The Morrisons Return With O Brother Where Art Thou? Tribute Shows

The Morrisons
Image Courtesy of The Morrisons

Sydney pickers The Morrisons are heading to The Vanguard in Newtown in May for another round of O Brother Where Art Thou? tribute shows. The classic Coen Brothers film has inspired a generation of folk musicians and getting the chance to see iconic songs like “Man of Constant Sorrow”, “I’ll Fly Away” and “You Are My Sunshine” performed by musicians of The Morrisons’ calibre is not to be missed.

On the 6th, 7th and 8th May The Morrisons will be joined by local musicians Brian Campeau, Lucky Luke, Georgia Mooney, Hannah Crofts, Katie Wighton and Luke Escombe along with comedian Tommy Dean for Man Of Constant Sorrow: A Tribute to the Music of O Brother Where Art Thou?. If you’re keen to get to one of these shows get in quick – tickets are selling fast. Check out The Vanguard’s official site for more details.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne based chamber-folk singer Packwood released his brand new single “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”. Details here

– The upcoming Fringe World festival in Perth will feature three tribute nights to O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Details here

– Celebrated trad singers Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton has revealed details of their upcoming album Declaration. Details here

Ruby Boots has kicked off her 2015 signing to Lost Highway and announcing her new album Solitude. Details here

– The The National Folk Festival have announced a bunch of US artists for their 2015 lineup including Kim Richey, Joe Filisko & Eric Noden, Kipori Baby Wolf Woods New Orleans Band, Jesse Milnes & Emily Miller and Whitetop Mountaineers. Details here

The Decemberists released their new video “A Beginning Song”. Details here

– Sydney band Citizen of the World released their new video “Done”. Details here

– Melbourne’s John Flanagan has announced a massive tour beginning this February. Details here

Laura Marling revealed her new track “False Hope”. Details here

Little Georgia, the alt-country duo project from Justin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix, released their new video “Heartbreak”. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter and activist Les Thomas released his new single “Guantanamo Blues”. Details here

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Jenny Queen released her new video “Hell No”. Details here

– Six more artists have been added to the Port Fairy Folk Festival lineup including Luluc, Mike Brady, Frank Yamma, The Bearded Gypsy Band, Fiona Ross and Skipping Girl Vinegar. Details here

Punch Brothers revealed their new track “My Oh My”. Details here

The Staves went back in time for their new video “Black & White”. Details here

Trampled by Turtles released their new video “Repetition”. Details here

The April Maze announced a new album and 2015 tour dates. Details here

Bell St Delays, the duo project of singer-songwriters Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles), released their new video “Not This Time”. Details here

Marlon Williams released his new video “Dark Child” and announced an Australian tour in April. Details here

Angus and Julia Stone have announced the final dates for their summer tour. Details here

Rhiannon Giddens released “She’s Got You” from her forthcoming album. Details here

– Swedish singer-songwriter José González released his new single “Leaf Off/The Cave”. Details here


“On an afternoon when frying eggs on the pavement in rural Queensland was definitely an option, Bill Quinn spoke with Ann from her sick bed in Edmonton, as she was putting the final touches on her tour, and readying to hop on a plane the following week”Ann Vriend chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here


“As we emerge from the haze of the Christmas and New Year period I can tell you right now that the future is looking bright indeed. So many of our favourite artists spent last year in the studio and the next six months is going to be thick with exciting releases. With so much good music on the way I thought I’d try and distill a list of ten artists that I’m excited to hear from in the first half of this year. This list is by no means exhaustive and I could probably spend hours talking about every release on the calendar, but hopefully this gives you a jumping off point to get as excited as I am for 2015”Gareth Hugh Evans picks his ten artists to watch in the first half of 2015. Find out who he chose and why here

“Here’s a question, though: how many have been to a small regional folk festival? … I ask this because I believe it is important for the folk movement that people younger than me – which is lot of people – get involved in the smaller festivals, either through volunteering, applying to perform, just turning up and doing a blackboard, or paying the usually small amount to attend” – guest contributor Peter Logue recounts the joy of the small folk festival. Read about it here

Releases This Week

Alanna Eileen
AbsenceAlanna Eileen

Punch Brothers
The Phosphorescent BluesPunch Brothers

The MoneyHusband

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Black Market Tune

Black Market Tune

Black Market Tune was a highlight at this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival so I urge anyone who hasn’t seen them live yet to get along to one of their shows. This week they’ll be bringing their uniquely European take on Scottish traditional music to Victoria – see them before they leave the country!

Sunday 25th January – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Saturday 24th January – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 25th January – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 29th January – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ann Vriend
Saturday 24th January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 29th January – The Reef Casino, Cairns, Qld
Friday 30th January – Sovereign Resort Hotel, Cooktown, Qld

April Maze
Friday 23rd January – Tomerong Hall, Shoalhaven, NSW

Australia Day at The Rocks
Monday 26th January – The Rocks, Sydney, NSW

Bell St Delays
Thursday 29th January – Three Chimneys, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Saturday 24th January – Leeuwin Estate Winery, Margaret River, WA
Thursday 29th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 30th January – Twilight At Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Black Market Tune
Sunday 25th January – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC

Charm of Finches
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live Music Festival, VIC
Wednesday 28th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 23rd January – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA
Friday 30th January – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA

Kim Churchill
Friday 23rd January – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 24th January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 29th January – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 30th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Tuesday 27th January – The Glasshouse Theatre, Port Macquarie, NSW
Wednesday 28th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 30th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Mandy Connell
Tuesday 27th January – Retreat, Melbourne, VIC

Newstead Live
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numberalla Folk Festival
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Numberalla, NSW

Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 25th January – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 27th January – Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, QLD

Peasant Moon
Friday 30th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Roger Knox
Sunday 25th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Darren Hanlon, Laura Jean, Single Twin
Wednesday 28th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Saturday 24th January – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Tim Edey
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live, VIC
Wednesday 28th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 29th January – Vencia Hall, Briagalong, VIC
Friday 30th January – Harvest Moon, Bellarine, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Shady Grove” – Crooked Still

Someone pointed out to me this week that old timey/bluegrass standard “Shady Grove” is likely derived from the English ballad “Matty Groves” and my mind was blown. How could I not have noticed this before? Now I can’t think about/sing either song without getting it mixed up with the other.

Brothers & Sisters – The Music of O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother

For three nights during the Perth Fringe World Festival local musician collective Brothers & Sisters will be performing music from the classic film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

The performance will feature an ensemble of 19 musicians performing music from the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack at the Teatro 1 venue in the Perth Cultural Centre on the 20th, 21st and 22nd February.

To get your hands on tickets head to the Fringe World Festival site here. For more information check out the official Facebook event.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th April


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Matthew and the Atlas revealed their new track “Nowhere Now”. Details here

– Fiddle player and looper Owen Pallett has released his new video “The Riverbed”. Details here

– Regular Sydney bluegrass jam and performance Bluegrass @ Yulli’s kicks off it’s April show next week featuring John Flanagan. Details here

– Tomorrow afternoon the Newtown Hotel in Sydney is holding the Cider Fair, featuring over 25 ciders to taste and music from Achoo! Bless You and Betty & Oswald. Details here

– English singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey released his new track “Meet Me There”. Details here

– We were very proud to premiere the brand new video from The Pierce Brothers, “It’s My Fault”, on Tuesday. Details here

– This May the Vanguard in Sydney is holding another couple of tribute nights to O Brother Where Art Thou? featuring performances from The Morrisons, Ngaiire, Elana Stone, Brian Campeau, Lucky Luke, Marcus Holden and All Our Exes Live In Texas. Details here

– Tomorrow night some of the best young Irish musicians living in Australia including Mairead Hurley, Louise Phelan, Maeve Moynihan and Ben Stephenson will be performing at The Gaelic Club in Sydney. Details here

– Another new Passenger track, “Scare Away The Dark”, has made its way online. Details here

– The Newtown Social Club in Sydney is finally throwing open the doors of its band room with a bunch of folky artists already announced for May and June. Details here

Fraser A. Gorman is streaming his brand new single “Book of Love”. Details here

– The marvelous Kim Churchill has announced a string of dates through May and June. Details here

Leah Flanagan is in the middle of a bunch of dates in New South Wales and Victoria but she’s also managed to release a really sweet video for her single “Everything”. Details here

The Folk Informal at FBi Social in Sydney will hold their April show this Thursday with the lineup including John Flanagan, Maia Jelavic, Telegraph Tower and Forster Anderson. Details here

– Melbourne’s Tanya Batt has just released her brand new video “Fools”. Details here

The Stillsons’ guitarist Justin Bernasconi has announced a new solo record and tour. Details here

– Alice Springs based singer-songwriter Katie Harder is heading out on an NT wide tour from today. Details here

– This week the Porch Light Sessions in Sydney return for their second show featuring The British Blues, Brian Campeau and Wartime Sweethearts. Details here

– The latest video from Sideshow Alley features Bear’s Den performing “Don’t Let The Sun Steal You Away”. Details here

– Adelaide based singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin has announced plans for an east coast tour this month. Details here

– Swedish duo First Aid Kit have announced plans for a brand new album in June and have revealed their first single “My Silver Lining”. Details here


Apologies to anyone who fell for our Justin Bieber related April Fools post. We promise that’s the last time we’ll mention Bieber’s name on this blog. You can read the piece here

Releases This Week

Ariela Jacobs
ThisAriela Jacobs

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Big Jig feat. Restless Legs

Big Jig

Fans of traditional Irish music should not miss this opportunity to see some of Ireland’s best young Australian based performers – including Mairead Hurley, Louise Phelan, Maeve Moynihan and Ben Stephenson – performing together in the intimate surrounds of Sydney’s Gaelic Club.

Saturday 5th April – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. John Flanagan
Wednesday 9th April – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Saturday 5th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Christopher Coleman Collective
Friday 4th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 5th April – No 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 10th April – Dowse Bar, Paddington, QLD
Friday 11th April – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Claude Hay
Friday 4th April – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Saturday 5th April – The Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW
Friday 11th April – The Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga, NSW

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Thursday 10th April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 4th April – HATS-Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, SA
Saturday 5th April – The Song Room, Tanunda, SA
Sunday 6th April – Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Thursday 10th April – Carrington Bowling Club, Newcastle, NSW

Ella Hooper
Friday 4th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gum Ball
Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April – Belford, NSW

John Butler Trio
Saturday 5th April – Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre, Darwin, NT
Monday 7th April – Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 9th April – Newcastle Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 11th April – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, NSW

John Flanagan
Friday 4th April – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 5th April – House concert, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 6th April – “The Stables” House Concert, Glebe, NSW
Wednesday 9th April – Yulli’s, Surrey Hills, NSW
Thursday 10th April – Folk Informal @ FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th April – House Concert, Copacabana, NSW

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 4th April – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT

Katie Harder and the Artful Dodgers
Friday 4th April – Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Saturday 5th April – Katherine Sport and Recreation Club, Katherine, NT
Sunday 6th April – Timber Creek Hotel, Timber Creek, NT
Tuesday 8th April – Yarralin Community Youth, Yarralin, NT
Wednesday 9th April – Yarralin Community Basketball Court, Yarralin, NT
Friday 11th April – Tennant Creek Hotel, Tennant Creek, NT

Leah Flanagan
Saturday 5th April – Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 6th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Sunday 6th April – The Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool, VIC
Monday 7th April – Portland Arts Centre, Portland, VIC
Tuesday 8th April – Hamilton Performing Arts Centre, VIC
Wednesday 9th April – Wesley Performing Arts Centre, Horsham, VIC

Little Wise and Megan Bernard
Friday 4th April – Café Troppo, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th April – Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 4th April – The Studio Underground, Perth, WA
Saturday 5th April – Redhill Concert, Redhill, WA
Thursday 10th April – Mars Hill Café, Parramatta, NSW
Friday 11th April – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. The British Blues, Brian Campeau, Wartime Sweethearts
Thursday 10th April – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Sally Seltmann w/ Wintercoats
Friday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th April – The Clarendon Hotel, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 10th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

The Beez
Saturday 5th April – Wachope Arts, NSW
Sunday 6th April – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 8th April – Newcastle University, NSW
Friday 11th April – Candelo Arts Society, NSW

The Big Jig feat. Restless Legs
Saturday 5th April – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Folk Informal feat. John Flanagan, Maia Jelavic, Telegraph Tower, Forster Anderson
Thursday 10th April – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 4th April – The Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW
Saturday 5th April – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Friday 4th April – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Fairytales & Firesides” – Passenger

With a new album on the way I’ve been revisiting Passenger’s back catalogue with gusto this week. Divers and Submarines is a seminal album for Passenger, seeing Mike Rosenberg really break away from the band sound and embrace his inner singer-songwriter and this is one of the album’s best tracks.

Man of Constant Sorrow: A Tribute to the Music of O Brother Where Art Thou?

O Brother

The impact of O Brother Where Art Thou?, the 2000 film from the Coen Brothers, and its amazing T Bone Burnett producer soundtrack continues to be felt across the folk scene, it’s probably no surprise that The Vanguard in Sydney is once again holding a couple of tribute nights. Following on from similar sold out nights over the last couple of years, the upcoming events will feature some of Sydney’s best musicians bringing the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack to life.

The O Brother Where Art Thou? tribute nights will take place on the 7th and 8th May at The Vanguard and will feature performances from the likes of The Morrisons, Ngaiire, Elana Stone, Brian Campeau, Lucky Luke, Marcus Holden and All Our Exes Live In Texas with the night MC’d by acclaimed comedian Tommy Dean.

Tickets to the nights are $25 and will likely sell out fast. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

O Brother Where Art Thou? Tribute Announces Second Show

O Brother Where Art Thou

If you were lucky enough to be one of the special few who managed to snaffle tickets to last week’s sold out O Brother Where Art Thou? tribute concert at The Vanguard in Sydney last week you’ll know just how amazing it was. We were there (as punters rather than in any media capacity) and the overwhelming consensus in the room was that Sydney needs more bluegrass gigs like this.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the show the organisers have decided to do it all again this week. House band Bellyache Ben & The Steamgrass Boys will be joined by Christa Hughes (Machine Gun Fellatio), Elana Stone (Rescue Ships), Brian Campeau (Rescue Ships), George Washingmachine and some special guests that may just include some of Australia’s top bluegrass players who may happen to be in town for their own gig (work that one out for yourself). It will all be going down this Thursday 19th April with tickets available here.

Watch the video below for a sneak peak of what to expect:

O Brother Where Art Thou? Tribute at The Vanguard, Sydney

O Brother Where Art Thou?

Much of the current interest in and popularity of the folk revival can be traced back to a singular point: the 2000 Coen Brothers depression era film O Brother Where Art Thou?. The film itself is a wonderful piece of storytelling but it’s the soundtrack that elevates it to another level – producer T Bone Burnett took bluegrass, country and old time music and presented it to a wider audience all of whom lapped it up with gusto.

Sydney’s iconic venue The Vanguard is holding a special tribute to O Brother Where Art Thou? on the 12th April. Featuring a “cast of Sydney’s finest singers” along with house band and Timber and Steel favourites Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys. It’s going to be a hell of a pickin’ night.

For more information and to buy tickets visit the official Vanguard web site.

Roll Away Your Stone: An Easter Playlist


Music and spirituality have been tied together from the beginnings of civilisation so it’s probably no surprise that many of today’s folk musicians not only hold strong religious beliefs but also weave these into the very fabric of their songs. Oft times these religious or spiritual overtones are blatant and other times they take a more subtle form but there’s no denying that spirituality plays a big part in the music we listen to and enjoy

The contributors here at Timber and Steel are quite eclectic in their personal beliefs but there is one thing we can all agree on – spirituality and religion have inspired (and will continue to inspire) some of the best folk music out there. We thought in honour of the weekend, whether for its pagan and Jewish origins or its important Christian message, we’d bring you some of our favourite spiritual and religious traditional and original folk songs. Obviously “spiritual” and “gospel” are sub-genres of folk with very very deep wells, even without including religiously-themed contemporary music, so there’s so many songs we’ve missed out here. But we hope the playlist we’ve put together will provide the perfect soundtrack for Easter egg eating, getting ready for church, dancing around the maypole or however you choose to recognise the day.

So here it is: Timber and Steel’s Easter playlist – Roll Away Your Stone. And what better way to kick things off than with one of the greatest tributes to spiritual love ever written, “To Be Alone With You” by Sufjan Stevens.

“To Be Alone With You” – Sufjan Stevens

“Timshel” – Mumford and Sons
Timshel is a Hebrew word from Genesis that roughly translates to “the choice” (as in the choice between good and evil). Mumford and Sons’ lyrics are strewn with religious references, some overt and others more subtle, probably stemming from Marcus Mumford’s deep Christian faith (his parents head up the Vineyard Churches in the UK). We probably could have chosen any one of their songs (the title of this piece is taken from a different Mumford and Sons track) but we’ve gone with “Timshel” because of its uplifting, hopeful lyrics.

“I’ll Be Glad’ – Bonnie “Prince” Billy

“Two Hands of a Prayer” – Ben Harper

“But For You Who Fear My Name” – The Welcome Wagon
Welcome Wagon are the Pastor and pastor’s wife duo from Sufjan Steven’s Asthamtic Kitty label. Produced by Sufjan, it also appears he featuring on backing vocals in this, a classic country gospel version of a bible verse from the book of Malachi put into song.

“Fortune” – Midlake
In just two verses and a chorus Midlake manage to cover the religious themes of temptation, the imperfection of humans in comparison to God and the value of hard work as a path to salvation. Combine with this the fact that on the surface the song doesn’t seem overtly spiritual and the genius of Midlake’s songwriting is truly revealed.

“Tomorrow On The Runway” – The Innocence Mission

“Middle of the Air” – Paul Kelly (Tripod and Eddie Perfect)
Given that Paul Kelly is about to embark on a tour of his spiritual songs we just had to include at least one. The obvious choice is the gorgeous “Middle of The Air” – a video of which doesn’t seem to exist so we’ve posted the version performed by Tripod and Eddie Perfect on Good News Week (trust us, it’s almost as good as the original)

“Redemption” – Johnny Cash
The most Easter themed song we could think of for Timber and Steel, “Redemption” was written by Cash as a very real and raw look at the images of Jesus’ crucifiction. A sombre, yet powerful and beautiful song that describes in bloody detail the significance of the event to Cash, and Christianity. We’re surprised Nick Cave didn’t cover this one in his own gospel period

“Where The Soul of Man Never Dies” – Hank Williams

“Down to the River to Pray” – Alison Krauss
Put together for the soundtrack to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? this is Krauss in southern gospel mode. In a film full of spiritual music “Down to the River to Pray” (along with accompanying clip) is probably the most straight up religious experience of O Brother, Where Art Thou.

“Keep On the Sunny Side” – The Whites

“Dear God” – Monsters of Folk
The opening track from the epic collaboration between Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M Ward, with Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes, recently sampled by The Roots. This song takes the form of a letter to God, filled with questions of distance, suffering, and longing for answers. I threw this one in for Easter, as it’s about a desire to place faith in something, someone, but with a desperate appeal for proof.

“Christian & the Sinner” – Vorn Doolette
Because this list needed a little more local action we’ve included Vorn Doolette’s parable on what it means to be a Christian or a sinner.

“Wartime Prayer” – Paul Simon

“Lord Lord Lord” – The Kahn Brothers
The main songwriters/brothers of Sydney’s Gelbison, recording under their own name, have written a song which I liken to George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”, a song about faith, spirituality, and turning to someone in times of need. The brothers themselves straddling the relm of their Jewish heritage, and new age spirituality have written an upbeat song that may translate into any faith.

“Bartender” – Dave Matthews
I can’t think of a better way to end this list: “Bartender please fill my glass for me, with the wine you gave Jesus that set him free after three days in the ground”.

Happy Easter!

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