Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th September


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Award winning Sydney singer-songwriter HeyMun shared a live version of her new single “Sailor”. Details here

Jordie Lane has released his new single “Here She Comes” ahead of his upcoming national tour. Details here

Mumford & Sons have announced they are going on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Details here

– The Fleurieu Folk Festival have announced a cracker of a lineup including Old Man Luedecke (above), Jordie Lane, The Seals, The BordererS, Siskin River, Danny Spooner, The Mae Trio, The Timbers, Kaurna Cronin, The Weeping Willows and many many more. Details here

Bluesfest announced their second round of artists including The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Steve Earle, CW Stoneking and so so so many more. Details here

– And yet another festival lineup announcement hit this week with Laneway revealing their 2014 artists. On the folky end of the spectrum was Daughter, Frightened Rabbit, Cass McCombs and Vance Joy. Details here

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel are working on their third album and have a tour planned this November. Details here

– Sydney’s Oscar Lush released his new album The World Is Round So I’ll Go Round last week and will be officially launching it at a secret gig next week. Details here

Damien Dempsey is returning to Australia this November with an appearance at the Australian World Music Expo as well as shows in Sydney and Perth. Details here

– Sydney folk band Arbori are touring for Timber and Steel this October and November. Details here

Robert Ellis is returning to Australia for a headline tour with Cory Chisel this November. Details here

– Sydney’s Little May have released their new single “Hide” and have announced their debut EP. Details here

Communion Melbourne are back this October with a lineup that includes Bear’s Den, The Tiger and Me, Grizzly Jim Lawrie and Kate Martin. Details here

– And Communion Melbourne is not the only headline show Bear’s Den are doing while they’re in town – they’ve announced shows in Sydney and Brisbane as well. Details here

Isaac de Heer has released his latest video “Streets of del Mino”. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Johnny Flynn has released a gorgeous lyric video for his track “After Eliot”. Details here

– The new EP from Woody Pitney arrives on Monday but in the meantime we have a stream of his latest single “When You Go”. Details here

Whitley is heading out on a massive national tour this November. Details here


“Liz Frencham starts her Joy Spring tour in Newtown this week and continues through September along the Eastern Coast and hinterland, stopping in at Newcastle, Canberra, Wollongong, Newtown, Glebe, Allambie Heights and Katoomba and then continues into Queensland with more dates to be announced”Liz Frencham chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here


“How can anyone recharge creatively if your only input is stepping out onto an arena stage every night and playing the same 12 songs over and over again?”Gareth Hugh Evans discusses why a hiatus is a good thing for Mumford & Sons. Blog here



“If I had to explain why Oh the Light hasn’t got the recognition it deserves, I’d say it was down to its unusual blend of flavours. At times, it’s reminiscent of the country rock and rich harmonies of the Eagles or America. But carefully as he wields it, Luke O’Connor’s blue-eyed soul singing cuts starkly against that. It’s too loud and glitzy to be soft rock, mixed wide and full, like Jeff Lynne’s version of the wall of sound. The songs have strong momentum, and are sometimes catchy like the best pop music. But they’re also quite long, and, perhaps, too self-consciously verbose for that label”JDX reviews the Steelbirds album Oh The Light. Review here

Releases This Week

Black Coffee
Black CoffeeLachlan Bryan and The Wildes

Timber and Steel Presents

Friday 4th October – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ashleigh Mannix
Friday 27th September – The Up Front Bar, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Valley Markets, Fortitude Valley, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Loft, Chevron Island, Gold Coast, QLD

Friday 27th September – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Saturday 28th September – Wave Rock Weekender, Hyden, WA

Jack Carty
Friday 27th September – Ya Ya’s, Perth, WA
Saturday 28th September – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Thursday 3rd October – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 4th October – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW

Jinja Safari
Friday 27th September – Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th September – Karova, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 3rd October – Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th October – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

Liz Frencham
Friday 27th September – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 28th September – Canberra Southern Cross Club, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 29th September – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 3rd October – Colbourne Ave, Glebe, NSW
Friday 4th October – Humph Hall, Nth Sydney, NSW

Loren Kate
Friday 27th September – Maleny Community Centre, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 28th September – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th September – Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD

Nigel Wearne
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September – Wallaby Creek Festival, Rossville, QLD
Thursday 3rd October – Bottlerocket Bar & Cafe, Nowra, NSW
Friday 4th October – Harmonie German Club, Narrabundah, ACT

Olivers Army
Friday 4th October – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Potato Potato
Friday 4th October – Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW

Rose Wintergreen with Rosie Catalano, Dan and Hannah Acfield
Friday 4th October – The Hideaway, Brisbane, QLD

Sunday 29th September – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Monday 30th September – The Front Gallery & Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 1st October – Temora Town Hall Theatre, Temora, NSW
Wednesday 2nd October – Batlow Garden Cafe, Batlow, NSW
Thursday 3rd October – The Mill Echuca, Echuca, VIC
Friday 4th October – Paris Cat Jazz Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Lamplights and Buffalo Tales
Thursday 3rd October – Bangalow Bowls Club, Bangalow, NSW
Friday 4th October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

The Paper Kites
Friday 27th September – The Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 28th September – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

The Stillsons
Friday 27th September – The Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Royal Mail, Goodna, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th September – The Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 3rd October – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 4th October – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

The Woohoo Revue
Friday 27th September – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th September – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter and Nahko and Medicine for the People
Saturday 28th September – Oceans Winery, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 29th September – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 3rd October – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th October – Big Top, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sister” – Mumford and Sons

We were sad to hear the (not at all unexpected) news this week that Mumford and Sons would be taking a hiatus. So we thought we’d celebrate the band with one of our favourite non-album tracks, “Sister”.

Review: SteelBirds, Oh the Light

Oh The Light
Image Courtesy of Steelbirds

In the time I’ve had to consider it, I’ve been astonished by how little buzz I’ve heard around SteelBirds’ debut. Oh the Light has been, so far, a hidden musical treasure. No, I’m not talking about another aggressively anti-social cult classic. I’m talking about a comfort food you don’t know you’re missing. This is, undeniably, a delicious record, lovingly recorded, carefully arranged and beautifully played.

Don’t take our word for it. The album is streaming on SteelBirds’ Bandcamp. Go listen to it. Right now.You can read the rest of this review if you want. I may have more to say. But meanwhile, let the music answer the important questions. It’s ok. It can’t hurt you. Just Press Play.

If I had to explain why Oh the Light hasn’t got the recognition it deserves, I’d say it was down to its unusual blend of flavours. At times, it’s reminiscent of the country rock and rich harmonies of the Eagles or America. But carefully as he wields it, Luke O’Connor’s blue-eyed soul singing cuts starkly against that. It’s too loud and glitzy to be soft rock, mixed wide and full, like Jeff Lynne’s version of the wall of sound. The songs have strong momentum, and are sometimes catchy like the best pop music. But they’re also quite long, and, perhaps, too self-consciously verbose for that label.

Genre mixing is commonplace in modern alternative music. And listening to SteelBirds is no harder than listening to a dozen other bands with disparate influences. But the sound they make is, as far as I can tell, unique. And uniquely hard to write about. If I have to name a contemporary,, it would be Caitlin Rose, whose new album The Stand In received a lot of acclaim from the country music press earlier this year.

What SteelBirds really need is a song on the radio. “Above the Sky” was well-chosen as the first single, drawing me in easily with its striking dips and swells, strong imagery and excellent electric guitar work from Shannon Trottman. But “This is your Life” would be equally good – short, fast and loud, the closest they get to straight rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe even “Worthy Man”, with mariachi horns, powerful marching drum beat and O’connor taking the chance to show off just a little. “Take the Lead” as a balls out country ballad, complete with fiddle, would prove their authenticity. But closing track “Falling Fire”, with its perfect piano hook, and the twists and turns it takes to get to its huge chorus would be an even more compelling slow-burner. Damn. That’s half the album.

All of this does beg the question of where on the radio all these songs would fit. But that’s not your problem. You’re already in on the secret. My point Is that this music speaks for itself much better than I can speak for it. If you’re good at multi-tasking, you’re already making up your own mind. If you’ve not started listening yet, here’s one more chance.

I’m not saying, by the way, that this album is perfect. The lyrics are sometimes too wordy, and sometimes prone to excessive cliché. Ekamai seems like a joke I don’t get, which I wouldn’t mind if the chorus weren’t a giant logical fallacy. But that sort of thing will only worry you after the fact. Comfort food, after all, is all about excess, all about living in a moment.

Whatever their genre, SteelBirds are a remarkable band, and Oh the Light reflects the quality of their musicianship as much as the variety of their inspiration. I believe they deserve much more critical attention than they’ve received so far. But more importantly, I think they deserve to comfort you, in your car, at a barbecue, on your ipod. They won’t disappoint you. Just press play.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 3rd May


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney’s MoFo night have announced their lineup for May with Chris Gillespie and Nick Street performing. Details here

– And MoFo have also announced a second speakeasy themed night later in the month to help raise funds for Sydney venue The Gaelic Club. Details here

– South Australia’s Sam Brittain has released the gorgeous new video for the track “Bones”, deftly combining folk music and motor sports. Details here

Telegraph Tower have announced plans to launch their new EP Concubine in Sydney next week. Details here

Achoo! Bless You and The Mountains have teamed for a massive co-headlined tour this month that kicked off last night. Details here

– The wonderful Monument Valley has just released his brand new single “When I Go Clear”. Details here

Laura Marling has revealed yet another new track, “Once”, via a live performance on Later … With Jools Holland. Details here

– Melbourne folk group Tomas Strode & The Tour Guides have just released the video for “Broken Road” featuring guest vocals from Aluka. Details here

The April Maze are one of our favourite folk acts in Australia at the moment and they’ve just released a new single “Don’t Let The Bastards Bring You Down”. Details here

The Civil Wars announced an unexpected return with a new album on the way. Details here

The Mountains have just released their brand new single “Loose Jaw”. Details here

– Sydney’s Arbori have made their latest single, “Polar Bear Swim”, available as a free download. Details here

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros announced plans to release an album (or two) in July this year. Details here

– UK based, Australian born folk singer Emily Barker has announced plans to release a new album, Dear River, this July. Details here



“This kind of celebration is a traditional mark of respect for great songwriters, and Drake was certainly one of those. But he hated live performance. His place was in the studio, and accordingly, his recordings have a unique and timeless quality that could never be replicated. In that knowledge, could [Joe] Boyd, who had been so close to those recordings, find a new approach to the songs themselves?”JDX reviews Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake. Review here

Releases This Week

The Mountain Moves
The Mountain MovesTreetop Flyers

Timber and Steel Presents

SteelBirds with Into The Woods and Whitaker
Sunday 5th May – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Achoo! Bless You and The Mountains
Friday 10th May – The Junkyard Hotel, Maitland, NSW

Friday 3rd May – Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Beth Orton
Monday 6th May – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA
Wednesday 8th May – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th May – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD

Bob Evans
Friday 3rd May – The Bakery, Perth, WA
Saturday 4th May – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Thursday 9th May – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Bobby Alu
Saturday 4th May – Mandala Arts Cafe, Mermaid Waters, QLD

Ella Hooper
Thursday 9th May – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Folkraiser feat. Packwood, The Falls, Kate Martin, Fanny Lumsden, Rosie Catalano, Yetis, Oscar Lush, Huckleberry Hastings
Saturday 4th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 3rd May – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 5th May – Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT

Jordie Lane
Saturday 4th May – Planting Festival Woodfordia, Woodford, VIC
Sunday 5th May – Coorabell Hall, Byron Bay, NSW

Josh Pyke
Friday 3rd May – Gertrudes Brown Couch, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 10th May – Southside Tea Room, Brisbane, QLD

Katie Noonan with Brian Campeau
Friday 3rd May – Lizottes, Dee Why, NSW
Saturday 4th May – Lizottes, Central Coast, NSW
Sunday 5th May – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

MoFo feat. Chris Gillespie and Nick Street
Friday 10th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage with The Nymphs
Friday 10th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Telegraph Tower
Thursday 9th May – 107 Projects, Sydney, NSW

The Bad Shepherds
Friday 3rd May – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 4th May – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 5th May – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

The Folk Informal feat. Arbori, The Ellis Collective, TJ Quinton, TFT
Wednesday 8th May – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Wide Open Space Festival feat. Rapskallion, Ginger & The Ghost, Lupine, Lucy and the Diamonds, Pin Rada, Jess Melodías, Sally Balfour, Tully Sumner, Jeanette Wormald, Erik Parker, Desert Rain, Katie Harder, More
Friday 3rd May to Sunday 5th May – Ross River, NT

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Last Thing On My Mind” – Tom Paxton

There are certain songs that have been written in the last century that have been completely and utterly assimilated into the folk tradition. “The Last Thing On My Mind” has been embraced by artists on both side of the Atlantic (and of course Australia) with everyone from The Dubliners to The Seekers to Johnny Cash to Neil Diamond offering up a version and is instantly recognisable to anyone who has spent time at folk and country music festivals the world over. We thought we might reach back and offer up a version of the song by its writer, Tom Paxton.

Timber and Steel Presents: Sunday 5th May at The Workers Club

Image Courtesy of SteelBirds

This Sunday 5th May at The Workers Club in Melbourne is going to be a pretty special affair as we’re privileged to be presenting the launch of SteelBirds’ debut album On The Light. Local Melbourne lads SteelBirds are fine purveyours of folk-rolk and if their first single “Above The Sky” is anything to go by On The Light is going to be a pretty special album – check it out below:

Joining SteelBirds in support this Sunday will be Into the Woods and Whitaker. Tickets are $10 on the door or $16 if you want a copy of On The Light as well and doors open at 1:30pm. For more details check out the official Workers Club site here. The set times for the afternoon are below along with a trailer for On The Light:

Whitaker – 2pm
Into the Woods – 3pm
SteelBirds – 4pm

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