Thank Folk It’s Friday – 19th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Laura Marling released her cover of Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”. Details here

– US nu-folk four-piece The Low Anthem announced their new album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea. Details here

Husky announced a series of intimate live shows this April. Details here

– Kiwi country crooner Marlon Williams released his quirky new video “What’s Chasing You”. Details here

Vance Joy gave us the first taste of his upcoming album with the new vidoe “We’re Going Home”. Details here

– American roots rock band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats announced their new album Tearing at the Seams. Details here

– The Fairbridge Folk Festival in WA announced its first round of artists including Sheelanagig, The Lost Brothers, Perch Creek, Mama Kin Spender, Ganglions, Cara, Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Night), Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, Carla Geneve and Indian Eye. Details here

– English roots singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner announced Australian tour dates when he’s in the country for Bluesfest. Details here

– Melbourne duo This Way North have announced a Wednesday night residency celebrating artistic women at the Northcote Social Club throughout February titled Sass the Patriarchy featuring Bitch Diesel, Sal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel, Hollie Joyce and The Twoks. Details here

Interviews

“Playing as a trio gives us the freedom to pursue that grittiness as an art form – we can seek out the imperfections and impurities of early acoustic blues, and our material can have its own unique structure, so we’re not limited to a 12 bar blues format. It’s highly improvised, based on that very African style emanating from the North of the Mississippi”Elizabeth Walton chats to The Backsliders. Interview here

Releases This Week

First Aid Kit
RuinsFirst Aid Kit
iTunes

Glen Hansard
Between Two ShoresGlen Hansard
iTunes
Bandcamp

The Ahern Brothers
There’s A LightThe Ahern Brothers
iTunes
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tamworth Country Music Festival

Tamworth

There are so many Timber and Steel favourites hitting the Tamworth Country Music Festival this week – check out our gig guide below for who’s playing, where and on what dates

Friday 19th to Sunday 28th January – Tamworth, NSW

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 19th January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo Resort, Thredbo, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Livefast Cafe, Halls Gap, VIC
Friday 26th January – Rye Foreshore, Rye, VIC

Adam Eckersley Band
Saturday 20th January – The Albert, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Albert, Tamworth, NSW

Alison Ferrier
Saturday 20th January – The Union, Melbourne, VIC

Allison Forbes
Friday 19th January – Tamworth Shopping World, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW

Aleyce Simmonds
Saturday 20th January – The Tamworth Opry, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Americana In The Park feat. Brad Butcher, Paddy McHugh, Gretta Ziller, Melody Moko, Nick Payne & The Wanted Few, Smith & Jones and Andrew Swift
Monday 22nd January – Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

Andrew Swift
Friday 19th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Opening Concert, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Country Music Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barn, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U OK? Music For Mates, Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Country Cares, Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Toyota Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW

Andy Golledge Band
Wednesday 24th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Ange Boxall
Thursday 25th January – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW

Anna Smyrk
Friday 26th January – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Appalachian Heaven Stringband, Cat & Clint
Sunday 21st January – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart
Wednesday 24th January – West Tamworth Leagues Club, Tamworth, NSW

Bluegrass Comes to Tamworth feat. Pete Denahy, Kristy Cox, Karen Lynne Band, The Weeping Willows, Montgomery Church
Friday 26th January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 19th January – The Green Owl, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th January – Tamworth Opry, Captial Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Medicine Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Southgate Songrwiters, Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Songhouse Sessions, Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Big Golden Guitar Performance, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U Ok Music for Mates, Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Services Club Songwriters, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Australia Day at The Dag, Nundle, NSW

Breaking Trad
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Buried Country: Live in Concert
Sunday 21st January – The Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Busby Marou
Friday 19th January – Whitsundays Clipper Race Party, Airlie Beach, QLD
Wednesday 24th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Parramatta Park, Parramatta, NSW

Cake & Cordial Sessions feat. Greg Storer, Paddy McHugh, Megan Cooper, Montgomery Church, Small Town Romance, Smith & Jones
Thursday 25th January – St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Tamworth, NSW

Candice McLeod
Friday 26th January – Red Velvet Lounge, Cygnet, TAS

Carpenter Caswell
Tuesday 23rd January – Songwriters in the Round, Ex Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Ex Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Toyota Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW

Cat Canteri
Saturday 20th January – Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth, VIC
Sunday 21st January – Star Hotel, Yackandandah, VIC

Courtyard Sessions feat. Anna Smyrk
Friday 26th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Courtyard Sessions feat. Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Cruisin’ Deuces
Wednesday 24th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW

Dana Hassall
Sunday 21st January – Toyota Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Writers in the Round, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Dashville Does the DAG feat. William Crighton, Fanny Lumsden, Magpie Diaries
Friday 26th January – The DAG, Nundle, NSW

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 21st January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW

Dearly Departed
Thursday 25th January – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW

Edgelarks
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Eleanor McEvoy
Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham, NSW

Ella Belfanti
Tuesday 23rd January – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – FolksWagon, Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Ewan Mackenzie Fundraiser feat. Sunas, Cam Ford Gypsy Jazz, Karen Anderson, Steve Tyson & The Train Rex, 3 Miles From Texas, Murphy’s Pigs
Saturday 20th January – New Farm Bowls Club, Brisbane, QLD

Faith i Branko
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th January – Western Australia Circus Festival, Perth, WA

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 19th January – Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall, Ben Lomond, NSW
Sunday 20th January – The Tamworth Opry 2018, Capitol Theatre Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The DAG, Nundle, NSW

Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour feat. Claire Anne Taylor, The Small Glories
Wednesday 24th January – St Saviour’s Hall, Goulburn, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Dalgety NSW
Friday 26th Januray – Ganmain Hall, Ganmain, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Maia Marsh, Thompson Springs, Ella Belfanti
Wednesday 24th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

For Folk Sake Presents Pinky Beecroft, Bonniesongs, Sasha March
Saturday 20th January – 107, Sydney, NSW

Georgia State Line
Tuesday 23rd January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Late Nite Alt, Tamworth, NSW

Graeme James
Friday 19th January – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 20th January – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 25th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Grand Baxter, Oskar Herbig, Greg Steps
Sunday 21st January – Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Great Aunt
Wednesday 24th January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW

Gretta Ziller
Friday 19th January – Opening Concert, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Country Music Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barn, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Toyota Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U OK? Music For Mates, Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Songwriters in the Round, Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Medicine Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW

Hana and Jessie-Lee
Saturday 20th January – Ballarat Beer Festival, Ballarat, VIC
Wednesday 24th January – Late Nite Alt, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW

Hayley Marsten
Saturday 20th January – Coca Cola Country, Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Country Music Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barn, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Country Music World Live, Upstairs Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Southgate Songwriters, Southgate Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – ABC Stage, Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U OK? Music for Mates, The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Big Golden Guitar Showcase, Big Golden Guitar, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Hello Tut Tut
Friday 19th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The Phoenix, Canberra, ACT

Hinterlandt
Wednesday 24th January – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 26th January – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Hussy Hicks
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo Blues Festival, Thredbo, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Blazes, Tamworth, NSW

Hussy Hicks, Dearly Departed, Hana and Jessie-Lee, Gretta Ziller, Ange Boxall
Thursday 25th January – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Bulli, NSW

Imogen Clark
Saturday 20th January – The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Frog and Toad Restaurant, Tamworth, NSW

James Bennett
Saturday 20th January – Bateau Bay Bowling Club, Bateau Bay, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Welder’s Dog, Armidale, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 26th January – Sacred Tree Markets, Nelson Bay, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Thursday 25th January – The Rooks Return, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th January – The Gem Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Jep and Dep w/ Tim Evans, Luke O’Farrell
Sunday 21st January – Mosh Pit, Sydney, NSW

Jen Mize
Saturday 20th January – Dag Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tamworth Opry, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Medicine Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Dag Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U OK? Music For Mates, Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Stardust Sessions, Jubilee Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Country Music Cares, Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Frog and Toad Restaurant, Tamworth, NSW

Jeremy Edwards and The Dust Radio Band
Monday 22nd January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The DAG, Nundle, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Peel Inn, Nundle, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Jess Holland
Friday 19th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – DAG Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

John Krsulja
Friday 19th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Fossickers Tourist Park, Nundle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Cattleman’s Steakhouse, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Carmen’s Restaurant Under The Stars, Tamworth, NSW

Jordie Lane
Saturday 20th January – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC
Thursday 25th January – Chapel Summer Sessions, Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne, VIC

Justin Bernasconi
Saturday 20th January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Sunday 21st January – Tanswells Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

Kardajala Kirridarra
Thursday 25th January – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Katie Brianna
Friday 19th January – FanZone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Med Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Songwriter Sessions, Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – JB HiFi, Tamworth, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 19th January – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 21st January – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Baha, Rye, VIC
Thursday 25th January – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday 26th January – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Lachlan Bryan and Shanley Del
Saturday 20th January – The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – North Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Saturday 20th January – The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The DAG Station, Nundle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – North Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Late Nite Alt, Tamworth, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, Shanley Del & James Gillard, Gretta Ziller, Imogen Clark
Saturday 20th January – The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba, NSW

Lady Luck Festival
Saturday 20th January – Katoomba, NSW

Late Night Alt
Wednesday 24th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Lee Kernaghan
Thursday 25th January – TRECC, Tamworth, NSW

Little Wise
Sunday 21st January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th January – Late Night Alt, Tamworth, NSW

Low Down Riders
Monday 22nd January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Locomotive Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Mandy Connell
Saturday 20th January – Daylesford Cider Company, Daylesford, VIC
Wednesday 24th January – Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Matt J Ward
Saturday 20th January – Country Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barn, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Coca Cola Country, Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Storytellers, Tamworth Golf Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Late Night Alt, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth City Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW

Matt Joe Gow w/ The Sideshow Brides, Tex Miller
Sunday 21st January – Summer Sessions @ Bellerine Street, Geelong, VIC

Medicine Show Sessions
Saturday 20th January – The Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Megan Cooper
Sunday 21st January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, Tamworth, NSW

Melanie Horsnell
Saturday 20th January – Writers in The Round, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Country Music Cares Concert, Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – South Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW

Melody Moko
Sunday 21st January – Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Mitch Power
Monday 22nd January – Medicine Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Mofo at Mona
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – MONA, Hobart, TAS

Monsieur Camembert
Saturday 20th January – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Montgomery Church
Saturday 20th January – Rydges Hotel, Jindabyne, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club, North Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – CMAA Senior Academy Of Country Music Reunion Show, Wests Blazes, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Bluegrass Comes to Tamworth – A Celebration of Acoustic Music, The Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Newstead Live! Music Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 28th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Nick Payne & The Wanted Few
Sunday 21st January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – ABC Stage, Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th January – Numberalla, NSW

Paddy McHugh
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Dag Sheepstation, Nundle, NSW

Paul Andrew Carey
Saturday 20th January – Friends of the Dag Showcase, The Dag, Nundle, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Nundle Rocks, Peel Inn Hotel, Nundle, NSW

Paul Reid
Friday 19th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Peel Street Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Peasant Moon
Sunday 21st January – Pig & Tinderbox, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Cattleman Steakhouse, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Medicine Show Sessions, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Toyota FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Late Night Alt, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Pierce Brothers and Ash Grunwald
Monday 22nd January – Australian Open Live Stage, Melbourne, VIC

Porch Sessions On Tour feat. Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart, Ryan Martin John
Saturday 20th January – House Concert, Tantanoola, SA
Sunday 20th Jnauray – House Concert, Waitpinga, SA

Rich Davies & The Low Road
Friday 19th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Rick Hart Trio
Friday 19th January – The Oxley, Cowra, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Tamworth City Bowls Club, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – ABC Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Cattleman Steakhouse, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Hogs Breath Cafe, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – ICMA Showcase and Awards, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Storytellers, Tamworth Golf Club, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Melissa Robertson Songwriters Showcase, West Tamworth Bowls Club, Tamworth, NSW

Rising Appalachia
Friday 19th January – Church of The Trinity Uniting Church, Clarence Park, SA
Sunday 21st January – CERES Environment Park, Melbourne, VIC

Sam Reiher and the September Gurls w/ Sean McMahon
Sunday 21st January – The Labour In Vain, Melbourne, VIC

Shane Nicholson
Wednesday 24th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW

Shawn Lidster
Friday 19th January – Halekulani Bowling Club, Budgewoi, NSW

Sheilas! Renegade Women of Country Music feat. Gleny Rae Virus, Jackie Marshall, Toni Swain, Kate Oliver, Bec Willis, Jess Holland, Sheila Knacquers
Sunday 21st January – North Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW

Skyscraper Stan
Saturday 20th January – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC

Small Town Romance
Wednesday 24th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Balladeers Homestead, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Late Nite Alt, Tamworth, NSW

Smith & Jones
Friday 19th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Peel Inn, Nundle, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The DAG Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Country Music Cares, Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, Tamworth, NSW

Spurs For Jesus, Handsome Young Strangers
Thursday 25th January – Botany View Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Sugar Mountain
Saturday 20th January – VCA, Melbourne, VIC

Summer Sounds
Saturday 20th January – Commonwealth Reserve, Williamstown, VIC

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 28th January – Tamworth, NSW

Tanya Cornish
Sunday 21st January – Toyota Star Maker Grand Final, Toyota Park, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Yamaha Showcase, Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – ABC Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Storytellers, Tamworth Golf Club, Tamworth, NSW

That Red Head
Friday 19th January – North Sydney Twilight Food Festival, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Lady Luck Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

The Ahern Brothers
Friday 19th January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 20th January – Rous Mill Hall, Rous Mill, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Pelican Playhouse, Grafton, VIC

The April Family
Tuesday 23rd January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Toyota Fanzone, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

The Audreys
Saturday 20th January – Summer Sounds Festival, Hobsons Bay, VIC
Sunday 21st January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Audreys, Benny Walker, Teeny Tiny Stevies
Saturday 20th January – Summer Sounds, Commonwealth Reserve, Melbourne, VIC

The Beautiful Girls
Friday 19th January – Westernport Hotel, San Remo, VIC
Saturday 20th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 21st January – Grand Hotel, Mornington, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Friday 19th January – Schutzenfest, The German Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 20th January – Coopers Alehouse, Wallaroo, SA
Thursday 25th January – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 26th January – Club Bowral, Bowral, NSW

The Bottlers w/ Nerdlinger, Hatakaze
Thursday 25th January – The Hideaway Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Bushwackers
Saturday 20th January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Dag Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Shoppingworld, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

The Dave Wright Four
Sunday 21st January – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

The Deep South w/ Michaela Jenke
Sunday 21st January – The Frog and Toad, Tamworth, NSW

The Demon Drink
Saturday 20th January – RoyalMail, Goodna, QLD
Friday 26th January – Upper Moora Park, Sandgate, QLD
Friday 26th January – Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane, QLD

The Flood
Thursday 25th January – The Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26h January – The Tamwroth, Tamworth, NSW

The Fourth Night feat. The Cat Empire, Sarah Blasko, Sahara Beck
Thursday 25th January – Torquay, VIC

The Go Set
Friday 19th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th January – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

The Gypsy Scholars w/ Joe Oppenheimer, FÎntan, Ben K
Friday 19th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

The Heggarties
Saturday 20th January – Country Music Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barn, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Toyota Fanzone Stage, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Americana in the Park, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 24th January – Late Nite Alt, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

The Lazy Picks
Sunday 21st January – Upstairs at Freds, Camden, NSW

The McClymonts
Wednesday 24th January – TRECC, Tamworth, NSW

The Pigs
Wednesday 24th January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Longyard, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Longyard, Tamworth, NSW

The Railsplitters
Friday 19th January – Rosny Barn, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 20th January – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
Sunday 21st January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Re-Mains
Friday 19th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

The Scrims
Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Boilermaker House, Melbourne, VIC

The Swamp Stompers
Friday 19th January – Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Central Coast, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Old Bar Tavern, Old Bar, NSW
Friday 26th January – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Friday 19th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 25th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – The Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth, NSW

The Tamworth Opry feat. Felicity Urquhart, James Blundell, Lyn Bowtell, Fanny Lumsden, Aleyce Simmonds, Kristy Cox, Dean Perrett and Jeff Brown, Matt Cornell, The Weeping Willows, Karin Page, Jen Mize, Brad Butcher, Luke Dickens, Daniel Thompson
Saturday 20th January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 26th January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights 2018, Melbourne, VIC

The Weeping Willows
Friday 19th January – The Welder’s Dog, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Country Music Cocktails, SSS BBQ Barns, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January ABC Stage, Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Tamworth Opry, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Two Goats Cafe and Baa, Armidale, NSW
Sunday 21st January – Frog & Toad Listening Room, Econo Lodge, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Great Country Love Songs, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Toyota FanZone, Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Tamworth Songwriters Association’s 40th Birthday, Toyota FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 22nd January – The Supper Club with Andrew Clermont, North Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tamworth CMF Gala Dinner, Tamworth Golf Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – R U OK? Music For Mates, The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Country Music Cares Concert, Tamworth Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Bluegrass Comes to Tamworth – A Celebration of Acoustic Music, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Storytellers – Journeys Through Song, Tamworth Golf Club, Tamworth, NSW

The Wilson Pickers
Friday 26th January – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st January – Thredbo, NSW

This is A Robbery w/ Quinton Trembath
Friday 19th January – House Show, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th January – Princes Park, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 20th January – House Show, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 24th January – Caspa Studio, Castlemaine, VIC
Friday 26th January – Animal House, Adelaide, SA

This Way North
Friday 19th January – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

Timothy James Bowen
Friday 19th January – Courtyard Sessions, Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Toni Swain
Thursday 25th January – Peel Inn, Nundle, NSW

Tori Forsyth
Thursday 25th January – The Welders Dog, Tamworth, NSW

Ukulele Death Squad
Friday 19th January – Circa 1902, Queenscliff, VIC
Saturday 20th January – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

Vanishing Shapes
Saturday 20th January – Little Red Kitchen, Bellingen, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 25th January – The Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW

Violent Femmes and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Monday 22nd January – Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, TAS
Tuesday 23 January – Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, TAS

Whistle Dixie
Friday 19th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 20th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Tamworth Shoppingworld, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 24th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 26th January – Southgate Inn, Tamworth, NSW

William Crighton and Gawurra
Thursday 25th January – Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth, NSW

Yabun Festival
Friday 26th January – Victoria Park, Sydney, NSW

Zane Thompson
Friday 26th January – Tempe Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Boxty Set” – Altan

When The Blues Slide Back To Town

backsliders kit
Words and Pictures by Elizabeth Walton. Interview at Narooma Golf Club, Narooma, NSW

When God made good musicians he sent them to church on Sundays. When he made really great ones, he sent them to the mouth of the Mississippi, to drink from the unholy waters of the delta blues. For even God could tell the devil was onto something there. Something driven and raw, something eternal that surpassed all sense of time, something that could get the people onto their feet, now, then, and always. And so it was that The Backsliders began, and no matter how much they drank, their cup remained full, as they continued flooding the dance floors of the nation for over 30 years.

That’s the way the story goes with legendary outfits, those who capture the sound of an era, but capture it in a way that isn’t gimmicky or contrived, isn’t hemmed into a stylistic paddock that is quickly overgrown, all weeds and useless stems that can’t be whittled or chewed. The Backsliders’ unique form of blues isn’t a style that the crowd comes to like then quickly forgets, like moths chasing the light around the next contemporary sound. This is a style that has easily stood the test of time.

When the best music has been on the scene in a continuously evolving format for an entire generation it becomes a backdrop for our times. A great song can track a moment in time as freshly as a scent, a taste, a remembrance of an old friend or even your favourite dog. But when a project has continued to be there in the landscape of the culture for as long as The Backsliders, it becomes something even more significant than just one song that throws you back to year dot.

You hear the sound at the festivals down south, up north, in the city, all around the country, and the songs become the aural licks for the great Australian drama of our times. You hear it in the Tim Winton screen adaptations of the dirty Australian ballads of the outback, that sound. That vision is there when you hear this very Australian form of blues. And it’s there in every other epic Australian drama of our times as well, from the softer cliched stories of Sea Change, to the harsher scenes of Underbelly, those tales that trace the seedier side of the national narrative and our love of the outsider, the lost larrikin, the dangerously compelling stories of the evil who walk among us. For The Backsliders aren’t just hot performers, their themes are there on the screen too.

These are the songs that fit so snugly into the storyline it’s as though the music was an extension of the scenery, a backdrop, and the song itself has become the dialogue, the lyric.

hirst and turnerSo goes the story of The Backsliders, a band put together a generation ago by Australia’s favourite bluesman Dom Turner, with his iconic high voice reminiscent perhaps of the growling plantation gospel singer Pops Staples. The outfit was joined in its adolescence by searing hot rock drummer Rob Hirst who may now be pushing into his mid 60’s, but he looks like he’s been bathing all these years  in the fountain of youth. Turner and Hirst both do.

The Backsliders are an outfit with not just national but international respect. And despite 30 years in action, the music is as fresh and relevant today as it ever was. There is not a quiver of energy held back from Rob Hirst’s intensely delivered searing hot rhythm, yet he plays this particular set straight off the tarmac from a world tour with Midnight Oil.

fast sticksDespite his own hot blooded performance, Dom Turner maintains a cool hand, barely breaking a bead of sweat. “It’s easy to maintain our momentum,” Turner says, “because we have always had the understanding that working on our other projects gets you coming back with something fresh”. Working with a rotating line of three harp players – this set featuring Joe Glover – also brings an individuality to every performance, something Turner is keen to capture, which is the basis for the decision to stick with the simple three part lineup – one string man, one harp man, and one percussion man, front and centre.

“Playing as a trio gives us the freedom to pursue that grittiness as an art form – we can seek out the imperfections and impurities of early acoustic blues, and our material can have its own unique structure, so we’re not limited to a 12 bar blues format. It’s highly improvised, based on that very African style emanating from the North of the Mississippi.”

“If we used a bass player we would all have to move at the same time, but this way we can follow those African and also at times South East Asian beats more fluidly,” he says.

 

Turner creates his sound calling on the subtle timbre of a glass slide, searching for that gliding sustain and the sweetness of the glasswork over the frets. When he moves to a metal slide he leans towards a heavier chrome style that produces less friction and a leaner sound. For this tour he uses three guitars and a mandola, selecting each for its sonic differences, rather than just the economy of time in altering the tunings, which for the most part remain tuned to various open chords.

With improvisation at its core. communication for the band is essential, so the men prefer their stage lineup positioned for optimum line of sight, an important departure from the standard setup of kit in back, strings out front. It certainly allows for a highly visual experience of Hirsts’ high energy infectious playing. The drum kit is a somewhat sentimental assemblage of an old marching band drum, an ice bell, piccolo, two snares and hand made cymbals that serve as clanky hi hats, finished with a high tech Dyson fan to help the rhythm man bring down the heat.

When the band kicked off back in the 80’s the iconoclastic sound was nudged along by a washboard and a reinforced hatbox fitted with a mic inside. The collaboration with Hirst has seen a move to a more tribal sound, which is created in part by writing songs separately, then working on them together in the studio, for the continuing roll of recordings the band produces. The next installation is due for sketches, directions and ideas in the coming months, but the album won’t reach its zenith until the band gets together within the sanctum of the studio.

 

The Backsliders put an unmistakably Aussie spin on the deep traditions of the delta blues, an art form arising from the darkest sorrows of the downtrodden, the forgotten, the ripped off oppressed and poverty stricken. It’s a style that originated from the starving disenfranchised blacks of the American south, whose fight against oppression overreached the Civil War’s success in remaining impossibly inhumane long after the war was won. These conditions still impose the questionable will of powerful men during times of the greatest hardship and suffering, often when a helping hand is needed the most. It’s a suffering that still goes on today, long after the storms of Hurricane Katrina have passed on into legend, not just for the way she lashed at the heart of New Orleans, but for the way the powers that be gave very little warning, with next to no planning, and the way the then President barely turned his head while America’s greatest roots tradition drowned alongside the most mighty songsmen of the South, like so many disregarded notes and souls.

So the world has come to treat its roots musicians, a forgotten underclass, amongst whom those most talented are those most likely to be found in a burger joint, flipping refried beans or taking out the trash. And this is the sound The Backsliders have summoned from the murky swamp to translate into an endless realm of Australian anthems, distilling the essence of the troubles of the South, in all its desolation and heathen ways. Their delivery is a sound that defers to the Australian wide open landscape for its meaning, rendering an antipodean condition to their interpretation of Cajun influenced blues, with their ditties of moving on, getting away from it all, getting your bags packed and getting lost, losing all sense of that purpose which once flashed before you, before your dreams got flushed away.

viewThe Backsliders have a long history touring the far south coast of New South Wales, playing the blues festival at Narooma that finished when its saviour hung up his saddle a few seasons back. No one has taken up the mantle, and the old festival office remains For Lease, fronting the road as the Pacific Highway heads up the hill and meanders around the town. Yet the band still returns to the scene, creating their own scene now, where old mates put on the big party at the biggest venue in town, and easily fill the Narooma Golf Club on a lazy Sunday evening. The festival scene may have been the birthplace of the romance with the coast, but the story has outlived the event. After all, nothing speaks summer in a more sultry seawater way than the Mississippi blues, especially in its local incarnation, hollered out so loud by The Backsliders.

Upcoming live dates for The Backsliders are below:

Sunday 28th January – Waterfront Cafe Church Point, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 3rd February – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 3rd March – Girrakool Blues and BBQ Festival, Central Coast, NSW
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th May – Blues on Broadbeach, Broadbeach, QLD

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017

Record Collection

Always our most popular post of the year! Once again we’ve sent out the request to the incredible community of folk and acoustic musicians covered on Timber and Steel and they’ve responded overwhelmingly with their favourite albums of 2017.

We’ve already given you our top 25 albums and EPs – now we turn it over to the artists. So much new music still to discover! So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017.

Sarah BelknerAlison Avron
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But it Has
This album release was a long time coming and it was totally worth the wait. The lyrics are so easy to relate to, the production is sophisticated, warm and intriguing. Sarah’s voice and songwriting are absolutely sublime.

Gretta ZillerMichael Carpenter (Carpenter Caswell)
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Apart from having one of the most honest and accomplished voices in the Australian alt-country world, Gretta Ziller has developed into a world class writer in the genre. This album showcases how far she’s come in such a short time, combining her take on contemporary writing, with the amazing production of Paul Ruske. The album is strong and sensitive, ballsy and ambitious, without losing any of the heart you’d expect with the songwriting content. An outstanding release from an artist who has truly arrived, and drawn a line in the sand for the genre.

The East PointersÁine Tyrrell
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
What an impossible task, top albums, as I am only just sinking my teeth into so many of the amazing 2017 albums at the moment like Jen Cloher’s Jen Cloher, Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicles of The Great Irish Famine and so many more. But one album that has been top of my play list since release has been The East Pointers’ What We Leave Behind and I never tire of it, which is a sign of a great album. This album has great depth to it musically, lyrically and in production. There is a stunning simplicity to the way the three lads work together that creates a joyous sound much bigger than a three piece and I think they have captured it on CD which is sometimes hard to do. I love that they have been able to honour and respect their tradition and push its boundaries into some modern places. One of the stand out tracks for me is their co-write with Liz Stringer, “82 Fires”.

SOHNRosie Evelyn (Liam Gale and The Ponytails)
SOHNRennen
The general vibe is darkly sexy future blues, with simple, soulful vocals, driving percussion, major synth, and just enough movement to keep you going. A little bit James Blake, a little bit Allan Rayman.

Jed RoweLes Thomas
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
This album grabbed me instantly with the strength of its songwriting, quality of musicianship and directness of emotion. Very few songwriters I know can deliver the goods as writers and players like Jed can. The song “Tailem Bend” – a small town story with universal resonance – shows the level of accomplishment and expression he’s achieved and it’s a beautiful thing to hear.

Stu LarsenAMISTAT
Stu LarsenResolute
Not only is Stu a beautiful human being but also an incredible singer songwriter! Every song on this album is just beautiful and comes from a very honest and humble place.

Mexico CityM.E. Baird
Mexico CityWhen The Day Goes Dark
Why? Because they represent the real deal to me – no ego, no frills, no pretense, just damn good songs and tunes.

Hiss Golden MessengerBrooke Russell and the Mean Reds
Hiss Golden MessengerHallelujah Anyhow
There’s something about MC Taylor’s voice that makes me so happy. I’m fairly new to his music and while I’m diving into his back catalogue, this new one has arrived and I’m in love. Beautiful band sound, fab songs – something sentimental in it that feels warm to me. My rekkid for the summer!

Ryan AdamsRyan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
I love that it’s a revered, adored singer-songwriter at the top of his fame, dealing with genuine emotions and pain in the public spotlight. It may be tragic, it might be self inflicted, but I still feel like he’s a true artist who is his own worst enemy and that comes across in his heart-break ballads.

The Homeless Gospel ChoirFrank Turner
The Homeless Gospel ChoirNormal
I’ve been doing shows with Derek in Pittsburgh for a few years and he’s always been good, but this record is the sound of an artist finding his voice and spreading his creative wings. It’s been absolutely jammed in my stereo since I got hold of it.

Brooke RussellKelly Day (Broads)
Brooke Russell and the Mean RedsThe Way You Leave
This year one album really ticked all my boxes – which sounds too clinical really for something that made me splashy cry while I was driving. I particularly love that it sits outside the kind of music I tend to lean towards, but great albums are often the ones that transcend your usual inclinations. Brooke has absolutely NAILED it with this release. Stunning production, exquisite songwriting, and the most luscious, authentic, rich voice that feels like someone blowing softly on the back of your neck.

Gretta ZillerMandy Connell
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Put together with care and love, produced beautifully, and full of arrangements that feel perfect, unpredictable and just right. Every song inspires a depth of feeling, making it a really rich listen all the way through.

Offa RexMackenzie Shivers
Offa RexQueen of Hearts
Being a true lover of Celtic music, this album inspired me as an artist more than any other. From quirky folk-rock (“Queen of Hearts”) to haunting ballads (“The First Time I Ever Saw Her Face”), there is just enough variety of instrumentation and mood to keep the listener completely captivated. And Olivia Chaney’s voice is arrestingly beautiful. Favorite track: “The Old Churchyard”

Fanny LusdenMelody Moko
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I love the way Fanny has cemented her unique way of writing with the record, her blend of social commentary, vivid imagery and Australian culture is unlike anyone else. The production is lush and thoughtful and brings the album together beautifully.

Moses SumneyTulalah
Moses SumneyAromanticism
Choosing a favourite album is a hard ask, the first one that comes to mind (probably because I’m currently listening to it) is Moses’ masterpiece, Aromanticism. It’s impeccably well constructed; colour, texture, mood, feel, groove – it ticks all of the boxes and ticks them damn well.

The War On DrugsThe Once
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
A super strong, sonically rich and atmospheric follow up to previous album, Lost in the Dream. Sounds like Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen adopted a kid in the seventies and this is the result of that happy home.

Jason IsbellBrad Butcher
Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound
To make my decision for album of the year I simply refer to which album I’ve listen to most. It’s an easy choice really – The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. All class as usual, amazing sounds all throughout the record and Isbell’s songwriting is up there with the best of the best.

Jed RoweCat Canteri
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
Jed paints a beautiful and lush portrait of predominantly Australian characters and landscapes, past and present on this record. The depth of field and attention to detail in his songwriting is just wonderful and comes across as completely effortless. Sonically the album is paired back, which allows the strength and quality of the songs, performances and Jed’s voice to shine. If I can write a song like “Where The Water Meets The Sky” or “Tailem Bend” some day, I’ll be well pleased.

LordePepi Emmerichs (Oh Pep!)
LordeMelodrama
Melodrama hits me in the heart every time. It’s lush, poignant, groovy and the songs make me think, all the while being incredibly catchy. Those are pretty much most of my favourite things in music!

TajMoLloyd Spiegel
TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ BandTajMo
The first time I heard Keb’ Mo’ I said “Man, this guy should sit in with Taj”. It’s about time they listened to me. Both these artists have the rare ability to modernise the blues genre while still giving it’s roots and traditions their rightful respect. Combined, this CD hit a nerve with me, in particular the gutbucket tracks “Don’t Leave Me Here” and “Diving Duck Blues”. Really though, you can’t put those two in a room and expect anything less.

Valerie JuneEmily Barker
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I learned about Valerie June on my trips to Memphis as she lived there for many years and has worked with a lot of the musicians I know out there. I heard “Long, Lonely Road”, the first song on the record, and I knew from then on I was going to love it. There’s so much space in the recordings and her unusual but beautiful vocals grabbed me instantly. I love how the production and her songs seamlessly blend a mix a folk, soul, pop and desert blues. It sounds fresh and cool, powerful and feminine.

The Ahern BrothersJoel Barker & The Low Company
The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Charming and insightful songwriting combining two voices made to sing together. Deserves to be in front of the masses. Astonishing live performances to boot!

Cigarettes After SexHusky
Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After Sex
It’s a fog of romance and nostalgia you can’t help but get lost in. Reminds me of being 16 and love sick, listening to Mazzy Star.

Lisa KnappSam Lee
Lisa KnappTill April Is Dead – A Garland of May
English folk singer Lisa Knapp has captured in this album a stunning insight into the melodic and archaic realms of May-time when all of England is blooming and the sense of ancient rites and mysticism is emerging from the dark winter. It’s an album that casts a rich and hauntingly magical spell and gives that sense of contemporary ancientness that all good folk singers are masters of.

Greg StepsFour In The Morning
Greg Steps & The Not For ProphetsThe Overland
There have been a lot of great releases this year, but our favourite from around Melbourne has to be The Overland by Greg Steps. The songs just scream of someone who has worked hard at honing their craft. Tightly woven lyrics painting little snapshots of Australia, from early morning walks in Melbourne to trains clattering across Queensland. It’s all underlaid with a warm, folky vibe that feels authentic without being derivative. The stand out track for us is “Famous Last Words”. It’s a folk song in the true sense of the word and weaves together thoughts on fame, colonialism, and folk heroes. It also introduced us to the amazing story of Breaker Morant.

Novo Amor and Ed TullettWildwood Kin
Novo Amor & Ed TullettHeiress
This is the perfect album to listen to when in need of some peace and tranquility amongst a busy schedule. They have released a set of live performance videos that capture their sound together so well; the two voices blend harmoniously together, creating an unbelievable sound of completeness and perfection. You can’t help feeling relaxed when hearing their music!

Leif VollebekkRiley Pearce
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
You know how people say they’ve had this CD in their car and have listened to it on repeat since they got it and you’re like “yeh right, no you didn’t”. Well now I understand that feeling. This album is everything. It’s emotive, it’s clever, it’s stripped and simple and it’s f#@king great!

The Teskey BrothersPaddy McHugh
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
When I first heard the track “Crying Shame” I thought that I was listening to a bunch of old African American soul men from Memphis. Then I saw a picture of the band and thought I was listening to a bunch of young white soul dudes from Memphis. Then I read they are from bloody Warrandyte in Victoria. I invited them to play live on my radio show Three Chords & The Truth and they absolutely killed it. Since then I have had the pleasure of playing on a few bills with them and can also report that they are top blokes to boot.

Big TheifFraser A. Gorman
Big ThiefCapacity
Adrianne Lenker is easily the most eloquent and beautiful songwriter I’ve heard in years.

Neil McSweeneyJon Boden
Neil McSweeneyA Coat Worth Wearing
I’ve chosen an album by Neil McSweeney, a stalwart of the Sheffield scene for many years. A Coat Worth Wearing is a fantastically literate collection of songs beautifully arranged and produced, and displaying the talents of a brilliant band of musicians including renowned folk stalwarts Ben Nicholls and Sam Sweeney. It’s an excellent album on so many levels and definitely my pick for album of 2017.

YirrmalKetch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)
YirrmalYoungblood
I met Yirrmal Marika in Melbourne at the Australian Americana Honors Awards this past October. Yirrmal stole the show. He is a culture man. I picked up Yirrmal’s new EP Youngblood; it is the best Americana record I heard all year long. It’s got 50,000 years of soul. Crank it up.

Nadia ReidTaryn La Fauci
Nadia ReidPreservation
This record was on repeat for many many months in my car this year. I had really been craving an exquisite, cohesive and beautiful album that I could fall for, hard. This album did all of that and more, which is why it is my album of the year for 2017. I also got to see Nadia play in Sydney at The Golden Age Cinema in April and the show was stunning, it made me want to run home and learn how to play my guitar with that kind of verve.

Ryan AdamsImogen Clark
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
This album sounds to me like beautiful chaos and distress. Ryan Adams has a way of tapping into human vulnerability and woe like I don’t think I’ve ever heard from another artist. This record is just another example of his way with words and melodies that together, form the most melancholy but simultaneously kick-ass comments on the human condition you’ll ever hear from any modern day songwriter.

Sgt PepperJames Daley (The Morrisons, Diamond Duck, Tawny Owl String Band)
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th Anniversary Edition
I feel a bit a strange choosing a reissue as album of the year, but who cares, it’s Sgt Peppers. After all the music I have listened to in my life, nothing has ever captured my imagination the way The Beatles have. It is the most astonishing body of work in pop music, the same way Bach is to classical music or Shakespeare to literature. I discovered The Beatles as a teenager after I got a copy of The White Album for xmas one year and my life has never been the same. Hearing all the remastered tracks and outtakes on this reissue was a wild journey and reinvigorated my love for this music in a way I hadn’t anticipated – I have been listening to The Beatles non stop since it came out, like I’m rediscovering it all over again. There are some absolute pearlers on this – the alternate takes of “Strawberry Fields”, “Lucy In The Sky” and “Day In The Life” are really interesting. Hearing how they built these songs into what we know and love is a fascinating process. However the most astonishing track is the instrumental take of “She’s Leaving Home”. Being able to hear all the subtlety, intricacy and beauty of George Martin’s arrangement for strings/harp was such a joy. A real masterclass in arranging – plus you can sing over and pretend you are Paul McCartney, ha.

The War On DrugsDirewolf
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Don’t you just adore things that need only a moment to take a firm grip around your mind, heart and/or soul? Like a one in a million barista made coffee or takeaway Thai? Not that I’m directly drawing comparisons between those things and what I consider to be a modern day classic album. However that is how my body reacted when the first second of “Up All Night” passed by. The unmistakable soundscape, verb soaked /grunge driven guitars, the synergy of acoustic/electronic driving “Dire Straights” percussion, Adam Granofsky’s/Bob Dylan’s often confused voices are but the tip of a very large and colourful iceberg that make up the record at large. We’re only supposed to be confined to one sentence, and since I’ve already profoundly broken that line I’m going to insist you put this record on in the background and see how long it takes you to stop needle poking around on the internet and gain A Deeper Understanding.

Scott CookLiz Frencham
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
I listen repeatedly to a lot of albums for my work as an accompanist. Rarely does such an album make it past that stage into my ‘listening
for pleasure’ category let alone become my favourite. But Scott Cook’s warm and beautiful Further Down The Line is one such album. It captures his arresting live delivery and the songs are rich in detail and real, visceral experience.

Dermot KennedyHarrison Storm
Dermot KennedyDoves & Ravens
I remember stumbling upon Dermot’s music on Spotify and instantly connecting with it. I became really intrigued with his music and read in an interview where he explains his sound as a cross between Bon Iver and Drake, which is pretty accurate. This EP is full of rich lyrics and interesting sounds and each listen uncovers a phrase or sound you may have missed in the previous listen. This EP definitely inspired me this year and I am looking forward to what he releases in 2018.

Laura CorteseThe East Pointers
Laura Cortese & The Dance CardsCalifornia Calling
If there’s one album we could pick from 2017, we’d have to choose California Calling by Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. These girls are ridiculously talented (watching them perform live makes you want to go home, practice and write better songs). Their latest album combines Americana, trad, pop and folk so perfectly. Organic, yet slick. Can’t see how anyone wouldn’t like it!

FeistAinsley Farrell
FeistPleasure
Pleasure is so intimate and fragile, yet very powerful. It tugs at all my heartstrings. I recently got the chance to see her live performance at The Opera House and it blew me away.

Leif VollebekkDustin Tebbutt
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
My good friend Hayden Calnin introduced me to this guy over a late night whisky, and I have been listening ever since. The lyrics verge on stream of consciousness without being aimless, while vocally, Leif somehow manages to ride the line between being completely vulnerable and completely in control at the same time. Put this on top of some of the tastiest drum sounds I’ve heard in a long while, and simple but stunning keyboard playing, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an album. There are few bells and whistles, there aren’t really any production tricks or shoe shine here, just honest stories, and raw but precisely executed sounds.

Phoebe BridgersWilliam Fitzsimmons
Phoebe BridgersStranger in the Alps
I came upon Bridgers from my bandmate, who had done some touring with her and I was pretty caught up in it immediately. Her voice is special and there is a wisdom in her words beyond her young years. The most exciting thing for me, however, isn’t the album itself, it’s knowing that there is only more and even better from her to come. Listen to “Smoke Signals”.

The Mae TrioThe Northern Folk
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
We finally caught The Mae Trio at Dorrigo Folk this year after hearing good things for so long, and they blew us away. This is the kind of album that reminds you of how amazing our folk scene can be- heartspoken, cleverly arranged, beautifully performed and catchy as anything. “Call Me Stranger” is a particular favourite of ours, but each song on this record is so strong.

R.L. BoyceDom Turner (The Backsliders)
R.L. BoyceRoll and Tumble
It is the second album from a man at the heart of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. It contains all the style and swagger, grit and power that comes from a musician who sets perfectly gritty grooves overlain with heartfelt vocals to achieve maximum emotion.

The Button CollectiveJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Backsliders)
The Button CollectiveHall on the Hill
This album has been on constant repeat in my car, my workshop, and my Spotify from the first day I bought it – so beautifully recorded so that you feel like you are in the room with them as they emotionally belt out fantastic songs written by Brodie and brought to life by a bunch of great musicians. Hall on the Hill is an absolute cracker of an album and I think I’ll be religiously listening to it for some time to come – perhaps until their next one is released.

Willie WatsonShelley Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol.2
This album is such a clear winner for me, I’ve had it on high rotation since its release. Once again Willie brought his own feel to some classic folk songs, from the delightfully joyful harmonies in “Samson and Delilah” to his haunting take on “Gallows Pole”.

All Our Exes Live in TexasJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
All Our Exes Live in TexasWhen We Fall
Such a pleasure to finally hear this debut album after hearing the band grow and play over the past few years. What an amazing collection of songs and of course the incredible vocal performances from all 4 of these superstars. I really loved the production on the album as well by producer Wayne Connolly which added lovely colour to the beautiful songs. ARIA award winners 2017!

Kat GoldmanRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson)
Kat GoldmanWorking Man’s Blues
Nina Simone once said “It’s an artist’s duty … to reflect the times [in which we live]”. It’s been a fantastic year of new releases, though I’d like to highlight an album that nails the above brief and more. Canadian writer Kat Goldman’s Working Man’s Blues is challenging, at times fragile, brutally honest and incredibly insightful. Collectively, the songs explore contemporary working-class culture, often from the perspective of a lover who struggles to understand and accommodate the struggles of the working man. I’ve long been a fan of Kat Goldman’s writing. Her unique sound, mesmerising voice, distinctive compositions and feet-on-the-ground approach to her music make her a formidable artist of great integrity. Working Man’s Blues has been on high rotation here, and will be for some time to come.

Jed RoweBill Jackson
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
First thing that struck me about this record was the vocals and these songs provide a beautiful vehicle for a great voice. Next thing, the sparseness – the way I have been accustomed to hearing Jed over his journey. Jed Rowe has something to say – I admire that and this record puts him up there with the very best. Standout track for me is “Tailem Bend”. Beautifully produced by Jeff Lang.

Lilly HiattJames Allsopp (Ralway Bell)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
Picking one standout release for 2017 was pretty impossible in what was a year of exceptional music. Locally, Joel Barker and the Low Company’s Unchartered EP was a stand out. Otherwise, I’ve been talking up Lilly Hiatt since the moment I finished listening to Trinity Lane. Like all my favourite albums, it’s rooted in personal struggle, ebbs and flows perfectly, is filled with outstanding musicianship, and doesn’t try too hard sound like any one genre in particular. 10 stars!

Body CountMatt Black (The Bottlers)
Body CountBloodlust
Body Count’s sixth studio album Bloodlust emblazons a brutally honest sociopolitical conscience and fire eyed world view, teetering on the honed end of a pistol sight. I feel this is Ice T and band’s tried and true return to form with pinpoint, stand out tracks such as the narrative charged, “Black Hoody” and controversy ladened, “No Lives Matter”. A must listen for those thirsting for the truth beyond a media blurred world.

Bob DylanThe Welcome Wagon
Bob DylanTrouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
You might call this choice dirty pool, as the music was recorded nearly 40 years ago, but it’s only now getting a proper release, so I’m technically in the clear. This is a collection of live tracks, demos, and outtakes from Bob Dylan’s so-called “Born Again” period, stuff folks (me included) have been downloading from various sketchy websites for years, and for good reason. The songs are great – check “Solid Rock” for a straight Gospel stomper, cue up “I Believe in You” for an arresting spiritual ballad – and so are many of the live performances (the backing choir is consistently blistering). Whether you’re a believer or not, Dylan clearly is here, and it makes all the difference.

The Mae TrioJohn Flanagan
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
Sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby have such beautifully contrasting songwriting styles, Maggie is a stone cold killer Americana writer and Elsie writes stunningly original melodies with uplifting pop hook choruses. With (no exaggeration) some of the best folk harmonies in the WORLD and Anita’s impressive rhythmic cello playing, this is a truly unique and heart-grabbing band and this album is them going all out with tasteful and at times epic production.

Georgia State LineNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Georgia State LineHeaven Knows
These guys applied to play at the Americana Music Association of Australia’s takeover of Late Night Alt at Tamworth in January. Paul Heggart from The Heggarties chose them site unseen from the applications purely based on what he heard when he listened to their pre-release recordings of this album. Hailing from country Victoria these guys are a six piece featuring Georgia Delves on vocals, and songwriting. They’re all accomplished instrumentalists in their own right and Georgia’s songwriting authentically channels the best of sophisticated country songwriting from the 60s and 70s.

Fanny LusdenSam Buckingham
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I’m not just picking this album because Fanny and Dan are two of my favourite people! This album is, as the title suggests, all class. Fanny’s songwriting is beautifully Australian and the album is joyful, brilliantly performed by all involved, and completely without any ego – despite the outstanding success these guys have been earning. Fanny gives us all a lesson on how to be a ripper indie artist and how to make music that’s undoubtedly, authentically, your own. Roll on kids

LCD SoundsystemEm George
LCD SoundsystemAmerican Dream
I was moderately (read as *very*) excited when there were rumblings of talk about a new album from these guys, but like anything that was laid to rest, one always is slightly concerned that the revival won’t live up to what has come before it. So when LCD Soundsystem released their new album, I cautiously gave it a first listen and it did not disappoint. Every beat and melodic turn is so completely in tune to what has become their signature sound; that build up of tension and release, excitement and sadness, with inflections of irony that James Murphy grabs the listener with in his choice of lyrics marked with wit. There’s a touch of darkness and melancholy as each song seems to question the ending of things, the loss of once was, but that bright spark of beat this band is known for keeps it somewhere higher and closer within reach, slightly unobtainable so you keep wanting to hear it on repeat from start to finish again and again.

Aldous HardingCharm of Finches
Aldous HardingParty
Party swept us off our feet. Moody and textural, impeccable production awash with aural spectres. Horizon is addictive and moving. Aldous’ compelling voice and haunting poetics have us in thrall.

The Teskey BrothersMark Wilkinson
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
Amazing vocals and killer tracks full of old school soul. Sounds like neat whiskey and smokey bars.

The NationalBANFF
The NationalSleep Well Beast
I eagerly awaited The National’s next record, after Trouble Will Find Me kept me wrapped me up in its flawlessness for the last four years or there abouts. This year Sleep Well Beast won me over, with Matt Berninger’s candid yet agitated words luring me back into that deeply thoughtful, emotional and hauntingly beautiful sound I would’ve always come back for. The National perfectly blend understated harmony with organised chaos throughout all of their records, and this was no exception by any means. The meticulous musicianship and purposeful, but somewhat ambiguous lyrics continue unravelling more layers to this beast in itself every time I listen. This was the best record of 2017 for mine.

LankumKarine Polwart
LankumBetween The Earth and Sky
I can’t get enough of the murky drone-scapes and vocal edges of Lankum’s Between The Earth and Sky. In particular, the raw, reedy singing of Radie Peat on album opener “What Shall We Do When We Have No Money?” sounds like the ages. It’s the absolute antithesis of sweet.

The Wood BrothersBen Prest (Echo Deer)
The Wood BrothersLive at the Barn
I know it’s a live album but this release was my first exposure to the brother’s amazing songs, chops and harmonies. Their sound owes a lot to The Band, and “the barn” is at Levon Helm’s farm where he held concerts before he died, making the fantastic closing cover of “Ophelia” and dedication on “Postcards from Hell” all the more meaningful.

Jess LockeHollie Matthew (Echo Deer)
Jess LockeUniverse
A revisiting of the 80’s Australian rock sound ala Go Betweens with more sadness and slacker vibe. Killer matter of fact lyrics and chorus-y guitar sounds. Even better live. 5 Stars.

SamphaSimon Wegman (Echo Deer)
SamphaProcess
I hadn’t been aware of Sampha’s previous EP releases, but after Shazaming “Blood on Me” while in a tragically trendy sneaker store, I was moved to hunt down the British singer and producer’s debut LP. Sampha Sisay’s sensitive, soulful vocals and meditative piano (reminiscent of James Blake at his best) form the backbone of this record, while the thoughtful production touches throughout make me want to hit “play” again the second it finishes.

All Them WitchesAlexi Grivas (Echo Deer)
All Them WitchesSleeping Through the War
The latest album by All Them Witches has been my most played record this year. A four piece from Nashville – but they aren’t a country band – All Them Witches is a great new-wave heavy psychedelic band, with moments of light and shade. This record has them growing as writers and players, bringing new instruments and sounds into the mix. Can’t wait to see it live.

Sam OutlawRick Hart
Sam OutlawTenderheart
Simple, yet endearing melodies, layered with beautiful storytelling. It’s an album that is strong from start to end, in many ways reminding me of some of the great traditional country songwriters whom I love. Favourite tracks are “Now She Tells Me”, “She’s Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)” and “Bougainvillea, I Think”.

Courtney Marie AndrewsJames Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Courtney Marie AndrewsHonest Life
I knew what my favourite album of the year was going to be when I saw Courtney Marie Andrews play in Melbourne in July this year. She’s got a tremendous voice and the lyrics stand apart from almost everything else I’ve heard this year in their insight and honesty. What makes her songs exceptional is the way they all seem to come directly from her own story and experience. These are her songs and this is her life. It’s an honest life.

Mike BarnettHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Mike BarnettPortraits in Fiddles
As a fiddle player and bluegrass fanatic, I am thrilled to see Mike Barnett create a record which to me is like a cross section of all the bluegrass fiddle music I’ve devoured in the last 27 years. He collaborates with some of bluegrass music’s most vibrant talent and shines new light on a great selection of fiddle masterpieces.

Angel OlsenKate Barker (Whoa Mule, Golden Whistler)
Angel OlsenPhases
I just can’t seem to get enough of Angel Olsen’s vocals and songwriting. Her work inspires me to sing like there’s no tomorrow!

George HarrisonTim Guy
George HarrisonWonderwall Music
I know this is a turn up for the books, this was released in 1968. I was in India a few weeks back, and as we descended into the ancient blue city of Jodhpur, I had this on in my headphones and seriously guys, it was incred. Place and time – but you know what I mean.

Sarah BelknerMel Parsons
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
Sydney producer and songwriter Sarah Belkner knocks it out of the park with But You Are, But It Has. This record and its predecessor the Humans EP have been on high rotation for me all year. Brilliant songwriting, interesting and super clever arrangements and impeccable production. I will continue to listen obsessively.

Bill OrcuttMark Moldre
Bill OrcuttBill Orcutt
Orcutt wanders in and around the destruction, renovations and construction sites of melody. Tearing a well worn musical phrase apart and rebuilding it. Disassembling a traditional like it’s a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces back together in all the wrong places with gaffer tape and super glue. Attacking the guitar with a ferocious tenacity, short angry, dogged outbursts are followed by meditative beauty. “When You Wish Upon A Star” dances about the melody without ever really clearly stating the theme. “Ol’ Man River” is soft and dripping with the peaceful lapping of the Mississippi whist remaining dark and haunting, broken and fractured. Reminiscent of the solo work of Marc Ribot, Fred Frith or even the sonic explorations of Tom Verlaine in its angular assault to the senses. Jazz, traditional folk and the avant-garde smash headlong into each other with little regard for the trail of damage and re-creation left in their wake. Dissonant yet sweet, contemplative while remaining challenging. Bravely free and uncensored.

Loene CarmenCatherine Traicos
Loene CarmenLovers Dreamers Fighters
I’ve always loved the way Lo’s voice manages to be strong, vulnerable, sassy, gentle and flirty all at the same time, and on this record it achieves that in spades. Also the pacing and the production of this record are spot on.

King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardJeff Lang
King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardFlying Microtonal Banana
This is a rocking album, really fun to listen to. The band gets up quite a head of steam, the rhythm section powering with a relentless forward momentum and the various microtonal electric guitars stabbing and chattering over the top. Great riffs all over the album, fantastic energy and an adventurous, explorative mood throughout. It sounds to me like they’re having a load of fun.

Ryan AdamsJosh Rennie-Hynes (The Ahern Brothers)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
Adams has so many albums and this is one of his best. Great songs, production and tones

Pony FaceCat Leahy (This Way North)
Pony FaceDeja Vu
I’ve always been fascinated with the sonic scapes that Pony Face create. I’m a massive fan of Shane Omara’s musical mind too, so when I heard he was a new member of Pony Face, it just made so much sense. This album really speaks to me. The way the songs tail in and out, the mesmerising, pulsing tremolo on “Mt Deja Vu” the driving groove in “Justine”. It’s pretty magical. Simon’s voice is just heavenly. He’s like some kind of grungy, modern-day crooner.

Nikki LaneRuby Boots
Nikki LaneHighway Queen
I tried to pick another album for fear of seeming biased, but I really do love Nikki’s album from back to front and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get past it for this year’s top pick, I fell in love with it on first listen and over 50 listens later it still remains my fave. There’s a storyline in every song that is so easy to latch on to and make your own whilst still being cleverly written, that and the infectious melodies that take up the prime real estate on this record are the things that almost make you feel like she’s written the album just for you, the listener, yet there is enough sincerity in there to know that it’s just as much for her as it is for you, the perfect balance really! Fave song on the album: “Foolish Heart”.

Nai palmTommy Spender (Mama Kin Spender)
Nai PalmNeedle Paw
I started listening to this record while I was having a bath and it felt like it really complimented the complete surrender to the hot water. I love Nai’s passion to her artistry. She is truly gifted with a confidence and commitment to her voice that verges on punk, but her vocal has such a developed technicality, it blows me away. It’s so great hearing where she is at without the sinewy and muscular musicality of Haitus Kaiyote winding around her sound.

Scott CookAlanna and Alicia
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
Scott Cook is a natural storyteller; his songs glow with empathy, wit and warmth. This is a beautiful album, but he is even better live.
His performance on the porch at Enda Kennedy’s house concert in Northcote, Melbourne was a passport to the heartland of folk songs as they should be, as they have always been.

Colter WallHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Colter WallColter Wall
This is a sparse, flawless debut from an extraordinarily talented 22 year-old Canadian possessing an absurdly weathered baritone. Arranged mostly with acoustic guitar and pedal steel only, these songs are written with the assuredness and self-knowing of a veteran songwriter. At times channelling Haggard, others Townes, the dark, vivid storytelling is magnetic and stunning. These songs feel lived in, shaped by wisdom and experience. Here we have a voice of country music’s future.

Caroline SpenceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Caroline SpenceSpades and Roses
I’ve adored Spades and Roses this year. The songs are gentle, personal, universal, with gorgeous, sonically diverse but simple instrumentation. From the gender politics of “Softball” to the twang of “Hotel Armarillo” to the cute, lyrically playful “Wishing Well” and yearning of “Slow Dancer”, they’re songs I love to listen to, to be swept away by – what a songwriter!

Bad // DreemsMark “Looch” Lewis (Wifey, Handsome Young Strangers)
Bad // DreemsGutful
A cracking second effort from the best thing to come out of Adelaide in a long time. Big old school pub rock sound, quality songs, gruff vocals and a solid rhythm section make these guys a step above the other contenders. Bad // Dreems have always been a fantastic live act and this album gets closer to nailing that intensity and rawness. There is a reason they supported Midnight Oil recently! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Gang of YourhsGretta Ray
Gang of YouthsGo Farther In Lightness
It wasn’t a challenge in the slightest to fall completely, head over heels in love with Gang Of Youths’ record Go Father In Lightness. The lyrics throughout this album are phenomenal, philosophical, pegging together lines of innovative poetry such as “a weight that’s in youth” soon to be followed by more casual, laid-back slang “..that makes a dick of us all”. I felt that the literature, interwoven with conversational speech in this way served to make this album, an album that discusses and reflects on the pros and cons of one’s “limited life” as well as the exploration of what it is to be “human”, unbelievably moving and relatable. As a writer myself, but more importantly a listener, I perceived it to be nothing less of an honour to see the world through writer and frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s eyes whilst listening to this record, that is more than deserving of all of the acclaim it has received over the duration of this year.

Kasey ChambersTom Busby (Busby Marou)
Kasey ChambersDragonfly
I’ve spent a bit of time with Kasey and the Chambers family over the last couple of years and the more I’ve been able to watch her off stage, the more I have realised that she is a true and prolific songwriter. Constantly singing, always creating, forever exploring. That is what this record is, just like her, brave and genuine!

Kendrick LamarSahara Beck
Kendrick LamarDamn
This album has worked for me no matter what mood I’ve been in all through 2017. It’s one of those albums that, to me, will always be a classic. Driving down to the lake with the windows down loving every moment of each song. Thank you for making my 2017 that much better Kendrick.

Leif VollebekkHayden Calnin
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
Never has an album been so important. I’ve listened to this every second day, and it still feels as good as the first listen. It’s come to the point that I’ve started a petition to bring this talent to Melbourne. I’m addicted to the feeling Leif gives to me. Enjoyed best walking through chaos on a sunny day, forgetting the world around you.

Ulrika SpacekTom Stephens (Tesse)
Ulrika SpacekModern English Decoration
A lesson in the art of denial, an element is there and then it’s not. It’s driving and heavy, commanding attention, but somehow you can drift away at the same time. Melodies that have to be revisited again and again and then again.

Valerie JuneMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I listened to the first few songs online of The Order of Time when it first came out, then began calling record stores instantly to see if they had it in stock because I had to own it. This record seriously has everything I look for, its soulful, rocky, bluesy and country, with the right amount of sadness. I think I’ve listened to “Love You Once Made” every day this year since buying the record. “Got Soul” is a stunning pairing of soul and country that is this perfect happy way to close the record.

Daniel RomanoTamara Lindeman (The Weather Station)
Daniel RomanoModern Pressure
Definitely the record I listened to most this year. Just great. Perfect pop songwriting, wonderful wild drumming, insane bass playing, great solos, crazy organ jams, great everything (and every note played by Romano of course). What else do you want?

Big ThiefCy Winstanley (Tattletale Saints)
Big ThiefCapacity
After being introduced to ‘Paul’ from 2016’s Masterpiece on a late night drive, and subsequently watching their Tiny Desk concert, I have been enthralled with this band. I love Adrianne Lenker’s poetic, yet coherent and often confronting lyrics, and the stark arrangements of harmonically rich songs played with a nonchalance that belies their mastery.

Sara TindleyLucie Thorne
Sara TindleyWild & Unknown
There’s an extraordinary richness and directness to Tindley’s voice that is truly stunning. Wild & Unknown is a brave and beautiful collection of songs that’ll have you dancing one moment, weeping the next. A quiet masterpiece that creeps up under your skin and plants itself in your soul. I love this album.

Jen CloherAlison Ferrier
Jen CloherJen Cloher
I love everything about Jen Cloher’s self-titled fourth album. This comes close to the perfect album for me, it’s brilliantly written, performed, recorded and produced. Jen’s bare-faced honesty is incredibly brave and inspiring. Favourite tracks: “I Forgot Myself” and “Strong Woman”.

The Secret SistersThe Weeping Willows
The Secret SistersYou Don’t Own Me Anymore
Selecting your favourite album of the past 12 months is made all the more difficult when three of your favourite acts (Jason Isbell, David Rawlings and The Secret Sisters) all release LPs within the same calendar year. But whilst Isbell and Rawlings delivered sublime albums (as to be expected), the Sisters’ album is “all killer, no filler”, their best work yet, with no temptation to reach for the “skip” button! You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the charming trad-country harmony duo’s third album and most personal project to date. The writing is at times confessional, at others, nostalgic for simpler times; strength juxtaposed with vulnerability. Their soulful songs were lovingly and tastefully produced by good friend Brandi Carlile. Stand out tracks include “Tennessee River Runs Low”, murder ballad “Mississippi” (sister song to the wonderfully haunting, “Iuka” from their 2014 album, Put Your Needle Down), “Little Again” and title track, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore”. Check them out if you’re fans of sibling harmony (eg. The Everly Brothers) and/or the southern gothic stylings of Gillian Welch and The Civil Wars.

Lilly HiattSophie Klein (Little Wise)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
I saw Lilly perform at Third Man Records at AmericanaFest in Nashville, but the gravity of her songwriting only hit me afterwards, listening to her rocking 2017 album Trinity Lane on my headphones traveling around the States. The production, by Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope, is big, loud, gritty and more indie rock than Nashville alt-country. But Lilly’s voice still has a southern twang to it though and the melodies and words kick around my brain for days on end. “I just wanna rock n’ roll, scream out my and burn real slow” she sings on “Records”, and it makes me want to do the same.

Jamie WyattGretta Ziller
Jamie WyattFelony Blues
Although it’s been out for most of the year I’ve only just discovered Jamie Wyatt’s Felony Blues! It’s a rare thing for me to listen to something on repeat but since I’ve discovered her it’s all I’m listening to!!! It’s unashamed, uncomplicated, catchy, good old fashioned country music.

Christopher Coleman CollectiveThe Dead Maggies
Christopher Coleman CollectiveAh Winter
This is a work of art, from a guy that’s had a hard run and put his heart on his sleeve. The result is a deep, personal and moving album of mature songwriting. Musically it sits somewhere between Bright Eyes and Neil Young.

Steve EarleTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Steve Earle & The DukesSo You Wanna Be An Outlaw
Equal parts devilish invitation and cautionary tale, this killer record was a tour van favourite as we hit the road after a break this year. Steve is in fine form, as usual, and while the album is boisterous and swaggering, it also manages to highlight his songwriting craft. Highlight: Willie Nelson growling “if you wanna be an outlaw you can never go home”. Giddy-up!

LogicSteve Barnard (Jon Cotton and The Book Keepers)
LogicEverybody
Riding my push bike past all the kids and their mothers, heads adorned in their icon of piety, devotion and religious identity. The burka is far more common in this corner of Sydney than most and it puts a smile on my face to see children enjoying their walk home from school with Mum. An old bogan crossing the road to the pub yells racial cliches about going back where you came from and then turns to me for my approval of his vitriol. I inform him I’m from overseas too, I just happen to be white and he is guilty of the grossest and purest type of racism. Racism is as blatant as the inability to see past difference and as subtle as the apathy that accompanies privilege. Everybody suffers either in their oppression or privilege. Everybody.

Lawrence GreenwoodTanya Batt (BATTS)
Lawrence GreenwoodP.S. I’m Haunted
Lawrence has been a favourite of mine for a long time with his previous project. It feels so nice to have a new album from him and my gosh wow. The melodic and lyrical genius within this album actually made me cry the first time I heard it. The journey this takes you on from start to finish is incredibly special. All of the amazing detail within the album leaves you finding something new each listen.

Gretta ZillerAndrew Swift
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Maybe I’m a little biased after spending so much time on the road with Gretta, but credit where credit’s due. Queen Of Boomtown is a solid record from start to finish. With underlying blues tones throughout, Queen Of Boomtown will have you tapping your feet, singing along and wiping away a tear or two again and again. Ziller is quickly being recognised as one of this country’s best songwriters and without a doubt one of its best vocalists.

Raise By EaglesSam Newton
Raised By EaglesI Must Be Somewhere
There is a great mix of upbeat and slow-burner tracks with a sprinkle of country here and there. The record is filled with great songwriting and heartfelt lyrics.

Ben SalterShane Nicholson
Ben SalterBack Yourself
I have a lot of favourite albums of 2017. It’s been a good year. But for me, one stands above the rest – Ben Salter’s Back Yourself. It’s equal parts diverse, brave, accomplished, intelligent, exciting, original, and just plain incredible, superior record-making.

Frank OceanThe Campervan Dancers
Frank OceanBiking
Ryan is arrested by the nostalgic visions of meatophorical bike-riding. Chelsea is delighted by how they manage to execute an extensive shouting outro with great aplomb.

The East PointersThe Little Stevies/Teeny Tiny Stevies
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
This recommendation is just as much about the album as it is about the live show, because TEP have done what is often very difficult to do and that’s to capture the energy and magic of their live show on record. As a band they’ve got the full package; great songs, impressive multi-instrumental musicianship, rich 3-part harmony, and to top it off they’re genuinely nice people. My favourites on the album are the vocal lead songs because I love a catchy melody and riff. But I also really enjoy the instrumentals because they include some super interesting harmonic changes through them that don’t always go where you’re expecting them to go. It’s an album that’s made a non-fiddler make it their new years resolution to learn how to play the fiddle, so it must be pretty good.

Songs From DanMelanie Horsnell
Dan TuffySongs from Dan
I loved Dan Tuffy’s record Songs from Dan because I love the quiet back of the valley live sound and the song “The biggest bastard who ever rode the west” is every musician-having-a-low-down-day’s anthem. And I loved King Curly’s new EP but biased as now we are making a record together, so not allowed to vote for that.

Les Poules a ColinJesse Periard (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)
Les Poules à ColinMorose
Les Poules à Colin have never been a band to limit themselves. They are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territory, which sets them apart from so many traditional music groups. They’ve grown so much as a band and Morose is a true representation of where they stand in the realm of traditional Québécois music and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This album has so many complex and beautiful layers to it, and has inspired me and taken me to places I didn’t expect.

Sarah BelknerJulia Johnson
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
A record I have returned to repeatedly, finding more with every listen. The textures and arrangements glisten, but have this earthy, warm undercurrent. Her lyrics unfolded the more I honed in on them. Where I was wondering of their meaning upon first listen, months later her songs are resonating deeply with chapters and moments in my life. For me, there’s nothing more wondrous than finding a song that exposes one’s painful or wonderful experience as universal, and this album is rich with those gems. Standout track: “Cellophane”.

Jesca HoopAinslie Wills
Jesca HoopMemories Are Now
I describe this album to other people as “assertive folk” in that it has folk sensibilities and instrumentation but the song ideas are quite robust and angular at times which make it really memorable (ha! Pun not intended). Also, It has no drums which to me was really refreshing as most things these days are so banger/beat driven.

Trad AttackJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Trad.Attack!Kullakarva / Shimmer Gold
Every so often I spend some time seeking out what’s happening in other local scenes around the world, and Crooked Fiddle’s musical equivalents therein – thus leading me to Estonia’s Trad.Attack! (punctuation included). Part melodic folk pop, part updated trad folk complete with Estonian bagpipes, they sometimes come across as a Baltic equivalent to Ireland’s Kila, especially on the epic title track.

Big ThiefAngie McMahon
Big ThiefCapacity
I’ve fallen in love with this band and this album. The intimacy of the songwriting has captured me, and the so many moments in the lyrics and music have brought me to moments of realisation and clarity. Some albums make you really grateful for music and the power it has over your mind, and this year, for me, it’s been this one.

Lana Del ReyTori Forsyth
Lana Del RayLust for Life
I love that Stevie Nicks has a little part of this record, she also experiments with some rad sounds. Also, lyrically this record is incredible.

This Is The KitEmily Staveley-Taylor (The Staves)
This Is The KitMoonshine Freeze
We met Kate, Rozi and Jamie at The Funkhaus during the Michelberger festival in Berlin last year and thought they were all wonderful people making wonderful music. Then we saw them play this album live at Eaux Claires festival in the summer and were blown away. The record has so many lovely, rounded sounds on it. It feels soft, but it has a driving energy that keeps pushing it forward. Kate’s voice has a familiar, kind quality when she sings – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend when they listen to music? It’s a self-assured album by a band who seem to really know who they are. And that’s a comforting presence to be in. Plus the tunes are fucking banging. And the horns rule.

Sun Kil MoonNigel Wearne
Sun Kil MoonCommon As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
This year Sun Kil Moon has been on high rotation. Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is so different, that I honestly can’t remember hearing anything else like it. Spoken word poetry, prose, and random stories (including a Chameleon vs a Cat), diary entries, muses on David Bowie and Ali augmented by busted-up Dad hip hop. It’s completely whacked and compelling. A slow burn that requires the lyrics booklet.

Blue Mountains Music Festival Reveals First Artists for 2018 Lineup

KMH
Image Courtesy of Kate Miller-Heidke

The Blue Mountains Music Festival this week began to announce the lineup for its 2018 event.

Held in Katoomba over the St Patrick’s Day weekend, the Blue Mountains Music Festival always has a decent folk and roots music presence on their lineup along with the best and brightest artists from across all genres.

Headliners for the 2018 Blue Mountains Music Festival include the one-two punch of Missy Higgins and Kate Miller-Heidke – two of Australia’s most celebrated singer-songwriters.

Joining them will be Lior with Paul Grabowsky, The Grigoryan Brothers with Adam Page, The Backsliders, Harry Manx (Can), Steve Poltz (Can), Chris While and Julie Matthews (UK), Breabach (Scot), Peter Rowan Band (US), 10 String Symphony (US), Flats and Sharps (UK), The Brothers Comatose (US), Lamine Sonko and the African Intelligence (Senegal), Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys (Canada), Blair Dunlop (UK), Mel Parsons (NZ), Malcura, Hat Fitz & Cara, Witches Leap, Alana Wilkinson, The Mission Songs Project and more to be announced.

The Blue Mountains Music Festival will is held from 16th to the 18th March in Katoomba, NSW. They’ll be announcing more artists via their Facebook page so make sure you like them there. And head over to their official site for more details and how to get your hands on tickets.

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