Nahko (Nahko and Medicine for the People) Announces Debut Solo Album

Nahko
Image Courtesy of Nahko

American roots singer Nahko (of Nahko and Medicine for the People fame) has just announced plans to release his debut solo album.

Titled My Name Is Bear Nahko’s album is informed by a time his life that he spent searching for his birth mother who had given him up at the age of 15 after being thrust into unthinkable circumstances. At the age of 21 he did find her, and remarkably she lived just 15 minutes from his home.

“I drove to her house and there she was,” said Nahko. “She was crying, I was crying and consequently, as most of these songs were written between the age of 18 and 21, much of the spirit of My Name Is Bear is informed by this time in my life.”

My Name Is Bear is due for release on the 20th October. The full track listing for the album is below:

1. Dragonfly
2. The Vow (Interlude)
3. Be Here Now
4. Goodnight, Sun
5. Too Much Kerouac (Interlude)
6. Kirby, Joe
7. Susanna
8. Bearly Thoughts (Interlude)
9. Sing Him of My Revelations
10. Hamakua
11. Call Him By His Name
12. Early February
13. Stoned On a Stone (Interlude)
14. Creation’s Daughter
15. Alice
16. Die Like Dinoz

Bluesfest Review: Saturday Celebration


Vintage Trouble at Bluesfest. Photos by Stuart Bucknell Photography

It’s Saturday and celebration day! Yes, we’re marking a birthday so today includes a sleep in and much frivolity throughout the day.

After arriving via the southern car park and gate, you stroll straight to The Wilson Pickers’ 2pm set at Jambalaya to be greeted by a decadent, slow building guitar intro coupled with the howling harmonica and sublime close harmonies of “Man of Misery.” It’s a striking and beautiful balance between the full sound of 5 part harmonies and 5 stringed instruments all having their moment to shine and lead the way. Through you’re treated to their playful interaction with the audience and every opportunity to clap along. In particular, they give a real gift with a stunning, spine tingling rendition of Jolene!

After stopping to grab a doughnut (who needs birthday cake when you can have a hot, chocolate filled doughnut!?) you’re ready to kick back and take in the sparkling wit and cheek of Billy Bragg. It’s 4:30pm and the Crossroads stage is already overflowing for this sure fire favourite. Sitting outside, we’re bathed in afternoon sun with an enormous Bragg on screen in front of us. He’s jovial, tongue firmly in cheek, and you would hardly even notice he’s performing solo, his sheer personality and presence fills the stage. Irreverent and political as always, he’s not shy of poking fun at himself, especially when he gets his own songs wrong. His sarcastic wit is razor sharp as he quips “thank goodness it’s not one of those gigs with great big screens either side of stage that show the worried look on your face!” to which we all laugh heartily.

We all expect a Dylan cover, but Bragg’s signature mischief makes it current, changing lyrics to become “But the times, they are a changing BACK!” much to the glee of the audience. Bragg continues to make every piece of his set relevant to right now. One of the more pertinent moments is when he claims “Sexuality rules do not apply to me. There is a crisis in masculinity. This weekend, men all over will be pressurised in to doing things they don’t want to. For many, many years our sisters have rightly fought against the pressure to be a domestic goddess. Now it’s our turn to resist the pressure to be a DIY demon. Admit we’re never going to be as good at shit as our Dad’s were. To a man with a hammer in their hand, everything looks like a nail. That nail will never go in straight no matter how many times we bang it in. There are other ways to express your innate masculine creativity.” He has personality in spades and it’s the first time we’ve seen him live. It’s not his musicality hat commands attention, but his personality and attitude of inclusion and solidarity. He even gets a rarity at festivals, an encore, with the entire crowd singing along to “A New England”.

With our stomachs and cheeks hurting from laughing, we head back to the Crossroads stage at 6pm to catch Vintage Trouble’s guaranteed wowser of a show. They astounded us last year and this year is no different. Blasting on to the stage, they are full of energy and aim to please. A non-stop soul overload, with a cherry on top as Beth Hart joins the extravaganza on stage for “Run Baby, Run”.

We pop over to the neighbouring Jambalaya stage to catch the end of feisty Irish Mythen’s set, whom we lost our minds over last year. The atmosphere is thick with joy and the jovial feel only increases as we step inside, just in time for a stirring, completely a Capella rendition of Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”, with every voice joining and all hands clapping. Mythen delivers a powerhouse, gut wrenching finale to  such a well known and loved song, complete with huge notes and a deserved enormous crowd response. In a delightful surprise finish, Mythen is joined on stage by an adorable toddler, Lois, the daughter of Cass Eager (who also joins them on stage). Mythen comments that “Four walls are very special to me. If the people around you are happy and healthy and you’ve got a roof over your head, you’re too goddamn rich” to introduce Eager giving a stunning a Capella performance of “None of that Matters” and to finish the set, Mythen tears the house down and fires up the crowd with her signature “Jesus Be Reasonable”.

We swing by the Crossroads stage to catch Beth Hart’s 7.30pm set and are met with a sassy, powerful, soulful performance with a delicate balance between the power and energy of the full band and the intimacy of her solo moments. The soul soaked blues wrap us all in familiarity while the funky piano riffs as Hart takes to the keyboard picks us all up in mood and energy for “Spirit of God”. The way Hart strikes a harmony between solemn piano interludes and the visceral, earthy backing from the band is mesmerising.

At 9pm we stop in at the Mojo stage and watch curiously as Sir Rosevelt’s video intro sets the scene, complete with moody tones and high production values. The crowd welcomes the band to the stage, the dapper gents and their instant impact of powerful, punctuated lyrics from lead singer Zac Brown energises the crowd and takes us in a direction we really didn’t anticipate! Some really divine slide guitar has their sound soaked in strings and attitude. Here we were thinking this was going to be an electrified pop-folk showcase, but then they bring on the dance! The instant reaction from us all is, “Woah!!” as a full scale dance track, complete with choreographed dancers smashes expectations and takes over the stage. We can hardly believe the combination of the funk laden dance with acoustic guitars! It’s a crazy, weird but funky meld of the two genres, pop-folk and dance, but we like it as we groove into the night.

To finish the night, we indulge in a quick stop to see Nahko and Medicine for the People at 9.30pm at the Jambalaya stage. We caught glimpses of them last year so make an effort to take in some of their set before departing for home. Filling the stage with energy and the vibe of fully intertwined workings of a 6-piece ensemble, the diversity is all encompassing with lots of influences and sounds melding together to create musical medicine for the people. They pack a punch with a very upbeat and full sound, enveloping us with their combination of rock and horns and strings. It feels like Power-folk!

After another huge day, we head for home and look forward to what is still to come over the next two days.

Missed Friday? Come for a walk with us through Bluesfest on Good Friday.
View our full Bluesfest photo gallery on our Facebook Page.

Highlights from Saturday at Bluesfest

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Bluesfest Announces Second Round of Artists for 2016

Bluesfest
Image Courtesy of Bluesfest

The second round of artists for the 2016 Byron Bay Bluesfest dropped this morning and there’s a lot for Timber and Steel readers to get excited about.

if you look past the massive headliner you’ll see some very exciting names like The Decemberists, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Tweedy, Steve Earle, Nahko and Medicine for the People and Blackberry Smoke amongst others.

Bluesfest is held over the Easter long weekend from the 24th to 28th March just outside of Byron Bay. The full list of artists announced as part of the second round is below – check out the official site for more details.

Tom Jones
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Jackson Browne
The Decemberists
Jason Isbell
Sturgill Simpson
Tweedy
Steve Earle & The Dukes
The Wailers
Grace Potter
Lord Huron
Nahko and Medicine for the People
Vintage Trouble
Lucky Peterson
Emdee
Blackberry Smoke

The Woodford Folk Festival Drops 2014 Lineup

Lau
Image Courtesy of Lau

There were a ton of folk festival announcements all over the weekend but the one that everyone is talking about is the 2014 Woodford Folk Festival lineup. The full musical program dropped yesterday with the usual mix of folk, roots, trad, singer-songwriter and I-don’t-know-why-they’re-at-a-folk-festival artists.

The lineup itself is too huge to list here (you can see it for yourself here) but the highlights include the likes of Violent Femmes (USA), The Cat Empire, Archie Roach, Nahko and Medicine for the People (USA), Jeff Lang, Lau (SCOT), Tiny Ruins (NZ), We Two Thieves, Shooglenifty (SCOT), Flap!, Husky, Lior, Mama Kin, Siskin River, Andrew Clermont, The Mae Trio, Fred Smith, Lucy Wise Trio, Oh Pep!, Betty & Oswald, The Company and so so so much more.

The Woodford Folk Festival takes place from the 27th December to the 1st January. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Announces First Round of Artists for 2014

The Pierce Brothers
Image Courtesy of Pierce Brothers

The Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) last week announced the first round of artists for 2014. The AWME will showcase the finest in Australian and international roots music across four days in Melbourne from the 13th to 16th November.

Local artists announced so far include Hiatus Kaiyote, Ash Grunwald, Bart Willoughby, Jimblah, Pierce Brothers (above), Ms Murphy and Bullhorn with the international contingent made up of Nahko and Medicine for the People (USA), Digging Roots (Canada), Estere (NZ) and Myele Manzanza (NZ).

Early bird tickets for the festival are already on sale – for more information check out the offical AWME site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Michael Franti and Spearhead have announced a single Bluesfest sideshow in Brisbane with Nahko and Medicine For The People in support. Details here

– Melbourne duo The Little Stevies released their ode to unattached – the video for their single “I Hold My Breath”. Details here

– A brand new Laura Marling track – “Born to Love” – made its way onto the internet thanks to NPR’s eTown show. Details here

– Canadian born, Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tracy McNeil has a video out “Wilcats”. Details here

Sally Seltmann will be taking her album Hey Daydreamer out on tour this April. Details here

Georgia Fair have released the video to their new single “Are We Not Alive”. Details here

– If you’re into folk music and helping sick animals (and who isn’t?) get along to the Lomand Hotel in Melbourne this Saturday for the Wombat Orphanage Bushfire Benefit. The live music lineup includes Lucy Wise, Stray Hens, Rob Zielinski, Staffan & Rowie and more to be announced. Details here

– Tasmania’s Christopher Coleman Collective have released their new video “Go Home” along with details of their new album and a bunch of tour dates in March. Details here

– Sydney prog-folk artist Wyatt Moss-Wellington is set to release his new album Sanitary Apocalypse in March with guests that include a who’s who of the local scene. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Huckleberry Hastings released his debut single “Huckleberry Blues”. Details here

Nickel Creek revealed all the juicy details of their upcoming album A Dotted Line including cover art, track listing, release date and a stream of the song “Love of Mine”. Details here

– The Snowy Mountains of Music has changed its name to Peak Festival and has announced the first artists for its 2014 lineup. Details here

– Tonight up-and-coming singer-songwriter Martha Marlow will be launching her new EP These Days in Sydney. Details here

– Another new Simone Felice track, “Running Through My Head”, has surfaced online. Details here

The Paper Kites have announced a massive tour this May and June. Details here

– Blues and roots legend Ash Grunwald is heading out on a solo tour. Details here

– The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were held this week and we collected all the winners and videos of the perfomances in one place. Details here

– If you’re looking for something a little heavier this St Patrick’s day Sydney folk-punk outfit The Bottlers have a series of gigs over the weekend. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“While Laneway is an indie festival at heart it always brings me back for the smattering of folky, acoustic goodness that features on the lineup each and every year”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Sydney leg of St Jeromes Laneway Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Oh Hunter
Oh HunterHayden Calnin
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Wombat Orphanage Bushfire Benefit feat. Lucy Wise, Stray Hens, Rob Zielinski, Staffan & Rowie

Lucy Wise

Listen to folk music and help raise money for sick and injured animals? Sounds like a productive night out! We recommend heading down to the Lomond Hotel in Melbourne on Saturday to watch Lucy Wise (above) and co. helping the world one folk song at a time. Love it!

Saturday 22nd February – Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Adelaide Fringe Festival
Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th March – Adelaide, SA

Apollo Bay Music Festival
Friday 28th February to Sunday 2nd March – Apollo Bay, VIC

Andy Irvine
Friday 21st February – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd Febraury – House Concert, Harcourt North, VIC

Ann Vriend
Saturday 22nd February — Tree House, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 23rd February — Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February – Cobargo, NSW

Eddie Vedder
Saturday 22nd February – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 23rd February 2014 – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February – Frances, SA

James Teague
Wednesday 26th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 21st February – Paradiso Spiegeltent @ The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 22nd February – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 28th February – Twilight Series @ Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne, VIC

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Friday 28th February – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Leah Flanagan w/ Tom Hespie
Thursday 27th February – Vic on the Park, Enmore, NSW

Lior
Friday 21st February – Southern Peninsula Arts Centre, Rosebud, VIC
Thursday 27th February – The Playhourse Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Friday 28th February – Devonport Tas Entertainment Centre, TAS

Little Features feat. Mimi Gilbert, The Maple Trail, Packwood, Charlie Gradon
Saturday 22nd February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Martha Marlow w/ Jess Pollard
Friday 21st February – 505, Sydney, NSW

Nannup Music Festival
Friday 28th February to Monday 3rd March – Nannup, WA

Neko Case
Thursday 27th February – Fly By Night, Perth, WA

Okkervil River
Friday 21st February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd February – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

One Up Two Down and Oh Pep!
Friday 21st February – No.5, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 22nd February, Carrington Bowling Club, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 23rd February – House Concert, Karuah, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Friday 21st February – Fringe Festival, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 26th February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

The Beez
Saturday 22nd February – George Kerford Hotel, Beechworth, Vic
Sunday 23rd February – Gerogary, VIC
Friday 28th February – The Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove, Vic

The Little Stevies
Saturday 22nd February – Summersault Festival, Melbourne, VIC

Wombat Orphanage Bushfire Benefit feat. Lucy Wise, Stray Hens, Rob Zielinski, Staffan & Rowie
Saturday 22nd February – Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Slipjigs and Reels” – Steve Tilston

It’s the Fairport Convention version of this song I’m most familiar with but I just had to reach back to the song’s writer, Steve Tilston, for today’s FFF. Such a good song!

Michael Franti and Spearhead Announce One Off Bluesfest Sideshow

Michael Franti
Image Courtesy of Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead are one of the biggest names in roots music in the world and when they’re out here for Bluesfest this year they have announced a single sideshow – and it’s not in Melbourne or Sydney. Instead Michael Franti and Spearhead have chose Brisbane as their sideshow destination of choice with the band descending on The Tivoli on Wednesday 23rd of April.

Joining Michael Franti and Spearhead will be world-folk-roots specialists Nahko and Medicine For The People making this one of the most exciting sideshows during this year’s festival season.

General admission tickets for the show go on sale this Friday 14th February.

Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter and Nahko and Medicine for the People Announce Tour

Xavier Rudd
Image Courtesy of Xavier Rudd

This September and October three of the worlds most loved artists, Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter and Nahko and Medicine for the People, will be touring throughout Australia. Billed as the “feel-good event of the year”, tickets for the tour are due to go on sale on the 30th May. Check out the full list of dates below:

Wednesday 25th September – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th September – Oceans Winery, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 29th September – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 3rd October – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th October – Big Top, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 6th October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Monday 7th October – YAC Ampitheatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 8th October – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

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