Thank Folk It’s Friday – 23rd December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

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

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

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

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford

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

Gigs Next Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Folk Flashback

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

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2016

2016

To round out our week of “best of” lists our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans once again whittles down the ton of releases that crossed his ears this year to pick his 25 favourite tracks of 2016.

We’re going to get out of the way and let Gareth throw some music your way – enjoy!

1. Foy Vance – “She Burns”
Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance has always been on my radar but when he released his album The Wild Swan earlier this year I was floored. The standout track, I think most people would agree, is the wonderful “She Burns”, with its pizzicato guitar, slow build percussion and choral backing vocals. Foy Vance is a singer-songwriter at the top of his game.

2. One Up, Two Down – “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie”
It seems almost unfair that I would choose a traditional song as my favourite from a band that are not only accomplished songwriters in their own right but also amazing musicians whose instrumental tracks are incredibly special. But I challenge you to listen to Dan Watkins singing “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” and not melt into a puddle. His voice and guitar, combined with George Jackson and Andrew Small’s long bowed fiddle and bass, turn this cowboy ballad into something more. Simply beautiful.

3. Burrows – “Falling Apart”
When I saw Burrows play at this year’s Summer Hill Folk Festival I was floored. Every song they played was a piece of harmonic brilliance, enhanced by the acoustics of the Summer Hill Church. When they came around to “Falling Apart” I murmured “that’s the song” – and I still maintain that this track is near perfect. I love Sam King’s understated vocals and the harmonies in the chorus are just divine.

4. Eagle & The Wolf – “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost”
The pairing of Kris Morris’ dirty blues and roots with Sarah Humphreys’ big folk voice, “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” was the perfect introduction to Eagle & The Wolf. Individually Kris Morris and Sarah Humphreys are firm favourites of Timber and Steel but Eagle & The Wolf is greater than the sum of its parts and “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost” is the epitome of their collaboration. This is rootsy blues done right – all crunchy guitars, clipped percussion and keyboard and big, bluesy voices.

5. Bon Iver – “22 (OVER S∞∞N)”
With its glitchy opening, distorted Mahalia Jackson samples, saxaphone solos and weird lyrics it would appear on the surface that Justin Vernon has well and truly moved on from the acoustic folk of For Emma, Forever Ago and embraced the more electronic elements of the self-titled Bon Iver. But at its core “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” is still classic Bon Iver with Vernon’s double-tracked, falsetto voice coming through loud and clear. Strip back all the beeps and bops and “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” could sit alongside any of the classic Bon Iver folk tracks.

6. Melody Pool – “Love, She Loves Me”
Since first seeing Melody Pool perform at the Gulgong Folk Festival back in 2013 I’ve been predicting big things for her. To say that her new album Deep Dark Savage Heart was highly anticipated in the Timber and Steel bullpen is an understatement and when it dropped earlier this year it was on solid repeat for ages. “Love, She Loves Me” is definitely a standout track on the album (although “Black Dog” is a close second), perfectly demonstrating Pool’s skill as a songwriter and singer. What a voice!

7. Rowena Wise – “Then We Met”
Rowena Wise owns the quirky indie-folk genre this year this this wonderfully catchy track from her 2016 self titled album. I love the twisted, bluesy finger-picked riff throughout this track and that chorus is a definite ear worm. I’ve been watching Rowena Wise cloesly since she launched a serious solo career and it’s songs like “Then We Met” that will see her successfully straddle the folk and indie worlds in the coming years

8. Matthew and the Atlas – “Elijah”
I love Matt Hegarty’s voice. “Elijah” is probably the most stripped back, acoustic track on Matthew and the Atlas’ latest album Temple and is easily my favourite as well. I love the finger-picked guitar over the swelling piano and orchestral elements and the subtle backing vocals. But most of all I love Matt Hegarty’s voice – I just can’t get passed that.

9. Paul Kelly feat. Alice Keath – “Sonnet 73”
To be honest I could have chosen any of the tracks from Paul Kelly’s marvelous album Shakespeare inspired Seven Sonnets And A Song. The reason I finally settled on “Sonnet 73” is two fold: Firstly it has a wonderful, folk-country feel with Kelly’s strummed acoustic guitar over a plucked pedal steel; And second the backing vocals from Alice Keath (Sweet Jean) are pitch perfect. Who knew you could improve on The Bard?

10. Seth Lakeman feat. Wildwood Kin – “Meet Me In The Twilight”
More than any other song on this list “Meet Me In The Twilight” gets lodged in my head and refuses to leave. Lakeman’s percussive guitar work coupled with an instantly singable (or yellable) chorus are what makes this song so catchy. Wildwood Kin add an extra level of sophistication to this track as well as the rest of Lakeman’s album Ballads of the Broken Few. I have a feeling that this track would be amazing to see live and have the crowd foot stomping and singing along.

11. Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal, The Very Best, Beatenberg – “Wona”
This collaboration between Mumford & Sons, Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, Swedish-Malawian electronic band The Very Best and South African afro-beat masters Beatenberg is just pure joy. All afro-beat goodness and nu-folk bombast, you can’t help but smile when listening to “Wona”, it’s such a breath of fresh air. I know that liking Mumford & Sons is definitely no longer “cool” but when they’re collaborating and producing music like this then you’ll still find me first in line for their next release.

12. James Kenyon – “The Motorbike Song”
I feel like James Kenyon might be one of the most underrated singer-songwriters in Australia right now. Songs like “The Motorbike Song”, with its rootsy groove and Paul Kelly-esque lyrical style, should see Kenyon a firm favourite amongst music lovers everywhere. I also have to give props to the wonderful video from Ed Bracey – it even makes Melbourne’s Docklands look stunning.

13. Michael Kiwanuka – “Black Man In A White World”
Michael Kiwanuka has always deftly woven together elements of folk, gospel, blues and old-school R&B and his single “Black Man In A White World” is the epitome of that sound. I love the gospel clapping accompanying the disco-like string stabs and R&B guitar. This could well have come straight out of the 70s – one of those songs that sound immediately timeless.

14. Fanny Lumsden – “Land of Gold”
At the time of writing Fanny Lumsden had been nominated for an ARIA award, has 4 Golden Guitar nominations and has gone to number one on the Country Music Channel charts twice. Incredible work for a singer-songwriter from the Riverina. One of those top charting songs is the nostalgic “Land of Gold”, a deceptively simple storytelling song with a big heart that has quickly become one of my favourite Fanny tracks ever. Whether she’s playing with a full band or with just her bassist Dan, “Land of Gold” always pops live. I really love this song.

15. Passenger feat. All Our Exes Live in Texas & Luke Thompson – “Caravan (Live)”
It’s a bit cheeky choosing a live version of a track that’s seven years old as one of my favourites of 2016 but this video has been on serious high rotation since it was posted earlier this year. When you take possibly my favourite Passenger track of all time and throw a collaboration between All Our Exes Live in Texas and Luke Thompson into the mix you strike pure gold. Just listen to those harmonies on the choruses – magic stuff.

16. Imogen Clark – “You’ll only Break My Heart”
Imogen Clark has had a pretty big year built on the bedrock of her debut album Love & Lovely Lies and its two lead singles “Take Me For A Ride” and “You’ll only Break My Heart”. The latter is Clark’s most mature offering to date, making the most of her big voice and lyric driven song writing. I’m not sure why Imogen Clark gets lumped into the Country crowd – to my ears her music is straight up acoustic pop – but regardless of the genre “You’ll only Break My Heart” heralds big things to come from the Sydney singer-songwriter.

17. Ariela Jacobs – “Lost”
The way that Ariela Jacobs plays with melody and syncopation on “Lost” is so intriguing. The rhythmic, unpredictable verses give way to simple 4/4 choruses and then a middle eight that just launches itself at you and takes you by surprise. This song is all about Jacobs’ voice with the accompaniment – simple piano chords for the most part – taking a back seat to her lyrics. This track is powerful and vulnerable all at the same time.

18. Sian Evans – “Cold Feet”
I got to meet Sian Evans at the National Folk Festival this year where she got me to act as roadie for her as she rushed to one of her gigs. She’s spent much of 2016 carving out a solo career for herself after her work with The Rusty Datsuns and part of that has involved developing her own distinct sound. The result is the single “Cold Feat” which has a pop sensibility with a heart of folk.

19. The Weeping Willows – “River of Gold”
The Weeping Willows embrace their bluegrass side with their huge single “River of Gold”. I love Andrew Wrigglesworth flat picking guitar on this song, accentuated with a subtle banjo over the entire track. And then of course there’s the harmonies between Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates which The Weeping Willows are renowned for.

20. Gretta Ray – “Unexpected Feeling”
Triple J Unearthed High winner Gretta Ray has quite rightly had a massive year with high rotation on the national broadcaster and lots of love from the music press. Her track “Unexpected Feeling” is such a joy to listen to – and to be honest when I first heard it I had no idea that Ray was still in high school. There’s a definite maturity in her songwriting and I just love her guitar work on this track.

21. Sam Newton – “Hold You Down”
The Americana vibes of “Hold You Down” coupled with Sam Newton’s sweet, unassuming voice make this track instantly attractive. I love the way you can’t help but tap your toe along with the brushed snare drum and thumping bass. The production on this track really pulls it all together – it could well have been a straight up acoustic song but the addition of drums, bass and trembling electric guitar turn the song into something more.

22. William Fitzsimmons – “Hear Your Heart”
I was so happy that William Fitzsimmons released his mini album Charleroi: Pittsburgh Vol. 2 this year (as well as a live album) because it meant more songs like “Hear Your Heart” out in the world. Rolling fingerpicking, hushed vocals, sad subject matter – this is William Fitzsimmons in a nutshell and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

23. Laura Marling – “Soothing”
I don’t know why I was surprised when we got a new Laura Marling song this year – she’s been insanely prolific throughout her relatively short career having released five albums in the last eight years. “Soothing” is the first taste from her upcoming seventh album Semper Femina and it sees Marling depart from her usual acoustic guitar driven songwriting with a bass and percussion loop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Radiohead release. This track also sees Marling’s first foray into directing on the accompanying video (that is borderline NSFW so maybe wait until you get home to play this one).

24. The Campervan Dancers – “Slow Down Butterfly”
From what I understand “Slow Down Butterfly” was gestating for quite a while before Sydney duo The Campervan Dancers launched it at the beginning of the year. This is a track that tumbles over itself with vocals, samples, instrumentation popping up all over the place. I love the injection of chaos into what could have just been a standard piece of indie-folk pop. Let’s hope there’s more gestating where this came from.

25. Emmy The Great – “Algorithm”
My need to squeeze Emmy The Great’s recent output into the genre of “folk” so that I can justify posting it on Timber and Steel continues with “Algorithm”. The first Emmy The Great song in a while to contain a decent amount of acoustic guitar, “Algorithm” is a lovely example of the direction Emmy The Great’s songwriting has taken recently – more obscure, more pop but still with her fragile voice front and centre.

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016

Child Records

You’ve heard what we think the top albums of 2016 were, but lets be honest this is the piece you’ve really been waiting for.

Every year we reach out to the community of folk and acoustic musicians in Australia and around the world to ask them to pick their favourite album or EP of the year, and this year they came through in spades.

So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016.

Bill ChambersEagle & The Wolf
Bill ChambersCold Trail
What a record. Bill just turns up when he feels like it and shows us all how it’s done. The title track is one of the best driving songs ever written and we’ve done A LOT of driving this year! This record has been with us on every trip and inspires us as artists of the alt. country genre to dig deep and keep being real, in life and in music. He’s the baddest and the best.

James KenyonAnna Cordell
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
This album takes me into such a beautiful space, it is so beautifully written and produced, I find myself smiling every time I listen to it – I’m entranced and inspired.

Joe MungovanImogen Clark
Joe MungovanWay Down South
Joe totally embodies the Joni Mitchell quote about songwriting, “The closer you get to your heart is the closer you get to everyone else’s”. This EP is an evolution for him, the production is so sparse and spacey, almost Bon Iver-ish, and very different from the folky style of his first EP. But what remains is Joe’s amazing ability to capture so perfectly the melancholy of the human condition with his beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics. A big 5 stars from me. Love ya, Joe!

Piers FacciniSam Lee
Piers FacciniI Dreamed An Island
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago but I think needs mentioning in this years crop. Piers is one of the finest male singers and his musicianship is exquisite. It’s an album of great sensitivity with deep thought and poetry inside. The songs are so well formed, he has a knack at creation of timeless soundings orgs.

DD DumboDan Flynn
D.D DumboUtopia Defeated
Oliver has really found his own unique sound while incorporating some diverse influences including folk, electronic and world music. I was really impressed with his songwriting and his ability to draw you in to his strange little world. I also love the production with all those sonic layers that reveal themselves over repeated listens. Amazing debut.

Michael KiwanukaSkyscraper Stan
Michael KiwanukaLove and Hate
I got hooked on this album while touring around New Zealand. The songwriting is melodic, the dynamics are masterful and the closing track, “Final Frame”, kicks me in the guts.

William CrightonJosh Rennie-Hynes
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I first heard William at Nannup at the start of this year and loved it. He’s a great performer and his songs are top notch. This album captures all of that perfectly. The production is spot on and is a testament to the benefits of what a more DIY approach to recording can achieve.

Bon IverTanya Batt (BATTS)
Bon Iver22, A Million
There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, Canary, Braille Face and Hayden Calnin were three I wanted to choose too. However, it had to be Bon Iver. The most highly anticipated album in my life, it did not disappoint. This album means so much to me, It’s an extremely innovative album within soundscapes and also so raw, filled with emotion. Many tears were shed when I first listened.

MoulettesClaude Hay
MoulettesPreternatural
Moulettes new album Preternatural really grabed me from the first second, Distorted Cello, Oboe, guitar bass drums and they all sing insane harmonies perfectly live….Audio candy

Bill HuntLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
Bill HuntUpwey
Conversational, melodic, witty and hooky songwriting flood through the beautiful ebb and flow of Upwey, Hunt’s first of many offerings. The songs are hued by a consistent arrangement of drums, bass, violin and Hunt’s subtle and precise guitar style. But they don’t rely on these arrangements; each song a story, assisted by the swell of instrumentation to convey the tales that swing from the near Latin grooves of “Odalik” to the slow sexy grind of “Sea of Love”. At six tracks long, it leaves you wanting more. Perfect.

Childish GambinoSahara Beck
Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
Listening to this album is like switching off the real world and stepping into an original and new world. I find it very inspiring.

Oh PepThe Little Stevies
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I think the songwriting on Stadium Cake is really interesting. The songs take me to a place that I’m not expecting both lyrically and musically when I begin listening to them and they keep me guessing, which I absolutely love. The arrangements and production are also super cool, and I’m simply just a big fan of talented women and female partnerships doing great things in the arts.

Side PonyFanny Lumsden
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
It seriously makes me the most joy filled human ever. Side Pony is possibly my biggest songwriting envy of late and they just really nail that motown meets pop retro good times.

Nick CaveMiles O’Neil (Miles and Simone)
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
I was scared to listen to this album due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it. Finally
mustering the courage one bright morning I listened to it through while walking beside the sea.
I stopped many times during that walk to sit and, floored, marvel at the breathtakingly
sadness and beauty captured in what is, to me and I’m sure many others, a masterpiece.

Hayden CalninForest Falls
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1/2
Hayden is an absolute stayer of the Melbourne music scene, but it’s for good reason. This record is world-class. Sparse, rich, cinematic, and desperate in its feel, it holds on to you long after the first listen.

Button CollectiveThe Bottlers
The Button CollectiveThe Lonesome Sea
As a softly lilting mandolin emerges from the silence of the opening track, Brodie’s haunting lyrical ballad begins to unravel the story of the heartbreak of a man, torn between travelling the lonesome sea and those who he has left behind. This beautiful yet bittersweet combination of well-travelled wordsmithing and an instrumental palate carrying a nostalgically truthful warmth, could be heard in any far-flung tavern in the dead of night, as tired candles flicker. Finishing with a raucous fling titled “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, the Button Collective’s release concludes on a stirring high, twisting your arm to crave another ale. The EP’s recording, mixing and mastering add a special flair, as you hear the charismatic live-elements that give you a heart-swelling, beer-swilling singalong that you can partake in at any time. Well done fellas!

The Dreaming RoomPhia
Laura MvulaThe Dreaming Room
Her lyrics explore feminism, faith, self-worth, race, and her harmonies, arrangements and production are deep and multi-hued. One of the most exciting songwriters around, unafraid to experiment with multi-genre collaborations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and Nile Rodgers.

JoyGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
The Peep TempelJoy
This is a great third album by the Melbourne based three piece that has initial flavours of 90s Aussie pub punk/bloke rock (like Cosmic Psychos) but that is just the beginning – the album is musically quite varied, with intelligent, dark, caustically humorous and often political lyrics with moments of honest beauty.

Wartime SweetheartsJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
It’s always great when a local artist drops something as fully formed and self-assured as Louise Nutting’s second album under the Wartime Sweethearts moniker. Experimental without forgetting the songcraft, it deserves its rightful place amongst the St Vincents, Dirty Projectors and My Brightest Diamonds of the art pop world. Props to local label Art As Catharsis, whose releases in October alone spanned from Wartime Sweethearts to Hashashin’s eastern mathrock and No Haven’s dark hardcore. Eclecticism rules the day!

BeyonceTaryn La Fauci
BeyoncéLemonade
To create and release a piece of work that is so intricately linked and ordered, one you must listen to from start to finish to understand the whole was really refreshing! The film that accompanied the album was also richly interesting, deep and powerful. To address themes such as infidelity and race and then to weave them powerfully into a full album, which on release caused so much controversy and started a conversation world wide, I thought was really great.

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Another beautiful record from the most under-rated songwriter in Australia. “Love, She Loves Me” gives me goose bumps every time.

Winter WheatFrank Turner
John K SamsonWinter Wheat
I am a long term partisan of John’s work, so it’s not surprising that I liked this record. But god-DAMN, the man just keeps delivering. This record had me in tears three times on my first listen through, and it gets better with age.

David BowieWilliam Crighton
David BowieBlackstar
My favourite album from 2016 is Blackstar from David Bowie. There were a lot of great albums but I listened to it the most.

TigallerroSteven Barnard (Arbori, Jon Cotton)
Phonte and Eric RobersonTigallerro
Smooth grooves, dope rhymes, sweet melodies. You’d be hard pressed to find another 2016 record his year that has this flow, though Anderson Paaks’ Malibu is a close second. It rolls effortlessly from track to track and the inevitable ass shaking comes with a no “slutty table top twerking” guarantee. It’s rare that a hip hop record explores what it means to be a man of sexual fidelity, a family man, and even man of faith in higher power. Getting hype or turning down, my morning wake up or my party starter, this record has been a solid find.

Julia JacklinJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
This album is a gem. The more I listen to this record, the more the songs shimmer and shine with a beautiful honesty. Jacklin’s songwriting is earnest and her voice perfect – it feels like an important voice which dances delicately on a wire between mundanity and profundity.

Bon IverOliver’s Army
Bon Iver22, A Million
Although becoming more and more electronic heavy, Justin Vernon’s signature haunting melodies and dynamic vocals remain consistently endearing. I found the production to be quite bold and experimental, and I love that they’re continuing to explore their sound and push it in new directions. Sonically, it’s spacious and beautiful.

RadioheadKim Churchill
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
My top album of 2016 has probably got to go to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead. It really hit me at the perfect moment. I was deep in the studio and sometimes getting a bit overly flustered by how complex the process of recording can be. I think Radiohead have done something incredible in the way this album is so relaxed, so subtle, but so powerful. There is this beautiful calm confidence that I am completely in awe of. To be alive whilst their legacy is still being added to is a real treat!

Conor OberstThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Conor OberstRuminations
Brave, personal and heart achingly real. It feels like you’re in the room with him as he’s pouring his heart out.

Iggy PopEm George
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
It would be a total lie for me to say that I have been patiently and politely waiting for a new Iggy Pop record because I’ve been extremely impatient and downright rude, mouthing off to my vinyl copy of Lust for Life, begging to the Iggy Pop gods for a new release and then Post Pop Depression hit in March this year. Produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), the entire album is gritty and dark, sharp and tight with that small hint of sadness that lies just under the surface of Iggy Pop’s music. However in true Iggy fashion, the melodies and heavy drums lift the album into something that is hard to define, taking you to another place. My pick for 2016!

KaleoGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
KaleoA/B
I came across these guys on Spotify a few months ago as they were our number one associated artist then. I had never heard of them before but their album has been on repeat ever since. Their album is incredibly varied, with high-energy songs like “Way Down We Go” and soft ballads like “Save Yourself”. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.

Gregory PorterJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, Backsliders)
Gregory PorterTake me to the Alley
I watched a YouTube clip of Gregory Porter performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and watched it several times over, absolutely mesmerised. The album is just as mesmerising; full of soul, jazz and RnB, beautiful arrangements and Porter’s effortless delivery; just enough grit and soul to keep the jazz interesting! I listen to this album when I want something that will absolutely zone me out of where I am and what I am doing, Porter’s soothing voice is like being wrapped up in blanket and given a cup of hot cocoa.

Bruce MolskyShell Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Bruce MolskyCan’t Stay Here This a-Way
Bruce Molsky always manages to bring such a rich, unique sound to the old-time classics. His latest album is no exception. His fiddle-singin’ gives me warm fuzzies akin to sitting by a campfire under a starry sky.

David BowieJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
David BowieBlackstar
It was hot, humid January afternoon driving through a sun-shower when I first listened to David Bowie’s Blackstar album. Released just 2 days after his death aged 69 this is an amazing final piece of work from this incredible artist. The hauntingly beautiful voice and instrumentation echos with songs about finality and death. Listening to this I was filled pure joy, sadness and reflection of this artist’s inspirational legacy.

Black Mountain String bandThe Plough
Black Mountain String BandTime Traveller
This year The Plough discovered the Canberra based Black Mountain String Band and can’t get enough of them. The exuberance and variety they bring to a live show is showcased beautifully in their recording. Their mix of traditional and original songs and instrumentals take the listener back in time through a landscape of high energy Old Time, Western Swing, triangle pumping Cajun and plucky Fiddle polkas. This CD’s been on high rotation in the Lancer’s CD stacker ever since it was launched in the bush capital on a chilly winters night.

TyrannamenFraser A Gorman
TyrannamenTyrannamen
A brilliant, gruff mixture of Memphis Garage-soul blended deep in a gravel filled, VB bottle of Australian 70’s pub rock. Eight tracks long, all killer no filler.

Margo PriceNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo is one of the first of a new breed of Americana artists to come out of the new epicentre of country music in East Nashville. Alongside Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, et al., these guys are playing authentic honky-tonk reminiscent of 1970s outlaw country, yet with their own fresh take. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter reminds me of the edgiest tracks from Dolly Parton, and the fact she is the first country act signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records is a testament to the quality of this album.

Oh PepJames Kenyon
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Stadium Cake is a brilliant album – brave arrangements, tight pop writing, great lyrics and Liv’s voice is a pleasure. I love the ambition of the album, and the assuredness the result. It’s an inspiring record

Julia JacklinAinsley Farrell
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
I’ve had the chance to see Julia perform these songs over the past couple years so I’ve been very excited for her album. She has an incredible songwriting talent topped by this powerful yet vulnerable voice that’ll break your heart and put it back together again all in one go. If you get the chance to see her and her band live I wouldn’t miss it.

Liz StringerMel Parsons
Liz StringerAll The Bridges
I have been a fan of Liz for a good few years now, I’m completely smitten with her voice – all husk, beauty and pain. I had high expectations for her new album, and All The Bridges delivers and then some, it’s been on repeat in my house since it arrived.

CanaryKathleen Mary Lee
CanaryI Am Lion
I like this because it is a celebration of very big, very beautiful feelings that I reckon have no other way of being celebrated other than through this kind of emotionally epic music. The lyrics are attempts at honesty and the music is always their non verbal emotional equivalent, making the album a very cathartic experience. If you want it to be. A bit of a masterpiece

Eagle and the WolfSam Buckingham
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Sarah brings out Kris’s sweetness and Kris brings out Sarah’s no bullshit strength – making this album the perfect balance of heart and “fuck you”. It just sounds like two musicians being real and having a ball. Awesome songwriting, perfect harmonies – it’s golden.

Sian EvansTori Forsyth
Sian EvansHow Time Has Treated Thee
This EP has only swept across my table recently but it is hands down a stand out. It makes me feel happy, sad and inspired all in one hit!

Songs From DanLucie Thorne
Dan TuffySongs From Dan
Aussie expat (now Dutch resident) and legend Dan Tuffy (Big Low, Wild Pumpkins at Midnight) has made one of my favourite albums not just of 2016 but of all time (seriously!). Co-produced by Melbourne’s Matt Walker, and recorded partly here in Melbourne, and partly in Holland, this album is an extraordinary collection from a true poet who sings straight to the heart of it all. Check it out folks!

Sian EvansHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Damien JuradoVisions Of Us On The Land
While this is Damien Jurado’s twelth album, it is the first I heard of him. Visions is a psychedelic, mystical odyssey, one that takes place within and without. The internal wanderings, the struggles and revelations, mirror an external landscape that is both beautiful and haunting. Each listen draws you further into these mirror worlds and all the while Jurado’s songs and sounds are immediately and undeniably striking.

Tracy McNeilLeah Flanagan
Tracy McNeil and the Good LifeThieves
Thieves is such an enjoyable record to listen to. It’s poppy and catchy yet underneath the veneer of fun singalong good times the songs themselves incredibly well crafted and arranged. Tracey writes a damn good song and if you’re lucky enough to see her band live, you’ll see them play those songs damn well too.

Adora EyeMusketeer
Adora EyeIf You Need A King, I’ve Been Prepared All My Life
This is probably the most raw and enduring folk album I have listened to all year. I am sure that this Swedish singer-songwriter was up all night writing this album in a smokey boat in the Stockholm harbour somewhere. You can almost see him clutching that ink pen with a red right hand, as his pet raven swings in a cage above his head eating dead beetles.

Hiss Golden MessengerDave Powys (The Paper Kites)
Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like A Levee
I heard this album playing in a record store in London, and as I flicked through racks of vinyl I was drawn into the melodies and depth of his song writing. Every now and then you come across an artist who really moves you, or scratches an itch you never knew you had – this album has done both for me.

The Kill Devil HillsCatherine Traicos
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
This album encapsulates all that I love about the The Kill Devil Hills. A mad racket of noise, it pulses with life and is as ripe with heartfelt ballads as it is with sexy, sinister, badass, guitar driven numbers. Enjoy with whiskey.

Robert Ellis10 String Symphony
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
His first self-produced effort combines thoughtfully crafted songs with unique and interesting arrangements, expertly performed by him and his killer band. It’s the full package real deal and we love it so much.

The Dead MaggiesThe Dead Maggies
The Cloves and The TobaccoAcross The Horizon
TCATT are one of many celt-punk bands making great music in Java, and this album is a standout. It’s straight up driving celtic punk, with big powerful singalong choruses that tug the heartstrings. Good arrangements and musicianship help make this album great. We played with them in their hometown of JogJakarta, in the attic of a vegetarian cafe. The power cut out just before the gig, so the bands went ahead and played unplugged, it was a great moment of sweaty singalongs.

Howe GelbMark Moldre
Howe GelbFuture Standards
Late night meanderings. Laid back, whisky infused jazz piano. Wordplay and lyrical twists that stand alongside the wit of Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael with the quiet phrasing of Chet Baker. Gelb continues to walk to his own beat – confounding expectations whilst smashing and recreating genres. His history has always hinted towards a love of jazz and occasionally detoured into Monk style musings – here Gelb embraces it wholeheartedly.

TullaraSian Evans
TullaraBetter Hold On
Earthy folk and roots with a dash of dirty grunge, Tullara presents her debut EP Better Hold On. Featuring her superb guitar slinging and percussive finger tapping wizardry, genius pop-roots arrangements and powdery vocals; it’s as if an Aussie Taylor Swift, John Butler and Andy Mckee were entrapped in a love triangle and spawned gold threads of wild honesty weaving together this admirable little Roots record. It’ll jerk a tear and invoke a bit of primal badass equally.

TaliskJake Pember (The Button Collective)
TaliskAbyss
Ever since first hearing Mohsen Amini’s amazing concertina playing earlier this year I have been a little bit obsessed with this band. They have the perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, and each member has such command of their instruments that every track feels as natural and flowing as a conversation.

Max SavageKaurna Cronin
Max SavageTrue Believers
Max has a brilliant ability to invite his audiences into the narrative of his works. With brilliant imagery and musicianship True Believers captures a great snapshot of true Australian culture, while also creating a great sense of nostalgia by grasping that 80’s Australian rock sound perfectly. The perfect soundtrack for an Australian road trip or any suburban household.

Nick CaveAlex L’Estrange
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
Amongst all the huge artists that dropped albums in 2016, and the loads of Australian artists that arguably dropped career highlights (Ball Park Music, These Guy, D.D Dumbo), there was one album that I found myself frequently listening to, uninterrupted, alone on the hi-fi, and that was Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s not necessarily my favourite, I think it’s an impossible task to name a favourite, but it was the first album that came to mind for this list, and that means more than anything. Hearing it coupled with the film One More Time With Feeling was challenging, given its subject matter. But its atmosphere was expertly executed; dynamic, fluid, smooth and heartbreaking. The rooms of Air, La Frette and Retreat studios are beautifully on display in songs like “Girl in Amber”, where the wispy backing vocals of The Bad Seeds hauntingly resonate across the walls. These contrast the desperate and almost maddening mantras of “I Need You”. What makes it a truly extraordinary album, is that it isn’t just doom and gloom. ‘Skeleton Tree’ doesn’t dwell on tragedy, it addresses it as part of the human condition, and there is an underlying beauty in that.

William CrightonClaire Ann Taylor
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
The storytelling and the whole atmosphere created by Crighton on this album is incredible. His dark, brooding voice and emotive style of delivery, commanded my attention from the first moment I heard it.

Andy ShaufWilliam Fitzsimmons
Andy ShaufThe Party
This was my favorite album of the year for one simple reason: MELODY!!! Andy is everything that’s right about classic “pop” music; never playing a note without a damn good reason for doing so, and songwriting that makes you feel something deep in your gut. He’s the worthy musical son of Harry Nilsson that we’ve longingly been waiting for.

LuciusRuby Boots
LuciusGood Grief
I have to choose this album because I’m still, since its release, pulling away the layers on it. Although it’s a predominantly pop record, the lyrical content and melodic arrangements are so intelligent and accessible all at once – a fine line that is hard to walk. The girls’ voices are otherworldly and tend to make me forget where I am and what I’m doing every time I put this album on. I still can’t get enough of it.

WetLacey Cole (Lazy Colts)
WetDon’t You
If you have a soft spot for B-grade pop ballads/R&B this Brooklyn-based three piece may just have written the soundtrack of your 90s-nostalgia drenched dreams. Their latest album Don’t You is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Helmed by the stunning front-woman Kelly Zutrau, her unusual vocal inflections and impassioned delivery suggest an emotional complexity in what may otherwise be confused as banal sentiments (one song is called “Baby, You’re The Best”). Once combined with the lush production and rhythms of the band – assigned with the noble task of turning tears into toe-tappers – these songs are wonderfully earnest, rarely overwrought and exactly what you need right now.

James KenyonJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
I have been lucky enough to see James play a couple of times. His beautifully crafted songs are reminiscent of great songwriters like Paul Kelly. The album is a stunning representation of his work.

JRHMabel Windred-Wornes (Charm of Finches)
Josh Rennie-HynesFurthermore
I love this album. It’s got so much warmth, it’s spacious. I listen to it late at night doing my homework and it’s so calming. It’s like the energy he captured recording it in the hills of Woodford transmits. We met him at Bendigo Blues and Roots Fest this year and felt we’d discovered a rare gem. He’s an amazing songwriter.

Tom BrosseauMatt Bauer
Tom BrosseauNorth Dakota Impressions
Beautiful storytelling, vivid imagery, and an incredible sense of place. I’ve always loved Tom’s records and he’s at the top of his game here writing about his native North Dakota.

Jim JamesTimberwolf
Jim JamesEternally Even
It’s a pretty passionate political plea and America needed a timely voice. He even released it the day before election day. I think his voice is very much from another world, so that’s an important “third person” kind of perspective. It’s a well sequenced collection of songs, and I really love the warm psych and soul inspired production/composition. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that Jim James and Blake Mills would make up my sonic dream-team.

Nigel WearneJustin Bernasconi (The Stillsons)
Nigel WearneDrawing Circles
Nigel has really forged his own fingerpicking techniques on both the banjo and guitar on this album, and his voice tenderly delivers every song with intense concern and passion. Just check out the live version of the title track.

The Kill Devil HillsMark ‘Looch’ Lewis – (Wifey/Handsome Young Strangers)
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
I have always loved this band. In all their incarnations and styles whether that is folk, country, gospel, rock or what I call the “WA dirge” (Kim Salmon, Drones type bass driven tunes). Hard to believe it is now 12 years since the release of their debut Heathen Songs when that “Drinkin’ Too Much” song first got my attention. And while it has been 7 years since the last studio album Man You Should Explode, the good news is that I reckon this is the most cohesive album yet. Cracking harmonies, great playing and strong tunes. Tracks like “The Nets”, “Chinese Burns” and notably “The Kid” are 3 of the best tunes they have released. Let’s hope there is more output and touring to come.

Austin LucasMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Austin LucasBetween the Moon & the Midwest
I spend a fair bit of time on the road traveling to see my partner and this record became the perfect traveling companion for me. Took a few listens to get into and also realise it’s a concept album which draws from Lucas’ own past experiences. Without spoiling the outcome, it follows the luckless musician Richard, his partner Kristie Rae and his best friend William. It features killer song writing with pedal steel, twangy tele, country influences with punk rock subtlety, numerous guest vocals from the likes of John Moreland and Corey Brannan, and a cracker duet with Lydia Loveless “Wrong Side of the Dream”, dealing with the struggles and plights that many musicians face. My song of the record is “William”, the solo acoustic number at the end that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the guts. Songwriting at its finest.

Cody JinksAndrew Cavalieri (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Cody JinksI’m Not the Devil
Raw, honest and heartache. That is this album! The first track really sets the mood for the rest of the album, but is broken up by “Chase This Song” which is a damn banger of a driving song! The outlaw vibe flowing from Junks’ music really prepares you for some hard times and disappointment in life. Bloody hell I love this album! Honorable mentions: Murlocs – Young Blindness, Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep and Mudcrutch – 2.

Wartime SweetheartsLaura Bishop (Chaika)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
A killer voice, some super awesome writing skills, and an obsession with bodybuilders (hello Ms Olympia!) make this my favourite album of 2016. Wartime Sweethearts, aka singer-keyboardist-loop artist-songwriter Louise Nutting, signed to Art As Catharsis Records this year and released an album full of all the beats and electric piano and vocal harmony sounds that I like to hear (and I wish I could make) – and my favourite track “Figure It In, Figure It Out” has all the unexpected twistings and turnings of chord progressions that I wish I could write. One day Chaika will make sounds like this! One day…

Neil YoungTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Neil YoungPeace Trail
Well with everyone saying we should just put 2016 behind us (although to be honest we should probably be approaching 2017 with a little trepidation too) I’ve decided not to dig too deeply into the past when thinking of my favorite record release of the year. I’ve loved many, but my recent love is the just-released 37th album by Neil Young. Peace Trail is short, musically experimental within its tight three piece band approach, and lyrically angry and poignant. I love it for the drummer’s drummer Jim Keltner and the way his delicate touch chases Neil’s quirky phrasing around the songs. I love it because it captures another freeze frame moment from a restless and undaunted songwriter, and I love it, of course, for those mighty guitar tones.

Davey CraddockLachlan Bryan
Davey CraddockCity West
2016 was a great year for my friends releasing good music. Melody Pool comes to mind, as do The Weeping Willows, Henry Wagons, Ange Boxall and Bill Jackson. It’s actually really hard to contribute to a “best of” list when you’re close to many of the artists – it’s hard to be objective – even after I rule out the records I was actually involved in making. Actually – it’s always hard to be objective, whether you know the artists or not. Furthermore, judging a whole body of work is hard – and for me, more than ever, 2016 was the year of the song (as opposed to the album or EP). And as songs go, the one that’s really stuck with me this year is the song “Number 9” by Davey Craddock. I love the cricket references. I asked Davey if he was a diehard cricket fan like me. He’s not. I was bitterly disappointed.

The Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsMagic Fire
The Stray Birds made our fave album of 2014 and they’ve done it again in spectacular style with Magic Fire. It’s everything about this album and this band, the playing, the three part harmony and songs that are unabashed, true and unadorned. Magic Fire is a reminder of the things that matter, it’s definitely a fire and maybe a little bit magic.

Tori ForsythAndrew Swift
Tori ForsythBlack Bird
This EP is right up there as one of my favourite releases of 2016. From the moment I heard the opening title track, “Black Bird”, I knew that I was in for a treat. The diversity on display within the 5 tracks of Tori Forsyth’s debut release excites me. The songs are so well crafted and presented with such a mature sound, especially for someone so young. I’m eagerly awaiting the next release from one of Australia’s most promising young songwriters.

Hayden CalninRoscoe James Irwin
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1
A beautiful album from Melbourne artist Hayden Calnin. Drenched in melancholy and ambient awesomeness, this album had me at hello. (One of my favourite live shows of 2016 as well).

Jordie LaneNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
Have to say I’ve been particularly digging Jordie Lane’s GLASSELLLAND this last couple of months – with mighty input from the multi-talented Clare Reynolds. Let’s face it, Jordie’s a bit of an all-round talented guy!

Melody PoolDavey Craddock
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
One of my fave local album’s of the year was Melody Pool’s Deep Dark Savage Heart. I’m a sucker for strings and a massive chorus and I love the way the songs build from really intimate, delicate and ornate passages into full-blown, wailing-on-a-mountain top with Stevie Nicks, 100 soaring bats and a thunderstorm moments. I saw her launch it at the Abbotsford Convent earlier this year and it was a really powerful and affecting show for me.

Methyl EthylTim Guy
Methyl Ethel – “No.28”
I know it’s not an album, but I’ve listened to this song more than any other this year, and it only came out a little while back. It has a lot going for it – great rhythm behind a smart piece of songwriting and then the whole thing is bathed in a deep silver mercury type thing. An Australian classic I swear.

DocksThe Staves
Amanda BergmanDocks
Our favourite album of 2016 is Docks by Amanda Bergman. Her voice is utterly sublime. You want to listen to every word she says. The music is dreamy, deep, soft, moody with melodies that whirr deliciously around your mind for days and weeks on end.

Katie BriannaRaechel Whitchurch
Katie BriannaVictim or the Heroine
I picked this album up when Katie and I did a songwriters showcase together. Sitting beside her listening to her songs was so magical – her voice is one of the most enchanting I have ever heard and her lyrics hit you right in the feels every time. Reminds me of a young Lucinda!

James KenyonMandy Connell (Stray Hens)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
James’ lyrics have that magic of time and place usually associated with voices like Paul Kelly or Bruce Springsteen. You can practically smell his scenes. You’re there. This album captures the voice but better than that, like a Tim Winton book, its a record that makes you present in Kenyon’s stories.

Jordie LaneLiz Stringer
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
It’s no secret that Jordie Lane and I are good mates. We grew up together, musically speaking, and I am more familiar with his work than with most other artist’s. His new album, his first full-length release in five years, is called GLASSELLLAND, recorded by Jordie himself in various make-shift recording spaces in North Los Angeles and co-produced by his fiercely talented partner, Clare Reynolds, who also co-wrote half of the songs and sings and plays a heap of instruments on the record. Jordie’s songwriting and musicianship continue to evolve and stretch out with the years and these songs, and the way they’re recorded, ache with longing while driving forward with a swagger and a playful showmanship, melodically rich and hooky as fuck. I always become a bit weepy listening to Jordie sing. And, now, the combination of him and Clare ruins me every time. Beautiful.

David BowieColin Jones (Colin Jones & The Delta Review)
David BowieBlackstar
An exceptional reflection on final days and the unknown. Every note by Bowie, McCaslin and the band emphasize the chaos and fragility of life. There is no better swansong for an artist.

A Moon Shaped PoolEmma Anglesey
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool completely surrenders to simple truths that both lie in plain sight and in the messy tangled, kicking and screaming realities of life. The epic levels of angst in the opening track “Burn the Witch” are like an exorcism – Jonny Greenwood’s sharp string arrangement take you right to the edge – and then from there it’s like Alice falling through the rabbit hole of raw emotion and you go deeper and deeper.

DawesTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
DawesWe’re All Gonna Die
Some of the best lyric writing welded on to some pretty simple, but catchy, pop songs. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama shakes, Laura Marling), this is a great record start to finish if you can forgive some slightly John Mayer sounding guitars that pop their head up from time to time. This I the record I keep coming back to this year

Oh PepRebecca Bastoli
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I don’t think I have ever been so entranced, excited or exhausted by the journey of listening to an album start to finish.

Bon IverDustin Tebbutt
Bon Iver22, A Million
Bon Iver has once again exceeded expectations on this release. It’s both familiar and foreign, delicately coloured, softly focused yet angular and stark. It’s brave, honest and all the things that I loved about Justin’s earlier works, without coming close to formulaic. It’s colloquial and conversational, yet inherently profound. Incredible stuff both musically and sonically.

Margo PriceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
There’s something comforting about Margo Price’s debut album, almost like I’d listened to it before, but not in an overly familiar sort of way. Perhaps there’s something in her glorious voice that reminds me of my parent’s Dolly Parton records. She’s a great story teller, and I want to know more about her heartaches and headaches, particularly when accompanied by her crack band. I’m also proud to say my 4 year daughter keeps calling for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle)” when we’re in the car – and I can’t think of anything else I’d want her to be listening to right now.

BJ BarthamHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
BJ BarhamRockingham
It pains me to say this but BJ Barham’s new-found sobriety has coincided with a serious coming of age as a songwriter. Taking a (very) short break from American Aquarium duties, BJ’s solo release (a genuine side-project) is seriously hard-hitting stuff. It rivals Aquarium’s 2012 release Burn. Flicker. Die. for intensity, but of a completely different nature. With sparse arrangements (often acoustic) Barham, as storyteller, gives you an uncensored and unashamed glimpse into how rural America has been left behind. Not for the faint hearted.

William CrightonSam Newton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I’d caught Crighton perform a bunch of times at local venues around Sydney and really dug his tune (and especially the music video) “Woman Like You” prior to this album’s release. So I was anticipating this release. Really excited for it. I was stoked when I heard that he and producer Matt Sherrod came through with the goods. Big time. Highlights for me are “Riverina Kid”, “Priest” and “2000 Clicks”. In my mind, this one is about as strong as debut albums get.

Chaim TannenbaumEliza Carthy
Chaim TannenbaumChaim Tannenbaum
The album that I have most enjoyed and most visited this year is the debut of the kind, quiet genius Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound Records). I’ve had the privilege of working with Chaim over the years but it was only recently I realised that I have lived with his distinctive voice and gorgeous humility since I first began to love music. It’s his voice that forms the third harmony in “Complainte pour St Catherine” on the first McGarrigle sisters’ album, a song I played over and over as a child until you could almost see through the record, and he has been quiet companion and producer to theirs and their extended family’s work ever since. It’s somewhat typical of his humility that he has waited this long to make an album, produced by his dear longtime friend and collaborator Loudon Wainwright III. It’s a collection of avuncular stories told in his gorgeously expressive voice with beautiful, minimal production. Some trad, some conversational originals covering everything from the fate of the baseball stadium Ebbets Field to living in a depressing grey London in the endless rain in the 1960s. An album to listen to with your eyes closed by the fire. Again and again, and again.

PinegroveQuinton Trembath
PinegroveCardinal
The lyrics on this album read like the private diary of a well spoken (and well read) guy filled with both anxiety and excitement for life. The musicianship and dynamics complement this introspectiveness well, making it perfectly suited for intense solo listening as well as for being cranked on road trips with friends.

Sean McMahonAlison Ferrier
Sean McMahon and the MoonMenShiner
Sean McMahon’s laid back yet somehow intense vocal brings this fantastic collection of songs to life in my living room. Shiner’s ragged elegance is full of the sort of raunchy country rock I can’t get enough of. Stand out tracks for me: “Shiner” and “Here Comes the Night Again”.

WhitneyEddie Boyd
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
This album just grew and grew on me since my first listen. Simple, catchy tunes that make me wanna dance or go driving for a long time. I think Whitney nailed everything about this album – the instrumentation, the production, obviously the songs. Also, they’re heaps good live.

Secret PathThe Once
Gord DownieSecret Path
The Tragically HipMan Machine Poem
This year was a hard year in Canadian Music. We have a fella here by the name of Gord Downie. He is a legend. He has helped raise Canadians to be more real with his music. He is the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. There are not many people in Canada who don’t know who The Hip are. Their music has become part of our DNA. Gord, this year, made a statement saying he has terminal brain cancer so he obviously fighting for the men and women of the north. The folks that have needed a voice for far too long. He is being that voice. He is showing us how to be Canadian and that we can’t be without acknowledging the needs of all of our people, without respecting all of our people. This year, instead of succumbing to his illness, he put out two albums. One with The Hip and one solo. Here they are. They are magic and will go down in history in our great nation. It’s amazing to watch one man build his second legacy.

Cash SavageJessica Cassar (Jep and Dep)
Cash Savage & The Last DrinksOne Of Us
This has everything you want from a record. It’s dirty and beautiful, and dark as hell. Cash sings with a thunderous anguish that cracks, rumbles and echoes so perfectly any sorrow you might have ever had. And like any good storm, the album’s darkness reveals a little light, one that roars some sort of painful end, or much needed beginning. I love this record!

Tracy McNeilGretta Ziller
Tracy McNeil & The GoodlifeThieves
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to the game when it comes to Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife. I caught their set at Out on the Weekend and was captivated! Their 2016 album Thieves is just so dang easy to listen to, I will confess it is turning into a “chilling on the deck summer favourite” of mine! Please, if you haven’t already, pick up or download a copy of this album and chill!!

Bill JacksonRosie McDonald (RAPT, Trippy Hippy Band, Seanchas)
Bill JacksonThe Wayside Ballads Vol. 2
Bills’ reputation had preceded him before I heard him at Fairlight folk with Ruth Hazelton and Pete Fiddler. I grabbed the opportunity to contribute to his The Wayside Ballads Vol. 2 crowd funding campaign to get Bill and Pete over to Nashville to record with some very fine session players. Bill kept me updated with postcards and messages so I felt like a sideline cheerer in this whole project. Then the CD arrived! Magnificent songs, co-written with Bills’ brother Ross. Bills’ time worn voice, rich and mellow, rootsy, Americana-ish but very very homegrown, local accent, stories big and small, tender and big hearted. Pete’s playing shines in amongst the session guys, a great listen. Music for travel, the cabin, the verandah, anywhere.

Kate Burke and Pete WildMelanie Horsnell
Kate Burke and Pete WildLive at St Peters
In my small town we have the most marvellous artists touring through, but I also love our sweet locals, and I adore this live record by Kate Burke and Pete Wild. Pete Wild’s “Mars 1” is a love song about a person who goes on the Mars mission leaving his forever love behind, the Martin-Martin song is an old village favourite and the last love song between Doris and Arthur makes me giggle and lament at the same time. And I adore playing Kate Burkes version of Frozen Man on repeat when everything in life gets a bit much.

MontaigneGretta Ray
MontaigneGlorious Heights
My favourite record that was released in 2016 is without a doubt, Montaigne’s Glorious Heights. What impresses me most about this record is the fact that it is rather evident that the artist went into this project with the intention of experimenting with her sound and taking risks, drawing inspiration from a range of her influences and assuring that each song conveyed a slightly different emotion from the previous track. I believe it was this approach of 20-year-old Jess Sero’s (Montainge) that resulted in the production of what I perceive to be a very imaginative and bold debut album. This record showcases the fact that Jess has, unquestionably, one of the strongest and most commanding voices in the Australian music industry, this being exemplified through the outstanding production and arrangements of the songs that make up Glorious Heights. As well as this, each song is demonstrative of Jess’ incredibly clever and unique songwriting, which I cannot wait to hear more of in years to come; the simplicity yet complexity and quirkiness of a lyric such as “when you touch my skin, I think ‘this isn’t boring'” makes one ponder on such a line, as Jess’ way of writing is different, daring and something that never fails to make me smile. Glorious Heights made me so very excited about how extravagant pop music is becoming in this day and age, and on the whole made me very proud to be a young woman in the Australian music scene.

WhitneyTreetop Flyers
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
I first started hearing about this band online, so was waiting for the album with anticipation. When it dropped I must have played it back to back straight away, which rarely happens. They are hard to put in a genre, which is really great. No Woman is one of our faves of the year. They are great live and do a version’s of NRBQ’s Magnet, so happy campers over here.

Drive By TruckersShane Nicholson
Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
In a year of many great records, this stands tall above the crowd. It’s everything I love about the Truckers: gutsy and raw, clever and thoughtful, sometimes irreverent and full of attitude, and sometimes tender and restrained. Imagine a bastard-child born to Son Volt, Matthew Ryan and Uncle Tupelo, but all dressed up in those well-worn and unmistakable Drive-By Truckers clothes. How could that not make for the coolest kid on the block this year?

Conor OberstJack Carty
Conor OberstRuminations
It’s bloody beautiful in its simplicity. Gorgeous songs performed honestly. It seems like every track is a complete performance and any imperfections only enhance the sincerity of it all for me. Such an incredibly good songwriter.

Hayes CarllThe Weeping Willows
Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Lovers and Leavers is Hayes Carll’s most personal, introspective and “exposed” album to date, both in terms of the intimate, confessional songwriting and the stripped back arrangements, reminiscent of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams, never saying too much – or too little. This intimacy draws you in, while Carll’s vulnerability captures you and takes you on a journey through heartache and reflection. Hayes was always in good hands with dynamic duo Joe Henry (producer) and Ryan Freeland (engineer) at the wheel, steering gently towards a common, graceful goal. Henry’s arrangements are characteristically unique yet elegant and tasteful, while Freeland brings his trademark clarity and warmth. Check it out if you’re fans of the late, great Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt or fellow Texans, Steve Earle and Kevin Welch. Stand out tracks: “Sake of The Song”, “The Magic Kid” and “Drive”.

Iggy PopKelly Day (Broads)
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
Sometimes you’ll find a record that makes you feel high from the moment it begins. Iggy’s new album, channelled through the hooky sounds of Josh Homme and given a Bowie-esque lean, made me grin like a mad person. And then immediately take it for another spin.

Robert EllisMegan Cooper
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
I was waiting to go on air for an interview. While we were pfaffing around getting ready “The High Road” came on. I pretended I knew who Robert Ellis was when I was advised who the artist was that had pretty much hypnotised me in 30 seconds flat. I went out and paid cash money for the album the next day. Every song got me on first listen. Cinematic moments. Super personal bits. Non-standard approaches. Aspirational.

PassengerSam Brittain
PassengerYoung As The Morning, Old As The Sea
Mike has always had a wonderful way of crafting simple and memorable melodies. Combine this with his always captivating lyrics and you have a master songwriter who’s tunes that sneak their way into your day. Songs that sooner or later without realising you find yourself humming whilst waiting in line for your morning coffee. Although often his storytelling veers on on the darker side of heartbreak and loss this latest album has a lighter touch, proving Passenger is and a yard stick for the aspiring modern folk troubadour. A dynamic artist who’s albums have been true to his own brand since day one. Additionally his band on this record are also fantastic live. I recently caught his show to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin, it was one I won’t soon forget.

Bon IverAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Bon Iver22, A Million
Another great record from Bon Iver – I have loved all three so far. I like how it also pushes into some new and interesting territory with the production. The auto-tuned a cappella of “715 – CR∑∑KS” is a particular highlight

Margaret GlaspyMaia Marsh
Margaret GlaspyEmotions and Math
It makes me feel really empowered whenever I listen to it, as a woman myself playing music. The songs are strong, guitar tone is great and her voice has this amazing growl that cuts through a sincere sensitivy at the same time.

BlondDirewolf
Frank OceanBlond
My hat is profusely off to an artist who can seamlessly bridge so many facets of musical integrity. What I mean by that nonsensical shit is that the entire record is some kind of highly strung soundboard (literally) which either sends you flying high just to get high, or high because you’re just too fucking upset. “Skyline To” and “Seigfried” are perfect examples. The whole collective arrangement kills me too, it’s like listening to recent Bon Iver whilst playing Sega in a radio store – the musicality is superb. I could say a lot more, but I’ll safely surrender by saying it definitely influenced the direction of my mind in doing another record.

Bon IverWildwood Kin
Bon Iver22, A Million
Easily. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. It’s just genius.

Tattletale SaintsGeorge Jackson (The Company, Buffalo Nickel, One Up, Two Down)
Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints
Nashville based, New Zealand duo Tattletale Saints released their self-titled, second album this year, and it’s beautiful. Cy Winstanley (Guitars, Vocals) can pen songs with the best of them, his offerings on this album range from self-reflective and insightful, to sometimes cynical and cutting but always with a masterful craftsmanship. Vanessa McGown (Double Bass, Vocals) provides both solid and virtuosic Double Bass playing and vintage tinged country vocals. The new album is definitely a departure from their earlier acoustic recordings – but for a new fan, like me coming along, this is a bold and engaging listen complete with a production dripping in vintage tones and depth. Listen, and enjoy!

Genni KaneBill Jackson
Genni KaneSelfies
Ex-member of seminal Australian band, The Flying Emus, Genni Kane has a voice that can’t be denied. This long awaited record shows she is also a very gifted songwriter and the opening track “Little White Dog” is the beginning of a beautiful journey that deserves your attention.

Nancy KerrRuth Hazleton (http://www.billjacksonmusic.com/, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Nancy KerrInstar
A heady mix of poetry, politics and social commentary, Nancy Kerr’s Instar is an achingly beautiful collection of original songs framed within the landscape of traditional folk music. Beautifully performed and produced, Instar is, without doubt, one of the masterpieces of folk from 2016 and a work that will inform the tradition for a long time to come.

Fanny LumsdenThe Pigs
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
This album is full of great songs written from Fanny’s heart. She’s the real McCoy. Whenever we see her play live her songs get stuck in our head for weeks after. “Bravest Of Hearts”, “Soapbox” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down” are just a few of the crackers on this rekid. This is a breath of fresh air for Australian Country Music. We love Fanny! More… More…

Side PonyHannah Acfield (The Acfields)
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
Give me a bit of 60’s sounding soul any day of the week! The songs are catchy, nice melodies and make you wanna move. I’m a sucker for a sterling vocalist. This was fav album for me.

Julia JacklinWillowy
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
An album about the little things in life that somehow manages to sum up the bigger things as well, cutting right through the mess to the heart of it all. Beautifully written and perfectly executed. It’s lovely to see an artist from the Sydney folk music family reaching great heights with an exceptional debut album.

John FlanaganSal Kimber (Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel)
John FlanaganThere’s Another Way To Where You’re Going

Bill ChambersRicky Pann (The Willing Ponies)
Bill ChambersCold Trail
Jen MizeWarnings and Wisdom
Sam BushStoryman
Bill Chambers is an Australian Journeyman troubadour. Songwriter, producer, sideman and front man, Bills live shows have influenced many and earned him a legion of devoted fans. Cold trail is Bills first studio album in four years and reminds the rock pop acts infiltrating modern country of where the heart of country lies. Cold Trail is a collection of honky-tonk “life lived” country that is the real deal. Produced by Bill and Recorded at his son Nash Chambers foggy mountain studios, Cold Trail is a world class record that draws on many influences to deliver country authenticity with Aussie perspective. A cracker record.
It’s a long way from Jen Mize roots in the Appliacian mountains of Georgia and North Carolina as a decedent of Lumbee Tribe of native Americans to the Sunshine coast of Queensland. Jen Mize is the real deal in every respect. An American songwriter with an incredible voice delivering an album packed with dynamic, well-crafted songs that’s all killer no filler. Shane Nicholson’s earthy production, arrangments and playing provide a tastefully rich sonic pallet that does this fine singer justice. The album glides from old-timey to traditional country and honky tonk, setting a very high bar of authenticity. An absolute stand out record.
Sixty-four-year-old Sam Bush has many stories to tell as a musician, innovator, writer and singer. One of my favourite musicians on the planet, Sam is a bluegrass master and the father of newgrass music spawned from his groundbreaking band the New Grass Revival. Sam is arguably one of the most influential mandolin players in history having played with just about everyone from Bill Monroe to Leon Russell. This record is a collection of finely crafted songs with a crack band featuring vocals from Emmylou Harris and Alison Kraus. A masterful record.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney folk punks Handsome Young Strangers released their new single “Mrs Jones”. Details here

Bernard Fanning and Kasey Chambers have announced a co-headline tour early next year. Details here

– A single show has been announced for Conor Oberst in Sydney next year. Details here

– Brisbane based singer-songwriter Sian Evans released her new video “Cold Feet”. Details here

– The last Bluegrass @ Yulli’s of 2016 is this Wednesday featuring The Sweet Jelly Rolls. Details here

– We premiered the new Justin Bernasconi single “Speed Camera”. Details here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin is wrapping up a massive 2016 in style with a show in her hometown of Sydney and then more around the country. If you have tickets to any of these shows count yourself lucky

Friday 9th December – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th December – FourFiveNine, Perth WA
Friday 16th December – The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Acoustics Anonymous feat. Skinny Legions, Merpire
Wednesday 14th December – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Anders
Friday 9th December – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Andy Baylor’s Cajun Christmas Party
Sunday 11th December – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Australian Bluegrass Conference
Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th December – Tranquil Park, Maleny, QLD

Bears with Guns
Saturday 10th December – Tommy’s Beer Cafe, Sydney, NSW

Bluegrass at Yulli’s feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Wednesday 14 December – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 9th December – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 10th December – Wests City, Newcastle, NSW

Country by the Beach
Tuesday 13th December – Old Dave’s Soul, Sydney, NSW

Ellie Jane with Mudshadows, Olivia Ruth & Sian Evans
Friday 16th December – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Finders Keepers Market Sydney feat. Taryn La Fauci, Martha Marlow, The Vegetable Plot, Elizabeth Hughes, Rachel Maria Cox, Jep & Dep & more
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW

Hannah Robinson
Sunday 11th December – Different Drummer, Sydney, NSW

Husky
Thursday 15th December – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon
Friday 9th December – Cedar Bar, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 10th December – Queen St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 11th December – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Joseph Tawadros
Friday 16th December – Candelo Town Hall, Candelo, NSW

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
Friday 9th December – The Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th December – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 15th December – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Friday 16th December – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Jacklin
Friday 9th December – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th December – FourFiveNine, Perth WA
Friday 16th December – The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 10th December – Guildford Hotel, Guildford, VIC
Sunday 11th December – Retreat Hotel Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th December – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Kasey Chambers w/ Eagle & The Wolf
Friday 9th December – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay, NSW
Saturday 10th December – Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Batemans Bay, NSW

Kaurna Cronin, Myles Mayo
Friday 16th December – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Kelly Dance
Sunday 11th December – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Little Wise
Friday 9th December – Basement Discs, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th December – Brookfield Shed, Margate, TAS
Sunday 11th December – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS

Live and Acoustic feat. Julianne Jessop, Nikita Rolleston, Taylor King
Wednesday 14th December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Liz Stringer
Friday 16th December – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

Lucy Wise, Rowena Wise, John Flanagan
Sunday 11th December – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan
Sunday 11th December – 303, Melbourne, VIC

Pat and Kellie, Imogen Clark
Friday 9th December – Acoustic Picnic, Sydney, NSW

Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen
Friday 9th December – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 10th December – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 14th December – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Friday 16th December – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Peta & The Wolf, Kit & Cub
Friday 9th December – Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW
Thursday 15th December – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Queen Porter Stomp, Whoa Mule, Golden Whistler
Friday 16th December – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Robyn Hitchcock w/ Emma Swift
Sunday 11th December – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 15th December – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 16th December – New Globe Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Songbirds feat Katie Brianna, Brielle Davis, Raechel Whitchurch
Sunday 11th December – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Steve Poltz
Friday 9th December – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th December – Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Sunday 11th December – Memo Club, St Kilda, VIC
Tuesday 13th December – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Wednesday 14th December – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 15th December – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 16th December – The Bunker, Coogee, NSW

Temperance
Wednesday 14th December – Grumpy’s Green, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 15th December – Ancient World, Adelaide, SA
Friday 16th December – The Corporate Moose, Mildura, VIC

That Red Head
Friday 16th December – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The Ramshackle Army
Friday 16th December – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Rhythm Hut Christmas Party feat. 19-Twenty, Lime and Steel, Night Kite
Friday 9th December – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

Tom Stephens w/ Lazy Colts, Sunscreen
Thursday 15th December – Sly Fox, Sydney, NSW

Village Idiot w/ Peta & The Wolf, Kit & Cub
Friday 9th December – Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW

Wallis Bird
Wednesday 14th December – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 15th December – Pelican Playhouse Theatre, Grafton, NSW
Friday 16th December – The Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Lanigan’s Ball” – Christy Moore

Watch the New Sian Evans Video “Cold Feet”

Sian Evans
Image Courtesy of Sian Evans

Brisbane singer-songwriter Sian Evans has just released the wonderful new video for her track “Cold Feet”. This slice of pop-folk goodness is about the nature of “cut and run self-sabotage behaviour” according to Evans.

Check it out here:

Sian Evans will be celebrating the release of “Cold Feet” with a show at The Zoo in Brisbane next Friday 16th December supporting Ellie Jane with Mudshadows – check out the official Facebook event for more details.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 25th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin released her new video “Pool Party”. Details here

Matthew and the Atlas released their new video “Temple”. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs released her new video “Lost”. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Jake Bugg announced details of his upcoming album On My Own. Details here

– Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance announced his upcoming album The Wild Swan. Details here

William Fitzsimmons released his new video “Hear Your Heart”. Details here

– Seminal newgrass band Punch Brothers announced Australian tour dates. Details here

– Singers Neko Case, K.D. Lang, and Laura Veirs have announced a collaborative album case/lang/veirs. Details here

Vance Joy released his new video “Straight Into Your Arms”. Details here

Interviews

“I think what makes The National special for me is the way it homages and appreciates the raw, grass roots qualities of folk and traditional music, presenting it all with great respect on both big and small stages. The level of knowledge, friendliness and depth with which the audience throws itself into proceedings is second to none, at least as far as I’ve experienced at festivals around the world”Nancy Kerr chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I did write a pop song. I wanted it to be accessible to a wider audience. I wrote three songs last year and that was one of them – they all kind of have this pop sensibility”Sian Evans chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We’re trying to be miles away from the play-louder-than-the-pub kind of band, which I’ve definitely done in the past but it gets kind of exhausting. These days we hope to invite people in rather than try to compete with them” – Sam King from Burrows chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“It’s the last arena where you go to see an act and straight away go and talk to the person who’s just played and take a bit home with you. It’s that kind of instant performance energy. That’s why these festivals are still trucking along well. As a musician it’s a privilege to play at them because people face your way and they might buy something and you get to talk to everyone”Andrew Winton chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Radical Face
The Family Tree: LeavesRadical Face
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 1st April – Mt Gambier Hotel, Mt Gambier, SA

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Black Market Tune

Black Market Tune

The Austro-Scotish trad specialists play The National Folk Festival plus gigs in Canberra and Sydney

Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 29th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 30th March – The Exchange Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Americana Fiesta
Sunday 27th March – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ann Vriend
Friday 25th March – The Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 26th March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

April Maze
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Black Market Tune
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 29th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 30th March – The Exchange Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Batch Sessions feat. Tenderfoot, Ed Wells
Wednesday 30th March – Batch Brewing Company, Sydney, NSW

Blind Boys of Alabama
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 31st March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st April – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Bloodwood
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Bluesfest
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Byron Bay, NSW

Burrows
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

City and Colour w/ Little May
Saturday 26th March – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 28th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 30th March – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA

Daniel Champagne
Thursday 31st March – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 1st April – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT

Emily Barker
Saturday 26th March – The Railway, Fremantle, WA

FolkSwagon feat. Danielle Deckard, The Delta Revue, The Run
Wednesday 30th March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 31st March – Hume Club, Bonegilla Migrant Experience, Bonegilla, VIC
Friday 1st April – Balgownie Village Community Centre, Balgownie, NSW

Gordie Tentrees
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 29th March – The Old Church, Canowindra, NSW
Wednesday 30th March – Food Angel Café, Dorrigo NSW
Thursday 31st March – Tintenbar Upfront Happ, Tintenbar, NSW
Friday 1st April – Magda Community Artz, Brisbane, QLD

Hootenanny feat. Deep South & Down
Sunday 27th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Irish Mythen
Saturday 26th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 30th March – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 25th March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 27th March – The Who Club, Warburton, VIC
Monday 28th March – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 31st March – The Homestead Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st April – Live at The Wharf, Ulverstone, TAS

Jason Isbell
Sunday 27th March – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm Tallarook, VIC
Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW
Tuesday 29th March – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 31st March – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Friday 1st April – The Croxton Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jordie Lane
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 31st March – Secret Show, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st April – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Kit & Cub
Sunday 27th March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 26th March – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Little Features
Saturday 26th March – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Man From Snowy River Bush Festival
Thursday 31st March to Sunday 3rd April – Corryong, VIC

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Saturday 26th March – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 27th March – The Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford, VIC
Friday 1st April – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Moxie
Friday 25th March – Fly By Night Club, Fremantle, WA

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Nancy Kerr & the Sweet Visitor Band
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW
Wednesday 30th March – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 31st March – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Paddy McHugh & Andy Golledge
Friday 1st April – The Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin w/ Liz Frencham and Lime & Steel
Thursday 31st March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Pocket Fox
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Rhiannon Giddens
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Riley Pearce
Wednesday 30th March – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st April – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Sahara Beck
Sunday 27th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Shakey Graves
Tuesday 29th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 31st March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Sian Evans
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Steve Earle & The Dukes w/ The Mastersons
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

The Decemberists
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 29th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 30th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

The East Pointers
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 30th March – Kendall Community Centre, Kendall, NSW
Thursday 31st March – No 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 1st April – Yamba Community Centre, Yamba, NSW

The Fagans
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Little Stevies
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 31st March – Hume Club, Bonegilla Migrant Experience, Bonegilla, VIC
Friday 1st April – Balgownie Village Community Centre, Balgownie, NSW

The National Anti-Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The National Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Canberra, ACT

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 27th March – The Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
Wednesday 30th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 31st March – The Stone House, Tomerong, NSW
Friday 1st April – Railway Institute Hall, Thirroul, NSW

The Rambling Boys
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, ACT

The Timbers
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 1st April – Mt Gambier Hotel, Mt Gambier, SA

The Weeping Willows
Friday 25th March – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 27th March – T’Gallant Winery, Main Ridge, VIC
Friday 1st April – Harmonie German Club’s Friday Night Live, Canberra, ACT

The Young’uns
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Tim Guy
Thursday 31st March – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 1st April – Vic on the Park, Sydney, NSW

Tweedy
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Vishtèn
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 30th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 31st March – Hume Club, Bonegilla, VIC
Friday 1st April – Wooloongong Hall, Wooloongong, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Big Scioty” – Aly Bain and Jay Ungar

National Folk Festival Interview: Sian Evans

Sian Evans
Image Courtesy of Sian Evans

Brisbane based singer-songwriter Sian Evans hits The National Folk Festival for the first time this weekend as part of her current east coast tour. We caught up with Sian Evans to discuss her new sound, the stresses of being a touring artist and what we can expect from her performances at The National.

Gareth Hugh Evans: You’ve just released your new single “Cold Feet”. I love it – there’s a pop sensibility about it while still maintaining your folk and country roots. It feels like you’ve written a pop song.

Sian Evans: I did write a pop song. I wanted it to be accessible to a wider audience. I wrote three songs last year and that was one of them – they all kind of have this pop sensibility. At the moment my head is in a space of wanting to write singles and then maybe put out an album full of singles. I really want to work on something that’s really bloody awesome and that I’m really really proud of. I feel like I’ve got the maturity to actually deliver something like that whereas when I did an album years and years ago I just so wasn’t there as a song writer yet.

GHE: Is part of it to separate the solo work from your work with The Rusty Datsuns?

SE: I guess so, yeah. A lot of people didn’t really know who any of the The Rusty Datsuns were individually anyway so I’ve started from scratch. The stuff that we wrote is different to where I’m at at the moment. My last record was more traditionally focused – it had one song on it that was mine and a bit pop. And I guess after you’ve been slogging at it for ten years you want stuff that’s going to be favoured by radio stations [laughs]. It’s not all about the financial side of things, it’s not all about money or anything like that. Anyone who comes into the the music industry with the idea of making money, unless they’re doing pub covers, then they’re absolute idiots. But to just have it sailing its own ship at some point, or maybe getting the closest that I’ve ever been, would be really nice.

GHE: And I guess if you’re performing under your own name it’s music that represents you as an individual.

SE: Yeah, totally. I’ve never been very good at themed writing – I’m pretty authentic to the cause and whatever mood I may be in. To some extent I’m probably a bit of a sad person [laughs] – it reflects in my music.

GHE: I really like the production on “Cold Feet” as well. I think that might contribute to why I think it’s a pop song – it’s really tight.

SE: [Producer] Josh Shuberth used to drum for Josh Pyke and I love Josh Pyke, I’ve been listening to him since I was in high school. I’ve been rolling around with my stampy box and jingles which is basically my broken down drum kit that I play with my feet while I play at the same time because I can’t afford a drummer and because I don’t want to have to deal with another personality. My last record we slapped on our hands and our knees and stamped my boots on the ground – I really like natural sounds. So this time we set my mate Mike in the studio with whatever we could find and there was a hundred different tambourines in the studio and a wine bottle with a spoon – so we just tapped on heaps of shit and again I got into the studio and tapped on my thighs and my stomach and my hands.

GHE: You’ve already played a couple of shows around Brisbane to support “Cold Feet” and you’re about to head out on some east coast dates – are you looking forward to those?

SE: Hell yeah. I’d be playing everywhere if I could afford to but I just decided to stick within my means for this tour which meant not going back to my home town of Cairns and it also meant not going to Melbourne. I had such a great time in WA last year – Perth and Fremantle were just amazing. So that’s kind of sad but I figure maybe I’ll pick up a bit of momentum for the single and I’ll pick up those places for the next tour. But I’m really looking forward to heading down to Canberra – I’ve never actually spent any time in and around Canberra before. And I’ve never been to The National Folk Festival before and it’s the 50th anniversary so if that’s not some kind of sign, I’m not sure what is.

GHE: I think you’re going to absolutely love The National. It’s one of my favourites – it’s a community coming together.

SE: Is that not the nature of these types of festivals? Except it won’t be so hot that you want to keel over and die [laughs].

GHE: Is it just going to be you and your fiddle player at The National?

SE: Yeah! Unless if a friend happens to be going or we happen to meet someone at a jam – by the end of a festival everyone is just like family. If you make special, chemical connections with people you want to share that on stage. If I happen to jam with a bass player or someone else and it works I have no issues with having guests on my stage ever.

GHE: As well as The National you have shows around Queensland and Northern New South Wales as well…

SE: Like Nimbin Mardi Grass!

GHE: I’m not familiar with Nimbin Mardi Grass at all.

SE: I was meant to play there last year but I was supposed to do Urban Country Festival as well. Urban ended up getting cancelled and I made the call not to try to drive to Mardi Grass because it was too sketchy with the weather, as to whether everyone was going to get flooded in or not. I didn’t really need that. But I love Nimbin, and I love the area. It’s just really beautiful – that appeals to me a lot. I’m not a really massive pot smoker so that side of it doesn’t necessarily appeal to me, but if that’s people’s thing that’s fine. But it’s a nice place to go for a couple of nights – it’s nice and cool and there’s generally some really bloody good music.

GHE: You had a pretty massive 2015 in terms of touring. Is 2016 shaping up the same way?

SE: No. Last year I basically just fell apart. It was too much for me – too much back and forth, too much travelling. By the end of it I couldn’t fly without being sedated on valium because I started having panic attacks on aeroplanes.

GHE: That’s not ok!

SE: It was really full on. I was still running a business in Brisbane and trying to get back to my son in Cairns – it was just too much. And touring solo, being on my own for a lot of the time and doing all the driving and lugging in of gear myself, I just felt the camaraderie wasn’t there. I lost so much money as well – I was just banging my head against a wall going “am I really doing the right thing? I really thought my calling was music but maybe I’m not good enough”. So I had to just step back and go this is going to have to be more of a hobby and I decided that I would prefer to definitely work another job and make that a priority as well as being a mum. I would put less pressure on performing and maybe try to do just two tours a year – make them x amount of time long so I didn’t burn myself out and so that I could give my audience the best of myself. And now I’m working full time and I’m totally a single mum in the city with no family at all – so that’s pretty hectic. I just really have to pace myself. I’m touring this time for the majority over the school holidays and mainly weekends for the time outside of that. So that is just a walk in the park. No aeroplanes for Sian!

GHE: Yeah, I know a number of artists where the relentless touring and travelling has led to burn out.

SE: It’s f**ked! There’s no other way to say it for what is often no monetary return. And it should be about quality of life. The way that I was living was not fun at all – I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying it, I was questioning everything and I was so f**king poor.

GHE: And it pulls the joy out of the music which is why you started in the first place.

SE: Yeah. It’s for self expression and it’s for connection. I was in such a broken place I just felt like I couldn’t look people in the eye at some points without drinking. I was so exhausted all of the time and because I was drinking I didn’t know whether I was tired or I was shitfaced [laughs]. When you get to that point you’ve kind of hit a point of no return and I really needed to take a break. And I did – I took a break for four months and then of course got itchy feet. I was like “ok, I’m going to book another tour now!”. But I tried to be really organised about this one and I started three or four months prior, booking the gigs, and basically didn’t push very hard. I just went with what came really easily and what had money attached to it.

GHE: It sounds like you’ve found a balance now.

SE: Yeah, totally. And I think that that’s the way forward. Approaching it a bit slower – smashing it out and then having a break.

GHE: Definitely sounds like you’re on the right path. Well that’s about all we have time for – thank you so much for chatting with me today. I’m super excited to see you at The National

SE: I can’t wait. Thanks Gareth.

All of Sian Evans’ upcoming tour dates, including her shows at The National Folk Festival are below:

Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
– Friday 9pm – The Lyric
– Saturday 4:50pm – The Buddawang
– Sunday 7:10pm – Spiegel Zelt
Wednesday 6th April – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 9th April – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 16th April Night Quarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 22nd April – Grounded Festival, Brisbane Valley, QLD
Saturday 30th April – Nimbin Mardigrass, Nimbin, NSW
Sunday 1st May – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Singer songwriter William Crighton released his new single “Priest” from his brand new, self titled album. Details here

– St Patrick’s Day may have been yesterday but The Gaelic Club in Sydney is still celebrating with a session tonight, The Button Collective tomorrow night and a film on Sunday. Details here

– Canadian songstress Ann Vriend is currently touring Australia. Details here

– Sydney band Bears With Guns released their new single “Let Go”. Details here

– Newcastle based alt-country duo The Wayward Henrys released their new video “Early Grave”. Details here

– Alice Springs based singer-songwriter Colin Lillie released his new video “Give Thanks”. Details here

Radical Face released “The Ship In Port” ahead of his album release next week. Details here

– Sydney bluegrassers The Buffalo Grass Boys released their new video “Lonely Nights”. Details here

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros released their new video “No Love Like Yours”. Details here

– Canadian prog-folk band Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything have announced Australian tour dates. Details here

Daniel Champagne has announced a massive Australian tour through March and April. Details here

– Brisbane based singer-songwriter Sian Evans released her new single “Cold Feet”. Details here

Bon Iver announce that they’re returning to Australia as part of Vivid Sydney this year. Details here

Passenger, All Our Exes Live In Texas and Luke Thompson shared a live version of “Caravan”. Details here

Interviews

“We’ve just recorded our third album of thirteen original tracks, some of which you’d call bluegrass and some of which I don’t know what you’d call it. But it’s all great music and we’ve pulled it off – it’s a really fun band in that respect” – George Jackson from The Company chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We started playing music together as friends and then came across the Bluegrass and Old Time Society and started going there a lot. We’d learn three songs to play at that gig – every month we’d learn three more songs. And we slowly built up a set and we ended up having enough to do a gig on our own. It was pretty slow but also really nice” – John Healy and Francis Duffy from The Plough chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“For the 1979 National Festival, which was in Melbourne, one of the reasons Bloodwood got together in the first place was to promote the 1980 festival which was to be held in Alice Springs. We went down there and had a fabulous reception. We had terrific posters and terrific t-shirts and all that stuff designed by a lady in Alice Springs. It was a knock out design and the strange thing is we were actually asked to stop promoting the 1980 festival by the Melbourne organisers because no one was buying their t-shirts. That is deadset true!” – Bob Barford from Bloodwood chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I have a deep relationship with Scottish music, as I spent one year of my life in Glasgow, to absorb the music from its source. The music can be really gentle and smooth, when it comes to ballads but also really ferocious and rythmically driving in strathspeys or reels – I really like the broad spectrum of expression and energy when it comes to Scottish Music” – Paul Dangl from Black Market Tune chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

William Crighton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
iTunes

Way Down South
Way Down SouthJoe Mungovan
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bloodwood

Bloodwood

Seminal Australian bush band Bloodwood have reformed for The National Folk Festival next week and are performing two shows in their hometown of Alice Springs in preparation. If you’re in either of Australia’s Territories this week these are gigs not to be missed.

Friday 18th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Saturday 19th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Adam Young w/ Den Hanrahan, Not Good With Horses
Saturday 19th March – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ann Vriend
Tuesday 22nd March – The Toff, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th March – The Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW

April Maze
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Black Market Tune
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yacandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Monday 21st – Kedron State High School Auditorium, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Blind Boys of Alabama
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Bloodwood
Friday 18th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Saturday 19th March – The Watertank Cafe, Alice Springs, NT
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Katoomba, NSW

Blue Mts Festival Hillbilly Fringe
Saturday 19th March – Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Bluesfest
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Byron Bay, NSW

Bob Barford
Sunday 20th March – Ooraminna Supper Club, Ooraminna, NT

Broadie Bunker Benefit
Wednesday 23rd March – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

Brunswick Music Festival
Tuesday 15th to Sunday 20th March – Melbourne, VIC

Daniel Champagne
Friday 18th March – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 19th March – The Royal Oak Hotel – Boat Shed, LauncestonTAS
Sunday 20th March – Marakoopa Cafe, Mayberry, TAS

Davidson Brothers
Saturday 19th March – Terang Country Music Festival, VIC

Emily Barker
Friday 18th March – Margaret River Cultural Centre, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th March – The Bakehouse, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 21st March – Sun Theatre, Yarraville, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Friday 18th March – Willaura Memorial Hall, Willaura, VIC
Saturday 19th March – Dalgety Hall, Dalgety, NSW
Sunday 20th March – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Folkswagon feat. Leroy Lee, The Delta Revue, Carlos Arango
Wednesday 23rd March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Gaelic Club Session
Friday 18th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Goin’ Back – Moreland’s History in Song feat. Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Tracy McNeil, Luke Sinclair, Van Walker, Gretta Ray, Mandy Connell
Friday 18th March – Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanic’s Institute, Melbourne, VIC

Gordie Tentrees
Friday 18th to Monday 21st March – Yachandandah Folk Festival, Yachandandah VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – Murrah Hall, Murrah NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Whiskey Jeff
Thursday 24th March – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Holler & Haul’s Backyard Picnic feat. The Button Collective, Rebecca Bastoli, Grace Turner
Sunday 20th March – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hootenanny feat. Echo Deer
Sunday 20th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Saturday 19th March – Nukara Festival, WA
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Imogen Clark
Thursday 24th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Irish Mythen
Wednesday 23rd March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Irish Trad Workshops
Friday 18th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney

James Thomson w/ Ruby Boots
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 22nd March – Araluen Gold Concert Series, Araluen, NSW
Wednesday 23rd March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 24th March – The Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th March – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Jason Isbell
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Jimi Beavis
Friday 18th March – Pistol Pete’s Food ‘n’ Blues, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 19th March – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jordie Lane
Friday 18th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 19th March – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 18th March – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Sunday 20th March – Leftys Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Luke Morris
Saturday 19th March – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Friday 18th March – The Merton Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Mary Black
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, NSW

Moxie
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Wednesday 23rd March – Cat & Fiddle Hotel, Balmain, NSW
Friday 25th March – Fly By Night Club, Fremantle, WA

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 18th March – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 19th March – Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA

Pocket Fox
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Ruby Boots
Friday 18th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th March – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD

Sahara Beck
Sunday 20th March – Bleach Festival, Brisbane, QLD

Sian Evans
Friday 18th March – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th March – Peregian Hotel, Peregian Beach, QLD
Saturday 19th March – The Porch Project, Yandina Creek, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Steve Earle & The Dukes w/ The Mastersons
Friday 18th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Mackay QLD
Thursday 24th March – Tanks, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Sturgill Simpson
Tuesday 22nd March – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW **CANCELLED**
Wednesday 23rd March – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC **CANCELLED**

The Button Collective
Saturday 19th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Decemberists
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Little Stevies
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Warrandyte Festival, Warrandyte, VIC
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The National Anti-Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The National Folk Festival
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – Canberra, ACT

The Once
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Katoomba, NSW

The Peninsula Picnic
Sunday 20th March – Mornington Racecourse, Mornington, VIC

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Saturday 19th March – Courthouse Café, Camperdown, VIC
Sunday 20th March – Burke & Wills Winery, Mia Mia, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – TBA, Upwey, VIC
Wednesday 23rd March – Valencia Creek Hall, Valencia Creek, VIC
Friday 25th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Rambling Boys
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, ACT

The Sydney String Band Hootenanny feat. Devil on the Rooftop, Dear Orphans, Squeeze Box Trio, Burnt Creek Deviation
Sunday 20th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Thursday 24th to Monday 27th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Weeping Willows
Friday 18th March – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th March – The Basin Music Festival, The Basin, VIC
Friday 25th March – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC

The Young’uns
Friday 18th to Friday 20th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 22nd March – The Cat and Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Tim Guy
Friday 18th March – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th March – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 20th March – Melbourne Folk Club, Bakehouse, Melbourne, VIC

Tweedy
Sunday 20th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Monday 21st March – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 22nd March – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – Bluesfest, NSW

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Solsbury Hill” – Peter Gabriel

Listen to the New Sian Evans Single “Cold Feet” Plus East Coast Tour Dates.

Sian Evans
Image Courtesy of Sian Evans

For her latest single Brisbane based singer Sian Evans has injected a heavy dose of pop into her folk sound and the result is marvellous. Her new single is “Cold Feet” – check it out below:

Sian Evans has a bunch of east coast dates coming up including an appearance at The National Folk Festival. All of her upcoming dates are as follows:

Friday 18th March – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th March – Peregian Hotel, Peregian Beach, QLD
Saturday 19th March – The Porch Project, Yandina Creek, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 6th April – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 9th April – No.5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 16th April Night Quarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 22nd April – Grounded Festival, Brisbane Valley, QLD
Saturday 30th April – Nimbin Mardigrass, Nimbin, NSW
Sunday 1st May – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Brisbane’s Finest Come Together for Country Conquers Cancer – A Love Song for Garry R Wood

Country Conquers Cancer

At the end of January some of the finest artists from the Brisbane Americana and alt-country scene will be coming together for Country Conquers Cancer – A Love Song for Garry R Wood. The show is set to take place at The Zoo on the 28th January and will be raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland and musician Garry R Wood.

The event is just $15 and will feature music from 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 and Boatkeeper all backed by the brilliant Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies.

For more information on Country Conquers Cancer – A Love Song for Garry R Wood check out the official Facebook event here.

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