Track By Track: The Ahern Brothers – The Ahern Brothers

The Ahern Brothers
Image Courtesy of The Ahern Brothers

The Ahern Brothers is the new duo project from Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady which has been garnering all sorts of praise since they emerged on the scene earlier this year.

Last week The Ahern Brothers released their self-titled debut album and we sat down with the boys to get a run down on each of the tracks, with Rennie-Hynes and Grady taking a side each:

Side A by Josh Rennie-Hynes

1. “Comb That River” – This is the first song Steve and I ever wrote together. We’d played a lot together in the past few years on our own solo stuff but for some reason never sat down to write something. We flew into San Francisco from Melbourne at around midday, jet lagged as hell. Our friend Moose’s apartment is in the Castro district and out of his windows you can see San Francisco; it’s a beautiful view. That afternoon we pulled out our guitars and started jamming. This song idea came and within a few hours we pretty much had the whole thing down. It’s loosely based around the show ‘Stranger Things’ and the story of a child who’s friend has disappeared. This song sets the tone for the rest of the record and once we’d written it we both realised we’d stumbled onto something cool.

2. “When the Rains” When The Rains was written directly after “Comb That River” that same afternoon, somewhere in the midst of the jetlag and the euphoria of waking up and being in another country. I don’t know where this song came from. Again, we just started jamming on ideas and an hour or two later we had a gospel song. When you listen to the recording you can hear my voice get croakier as it goes on. It was late at night when we recorded it and I was a little tired but it ended up being our favourite performance. That’s what I love about this album; it wasn’t about perfection or polish first and foremost. It was about capturing a true performance of the songs.

3. “Today’s The First Time” – After a few days in San Francisco we headed north to the stay at our friend’s lodge in a place called the Russian River. It is nestled in the hills among the giant redwoods and is just beautiful. We’d sit on the deck most days and write. Steve had a rough verse melody for this song buzzing around in his head for the previous few weeks but no lyrics. So it was just a matter of nutting it out. It’s one of those songs that almost feels like it’s already been written; you just need to sit down with it, pay attention and let it tell you what it wants to say. For me it’s about being in the present; experiencing things and travelling while also missing a loved one. Steve had earlier said to me that day something along the lines of “This is the first time I’ve truly missed someone” and the chorus came from that.

4. “Bury Me Here” – There was a meadow just below the lodge that we’d often go to. One morning we woke up and wanted a change of scenery and perspective for the day so we grabbed our guitars and headed down. I was messing around with this chord progression and we jammed on ideas until the song started to come. There was a dog buried in the meadow clearing and a grave marked with stones. Some turkey vultures circled high overhead. We were sitting there playing with ideas when this old cat suddenly slinked across right in front of us, stopped to take a look then continue on about it’s day. Steve immediately turned to me and said ‘We should write this song from the cat’s perspective’ and so it was. It’s got a darkness and eeriness to it that gets under your skin and the melody doesn’t stop moving. It’s written about an old cat and it’s close friend, death.

Side B by Steve Grady

5. “8 Years On The Run” – This is definitely the oddball song of the album. It’s the most Australian and country of the lot. We had just written four songs that were heavily influenced by our surroundings and time in California, therefore we were probably searching for a new perspective. I’d heard this story of Australian father and son fugitives – sort of modern day bushrangers – Gino and Mark Stocco. For eight years they went on the run, changed their names, stole and burnt down farms, even killed an innocent man, all the while hiding from the law. It’s a pretty amazing story especially in this age of technology and surveillance. In saying that, we certainly don’t want to glorify their actions. They were eventually caught and thrown in jail, but we thought it’s a crazy enough story and worth writing about.

6. “Call, My Lover” – We wanted to bring it back a notch with this song and get back to something a little more honest and closer to home. The structure and mood of the song began sitting around a campfire with our guitars in a forest somewhere near Portland, Oregon. It’s definitely the most straightforward and conversational type of song on the album. We purposely didn’t add any tricks or metaphors, nor did we try to pretty it up with harmonies. It has a great jam out section and a mood of loneliness and longing to hear the voice of the person you love and miss back home. In my eyes it’s like ‘Today’s The First Time’ part two.

7. “Your Name” – We had just arrived back in San Francisco, a little weary, and again found ourselves on the roof trying to come up with ideas for a song. We had a melody but no substance. We really wanted to say something important. This was when our dear friend who we were staying with shared a story about his younger brother and the tragedy that unfolded when they were kids. Without going into any more detail, we knew this was a song that needed to be written. The words came fast, and what I love about it is Josh and I share the lead vocals from each brothers perspective, only joining together for the second half of the song. The recording is perfect and it’s definitely my favourite song on the album. Songs like Your Name is why I do this.

8. “Our Last Day” – The title says it all. We had packed in so much within our three weeks of America – the heights of San Francisco, lodging in the redwoods, Yosemite, road trips, hanging in Portland, writing a bunch of songs. So we thought it would be fitting to sum it all up in one song. It’s light and fun. We wanted it campfire style, with the two of us singing in unison together for the whole thing. I hardly even knew the words when we recorded it, so you’ll notice I’m always just a millisecond behind Josh. It’s a great documentation of the trip and the perfect way to end the album.

The Ahern Brothers is available now – check it out in iTunes here

The full list of upcoming tour dates for The Ahern Brothers are below:

Thursday 29th June – Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 30th June – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 1st July – Royal Mail Hotel, Ipswich, QLD
Friday 7th July – Woodford Open Space, Woodford, QLD
Friday 14th July – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Thursday 20th July – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd July – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 28th July – Green Door Wines, Ferguson Valley, WA
Saturday 29th July – The Church, Donnybrook, WA
Sunday 30th July – The Pottery-Restaurant, Bridgetown, WA
Thursday 3rd August – Secret Show, Mandurah, WA
Friday 4th August – Wild Vinegar, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 5th August – Secret Show, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th August – Secret Show, Perth, WA

The Ahern Brothers Announce Self Titled Album and National Tour

Ahern Brothers
Image Courtesy of The Ahern Brothers

The Ahern Brothers is the new project from Timber and Steel favourite singer-songwriters Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady. Formed after an impromptu trip to the US last year the new duo have announced plans to launch their self-titled album on the 23rd June.

“Steve and I hadn’t written anything together before, but as soon as we got to San Francisco we pulled out our guitars, and the songs just came pouring out,” Rennie-Hynes said. “We’d wake up, make a Coffee and work on writing a song for that day. At the end of three weeks, we had a bunch of material that we were so proud of.”

The first single from the album is the beautiful “Comb That River” which has a real Everly Brothers vibe. Check out the video below:

The Ahern Brothers are also heading out on a national tour, kicking off at the end of June. The full list of dates are as follows:

Thursday 29th June – Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 30th June – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 1st July – Royal Mail Hotel, Ipswich, QLD
Friday 7th July – Woodford Open Space, Woodford, QLD
Friday 14th July – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Thursday 20th July – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd July – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 28th July – Green Door Wines, Ferguson Valley, WA
Saturday 29th July – The Church, Donnybrook, WA
Sunday 30th July – The Pottery-Restaurant, Bridgetown, WA
Thursday 3rd August – Secret Show, Mandurah, WA
Friday 4th August – Wild Vinegar, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 5th August – Secret Show, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th August – Secret Show, Perth, WA

Watch the New Dan Parsons Video “I’ll Live and I’ll Die”

Dan Parsons
Image Courtesy of Dan Parsons

The brand new Dan Parsons track, “I’ll Live and I’ll Die”, now has a brand new clip. The video is a pretty simple concept – Parsons singing straight to a handheld camera in black and white – but we reckon it suits the song perfectly.

Check it out here:

Dan Parsons is heading out on tour with Steve Grady this May – the full list of dates are below:

Saturday 2nd May – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd May – The Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 6th May – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 7th May – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 8th May – Live N Lounging, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 9th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 14th May – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 15th May – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 21st May – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd May – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 10th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Adelaide singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin has announced tour dates this May. Details here

Passenger has already released three music videos from his upcoming album Whispers II. Details here

Laura Marling released her new video for “Gurdjieff’s Daughter”. Details here

– Tasmanian folk-punks The Dead Maggies kick off their East Coast tour tonight. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Bronte released his new single “Until It’s Said”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Roscoe James Irwin released his new single “Arrows”. Details here

Joy Williams from The Civil Wars gave us a taste of her solo work with the new single “Woman (Oh Mama)”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Harrison Storm is streaming his new EP Sense of Home. Details here

Justin Townes Earle, who is in the country this month, released his new video “Call Ya Momma”. Details here

– Brisbane folk-pop singer Sahara Beck released her new single “I Don’t Want To Break Your Heart”. Details here

Dan Parsons released his new single “I’ll Live And I’ll Die” and announced a tour with Steve Grady. Details here

– Melbourne bluegrass trio Buffalo Nickel have announced an east coast tour from the end of this month. Details here

– Perth via Melbourne singer-songwriter Kate Bart released her new single “The Old Poet & The Devil”. Details here

Mumford & Sons released their new single “The Wolf”. Details here

Releases This Week

April Verch
The NewpartApril Verch
iTunes

Calexico
Edge of the SunCalexico
iTunes

Pokey LaFarge
Something In The WaterPokey LaFarge
iTunes

Bonxie
BonxieStornoway
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Justin Townes Earle w/ Sam Outlaw

JTE

The latest Justin Townes Earle Australian tour kicks into high gear this week with appearances in Melbourne and Sydney. Earle is one of those artists that once you’ve seen him once you will want to see him every time he’s in the country. This time around he has buzz worthy artist Sam Outlaw in tow.

Friday 10th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 11th April – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 12th April – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC (Matinee)
Sunday 12th April – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 14th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 15th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 16th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

Gigs Next Week

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 10th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Perth, WA

Betty & Oswald
Saturday 11th April – The Brewery, Wollongong NSW
Friday 17th April – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave VIC

Bronte
Friday 10th April – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th April – Marmalade Skies Festival, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 11th April – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 12th April – Fyshwick Markets, Canberra, ACT
Monday 13th April – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Bunker Bluegrass
Thursday 16th April – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Friday 10th April – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th April – Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD
Friday 17th April – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars
Friday 10th April – The Currumbin Creek Tavern, Currumbin, QLD
Saturday 11th April – The Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna, QLD
Sunday 12th April – The Maclean Hotel, Maclean, NSW
Thursday 16th April – Spectrum, Darlinghurst, NSW
Friday 17th April – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith, NSW

Elwood Myre
Friday 10th April – Cardigan Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 12th April – Habitat, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 15th April – USC Uni Bar, Lismore, NSW
Friday 17th April – The Aztec, Forster, NSW

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

Frank Turner
Friday 10th April – The Basement, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 11th April – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 12th April – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 16th April – The Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC

Harrison Storm
Sunday 12th April – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Jack Carty
Saturday 11th April – Wooloweyah Town Hall, Wooloweyah, NSW

Jake Shimabukuro
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
Friday 17th April – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Justin Townes Earle w/ Sam Outlaw
Friday 10th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 11th April – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 12th April – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC (Matinee)
Sunday 12th April – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 14th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 15th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 16th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

Laura Jean and Aldous Harding
Saturday 11th April – Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Lucy Wise Trio
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
Friday 10th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 16th April – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 17th April – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Nuala Kennedy
Friday 14th April – Fairbridge Music Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Packwood
Wednesday 15th April – Bella Union @ Trades Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th April – Smith’s Alternative Book Shop, Canberra, ACT

Pokey LaFarge
Friday 10th April – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 11th April – Manning Bar, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 12th April – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Roland Kay-Smith
Friday 10th April – Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday 12th April – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 15th April – The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick, VIC

Rowena Wise
Friday 17th April – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT

Ruby Boots, Fanny Lumsden, Cookie Baker, Amber Rae Slade
Thursday 16th April – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Steve Smyth
Friday 10th April – Four 5 Nine, Perth, WA
Saturday 11th April – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 12th April – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

The Dead Maggies
Friday 10th April – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th April – Punkfest Birthday Bash at New Globe Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 15th April – Hamilton Station, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 16th April – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th April – Magpies City Club, Canberra, ACT

The Pigs
Friday 17th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The String Contingent
Friday 10th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA
Tuesday 14th April – Arts Space Wodonga, Wodonga, VIC
Wednesday 15th April – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 17th April – On The Rocks, North Rocks Community Church, North Rocks, NSW

Winterbourne
Friday 10 April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 11th April – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 17th April – Warrumbungle Food Festival, Coonabarabran, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Banker” – Harry James Angus

I’m going to hazard a guess that this is the only folk song about a banker where the banker isn’t the villain.

Dan Parsons Announces New Single and National Tour

Dan Parsons
Image Courtesy of Dan Parsons

Celebrated singer-songwriter Dan Parsons has today dropped his brand new single “I’ll Live And I’ll Die” and to celebrate will be heading out on a co-headline tour with Steve Grady. “I’ll Live And I’ll Die” is the first taste of Dan Parsons’ upcoming third studio album.

“In a world where desire often leads to self-actualisation, “I’ll Live and I’ll Die” finds the romance in not going there, even in the midst of an imaginary conversation,” Parsons explained. “As a song, it ultimately accepts life as being more meaningful and more meaningless than human drama.”

Take a listen to “I’ll Live And I’ll Die” here:

The full list of co-headline tour dates for Dan Parsons and Steve Grady are below:

Saturday 2nd May – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 3rd May – The Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 6th May – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 7th May – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW
Friday 8th May – Live N Lounging, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 9th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 14th May – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 15th May – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 21st May – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd May – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

%d bloggers like this: