Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016

Child Records

You’ve heard what we think the top albums of 2016 were, but lets be honest this is the piece you’ve really been waiting for.

Every year we reach out to the community of folk and acoustic musicians in Australia and around the world to ask them to pick their favourite album or EP of the year, and this year they came through in spades.

So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016.

Bill ChambersEagle & The Wolf
Bill ChambersCold Trail
What a record. Bill just turns up when he feels like it and shows us all how it’s done. The title track is one of the best driving songs ever written and we’ve done A LOT of driving this year! This record has been with us on every trip and inspires us as artists of the alt. country genre to dig deep and keep being real, in life and in music. He’s the baddest and the best.

James KenyonAnna Cordell
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
This album takes me into such a beautiful space, it is so beautifully written and produced, I find myself smiling every time I listen to it – I’m entranced and inspired.

Joe MungovanImogen Clark
Joe MungovanWay Down South
Joe totally embodies the Joni Mitchell quote about songwriting, “The closer you get to your heart is the closer you get to everyone else’s”. This EP is an evolution for him, the production is so sparse and spacey, almost Bon Iver-ish, and very different from the folky style of his first EP. But what remains is Joe’s amazing ability to capture so perfectly the melancholy of the human condition with his beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics. A big 5 stars from me. Love ya, Joe!

Piers FacciniSam Lee
Piers FacciniI Dreamed An Island
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago but I think needs mentioning in this years crop. Piers is one of the finest male singers and his musicianship is exquisite. It’s an album of great sensitivity with deep thought and poetry inside. The songs are so well formed, he has a knack at creation of timeless soundings orgs.

DD DumboDan Flynn
D.D DumboUtopia Defeated
Oliver has really found his own unique sound while incorporating some diverse influences including folk, electronic and world music. I was really impressed with his songwriting and his ability to draw you in to his strange little world. I also love the production with all those sonic layers that reveal themselves over repeated listens. Amazing debut.

Michael KiwanukaSkyscraper Stan
Michael KiwanukaLove and Hate
I got hooked on this album while touring around New Zealand. The songwriting is melodic, the dynamics are masterful and the closing track, “Final Frame”, kicks me in the guts.

William CrightonJosh Rennie-Hynes
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I first heard William at Nannup at the start of this year and loved it. He’s a great performer and his songs are top notch. This album captures all of that perfectly. The production is spot on and is a testament to the benefits of what a more DIY approach to recording can achieve.

Bon IverTanya Batt (BATTS)
Bon Iver22, A Million
There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, Canary, Braille Face and Hayden Calnin were three I wanted to choose too. However, it had to be Bon Iver. The most highly anticipated album in my life, it did not disappoint. This album means so much to me, It’s an extremely innovative album within soundscapes and also so raw, filled with emotion. Many tears were shed when I first listened.

MoulettesClaude Hay
MoulettesPreternatural
Moulettes new album Preternatural really grabed me from the first second, Distorted Cello, Oboe, guitar bass drums and they all sing insane harmonies perfectly live….Audio candy

Bill HuntLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
Bill HuntUpwey
Conversational, melodic, witty and hooky songwriting flood through the beautiful ebb and flow of Upwey, Hunt’s first of many offerings. The songs are hued by a consistent arrangement of drums, bass, violin and Hunt’s subtle and precise guitar style. But they don’t rely on these arrangements; each song a story, assisted by the swell of instrumentation to convey the tales that swing from the near Latin grooves of “Odalik” to the slow sexy grind of “Sea of Love”. At six tracks long, it leaves you wanting more. Perfect.

Childish GambinoSahara Beck
Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
Listening to this album is like switching off the real world and stepping into an original and new world. I find it very inspiring.

Oh PepThe Little Stevies
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I think the songwriting on Stadium Cake is really interesting. The songs take me to a place that I’m not expecting both lyrically and musically when I begin listening to them and they keep me guessing, which I absolutely love. The arrangements and production are also super cool, and I’m simply just a big fan of talented women and female partnerships doing great things in the arts.

Side PonyFanny Lumsden
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
It seriously makes me the most joy filled human ever. Side Pony is possibly my biggest songwriting envy of late and they just really nail that motown meets pop retro good times.

Nick CaveMiles O’Neil (Miles and Simone)
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
I was scared to listen to this album due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it. Finally
mustering the courage one bright morning I listened to it through while walking beside the sea.
I stopped many times during that walk to sit and, floored, marvel at the breathtakingly
sadness and beauty captured in what is, to me and I’m sure many others, a masterpiece.

Hayden CalninForest Falls
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1/2
Hayden is an absolute stayer of the Melbourne music scene, but it’s for good reason. This record is world-class. Sparse, rich, cinematic, and desperate in its feel, it holds on to you long after the first listen.

Button CollectiveThe Bottlers
The Button CollectiveThe Lonesome Sea
As a softly lilting mandolin emerges from the silence of the opening track, Brodie’s haunting lyrical ballad begins to unravel the story of the heartbreak of a man, torn between travelling the lonesome sea and those who he has left behind. This beautiful yet bittersweet combination of well-travelled wordsmithing and an instrumental palate carrying a nostalgically truthful warmth, could be heard in any far-flung tavern in the dead of night, as tired candles flicker. Finishing with a raucous fling titled “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, the Button Collective’s release concludes on a stirring high, twisting your arm to crave another ale. The EP’s recording, mixing and mastering add a special flair, as you hear the charismatic live-elements that give you a heart-swelling, beer-swilling singalong that you can partake in at any time. Well done fellas!

The Dreaming RoomPhia
Laura MvulaThe Dreaming Room
Her lyrics explore feminism, faith, self-worth, race, and her harmonies, arrangements and production are deep and multi-hued. One of the most exciting songwriters around, unafraid to experiment with multi-genre collaborations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and Nile Rodgers.

JoyGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
The Peep TempelJoy
This is a great third album by the Melbourne based three piece that has initial flavours of 90s Aussie pub punk/bloke rock (like Cosmic Psychos) but that is just the beginning – the album is musically quite varied, with intelligent, dark, caustically humorous and often political lyrics with moments of honest beauty.

Wartime SweetheartsJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
It’s always great when a local artist drops something as fully formed and self-assured as Louise Nutting’s second album under the Wartime Sweethearts moniker. Experimental without forgetting the songcraft, it deserves its rightful place amongst the St Vincents, Dirty Projectors and My Brightest Diamonds of the art pop world. Props to local label Art As Catharsis, whose releases in October alone spanned from Wartime Sweethearts to Hashashin’s eastern mathrock and No Haven’s dark hardcore. Eclecticism rules the day!

BeyonceTaryn La Fauci
BeyoncéLemonade
To create and release a piece of work that is so intricately linked and ordered, one you must listen to from start to finish to understand the whole was really refreshing! The film that accompanied the album was also richly interesting, deep and powerful. To address themes such as infidelity and race and then to weave them powerfully into a full album, which on release caused so much controversy and started a conversation world wide, I thought was really great.

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Another beautiful record from the most under-rated songwriter in Australia. “Love, She Loves Me” gives me goose bumps every time.

Winter WheatFrank Turner
John K SamsonWinter Wheat
I am a long term partisan of John’s work, so it’s not surprising that I liked this record. But god-DAMN, the man just keeps delivering. This record had me in tears three times on my first listen through, and it gets better with age.

David BowieWilliam Crighton
David BowieBlackstar
My favourite album from 2016 is Blackstar from David Bowie. There were a lot of great albums but I listened to it the most.

TigallerroSteven Barnard (Arbori, Jon Cotton)
Phonte and Eric RobersonTigallerro
Smooth grooves, dope rhymes, sweet melodies. You’d be hard pressed to find another 2016 record his year that has this flow, though Anderson Paaks’ Malibu is a close second. It rolls effortlessly from track to track and the inevitable ass shaking comes with a no “slutty table top twerking” guarantee. It’s rare that a hip hop record explores what it means to be a man of sexual fidelity, a family man, and even man of faith in higher power. Getting hype or turning down, my morning wake up or my party starter, this record has been a solid find.

Julia JacklinJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
This album is a gem. The more I listen to this record, the more the songs shimmer and shine with a beautiful honesty. Jacklin’s songwriting is earnest and her voice perfect – it feels like an important voice which dances delicately on a wire between mundanity and profundity.

Bon IverOliver’s Army
Bon Iver22, A Million
Although becoming more and more electronic heavy, Justin Vernon’s signature haunting melodies and dynamic vocals remain consistently endearing. I found the production to be quite bold and experimental, and I love that they’re continuing to explore their sound and push it in new directions. Sonically, it’s spacious and beautiful.

RadioheadKim Churchill
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
My top album of 2016 has probably got to go to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead. It really hit me at the perfect moment. I was deep in the studio and sometimes getting a bit overly flustered by how complex the process of recording can be. I think Radiohead have done something incredible in the way this album is so relaxed, so subtle, but so powerful. There is this beautiful calm confidence that I am completely in awe of. To be alive whilst their legacy is still being added to is a real treat!

Conor OberstThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Conor OberstRuminations
Brave, personal and heart achingly real. It feels like you’re in the room with him as he’s pouring his heart out.

Iggy PopEm George
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
It would be a total lie for me to say that I have been patiently and politely waiting for a new Iggy Pop record because I’ve been extremely impatient and downright rude, mouthing off to my vinyl copy of Lust for Life, begging to the Iggy Pop gods for a new release and then Post Pop Depression hit in March this year. Produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), the entire album is gritty and dark, sharp and tight with that small hint of sadness that lies just under the surface of Iggy Pop’s music. However in true Iggy fashion, the melodies and heavy drums lift the album into something that is hard to define, taking you to another place. My pick for 2016!

KaleoGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
KaleoA/B
I came across these guys on Spotify a few months ago as they were our number one associated artist then. I had never heard of them before but their album has been on repeat ever since. Their album is incredibly varied, with high-energy songs like “Way Down We Go” and soft ballads like “Save Yourself”. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.

Gregory PorterJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, Backsliders)
Gregory PorterTake me to the Alley
I watched a YouTube clip of Gregory Porter performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and watched it several times over, absolutely mesmerised. The album is just as mesmerising; full of soul, jazz and RnB, beautiful arrangements and Porter’s effortless delivery; just enough grit and soul to keep the jazz interesting! I listen to this album when I want something that will absolutely zone me out of where I am and what I am doing, Porter’s soothing voice is like being wrapped up in blanket and given a cup of hot cocoa.

Bruce MolskyShell Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Bruce MolskyCan’t Stay Here This a-Way
Bruce Molsky always manages to bring such a rich, unique sound to the old-time classics. His latest album is no exception. His fiddle-singin’ gives me warm fuzzies akin to sitting by a campfire under a starry sky.

David BowieJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
David BowieBlackstar
It was hot, humid January afternoon driving through a sun-shower when I first listened to David Bowie’s Blackstar album. Released just 2 days after his death aged 69 this is an amazing final piece of work from this incredible artist. The hauntingly beautiful voice and instrumentation echos with songs about finality and death. Listening to this I was filled pure joy, sadness and reflection of this artist’s inspirational legacy.

Black Mountain String bandThe Plough
Black Mountain String BandTime Traveller
This year The Plough discovered the Canberra based Black Mountain String Band and can’t get enough of them. The exuberance and variety they bring to a live show is showcased beautifully in their recording. Their mix of traditional and original songs and instrumentals take the listener back in time through a landscape of high energy Old Time, Western Swing, triangle pumping Cajun and plucky Fiddle polkas. This CD’s been on high rotation in the Lancer’s CD stacker ever since it was launched in the bush capital on a chilly winters night.

TyrannamenFraser A Gorman
TyrannamenTyrannamen
A brilliant, gruff mixture of Memphis Garage-soul blended deep in a gravel filled, VB bottle of Australian 70’s pub rock. Eight tracks long, all killer no filler.

Margo PriceNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo is one of the first of a new breed of Americana artists to come out of the new epicentre of country music in East Nashville. Alongside Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, et al., these guys are playing authentic honky-tonk reminiscent of 1970s outlaw country, yet with their own fresh take. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter reminds me of the edgiest tracks from Dolly Parton, and the fact she is the first country act signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records is a testament to the quality of this album.

Oh PepJames Kenyon
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Stadium Cake is a brilliant album – brave arrangements, tight pop writing, great lyrics and Liv’s voice is a pleasure. I love the ambition of the album, and the assuredness the result. It’s an inspiring record

Julia JacklinAinsley Farrell
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
I’ve had the chance to see Julia perform these songs over the past couple years so I’ve been very excited for her album. She has an incredible songwriting talent topped by this powerful yet vulnerable voice that’ll break your heart and put it back together again all in one go. If you get the chance to see her and her band live I wouldn’t miss it.

Liz StringerMel Parsons
Liz StringerAll The Bridges
I have been a fan of Liz for a good few years now, I’m completely smitten with her voice – all husk, beauty and pain. I had high expectations for her new album, and All The Bridges delivers and then some, it’s been on repeat in my house since it arrived.

CanaryKathleen Mary Lee
CanaryI Am Lion
I like this because it is a celebration of very big, very beautiful feelings that I reckon have no other way of being celebrated other than through this kind of emotionally epic music. The lyrics are attempts at honesty and the music is always their non verbal emotional equivalent, making the album a very cathartic experience. If you want it to be. A bit of a masterpiece

Eagle and the WolfSam Buckingham
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Sarah brings out Kris’s sweetness and Kris brings out Sarah’s no bullshit strength – making this album the perfect balance of heart and “fuck you”. It just sounds like two musicians being real and having a ball. Awesome songwriting, perfect harmonies – it’s golden.

Sian EvansTori Forsyth
Sian EvansHow Time Has Treated Thee
This EP has only swept across my table recently but it is hands down a stand out. It makes me feel happy, sad and inspired all in one hit!

Songs From DanLucie Thorne
Dan TuffySongs From Dan
Aussie expat (now Dutch resident) and legend Dan Tuffy (Big Low, Wild Pumpkins at Midnight) has made one of my favourite albums not just of 2016 but of all time (seriously!). Co-produced by Melbourne’s Matt Walker, and recorded partly here in Melbourne, and partly in Holland, this album is an extraordinary collection from a true poet who sings straight to the heart of it all. Check it out folks!

Sian EvansHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Damien JuradoVisions Of Us On The Land
While this is Damien Jurado’s twelth album, it is the first I heard of him. Visions is a psychedelic, mystical odyssey, one that takes place within and without. The internal wanderings, the struggles and revelations, mirror an external landscape that is both beautiful and haunting. Each listen draws you further into these mirror worlds and all the while Jurado’s songs and sounds are immediately and undeniably striking.

Tracy McNeilLeah Flanagan
Tracy McNeil and the Good LifeThieves
Thieves is such an enjoyable record to listen to. It’s poppy and catchy yet underneath the veneer of fun singalong good times the songs themselves incredibly well crafted and arranged. Tracey writes a damn good song and if you’re lucky enough to see her band live, you’ll see them play those songs damn well too.

Adora EyeMusketeer
Adora EyeIf You Need A King, I’ve Been Prepared All My Life
This is probably the most raw and enduring folk album I have listened to all year. I am sure that this Swedish singer-songwriter was up all night writing this album in a smokey boat in the Stockholm harbour somewhere. You can almost see him clutching that ink pen with a red right hand, as his pet raven swings in a cage above his head eating dead beetles.

Hiss Golden MessengerDave Powys (The Paper Kites)
Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like A Levee
I heard this album playing in a record store in London, and as I flicked through racks of vinyl I was drawn into the melodies and depth of his song writing. Every now and then you come across an artist who really moves you, or scratches an itch you never knew you had – this album has done both for me.

The Kill Devil HillsCatherine Traicos
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
This album encapsulates all that I love about the The Kill Devil Hills. A mad racket of noise, it pulses with life and is as ripe with heartfelt ballads as it is with sexy, sinister, badass, guitar driven numbers. Enjoy with whiskey.

Robert Ellis10 String Symphony
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
His first self-produced effort combines thoughtfully crafted songs with unique and interesting arrangements, expertly performed by him and his killer band. It’s the full package real deal and we love it so much.

The Dead MaggiesThe Dead Maggies
The Cloves and The TobaccoAcross The Horizon
TCATT are one of many celt-punk bands making great music in Java, and this album is a standout. It’s straight up driving celtic punk, with big powerful singalong choruses that tug the heartstrings. Good arrangements and musicianship help make this album great. We played with them in their hometown of JogJakarta, in the attic of a vegetarian cafe. The power cut out just before the gig, so the bands went ahead and played unplugged, it was a great moment of sweaty singalongs.

Howe GelbMark Moldre
Howe GelbFuture Standards
Late night meanderings. Laid back, whisky infused jazz piano. Wordplay and lyrical twists that stand alongside the wit of Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael with the quiet phrasing of Chet Baker. Gelb continues to walk to his own beat – confounding expectations whilst smashing and recreating genres. His history has always hinted towards a love of jazz and occasionally detoured into Monk style musings – here Gelb embraces it wholeheartedly.

TullaraSian Evans
TullaraBetter Hold On
Earthy folk and roots with a dash of dirty grunge, Tullara presents her debut EP Better Hold On. Featuring her superb guitar slinging and percussive finger tapping wizardry, genius pop-roots arrangements and powdery vocals; it’s as if an Aussie Taylor Swift, John Butler and Andy Mckee were entrapped in a love triangle and spawned gold threads of wild honesty weaving together this admirable little Roots record. It’ll jerk a tear and invoke a bit of primal badass equally.

TaliskJake Pember (The Button Collective)
TaliskAbyss
Ever since first hearing Mohsen Amini’s amazing concertina playing earlier this year I have been a little bit obsessed with this band. They have the perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, and each member has such command of their instruments that every track feels as natural and flowing as a conversation.

Max SavageKaurna Cronin
Max SavageTrue Believers
Max has a brilliant ability to invite his audiences into the narrative of his works. With brilliant imagery and musicianship True Believers captures a great snapshot of true Australian culture, while also creating a great sense of nostalgia by grasping that 80’s Australian rock sound perfectly. The perfect soundtrack for an Australian road trip or any suburban household.

Nick CaveAlex L’Estrange
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
Amongst all the huge artists that dropped albums in 2016, and the loads of Australian artists that arguably dropped career highlights (Ball Park Music, These Guy, D.D Dumbo), there was one album that I found myself frequently listening to, uninterrupted, alone on the hi-fi, and that was Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s not necessarily my favourite, I think it’s an impossible task to name a favourite, but it was the first album that came to mind for this list, and that means more than anything. Hearing it coupled with the film One More Time With Feeling was challenging, given its subject matter. But its atmosphere was expertly executed; dynamic, fluid, smooth and heartbreaking. The rooms of Air, La Frette and Retreat studios are beautifully on display in songs like “Girl in Amber”, where the wispy backing vocals of The Bad Seeds hauntingly resonate across the walls. These contrast the desperate and almost maddening mantras of “I Need You”. What makes it a truly extraordinary album, is that it isn’t just doom and gloom. ‘Skeleton Tree’ doesn’t dwell on tragedy, it addresses it as part of the human condition, and there is an underlying beauty in that.

William CrightonClaire Ann Taylor
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
The storytelling and the whole atmosphere created by Crighton on this album is incredible. His dark, brooding voice and emotive style of delivery, commanded my attention from the first moment I heard it.

Andy ShaufWilliam Fitzsimmons
Andy ShaufThe Party
This was my favorite album of the year for one simple reason: MELODY!!! Andy is everything that’s right about classic “pop” music; never playing a note without a damn good reason for doing so, and songwriting that makes you feel something deep in your gut. He’s the worthy musical son of Harry Nilsson that we’ve longingly been waiting for.

LuciusRuby Boots
LuciusGood Grief
I have to choose this album because I’m still, since its release, pulling away the layers on it. Although it’s a predominantly pop record, the lyrical content and melodic arrangements are so intelligent and accessible all at once – a fine line that is hard to walk. The girls’ voices are otherworldly and tend to make me forget where I am and what I’m doing every time I put this album on. I still can’t get enough of it.

WetLacey Cole (Lazy Colts)
WetDon’t You
If you have a soft spot for B-grade pop ballads/R&B this Brooklyn-based three piece may just have written the soundtrack of your 90s-nostalgia drenched dreams. Their latest album Don’t You is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Helmed by the stunning front-woman Kelly Zutrau, her unusual vocal inflections and impassioned delivery suggest an emotional complexity in what may otherwise be confused as banal sentiments (one song is called “Baby, You’re The Best”). Once combined with the lush production and rhythms of the band – assigned with the noble task of turning tears into toe-tappers – these songs are wonderfully earnest, rarely overwrought and exactly what you need right now.

James KenyonJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
I have been lucky enough to see James play a couple of times. His beautifully crafted songs are reminiscent of great songwriters like Paul Kelly. The album is a stunning representation of his work.

JRHMabel Windred-Wornes (Charm of Finches)
Josh Rennie-HynesFurthermore
I love this album. It’s got so much warmth, it’s spacious. I listen to it late at night doing my homework and it’s so calming. It’s like the energy he captured recording it in the hills of Woodford transmits. We met him at Bendigo Blues and Roots Fest this year and felt we’d discovered a rare gem. He’s an amazing songwriter.

Tom BrosseauMatt Bauer
Tom BrosseauNorth Dakota Impressions
Beautiful storytelling, vivid imagery, and an incredible sense of place. I’ve always loved Tom’s records and he’s at the top of his game here writing about his native North Dakota.

Jim JamesTimberwolf
Jim JamesEternally Even
It’s a pretty passionate political plea and America needed a timely voice. He even released it the day before election day. I think his voice is very much from another world, so that’s an important “third person” kind of perspective. It’s a well sequenced collection of songs, and I really love the warm psych and soul inspired production/composition. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that Jim James and Blake Mills would make up my sonic dream-team.

Nigel WearneJustin Bernasconi (The Stillsons)
Nigel WearneDrawing Circles
Nigel has really forged his own fingerpicking techniques on both the banjo and guitar on this album, and his voice tenderly delivers every song with intense concern and passion. Just check out the live version of the title track.

The Kill Devil HillsMark ‘Looch’ Lewis – (Wifey/Handsome Young Strangers)
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
I have always loved this band. In all their incarnations and styles whether that is folk, country, gospel, rock or what I call the “WA dirge” (Kim Salmon, Drones type bass driven tunes). Hard to believe it is now 12 years since the release of their debut Heathen Songs when that “Drinkin’ Too Much” song first got my attention. And while it has been 7 years since the last studio album Man You Should Explode, the good news is that I reckon this is the most cohesive album yet. Cracking harmonies, great playing and strong tunes. Tracks like “The Nets”, “Chinese Burns” and notably “The Kid” are 3 of the best tunes they have released. Let’s hope there is more output and touring to come.

Austin LucasMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Austin LucasBetween the Moon & the Midwest
I spend a fair bit of time on the road traveling to see my partner and this record became the perfect traveling companion for me. Took a few listens to get into and also realise it’s a concept album which draws from Lucas’ own past experiences. Without spoiling the outcome, it follows the luckless musician Richard, his partner Kristie Rae and his best friend William. It features killer song writing with pedal steel, twangy tele, country influences with punk rock subtlety, numerous guest vocals from the likes of John Moreland and Corey Brannan, and a cracker duet with Lydia Loveless “Wrong Side of the Dream”, dealing with the struggles and plights that many musicians face. My song of the record is “William”, the solo acoustic number at the end that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the guts. Songwriting at its finest.

Cody JinksAndrew Cavalieri (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Cody JinksI’m Not the Devil
Raw, honest and heartache. That is this album! The first track really sets the mood for the rest of the album, but is broken up by “Chase This Song” which is a damn banger of a driving song! The outlaw vibe flowing from Junks’ music really prepares you for some hard times and disappointment in life. Bloody hell I love this album! Honorable mentions: Murlocs – Young Blindness, Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep and Mudcrutch – 2.

Wartime SweetheartsLaura Bishop (Chaika)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
A killer voice, some super awesome writing skills, and an obsession with bodybuilders (hello Ms Olympia!) make this my favourite album of 2016. Wartime Sweethearts, aka singer-keyboardist-loop artist-songwriter Louise Nutting, signed to Art As Catharsis Records this year and released an album full of all the beats and electric piano and vocal harmony sounds that I like to hear (and I wish I could make) – and my favourite track “Figure It In, Figure It Out” has all the unexpected twistings and turnings of chord progressions that I wish I could write. One day Chaika will make sounds like this! One day…

Neil YoungTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Neil YoungPeace Trail
Well with everyone saying we should just put 2016 behind us (although to be honest we should probably be approaching 2017 with a little trepidation too) I’ve decided not to dig too deeply into the past when thinking of my favorite record release of the year. I’ve loved many, but my recent love is the just-released 37th album by Neil Young. Peace Trail is short, musically experimental within its tight three piece band approach, and lyrically angry and poignant. I love it for the drummer’s drummer Jim Keltner and the way his delicate touch chases Neil’s quirky phrasing around the songs. I love it because it captures another freeze frame moment from a restless and undaunted songwriter, and I love it, of course, for those mighty guitar tones.

Davey CraddockLachlan Bryan
Davey CraddockCity West
2016 was a great year for my friends releasing good music. Melody Pool comes to mind, as do The Weeping Willows, Henry Wagons, Ange Boxall and Bill Jackson. It’s actually really hard to contribute to a “best of” list when you’re close to many of the artists – it’s hard to be objective – even after I rule out the records I was actually involved in making. Actually – it’s always hard to be objective, whether you know the artists or not. Furthermore, judging a whole body of work is hard – and for me, more than ever, 2016 was the year of the song (as opposed to the album or EP). And as songs go, the one that’s really stuck with me this year is the song “Number 9” by Davey Craddock. I love the cricket references. I asked Davey if he was a diehard cricket fan like me. He’s not. I was bitterly disappointed.

The Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsMagic Fire
The Stray Birds made our fave album of 2014 and they’ve done it again in spectacular style with Magic Fire. It’s everything about this album and this band, the playing, the three part harmony and songs that are unabashed, true and unadorned. Magic Fire is a reminder of the things that matter, it’s definitely a fire and maybe a little bit magic.

Tori ForsythAndrew Swift
Tori ForsythBlack Bird
This EP is right up there as one of my favourite releases of 2016. From the moment I heard the opening title track, “Black Bird”, I knew that I was in for a treat. The diversity on display within the 5 tracks of Tori Forsyth’s debut release excites me. The songs are so well crafted and presented with such a mature sound, especially for someone so young. I’m eagerly awaiting the next release from one of Australia’s most promising young songwriters.

Hayden CalninRoscoe James Irwin
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1
A beautiful album from Melbourne artist Hayden Calnin. Drenched in melancholy and ambient awesomeness, this album had me at hello. (One of my favourite live shows of 2016 as well).

Jordie LaneNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
Have to say I’ve been particularly digging Jordie Lane’s GLASSELLLAND this last couple of months – with mighty input from the multi-talented Clare Reynolds. Let’s face it, Jordie’s a bit of an all-round talented guy!

Melody PoolDavey Craddock
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
One of my fave local album’s of the year was Melody Pool’s Deep Dark Savage Heart. I’m a sucker for strings and a massive chorus and I love the way the songs build from really intimate, delicate and ornate passages into full-blown, wailing-on-a-mountain top with Stevie Nicks, 100 soaring bats and a thunderstorm moments. I saw her launch it at the Abbotsford Convent earlier this year and it was a really powerful and affecting show for me.

Methyl EthylTim Guy
Methyl Ethel – “No.28”
I know it’s not an album, but I’ve listened to this song more than any other this year, and it only came out a little while back. It has a lot going for it – great rhythm behind a smart piece of songwriting and then the whole thing is bathed in a deep silver mercury type thing. An Australian classic I swear.

DocksThe Staves
Amanda BergmanDocks
Our favourite album of 2016 is Docks by Amanda Bergman. Her voice is utterly sublime. You want to listen to every word she says. The music is dreamy, deep, soft, moody with melodies that whirr deliciously around your mind for days and weeks on end.

Katie BriannaRaechel Whitchurch
Katie BriannaVictim or the Heroine
I picked this album up when Katie and I did a songwriters showcase together. Sitting beside her listening to her songs was so magical – her voice is one of the most enchanting I have ever heard and her lyrics hit you right in the feels every time. Reminds me of a young Lucinda!

James KenyonMandy Connell (Stray Hens)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
James’ lyrics have that magic of time and place usually associated with voices like Paul Kelly or Bruce Springsteen. You can practically smell his scenes. You’re there. This album captures the voice but better than that, like a Tim Winton book, its a record that makes you present in Kenyon’s stories.

Jordie LaneLiz Stringer
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
It’s no secret that Jordie Lane and I are good mates. We grew up together, musically speaking, and I am more familiar with his work than with most other artist’s. His new album, his first full-length release in five years, is called GLASSELLLAND, recorded by Jordie himself in various make-shift recording spaces in North Los Angeles and co-produced by his fiercely talented partner, Clare Reynolds, who also co-wrote half of the songs and sings and plays a heap of instruments on the record. Jordie’s songwriting and musicianship continue to evolve and stretch out with the years and these songs, and the way they’re recorded, ache with longing while driving forward with a swagger and a playful showmanship, melodically rich and hooky as fuck. I always become a bit weepy listening to Jordie sing. And, now, the combination of him and Clare ruins me every time. Beautiful.

David BowieColin Jones (Colin Jones & The Delta Review)
David BowieBlackstar
An exceptional reflection on final days and the unknown. Every note by Bowie, McCaslin and the band emphasize the chaos and fragility of life. There is no better swansong for an artist.

A Moon Shaped PoolEmma Anglesey
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool completely surrenders to simple truths that both lie in plain sight and in the messy tangled, kicking and screaming realities of life. The epic levels of angst in the opening track “Burn the Witch” are like an exorcism – Jonny Greenwood’s sharp string arrangement take you right to the edge – and then from there it’s like Alice falling through the rabbit hole of raw emotion and you go deeper and deeper.

DawesTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
DawesWe’re All Gonna Die
Some of the best lyric writing welded on to some pretty simple, but catchy, pop songs. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama shakes, Laura Marling), this is a great record start to finish if you can forgive some slightly John Mayer sounding guitars that pop their head up from time to time. This I the record I keep coming back to this year

Oh PepRebecca Bastoli
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I don’t think I have ever been so entranced, excited or exhausted by the journey of listening to an album start to finish.

Bon IverDustin Tebbutt
Bon Iver22, A Million
Bon Iver has once again exceeded expectations on this release. It’s both familiar and foreign, delicately coloured, softly focused yet angular and stark. It’s brave, honest and all the things that I loved about Justin’s earlier works, without coming close to formulaic. It’s colloquial and conversational, yet inherently profound. Incredible stuff both musically and sonically.

Margo PriceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
There’s something comforting about Margo Price’s debut album, almost like I’d listened to it before, but not in an overly familiar sort of way. Perhaps there’s something in her glorious voice that reminds me of my parent’s Dolly Parton records. She’s a great story teller, and I want to know more about her heartaches and headaches, particularly when accompanied by her crack band. I’m also proud to say my 4 year daughter keeps calling for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle)” when we’re in the car – and I can’t think of anything else I’d want her to be listening to right now.

BJ BarthamHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
BJ BarhamRockingham
It pains me to say this but BJ Barham’s new-found sobriety has coincided with a serious coming of age as a songwriter. Taking a (very) short break from American Aquarium duties, BJ’s solo release (a genuine side-project) is seriously hard-hitting stuff. It rivals Aquarium’s 2012 release Burn. Flicker. Die. for intensity, but of a completely different nature. With sparse arrangements (often acoustic) Barham, as storyteller, gives you an uncensored and unashamed glimpse into how rural America has been left behind. Not for the faint hearted.

William CrightonSam Newton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I’d caught Crighton perform a bunch of times at local venues around Sydney and really dug his tune (and especially the music video) “Woman Like You” prior to this album’s release. So I was anticipating this release. Really excited for it. I was stoked when I heard that he and producer Matt Sherrod came through with the goods. Big time. Highlights for me are “Riverina Kid”, “Priest” and “2000 Clicks”. In my mind, this one is about as strong as debut albums get.

Chaim TannenbaumEliza Carthy
Chaim TannenbaumChaim Tannenbaum
The album that I have most enjoyed and most visited this year is the debut of the kind, quiet genius Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound Records). I’ve had the privilege of working with Chaim over the years but it was only recently I realised that I have lived with his distinctive voice and gorgeous humility since I first began to love music. It’s his voice that forms the third harmony in “Complainte pour St Catherine” on the first McGarrigle sisters’ album, a song I played over and over as a child until you could almost see through the record, and he has been quiet companion and producer to theirs and their extended family’s work ever since. It’s somewhat typical of his humility that he has waited this long to make an album, produced by his dear longtime friend and collaborator Loudon Wainwright III. It’s a collection of avuncular stories told in his gorgeously expressive voice with beautiful, minimal production. Some trad, some conversational originals covering everything from the fate of the baseball stadium Ebbets Field to living in a depressing grey London in the endless rain in the 1960s. An album to listen to with your eyes closed by the fire. Again and again, and again.

PinegroveQuinton Trembath
PinegroveCardinal
The lyrics on this album read like the private diary of a well spoken (and well read) guy filled with both anxiety and excitement for life. The musicianship and dynamics complement this introspectiveness well, making it perfectly suited for intense solo listening as well as for being cranked on road trips with friends.

Sean McMahonAlison Ferrier
Sean McMahon and the MoonMenShiner
Sean McMahon’s laid back yet somehow intense vocal brings this fantastic collection of songs to life in my living room. Shiner’s ragged elegance is full of the sort of raunchy country rock I can’t get enough of. Stand out tracks for me: “Shiner” and “Here Comes the Night Again”.

WhitneyEddie Boyd
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
This album just grew and grew on me since my first listen. Simple, catchy tunes that make me wanna dance or go driving for a long time. I think Whitney nailed everything about this album – the instrumentation, the production, obviously the songs. Also, they’re heaps good live.

Secret PathThe Once
Gord DownieSecret Path
The Tragically HipMan Machine Poem
This year was a hard year in Canadian Music. We have a fella here by the name of Gord Downie. He is a legend. He has helped raise Canadians to be more real with his music. He is the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. There are not many people in Canada who don’t know who The Hip are. Their music has become part of our DNA. Gord, this year, made a statement saying he has terminal brain cancer so he obviously fighting for the men and women of the north. The folks that have needed a voice for far too long. He is being that voice. He is showing us how to be Canadian and that we can’t be without acknowledging the needs of all of our people, without respecting all of our people. This year, instead of succumbing to his illness, he put out two albums. One with The Hip and one solo. Here they are. They are magic and will go down in history in our great nation. It’s amazing to watch one man build his second legacy.

Cash SavageJessica Cassar (Jep and Dep)
Cash Savage & The Last DrinksOne Of Us
This has everything you want from a record. It’s dirty and beautiful, and dark as hell. Cash sings with a thunderous anguish that cracks, rumbles and echoes so perfectly any sorrow you might have ever had. And like any good storm, the album’s darkness reveals a little light, one that roars some sort of painful end, or much needed beginning. I love this record!

Tracy McNeilGretta Ziller
Tracy McNeil & The GoodlifeThieves
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to the game when it comes to Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife. I caught their set at Out on the Weekend and was captivated! Their 2016 album Thieves is just so dang easy to listen to, I will confess it is turning into a “chilling on the deck summer favourite” of mine! Please, if you haven’t already, pick up or download a copy of this album and chill!!

Bill JacksonRosie McDonald (RAPT, Trippy Hippy Band, Seanchas)
Bill JacksonThe Wayside Ballads Vol. 2
Bills’ reputation had preceded him before I heard him at Fairlight folk with Ruth Hazelton and Pete Fiddler. I grabbed the opportunity to contribute to his The Wayside Ballads Vol. 2 crowd funding campaign to get Bill and Pete over to Nashville to record with some very fine session players. Bill kept me updated with postcards and messages so I felt like a sideline cheerer in this whole project. Then the CD arrived! Magnificent songs, co-written with Bills’ brother Ross. Bills’ time worn voice, rich and mellow, rootsy, Americana-ish but very very homegrown, local accent, stories big and small, tender and big hearted. Pete’s playing shines in amongst the session guys, a great listen. Music for travel, the cabin, the verandah, anywhere.

Kate Burke and Pete WildMelanie Horsnell
Kate Burke and Pete WildLive at St Peters
In my small town we have the most marvellous artists touring through, but I also love our sweet locals, and I adore this live record by Kate Burke and Pete Wild. Pete Wild’s “Mars 1” is a love song about a person who goes on the Mars mission leaving his forever love behind, the Martin-Martin song is an old village favourite and the last love song between Doris and Arthur makes me giggle and lament at the same time. And I adore playing Kate Burkes version of Frozen Man on repeat when everything in life gets a bit much.

MontaigneGretta Ray
MontaigneGlorious Heights
My favourite record that was released in 2016 is without a doubt, Montaigne’s Glorious Heights. What impresses me most about this record is the fact that it is rather evident that the artist went into this project with the intention of experimenting with her sound and taking risks, drawing inspiration from a range of her influences and assuring that each song conveyed a slightly different emotion from the previous track. I believe it was this approach of 20-year-old Jess Sero’s (Montainge) that resulted in the production of what I perceive to be a very imaginative and bold debut album. This record showcases the fact that Jess has, unquestionably, one of the strongest and most commanding voices in the Australian music industry, this being exemplified through the outstanding production and arrangements of the songs that make up Glorious Heights. As well as this, each song is demonstrative of Jess’ incredibly clever and unique songwriting, which I cannot wait to hear more of in years to come; the simplicity yet complexity and quirkiness of a lyric such as “when you touch my skin, I think ‘this isn’t boring'” makes one ponder on such a line, as Jess’ way of writing is different, daring and something that never fails to make me smile. Glorious Heights made me so very excited about how extravagant pop music is becoming in this day and age, and on the whole made me very proud to be a young woman in the Australian music scene.

WhitneyTreetop Flyers
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
I first started hearing about this band online, so was waiting for the album with anticipation. When it dropped I must have played it back to back straight away, which rarely happens. They are hard to put in a genre, which is really great. No Woman is one of our faves of the year. They are great live and do a version’s of NRBQ’s Magnet, so happy campers over here.

Drive By TruckersShane Nicholson
Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
In a year of many great records, this stands tall above the crowd. It’s everything I love about the Truckers: gutsy and raw, clever and thoughtful, sometimes irreverent and full of attitude, and sometimes tender and restrained. Imagine a bastard-child born to Son Volt, Matthew Ryan and Uncle Tupelo, but all dressed up in those well-worn and unmistakable Drive-By Truckers clothes. How could that not make for the coolest kid on the block this year?

Conor OberstJack Carty
Conor OberstRuminations
It’s bloody beautiful in its simplicity. Gorgeous songs performed honestly. It seems like every track is a complete performance and any imperfections only enhance the sincerity of it all for me. Such an incredibly good songwriter.

Hayes CarllThe Weeping Willows
Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Lovers and Leavers is Hayes Carll’s most personal, introspective and “exposed” album to date, both in terms of the intimate, confessional songwriting and the stripped back arrangements, reminiscent of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams, never saying too much – or too little. This intimacy draws you in, while Carll’s vulnerability captures you and takes you on a journey through heartache and reflection. Hayes was always in good hands with dynamic duo Joe Henry (producer) and Ryan Freeland (engineer) at the wheel, steering gently towards a common, graceful goal. Henry’s arrangements are characteristically unique yet elegant and tasteful, while Freeland brings his trademark clarity and warmth. Check it out if you’re fans of the late, great Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt or fellow Texans, Steve Earle and Kevin Welch. Stand out tracks: “Sake of The Song”, “The Magic Kid” and “Drive”.

Iggy PopKelly Day (Broads)
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
Sometimes you’ll find a record that makes you feel high from the moment it begins. Iggy’s new album, channelled through the hooky sounds of Josh Homme and given a Bowie-esque lean, made me grin like a mad person. And then immediately take it for another spin.

Robert EllisMegan Cooper
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
I was waiting to go on air for an interview. While we were pfaffing around getting ready “The High Road” came on. I pretended I knew who Robert Ellis was when I was advised who the artist was that had pretty much hypnotised me in 30 seconds flat. I went out and paid cash money for the album the next day. Every song got me on first listen. Cinematic moments. Super personal bits. Non-standard approaches. Aspirational.

PassengerSam Brittain
PassengerYoung As The Morning, Old As The Sea
Mike has always had a wonderful way of crafting simple and memorable melodies. Combine this with his always captivating lyrics and you have a master songwriter who’s tunes that sneak their way into your day. Songs that sooner or later without realising you find yourself humming whilst waiting in line for your morning coffee. Although often his storytelling veers on on the darker side of heartbreak and loss this latest album has a lighter touch, proving Passenger is and a yard stick for the aspiring modern folk troubadour. A dynamic artist who’s albums have been true to his own brand since day one. Additionally his band on this record are also fantastic live. I recently caught his show to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin, it was one I won’t soon forget.

Bon IverAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Bon Iver22, A Million
Another great record from Bon Iver – I have loved all three so far. I like how it also pushes into some new and interesting territory with the production. The auto-tuned a cappella of “715 – CR∑∑KS” is a particular highlight

Margaret GlaspyMaia Marsh
Margaret GlaspyEmotions and Math
It makes me feel really empowered whenever I listen to it, as a woman myself playing music. The songs are strong, guitar tone is great and her voice has this amazing growl that cuts through a sincere sensitivy at the same time.

BlondDirewolf
Frank OceanBlond
My hat is profusely off to an artist who can seamlessly bridge so many facets of musical integrity. What I mean by that nonsensical shit is that the entire record is some kind of highly strung soundboard (literally) which either sends you flying high just to get high, or high because you’re just too fucking upset. “Skyline To” and “Seigfried” are perfect examples. The whole collective arrangement kills me too, it’s like listening to recent Bon Iver whilst playing Sega in a radio store – the musicality is superb. I could say a lot more, but I’ll safely surrender by saying it definitely influenced the direction of my mind in doing another record.

Bon IverWildwood Kin
Bon Iver22, A Million
Easily. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. It’s just genius.

Tattletale SaintsGeorge Jackson (The Company, Buffalo Nickel, One Up, Two Down)
Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints
Nashville based, New Zealand duo Tattletale Saints released their self-titled, second album this year, and it’s beautiful. Cy Winstanley (Guitars, Vocals) can pen songs with the best of them, his offerings on this album range from self-reflective and insightful, to sometimes cynical and cutting but always with a masterful craftsmanship. Vanessa McGown (Double Bass, Vocals) provides both solid and virtuosic Double Bass playing and vintage tinged country vocals. The new album is definitely a departure from their earlier acoustic recordings – but for a new fan, like me coming along, this is a bold and engaging listen complete with a production dripping in vintage tones and depth. Listen, and enjoy!

Genni KaneBill Jackson
Genni KaneSelfies
Ex-member of seminal Australian band, The Flying Emus, Genni Kane has a voice that can’t be denied. This long awaited record shows she is also a very gifted songwriter and the opening track “Little White Dog” is the beginning of a beautiful journey that deserves your attention.

Nancy KerrRuth Hazleton (http://www.billjacksonmusic.com/, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Nancy KerrInstar
A heady mix of poetry, politics and social commentary, Nancy Kerr’s Instar is an achingly beautiful collection of original songs framed within the landscape of traditional folk music. Beautifully performed and produced, Instar is, without doubt, one of the masterpieces of folk from 2016 and a work that will inform the tradition for a long time to come.

Fanny LumsdenThe Pigs
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
This album is full of great songs written from Fanny’s heart. She’s the real McCoy. Whenever we see her play live her songs get stuck in our head for weeks after. “Bravest Of Hearts”, “Soapbox” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down” are just a few of the crackers on this rekid. This is a breath of fresh air for Australian Country Music. We love Fanny! More… More…

Side PonyHannah Acfield (The Acfields)
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
Give me a bit of 60’s sounding soul any day of the week! The songs are catchy, nice melodies and make you wanna move. I’m a sucker for a sterling vocalist. This was fav album for me.

Julia JacklinWillowy
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
An album about the little things in life that somehow manages to sum up the bigger things as well, cutting right through the mess to the heart of it all. Beautifully written and perfectly executed. It’s lovely to see an artist from the Sydney folk music family reaching great heights with an exceptional debut album.

John FlanaganSal Kimber (Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel)
John FlanaganThere’s Another Way To Where You’re Going

Bill ChambersRicky Pann (The Willing Ponies)
Bill ChambersCold Trail
Jen MizeWarnings and Wisdom
Sam BushStoryman
Bill Chambers is an Australian Journeyman troubadour. Songwriter, producer, sideman and front man, Bills live shows have influenced many and earned him a legion of devoted fans. Cold trail is Bills first studio album in four years and reminds the rock pop acts infiltrating modern country of where the heart of country lies. Cold Trail is a collection of honky-tonk “life lived” country that is the real deal. Produced by Bill and Recorded at his son Nash Chambers foggy mountain studios, Cold Trail is a world class record that draws on many influences to deliver country authenticity with Aussie perspective. A cracker record.
It’s a long way from Jen Mize roots in the Appliacian mountains of Georgia and North Carolina as a decedent of Lumbee Tribe of native Americans to the Sunshine coast of Queensland. Jen Mize is the real deal in every respect. An American songwriter with an incredible voice delivering an album packed with dynamic, well-crafted songs that’s all killer no filler. Shane Nicholson’s earthy production, arrangments and playing provide a tastefully rich sonic pallet that does this fine singer justice. The album glides from old-timey to traditional country and honky tonk, setting a very high bar of authenticity. An absolute stand out record.
Sixty-four-year-old Sam Bush has many stories to tell as a musician, innovator, writer and singer. One of my favourite musicians on the planet, Sam is a bluegrass master and the father of newgrass music spawned from his groundbreaking band the New Grass Revival. Sam is arguably one of the most influential mandolin players in history having played with just about everyone from Bill Monroe to Leon Russell. This record is a collection of finely crafted songs with a crack band featuring vocals from Emmylou Harris and Alison Kraus. A masterful record.

Mullum Music Festival Announces Very Folky Lineup

Tinpan Orange
Image Courtesy of Mullum Music Festival

The Mullum Music Festival always has a quality lineup and the 2013 event is no different. Amongst the dozens and dozens of artists announced are more Timber and Steel favourites than you can throw a banjo at including Mama Kin, Tinpan Orange, Love Over Gold, Bobby Alu, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Old Man Luedecke, Jordie Lane, Lucie Thorne, Elana Stone, Jack Carty, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Loren Kate, Aluka, Miles and Simone, Mustered Courage, Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel, Green Mohair Suits, James Kenyon and so many many more.

The Mullum Music Festival takes place in Mullumbimby, NSW from the 21st to 24th Novemember. For more information check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

Raul Midon (US), The Basics, The Barefoot Divas, Blue Grassy Knoll, Pieta Brown (US), Swamp Thing (NZ), Robert Ellis (US), Arte Kanela Flamenco, Jaaleekaay (Gambia), Rose Cousins (Can), Mama Kin, Tinpan Orange, Love Over Gold (Pieta Brown & Lucie Thorne), Dubmarine, Bobby Alu, King Tide, Kingfisha, Sticky Fingers, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Sketch The Rhyme, Caitlin Park, Corey Chisel & The Wandering Sons (US), Old Man Luedecke (Can), Marlon Williams (NZ), Jordie Lane, Lucie Thorne, Elana Stone produced by Zebra Zap, Declan Kelly & the Rising Sun, Kooii, Chocolate Strings, Ray Mann 3, Potato Potato, Lifeline, Jack Carty, Rebecca Ireland, The Junes, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Loren Kate, Greg Sheehan, Ben Walsh: Loop Zero, Teatro Matita (Slav), Aluka, Miles and Simone, JoJo Smith, Leah Carriage, Starboard Cannons, Mustered Courage, Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel, The Lucky Wonders, Round Mountain Girls, Lez Karski Band, Green Mohair Suits, Annie Plummer, The Sugar Spinner, Walrus & The Carpenter, Sister Mary’s Acoustic Mullum,Victoriana Gaye, James Kenyon, Mr Cassidy, James Teague, Muberry Bend, The Hottentots, Gabriel and Cecilia, Clelia Adams & River Express, Three Little Sisters, Northern Rivers Ukulele Orchestra, Spaghetti Circus, The Pitts, Raise the Roof Community Gospel Choir, The Biggest Little Town Choir, St John’s Singers, Stukulele and Miss Amber’s Chocolate Wheel, MC Mandy Nolan, Roundabout Theatre Company, a c.a.s.e for correlation, The Curly Cousins, The Magic Bus.

Communion Melbourne Announces May Lineup

Communion Melbourne
Image Courtesy of Communion Melbourne

May is already well underway which means one thing – almost time for the latest Communion Melbourne. This Sunday 19th May The Toff in Town in Melbourne will play host to Communion with a lineup featuring some of the best in folk and indie music – NZ indie rockers Five Mile Town, Americana singer-songwriter Garrett Kato, Timber and Steel favourites Miles and Simone and local singer-songwriter’s Sean O’Neill and Zack Buchanan.

The night will kick off at 6:30pm with tickets $18 on the door. For more information on this month’s Communion Melbourne check out the official Facebook event here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Two of our favourite up and coming UK artists, The Staves and Keaton Henson, have collaborated on a version of Henson’s “In The Morning”. Details here

TinPan Orange released the clip for their track “Supergirl”. Details here

– London’s Treetop Flyers have just released their new video “Things Will Change”. Details here

– The wonderful Packwood has announced another Folkraiser mini-festival to help raise funds for his upcoming EPs. Details here

Castlecomer have delivered one of the happiest videos we’ve seen in a long time with “Rosie”. Details here

– Watch the trailer for When Brave Bird Saved, a short film featuring music from Laura Marling’s upcoming album Once I Was An Eagle. Details here

– And then watch the entire When Brave Bird Saved short film featuring Laura Marling here

Splendour in the Grass have announced their 2013 lineup including a bunch of folk and acoustic acts like Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, Of Monsters & Men, Matt Corby, Boy & Bear, Sarah Blasko, Gurrumul, Daughter, Vance Joy, Art Of Sleeping and more. Details here

Timber and Steel are proud to be presenting “The Hypnotist” single launch tour from Owls of the Swamp kicking off this May. Details here

– Sydney’s Folk Club will make a welcome return next Wednesday with a show featuring The Falls, Jack Carty and Leroy Lee. Details here

Little Features hits Hibernian House in Sydney tomorrow night with a lineup that includes Matt De, Oscar Lush, Charlie Gradon, Little Bighorn and Sam Buckingham. Details here

– Melbourne duo Miles and Simone have just released the video for “I Recall”, the first single from their forthcoming EP Home in Your Heart. Details here

Interviews

“I will definitely be pursuing all of those things. Anything and everything to get my music heard by as many people as possible and anything and everything to keep me from having to wear a pencil skirt in a stuffy office ever again”Emma Swift chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“Part dirt and dust, part smog and steel, and unmistakingly Australian. The modesty and earthiness of Paul Kelly, the innocence of Darren Hanlon, the warmth of Angus and Julia Stone, and the ‘local voice’ of The Waifs and Missy Higgins. Mark Myers plants his feet firmly in the soil of his North Queensland home, but his alt-country roots spread further into moments of sparse electronic beats and sound scapes nestled within his acoustically driven story telling” – Haz reviews Back on the Milks from The Starry Field. Review here

Gigs

“It was difficult to come down from falling into the rabbit hole and immersing myself in five days of being lost in Wonderland. Accompanying me were two filmmakers, one photographer, a Byron local and two actors. Each set that finished and each tent that we walked out of incited a collective sigh and exhausting swoon”janineestoesta reviews Bluesfest. Review here

Releases This Week

Junip
JunipJunip
iTunes

Pistol Eyes
Pistol EyesKaurna Cronin
iTunes

All About to Change
All About to ChangePatrick James
iTunes

Concubine
ConcubineTelegraph Tower
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Jennifer Kingwell
Jennifer Kingwell, Arbori, Caity Fowler and Plum Green
Sunday 28th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Achoo! Bless You and The Mountains
Thursday 2nd May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Aluka
Friday 3rd May – Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Bob Evans
Friday 26th April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 27th April – Fowlers, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 2nd May – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Friday 3rd May – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Eli Wolfe
Wednesday 1st May – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Folk Club feat. The Falls, Jack Carty, Leroy Lee
Wednesday 1st May – The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Gum Ball
25th to 26th April – Gum Ball, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 26th April – The Aztec, Forster, NSW
Saturday 27th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 28th April – The Fig, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 3rd May – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW

James Kenyon
Friday 26th April – 5 Church Street, Belingen, NSW
Sunday 28th April – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Jordie Lane
Friday 26th April – Gum Ball, Hunter Valley, NSW
Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th April – Apollo Bay Music Festival, Apollo Bay, VIC
Wednesday 1st May – Jet Black Cat Music in-store, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 2nd May – The End, Brisbane, QLD

Josh Pyke
Thursday 2nd May – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 3rd May – Gertrudes Brown Couch, Melbourne, VIC

Katie Noonan with Brian Campeau
Saturday 27th April – Flinders Performance Centre, Buderim, QLD
Thursday 2nd May – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd May – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW

Little Features feat. Matt De, Oscar Lush, Charlie Gradon, Little Bighorn and Sam Buckingham
Saturday 28th April – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Stu Larsen and Natsuki Kurai
Friday 26th April – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 27th April – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 28th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

The Bad Shepherds
Sunday 28th April – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Monday 29th April – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd May – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Hillbilly Killers
Friday 26th April – Rooty Hill RSL Club, Rooty Hill, NSW
Saturday 27th April – GumBall Festival, Belford, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Watch Over Me” – Bernard Fanning

A few people have asked why we haven’t covered any of the new album from Bernard Fanning and the truth is it’s because he’s made a decision to move back towards his rock roots. But we still love Fanning’s music and Tea and Sympathy is definitely one of the best Australian folk/acoustic/roots albums of the last decade.

Watch the New Miles and Simone Video “I Recall”

Miles and Simone
Image Courtesy of Miles and Simone

Melbourne alt-country duo Miles and Simone have just released the vintage-inspired new video for their track “I Recall”. “I Recall” is the first single from Miles and Simone’s new EP Home in Your Heart.

Watch the video below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– As is has been the norm in the last couple of weeks Monday morning kicked off with a brand new track from Passenger, “Golden Leaves”, in a live video featuring the Palatine Quartet. Details here

Willy Mason released the video for his latest single “Pickup Truck” from his album Carry On. Details here

– A Nick Drake tribute album based around the Way to Blue concerts has been announced for April this year featuring Teddy Thompson, Vashti Bunyan, Green Gartside, Robyn Hitchcock, Lisa Hannigan, Scott Matthews, Krystle Warren, Danny Thompson and more. Details here

Sarah Humphreys released her adorable new video “Boy Wonder” featuring her son Jude. Details here

– US banjo player Abigail Washburn and collaborator Kai Welch have revealed their full Australian tour dates when they’re in the country for WOMADelaide. Details here

– The entire first disc of the Son of Rogues Gallery pirate songs album is now streaming online. Details here

– We were blown away by the new Keaton Henson track and video “Lying to You” and we think you will be too. Details here

– Folk-rockers Dawes released the full version of their new single “From a Window Seat” after a couple of teasers. Details here

Bellowhead released the video for their latest single “Roll The Woodpile Down”, probably our favourite track from Broadside. Details here

– Check out the full list of dates for Paul Brady’s upcoming Extremely Acoustic Australian tour. Details here

– Breton folk duo Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet have a couple of shows booked on top of their Cobargo Folk Festival appearance. Details here

Stornoway released the slightly surreal video for their brand new song “Knock Me On The Head”. Details here

Simone Felice has announced his second Australian tour in 12 months this March and April with Jess Ribeiro in support. Details here

– Get yourself set for the weekend with the brand new video from party-folkers Crowns, “Four Walls”. Details here

The Gum Ball has delivered its final lineup additions for 2013 including John Schumann and Hugh McDonald (Redgum), Van Walker and Liz Stringer. Details here

– Melbourne duo Brighter Later will be launching their new album The Wolves in Melbourne this March. Details here

– Folk and acoustic music once again shone at the Brit Awards with big wins from Ben Howard and Mumford and Sons. Details here

Interviews

“Whatever happens on stage, it’s very organic, it’s very improvised. It’s not like we have a rehearsed scenario at all” – Simone Page Jones and Miles O’Neil from Miles and Simone chat to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

Beat and Holler, being my first album, was this unveiling – it took everything in me to step out in that moment and go “here am I, here’s my songs, they’re extremely personal and everything I have and am right now is in them”. So to come to the other side of that expression I was wondering what do I do here? I don’t have another body of work in me that’s of that level. I don’t want to now go and write a collection of 12 country greats. I want to go deeper. What moves me and what am I drawn towards – it just became this body of questions that I asked over time and I was confronted with as I moved further and further into the process of writing and recording Magician’s DaughterMama Kin chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“With connection and energy at the forefront of her creative design, Mama Kin and her band have more than delivered, especially with the over-all dynamic of each of the tracks. Danielle Caruana’s vocal has excelled itself, showing a much richer range and reach, with a subtle control of tone and nuance that drives the album to a new sonic dimension”Serena Skye reviews Mama Kin’s Album The Magician’s Daughter. Review here

“The Undertow EP has all the buzz and pop of his first EP with toasty, catchy tunes and soaring sounds but there’s also a darker edge. What you can hear is a maturity and perfection in each masterfully orchestrated track presented to the ear and a confidence emulated through his soothing, alluring vocals”Nikita Andrea reviews Hudson’s EP The Undertow EP. Review here

Gigs

“The performance only being contained for an hour, instead felt as though you walked atop the pages of history’s greatest musicians. Traveling through notes and crumpled paper of the days of Bob Dylan to Etta James, Gram Parsons to Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris to Sun Kil Moon. Simone holding a consistent operatic howl of inconceivable passion, coupled with an agonizing crescendo of something between great love and great despair”Janine Estoesta reviews Miles and Simone in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

Wishbone
WishboneBobby Long
iTunes

Old Yellow Moon
Old Yellow MoonEmmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
iTunes

Family Pets
Family PetsJulia and the Deep Sea Sirens
iTunes

The Magician's Daughter
The Magician’s DaughterMama Kin
iTunes

Son of Rogue's Gallery
Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 22nd February – Crossroads Wine Bar, St Helens, TAS
Sunday 24th February – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st March – Martain’s Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Arlo Guthrie with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
Thursday 28th February – Southern Cross Club, Canbera, ACT
Friday 1st March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Brett Winterford
Saturday 23rd February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Chaika
Friday 22nd February – Wollongong Conservatorium, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Independent Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February – Cobargo, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
22nd to 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Friday 1st March – Tara Guest House, Sydney, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 22nd February – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Bondi Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23 February – Newport Arms Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Cronulla Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st March – Bateau Bay Hotel, Bateau Bay, NSW

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd February – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 1st to Monday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 22nd February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Friday 22nd February – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

Melody Pool with Katie Brianna
Saturday 23rd February – Club Azzurri, Highfields, NSW

Mustered Courage with Oh Pep!
Thursday 28th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Sunday 24th February – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Wednesday 27th February – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st March – Elder Park, Adelaide, SA

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 23rd February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 22nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February – Tumbafest, Tumbarumba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 22nd February – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

The Tallest Man on Earth
Thursday 28th February – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st March – Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

The Tiger and Me
Friday 1st March – Riverside Live, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Talking With My Father” – Dougie MacLean

Today is my Dad’s birthday so I thought it was worth dedicating the FFF to him with this Dougie MacLean classic. Happy Birthday Dad!

Interview/Review: Miles and Simone

Miles and Simone
Image Courtesy of Miles and Simone

Finding myself in the heart of the Arts Precinct in Melbourne, I wandered into a large tent with a tram dropped directly abreast it. Here is where I found the delicious and divine duo that is Miles And Simone. Among the crowd of performers, the clouds of smoke and a time machine I had obviously stumbled upon, I found Miles O’Neil and Simone Page Jones sipping champagne.

Due to commence a gig at The Famous Speigeltent on the afternoon of the ninth of February, I quietly sat in the corner in and amongst an intimate crowd of about one hundred. A deep sweet and tender voice sounds, followed in unison and in perfect harmony by a soft and ever-so loving soprano voice. Miles playing a lone guitar, the reminiscent memory of a full piece orchestra is the only comparison. Given that these two identify themselves predominantly as people of theatre, the incredibly full-bodied and clean sound produced by two remarkable musicians was ineffable.

Janine Estoesta: Now, what you guys were saying before about theatrics, do you kind of incorporate that in gigs, or does it just happen by accident?

Simone Page Jones: It’s really natural. Whatever happens on stage, it’s very organic, it’s very improvised. It’s not like we have a rehearsed scenario at all.

Miles O’Neil: One of the main things about this project is to keep it really simple. So, there was no huge theatrical sets to bring along. Again, where we were playing characters or anything.

SPJ: It’s pretty much, ‘OK, Miles is here, we’re good to go.’ That’s all we need. You just need to see me and then we’re fine. See, that’s a pretty amazing thing because we’ve both done so many projects with so many flipping props. The last project I did, I was out in a warehouse near Darwin airport bloody super gluing together palm fronds that were these fans for the set, ’til like four in the morning and then up at six for rehearsal. It was like – like, I will be glad if I never see another prop ever in my life. Props are trouble.

MO: (Laughs) Yeah, so we keep it simple.

SPJ: No props, just the two of us.

The performance only being contained for an hour, instead felt as though you walked atop the pages of history’s greatest musicians. Traveling through notes and crumpled paper of the days of Bob Dylan to Etta James, Gram Parsons to Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris to Sun Kil Moon. Simone holding a consistent operatic howl of inconceivable passion, coupled with an agonizing crescendo of something between great love and great despair. Although the album is difficult to critique, compared to seeing these two live in the intimacy of The Famous Speigeltent, it does not do them enough justice. As the calming sound resonates in the tent, you hear the seemingly quiet trills and vibrato in Simone’s voice and the subtle yet emphatic arpeggiation on Miles’ guitar.

JE: You guys harmonize very, very well. Which is what I found really distinct about your music, your voices are just so different. Like, when I first found you, those three tracks on triple j Unearthed I played over and over again.

SPJ: Aw, thank you. I guess I’ve had a bit of classical training which, yeah, I wanted to always become an opera singer and I don’t know. I guess I’ve got that range and Miles is a freakishly amazing singer. He’s got all those deep notes, and then that falsetto which is so tender and sweet.

MO: Yeah, it’s not something that we thought that we would do. I think the main thing, well not the main thing, but one of the distinctions is that the harmonies are so far apart. [As] opposed to something like the amazing Gillian Welch or Dave Rawlings, where it’s so close and so tight. Whereas there’s a lot more –

SPJ: Space.

MO: And distance, yeah.

SPJ: Often, we’re like an octave or more apart.

MO: Which makes it sound a little weird.

SPJ: Yes. Makes it a little different, perhaps.

And cue the song “Caroline”. The true story of a “friend” they could not shake – until such a point, when they did finally disband from her company. The banter and theatrical side of Miles and Simone truly does come out in this scrumptious three minute satirical number. What is a huge treat is the lack of anything mundane or repetitive at a Miles and Simone gig, the mockery and wit is completely unrehearsed and in no way contrived. This I found when our conversation swerved into talk of Miles’ deep love for coffee and Simone’s deep love for her dog.

JE: So at gigs, it’s literally just the two of you? You don’t get a band or anything?

SPJ: For the album launch, we got a few of our friends to play, just for like the last three or four songs, which was just exciting because it made it kind of sound like a few of the songs on the album. To get a rhythm section is fun at times, but there’s a tenderness and a fragility and I think there’s a very honest relationship between Miles and I and it really flourishes when it’s just the two of us. And, I think when there’s other people on stage, our energy, it just changes. And, that’s fine and great, but we’ve known each other for a very long time. So, we … A lot of people say that the part of our show that they enjoy the most is our banter. (Laughs) And, your songs, of course! Your songs are beautiful!

MO: Sure, sure, sure.

SPJ: I’m not saying that our banter outshines your [songs].

MO: In a way it does though, I was thinking about this on the ride in. You’ve got two choices, you can either put up a wall and become this mysterious performer, it’s a wonderful option and people do it and it works wonderfully or you can open up and talk to the audience and break down that wall and make it feel as though the audience knows you and is a friend of you. Therefore, you can come along for the ride, which is another option, you can choose to go down that option as appose to being the [former].

SPJ: Very much so. Well, I feel as though the audience is always on my side. So, I sometimes feel like I’m having like a battle with you and I do feel like the audience does like – I hook ’em quickly! That’s why I always do my entrance speech. And then, I feel like I’ve got their support. So, if like we had a fight on stage, I feel like the audience would be behind me.

MO: That would remain to be seen, I think.

As I left the carnival that was the dreamlike couple of hours I spent with Miles And Simone, I already was looking back in fondness on these two exemplary artists. Who, guaranteed, will leave you feeling as though you are make-believe lovers.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Another track has emerged from the upcoming Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys album this time featuring Patti Smith and Johnny Depp. Details here

Passenger released his weekly new track, “The Way That I Need You” via a live video featuring Candian folkies The Once. Details here

Patrick James has finally revealed the details of his upcoming EP All About to Change as well as announcing details of an east coast tour in March and April. Details here

– Tomorrow night The Little Stevies will be launching their new live album Most Requested at The Workers Club in Melbourne. Details here

– And The Little Stevies are also offering up their new single “Thunder” as a free download via Timber and Steel for a limited time only. Details here

– Still with The Little Stevies, if you want to stream and then buy Most Requested you can now do so online. Details here

Mumford and Sons took out Album of the Year at The Grammys, along with a bunch of other folk and acoustic winners on the night. Details here

– We’ve also posted videos of some of our favourite performances from The Grammys’ ceremony. Details here

Bear’s Den revealed their lastest track “Isaac” via a live video. Details here

– The latest video from Tim Hart’s solo album Milling The Wind is “Cover Of Your Code” and it has an awesome banjo-and-ride-on-mower video to go with it. Details here

Bob Evans will be celebrating the release of his new album The Double Life with a massive national tour throughout April and May. Details here

Damien Dempsey released his new single “Bustin Outta Here” (featuring Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals) along with a brand new video. Details here

– NSW Central Coast singer-songwriter Sarah Humphreys has released her brand new single “Boy Wonder” and is celebrating with an east coast tour. Details here

Katie Noonan has also announced a bunch of dates to promote her Songbook album. Details here

Billy Bragg released his double negative filled new video “No One Knows Nothing Anymore”. Details here

– Monthly acoustic evening The Alice Springs Courtyard Sessions is launching its 2013 program in March with a new look and new venue. Details here

– Sydney duo Jep&Dep have released their new single “Ain’t Coming Back” and announced plans to release an EP in March. Details here

Interviews

“Yeah, it was good. It was short, but it was good. I really had an incredible gig in Melbourne. I can’t remember the venue – it was a small, club venue – but it was a blast [Kiwanuka played at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne with Ben Howard and Tim Hart in 2012]. I remember Splendour in the Grass too, and that was a really fun gig too. My memory is fond of Australia”Michael Kiwanuka chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I play guitar, bouzouki and banjo. I play all those other bits and bobs now – it’s all about transferring what you’re doing and directing songs into a different perspective. But I definitely am foremost a violinist. The new record, Tales From The Barrel House, is where I really started to experiment with other instruments production wise and how they would fit together with a field recording. On the new record I kind of played everything really – I kept it cheap”Seth Lakeman chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“Dave O’Neill, former Artistic Director of the National Folk Festival and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, used to muse that he could program an entire National Folk Festival just with women singer/songwriters. His comment were not pejorative, simply a reflection on the number, and indeed the quality, of women musicians and songwriters on the Australian and, indeed, international folk/roots circuit” – Peter Logue takes a look at some of the amazing singer-songwriters at this year’s National Folk Festival. Blog piece here

Reviews

Recordings

“I implore you to listen to this album on a long drive into the country, or on an afternoon in the sun with a glass of pinot grigio. Whether it be the slight trills you revel in or the deep smooth vocals, the raw composition and befitting structure, Home In Your Heart is sure to be a favourite on your playlist”Janine Estoesta reviews Home In Your Heart from Miles and Simone. Review here

Releases This Week

Jordan Millar
Cold Lights On Curious MindsJordan Millar
iTunes

Matt Costa
Matt CostaMatt Costa
iTunes

Electric
ElectricRichard Thompson
iTunes

Most Requested
Most RequestedThe Little Stevies
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Jungal
Jungal with Tom Richardson and When in Roam
Sunday 17th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 15th February – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Mac’s Hotel Bentinck, Portland, VIC
Wednesday 20th February – Irish Murphy’s Top Shelf Night, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 21st February – Brookfield Margate, Margate, TAS
Friday 22nd February – Crossroads Wine Bar, St Helens, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Chaika
Friday 15th February – The Merry Muse, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 16th February – Mittagong Playhouse, Mittagong, NSW
Friday 22nd February – Wollongong Conservatorium, Wollongong, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
Friday 15th February – River Music Folk, Nowra, NSW
Saturday 16th February – Nerrigundah Hall, NSW
Sunday 17th February – Tilba Valley Wines, Tilba Tilba, NSW
Thursday 21st February – Braidwood Folk Club, NSW
22nd to 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 15th February – Woolshed Pub, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th February – Prince Of Wales, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Portsea Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Westernport Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Friday 22nd February – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Father John Misty
Sunday 17th February – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 19th February – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 20th February – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Jordan Millar
Friday 15th February – Upstairs Beresford, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Friday 15th February – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 19th February – St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 20th February – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 21st February – Flinders Street Baptist Church, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd February – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

Justin Townes Earle with Robert Ellis
Saturday 16th February – Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW
Sunday 17th February – Byron Bay Community Centre, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 19th February – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Kim Churchill
Saturday 16th February – Garden of Unearthly Delights @ Paradiso Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 17th February – Fringe Comes to Birdwood, Birdwood High School, Birdwood, SA

MoFo feat. Modhan and Candice McLeod
Saturday 16th February – The Gaelic Club Upstairs, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage with Sweet Jean
Thursday 21st February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Thursday 21st February – Bottlerocket, Nowra, NSW

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Saturday 16th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 18th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Boots
Friday 15 February – Perth International Arts Festival Gardens, Perth, WA

Sarah Blasko
Sunday 17th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 22nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT

The April Maze
Saturday 16th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Saturday 16th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd February – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

The Wooden Music Festival feat. The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 15th February – Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Wes Carr
Friday 15th February – Wellers Restaurant, Kangaroo Grounds, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Waltzing’s For Dreamers” – Richard Thompson

Nothing cures the sugary sweetness of Valentine’s Day quite like a song about heartbreak and what better heartbreak song than this classic from Richard Thompson. “One step for aching, and two steps for breaking, Waltzing’s for dreamers and losers in love” – classic.