National Folk Festival Announces First Major Lineup for 2018

Ten Strings and a Goat Skin
Image Courtesy of Ten Strings and A Goat Skin

After teasing us with six artists for 2018, The National Folk Festival has finally revealed its highly anticipated first major lineup announcement.

Headlining the 2018 lineup are Scottish superstars Breabach, Nashville singer-songwriter Lindsay Lou, American favourite Steve Poltz, Celtic band Cara, acclaimed Canadian trio Ten Strings and A Goat Skin and Indigenous performer Gina Williams.

Joining them will be a bunch of festival favourites along with a few first-timers including Amistat (VIC), Bush Gothic (VIC), Cat and Clint (VIC), Chaika (NSW), Charm of Finches (VIC), Chordwainers (TAS), Chris Duncan, Catherine and Jennifer Strutt (NSW), Chris While and Julie Matthews (UK), The Coconut Kids (SA), Daniel Champagne (NSW), Fred Smith (ACT), The Good Lovelies (Canada), Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys (Canada), Hat Fitz and Cara (QLD), John Flanagan Trio (VIC), Marcia Howard (VIC), Ryan Garth and Emily Wolfe (TAS), Sparrow-Folk (ACT), The Tassie Devil’s Own Band (TAS), The Western Flyers (US) and more.

The National Folk Festival takes place in Canberra over the Easter long weekend, 29th March to the 2nd April. For more information, including how to pick up early bird tickets, check out the official web site here.

The full list of artists announced so far are below:

Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Amistat, Belshazzar’s Feast, Breabach, Bush Gothic, Cara, Cat and Clint, Chaika, Charm of Finches, Chordwainers, Chris Duncan, Catherine and Jennifer Strutt, Chris While and Julie Matthews, The Coconut Kids, Daniel Champagne, Faustus, Fred Smith Band, Frumious, Gina Williams, The Good Lovelies, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Hat Fitz and Cara, John Flanagan Trio, Katey Brooks, Lindsay Lou, Madhouse Circus, Marcia Howard Quartet, Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission, 19-Twenty, Pirateman Michael, Ryan Garth and Emily Wolfe, Sparrow-Folk, Steve Poltz, The Tassie Devil’s Own Band, Ten Strings and A Goat Skin, The Western Flyers

The National Folk Festival Adds More Artists

Mel Parsons
Image Courtesy of Mel Parsons

The National Folk Festival have just added a bunch more artists to its already exciting lineup for 2017.

Heading up the announcement this time around include international artists like Jarlath Henderson (Northern Ireland), Katey Brooks (England), Mel Parsons (above, NZ) and Melisande (Canada).

Joining them from around Australia will be Andy Salvanos, Catherine Fraser Trio, David Spry, Colin Lillie, YuNiOn with Stonewave Taiko, Dubmarine, Kutcha Edwards, Zulya and the Children of the Underground, Sparrow-Folk, The Martins and 19-Twenty.

The National Folk Festival is held from the 13th to the 17th April in 2017 – for more information and tickets check out the official site here.

Nancy Kerr Announced as National Folk Festival Headliner

Nancy Kerr
Image Courtesy of Nancy Kerr

As an extra special gift right before Christmas the National Folk Festival has just announced that its 2016 headliner will be none other than Nancy Kerr.

Kerr is a firm festival favourite and The National are very proud to not only have her headlining with her Sweet Visitor Band but also as part of her duo project with James Fagan and with Australian super-group The Fagans. That’s a lot of Nancy Kerr to get your eardrums around next year.

Along with the headliner announcement the National Folk Festival also slipped a bunch of other artists into its 2016 lineup including The Little Stevies, Frencham Smith, Sparrow-Folk, Sásta, Doctor Stovepipe, Miriam Lieberman with Lara Goodridge and Kate Adams, Black Mountain String Band, The Fiddle Chicks, Frumious and The Wheeze and Suck Band.

The 50th National Folk Festival takes place in Canberra over the Easter long weekend, 24th to 28th March. Earlybird tickets are available now via the official site.

Full Line Up Announced for Majors Creek Festival

Kate and Ruth
Image Courtesy of Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton

Majors Creek Festival is a small folk festival held in the small town of Majors Creek, NSW, south east of Canberra. The next festival is going to be held over the weekend of the 20th to 22nd November and they have just finalised a lineup that includes a who’s who of Timber and Steel favourites.

Headlining this year’s Majors Creek Festival roots singer-songwriter Heath Cullen in full band mode, trad songbirds Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton (above), indie-folk sweethearts Women in Docs and raucous Adelaidians The Timbers.

Joining them will be the likes of Bill Jackson with Pete Fidler, Dear Orphans, Echo Deer, Edema Ruh, Enda Kenny, Little Wise, Maia Jelavic, Riogh, Shiny Bum Singers, Sparrow-Folk, The April Maze and many more.

For more information on the Majors Creek Festival check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

Heath Cullen, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Women in Docs, The Timbers, Accapalerang, Angharad Drake, Bajaly Suso, Bellyfusion Bellydance, Ben Drysdale, Bill Jackson with Pete Fidler, Braidwood Dance School, COZMO, Craig and Simone Dawson, Cumbe!, DASH, Dear Orphans, Deep River Choir, Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners, Doctor Stovepipe, Echo Deer, Ecopella, Edema Ruh, Enda Kenny, Folklines, Indi Pendant, Jasmine Beth, Jim and Ingrid Rehle-Williams, Little Wise, Lugh Damen, Maia Jelavic, Mat Brooker, Maypole with Molly, Mike Cosgriff, Merrilyn Simmons, Mexico Lindo, Moochers Inc., Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows, OMG Dance Crew, Pete Wild & The Only Ones, Pop Up Choir, Riogh, Rory Ellis, Salsa with Rachel and friends, Shiny Bum Singers, Sparkle Circus, Sparrow-Folk, Surly Griffin Morris, TABLA Bellydance, TallaTango, The April Maze, The Fuelers, Tony Eardley, West Texas Crude

Full Lineup for the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival

Chaika
Image Courtesy of Chaika

The Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival is just under two weeks away and if you haven’t seen the lineup yet you’re in for a treat.

Boasting a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites, the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival takes place from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October in Australia’s most beautiful valley.

This year’s festival is set to feature 19-Twenty, Andrew Clermont, Berry Silver Band, Black Joak Morris, The BordererS, Broads, Bush Music Club Inc, The Button Collective, Cantares, Carl Pannuzzo, Chaika (above), Chloë & Jason Roweth, Circus Wow, Colin Towns, Cool Mountain Duo, Daniel Lucas, Danny Spooner, Dorothy Schunmann, Ecopella, Edema Ruh, Elwood Myre, Fatchuwawa, FolkLines, Fresh Off the Boat, Glover & Sorrensen, Good Girl, Grace Barr, Grapevine Jane, Gregory North, Halfway to Forth, The Hollands, Horse & Wood, InspeKtor gadje, Jim & Ingrid Rehle-Williams, John Bennett & David Hyams, Kangaleles, Ken Gates, Kenny Bartley (Super Kenny), Kiki and Pascal, Mal Webb, Martin Fairweather, Martin Howells, Maypole with Molly, Men With Day Jobs, Miss Eileen & King Lear, Naomi Doherty, Nick Rheinberger, Nigel Wearne, No Such Thing, Old Married Couple, The Pacitti’s, Pamela Wilson, Pastrami on Ryebuck, Paul Carr, Penelope Swales, Pete Wild Trio, Rose & Shamrock Ceili Band, Ruido, Set In Their Ways, The Shining Wits, Sidetalk, Solidarity Choir, Sparrow Folk, the STRUMpets, Totally Gourdgeous, Trilogy, Wild Honey, The Winnetts, Women in Docs and more.

For more information on the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, including how to get your hands on tickets, check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Canadian fiddler April Verch released her new video “Belle Election”. Details here

Passenger announced his new album Whispers II. Details here

Bellowhead released their new video “Roll Alabama”. Details here

– US duo The Milk Carton Kids announced details of their new album Monterey. Details here

Dan Managan + Blacksmith released their new video “Mouthpiece”. Details here

– Melbourne singers Fraser A Gorman and Leah Senior released a version of “Blues Run The Game”. Details here

– Sydney artists Direwolf and Willowy announced a co-headline east coast tour. Details here

– The inaugural Bello Winter Music Festival announced its lineup including The Milk Carton Kids, Ash Grunwald, TinPan Orange, Marlon Williams, The Wilson Pickers, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Perch Creek, Jack Carty, Karl S Williams, The Mid North, The Button Collective, Starboard Cannons, Sara Tindley, Oh Pep! and many many more. Details here

Vance Joy released his new video “Georgia”. Details here

– UK based chamber-folk band The Leisure Society released their new single “The Fine Art of Hanging On”. Details here

– Adelaide’s Thom Lion & The Tamers have released their new single “Emily”. Details here

Interviews

“We’ve never been on the [National Folk Festival] program before but we have actually played a couple of times as part of the MoFo concert or The Flute & Fiddle asked us to play. We always love doing a blackboard because we have members that are part of other acts, different conglomerates of different things so we’re usually down there. Apart from last year where we didn’t actually play at all as Chaika I think for the last four or five years we’ve had a play around somewhere on The National. But yeah, this is our first time on the program” – Laura Bishop from Chaika chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We’re looking forward to The National, really excited. This will be my second year – I had a massive ball last year, it’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. We’re looking forward to lots of music, lots of late nights at the session bar and lots of tunes from all our friends from Australia and beyond” – Mairead Hurley from Restless Legs chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We had this discussion with the band just before we started rehearsing for The National and we decided because we haven’t played Canberra that much, and a lot of people wouldn’t recognise those songs, we’re playing mainly from An Ear To The Earth. I have a couple of new songs which we ended up not having the time to rehearse and just wanted to stick with the songs that were strong”Mark Moldre chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The folk scene here is amazing. Where we were before in Lismore, if we played three or four gigs a week we’d flood the market in one week and have to wait six months to play any more gigs. Here we can do it as much as we want. And the bands around Sydney in the folk scene have been really supportive, giving us gigs or contacts. It’s amazing”The Button Collective chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We find when we’re put in the folk festival circuit you get lots of people coming up and saying “this is great that they’ve put some comedy in”. It gives people an opportunity to relax or laugh a little bit. Some folk music can be quite heavy, some of the topics that they talk about can be quite dark or heavy. I totally think it lends itself to comedy. But there’s not a lot of folk comedy people out there so it’s good to get a chance to share what we do”Sparrow-Folk chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“When we were younger and we were being called “bearers of the tradition” there was a weight with that. We felt like we couldn’t touch the traditional song much. With this album we’ve really rearranged the songs to suit our purposes” – Ruth Hazleton from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“It’s a bit of a different thing I did with this album [The Wayside Ballads Vol 1]. The last two albums, I did both of those in the US and they were very acoustic based. I had these songs lying around and a good friend of ours Shannon Bourne, who’s a great guitar player, said “let’s try and do an electric album. The story’s still at the centre of the songs but it’s just a different approach to it. We picked these ten songs and went in and did them – I think it took us about a day and a half to record them. It was all done pretty much live. And I had some great players in there – we hadn’t rehearsed or anything like that so it was all pretty organic in that regards. I’m really happy with the way it turned out”Bill Jackson chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Eddie Boyd
A Lover and a FoolEddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
iTunes

Emily Barker
The Toerag SessionsEmily Barker
iTunes

Windfall
WindfallJoe Pug
iTunes

Sufjan
Carrie & LowellSufjan Stevens
iTunes

Mountain Goats
Beat The ChampThe Mountain Goats
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

National Folk Festival

National Folk Festival

How could we not choose The National Folk Festival as this weeks gig pick. It’s going to be a cracker of a festival – will we see you there?

Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Alabama Shakes
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 9th April – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA
Friday 10th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Perth, WA

Bluesfest
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Brad Butcher
Thursday 9th April – 12 Bar Blue, Cairns, QLD

Darren Hanlon
Friday 3rd April – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 9th April – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 10th April – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

David Gray
Sunday 5th April – Palais, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Sunday 5th April – The Juke Joint Stage, Bluesfest Byron Bay, NSW
Monday 6th April – The Juke Joint Stage, Bluesfest Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 9th April – Lefties Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10th April – The Currumbin Creek Tavern, Currumbin, QLD

Elwood Myre
Wednesday 8th April – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday 9th April – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 10th April – Cardigan Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Fairbridge Festival
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Pinjarra, WA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Frank Turner
Sunday 5th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Monday 6th April – Amplifier, Perth, WA
Wednesday 8th April – Unibar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 9th April – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 10th April – The Basement, Canberra, ACT

Heartstring Quartet
Wednesday 1st to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 5th April – Narooma, NSW

Jake Shimabukuro
Sunday 5th April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 6th April – Lizottes, Central Coast, NSW
Wednesday 8th April – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Thursday 9th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 10th April – The Gov, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, WA

Jordie Lane
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Justin Townes Earle w/ Sam Outlaw
Friday 3rd April – Boogie, Tallarook, VIC
Sunday 5th April – Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 9th April – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 10th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 3rd April – Blenheim Music Festival, Blenheim, SA
Sunday 5th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Kim Richey
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lucie Thorne
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lucy Wise Trio
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Fairbridge Festival, WA

Man From Snowy River Bush Festival
Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th April – Corryong, VIC

Marlon Williams
Thursday 9th April – Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

National Folk Festival
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Canberra, ACT

Nuala Kennedy
Friday 3rd to Monday 8th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 14th April – Fairbridge Music Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Pokey LaFarge
Wednesday 8th April – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 9th April – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th April – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Rodrigo y Gabriela
Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 7th April – The Palais, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 9th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Roland Kay-Smith
Thursday 9th April – The Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Friday 10th April – Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Sunday 5th April – Pyramids Road Wines, Ballandean, QLD
Thursday 9th April – The Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Saturday 4th April – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 5th April – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Steve Smyth
Saturday 4th to Monday 6th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 10th April – Four 5 Nine, Perth, WA

The String Contingent
Saturday 4th April – Flute & Fiddle, National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Timberwolf
Friday 3rd April – Blenheim Camping and Music Festival, SA

Winterbourne
Saturday 4th to Monday 6th April – Fremantle Street Arts Festival, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 9th April – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 10 April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Sunday 5th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Jim Shank” – April Verch

National Folk Festival Interview: Sparrow-Folk

Sparrow Folk
Image Courtesy of Sparrow-Folk

Canberra based comedy-folk duo Sparrow-Folk have been making waves on both the folk and comedy festival circuit in recent months with their unique, wry musical take on everyday situations. In what was probably the funniest interview I’ve ever done I chatted to Juliet Moody and Catherine Crowley, the duo who make up Sparrow-Folk, before their appearance at The National Folk Festival this weekend.

Gareth Hugh Evans: You guys have had a massively busy year so far. Just looking at your social media it seems like you’re everywhere, all the time.

Juliet Moody: Not musically, just stalking people.

Catherine Crowley: Have we been stalking the same celebrities?

GHE: [laughs] Has that been a concerted effort from you guys, to make it a big 2015.

JM: Last year kind of found us, rather than the other way around. We were able to The National Folk Fetsival last year which is fantastic. And while we were there lots of people were saying “are you doing this festival, are your doing that one” and we were like “no? We didn’t even know about them”. So last year was the first time we did any sort of folk festival so this year we made a concerted effort to just do every one that we can mixed in with comedy festivals and fringe festivals. We’ve basically done this to ourselves.

GHE: Which is excellent. And you’re obviously juggling jobs and family as well. It’s got to be quite a different audience going to a folk festival compared to a comedy festival.

CC: Yeah, the audience is really down to earth. We have lots of fun – both types of festivals are really exciting and we have different experiences but there’s something really nice about a folk festival and the audience we have there. Folk festivals are all about playing for your family whereas comedy festivals are really you throwing yourself out there. We love folk festivals because we feel we can share all of our music not just our really funny stuff.

GHE: Comedy audiences are a bit more demanding. They sit in front of you and say “right, make me laugh”.

CC: And folkie audiences are arms wide open audiences. They want to get to know you, they want to listen to what your music’s about and how you made the music.

GHE: So last year was the first National that you’ve played at as Sparrow-Folk.

CC: We started life at the blackboard gig in The Bohemia tent. I think it was the first year of the Bohemia tent. That’s where we first discovered each other.

JM: That’s right. We had other people that we were playing with at the time. It was more of an improv set. But our eyes locked…

CC: From across the microphones…

JM: And we went “let’s forget all these other guys on stage, we’ve got something here”. So literally that day we went away and said “we should do something together”. And our music actually started as folk music. I don’t think we ever intended to go into comedy. It’s just that people kept laughing at us. Which really is why we like doing the folk festivals because every now and then we throw in a serious song or a song that really means something to us and folk festival people really lap that up. Comedy people are “Nah. Move on”.

GHE: Folk as a genre lends itself to comedy as well because it’s all about lyrics. And audiences expect you to talk about the song before you sing it.

JM: I agree with what you’re saying. We find when we’re put in the folk festival circuit you get lots of people coming up and saying “this is great that they’ve put some comedy in”. It gives people an opportunity to relax or laugh a little bit. Some folk music can be quite heavy, some of the topics that they talk about can be quite dark or heavy. I totally think it lends itself to comedy. But there’s not a lot of folk comedy people out there so it’s good to get a chance to share what we do.

GHE: And you guys insert social comment into your comedy. And that’s really a folk thing as well, using the music to comment on society.

CC: I don’t think we could ever write funny songs without some sort of comment. We’re socially conscious women.

JM: Everything has an element of truth in it and I think that’s why people identify with our style of music. Even though we’re singing funny songs and they’re about stupid things sometimes they come from a place of truth. It doesn’t mean that the actual story has happened that way but events have happened in our life or we’ve met people and thought “that is hilarious” or “that’s really significant”. I don’t think we ever sit down going “we need to write something funny”, I think something happens to us and we go “let’s write a song”.

GHE: It’s funny that you guys said that you got together at a blackboard concert. So many musicians I talk to say that that was their first introduction to performing at the festival. It’s like a right of passage.

CC: When we were chatting to Pam [Merrigan], the artist director of The National Folk Festival, we told her our story about starting at the blackboard gig she said almost all of [the artists] started that way. That’s what she really loves about the festival, she was saying, that there are lots of these folk bands who started at The National, at a blackboard gig just jamming together. It’s nice.

GHE: After The National Folk Festival are you guys going to be focusing on getting to even more festivals this year?

JM: We try to get to as many as we can. It’s great for us – we obviously love doing them – but it’s also an easy access point for people to come and see us play. Because of the nature of what we do we can’t do these major tours that go on from months and months and months. Doing a festival circuit means that people can access our music first hand which is great.

GHE: And it must be great to play at all of these family friendly festivals as well.

JM: Absolutely. We played at Kangaroo Valley and it was the first festival that we decided we’d take all the family, which was fun. We hired a big house up there and had a great weekend with all the kids. It was crazy at times but it’s another wonderful thing about folk festivals is that they are so family friendly.

GHE: Although you always have to be careful taking kids to comedy-folk acts.

CC: For some of our songs we go “oh no, there’s some kids around”

JM: We do try to put a little warning if we’ve got some naughty stuff in there.

CC: Sometimes parents just come up and go “it’s great, it’s an education”. We keep getting put later and later on the bill for just that reason. We were playing a festival not long ago and started at 10:30pm and we thought “Great! We’ll pull out all our naughty songs” but there was still kids in the front row.

JM: It is a good folk festival thing for kids – they stay up late, run around and have a good time.

GHE: So what’s the evolution of Sparrow-Folk? You talked about how you never intended to be a comedy band. Would you ever focus on the serious side of your music?

CC: Sparrow-Folk seems to be constantly evolving. We have found ourselves in the comedy industry where we’re quite a niche. We’re doing music, we’re doing every day humour, so I think we’re liking the couch we’re sitting on in the comedy industry. But you never know, things are always happening. And of course inspiration for us, ideas for songs, come from everywhere so we never know.

JM: I read an interview with Tim Minchin recently and I kind of liken it to that. He doesn’t like to call himself a comedian so much as he’s a musician who has found himself in that kind of arena. And now he’s gone off and done this musical [Matilda]. If we found ourselves writing more soulful stuff that’s probably the direction we’d go. I guess you’re also in tune with what your audience wants to hear as well. It’s a journey that’s found us and we do what we love. Who knows what’s around the river bend … says Pocahontas.

CC: Who knows the colours of the wind?

JM: I do.

CC: Yours are green as far as I’m concerned.

JM: It’s all the curried egg sandwiches.

CC: What?

JM: Nothing like a good fart joke in an interview.

GHE: Thanks for that [laughs]. So at The National is there anything that you guys are involved in that people should know about?

CC: Yes! We have an [Infinite] Reggae entry.

GHE: That’s very exciting!

JM: We’re playing the greatest reggae song ever written.

CC: The greatest.

JM: We can’t tell you the title but it’s going to be awesome.

CC: You’re just going to have to wait and see. You cannot miss the reggae.

GHE: I’m looking forward to that!

CC: And if you can’t go to the folk festival we are doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 16th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney duo Elwood Myre released their new video “Water to the Moon”. Details here

The Staves gave us a taster of their upcoming album with the single “Steady”. Details here

Sufjan Stevens has confirmed that he’s going back to his folk roots for his new album Carrie & Lowell. Details here

– This Saturday will see some of Adelaide’s finest come together for the Feelgood Folk Festival. Details here

Bluesfest released their sixth artist announcement including Hozier, The Waterboys, Jeff Lang and many more. Details here

– Sydney artist Sam and the Bird released their new single “I Believe In Ghosts”. Details here

Sam Lee & Friends announced their new album The Fade In Time to be released this year. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Taryn La Fauci released her brand new video “All of Me”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Leigh Bacchetti released his new single “We Are Helpless”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Ayleen O’Hanlon released her new single “Loverless”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Forest Falls released their new video “Heavy Hearted Girl”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Mandy Connell has a bunch of home town shows coming up starting this week. Details here

– The Kyneton Music Festival announced its 2015 lineup including Laura Jean, Little Bastard, Tully on Tully, Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, Liz Stringer, Tracy McNeil and many more. Details here

– We posted Ainsley Farrell’s latest single “Salt/Swallowing Sea”. Details here

Iron & Wine has announced the Archive Series Volume No.1 album featuring early unreleased material. Details here

– If you’re in Sydney for Australia day head to The Rocks for free music from Thelma Plum, Dustin Tebbutt, The Morrisons, Winterbourne, Little May and more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Roland Kay-Smith has announced details of his upcoming debut solo album. Details here

Stornoway released their new single “The Road You Didn’t Take”. Details here

Interviews

“A wise person once said regular gigs are your backyard, festivals are like visiting a friend’s backyard and we always keep a mindful eye of who is in our festival audience – particularly if there are kids”Sparrow-Folk chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Eric Bogle’s songs were a mainstay through their many mediums in my house growing up and I even got to take a songwriting workshop he put on a few years back at the Illawarra. Will be bloody fantastic to see his personal interpretations of the songs he wrote and that were made so famous”The Bottlers chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We started as a band playing Australian folk festivals and for a while that was all we did. Playing to a festival crowd feels a bit like playing in our home town and we always look forward to it”The Mae Trio chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“My drummer Ben and I were going to make giant paper mache pearl hats as our costumes for the festivals 30th Anniversary Pearl Ball. I doubt it will happen as neither of us have much time or know how to paper mache. Perhaps by my 30th anniversary I will have learned how to paper mache. If I have, that’s how I will celebrate. I’ll also probably write a song about it as that seems to be a thing with me”Kay Proudlove chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“Volunteering is THE best intro to a festival, especially for the slightly or very out-of-pocket, and definitely for the sole traveller”Bill Quinn reflects on volunteering at the Woodford Folk Festival. Check out his thoughts here

“As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour”Bill Quinn bids farewell to the Woodford Folk Festival. Watch his video here

Reviews

Gigs

“But here’s the thing: I just don’t have a program focus. As in a focus on programmed artists. I skimmed a few headliners and others about three days before kick-off, and only really seriously started looking at the performer list on Christmas night, as I was kicking my heels back in Bankstown, waiting for a share ride to materialise from Melbourne via the Eurobodalla Nature Coast, and thence to Kariong, Mermaid Beach and Woodfordia. Oh, look. The Violent Femmes are coming! And Cat Empire. And Big Erle!!!!”Bill Quinn wraps up his Woodford Folk Festival experience. Review here

Releases This Week

Dan Mangan
Club MedsDan Mangan + Blacksmith
iTunes

Absent Fathers
Absent FathersJustin Townes Earle
iTunes

The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful WorldThe Decemberists
iTunes

Another Day
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis – Various
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Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Passenger

Passenger

Passenger is well and truly in the country and has a bunch of sold out shows all over the place this week. If you have tickets, congratulations! If you don’t I’d recommend doing everything you can to get your hands on some – these shows are going to be magical

Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Sunday 18th January – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Thursday 22nd January – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Black Market Tune
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 21st January – Sale Performing Arts, Sale, VIC
Thursday 22nd January – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Charm of Finches
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live Music Festival, VIC

Elbury
Saturday 17th January – Hoo Ha Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Far From Folsom
Saturday 17th January – Parramatta Gaol, Parramatta, NSW

Feelgood Folk Festival
Saturday 17th January – The Backyard, Port Adelaide, SA

Husband
Friday 23rd January – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Bulli, NSW

Iva Bittová
Wednesday 21st January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Friday 16th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Kim Churchill
Friday 16th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 17th January – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 23rd January – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Sunday 18th January – The Capitol, Tamworth, NSW

Mandy Connell
Thursday 22nd January – Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Newstead Live
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numberalla Folk Festival
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Numberalla, NSW

Passenger
Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Peasant Moon
Sunday 18th January – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Slow Club
Friday 16th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – George Town, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Oh Pep!, Open Swimmer
Wednesday 21st January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Thredbo, NSW

Time Edey
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live, VIC

Tiny Ruins
Friday 16th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Barbara Allen” – Dolly Parton and Altan

For Christmas I received the book Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr and I’ve been devouring it ever since. The book comes with an amazing album which opens with this track – a version of the classic traditional ballad “Barbara Allen” performed in English by Dolly Parton and in Gaelic by Altan from Parton’s 1994 live album Heartsongs – Live from Home. Beautiful stuff.

Illawarra Folk Festival Q&A: Sparrow-Folk

Sparrow-Folk
Image Courtesy of Sparrow-Folk

The Illawarra Folk Festival is one of the highlights of the summer folk festival calendar and this year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary. We thought we’d chat to a number of the Illawarra Folk Festival artists in the lead up to the event and next up is the cheeky Canberra based glam-folk duo Sparrow-Folk.

Timber and Steel: What can audiences expect from your shows at the Illawarra Folk Festival?

Sparrow-Folk: Brand new songs with a cheekier approach. We are all about celebrating SuBIRDia (the suburbs) this year so we will be bringing the street party with us!

Timber and Steel: Do you approach a festival show differently from a regular gig?

Sparrow-Folk: A wise person once said regular gigs are your backyard, festivals are like visiting a friend’s backyard and we always keep a mindful eye of who is in our festival audience – particularly if there are kids. We also love to branch out and try some of our more folk inspired material and wander a little off the comedy path at times which is always refreshing.

Timber and Steel: Are there any artists you’re excited to see at Illawarra?

Sparrow-Folk: One of the greatest joys of playing festivals is the opportunity to experience incredible musical acts and this program is jam packed. On the list will be Bettina Schelker, The BordererS, and definitely Kay Proudlove (so we can recruit her into our tiny genre of glam folk).

Timber and Steel: This is the Illawarra Folk Festival’s 30th Anniversary. How do you think Sparrow-Folk would celebrate their 30th Anniversary?

Sparrow-Folk: Well, it wouldn’t be a party without wine, women and song, and we will be bringing 2 out of the 3.

Timber and Steel: What’s next for Sparrow-Folk after the Illawarra Folk Festival?

Sparrow-Folk: It’s a big year for the nest as we launch SuBIRDia – a new album and a new cabaret show that will hatch on Friday 13th of February at Adelaide Fringe. Then it’s touring like crazy, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, your Mum’s backyard, and then onto the UK for Edinburgh Fringe.

Sparrow-Folk have five appearances at the Illawarra Folk Festival:

3:00pm Friday 16th January – The Shed
9:30pm Friday 16th January – La Petite Grande
8:45pm Saturday 17th January – Nag’s Lounge
10:30am Sunday 18th January – Show Pavilion & Fiddlers Cafe
3:00pm Sunday 18th January – Miner’s Camp

30th Illawarra Folk Festival Announces First Round of Artists

Eric Bogle
Image Courtesy of Eric Bogle

This coming January is the pearl anniversary of the Illawarra Folk Festival and they’ve just announced a “pearler” of a first lineup announcement – their pun, not mine! The festival, held in Bulli just north of Wollongong in New South Wales, boasts 13 onsite venues and is easily one of our favourite events of the year.

The first round of artists for the 30th Illawarra Folk Festival include a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites including Afenginn, Eric Bogle (above), Ted Egan, Big Erle, The Bottlers, The BordererS, Chloë and Jason Roweth, Claude Hay, Cloudstreet, Fred Smith, The Go Set, Lime & Steel, The Lurkers, The Mae Trio, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Martin Pearson, The Morrisons, Sparrow-Folk, Stray Hens, Takadimi, Timothy James Bowen and many many more.

The Illawarra Folk Festival will be held at the Bulli showground from the 15th to the 18th January. For more information check out the official site here.

The full lineup announcement so far is below:

International:
Afenginn (DENMARK), Anna Ludlow Band (CANADA), Bettina Schelker (SWITZ), Black Market Tune (SCOT/AUSTRIA), David Francey (CANADA), Debasis Chakroborty & Kriti Ensemble (INDIA), The East Pointers (CANADA), George Mann (USA), Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything (CANADA), Kristina Olsen (USA), Melisande – Electrotrad (CANADA), Reg Meuross (UK), Scott Cook (CANADA), Tim Edey Trio (UK)

National:
Stephan Pigram, Eric Bogle, Ted Egan, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra (premiere), Allez-gator, Appalachian Heaven String Band, Azadoota, Bernard Carney, Big Erle, The Bottlers, The BordererS, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Claude Hay, Cloudstreet, Curragh, Dave de Hugard, David Beniuk, Deep River, Choir, Don Jarmey, Enda Kenny & Lindsay Martin, Fred Smith, Guerilla Zingari, Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse, The Go Set, Greg Champion, John Broomhall, Jordan C. Thomas, Junior, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, The Lazy Farmer’s Sons, Lime & Steel, The Lurkers, The Mae Trio, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Martin Pearson, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Michael Fix, Mike Martin, The Morrisons, Neil Adam & Judy Turner, Nick Rheinberger, On The Stoop, Pat Drummond, Sally Harris, Sparrow-Folk, Springtide, The Squeezebox Trio, Stray Hens, Takadimi, Terry Serio’s Half Truths, Timothy James Bowen, The Transylvaniacs and Kengugro, Vardos, The Wish List

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