Listen to the New Luke Collings Single “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?”

Luke Collings
Image Courtesy of Luke Collings

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Luke Collings has just released his brand new single “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?”.

Produced by Nick Payne (Dear Orphans) and featuring Collings’ band The Greasy Lake, “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?” follows up his debut single from earlier this year “If You Bring The Whiskey (I’ll Bring The Blues)”.

Take a listen to “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?” below:

Luke Collings will be launching “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?” at The Gaelic Club in Sydney on Saturday 26th August with Cloudbird and Mem Davis in support – check out the official Facebook event here for more details.

Listen to the Debut Luke Collings Single “If You Bring The Whiskey (I’ll Bring The Blues)”

Luke Collings
Image Courtesy of Luke Collings

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Luke Collings has just released his debut single “If You Bring The Whiskey (I’ll Bring The Blues)”.

The track was produced by Nick Payne (Dear Orphans) and features guest vocals from Brielle Davis (Not Good With Horses) as well as Collings’ band Greasy Lake.

Take a listen to “If You Bring The Whiskey (I’ll Bring The Blues)” here:

To celebrate the release Luke Collings & Greasy Lake will be launching the single at Gasoline Pony in Sydney on the Wednesday 15th February supported by Lyn Taylor (Dear Orphans) and Peter Conaty. For more details check out the official Facebook event here.

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.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney singer-songwriter Patrick James announced a solo tour this Spring. Details here

William Fitzsimmons announced details of his first live album. Details here

– A new folk-punk festival, the Cutthroat Folk Festival, has been announced for Sydney featuring Cutthroat Folk Fest will feature the likes of The Bottlers, Scarlet’s Revenge, Sailors Grave and Medusa’s Wake. Details here

Jen Cloher & The Endless Sea will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the album Dead Wood Falls with shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

– So many new artists added to the Mullum Music Festival lineup including Yirrmal, The Wilson Pickers, Jordie Lane & The Sleepers, Julia Jacklin, Áine Tyrrell, Ethno Folk Orchestra, Claire Anne Taylor, Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel, Liz Stringer, The Button Collective and many more. Details here

Bluesfest announced the first round of artists for their 2017 lineup including Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith, The Lumineers (above), Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg, Jethro Tull, Trombone Shorty, Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Beth Hart, Laura Mvula, Roy Ayers, Booker T Jones Presents The Stax Records Revue, Andrew Bird, Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Osborne, Turin Brakes, The Strumbellas, Jake Shimabukuro, Dumpstaphunk, Nikki Hill and Irish Mythen. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Eddie Boyd released his new video “Stoned”. Details here

– Sydney four-piece All Our Exes Live In Texas announced a massive national tour. Details here

– Swedish folk singer The Tallest Man On Earth announced a handful of Australian tour dates. Details here

– Legendary folk rock band The Levellers will be touring Australia in October to celebrate 25th anniversary of their seminal record Levelling The Land. Details here

Passenger released his new video “Anywhere”. Details here

Releases This Week

Josh Rennie Hynes
FurthermoreJosh Rennie Hynes
iTunes

Phia
The Ocean Of EverythingPhia
iTunes

Taasha
Taasha Coates & Her Melancholy SweetheartsTaasha Coates & Her Melancholy Sweethearts
ABC Shop

Wilson Pickers
You Can’t Catch Fish From a TrainThe Wilson Pickers
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Nick Payne

Nick Payne

To celebrate the successful crowdfunding of his solo album Nick Payne (Dear Orphans) is putting together a very special intimate show in his home town of Sydney tonight

Friday 26th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 26th August – Boo Radley’s Hall, Glenreagh, NSW

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

Roadhouse feat. Andy Baylor’s Juke Joint Jumpers
Thursday 1st September – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Corey Harris
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Blues & Roots Stage, Gympie Muster, QLD

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

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Robbie Miller, Woodes
Friday 26th August – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, WA
Saturday 27th August – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Eddie Boyd
Friday 26th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 27th August – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers
Friday 2nd September – Ladysmith Hall, Ladysmith, NSW

Folk In The Blue feat. The Flash Coves, Tony Eardley, Francesca Sidoti, Paddy Cavanagh
Sunday 28th August – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 31st August – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gympie Muster
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August – Gympie, QLD

Hootennany feat. Elwood Myre
Sunday 28th August – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty, Emily Barker & Jordan Millar
Friday 26th August – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th August – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 28th August – Mojos Barm Fremantle, WA
Friday 2nd September – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride BE-IN #8 feat. Sarah Hoggard, Keely Denham, Paul Hayward and the Sidekicks, Michael-John Azzopardi
Saturday 27th August – Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan Trio
Friday 26th August – Suttons House of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 27th August – The Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo, VIC

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

Lazy Colts
Saturday 27th August – Franks Wild Years, Thirroul, NSW
Sunday 28th August – The Oxford Circus, Sydney, NSW

Little Features Presents The Barber Shop Series
Saturday 27th August – Bourke St. Barbers, Sydney, NSW

Little Wise w/ Alana Bruce, Sam Newton
Thursday 1st September – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Liz Stringer
Wednesday 31st August – Club Mullum, Mullumbimby, NSW
Thursday 1st September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

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

McMahon, Young & Daley
Friday 26th August – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Nick Payne
Friday 26th August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Not Good With Horses w/ Bree De Rome
Sunday 28th August – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

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

Shady Pines Rhinestone Gala feat. Papa Pilko And The Binrats, Key To The Highway, Satellite V, The Daphne Rawling Band, Extension Chord, The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 28th August – Shady Pines, Sydney, NSW

Sweet Jelly Rolls
Thursday 1st September – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The Dead Maggies
Friday 26th August – Psyfari Festival, Capertree Valley, NSW

Illawarra Folk Club Concert – Music & Friendship, A Special Fundraising Event
Sunday 28th August – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

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

Friday Folk Flashback

“Under African Skies” – Paul Simon

Today is the 30th anniversary of the release of Graceland. I think that’s as good an excuse as any to fall down a Paul Simon Youtube rabbit hole.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 10th June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Bob Evans returns with the announcement of a new album, new podcast and new double A-side. Details here

– Sydney alt-country singer-songwriter Imogen Clark has announced a national tour. Details here

– South Australian duo The Yearlings are heading out on a Victorian tour with Mel Parsons. Details here

Dear Orphans front-man Nick Payne released his new solo single “Rising River”. Details here

– The Bello Winter Music festival has so much folky goodness on the lineup this year including Willie Watson, Jeff Lang, Jaaleekaay, Joshua Hedley, Bobby Alu, Sahara Beck, Yirrmal, The Twoks, Miss Eileen & King Lear, All Our Exes Live in Texas, William Crighton, Inga Liljestrom, Merryn Jeann, Loren Kate, Raised By Eagles, Sweet Jean, Green Mohair Suits, Aine Tyrrell, The Mid North, Brian Campeau, Claire Anne Taylor, Tullara Connors, Madeline Leman and The Desert Swells, Diamond Duck and many many more. Details here

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s has its June show this Wednesday featuring Burnt Creek Deviation Bluegrass Band and Stillhouse Union. Details here

Releases This Week

Honey Bones
Honey BonesDope Lemon
iTunes

GAI
Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado SymphonyGregory Alan Isakov
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Top Half Folk Festival

Kate and Ruth

Escape the winter blues with the Top Half Folk Festival at Mary River just outside of Darwin. Headliners include Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson and Sonsy

Friday 10th to Monday 13th June – Mary River Park, NT

Gigs Next Week

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. Burnt Creek, Stillhouse Union
Wednesday 15th June – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Claude Hay
Saturday 18th June – The Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Carlos Arango’s Small Big Band, The Delta Revue
Wednesday 15th June – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Ross Tipper
Sunday 12th June – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Huski Hootenanny feat. Benji and the Saltwater Sound System, Dos Enos, Kay Proudlove
Friday 11th June – Huskisson Community Centre, Huskisson, NSW

Joe Mungovan
Friday 10th June – Cafe Gunyah, Milton, NSW

Josh Pyke w/ Jack Carty
Friday 10th June – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 11th June – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 12th June – Magnums, Airlie Beach, QLD
Thursday 16th June – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW
Friday 17th June – Live at The Helm, Mooloolaba, QLD

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Friday 10th June – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 11th June – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 12th June – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Kaurna Cronin
Saturday 11th June – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Lloyd Spiegel
Thursday 16th June – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 17th June – Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi, QLD

McSherry, O’Connor Trio
Wednesday 15th June – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mark Lucas & his Lazy L Quartet w/ Brian Campeau
Sunday 12th June – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 10th June – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 11th June – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Peak Music Festival
Friday 10th to Monday 13th June – Perisher, NSW

Sahara Beck
Friday 10th June – Studio 188, Ipswich, QLD

Sam Brittain
Wednesday 15th June – The Ellington, Perth, WA

Skyscraper Stan
Friday 10th June – Webb & Co, Bathurst, NSW
Saturday 11th June – Taste Canowindra, Canowindra, NSW
Sunday 12th June – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 17th June – The Martian’s Café, Deans Marsh, VIC

Smoke on a Foggy Highway – The Morrisons play Paul Kelly
Friday 17th June – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Beards
Friday 10th June – Railway Club Hotel, Darwin, NT
Saturday 11th June – Katherine Hotel, Katherine, NT
Wednesday 15th June – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 16th June – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 17th June – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Friday 17th June – Berwick & District Folk Club, Berwick, VIC

The Winter Magic Festival
Saturday 18th June – Katoomba, NSW

The Yearlings w/ Mel Parsons
Thursday 16th June – The Wesley Anne, Northcote, VIC
Friday 17th June – St Cath’s Church Concert Series, Caulfield South, VIC

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 10th to Monday 13th June – Mary River Park, NT

Vivid Sydney Presents Luke Escombe, Mick Stuart
Friday 10th June – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Vivid Sydney Presents Ramblin’ Nights feat. Amber Rae Slade & The Mighty Big Noise, James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims, Adam Young
Saturday 11th June – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 10th June – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 11th June – Jimmy’s Den, Perth, WA

Woody Pitney w/ Ariela Jacobs, Angie McMahon
Wednesday 15th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Jams O’Donnells Jigs” – Fairport Convention

One of my fiddle heroes, Dave Swarbrick, sadly passed away this week. He will be sorely missed but his music will live on forever. Here’s some classic Swarbs with Fairport Convention to get you through your Friday.

Listen to the New Nick Payne Single “Rising River”

Nick Payne
Image Courtesy of Nick Payne

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter and Dear Orphans frontman Nick Payne continues his solo project with the release of his new single “Rising River”.

Described as being part of the murder ballad tradition “Rising River” is the second taste of Payne’s upcoming (and nearly completed) solo album.

Take a listen below:

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015

2015

Ok, so we have one final best of list to round out the week and then I promise you we’re done. Our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans has sifted through the wealth of music that’s been released this year and whittled it down to his top 25 tracks of 2015. Some of these are album tracks that haven’t been released as singles, some are singles from albums that were released last year and at least one or two have only seen light as live versions – but one thing that’s certain is that this is a pretty good snapshot of all of the music we’ve been loving throughout the year.

So without further ado please enjoy Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015.

1. Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”
While I loved the direction that Sufjan Stevens took with his Age of Adz album, when “Should Have Known Better” dropped earlier this year I almost wept. This was Stevens leaning back into to his acoustic roots without denying where his sound has evolved in recent years (the electronic middle eight in the track is a nice nod to Age of Adz). Despite the heavy subject matter of the track (“When I was three, three maybe four, She left us at that video store”) it is overwhelmingly uplifting and I can’t help but smile as I let the melody wash over me. It’s good to have you back Sufjan!

2. John Flanagan – “The Last of the Cassette Men”
A core element of “folk music” as an overarching genre is the story song and John Flanagan has written the best story song of the year, recounting the time Flanagan was tasked with driving his songwriting hero Paul Kelly to a show. John Flanagan’s easygoing, personal narrative style works perfectly in this track, almost aping the songwriting style of Kelly without descending into parody. With this track John Flanagan has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on.

3. Packwood – “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”
With four EPs released this year there’s a wealth new Packwood material to choose from, but I can’t help but come back to “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”, his first single from 2015. The track is everything I want from a Packwood song – soaring melodies, delicate finger-picked guitar, orchestral arrangements (including a choir!) and Bayden Hine’s vulnerable vocal style. Another work of genius from Australia’s king of chamber folk.

4. Patrick James – “Bugs”
“Bugs” has been a standard of Patrick James’ live set for much of his career, including his time as a busker, but it’s only in 2015 that it’s been released as a single thanks to his debut album Outlier. What makes “Bugs” such a great song is hands down the chorus: a catchy, loopy piece of music that always stimulates a sing along. With live versions of “Bugs” available on the internet for years now I’m glad James has not gone crazy on the production of this track, keeping the arrangement subtle and familiar.

5. The Morrisons – “Wild Eleanor”
Despite being probably the most recognisable Bluegrass band in Sydney the amount of recorded music available from The Morrisons is pretty light on the ground. Which is why I’m so chuffed they’ve chosen to record and release one of my favourite of their tracks, “Wild Eleanor”. The frantic single shows off just how skilled each of the members of The Morrisons are. And yes, I even like the hokey clip shot at Sydney’s Hibernian House.

6. Laura Marling – “False Hope”
This is Laura Marling’s Dylan-going-electric moment. When “False Hope” hit earlier this year the first thing that fans noted was just how rock driven it was- Marling has swapped the acoustic guitar for a choppy electric and surrounded herself with a traditional rock lineup. But Laura Marling’s lyrical style and vocals shine through – you know this song is unmistakably a Laura Marling track despite the instrumentation and for that reason alone it’s something special.

7. Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton – “Waly Waly”
I was trying to put my finger on what it is about “Waly Waly” that stands out for me on the excellent album Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and it hit me – about halfway through the song Ruth Hazleton brings in this minor led banjo lick that just, well, grooves. It’s that lick, and the minor arrangement over the chorus, that gets my toe tapping and my head bobbing every time. It’s not often that you mention the word “groove” in reference to a Child Ballad but that’s how clever Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton are.

8. Mumford & Sons – “Ditmas”
“But this is all I ever was, And this is all you came across those years ago, Now you go too far, Don’t tell me that I’ve changed because that’s not the truth, And now I’m losing you”. Could this be the catchiest chorus of 2015? Forget that Mumford & Sons ditched the banjo and the acoustic guitar – what they’ve created in “Ditmas” is the perfect Mumford & Sons song. Restrained verses, blistering choruses and lyrics you want to sing along to at the top of your lungs.

9. The Paper Kites – “A Silent Cause”
To be honest “Electric Indigo” has been the track on highest rotation from twelvefour for me this year, but every time I’m listening to the album from start to finish I always have to go back and listen to “A Silent Cause” again and again. It’s such a simple song – lead vocals, guitar and subtle vocal harmonies – but it’s just mesmerising. It’s a nod to The Paper Kites’ earlier work and there’s a real Paul Simon feel to the way its been written. “A Silent Cause” has not (yet) been released as a single from twelvefour but it’s definitely the standout for me.

10. Fanny Lumsden – “Soapbox”
Fanny Lumsden’s incredibly catchy single “Soapbox” is the driving force behind the success of her album Small Town Big Shot. The track’s driving back-beat courtesy of the clapping percussion drives the song forward and that banjo riff is so hum worthy. I love how crisp Lumsden’s vocals are on this track – you get to follow the narrative elements of the song without having to distance yourself from the rest of the instrumentation. It’s a great track to see live as well!

11. William Fitzsimmons – “Pittsburgh”
There’s such a lean-in quality to William Fitzsimmons’ voice – it’s so delicate over the top of his acoustic guitar and the result is beautiful. The album version of this song is supplemented by subtle piano, electric guitar and backing vocals but if you’ve managed to hear any of the live versions floating around Youtube you’ll know just how good this song is with just Fitzsimmons and his guitar.

12. Matt Corby – “Monday”
The first new music from Matt Corby in quite a while ends up being classic Matt Corby. That layered, looped vocal and hand percussion. The blues inspired melody. That voice. It’s good to have you back Matt Corby.

13. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.”
The transformation of Nathaniel Rateliff from sensitive acoustic singer-songwriter to full blown gospel-blues master has been one of the unexpected joys of 2015. Together with his outstanding band The Night Sweats, Rateliff released one of the year’s catchiest tunes in “S.O.B.” complete with a Blue Brothers inspired video.

14. Bellowhead – “Roll Alabama”
Bellowhead tempered the news that they’d be wrapping things up this year with the release of their new single “Roll Alabama”. The track is filled with Bellowhead’s usual bombast but also manages to balance this with fine arrangement – at no point is the song overwhelmed by the instrumentation. The clip for “Roll Alabama” is a loving ode to Bellowhead as a live band, making me wish they’d made the trip to Australia at least once.

15. The East Pointers – “The Drift”
I love that the tenor banjo, after being maligned by its five stringed cousin in recent years, is making a bit of a resurgence. And Canadian trio The East Pointers are leading the tenor banjo charge. I love the way “The Drift” plays with tempos and instrumentation, building and dropping throughout, providing texture to the traditionally inspired music. A highlight from Secret Victory which is stuffed full of amazing tracks.

16. Yetis – “Luckiest Guy Alive”
Yetis were another band that we said goodbye to in 2015 but who left us with an amazing goodbye track. “Luckiest Guy Alive” is beautiful – five part harmonies over a solo piano – and it just seems to sore. I’m not sure Yetis every really reached their full potential and I would have loved to have seen more from them before they went their seperate ways – but “Luckiest Guy Alive” is a nice way to say goodbye.

17. Boy & Bear – “Walk the Wire”
Boy & Bear have embraced the 70s and early 80s on their new album Limit of Love and the greatest example of this is “Walk the Wire”. Embracing synths and crisp guitars, “Walk the Wire” still has that undeniable Boy & Bear groove to bop your head along to. The video is also hilarious – don’t just listen to this track on YouTube in the backgound, make sure you give it your full attention.

18. Ruby Boots – “Wrap Me In A Fever”
No this is country music. Ruby Boots’ big voice just powers through this track as the drums shuffle, the steel guitar twangs and an organ adds just a touch of class. “Wrap Me In A Fever” is a song full of heartbreak and lonliness but Ruby Boots also imbues a sense of strength into it with her big voice.

19. Gurrumul & Paul Kelly – “Amazing Grace”
The moment I heard that Gurrumul was turning his voice to gospel music for his latest album my first thought was “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”. The fact that he’s joined by Paul Kelly on possibly the most iconic gospel song of all time is just incredible. Here are two artists at their best breathing life into a classic and reinventing it for an Australian audience.

20. Passenger – “Fools Gold”
The ever prolific Passenger this year released an album (Whispers II) and then a series of videos for brand new songs that were shot while he toured the world. To be honest I could have picked any number of the songs that Passenger released this year but this is the one that stuck in my head. The song is textbook Passenger – delicate vocals over finger-picked guitar – but that little lick at the start and the “Hey-ey-ey” of the chorus are what gives “Fools Gold” the ear-worm quality.

21. Josh Pyke – “Hollering Hearts”
From the opening ukulele to the “oh oh oh” backing vocals there’s something insanely catchy about this song. No one quite writes folk-flavoured pop music like Josh Pyke and “Hollering Hearts” is pretty much a perfect Josh Pyke tune. I’m not sure how I feel about the lyric video (if you’re going to go to that much effort animating it why not just make a video?) but at the end of the day this is all about the music.

22. Falls – “When We Were Young”
I chose to post the live version of this song purely for the nostalgia of it. This is Falls performing at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney during one of their rare visits back to our shores – and for these guys this is where it all started. I love how infectious this song is, almost willing you to clap along and stomp your feet. Of all the new material on Omaha this is the track that really captured me – I feel like it’s the bridge between their Hollywood EP and the tracks they’ve been writing since they’ve relocated to the USA.

23. Sam Amidon – “Blue Mountains”
“Blue Mountains” is not taken from Sam Amidon’s 2015 album of home and field recordings Home Alone Inside My Head but is rather the final single from his amazing 2014 record Lily-O. This is Amidon at his most coherent and accessible – the track has a pretty conservative structure and vocal line which is something he’s not always known for. I love the 6/8 drum beat that comes in about half way through this song giving it that extra drive, and of course Amidon’s meandering fiddle lines are just beautiful.

24. We Banjo 3 feat. Sharon Shannon – “The Fox”
This is traditional music at its most polished, with none of the rough edges you’ll find on other versions of this classic track. But that’s not a bad thing – We Banjo 3 have perfectly captured the rollicking fun of “The Fox”. Strangely Sharon Shannon’s accordion seems to be relegated to the back of the mix until they break into the reel two thirds of the way through (known as “Clumsy Lover” for those of you playing at home) – but I guess that’s why this is We Banjo 3 featuring Sharon Shannon and not the other way around.

25. Nick Payne – “Old Sydney Town”
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Nick Payne workshopping his convict folk song at jam sessions and festivals over the past 18 months and what he’s managed to capture on tape is pretty bang on what you’ll get live. I love the old time feel of this track and the fine group of musicians he’s managed to amass to accompany him (including many members of his band Dear Orphans) elevate the song to another level. I love the “behind the music” style of the video as well – very nice.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 17th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Darren Hanlon released his new video “The Chattanooga Shoot Shoot”. Details here

– Sydney psych-folk band Liam Gale & The Ponytails have announced details of their debut album and east coast tour. Details here

– WA alt-country queen Ruby Boots releases her debut album next week and has a tour in May. Details here

Dear Orphans guitarist Nick Payne released his solo video “Old Sydney Town”. Details here

– Four of Australia’s brightest alt-country stars, Ruby Boots, Fanny Lumsden, Cookie Baker and Amber Rae Slade, have announced shows in Sydney and Melbourne as She Hangs Brightly. Details here

The Green Mohair Suits are throwing a good old fashioned bush dance in Sydney next week. Details here

– Sydney folk night MoFo at the Gaelic is holding its last show for “quite a while” tonight featuring Fat Cousin Skinny, Mandy Connell and Rebecca Bastoli. Details here

Joe Pug released his new video “Bright Beginnings”. Details here

Splendour in the Grass dropped their 2015 lineup including many Timber and Steel friendly artists like Of Monsters & Men, Ryan Adams, Boy & Bear, Xavier Rudd & The United Nations, Dustin Tebbutt, Jenny Lewis, C.W. Stoneking and more. Details here

These Machines Cut Razor Wire have announced their 2015 fundraiser show featuring Jeff Lang Band, Kavisha Mazzelia, Les Thomas Band and Little Foot. Details here

The Tallest Man On Earth released the title track to his upcoming album “Dark Bird Is Home”. Details here

– Legendary Sydney alt-country singer Mark Lucas has released his new video “Tell The DJ”. Details here

The Melbourne Folk Club celebrates its first birthday this week with a sold out show and a super secret lineup. Details here

I’m With Her, the collaboration between Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), released their video for the track “Crossing Muddy Waters”. Details here

– Scottish trio Lau released their new video “The Bell That Never Rang”. Details here

– Irish superstar Hozier has announced plans to tour Australia again in Spring. Details here

– Brisbane folk-rockers The Good Ship are calling it a day with farewell shows in Melbourne and Brisbane this May. Details here

Releases This Week

Alabama Shakes
Sound & ColorAlabama Shakes
iTunes

Mark Lucas
Little Town BluesMark Lucas
Laughing Outlaw Records

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Melbourne Folk Club’s First Birthday Extravaganza

Melbourne Folk Club

Look we know this gig is sold out but if you have any way to beg, borrow or steal a ticket do it. The Melbourne Folk Club has become an institution and their their first birthday show, featuring 10 secret acts, is going to be amazing.

Wednesday 22nd April – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Alex Edwards
Friday 24th April – Tall Poppy Studios, Brisbane, QLD

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Saturday 18th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Betty & Oswald
Friday 17th April – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave VIC
Saturday 18th April – The Espy, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 22nd April – Lass O’Growrie, Newcastle NSW
Thursday 23rd April – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen NSW

Bush Turkey Bush Dance w/ The Green Mohair Suits
Thursday 23rd April – GoodGod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Brad Butcher
Thursday 23rd April – Frankies Pizza by the Slice, Sydney, NSW
Friday 24th April – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

Bronte
Saturday 18th April – Sappho Books Cafe & Wine Bar, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th April – The Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Friday 17th April – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 17th April – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW
Saturday 18th April – The Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 19th April – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 23rd April – The Espy, St Kilda, VIC
Friday 24th April – The Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

Elwood Myre
Friday 17th April – The Aztec, Forster, NSW
Sunday 19th April – Steamfest, Hunter Valley, NSW
Thursday 23rd April – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Jordie Lane
Friday 17th April – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 22nd April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 23rd April – Beav’s Bar, Geelong VIC
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April – Mt Beauty Music Festival, Mt Beauty, VIC

Justin Townes Earle w/ Sam Outlaw
Friday 17th April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 18th April – Anitas, Thirroul, NSW

Laura Jean and Aldous Harding
Saturday 18th April – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Liam Gale & the Ponytails
Friday 24th April – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW

Marlon Williams
Friday 17th April – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 18th April – Jimmy’s Den, Perth, WA

MoFo at the Gaelic feat. Fat Cousin Skinny, Mandy Connell, Rebecca Bastoli
Friday 17th April – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mt Beauty Music Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April – Mt Beauty, VIC

Packwood
Friday 17th April – Smith’s Alternative Book Shop, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 19th April – Black Bear Lodge, Bribane, QLD

Roland Kay-Smith
Wednesday 22nd April – Customs House Library, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 23rd April – Junk Bar, Ashgrove, QLD

Rowena Wise
Friday 17th April – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19th April – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 22nd April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 23rd April – Beav’s Bar, Geelong VIC
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April – Mt Beauty Music Festival, Mt Beauty, VIC

St Albans Folk Festival
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April – St Albans, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 18th April – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Sunday 19th April – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Friday 24th April – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Dead Maggies
Friday 17th April – Magpies City Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 18th April – The Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19th April – The Reverencem, Melbourne, VIC

The Melbourne Folk Club’s First Birthday Extravaganza
Wednesday 22nd April – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Friday 17th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 18th April – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

The String Contingent
Friday 17th April – On The Rocks, North Rocks Community Church, North Rocks, NSW
Saturday 18th April – Berrima Smalls, Berrima, NSW
Wednesday 22nd April – Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 23rd April – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 10 April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 11th April – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 17th April – Warrumbungle Food Festival, Coonabarabran, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Half Of What We Know” – Crooked Still

This is one of the songs that first introduced me to the wonderful music of Crooked Still and the amazing voice of Aoife O’Donovan.

Watch the New Nick Payne Video “Old Sydney Town”

Nick Payne
Image Courtesy of Nick Payne

“Old Sydney Town” is the first single from Dear Orphans guitarist and singer-songwriter Nick Payne’s solo project. The track, which was released last year, also has brand new video detailing the recording process for the track.

Take a look at “Old Sydney Town” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American six-piece The Head and the Heart released their new video “Let’s Be Still”. Details here

– The multi-talented Johnny Flynn will appear in the upcoming Anne Hathaway film Song One. Details here

– Adelaide’s Thom Lion has released his new video “Fruition”. Details here

Father John Misty announced plans to release his new album I Love You, Honeybear in 2015. Details here

– Acclaimed American folk-rockers The Lone Bellow have announced details of a new album in 2015, Then Came The Morning. Details here

The April Maze released their new video “I’ve Seen The Rain”. Details here

Dear Orphans front man Nick Payne released his first solo track “Old Sydney Town”. Details here

– The National Folk Festival announced it’s first official artists of 2015 including David Francey, Heartstring Quartet, Chris While & Julie Matthews, Baka Beyond, Equus, Greshka, Bandaluzia, The Flying Emus, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Lucy Wise Trio and Alanna & Alicia. Details here

The Punch Brothers announced that they’ll soon be announcing a new album, as well as releasing their new track “I Blew It Off”. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk night Little Features announced their Christmas show featuring The Starry Field, Alex Gibson, Yetis and Daniel Tomalaris. Details here

– Folk Rock legends Levellers released the new version of their track “Just The One” featuring Bellowhead. Details here

José González gave us a view from space for his new video “Every Age”. Details here

– Ten more artists were added to the Port Fairy Folk Festival including The Gloaming, Tom Mason, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Ajak Kwai, Ruth Moody, Perch Creek, Zeptepi, Michael Fix, Roesy and Chris Tamwoy. details here

Hozier released his brand new video “From Eden”. Details here

Interviews

“Growing facial hair is far less effort than continuously shaving it off. Speaking of which, I’d like to dispel the myth that shaving stimulates hair growth. It doesn’t. People just think that it does because a hair follicle is at its darkest at the tip, so as the beard regrows, as it inevitably will because it’s a beard and therefore cannot be stopped, it looks like it’s growing thickly – it’s not, it’s growing at the same speed. All that’s happened is you’ve shaved off your beard and now you look like a fool, which you are, because you shaved off your beard” – Nathaniel Beard from The Beards chats to Aiden L Quinn. Interview here

Releases This Week

In Tongues
In TonguesElla Hooper
iTunes

Shane Nicholson
Pitch, Roll & YawShane Nicholson
JB Hi-Fi

Thompson Family
Thompson – FamilyThompson Family
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

Spooky Men

The Fitters’ Workshop in Canberra will be inviting folk music into it’s acoustically magnificent walls this weekend with The Spooky Men’s Chorale taking centre stage for a very special matinee show. Or as they put it “undertaking a full scale acoustic evaluation” of the venue.

Saturday 22nd November – The Fitters’ Workshop, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Betty & Oswald
Friday 21st November – Howlin’ Wolf, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 22nd November – Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd November – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Thursday 27th November – Babushka, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 28th November – Spirit Bar, Traralgon, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 21st November – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 22nd November – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Sunday 23rd November – Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 27th November – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Friday 28th November – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA

Co-cheòl
Friday 21st to Saturday 22nd November — Carnival of Music, Clare Valley, SA
Sunday 23rd November — Creatively Celtic, Church of Christ, Aldgate, SA

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 21st November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 22nd November – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
Sunday 23rd November – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 23rd November – The B-East, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 21st November – The Boatshed, Manly, NSW
Saturday 22nd November – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 21st November – Hornsby Folk Club, Hornsby, NSW
Saturday 22nd November – River Music, Nowra, NSW
Sunday 23rd November – Humph Hall, Allambie Heights, NSW
Friday 28th November – Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle, WA

Gorgeous Festival
Friday 28th and Saturday 29th November – McLaren Vale, SA

Hat Fitz and Cara
Saturday 22nd November – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Sunday 23rd November – The Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury, VIC
Thursday 27th November – The New Globe Theatre, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Husky
Friday 21st November – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 22nd November – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 23rd November – Mullum Music Fest, Mullumbimby, NSW
Wednesday 26th November – Hotel New York, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 27th November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 28th November – Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA

Jack Carty
Friday 21st November – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 27th November – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 28th November – Captains at Mariners, Batemans Bay, NSW

Josh Pyke
Friday 21st November – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 22nd November – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 23rd November – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Thursday 27th November – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 28th November – The Astor Hotel, Goulburn, NSW

Katie Noonan, Angie Hart, Melody Pool, Sam Buckingham
Friday 21st November – The Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 22nd November – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 23rd November – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Lachlan Bryan and Harmony James
Friday 21st November – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 22nd November -The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW
Thursday 27th November – Junk Bar, Ashgrove, Brisbane, QLD

Little May
Friday 21st November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd November – The Front Gallery & Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 27th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 28th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Liz Stringer
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Tuesday 25th November – Jet Black Cat In Store, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 26th November – No 5. Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 27th November – Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 28th November – Manly Fig, Manly, NSW

Mark Moldre
Sunday 23rd November – Avoca Markets, NSW

Mullum Music Festival
Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd November – Mullumbimby, NSW

One Up, Two Down and Dan Parsons
Saturday 22nd November – The Roxbury, Sydney, NSW

Pepa Knight
Thursday 27th November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 28th November – Baker St, Gosford, NSW

Steve Smyth
Friday 21st November – Redcliffe On The Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Saturday 22nd November – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 23rd November – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Wednesday 26th November – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 27th November – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Friday 28th November – Red Hot Music, Devonport, TAS

The Kruger Brothers w/ The Company
Friday 28th November – The Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 28th November – Spirit Bar, Traralgon, VIC

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Friday 21st November – Milton Theatre, South Coast, NSW
Saturday 22nd November – The Fitters’ Workshop, Canberra, ACT

The Stetson Family
Sunday 23rd November – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Candy” – Paolo Nutini

Scottish singer Paolo Nutini is one of the most versatile artists in the world right now covering everything from trad to Americana to pop and beyond. I love the Neil Young vibe to this track – it definitely gets me excited that Nutini will be in the country for Bluesfest next year!

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