Bluesfest Announces First Round of Artists for 2017

Image Courtesy of The Lumineers

It may only be August but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to start thinking about the 2017 festival season. This morning Bluesfest launched their first round of artists for next years festival and it’s huge.

This morning’s announcement includes 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 with more to be announced.

Bluesfest takes place over the Easter long weekend for the 13th to 17th April. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd March


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– New Sydney gypsy folk duo Betty & Oswald have a bunch of local dates over the coming weeks. Details here

– Made up of half of Brisbane-based celtic band Súnas, Two Crows are a brand new duo project and have a bunch of east coast dates coming up. Details here

– For the second year in a row Fanny Lumsden is going to the country in April for a tour of country halls. Details here

– Melbourne-based experimental vocal trio Aluka have announced a debut album and upcoming tour. Details here

– Melbourne trio The Walters have released the new animated video for their single “Bring Me Water”. Details here

– We’re big fans of “Pot Of Honey” the new single and video from The Mid-North. Details here

– The JamGrass Music Festival folks posted a bunch of videos on their Youtube channel from 2012 and we’ve selected a couple to embed on the blog. Details here

– Aussie supergroup The Hillybilly Killers – Bill Chambers, Tim Rogers and Catherine Britt – have an east coast tour planned for March and April. Details here

– One of our favourite regular folk nights, Sydney’s Little Features, is back for 2013 with an awesome lineup this Saturday – Jacob Pearson, Charlie Gradon, Arbori, Mimi Gilbert and Achoo! Bless You. Details here

Bluesfest, which is just a week away, has added a handful of artists to its lineup and a brand new venue. Details here

– Sydney’s Boy Outside has teased his new single ahead of a launch this April. Details here

Skipping Girl Vinegar have released their new video “Making Our Way” ahead of their appearance at Bluesfest next week. Details here

Stu Larsen and Natsuki Kurai are teaming together for a national tour this April. Details here


“It’s kind of getting to a – kind of – a really good stage at the moment. We’re recording another album, a new album and that just – everything’s just kind of falling into place a bit. It’s not like – it all feels nice. Everyone, the vibes are great, you know. Like anything it’s hard work, but all the hard work got a lot of return”Bobby Alu chats to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

“I think the thing with this record, Sugaring Season, is there are no bells and whistles, there are no tricks and gadgets. It’s probably one of the most straight ahead records I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the deepest records I’ve ever made – and I’m not entirely sure what I mean by that. It’s not like I’ve reinvented the wheel or anything but I’ve got rid of anything extraneous”Beth Orton chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here


“It’s St Patrick’s Day again and like good folkies we’re celebrating with a few pints of the black stuff and more jigs and reels than you can poke a bodhrán at. And of course St Patrick’s day means our traditional St Patrick’s playlist. This year we’ve taken the playlist “in house” (after a couple of years of guest writers) to bring you some of our favourite contemporary Irish singer-songwriters, bands and artists. Enjoy your day and enjoy the music” – St Patrick’s Day playlist by Gareth Hugh Evans. Blog here

“There’s nowhere near enough room here to list the richness of Warren’s contribution to Australia’s culture. That contribution will be formally recognised at this year’s National Folk Festival with a preview showing of Larrikin Lad, a one-hour biographical documentary about Warren, produced by by Rebel Penfold Russell, Pat Fiske and Adam Bayliss” – Peter Logue talks about the upcoming documentary on Australian legend Warren Fahey, Larrikin Lad. Blog here



“This trio are truly delightful and charming to watch and listening to the tad bits of stories about lady dance troupes, playing alongside Rage Against the Machine, a kidnapped tram, remind me of the extra features parts you get with the latest movie you purchase on DVD”Nikita Andrea reviews Most Requested: Live 2009 – 2012 from The Little Stevies. Review here


“The joys of social media, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across an unassuming Facebook event for ‘Wales @ Cecil Sharp House’. I’ve been to Wales and liked it, and I live in London, so it seemed a good combination to investigate”KTBell reviews Wales in London at the Cecil Sharp House, London. Review here

“I think the band were as surprised as we were. I think they are every night. In 1979, when she recorded her first album, producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman told the top-class session musicians they’d hired just to follow her lead”JDX and Serena Skye review Rickie Lee Jones at The Old Museum, Brisbane. Review here

Releases This Week

Child Ballads
Child BalladsAnaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer

Tooth and Nail
Tooth & NailBilly Bragg

Back on the Milks
Back on the MilksThe Starry Field

Gigs Next Week

Betty & Oswald
Monday 25th March – 505, Surry Hills, NSW

Breaking Hart Benton
Friday 22nd March – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 24th March – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Brighter Later
Sunday 24th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Counting Crows
Wednesday 27th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Communion Melbourne feat. Jack Donne, I, a Man, Kathryn Rollins, House of Laurence, Mustered Courage
Sunday 24th March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Dave Di Marco
Friday 22nd March – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 23rd March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 24th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Damien Dempsey
Tuesday 26th March – The Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 27th March – The Contemporary Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 28th March – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Don’t Mention The Wall
Friday 22nd March – Springwood, NSW (house concert)
Thursday 28th March – Newcastle University, NSW (lunchtime show)

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd March – The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 23rd March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Glen Hansard and The Frames with Lisa Hannigan
Saturday 23rd March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 25th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 26th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th March – BluesFest, Byron Bay, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 22nd March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 23rd March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Sunday 24th March – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 28th March – Manhattans Wine Bar, Launceston, TAS

Jake Shimabukuro
Wednesday 27th March – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Jordie Lane
Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Sunday 24th March – Hills Are Alive Festival, South Gippsland, VIC
Tuesday 26th March – Lizottes Central Coast, Dee Why, NSW w/ Ruthie Foster
Wednesday 27th March – Lizottes Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW w/ Ruthie Foster
Thursday 28th March – Memorial Hall, Bellingen, NSW w/ Ruthie Foster
Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Little Features feat. Jacob Pearson, Charlie Gradon, Arbori, Mimi Gilbert, Achoo! Bless You
Saturday 23rd March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Luka Bloom
Friday 22nd March – Wrest Point Showroom, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 23rd March – National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 25th March – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 28th March – The J, Noosa, QLD

Michael Kiwanuka
Tuesday 26th March – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 27th March – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

MoFo feat. The Underscore Orkestra and Chaika
Friday 22nd March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Nick and Liesl
Sunday 24th March – Gratitude Day, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Sunday 24th March – The Playhouse Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 27th March – Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide, SA

Patrick James
Saturday 23rd March – Baby Black Cafe, Baccus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 24th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th March – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Paul Brady
Friday 22nd March – The Fly By Night, Perth, WA
Sunday 24th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 28th March – The Irish Club, Brisbane, QLD

Paul Simon with Rufus Wainwright
Wednesday 27th March – Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 28th March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Seth Lakeman
Friday 22nd March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 23rd March – Lizottes, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24th March – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 27th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 29th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Simone Felice with Jess Ribeiro
Thursday 28th March – The Exeter, Adelaide, SA

The Lumineers with The Falls
Thursday 28th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Starry Field
Friday 29th March – The Clever Duck, Cairns, QLD

The Tiger and Me
Friday 22nd March – The Brisbane Markets, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 23rd March – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 24th March – The Brisbane Markets, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 26th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th March – Hotel Steyne, Sydney, NSW

Two Crows
Friday 22nd March – Australian Celtic Studies Centre, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 23rd March – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 24th March – Mt Kembla Village Hotel, Mt Kembla, NSW
Wednesday 27th March – Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT

Wednesday 27th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

William Elliott Whitmore
Saturday 23rd March – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 24th March – Enigma Bar, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 26th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 27th March – Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 28th and Friday 29th March – Byron Bay Bluesfest, NSW

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Barrett’s Privateers” – Stan Rogers

I heard this song the other day and it brought back so many memories of growing up in folk clubs and folk festivals – I’m sure this song was a mainstay of singing sessions in my childhood. Now I just want to go out and learn it!

Review: Rickie Lee Jones, The Old Museum

Rickie Lee Jones
Image Courtesy of Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones
The Old Museum, Brisbane
13th March, 2013

The music of Rickie Lee Jones is difficult to classify. Many of our readers may know her 1979 single “Chuck E.’s in Love”, whose playfulness and finger-snapping bravado hide something much deeper and more complicated. Though less commercially rewarded, Jones has enjoyed critical acclaim throughout her long and fruitful career, flirting with jazz, pop, R&B, electronica, and even the concept album. Most recently, we were delighted to hear that she had turned her hand to folk, working extensively with Ben Harper. When her Australian tour was announced, we were eager to send our two Brisbane contributors, JDX and Serena Sky, along to tell us about it.

Serena Sky: Rickie Lee Jones drew a crowd, that’s for sure. From where I sat, it certainly looked sold out, and there was much cheering, and chattering and general anticipation. She didn’t have a support act, allowing me a good look at the audience (whilst sipping my wine) and I noticed (with a certain amount of amusement) that we were definitely the youngest people there! But, the venue (The Old Museum) was great. Lovely and spacious, with a seating layout that made sense, and a great lighting team. Rickie Lee made the most amazing impression when she walked out – almost angelic, long, wavy blonde hair, flowing white dress and immaculate smile. I wanted to ask for a hug off her. 🙂

JDX: Despite all our research, I don’t think I knew what to expect. It behooves us to tell you that we hadn’t known her well when offered this review, so the weeks before had been a fast journey through her back-catalogue. Her music was still newly discovered and spinning vividly in my head, but of Rickie Lee, the woman, I don’t think we knew very much.

Serena Sky: Perhaps not, but her performance allowed for that, a lovely acoustic set, laced with notable covers, some big hits and some new stuff. It was almost like a group re-acquaintance, a reintroduction for everyone. I certainly didn’t feel isolated, or out of place. She was doing lots of unique things, and I think she kept most people on their toes (I heard quite a few people afterwards talking about how they’d been surprised by her selections).

JDX: I think the band were as surprised as we were. I think they are every night. In 1979, when she recorded her first album, producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman told the top-class session musicians they’d hired just to follow her lead. It’s easy to see that her current sidemen, guitarist Jeff Pever and cellist Ed Willett, had been given a similar brief. I swear, there was no setlist.

Serena Sky: I agree, no setlist and lots of lead following. They are incredibly talented musicians. There was lots of hand gesturing and watching intently, and basically a lot of “feeling” around, to see where Miss Jones was taking the song. As well as Pever playing guitar, mandolin and keys, and harmonies from both, I have never ever seen a cello played with such versatility. I had no idea that a Cello could sound like a bass, like a trumpet, like another guitar, like a slight wail, like a thundering piece of percussion. The set was absolutely made by Ed Willett’s cello- I was blown away. The dexterity of both musicians, and Jones herself was palpable. They had these reverent smiles, these twisted faces of concentration, and sometimes their eyes were firmly closed, an expression of bliss all we could see.

JDX: It was an extremely innovative ensemble. The way the cello grooved under the funky guitar of “Young blood”, the way they quietly subverted what might have been a basic soul song, sounded excitingly cutting edge. And she has proven herself conversant in the tropes of modern folk, with “The Devil You Know”, the Ben Harper produced covers album she was touring. In “Seems Like a Long Time”, a Rod Stewart cover, of all things, she showed off a different, more fragile side of her voice, evoking the world-weary wisdom of Rick Rubin’s work with Johnny Cash, in a way I’m sure wasn’t accidental.

Serena Sky: Speaking of covers, “Sympathy for the Devil” was probably my favourite song from the whole set actually. She was amazing. Her voice is a chameleon, a shape shifter, capable of seemingly anything. And the passion she pours into her guitar is immense too, and this moment left the audience on their feet for a standing ovation. And, again, Willett on the cello was sublime. He played it like a hand drum.

JDX: It was such a slow, intense, version that I suspect many in the crowd who grew up with the song mightn’t have recognised it immediately. I think that’s how she liked it. It was a strange but compelling choice of final song, but everyone definitely approved. Another highlight for me was a spur of the moment, and amusingly shambolic cover of Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”.

Serena Sky: That was truly hilarious, in all the right ways. Everyone went a little mad, the band and the crowd alike. There was a fair bit of dance/shuffling coming from all around us. It was a true example of “letting loose.” There was nothing dignified about it, but an extraordinary power. I loved it too.

JDX: That song saw her at her most comfortable and welcoming, along with the one everyone knew, the wonderful Chuck E.’s in Love. Did she play it? Yes she did!

Serena Sky: She did indeed, another crowd shuffling number. It was nice to see a little more pace from her actually, because, as nice as the set was, a lot of the songs were slow-burners. Having said that, another of my favourites was “Living it Up”,” a slow, mellowed out, solo piano version. Rickie Lee Jones has one of the most astounding voices. She can sound like a little girl, and then, do her “tom waits” growl,” very much shown off in this version. Poor thing had some complaints about her piano seat- “this is the most uncomfortable seat I’ve ever sat on.” (They were pretty bad- I was ready to get off mine! Hehe).

JDX: Living It Up was one of my favourites too. Her songs are so full of colourful characters – Eddie with the crazy eye, and Cunt-finger Louie, from that town where they all look like Frankie Valli. You think of them as people from a movie you saw a long time ago, but you know from the ease with which she describes them that she once knew them intimately. It’s hard to tell whether she’s satirizing or mythologizing them. I guess it’s a bit of both. But the way she performs – the songs, they well up from within her, animating her with a passion that is disarming. It’s almost like she’s trying to weave the pictures with her voice. Take “The Last Chance Texaco”, from her first album. In my opinion, one of the best metaphors ever put to song. And the way she imitates a truck flying past with her voice… It was eerie, striking, magical.

Serena Sky: She is an amazing storyteller, certainly. Even her (limited) but very funny stage banter was like that, a story, a little piece of history to help the magic along. I really was very pleasantly surprised by the whole evening, and I am so looking forward to exploring her music more.

JDX: I think, in the wake of that performance, everyone should. I am amazed that nobody had told us about her before we saw her, and I think the word needs spreading. She may have the vocabulary and experience of someone who has been playing for thirty years, but she still sounds as vital and original as someone just starting out. And I think that is remarkable.

%d bloggers like this: