Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Irish singer-songwriter Wallis Bird returns to Australia for a tour this November. Details here

– Sydney duo Peasant Moon released their new single “Our Timing Was Wrong”. Details here

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Jed Rowe released a live video for his new single “Tailem Bend”. Details here

The Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival announced their massive 2017 lineup including Foghorn Stringband, Genni Kane, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Luke Plumb and Peter Daffy, The Freewheeler, The New Macedon Rangers, Cat and Clint, Chloë & Jason Roweth, Freya Josephine Hollick, Golden Whistler, Kaurna Cronin, Loren Kate, Mandy Connell, Michael Waugh, Monique Clare, The Mae Trio, The Tawny Owl Stringband, Whoa Mule and many more. Details here

Ian Felice (Felice Brothers) announced his debut solo album In The Kingdom Of Dreams. Details here

– Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan released his new video “Whistleblower”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country singer-songwriter Luke Collings released his new single “Who’s Gonna Vote For Me?”. Details here

– We premiered the amazing new Gretta Ziller video “Queen of Boomtown”. Details here

Patrick James released his 80s inspired single “Lay It Down”. Details here

– The Wingham Akoostik Festival in northern NSW announced its 2017 lineup including Kasey Chambers, Russell Morris, Ella Hooper, The Turner Brown Band, Eagle & The Wolf, Sara Tindley, Colin Lillie, Matt Joe Gow and many many more. Details here

– Brisbane based singer-songwriter BANFF released his new single “Act of Misacting”. Details here

Out On The Weekend announced headline shows for their touring artists including Justin Townes Earle, Joshua Hedley, The Sadies, Robbie Fulks, Son Volt, Traveller (Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis and Cory Chisel) and The Deslondes. Details here

– Award winning singer-songwriter and cellist Monique Clare announced details of her new EP By The Stars. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Ollie Brown released his new video “Backroads”. Details here

Father John Misty released his new video “Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”. Details here

– Music events company Gypsyheart Live announced details of their Downtown Folk Festival in Sydney featuring Hollow Coves, Garrett Kato, Harry Hookey, Grizzlee Train, Tullara, Luke Morris, Asha Jefferies, Nick Cunningham, Alana Wilkinson, Feelds and Darby. Details here

Releases This Week

Monique Clare
By The StarsMonique Clare

Bandcamp

Vertumnus
VertumnusPackwood
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Shelley’s Murder Boys w/ Bec Bastoli

Shelley's Murder Boys

Sydney bluegrass and old time trio Shelley’s Murder Boys launch their amazing new EP Troubled Thoughts Keep Her Fed in their home town with Bec Bastoli in support

Thursday 24th August – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Acoustic Sessions feat. Angel Tairua
Thursday 24th August – The Beresford, Sydney, NSW

Acoustic Sessions feat. Marissa & Lloyd
Tuesday 22nd August – Angel Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Acoustic Sessions feat. Merpire
Sunday 20th August – The Paddington, Sydney, NSW

Adam Young w/ Wifey
Saturday 19th August – Botany View Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Anna Smyrk
Friday 18th August – Billy Roy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC

Asha Jefferies
Friday 18th August – The Flying Cock, Brisbane, QLD

Bec Bastoli
Sunday 20th August – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 24th August – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Ben Camden, 500 Pounds of Joy
Friday 25th August – Howlin’ Wolf Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. Gareth Rowan and The Crazy Fools
Wednesday 23rd August – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Brad Butcher
Wednesday 23rd August – Willie the Boatman, Sydney, NSW

Brian Campeau
Thursday 24th August – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Collard Greens and Gravy
Friday 25th August – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Daggy Man
Thursday 24th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Dan Brodie
Sunday 20th August – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Darwin Festival
Thursday 10th to Sunday 27th August – Darwin, NT

Dave Alexander 20th Anniversary Concert feat. Siobhán Ní Phinder, The Roaring Forties
Saturday 19th August – The Loaded Dog Folk Club, Sydney, NSW

Davidson Brothers
Saturday 19th August – Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th August – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 19th August – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Donna Amini, Visiting Aliens, Chris Neto
Wednesday 23rd August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Dreamboogie and Bonnie Kay & The Bonafides
Saturday 19th August – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

East of Everything w/ Alana Jagt, BR Dalton
Wednesday 23rd August – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Elbury
Friday 18th August – Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 19th August – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August – Gympie Music Muster, Gympie, QLD

Folk Party feat. Vanishing Shapes, Bec Bastoli, My Friend Rupert
Sunday 20th August – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Portia Briana, Ainsley Farrell, Direwolf
Wednesday 23rd August – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Get Blind With Brian feat. Brian Campeau
Friday 25th August – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Georgia State Line
Saturday 19th August – Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Echo Tone, Melbourne, VIC

Girl Friday
Saturday 19th August – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd August – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Guyy and Richard Perso
Friday 25th August – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT

Gympie Music Muster
Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th August – Gympie, NSW

Gympie Muster Mary St Pre-Party feat. Bill Chambers
Wednesday 23rd August – Mary St, Gympie, NSW

Harry Hookey
Friday 18th August – The Old Hepburn, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Star Hotel Yackandandah, Yackandandah, VIC
Thursday 24th August – Rooty Hills RSL Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th August – Neon Garage, Kincumber, NSW

Husky
Friday 18th August – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 19th August – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Thursday 24th August – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ight Club Folk Til Ya Don’t Staysafe Fundraiser feat. Quinton Trembath, The Berkeley Hunts, Dead Peasants, Ian Flood, Vernon Surly, Jacob Thomas
Wednesday 23rd August – Tago Mago Club, Melbourne, VIC

Illawarra Folk Club feat. Shellie Morris, Troy Jungaji Brady
Friday 18th August – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Imogen Clark
Saturday 19th August – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Hardys Bay Club, Hardys Bay, NSW
Friday 27th August – Hawkesbury Hotel, Windsor, NSW

INA Céilí feat. The Coast Ceili Band
Saturday 19th August – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

James Bennett
Saturday 19th August – JJ’s at The Marina, Batemans Bay, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Foragers Market, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 24th August – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Friday 25th August – The Elwood Lounge, Melbourne, VIC

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Friday 18th August – Lulie St Tavern, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Echo Tone, Melbourne, VIC

Jen Cloher
Thursday 24th August – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 25th August – Oxford Art factory, Sydney, NSW

Jep and Dep
Friday 18th August – The Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th August – Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Pyke w/ Kyle Lionhart
Friday 18th August – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 19th August – The Capitol, Perth, WA
Friday 25th August – Launceston Country Club, Launceston, TAS

Justin Bernasconi w/ Cat Canteri
Friday 25th August – House Concert, Maitland, NSW

Kasey Chambers
Sunday 20th August – The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival, Dooomadgee, QLD

Katie Brianna
Wednesday 23rd August – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Kelly Brouhaha
Friday 18th August – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 19th August – Cheeky Goose Cafe, Cowes, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Bright Brewery, Bright, VIC

Kelly Country Pick
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August – Beechworth, VIC

Little Georgia
Saturday 19th August – Narrawong Mechanics Institute Hall, Narrawong, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th August – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Melanie Horsnell
Friday 18th August – The Log Cabin Hall, Gooloogong, NSW

Merpire
Sunday 20th August – The Paddington, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 23rd August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th August – The Oxford Circus, Sydney, NSW

Monique Clare
Saturday 19th August – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 20th August – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

My Friend The Chocolate Cake
Friday 18th August – Theatre Royal Castlemaine, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 19th August – Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Griffith Regional Theatre, Griffith, NSW
Friday 25th August – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC

Paddy McHugh
Friday 18th August – Flamin Galah, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th August – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Peninsula Music Showcase feat. The Weeping Willows, Young Vincent, Sam O’Connell Mia Grunden
Thursday 24th August – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

Pete Murray
Friday 18th August – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 19th August – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 20th August – Beer Deluxe, Albury, NSW
Wednesday 23rd August – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 24th August – Regent Multiplex Theatre, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 25th August – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Queen Porter Stomp
Friday 18th August – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Raised By Eagles
Friday 18th August – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th August – The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th August – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Restrung Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Rueben Stone w/ Alana Wilkinson
Wednesday 23rd August – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Riley Pearce
Saturday 19th August – Secret Warehouse Show, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th August – Secret Warehouse Show, Bunbury, WA

Sancha and the Blue Gypsies
Saturday 19th August – Humph Hall, Sydney, NSW

Santa Taranta
Friday 18h August – Farouk’s Olive, Melbourne, VIC

Shane Nicholson
Friday 18th August – Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW
Saturday 19th August – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 20th August – Hardys Bay Club, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 25th August – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD

Shelley’s Murder Boys w/ Bec Bastoli
Thursday 24th August – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Sofar Sounds Gold Coast
Friday 18th August – House Concert, Mermaid Beach, QLD

Sofar Sounds Melbourne
Saturday 19th August – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Sofar Sounds Sydney
Monday 20th August – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Sunday Sessions feat. Shaun Black
Sunday 20th August – The Public Brewery, Melbourne, VIC

Sydney Guitar Festival
Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th August – Sydney, NSW

Tami Nelson w/ Paddy McHugh
Friday 18th August – The Flamin’ Galah, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th August – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – The Basement Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Tex, Don & Charlie
Tuesday 22nd August – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th August – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

The Co-Ground Folk Show feat. Amistat, Ariela Jacobs, Mia Wray
Friday 18th August – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The Cope Street Parade
Friday 18th August – Howlin’ Wolf Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 19th August – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC

The Demon Drink
Friday 18th August – Yandina Hotel, Yandina, QLD
Sunday 20th August – Limes Hotel & Rooftop Bar, Brisbane, QLD

The Hut’s Fourth Birthday feat Ash Grunwald, Rhythm Hunters, Tullara
Saturday 19th August – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

The Little Lord Street Band
Sunday 20th August – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd August – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Montgomery Brothers
Friday 18th August – Canberra Blues Society at Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 19th August – Venue 505, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 20th August – The Beat Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th August – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 25th August – Grand Junction – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

The Newsagency Sessions feat. Sarah Belkner w/ Merpire
Wednesday 23rd August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Royal High Jinx
Friday 25th August – Jambo Bar and Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

The Slipdixies
Sunday 20th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Slowdowns
Friday 18th August – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Twoks
Saturday 19th August – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 20th August – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 25th August – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Willie Wagtails
Saturday 19th August – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Whiskey Gypsies
Saturday 19th August – Ryans Hotel, Traralgon, VIC

Tim Guy
Sunday 20th August – The Westernport, San Remo, VIC

Tim Wheatley
Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August – Gympie Music Muster, QLD

Tori Forsyth
Friday 18th August – The Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW

Vardos Trio
Saturday 19th August – Bocskai Complex, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 20th August – Little Creatures, Geelong, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“I Go Off” – Diana Anaid

Listen to the New Patrick James Single “Lay It Down”

Patrick James
Image Courtesy of Patrick James

Sydney based singer-songwriter Patrick James makes a welcome return this week with the release of his new single “Lay It Down”.

The track sees a departure from Patrick James’ usual folk-pop songs and instead embraces a bombastic, 80s sound reminiscent of Phil Collins era Genesis. This is our first taste of new Patrick James music since his 2015 album Outlier.

“Throughout the entire writing and recording of the song I didn’t pick up the acoustic guitar once, which was strange at first but ultimately gave a new feel and vibe to the music. It’s bigger and bolder,” Patrick James explained.

Listen to “Lay It Down” here:

Along with the new single Patrick James has announced two rare live shows in Sydney and Melbourne – check out the full list if dates below:

Friday 15th September – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd September – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

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.

Patrick James Announces Spring Solo Tour

Patrick James
Image Courtesy of Patrick James

This spring Sydney based singer-songwriter Patrick James will be heading out on a run of solo dates throughout the country. These dates will be your last chance to see James in many of these cities before the end of the year so we recommend getting along to one of them.

Check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 15th September – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 16th September – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 17th September – 48 Watt St, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 22nd September – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 23rd September – The Tap House, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 24th September – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 25th September – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Thursday 29th September – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th September – Four5Nine @ The Rosemount, Perth, WA
Saturday 1st October – Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 2nd October – Highway Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Thursday 6th October – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th October – Nightquarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 8th October – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD

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.

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015

Record Collecting

So you’ve read what we think the top 25 albums of 2015 are but here’s what you’re really waiting for – the article where we ask our favourite artists to pick their favourite recordings of the year.

Every year we reach out to artists across the Timber and Steel genre spectrum to pick their number one album or EP of the year and the results are always surprising. So get yourself a cold drink, find somewhere comfortable to site down and enjoy Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2015:

Postcards From Ursa MinorFrank Turner
Will VarleyPostcards From Ursa Minor
I stumbled across Will a few years back and instantly fell in love. He’s currently my favourite songwriter, and I think this album is little short of a masterpiece.

The DeslondesJimmy Daley (The Morrisons, The Tawny Owl Stringband)
The DeslondesThe Deslondes
Heard the song “Louise” on a live music series on YouTube called Jammin In The Van and was immediately bowled over. Went and bought the album (yes I bought it) and was not disappointed. Killer songs, retro production that sounds modern at the same time, great playing and awesome singing/harmonies. I’ll be knocking back many tins over summer while listening to this album.

The Phosphorescent BluesMichael O’Donnell (The Squeezebox Trio)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
Stop reading this review right now and go listen to this album. Its just perfect. From the 10 minute opener to Debussy to one hell of an ending, this album is a game changer. There is only one (10 second) instrumental solo on the whole album, opting for lush orchestrations instead. It was a HUGE influence on us.

Paradise is ThereTaryn La Fauci
Natalie MerchantParadise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
To be able to re-release a complete new version of a record first released 20 years ago in 1995 is an incredible artstic achievement. Karl Broadie introduced me to her music and since then I have drank up her journey and past records. Her voice holds this piercing warmth and wisdom that coos you in and wraps you up like a child in its mothers arms. Getting to devour this rediscovery of Tigerlily and how she has evolved with it is why this record is my favourite release of 2015.

Wilder MindGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
This is really a no brainer for me, I absolutely adore these guys and without them I probably wouldn’t write the music I write today. This being said, their new sound took me a while to get used to and I went from loving 95% of the songs to loving 70% on this new album. Still, it shows how even a genre-defining band can have the guts and skill to reinvent their sound and write powerful songs independently of the instrumental setup.

Diamonds in the BloodstreamJosh Rennie-Hynes
Raised by EaglesDiamonds in the Bloodstream
A great collection of songs. Honest and thoughtful and the production is spot on. One of my favourite Australian bands.

But For All These Shrinking HeartsWoody Pitney
Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts
Josh Pyke delivered again with this new gem of an album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts. Staying true to his iconic style and sound, this tightly produced record is a great listen. Despite not having any stand-out hits like previous albums, it still has plenty of sparkle and charm. My personal favourites are “Hollering Hearts” and “Book of Revelations”.

Carrie & LowellCaitlin Park
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
There is no-one quite like Sufjan Stevens. It is hard to put your finger on the power of his story-telling, what it is that drags us in so. For me, it is the way he paints the picture; he writes about the little things, the smaller moments between two people. A whole album dedicated to the memory of his mother and descriptions of her passing, we are left to fill in the the rest of the story. Where they lived, their age – these things don’t matter as long as you are privy to their quiet moments alone. And then in one foul swoop, he wraps up the meaning of the song in one sentence, and your heart breaks into a thousand pieces **we’re all gonna’ die**. A lyric that will stay with me forever, a lyric i will always remember from the year 2015: “What could I have said to raise you from the dead, oh could I be the sky on the fourth of July?”

Strange New PastSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Seth SentryStrange New Past
I know this puts me at risk of losing my indie folk privileges but Seth Sentry’s second LP was simply outstanding. Kendrick Lamars to pimp a butterfly was musically more brilliant but topically from another world. His harmonic nostalgia tethered by trap beats rap ego and existential early 30’s humility is seamless. The record plays from start to finish effortlessly and voids of any Aus hip hop cringe worthy cleches that we have blushed at when measured against the likes of Kings Kunta and Kick Push. I’m a hip hop dancer and this is hands down the best Aussie rap release for getting down to ever. If you dig emotional depth, impressive musicality and need a reason to shake your ass, this record is all that and more.

sound and colorRosie Jackson-Taylor (Liam Gale & The Ponytails)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
I have been completely obsessed with every single track on the album since the first time I heard it and it was on welcomed high rotation for the entire drive of our East Coast tour earlier this year. Brittany Howard’s voice is unbelievable and every song is captivating in its own right. The whole experience of the album is kind of like listening to futuristic funk blues in space, naked.

Sol InvictusClaude Hay
Faith No MoreSol Invictus
I had been waiting for this album for years. Singer Mike Patton can put an unique infectious melody to anything he touches, melodies that stick. There’s always something different that comes from these guys that is so refreshing to my ears, the complete opposite of commercial radio.

Carrie & LowellSam Newton
The Milk Carton KidsMonterey
This is one of the most ‘pure’ sounding records that I’ve ever heard. I know that this could be said of just about all of the releases by these guys but I feel that with Monterey, they have reached all new heights in lyricism, vocal unity and the art of subtle lead/guitar fills. It says something special about the songwriting of a group when every track on an album contains a maximum of 2 voices and 2 guitars but can still hold its own from start to finish. I bought the vinyl when I saw them live earlier in the year and it has easily been one of my favourite purchases of 2015.

LoyaltyMatt Bauer
The Weather StationLoyalty
I haven’t connected with a record this strongly in a very long time. From the first lines of “The Way It Is And The Way It Could Be” I was just – there. It took me several attempts to get to the end of the record because I was so moved I kept having to turn it off.

Key ChangeMatt Corby
MockyKey Change
This album is full of songs to live life to, songs you can put on at any moment and jam out to.

Carrie & LowellDan Flynn
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
How many gobsmackingly good folk songs can you fit into one album? Eleven it seems. This album is unbelievably melancholy but also curiously uplifting and indeed healing. The vocal melodies are outrageously good, the instrumentation is pitch perfect and the production is stunning despite the fact that part of the album was recorded on his iPhone. I will be listening to this for years to come.

Darling ArithmeticKim Churchill
VillagersDarling Arithmetic
I have ogled at the songwriting abilities of Conor J O’Brien since we played a small gig in an odd venue called the Duncan Garage Showroom on Vancouver Island years ago. In the past his lyrics have portrayed a depth and insight that guided me as a person much further into myself and my unconscious emotional processes. Again he helps me make those journeys on this album but with a simplicity and vulnerability that is just profound! He has clearly had some pain and rebirth in his life and he puts it out on the table in an incredible honest way. He reaches further inside himself than many of us ever will and gives us songs that allow us to take the same journey’s into ourselves. It’s kind of creepy how he does it. But he’s always flirted with being a bit creepy. Watch the video clip to his first single off the album, “Courage”, and you’ll see what I mean. In many ways its the essence of psychedelic folk; Spooky, insightful, melodically stunning and at its core undeniably beautiful and honest.

Phosphorescent BluesBlair Dunlop
Punch BrothersPhosphorescent Blues
Whilst it’s an incredibly impressive body of work from a technical standpoint, it never strays into grandstanding or over-indulgence. Beautiful arrangements, soaring harmonies and songs that keep me guessing – a gem!

Soft Faces to HoldAlanna Eileen
Toby GrahamSoft Faces to Hold
Beautiful, surreal alternative folk music with incredible vocals, lyrically inventive and delicate in all the right places. It got me through the year.

When The Storms Would ComeBronte
Holy HolyWhen The Storms Would Come
I have been a fan of Holy Holy since they released their first EP. Their album When The Storms Would Come, which was released in July this year, has been a stand out album in my opinion. I enjoy the lyrics and the melodies that flow throughout their music which continues to improve with each release. I think the next few years for Holy Holy will be huge and they are starting to enjoy a great deal of success from overseas audiences. Stand out track is “History” but “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” just makes me want to crank up the dial and drive around all night, it is such a cruising tuneeee.

Nathaniel RateliffJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night SweatsNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Only released recently this album is straight out of the 70’s!! Full of now Motown and soul, it’s 2015’s ultimate road trip album.

NinaThe Campervan Dancers
Daniel MarchNina
So much groove! It’s really tight, shows a wonderful depth of stylistic influences. Great production and musicianship – just the whole package. These have been our chosen cruisin’ tunes in Candice-the-Campervan-Dancer-van this springtime.

If I WasJoel Barker
The StavesIf I Was
It was hard to chose against Glen Hansard’s Didn’t He Ramble but after seeing The Staves at The Beautiful Days Festival in Devon, UK a couple of years ago I had to go with their 2015 release If I Was. Hearing three sisters sing together in perfect harmony make it seems so damn easy. The addition of Justin Vernon as producer takes the intimacy of their past work and elevates it into a more accessible market. Theres a new dynamic and consideration to the recording process that really hits a note with me. Songs such as “Make It Holy” and “Steady” have magnificent vocal loops and hooks that keep you wanting more of those voices made to sing together. It’s got a lot of texture, as much intimacy of their previous releases, but additional drive which undoubtedly has introduced them to a whole new fan base. Makes we want to prop myself up against a tree, close my eyes and listen to it on repeat, over and over again.

These WallsRose Wintergreen
Anna CordellThese Walls
Sometimes, very rarely, new songs come to me in my dreams. I wake up with the melody in my bones, I sleepily reach for my phone to record it before it disappears forever. It’s happened several times recently, and I’ve been ecstatic with the deep, haunting quality of the melodies, the pleasing way they meander effortlessly like a creek rambling unselfconsciously in bushland so remote that no one will pass through for decades at a time. Unfortunately for me, I’ve realised that these melodies are actually Anna Cordell’s, from her stunning debut record, These Walls! Arresting and deeply affecting.

EPTim Guy
BumspaEP
A force of nature in the very northern parts of NSW. They made an EP this year and squeezed 5 songs onto a little ’45. The last track comes from the view of a Bushranger being in his cell while awaiting hanging. It’s really rare and really wonderful. Great songwriting with ragged attitude to the musical accompaniment.

FourwindsThe East Pointers
FourWindsFourWinds
After chatting about our many favourite records from this past year, the 3 of us decided that FourWinds deserve the top spot with their self-titled album. This crew from Ireland is tearing up the traditional music scene with their authentic sound and top-notch musicianship. Check ‘em out live if you can!

Modern VintageSian Evans
Cheap FakesModern Vintage
If its not for the super smooth vocals of Kiwi front man Hayden Andrews alone, it’s the funk, the phat base, totally hot horn lines and syncopated silences. Production instrumentation ties cleverly a carnival dub vintage rock’n’roll infused surf style funk and soul variety. Consistent. Solid. It dribbles dizziness, you can’t sit still!

The Woodshed SessionsScott Collins (The Mid-North)
Wood and WireThe Woodshed Sessions Vol. 1
Six tracks recorded in one take around one microphone. It is an exciting display of musicianship and energy. Very fun and awe inspiring.

Sound and ColorAlison Ferrier
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
An exciting, innovative and uplifting second release from the rock band with soul. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard’s performance is utterly inspiring: she gives it everything she’s got. I sing along with this in the car quite a lot!

The PositionsCastlecomer
Gang of YouthsThe Positions
We love that the album is so dark in theme yet the melodies could be on any pop album. It’s an impressive body of work. Our runners up are Holy Holy’s When the Storms Would Come and Tame Impala’s Currents.

AngelenoNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Sam OutlawAngeleno
California has always been a source of great country music – first with the Bakersfield Sound and then later from Los Angeles. This year Californian Sam Outlaw refused to move to Nashville to record his debut album Angeleno and instead insisted on recording in Los Angeles with the help of Ry Cooder as producer. The album is both genuine country in its sound and also its stories. This album takes me back to an earlier time in country music whilst still sounding fresh and un-clichéd.

All Your Favourite BandsTracy McNeil (Tracy McNeil, Bell St Delays)
DawesAll Your Favourite Bands
From the first drop of the needle your ears are hit with six single, drawn out notes played on one guitar against a spattering of drumrolls from off in the distance – this is the hook, the earworm of the song painted thinly as a foreshadowing of what’s to come. And what is to come? Like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, the soundscape breaks wide open as the band punches in with that very same hook – this time fully realised. Dawes always create a sound that is purposeful, epic and at times slightly over-worked in terms of lyrics, but their latest release All You’re Favorite Bands gets the balance just right. Produced by David Rawlings, Dawes will find it hard to top this collection of world-class songs, played and captured live in a room by a band at the height of their career.

Trans Arlantic HighwayLuke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles, Bell St Delays)
Lost RagasTrans Atlantic Highway
The most soul shaking cosmic country experience I’ve had since Beck tried his hand at the genre. It’s more traditional than that of course and has all the essential ingredients you need to make a good country album – pedal steel, guitars, drums, bass, great song writing – but there’s an indescribable magic to it. Something deep that runs right to the heart. Matt Walker, Shane Reilly, Roger Bergodaz and Simon Burke are like the components of a beautifully engineered vintage engine, each part absolutely essential to the whole, the art of what happens when things are put together in the right way. Buy this album – it runs like a dream.

The Stars My DestinationNick O’Mara (Raised By Eagles)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
There’s a sense of humour and a sense of dread in varying degrees throughout this album. Track 4 scares the shit out of me. Salter’s an incredible lyricist, his guitar playing’s tidy as fuck and his voice – sheesh, forget about it. This album is more than the sum of those wonderful parts I reckon. It’s just funny, thoughtful, sometimes rockin’, soulful – hope he hasn’t read this the next time I run into him at the pub. “We’ll have all the time in the world, An endless afternoon, When we’re bones under the dunes”.

Choose Your Weapon
Luke Richardson (Raised By Eagles)
Hiatus KaiyoteChoose Your Weapon
It’s complicated and tricky-clever but with grooves that are solid and so grounded. I think my favourite thing about this band is that each part – drums, keys, vocals, etc – are given their own separate sonic space so even when individually there are some pretty dense rhythmic and harmonic things going on the overall sound is still really open.

TravellerGretta Ziller
Chris StapletonTraveller
I was really excited when Gareth emailed me asking for my favourite album of 2015! Determined to do my due diligence, I got straight onto my 2015 Soundtrack on Spotify (where I put all the new music I find) and went round and round. The one album I just could not go past was Chris Stapleton’s Traveller – it’s just so dang good!!! This album came out and it was like he was holding a hand full of ace’s around a table full of jokers in the poker game they call country music! If you’ve heard of The SteelDrivers you would instantly recognise Stapleton’s voice, its a lonely shot of whiskey in an empty bar, it’s singing to Jesus on Sunday morning, it’s whispering to your lover in the dark of night and it crying over a broken heart, and of course his songs cover all this and more! On a side note, I do recommend googling Stapleton, he is no newcomer to Country music, having been involved with the aforementioned SteelDrivers, but he has also been in the background writing hit songs for major country music artists for years! I could keep gushing about this album for days, but, in short, Traveller is a return to good honest heartfelt country music – and we all say Amen!

Echolocations CanyonAinsley Farrell
Andrew BirdEcholocations: Canyon
This entire album was recorded in the Coyote Gulch Canyons in Utah. It’s the first of a series where Bird uses different components of the environment to stretch, bend and explore sound. I think it’s important to give credit to your surroundings and appreciate that the environment you’re in has a huge influence on the sound you put out.

OutsidersKate Burke (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Trouble In The Kitchen)
Heath CullenOutsiders
The fact that I love this album has only a little to do with the fact that Heath lives up the road from me. This album, where Heath is joined by Elvis Costello’s Impostors, has fantastic songs that range from the danceable “Two Left Feet” to the gorgeously Daniel Lanois-esque “Who’ll Rock the Cradle” and anthemic “One for the Road”, all lush and powerful and featuring mad, crazy, wonderful keys and piano at almost every turn. I love it more with every listen.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
A brave, bold, powerful and honest collection of songs that successfully destroys taboos and exposes truths; a very rare thing. Beautifully performed and produced, this album is laden with artistic integrity from a songwriter who’s driven from a deeply personal space and sings like a rising angel.

Carrie & LowellWilliam Fitzsimmons
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
Sufjan + return to acoustic music. What’s not to love!?!! Truth be told, even though I love and respect Sufjan’s art more than just about anybody else alive (Sorry Selena Gomez!) I was kind of bummed when I heard that he’d be returning to an “acoustic” sound for this record. Don’t get me wrong, I love acoustic music. I make acoustic music. But I cherish the fact that Sufjan has always been willing to do something kind of, well, different … and still make you hum along (e.g. that ghastly solo in “Springfield!!!”). And I snobbishly loved being one of the people who really, really loved the Adz project and his increasingly left of center writing. But once I got past the hype of Carrie & Lowell (the unopened vinyl sat in my studio for about 2 months) and actually listened, I was overjoyed. I recently lost someone very important to me, so certainly the subject matter of Carrie & Lowell hit close to home. But, moreover, it was the record’s ability to wrap these difficult ideas into such simple, small, understated songs. Nobody messes with the idea of subtlety and histrionics like Suf. And to perfect that tricky dance and sing about death at the same time is tantamount to a masterpiece.

CurrentsAnnie Hamilton (Little May)
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Tame Impala have seriously nailed it with this album, there are some excellent musical moments in there. It’s really cool to see a band evolve and grow over the course of a few albums while still maintaining their own sound and style.

Sound and ColorOlivia Hally (Oh Pep!)
Alabama ShakesSound & Color
There’s only one way to listen to this album: from top to bottom and on repeat. It was already my favourite album this year and then I later discovered a bonus track called “Joe” on a TV show and I cried a little bit. It’s too good.

Ryan BinghamRuby Boots
Ryan BinghamFear and Saturday Night
I love the balance between emotive songs/story telling and grit. I am a sucker for good Americana music with raw delivery and grunt behind it and this album fulfils all of that and more. Every track on there is A grade songwriting with classy melody hooks that are not too obvious until you turn it off and they are running through your head for the rest of the day. These songs that make me a little sad but fill me full of hope at the same time, also another soft spot for me. I love this artist, and this album is my favourite album of 2015.

ShipsOscar Lush
Water MusicShips
“Four weeks after the devastating suicide of my sister, I locked myself in my shed for four days and wrote and recorded these songs on my 8-track as both tribute and therapy. I’ve had death close to me before and here I was again.” – This record absolutely broke my heart and still continues to do so. Every time I listen it brings me to tears. Mathew is such a powerful and unique songwriter. Nothing I listened to this year came close in depth and heartache to this record.

DeclarationAnna Cordell
Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration
This is REAL folk music. And these are REAL women. This music has purpose beyond the artists own egos. I am completely inspired by this album and these two women – and, well, the music is just so beautiful!

Ron BlockHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Ron BlockHogan’s House of Music
So many of my favourite contemporary bluegrass musicians are giving it their all on this creative instrumental album. Best of all, there are so many “you can’t do that on a banjo” moments!

Small Town BigshotLachlan Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
Fanny is a great artist and natural entertainer, her hard work and real songs have been fantastically produced on her debut record. Catchy, easy listening and a great voice makes you wanna hit repeat every time.

Don't Lose ThisSkyscraper Stan
Pops StaplesDon’t Lose This
I’ve never had much of a hard-on for Jeff Tweedy so I was skeptical when I heard he was collaborating with Mavis Staples on the final, posthumous release of her father’s music. As it turns out, both Jeff and Mavis have done an amazing job fleshing out the bare-bones recordings Pops made in 1999, a year before his death. It’s all here; tremolo guitar, reverby drum sounds and beautiful group vocals from the Staples sisters. Plus some unexpectedly clever lyricism.

The Stars My DestinationMark “Looch” Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers, Wifey)
Ben SalterThe Stars My Destination
Well I have to admit in the 4 years I have been doing this for you lovely folk at Timber And Steel I have had the hardest time choosing. Kudos to Buddy Glass and Bad Dreems for almost getting there. It took me a week but I’m giving my gong to Ben Salter for My Stars The Destination. The thing that kills me about this guy is that he just improves artistically and vocally with every release. His debut The Cat was a magnificent effort but he has raised the bar again here. As a songwriter he is up there in my book with Gareth Lilliard, Tim Rogers, Mick Thomas and Paul Kelly. I don’t think it would be overselling to say he is possibly the best vocalist in the land right now. Listen to the title track when the vocals beef up half way through. If that doesn’t make your neck hairs stand up I don’t know what will. Usual story: should be huge, probably wont be. Travesty.

1989Ryan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan Adams1989
I’ve always been a fan of Ryan’s ability to take a song and completely own it, especially in cover songs (We all remember his haunting version of ‘Wonderwall’ don’t we?). He took probably the most commercial and poppy sounding album and turned it into a very solid folk rock album that you wouldn’t know wasn’t if they didn’t happen to be mega-hits that he was covering. The production is great and I think maybe most noteworthy is his ability to spin somewhat jovial adolescent lyrics and somehow add that signature Ryan Adams melancholy. Respect.

HighRoland Kay-Smith
Royal HeadacheHigh
The formula these guys have is irresistible. I’m not much of a heavy rock guy, traditionally favouring more Timber-and-Steel-esque tunes, but the whole blue-eyed garage soul thing just gets me. Some of it’s silly, some of it’s naff, but there are enough great tunes here to keep me coming back again and again.

ValleywoodNad Budge (The Stetson Family)
Dan ParsonsValleywood
I first heard Dan Parson’s new album Valleywood whilst driving around Nashville in a crappy rental car with a really crappy sound system, and it blew me away – Valleywood, that is, not the car! I was first struck by how great the production came across, full, rich and really well balanced – then I was drawn into Dan’s songs, each one wanting me to listen to what he had to say, and giving me a sense of nostalgia as well as excitement for this next generation of great songwriters.

CurrentsDustin Tebbutt
Tame ImpalaCurrents
This was my favourite release this year. I hadn’t really listened to the band before this album, and it was an incredible introduction. For me, it’s the beautiful combination of genres in here that gives this record so much depth. A lot of the song structures and mixing techniques borrow heavily from house music (the extensive use of filters for example), and a lot of the beats are a mix of old school soul and breaks. These fundamentals are then built upon with psychedelic guitar parts and raw, dreamy vocals. The record has attitude, vibe, heart and a real overarching journey. I just love it.

The Phosphorescent BluesJon Boden (Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden)
Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues
I was a bit late to the Punch Brothers party, but what a sound! It’s not really bluegrass, more experimental art-pop with bluegrass instrumentation. Beachboys-esque vocals, mandolin funk workouts, beautiful style and tone throughout by five masters of their instruments.

Carrie & LowellSam Sweeney (Bellowhead)
Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
This is such a beautiful and poignant record. It’s hard to listen all the way through without shedding a tear. After The Age Of Adz, this a welcome return to Sufjan’s folkier side. It’s a heart breaking album about his relationship with his mother who died of cancer in 2012 after a long history of substance abuse and mental health issues. It’s a painful listen and yet so perfect.

Mellow DramaMark Lucas
James McMurtryComplicated Game
It’s the narrative, those fragile vignettes that come alive with truth and a sheer humanity that doesn’t preclude a little bitterness but is always tempered by a dry humour. As he says himself, like his American literary giant father, Larry McMurtry (“The Last Picture Show”, “Lonesome Dove” etc.), James is a fiction writer. His dad was an inspiration to me before I stumbled across his son’s work on a drive across Texas in ‘89. It’s been a heck of a journey in song and, to my way of thinking, that’s what it’s all about – a Complicated Game indeed and I still “miss my dog from years ago” too.

TrackerBob Barford (Bloodwood)
Mark KnopflerTracker
Mr Laidback personified. I reckon he put this album together for his own amusement and just because he could. While not overly impresive on the first few listens, like any good album it grows on you. It’s an insight into what he is up to at this point in time.

Shadows In The NightMark Moldre
Bob DylanShadows In The Night
So many iconic artists have tried the “American Songbook” album and have dismally failed. This is Dylan at his most intimate and unguarded. We hear every drawn breath from Dylan at microphone, every finger touching a string, the slow drag of a bow across a double bass string, a quiet movement or shifting of feet in the room – nothing is hidden from the listeners ear. No careful ProTools editing. A band in a hushed room. Guitars are caressed, sweeping pedal steel is syrupy and lush, drums are ever so softly brushed, tempos remain languid and dreamy while Dylan growls and croons his way through the mist. Lyrics written decades ago seem timeless, ironic and strangely poignant in Dylan’s gentle phrasing. Imagine granddad at the family reunion recalling songs of his younger days at the upright piano in the corner of your lounge room as the warm glow of an open fire crackles and pops. Nostalgia, sadness, wry humour and regret all seep and melt into one another until you feel you’re drifting in a grainy sepia haze. Perfect.

The Hedge SchoolsColm Mac Con Iomaire (Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The Frames)
The Hedge SchoolsAt the End of a Winding Day
My favourite albums involve time and space travel. They bring you places. This album At the End of a Winding Day by Dublin songwriter Patrick Barrett and Producer and co-conspirator Joe Chester AKA The Hedge Schools is a warm, golden, sonic-embrace. Visit this place and be well.

WindfallBrad Butcher
Joe PugWindfall
As much as I loved Rodney & Emmylou’s Traveling Kind or Isbell, Stapleton, or Oz’s very own songsmith Shane Nicholson’s great albums of 2015 Windfall speaks to me the most from an artistic point of view and holds the elements of music I love dearly; great songwriting recorded in a moving an honest way.

Kill It YourselfJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Jess RibeiroKill It Yourself
The latest album from Jess Ribeiro creates an entire world. It’s a fully cohesive album with songs that draw you in and make you want to listen harder – it feels as though you might miss something important if you’re not paying full attention. Each song is beautiful and the production is perfect.

TelegraphCara Robinson (Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson)
Kevin DohertyTelegraph
I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Doherty’s live set while in a play in Dublin, Ireland. I fell in love with the stories that he made into song about his insight into the world today, the world that has passed and indeed the world too set before us. His own stories in song take on the heroism, evil, love, madness all words and more that is more than the story itself he quotes. The album itself is personal and inviting and welcomes you in with the warmth and depth that he has in his voice to listen with intent as the album unfolds. There is a sense of awareness that is brought forward from a time long forgotten in the music and it is so important in song writing today that these stories of historical changes are kept alive as it seems a lot of the modern day writing is about surface subjects only a few dare to reiterate in a whole album. Recorded by a mighty line up of artists indeed within their own right, Liam Bradley, James Delaney, Paul Moore, Paul Rodden, Nicky Scott, Enda Walsh and Kevin Doherty set the tempo aptly. Favorite tracks “Camden Street” and “Tug Boat” The story and historical references are poetical and strong and is indeed offered beautifully and honestly to the listener. Inspiring writing.

Marlon WilliamsPatrick James
Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams
Although I’m in a library, listening with headphones and writing about this, it’s almost as if I am sitting in a tin shed listening on a half broken record player with a glass of aged scotch delving into something from my mum and dad’s music collection. Obviously this guy has such an incredible vocal ability, but sometimes that’s hard to capture and draw an intimate focus to on record. He and his team have nailed that and the band compliments it so well. I tend to be drawn to albums that inspire my own writing or change the way I think for a minute about music. This album does that for me. Not because the production is over the top or revolutionary but because it’s raw and honest and it takes me to a specific setting. It’s also performed in a refined way that almost seems theatrical, I think that’s what gets in me in from the start.

Hell Breaks LooseImogen Clark
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
Hell Breaks Loose is like a glass of whisky you want to drink, and love to drink, even though you know that when you ingest it, it’s going to bring to the forefront of your mind some of the most heartbreaking truths you’ve ever known and expose things you didn’t even know you felt or thought. Gut-wrenching lyrics and beautiful melancholic melodies, and more honesty than even whisky could bring.

BloodPhia
Lianne La HavasBlood
Lianne’s voice is so velvety and intoxicating and enveloping, and the songs she writes are deep and powerful. She writes a killer pre-chorus too. The production is also fantastic, highlighting the light and shade and rough and smooth of her voice and songs. I can’t stop listening to it!

One Song RomanceNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Michael BarnettOne Song Romance
This album is a precision powered product of over 50 years of stringband music in America. Michael is a champion of the newest ilk in bluegrass and old-timey, and can play the fiddle like you wouldn’t believe. The front porch isn’t enough these days and folk musicians that were inspired by the likes of Bela Fleck and Chris Thile a decade ago are now taking to advanced tertiary institutions like Berklee and Juliard to hone their craft. If you like Punch Brothers, Crooked Still, or The Deadly Gentlemen, then rosin up to One Song Romance.

GoonJon O’Neill (Forest Falls)
Tobias Jesso JrGoon
It’s been hard as of late to find music that gives me a comforting chill down my spine, but this album did. Every one of Jesso’s masterpieces is straight from the heart and has an overwhelming sense of home and familiarity. I love this album because it doesn’t rely on production to make the songs “better” – rather, they are simple, beautiful and raw.

10Bill Jackson
Darrell Scott10: Songs of Ben Bullington
Darrell Scott met Ben Bullington during a trip to Yellowstone National Park with his children. Bullington was a small town Montana doctor who happened to write songs in his spare time and a mutual friend thought they might enjoy each other’s company – two single dads on vacation in the wilderness with their offspring. In fact, they wound up good friends with more in common than they probably thought at first. Bullington, it turned out, was fighting a cancer diagnosis that wound up taking his life. But, before he passed, he wanted to play a songwriters-in-the-round show in Nashville, and the date was set at the Station Inn. According to the liner notes on Scott’s new album, 10: Songs of Ben Bullington, that was the first time that he’d heard Bullington’s songs. And, as we can hear on the disc, Bullington was a remarkable songwriter. His lyrics have a natural musicality, and the nuance of his stories is bowl-you-over good in places. Scott’s treatment of the songs is pure and arresting. Here’s one of the most versatile artists in the Americana/roots world, whose instrumental prowess is well documented, giving one strum per measure in some cases, leaving room for the songs to create their own life. Not a lot of songs could stand up when stripped back to such simplicity. On the one hand, it’s a shame that a songwriter the calibre of Ben Bullington lived most of his whole life without his songs getting much further than his own guitar. On the other hand, it’s a blessing that his friend Darrell Scott picked up that very guitar and immortalized them. Favourite tracks: “I’ve Gotta Leave You Now”, “Born in 55”.

Mellow DramaAriela Jacobs
Kevin GarrettMellow Drama
Colouring was the first track I heard off Garrett’s debut EP and I immediately fell in love with the rest of the compilation. Similar to the James Blake aesthetic, his songs are punctuated with electronic beats but they are used gently and sparingly. Lyrically, he grabs your attention from the get go and although simplistic in narrative, he reels you in with unheard of metaphors to symbolise a broken relationship. Kevin may make you weep your eyes out, but I’m telling you it’s worth the sob and the copious amounts of ice cream afterwards.

Dogs at BayThom Lion
Bad DreemsDogs At Bay
I haven’t heard rock this real in a while. The songs and sound are unashamedly Australian. A raw record that hits you right in the face!

Daniel RomanoHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel RomanoIf I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Canadians do country well and Daniel Romano is no exception. On his fourth solo album the Ontarian moves away from the country folk of early material and beyond the twangy honky tonk of his 2013 release. This time it’s a modern interpretation of the countrypolitan sound which emerged in the 1960s. Some will accuse him of pastiche, and this is tempting if only the songwriting, instrumentation and vocal phrasings weren’t so damned good. George, Merle, Willie and even Charlie Rich would be happy to have written these songs. Romano knows he’s writing classics too, his brashness is evident through the use of rich synth-strings and drum machines. This was album of the year before I’d reached the end of my first listen.

Daniel KnoxJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Daniel KnoxDaniel Knox
The 2015 release from Chicago troubadour Daniel Knox is my fave album of the year – the top of a very long short list. The album is rich with gorgeous instrumentation, surprising given the stark piano and vocal package of his earlier releases. The arrangements complement the sharpness of his songwriting and his utterly enchanting voice. I love the breadth of the album – Knox gives us hazy dream trance on “Blue Car”, sharp and catchy on “Don’t Touch Me” and even a hypnotic choir in 14 15 111. Lyrically, Knox’s observations of the sometimes mundane imbue the entire album with an undercurrent of creepy menace

Imaginary ManAshleigh Mannix (Ashleigh Mannix, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
I was hooked on the first listen. The first track “Mr. Rodriguez” had me bopping from the intro, and by the time the second verse had kicked in, I was swinging my hair and red wine around the kitchen like no tomorrow. My favourite song is “My Captain”, followed closely by “Rugged Lovers”. Both songs make me stop whatever I’m doing, and just listen. He makes me want to be a better songwriter. It’s just such a friken great album.

Imaginary ManJustin Carter (Justin Carter, Little Georgia)
Rayland BaxterImaginary Man
A lyrically inspiring album from start to finish.

Multi-LoveSahara Beck
Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
Every song makes me fall in love again and again, not only with its extremely catchy melodies which dance through every instrument but also the lyrics that call you in with their familiar and relatable subject of thought. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have been on repeat in my mind all year long, this album is a wise old ear worm that I welcome into my mind with a warm accommodating smile

Chaos and the CalmMark Wilkinson
James BayChaos and the Calm
This record is really strong from top to bottom. It has a fantastic energy about it and the production hasn’t been overdone which really allows Bay’s voice to shine. The songs are catchy and accessible without being soulless and Bay’s vocals can stretch from intimate to powerful giving the album space for light and shade.

Sam AmidonCatgut
Sam AmidonHome Alone Inside My Head
Sam Amidon can go from quietly beautiful to shockingly abrasive in seconds. For Home Alone Inside My Head he put together a bunch of field recordings captured in 2002 after studying with old time fiddler Bruce Greene and free jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins. It’s not easy listening but it’s a glimpse inside the musical mind of someone we find very inspiring.

CurrentsTom Stephens
Tame ImpalaCurrents
Couldn’t deny Kev the props he deserves. The tunes are written, recorded, performed and produced all by the man himself, on his lonesome. There wasn’t even a dude around to get him a coffee when he was feeling flat. When it dropped the band and I listened to it five times in a row driving back from Melbourne. Everything is perfectly placed. The man is a master.

Yours DreamilyEddie Boyd (Eddie Boyd and the Phatapillars)
The ArcsYours, Dreamily,
The album is just filled with bangers from start to finish. Really great songwriting, catchy as f*@k and really interesting production. I would best describe it as soul/motown rock meets wild wild west. Super cool.

Ben MastwykJustin Bernasconi (Justin Bernasconi, The Stillsons)
Ben MastwykMornin’ Evenin’
Mastwyk’s beautifully crafted debut album is full of gems, the songs gently pushes and pulls you all the way from Texas to Melbourne inner north in one long dance.

The GleanerJordie Lane
Brendan WelchThe Gleaner
Thanks to local new Ballarat label, Heart Of The Rat Records, this brilliant album was given new life in October. Undoubtedly my favorite Australian voice, Brendan’s epic songs are matched by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate) with the producer hat on! I know already it’s gonna be one of my favorite records of all time!

Coming HomeBroads
Leon BridgesComing Home
Our pick for 2015’s top album was the debut album from Texan soul singer Leon Bridges. Co-written with members of Texan band White Denim, the album perfectly pays homage to that moment in history when gospel music bled into the world of soul. Particularly reminiscent of the velvet tones of Sam Cooke, the charismatic charm of this album had us absolutely bowled over, and has been played on high rotation since its release mid way through the year. Check out the single “Lisa Sawyer” – absolute retro gold.

Father John MistyTanya Batt
Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
I can’t even express what this album did to me the first time I heard it. It’s no hidden secret that Joshua Tillman is one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation/ever. His lyrical ability to tell a story is like no other. Then throw in the incredible voice and arrangements within his work and you just die a little inside with the pain he shares with you. I am a bit of a sucker for a concept album also so this is why this ended up being the winner. It’s such an honest album, so honest that he found it incredibly hard playing these songs in front of those close to him, and I feel that’s something I can relate to. I love you, Father John Misty. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

Such JubileePaddy Connor (Lime and Steel)
Mandolin OrangeSuch Jubilee
This duo have a magic touch of writing and playing songs that seem deceptively simple: and sometimes just that little extra beat or chord that grabs you. That can really play, but it’s never flashy: feels like you’re around a kitchen table at 2am with old friends singing that one song that opens their heart.

Jason IsbellAndrew Swift
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
A lot of my friends ok the music industry were raving about Jason Isbell, especially the women. If his name got mentioned on social media it was often followed by “swoon” or “my future husband” but it was actually my Dad that handed me his album and upon first listen I didn’t understand the fuss. As I’m lazy when it comes to changing CDs in my car it stayed in there for a while and played through several times and I came to realise just how impressive this man is. Something More Than Free is an album of songs I wish I had written. They’re not catchy when you first hear them but they grow on you, become a part of you, draw you in so you want to listen to the lyrics and thank god they do, the man is a wordsmith! This is one of those album where you don’t skip a song from start to finish.

Hell Breaks LooseTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
We don’t always agree on things like this, but in the case of the best album of 2015, my band-mate Taasha and I are in complete agreement. Shane Nicholson’s Hell Breaks Loose is a killer record. A break-up album for the educated country set (I think that’s us) that hums with vibrant melodies, deadly hooks and stinging lyrics, it sets a new bar for roots acts in our neck of the woods. Gently driving acoustic guitars and shuffling drums support a singer in search of a new start – confident, melancholy and yet tuned to hope.

Be ItThe April Maze
Jesse WitneyBe It
Four tracks of gold. The musicianship, arrangements and production are off-hook. Track 2, “Higher”, really takes you higher, it is so uplifting. But track 4, “Australia”, Jesse does something really special – it is very beautiful and captures the true essence of Australia. The perfect soundtrack for a roadtrip.

Glass FoolTodd Sibbin
Kaurna CroninGlass Fool
I’ve watched Kaurna’s development through four releases and on every level Glass Fool marks a significant step up. The songwriting, both lyrically and melodically, arrangement, production and his band’s cohesion (particularly Chris Panousakis’ lead guitar work) combine for a very tidy release indeed.

PondBetty & Oswald
PondMan It Feels Like Space Again
Oh boy the new Pond album has been round the block a few times at our place. Sonically arousing and drenched in all that bowie-esque glamour, these guys are right on!

Glass FoolBeth Stephen (The Little Stevies)
Tim GuyChords
The first thing that stood out to me hearing Chords for the first time was the song arrangements. I suspected from the moment I heard them that a lot of thought had gone into the structure of the songs and the lengths of the sections in each song. None of the songs are too over played, it’s full of great guitar licks and vocal hooks, the melodies and chord progressions are really interesting and unexpected, and Tim has given great vocal performances on all tracks. He’s used his whole vocal range and included stacks of killer harmonies. The album covers a range of genres which I think can be risky sometimes in terms of keeping a natural flow. But Tim pulled it off. My fav’s are “Footsteps” and “It’s The Weekend”. Chords is a strong collection of strong stand alone songs.

Kendrick LamarHayden Calnin
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
This is a piece of art. Kendrick has made what I consider to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. He’s doing wonders for an ever-rising genre of music and delivers an intelligent, modern, original, political and poetic masterpiece with this LP. Fav track: “Alright”

Glass FoolWillowy
The Weather StationLoyalty
Beginning with a stumbling fast paced picking of the guitar and warped percussion – the mood of this album is immediately established, taking the listener on a somber yet hopeful sonic journey. Even with upbeat songs like the title track “Way it is, Way it Could Be” there lies a weight in expectation. Noticing this year a pull towards a fuller and often more electric centered production, each track on this album unashamedly bares it soul with a stripped back, predominantly acoustic, yet thoughtful layering of instruments that builds when needed. The album highlights Tamara Lindeman’s emotional and warmly experimental vocals that compliment her soul bearing songwriting.

Jason IsbellEmily Barker
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
Like many, I adore Jason’s record, Southeastern, so it was always going to be a difficult album to follow up. I bought Something More Than Free at Grimey’s record shop in Nashville and it was the only CD I had in my hire car for the week I was there. It is fantastic. As always, his raw lyrics and vocal delivery are arresting. Dave Cobb’s production is also killer. My favourite track is “Children of Children” because it reminds me of the beautiful, haunting Dillard and Clark record, Through the Morning, Through the Night.

TravellerTimothy James Bowen
Chris StapletonTraveller
He’s got a voice that will leave you mouth-gapingly speechless and a beard/hat combo to match. Do your ears a favour and get into it as fast as humanly possible. In particular, listen out for the track, “Tennessee Whiskey”. Good Lord.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLiz Stringer
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah has always been one of my favourites. As a writer and performer. This new collection of songs, recorded with Jeff Lang at his studio and a stellar band, is another heartbreakingly beautiful one. One of the few artists that consistently brings me to tears, Espie has trawled some depths lyrically throughout this album that few would be brave enough to attempt and, in doing so, has cracked open a vein of shining gold. It’s stunning.

Songs to PlayJulia Jacklin
Robert ForsterSongs to Play
I hadn’t heard of Robert Forster until I listened to him being interviewed by Richard Fidler about story songs from the 1970s. I liked his talking voice and his passion for Carly Simons “You’re So Vain”, I’d never really listened closely to the lyrics. So I looked up his record and it made me really happy! His wobbly vocals, Australian accent, the Christmas bells in “And I Knew”. Listen to “A Poet Walks” if you need a confidence boost over the Christmas socialising period.

Dorsal FinsRoscoe James Irwin
Dorsal FinsMind Renovation
An absolute cracker of a record from some of the best dudes in Melbourne. With Ella Thompson (GL), Jarrad Brown (Eagle and The Worm) and Liam McGorry (Saskwatch) at the helm, there was no chance this record wasn’t going to rule. Sweet 90s garage vibes and some great electro boogie, all without actually sounding like a retro throwback record. “Nothing Left to Hide” with its Iggy-ness, and “Heart On The Floor” are standouts. One of the best live bands kicking around as well.

MotorheadShane Nicholson
MotorheadBad Magic
After 40 years in the game, they have just released one of their best records ever. The songs, the execution, the sheer power, the consistent disregard for trends. Best band that ever was.

Hell Breaks LooseThe Weeping Willows
Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose
The combination of skilfully crafted songs and his soul-soothing voice place Shane Nicholson in the world-class league of singer-songwriters. To us, “Hell Breaks Loose” is Song of the Year and we challenge you to stay dry-eyed throughout “Single Fathers”, “Secondhand Man” and “Hermannsburg”.

PassengerThe Once
PassengerWhispers II
Passenger is a songwriting king. There are songs on this record that will kick you in the guts, make you question your very own choices of the heart, make you remember all the feelings that you stopped allowing yourself and all in the most positive way. AND he is donating ALL of the album sales to UNICEF in a quest to help end painful hunger in Liberia. What? He’s unreal. Just sayin’.

RadiusThe Brouhaha
Allen StoneRadius
The lead single “Freedom” hooked me in. Live video on top of Capitol records, so much soul, so much vibe. Love love love 🙂

The MiraculousMusketeer
Anna Von HausswolffThe Miraculous
I had the pleasure of watching Anna play the pipe organ at the Town Hall in Sydney early in the year. I also had the pleasure of exploring and playing music in her home country of Sweden, in their summer months. So, when she dropped this album I couldn’t help but fall back into that vivid northern world. I guess that makes me a little biased, but The Miraculous is probably the most well crafted piece of music I have heard all year. I would call it gothic folk rock. It is unique and moving and Anna’s voice will open your soul.

Deeper SouthRosie McDonald (RAPT, Folklore)
Shane HowardDeeper South
So many great albums out this year, but the one that stays with me, like a prayer shawl, is Deeper South by Shane Howard with Ewan Baker and John Hudson. I have huge respect for Shane. His music, poetry, philosophy and voice now seem to have been honed by the elements, love and love lost, empathy with others and his own life struggles. There is no preaching, no soap box, just wry observations of love, despite the struggles and realities of living. The first track, the windswept evocative “Deeper South”, got under my skin and recently when all the news was so dire, I’ve played it like a psalm. I can come back and back to it and each time is moves and calms me. The album has celtic, jazz and folk influences and the other musicians, Ewan on fiddle and mando, and John on beautifully played guitar, complement the songs exquisitely along with guest performers. Live, the experience is just as meaningful but this crowd sourced and lovingly packaged album, like a small hard cover book, is a true work of brilliance and worthy of a place in any collection.

Kendrick LamarMatthew Black (The Bottlers)
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar takes to his expansive african-americana scrapbook with a cleverly glinted and winking poet’s eye view of everyday life based subject matter with 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly. 

Swaggering back into beat poetesque lyricism mixed with gritty urban, jazz draped drawls he looks at today’s America and further into tommorow’s American influenced world from the perspective of a young black man still fighting the battles his radical forebearers fought. Casting aside industry pushed gangster rap stereotypes this illuminating stew all cooks down into what very well could be classified as the next leap in the evolution of hip hop music.

Universal ThemesGeorgia Fair
Sun Kil MoonUniversal Themes
Because my girlfriend hates it and “Birds of Films” is so beautiful.

courtney barnettLauren Moore (Pepperjack)
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett is undeniably a force in the Australian music industry. She has the complexity and aloofness of an aging rock star but with the level headed intellect of a philosopher. The elaborately titled Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit showcases her signature lyrical witticisms and deadpan vocal style but also brings some unexpected angst. It’s refreshing and relatable. Barnett has something to say and the world is listening. I can’t wait to hear more.

Bird Under WaterTom West
Arooj AftabBird Under Water
Bird Under Water is a beautifully serene and lush record by Brooklyn Based Arooj Aftab. I have found myself getting lost time and time again in her complex, haunting melodies and flawless vocals, often splendidly layered and harmonised. The songs feel skilfully composed and even after repeated listens I still get a thrill out of the many unexpected turns and instrumental surprises. I can’t recommend this record highly enough.

Weight of the WorldGeorge Jackson (One Up, Two Down, The Company, Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass, Buffalo Nickel)
10 String SymphonyWeight Of The World
Nashville based 10 String Symphony released a great full length album this October which has been on high rotation for me since. The 5-string fiddle/banjo duo consists of Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer who are both fantastic and acclaimed fiddlers, though interestingly this album is strongly song-centric. The minimal instrumentation and vocal arrangements are super interesting to listen to, they’ve come up with some really interesting solutions to creating a full sound with just the two voices and two fiddles (or one fiddle and one banjo) to work with.

Carly Rae JepsonImogen Bel
Carly Rae JepsenE-mo-tion
I was definitely a sucker for Jepsen’s huge hit “Call Me Maybe” but it seemed as though she was headed for one hit wonder territory after that. Not the case! This album is full of fun and catchy hook-filled tunes with production that makes me feel like I’m dancing under a mirror ball on prom night in 1985. It’s full of the energy and naivety of a first crush, and it’s a lot of fun to get swept away in the drama of it all. Best tracks: “E-mo-tion”, “All That”, “Run Away With Me”.

Cold SummersFraser A Gorman
CrepesCold Summers
Tim Karmouche’s songwriting is some of the most exciting music I’ve heard lately. He retains a classic style akin to the Beatles/John Lennon but it’s contemporary, exciting, lyrically interesting pop music at its best.

Loren KateKris Morris
Loren KateTil Night Meet’s The Sun.
Loren is an amazing story teller and the EP captures the honesty and fragility of what she does perfectly. It’s a heartbreaker but there’s hope and love in there. It’s really something.

Blessing and CursingMandy Connell (Mandy Connell, Stray Hens)
Jimmy DowlingBlessing and Cursing
Co-produced by Matt Walker, with harmonies from Lucie Thorne. Simple instrumentation, very Aussie writing style, with stark images of our industrial landscape mixed with the light and space of the countryside. His best realisation yet.

Mother's Not Feeling Herself TodayLes Thomas
Suzannah EspieMother’s Not Feeling Herself Today
Suzannah Espie’s courageous album Mother’s Not Feeling Herself Today tops my list because it shows how music and songwriting can express topics that are usually too taboo to speak about. The honesty and generosity she shares about getting through post-natal depression and early motherhood is extremely rare and beautiful, and for that reason I hope these songs can be heard everywhere. Yes, it’s pretty heavy, but it’s also done in a supremely artful and moving way that would no doubt help countless people to process these under-acknowledged challenges and hardships.

Dick DiverDarren Hanlon
Dick DiverMelbourne, Florida
Boisterous, erudite, effortlessly nostalgic. All four songwriters share an aesthetic of detailed suburban minutiae and find poetry, humour and melancholy in the commonplace. This album feels like such an important beacon of light in Australian music at the moment, so therefore it’s criminal that they don’t play live more.

Tomorrow is my TurnSam Lee
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
This is more than a covers album – Rhiannon has taken some classic American song book standards and also lesser known blues and old time songs and crafted the most elegant dynamic and rich album that keeps so much of the original’s flare but represents these songs as though they were brand new and freshly forged. A true pioneer and gifted singer and musician coming into her own.

Brandie carlileFanny Lumsden
Brandi CarlileFirewatcher’s Daughter and Kacey MusgravesPageant Material
Just bloody great music. Purely honest to themselves in their songwriting and production and vocal delivery. Sassy, Classy and smart assy.

Skull n BonesThe Dead Maggies
So we marched through the woodlands to meet up ’round a campfire, and decide on the best album of 2015. After a few gallons of rum we decided that there was nothing good released in 2015. In fact we draw our inspiration from 1830s Tasmanian bushranger music, so we don’t listen to modern stuff. We can however give you a couple of tips for 2016… The Australian Beefweek Show (Newcastle pub-rock-cow-punk yobs) and Dominic Francis Grief Ensemble (Hobart, deep-intelligent-folk-rock), check them both out when they release albums next year. Now, where did I leave that rum…

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2015

Record Player

If anything has characterised 2015 for me in terms of new albums it’s that we finally saw debuts from some of our favourite artists. So many bands these days are serial EP releasers so it’s great to see the likes of Patrick James, Falls Marlon Williams and more knuckle down and get into the studio. It’s also great to see the return of firm favourites after time away and an explosion of traditional music that pushes boundaries and challenges our perception of what trad music can be.

Coming up with a top 25 list is always a challenge (let alone putting them in some kind of order) but I think what we’ve come up with is a wonderful cross section of all the genres of “folk” music we cover on Timber and Steel – from singer-songwriter to Americana to indie folk to traditional and beyond.

So without further ado here it is – our top 25 albums and EPs from 2015!

Kate and Ruth

1. Kate Burke & Ruth HazletonDeclaration

What a year 2015 has been for traditional music. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like a lot more trad is breaking through at the moment and the icing on the cake this year has been the incredible new album from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Declaration.

This is the duo’s first album in about eight years and their return to the studio has been a welcome one. Once again teaming with producer Luke Plumb, Declaration is loosely themed around traditional music from the female perspective with a few contemporary tracks thrown in for good measure.

The tracks are rich, heartbreaking, emotional and beautiful. So many of the songs deal with pretty heavy themes such as domestic violence (“Bleezin’ Blind Drunk”), false accusations of adultery (“Waly Waly”) and the disintegration of a woman’s public reputation (“Katy Cruel”) and these are conveyed with resonance by Burke and Hazleton. Hearing these two singing together again reminds me of why I fell in love with their harmonies all those years ago.

The two originals on the album – “The Freeze” and “Hearts Of Sorrow” – are two of my favourites and they make me wish Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton were more prolific as songwriters. Maybe one day we’ll get a full album of self penned tracks?

I love how much Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton have matured as performers over the last 15 years. Gone is the rigid need to stick 100% to the tradition and instead we have a fluid take on the material that draws as much from contemporary music as it does from Anglo, Celtic and American music. A simply wonderful album

Sufjan

2. Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell

Touted as the return to Folk Music for Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell is in fact the next step in his musical evolution. Rather than shrugging off the electronic chaos of his recent albums, Stevens has merely toned it down and brought back his acoustic guitar to dive into the complex relationship with his mother following her passing. This album is so raw, so nuanced and deserved of every bit of praise that has been heaped upon it.

Fanny Lumsden

3. Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot

I’ve always predicted big things for Fanny Lumsden ever since I saw her perform at a rooftop bar in Sydney many moons ago. Small Town Big Shot is the album that is currently turning Lumsden from Sydney’s alt-country darling to a favourite of the Australian country scene. The album is full of Fanny Lumsden’s true-to-life accounts of growing up in rural Australia while never straying into the Americanised, dust kicking ideal of country life so often portrayed by Australian country artists. Not to be ignored, Lumsden’s band The Thrillseekers add a rich musical tapestry to her songs and really seem to have gelled as group. Only released in September there’s a lot of life in Small Town Big Shot so we’ll continue to see Fanny Lumsden riding high off it’s ever growing success in 2016.

Paper Kites

4. The Paper Kitestwelvefour

The Paper Kites have produced what has to be one of the most interesting concept albums of recent years. twelvefour was written exclusively between the hours of 12am and 4am as frontman Sam Bentley believed this is when people are at their most creative. The result is stunning – a patchwork of eighties electro influences and the band’s trademark indie-folk – and will no doubt go down as a high watermark in their career. twelvefour feels very deliberately structured moving from the straight up electro of “Electric Indigo” and “Relevator Eyes” to more folky numbers in the second half of the album (“A Silent Cause” is a standout for me). I’m interested to see where The Paper Kites take their sound next.

Packwood

5. PackwoodAutumnal

This year chamber-folk artist Packwood released four seasonally themed EPs as part of his Vertumnus album project. The first of these was Autumnal which has remained my firm favourite through all of the subsequent releases. Gone is Packwood’s trademark sparsely plucked banjo (don’t worry, it returns in later EPs) and instead we get delicately fingerpicked guitar accompanied by choir and chamber orchestra. The songs are delicate and sumptuous and Packwood has really come a long way as a songwriter since his debut. Put on Autumnal, close your eyes and let the world fall away.

Laura Marling

6. Laura MarlingShort Movie

We’re now five albums into Laura Marling’s career and her songwriting has never been stronger. On her latest release Short Movie Marling’s songwriting takes on a freeform, Dylan-esque mode only hinted at on previous albums and it takes her into some very ineteresting places. There’s a lot more electric guitar on Short Movie and at times she descends into beat-poet-like spoken word phrases (like on the amazing “Gurdjieff’s Daughter”) yet no one is crying that Marling’s turned her back on her folk roots (like Marling’s old band Mumford & Sons). Instead Short Movie is being praised as an evolution of her sound and while it is miles away from her 2008 debut Alas, I Cannot Swim, both musically and stylistically, this is 100% a Laura Marling album.

Pittsburgh

7. William FitzsimmonsPittsburgh

In his ode to his recently passed Grandmother and her home town of Pittsburgh, William Fitzsimmons has created a delicate, beautiful piece of magic. This is his first self-produced album since 2006’s Goodnight and it does feel markedly different from his recent releases – the production is not a slave to his voice and guitar, instead it sits more comfortably as part of each song. At only seven tracks long Pittsburgh leaves you warm and fuzzy and wanting more.

Outlier

8. Patrick JamesOutlier

It seems like 2015 saw a lot of long time favourite Timber and Steel artists finally got around to releasing their debut album – and one of the debuts we were most excited about was from Patrick James. Over the course of a bunch of EPs Patrick James has refined his James Taylor-esque folk songs and Outlier is the culmination of years of solid songwriting. The production on Outlier makes the most of James’ unique voice and elevates his solo singer-songwriter roots into a rich, luscious landscape.

Wilder Mind

9. Mumford & SonsWilder Mind

With all of the attention on Mumford & Sons “ditching the banjo” and turning their back on folk music when Wilder Mind came out very little attention was paid to the album itself. Which is a shame because it’s another solid outing for the boys. If you push through the electric guitars and drums you discover that Wilder Mind is unmistakably a Mumford record with big choruses, melodies dripping with four part harmonies and festival ready lyrical hooks. And anyone who has seen Mumford & Sons this year will know they have in no way ditched the banjo – Wilder Mind sits perfectly within their entire catalogue.

Omaha

10. FallsOmaha

It took Falls moving to LA 18 months ago (and dropping the “The”) to produce their gorgeous debut album Omaha. Falls have expanded their two-voices-and-a-guitar sound to an almost orchestral level, but at the forefront is still their lyrically driven melodies and beautiful harmonies. I’m actually really impressed that all of the tracks on Omaha having seen them perform almost exclusively from their Hollywood EP before their big move Stateside. Now we just need a national Australian tour off the back of the album!

Omaha

11. TolkaOne House

The stunning result of trad band Tolka’s trip to Belfast last year to write and record a new album – one of the tightest trad bands in the country.

Limit of Love

12. Boy & BearLimit of Love

Boy & Bear return with a 70s vibe and a bunch of new tracks that saw the band collaborating on the songwriting duties.

If I Was

11. The StavesIf I Was

The Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) production on The Staves’ debut elevates their sound from simple three part harmonies to full blown indie-folk goodness.

Secret Victory

12. The East PointersSecret Victory

The result of writing sessions on their summer tour of Australia, The East Pointers have written 10 original tracks that sound as if they’ve been ripped directly from the tradition.

Monterey

13. The Milk Carton KidsMonterey

Monterey is the closest The Milk Carton Kids have come to capturing their mesmerising live show on record – this is something special.

Freewheeler

14. Dougal Adams, Ado Barker & Ben StephensonThe Freewheeler

Instead of complaining that it’s been too long between albums for Trouble in the Kitchen get your trad fix with the debut album from Dougal Adams, Ado Barker & Ben Stephenson.

Solitude

15. Ruby BootsSolitude

The Perth songstress has nailed down an amazing band and has produced one of the best alt-country albums of the last few years.

Tomorrow Is My Turn

16. Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn

In her debut solo album Rhiannon Giddens has built on the trad and old time of her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and spun it into something new and very exciting.

Marlon Williams

17. Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams

With a voice that has reduced grown men and women to tears, there’s a lot to love about Marlon Williams’ debut record – this man is taking country music back to its roots and winning fans every step of the way.

Inside Llewyn Davis

18. VariousAnother Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis

The folk and Americana industry’s best come together for a night of music inspired by the 60s folk scene and to a lesser extent the Cohen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Dream's End

19. Matt BauerDream’s End

On his latest album Matt Bauer has upped the production stakes, forgoing his normally sparse folk songs and the result is wonderful.

Punch Brothers

20. Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues

I think it’s time to stop referring to Punch Brothers as “bluegrass” or “nu-grass” or anything at all – with The Phosphorescent Blues they have proven they are undefinable.

WHITE LIES

21. Mustered CourageWhite Lies and Melodies

Mustered Courage have always been the most polished bluegrass band in Australia but they’ve upped the ante with their new album adding a pop sheen to their sound.

Hell Breaks Loose

22. Shane NicholsonHell Breaks Loose

The godfather of the Australian Americana scene released one of the year’s best country albums – all heartbreak and whisky and everything that’s good about this kind of music.

The Decemberists

23. The DecemberistsWhat A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

A welcome return to the studio from The Decemberists to follow up their amazing 2011 album The King Is Dead – a little less folk, a little more rock and all sorts of goodness.

Josh Pyke

24. Josh PykeBut For All These Shrinking Hearts

Australia’s premiere troubadour delivers yet another stunning album with his trademark wry lyrics and hooky melodies.

S

25. Emmy The GreatS

Emmy The Great slides into electro music while maintaining the folk-inspired melodies she’s become known for.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Woodford Folk Festival lineup dropped and it includes the likes of Dougie Maclean, Michael Franti, Harry Manx, The East Pointers, Irish Mythen, Marlon Williams, Kim Churchill, Lanie Lane, Josh Pyke, Katie Noonan, The Paper Kites, Tinpan Orange, Timberwolf, Jacinta Price, Tolka, Starboard Cannons, Davidson Brothers, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Hat Fitz & Cara, Broads, Andrew Clermont, Catgut, Lime and Steel, One Up, Two Down, Kaurna Cronin, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Loren Kate, Totally Gourdgeous, The Little Stevies, Daniel Champagne and many more. Details here

– Sydney bluegrassers The Morrisons released their new live video “Ruby”. Details here

Steve Earle & The Dukes have announced sideshows when they’re in the country for Bluesfest and Port Fairy. Details here

Bluesfest sideshows were also announced for Sturgill Simpson. Details here

The Milk Carton Kids released a version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter Sam Outlaw, who is in the country this week, released his new video “Ghost Town”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Patrick James has announced a headline tour for early next year. Details here

– So many of our favourite artists will be on the Riverboats Music Festival lineup next year including Missy Higgins, CW Stoneking, Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats, Ruby Boots, Jack Carty, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission, The Wilson Pickers, Jess Ribeiro and many more. Details here

– Toronto based Australian singer-songwriter Imogen Bel released her first ever live video. Details here

– LA based Sydney folk duo Falls released their new single “When We Were Young”. Details here

– The Sydney Festival announced its 2016 program. Details here

– Tasmanian folk-punk band The Dead Maggies have announced a new album, released a new video and are heading out on tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Dan Parsons
ValleywoodDan Parsons
iTunes

The Freewheeler
The FreewheelerDougal Adams, Ado Barker & Ben Stephenson
Bandcamp

Imogen Clark
Love & Lovely LiesImogen Clark
iTunes

Divers
DiversJoanna Newsom
iTunes

Tim Guy
ChordsTim Guy
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Americana Hayride feat. Bill Chambers, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri, Dan Waters, Bill Jackson, The Weeping Willows

Americana Hayride

The creme of the crop of Australian alt-country are coming together for a very special show in Melbourne this Sunday

Sunday 25th October – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Alex Edwards
Sunday 25th October – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Americana Hayride feat. Bill Chambers, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri, Dan Waters, Bill Jackson, The Weeping Willows
Sunday 25th October – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC

April Maze
Saturday 24th October – Shoalhaven River Festival, Nowra, NSW

Arbori
Thursday 29th October – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 23rd October – Magnums Hotel, Airlie Beach, QLD
Saturday 24th October – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 25th October – The Jack, Cairns, QLD

CW Stoneking
Friday 30th October – Manning Bar, Sydney, NSW

Dan Parsons
Friday 23rd October – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 24th October – Shadow Electric, Abbotsford, VIC
Sunday 25th October – Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Wednesday 28th October – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 29th October – Mudgee Brewery, Mudgee, NSW
Friday 30th October – Home Sweet Home (House Concert), Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 23rd October – Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Saturday 24th October – The Glennie School, Toowoomba, QLD
Wednesday 28th October – Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Friday 30th October – Johnny Cash: The Concert, Redcliffe Cultural Centre, Brisbane, QLD

Davidson Brothers
Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, NSW

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival
Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October – Dorrigo, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 23rd October – Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, VIC
Wednesday 28th October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Fleurieu Folk Festival
Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October – Willunga, SA

Folkswagon
Wednesday 28th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Hozier
Wednesday 28th October – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth, WA
Friday 30th October – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Josh Rennie-Hynes
Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, SA
Sunday 25th October – Wandi Swagger, Wandiligong, VIC
Thursday 29th October – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 30th October – The Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

Katie Noonan
Friday 23rd October – The Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 24th October – Spicers Hidden Vale, Grandchester, QLD
Sunday 25th October – Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD
Wednesday 28th October – Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 29th October – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th October – Australian Institute of Music, Sydney, NSW

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 30th October – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC

Lime and Steel
Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW

Lior
Saturday 24th October – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 30th October – The Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Live ‘n’ Lounging feat. Ciaran Gribbin, Ed Wells, Fleur Wiber, James Van Cooper
Sunday 25th October – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Loren Kate
Friday 23rd October – Red Mill Store, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 24th October – House Concert, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 25th October – Kidogo Arthouse, Fremantle, WA

Lost Ragas
Friday 23rd October – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 24th October – Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 25th October – Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW

Maldon Folk Festival
Friday 30th October to Monday 2nd November – Maldon, VIC

Michael David Thomas
Sunday 25th October – Triffid Roots, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 29th October – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Musketeer
Friday 30th October – Lass O’ Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW

Mustered Courage
Wednesday 28th October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Out On The Weekend
***CANCELLED***Saturday 24th October – Bella Vista Farm, Sydney, NSW***CANCELLED***

Patrick James
Friday 23rd October – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 24th October – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 29th October – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 30th October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Ruby Boots
Friday 30th October – Fremantle Festival “Hush”, Fremantle, WA

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November – Happy Wanderer Festival, Benalla, VIC

Sam Brittain
Friday 23rd October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Sam Outlaw with Jonny Fritz, Shelly Colvin & Friends
Sunday 25th October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Suzannah Espie
Friday 30th October – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Tablelands Folk Festival
Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th October – Yungaburra, Qld

The Andrew Collins Trio
Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October – Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival, NSW
Tuesday 27th October – The Black Sombrero, Lismore, NSW
Wednesday 28th October – Stokers Siding Art Gallery, Stokers Siding, NSW
Thursday 29th October – House Concert, Forster, NSW
Friday 30th October – Humph Hall, Allambie Heights, NSW

The AU Sessions feat. Rin McArdle, Tom Stephens
Tuesday 27th October – Hive Bar, Sydney, NSW

The BordererS
Saturday 24th October – Victor Dragons Fundraiser, Victor Harbor, SA
Sunday 25th October – Flerieu Folk Festival, SA

The Go Set
Friday 23rd October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Paper Kites
Friday 23rd October – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 24th October – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 29th October – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 30th October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

The Timbers
Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, Willunga, SA

The Waifs
Saturday 24th October – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 25th October – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 28th October – GPAC, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 29th October – Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 23rd October – Max Watt’s, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 24th October – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 25th October – Max Watt’s, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 29th October – Port Macquarie Panthers, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 30th October – Entrance Leagues Club, The Entrance, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Jams O’Donnells Jigs” – Fairport Convention

Patrick James Announces 2016 Outlier National Tour

Patrick James
Image Courtesy of Patrick James

Sydney based singer-songwriter Patrick James released his debut album Outlier on Friday last week and we have to say that we absolutely love it. James has been making some pretty special music over the last few years so it’s great to see him finally put together a long player.

Patrick James is currently on tour with The Paper Kites so he won’t be headline touring Outlier until February and March next year.

Check out the full list of dates for the tour below:

Friday 19th February – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 25th February – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday 26th February – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th February – Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong NSW
Friday 4th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th March – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 12th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 18th March – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 19th March – Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA

Patrick James’ remaining dates with The Paper Kites are here:

Thursday 22nd October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 23rd October – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 24th October – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 29th October – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 30th October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 31st October 31st – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 5th November – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 6th November – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 7th November – ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 8th November – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Irish fiddle player Colm Mac Con Iomaire will be appearing for two shows at the Melbourne Festival. Details here

– Alt-country favourites Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes released their new video “Afraid of the Light”. Details here

WOMADelaide announced its first round of artists for 2016 including Angelique Kidjo, The Cat Empire, DakhaBrakha, Diego El Cigala, Edmar Castaneda Trio, The Jerry Cans, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Marlon Williams, Savina Yannatou and Primavera En Salonico, Songhoy Blues, The Violent Femmes and many more. Details here

– Indie-folk five-piece The Paper Kites released their new video “Revelator Eyes”. Details here

– A bunch of headline sideshows were announced for Out On The Weekend including shows for Dawes, Sam Outlaw with Jonny Fritz and Shelly Colvin and Jamestown Revival. Details here

– We were so proud to premiere the new single from folk duo Willowy, “More Than a Shadow”. Details here

– And we were also proud to premiere the new Musketeer video “Fleece”. Details here

– And then we were equally proud to premiere the new Dan Flynn & The State of Things video “Heavy Lies the Crown”. Details here

– The next Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney is this Sunday featuring Jep and Dep and Leah Flanagan. Details here

Patrick James revealed details of his upcoming debut album Outlier. Details here

Bear’s Den released an alternate video to their track “Elysium”. Details here

– The Finders Keepers Markets hits Melbourne this weekend with plenty of folkie acts on the musical lineup. Details here

Joanna Newsom released her new single “Leaving The City”. Details here

– The next Festival of Small Halls tour takes place this November and December featuring Irish Mythen and Starboard Cannons. Details here

Matt Corby released his new single “Monday” and announced a national tour. Details here

Reviews

Track by Track

Ainsley Farrell takes us through her new album Air & Sea. Check out the track by track here

Releases This Week

Ainsley Farrell
Air & SeaAinsley Farrell
Bandcamp

Falls
OmahaFalls
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest

Kasey

The inaugural Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest kicks off this weekend with a lineup to die for including Kasey Chambers, The Audreys, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Busby Marou, Bill Chambers, Henry Wagons, Pierce Brothers, Good Oak, The Davidson Brothers, Harry Hookey, The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Karl S. Williams, Lachlan Bryan, Caitlin Harnett, The Mid North, Garett Kato, Katie Brianna, Sara Tindley, The Company, Mustered Courage, Gretta Ziller and many many more. Definitely worthy of a trip to Northern NSW

Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah, NSW

Gigs Next Week

A Day of Protest Songs feat. Margret RoadKnight, Kavisha Mazzella, Jeff Lang, Monica Weightman, Frank Jones, Enda Kenny, Yolanda Ingley II, Andy White, Mandy Connell, Les Thomas, Little Foot, Brendon Bonsak
Sunday 4th October – The Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ainsley Farrell w/ Georgia Mulligan, Catgut
Friday 2nd October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Anna Cordell
Saturday 3rd October – Beyond Festival, Canberra, ACT

April Maze
Sunday 4th October – Uranquinty Folk Festival, Uranquinty, NSW

Arbori
Thursday 8th October – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 2nd October – Yours and Owls Festival, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Thursday 8th October – Rolling Stone Live Lodge, Newtown Social, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th October – Entrance Leagues, Bateau Bay, NSW

Brian Campeau w/ Luke Escombe
Friday 2nd October – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Monday 5th October – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Dashville Skyline
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October – Lower Belford, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Jesse Davidson, Caitlin Park
Friday 2nd October – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 3rd October – Quandialla Hall, Quandialla, NSW
Friday 9th October – Tumbarumba Hall, Tumbarumba, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC

Folk Alliance Conference
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Urban Camp, Melbourne, VIC

Folkswagon feat. Michael David Thomas, The Campervan Dancers, Leroy Lee
Wednesday 7th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Forest Falls
Friday 2nd October – Cafe Go, Geelong, VIC

Goulburn Gathering
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Goulburn, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Jep and Dep, Leah Flanagan
Sunday 4th October – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Joan Baez
Sunday 4th October – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 7th October – Brisbane Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Thursday 8th October – House Concert, Glebe, NSW
Friday 9th October – Tradewinds Folk, Newcastle, NSW

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, Adelaide, SA

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 26th September to Saturday 3rd October – Mildura Country Music Festival, VIC
Sunday 4th October – Dashville Skyline, Lower Belford, NSW
Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW
Friday 9th to Saturday 17th October – Cruisin Country, ex-Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Friday 2nd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 3rd October – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Lior
Friday 9th October – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

Little Features Presents Direwolf, Tom Stephens, Willowy, Ed Wells
Saturday 3rd October – House Concert, Mount Wilson, NSW

Lost Ragas
Saturday 3rd October – Dashville Skyline Festival, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, Adelaide, SA

Martha Wainwright
Friday 2nd October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Michael David Thomas
Sunday 4th October – Relish Festival, Cleveland, QLD
Wednesday 7th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Mildura Country Music Festival
Friday 25th September to Sunday 4th October – Mildura, VIC

Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah, NSW

Musketeer
Wednesday 7th October – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Nanga Music Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Dwellingup, WA

Northern Beaches Music Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Collaroy Beach, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 2nd October – Murwillumbah Country Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. SNAIL, Richard Cartwright, Frank Sultana & Roxanne Clarke
Thursday 8th October – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ruby Boots
Saturday 3rd October – Dashville Skyline, The Hunter Valley, NSW

Sam Brittain
Friday 2nd October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Semaphore Music Festival
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Adelaide, SA

The BordererS
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Murtoa Big Weekend, near Horsham, VIC
Friday 9th to Saturday 17 October – Cruisin’ Country Cruise, Sydney to Vanuatu

The Mae Trio
Sunday 4th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Shack feat. Luke Escombe, The Mutual Acquaintances, Ben Osmo
Saturday 3rd October – The Shack, Narrabeen, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 2nd October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 3rd October – The Boston, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th October – Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA
Friday 9th October – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD

The Timbers
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, SA
Friday 9th October – Mount Gambier Hotel, Mount Gambier SA

Upstairs & Underground feat. The Gypsy Dub Sound System, Edema Ruh
Friday 2nd October – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Uranquinty Folk Festival
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Uranquinty, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 2nd October – ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th October – HQ, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th October – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Saturday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Devil’s Nine Questions” – Anna & Elizabeth

I felt like we needed a riddle song for Friday Folk Flashback today.

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