Dashville HQ Announces Dashville On The Road Tour

Dashville
Image Courtesy of Dashville

Dasville HQ, the Hunter Valley folks behind fan favourite festivals The Gum Ball, Dashville Skyline, PigSty in July and Thrashville, have announced their hitting the road with the announcement of their first ever Dashville On The Road Tour.

The concept has been boiling away for a while now but from the beginning of July it becomes a realisty with some of Dashville’s closest musical buddies showcasing in Branxton, Cronulla and Redfern.

The lineup for these shows includes James Thomson, BagheadMelody PoolMagpie Diaries, Dave Wells, Deanna Rose, Demi Mitchell, Jason Walker and Lyle Dennis plus other surprise guests.

For more information check out the official Dashville site here. The full list of dates for the tour are below:

Friday 7th July – Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton, NSW
Saturday 8th July – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Sunday 9th July – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

The Full Port Fairy Folk Festival Line Up

Port Fairy
Image Courtesy of the Port Fairy Folk Festival

The Port Fairy Folk Festival is undoubtedly one of the biggest events on the folk music calendar and once again 2017 is shaping up to be an amazing event.

The full lineup of the 2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival has been released and it features a bunch of amazing artists including Willie Watson, Melody Pool, Lior, Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders, Afenginn, Boo Hewerdine, Charm of Finches, Eddi Reader, Folk Uke, Gretta Ray, Martha Tilston, Mel Parsons, Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen, The Changing Room, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Dead Maggies, The Waifs, The Wilson Pickers, The Young Folk and many more.

The Port Fairy Folk Festival takes place from the 10th through to the 13th March in Port Fairy, Victoria. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

The full Port Fairy Folk Festival lineup is below:

8 Foot Felix, Afenginn, Aoife Scott, Backsliders, Barry Versus Kelly, Bazzookas, Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart, Big Rory & Ochie, Bikerina, Boo Hewerdine, Buckman Coe, Buried Country, Burke & Wills: The Expedition By Ashley Davies, Bush Gothic, Chaos Magnet, Charles Jenkins, Charm of Finches, Christine Collister & Michael Fix, Circular Circus – Heidi Hoops, Cookin’ On 3 Burners with Tex Perkins & Stella Angelico, Danny Spooner, Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, Dog Trumpet, Don Walker, Dori Freeman, Dubmarine, Eddi Reader, Ewen Baker, Featherhead, Fem Belling, Folk Uke, Gawurra, Giant Seagulls, Graeme James, Gretta Ray, Hey Mammoth, Hollie Smith, Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies, JVG Guitar Method, Karma County, Krazy Koala Puppet Show, Kutcha Edwards Trio, Les Poules a Colin, Lior, Lisnacrieve, Manu Delago, MarimbaTaters, Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders, Martha Tilston, Mel Parsons, Melody Pool, Mercan Dede, Mexrrissey, Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission, Miss Amber & Stukulele, Mr Qwirk, Mr Wizowski, Mundy, Nancie Schipper, Neil Murray, Nhatty Man & Gara, Nick Nicholas, Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen, Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner, Red the Clown, Roo Panes, Sarah Carroll & the Left Wing, Seamus Begley Trio, Sport Suzie, Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie, Suzannah Espie, Kerri Simpson, Barb Waters & Alison Ferrier, Tash Sultana, TEK TEK Ensemble, The Bean Project, The Changing Room, The Chipolatas present ‘Chipolatino’!, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Dead Maggies, The Drowsy Maggies, The Jerry Cans, The Low Down Riders, The Mik Maks, The Mission Songs Project, The New Savages, The Pinks Play The Blues, The Scrims, The Skeleton Club, The Southern Ocean Sea Band, The Waifs, The Wilson Pickers, The Young Folk, Thomas Hugh, Tim Wheatley, TimTim, Van Morrison’s “Masterpieces” Presented by Vince Jones & The Astral Orchestra, Vika & Linda, Warsaw Village Band, Willie Watson, Yirrmal

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2016 including releases from Applewood Road, Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, Bon Iver22, A Million, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Foy Vance, Gregory Alan Isakov, Imogen Clark, Jack Carty, James Kenyon, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Oh Pep!, One Up, Two Down, Passenger, Paul Kelly, Radical Face, Rowena Wise, Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin, The Company, The Staves, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

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

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2016 including songs from Ariela Jacobs, Bon Iver, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Emmy The Great, Fanny Lumsden, Foy Vance, Gretta Ray, Imogen Clark, James Kenyon, Laura Marling, Matthew And The Atlas, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Mumford and Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, One Up, Two Down, Passenger with All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson, Paul Kelly with Alice Keath, Rowena Wise, Sam Newton, Seth Lakeman with Wildwood Kin, Sian Evans, The Campervan Dancers, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford

Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Amerrycana Christmas feat. Catherine Britt, Gregory Page, Katie Brianna, Adam Young, Brielle Davis, Arna Georgia
Friday 23rd December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Get Folked 2016 New Years Eve Eve feat. Peter ‘Blackie’ Black, Dan Kemp(UK), Jim Mongrel, Whiskey Jeff Larson, James Seymour, Sooze, Jim Lynch
Friday 30th December – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Boyd
Friday 23rd December – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims w/ Magpie Diaries
Friday 23rd December – Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 24th December – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

PJ Michael & The Banditas
Thursday 29th December – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Steve Poltz
Friday 23rd December – The Govenor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 24th December – Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC

The Whitetop Mountaineers
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

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

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wexford Carol” – Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2016

2016

To round out our week of “best of” lists our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans once again whittles down the ton of releases that crossed his ears this year to pick his 25 favourite tracks of 2016.

We’re going to get out of the way and let Gareth throw some music your way – enjoy!

1. Foy Vance – “She Burns”
Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has always been on my radar but when he released his album The Wild Swan earlier this year I was floored. The standout track, I think most people would agree, is the wonderful “She Burns”, with its pizzicato guitar, slow build percussion and choral backing vocals. Foy Vance is a singer-songwriter at the top of his game.

2. One Up, Two Down – “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie”
It seems almost unfair that I would choose a traditional song as my favourite from a band that are not only accomplished songwriters in their own right but also amazing musicians whose instrumental tracks are incredibly special. But I challenge you to listen to Dan Watkins singing “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” and not melt into a puddle. His voice and guitar, combined with George Jackson and Andrew Small’s long bowed fiddle and bass, turn this cowboy ballad into something more. Simply beautiful.

3. Burrows – “Falling Apart”
When I saw Burrows play at this year’s Summer Hill Folk Festival I was floored. Every song they played was a piece of harmonic brilliance, enhanced by the acoustics of the Summer Hill Church. When they came around to “Falling Apart” I murmured “that’s the song” – and I still maintain that this track is near perfect. I love Sam King’s understated vocals and the harmonies in the chorus are just divine.

4. Eagle & The Wolf – “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost”
The pairing of Kris Morris’ dirty blues and roots with Sarah Humphreys’ big folk voice, “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” was the perfect introduction to Eagle & The Wolf. Individually Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys are firm favourites of Timber and Steel but Eagle & The Wolf is greater than the sum of its parts and “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” is the epitome of their collaboration. This is rootsy blues done right – all crunchy guitars, clipped percussion and keyboard and big, bluesy voices.

5. Bon Iver – “22 (OVER S∞∞N)”
With its glitchy opening, distorted Mahalia Jackson samples, saxaphone solos and weird lyrics it would appear on the surface that Justin Vernon has well and truly moved on from the acoustic folk of For Emma, Forever Ago and embraced the more electronic elements of the self-titled Bon Iver. But at its core “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” is still classic Bon Iver with Vernon’s double-tracked, falsetto voice coming through loud and clear. Strip back all the beeps and bops and “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” could sit alongside any of the classic Bon Iver folk tracks.

6. Melody Pool – “Love, She Loves Me”
Since first seeing Melody Pool perform at the Gulgong Folk Festival back in 2013 I’ve been predicting big things for her. To say that her new album Deep Dark Savage Heart was highly anticipated in the Timber and Steel bullpen is an understatement and when it dropped earlier this year it was on solid repeat for ages. “Love, She Loves Me” is definitely a standout track on the album (although “Black Dog” is a close second), perfectly demonstrating Pool’s skill as a songwriter and singer. What a voice!

7. Rowena Wise – “Then We Met”
Rowena Wise owns the quirky indie-folk genre this year this this wonderfully catchy track from her 2016 self titled album. I love the twisted, bluesy finger-picked riff throughout this track and that chorus is a definite ear worm. I’ve been watching Rowena Wise cloesly since she launched a serious solo career and it’s songs like “Then We Met” that will see her successfully straddle the folk and indie worlds in the coming years

8. Matthew and the Atlas – “Elijah”
I love Matt Hegarty’s voice. “Elijah” is probably the most stripped back, acoustic track on Matthew and the Atlas’ latest album Temple and is easily my favourite as well. I love the finger-picked guitar over the swelling piano and orchestral elements and the subtle backing vocals. But most of all I love Matt Hegarty’s voice – I just can’t get passed that.

9. Paul Kelly feat. Alice Keath – “Sonnet 73”
To be honest I could have chosen any of the tracks from Paul Kelly’s marvelous album Shakespeare inspired Seven Sonnets And A Song. The reason I finally settled on “Sonnet 73” is two fold: Firstly it has a wonderful, folk-country feel with Kelly’s strummed acoustic guitar over a plucked pedal steel; And second the backing vocals from Alice Keath (Sweet Jean) are pitch perfect. Who knew you could improve on The Bard?

10. Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin – “Meet Me In The Twilight”
More than any other song on this list “Meet Me In The Twilight” gets lodged in my head and refuses to leave. Lakeman’s percussive guitar work coupled with an instantly singable (or yellable) chorus are what makes this song so catchy. Wildwood Kin add an extra level of sophistication to this track as well as the rest of Lakeman’s album Ballads of the Broken Few. I have a feeling that this track would be amazing to see live and have the crowd foot stomping and singing along.

11. Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal, The Very Best, Beatenberg – “Wona”
This collaboration between Mumford & Sons, Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, Swedish-Malawian electronic band The Very Best and South African afro-beat masters Beatenberg is just pure joy. All afro-beat goodness and nu-folk bombast, you can’t help but smile when listening to “Wona”, it’s such a breath of fresh air. I know that liking Mumford & Sons is definitely no longer “cool” but when they’re collaborating and producing music like this then you’ll still find me first in line for their next release.

12. James Kenyon – “The Motorbike Song”
I feel like James Kenyon might be one of the most underrated singer-songwriters in Australia right now. Songs like “The Motorbike Song”, with its rootsy groove and Paul Kelly-esque lyrical style, should see Kenyon a firm favourite amongst music lovers everywhere. I also have to give props to the wonderful video from Ed Bracey – it even makes Melbourne’s Docklands look stunning.

13. Michael Kiwanuka – “Black Man In A White World”
Michael Kiwanuka has always deftly woven together elements of folk, gospel, blues and old-school R&B and his single “Black Man In A White World” is the epitome of that sound. I love the gospel clapping accompanying the disco-like string stabs and R&B guitar. This could well have come straight out of the 70s – one of those songs that sound immediately timeless.

14. Fanny Lumsden – “Land of Gold”
At the time of writing Fanny Lumsden had been nominated for an ARIA award, has 4 Golden Guitar nominations and has gone to number one on the Country Music Channel charts twice. Incredible work for a singer-songwriter from the Riverina. One of those top charting songs is the nostalgic “Land of Gold”, a deceptively simple storytelling song with a big heart that has quickly become one of my favourite Fanny tracks ever. Whether she’s playing with a full band or with just her bassist Dan, “Land of Gold” always pops live. I really love this song.

15. Passenger feat. All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson – “Caravan (Live)”
It’s a bit cheeky choosing a live version of a track that’s seven years old as one of my favourites of 2016 but this video has been on serious high rotation since it was posted earlier this year. When you take possibly my favourite Passenger track of all time and throw a collaboration between All Our Exes Live in Texas and Luke Thompson into the mix you strike pure gold. Just listen to those harmonies on the choruses – magic stuff.

16. Imogen Clark – “You’ll only Break My Heart”
Imogen Clark has had a pretty big year built on the bedrock of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies and its two lead singles “Take Me For A Ride” and “You’ll only Break My Heart”. The latter is Clark’s most mature offering to date, making the most of her big voice and lyric driven song writing. I’m not sure why Imogen Clark gets lumped into the Country crowd – to my ears her music is straight up acoustic pop – but regardless of the genre “You’ll only Break My Heart” heralds big things to come from the Sydney singer-songwriter.

17. Ariela Jacobs – “Lost”
The way that Ariela Jacobs plays with melody and syncopation on “Lost” is so intriguing. The rhythmic, unpredictable verses give way to simple 4/4 choruses and then a middle eight that just launches itself at you and takes you by surprise. This song is all about Jacobs’ voice with the accompaniment – simple piano chords for the most part – taking a back seat to her lyrics. This track is powerful and vulnerable all at the same time.

18. Sian Evans – “Cold Feet”
I got to meet Sian Evans at the National Folk Festival this year where she got me to act as roadie for her as she rushed to one of her gigs. She’s spent much of 2016 carving out a solo career for herself after her work with The Rusty Datsuns and part of that has involved developing her own distinct sound. The result is the single “Cold Feat” which has a pop sensibility with a heart of folk.

19. The Weeping Willows – “River of Gold”
The Weeping Willows embrace their bluegrass side with their huge single “River of Gold”. I love Andrew Wrigglesworth flat picking guitar on this song, accentuated with a subtle banjo over the entire track. And then of course there’s the harmonies between Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates which The Weeping Willows are renowned for.

20. Gretta Ray – “Unexpected Feeling”
Triple J Unearthed High winner Gretta Ray has quite rightly had a massive year with high rotation on the national broadcaster and lots of love from the music press. Her track “Unexpected Feeling” is such a joy to listen to – and to be honest when I first heard it I had no idea that Ray was still in high school. There’s a definite maturity in her songwriting and I just love her guitar work on this track.

21. Sam Newton – “Hold You Down”
The Americana vibes of “Hold You Down” coupled with Sam Newton’s sweet, unassuming voice make this track instantly attractive. I love the way you can’t help but tap your toe along with the brushed snare drum and thumping bass. The production on this track really pulls it all together – it could well have been a straight up acoustic song but the addition of drums, bass and trembling electric guitar turn the song into something more.

22. William Fitzsimmons – “Hear Your Heart”
I was so happy that William Fitzsimmons released his mini album Charleroi: Pittsburgh Vol. 2 this year (as well as a live album) because it meant more songs like “Hear Your Heart” out in the world. Rolling fingerpicking, hushed vocals, sad subject matter – this is William Fitzsimmons in a nutshell and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

23. Laura Marling – “Soothing”
I don’t know why I was surprised when we got a new Laura Marling song this year – she’s been insanely prolific throughout her relatively short career having released five albums in the last eight years. “Soothing” is the first taste from her upcoming seventh album Semper Femina and it sees Marling depart from her usual acoustic guitar driven songwriting with a bass and percussion loop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Radiohead release. This track also sees Marling’s first foray into directing on the accompanying video (that is borderline NSFW so maybe wait until you get home to play this one).

24. The Campervan Dancers – “Slow Down Butterfly”
From what I understand “Slow Down Butterfly” was gestating for quite a while before Sydney duo The Campervan Dancers launched it at the beginning of the year. This is a track that tumbles over itself with vocals, samples, instrumentation popping up all over the place. I love the injection of chaos into what could have just been a standard piece of indie-folk pop. Let’s hope there’s more gestating where this came from.

25. Emmy The Great – “Algorithm”
My need to squeeze Emmy The Great’s recent output into the genre of “folk” so that I can justify posting it on Timber and Steel continues with “Algorithm”. The first Emmy The Great song in a while to contain a decent amount of acoustic guitar, “Algorithm” is a lovely example of the direction Emmy The Great’s songwriting has taken recently – more obscure, more pop but still with her fragile voice front and centre.

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2016

Vintage Recording

For me 2016 was the year where the singer-songwriter reigned supreme and where the more experimental edges of the folk genres got my attention. I’m actually surprised there’s not a lot more bluegrass and Americana music on this list given that’s been my focus over the last few years, but I think this is a pretty nice collection of what’s been on high rotation in the Timber and Steel bullpen throughout 2016.

As always it’s hard to pick just 25 albums and no doubt your favourite hasn’t made this list. But as always there’s a few more “best of” lists to come this week so stay tunes.

So without further ado here are Timber and Steel’s top albums of 2016.

Foy Vance
1. Foy VanceThe Wild Swan
From the opening blues of “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution” through the rootsy folk of “She Burns” to the sixties folk of “Fire It Up (The Silver Spear)” The Wild Swan is a simply cracking album from Northern Irish troubadour Foy Vance.

Never one to be confined by expectation The Wild Swan takes you on a journey through blues, soul, Americana, folk and more, with Vance deftly weaving everything together in a single coherent piece of joy. I love how individual each and every song is while still having enough of a through line that the album is utterly listenable from start to finish.

I’ve been across Foy Vance for some time now but the lead single from this album, “She Burns”, was my way into his music. The Wild Swan was the perfect soundtrack for a driving holiday I took in New Zealand earlier in the year, rolling with the landscape and sinking deep into my bones.

Almost every track is a standout but “She Burns” and “Bangor Town” are the tracks I keep coming back to. The Wild Swan has turned me into a life-long Foy Vance fan – I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Burrows
2. BurrowsBurrows
I didn’t realise this when I first heard it but I’ve been waiting for Burrows’ self titled album for about three years. I saw Sam King perform at the 2013 National Folk Festival and fell in love with his delicate folk music. Little did I know that that appearance would be the beginning of the Burrows project and that their debut album would become a firm favourite this year. King’s voice, the beautiful harmonies from the rest of the band, the understated instrumentation all come together to build an amazing piece of art. Standout track is without a doubt “Falling Apart”.

The Company
3. The CompanySix & Five
Six & Five is a thoroughly modern bluegrass album from a local band at the top of their game. This is bluegrass without the play-as-fast-as-you-can gimmickry so many modern bluegrassers rely on. Instead this is solid songwriting backed by some of the best musicians in the country. “Another Season”, “Six and Five” and “Androids” are all standout tracks but to be honest my list of favourites changes on every listen. And can I just say that I think Michael Patrick has my favourite bluegrass voice in Australia.

Bon Iver
4. Bon Iver22, A Million
Part of me expected the new Bon Iver album would be an extension of the cinematic indie-folk of 2011’s self-titled opus. So when 22, A Million landed I was more than a little blindsided – but in a wonderful way. All glitches, samples, electronics and overdubs, the album is completely immersive and a giant leap forward for Justin Vernon. At the heart of it all is Vernon’s unique voice and some pretty amazing songwriting which stands up regardless of the beeps and bops.

Melody Pool
5. Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Melody Pool delivers an amazingly red raw new album dealing with her own experiences of depression and mental illness. The songwriting is mature and complex and requires the listener to engage, not passively sit by as the music washes over you. I’ve picked Pool as an artist to watch for many years now and I feel with Deep Dark Savage Heart she’s delivering completely on her potential. Just listen to “Black Dog” or “Love, She Loves Me” and try not to fall for Melody Pool.

William Fitz
6. William FitzsimmonsCharleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2
Pittsburgh was easily one of my favourite albums of 2015 so when William Fitzsimmonsfollowed it up with a mini-album featuring a bunch of unreleased tracks from the same recording session earlier this year I was a very happy man. Fitzsimmons’ beautiful, melancholic songs draw you in and keep you captivated. I love his hushed vocal style – this is definitely lean in music.

One Up Two Down
7. One Up, Two DownA Day On The Quay
Two of Australia’s most talented folk musicians – George Jackson and Daniel Watkins – join forces with American bassist Andrew Small for this wonderful mini album from the beginning of this year. Stuffed full of amazing instrumentals like “Kansas City Railroad Blues” and “The Ways Of The World”, it’s actually the traditional song “Bury Me Not On The Lone Praire” that keeps me returning to A Day On The Quay again and again.

Radical Face
8. Radical FaceThe Family Tree: The Leaves
The final chapter of Radical Face’s The Family Tree series is a triumphant bookend to an amazing project. The album is full to the brim with Radical Face’s trademark layered vocals, finger-picked guitars and soundscapes making this a unique indie-folk experience. The rumour is that Radical Face will be changing stylistic direction now that The Family Tree is done so I can recommend immersing yourself in this album before getting ready for his next adventure.

Paul Kelly
9. Paul KellySeven Sonnets & A Song
Pairing Paul Kelly with The Bard is absolutely inspired. For the most part Seven Sonnets & A Song sees Kelly flex is folk muscles when adapting the sonnets into songs and the results are lovely. The two singles – “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet 73” – are by far my favourite tracks on the album with the latter featuring beautiful backing vocals from Sweet Jean’s Alice Keath. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this album is pure magic.

Seth Lakeman
10. Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood KinBallads Of The Broken Few
Teaming with up-and-coming trio Wildwood Kin was a stroke of genius for Seth Lakeman’s new album Ballads Of The Broken Few. Their three-part harmonies elevate Lakeman’s classic folk sound to something more. I’ve been a fan of Seth Lakeman since I saw him on his last Australian tour and I can honestly say this is my favourite album of his to date – and that is one 100% down to the collaboration with Wildwood Kin. As always Lakeman is able to draw on the tradition to inspire his music while still creating something that is wonderfully modern.

Eagle and the Wolf
11. Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
The crunchy blues of Kris Morris and the indie-folk of Sarah Humphreys come together for a project that is greater than the sum of its parts

Mumford
12. Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & BeatenbergJohannesburg
The combination of Mumford & Sons’ big nu-folk sound with afro-beats and electronic music makes this one of the most joyful releases of the year.

GAI
13. Gregory Alan IsakovGregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony
While the songs may not be new, the arrangements with the Colorado Symphony give Gregory Alan Isakov’s beautiful music a wonderful depth.

Oh Pep
14. Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Oh Pep! shake off the shackles of straight up indie-folk and embrace all out pop on their debut album.

Billy Bragg
15. Billy Bragg and Joe HenryShine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad
Billy Bragg and Joe Henry dive into the American songbook for their Railway themed album – I especially love their version of “Midnight Special”.

Passenger
16. PassengerYoung As The Morning Old As The Sea
Passenger once again demonstrates why he’s one of the best folk singer-songwriters in the world with the release of Young As The Morning Old As The Sea.

Michael Kiwanuka
17. Michael KiwanukaLove & Hate
Michael Kiwanuka’s melting pot of influences – folk, blues, jazz, soul and R&B – come together on an album that is instantly timeless.

Rowena Wise
18. Rowena WiseRowena Wise
The new queen of quirky indie-folk Rowena Wise delights with her stunning debut.

Matt Corby
19. Matt CorbyTelluric
The long-awaited debut from Matt Corby sees him refusing to be boxed in by genre or convention and creating some stunning music in the process.

Imogen Clark
20. Imogen ClarkLove & Lovely Lies
One of the hardest working singer-songwriters in Sydney releases a debut to be proud of, paving the way for bigger things to come.

Home State
21. Jack CartyHome State
Another solid, positive outing from Jack Carty following a big year of touring (and marrying!) for the singer-songwriter.

Applewood Road
22. Applewood RoadApplewood Road
Singer-songwriters Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace come together to celebrate their love of classic country music in this wonderful side project.

Weeping Willows
23. The Weeping WillowsBefore Darkness Comes A-Callin’
The Melbourne based duo deliver a heady mix of folk, bluegrass and classic country in their best release yet – no wonder they’ve been nominated for four Golden Guitars

James Kenyon
24. James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
Australia’s most under-rated singer-songwriter delivers a stunning new album that is making the local industry sit up and take notice.

The Staves
25. The StavesSleeping In A Car
The Staves follow up their 2015 debut with a three track EP that continues to prove they are one of the most exciting voices coming out of the UK indie-folk scene.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We premiered the new video from Sydney singer-songwriter Sam Newton, “Hold You Down”. Details here

Jack Carty released his brand new video “A Way With Me”. Details here

Henry Wagons announced a massive national tour. Details here

– The full lineup for the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival includes 10 String Symphony, Bluegrass Parkway, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Mike Compton, Catgut, Fred Smith, John Flanagan, Liz Frencham & Robbie Melville, Rebecca Bastoli, Rowena Wise, String Theories, The Barkers Vale Brothers, The Black Mountain String Band, The Company, The Mae Trio, The Plough, The Squeezebox Trio, Wayward Angels and many more. Details here

– Alt-country supergroup The Wilson Pickers have announced tour dates through to the end of the year. Details here

Bon Iver released their new single “33 “GOD””. Details here

– Sideshows have been announced for Out On The Weekend for Robert Ellis and The Perfect Strangers, Joshua Hedley, Joe Pug, Lindi Ortega and The Cactus Blossoms. Details here

– American folk rockers The Head and The Heart will release their new album Signs of Light this month. Details here

– Tasmanian folk-punk festival HOBOFOPO released the final additions to their lineup including Craicpot, FOPO DJ, Runebilly Rattle, The Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble, Quinton Trembath, Andy Paine, All The Best, The Dead Peasants, Ryan Garth & Emily Wolfe Duo, BrodyGreg and GT Mongrel. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Melody Pool and Peter Bibby announced a co-headline tour. Details here

– American bluegrassers The Brothers Comatose have announced Australian headline dates. Details here

Releases This Week

Southern Loss
Southern LossKaurna Cronin
Bandcamp

Mal Webb
Not Nor MalMal Webb
Bandcamp

Nick Payne
Rise Up Like A RiverNick Payne
iTunes
Google Play

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Tawny Owl String Band, Hollie Matthew, Burrows

Burrows

If you live in Sydney you know that the Porch Light Sessions are synonymous with quality, but the September edition takes it up a notch with amazing artists The Tawny Owl String Band, Hollie Matthew and Burrows (above)

Thursday 8th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Acoustics Anonymous feat. Ben Camden, Roland Kay-Smith
Wednesday 7th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September – Lorne Festival of Performing Arts, Lorne, VIC

Andy Golledge, Caitlin Harnett, Leroy Lee Trio
Saturday 3rd September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

BANFF x Caitlin Park
Friday 2nd September – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Bity Booker w/ Mindy Sotiri
Thursday 8th October – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Bryan Estepa & The Tempe Two
Saturday 3rd September – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Darren Cross w/ Jack Elias, Max S. Porter
Friday 9th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt
Saturday 3rd September – Elsewhere The Rooftop, Newcastle, NSW

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers
Friday 2nd September – Ladysmith Hall, Ladysmith, NSW
Saturday 3rd September – Whitton Hall, Whitton, NSW
Friday 9th September – Majors Creek Hall, Majors Creek, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 7th September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Mal Webb
Friday 9th September – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Harry Manx
Friday 2nd September – Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 3rd September – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th September – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 7th September – Heritage, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 8th September – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Friday 9th September – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Jason Walker
Sunday 4th September – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar
Friday 2nd September – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

John Flanagan Trio
Saturday 3rd September – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Kevin Bennett, Luke Escombe, Bittersweet
Saturday 3rd September – The Shack, Sydney, NSW

Key To The Highway, Bree De Rome
Friday 2nd September – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

King Street Crawl
Sunday 4th September – Newtown, Sydney, NSW

Lazy Colts
Sunday 4th September – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

Liz Stringer
Saturday 3rd September – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Sunday 4th September – GYRACC, Katherine, NT
Wednesday 7th September – El Questro, Durack, WA
Thursday 8th September – Gulliver’s Tavern, Kununurra, WA
Friday 9th September – Divers Tavern, Broome, WA

Lorne Festival of Performing Arts
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September – Lorne, VIC

Martha Marlow w/ Jonathan Zwartz, Mike Nock
Friday 9th September – Sydney, NSW

M.E. Baird
Sunday 4th September – BS’A Project Space, Mullumbimby, NSW

Neurum Creek Music Festiva
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, QLD

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Tawny Owl String Band, Hollie Matthew, Burrows
Thursday 8th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Redfest
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September – Redlands Showground, Brisbane, QLD

Roadhouse Rockabilly feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Thursday 8th September – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Bluegrass & Old Time Music Get-Together
Saturday 3rd September – Annandale Community Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Wild Wild Inner West Revue feat. Sam Newton, Brielle Davis
Sunday 4th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September – Wirrina Cove Holiday Park, Wirrina, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“In Dreams” – Ben Howard

I heard this in a shop last week and was reminded about just how good it is.

Peter Bibby and Melody Pool Announce Co-Headline Tour

Melody Pool
Image Courtesy of Melody Pool

Singer-songwriter and Timber and Steel favourite Melody Pool has announced plans to head out on tour with balladeer Peter Bibby for a bunch of dates this September and October. The tour will see the co-headliners head right around the country – check out the full list of dates below:

Friday 23rd September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 24th September – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 25th September – Sounds of the Suburbs, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 30th September & Saturday 1st October – Dashville Skyline Festival, NSW
Thursday 6th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 7th October – Baha, Rye, VIC
Saturday 8th October – Baby Black Café, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 9th October – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 13th October – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Wednesday 19th October – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th October – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st October – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 22nd October – St. Martins Parish Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Sunday 23rd October – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 26th October – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 27th Octover – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 28th October – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 29th October – Four5nine, Perth, WA
Sunday 30th October – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA


Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2016 You Should Own

Couple With Records

As Sandy Denny once sang, who knows where the time goes? It’s the beginning of July which means we’re already halfway through 2016 without really breaking a sweat. And already this year has proven to be filled a treasure trove of music with some excellent albums and EPs released over the last 6 months.

In fact I had a lot of trouble coming up with my usual Top Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of The Year list because of all the amazing records released so far in 2016. The following ten albums are just the tip iceberg and if you want to dive deep into all the releases we’ve covered this year check out the Album News category tag here.

So without further ado here’s our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2016 You Should Own:

Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf

Eagle and the Wolf

Eagle & The Wolf is the perfect example of a coming together of artists whose sum is greater than its parts. Alt-country singer-songwriter Kris Morris and indie-folk chanteuse Sarah Humphreys are both celebrated artists in their own right (as well as Timber and Steel favourites) but Eagle & The Wolf has elevated them to a new level. Humphreys’ voice seems to have been unshackled and is out in full force. Morris’ guitar work is pitch perfect – blistering in the bluesier numbers and restrained in the ballads. At only 5 tracks the self titled Eagle & The Wolf is the perfect taster for a partnership that has a big future ahead of it.

The Wild SwanFoy Vance

Foy Vance

I feel like Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has been the quiet achiever of the folk scene in recent years. But with the release of his latest album The Wild Swan, the massive success of its lead single “She Burns” and his association with Ed Sheran, Foy Vance is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Wild Swan is a melting pot of tone and style – anyone expecting 12 songs all like “She Burns” might be a bit shocked with the blues of “Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution” or the Bryan-Adams-like balladry of “Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye”. This is an album that deserves to be listened to from start to finish.

Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado SymphonyGregory Alan Isakov

GAI

Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony doesn’t really feature any new music from the US based South African singer-songwriter, but the inclusion of the orchestra just takes Gregory Alan Isakov’s music to the next level. In most cases the Symphony is actually pretty understated on the album with Isakov’s vocals and finger-picked guitar well and truly at the front of the mix. The result is a lush experience that still feels intimate.

Love & Lovely LiesImogen Clark

Imogen Clark

Imogen Clark has come of age with the release of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies. Her EPs to date have all been pretty strong but it feels like Love & Lovely Lies realises Clark’s potential as a singer and a songwriter – which is not at all hurt by the slick production and fantastic band she has behind her. Imogen Clark is touted as an alt-country singer (and we’ve been known to use that label as well) but I feel there’s a pop sensibility to her music that’s had a country sheen added to it courtesy of her band. Imogen Clark has a big future ahead of her and Love & Lovely Lies is a fantastic foundation.

Deep Dark Savage HeartMelody Pool

Melody Pool

I feel like I’ve been waiting for a new Melody Pool album for too long. But do you know what? Now that I have Deep Dark Savage Heart I can honestly say it was worth the wait. Melody Pool is seriously one of the finest young songwriters in Australia – her melodies are complex, her lyrics are layered and each song is just so perfectly crafted and presented. If you listen to Deep Dark Savage Heart from start to finish – and trust us, you should – prepare to be transported by Pool’s liquid velvet voice. “Black Dog” is the standout track but it’s a highlight in an album full of highlights – every song is worth revisiting over and over again.

JohannesburgMumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg

Mumford

I don’t think anyone expected a new Mumford & Sons record this year, but after traveling to South Africa earlier in 2016 and a collaboration with Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, London/Malawi DJ duo The Very Best and South African pop band Beatenberg the EP Johannesburg was born. This record brings together the best of each band – epic choruses, groovy afro-beats and passionate vocals. The project is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons’ 2010 collaboration with Laura Marling and India’s Dharohar Project, but this time around with a focus on creating new music rather than recording new versions of existing songs. I think what I love most about Johannesburg is just how joyous it is – the EP has become a go to should I need a pick me up. Wonderful stuff.

A Day On The QuayOne Up, Two Down

OUTD

George Jackson and Daniel Watkins are some of the best musicians coming out of the Australian bluegrass and old-time scene at the moment. Their pairing with American bassist Andrew Small for the One Up, Two Down project is inspired and the release of their A Day On The Quay mini-album in January was the perfect way to kick off 2016. Each track is a delight from instrumentals like “Kansas City Railroad Blues” and “The Ways Of The World” to songs like “Ginseng Sullivan”. But the absolute highlight is One Up, Two Down’s version of “Bury Me Not On The Lone Praire” – the song seems to have been written for Dan Watkins’ voice.

Seven Sonnets & A SongPaul Kelly

Paul Kelly

Whoever came up with the idea of Paul Kelly putting music to the sonnets and songs of William Shakespeare should be commended. Here you have Australia’s greatest songwriter elevating some of the greatest writing in the English language. And the best thing is that for the most part we’re treated to Paul Kelly the folk singer (as opposed to his rock or soul incarnations) which means plenty of acoustic guitar, pedal steel and fiddle throughout the tracks. This is pure magic.

The Family Tree: The LeavesRadical Face

Radical Face

Five years in the making, Radical Face finally puts his The Family Tree trilogy of albums to rest with the release of the highly anticipated The Family Tree: The Leaves. With this album we’re once again treated to Radical Face’s unique brand of indie-folk – all layered vocals, finger-picked guitar, piano and floor-tom. Radical Face has kept a consistent sound through The Family Tree trilogy and The Family Tree: The Leaves is a fitting way to wrap everything up. I wonder what’s in store next for Radical Face – whether this album will be the closing of a chapter in his musical career and the next we hear from he will completely redefine his sound. Who knows? I’m just so glad that The Family Tree: The Leaves, along with The Family Tree: The Roots and The Family Tree: The Branches, exist in this world

Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2William Fitzsimmons

William Fitz

My fondness for Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2 stems from the fact William Fitzsimmons released it a couple of days after his first ever show in Sydney. Made up of tracks left off his 2015 album Pittsburgh, the Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2 EP is delicate, sad and brilliant. By allowing these additional songs to see the light of day William Fitzsimmons has gifted the world more of his amazing songwriting.

And of course special mention also has to go to the following albums and EPs:

Applewood RoadApplewood Road
YesteryearAriela Jacobs
Wayside Ballads Vol 2Bill Jackson
Second LoveEmmy The Great
ElsewhereGretta Ray
TelluricMatt Corby
case/lang/veirsNeko Case, K.D. lang, Laura Veirs
Stadium CakeOh Pep!
Love Letter For FireSam Beam and Jesca Hoop
The Lonesome SeaThe Button Collective
Sleeping In A CarThe Staves
Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’The Weeping Willows
Golden FleecesTom West

Bob Evans Announces National Tour Dates with Melody Pool

Bob Evans
Image Courtesy of Bob Evans

With his new album Car Boot Sale hitting stands last week now Perth based troubadour Bob Evans has announced a string of tour dates this August. And best of all he’s bringing Timber and Steel favourite Melody Pool along for the ride.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 4th August – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th August – Dunsborought Hotel, Dunsborough, WA
Saturday 6th August – Jack Rabbit Slims, Northbridge, WA
Sunday 7th August – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 11th August – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 12th August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th August – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Dashville Skyline 2016 Announces First Lineup

The Brothers Comatose
Image Courtesy of The Brothers Comatose

Hunter Valley Americana, folk and alt-country festival Dashville Skyline dropped its 2016 lineup last week and it’s pretty sweet.

The organisers are backing up a fantastic 2015 event with a lineup headlined by music royalty Brian Cadd and San Francisco folk and bluegrass band The Brothers Comatose. Joining them will be plenty of names Timber and Steel readers will be familiar with including The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Raised by Eagles, The Hello Morning, Jess Ribeiro, Davey Craddock & the Spectacles, Karl S. Williams, Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats, Irish Mythen and Andy Golledge Band with many more still to be announced.

Dashville Skyline takes place in the Hunter Valley Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October – for more information check out the official site here.

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