Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2018 including releases from Courtney Marie Andrews, Emma Davis, First Aid Kit, Gregory Alan Isakov, I’m With Her, Imogen Clark, Iron & Wine, Jack Carty & Gus Gardiner, John Flanagan Trio, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, Kasey Chambers, Laura Veirs, Lúnasa, Marlon Williams, The Milk Carton Kids, Mustered Courage, Old Crow Medicine Show, Passenger, Sam Newton, The Low Anthem, The Paper Kites, Tim Hart, Whoa Mule, William Fitzsimmons and more. Details here

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2018 including songs from Cat Canteri, Courtney Marie Andrews, Emma Davis, Fanny Lumsden, Gregory Alan Isakov, Husky, I’m With Her, Imogen Clark, Jack Carty & Gus Gardiner, John Flanagan Trio, Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples, Laura Veirs, Marlon Williams, Missy Higgins, Mustered Courage feat. Mark Gable , Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Paddy McHugh, Sufjan Stevens, The Ahern Brothers, The Decemberists, The Low Anthem, Tim Hart, Whoa Mule, William Fitzsimmons, Willie Watson & Tim Blake Nelson and more. Details here

Releases This Week

Traveling On
Traveling OnThe Decemberists
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

A Celtic Christmas feat. Claymore, Colin Lillie, Saoirse, Hawthorn City Pipe Band, Glenbrae Celtic Dancers

A Celtic Christmas

Saturday 22nd December – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

A Celtic Christmas feat. Claymore, Colin Lillie, Saoirse, Hawthorn City Pipe Band, Glenbrae Celtic Dancers
Saturday 22nd December – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Adam Young and Sam Shinazzi
Sunday 23rd December – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Alex the Astronaut
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Alice Skye
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Andrew Swift, Gretta Ziller & Brad Cox
Thursday 27th December – Anglesea Family Caravan Park, Anglesea, VIC
Friday 28th December – Ocean Grove Holiday Park, Ocean Grove, VIC

Angus & Julia Stone
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Ben Leece
Friday 21st December – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Dan Sultan
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Darren Hanlon
Friday 21st December – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd December – Church in the Graveyard, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Dean Lewis
Friday 21st December – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Friday 28th December – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Dermot Kennedy w/ Sam Fender
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Emily Wurramara
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Falls Festival
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Lorne, VIC

Festival of Small Halls feat. Old Man Luedecke, Lucy Wise
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

First Aid Kit
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Hat Fitz and Cara
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Hussy Hicks
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Irish Mythen
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

James Thomson
Sunday 23rd December – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Jen Cloher
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Jess Locke
Friday 21st December – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd December – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Jacklin
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Kallidad
Friday 21st December – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 22nd December – Diggers Tavern, Bellingen, NSW

Karl S Williams
Sunday 23rd December – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Les Poules a Colin
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Liam Gerner
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Lucy Wise
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Magpie Diaries
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mal Webb & Kylie Morrigan
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 21st December – Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd December – Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney, NSW

Matt Joe Gow
Friday 21st December – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Mel Parsons
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mic Conway’s National Junk Band
Friday 21st December – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission w/ Ayleen O’Hanlon
Saturday 22nd December – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 23rd December – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Monday 24th December – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Mojo Juju
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Monique Clare
Friday 21st December – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW

Nariel Creek Folk Festival
Thursday 27th December to Thursday 3rdt January – Nariel Creek Recreation Reserve, Nariel Valley, VIC

Neil Murray
Friday 28th December – The Sewing Room, Perth, WA

Old Man Luedecke
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Paddy McHugh
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Paul Kelly – Making Gravy feat. Angus & Julia Stone, Alex Lahey, Mojo Juju
Friday 21st December – Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Richard Lawson
Wednesday 26th December – Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui, NSW

Round Mountain Girls
Saturday 22nd December – Cabarita Sports Club, Cabarita Beach, QLD

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 26th December – The Brothers, Melbourne, VIC

Southern Gentlemen
Sunday 23rd December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Sparrow-Folk
Friday 21st December – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Stella Donnelly
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Stiff Gins
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Andy Golledge Band
Saturday 22nd December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 22nd December – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC
Friday 28th December – Bird’s Basement, Melbourne, VIC

The Bushwackers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Cat Empire
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Little Stevies
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Maes
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Montgomery Brothers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Northern Folk
Thursday 27 December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Teskey Brothers
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Waifs
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

The Water Runners
Friday 21st December – Servo Food Truck Bar, Port Kembla, NSW
Friday 28th December – The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama, NSW

Timberwolf
Friday 21st December – Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA

Top End Folk Club Sunday Sessions
Sunday 23rd December – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Vance Joy
Friday 28th to Monday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC

Whiskey Dram
Saturday 22nd December – Bombay Rock, Melbourne, VIC

Woodford Folk Festival
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Xavier Rudd
Thursday 27th December to Tuesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Fairytale of New York” – Jeff Tweedy, Punch Brothers, Sarah Jarosz, The Staves

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2018

Steeleye Span

Despite a quiet year on the blogging front from Timber and Steel 2018 was still a huge year for folk, roots, singer-songwriter and acoustic music with some amazing albums and EPs dropping throughout the year.

So we couldn’t resist continuing the tradition and once again bring you our top albums of the year.

Emma Davis
1. Emma DavisDemons
When we picked her single “Danger in Me” as our top track of 2017, it was almost a forgone conclusion that Emma Davis’ 2018 follow up album Demons would rank highly in this list.

Davis is one of the most talented lyricists in Australia right now and Demons is testament to her talents.

The singles that Emma Davis has drip fed us throughout the last few years have always had stunning production values and this album ties those earlier songs together seamlessly with her newer material to create 38 minutes of pitch-perfect folk-pop.

Go out and listen to Demons from start to finish right now.

Laura Veirs
2. Laura VeirsThe Lookout
Laura Veirs takes a huge leap forward as a singer and a songwriter with an album that’s more complex than her earlier work without losing sight of everything we’ve always loved about her music.

Hospital Hill
3. Jack Carty & Gus GardinerHospital Hill
The passion project from BFF’s Jack Carty and Gus Gardiner, Hospital Hill perfectly marries Carty’s beautiful songs with the string arrangements they’ve always deserved.

I'm With Her
4. I’m With HerSee You Around
Three of the best Americana singer-songwriters coming together for a collaborative album that manages to feel totally modern while still having its roots firmly in folk.

Courtney Marie Andrews
5. Courtney Marie AndrewsMay Your Kindness Remain
Courtney Marie Andrews is easily the most buzz-worthy Americana artist coming out of the US at the moment and if you listen to May Your Kindness Remain you’ll understand why.

Honest Man
6. John Flanagan TrioHonest Man
The evolution of John Flanagan continues with his trio (plus more) coming together for an album that leads with its lyrics and then knocks you over with the sheer mastery of the musicianship.

Passenger
7. PassengerRunaway
If there’s a year that Passenger releases an album then you can guarantee that’s a year he appears on this list – one of our favourite songwriters.

Evening Machines
8. Gregory Alan IsakovEvening Machines
The long awaited new album from Gregory Alan Isakov lives up to the expectations. Seriously can’t wait to see him when he hits these shores next year.

Johnny Flynn
9. Johnny Flynn & The Sussex WitLive At The Roundhouse
While live albums are not usually our cup of tea, Johnny Flynn has delivered something very special here – a career retrospective with all the “hits”, masterfully arranged with The Sussex Wit. Plus we finally have a recording of all three verses of “Detectorists”

Iron & Wine
10. Iron & WineWeed Garden
A beautiful EP featuring everything you want from Iron & Wine. This one was on repeat for much of this year.

The Low Anthem
11. The Low AnthemThe Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea
We feel like we’ve been waiting for a new album from The Low Anthem for far too long and when The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea we were delighted with the result. A stunning, stripped back piece of nu-folk

OCMS
12. Old Crow Medicine ShowVolunteer
OCMS have doubled down on their old time and bluegrass roots with Volunteer which may be one of their best albums to date.

Collide
13. Imogen ClarkCollide
With Collide Imogen Clark has really started to embrace her country, pop and Americana roots without losing her confessional singer-songwriter style.

First Aid Kit
14. First Aid KitRuins
The Swedish sisters have done it again with an album that wears its influences like a badge of honor.

Sam Newton
15. Sam NewtonStare Into The Dark
Sydney’s hardest working singer-songwriter has really delivered with his latest album, leaning in on the full band sound and giving us 11 amazing songs to play over and over again.

Milk Carton Kids
16. The Milk Carton KidsAll The Things That I Did and All The Things That I Didn’t Do
The masters of the two part harmony release another gem of an album with All The Things That I Did and All The Things That I Didn’t Do.

William Fitzsimmons
17. William FitzsimmonsMission Bell
Our love for William Fitzsimmons continues to grow with his latest release. Less stripped back than his previous albums, Mission Bell still captures his wistful, ethereal folk sounds.

The Paper Kites
18. The Paper KitesOn The Corner Where You Live
The 80s influences have once again be ramped up on The Paper Kites 2018 album On The Corner Where You Live, but their folk roots are still there to be uncovered.

Marlon Williams
19. Marlon WilliamsMake Way For Love
A big part of me hopes that half the people who saw Marlon Williams’ cameo in A Star Is Born went out and bought Make Way For Love and fell in love with the New Zealand crooner. This man deserves to be a superstar.

Whoa Mule
20. Whoa MuleGet You House In Order
Possibly our favourite bluegrass and old time group in Australia right now. Their musicianship is outstanding and sets the bar very high for the rest of us.

Mustered Courage
21. Mustered CourageWe Played With Fire
The boys make a huge splash on their latest album with some tight bluegrass inspired tunes including a killer collaboration with Fanny Lumsden on “Best Impressions”.

Cas
22. LúnasaCas
There’s a reason that Lúnasa are considered the premiere trad band in the world right now – Cas is a truly a masterpiece.

Campfire
23. Kasey ChambersCampfire
With each album Kasey Chambers is leaning more heavily on the roots and Americana parts of her sound and we love it.

Take Me To Town
24. VariousTake Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Compilation
Take Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Compilation captures an important point in the Australian Americana and alt-country story, showcasing the quality songwriters and artists who make up the local scene. A must have for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Australian country music.

Tim Hart
25. Tim HartThe Narrow Corner
The long awaited new solo album from Boy & Bear alumni Tim Hart is another lesson in heart-on-sleeve lyrics and understated folk song writing.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney based folk-rock band Fallon Cush released their latest single and video “Achilles Heel”. Details here

– The Peak Festival in Perisher this June announced its first nine artists including Hot Potato Band, Sahara Beck, Electrik Lemonade, His Merry Men, Hussy Hicks, Aliensworth, Felicity Lawless, Matiu, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning and Pete Denahy. Details here

– Adelaide indie-folk night The Porch Sessions has headed out on tour again this month with Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart and Ryan Martin John hitting the road. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his new single “Hazel Eyes”. Details here

– Sydney alt-country six-piece Papa Pilko and the Binrats released their new video “Surrender”. Details here

– We premiered two new songs from The Ahern Brothers, “There’s A Light” and “Passing Through”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new 80s inspired video “Fireworks”. Details here

– Folk trio I’m With Her released their new single “Game To Lose”. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“Our pick of the Falls Festival Byron Bay programming at The Grove was Ben Wilson – performing as a 3 piece act that had us hooked from from the first strum of a string. Between them, the outfit sported double bass, violin, acoustic guitar and harmonica, plus their fabulous harmonised vocals, crowded round a very vintage microphone, managing to capture their tunes before the breeze could” – Part 1 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

“From emotive choruses, to beautiful moments of quiet among the electricity of the band, Julia Jacklin had it all going on. Her rendition of folk song “Wonderland” showcased the solace of her voice accompanied by only her electric guitar, and the vibrato timbre to her voice had an enchanting effect on the audience” – Part 2 of our Falls Festival Byron Bay Review here

Releases This Week

Bahamas
EarthtonesBahamas
iTunes

Winners 2018
Winners 2018 – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Illawarra Folk Festival

Illawarra Folk Festival

January means it’s Illawarra Folk Festival time. The intimate event takes advantage of being right in the middle of Folk Festival season with a bunch of international touring artists and local favourites. If you live in Sydney take advantage of the musical trains to get you to the festival.

Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 12th January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Upper Lansdowne Hall & Happenings, Upper Lansdowne, NSW
Friday 19th January – Thredbo Resort, Thredbo, NSW

Allison Forbes
Friday 19th January – Tamworth Shopping World, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Backsliders
Saturday 13th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Andy Golledge Band, Emma Russack, The Sweet Jelly Rolls, The Singing Skies
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass at Yulli’s Presents Bluegrass at Balls Head
Wednesday 17th January – Balls Head Reserve, Sydney, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 19th January – The Green Owl, Brisbane, QLD

Breaking Trad
Friday 12th January – Heyfield War Memorial Hall, Heyfield, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Old Kilmore Gaol, Kilmore, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Monday 15th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Tathra Hotel, Tathra, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds
Sunday 14th January – The Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 19th January – Whitsundays Clipper Race Party, Airlie Beach, QLD

Candice McLeod
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Catgut
Saturday 13th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet, TAS

Dan Vogl
Friday 12th January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Dane Overton and the Joy Williams Band
Friday 12th January – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darby w/ Audrey MacAlpine, Rachel Ellis
Thursday 18th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings
Friday 12th January – Araluen Hall, Araluen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Darren Cross
Friday 12th January – Katoomba Social Club, Katoomba, NSW

Deadwood 76, Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes, Ben Leece
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 13th January – House On The Hill, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Monday 15th January – Masonic Hall, Lindisfarne, TAS
Tuesday 16th January – Mountain Mumma, Launceston, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Jack Duggans, Bathurst, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Emma Russack
Friday 12th January – The Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Faith i Branko
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th January – Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall, Ben Lomond, NSW

Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour feat. Claire Anne Taylor, The Small Glories
Tuesday 16th January – Dunalley Hall, Dunalley, TAS
Wednesday 17th January – Triabunna Hall, Triabunna, TAS
Thursday 18th January – Broadmarsh Hall, Broadmarsh, TAS

Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions feat. John Maddox, Banks Brothers, When Hawk Met Sparrow, That Red Head
Thursday 18th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Frank Sultana, Jessy Wadeson, Gentle Leader
Wednesday 17th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Georgia State Line
Sunday 14th January – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Gretta Ziller and Andrew Swift
Friday 12th January – BIG4 Narooma Easts Holiday Park, Narooma, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Murramarang Beachfront Nature Resort, South Durras, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Lake Conjola Entrance Holiday Park, Lake Conjola, NSW
Monday 15th January – Shoalhaven Heads Holiday Park, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Tuesday 16th January – Easts Beach Holiday Park, Kiama, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, Toowoon Bay, NSW
Friday 19th January – Opening Concert, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

Grizzlee Train
Friday 12th January – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW

Gypsy Romp feat. Greshka, Hello Tut Tut, Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Hello Tut Tut
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Bank Corner Espresso and Bar, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 19th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Honey
Friday 12th January – Bingie Pottery, Bingie, NSW

Honk! Oz Street Music Festival
Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th January – Wollongong, NSW

Hussy Hicks & Raphael White
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival – Folk School
Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January – Illawarra Uniting Church, Thirroul, NSW

James Bennett
Saturday 13th January – Seabreeze Hotel, South West Rocks, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Tacking Point Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW

Jana Garjana Dhol Pathak, Newport Gypsy Djangos, The Mudcakes
Saturday 13th January – Summer Sounds, McCormack Park, Melbourne, VIC

Jane Aubourg
Saturday 13th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW

Jed Rowe
Saturday 13th January – Bond Street Event Centre, Sale, VIC

Jess Cornelius
Friday 12th January – Polyester Records, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Holland
Friday 19th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 12th January – Arts Theatre at QSU, Toowoomba, QLD

Katie Brianna
Friday 19th January – FanZone Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Kelly Brouhaha, Rose Zita Falko, Andrew Thomson
Friday 12th January – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Kincumber Hotel, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 14th January – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 12th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Tea Club, Nowra, NSW
Friday 19th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Lucy Wise
Sunday 14th January – CERES Joe’s Market Garden, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Friday 12th January – The Dungeon, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folks Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Mofo at Mona
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Montgomery Church
Saturday 13th January – Rydges Hotel, Jindabyne, NSW

Mustered Courage
Saturday 13th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Oi Dipnoi
Wednesday 17th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Paddy McHugh
Thursday 18th January – Junkyard Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Paul Hayward and Sidekicks
Saturday 13th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Wollongong, NSW
Monday 15th January – Nethercote Hall, Pambula Beach, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – House Concert, Mount Martha, VIC
Thursday 18th January – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Quinton Trembath
Saturday 13th January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, The Weeping Willows, Peta Caswell
Wednesday 17th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Ramblin’ Nights feat. Rich Davies & The Low Road, Peta Caswell, Sam Shinazzi
Thursday 18th January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Rich Davies & The Low Road
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Rising Appalachia
Friday 12th January – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 13th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th January – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Joinery, Adelaide, SA
Friday 19th January – Church of The Trinity Uniting Church, Clarence Park, SA

Rooftop Sessions feat. Craig Woodward, Jeremiah Johnson, Katherine Vavahea
Sunday 14th January – Oatley Hotel, Oatley, NSW

Shawn Lidster
Friday 19th January – Halekulani Bowling Club, Budgewoi, NSW

Smith & Jones
Saturday 13th January – Betties, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 16th January – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 28th January – Tamworth, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival Opening Concert
Friday 19th January – Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

That Red Head
Sunday 14th January – The Orient Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – Folk & Americana Acoustic Sessions, Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th January – North Sydney Twilight Food Festival, Sydney, NSW

The Ahern Brothers
Friday 12th to Sunday 15th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 12th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14th January – Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay, QLD
Thursday 18th January – Wool Exchange, Geelong, VIC
Friday 19th January – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 13th January – Satellite Lounge, Wheelers Hill, VIC

The Djangologists
Friday 12th January – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Glorious North
Saturday 13th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Gypsy Scholars w/ Joe Oppenheimer, FÎntan, Ben K
Friday 19th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

The Johnny Can’t Dance Cajun Band w/ Craig Woodward & Jeremy Marcotte
Sunday 14th January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Pigs
Tuesday 16th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Railsplitters
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS
Friday 19th January – Rosny Barn, Hobart, TAS

The Swamp Stompers
Friday 12th January – Club Sapphire, Merimbula, NSW
Saturday 13th January – Steampacket Hotel, Nelligen, NSW
Sunday 14th January – Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba, NSW
Friday 19th January – Katoomba, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 14th January – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Monday 15th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 17th January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 18tth January – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 14th January – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 17th January – Ramblin’ Nights, Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th January – The Fox Den, Gloucester, NSW
Friday 19th January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW

The Willing Ponies
Sunday 14th January – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo, NSW

This Way North
Friday 19th January – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Twin Caverns w/ Deepsea Lights
Saturday 13th January – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Ukulele Death Squad
Friday 19th January – Circa 1902, Queenscliff, VIC

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 12th January – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th January – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW

Wartime Sweethearts and Ben Panucci Band
Sunday 14th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Whiskey Dram
Friday 12th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 13th January – The Old Factory, Myrtleford, VIC
Saturday 13th January – Empire Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Sunday 14th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Cookie Baker, Ash Sumpter
Wednesday 17th January – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project
Friday 12th January – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wildflowers” – The Wailin’ Jennys

Listen to the New Sam Newton Single “Hazel Eyes”

Sam Newton
Image Courtesy of Sam Newton

Hardworking Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his brand new single “Hazel Eyes” right before Christmas.

The track is taken from Newton’s forthcoming album Stare Into The Dark which is expected early this year.

“Hazel Eyes” waltzes into your ear drums with Sam Newton’s laid back vocal style and the lovely surprise of a live, five-piece band.

“”Hazel Eyes” is a song that seeks to combine the raw energy of Dylan with the lyrical prowess of Van Zandt,” Sam Newton explained. “It was written about the helplessness and desperation that we all experience when someone that we deeply care about is crying. Recorded in one take, “Hazel Eyes” goes straight for the jugular and offers no apologies.”

Take a listen to “Hazel Eyes” below:

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017

Record Collection

Always our most popular post of the year! Once again we’ve sent out the request to the incredible community of folk and acoustic musicians covered on Timber and Steel and they’ve responded overwhelmingly with their favourite albums of 2017.

We’ve already given you our top 25 albums and EPs – now we turn it over to the artists. So much new music still to discover! So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017.

Sarah BelknerAlison Avron
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But it Has
This album release was a long time coming and it was totally worth the wait. The lyrics are so easy to relate to, the production is sophisticated, warm and intriguing. Sarah’s voice and songwriting are absolutely sublime.

Gretta ZillerMichael Carpenter (Carpenter Caswell)
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Apart from having one of the most honest and accomplished voices in the Australian alt-country world, Gretta Ziller has developed into a world class writer in the genre. This album showcases how far she’s come in such a short time, combining her take on contemporary writing, with the amazing production of Paul Ruske. The album is strong and sensitive, ballsy and ambitious, without losing any of the heart you’d expect with the songwriting content. An outstanding release from an artist who has truly arrived, and drawn a line in the sand for the genre.

The East PointersÁine Tyrrell
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
What an impossible task, top albums, as I am only just sinking my teeth into so many of the amazing 2017 albums at the moment like Jen Cloher’s Jen Cloher, Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicles of The Great Irish Famine and so many more. But one album that has been top of my play list since release has been The East Pointers’ What We Leave Behind and I never tire of it, which is a sign of a great album. This album has great depth to it musically, lyrically and in production. There is a stunning simplicity to the way the three lads work together that creates a joyous sound much bigger than a three piece and I think they have captured it on CD which is sometimes hard to do. I love that they have been able to honour and respect their tradition and push its boundaries into some modern places. One of the stand out tracks for me is their co-write with Liz Stringer, “82 Fires”.

SOHNRosie Evelyn (Liam Gale and The Ponytails)
SOHNRennen
The general vibe is darkly sexy future blues, with simple, soulful vocals, driving percussion, major synth, and just enough movement to keep you going. A little bit James Blake, a little bit Allan Rayman.

Jed RoweLes Thomas
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
This album grabbed me instantly with the strength of its songwriting, quality of musicianship and directness of emotion. Very few songwriters I know can deliver the goods as writers and players like Jed can. The song “Tailem Bend” – a small town story with universal resonance – shows the level of accomplishment and expression he’s achieved and it’s a beautiful thing to hear.

Stu LarsenAMISTAT
Stu LarsenResolute
Not only is Stu a beautiful human being but also an incredible singer songwriter! Every song on this album is just beautiful and comes from a very honest and humble place.

Mexico CityM.E. Baird
Mexico CityWhen The Day Goes Dark
Why? Because they represent the real deal to me – no ego, no frills, no pretense, just damn good songs and tunes.

Hiss Golden MessengerBrooke Russell and the Mean Reds
Hiss Golden MessengerHallelujah Anyhow
There’s something about MC Taylor’s voice that makes me so happy. I’m fairly new to his music and while I’m diving into his back catalogue, this new one has arrived and I’m in love. Beautiful band sound, fab songs – something sentimental in it that feels warm to me. My rekkid for the summer!

Ryan AdamsRyan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
I love that it’s a revered, adored singer-songwriter at the top of his fame, dealing with genuine emotions and pain in the public spotlight. It may be tragic, it might be self inflicted, but I still feel like he’s a true artist who is his own worst enemy and that comes across in his heart-break ballads.

The Homeless Gospel ChoirFrank Turner
The Homeless Gospel ChoirNormal
I’ve been doing shows with Derek in Pittsburgh for a few years and he’s always been good, but this record is the sound of an artist finding his voice and spreading his creative wings. It’s been absolutely jammed in my stereo since I got hold of it.

Brooke RussellKelly Day (Broads)
Brooke Russell and the Mean RedsThe Way You Leave
This year one album really ticked all my boxes – which sounds too clinical really for something that made me splashy cry while I was driving. I particularly love that it sits outside the kind of music I tend to lean towards, but great albums are often the ones that transcend your usual inclinations. Brooke has absolutely NAILED it with this release. Stunning production, exquisite songwriting, and the most luscious, authentic, rich voice that feels like someone blowing softly on the back of your neck.

Gretta ZillerMandy Connell
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Put together with care and love, produced beautifully, and full of arrangements that feel perfect, unpredictable and just right. Every song inspires a depth of feeling, making it a really rich listen all the way through.

Offa RexMackenzie Shivers
Offa RexQueen of Hearts
Being a true lover of Celtic music, this album inspired me as an artist more than any other. From quirky folk-rock (“Queen of Hearts”) to haunting ballads (“The First Time I Ever Saw Her Face”), there is just enough variety of instrumentation and mood to keep the listener completely captivated. And Olivia Chaney’s voice is arrestingly beautiful. Favorite track: “The Old Churchyard”

Fanny LusdenMelody Moko
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I love the way Fanny has cemented her unique way of writing with the record, her blend of social commentary, vivid imagery and Australian culture is unlike anyone else. The production is lush and thoughtful and brings the album together beautifully.

Moses SumneyTulalah
Moses SumneyAromanticism
Choosing a favourite album is a hard ask, the first one that comes to mind (probably because I’m currently listening to it) is Moses’ masterpiece, Aromanticism. It’s impeccably well constructed; colour, texture, mood, feel, groove – it ticks all of the boxes and ticks them damn well.

The War On DrugsThe Once
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
A super strong, sonically rich and atmospheric follow up to previous album, Lost in the Dream. Sounds like Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen adopted a kid in the seventies and this is the result of that happy home.

Jason IsbellBrad Butcher
Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound
To make my decision for album of the year I simply refer to which album I’ve listen to most. It’s an easy choice really – The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. All class as usual, amazing sounds all throughout the record and Isbell’s songwriting is up there with the best of the best.

Jed RoweCat Canteri
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
Jed paints a beautiful and lush portrait of predominantly Australian characters and landscapes, past and present on this record. The depth of field and attention to detail in his songwriting is just wonderful and comes across as completely effortless. Sonically the album is paired back, which allows the strength and quality of the songs, performances and Jed’s voice to shine. If I can write a song like “Where The Water Meets The Sky” or “Tailem Bend” some day, I’ll be well pleased.

LordePepi Emmerichs (Oh Pep!)
LordeMelodrama
Melodrama hits me in the heart every time. It’s lush, poignant, groovy and the songs make me think, all the while being incredibly catchy. Those are pretty much most of my favourite things in music!

TajMoLloyd Spiegel
TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ BandTajMo
The first time I heard Keb’ Mo’ I said “Man, this guy should sit in with Taj”. It’s about time they listened to me. Both these artists have the rare ability to modernise the blues genre while still giving it’s roots and traditions their rightful respect. Combined, this CD hit a nerve with me, in particular the gutbucket tracks “Don’t Leave Me Here” and “Diving Duck Blues”. Really though, you can’t put those two in a room and expect anything less.

Valerie JuneEmily Barker
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I learned about Valerie June on my trips to Memphis as she lived there for many years and has worked with a lot of the musicians I know out there. I heard “Long, Lonely Road”, the first song on the record, and I knew from then on I was going to love it. There’s so much space in the recordings and her unusual but beautiful vocals grabbed me instantly. I love how the production and her songs seamlessly blend a mix a folk, soul, pop and desert blues. It sounds fresh and cool, powerful and feminine.

The Ahern BrothersJoel Barker & The Low Company
The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Charming and insightful songwriting combining two voices made to sing together. Deserves to be in front of the masses. Astonishing live performances to boot!

Cigarettes After SexHusky
Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After Sex
It’s a fog of romance and nostalgia you can’t help but get lost in. Reminds me of being 16 and love sick, listening to Mazzy Star.

Lisa KnappSam Lee
Lisa KnappTill April Is Dead – A Garland of May
English folk singer Lisa Knapp has captured in this album a stunning insight into the melodic and archaic realms of May-time when all of England is blooming and the sense of ancient rites and mysticism is emerging from the dark winter. It’s an album that casts a rich and hauntingly magical spell and gives that sense of contemporary ancientness that all good folk singers are masters of.

Greg StepsFour In The Morning
Greg Steps & The Not For ProphetsThe Overland
There have been a lot of great releases this year, but our favourite from around Melbourne has to be The Overland by Greg Steps. The songs just scream of someone who has worked hard at honing their craft. Tightly woven lyrics painting little snapshots of Australia, from early morning walks in Melbourne to trains clattering across Queensland. It’s all underlaid with a warm, folky vibe that feels authentic without being derivative. The stand out track for us is “Famous Last Words”. It’s a folk song in the true sense of the word and weaves together thoughts on fame, colonialism, and folk heroes. It also introduced us to the amazing story of Breaker Morant.

Novo Amor and Ed TullettWildwood Kin
Novo Amor & Ed TullettHeiress
This is the perfect album to listen to when in need of some peace and tranquility amongst a busy schedule. They have released a set of live performance videos that capture their sound together so well; the two voices blend harmoniously together, creating an unbelievable sound of completeness and perfection. You can’t help feeling relaxed when hearing their music!

Leif VollebekkRiley Pearce
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
You know how people say they’ve had this CD in their car and have listened to it on repeat since they got it and you’re like “yeh right, no you didn’t”. Well now I understand that feeling. This album is everything. It’s emotive, it’s clever, it’s stripped and simple and it’s f#@king great!

The Teskey BrothersPaddy McHugh
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
When I first heard the track “Crying Shame” I thought that I was listening to a bunch of old African American soul men from Memphis. Then I saw a picture of the band and thought I was listening to a bunch of young white soul dudes from Memphis. Then I read they are from bloody Warrandyte in Victoria. I invited them to play live on my radio show Three Chords & The Truth and they absolutely killed it. Since then I have had the pleasure of playing on a few bills with them and can also report that they are top blokes to boot.

Big TheifFraser A. Gorman
Big ThiefCapacity
Adrianne Lenker is easily the most eloquent and beautiful songwriter I’ve heard in years.

Neil McSweeneyJon Boden
Neil McSweeneyA Coat Worth Wearing
I’ve chosen an album by Neil McSweeney, a stalwart of the Sheffield scene for many years. A Coat Worth Wearing is a fantastically literate collection of songs beautifully arranged and produced, and displaying the talents of a brilliant band of musicians including renowned folk stalwarts Ben Nicholls and Sam Sweeney. It’s an excellent album on so many levels and definitely my pick for album of 2017.

YirrmalKetch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)
YirrmalYoungblood
I met Yirrmal Marika in Melbourne at the Australian Americana Honors Awards this past October. Yirrmal stole the show. He is a culture man. I picked up Yirrmal’s new EP Youngblood; it is the best Americana record I heard all year long. It’s got 50,000 years of soul. Crank it up.

Nadia ReidTaryn La Fauci
Nadia ReidPreservation
This record was on repeat for many many months in my car this year. I had really been craving an exquisite, cohesive and beautiful album that I could fall for, hard. This album did all of that and more, which is why it is my album of the year for 2017. I also got to see Nadia play in Sydney at The Golden Age Cinema in April and the show was stunning, it made me want to run home and learn how to play my guitar with that kind of verve.

Ryan AdamsImogen Clark
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
This album sounds to me like beautiful chaos and distress. Ryan Adams has a way of tapping into human vulnerability and woe like I don’t think I’ve ever heard from another artist. This record is just another example of his way with words and melodies that together, form the most melancholy but simultaneously kick-ass comments on the human condition you’ll ever hear from any modern day songwriter.

Sgt PepperJames Daley (The Morrisons, Diamond Duck, Tawny Owl String Band)
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th Anniversary Edition
I feel a bit a strange choosing a reissue as album of the year, but who cares, it’s Sgt Peppers. After all the music I have listened to in my life, nothing has ever captured my imagination the way The Beatles have. It is the most astonishing body of work in pop music, the same way Bach is to classical music or Shakespeare to literature. I discovered The Beatles as a teenager after I got a copy of The White Album for xmas one year and my life has never been the same. Hearing all the remastered tracks and outtakes on this reissue was a wild journey and reinvigorated my love for this music in a way I hadn’t anticipated – I have been listening to The Beatles non stop since it came out, like I’m rediscovering it all over again. There are some absolute pearlers on this – the alternate takes of “Strawberry Fields”, “Lucy In The Sky” and “Day In The Life” are really interesting. Hearing how they built these songs into what we know and love is a fascinating process. However the most astonishing track is the instrumental take of “She’s Leaving Home”. Being able to hear all the subtlety, intricacy and beauty of George Martin’s arrangement for strings/harp was such a joy. A real masterclass in arranging – plus you can sing over and pretend you are Paul McCartney, ha.

The War On DrugsDirewolf
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Don’t you just adore things that need only a moment to take a firm grip around your mind, heart and/or soul? Like a one in a million barista made coffee or takeaway Thai? Not that I’m directly drawing comparisons between those things and what I consider to be a modern day classic album. However that is how my body reacted when the first second of “Up All Night” passed by. The unmistakable soundscape, verb soaked /grunge driven guitars, the synergy of acoustic/electronic driving “Dire Straights” percussion, Adam Granofsky’s/Bob Dylan’s often confused voices are but the tip of a very large and colourful iceberg that make up the record at large. We’re only supposed to be confined to one sentence, and since I’ve already profoundly broken that line I’m going to insist you put this record on in the background and see how long it takes you to stop needle poking around on the internet and gain A Deeper Understanding.

Scott CookLiz Frencham
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
I listen repeatedly to a lot of albums for my work as an accompanist. Rarely does such an album make it past that stage into my ‘listening
for pleasure’ category let alone become my favourite. But Scott Cook’s warm and beautiful Further Down The Line is one such album. It captures his arresting live delivery and the songs are rich in detail and real, visceral experience.

Dermot KennedyHarrison Storm
Dermot KennedyDoves & Ravens
I remember stumbling upon Dermot’s music on Spotify and instantly connecting with it. I became really intrigued with his music and read in an interview where he explains his sound as a cross between Bon Iver and Drake, which is pretty accurate. This EP is full of rich lyrics and interesting sounds and each listen uncovers a phrase or sound you may have missed in the previous listen. This EP definitely inspired me this year and I am looking forward to what he releases in 2018.

Laura CorteseThe East Pointers
Laura Cortese & The Dance CardsCalifornia Calling
If there’s one album we could pick from 2017, we’d have to choose California Calling by Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. These girls are ridiculously talented (watching them perform live makes you want to go home, practice and write better songs). Their latest album combines Americana, trad, pop and folk so perfectly. Organic, yet slick. Can’t see how anyone wouldn’t like it!

FeistAinsley Farrell
FeistPleasure
Pleasure is so intimate and fragile, yet very powerful. It tugs at all my heartstrings. I recently got the chance to see her live performance at The Opera House and it blew me away.

Leif VollebekkDustin Tebbutt
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
My good friend Hayden Calnin introduced me to this guy over a late night whisky, and I have been listening ever since. The lyrics verge on stream of consciousness without being aimless, while vocally, Leif somehow manages to ride the line between being completely vulnerable and completely in control at the same time. Put this on top of some of the tastiest drum sounds I’ve heard in a long while, and simple but stunning keyboard playing, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an album. There are few bells and whistles, there aren’t really any production tricks or shoe shine here, just honest stories, and raw but precisely executed sounds.

Phoebe BridgersWilliam Fitzsimmons
Phoebe BridgersStranger in the Alps
I came upon Bridgers from my bandmate, who had done some touring with her and I was pretty caught up in it immediately. Her voice is special and there is a wisdom in her words beyond her young years. The most exciting thing for me, however, isn’t the album itself, it’s knowing that there is only more and even better from her to come. Listen to “Smoke Signals”.

The Mae TrioThe Northern Folk
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
We finally caught The Mae Trio at Dorrigo Folk this year after hearing good things for so long, and they blew us away. This is the kind of album that reminds you of how amazing our folk scene can be- heartspoken, cleverly arranged, beautifully performed and catchy as anything. “Call Me Stranger” is a particular favourite of ours, but each song on this record is so strong.

R.L. BoyceDom Turner (The Backsliders)
R.L. BoyceRoll and Tumble
It is the second album from a man at the heart of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. It contains all the style and swagger, grit and power that comes from a musician who sets perfectly gritty grooves overlain with heartfelt vocals to achieve maximum emotion.

The Button CollectiveJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Backsliders)
The Button CollectiveHall on the Hill
This album has been on constant repeat in my car, my workshop, and my Spotify from the first day I bought it – so beautifully recorded so that you feel like you are in the room with them as they emotionally belt out fantastic songs written by Brodie and brought to life by a bunch of great musicians. Hall on the Hill is an absolute cracker of an album and I think I’ll be religiously listening to it for some time to come – perhaps until their next one is released.

Willie WatsonShelley Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol.2
This album is such a clear winner for me, I’ve had it on high rotation since its release. Once again Willie brought his own feel to some classic folk songs, from the delightfully joyful harmonies in “Samson and Delilah” to his haunting take on “Gallows Pole”.

All Our Exes Live in TexasJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
All Our Exes Live in TexasWhen We Fall
Such a pleasure to finally hear this debut album after hearing the band grow and play over the past few years. What an amazing collection of songs and of course the incredible vocal performances from all 4 of these superstars. I really loved the production on the album as well by producer Wayne Connolly which added lovely colour to the beautiful songs. ARIA award winners 2017!

Kat GoldmanRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson)
Kat GoldmanWorking Man’s Blues
Nina Simone once said “It’s an artist’s duty … to reflect the times [in which we live]”. It’s been a fantastic year of new releases, though I’d like to highlight an album that nails the above brief and more. Canadian writer Kat Goldman’s Working Man’s Blues is challenging, at times fragile, brutally honest and incredibly insightful. Collectively, the songs explore contemporary working-class culture, often from the perspective of a lover who struggles to understand and accommodate the struggles of the working man. I’ve long been a fan of Kat Goldman’s writing. Her unique sound, mesmerising voice, distinctive compositions and feet-on-the-ground approach to her music make her a formidable artist of great integrity. Working Man’s Blues has been on high rotation here, and will be for some time to come.

Jed RoweBill Jackson
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
First thing that struck me about this record was the vocals and these songs provide a beautiful vehicle for a great voice. Next thing, the sparseness – the way I have been accustomed to hearing Jed over his journey. Jed Rowe has something to say – I admire that and this record puts him up there with the very best. Standout track for me is “Tailem Bend”. Beautifully produced by Jeff Lang.

Lilly HiattJames Allsopp (Ralway Bell)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
Picking one standout release for 2017 was pretty impossible in what was a year of exceptional music. Locally, Joel Barker and the Low Company’s Unchartered EP was a stand out. Otherwise, I’ve been talking up Lilly Hiatt since the moment I finished listening to Trinity Lane. Like all my favourite albums, it’s rooted in personal struggle, ebbs and flows perfectly, is filled with outstanding musicianship, and doesn’t try too hard sound like any one genre in particular. 10 stars!

Body CountMatt Black (The Bottlers)
Body CountBloodlust
Body Count’s sixth studio album Bloodlust emblazons a brutally honest sociopolitical conscience and fire eyed world view, teetering on the honed end of a pistol sight. I feel this is Ice T and band’s tried and true return to form with pinpoint, stand out tracks such as the narrative charged, “Black Hoody” and controversy ladened, “No Lives Matter”. A must listen for those thirsting for the truth beyond a media blurred world.

Bob DylanThe Welcome Wagon
Bob DylanTrouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
You might call this choice dirty pool, as the music was recorded nearly 40 years ago, but it’s only now getting a proper release, so I’m technically in the clear. This is a collection of live tracks, demos, and outtakes from Bob Dylan’s so-called “Born Again” period, stuff folks (me included) have been downloading from various sketchy websites for years, and for good reason. The songs are great – check “Solid Rock” for a straight Gospel stomper, cue up “I Believe in You” for an arresting spiritual ballad – and so are many of the live performances (the backing choir is consistently blistering). Whether you’re a believer or not, Dylan clearly is here, and it makes all the difference.

The Mae TrioJohn Flanagan
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
Sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby have such beautifully contrasting songwriting styles, Maggie is a stone cold killer Americana writer and Elsie writes stunningly original melodies with uplifting pop hook choruses. With (no exaggeration) some of the best folk harmonies in the WORLD and Anita’s impressive rhythmic cello playing, this is a truly unique and heart-grabbing band and this album is them going all out with tasteful and at times epic production.

Georgia State LineNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Georgia State LineHeaven Knows
These guys applied to play at the Americana Music Association of Australia’s takeover of Late Night Alt at Tamworth in January. Paul Heggart from The Heggarties chose them site unseen from the applications purely based on what he heard when he listened to their pre-release recordings of this album. Hailing from country Victoria these guys are a six piece featuring Georgia Delves on vocals, and songwriting. They’re all accomplished instrumentalists in their own right and Georgia’s songwriting authentically channels the best of sophisticated country songwriting from the 60s and 70s.

Fanny LusdenSam Buckingham
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I’m not just picking this album because Fanny and Dan are two of my favourite people! This album is, as the title suggests, all class. Fanny’s songwriting is beautifully Australian and the album is joyful, brilliantly performed by all involved, and completely without any ego – despite the outstanding success these guys have been earning. Fanny gives us all a lesson on how to be a ripper indie artist and how to make music that’s undoubtedly, authentically, your own. Roll on kids

LCD SoundsystemEm George
LCD SoundsystemAmerican Dream
I was moderately (read as *very*) excited when there were rumblings of talk about a new album from these guys, but like anything that was laid to rest, one always is slightly concerned that the revival won’t live up to what has come before it. So when LCD Soundsystem released their new album, I cautiously gave it a first listen and it did not disappoint. Every beat and melodic turn is so completely in tune to what has become their signature sound; that build up of tension and release, excitement and sadness, with inflections of irony that James Murphy grabs the listener with in his choice of lyrics marked with wit. There’s a touch of darkness and melancholy as each song seems to question the ending of things, the loss of once was, but that bright spark of beat this band is known for keeps it somewhere higher and closer within reach, slightly unobtainable so you keep wanting to hear it on repeat from start to finish again and again.

Aldous HardingCharm of Finches
Aldous HardingParty
Party swept us off our feet. Moody and textural, impeccable production awash with aural spectres. Horizon is addictive and moving. Aldous’ compelling voice and haunting poetics have us in thrall.

The Teskey BrothersMark Wilkinson
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
Amazing vocals and killer tracks full of old school soul. Sounds like neat whiskey and smokey bars.

The NationalBANFF
The NationalSleep Well Beast
I eagerly awaited The National’s next record, after Trouble Will Find Me kept me wrapped me up in its flawlessness for the last four years or there abouts. This year Sleep Well Beast won me over, with Matt Berninger’s candid yet agitated words luring me back into that deeply thoughtful, emotional and hauntingly beautiful sound I would’ve always come back for. The National perfectly blend understated harmony with organised chaos throughout all of their records, and this was no exception by any means. The meticulous musicianship and purposeful, but somewhat ambiguous lyrics continue unravelling more layers to this beast in itself every time I listen. This was the best record of 2017 for mine.

LankumKarine Polwart
LankumBetween The Earth and Sky
I can’t get enough of the murky drone-scapes and vocal edges of Lankum’s Between The Earth and Sky. In particular, the raw, reedy singing of Radie Peat on album opener “What Shall We Do When We Have No Money?” sounds like the ages. It’s the absolute antithesis of sweet.

The Wood BrothersBen Prest (Echo Deer)
The Wood BrothersLive at the Barn
I know it’s a live album but this release was my first exposure to the brother’s amazing songs, chops and harmonies. Their sound owes a lot to The Band, and “the barn” is at Levon Helm’s farm where he held concerts before he died, making the fantastic closing cover of “Ophelia” and dedication on “Postcards from Hell” all the more meaningful.

Jess LockeHollie Matthew (Echo Deer)
Jess LockeUniverse
A revisiting of the 80’s Australian rock sound ala Go Betweens with more sadness and slacker vibe. Killer matter of fact lyrics and chorus-y guitar sounds. Even better live. 5 Stars.

SamphaSimon Wegman (Echo Deer)
SamphaProcess
I hadn’t been aware of Sampha’s previous EP releases, but after Shazaming “Blood on Me” while in a tragically trendy sneaker store, I was moved to hunt down the British singer and producer’s debut LP. Sampha Sisay’s sensitive, soulful vocals and meditative piano (reminiscent of James Blake at his best) form the backbone of this record, while the thoughtful production touches throughout make me want to hit “play” again the second it finishes.

All Them WitchesAlexi Grivas (Echo Deer)
All Them WitchesSleeping Through the War
The latest album by All Them Witches has been my most played record this year. A four piece from Nashville – but they aren’t a country band – All Them Witches is a great new-wave heavy psychedelic band, with moments of light and shade. This record has them growing as writers and players, bringing new instruments and sounds into the mix. Can’t wait to see it live.

Sam OutlawRick Hart
Sam OutlawTenderheart
Simple, yet endearing melodies, layered with beautiful storytelling. It’s an album that is strong from start to end, in many ways reminding me of some of the great traditional country songwriters whom I love. Favourite tracks are “Now She Tells Me”, “She’s Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)” and “Bougainvillea, I Think”.

Courtney Marie AndrewsJames Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Courtney Marie AndrewsHonest Life
I knew what my favourite album of the year was going to be when I saw Courtney Marie Andrews play in Melbourne in July this year. She’s got a tremendous voice and the lyrics stand apart from almost everything else I’ve heard this year in their insight and honesty. What makes her songs exceptional is the way they all seem to come directly from her own story and experience. These are her songs and this is her life. It’s an honest life.

Mike BarnettHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Mike BarnettPortraits in Fiddles
As a fiddle player and bluegrass fanatic, I am thrilled to see Mike Barnett create a record which to me is like a cross section of all the bluegrass fiddle music I’ve devoured in the last 27 years. He collaborates with some of bluegrass music’s most vibrant talent and shines new light on a great selection of fiddle masterpieces.

Angel OlsenKate Barker (Whoa Mule, Golden Whistler)
Angel OlsenPhases
I just can’t seem to get enough of Angel Olsen’s vocals and songwriting. Her work inspires me to sing like there’s no tomorrow!

George HarrisonTim Guy
George HarrisonWonderwall Music
I know this is a turn up for the books, this was released in 1968. I was in India a few weeks back, and as we descended into the ancient blue city of Jodhpur, I had this on in my headphones and seriously guys, it was incred. Place and time – but you know what I mean.

Sarah BelknerMel Parsons
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
Sydney producer and songwriter Sarah Belkner knocks it out of the park with But You Are, But It Has. This record and its predecessor the Humans EP have been on high rotation for me all year. Brilliant songwriting, interesting and super clever arrangements and impeccable production. I will continue to listen obsessively.

Bill OrcuttMark Moldre
Bill OrcuttBill Orcutt
Orcutt wanders in and around the destruction, renovations and construction sites of melody. Tearing a well worn musical phrase apart and rebuilding it. Disassembling a traditional like it’s a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces back together in all the wrong places with gaffer tape and super glue. Attacking the guitar with a ferocious tenacity, short angry, dogged outbursts are followed by meditative beauty. “When You Wish Upon A Star” dances about the melody without ever really clearly stating the theme. “Ol’ Man River” is soft and dripping with the peaceful lapping of the Mississippi whist remaining dark and haunting, broken and fractured. Reminiscent of the solo work of Marc Ribot, Fred Frith or even the sonic explorations of Tom Verlaine in its angular assault to the senses. Jazz, traditional folk and the avant-garde smash headlong into each other with little regard for the trail of damage and re-creation left in their wake. Dissonant yet sweet, contemplative while remaining challenging. Bravely free and uncensored.

Loene CarmenCatherine Traicos
Loene CarmenLovers Dreamers Fighters
I’ve always loved the way Lo’s voice manages to be strong, vulnerable, sassy, gentle and flirty all at the same time, and on this record it achieves that in spades. Also the pacing and the production of this record are spot on.

King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardJeff Lang
King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardFlying Microtonal Banana
This is a rocking album, really fun to listen to. The band gets up quite a head of steam, the rhythm section powering with a relentless forward momentum and the various microtonal electric guitars stabbing and chattering over the top. Great riffs all over the album, fantastic energy and an adventurous, explorative mood throughout. It sounds to me like they’re having a load of fun.

Ryan AdamsJosh Rennie-Hynes (The Ahern Brothers)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
Adams has so many albums and this is one of his best. Great songs, production and tones

Pony FaceCat Leahy (This Way North)
Pony FaceDeja Vu
I’ve always been fascinated with the sonic scapes that Pony Face create. I’m a massive fan of Shane Omara’s musical mind too, so when I heard he was a new member of Pony Face, it just made so much sense. This album really speaks to me. The way the songs tail in and out, the mesmerising, pulsing tremolo on “Mt Deja Vu” the driving groove in “Justine”. It’s pretty magical. Simon’s voice is just heavenly. He’s like some kind of grungy, modern-day crooner.

Nikki LaneRuby Boots
Nikki LaneHighway Queen
I tried to pick another album for fear of seeming biased, but I really do love Nikki’s album from back to front and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get past it for this year’s top pick, I fell in love with it on first listen and over 50 listens later it still remains my fave. There’s a storyline in every song that is so easy to latch on to and make your own whilst still being cleverly written, that and the infectious melodies that take up the prime real estate on this record are the things that almost make you feel like she’s written the album just for you, the listener, yet there is enough sincerity in there to know that it’s just as much for her as it is for you, the perfect balance really! Fave song on the album: “Foolish Heart”.

Nai palmTommy Spender (Mama Kin Spender)
Nai PalmNeedle Paw
I started listening to this record while I was having a bath and it felt like it really complimented the complete surrender to the hot water. I love Nai’s passion to her artistry. She is truly gifted with a confidence and commitment to her voice that verges on punk, but her vocal has such a developed technicality, it blows me away. It’s so great hearing where she is at without the sinewy and muscular musicality of Haitus Kaiyote winding around her sound.

Scott CookAlanna and Alicia
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
Scott Cook is a natural storyteller; his songs glow with empathy, wit and warmth. This is a beautiful album, but he is even better live.
His performance on the porch at Enda Kennedy’s house concert in Northcote, Melbourne was a passport to the heartland of folk songs as they should be, as they have always been.

Colter WallHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Colter WallColter Wall
This is a sparse, flawless debut from an extraordinarily talented 22 year-old Canadian possessing an absurdly weathered baritone. Arranged mostly with acoustic guitar and pedal steel only, these songs are written with the assuredness and self-knowing of a veteran songwriter. At times channelling Haggard, others Townes, the dark, vivid storytelling is magnetic and stunning. These songs feel lived in, shaped by wisdom and experience. Here we have a voice of country music’s future.

Caroline SpenceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Caroline SpenceSpades and Roses
I’ve adored Spades and Roses this year. The songs are gentle, personal, universal, with gorgeous, sonically diverse but simple instrumentation. From the gender politics of “Softball” to the twang of “Hotel Armarillo” to the cute, lyrically playful “Wishing Well” and yearning of “Slow Dancer”, they’re songs I love to listen to, to be swept away by – what a songwriter!

Bad // DreemsMark “Looch” Lewis (Wifey, Handsome Young Strangers)
Bad // DreemsGutful
A cracking second effort from the best thing to come out of Adelaide in a long time. Big old school pub rock sound, quality songs, gruff vocals and a solid rhythm section make these guys a step above the other contenders. Bad // Dreems have always been a fantastic live act and this album gets closer to nailing that intensity and rawness. There is a reason they supported Midnight Oil recently! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Gang of YourhsGretta Ray
Gang of YouthsGo Farther In Lightness
It wasn’t a challenge in the slightest to fall completely, head over heels in love with Gang Of Youths’ record Go Father In Lightness. The lyrics throughout this album are phenomenal, philosophical, pegging together lines of innovative poetry such as “a weight that’s in youth” soon to be followed by more casual, laid-back slang “..that makes a dick of us all”. I felt that the literature, interwoven with conversational speech in this way served to make this album, an album that discusses and reflects on the pros and cons of one’s “limited life” as well as the exploration of what it is to be “human”, unbelievably moving and relatable. As a writer myself, but more importantly a listener, I perceived it to be nothing less of an honour to see the world through writer and frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s eyes whilst listening to this record, that is more than deserving of all of the acclaim it has received over the duration of this year.

Kasey ChambersTom Busby (Busby Marou)
Kasey ChambersDragonfly
I’ve spent a bit of time with Kasey and the Chambers family over the last couple of years and the more I’ve been able to watch her off stage, the more I have realised that she is a true and prolific songwriter. Constantly singing, always creating, forever exploring. That is what this record is, just like her, brave and genuine!

Kendrick LamarSahara Beck
Kendrick LamarDamn
This album has worked for me no matter what mood I’ve been in all through 2017. It’s one of those albums that, to me, will always be a classic. Driving down to the lake with the windows down loving every moment of each song. Thank you for making my 2017 that much better Kendrick.

Leif VollebekkHayden Calnin
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
Never has an album been so important. I’ve listened to this every second day, and it still feels as good as the first listen. It’s come to the point that I’ve started a petition to bring this talent to Melbourne. I’m addicted to the feeling Leif gives to me. Enjoyed best walking through chaos on a sunny day, forgetting the world around you.

Ulrika SpacekTom Stephens (Tesse)
Ulrika SpacekModern English Decoration
A lesson in the art of denial, an element is there and then it’s not. It’s driving and heavy, commanding attention, but somehow you can drift away at the same time. Melodies that have to be revisited again and again and then again.

Valerie JuneMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I listened to the first few songs online of The Order of Time when it first came out, then began calling record stores instantly to see if they had it in stock because I had to own it. This record seriously has everything I look for, its soulful, rocky, bluesy and country, with the right amount of sadness. I think I’ve listened to “Love You Once Made” every day this year since buying the record. “Got Soul” is a stunning pairing of soul and country that is this perfect happy way to close the record.

Daniel RomanoTamara Lindeman (The Weather Station)
Daniel RomanoModern Pressure
Definitely the record I listened to most this year. Just great. Perfect pop songwriting, wonderful wild drumming, insane bass playing, great solos, crazy organ jams, great everything (and every note played by Romano of course). What else do you want?

Big ThiefCy Winstanley (Tattletale Saints)
Big ThiefCapacity
After being introduced to ‘Paul’ from 2016’s Masterpiece on a late night drive, and subsequently watching their Tiny Desk concert, I have been enthralled with this band. I love Adrianne Lenker’s poetic, yet coherent and often confronting lyrics, and the stark arrangements of harmonically rich songs played with a nonchalance that belies their mastery.

Sara TindleyLucie Thorne
Sara TindleyWild & Unknown
There’s an extraordinary richness and directness to Tindley’s voice that is truly stunning. Wild & Unknown is a brave and beautiful collection of songs that’ll have you dancing one moment, weeping the next. A quiet masterpiece that creeps up under your skin and plants itself in your soul. I love this album.

Jen CloherAlison Ferrier
Jen CloherJen Cloher
I love everything about Jen Cloher’s self-titled fourth album. This comes close to the perfect album for me, it’s brilliantly written, performed, recorded and produced. Jen’s bare-faced honesty is incredibly brave and inspiring. Favourite tracks: “I Forgot Myself” and “Strong Woman”.

The Secret SistersThe Weeping Willows
The Secret SistersYou Don’t Own Me Anymore
Selecting your favourite album of the past 12 months is made all the more difficult when three of your favourite acts (Jason Isbell, David Rawlings and The Secret Sisters) all release LPs within the same calendar year. But whilst Isbell and Rawlings delivered sublime albums (as to be expected), the Sisters’ album is “all killer, no filler”, their best work yet, with no temptation to reach for the “skip” button! You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the charming trad-country harmony duo’s third album and most personal project to date. The writing is at times confessional, at others, nostalgic for simpler times; strength juxtaposed with vulnerability. Their soulful songs were lovingly and tastefully produced by good friend Brandi Carlile. Stand out tracks include “Tennessee River Runs Low”, murder ballad “Mississippi” (sister song to the wonderfully haunting, “Iuka” from their 2014 album, Put Your Needle Down), “Little Again” and title track, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore”. Check them out if you’re fans of sibling harmony (eg. The Everly Brothers) and/or the southern gothic stylings of Gillian Welch and The Civil Wars.

Lilly HiattSophie Klein (Little Wise)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
I saw Lilly perform at Third Man Records at AmericanaFest in Nashville, but the gravity of her songwriting only hit me afterwards, listening to her rocking 2017 album Trinity Lane on my headphones traveling around the States. The production, by Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope, is big, loud, gritty and more indie rock than Nashville alt-country. But Lilly’s voice still has a southern twang to it though and the melodies and words kick around my brain for days on end. “I just wanna rock n’ roll, scream out my and burn real slow” she sings on “Records”, and it makes me want to do the same.

Jamie WyattGretta Ziller
Jamie WyattFelony Blues
Although it’s been out for most of the year I’ve only just discovered Jamie Wyatt’s Felony Blues! It’s a rare thing for me to listen to something on repeat but since I’ve discovered her it’s all I’m listening to!!! It’s unashamed, uncomplicated, catchy, good old fashioned country music.

Christopher Coleman CollectiveThe Dead Maggies
Christopher Coleman CollectiveAh Winter
This is a work of art, from a guy that’s had a hard run and put his heart on his sleeve. The result is a deep, personal and moving album of mature songwriting. Musically it sits somewhere between Bright Eyes and Neil Young.

Steve EarleTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Steve Earle & The DukesSo You Wanna Be An Outlaw
Equal parts devilish invitation and cautionary tale, this killer record was a tour van favourite as we hit the road after a break this year. Steve is in fine form, as usual, and while the album is boisterous and swaggering, it also manages to highlight his songwriting craft. Highlight: Willie Nelson growling “if you wanna be an outlaw you can never go home”. Giddy-up!

LogicSteve Barnard (Jon Cotton and The Book Keepers)
LogicEverybody
Riding my push bike past all the kids and their mothers, heads adorned in their icon of piety, devotion and religious identity. The burka is far more common in this corner of Sydney than most and it puts a smile on my face to see children enjoying their walk home from school with Mum. An old bogan crossing the road to the pub yells racial cliches about going back where you came from and then turns to me for my approval of his vitriol. I inform him I’m from overseas too, I just happen to be white and he is guilty of the grossest and purest type of racism. Racism is as blatant as the inability to see past difference and as subtle as the apathy that accompanies privilege. Everybody suffers either in their oppression or privilege. Everybody.

Lawrence GreenwoodTanya Batt (BATTS)
Lawrence GreenwoodP.S. I’m Haunted
Lawrence has been a favourite of mine for a long time with his previous project. It feels so nice to have a new album from him and my gosh wow. The melodic and lyrical genius within this album actually made me cry the first time I heard it. The journey this takes you on from start to finish is incredibly special. All of the amazing detail within the album leaves you finding something new each listen.

Gretta ZillerAndrew Swift
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Maybe I’m a little biased after spending so much time on the road with Gretta, but credit where credit’s due. Queen Of Boomtown is a solid record from start to finish. With underlying blues tones throughout, Queen Of Boomtown will have you tapping your feet, singing along and wiping away a tear or two again and again. Ziller is quickly being recognised as one of this country’s best songwriters and without a doubt one of its best vocalists.

Raise By EaglesSam Newton
Raised By EaglesI Must Be Somewhere
There is a great mix of upbeat and slow-burner tracks with a sprinkle of country here and there. The record is filled with great songwriting and heartfelt lyrics.

Ben SalterShane Nicholson
Ben SalterBack Yourself
I have a lot of favourite albums of 2017. It’s been a good year. But for me, one stands above the rest – Ben Salter’s Back Yourself. It’s equal parts diverse, brave, accomplished, intelligent, exciting, original, and just plain incredible, superior record-making.

Frank OceanThe Campervan Dancers
Frank OceanBiking
Ryan is arrested by the nostalgic visions of meatophorical bike-riding. Chelsea is delighted by how they manage to execute an extensive shouting outro with great aplomb.

The East PointersThe Little Stevies/Teeny Tiny Stevies
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
This recommendation is just as much about the album as it is about the live show, because TEP have done what is often very difficult to do and that’s to capture the energy and magic of their live show on record. As a band they’ve got the full package; great songs, impressive multi-instrumental musicianship, rich 3-part harmony, and to top it off they’re genuinely nice people. My favourites on the album are the vocal lead songs because I love a catchy melody and riff. But I also really enjoy the instrumentals because they include some super interesting harmonic changes through them that don’t always go where you’re expecting them to go. It’s an album that’s made a non-fiddler make it their new years resolution to learn how to play the fiddle, so it must be pretty good.

Songs From DanMelanie Horsnell
Dan TuffySongs from Dan
I loved Dan Tuffy’s record Songs from Dan because I love the quiet back of the valley live sound and the song “The biggest bastard who ever rode the west” is every musician-having-a-low-down-day’s anthem. And I loved King Curly’s new EP but biased as now we are making a record together, so not allowed to vote for that.

Les Poules a ColinJesse Periard (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)
Les Poules à ColinMorose
Les Poules à Colin have never been a band to limit themselves. They are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territory, which sets them apart from so many traditional music groups. They’ve grown so much as a band and Morose is a true representation of where they stand in the realm of traditional Québécois music and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This album has so many complex and beautiful layers to it, and has inspired me and taken me to places I didn’t expect.

Sarah BelknerJulia Johnson
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
A record I have returned to repeatedly, finding more with every listen. The textures and arrangements glisten, but have this earthy, warm undercurrent. Her lyrics unfolded the more I honed in on them. Where I was wondering of their meaning upon first listen, months later her songs are resonating deeply with chapters and moments in my life. For me, there’s nothing more wondrous than finding a song that exposes one’s painful or wonderful experience as universal, and this album is rich with those gems. Standout track: “Cellophane”.

Jesca HoopAinslie Wills
Jesca HoopMemories Are Now
I describe this album to other people as “assertive folk” in that it has folk sensibilities and instrumentation but the song ideas are quite robust and angular at times which make it really memorable (ha! Pun not intended). Also, It has no drums which to me was really refreshing as most things these days are so banger/beat driven.

Trad AttackJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Trad.Attack!Kullakarva / Shimmer Gold
Every so often I spend some time seeking out what’s happening in other local scenes around the world, and Crooked Fiddle’s musical equivalents therein – thus leading me to Estonia’s Trad.Attack! (punctuation included). Part melodic folk pop, part updated trad folk complete with Estonian bagpipes, they sometimes come across as a Baltic equivalent to Ireland’s Kila, especially on the epic title track.

Big ThiefAngie McMahon
Big ThiefCapacity
I’ve fallen in love with this band and this album. The intimacy of the songwriting has captured me, and the so many moments in the lyrics and music have brought me to moments of realisation and clarity. Some albums make you really grateful for music and the power it has over your mind, and this year, for me, it’s been this one.

Lana Del ReyTori Forsyth
Lana Del RayLust for Life
I love that Stevie Nicks has a little part of this record, she also experiments with some rad sounds. Also, lyrically this record is incredible.

This Is The KitEmily Staveley-Taylor (The Staves)
This Is The KitMoonshine Freeze
We met Kate, Rozi and Jamie at The Funkhaus during the Michelberger festival in Berlin last year and thought they were all wonderful people making wonderful music. Then we saw them play this album live at Eaux Claires festival in the summer and were blown away. The record has so many lovely, rounded sounds on it. It feels soft, but it has a driving energy that keeps pushing it forward. Kate’s voice has a familiar, kind quality when she sings – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend when they listen to music? It’s a self-assured album by a band who seem to really know who they are. And that’s a comforting presence to be in. Plus the tunes are fucking banging. And the horns rule.

Sun Kil MoonNigel Wearne
Sun Kil MoonCommon As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
This year Sun Kil Moon has been on high rotation. Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is so different, that I honestly can’t remember hearing anything else like it. Spoken word poetry, prose, and random stories (including a Chameleon vs a Cat), diary entries, muses on David Bowie and Ali augmented by busted-up Dad hip hop. It’s completely whacked and compelling. A slow burn that requires the lyrics booklet.

New Sydney Folk and Americana Showcase Slow Train Presents

Slow Train
Image Courtesy of Slow Train Presents

One of the best things about the music Timber and Steel covers is that it attracts an audience who really want to listen. Folk and acoustic music audiences are well known as some of the most engaged and respectful music going punters out there and it’s this audience that brand new Sydney showcase Slow Train Presents is looking to tap into.

Slow Train Presents is the brain child of local musicians Sam Newton and Cameron James Henderson and looks to connect independent Americana, folk, country and blues artists with listening audiences. The showcase nights will take place that the community-minded Village Church Annandale which will add a certain amount of intimacy to the shows.

The first Slow Train Presents is set to kick off tomorrow (Friday 1st September) and will feature Jed Rowe, Leroy Lee and the aforementioned Sam Newton – check out the official Facebook event for more information.

And to keep on top of what Slow Train Presents has in store for the future make sure you follow them on Facebook here

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 5th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Mae Trio released their new video “Well Enough Alone”. Details here

– Canada’s Tim Moxam is heading out on a co-headline tour with Liz Stringer. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Sam Newton released his new video “We Can’t See An End In Sight”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Rosie Burgess Trio released their new video “Run Through The Fire”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Mandy Connell announced a May residency in Melbourne. Details here

– Melbourne based duo Miss Eileen and King Lear released their new video “Held By The Air”. Details here

Blog

“Without Timber and Steel I probably wouldn’t have attended every National Folk Festival for the last seven years. Without Timber and Steel I wouldn’t have felt a part of the folk music community in the same way I do now – I have a feeling I would have remained a spectator, never peering behind the performer curtain. Without Timber and Steel I would never have pushed Sally Balfour to apply for The National, let alone ever assume that I’d be playing fiddle right there beside her”Gareth Hugh Evans celebrated our 7th Birthday. Blog here

Releases This Week

Fault Lines
Fault LinesDaniel Champagne
iTunes

Elbury
Haunting GroundElbury
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Americana Music Association of Australia SA Launch Party feat. Taasha Coates, The Yearlings, Häna Brenecki (ft Kate Alexander), Matt J Ward, The Heggarties

Taasha

The Americana Music Association of Australia take their launch party to Adelaide with some amazing music. Tickets are super limited so make sure you snap them up!

Saturday 6th May – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Gigs Next Week

Acoustic Sunday feat. Jon Wilby & Genni Kane
Sunday 7th May – On The Green Bistro at Club Millthorpe, Millthorpe, NSW

Americana Music Association of Australia SA Launch Party feat. Taasha Coates, The Yearlings, Häna Brenecki (ft Kate Alexander), Matt J Ward, The Heggarties
Saturday 6th May – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Australian Celtic Festival
Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th May – Glen Innes, NSW

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. The Tawny Owl Stringband
Wednesday 10th May – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Bob Evans
Friday 5th May – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 6th May – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Sunday 7th May – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 11th May – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 12th May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Bulga Beats Festival
Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th May – Bulga, NSW

Burradise Festival
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th May – Culburra, NSW

Cash Savage & The Last Drinks
Saturday 6th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Chaika
Sunday 7th May – House Concert, Bundanoon, NSW

Clifftop Session
Friday 5th May – Nightcliff Jetty, Darwin, NT

Dan Flynn & Mijo Biscan
Saturday 6th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Dana Hassall w/ Sam Newton
Thursday 11th May – The Union, Sydney, NSW

Davidson Brothers
Friday 5th May – Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 12th May – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Diamond Duck
Friday 5th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 6th May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 7th May – Franks Wild Years, Wollongong, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets Sydney
Friday 12th to Sundey 14th May – Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Aldous Monroe, Tom Lee-Richards, Stephanie Grace
Wednesday 10th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Handsome Young Strangers
Saturday 6th May – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions w/ Roadhouses and Simone East
Sunday 7th May – The Bearded Tit, Sydney, NSW

High Tea feat. Winterbourne
Thursday 11th May – Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Sam Newton
Sunday 7th May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 5th May – Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD
Saturday 6th May – Music By The Sea, Sandgate, QLD
Thursday 11th May – The Oxley, Cowra, NSW
Friday 12th May – The Agrestic, Orange, NSW

Kasey Chambers
Friday 5th May – Esperance Civic Centre, Esperance, WA
Saturday 6th May – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA

Kellybrook Cider Festival
Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th May – Wonga Park, VIC

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes and The Weeping Willows
Friday 5th May – Suttons House Of Music, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 6th May – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Little Wise
Wednesday 10th May – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Lolo Lovina
Saturday 10th May – Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney, NSW

Lost Highway Bluegrass Festival
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th May – Karuah, NSW

Lucy Wise, Kirsty Bromley, Olio&I
Sunday 7th May – CERES Organic Market & Grocery, Melbourne, VIC

Mandy Connell w/ Joyce Prescher
Sunday 7th May – Tago Mago, Melbourne, VIC

Meatstock Sydney
Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th May – Sydney Showground, Sydney, NSW

Mick Thomas
Friday 5th May – Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC

Mitch Powers Plays The Songs of Bruce Springsteen
Tuesday 9th May – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Narara Music Festival
Saturday 6th May – Kariong, NSW

Nat Henry, Jorja Lynch
Wednesday 10th May – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Nat Henry, Mitch Power & Andrew Swift
Friday 12th May – Skylark Room, Melbourne, VIC

Nathan Seeckts and Gretta Ziller
Thursday 11th May – The Tramway, Melbourne, VIC

Oscar Lush & Jumpin Jack William
Saturday 6th May – The Fitzroy Pinnacle, Melbourne, VIC

Peter Baylor Supper Club feat. George Washingmachine
Friday 12th May – Carlton Scout Group, Melbourne, VIC

Porch Light Sessions feat. Maia Jelavic, Happy Axe
Thursday 11th May – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Rosie Burgess Trio
Thursday 11th May – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th May – The Bottlerocket, Nowra, NSW

Sam Newton
Sunday 7th May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Americana Sessions featuring Katie Brianna & Andrew Swift
Sunday 7th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

The Co-Ground Folk Show feat. The Bean Project, Susy Blue, Charm of Finches, Khristian Mizzi, Someday June
Friday 5th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The Mae Trio
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th May – Vocal Ranges Festival, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 12th May – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The McClymonts
Friday 5th May – Dee Why RSL, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 12th May – Services Club, Young, NSW

The Mutual Acquaintances
Saturday 6th May – The Shack, Sydney, NSW

The Round Up feat. Charles Jenkins w/ Luke Sinclair
Wednesday 10th May – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Scrims w/ Golden Sound, Rowena Wise
Saturday 6th May – Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Shack presents The Mutual Acquaintances, Azure Seas, Zane Thompson
Saturday 6th May – The Music Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Tall Grass, Adam Gibson & The Ark-Ark Birds, Christine Jane
Saturday 6th May – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Tim Moxam & Liz Stringer
Friday 5th May – House Concert, Nowra, NSW
Saturday 6th May – Lost Highway Bluegrass Music Festival, Karuah, NSW
Sunday 7th May – 63 First Ave, Sawtell, NSW
Friday 12th May – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Solly
Friday 12th May – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife
Friday 5th May – Longhorn Saloon, Melbourne, VIC

Vocal Ranges Festival
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th May – Kyneton, VIC

William Crighton
Friday 5th May – Bella Union Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 6th May – Bella Union Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 7th May – Grampians Grape Escape, Halls Gap, VIC
Friday 12th May – Leadbelly, Newtown, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Cootamundra Wattle” – John Williamson

Watch the New Sam Newton Video “We Can’t See An End In Sight”

Sam Newton
Image Courtesy of Sam Newton

Sydney based singer-songwriter Sam Newton has just released his latest video “We Can’t See An End In Sight”. The video was shot in the studio of the very talented Lyn Taylor who has fast become the go-to video director of choice for the Sydney Americana and singer-songwriter community.

“We Can’t See An End In Sight” is taken from Sam Newton’s excellent 2016 album Violet Road – check out the video below:

The full list of Sam Newton’s upcoming shows are below:

Tuesday 2nd May – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 7th May – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th May – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th May – Blacksheep, Sydney, NSW

The Cake and Cordial Sessions Return to The Tamworth Country Music Festival

Cake and Cordial
Image Courtesy of The Cake and Cordial Sessions

The Tamworth Country Music Festival’s favourite alt-country singer-songwriter mini-festival The Cake and Cordial Sessions returns in 2017 with an amazing lineup of artists.

The Cake and Cordial Sessions will take place on Friday 27th January at St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall in West Tamworth. The lineup includes Ben Salter, Paddy McHugh, Harry Hookey, Megan Cooper, Matt Henry, Melody Moko, Andy Golledge and Sam Newton.

The Cake and Cordial Sessions is alcohol free, gambling free, air conditioned and family-friendly. The night kicks off at 4pm and tickets are just $15.

For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We picked our top 25 albums and EPs of 2016 including releases from Applewood Road, Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, Bon Iver22, A Million, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Foy Vance, Gregory Alan Isakov, Imogen Clark, Jack Carty, James Kenyon, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Oh Pep!, One Up, Two Down, Passenger, Paul Kelly, Radical Face, Rowena Wise, Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin, The Company, The Staves, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

– We reached out to the Timber and Steel community to get them to pick their top albums of the year. The results are wonderful with well over 100 artists contributing. Details here

– Our Editor In Chief Gareth Hugh Evans picked his top 25 tracks of 2016 including songs from Ariela Jacobs, Bon Iver, Burrows, Eagle & The Wolf, Emmy The Great, Fanny Lumsden, Foy Vance, Gretta Ray, Imogen Clark, James Kenyon, Laura Marling, Matthew And The Atlas, Melody Pool, Michael Kiwanuka, Mumford and Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg, One Up, Two Down, Passenger with All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson, Paul Kelly with Alice Keath, Rowena Wise, Sam Newton, Seth Lakeman with Wildwood Kin, Sian Evans, The Campervan Dancers, The Weeping Willows and William Fitzsimmons. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford

Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Amerrycana Christmas feat. Catherine Britt, Gregory Page, Katie Brianna, Adam Young, Brielle Davis, Arna Georgia
Friday 23rd December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Get Folked 2016 New Years Eve Eve feat. Peter ‘Blackie’ Black, Dan Kemp(UK), Jim Mongrel, Whiskey Jeff Larson, James Seymour, Sooze, Jim Lynch
Friday 30th December – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Boyd
Friday 23rd December – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

James Thomson & The Strange Pilgrims w/ Magpie Diaries
Friday 23rd December – Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 24th December – City Sounds, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

PJ Michael & The Banditas
Thursday 29th December – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Steve Poltz
Friday 23rd December – The Govenor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 24th December – Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick, VIC

The Whitetop Mountaineers
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, QLD

Woodford Folk Festival
Tuesday 27th December to Sunday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wexford Carol” – Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss

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