The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2016

Little Drummer Boy

It’s Christmas Eve which means its time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2017

The Lumineers – “Blue Christmas”
This year we were treated to a couple of versions of the Elvis Presley track “Blue Christmas” – a stripped back version from The Lumineers and an indie version from Builder of the House & Robyn Adele Anderson. We like ’em both!

Builder of the House (ft. Robyn Adele Anderson) – “Blue Christmas”

Trampled by Turtles – “Christmas in Prison”
Jone Prine’s “Christmas in Prison” is a go to cover for Americana, country and bluegrass bands each year – we like this version from Trampled by Turtles

Bonnie & The Barrows – “Christmas Brand New”

Sara Watkins – “The Holidays With You”
Sara Watkins adds a touch of ukulele to Christmas with her track “The Holidays With You”.

David Brent & Foregone Conclusion – “Don’t Cry It’s Christmas”
Ok, this isn’t folk. But you have to agree that Ricky Gervais’ David Brent owns the Christmas number one with “Don’t Cry It’s Christmas”

Brooke Annibale – “This Holiday”

Caroline Pennell Feat. Aaron Espe – “This Year”

Miranda Dodson – “Christmas Glow”

Jessica Martindale & Tyler Huston – “Angels We Have Heard”

She & Him – “Christmas Memories”
She & Him are determined to corner the indie market each and every year and their 2016 track “Christmas Memories” is another gem.

Freedom Fry – “Oh Santa (Bad World)”

Woodsy Pride – “It’s Merry Christmas”

Marié Digby – “Venice Beach Christmas”

Cara Dillon – “Upon a Winter’s Night”
A truly wonderful piece of Christmas folk music – what more would you expect from Cara Dillon?

Low – “Some Hearts (at Christmas Time)”

Jack Skuller – “Stuck In This Holiday”

The Washington Squares – “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”
“The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” gets a 60s folk makeover care of The Washington Squares.

Loretta Lynn – “To Heck with Ole Santa Claus”

Skinner and T’witch – “The Winter Song”

Jethro Tull – “Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)”

The Changing Room – “There’s Magic In Christmas Eve”

Ange Hardy – “Mary’s Robin”
Ange Hardy released a double A side for Christmas and both tracks – “The Quantock Carol” and “Mary’s Robin” – are magnificent. We chose “Mary’s Robin” because most other outlets are chosing the former.

The Gothard Sisters – “Christmas Flower”
Tightly polished Irish folk music at its best.

Jennifer Licko – “The Holly and the Ivy”

Cherish the Ladies – “Ding Dong! Merrily On High/The Cordal Jig/Old Apples In Winter/Con Cassidy’s”

Ben Abraham and Missy Higgins – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
A wonderful slice of Australian Christmas. Ben Abraham, Missy Higgins, a kiddy pool and a dog are all you need.

The Secret Sisters – “The Little Drummer Boy”

Hattie Briggs & Natalie Holmes – “Christmas Bells”

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Justin Townes Earle released his brand new video “Time Shows Fools”. Details here

– There’s a new album on the way from She & Him in the coming months. Details here

The April Maze have released their video “It’s Been A Long Time Between Beers” as they wing their way back to Australia. Details here

– The Festival of Small Halls kicks off a tour through Queensland this October and November with Andy Brown and The Mae Trio. Details here

– Adelaide singer-songwriter James Abberley has released his new single “Seeker Keeper”. Details here

– The brand new Adelaide based blues and roots focused festival Follow The Sun announced their 2014 lineup. Details here

– UK nu-folk band Patch and the Giant released their new video “For Gabriel”. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Jay Penaflor is streaming his brand new EP Incentive. Details here

Husky have announced details of their new album Ruckers Hill plus a bunch of tour dates this November and December. Details here

– Canberra based three-piece You, The Wolf have released their new single “Awake”. Details here

– The Sydney Blues and Roots Festival has already announced a bunch of artists for it’s 2014 lineup. Details here

– A songwriter night has popped up on Sundays at The Lewisham Hotel in Sydney with Laura Zarb about to kick off a residency. Details here

Ryan Adams released his new video “Gimme Somthing Good”. Details here

The Folk Informal in Sydney has announced their September lineup including Imogen Bel, Amela, Black River Bell and Angharad Drake. Details here

Bear’s Den have announced the full details of their debut album Islands. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Sahara Beck will be launching her new EP Bloom with a tour this September and October. Details here

– The Out on the Weekend festival have announced a Brisbane leg with appearances by Nikki Lane, Robert Ellis, The Delines, Jonny Fritz, Emma Swift, Halfway, Paddy McHugh and Warren Earl Band. Details here

The Gorgeous Festival in South Australia have announced their 2014 lineup including Xavier Rudd, The Waifs, The Beautiful Girls, Busby Marou, Little May, The Cairos, Elliott Brood, Kim Wempe, Tim Chaisson, Timberwolf, The Timbers, Echo & the Empress and Rin McArdle. Details here

Wagons announced details of their Chase The Eclipse tour this September. Details here

– More artists have been added to the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) including Frank Yamma, Leah Flanagan, Timberwolf, Marlon Williams and many more. Details here

MoFo in Sydney announced their artists for September – Laura and Susie who are busy running around the country on their Meremba Tour along with Sydney based blues and gospel duo Golden Whistler. Details here

Releases This Week

Jay Penaflor
IncentiveJay Penaflor
Bandcamp

Bittersweet
BittersweetKasey Chambers
iTunes

Olivers Army
Nothing Ever Really Stays The SameOlivers Army
Bandcamp

Todd Sibbin
A Set Of Knives, A Pair Of PensTodd Sibbin and the Acadian Driftwood
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Seek Stumble Listen Live feat. Fanny Lumsden, Little Fox

Fanny Lumsden

Tonight the very special blog Seek Stumble Listen Live will be hosting its first live multimedia event in Sydney featuring live music with a heavy dose of folk from Fanny Lumsden, Little Fox and more. It’s definitely a great way to see in the weekend.

Friday 29th August – The Corner Store, Sydney, NSW
Facebook Event

Gigs Next Week

Bob Dylan
Friday 29th August – Royal Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 31st August – Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 3rd September – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 4th September – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th September – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 5th September – The Palais, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd September – – The Palais, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 29th August – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 30th August – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

Busking for Change feat. Josh Pyke, Urthboy
Thursday 4th September – The Roller Den, Sydney, NSW

Cat Canteri
Friday 5th September – Basement Disc’s, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 5th September – The Star, Yackandandah, VIC

Darren Cross
Friday 5th September – Padre, Brisbane, QLD

Jep and Dep
Friday 5th September – Padre Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Katie Noonan w/ Jack Carty
Saturday 30th August – Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD

Little Features feat. Mimi Gilbert, Lissa, Brendon Moon, Sarah Dahl, James Griffin
Saturday 30th August – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Luke Morris
Sunday 31st August – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Nova and the Experience
Friday 29th August – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 30th August – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Olivers Army
Friday 29th August – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 29th August – Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 30th August – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 4th September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 5th September – A Music Warehouse Project, Adelaide, SA

Seek Stumble Listen Live feat. Fanny Lumsden, Little Fox
Friday 29th August – The Corner Store, Sydney, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers
Wednesday 3rd September – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Spookyland
Friday 5th September – Rocket Bar, Adelaide, SA

Taliska
Friday 29th August — Conservatory Café, Wyreena, VIC

The Living Room feat. Laura Zarb, Simon Meli (The Widowbirds), Johnny Took (Little Bastard)
Sunday 31st August – Lewisham Hotel, Sydney

The Timbers
Friday 29th August – The World’s End, Adelaide, SA
Friday 5th September – Nelson Hotel, Nelson, VIC

Todd Sibbin and The Acadian Driftwood
Saturday 30th August – Aztec, Forster, NSW
Wednesday 3rd September – Coast Hotel, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thursday 4th September – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 5th September – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Tom West
Saturday 30th August – The Aztec, Forster, NSW
Wednesday 3rd September – Coast Hotel, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thursday 4th September – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 5th September – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Vance Joy
Friday 5th September – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Lakes of Pontchartrain” – Paul Brady and Andy Irvine

This week I fell down a Paul Brady and Andy Irvine youtube hole which I’m yet to crawl out of. Apologies if this sends you down a similar hole.

She and Him Announce New Album Classics

She and Him
Image Courtesy of She and Him

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s duo project She and Him have announced plans to release their brand new album Classics. The album is due for release in the coming months (no firm release date yet) and will feature some of the duo’s favourite classic songs.

“We are incredibly excited to release a record of our favorite songs,” Zooey Deschanel explained. “It was a dream of ours to record these songs in a way that highlighted the brilliance of the songwriting and the beauty of their melodies. We had a wonderful time making the record and we hope people have a wonderful time listening to it”

Check out a teaser video for Classics below:

Watch the New She & Him Video “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”

She and Him
Image Courtesy of She & Him

Zooey Deschanel has just added Director to her impressive resume having just put together the clip for She & Him’s latest single “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”. The clip also stars Deschanel and her She & Him bandmate M Ward and is inspired by 60s musicals. Check it out below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 8th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Passenger released the final in this series of weekly live videos, this time for the track “The Way It Goes” featuring Will and the People. Details here

Sam Amidon revealed details of a brand new album, Bright Sunny South, due in May. Details here

– “Jail Birds” is the brand new single from Tanya Batt and she’s offering it up as a free download. Details here

The Leisure Society have ventured into synth-pop territory for their new single “Fight For Everyone”, a track which also features a quirky animated video. Details here

– This Autumn will see four shows at The Toff in Town for Communion Melbourne, and for the first time they’re offering a discounted Season Pass ticket for all four shows. Details here

– And the full lineup for the first Communion Melbourne has been revealed headed up by Mustered Courage. Details here

Jordan Millar released his brand new video “Maps” from his excellent album Cold Lights On Curious Minds. Details here

Woodpigeon realsed his brand new video for “Red Rover, Red Rover”. Details here

– Celtic five-piece Claymore will be playing The Flying Saucer Club tonight. Details here

– Alabama Shakes front-woman Brittany Howard has teamed with Ruby Amanfu for the next 7″ single from Third Man Records. Details here

Mustered Courage have revealed details of their upcoming album Powerlines which they’ll be launching in May, along with the video for their new single “Cruel Alibis”. Details here

– Folk-pop duo She & Him revealed a new track from their upcoming album Volume 3, “Never Wanted Your Love”. Details here

Interviews

“Some people like the vibe or the concert or the dancing or the partying or whatever goes alongside the music but I think for folk audiences it’s about the songs and what the songs mean to them. It’s a very very important genre and I’m super stoked to be a part of it”Jordan Millar chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I love working with Hayden [Calnin], I am so comfortable to push the boundaries with him and hit bad notes et cetera, to try and discover new things within my voice to add. And, I mean I sat there with him throughout the whole entire process helping produce and mix the track, we don’t annoy each other that much so it’s great fun also”Tanya Batt chats to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“This album showcases an evolution of Frightened Rabbit’s music structurally, stylistically and lyrically. The tracks range from anthemic synth beats to delicate folk lamentations, all conducted by the biting and reckless persona of their tenacious bearded front man”Lauren Moore reviews Pedestrian Verse from Frightened Rabbit. Review here

Gigs

“Upon multiple listens of Captain Apples prior to this long-awaited gig, this collective of six very talented and passionate musicians did not disappoint. In fact, they transcended all expectation and have solidified any reservations for their inevitable success”Janine Estoesta reviews Captain Apples. Review here

Releases This Week

The Beast In Its Tracks
The Beast In Its TracksJosh Ritter
iTunes

Creatures
CreaturesSleepy Dreamers
Bandcamp

Tales from Terra Firma
Tales From Terra FirmaStornoway
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Sarah Humphreys
Sarah Humphreys with Broni and Kat Arditto
Sunday 10th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch
Saturday 9th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 10th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 13th March – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 14th March – The Substation, Newport, VIC

Arlo Guthrie with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Tuesday 12th March – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 13th March – Octagon Theatre, Perth WA
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March – Katoomba, NSW

Bobby Alu
Thursday 14th March – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA
Friday 15th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA

Breaking Hart Benton
Friday 8th March – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD (with O’Little Sister)
Thursday 14th March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 15th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (with Sarah Humphreys)

Brett Winterford
Friday 8th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 10th March – The Bombie Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 15th March – Mars Hill Cafe, Sydney, NSW

Claymore
Friday 8th March – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC

Damien Dempsey
Friday 15th March – The Bakery, Northbridge, WA

Dave Di Marco
Thursday 14th March – Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th March – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC

Don’t Mention The Wall
Friday 8th March – Humph Hall, Allambie Heights, NSW
Saturday 9th March – Artists Shed, Queanbeyan, NSW
Sunday 10th March – Wongawilli Hall, NSW
15th to 16th March – Beechworth, Vic

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 8th March – Melbas, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Friday 8th March – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta, QLD
Saturday 9th March – Komune, Coolangatta, QLD
Saturday 9th March – Boardwalk Tavern, Hope Island, QLD
Sunday 10th March – Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW
Sunday 10th March – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW

Eli Wolfe
Saturday 9th March – Town Sqaure, Port Headland, WA
Thursday 14th March – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Frogfest feat. The Barons of Tang, Takadimi, GrandMasterMonk and Dave Bova Band: Divina Commedia
Friday 15th March – Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 8th March – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, VIC w/ The Yearlings
Saturday 9th March – Baby Black Cafe, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Monday 11th March – Moomba Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 13th March – The Government, Adelaide, SA w/ Ruthie Foster
Friday 15th March – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC w/ Ruthie Foster

Luka Bloom
Friday 8th March – Lizotte’s, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 10th March – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 12th March – The Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 13th March – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Saturday 9th March – A Day On The Green @ Bimbadgen Winery, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 10th March – Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet
Friday 15th March – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Music Festival, VIC

Paul Brady
Friday 15th March – Celtic Club, Melbourne, VIC

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Saturday 9th March – Peterson’s Winery, Armidale, NSW
Sunday 10th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Monday 11th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 12th March – Sydney Opera House, Syndey, NSW
Thursday 14th March – Kings Park, Perth, WA

Patrick James
Friday 15th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD

Port Fairy Folk Festival
8th to 11th March – Port Fairy, VIC

Sarah Humphreys
Saturday 9th March – Purepop Records, St Kilda, VIC
Sunday 10th March – The Workers Club, Fitzroy, VIC

Seth Lakeman
Friday 8th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Saturday 9th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC
Monday 11th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 12th March – Ararat Hotel, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 14th March – Brunswick Music Festival, Melbourne, VIC

The Tallest Man on Earth
Friday 8th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 9th March – Golden Plains Festival, VIC
Sunday 10th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

The Tiger and Me
Friday 15th March – Elsternwick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Underscore Orkestra
Friday 8th March – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Friday 17th March – The Upfront Club, Maleny, Qld

Friday Folk Flashback

“Woman’s Work” – Tracy Chapman

To celebrate International Women’s Day we could have chosen any number of folky songs celebrating, recognising and telling the stories of women. But when it comes down to it any day we can find a reason to post some Tracy Chapman music is a good day. Enjoy.

New She & Him Track “Never Wanted Your Love”

She and Him
Image Courtesy of She & Him

The first single to be revealed from the upcoming She & Him album Volume 3 is “Never Wanted Your Love” and is just the slice of indie-folk-pop you’ve come to expect from the duo. Take a listen to “Never Wanted Your Love” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 1st February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Brunswick Music Festival announced their full 2013 lineup which includes Seth Lakeman, Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies, Vin Garbutt, Enda Kenny, Dougie MacLean, Mike Compton, Eric Bogle, Archie Roach, Finbar Furey, Bill Jackson, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady and many more. Details here

Sarah Blasko revealed her new video “God-Fearing” from her sumptuous album I Awake. Details here

– Sydney monthly modern folk night MoFo kicks off again in 2013 with a February show featuring Modhan and Candice McLeod. Details here

– The king of English trad song, Sam Lee, released his brand new video “Good Bye My Darling”. Details here

– The final artists have been added to the 2013 Port Fairy Folk FestivalTim Finn, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Jackson McLaren & The Triple Threat, Siskin River, Shaun Kirk and Alanna & Alicia Egan. Details here

Mustered Courage have announced a Thursday night residency at The Wesley Anne in Melbourne throughout February. Details here

– UK trio Daughter released their brand new video “Still” from their upcoming debut album If You Leave. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Tom Stephens is launching his 2012 EP Wintry West at the Newsagency in Sydney next Thursday. Details here

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel are teaming up again for the forth She & Him album, Volume 3, due this May. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter De’Borah caught my attention with her beautiful new song and video “A Thousand Tongues”. Details here

Brighter Later have revealed another track from their upcoming album The Wolves, “Come and Go”. Details here

Iron and Wine have announced plans to release a brand new album, Ghost on Ghost, in April this year and are already streaming one of the tracks, “Lovers’ Revolution”. Details here

– The winners from the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were announced and some lovely videos from the ceremony have made their way online. Details here

Passenger revealed another new track, “I’ll Be Your Man”, via a live video featuring Stu Larsen, Emma Stevens and Jack Williams. Details here

Interviews

“I’m basically going to go further than I did, just a little deeper into the Memphis sound. My music’s pushing more toward a blues and a soul kind of area and I’m finding a lot more comfort in that then I did in country. I can write a country song but I grew up in the city – I’m not a big fan of cows [laughs]. I think that’s the main reason it didn’t effect me the same way that soul and blues and more urban forms of music did”Justin Townes Earle chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I suppose it depends on what kind of opportunities. What you want and how you want to live your life – everyone says that Melbourne’s the music centre of Australia and it’s just abundant, so full of people. Ed [Ammendola] from Augie March once said to me ‘Melbourne is like a fruit orchard. Melbourne’s where you grow the fruit and you have to export it – if you don’t export the fruit it’ll just go to waste'” – Jess Ribeiro from Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Laylam
Laylam – Carthy, Hardy, Farrell, Young
Amazon

Jim James
Regions of Light and Sound of GodJim James
iTunes

Friend and Lover
Friend and LoverNick and Liesl
Official Site

Talk
TalkThe String Contingent
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 1st February – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 2nd February – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Tuesday 5th February – St Kilda Live ‘n Local Festival, The Vineyard, St Kilda, VIC
Thursday 7th February – Red Lime Shack Cafe, Port Adelaide, SA
Friday 8th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Gigs Next Week

AMP Alive feat. Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors, Hermitude, Urthboy
Friday 1st February – Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC

Chaika
Saturday 2nd February – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Sunday 3rd February – Tomerong Hall, Tomerong, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Arc, Yinnar, VIC
Friday 8th February – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Country Roads feat. Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys, The Green Mohair Suits, The River and The Road, All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 1st February – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Deer Tick with Two Gallants
Friday 8th February – The Annandale, Sydney, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
Saturday 2nd February – Mildura Arts Centre, Vic
Friday 8th February – Gunnedah, NSW

Justin Townes Earle with Robert Ellis
Saturday 2nd February – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 3rd February – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 5th February – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 6th February – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th February – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 1st February – Melbourne Zoo Twilight Series, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 2nd February – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Kings of Convenience
Tuesday 5th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 7th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage with Lachlan Bryan
Thursday 7th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Saturday 2nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 3rd February – Bermagui Mudworks, Bermagui, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

Of Monsters and Men
Tuesday 5th February – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Rory McCleod
Friday 1st February – Fremantle Workers Club, WA
Sunday 3rd February – Divers, Broome, WA
Wednesday 6th February — Guthries, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 7th February — Briagalong Hotel, Vic
Friday 8th February – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, Vic

Ruby Boots
Friday 1st February – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 2nd February – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 3rd February – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 7th February – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 8th February – Baha Taco, Rye, VIC

Sarah Blasko
Friday 1st February – Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
Monday 4th February – Wrest Point Casino, Hobart, TAS

The April Maze
Friday 1st February – Maleny Upfront Club, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 2nd February – West End Markets, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd February – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

The Wooden Music Festival feat. The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 1st February – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 2nd February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 3rd February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 6th February – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th February – Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW

Tom Stephens with Joe Knott
Thursday 7th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Wes Carr
Wednesday 6th February – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 7th February – Bon Amici, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 8th February – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Blue Murder” – Ado Barker (Trouble in the Kitchen)

Trouble in the Kitchen’s fiddle player and sometimes vocalist Ado Barker singing a haunting a cappella version of the mining song “Blue Murder” by the late Alistair Hulett at National Folk Festival in 2010. Stunning.

She & Him Announce New Album in May

She and Him
Image Courtesy of She & Him

Hipsters rejoice! She & Him, the duo consisting of indie-folk singer M. Ward and manic pixie dream girl Zooey Deschanel have announced plans to release a brand new album on the 7th May. Titled Volume 3. The album follows three previous releases – Volume 1, Volume 2 and the holiday themed A Very She & Him Christmas – and will feature 11 originals and three covers. The full track listing for Volume 3 is below:

1. I’ve Got Your Number, Son
2. Never Wanted Your Love
3. Baby (written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and George Morton)
4. I Could’ve Been Your Girl
5. Turn to White
6. Somebody Sweet to Talk To
7. Something’s Haunting You
8. Together
9. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (written by Ray Noble)
10. Snow Queen
11. Sunday Girl (Blondie cover)
12. London
13. Shadow of Love
14. Reprise (I Could’ve Been Your Girl)

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2012

Santa Banjo

Christmas music is folk music. You can’t deny it. So as a result we love Christmas music here at Timber and Steel – both the traditional carols and songs and the wealth of brand new material that is released by our favourite artists every year. 2012 has been somewhat of a bumper year from Christmas songs so rather than bore you with this introduction let’s get right into it shall we?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”
Sufjan Stevens took his obsession with all things Christmas to a new level this year realeasing the second part of his Christmas boxset Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10. “Christmas Unicorn” was the first new track to emerge from the boxset and we kind of like it – despite being strange in only the way a Sufjan Stevens Christmas song can be.

Rufus Wainwright feat. Sharon Van Etten – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
The Starbuck’s owned label Hear Music this year released the Holiday’s Rule Christmas compilation featuring a number of our favourite artists (The Civil Wars, Calexico, Punch Brothers, The Head & the Heart, Andrew Bird and more) and was produced by The Decemberists’ Chris Funk. Check out this duet between Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten from the album.

Punch Brothers – “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
And with a lineup like that we just have to include another track from Holiday’s Rule. Checkout this take on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” from the Punch Brothers.

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”
Last year Emmy the Great and her real life/musical partner Tim Wheeler (Ash) produced the wonderful This is Christmas album of original indie-Christmas songs. This year they’ve re-released the album on vinyl and have a brand new video for the festive and violent “Zombie Christmas”.

She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Another indie-folk duo milking last year’s Christmas album (in this case A Very She & Him Christmas), She & Him have this season released a brand new animated video for their track “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. I wonder how many more Christmases they can get out of a single album? Maybe She & Him and Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler could team up to create the ultimate indie-folk Christmas album?

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Christmas Eve Can Kill You”
Longtime collaborators Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy released a split single featuring two Everly Brothers’ tracks “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” and “Lovey Kravezit”. The former has this lovely video directed by Lara Miranda.

Roland K Smith & The Sinners – “This Could Be The End (Merry Christmas)”
While this track and video were released last year we’re including it in this year’s list because it appeared on Roland K Smith & The Sinners’ 2012 album Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls. That and you can’t ignore a Christmas song with a bracketed title.

Tom Rosenthal – Christmas Quiet
I have to thank Lachy over at And Pluck Your Strings for bringing this sweet indie-folk Christmas song to my attention (also, you need to be reading his blog – seriously). I don’t know much about Tom Rosenthal but I would have to say this is pretty close to my favourite Christmas song of the year.

Gibson Bull and Carmen – “The Holly and the Ivy”
For the last few years I’ve really enjoyed the annual Christmas compilation album from UK blog For Folk’s Sake. Gibson Bull is an artist that For Folk’s Sake have been pushing fairly heavily this year – and when you hear his version of “The Holly and the Ivy” with Carmen from the compilation you’ll see why.

Dropkick Murphys – “The Season’s Upon Us”
For many the Christmas season is just as much about dysfunction as it is about family and coming together. And who better to capture that in song than folk-punks Dropkick Murphys.

Huey and the New Yorkers – “Christmas By The Side Of The Road”
Huey and the New Yorkers may be the new project from Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan but don’t be fooled – this isn’t “Scoobie Snacks”. “Christmas By The Side Of The Road” is a wonderful piece of country Christmas goodness and it’s raising money for veterans charity Help For Heroes. To purchase the single head to the officiel Huey and the New Yorkers web site.

Packwood, Jack Carty, Achoo! Bless You, Fanny Lumsden and Rosie Catalano – “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)”
Another charity single, this one a little more local, “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)” was put together by some of Timber and Steel’s favourite musicians and raises money for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. To pick up the track head to the bandcamp page here.

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo – “Christmas Time Is Here”
Our favourite ex-pat Aussie musician living in the UK, Emily Barker recorded her own version of “Christmas Time Is Here”, originally the 1965 Christmas episode of Charlie Brown. Backing vocals for the track are care of Rumer, Ren Harvieu and Kristina Train.

Friend of all the World – “The Huron Carol”
Canadian’s Friend of all the World have this year released their second Christmas themed EP, cleverly titled Christmas Time – Volume 2. “The Huron Carol” has a real solemn feel to it but I really like it – I would file this along side the likes of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “Dives and Lazarus”.

Leftover Cuties – “Winter Wonderland”
Taken from their EP Christmas Time Is Here, Leftover Cuties have infused a heavy dose of New Orleans into their up tempo version of “Winter Wonderland”. If this doesn’t get you up and dancing on Christmas day nothing will!

Terry Emm – “Gently”
There’s something really sweet about UK singer-songwriter Terry Emm. He reminds me a a little of The Staves or The Leisure Society and his Christmas track, “Gently”, is just beautiful.

Karine Polwart – “Merry Xmas Everybody”
Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart may not have featured too heavily on Timber and Steel this year but 2012 has been absolutely blinding year, following the release of her album Traces, that’s culminated in nominations in the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Album of the Year, Folk Singer of the Year and Best Original Song. To celebrate the year Polwart has released a folky version of Slade’s infamous tune “Merry Xmas Everybody”.

Grant Arthur – “Santa Went Down To Georgia”
Choosing just one track from Grant Arthur’s folky Christmas album A Very Grant Arthur Christmas proved tricky but we went with “Santa Went Down To Georgia” due to its obvious connection to the classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Enjoy!

Feldspar – “In the Bleak Midwinter”
We had to finish up with one more track from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas 2012, this time from London five-piece Feldspar and their track “In the Bleak Midwinter”.

The Best Christmas Songs of 2011

Santa

At Timber and Steel we’re unapologetic fans of the Christmas song. Whether they be carols, Christmas favourites or new festive singalongs Christmas songs are at their heart folk songs so its no wonder that December sees us decking the halls, hanging the mistletoe and warming up our vocal cords with plenty of Christmas cheer.

Last year we started the tradition of bringing you our favourite Christmas songs from the year as performed by artists on the folkier side of the fence. Being big on traditions we thought this was one worth repeating this year especially given how many Christmas songs we’ve already featured on the site. So put out the beer and cookies for Santa, have another mince pie and get into the spirit with the best Christmas songs of 2011

Josh T. Pearson – “O Holy Night”
Josh T Pearson has capped off a pretty impressive year with the release of a bonus EP of Christmas carols. His haunting version of “O Holy Night” hit the web at the start of the month as a free download – take a listen for yourself.

Achoo! Bless You – “Coming Home (To You This Christmas)”
Getting into the Christmas spirit Sydney duo Achoo! Bless You offer up this sweet Christmas original which is also available for free download.

Jack Carty – “I Only Want Your Presence”
Jack Carty is currently writing and demoing material for a brand new album so to close off the One Thousand Origami Birds part of his career he’s released a free EP featuring B sides from the album plus this brand new Christmas track. In the tradition of Paul Kelly’s “How to Make Gravy” this is a Christmas song with out really being about Christmas.

The Leisure Society – “Christmas Mistakes”
For the second year in a row fantastic UK based folk-blog For Folk’s Sake has released a Christmas album titled For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas featuring some of the best in indie folk taking on Christmas classics or brand new tunes. Our pick from the album is The Leisure Society’s “Christmas Mistakes”.

Darren Hayman – “Lost In The Snow”
Taken from his Christmas in Haworth EP (as well as appearing on the For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas Album) this track from Darren Hayman was actually written last Christmas, and the video was shot at the same time.

Eliza Carthy – “Dives & Lazarus”
Eliza Carthy performs this Christmas ballad as part of Bright Young Folk’s December Sessions and then goes on to explain how the song was sung in Victorian times as a warning to give to the poor or risk eternal punishment. Not quite “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.

She & Him – “The Christmas Watlz”
Get a little less solemn now here’s the first track from She & Him’s indie Christmas hit A Very She & Him Christmas. In true hipster style the album can be ordered complete with Christmas beanie and mittens – so ironically kitsch!

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home For The Holidays”
Attempting to outdo She & Him in the indie-Christmas album stakes the teaming of Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler has resulted in This is Christmas, an album of all original Christmas songs. Check out the Christmas jumper filled video for “Home For The Holidays”.

Matthew and the Atlas – “Fairytale of New York”
We’re pretty sure this song was actually recorded and released last year but we’ve only just stumbled across it now thanks to folk blog Cover Lay Down. Matthew and the Atlas have produced a pretty faithful of this Pogues classic and Matt Hegarty’s rough-spun voice is perfect for the song.

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