Ten Artists to Watch in the First Half of 2017

Bob Dylan

With the new year upon us it’s time to look ahead at some of the great folk, roots and acoustic music that will be coming our way in 2017. And it’s already shaping up to be an amazing year with a bunch of very exciting albums already announced (see the list at the bottom of this piece) and even more in the works. We had a stab at picking 10 artists we think you should be keeping an eye on in the coming months but as always this is far from exhaustive. We hope you enjoy and a happy 2017!

All Our Exes All Our Exes Live in Texas

A perennial for this yearly article it would seem. Somewhere in between tour commitments last year All Our Exes Live in Texas found time to get into the studio and record their debut album When We Fall. The album was produced and engineered by Wayne Connolly (Sarah Blasko, Silverchair, You Am I) and will likely hit stores around March. Expect to see a lot of All Our Exes Live in Texas in the coming months – they’re set to explode.

Davidson Brothers Davidson Brothers

Late last year Australian bluegrass duo Davidson Brothers headed to Nashville to record with Larry Marrs at Mark Thornton for an upcoming album. The Davidson Brothers released their last album Wanderlust back in 2014 so a new record is very much anticipated and if you’ve managed to catch them live yet this year you’ll know they continue to be one of the most exciting live acts in the country. Stay tuned for news of their new album soon!

Fleet Foxes

While there’s been no official announcement of a new Fleet Foxes album this year, their first since 2011’s Helplessness Blues, all signs are pointing toward a release very soon. Frontman Robin Pecknold has been hinting at a new Fleet Foxes long player (plus a solo album) over the last couple of months and the band also reassured fans via social media that they wouldn’t have to fly to an announced show in Ireland in July because “we’ll be doing a full world tour in 2017-18 so no need to spend a lot on travel”. Watch this space for more information when it’s announced!

Husky Husky

Don’t be surprised if Husky’s 2016 single “Late Night Store” makes an appearance in this year’s triple j Hottest 100 – the national youth broadcaster has been hammering it of late. The track is the first taster from the Melbourne indie-folk duo’s third album which is due for release at “some point” in 2017. That’s all the information we have now but expect some more news to drop soon.

Jordan Jordan Ireland

The ex-member of The Middle East announced plans to release his new album Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra on the 20th January. The first track from the album “East Coaster” is a lot more acoustically driven than Ireland’s previous project Stolen Violin, but that’s not to say the rest of Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra will follow suit. We’ll have to wait and see what the album brings but I have a feeling it’s going to be something special.

Laura marling Laura Marling

A new album from Laura Marling in 2017 – Semper Femina due on the 10th March – is in itself not a surprise. The prolific singer-songwriter has released five albums over the last nine years with Semper Femina marking her sixth long player. But on hearing the first single “Soothing” it’s clear that Marling is experimenting with her sound and Semper Femina may not be as “folk” as we’re used to from her. The album will apparently focus heavily on female characters and creativity, a theme Laura Marling explored in her excellent 2016 podcast Reversal of the Muse which we highly recommend you download.

Punch Brothers Punch Brothers Side Projects

While things are pretty quiet on the Punch Brothers front the various members are keeping themselves very very busy. As well as hosting the new season of A Prairie Home Companion mandolinist and singer Chris Thile will release his album with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, on the 27th January. Banjo player Noam Pikelny’s new solo album Universal Favorite is due for release in March this year and was produced by Punch Brothers fiddle player Gabe Witcher. Witcher has also produced a solo album for guitarist Chris “Critter” Eldridge which will hopefully come out this year. Bassist Paul Kowert is prepping a new album as well with his trio Haas Kowert Tice (featuring Brittany Haas and Jordan Tice). All in all this might be the biggest year ever for fans of Punch Brothers.


Rhiannon Giddens Rhiannon Giddens

With her new album Freedom Highway due on the 24th February and an Australian tour this April (including an appearance at Bluesfest), 2017 could well be the year Rhiannon Giddens solidifies her Australian fanbase. Freedom Highway delves deep into black American history with songs based on slave narratives of the 19th century through to the civil rights movements of the 1960s. This may be Giddens’s most powerful work to date.

The Morrisons The Morrisons

There was a time when you couldn’t move in Sydney without bumping into a gig from The Morrisons. But over the last 18 months or so The Morrisons have become a little more scarce as the members focus on their side projects, although they continue to shine with their Paul Kelly and O Brother Where Art Thou? theme shows. In recent months the band have started posting photos from the studio and as we write this it looks like The Morrisons are on the verge of announcing the release of their debut album and a bunch of tour dates – 2017 is going to be the year The Morrisons come back in a big bad way.

Timberwolf Timberwolf

Adelaide based indie-folk singer-songwriter Timberwolf has been quietly plugging away at the scene for a while now and I feel as though 2017 will be his year. Having already garnered attention from triple j for his new single “Washed Out” Timberwolf is about to release his debut album and has a bunch of tour dates through the end of January and the start of February. Once the album is announced expect to see Timberwolf through 2017.

2017 Album Release Schedule

6th January: 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory – Dropkick Murphys
13th January: Gentlewoman, Ruby Man – Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White
13th January: Laws of Gravity – The Infamous Stringdusters
13th January: Endless – The McClymonts
20th January: Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra – Jordan Ireland With Purple Orchestra
20th January: Dragonfly – Kasey Chambers
27th January: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau – Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
27th January: Seven Long Years – Musketeer
27th January: Stitch of the World – Tift Merritt
3rd February: Big Machine – Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band
10th February: Memories Are Now – Jesca Hoop
10th February: Best Of – Old Crow Medicine Show
17th February: Windy City – Alison Krauss
17th February: Postcards From The Shell House – Busby Marou
17th February: Life Will See You Now – Jens Lekman
17th February: Highway Queen – Nikki Lane
17th February: Prisoner – Ryan Adams
24th February: Freedom Highway – Rhiannon Giddens
27th February: Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood – Sun Kil Moon
March – Universal Favorite – Noam Pikelny
3rd March: When We Fall – All Our Exes Live In Texas
3rd March: Ironbark – The Waifs
10th March: Semper Femina – Laura Marling
16th March: The Order of Time – Valerie June
31st March: Life Love Flesh Blood – Imelda May

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 6th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– New Zealand folk duo Tattletale Saints hit Australia this week with dates in NSW and VIC. Details here

– Folk singer Kate Burke released a sad and beautiful track titled “All For Me”. Details here

– Popular Adelaide folk night The Porch Sessions is touring through SA, VIC and NSW this month with Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson and Tim Moore. Details here

– US folk rockers Thompson Springs have announced an Australian tour with Maia Marsh. Details here

– Experimental folk group Vanishing Shapes announced a January tour. Details here

– Tasmanian folk punks The Dead Maggies released their new single “She”. Details here

– This week’s Illawarra Folk Festival has an amazing lineup including Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb, FourWinds, Tattletale Saints, The Whitetop Mountaineers, Tim O’Brien, Wallis Bird, Daniel Champagne, Echo Deer, Handsome Young Strangers, Lime and Steel, Mandy Connell, Martin Pearson, Nigel Wearne, Shanty Club, The Squeezebox Trio, Tinpan Orange, Big Erle, Jane Aubourg, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove, Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Lurkers and many many more. Details here

– Indie-folkers Winterbourne announced a February tour. Details here

Ryan Adams released his Neil Young-esque new single “To Be Without You”. Details here

– English big-band Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band have announced their new album Big Machine. Details here

– Banjo master Noam Pikelny has announced plans for his first official solo album Universal Favorite. Details here

– Sydney Americana singer-songwriter Katie Brianna treated us to a new track “Sticks and Stones”. Details here

Citizen of the World released their new video “In The Moment”. Details here

Releases This Week

11 Short Stories
11 Short Stories Of Pain & GloryDropkick Murphys
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson, Tim Moore

Porch Sessions

Adelaide’s popular folk night The Porch Sessions hits the road with shows in South Australia and Victoria this week featuring Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson and Tim Moore

Friday 6th January – The Cantina, Robe, SA
Sunday 8th January – Illowa, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – Lorne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Acoustics Anonymous feat. Mckenzie Kay, Jon Maratheftis
Wednesday 11th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Friday 13th January – Rosny Barn, TAS

Alanna and Alicia
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Andy Irvine w/ Luke Plumb
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Tuesday 10th January – House Concert, TAS
Thursday 12th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Blue King Brown
Friday 13th January – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale, NSW

Courtyard Sessions Presents Imogen Clark
Friday 13th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet, TAS

Deadwood 76, Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes
Friday 6th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Don McGlashan
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 13th January – Brookfields Shed, Margate, TAS

Dubmarine, Circle of Rhythm, Matiu Te Huki, New Venusians, Queen Porter Stomp, Deejay Bentley, Deepchild (DJ set)
Friday 6th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Folkswagon feat. Scott Rudd, Thompson Springs, Maia Marsh
Wednesday 11th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fourwinds
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th to Sunday 15th January – Illawara Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

George & Noriko
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Gregory Page
Friday 7th January – The Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 8th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Heartbreakers Sessions feat. Jamie Hutchings, Ben Horder
Sunday 8th January – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Sunday 8th January – Mudgee Brewing Co., Mudgee, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 8th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Bulli, NSW

Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Sunday 8th January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Joe & Harmony’s Trippy Hippy Band
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
Friday 13th January – Esk BeerFest, Launceston, TAS

Katie Brianna
Thursday 12th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Kirsty Bromley
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Lake Street Dive
Friday 6th January – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 7th January – Summer of Soul, Mossvale, VIC
Sunday 8th January – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Sydney Festival, Sydney, NSW

Nigel Wearne
Saturday 7th January – The Witches Garden, Mitta Mitta, VIC
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Dan Brodie, JD & The Hungermen, Gana & Scotty
Saturday 7th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Roadhouse feat. Cruisin’ Deuces
Thursday 12th January – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Sharon Shannon
Friday 6th January – Mick O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 7th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th January – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Summer Sets at Hither & Yon feat. Aidan ‘Jazzy’ Jones
Sunday 8th January – Hither & Yon, Willunga, SA

Tattletale Saints
Friday 6th January – Tanswell’s Pub, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 7th January – Minya Winery, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 8th January – House On The Hill, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 10th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – The Witches Garden, Mitta Mitta, VIC
Thursday 12th January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

The Outside Track
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

The Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen, Luke Thompson, Tim Moore
Friday 6th January – The Cantina, Robe, SA
Sunday 8th January – Illowa, VIC
Wednesday 11th January – Lorne, VIC
Friday 13th January – Melbourne, VIC

The Saloon Daddies w/ Peasant Moon
Sunday 8th January – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

The Settlement
Saturday 7th January – The Star, Port Fairy, VIC

The Spin Drifters
Wednesday 11th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Whitetop Mountaineers
Friday 6th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th January – The Metropole, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 8th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Monday 9th January – Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

Thompson Springs w/ Maia Marsh
Wednesday 11th January – Folkswagon, Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th January – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Tim O’Brien
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th to Saturday 14th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Timberwolf
Saturday 7th January – Here’s To Now, McLaren Vale, SA

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 6th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Byron Fine Music House Concerts, Byron Bay, NSW

Wallis Bird w/ William Crighton
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Wednesday 11th January – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 12th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Saturday 14th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Winter Wilson
Saturday 7th January – Music By The Sea Festival, Sandgate, QLD
Wednesday 11th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall, Upper Lansdowne, NSW
Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Father Had A Knife/Salonika” – Lynched

If you haven’t discovered Irish band Lynched yet then prepare to meet your new favourite trad artist.

Noam Pikelny Announces Solo Album Universal Favorite

Noam
Image Courtesy of Noam Pikelny

Punch Brothers banjo player and all round folk prodigy Noam Pikelny has announced plans to release his first official solo album Universal Favorite in March this year.

The album features Pikelny without accompaniment – it’s just banjo, vocal and the occasional other instruments. Universal Favorite was produced by Pikelny’s Punch Brothers bandmate Gabe Witcher.

Full details of the album are still to come but in the meantime check out the first instrumental track “Waveland”:

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