, percussion and vocals, coupled with catchy melodies and massed group vocals on the song “Beam” make you want to sing along, put on your dancing shoes and join the party. Keston Cobblers’ Club have a very refreshing DIY attitude to recording and packaging. They designed their CD case as a train set with cut-out-and-stick trains, tents and animals. Well worth checking out their videos on YouTube too.

Jimi HendrixBenji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead)
Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell and Angels
I would have to say People, Hell and Angels by Jimi Hendrix is my favourite album of 2013. The reasons being I’m a massive Hendrix fan and although there’s nothing really very new on this release it’s a great collection of Hendrix tunes and displays his fluid mastery of the guitar very well. Also some nice cameos from the likes of Stephen Stills and Lonnie Youngblood. Essential stuff for us Hendrix geeks.

Midnight Follows MeJulian Cue (The Barons of Tang)
BJ MorriszonkleMidnight Follows Me
Ridiculous and beautiful, this album is essentially the mad ramblings of a one man band let loose in a studio. I love the every changing and complex compositions, demented keyboard sounds and the delicate balance between “tongue in cheek” and sincerity. Also it seems to me that BJ Morriszonkle is one of the finest male vocalists / crooners playing around at the moment. His voice makes this album. 5 out of 5 exploding cakes

Vance JoyWoody Pitney
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Since first hearing a demo of “Riptide” in 2012, i’ve been a big fan of VJ’s music and his debut EP didn’t disappoint! James Keogh has a killer voice and there isn’t a dull moment throughout the entire 5-track EP. All of the songs are beautifully written, yet simple enough to have you singing along after one listen. With catchy melodies, slinky ukelele strumming and powerful storytelling, it’s clear to see why people compare the great man to the likes of Paul Kelly and Bernard Fanning.

Vic ManuelScott Collins (The Mid North)
Vic ManuelBury Me Deep
Vic Manuel is someone you probably would not have heard of……yet. ‘Bury Me Deep’ is his first solo album and it is a cracker. A melding of folk, old-time and Americana, with lyrics that are as good as Leonard Cohen and Dylan. He can rip your heart out and have you horny as a hound in a matter of a few words. There are road trip songs, ballads, bluegrass toe tappers and dark tales from older days. The song ‘Oh Mother’ will have the hardest of you shedding tears. As a songwriter myself, i hold Vic in awe. I am amazed by him and a little bit (ummm…..whole lot) envious of his talent, he is quite simply Brilliant.

Vance JoyThelma Plum
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Because it makes me feel sad, but good sad.

Liz StringerCara Robinson (Hat Fitz and Cara)
Liz StringerSoon
I actually have been listening to the album Soon by Liz Stringer with its powerful tales of personal experiences written so poetically that grasps my attention every time it is played. With its beautiful delicate and honest intent it is a raw masterpiece. I love this.

Abbe MayEli Wolfe
Abbe MayKiss My Apocalypse
A diverse and experimental artist from WA, with quite few different releases. This album evokes an intense feel, from a strong and highly expressive woman – cathartic in love and release – in a lemon juice squeezed on a paper cut kinda way.

Chance McCoyJimmy Daley (The Morrisons)
Chance McCoy & The Appalachian String BandChance McCoy & The Appalachian String Band
I love old time music and this album by Chance McCoy & The Appalachian String Band is packed full of it. The newest member of Old Crow (replacing Willie Watson), and educator of Old Time Music at The Augusta Heritage Centre, West Virginia, Chance McCoy really knows his stuff. He is an amazing old time fiddle and banjo player with a really sweet sounding voice to top it of. The collection of tunes here feature some of my favourite old time numbers like “Lazy John”, “Greasy Coat”, “Little Birdie” and “Gospel Plow”, while also introducing me to some great tunes I had never heard before, like “Davy Come Back and Act Like You Ought To”. That’s the thing about old time music, it’s an endless well of incredible songs, I don’t think I’ll ever stop digging through them. With fantastic playing and singing, this album has a more slick sound that what you usually get with old time music and in that sense would be a great introduction for someone looking to get into this genre.

CapercaillieEddi Reader
CapercaillieAt The Heart of it All
This is a beautiful traditional album using the tradition and bringing it right up to date. Karen is one of my favourite Scottish vocalists and this album is class as is their live performances. A little bit of Scotland for your ears.

Josh PykeChris Collins (Tigertown)
Josh PykeThe Beginning and the End of Everything
One of the best song writers that we have in Australia, Josh has been a major influence on our music since the start. All four albums are filled with honest stories so it’s cool to be able to follow someone through different stages of their life. For a fourth album, this one seems to have a certain youthfulness and energy to it, which could come from having a toddler running around in this record. It’s a very Australian sounding record which is something we love and would love to harness ourselves one day. This album makes you excited about love, life and family.

Bobby AluBrianne Curran (Takadimi)
Bobby AluTake it Slow
Refreshing, groovy and chilled out all in one. Bobby Alu’s album of 2013 just makes you feel like having a great day!

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolThe Hurting Scene
This is an insanely good debut album. The lyrics and songwriting are so good it’s hard to believe they come from a someone of such a tender age. The production is subtle and honest and Melody’s voice is weighty and substantial. She must be an old soul or something. I can’t get enough of this album.

Katie BriannaAndrew Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates (The Weeping Willows)
Katie BriannaDark Side of the Morning
Katie’s voice will instantly capture you but it’s her lyrics that will hold you; one part heartbreak, two parts introspection, a dash of sass and one hundred percent original. Her tone may evoke some of the greats (Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Kasey Chambers…) but Katie holds her own and her album packs a punch. It’s definitely one of those rare finds you can appreciate from beginning to end without any temptation to reach for the “skip” button. Dark Side of the Morning is Americana at its best; at times dark and moody, other times hopeful, even audacious. Our favourite tracks are “What It Means”, “Dark Side of the Morning” and the vulnerable last track, “Risk it All”.

The VaccinesAndrew Davie (Bear’s Den)
The VaccinesMelody Calling
I bloody love this EP. We recently had the honour of touring with The Vaccines on the Mumford and Sons Full English Tour and we just had the best time. An amazing group of people and an incredible band. We listened to this EP religiously in the van between shows and I constantly had “Melody Calling” and “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down” stuck in my head. Freddie’s guitar parts are so unconventional and interesting and the chord progressions and band dynamics flow in such a beautiful and unpredictable kind of way. It’s an incredibly inspiring piece of work and Justin’s songwriting has always been brilliant but just keeps getting better and better.

Kurt VileJordan Wilson and Benjamin Riley (Georgia Fair)
Kurt VileWakin’ on a Pretty Daze
It’s a beautiful sounding record. He’s a cool cat and has been a favourite of ours for a while. It’s a great record to get you through whatever you’ve been dealt, especially when combined with wine and cigarettes in your lounge room.

0Roscoe James Irwin
Ichiko Aoba0
A super beautiful (if not odd) collection of tracks from this Japanese alt/folk singer-songwriter. It’s strikingly bare, but really intimate as a result. You feel like you’re there with her, listening to her play her songs in your bedroom. The classically inspired nylon string guitar parts, mixed with Ichiko’s etherial vocal melodies create something really unique and honest, (even though I have no idea what she’s singing about). Track 8, “Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu” is a standout.

Ghost BoyGregory Alan Isakov
Sanders BohlkeGhost Boy
Beautiful and dark electric landscapes behind songs that make you dream, and remember how important music is.

The DronesMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers)
The DronesI See Seaweed
This band is so far ahead of the pack it scares me. I didn’t think the Drones could top their last album Havilah – but they have. Gareth Lilliard’s lyrics slowly weave into your brain as always whilst the delivery and more specifically the passion in the delivery still kills me everytime. The final track “Why Write A Letter That You’ll Never Send” (all 9 minutes of it) is stunning. The best album from 2013 from Australia’s best band. Simple really.

Anna CalviBity Booker
Anna CalviOne Breath
Anna did not start singing until she was in her mid twenties. Now she is singing her hearth out. Her songs explode like colour onto a canvas. She slowly draws the listener into her world. Her guitar is like a voice, sometimes a weep, sometimes a laugh. This album makes me feel close to the beautiful beast she has within.

Josh PykeJackson McLaren
Josh PykeThe Beginning And The End Of Everything
(Ok I might be a bit biased but it’s a great album!). Josh sets the bar high and this record is an absolute cracker. Grappling poetically with legacy and morality. The BIG themes! Beautiful harmonies and clever arrangements. It sounds like Josh is having fun and that’s what I like about it.

Katy PerryGemini Downs
Katy PerryPrism
Yes I know we’re in an indie band and our taste is music is meant to be all indie and alternative – and primarily it is – but everyone has their guilty pleasures, right? For what it’s worth – chuckling at the new “Roar” film clip, feeling creative when looking at the fairyland live sets that this chick pulls off and winding up the windows in the car in order to sing along as loudly as possible was enough to bring Katy Perry to the top of the pile. Plus she got dumped by a tonne of record labels before she cracked it which makes her success all the more impressive.

Cloud ControlJosh Pyke
Cloud ControlDream Cave
I love Cloud Control, and this record really saw them push themselves, whilst still remaining true to the almost primitive innocence that their music captures for me. Al’s voice has taken on a strangled desperation in some songs that makes the whole thing a lot tougher in a very engaging way. Love it.

Sam AmidonBayden Hine (Packwood)
Sam AmidonBright Sunny South
An artist who’s work I’d been meaning to listen to for a few years dropped into my lap when I was asked to support his Australian tour earlier this year. I couldn’t have been happier! His albums are effortlessly beautiful, and his live set all the more so. Sam Amidon reworks American trad tunes from way back when into his own brand of contemporary folk. On his previous two albums he paired up with one of my favourite composers Nico Muhly (Grizzy Bear, Jonsi, Sufjan Stevens), but on Bright Sunny South he mirrored his live set – recording with minimal instrumentation as well as a few guest accompanists (most notably Jazz trumpet legend Kenny Wheeler – so, so cool). The winning track for me is “As I Roved Out” – my favourite choice for singing along to in the car when stuck in traffic. Freaks people out every time!

Christy MooreDamien Dempsey
Christy MooreWhere I Come From
A legendary Irish folk singer. 45 tracks that he wrote or had a hand in. An incredible album full of human spirit and empathy and stories and wisdom and humour, Christy is everything I aspire to be as a singer, a great role model, check out “Viva La Quint Brigada”, “Johnny Connors”, “The Boy from Tamlaghtduff”, “Lisdoonvarna”, “Whacker Humphries” or “Strange Ways”. Sublime.

The NationalIsaac Graham
The NationalTrouble Will Find Me
My brother bought me Trouble Will Find Me for my birthday this year. On his way to buy it he fell off his push bike and fractured his wrist in two places and ended up in hospital for a few days. He was all fine but the whole incident totally overshadowed my birthday. Fortunately he’d bought me such a great present so I forgave him. I’ve always had a passing interest in The National but for me this album is the perfect combination great songwriting, considered progressions, beautiful arrangements and flawless production. Not a bad song on the whole thing.

John SmithGibson Bull
John SmithGreat Lakes
There is something very honest about John’s music. You get the feeling he really believes in the songs he sings. This is certainly the case with Great Lakes. A beautiful album.

Sam BuckinghamHeyMun
Sam BuckinghamI’m A Bird
An album that tickles the senses with its dreamy folk-sical setting whilst hitting the high notes of honesty is one of the valiant traits of Sam as a musician. If she’s in love Oh, Bahbo she’ll say it’s so. If she’s got to Leave This Town, she will, but not without a song. A spirited gem in the indie music scene here in Australia, her recent live performance of this album when on tour with Buffalo Tales was a beautiful delivery of tunes that draws smiles on faces.

Kacey MusgravesFanny Lumsden
Kacey MusgravesSame Trailer Different Park
It surprised me how much I love this album so “trying to be a cool indie kid” wont fly this year for me as it’s a major label country pop album that has done it. It’s my hell yeah to “small town up-bringings” and overall is just a really well crafted album that lyrically has the right percentage of sass, apple pie and trailer parks. (Also I have serious caravan plans so it teams with the theme).

Vampire WeekendRoland K Smith
Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City
I’ve been pretty slack at keeping up with new music this year, but I’m okay with that, the good stuff I missed will find its way to me eventually. One record I did enjoy was Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. The too-cool-for-school Indie rockers seem to have made the jump out of ironic subject matter and into more emotionally effective territory. I think it works for them. The production’s great too – mixing hard blues with vocal pitch shifters in “Diane Young”, the harpsichord is put to good use in album highlight “Step”, and industrial percussion in “Obvious Bicycle”. I’ll get around to listening to more new music once Bob Dylan stops releasing his excellent Bootleg series.

Big ScaryLittle May
Big ScaryNot Art
This is an album that I can listen to on repeat for hours on end, and it reminds me of staying up until 4am drawing and drinking red wine. It is a collection of beautiful songs produced perfectly with everything in it’s rightful place.

Rhye WomanBec Sandridge
RhyeWoman
Great title, magical album cover, a beyond brilliant opening track and sob-worthy film clips. Being a sucker for tales of heartbreaking romances, understated vocal melodies and gentle synths, this Canadian duo definitely have my vote. They had me like a fool playing “Open” on repeat for weeks. (Note: I may very-well still be sobbing and smiling and listening to this track whilst typing this).

VasenGeorge Jackson (The Company)
VäsenMindset
Swedish super group Väsen have produced a new album this year featuring their trademark melodic invention and effortless virtuosity, it’s simultaneously modern while still tradition based, balancing on that fine line, like they always do, with ease. The Fiddle, Nyckelharpa and Guitar trio offers unending creativity of textures throughout the album, defying their seemingly minimal lineup, and of course, there’s plenty of Polska’s to get your feet tapping to. These guys are simply, brilliant. I’ve had Mindset on repeat in my car and on my computer and have even learnt four of the tunes already. If you haven’t heard Väsen, do yourself a favor, this is a good place to start. If you know and love them already, this new offering is another classic.

Frank SolivanMustered Courage
Frank Solivan and Dirty KitchenFrank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
This album has everything we appreciate in modern bluegrass. Flawless three part harmonies and the kind of virtuosic pickin’ that makes you wanna sell your shit on eBay, or work a lot harder. The band has a unique and modern take of bluegrass, while still maintaining integrity to the tradition.

Buffalo TalesPerch Creek Family Jugband
Buffalo TalesRoadtrip Confessions
We first had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Wes (aka Mr Buffalo Tales) at Wintermoon Folk Festival in May this year. Great voice, great guy, great songs, great performer, and (you guessed it) great album! It’s a gold mine of catchy, rootsy folk gems that always end up stuck in our heads!

Volcano ChoirMatthew Oastler (Little Bighorn)
Volcano ChoirReprave
I thought my fascination/addiction to anything Justin Vernon did hadn’t carried over when I first listened to Repave by The Volcano Choir, however his genius, and the emotions that come with it are slow burning. It has now been the only thing I’ve listened to for 3 months, and I hear something new every time. It feels a lot more anthemic and hopeful than any of his previous works. Only a special few can make you feel like Vernon does, and this album is a classic example.

CirclesLachlan Bryan
Chris PickeringCircles
I got to know Chris on the road in the USA and each night he quietly blew me away with not only his songs, but the way he played and sang them. His music is subtle – delicate but nourishing – filled with the warmth and self-deprecation that are trademarks of his live performance. Whenever Circles comes on my iPod I am reminded that CP is a proper artist, and I can’t imagine paying a fellow songwriter a greater compliment. Bravo Sir!

Kurt VileEdward Deer
Kurt VileWakin’ on a Pretty Daze
Whenever I describe Kurt Vile’s music to someone, I manage to make it sound like something to be avoided. Really long, meandering songs with numerous guitar solos and a guy mumble-singing in almost a monotone. But the textures and atmosphere in his music are so rich and evocative. I kept coming back to this record this year, and it has to be one of my fave driving albums ever.

Volcano ChoirImogen Clark
Volcano ChoirReprave
I’ve never found another artist whose songwriting moves me quite as much as Justin Vernon of Volcano Choir and Bon Iver, which is why I couldn’t wait for this album’s release. I think the best songs often take a couple of listens before you say “yes, I get it, and I love it”, which is what happens to me every time I listen to a project Vernon has been a part of. In Repave, the vocals are so raw and the dynamics so great that it just builds you up and tears you down in a kind of frenzy of emotion. To me, the album sounds like how I imagine listening to someone’s soul would sound – completely pure, heart-wrenching, honest, complex and unpredictable. That’s why I think this record is magic.

Loren KateSarah Humphreys
Loren KateMoving On
Loren is a folk artist like no other, her songs punch me right in the heart til I’m crying my eyes out and her voice is like honey. A beautiful record.

Neko CaseAchoo! Bless You
Neko CaseThe Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
We’ve both been huge fans of Neko Case for a few years, in particular her ’06 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, what an album. This record is just awesome as well. Her voice is beautiful as usual, and her lyrics are bad ass! “Man” is a particular fave. She writes absolute cracking pop songs, and the production of her records are always really rich and lush. I particularly love the edgier kind of grit and distortion that features a fair bit on this one, Neko gettin’ back to her punk roots via whimsical pop. So good!

Ainslie WillsAlison Avron
Ainslie WillsYou Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine
This record gives me all I need in music: tingles and toe taps. The subtle and sexy grooves combined with the beautiful and rich tone of Ainslie’s vocals get me every time. “Weighing The Promises” and “Liquid Paper” are the standout tracks for me. Miss Wills is representing everything that is right about the Australian music scene.

NgaiireSam Buckingham
NgaiireLamentations
I can’t quite say why I love this album. I think it’s a combination of her voice, interesting production and the fact that it’s not like anything I’ve listened to before. It feels experimental but perfectly thought out, bold but humble, surprising but familiar … truly creative and original.

DaughterHayden Calnin
DaughterIf You Leave
I played this album on repeat for the few weeks after hearing it for the first time. It’s depressing, but motivating, which is totally my kind of jam. Stand out track was, and still is “Smother”, with the lyric “I wish I’d stayed inside my mother, never to come out” it pretty much sums up the whole album. Daughter’s blend of shoegazey guitar lines, slow bass and simple, yet well composed drum lines, matched up with her gorgeous vocals and lyrics, is so mature, intricate and worth a listen.

Ainslie WillsAll Our Exes Live In Texas
Ainslie WillsYou Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine
The vocals and arrangements are incredible and Ainslie’s lyrics are so evocative. We particularly love “Liquid Paper” – such a universal sentiment. We listened to the entire album about a million times in the van on the way back to Sydney after we played a show with her in Melbourne. She also happens to be an amazingly good egg.

Mark KnopflerThe April Maze
Mark KnopflerPrivateering
This is actually a 2012 release but we only just discovered it … So it is new to us! A friend of ours who had toured with Mark Knopfler made us a mix CD for our Canadian tour and one of his songs was on there – we loved it, so we went online and bought the rest of the album. It is fantastic. It really takes you on a journey – lots of ups and downs and there are lots of goosebump moments. Our favourite tracks are “Haul Away” and “Kingdom of Gold” – these songs are super folky, just the way we like it. The production and instrumentation are spot on. This is a truly inspirational album for any songwriter. 100 stars.

JoJo SmithLucie Thorne
JoJo SmithStanding In The Lovelight
When it comes to soul not much beats being in the same room as JoJo Smith singing straight in to your heart. But this mighty collection – from one of our mightiest vocalists – comes pretty darn close. A national treasure!

Abbe MaySweet Jean
Abbe MayKiss My Apocalypse
Abbe May’s album is a blistering synth pop romp that takes you through all the ups and downs of imploding love. One of the many great things about this album is that she doesn’t “tell you about her feelings”. Instead, every song actually makes you feel something as a listener, which can be both uncomfortable and uplifting. It’s a funny, dark, smart, poignant and really well put together album.

The NationalEmily Barker
The NationalTrouble Will Find Me
I picked up this record just before heading out on a solo tour across the UK. It was a beautiful summer and I was driving myself around the country doing record shop in-stores and promoting our new record. Trouble Will Find Me quickly became my driving soundtrack. The songs are fantastic. Brilliant lyrics: a combination of abstract, ironic, heartfelt and just plain silly sometimes (ie. “I was teething on roses, I was in guns and noses”). I love the effortlessly, out-of-the-ordinary time signatures they use; the epic, but still intimate, production value; the melodies and arrangements; and Matt Berninger’s croonery, deep voice is always killer. A great record to drive to!

LordeRosie Catalano
LordePure Heroine
Given that we’re in an age where number one singles are as much about taking bootylicious selfies as writing good music, it took me a while to figure out how Lorde managed to dominate the Billboard charts, especially as my initial listen to her album Pure Heroine didn’t register highly on the excitement scale. I’ve happily eaten my words since then as Lorde and her producer Joel Little are a match made in heaven – the harmonies are beautiful, her lyrics take me to another world (albeit a teen world that I’m not sure I’d like to go back to), and I have a soft spot for Kiwis.

Mali MaliJack Carty
Mali MaliGather ’round the Goose Clock
I love this record because it feels anxious and intimate and fragile. The songs are strong, and tell their stories, but they go about it quietly so you really have to tune in to catch them. “Peace In My Chest” is the highlight for me, it feels like an affirmation.

Vance JoyPierce Brothers
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Since seeing him at The Hills Are Alive festival earlier this year, we picked up this EP. It’s a soulful and beautifully paced EP with awesome range from the indie pop rhythms of “Riptide” to the heartfelt and intimate lyrics of “Snaggletooth”. The crescendo in “From Afar” is our favourite. Well done sir. Well done indeed.

PikeletRose Wintergreen
PikeletCalluses
Entrancing from the very first listen (start with the track “Calluses”), this album still tickles my brain in unexpected and exciting ways. I’m not sure I understand it, but it’s unlike anything else I’ve heard, and I keep going back for more. YES!

Mark MoldreJessica Cassar (Jep & Dep)
Mark MoldreAn Ear To The Earth
If Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy were pushed out to sea in a rickety old boat they’d come up with something like this. Mark Moldre’s An Ear to the Earth is a boisterous yet soulful musical journey worth the fare. You’ll be stomping and crying and laughing, and if you’re lucky to catch Moldre live, you’ll be doing all three with a whiskey in hand.

PowerlinesBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Mustered CouragePowerlines
I’m a sucker for great harmonies and catchy melodies, and Mustered Courages’ album Powerlines has both, so I’m a big fan. Powerlines was produced by Jimi Maroudas, who also produced our first album Love Your Band. And for me it ticks all the boxes of a great album. The songs remind me of those off Foggy Highway, by Paul Kelly and The Stormwater Boys; strong and well-constructed, front and centre. Followed secondly by great musicianship and vocal harmony to present the full kick-ass package. And although their musicianship is apparent, luckily for these talented lads their songs don’t need to be dressed up head to toe in an overkill of instrumental licks to try and hide a weak song, but instead have successfully shown off their musicianship when it counts and in a very tasteful way. When I listen to the album I hear it as a collection of great pop songs first, and secondly as a bluegrass album. And in my opinion I think that’s clever, and the sign of good bunch of songwriters. There’s also nothing more impressive than when a group can reproduce an already top-notch studio album to an even higher standard live, and that’s what Mustered Courage can do. It’s a tasteful album, one of great energy and diversity in mood and who sings the lead on each song, and I recommend a listen to anyone who calls themselves a music lover.

ArcWhitaker
Everything EverythingArc
The perfect sophomore release, Arc built on all that was good about Everything Everything’s punchy, dramatic and down-right enviable musical style presented by their debut album three years prior. It’s the kind of record we listen to and think “Man, how did they do this? How can we do this?” as we listen through every track on repeat. Incredible production – good luck topping that one boys (they will)!

Vance JoyMark Wilkinson
Vance JoyGod Loves You When You’re Dancing
Emotive vocals and great songs. “Riptide” has obviously been huge, but the rest of the EP really stands up as well.

AgapeCastlecomer
Bear’s DenAgape
Bear’s Den produce an organic brand of music that resonates in its beautiful and powerful simplicity. Disarmingly honest lyrics accompany soaring and often haunting melodies backed by 3-part harmonies, and there are obvious folk influences to their songwriting. These guys are a must-see live act, and seem to be going from strength to strength, recently following up in magnificent style with their new EP Without/Within. There is an unassuming and captivating charm in this EP that is hard to resist.

HaimImogen Bel
HAIMDays Are Gone
There seemed to be a lot of highly anticipated releases this year, and for whatever reason, I missed out on a lot of them! One band that caught my attention early on however, was HAIM. This is a really solid album – so many hooks jam packed into each song, both melodically and rhythmically. I love that these girls obviously love pop music, but they play around with structures and mix things up to keep it fresh and surprising. They are obviously very accomplished musicians but they never let it get in the way of creating fun, interesting pop music. Standout tracks: “The Wire”, “Don’t Save Me”, “Go Slow” (no filler on this album though!).

Steal The LightKyle Vause (The Timbers)
The Cat EmpireSteal The Light
This is my favorite Cat Empire album to date. I seriously can’t fault this album, every song is a winner. My top three tracks off this album are “Still Young”, “Open Up Your Face” and probably the first single “Brighter Than Gold”.

Lucy WiseNigel Wearne
Lucy Wise & The B’GolliesWhen We Wander Far From Home
It makes me very happy to nominate this album as my favourite for 2013. The first time I heard Lucy Wise, I was struck by the originality and honesty of her songwriting. There are so many layers at work in this ten song offering. She’s included songs about organic farming and broken families, sailing, family connections, sculpture gardens and even Google Earth! Three members of the B’Gollies double in their own right as The Sting Contingent and they, with Mischa Herman on accordion, bring sophistication and tastefully woven arrangements to Lucy’s beautiful songs. “Lay of the Land” and “Mother’s Song” are stand-out tracks. A slow-burner that keeps giving.

InnocentsKate Martin
MobyInnocents
This was difficult to narrow down so I’ll say that ONE of my favourite LPs of 2013 is Innocents by Moby. Seven of the twelve tracks are collabs, it’s nice cross-pollination. The highlight track for me is a very moving instrumental called “Going Wrong”.

Step BrothersAidan Cooney (Boy Outside)
PalmsStep Brothers
A vehicle back to care free summers that lasted for ever. Yes that feeling. Play loud! Jump around aimlessly. Throw shapes at friends. A real shot in the arm. This shit works.

Josh PykeDan Acfield (Dan and Hannah Acfield)
Josh PykeThe Beginning And The End Of Everything
I must admit that although I’ve been listening to lots of music that’s new to me this year, most of it was not actually released this year! However, I have been enjoying Josh Pyke’s recent release The Beginning and End of Everything. After watching Josh Pyke perform tunes from this album from side of stage earlier in the year, I went home and immediately purchased the album. It’s deliciously folk-pop with that special (but evolved) Josh flavour which is quite difficult to not enjoy.

Josh RitterJack McNeill and Charlie Heys
Josh RitterThe Beast in Its Tracks
Josh Ritter has always been a favourite listen, he seems to grow more subtly insightful with each new album. A thoughtfully connected collection with the ghost of the Golden Age of Radio walking quietly through it. Ritter has the knack of catching you off-guard, gifted with a quiet wit, a sharper tongue than most and a real eye for the detail.

Warp and WeftEmma Davis
Laura VeirsWarp and Weft
Laura Veirs makes me happy. In fact, I think I would go as far as saying, I love her. Her unique way of phrasing things, her incredible ability to put into words the way that nature effects us, the delicate but interesting production- I couldn’t get enough. Laura’s newest release, Warp and Weft once again seems to deliver that Veirs-y charm that I have grown fond of. It is definitely a more mature album than Saltbreakers and the slightly Fleet-Foxy previous album July Flame. Some of the tracks are a little rockier with the beefy sounds of her Gibson shining through, and the arrangements are loaded full of weird and wonderful instruments, but the songs don’t seem to get lost at any point. Every little thing has its place and works together to carry her strong melodies and endearing way with words. As with her past releases, the album works well as a entire composition, so a little listening time is needed to start appreciating the tracks separately, but I think it makes this record a real grower. Overall, it’s a beautiful and carefully produced album that seems to communicate the warmth of nature and our place in it, so darn well.

Melt Yourself DownJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Melt Yourself DownMelt Yourself Down
This debut is most original album I heard all year, a mix of electronics and afrobeat that is dark and danceable. Saturated sax riffs and tribal drums collide and make me feel euphoric that there’s still sounds out there I haven’t heard. What a great feeling to evoke in a listener!

LuxGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
AfenginnLux
My album pick of 2013 is Lux by Danish band Afenginn. I have been a fan of the band’s “bastard ethnopunk” for a while now and their back catalog is well worth checking out. Lux is their latest offering and has quite a chilled out/ambient vibe and the most amazing fold-the-cd-digipak-into-a-lantern I have ever seen! Last year we realized we would cross paths at a festival in Sweden, so met Kim the main composer and became friends. The outcome of that is that they will be in Sydney playing at the Basement on the 16th January and Crooked Fiddle are lucky enough to be playing support! A great success of cross-continental mutual musical appreciation!

Big ScaryMark Leahy The Twoks
Big ScaryNot Art
After listening to Not Art I cannot help but walk around with a bounce in my step. This album is so confident, so diverse, so intricate and yet really simple. Fantastic production and really great songwriting. The performances have such dark commitment and awesome personality about them that I cannot help but love it.

Lucy WiseEmily-Rose Sarkova (Chaika)
Lucy Wise & The B’GolliesWhen We Wander Far From Home
I would say Lucy Wise’s newest album, When We Wander Far From Home. Her incredibly personal way of writing songs seems to capture so perfectly the very small delicate goings on of everyday life as well as the touching poignantly on deep environmental and social issues. All in a collection of songs that are truly beautiful and you cannot help but want to sing along with her.

The HeistCJ Shaw (CJ Shaw and the Blow Ins)
I have two:
Big ScaryNot Art
Beautiful and purposeful. Every nook and cranny of this album has been sculpted with the up most of care.
Macklemore and Ryan LewisThe Heist
A powerhouse. Big sound, big ego, big belief, big purpose. It is big and wonderful, makes you think and groove. It enlights and inspires.

Interview: Love Over Gold, Fall To Rise

Love Over Gold
Photo by Mike Roeder Courtesy of Love Over Gold

Love Over Gold is the new duo project from singer-songwriters Lucie Thorne (Australia) and Pieta Brown (USA) and their new album Fall To Rise has been getting quite a workout at the Timber and Steel bullpen recently. We managed to grab five minutes with Pieta Brown to chat about the collaboration before they head out on tour this November.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Talk us through how you both started collaborating. How did you meet? Whose idea was the project?

Pieta Brown: Lucie and I met in Sydney, and we met through the music really. Lucie played a big part in bringing me to Australia. When we met, I knew we would be friends. When I heard Lucie play a solo show at the Mullum Festival before I went back to the states, I caught a spark – it was like a vision – I could see as clear as day that we would collaborate. When I told Lucie about my vision/idea she was wide open and it rolled on out from there.

GHE: It sounds like a pretty unique creative process – long distance collaboration followed by time spent recording in Iowa. How was it to finally get in the same place at the same time and record the album?

PB: The same place and same time was essential for the recording to really happen; and Lucie really made that happen. She came to Iowa and as soon as we were in the same room again and then in the recording studio the spark lead the way!

GHE: You both bring a wealth of influences and experience to the album. Did you have a clear plan about the type of music you wanted to produce when you started collaborating or was it more a case of just writing and seeing what comes out?

PB: I’m one for following my instincts without a lot of planning involved. The only plan I had was to follow the music – if you’re really listening the music never lies, and I knew when I heard Lucie that day in Australia that we would find some kind of music together and have fun doing it! So while the music and songs have a particular sparseness to them, which for me is part of the intrigue, there’s also a lot of openness and fun underneath driving the collaboration. I also really dig the undeniable feminine quality our collaboration has.

GHE: You’re touring Australia in November including an appearance at the Mullum Music Festival – how do you think your respective fans are going to respond to your Love Over Gold material? Will we see any of your solo material on the tour?

PB: We played mostly Love Over Gold material in the states and the audiences were really receptive. We put some solo Lucie Thorne songs in and a couple solo Pieta Brown songs but the heart of the show is this fresh collaboration.

GHE: Is this project a one off or do you see yourselves collaborating for years to come?

PB: It feels like a beginning to me.

Fall To Rise is available now. The full list of dates for the Love Over Gold tour are below:

Thursday 14th November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th November – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 16th November – The Town Hall, Candelo, NSW
Wednesday 20th November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Mumford and Sons have run wild with their pastoral-folk image for their new video “Hopeless Wanderer”. Details here

– Sydney’s Liam Gale & The Ponytails revealed their latest single “Antipodean Honour”. Details here

Boy & Bear are revealing a new song online every day until their new album is released. The first of the new tracks was “Three Headed Woman”. Details here

– Alt-country songstress Katie Brianna will be launching he debut album at The Retreat Hotel in Melbourne tomorrow night. Details here

The Head and the Heart revealed “Shake” the first single from their upcoming album Let’s Be Still. Details here

– Folk-punk legends The Go Set are celebrating ten years with a tour. Details here

Midlake have announced plans to release a new album this year, but without their lead singer Tim Smith who left the band late last year. Details here

– And you can also listen to the new Midlake single online. Details here

– The folk behind The Jam Room in Adelaide will be hosting three very special gigs throughout Spring. Details here

– Have you seen the Mullum Music Festival lineup? Lots of folky goodness to be had! Details here

Tracy McNeil has released her new single “Wildcats”. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Lucie Thorne and Pieta Brown have collaborated on a new project Love Over Gold. Details here

– Sydney five-piece Belle and the Bone People have released their folky new single “The Boy”. Details here

The Crooked Fiddle Band have given us a taste of their upcoming album with a new double A-side single. Details here

Interviews

“Matt Fell did a really great job. We actually recorded it here in our lounge room in Surry Hills. Ben did the demo here and he did such a great job on the production that Matt decided to come in here and use the room, which sounded really great”Fanny Lumsden chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Gigs

“In Sydney, you’d be forgiven, if not expected to arrive late to a gig. Unforeseen circumstances meant I arrived in Farrowthe middle of the second support act, Farrow, and found the venue was already packed with an enthusiastic audience. Seems these Londoners take door times seriously”KT Bell reviews Paper Aeroplanes. Review here

Releases This Week

Boy Outside
Boy OutsideBoy Outside
iTunes

Civil Wars
The Civil WarsThe Civil Wars
iTunes

Let The River Run
Let The River RunMark Wilkinson
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson with Little Bighorn
Thursday 15th August – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 16th August – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Official Site

The Mountains
The Mountains
Friday 9th August – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 15th August – Bedlam Barm, Glebe, NSW
Friday 16th August – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba

Tickets From Venues

Gigs Next Week

Bears With Guns
Friday 9th August – Gearin Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Boy Outside
Thursday 15th August – Arcadia Liquors, Sydney, NSW

Castlecomer
Thursday 15th August – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 16th August – X & Y Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Elephant Eyes, Susy Blue and Mayfair Kytes
Sunday 11th August – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Folk Club feat. Hazzy Bee, The Green Mohair Suits, Oh Willy Dear
Wednesday 14th August – The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Immigrant Union
Friday 9th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 10th August – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Thursday 15th August – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 16th August – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Isaac Graham
Friday 9th August – Crown And Anchor, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 10th August – The Public Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 14th August – Lizotte’s, Kincumber, NSW
Thursday 15th August – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th August – Blackwire Records, Annandale, NSW

Joan Baez
Monday 12th August – Brisbane Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 16th August – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Josh Pyke
Friday 16th August – The Gov, Adelaide, SA

Katie Brianna with The Weeping Willows
Saturday 10th August – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Kelly
Friday 9th August – Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 11th August – Regent Cinemas, Ballarat, VIC
Tuesday 13th August – Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 14th August – Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 10th August – Royal Exchange Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 11th August – The Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Sarah Blasko
Friday 9th August – Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 10th August – Queen’s Park Theatre, Geraldton, WA
Monday 12th August – Cultural Centre, Margaret River, WA
Tuesday 13th August – Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

The Tiger & Me
Saturday 10th August – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 11th August – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Timbers
Friday 9th August – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 16th August – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Woohoo Revue
Friday 9th August – The Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 10th August – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 16th August – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA

Vance Joy with Fraser A. Gorman
Wednesday 14th August – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wreck Of The Dandenong” – The Mutual Acquaintances

There’s something pretty special about unaccompanied harmony singing, and there’s something pretty special about this Australian folk song that recounts the wreck of The Dandenong in 1876. So this version by The Mutual Acquaintances is, by all accounts, pretty special. Enjoy!

« Older entries Newer entries »

%d bloggers like this: