Listen to “John My Beloved iPhone Demo” from Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

On the 24th November Sufjan Stevens released The Greatest Gift, a mix tape of outtakes, demos and remixes of tracks from his most recent album Carrie & Lowell.

If you haven’t picked it up yet here’s another taster from The Greatest Gift, “John My Beloved iPhone Demo”, which is a beautiful stripped back version of one of our favourite songs from Carrie & Lowell. Take a listen below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Port Fairy Folk Festival added three more artists – Archie Roach, Jordie Lane & The Sleepers and Stella Donnelly. Details here.

– NZ folk duo Great North released their new video “Better Days”. Details here

– We premiered the new live video from American folk-singer Rachel Baiman, “Something to Lose” ahead of her Australian tour with One Up, Two Down this January. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country band The Stetson Family released their new single “Brother”. Details here

Bluesfest added 16 more artists including Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Teskey Brothers and more. Details here

– The Blue Mountains Music Festival revealed its first round of artists including Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Lior with Paul Grabowsky, The Grigoryan Brothers with Adam Page, The Backsliders, Harry Manx, Steve Poltz, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Breabach, Peter Rowan Band, 10 String Symphony, Flats and Sharps, The Brothers Comatose, Lamine Sonko and the African Intelligence, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Blair Dunlop, Mel Parsons, Malcura, Hat Fitz & Cara, Witches Leap, Alana Wilkinson, The Mission Songs Project and more. Details here

– Melbourne’s The Teskey Brothers released their latest video “Louisa”. Details here

– Newgrass favourites The Infamous Stringdusters announced plans to release their latest covers EP Undercover Vol. 2. Details here

Mama Kin Spender announced Melbourne and Sydney tour dates. Details here

Sufjan Stevens will be releasing an album of outakes and remixes, The Greatest Gift. Details here

– Sydney-based singer-songwriter Matt Boylan-Smith released his new video “We Can Be Together”. Details here

Alex The Astronaut released her new video “Not Worth Hiding”. Details here

– The folks behind Dashville will be showcasing at the Australian Music Week next week featuring William Crighton, Terra Lightfoot, Melody Pool, Magpie Diaries and Dave Wells. Details here

Billy Bragg released his new single “Saffiyah Smiles”. Details here

Releases This Week

Lankum
Between The Earth & SkyLankum
iTunes

Infamous Stringdusters
Undercover Vol. 2The Infamous Stringdusters
iTunes

Timberwolf
ÍkarosTimberwolf
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival

Foghorn

Australia’s favourite bluegrass festival kicks off in Dorrigo over the weekend featuring the likes of Foghorn Stringband, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Mile Twelve, The Freewheeler, The New Macedon Rangers, Freya Josephine Hollick, Golden Whistler, Kaurna Cronin, Loren Kate, Mandy Connell, Monique Clare, The Mae Trio, The Northern Folk, The Tawny Owl Stringband, Twin Peaks, Whoa Mule and many more.

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 27th October – The Founders Room Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 28th October – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS
Sunday 29th October – The Jetty House, Southport, TAS

Alex The Astronaut
Friday 27th October – Uni Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Perth, WA

Americana Music Association of Australia Birthday Bash feat. Anne Kirkpatrick, Gretta Ziller, Small Town Romance, The Ahern Brothers, Andrew Swift, Georgia State Line, Hana and Jessie-Lee, The April Family
Friday 3rd November – Cronulla, NSW

Americana Music Association Conference
Wednesday 1st November – Sydney, NSW

Andrew Swift, Peasant Moon
Sunday 29th October – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Angie McMahon
Thursday 2nd November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Anna Cordell
Thursday 2nd November – Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Appalachian Heaven Stringband
Tuesday 31st October – Ferntree Gully Bowling Club, Ferntree Gully, VIC

Argyle Sun-Sets at Fred’s feat. Rebecca Hatch, Billsbry, Dom Diaz
Sunday 29th October – Fred’s, Camden, NSW

Ashlea Reale
Friday 27th October – Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood, WA

Australian Music Week
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Sydney, NSW

Belle Harvey
Friday 27th October – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Saturday 28th October – Nannup Hotel, Nannup, WA
Sunday 29th October – The Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA

Ben Salter
Friday 27th October – Marrickville Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Gooloogong Log Cabin Hall, Gooloogong, NSW
Sunday 29th October – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – The Eastern, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 3rd November – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC

Benny Walker
Saturday 28th October – Bendigo Bank Theatre at The Capital, Bendigo, VIC

Bernard Fanning
Friday 27th October – The Croxton, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th October – The Factory, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th October – The Factory, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 1st November – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW

Blackwood Festival of Music and Culture
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th November – Blackwood, VIC

Bob Evans
Saturday 28th October – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Brad Butcher
Friday 27th October – Oodies Cafe, Bundaberg North, QLD
Thursday 2nd November – The City Sider Motel, Tamworth, NSW

Busby Marou
Friday 27th October – The Burvale Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th October – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th October – Riverlinks Westside, Shepparton, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 27th October – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th October – Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th October – Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Candice McLeod
Friday 3rd November – House Concert, Wakerie, SA

Cass Eager
Friday 27th October – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Chris Jagger
Thursday 2nd November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd November – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Claire Anne Taylor
Friday 27th October – Illume at Killynaught, Boat Harbour, TAS

Clarence Town River Country Hoedown
Saturday 28th October – Clarence Town Footy Oval, Clarence Town, NSW

Claude Hay
Friday 3rd November – Family Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Craig Woodward
Sunday 29th October – Loretta’s, Melbourne, VIC

Clio
Thursday 2nd November – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Colin Lillie
Friday 3rd November – El Sol, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Cronulla, NSW

Dashville Does the Monkey feat. William Crighton, Terra Lightfoot, Melody Pool, Magpie Diaries and Dave Wells
Thursday 2nd November – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Devil Goat Family String Band
Saturday 28th October – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo, NSW

Diana Anaid
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW

Eden Whale Festival
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Eden, NSW

Elbury
Friday 27th October – The Brat Cave, Brisbane, QLD

Ella Belfanti, The Vectors
Tuesday 31st October – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Emma Russack
Saturday 28th October – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 31st October – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 3rd November – Giant Dwarf, Sydney, NSW

Fleurieu Folk Festival
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Willunga, SA

Foghorn Stringband
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW
Monday 30th October – Pitts House Concert, Barkers Vale, NSW
Tuesday 31st October – Boo Radley’s Hall, Glenreagh, NSW
Wednesday 1st November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – The Home Tavern, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Blackwood Festival of Music and Culture, Blackwood, VIC

Folk Alliance Australia Conference
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Cronulla, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Mr Collins, Hollie Matthew, Alice Terry
Wednesday 1st November – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Four In The Morning
Thursday 2nd November – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC

Garrett Kato
Friday 3rd November – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD

Gasoline Pony 4th Birthday feat. Rogue Company, Bonnie & Wayne, Bernie & Co, AccaPony in-house Choir, Villebillies, Low Down Riders, Reuben’s Ego Boost, Apache, Los Romeos
Saturday 28th October – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Gretta Ziller
Saturday 28th October – Welcome to Morrisonville, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th October – Rochester Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 31st October – Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues, Geelong, VIC

Grizlee Train
Friday 27th October – Long Jetty Hotel, Long Jetty, NSW

Harry Hookey
Friday 27th October – House Concert, Clare Valley, SA

Hat Fitz & Cara
Friday 3rd November – Upper Lansdowne Hall, Upper Lansdowne, NSW

Hermitage Green
Wednesday 1st November – Prince Ballroom, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd November – Finn McCools, Brisbane, QLD

High Tea feat. Snail
Thursday 2nd November – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Holly Throsby
Friday 27th October – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Inland Sea of Sound Festival
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW

J M S Harrison & Cabin Inn, Sam Shinazzi, Key Out
Sunday 29th October – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

James Kenyon
Friday 27th October – Tanswells Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 28th October – Mita Pub, Mita Mita, VIC
Sunday 29th October – Wandi Hotel, Wandilagong, VIC
Friday 3rd November – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Jason Walker
Saturday 28th October – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Jed Rowe
Friday 3rd November – Skylark Lounge, Upwey, VIC

Jess Ribeiro w/ Akubra, Jade Imagine
Tuesday 31st October – The Tote Front Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Jo Jo Smith w/ Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart
Sunday 29th October – Grainstore, Nathalia, VIC

John Butler Trio
Friday 3rd November – Corxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC

Joseph Tawadros Trio
Saturday 28th October – Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula, NSW
Sunday 29th October – The Regent Cinema, Murwillumbah, NSW

Josh Pyke w/ Harrison Storm
Friday 3rd November – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Justin Townes Earle w/ Joshua Hedley, Ruby Boots
Friday 27th October – Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle, WA

Kasey Chambers
Sunday 29th October – Gladstone Entertainment Centre, Gladstone, QLD
Tuesday 31st October – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Wednesday 1st November – Farview Tavern, MacKay, QLD
Thursday 2nd November – Townsville Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD
Friday 3rd November – Tank Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 27th to Monday 30th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW

Ken Nicol
Friday 27th October – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 27th October – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 28th October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Kristina Olsen
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, SA

Liam Gerner
Friday 27th October – Royal Theatre, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 29th October – The Dogs Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Lizzie Flynn
Friday 27th October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 29th October – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Lloyd Spiegel
Friday 27th October – The Camelot Lounge, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Sounds Delicious, Jervis Bay, NSW
Sunday 29th October – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW

Lyall Moloney
Friday 27th October – The Chippo Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 3rd November – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Maldon Folk Festival
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th November – Maldon, VIC

Mama Kin Spender
Thursday 2nd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Medusa’s Wake, Fleur Wiber, Kellie Lloyd, Manners Park, Married Man
Sunday 29th October – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Mia Dyson
Friday 3rd November – Inland Sea of Sound Festival, Bathurst, NSW

Mihka Chee w/ Martha Chess-Phelps, Black Iguana
Friday 27th October – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Mile Twelve
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW
Tuesday 31st October – 63 First Avenue, Sawtell, NSW
Wednesday 1st November – Wauchope Arts Council, Wauchope, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, NSW

Monique Clare
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October, Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW
Tuesday 31st October – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Sydney, NSW

Moonee Valley Drifters
Saturday 28th October – Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, VIC

Mr Alford Country
Friday 27th October – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd November – Newport Bowls Club, Newport, VIC

My Nightingale
Friday 27th October – Illume at Killynaught, Boat Harbour, TAS

Nick Cunningham and Luke Morris
Saturday 28th October – Port Lincoln Hotel, Port Lincoln, SA

Out of Abingdon
Friday 27th October – Northern Illawarra Neighbour Aid Inc, Helensburgh, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Mechanics Institute, Lawson, NSW
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Eden Whale Festival, Eden, NSW

Paddy McHugh
Friday 27th October – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW

Paper Mouse
Saturday 28th October – Ballarat Mechanics Institute, Ballarat, VIC

Paul Kelly
Friday 3rd November – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Peasant Moon
Friday 27th October – Blue Bean, Daylesford, VIC
Saturday 28th October – Kangaroo Hotel, Maldon, VIC
Sunday 29th October – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 1st November – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – Orient, Newcastle, NSW

Ralway Bell
Friday 27th October – Harvey Dickson’s Rodeo, Boyup Brook, WA

Rowena Wise
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Fleurieu Folk Festival, Willunga, SA
Tuesday 31st October – Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Sásta
Friday 3rd November – Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane, QLD

Save The Reef Tote Show feat. Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clocks, FERLA, Sugar Fed Leopards, Hollow Everdaze, Leah Senior, Forever Son, Davey Lane, Emma Russack, 19th Century Strongmen, If You See Her, Say Hello
Saturday 28th October – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC

Shaky Stills
Saturday 28th October – Rainbow Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Shane Nicholson
Friday 27th October – Lonestar Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 28th October – Welcome to Morrisonville, Brisbane, QLD

Shelley’s Murder Boys
Thursday 2nd November – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW

Simon Imre
Sunday 29th October – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Songbird – A Musical Tribute to Eva Cassidy
Thursday 2nd October – Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne, VIC

Stella Donnelly
Friday 27th October – Fremantle Festival, St John’s Church, Fremantle, WA
Friday 3rd November – Code Red Festival, Murdoch, WA

Stockley
Friday 3rd November – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Tablelands Folk Festival
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Yungaburra, QLD

Tesse, Post Paint, CCXO
Tuesday 31st October – Cobra Club, Sydney, NSW

Tex Perkins – The Man In Black, The Songs of Johnny Cash
Wednesday 1st November – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd November – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Austracana Travelling Revue feat. Carpenter Caswell, Smith & Jones, The April Family
Friday 27th October – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 28th October – Harley Days, North Wollongong, NSW
Friday 3rd November – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay, NSW

The Bushwackers
Friday 27th October – Gumbramorra Hall, Sydney, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band w/ The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 3rd November – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Excellent Smithers
Saturday 28th October – The Drunken Poet, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd November – Boilermaker House, Melbourne, VIC

The Gasoline Pony Forth Birthday Celebration
Saturday 28th October – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Gypsyjazz Project
Tuesday 31st October – ANU, Canberra, ACT

The Harts
Saturday 28th October – House Concert, Carrum Downs, VIC

The Loaded Dog Folk Club feat. Solidarity Choir, The Fossickers
Saturday 28th October – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Northern Folk
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW

The Nukes
Friday 3rd November – The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Saturday 28th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Stetson Family
Monday 30th October – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Teskey Brothers
Thursday 2nd November – St John’s Anglican Church, Fremantle Arts Festival, Fremantle, WA
Friday 3rd November – Ravenswood Tavern, Mandurah, WA

The Village Festival
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th – Edinburgh Gardens, Melbourne, VIC

Timberwolf
Friday 3rd November – Secret Location, Adelaide, SA

TinPan Orange
Friday 3rd November – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Tom Dockray w/ Mitch Power
Wednesday 1st November – The Paragon Theatre, Queenstown, TAS
Thursday 2nd November – House Concert, Hobart, TAS
Friday 3rd November – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS

Tom West
Friday 3rd November – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Tori Forsyth
Friday 27th October – Johnny Ringos, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th October – Johnny Ringos, Brisbane. QLD

Tristen Bird
Friday 27th October – The Taproom – Shedshaker Brewing, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 28th October – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th October – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 30th October – Streets Of Harlem, Noosa Heads, QLD
Tuesday 31st October – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 1st November – National Theatre, Braidwood, NSW
Thursday 2nd November – Oh Jean Records, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Willie Smith’s Organic Cider, Grove, TAS

Tullara
Friday 27th October – Cambridge Hotel, Parkes, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Wambuul Macquarie Riverfest, Dubbo, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Tullamore Hotel, Tullamore, NSW
Sunday 29th October – Thomas Blamey Tavern, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Twin Peaks
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October – Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW

Vanishing Shapes
Friday 27th October – House Concert, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 28th October – Phoenix Rising Cafe, Nimbin, NSW
Sunday 29th October – Pacific Hotel, Yeppoon, QLD

Wambuul Macquarie Riverfest
Saturday 28th October – Dubbo, NSW

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November – Wangaratta, VIC

Welcome To Morrisonville feat. Shane Nicholson, Henry Wagons & The Only Children, Tracy McNeil & The Good Life, Gretta Ziller, Jen Mize
Saturday 28th October – Morrison Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

William Crighton and Terra Lightfoot
Thursday 2nd November – Australian Music Week, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 3rd November – Central Bar, Newcastle, NSW

Z-Stay Delta
Friday 27th October – Sound Feast @ The J, Noosa Heads, QLD
Thursday 2nd November – The Spa Bar, Daylesford, VIC
Friday 3rd November – Baha, Rye, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Bonnie Ship, The Diamond” – Beoga

Sufjan Stevens Announces The Greatest Gift Mixtape

Sufjan Stevens
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

On the 24th November Sufjan Stevens has announced plans to release The Greatest Gift.

The release is a mixtape of outtakes, remixes and demos of Stevens’ 2015 album Carrie & Lowell.

One of the never heard before tracks from the mixtape is “Wallowa Lake Monster” which you can listen to here:

The full track listing for The Greatest Gift is below:

1. Wallowa Lake Monster
2. Drawn to the Blood (Sufjan Stevens Remix)
3. Death with Dignity (Helado Negro Remix)
4. John My Beloved (iPhone Demo)
5. Drawn to the Blood (Fingerpicking Remix)
6. The Greatest Gift
7. Exploding Whale (Doveman Remix)
8. All of Me Wants All of You (Helado Negro Remix)
9. Fourth of July (900X Remix)
10. The Hidden River of My Life
11. City of Roses

Listen to The Welcome Wagon Perform Sufjan Stevens’ “The Greatest Gift”

The Welcome Wagon
Image Courtesy of The Welcome Wagon

I’ve always said that if anyone wished Sufjan Stevens made more acoustic music they should go and listen to husband and wife Christian-folk duo The Welcome Wagon. And as if to epitomize that statement The Welcome Wagon have just covered Stevens’ track “The Greatest Gift” as part of a Kickstarter to fund their new record.

Take a listen to The Welcome Wagon’s version of “The Greatest Gift” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Matthew and The Atlas confirmed details of their new album Temple. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Irish Mythen returns to Australia this month for Bluesfest and the Melissa Etheridge tour support. Details here

– UK big band Bellowhead announced plans to release a live album in April. Details here

– 17 year old singer-songwriter Gretta Ray released her new single “Unexpected Feeling”. Details here

Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow has a new album on the way to go with her new moniker. Details here

– The ANZ Blue Stage Series for Spectrum Now announced their artist lineup including Borneo, Lissa, Dog the Duke, James Englund, Rachel Fahim, Ainsley Farrell, Ella Freestone, Ginger & Drum, Adam Harpaz, Martin Hulbert, I Am Apollo, The Khanz, Christie Lamb, Jaime Lindsay, Mabel, Nova and the Experience, Jarryn Pheagan, Aimee Lou, Planet, Lane Sinclair (Say My Name Band), Sabrina Soares, Tenderfoot, Ed Wells and Dylan Wright. Details here

– The next Festival of Small Halls tour kicked off this week featuring Vishtèn, The Little Stevies and Rob Longstaff. Details here

Sufjan Stevens announced plans to release a 10th anniversary edition of Illinois. Details here

– West Australia’s favourite absent daughter Emily Barker returns home this week for shows on the West and East Coast. Details here

– South Coast singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan released his new single “Rivers”. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Julia Johnson and Vorn Doolette have announced a joint house concert tour. Details here

Andrew Bird has collaborated with Fiona Apple on his new single “Left Handed Kisses”. Details here

– Canadian singer-songwriter The Weather Station released her new video “Floodplain”. Details here

– Celtic-punks The Go Set announced April tour dates. Details here

Releases This Week

M Ward
More RainM. Ward
iTunes

Ouroboros
OuroborosRay LaMontagne
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

The Timbers

William Fitzsimmons

Friday 4th March – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 5th March – The Irish Hotel, Toowoomba, QLD
Monday 7th March – The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba, QLD
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Porchland feat. Lime Cordiale, Winterbourne, Sweet Jean, Benjamin James Caldwell, Ollie English

Porch Sessions

If you don’t have tickets to Porchland, the festival presented by Adelaide’s The Porch Sessions then I’m afraid you’re out of luck because this puppy is sold out. But with a lineup that good it’s time to start begging your friends to sell you their ticket – it’s going to be an amazing show.

Sunday 6th March – Hahndorf, SA

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding w/ Jess Ribeiro
Tuesday 8th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 10th March – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC

Burke & Wills Folk Festival
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Burke & Wills Winery, VIC

Burnt Creek Deviation
Friday 4th March – The Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Calexico
Friday 4th March – Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Spectrum Now, The Domain, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 8th March – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 9th March – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA

Catherine Traicos
Saturday 5th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Colin Hay
Friday 4th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions presents Fanny Lumsden
Friday 4th March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking w/ Marlon Williams
Saturday 5th March – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th March – Twilight at Taronga, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, Nannup, WA

Elwood Myre
Friday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Friday 4th March – The Odd Fellow, Perth, WA

Emily Barker
Friday 4th March – The Bassendean Hotel, Perth, WA

Festival of Small Halls feat. Vishtèn, The Little Stevies, Rob Longstaff
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Dookie Arts Hub, Dookie, VIC
Wednesday 9th March – Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Wauchope, NSW
Friday 11th March – Toongi Hall, Toongi, NSW

Folkswagon
Wednesday 9th March – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Helpless – The Songs of Neil Young feat. Todd Sibbin, Tom West, Ryan Martin John, Thoma Henbest, Caleb Williamson
Wednesday 9th March – The Gov, Adelaide, SA

Hootenanny feat. Lucky Luke and His Shooting Stars
Sunday 6th March – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Festival, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Thursday 10th March – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA

James Thomson
Friday 4th March – Baha, Rye, VIC
Saturday 5th March – The Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 6th March – The Lomond, Melbourne, VIC

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 4th March – J-Shed, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Montrose Town Centre, Montrose, VIC
Friday 11th March – Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Friday 11th March – Billy Roy Blues, Bendigo, VIC

Luke Morris
Friday 4th March – Noosa Festival of Surfing, Noosa, QLD
Sunday 6th March – The Sunhouse, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 10th March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Man of Constant Sorrow: a Tribute to the Music of O Brother Where Art Thou feat. The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Luke Escombe, Brian Campeau
Tuesday 8th March – The Domain, Sydney, NSW

Mark Lucas and The Dead Setters
Thursday 10th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th March – The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Mary Black
Tuesday 8th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Thursday 10th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Moxie
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Nannup Music Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup, WA

Oh Pep!
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Passenger
Friday 4th March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 6th March – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Patrick James
Friday 4th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th March – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT

Porchland feat. Lime Cordiale, Winterbourne, Sweet Jean, Benjamin James Caldwell, Ollie English
Sunday 6th March – Hahndorf, SA

Port Fairy Folk Festival
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy, VIC

Queen Porter Stomp and Catgut
Saturday 5th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

RAPT w/ Beautifil Chaos, Scott Cook
Saturday 5th March – The Music Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Ruby Boots
Thursday 10th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Sam Brittain w/ Maggie Rutjens, Toby Robinson
Thursday 10th March – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Steve Earle & The Dukes w/ The Mastersons
Friday 11th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC

Sufjan Stevens
Friday 4th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Summer Hill Folk Festival
Saturday 5th March – Summer Hill Church, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Road Street Party
Sunday 6th March – Sydney Road, Melbourne, VIC

The Beards
Friday 11th March – Bar Indigo, Rockingham, WA

The Button Collective
Sunday 6th March – Spectrum Now, Sydney, NSW

The Crooked Fiddle Band w/ Devil on the Rooftop
Friday 11th March – The Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Fly by Night, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 10th March – South Coast Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC

The Little Stevies
Friday 4th March – Tallangatta Memorial Hall, Tallangatta, VIC
Saturday 5th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Glenferrie Festival, Hawthorn, VIC
Sunday 6th March – Dookie Arts Hub, Dookie, VIC
Thursday 10th March – Peace Concert, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool, VIC
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

The Once
Friday 4th March – The Music Shack, Donnybrook, WA
Saturday 5th March – Sail & Anchor, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th March – Kalamunda Hotel, Kalamunda, WA
Wednesday 9th March – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

The Rambling Boys
Friday 4th March – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 5th March – Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 8th March – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 10th March – Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th to 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, VIC

The Timbers
Saturday 5th March – The Irish Hotel, Toowoomba, QLD
Sunday 6th March – The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba, QLD
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC

The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th March – Basement Discs, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th March – Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival, NSW
Thursday 10th March – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Friday 11th March – Spring Vale Wines, Cranbrook, TAS

Tim Easton
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March – Nannup Music Festival, WA
Thursday 10th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Vin Garbutt
Friday 11th March – Burke & Wills Folk Festival, Mia Mia, VIC

WOMADelaide
Friday 11th to Monday 14th March – Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Black Jack Davey” – The White Stripes

Over the last few weeks we’ve featured various songs in the “Gypsy Davey” tradition. Here’s a relatively modern take featuring The White Stripes covering Bob Dylan’s version of “Black Jack Davey”. This is an acoustic version but there’s an electric version out there in the universe as well.

Listen to An Early Sufjan Stevens Demo for “Chicago”

Sufjan Stevens
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

Australia is still buzzing from the Sufjan Stevens tour, which still has a couple of dates left in Perth and Brisbane at the end of this week.

While he’s been out in Australia Sufjan Stevens has found time to announce a 10th anniversary edition of his classic album Illinois, titled Illinois: Special 10th Anniversary Blue Marvel as well as unearthing an early, unheard demo for his track “Chicago”. Illinois: Special 10th Anniversary Blue Marvel is due on the 1st April – listen to the “Chicago” demo below:

Remaining dates for Sufjan Stevens Australian tour are as follows:

Wednesday 2nd March – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA
Friday 4th March – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country favourite Fanny Lumsden released her new video “Land of Gold”. Details here

– Central coast duo Eagle & The Wolf released their new video “Mama, Son and the Holy Ghost”. Details here

– Indie-folker Radical Face released his new single “Secrets (Cellar Door)”. Details here

– UK five-piece Boat To Row released their new video “Handsome Beats”. Details here

Sufjan Stevens released a live video for “Carrie & Lowell” ahead of next week’s Australian tour. Details here

Henry Wagons released his new video “Santa Fe” and announced a national tour for May. Details here

Releases This Week

Eagle and the Wolf
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Bandcamp

Side Pony
Side Pony – Lake Street Dive
iTunes

Restless
RestlessThe Timbers
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Caravansary feat. Tom Stephens, Slow Loris, Direwolf & Maia Jelavic, Lee Sullivan & The Sleepers, Liam Gale & The Ponytails, Liz Hughes, Matt Murchie, Rosaline Letford, Kev’s House Band & the Ub Ubbo All Stars

Ub Ubbo presents The Caravansary, a showcase of some of Sydney’s finest musicians in an intimate environment.

Sunday 21st February – Summer Hill Mansion, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

1x1x1 feat. Brendon Humphries (The Kill Devil Hills), Jacob Diamond, Matt Cal, Leah Michelle (The Regular Hunters), Joel Barker, Elli Schoen, David Craft, Bedouin Sea
Saturday 20th February – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Beth Patterson
Saturday 20th February – Paynesville Wine Bar, Paynesville, VIC
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo, NSW

Courtyard Sessions presents Jordan Millar
Friday 19th February – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Dave Rawlings Machine
Friday 19th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th February – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Davey Craddock
Thursday 25th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th February – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC

Dawn Landes
Sunday 21st February – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Dream A Highway feat. Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings Machine, Willie Watson, Haas Kowert Tice
Saturday 20th February – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Elwood Myre
Saturday 20th February – Mountain Sounds, Somersby, NSW
Friday 26th February – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Exile: Songs & Tales of Irish Australia
Saturday 20th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 21st February – Festival Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 24th February – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Folkswagon feat. Scott Cook, Willowy, The Bean Project
Wednesday 24th February – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Frances Folk Gathering
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Frances, SA

Hootenanny feat. The Button Collective
Sunday 21st February – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Friday 19th February – Seaview Hotel, Woolgoolga, NSW

James Thomson
Sunday 21st February – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th February – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW

John Flanagan and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 19th February – Belbrae Hall, Belbrae, VIC
Saturday 20th February – Buangor Cobb & Co, Buangor, VIC
Sunday 21st February – The Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo, VIC

Josh Pyke
Friday 19th February – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 20th February – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 19th February – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford, NSW
Saturday 20th February – Estonian House, Melbourne, VIC

Keep Sydney Open Rally
Sunday 21st February – Belmore Park, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Saturday 20th February – Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Live ‘n’ Lounging feat. Colin Jones, Lissa, Andrew Drummond
Sunday 21st February – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet, Doctor Stovepipe
Wednesday 24th February – The Famous Spiegeltent, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT

Passenger
Sunday 21st February – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 25th February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 19th February – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 25th February – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday 26th February – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Peasant Moon w/ Mark Lucas, Dear Orphans
Sunday 21st February – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW

Phia w/ Ayawatamaya
Wednesday 24th February – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Pocket Fox
Friday 19th February – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Riverboats Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February – Echuca-Moama, VIC

Ruby Boots
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February – Riverboats Festival, VIC

Sam Newton
Saturday 20th February – The Roundabout Inn, Gloucester, NSW

SINners Sunday feat. Stillhouse Union
Sunday 21st February – Town and Country Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Sufjan Stevens
Tuesday 23rd February – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

Summer in the Hills
Saturday 20th February – York On Lilydale, Mt Evelyn, VIC

The Audreys
Saturday 20th February – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT

The Beards
Thursday 25th February – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS
Friday 26th February – Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS

The Bottlers, Mail Day, Scarlet’s Revenge
Saturday 20th February – The Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Button Collective
Thursday 25th February – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT

The Caravansary feat. Tom Stephens, Slow Loris, Direwolf & Maia Jelavic, Lee Sullivan & The Sleepers, Liam Gale & The Ponytails, Liz Hughes, Matt Murchie, Rosaline Letford, Kev’s House Band & the Ub Ubbo All Stars
Sunday 21st February – Summer Hill Mansion, Sydney, NSW

The East Pointers
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Broads, Dan Parsons
Sunday 21st February – Bakehouse Studios, Melbourne, VIC

The Rambling Boys
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW

Tim Easton
Wednesday 24th February – Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford, VIC
Thursday 25th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th February – Major Tom’s, Melbourne, VIC

Vin Garbutt
Saturday 20th February – The Fly by Night, Perth, WA
Wednesday 24th February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo, NSW

Willowy
Friday 19th February – The Eastern, Ballarat, VIC
Sunday 21st February – The Hotel Metro, Adelaide, SA
Friday 26th February – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Gypsy Davy” – Emily Smith

One of the most prolific songs in the Scottish, Irish and American traditions (it’s commonly known as “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy”, “The Raggle Taggle Gypsies O”, “The Gypsy Laddie(s)”, “Black Jack David” (or “Davy”), “Seven Yellow Gypsies” and more) “Gypsy Davy” is evidence of the folk process hard work with a broad theme of a lady running away with a gypsy retold in numerous ways. I might post some other versions over the coming weeks.

Watch the New Sufjan Stevens Live Video “Carrie & Lowell”

Sufjan Stevens
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens returns to Australia this month and to get you excited here’s a beautiful live clip for his track “Carrie & Lowell”. Stevens doesn’t really do music videos so this is the closest you’re going to get:

The full dates for Sufjan Stevens’ upcoming Australian tour are below:

Monday 22nd February – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC ***SOLD OUT***
Saturday 27th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 28th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 29th February – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 2nd March – Red Hill Auditorium, Perth, WA
Friday 4th March – Qpac Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2015

Christmas Boots

It’s Christmas Eve which means it’s time for Timber and Steel’s traditional wrap up of the best folky Christmas songs of the year. If you’re like us and you love Christmas songs and carols then you’re in for a treat.

We hope you have a safe and merry Christmas wherever you find yourself this year. We look forward to folking with you in the New Year!

Kaitlyn Baker – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff – “Surviving Christmas”

The Felice Brothers – “Carriage”
Why The Felice Brothers haven’t thought to do a Christmas album titled Felice Navidad before now is mind boggling. Here’s the first single from the album, “Carriage”.

Red Sky July – “Save Christmas Day for Me”

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – “Light of Christmas Day”
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant reunite for this contribution to the Christmas movie Love The Coopers. The video is peppered with movie dialogue which can get annoying but it’s still great to see Krauss and Plant together again.

Robert Pollard – “What Begins on New Years Day”

The Bandana Splits – “Silent Night”
The three part harmonies from Annie Nero, Dawn Landes and Lauren Balthrop on their The Bandana Splits are just stunning.

Phil Cunningham feat. Eddi Reader – “Santa Will Find You”
Phil Cunningham brings together some of folk music’s best for his Christmas album Phil’s Christmas Songbook. The lead single, “Santa Will Find You”, features none other than Eddi Reader

Joseph Bradshaw – “Christmas is Always”

Kyle Cox – “Don’t Make My Christmas Blue”

Kids – “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Kate Miller-Heidke ft. The Beards – “I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas”
Probably the best comedy Christmas release of the year. Don’t listen to this one too loudly at work.

Peter Joseph Head – “Boxing Day”

Stylus Boy – “Oh Little Town”

The Leisure Society – “2000 Miles”
The Leisure Society cover The Pretenders for their Christmas single this year. I love this track!

Burrowing – “The Morn Of Christmas Day”

Smoke Fairies – “Wild Winter”

Kate Rusby – “The Frost is all Over”
The stunning Kate Rusby brings her amazing voice to this Christmas classic, taken from her Christmas album of the same name.

Lindsay Straw – “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”

Boom Forest – “The Holly & The Ivy”
I love the way this traditional Christmas song has been given a contemporary sound by Boom Forest.

Matt Costa – “Many Memories Ago”
Roots singer-songwriter Matt Costa turns up the Christmas nostalgia with his track “Many Memories Ago”.

Lily Lambert – “Carol Of The Bells”

Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”
It wouldn’t be a list of Christmas songs without something from Sufjan Stevens. While this track came out in 2012 it’s just been given a brand new lyric video and thus qualifies for our 2015 list.

Amy Yon – “Winter”

Loralee Jessen Nicolay – “Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella”

Leaf Pile – “Deck The Halls”

Tides Of Winter – “Angels”

Sivu – “The Christmas Song”

Unwaxed Raiment – “The First Noel”

Folk Uke – All I Want For Christmas”

Marika Hackman – “River”

Elouise – “Silent Night”

The Maple Trail – “Star Wars (Is Coming Out This Christmas)”
Here it is folks – the most important Christmas song of the year. Not only do we get a Christmas folk song about Star Wars, this is also the first recorded music from The Maple Trail in a long long time.

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015

2015

Ok, so we have one final best of list to round out the week and then I promise you we’re done. Our illustrious Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans has sifted through the wealth of music that’s been released this year and whittled it down to his top 25 tracks of 2015. Some of these are album tracks that haven’t been released as singles, some are singles from albums that were released last year and at least one or two have only seen light as live versions – but one thing that’s certain is that this is a pretty good snapshot of all of the music we’ve been loving throughout the year.

So without further ado please enjoy Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2015.

1. Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”
While I loved the direction that Sufjan Stevens took with his Age of Adz album, when “Should Have Known Better” dropped earlier this year I almost wept. This was Stevens leaning back into to his acoustic roots without denying where his sound has evolved in recent years (the electronic middle eight in the track is a nice nod to Age of Adz). Despite the heavy subject matter of the track (“When I was three, three maybe four, She left us at that video store”) it is overwhelmingly uplifting and I can’t help but smile as I let the melody wash over me. It’s good to have you back Sufjan!

2. John Flanagan – “The Last of the Cassette Men”
A core element of “folk music” as an overarching genre is the story song and John Flanagan has written the best story song of the year, recounting the time Flanagan was tasked with driving his songwriting hero Paul Kelly to a show. John Flanagan’s easygoing, personal narrative style works perfectly in this track, almost aping the songwriting style of Kelly without descending into parody. With this track John Flanagan has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on.

3. Packwood – “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”
With four EPs released this year there’s a wealth new Packwood material to choose from, but I can’t help but come back to “All Smoke Must Find Its Way Home”, his first single from 2015. The track is everything I want from a Packwood song – soaring melodies, delicate finger-picked guitar, orchestral arrangements (including a choir!) and Bayden Hine’s vulnerable vocal style. Another work of genius from Australia’s king of chamber folk.

4. Patrick James – “Bugs”
“Bugs” has been a standard of Patrick James’ live set for much of his career, including his time as a busker, but it’s only in 2015 that it’s been released as a single thanks to his debut album Outlier. What makes “Bugs” such a great song is hands down the chorus: a catchy, loopy piece of music that always stimulates a sing along. With live versions of “Bugs” available on the internet for years now I’m glad James has not gone crazy on the production of this track, keeping the arrangement subtle and familiar.

5. The Morrisons – “Wild Eleanor”
Despite being probably the most recognisable Bluegrass band in Sydney the amount of recorded music available from The Morrisons is pretty light on the ground. Which is why I’m so chuffed they’ve chosen to record and release one of my favourite of their tracks, “Wild Eleanor”. The frantic single shows off just how skilled each of the members of The Morrisons are. And yes, I even like the hokey clip shot at Sydney’s Hibernian House.

6. Laura Marling – “False Hope”
This is Laura Marling’s Dylan-going-electric moment. When “False Hope” hit earlier this year the first thing that fans noted was just how rock driven it was- Marling has swapped the acoustic guitar for a choppy electric and surrounded herself with a traditional rock lineup. But Laura Marling’s lyrical style and vocals shine through – you know this song is unmistakably a Laura Marling track despite the instrumentation and for that reason alone it’s something special.

7. Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton – “Waly Waly”
I was trying to put my finger on what it is about “Waly Waly” that stands out for me on the excellent album Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and it hit me – about halfway through the song Ruth Hazleton brings in this minor led banjo lick that just, well, grooves. It’s that lick, and the minor arrangement over the chorus, that gets my toe tapping and my head bobbing every time. It’s not often that you mention the word “groove” in reference to a Child Ballad but that’s how clever Declaration from Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton are.

8. Mumford & Sons – “Ditmas”
“But this is all I ever was, And this is all you came across those years ago, Now you go too far, Don’t tell me that I’ve changed because that’s not the truth, And now I’m losing you”. Could this be the catchiest chorus of 2015? Forget that Mumford & Sons ditched the banjo and the acoustic guitar – what they’ve created in “Ditmas” is the perfect Mumford & Sons song. Restrained verses, blistering choruses and lyrics you want to sing along to at the top of your lungs.

9. The Paper Kites – “A Silent Cause”
To be honest “Electric Indigo” has been the track on highest rotation from twelvefour for me this year, but every time I’m listening to the album from start to finish I always have to go back and listen to “A Silent Cause” again and again. It’s such a simple song – lead vocals, guitar and subtle vocal harmonies – but it’s just mesmerising. It’s a nod to The Paper Kites’ earlier work and there’s a real Paul Simon feel to the way its been written. “A Silent Cause” has not (yet) been released as a single from twelvefour but it’s definitely the standout for me.

10. Fanny Lumsden – “Soapbox”
Fanny Lumsden’s incredibly catchy single “Soapbox” is the driving force behind the success of her album Small Town Big Shot. The track’s driving back-beat courtesy of the clapping percussion drives the song forward and that banjo riff is so hum worthy. I love how crisp Lumsden’s vocals are on this track – you get to follow the narrative elements of the song without having to distance yourself from the rest of the instrumentation. It’s a great track to see live as well!

11. William Fitzsimmons – “Pittsburgh”
There’s such a lean-in quality to William Fitzsimmons’ voice – it’s so delicate over the top of his acoustic guitar and the result is beautiful. The album version of this song is supplemented by subtle piano, electric guitar and backing vocals but if you’ve managed to hear any of the live versions floating around Youtube you’ll know just how good this song is with just Fitzsimmons and his guitar.

12. Matt Corby – “Monday”
The first new music from Matt Corby in quite a while ends up being classic Matt Corby. That layered, looped vocal and hand percussion. The blues inspired melody. That voice. It’s good to have you back Matt Corby.

13. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.”
The transformation of Nathaniel Rateliff from sensitive acoustic singer-songwriter to full blown gospel-blues master has been one of the unexpected joys of 2015. Together with his outstanding band The Night Sweats, Rateliff released one of the year’s catchiest tunes in “S.O.B.” complete with a Blue Brothers inspired video.

14. Bellowhead – “Roll Alabama”
Bellowhead tempered the news that they’d be wrapping things up this year with the release of their new single “Roll Alabama”. The track is filled with Bellowhead’s usual bombast but also manages to balance this with fine arrangement – at no point is the song overwhelmed by the instrumentation. The clip for “Roll Alabama” is a loving ode to Bellowhead as a live band, making me wish they’d made the trip to Australia at least once.

15. The East Pointers – “The Drift”
I love that the tenor banjo, after being maligned by its five stringed cousin in recent years, is making a bit of a resurgence. And Canadian trio The East Pointers are leading the tenor banjo charge. I love the way “The Drift” plays with tempos and instrumentation, building and dropping throughout, providing texture to the traditionally inspired music. A highlight from Secret Victory which is stuffed full of amazing tracks.

16. Yetis – “Luckiest Guy Alive”
Yetis were another band that we said goodbye to in 2015 but who left us with an amazing goodbye track. “Luckiest Guy Alive” is beautiful – five part harmonies over a solo piano – and it just seems to sore. I’m not sure Yetis every really reached their full potential and I would have loved to have seen more from them before they went their seperate ways – but “Luckiest Guy Alive” is a nice way to say goodbye.

17. Boy & Bear – “Walk the Wire”
Boy & Bear have embraced the 70s and early 80s on their new album Limit of Love and the greatest example of this is “Walk the Wire”. Embracing synths and crisp guitars, “Walk the Wire” still has that undeniable Boy & Bear groove to bop your head along to. The video is also hilarious – don’t just listen to this track on YouTube in the backgound, make sure you give it your full attention.

18. Ruby Boots – “Wrap Me In A Fever”
No this is country music. Ruby Boots’ big voice just powers through this track as the drums shuffle, the steel guitar twangs and an organ adds just a touch of class. “Wrap Me In A Fever” is a song full of heartbreak and lonliness but Ruby Boots also imbues a sense of strength into it with her big voice.

19. Gurrumul & Paul Kelly – “Amazing Grace”
The moment I heard that Gurrumul was turning his voice to gospel music for his latest album my first thought was “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”. The fact that he’s joined by Paul Kelly on possibly the most iconic gospel song of all time is just incredible. Here are two artists at their best breathing life into a classic and reinventing it for an Australian audience.

20. Passenger – “Fools Gold”
The ever prolific Passenger this year released an album (Whispers II) and then a series of videos for brand new songs that were shot while he toured the world. To be honest I could have picked any number of the songs that Passenger released this year but this is the one that stuck in my head. The song is textbook Passenger – delicate vocals over finger-picked guitar – but that little lick at the start and the “Hey-ey-ey” of the chorus are what gives “Fools Gold” the ear-worm quality.

21. Josh Pyke – “Hollering Hearts”
From the opening ukulele to the “oh oh oh” backing vocals there’s something insanely catchy about this song. No one quite writes folk-flavoured pop music like Josh Pyke and “Hollering Hearts” is pretty much a perfect Josh Pyke tune. I’m not sure how I feel about the lyric video (if you’re going to go to that much effort animating it why not just make a video?) but at the end of the day this is all about the music.

22. Falls – “When We Were Young”
I chose to post the live version of this song purely for the nostalgia of it. This is Falls performing at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney during one of their rare visits back to our shores – and for these guys this is where it all started. I love how infectious this song is, almost willing you to clap along and stomp your feet. Of all the new material on Omaha this is the track that really captured me – I feel like it’s the bridge between their Hollywood EP and the tracks they’ve been writing since they’ve relocated to the USA.

23. Sam Amidon – “Blue Mountains”
“Blue Mountains” is not taken from Sam Amidon’s 2015 album of home and field recordings Home Alone Inside My Head but is rather the final single from his amazing 2014 record Lily-O. This is Amidon at his most coherent and accessible – the track has a pretty conservative structure and vocal line which is something he’s not always known for. I love the 6/8 drum beat that comes in about half way through this song giving it that extra drive, and of course Amidon’s meandering fiddle lines are just beautiful.

24. We Banjo 3 feat. Sharon Shannon – “The Fox”
This is traditional music at its most polished, with none of the rough edges you’ll find on other versions of this classic track. But that’s not a bad thing – We Banjo 3 have perfectly captured the rollicking fun of “The Fox”. Strangely Sharon Shannon’s accordion seems to be relegated to the back of the mix until they break into the reel two thirds of the way through (known as “Clumsy Lover” for those of you playing at home) – but I guess that’s why this is We Banjo 3 featuring Sharon Shannon and not the other way around.

25. Nick Payne – “Old Sydney Town”
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Nick Payne workshopping his convict folk song at jam sessions and festivals over the past 18 months and what he’s managed to capture on tape is pretty bang on what you’ll get live. I love the old time feel of this track and the fine group of musicians he’s managed to amass to accompany him (including many members of his band Dear Orphans) elevate the song to another level. I love the “behind the music” style of the video as well – very nice.

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