Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2016 You Should Own

Couple With Records

As Sandy Denny once sang, who knows where the time goes? It’s the beginning of July which means we’re already halfway through 2016 without really breaking a sweat. And already this year has proven to be filled a treasure trove of music with some excellent albums and EPs released over the last 6 months.

In fact I had a lot of trouble coming up with my usual Top Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of The Year list because of all the amazing records released so far in 2016. The following ten albums are just the tip iceberg and if you want to dive deep into all the releases we’ve covered this year check out the Album News category tag here.

So without further ado here’s our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2016 You Should Own:

Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf

Eagle and the Wolf

Eagle & The Wolf is the perfect example of a coming together of artists whose sum is greater than its parts. Alt-country singer-songwriter Kris Morris and indie-folk chanteuse Sarah Humphreys are both celebrated artists in their own right (as well as Timber and Steel favourites) but Eagle & The Wolf has elevated them to a new level. Humphreys’ voice seems to have been unshackled and is out in full force. Morris’ guitar work is pitch perfect – blistering in the bluesier numbers and restrained in the ballads. At only 5 tracks the self titled Eagle & The Wolf is the perfect taster for a partnership that has a big future ahead of it.

The Wild SwanFoy Vance

Foy Vance

I feel like Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has been the quiet achiever of the folk scene in recent years. But with the release of his latest album The Wild Swan, the massive success of its lead single “She Burns” and his association with Ed Sheran, Foy Vance is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Wild Swan is a melting pot of tone and style – anyone expecting 12 songs all like “She Burns” might be a bit shocked with the blues of “Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution” or the Bryan-Adams-like balladry of “Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye”. This is an album that deserves to be listened to from start to finish.

Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado SymphonyGregory Alan Isakov

GAI

Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony doesn’t really feature any new music from the US based South African singer-songwriter, but the inclusion of the orchestra just takes Gregory Alan Isakov’s music to the next level. In most cases the Symphony is actually pretty understated on the album with Isakov’s vocals and finger-picked guitar well and truly at the front of the mix. The result is a lush experience that still feels intimate.

Love & Lovely LiesImogen Clark

Imogen Clark

Imogen Clark has come of age with the release of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies. Her EPs to date have all been pretty strong but it feels like Love & Lovely Lies realises Clark’s potential as a singer and a songwriter – which is not at all hurt by the slick production and fantastic band she has behind her. Imogen Clark is touted as an alt-country singer (and we’ve been known to use that label as well) but I feel there’s a pop sensibility to her music that’s had a country sheen added to it courtesy of her band. Imogen Clark has a big future ahead of her and Love & Lovely Lies is a fantastic foundation.

Deep Dark Savage HeartMelody Pool

Melody Pool

I feel like I’ve been waiting for a new Melody Pool album for too long. But do you know what? Now that I have Deep Dark Savage Heart I can honestly say it was worth the wait. Melody Pool is seriously one of the finest young songwriters in Australia – her melodies are complex, her lyrics are layered and each song is just so perfectly crafted and presented. If you listen to Deep Dark Savage Heart from start to finish – and trust us, you should – prepare to be transported by Pool’s liquid velvet voice. “Black Dog” is the standout track but it’s a highlight in an album full of highlights – every song is worth revisiting over and over again.

JohannesburgMumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg

Mumford

I don’t think anyone expected a new Mumford & Sons record this year, but after traveling to South Africa earlier in 2016 and a collaboration with Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, London/Malawi DJ duo The Very Best and South African pop band Beatenberg the EP Johannesburg was born. This record brings together the best of each band – epic choruses, groovy afro-beats and passionate vocals. The project is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons’ 2010 collaboration with Laura Marling and India’s Dharohar Project, but this time around with a focus on creating new music rather than recording new versions of existing songs. I think what I love most about Johannesburg is just how joyous it is – the EP has become a go to should I need a pick me up. Wonderful stuff.

A Day On The QuayOne Up, Two Down

OUTD

George Jackson and Daniel Watkins are some of the best musicians coming out of the Australian bluegrass and old-time scene at the moment. Their pairing with American bassist Andrew Small for the One Up, Two Down project is inspired and the release of their A Day On The Quay mini-album in January was the perfect way to kick off 2016. Each track is a delight from instrumentals like “Kansas City Railroad Blues” and “The Ways Of The World” to songs like “Ginseng Sullivan”. But the absolute highlight is One Up, Two Down’s version of “Bury Me Not On The Lone Praire” – the song seems to have been written for Dan Watkins’ voice.

Seven Sonnets & A SongPaul Kelly

Paul Kelly

Whoever came up with the idea of Paul Kelly putting music to the sonnets and songs of William Shakespeare should be commended. Here you have Australia’s greatest songwriter elevating some of the greatest writing in the English language. And the best thing is that for the most part we’re treated to Paul Kelly the folk singer (as opposed to his rock or soul incarnations) which means plenty of acoustic guitar, pedal steel and fiddle throughout the tracks. This is pure magic.

The Family Tree: The LeavesRadical Face

Radical Face

Five years in the making, Radical Face finally puts his The Family Tree trilogy of albums to rest with the release of the highly anticipated The Family Tree: The Leaves. With this album we’re once again treated to Radical Face’s unique brand of indie-folk – all layered vocals, finger-picked guitar, piano and floor-tom. Radical Face has kept a consistent sound through The Family Tree trilogy and The Family Tree: The Leaves is a fitting way to wrap everything up. I wonder what’s in store next for Radical Face – whether this album will be the closing of a chapter in his musical career and the next we hear from he will completely redefine his sound. Who knows? I’m just so glad that The Family Tree: The Leaves, along with The Family Tree: The Roots and The Family Tree: The Branches, exist in this world

Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2William Fitzsimmons

William Fitz

My fondness for Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2 stems from the fact William Fitzsimmons released it a couple of days after his first ever show in Sydney. Made up of tracks left off his 2015 album Pittsburgh, the Charleroi: Pittsburgh, Volume 2 EP is delicate, sad and brilliant. By allowing these additional songs to see the light of day William Fitzsimmons has gifted the world more of his amazing songwriting.

And of course special mention also has to go to the following albums and EPs:

Applewood RoadApplewood Road
YesteryearAriela Jacobs
Wayside Ballads Vol 2Bill Jackson
Second LoveEmmy The Great
ElsewhereGretta Ray
TelluricMatt Corby
case/lang/veirsNeko Case, K.D. lang, Laura Veirs
Stadium CakeOh Pep!
Love Letter For FireSam Beam and Jesca Hoop
The Lonesome SeaThe Button Collective
Sleeping In A CarThe Staves
Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’The Weeping Willows
Golden FleecesTom West

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 8th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Calexico have added a Sydney date to their Australian tour. Details here

– Folk punk singer-songwriter Isaac Graham kicked off the new year with his new song “Resolutions”. Details here

– Sydney nu-folkers Citizen of the World released their new video “Setting Out”. Details here

– Brisbane acoustic-groove duo Out of Abingdon will be touring through NSW and ACT this month. Details here

– Milk Records released a new Fraser A Gorman track, Skyscraper Skyline Blues”. Details here

– The new Dan Lethbridge single “Everybody Says” features Taasha Coates from The Audreys. Details here

Oscar Lush revealed his new video “Nightmare Song”. Details here

Shovels & Rope teamed with The Milk Carton Kids to cover the Guns N’ Roses classic “Patience”. Details here

– Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys have finally announced details of their duo project Eagle & The Wolf. Details here

HeyMun released her ethereal new single “Drift”. Details here

– A bunch of US artists were added to the National Folk Festival lineup including Sheila Kay Adams, Steve Poltz, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner and Kristina Olsen. Details here

Cat Canteri has announced a new EP and revealed the first single “What I Need”. Details here

– The Country Conquers Cancer event in Brisbane later this month will feature the likes of Paddy McHugh, Pat Tierney, Megan Cooper, Dana Hassall, Sian Evans, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Brad Butcher, Dana Gehrman, The Mighty Kind, Jen Mize, The Floyd Family Breakdown, Ben Bunting, Andy McDonnell, Cameron Milford, Emma Bosworth, Hayley Marsten, Ellie Jane, Boatkeeper and Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies. Details here

Ruby Boots has announced her I Miss You Already tour that kicks off at the end of this month. Details here

Interviews

“All the shows are heavy on improvising so I guess solo it might be a bit more concise. There’s so many different tools musically that you can use when you have keys or a drummer, bassist or a second guitar. Solo is definitely more of a challenge to be honest. How many dumpy white guys do you want to see playing acoustic guitar? There’s just so many. I try to just make as much energy as I can, as much far out shit as I can acoustically”Ryley Walker chats to Gareth Hugh Evans ahead of his appearance at the Sydney Festival. Interview here

Reviews

Track by Track

“I wrote this song aboard the 107ft two mast banks schooner that The Button Collective help crew every couple of months or so. Inspired by the hunger pains I was suffering after forgetting to bring any food aboard with me, I wrote about sailors suffering from scurvy and starving at sea while they reminisced about love left behind” – Brodie Buttons from The Button Collective takes us through their new EP The Lonesome Sea. Track by track here

Releases This Week

One Up Two Down
A Day On The QuayOne Up, Two Down
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Mudsling Festival

Mudsling

The Mudgee Music Festival give you a taster of what to expect from their 2016 event with a mini festival featuring the likes of Daniel Champagne, Saltwater Sound System, April Maze, Out of AbingdonBig ErleHoney, Euripi, Nick Wall and more playing over the course of the day. If you can get out to Mudgee for the weekend this will be well worth the trip

Saturday 9th January – Roths Wine Bar, Mudgee, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Allison Forbes
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 15th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Archie Roach and My Friend the Chocolate Cake
Saturday 9th January – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Banjo BBQ feat. Mustered Courage and Special Guests
Sunday 10th January – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January – Cygnet, TAS

Dana Hassall
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller
Saturday 9th January – The Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC

Dirty Three
Friday 15th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

FBi SMACS
Sunday 10th January – Carriageworks, Sydney, NSW

Hana Maru with The General Assembly, Mijo Biscan
Thursday 14th January – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

HONK! Oz
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January – Wollongong, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Bulli, NSW

Irish Mythen
Friday 8th January – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Saturday 9th January – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – The Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Julia Jacklin
Sunday 10th January – Porch Sessions, Adelaide, NSW

Kasey Chambers w/ Eagle & The Wolf
Friday 8th January – Sawtell RSL Club, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 9th January – Laurieton United Services, Laurieton, NSW

Maru Tarang
Sunday 10th January – Lennox Theatre, Parramatta, NSW

Matthew E White
Friday 15th January – Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Mirel Wagner and Nadia Reid
Sunday 10th January – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Mudsling Festival
Saturday 9th January – Roths Wine Bar, Mudgee, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Out of Abingdon
Saturday 9th January – Mudsling Mini Music Festival, Mudgee, NSW
Sunday 10th January – Lounge Sessions @ Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Peasant Moon, Ben Horder, Matt Ward
Friday 15th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Sunshine Fiddle Camp
Sunday 10th to Friday 15th January – Alexandra Park Conference Centre, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Saturday 15th to Sunday 24th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Audreys
Sunday 10th January – Victoria Gardens, Prahran, VIC

The Brisbane Folk Club feat. Garrett Kato, Sissybones, O’ Little Sister
Wednesday 13th January – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

The Buffalo Grass Boys, The Belle Havens, The Howles, Tom Martin
Saturday 8th January – Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Button Collective
Thursday 14th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

The Franklin Electric
Sunday 10th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 14th January – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 15th January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 8th to Saturday 9th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Thursday 14th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW

The Plough
Sunday 10th January – Coach and Horses Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Porch Sessions feat. Julia Jacklin, Merryn Jeann, Louis Donnarumma
Sunday 10th January – Adelaide, SA

The Wayward Henrys
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

TinPan Orange
Friday 8th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Thredbo, NSW

Willowy
Thursday 14th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Tippin’ It Up To Nancy” – Christy Moore

There’s something special about the rhythmic way Christy Moore sings accompanied by a bodhrán. And for those of you playing at home – this song is also famously known as “Marrowbones”

Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys Announce New Album as Eagle & The Wolf

Eagle and the wolf
Image Courtesy of Eagle & The Wolf

Central Coast based singer-songwriters Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys have finally announced details of their duo Eagle & The Wolf.

Morris and Humphreys have been making music together for some time but it’s great to see these very talented songwriters officially coming together for their Eagle & The Wolf. They have also recorded a brand new, self titled album which is due for release on the 15th February this year.

You can pre-order the album here. Take a listen to the first track “Tired and Lost” below:

Eagle & The Wolf will be supporting Kasey Chambers on some dates through January as well as heading to the Tamworth Country Music Festival – check out the full list of shows below:

Thursday 7th January – Ballina RSL Club, Ballina, NSW
Friday 8th January – Sawtell RSL Club, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 9th January – Laurieton United Services, Laurieton, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – House Concert, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW (with Bill Chambers)
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW (with Catherine Britt)
Friday 22nd January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW (with Fanny Lumsden)

Fanny Lumsden’s Sydney Album Launch

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

For the last few weeks Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers have been working their way around rural New South Wales and Victoria on one of their regular Country Halls tours. Lumsden and co have been taking their unique brand of alt-country music to Australia’s country halls for a number of years now, bringing music to spaces that have otherwise gone ignored by regular touring artists.

This Saturday 14th November Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers will be taking the country halls experience to the big smoke with the official launch of the their new album Small Town Big Shot at the St Stephens Church Hall in Newtown Sydney.

“It’s such a wonderful tour,” Fanny Lumsden explained. “We have kids to Grandmas coming to our shows and everyone in between and everyone gets in and has good go. We also run workshops for the kids, get local support acts and the local footy club or P&C run the BBQ – its an ‘all in community night out’ and I just can’t wait to bring it to Sydney.”

The Sydney show will feature Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys in the support slots. For more information on the show check out the official Facebook event here.

Out On The Weekend Announces Headline Sideshows

Dawes
Image Courtesy of Dawes

As with last year Americana festival Out On The Weekend has announced a bunch of headline sideshows for its major international artists including supports from some of Australia’s finest.

This morning Out On The Weekend announced sideshows for Dawes (above), Sam Outlaw with Jonny Fritz and Shelly Colvin and Jamestown Revival. The festival itself takes place on the 17th October in Melbourne and the 24th October in Sydney (see details here). Get the full run down of side shows below:

Dawes

Dawes with Barna Howard & Tracy McNeil

Sunday 18th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Tuesday 20th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Sam Outlaw

Sam Outlaw with Jonny Fritz, Shelly Colvin & Friends

Friday 16th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 18th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st October – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 25th October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Jamestown Revival

Jamestown Revival with Raised by Eagles (Melbourne) and Sarah Humphreys & Kris Morris and Little Georgia (Sydney)

Wednesday 21st October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 22nd October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 25th September

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– We finally posted the new video from Tim Wheatley “Valerie”. Details here

Timber and Steel favourites Arbori have announced a return to the stage with a residency in Sydney throughout October. Details here

The BordererS hit the road from this Friday. Details here

– The Illawarra Folk Festival revealed a huge lineup for 2016 including Dougie MacLean, The East Pointers, Catgut, Chaika, Daniel Champagne, Handsome Young Strangers, Liz Stringer, Rebecca Bastoli, Shane Howard, Shanty Club, The Button Collective, The Dead Maggies, Big Erle, Joe Mungovan, Kay Proudlove and many many more. Details here

– Queensland based singer-songwriter Greta Stanley released her new single “Lakes”. Details here

– A couple of live videos have surfaced from Sarah Humphreys and Kris Morris’ new duo project. Details here

– Canadian trad trio The East Pointers will be releasing their debut album in October. Details here

Calexico released their new video “Tapping On The Line” featuring Neko Case. Details here

Bluesfest announced their second round of artists for 2016 including The Decemberists, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Tweedy, Steve Earle, Nahko and Medicine for the People and Blackberry Smoke and many more. Details here

– Irish singer Foy Vance announced headline shows while he’s in the country supporting Ed Sheeran. Details here

– Sydney duo Jep and Dep released their new video “Cut All Ties”. Details here

Winterbourne released their poppy new single “To Get To Know You”. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard released his new video “Her Mercy”. Details here

– Folk and bluegrass trio One Up, Two Down announced details of their upcoming EP A Day On The Quay. Details here

– Next Monday and Tuesday will see 21 singer-songwriters will converge for If You See Her, Say Hello as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival including Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, BABY BLUE, Bek Street, Brooke Russell, Claire Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands (Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies), Kate Boston-Smith (Modesty), Kate McMahon, Kelly Day (Broads), Ladie Dee (Howl at the Moon), Loni Rae and Shannon Busch (WILSN) plus special guests. Details here

– Adelaide’s Sam Brittain announced an October residency. Details here

– The Port Fairy Folk Festival announced their first round of artists for 2016 including Ayleen O’Hanlon, Claymore, DakhaBrakha (Ukraine), Dave Arden, Eric Bogle, Fourplay, Grigoryan Brothers, John McCutcheon (USA), Katie Noonan’s Vanguard, Lloyd Spiegel, Manran (Scotland), Mary Black (Ireland, above), Moxie (Ireland), Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento, Pierce Brothers, Ruby Boots, Steve Poltz (USA), Sara Storer, Shellie Morris, Suzannah Espie, The Bushwackers, The East Pointers (Canada), The Ugly Uncles, Truckstop Honeymoon (USA), Three Kings, The Woohoo Revue and The Young’uns (UK). Details here

– We premiered the new video from The Timbers, “All I’ve Got Time For”. Details here

– Americana singer-songwriter Suzannah Espie released her new video “I’m Sorry” and announced a national tour. Details here

Releases This Week

Now
NOWAsh Grunwald
iTunes

Lachlan Bryan
The MountainLachlan Bryan & The Wildes
iTunes

Pierce Brothers
Into The DirtPierce Brothers
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, BABY BLUE, Bek Street, Brooke Russell, Claire Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands (Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies), Kate Boston-Smith (Modesty), Kate McMahon, Kelly Day (Broads), Ladie Dee (Howl at the Moon), Loni Rae and Shannon Busch (WILSN)

If You See Her Say Hello

21 of Melbourne’s favourite female singer-songwriters are coming together for this Melbourne Fringe Festival show. Each singer will be performing their songs backed up with a choir of the other performers. This is going to be something special

Monday 28th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 29th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

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

April Maze
Friday 25th September – Private House Concert, QLD

Arbori
Thursday 1st October – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 25th September – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 26th September – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Thursday 1st October – Wickham, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 2nd October – Yours and Owls Festival, Wollongong, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Andy Golledge, Caitlin Harnett
Wednesday 30th September- Batch Brewing, Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 25th September – Johnny Cash: The Concert, The Events Centre, Caloundra, QLD
Saturday 26th September – Johnny Cash: The Concert, Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Jesse Davidson, Caitlin Park
Friday 25th September – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd October – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 25th September – Baroque, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 26th September – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 25th September – Wanganella Hall, Wanganella, NSW
Saturday 26th September – Sandigo Hall, Sandigo, NSW
Sunday 27th September – The Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW

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

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

Fred Smith, Humbug
Saturday 26th September – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

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

If You See Her, Say Hello feat. Ali E, Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Baby Blue, Brooke Russell, Clare Hendry, Cookie Baker, Emilee South, Georgia Spain, Gretta Ray, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands, Kate Boston-Smith, Kate McMahon, Kelly Day, Ladie Dee, Loni Rae, WILSN
Monday 28th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 29th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 26th September – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Joan Baez
Sunday 27th September – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 30th September – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Saturday 26th September – House Concert, Newstead, VIC
Sunday 27th September – The Boite Music Cafe, Melbourne, VIC

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 26th September to Saturday 3rd October – Mildura Country Music Festival, VIC

Lime and Steel
Thursday 1st October – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

Little May
Saturday 26th September – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth, WA

Lost Ragas
Saturday 26th September – Café Burrinja, Burrinja, VIC

Madeleine Duke w/ Tim Haines
Saturday 26th September – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Lucas and Chris Porter
Wednesday 30th September – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

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

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

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

Pierce Brothers
Thursday 1st October – Rolling Stone Live Lodge, Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd October – Murwillumbah Country Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW

Rowen w/ Brother Fox, Charlotte Emily
Saturday 25th September – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

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

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

Surry Hills Festival
Saturday 25th September – Sydney, NSW

The AU Sessions feat. Kay Proudlove, Paul Mason
Tuesday 29th September – The Hive Bar, Sydney, NSW

The BordererS
Friday 25th September – Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 26th September – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 27th September – Pittwatter RSL, Mona Vale, NSW
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Murtoa Big Weekend, near Horsham, VIC

The Muso Next Door Sydney feat. The Cope St Parade, Diamond Duck, Justine Eltakchi
Friday 25th September – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 25th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 1st October – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA

The Timbers
Friday 25th September – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 26th September – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 27th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

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

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

Wallaby Creek Festival
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September – Rossville, QLD

Winterbourne
Friday 25th September – Club 54 Launceston, TAS
Saturday 26th September – Uni Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 2nd October – ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT

Wollombi Music Festival
Saturday 26th September – Wollombi, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 25th September – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA
Saturday 26th September – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth, WA
Sunday 27th September – 3 Oceans Winery, Margaret River, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Spike Island Lassies” – Moxie

This was a last minute sub in for FFF after I saw this video posted on a friend’s Facebook wall and then fell down a Moxie themed YouTube rabbit hole. Moxie will be in the country next year during the folk festival season – make sure you get out and see them!

Watch Sarah Humphreys and Kris Morris Perform “These Nights” and “Hips

Kris Morris
Image Courtesy of Kris Morris

Alt-country troubadour Kris Morris and indie-folk singer Sarah Humphreys are currently pooling their collective song-writing awesomeness to produce their debut duo album which is some of the most exciting news we’ve heard all year.

And to give you a taster of what it sounds like when Sarah Humphreys and Kris Morris make sweet music together check out live videos of their new tracks “These Nights” and “Hips” recorded live at Octopus’s Garden, Long Jetty:


Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2014

Turntable

You’ve probably read what we think are the top albums of 2014 and now it’s time to turn to Timber and Steel’s favourite artists and see what they pick as their number one.

We reached out to musicians across the folk spectrum, from local singer-songwriters to internationally acclaimed folk stars and the response, as always, has been amazing. So we’ll shut up and we’ll let the artists do the talking with Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2014:

NightwalkWoody Pitney
Matt WaltersNightwalk
I was a small part of Matt’s crowd-funding campaign to get this album off the ground and it was definitely money well spent! Matt has a really defined, folky sound, which evokes different emotions throughout the album. His understated vocals with his powerful lyrics make a great recipe for an excellent album. My personal highlights are Track 2, “Melbourne Goodbye’ and Track 8, ‘Build A Place’. I highly recommend you give it a listen!

SongsRoland K Smith
John FullbrightSongs
On his second album the best new songwriter in the world pairs lyricism with musicality and musicianship. Seriously, no one is making records as good as this young man from Oklahoma. “High Road”, the album’s penultimate track, still sends shivers down my spine after the hundredth listen. Fingers crossed we see him in Australia soon.

ZabaSteven Barnard (Arbori)
Glass AnimalsZaba
It was a toss up between this record and Jamie Cullum’s Momentum. Both are full are brilliant arranging and some great hip hop and R&B influences. Glass Animals however have created soundscapes, grooves, crochendo, and a singer who’s channelling a rapper, in what I can only describe as indie swag. I have not stopped listening to this record all year

Upside Down MountainTodd Sibbin (Todd Sibbin and the Acadian Driftwood)
Conor OberstUpside Down Mountain
Its been three years since Bright Eyes’ 2011 heavily electronic influenced The Peoples Key and many were expecting a blow back to the early Oberst/Bright Eyes days with the announcement of a solo record. While it certainly is more laid back, the collaboration with producer Jonathan Wilson brings an entirely new aesthetic to anything we’ve heard from an Oberst incarnation (not to mention, in terms of subject matter, Oberst got married three years ago so most of the lyrical content is about the “experiences” of married life, instead of the “experiences” of single life). Defiantly modern sounding (largely due to a decent amount of electronic PAD work), Wilson and Oberst have managed to retain the stripped back and intimate nature of the songs despite the fact that the tracks are still fairly overdubbed (with a decent amount of electric guitar too!). It’s an extremely ambient record which, after speaking to others, can help take some of the “bluntness” out of Oberst’s delivery, certainly making it one of Oberst’s more “friendlier” releases. I love it.

New MoonLiz Frencham
Sarah HumphreysNew Moon
It may seem biased because I played on this album but the things I love about it are nothing to do with my playing. Sarah’s songwriting is exquisite and her voice sublime. It also has the energy and dynamics of a live album.

The Spoon CollectorsLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
The Spoon CollectorsA Dime for Charon
Part mellow-drama-rock-opera, part nineteen-seventies-swamp-explosion, but mostly a psychedelic journey through The Spoon Collector’s fabricated landscape beyond space and time. I was present for a lot of the recording of this album, out in central NSW with Sunfield Records, and let me tell you: The Spoon Collectors know how to party. The album features guest vocals by the boys from the Dusty Yellow Sunbeams and characterised artwork by the producer’s brother.

Angel OlsenLauren Moore (Pepperjack)
Angel OlsenBurn Your Fire For No Witness
There’s something consistently cool and brooding about this February release. It’s the fuzzy guitar tones; it’s her angry-drunk to sleepy-drunk vocals. It’s the gripping nature of the tom-heavy drumming in “Forgiven/Forgotten”. You can put this in your ears, down a glass of red and kick in a car window if you want to. I love it when folk meets rock in the most seamless way. And that’s what this album is – an ideal balance of gloom and glow – as well-rounded as a human personality; bleak at times, but honest and changing. As she sings in “High & Wild”, “I’m neither innocent nor wise when you look me in the eyes.” Perfect for long walks in the dark and putting out cigarettes in the carpet.

Salad DaysJay Penaflor
Mac DemarcoSalad Days
I decided to listen to this album before dozing off to sleep. Didn’t sleep of course. My ears were completely drawn to the ‘jizz jazz’ of Mac Demarco and ended up listening to the very end of the album. Upon listening to this album, I found myself head-bopping to nearly all his songs. He has a way of messing with your head with his romantic-like melodies and bizzare yet addictive twangy guitar riffs. For some reason I feel like this album should be listened in a cafe in Paris or something. My hat’s off to Mac Demarco. Listening to him inspired me to write ‘Fridge Buzz (Choirs Of Suburbia)’ on my Incentive EP, though I doubt it’s got nothing on any of his tunes.

BeckOisin Leech (The Lost Brothers)
BeckMorning Phase
On this album Beck appears in the desert wearing silver robes and speaking in tongues of crystal and cold fire. The songs are immaculate. The precision and emotion in this album makes it so special. This album was my close companion as we toured the world. I love it dearly.

The CoralMark McCausland (The Lost Brothers)
The CoralThe Curse of Love
This album was recorded eight years ago and kept hidden in a treasure chest until the flavours had stewed. It’s a unique album of frightening beauty and its songs hold many secrets. I’d been waiting to hear these songs for centuries without realising it. The album immediately unlocked a labyrinth of mysteries to me from the first note to the last. It’s boss.

The No-Hit WonderFrank Turner
Cory BrananThe No-Hit Wonder
Everything Cory does is pretty much flawless – it’s a real wonder to me that he’s not better known than he is. Most every songwriter I know loves his stuff and feels slightly daunted by it, he’s so much better than the rest of us! This new album is no exception. It’s worth the price for the opening lines of “The Only You” alone. A classic record in the making.

Jack WhiteClaude Hay
Jack WhiteLazaretto
This one’s easy for me, Jack White’s Lazaretto. It’s full of wicked riffs, catchy melodies, analog raw production, brilliant songs, all the ingredients for a perfect album. I’ve flogged it to death.

Otis GibbsBill Jackson
Otis GibbsSouvenirs of a Misspent Youth
As well as being a native of Indiana, Otis Gibbs is also noted as “a storyteller’s storyteller” who symbolizes the true essence of the independent spirit thriving in the East Nashville neighbourhood he now calls home. Fiercely independent, Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth produced by Thomm Jutz is Gibb’s seventh album since 2002. Folk is Otis’s style but country is his flavour and many are predicting that this will be his breakout album. Not that it matters as Otis writes to inspire. If you like Guy, Townes, Steve etc then get on board. Every song on this album is a highlight, so as they say “lean in and listen” and you won’t be able to stop. My favourite track: “Ghosts of Our Father’s”. Otis Gibbs has also recorded nearly 100 podcasts under the title Thanks for Giving a Damn that consists of conversational interviews with those who write, sing and play for a living – free on iTunes.

Lily OSam Lee
Sam AmidonLily-O
An album of absolutely sensitive genius, maturity in craft and skill in story telling that is heads beyond most other albums about

Hey RosettaWinterbourne
Hey RosettaSecond Sight
Such a good album! Tim Baker’s vocals are addictive and they’re backed up by clever and moving lyrics. Each song is thick with real instruments, which move together in a way that still feels fresh after the tenth listen. It just makes you feel good.

Damien RiceRyan Oliver (Olivers Army)
Damien RiceMy Favourite Faded Fantasy
It’s classic Damien Rice melancholy but with a new focussed indie-pop sensibility. The songs are well crafted, passionate, raw and honest and you feel like you’re sitting right in his Icelandic borrowed home-studio. The production is beautiful. I love the lengthy songs that take you on a wild journey and the lush orchestral arrangements that almost drown out everything else, in a very good way.

Caitlin ParkHeyMun
Caitlin ParkThe Sleeper
Caitlin Park is a real gem and her latest album is a reflection of great ambition and perspective. A body of work exploring intricate layers of acoustic blended with touches of electronic (“Wake Up In A Whirr”) and thought provoking verses (“Hunt For The Young”) all in all results in a real treat for the senses indeed. Paired with sound engineer extraordinaire Sam Brumby, The Sleeper is a fusion of great ideas executed beautifully. Reminding us of how lucky we are to have inspiring talents like this in Australia.

AtlasCaitlin Harnett
Real EstateAtlas
Bittersweet lyrics, dreamy vocals and guitars and just the right amount of ache to make you fall in love with this record over and over again.

Mikhael PaskalevLittle May
Mikhail PaskelevWhat’s Life Without Losers
This album has been the prominent soundtrack to my year. It is perfection and has really inspired me to think outside the box creatively. Such a genuine guy who deserves all the success that will continue to come his way.

Nikki LaneBex Chilcott (Ruby Boots)
Nikki LaneAll Or Nothin’
It takes about five minutes of watching a Nikki Lane show to become a totally dedicated fan girl and although album was a slow burner for me, its infectious nature took hold this year. She’s got to be one of the nicest badasses both in person and in song. The songs are just good, strong songs that are both honest and lyrically pretty clever, classy hooks and a really good dose of steel and slide which always pulls at my heartstrings. Totally won my heart over this year!

Angus and Julia StoneChris Panousakis (Timberwolf)
Angus & Julia StoneAngus & Julia Stone
For me it would be Angus & Julia Stone’s self titled album no doubt. It’s such a punchy, refreshing version of their songwriting, and there’s an intangible sense of unity between the two that you can really feel listening to it as well as seeing them play live. It almost feels a lot more vulnerable or honest, either way it’s pretty special.

Apex TwinThe Ellis Collective
Aphex TwinSyro
After 13 years, Richard James’ Syro is a tuneful, buoyant and humble return, playfully heralded by a green blimp hanging over London and announced from the depths of the deep web. Without any sonic uppercuts, the likes of Windowlicker or Come To Daddy, Syro dwells in analog manipulations more common to his Analord series (released as AFX) and serves as the frontrunner of what more may come now that the 13 years without Aphex Twin has passed. How bloody exciting!

Daniel ChampagneBearded Gypsy Band
Daniel ChampagneThe Gypsy Moon – Volume II
Dan is one of the most hard working Australian musicians I know of. He is a prolific songwriter and musician of great calibre. The songs on this album are full of depth, they talk of life on the road, of friends and lovers lost and the constant moving on that comes with the touring life. Beautiful melodies accompanied by some of the finest guitar playing you’ll hear makes this album so great.

Against MeBilly The Kid
Against Me!Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Why? It’s the most real, rocking, sincere, vulnerable, brave and catchy thing to get stuck in my ear holes in awhile, with a lyrical perspective that is engrossing, inclusive and yet daringly different. Also, I love these people.

WastelandsMatthew Black (The Bottlers)
Protector 101Wastelands
Tuning into the crackling airwaves of cinematic score saturated post-apocalyptica never felt so awesomely ominous. Maine synthwave artist Protector 101 has paid homage to future shock, nuclear holocaust ravaged movies with an envisioned 17 track soundtrack entitled, Wastelands. Protector 101 takes the listener on a rugged journey through ravaged love, gang warfare and bleak radiated Australian desertscapes circa 2099 with a musically based visual dexterity I could only liken to John Carpenter or Vangelis.

EnmaarCatgut
TinariwenEmmaar
We’ve listened to countless favourite albums on long car trips, lots of familiar country and old-time and bluegrass. But Malian Tuareg band Tinariwen really struck us: rolling rhythmic grooves, bluesy electric guitars and beautiful low male vocals. There’s a hypnotic drive to this desert music that draws you in, we love it!

FanfarloMike McCarthy
FanfarloLet’s Go Extinct
Fanfarlo’s third LP Let’s Go Extinct quickly danced its way to the top of my record collection this year. Fanfarlo have been my go to fun music choice for a few years now and although there are a few more psychedelic moments on the album Let’s Go Extinct delivers with solid songwriting, vocal delivery and production.

Valerie JuneSam Buckingham
Valerie JunePushin’ Against A Stone
It’s bluegrass, it’s folk, it’s rockin’ it’s heartbreaking, it’s uplifting and her voice carries each track in a vulnerable, sexy, “I take no shit, but I just wanna be loved” kind of way. I kind of want to marry her

Caitlin HarnettShane Nicholson
Caitlin HarnettThe River Runs North
My favourite album of 2014 is The River Runs North by Caitlin Harnett. A collection of great songs, played with heart and a minimum of fuss. As an album, it’s incredible – as a DEBUT album, it’s astonishing.

Jack WhiteEddie Boyd (Eddie Boyd and the Phatapillars)
Jack WhiteLazaretto
Jack White! What a man! His latest offering, Lazaretto is a dirty, raucous blues/rock/country mash-up which has been playing on repeat in my kitchen for months. Crunchy guitar riffs, wailing fiddles, ghoulish backing vocals, and a piano which has surely been bashed to pieces by now!
Easily my favourite album of 2014.

Lera LynnJohn Flanagan
Lera LynnThe Avenues
I came home from Nashville in October with a stack of incredible records but this is the one that I’ve listened to non-stop since getting back. I’d call it Americana-Folk-Pop, similar to Lisa Mitchell but more Americana and less pop. The melodies are catchy, but there are offbeat moments (which is what I love about it) and the production is slick and atmospheric tying it all together. Her voice is smooth and irresistible and yes, I might have a slight crush on her.

Tim WheelerTony Wright (VerseChorusVerse)
Tim WheelerLost Domain
The Ash frontman released his debut solo record this year and surprised everyone in that it didn’t sound remotely like the mother-band and it wasn’t (as a lot of solo debuts tend to be) an acoustic record! These songs deal with the loss of Tim’s dad, George, how it affected him and his family and how it’s still affecting them. It’s a work of tremendous emotion and beauty. I lost my mother at a young age and hearing some of the lyrics in this wonderful album tugged at my heart strings in every manner possible. From the instrumental, bluesy movers to the frankly stunning single, “Vigil”, this deeply personal album has an extremely universal appeal. A truly beautiful and happy/sad achievement on a topic we all, sooner or later, can relate to.

Emily BarkerEmily Barker (Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo, Vena Portae)
Lucinda WilliamsDown Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
I love this new record of Lucinda’s. I’ve been a fan for many years now and this is stand out. The songwriting is exceptional and very much complimented by a great production. Her voice is weathered, broken and beautiful as ever. Very classy and visceral.

The War On DrugsAidan Roberts (The Maple Trail)
The War On DrugsLost In The Dream
Unlike so many rock bands who meddle with reinventing a retro sound, The War on Drugs possess several assets that make them soar above the rest – particularly with this dark, spectacularly beautiful record. The songs live in a world almost entirely ruled by common-time 80’s new-wave rock rhythms, the landscape populated by widescreen analog synth textures and twisting, chorusy guitars. And above it all, the beauty of Adam Granduciel’s weary and insistent tenor tugs you through these resigned and ponderous story songs like a troubled, trusted brother. Amazing.

Hot DreamsLacey Cole (Lacey Cole & the Lazy Colts)
Timber TimbreHot Dreams
Nostalgically cinematic, hauntingly beautiful and profoundly strange Timber Timbre’s 2014 album Hot Dreams sounds like 50s L.A noir meets Elvis-era Vegas complete with the picturesque road-trip around Arizona it took to get there. Equal parts sexy and creepy Hot Dreams is breathtakingly weird. Each song emerges from the shadows reveling itself as either the night of your life or your worst nightmare, you choose, then hold on tight and enjoy easily the best musical expression of the Grand Canyon ever recorded.

The TimbersGemini Downs
The TimbersLawless
Gotta go with local lads The Timbers. Not only do we love watching them bring crowds to life at awesome Adelaide venues like The Grace, now we have an awesome CD that beautifully captures their live, real, raw spirit. One of the most hard working bands we know and I dare you to try to keep your feet still when that trumpet kicks in.

The War On DrugsMatt Walters
The War On DrugsLost In The Dream
For months I kept hearing about this album and it took me a while to finally get to it. I remember my friends gushing about The War on Drugs. That kind of turned me off. You need to find things in your own time. Anyway, I was sitting in a cafe near my house and this beautiful dreamy music was playing. I thought it was a Dylan live recording that I hadn’t heard or something. So I Shazam’d it! I rarely use Shazam – but I knew I couldn’t miss this. I had to know. And it was the song, “Lost in the Dream”. That beautiful dreamy harmonica – the strange cryptic words – the ambience captured in the recording just pulled me in. It had me immediately. So I went home and bought the record and played nothing else for about 6 months. I’ve only really just stopped. I love this album. The production is just so pristine, flawless and unique. Adam Granduciel is like a master painter with his guitar sounds on this record – so ethereal and haunting. His playing is so detailed, yet raw and visceral at the same time. “Suffering” is so beautiful. Simple and profound. Oh, and If the guitar solo in that song doesn’t destroy you, nothing will. Masterpiece.

Ryan AdamsImogen Clark
Ryan AdamsRyan Adams
This record is heart-wrenching, soulful, moving and pure magic, but also somehow packs this almighty punch and really rocks out. Ryan Adams manages to be a total electric-fuelled punk rocker and a sensitive, poignant, acoustic singer/songwriter all at once. He’s the champion of wearing his heart on his sleeve and he leaves no stone unturned. Thank you, DRA.

Sweet JeanThe Weeping Willows
Sweet JeanGreetings From Goodbye
It is perhaps a little biased of us to choose Sweet Jean’s Greetings From Goodbye mini-LP as our top album of 2014 as it contains most of our favourite songs from the (many) times we’ve seen them play live over the years. Sime Nugent and Alice Keath are everything we would love to be as a duo; timeless singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and heavenly harmonisers, with two of the best voices in the country. Much of this EP was actually recorded “live” in Sime and Alice’s laundry, which further demonstrates their effortless proficiency. Stand-out tracks are Dock Boggs’s “Country Blues” (in the style of Peggy Seeger), the traditional “Weeping Willow” and “Spring Bird” written by Keath and Nugent. Sweet Jean definitely have a gothic-folk sound that is all their own but check them out if you’re into the old-school folk stylings of She and Him or Americana duos Mandolin Orange, The Civil Wars or Australia’s own Jep and Dep.

SiaAnna Buckingham (Nova & the Experience)
Sia1000 Forms of Fear
She’s never had one distinctive style to her career. Some would call her an indie goddess and others a pop princess. 1000 Forms of Fear is an anguished pop album, in its smartest and human form. The first album she has released in four years, her powerful and perfect melodies remain uniformly magnificent throughout these twelve songs, with deeper and darker lyrics that highlight a more intimate side of Sia. Beautiful in all its vulnerability, she delivers great pain with even greater triumph. Every track is magnificently crafted and combines a faultless balance of violently raw emotion with total uplift. You are invited to look into this woman’s anguish through melodies and vocal cartwheels that can make you think she is unbreakable . Hauntingly beautiful in all its cleverness. My favourite by far.

Ben AbrahamTimothy James Bowen
Ben AbrahamSirens
My top album actually only came across my ears just the other day. It’s Sirens by Ben Abraham. He’s a friend of a friend of mine who I met at a house concert we were playing together in Melbourne around this time last year. He said that he had something in the works but I had no idea it would be this tasty. It’s like if you put Gotye, Josh Pyke and Passenger in a room and told them not to come out till they had something musical going on between them. Sort of. But all in his own greatness. Go and check it out.

Sun Kil MoonPeasant Moon
Sun Kil MoonBenji
Our individual short lists were like night and day…from Robert Ellis (Harvey) to Asgeir (Josie). Benji was the point of convergence. We’ve never been to Ohio, but this land of lethal backyard fires, mercy killing, teen sex and albinos can sure inspire some amazing music. This is a brutal and beautiful collection of stories about life, death and gratitude. And it can be confronting – there’s nowhere to hide as Mark Kozelek shuns the use of metaphor and other distractions. This, combined with the mostly simple arrangements, produce deceptively insightful songs about the tragedy and joy of what it is to be human. Dark slacker folk at its finest – think Smog meets Pavement meets Neil Young.

Lily OPete Flood (Bellowhead)
Sam AmidonLily-O
A really great ensemble album rooted in the inspired pairing of Amidon’s spiky banjo picking and Bill Frisell’s more expansive guitar playing. The overall tone is focused and quietly daring – traditional material given space to unfold and evolve in unusual and sometimes disquieting ways – a real breath of fresh air.

Everything UnsaidSam Sweeny (Bellowhead)
Screaming MaldiniEverything Unsaid
This is the second and final album from one of my favourite bands of all time. Perfect, innovative intelli-pop from a band who never got the recognition they deserved.

The Moral of the ElephantJon Boden (Bellowhead)
Eliza and Martin CarthyThe Moral of the Elephant
Two English folk greats on top form, shaking it up a bit with some unexpected material and totally nailing the traditional stuff, as ever.

Ben AbrahamAl Parkinson
Ben AbrahamSirens
I had been waiting for this album for years. YEARS. Ben Abraham is one of my favourite Australian songwriters and performers. You know when you go and see someone play and you HAVE to buy their cd, it’s not a choice, you have to scavenge around your Mary Poppins bag for dollars and even ask your friends if you can borrow some money to buy their album? This is how you would feel if you saw him play and the album is more than we as listeners had hoped for. It was absolutely worth the wait. The production on the album suits Ben’s songs perfectly; subtle where it should be, interesting and very clever. The album was only released in November but I just cannot stop listening to it. ‘Speak’ was the single he released from the album and it’s one of those “EVERYONE BE QUIET AND PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS” songs. Although I’ve listened to it probably 300,000 times, every time is like the first time I heard it. Other favourites are ‘You and Me’, ‘I Belong To You’ and ‘Songbird’ oh and ‘Collide’… Okay so they’re all beautiful. I’m so glad that I finally have these songs in my ears and I’m really excited to see where this stupidly talented persons career heads.

Southerly ChangeSivan Agam (The April Maze)
Southerly ChangeSoutherly Change
I love putting this album on first thing in the morning to get my day going with good vibes. It reminds me to live in the moment. Even if it’s cold outside this album makes me feel like I’m on summer holidays. There are some great singalong tunes in there too, so it’s the perfect album for long road trips.

Searching for TallSophie Klein (Little Wise)
Lauren GlezerSearching for Tall
This Melbourne songwriter likes to describe herself as a true “feeler”. That’s is exactly how I would describe my connection to this little record; emotional. The production, replete with gorgeous string arrangements on certain tracks, gracefully shines a deserving spotlight on Glezer’s tender and sultry vocals. Similarly, her long time rhythm players are sensitive and nuanced. But it is her personal, ever-so-human stories and her unforgettably breathy vocal delivery that really tug on my heartstrings.

Open SwimmerRose Wintergreen
Open SwimmerCanyon
Floaty, nostalgic, haunting melodies anchored with grit, sprinkled with sunshiney pop hooks and glorious references to Melbourne life.

SoutheasternThe Audreys
Jason IsbellSoutheastern
Perhaps his first great solo work, Isbell’s Southeastern is a masterclass in songwriting that doesn’t just touch on its themes of regret and redemption but mines them in ways we’ve never before heard. We were lucky enough to see Jason perform a highlight from the record, opening track “Cover Me Up”, at this year’s Americana Music Awards in Nashville. He got the award for Best Album and we got the pleasure of hearing him play.

Ray LamontagneAshleigh Mannix
Ray LamontagneSupernova
What a surprise this album was! It had me absolutely hooked from the first spin. These psychedelic sounds are completely different to anything I’ve heard from Ray Lamontagne before. This, coupled with its catchy hooks and wonderful lyrics made it a no-brainer for my choice of album of the year. It’s an anywhere album! I love it!

Rob MuinosDan Arnott (Dan and Amy)
Robert MuinosYou’re Not Alone
There have been a few releases this year by wonderful artists who I’m lucky enough to be great mates with, and I think my favourite of these is the debut EP by Robert Muinos called You’re Not Alone. Robbo does what amazing songwriters do; his songs of very personal moments somehow become universalised, making it feel as though you’ve been through whatever he’s singing about yourself, even if you’ve never experienced anything like it. His voice and his melodies are beautiful and I can’t wait for more. (Notable mention to Jackson McLaren’s album)

Daylight ExpressJames Kenyon
Tobias HengeveldThe Daylight Express
Hengeveld’s lyrics are brilliant. He’s operating at a level above. They’d be compelling enough without music, but his melodies and musicianship and that of his band elevate it to great album status for me. Lyrics that good just keep on giving. Every listen brings me to another great line or phrase. “All the old TVs on the side of the road…” that line in “Fools Rush In” kills me. Or “Our Katherine owned a temper like her name-sake. The firecracker always spinning off its nail” from “The Daylight Express”. Brilliant song, and heart breaking.

LulucRuth Hazleton – (Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton)
LulucPasserby
Gently and quietly profound, Luluc are perfecting the art of simplicity – a trait that is very unique and brave in this age of musical trickery. Unpretentious, disarming, beautifully written, recorded and produced with a “sound” completely their own, Passerby features beautiful vocal harmonies, sophisticated melodies and honest lyrics. Recommended for long drives, Sunday afternoons or whenever your feet and/or heart need to touch the ground again.

BelovedGeorgia Fair
New GodsBeloved
Because “Caravan park” taunts me, “I Love You Too” is like cringing in the mirror, “Beneath the World” is just simply beautiful, “Too High” makes me cry and “Skyman” makes me dance.

BeckDustin Tebbutt
BeckMorning Phase
For me this record perfectly balances precisely sculpted songs and production with organic sounds, and raw stories. I get the sense that this album is a series of “captured moments” in the studio as opposed to so many modern records where every track is edited to an inch of its life. It’s also both hi fi and lo fi at the same time, with the acoustic guitars and drums almost remaining unprocessed while the colours created by the lush reverbs and Beck’s characteristic lazy vocal performances take you on journeys through vast spaces.

Dwight Sings BuckNick Keeling (Mustered Courage)
Dwight YoakamDwight Sings Buck
This ain’t your mother’s country music … it’s more like your grandmother’s! The sweet and pretty country music coming out of Nashville in the 1950’s got a punch in the face by the electrified honky-tonk coming out of Bakersfield California. Pioneers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard plugged in their telecasters, set the drummer to shuffle, and layed down what would be a huge influence on the music of The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons and obviously Dwight Yoakam. Here Dwight nails the style and sound of Bakersfield country but with the fidelity of modern recording techniques. Pull up a barstool and let the steel guitar take you up Highway 99 to that oil patch they call Bakersfield.

StromaeKim Churchill
StromaeRacine Carrée
My album of the year is Racine Carrée by the Belgian artist Stromae. It has an essentially electronic dance feel, which is impeccably well complimented by absolutely brilliant song writing. I have had endless pleasure in sitting around on Google translate (as Stromae sings in French) discovering what each of my favourite songs is about. He sets the scene of each song magnificently and opens up discussions that are quite challenging for the listener. Given the dance feel – I find it amazing that people all over the world are jumping up and down in arenas to these words of wisdom. Stromae has incredible film clips – the artistic direction is both engaging and unique. He also incorporates elements of his clips into his live performances of each song and way he dances is literally ground breaking. There is a reason the new single “Papaoutai” has had over 200 millions views. Stromae is a master craftsman on every level and quickly becomes a complete obsession.

RuinsSarah Humphreys
Kris MorrisRuins
Ruins is a breath of honesty in a sea of over-earnest, over-thought out music that’s flooding my ears at the moment. I need truth in what I listen to and this is as raw as it gets and totally from the heart, a broken one. Bravely and beautifully produced by Kasey Chambers, he’s like the Australian Steve Earle.

Damien RiceJoel Barker
Damien RiceMy Favourite Faded Fantasy
I was driving to Denmark in the south of Western Australia, listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered program, when one of the program hosts started talking about Damien Rice’s long hiatus being over with the release of his new album My Favourite Faded Fantasy. It’s been so long since Damien has released anything that I kind of forgot what his music is to me. But on first impressions, this record didn’t make much of an impact with me. Not because it’s not staggeringly beautiful, but merely because of how I was listening to it. In the car. Through portable speakers. Driving at 110km per hour. I didn’t do it justice. I found the time the following week to sit down at listen to the record in full, and I’m completely blown away by it.
I’ve come to the conclusion the Damien Rice has three different writing personalities that are vastly different from one another, yet somehow come together to make what is uniquely his. There’s the distinctive guitar melodies, nothing complicated, but kind of like a place to house his other personalities. The second is his lyrical genius. Somehow always melancholic, even in moments of joy, his words resonate with honesty and integrity, self doubt, love and hate. His words become place holders for his third personality, which are the arrangements. Other than perhaps Bon Iver’s self-titled album, I’m not sure I’ve heard an album that balances the sincerity of words with these almost orchestra arrangements that soar with optimisim and drown with sorrow equally. All these personalities come together to give us a collection of songs which probably mean just as much to us as they do to him. I can live with a Damien Rice album every 8 years or so if this is the result. So see you in 2022, Damien. Until then, enjoy the solitude.

Upside Down MountainJack Carty
Conor OberstUpside Down Mountain
This album is beautiful on so many levels. The songs are thoughtfully produced, delicately arranged and seem less overtly melodramatic than most of his previous work, but somehow they still manage hold the same sort of poetic weight and satirically pointed attention to detail that has drawn me to Conor Oberst as a songwriter for years.

True StrengthJulia Johnson (Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens)
True StrengthTrue Strength
Lost in an empty old building in East Berlin while trying to find a bar Ned Colette was playing in, I arrived just in time to discover support act True Strength, an Australian/Danish duo. If you love your folk with a touch of experimentation, or your Joanna Newsom mixed with a bit of Scandinavia, you might love True Strength. The almost a-tonal tinges to their light, delicate melodies only make them more beautiful and robust. Their self titled EP is a work I have found myself returning to often, and their performance that night is a memory I find delicious to linger on.

Tarpaper SkyBrad Butcher
Rodney CrowellTarpaper Sky
The name Rodney Crowell was only made known to me at the beginning of the year by a friend who told me I had to listen to Sex & Gasoline, an earlier release of Rodney’s, which I instantly connected with. I had become aware of a new album being released later this year couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It became the sound track of my first Tasmanian Tour in July this year and is still on high rotation. The way he looks at a song is not only unique but refreshing, this you might not expect from someone who’s been doing it for over 4 decades, but thats the very reason he is still at the top of his game and why this is my pick of 2014.

KimbraCurtis Smith (Yetis)
KimbraThe Golden Echo
Kimbra has got it. Her vocal ability seems limitless and her sense of groove is spot on. Not necessarily “beautiful” or “folky” but I can’t stop listening to it. One of those artists who doesn’t appear to be restricted by any means, and through this is making me think about my voice and to explore it’s capabilities. Also, my brother, sister and I (half of Yetis) are half kiwi, and are way too proud of it. We believe everything that comes out of NZ is brilliant, such as Kimbra.

Royal BloodJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
Royal BloodRoyal Blood
Simply the album is a rocking banger from start to finish!! Influenced heavily by the White Stripes with a touch of Muse at times. Its been on rotation for weeks and responsible for a lot of head banging!!

Gon BoogalooMark Moldre
CW StonekingGon’ Boogaloo
This album was well and truly worth the wait. CW Stoneking managed to reinvent his sound whilst retaining his authenticity. I actually wonder whether he may own a flux capacitor and a DeLorean because there’s no doubt in my mind that he has just stepped out of a 1930’s speakeasy. The fact that he picked up a Fender Jazzmaster for this album and put down the banjo allowed him to swing a little harder and dig himself into deeper grooves. It’s a wonderful blend of blues, jazz and ragtime – yet there is also something here that is intangible and undefinable – and completely his own. Nobody wants to see me dance – I promise you that, but this album makes me want to get up on the floor.

Let It LieStu Larsen
The Bros. LandrethLet It Lie
I randomly met these guys a few months ago when they were on their way home to Winnipeg, Manitoba. They were a last minute support act for my show in Chicago and really blew me away, in fact, I should have been the one supporting them, they were phenomenal. There is something incredibly captivating about these four guys when they play and sing together, both on the stage and on their album. Let It Lie is out in Canada and set for release in the States and Europe in a month or so from what I understand. I haven’t stopped listening to this album since they snuck me a copy in Chicago, hopefully Australian crowds will have the chance to fall in love with them soon!

TemplesTanya Batt
TemplesSun Structures
This year I discovered Temples and thank golly gosh for that. Think the Beatles mix the best of Tame Impala on more psychedelics with the world’s best summer vibes. It suits every mood I’m in and compliments it perfectly. I was pretty much hooked from the first bar of the first song “Sun Shelters” on the album and have listened to the album in its entirety most days since. It gives me the warm fuzzy’s because I love the vibe so much.

Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsBest Medicine
It’s extremely hard to communicate the strength and intensity of these three musicians on record, but the album is tracked live and what is captured is still enough to make it our favourite release this year. Lush, gutsy harmonies and warm acoustic instruments are part of the joy of this album, but the most exciting bit is the songwriting – there are some jaw-dropping songs on there. This is just such no-nonsense, straight up, great music to make you laugh and cry and sing along reeeally loudly!

Jack CartyRosie Catalano
Jack CartyEsk
Jack has the most delightful voice, pens lyrics that take you on little faraway journeys, and has recorded an album that includes a song I suffer withdrawals from (“Honey, Do You Know The Way Back Home?”).

HuskyJesse Lubitz (Tinpan Orange)
HuskyRuckers Hill
This is a mighty record. The soaring harmonies and tight arrangements wrap perfectly around the beautifully crafted songs. This is one of the best albums to come out of Australia in the past few years. Faultless.

Jacob WyldeHayden Calnin
Jacob WyldeIt’s All About To Go
I’ve been following folk artist Jacob Wylde’s music for some time, impatiently waiting for an EP release from him for far too long. He’s 18, from Perth and been very busy with school I imagine. Then one day, It’s All About To Go came along and (pardon my foul mouth) but… HOLY F*CK! He’s the musician the world’s been needing and I’m spreading the word and supporting this guy till the bitter end of my days. Please listen to Jacob Wylde. He’s a rare find.

Kate Miller HeidkeImogen Bel
Kate Miller-HeidkeO Vertigo!
I love the way Kate surprises you with each new album. She never rests on her laurels and she is impossible to pin down. This is what has kept her fan-base so loyal. On this album, she has found the perfect balance of her theatrical leanings with off-kilter pop hooks and her mixture of literal and absurd lyrics. I’m a huge fan of the production on this one and the subtle eighties pop influences that never sound obviously retro. I began following (stalking) her career since her first EP and she has been a huge inspiration to me. Thanks, Kate!

VariousLes Thomas
VariousAustralian Artists for Asylum Seekers
I was blown away by the Australian Artists for Asylum Seekers Christmas album, which was put together by Lindsay Philips and features 25 excellent local songwriters. Christmas albums have never done it for me before, but the quality of every song and the fact that all proceeds go towards supporting the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre make it a beautiful example of an artistic collaboration in the best traditions of giving.

Phantom RadioMichael Paolino (Husband)
Mark Lanegan BandPhantom Radio
I got into Mark Lanegan’s music this year and I don’t know how I got through the last 30 years without it. This album has a pretty diverse sound, going from incredibly soulful, organic southern/gothic rock to some synth experimentation with iPhone drum apps! Best track “Harvest Home”. All in all a great listen.

Possessed By Paul JamesIsaac Graham
Possessed by Paul JamesThere Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely
I stumbled across Possessed by Paul James (stage name of musician Konrad Wert) at a show in San Francisco a few years ago. I was amazed at his effortless and energetic performance and impressed by his ability to seamlessly switch gears between heartfelt folk ballads and fiddle-driven, foot stompers. Although he fell off my radar for a little while I recently tracked down his latest album There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely (2013) and was immediately captivated. Although it was released late last year I’m still claiming it as my favourite for 2014. Through his shrewd lyrics and restless performance, Wert seems to capture both the inevitable joy and loneliness of everyday life. The end product is a series of songs that are as heartbreaking as they are heart-warming. Standout tracks are “Hurricane”, “Where Does All the Time Go” and title track “There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely”. Let’s hope he tours here sometime soon.

BeckMatt Dewar (Direwolf)
BeckMorning Phase
I don’t mean to split hairs, but I was vigorously torn between Faker, FKA Twigs and Beck. However I landed on Morning Phase because of its beautiful complicated simplicity. Despite the gusty blend of 60’s inspired psychedelic folk/rock, I’m constantly in awe of a man who can bring so much weight with such blunt phrases like “these are the words you use, to say goodbye”. It’s truly a lament of husky wails, lingering sadness and about 20 years of making records.

About FaceJaye Kranz (Brighter Later)
#1 DadsAbout Face
CAVEAT: I decided to choose my fav local release. It just seems like such an impressive time for Oz music, right? #1 Dads About Face flew in on first listen and still hasn’t left me. As per Big Scary, Tom Iansek is once again behind the production desk, wielding his sonic sensibilities in ways at once strangely familiar, decidedly new, and always astonishingly beautiful. I love how much he does with sometimes the simplest production choices and changes, doing only as much as the song needs. Love the collaborations, “Return To” being my standout. Also: a sax solo. (Equal first: Lowlakes – Iceberg Nerves)

Mia DysonLiz Stringer
Mia DysonIdyllwild
Idyllwild is such a playful and coherent bunch of songs. One of my favourites is “Based On Your Eyes”, a beautiful, honest and soulful love song that’s vulnerable and tender and heaving with feeling. It gets better with every listen which, for me, is a mark of a quality album. There’s a brashness to Idyllwild that I love. Mia seems to have reached another level of writing and playing. Just when you think it can’t get any better.

In The SilenceThom Lion
ÁsgeirIn The Silence
I’ve always admired artists who could mix organic instruments into their sound with electronic circuitry. So many try and fail, yet Iceland’s Ásgeir does it with supreme conviction. His release In The Silence had me intrigued and genuinely moved from the first listen. The Bon Iver influence can be heard throughout (especially in the layered vocal production and acoustic guitars) but Ásgeir carves his own sound through bleeps, bloops and R&B beats. The fact that these songs have been translated from their original Icelandic form to English makes the words all the more wholesome and endearing. His voice exudes a soft, pleading emotion, with ethereal qualities. “Kings and Queens” is a folky song, yet would not be out of place on a chillout sessions compilation. Punctuated by pulsing synths, lyrically it conjures beautiful imagery and a sense of wonder. “Torrent” is an absolute belter, with its anthemic piano line, the band joins in with the spirit of Arcade Fire. Do yourself a favour and check out his vulnerable yet grandiose take of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” on youtube, for an insight into his stunning live show.

ElbowOlivia Hally (Oh Pep!)
ElbowThe Taking Off And Landing Of Everything
Elbow’s arrangements hit you hard, even more so with this latest release. Guy Garvey’s lyrics make you smile, but not because they’re particularly happy. This is a great album, my favourite this year.

KimbraJames McKendry (Takadimi)
KimbraThe Golden Echo
This is not a lo-fi listen, it is as much about sound design and exploration of textures as it is about songs. On each track you can hear that great care was taken to a sculpt a piece of art, and not just write some catchy tunes that everybody would like. It still has Kimbra’s trademark quirky sense of melody but it is far more experimental and eclectic in it’s influences than Vows. There are strong influences of neo-soul, experimental electronic music and psychedelia present. Washy, armchair sinking moments of ambient bliss like those heard on Carolina are contrasted with some edgier and more confronting works like the tongue in cheek ode to nostalgia that is “90’s music”. All in all I’m blown away by this album. Go get it.

Emma SwiftJames Morrison (The Morrisons)
Emma SwiftEmma Swift
Emma really delivered with this album. The songs are full of conviction, and her voice is equal parts of beauty and sorrow. It’s a real late night record. The whole thing is understated and moody, the session band are subtle and tasteful, Anne McCue did a great job with the production, and there’s more than one moment that will bring on a blissful sigh (special mention to the chorus in “James”). Just go and listen to it, watch her live, fall in love with her, and if you meet anyone who belittles the state of Australian country music, throw this their way.

Daniel RossenShannon Carpenter (Sleepy Dreamers)
Daniel RossenSilent Hour/Golden Mile
I love Grizzly Bear so I was probably always going to love this. I’ve always been a big fan of his voice and guitar playing. Was really hard to choose a fav so I should give an honourable mention to The War on Drugs. Their album was ridiculously good as well.

The War On DrugsOllie Brown
The War On DrugsLost In The Dream
It’s the subtle change of the snare drum after the first chorus of Lost in the Dream. It’s the distant piano that melts away in your ears. It’s the shimmering tremolo guitars, driving 80s rock beats and Dylan-esc vocal delivery that makes this record timeless, refreshing and my favourite album of 2014.

S CareyRoscoe James Irwin
S. CareyRange of Light
S. Carey is mostly known for being the drummer and main backing vocalist in the Bon Iver live band, but his own solo records are amazing and place him highly as a genuine artist in his own right. He manages to blend live instruments and orchestration with manipulated ambient sound into something very haunting and really incredible. Once you’ve heard the opening track “Glass/Film”, you’ll be hard pressed not to listen to the whole record. “Crown the Pines”, with it’s free melody and layered double-stop fiddles, and “Alpenglow”, with it’s deep and powerful string arrangement, are both highlights.

The StavesRosie McDonald (RAPT, Folklore)
The StavesIf I Was
I’m really pre-empting as the full album isn’t out until early Feb but I’ve heard snippets of the songs on If I Was from the online trailer for the album and i love it already and have even pre ordered it. I don’t know if you are like me but I tend to judge if I like a song in the first few seconds and this sister act have the goods to deliver. I saw the family band – Emily, Jess, Camilla – at the Cambridge folk festival last year having not heard them before and loved their close harmonies and lovely poetic songs (like Wailing Jenny’s, Fleet Foxes, Crosby Still Nash & Young) but the band could crank when needed also. There is something very special about family voices together that finds a cohesive fullness and beauty. Ukulele, still the new black, was a feature as well as very nice guitar playing. I bought their album Dead, Born and Grown and have absolutely loved listening to it. Their Live at Cecil Sharpe House album is also sublime with a beautiful reading of that American folk ballad “Silver Dagger” made famous by Joan Baez. Like his year’s release pre release of The Blood I Bled From, If I Was was produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in the wintry wilds of Wisconsin and will be on high rotation as soon as I have it in my hands.

Tiny RuinsJane Hendry (Broads, The Nymphs)
Tiny RuinsBrightly Painted One
I had been waiting for this album, as I am a massive fan. Kel (also from Broads) is also a big fan. I was lucky enough to see Holly do a solo album preview show in Melbourne a few months ago put on by the Melbourne Folk Club and she played the entire album in order from start to finish. It was such a beautiful, intimate show. And she’s totally lovely as well.

HozierMark Wilkinson
HozierHozier
A really impressive collection of songs. The production gives the album a rawness and a darkness which I really like.

The War On DrugsAidan Cooney (Boy Outside)
The War On DrugsLost In The Dream
A complete album and the sound of art being perfected over years. Culminating in this painstakingly crafted masterpiece. Beauty from start to finish.

Swimmin TimeTracy McNeil
Shovels & RopeSwimmin’ Time
Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent conjure up the dead, awake the living and are in my opinion one of the best and purest forms of male-female–husband-wife country duo’s of all time. On this latest release they tread through deeper waters, transforming darkness into light, dirt into finely cut diamonds, all within just a few bars. I’m at times exhausted having gone on the journey with them but always better for it. Swimmin’ Time is magic! Hands down my favorite release of 2014. “There’s hope where you can’t see it, there’s a light after the storm”. I’m glad Shovels & Rope are around to remind us of that.

GirlAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Pharrell WilliamsGirl
Great voice, great writing, full of fantastic hooks and well executed ideas. And I always love his production. My favourite pop album in years.

Angel OlsenJulia Jacklin
Angel OlsenBurn Your Fire For No Witness
This album sounds like 2014 for me. My housemates can attest that I have probably listened to it too much but it really hit me hard. She crafts really interesting songs which kind of meander but never lose focus. Her voice is this incredibly powerful thing that just cuts right through, she is one of the most unique and evocative vocalists I have ever heard. Some of the best moments on the record are when it’s just a strummed electric guitar and her singing in a whisper. It’s just beautiful heartbreaking lo-fi goodness.

The StavesSibylla Stephen (The Little Stevies)
The StavesThe Blood I Bled From
I am devastatingly slow when it comes to discovering to “new music”, even though I love it. These days, my two year old takes up most of my time (when I’m not concentrating on my own music), so I tend to catch onto things late, but I don’t enjoy them any less. The band I have discovered this year are The Staves. Their music moves me into a steady pace where I feel at peace. I’m pregnant again, and their album replaced my nightly 6pm-ish glass of wine (which is was very much missing!). I also want to shout-out to the best live band I’ve seen all year The Eastern, and the songs of Sweet Jean that featured heavily in the toddler music class my son and I have been attending at the Footscray Arts Centre, Rock On.

Ane BrunJames Lindsay (Breabach)
Ane BrunRarities
We really grew to be big fans of Ane when we were at WOMADelaide and Womad NZ together back in March this year. This album perfectly displays her serene voice, subtle lyrics and brilliant band.

VagabondLyn Taylor (Dear Orphans)
Stu LarsenVagabond
I waited too long for this album. Mike Rosenberg’s production of this album is sublime.

Gretta ZillerNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Gretta ZillerHell’s Half Acre
I’m a sucker for a good turn of melody and Gretta’s EP has a plenitude of notes that turn in unexpected directions. I also like songs that can take me to a different time and place. The title track “Hell’s Half Acre” transported me straight away to Wyoming, and “the low country where those lands were so so bad … for me”.

HITSMark ‘Looch’ Lewis (Handsome Young Strangers)
HITSHikikomori
This may be a controversial choice nominating a flat out rock and roll band in this forum. But sometimes exceptions need to be made. HITS have delivered a staggering album which stands right up there with the best Australian rock n roll flag wavers before them. Think Radio Birdman, The Saints, The Hard Ons at their best – this album sits right up there with them. Quite possibly the best rock n roll band in the world ATM.

InterstellerLaura Bishop (Chaika, Laura & Susie)
Hans ZimmerInterstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
It starts with a soft theme reminiscent of the opening of Prokofiev’s Cinderella, minuscule in sound like a forgotten echo of humanity’s first footsteps into space flight; progresses to the magnitude of a full church organ with columns of air blasting through metal pipes, matching the enormity of rocket engines launching; later sits back to watch as an observer from afar with a simple yet beautiful piano theme; and even at points uses a theme that is similar to one I wrote myself over a decade ago for a short film about the Apollo 11 mission. Wormholes much? Who knows! Either way, it’s a jolly good ride.

New MoonFanny Lumsden
Sarah HumphreysNew Moon
Generally I am not into “love songs” or sincerity however this album makes me want to hug, love and high five everyone that is dear to me. The song writing is just top notch with equal parts heart, fight and spunk. I also really singing the songs into a wooden spoon and dancing around the kitchen. Also other tops were: Caitlin Harnett’s The River Runs North, Nikki Lane’s All or Nothin’ (yep girl power) and Del Barber’s Prarieography.

Tiny RuinsEmma Davis
Tiny RuinsBrightly Painted One
I was tremendously excited for this release. Holly’s first record, Some Were Meant for Sea, is one of my favourites – a beautiful piece of storytelling, cleverly told and delicately produced. This record has a little more of everything. More instruments, a little more electric, more variation and dynamics, but no less heart. It’s the perfect example of what happens when a musician grows a constant band around her. The arrangements become a little more thought out, the songs lift and fall a little more. Buy this record, wrap it up in paper, and leave it in the letterbox of someone brilliant.

Lily OJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Sam AmidonLily-O
I bumped into good friend and man of impeccable taste, Mr Leroy Lee, at the Townie. It was 1:30am and luckily I wrote down the recommendation of this album. “You’ll love the beats” said Leroy. Beats? On a Sam Amidon album? He’s never been scared of percussion, but that’s not a comment to expect for the rustic strumming and plucking I’d enjoyed on Sam A’s previous outings. It was drizzly on my walk home, and I took an extra long way just to hear more as the early morning mistiness surrounded me. It perfectly suited the crystal clear production and voice filled with humanity. The version of “Groundhog Variations” is perfect, so try starting there. And if you see Leroy Lee around, get him to recommend your next favourite album.

Sun Kil MoonDarren Hanlon
Sun Kil MoonBenji
Sun Kil Moon had been one of those bands that, due to their bulky catalog and my own laziness, I’d never delved into. I couldn’t find an obvious doorway. I’d even played a show with them in Manchester a few years back, but it was a bad fit. The crowd watched me blank-faced and I felt self-conscious about displaying any kind of sunniness so just put my head down and plowed through. Mark Kozelek didn’t see me play but he was cordial in the bandroom and let me pilfer one of the bananas off his rider.
Just a few months back a good friend, in whose music taste I trust, implored me to listen to Benji, it was much more than a recommendation. So I took it very seriously and was, surprising to me, drawn into it right away by the croaky conversational tone and the stripped bare emotional tales he was telling.
A lot of the subject matter leans towards family, and is often confronting and candid. Lots of death and regret and tenderness. “I Can’t Live without My Mothers Love” is a far cry from your average Rock and Roll subject matter – and reminds me of first hearing Jonathan Richman sing about his wife in “Closer” – and just because of that is more Rock and Roll than any sex or drug reference. But there’s plenty of sex to be found. “Dogs” details the history of the protagonist’s (Kozelek’s?) early carnal explorations in erotic, graphic detail.
The songs are long, but don’t feel it. Like floating along on a stream where you’re too busy taking in the details of the surroundings to keep an eye on the time. The usual long-ingrained formulas of much popular music don’t apply here. The narratives are forthright and metaphor-free and the sparse instrumentation reflects this; it is subtle but inventive.
I’ve been thinking that as you get older poetry, for the sake of itself, can start to feel superfluous held up against pure message, or just plain truth. I’d spent my 20s trying to think up clever wordplay when now they can seem like window dressing. It’s not to say Benji isn’t clever. There’s so many surprising and inventive rhymes, or off-rhymes; it’s as if he’s tailored them to not quite fit so they jump out. And there’s a lot of humor, I actually laughed out loud hearing the line about his Dad flirting with the girls at Panera Bread. How often does that happen listing to serious folk music?
And it would take a hard heart not to find at least one tear. Listen to the story of his Dad’s downtrodden friend “Jim Wise”.
Very rarely, but every now and then, discovering a new band can pull back a curtain on a new way to approach songwriting, and another piece of the eternal puzzle falls away. I felt like this when I first heard Benji, ideas for about three new songs popped into my head. I feel like I have new tools with which to work.
I wonder if Mark Kozelek had an epiphany one day and a new horizon opened up, where the shackles of his old systems dissolved. Cause to me, as far as the lyrics go, this path he’s on feels limitless. Judging by his recent crazy slinging match with War On Drugs I hope this freedom of expression isn’t eating him up. I’m gonna go backwards now through his catalog to look for clues.
So listening to Benji has been a positive experience for me. I’ve also recommended it to other friends and they haven’t had the same experience, so evidently it’s not for everyone. But I’ve written this review without having listened to it for a few weeks now. That’s how vivid it still is in my mind.

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2014

Records

It that’s time of year again when we sit down and wade through the wealth of amazing releases from throughout 2014 and try to put them into some sort of order. For the past few years we’ve asked Timber and Steel contributors to list their top five albums or EPs from the past 12 months, but this year we thought it was time to provide a single, consolidated list.

It was another cracker year for folk and acoustic music and putting this list together was so difficult – you’ll notice that there’s a few omissions that were on our Ten Albums and EPs From the First Half of 2014 You Should Own showing just how strong the last six months were.

So here it is, our top 25 albums and EPs from 2014. Hopefully your favourite is here or you’ll discover some of the fantastic music from the year that was.

Nick Mulvey

1. Nick MulveyFirst Mind
While Timber and Steel skews towards Australian music I’m always interested to see what’s happening in the folk scenes around the world, in particular the UK and USA. The amount of music from overseas can be overwhelming so I usually go to sources I trust – and the top of that list is the Communion community which is where I discovered Nick Mulvey.

There’s something really special about the way Nick Mulvey approaches songwriting – manipulating his guitar into non-standard tunings with multiple capos, building rhythms and riffs on top of each other and layering in his understated vocals. The entire album is insanely listenable and while highlights are hard to pick the singles – “First Mind”, “Fever to the Form”, “Cucurucu” and “Meet Me There” – always stand out.

I hope that when Nick Mulvey visited our shores earlier this year he gained more than a handful of Australian fans because I’d love to see him back here at some point. His music is simply magical.

Caitlin Harnett

2. Caitlin HarnettThe River Runs North
Where did you come from Caitlin Harnett? Well, I know where you came from. I’ve seen you a number of times over the years in and around Sydney. But when The River Runs North came out it completely blindsided me. Here is one of the most powerful, sensitive, eloquent and strong releases of the year. Caitlin Harnett has a clear musical voice that shines through on the most exciting debut in Australia in 2014.

Sam Amidon

3. Sam AmidonLily-O
2013’s Bright Sunny South was such a revelation for me, the way Sam Amidon was able to reinvent traditional music. I thought it would be impossible to top but then Lily-O came along and all my epectations were blown out of the water. Maybe it’s his work with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell this time around. Or that Lily-O is a little more rhythm section driven than Amidon’s previous effort. Whatever it is, this album is a masterpiece that I just can’t stop listening to. Can’t wait to see you try and top this one Sam Amidon!

Husky

4. HuskyRuckers Hill
“I’m Not Coming Back” announced Husky’s triumphant return with their second full length album Ruckers Hill, giving us another slice of indie-folk goodness. Husky Gawenda’s songwriting is at its best with gutsy melodies and sweet harmonies all over this album. I feel like Husky’s sound has been cemented here – they’ve grown up without losing their essence, without feeling the need to reinvent. I was lucky enough to make it to the Sydney launch of Ruckers Hill and I can say that all of the tracks translate really well live which is just the icing on the cake.

Sweet Jean

5. Sweet JeanGreetings From Goodbye
Sime and Alice from Sweet Jean refer to Greetings From Goodbye as their “folk album” – a strange turn of phrase considering folk is at the heart of pretty much everything they produce. But when you sit down and listen to Greetings From Goodbye you understand exactly what they mean. Recording in the duo’s converted-laundry studio and featuring traditionals, covers and originals, the album is a laid back, stripped back, heartbreaking masterpiece that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more (seven tracks is never enough).

Bears Den

6. Bear’s DenIslands
When I asked Kevin Jones why he and Andrew Davie ended their original band Cherbourg to only then start Bear’s Den he said “It was quite a set formula with Cherbourg and I think we’re all multi-instrumentalists in Bear’s Den and it allows us to be a lot more fluid with the sort of sounds we can make and what we choose to do with them”. And this fluidity has culminated in Islands. The album has some really touching folky moments in tracks like “Elysium”, “Above The Clouds of Pompeii” and “Isaac” but is not afraid to embrace the rock side of the spectrum as well with the likes of “Think of England”. A wonderful album that I just can’t put down.

JVM

7. James Vincent McMorrowPost Tropical
Post Tropical would have made my best of list last year if its release wasn’t delayed until January – even though I had an advance copy at the end of 2013 I still consider this a 2014 release. Post Tropical is the evolution of James Vincent McMorrow from acoustic singer-songwriter to synth-driven, pop purveyor. This will likely be the last album of McMorrow’s that we cover – there’s an essence of folk in tracks like “Look Out”, “Gold” and “Red Dust” but it feels like he’s saying goodbye to the genre. As a transitional record I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

OCMS

8. Old Crow Medicine ShowRemedy
When this album came out I listened to it non-stop for two weeks. Everything else fell by the wayside as I found myself transported to Tennessee and beyond, travelling with the world’s best string band. Sure, some tracks are silly (“Brushy Mountain Conjugal Visit”, “8 Dogs 8 Banjos”) and their latest Bob Dylan collaboration on “Sweet Amarillo” is no “Wagon Wheel”, but the album as a whole is one of my favourites to date from Old Crow Medicine Show and is well worth investing time in. In fact I might go and listen to it right now.

Passenger

9. PassengerWhispers
Passenger has faced down the pressure of following up the massive international success of All The Little Lights by producing another classic in Whispers. It’s a little more slickly produced than his previous work but at the core of Whispers is the solid songwriting and storytelling that Passenger is renowned for. And the more I listen to it the more I’m convinced that “Heart’s on Fire” is my favourite Passenger song to date.

Bellowhead

10. BellowheadRevival
I love Bellowhead dearly but sometimes their bombasity makes it difficult to make it through an entire album in one sitting. But with Revival this all changes making it their most listenable album to date. Jon Boden’s voice is still in fine form (and fast becoming synonymous with modern English traditional music) and the arrangement of each track is pitch perfect. I love their version of Richard Thompson’s “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight”, the only contemporary song amongst eleven traditionals but its the instrumental “Jack Lintel’s Jig” that is by far and away my favourite.

Jack and Charlie

11. Jack McNeill and Charlie HeysAny Other Morning
A contemporary folk gem, combining fiddle, guitar and the Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys’ beautiful voices in some of the best music of the year.

Jack Carty

12. Jack CartyEsk
Jack Carty finally seems happy in his 2014 offering, but don’t let that scare you away – Esk is his most mature record to date and confirms Carty as one of the finest songwriters in the country.

First Aid Kit

13. First Aid KitStay Gold
Filled with lush arrangements, beautiful harmonies and First Aid Kit’s trademark cascading lyrics, Stay Gold transports you to a 70s summer somewhere on the west coast of the USA.

Patrick James

14. Patrick JamesBroken Lines
Patrick James’ output is consistently brilliant and Broken Lines sees him continue to shine as a songwriter creating little drops of folk gold with every lyric, chord and melody.

The Staves

15. The StavesBlood I Bled
It may only be a precursor to their upcoming Justin Vernon produced album If I Was, due in January next year, but Blood I Bled is three songs of pure harmonic wonder and joy that you need to buy right now.

One Up Two Down

16. One Up, Two DownOne Up, Two Down
On the surface this is a bluegrass release but One Up, Two Down are so well versed in the folk traditions that you can feel celtic, blues and country influences creeping in to make a wonderful, folky mess.

Davidson Brothers

17. Davidson BrothersWanderlust
The Davidson Brothers are not only some of the best musicians – of any genre – in Australia but they’re also amazing bluegrass songwriters – I just couldn’t stop listening to Wanderlust when it was released this year.

Jordan Millar

18. Jordan MillarThe Wheel EP
The song “If Only…” sucked me into this EP early and I stayed because I love the way Jordan Millar writes pop music – although I suspect he’s a folkie at heart.

Kasey Chambers

19. Kasey ChambersBittersweet
There’s so much to love about Bittersweet, from its old-timey Americana influences to the collaborations with Bernard Fanning, Dan Kelly, Bill Chambers and more, that I reckon it could be Kasey Chambers’ best solo effort yet.

Stu Larsen

20. Stu LarsenVagabond
Travelling the world, playing to thousands of people every night – none of this deterred Stu Larsen from creating an intimate, stripped back album with Vagabond, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

New Moon

21. Sarah HumphreysNew Moon
This has been a big year of change for Sarah Humphreys and this has bled into her music – the cutesy pop-folk princess has been dismantled and in her place a confident, mature singer-songwriter has emerged.

Emma Swift

22. Emma SwiftEmma Swift
There’s nothing technically amazing about Emma Swift’s self titled EP, but its simple, stripped back, three-chords-and-the-truth style harkens back to country music of old and is one of the most honest releases of the year.

Little May

23. Little MayLittle May
Epic indie-folk from the Sydney trio whose star is most definitely on the rise, the EP is full of hamonies, building crescendos and catchy melodies.

Winter Pick

24. Justin BernasconiWinter Pick
Justin Bernasconi is one of the best folk/country/blues guitarists in the business right now and Winter Pick is full to the brim with awe inspiring instrumentals and deceptively laidback songs.

Aubergine

25. Green Mohair SuitsAubergine
I honestly wasn’t expecting to like Aubergine as much as I do but I was so impressed with just how tight it is, how good the songwriting is and how much fun The Green Mohair Suits are having taking Bluegrass seriously.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Sarah Humphreys released “Take Your Time”, the first single from her forthcoming album New Moon as well as tour dates in November and December. Details on the single here and album here

The Port Fairy Folk Festival revealed their second round of artists for 2015 including Davidson Brothers, Shane Howard, Wagons, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Lucy Wise Trio, Steve Smyth, The Company, Tracey McNeil & The Goodlife, Trouble in the Kitchen and many more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Brendon Moon has released his new video “Augustine”. Details here

– Melbourne’s The Tiger & Me have released their brand new single “Call Me On Your Own” and a couple of launch shows in November. Details here

– Adelaide folk singer Kaurna Cronin has released his new video “Fearless”. Details here

– The Sydney Festival announced its 2015 program and we’ve picked our favourite folk acts. Details here

– Get a peak into what Jack Carty gets up to on tour with this new video “What Am I Gonna Do With All Of My Love Now?”. Details here

WOMADelaide has added a bunch more artists to its 2015 lineup including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robyn Hitchcock with Emma Swift, First Aid Kit, Gruff Rhys, Sinead O’Connor (above), Timberwolf, Sharon Van Etten and many many more. Details here

The Davidson Brothers have announced a November residency and a one of show with US bluegrassers Special Consensus. Details here

– Adelaide singer-songwriter Thom Lion and the Tamers released his new single “Fruition”. Details here

First Aid Kit released the video for their track “Stay Gold” and announced a 2015 Australian tour. Details here

– This January will see the release of Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis, a double live album with tracks from the likes of Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Milk Carton Kids, Secret Sisters, Lake Street Dive, Elvis Costello, Oscar Isaac, Conor Oberst, Colin Meloy, Joan Baez, The Avett Brothers, Jack White, Marcus Mumford and more. Details here

Conor Oberst has announced an Australian tour next year with The Felice Brothers in support. Details here

– The third lineup announcement from Bluesfest is pretty light on the folk. Details here

Damien Rice has just released the video for his new track “I Don’t Want To Change You”. Details here

Jordan Millar released his new video “Advice From Beyonce”. Details here

– The Nannup Music Festival announced its 2015 lineup including Marlon Williams, Darren Hanlon, Fanny Lumsden, Al Parkinson, Stray Hens, Ruby Boots, Husband, Fred Smith and Liz Frencham, Colin Lillie, Melody Pool, Daniel Champagne, The Pierce Brothers, Jacinta Price and many many more. Details here

– UK duo Paper Aeroplanes released their new single “Guessing Game”. Details here

– NSW bluegrass band The Mid-North released their new video “Carry Me Home”. Details here

Hat Fitz and Cara will be kicking off a national tour this week. Details here

Marlon Williams has announced full band headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne along with a bunch of festival dates. Details here

– The latest track from The New Basement Tapes, “Liberty Street” was released. Details here

– The legendary Richard Thompson has announced headline shows when he’s in Australia next year. Details here

– The Gaelic Club in Sydney is relaunching after a a facelift with an Upstairs and Underground gig featuring Bears with Guns, Liam Gale & the Ponytails and Aether Beach. Details here

Daniel Lee Kendall released his new single “Emptiness”. Details here

Releases This Week

Lisa O'Neill
Same Cloth Or NotLisa O’Neill
Bandcamp

The Eastern
The TerritoryThe Eastern
iTunes

The Once
DeparturesThe Once
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

JamGrass Music Festival

Jamgrass

Every year Jamgrass delivers one of the best weekends of contempory bluegrass, folk and jam music in the country and this weekend is no different. With a lineup that boasts the likes of Mustered Courage, The Perch Creek Family Jugband, Sal Kimber & the Rollin’ Wheel, The Morrisons, The Seals, One Up, Two Down, Marlon Williams, Sweet Jean, James Kenyon and many many more you know you’re going to have a pluckin’ good time. The festival kicks off tonight and goes right through the weekend – if you’re in Melbourne make sure you check it out!

Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Bearded Gypsy Band
Saturday 1st November – Nexus, Adelaide, SA
Friday 7th November – The Factory, Sydney, NSW

Busby Marou
Friday 31st October – Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 1st November – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Sunday 2nd November – The Fig, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 7th November – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 31st October – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 1st November – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 2nd November – The B-East, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 31st October – The Crown and Sceptre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 1st November – Grottofest, Marburg, QLD
Saturday 1st November – The Factory, Maroocydore, QLD
Thursday 6th November – The North Shore Tavern, Perth, WA
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th November – The Blues at Bridgetown Festival, Bridgetown, WA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Andy Brown, The Mae Trio
Friday 31st October – Isisford, QLD
Saturday 1st November – Winton, QLD
Sunday 2nd November – Barcaldine, QLD
Friday 7th November – Cunnamulla, QLD

Folklore
Friday 31st October – The Merton Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Saturday 1st November – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC
Friday 7th November – Church of Trinity, Adelaide, SA

Hat Fitz and Cara
Thursday 6th November – SOL Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 7th November – The J, Noosa Junction, QLD

Husky
Friday 7th November – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC

Jack Carty
Saturday 1st November – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 2nd November – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Thursday 6th Novmeber – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Friday 7th November – Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA

JamGrass Music Festival
Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Jep and Dep
Friday 31st October – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 1st November – Jet Black Cat Music, Brisbane, QLD

Katie Noonan, Angie Hart, Melody Pool, Sam Buckingham
Friday 7th November – The Gov, Adelaide, SA

Lanie Lane
Friday 31st October – Anita’s, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 7th November – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Little May
Thursday 6th November – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA (Supporting Rodriguez)
Friday 7th November – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA (Supporting Rodriguez)

Liz Stringer
Friday 31st October – Basement Discs In Store, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 31st October – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 1st November – The Song Room, Barossa Valley, SA
Sunday 2nd November – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 7th November – Darwin Railway Club, Parap, NT

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 31st October – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 1st November – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 2nd November – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 7th November – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast, QLD

One Up, Two Down and Dan Parsons
Friday 31st October – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 1st to Sunday 2nd November – JamGrass Music Fest, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 6th November – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 7th November – House Show, Mildura, VIC

Sam Newton
Friday 31st October – Roundabout Inn, Gloucester, NSW
Saturday 1st November – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunday 2nd November – The Heritage Hotel, Gladstone, NSW
Friday 7th November – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

Steve Smyth
Friday 31st October – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 2nd November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The Acfields
Friday 31st October – Rainbow Beach Hotel, Rainbow Beach, QLD

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 31st October – Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Thursday 6th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Porch Sessions feat. Winterbourne and Special Guests
Sunday 2nd November – House Concert, Adelaide, SA

The Stetson Family
Sunday 2nd November – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Tiger & Me
Friday 7th November – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Wagons
Monday 3rd November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 6th November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 7th November – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Twa Corbies” – Steeleye Span

We thought we’d choose a nice creepy folk song for your All Hallows’ Eve. Happy Samhain one and all!

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