Thank Folk It’s Friday – 31st January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The great Pete Seeger passed away from natural causes on the 27th January, aged 94. We collected some of our favourite obits from around the web. Details here

– We round up all of the folk, alt-country and roots winners in the triple j Hottest 100, The Grammys and The Golden Guitars last weekend. Details here

– The new Seth Lakeman album hits stores today and you can get a taster with his new video for “The Courier”. Details here

Matt Corby revealed his new single “What The Devil Has Made” from the Spirit of Akasha surf documentary soundtrack. Details here

– The National Folk Festival has added a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites to its 2014 lineup including Archie Roach, Lindi Ortega, Ange Takats, Castlecomer, Leah Flanagan, The Little Stevies, Martin Pearson, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Morrisons, The Crooked Fiddle Band, The Stetson Family, Tolka, Zeptepi and many many more. Details here

– Regular Sydney night The Folk Informal has announced its lineup for February including James Kelly, Ryan Collings, Betty & Oswald and Timberwolf. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tim Guy released his new video “Armour Weight”. Details here

Dustin Tebbutt has released a mesmerizing new video for his track “White Lines”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Mark Wilkinson is heading out on a massive national tour this March, April and May. Details here

– Melbourne’s James Teague has scored a residency at The Workers Club every Wednesday through February. Details here

– Blue Mountains based folk-bluegrass four piece Lime and Steel have announced a show in Canberra next Saturday with Vendulka in support. Details here

Timber and Steel favourites Achoo! Bless You will be launching their new single “Wild Eyes” in Sydney this February. Details here

– The wonderful Sam Buckingham has announced a national tour as well as the launch of her Patreon crowd sourcing campaign. Details here

– The new Nick Mulvey track “Cucurucu” now has an expansive new video. Details here

– UK duo Paper Aeroplanes released their new video for “Circus” along with details of their new EP. Details here

– Brisbane based roots singer Jimmy Watts released his new video “Driving”. Details here

– Chamber folk singer-songwriter Packwood has announced a handful of album preview shows this February. Details here

– Donna and Vikki from The Waifs are touring this March as The Stray Sisters. Details here

– The new William Fitzsimmons track “Fortune” has a beautiful new video. Details here

Releases This Week

In The SilenceÁsgeir

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Green Mohair Suits w/ The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas

Green Mohair Suits

After a successful tilt at the Tamworth Country Music Festival earlier this month The Green Mohair Suits return to Sydney in time to launch their latest EP Baby, You Just Want To Give Up. Along for the ride are their fellow Tamworth stage mates The Morrisons and All Our Exes Live in Texas – so it looks like it’s going to be a huge night of pickin’ and harmonies. We’ll be there for sure!

Friday 31st January – The Loft at UTS, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Andy Irvine
Friday 31st January – Music in the Park, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 2nd February – Trinity Sessions at Trinity Church, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 6th February – House Concert, Alice Springs, NT

Cass McCombs
Thursday 6th February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Tuesday 4th February – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Eddie Vedder
Friday 7th February – Riverside Theatre, Perth, WA

Emily Barker
Sunday 2nd February – Astor Lounge, Perth, WA

Imogen Clark and Joe Mungovan
Sunday 2nd February – Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW
Friday 7th February – Corner Store, Sydney, NSW

Jack Carty
Friday 31st January – House Concert, Pemulwuy, NSW
Saturday 1st February – House Concert, Sutherland Shire, NSW
Sunday 2nd February – House Concert, Morisset, NSW.
Monday 3rd February – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 6th February – House Concert, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 7th February – House Concert, Canberra, ACT

James Teague
Wednesday 5th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Kim Churchill
Friday 31st January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st to Sunday 2nd February – Festival of King Island, King Island, TAS

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
Saturday 1st February – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Laneway Festival
Friday 31st January – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 1st February ­- Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 2nd February – Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), Sydney, NSW
Friday 7th February – Harts Mill, Adelaide, SA

Mat McHugh
Friday 7th February – Torquay Hotel, Torquay VIC

One Up Two Down and Oh Pep!
Thursday 6th February – Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 7th February – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, VIC

The Beez
Saturday 1st Febraury – Tilba Winery, NSW
Sunday 2nd February – The Artists Shed, Queanbeyan, NSW
Thursday 6th February – Braidwood Folk Club, NSW
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February – National Multicultural Festival, ACT

The Green Mohair Suits w/ The Morrisons, All Our Exes Live in Texas
Friday 31st January – The Loft at UTS, Sydney, NSW

The Timbers
Friday 31st January – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Traveller & Fortune
Friday 31st January – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 1st February – JIVE, Adelaide, SA

Unpaved Sessions feat. Justin Bernasconi (The Stillsons), Nia Robertson, Sophie Klein, Kaidee Grzankowski and more
Monday 3rd February – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Woody Pitney with Zoe Elliot, James Kelly
Thursday 6th February – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“To My Old Brown Earth” – Pete Seeger

When choosing a FFF track this week I knew it had to be something from the late Pete Seeger. I settled on this track after it was posted by Billy Bragg with the following blurb: “One last thing about Pete Seeger before I turn in: if anyone’s planning to make a tribute to the great man, I would heartily suggest playing this song. Everyone knows the 60s classics, but this, from 1996, is the song we should be listening to as we contemplate with his passing.” RIP Pete Seeger.

Weekend Awards Round Up

Golden Guitars
Image Courtesy of the CMAA

The long weekend was also a massive weekend for awards with the Golden Guitars, triple j’s Hottest 100 and The Grammys all vying for attention. If you were too busy to take everything in never fear – we have a nice little Timber and Steel friendly wrap up for you here:

triple j Hottest 100

Vance Joy

As you’re no doubt aware the top spot was taken out this year by the folky “Riptide” from Australia’s Vance Joy, pipping favourites “Royals” by Lorde and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk at the post. Vance Joy also came in at number 95 with his track “Play With Fire”.

Other notable Timber and Steel faves to make it into the list include Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke, Matt Corby, Dustin Tebbutt and more. The full list of winners can be found here with a snap shot of our favourites below:

1. Vance Joy – “Riptide”
8. Matt Corby – “Resolution”
41. Boy & Bear – “Southern Sun”
44. Dustin Tebbutt – “The Breach”
55. Boy & Bear – “Harlequin Dream”
75. Mikhael Paskalev – “I Spy”
87. John Butler Trio – “Only One”
88. Josh Pyke – “Leeward Side”
95. Vance Joy – “Play With Fire”

The Grammys

The Grammys

Due to the sheer number of categories at The Grammy’s it’s very easy to look past the glitz, glamour and mounty hats to find some amazing music being recognised. Big winners on the folk, roots and country side of the fence include The Civil Wars, Ben Harper, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell and many more.

We’ve listed our top categories below – check out the full winners here.

Best Country Solo Performance
Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Civil Wars – “From This Valley”

Best Country Song
Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go ‘Round”

Best Country Album
Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park

Best American Roots Album
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You

Best Americana Album
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – Old Yellow Moon

Best Bluegrass Album
Del McCoury Band – The Streets Of Baltimore

Best Blues Album
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite – Get Up!

Best Folk Album
Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture Of You

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience – Dockside Sessions

Best World Music Album
Gipsy Kings – Savor Flamenco

The Golden Guitars

Lachlan Bryan

So many of our favourite artists have spent the last couple of weeks up in Tamworth for the Country Music Festival which culminated in the Golden Guitar awards on 25th Januray.

We’re really proud that Timber and Steel favourite Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes walked away with Alternative Country Album of the Year for Black Coffee, Ashleigh Dallas was named the Qantaslink New Talent of the Year and that Ted Egan was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Check out the full list of winners here.

Finally Timber and Steel favourite, The Mid North, also walked away from Tamworth winners with both the Battle of the Bands and Buskers Competition gongs under their belt. Definitely a well deserved win!

The Mid North

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Another track has emerged from the upcoming Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys album this time featuring Patti Smith and Johnny Depp. Details here

Passenger released his weekly new track, “The Way That I Need You” via a live video featuring Candian folkies The Once. Details here

Patrick James has finally revealed the details of his upcoming EP All About to Change as well as announcing details of an east coast tour in March and April. Details here

– Tomorrow night The Little Stevies will be launching their new live album Most Requested at The Workers Club in Melbourne. Details here

– And The Little Stevies are also offering up their new single “Thunder” as a free download via Timber and Steel for a limited time only. Details here

– Still with The Little Stevies, if you want to stream and then buy Most Requested you can now do so online. Details here

Mumford and Sons took out Album of the Year at The Grammys, along with a bunch of other folk and acoustic winners on the night. Details here

– We’ve also posted videos of some of our favourite performances from The Grammys’ ceremony. Details here

Bear’s Den revealed their lastest track “Isaac” via a live video. Details here

– The latest video from Tim Hart’s solo album Milling The Wind is “Cover Of Your Code” and it has an awesome banjo-and-ride-on-mower video to go with it. Details here

Bob Evans will be celebrating the release of his new album The Double Life with a massive national tour throughout April and May. Details here

Damien Dempsey released his new single “Bustin Outta Here” (featuring Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals) along with a brand new video. Details here

– NSW Central Coast singer-songwriter Sarah Humphreys has released her brand new single “Boy Wonder” and is celebrating with an east coast tour. Details here

Katie Noonan has also announced a bunch of dates to promote her Songbook album. Details here

Billy Bragg released his double negative filled new video “No One Knows Nothing Anymore”. Details here

– Monthly acoustic evening The Alice Springs Courtyard Sessions is launching its 2013 program in March with a new look and new venue. Details here

– Sydney duo Jep&Dep have released their new single “Ain’t Coming Back” and announced plans to release an EP in March. Details here


“Yeah, it was good. It was short, but it was good. I really had an incredible gig in Melbourne. I can’t remember the venue – it was a small, club venue – but it was a blast [Kiwanuka played at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne with Ben Howard and Tim Hart in 2012]. I remember Splendour in the Grass too, and that was a really fun gig too. My memory is fond of Australia”Michael Kiwanuka chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I play guitar, bouzouki and banjo. I play all those other bits and bobs now – it’s all about transferring what you’re doing and directing songs into a different perspective. But I definitely am foremost a violinist. The new record, Tales From The Barrel House, is where I really started to experiment with other instruments production wise and how they would fit together with a field recording. On the new record I kind of played everything really – I kept it cheap”Seth Lakeman chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here


“Dave O’Neill, former Artistic Director of the National Folk Festival and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, used to muse that he could program an entire National Folk Festival just with women singer/songwriters. His comment were not pejorative, simply a reflection on the number, and indeed the quality, of women musicians and songwriters on the Australian and, indeed, international folk/roots circuit” – Peter Logue takes a look at some of the amazing singer-songwriters at this year’s National Folk Festival. Blog piece here



“I implore you to listen to this album on a long drive into the country, or on an afternoon in the sun with a glass of pinot grigio. Whether it be the slight trills you revel in or the deep smooth vocals, the raw composition and befitting structure, Home In Your Heart is sure to be a favourite on your playlist”Janine Estoesta reviews Home In Your Heart from Miles and Simone. Review here

Releases This Week

Jordan Millar
Cold Lights On Curious MindsJordan Millar

Matt Costa
Matt CostaMatt Costa

ElectricRichard Thompson

Most Requested
Most RequestedThe Little Stevies

Timber and Steel Presents

Jungal with Tom Richardson and When in Roam
Sunday 17th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 15th February – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Mac’s Hotel Bentinck, Portland, VIC
Wednesday 20th February – Irish Murphy’s Top Shelf Night, Launceston, TAS
Thursday 21st February – Brookfield Margate, Margate, TAS
Friday 22nd February – Crossroads Wine Bar, St Helens, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Friday 15th February – The Merry Muse, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 16th February – Mittagong Playhouse, Mittagong, NSW
Friday 22nd February – Wollongong Conservatorium, Wollongong, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
Friday 15th February – River Music Folk, Nowra, NSW
Saturday 16th February – Nerrigundah Hall, NSW
Sunday 17th February – Tilba Valley Wines, Tilba Tilba, NSW
Thursday 21st February – Braidwood Folk Club, NSW
22nd to 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 15th February – Woolshed Pub, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th February – Prince Of Wales, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Portsea Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th February – Westernport Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Lorne Hotel, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Friday 22nd February – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Father John Misty
Sunday 17th February – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 19th February – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 20th February – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Jordan Millar
Friday 15th February – Upstairs Beresford, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Friday 15th February – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 19th February – St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 20th February – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 21st February – Flinders Street Baptist Church, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd February – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

Justin Townes Earle with Robert Ellis
Saturday 16th February – Star Court Theatre, Lismore, NSW
Sunday 17th February – Byron Bay Community Centre, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 19th February – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Kim Churchill
Saturday 16th February – Garden of Unearthly Delights @ Paradiso Spiegeltent, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 17th February – Fringe Comes to Birdwood, Birdwood High School, Birdwood, SA

MoFo feat. Modhan and Candice McLeod
Saturday 16th February – The Gaelic Club Upstairs, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage with Sweet Jean
Thursday 21st February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Thursday 21st February – Bottlerocket, Nowra, NSW

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Saturday 16th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 18th February – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Boots
Friday 15 February – Perth International Arts Festival Gardens, Perth, WA

Sarah Blasko
Sunday 17th February – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 22nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT

The April Maze
Saturday 16th February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Saturday 16th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd February – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

The Wooden Music Festival feat. The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 15th February – Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Wes Carr
Friday 15th February – Wellers Restaurant, Kangaroo Grounds, VIC
Sunday 17th February – Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Waltzing’s For Dreamers” – Richard Thompson

Nothing cures the sugary sweetness of Valentine’s Day quite like a song about heartbreak and what better heartbreak song than this classic from Richard Thompson. “One step for aching, and two steps for breaking, Waltzing’s for dreamers and losers in love” – classic.

Live Music at The Grammys

Levon Helm Tribute

Following yesterday’s Grammy Awards and the big wins from the folk side of the fence (including Album of the Year for Mumford and Sons) we thought we’d post some of our favourite performances from the ceremony.

Because of the nature of The Grammys (in taht they want to protect when and where the broadcast takes place) these videos are not “official” and there’s a very good chance they’ll get taken down – so jump in quick if you want to see some amazing performances.

First up is The Lumineers performing their mega-hit “Ho Hey” in a way only they know how – stripped back, raw and pure.

Next is Mumford and Sons with their first 2012 single “I Will Wait”.

But the highlight for us was the tribute to the late great Levon Helm, singer and drummer for The Band. The tribute song was, naturally, “The Weight” and featured performances from Elton John, Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Mumford and Sons. Check out a rehearsal video here:

And then the final tribute performance is here:

Folk Wins Big at The Grammys

Mumford Grammys
Image Courtesy of Mumford and Sons

With the nation a-buzz about Gotye’s triple Grammy win we thought we’d steer some of that attention toward the fact that folk and acoustic music also had a massive night. The big winner of course were Mumford and Sons who managed to snatch the Album of The Year title from the likes of The Black Keys and Jack White. Mumford and Sons, along with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show, also took out the Best Long Form Music Video for their Big Easy Express documentary.

Other Timber and Steel favourites who received a nod included Bonnie Raitt (Best Americana Album), Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile’s excellent Goat Rodeo Sessions project (Best Folk Album, Best Engineered Album Non Classical) and Taylor Swift (hear us out) with The Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett (Best Song Written for Visual Media).

The full list of Grammy winners we think Timber and Steel readers will be interested in are below. All the winners can be found at the official Grammy site here.

Album of the Year
Babel – Mumford and Sons

Best Country Solo Performance
“Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Pontoon” – Little Big Town

Best Country Song
“Blown Away” – Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)

Best Country Album
Uncaged – Zac Brown Band

Best Americana Album
Slipstream – Bonnie Raitt

Best Bluegrass Album
Nobody Knows You – Steep Canyon Rangers

Best Blues Album
Locked Down – Dr. John

Best Folk Album
The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile

Best Regional Roots Music Album
The Band Courtbouillon – Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy

Best World Music Album
The Living Room Sessions Part 1 – Ravi Shankar

Best Song Written for Visual Media
“Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)” – T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy Williams, songwriters

Best Engineered Album, Non Classical
The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering engineer (Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile)

Best Long Form Music Video
Big Easy Express – Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros & Old Crow Medicine Show

Folk Features in the Nominees For This Year’s Grammy Awards

Alison  Krauss
Image Courtesy of Alison Krauss

It’s the end of the year and award season is just around the corner and with so many amazing folk, alt-country, acoustic and indie releases this year you can be sure a bunch of Timber and Steel’s favourite artists are going to feature heavily.

The GRAMMY award nominees were just announced and it looks as though folk has done pretty well. While this will no doubt be the year of Adele, there’s plenty of Timber and Steel alumni up for the big awards.

The most notable nominees are:

  • Bon Iver – 4 Nominations (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Album)
  • Mumford and Sons – 4 Nominations (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song)
  • The Decemberists – 2 Nominations (Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song)
  • Wilco – 1 Nomination (Best Rock Album)
  • The Civil Wars – 2 Nominations (Best Country Duo/Group Performance, Best Folk Album)
  • Emmylou Harris – 1 Nomination (Best Americana Album)
  • Lucinda Williams – 1 Nomination (Best Americana Album)
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station (above) – 2 Nominations (Best Bluegrass Album, Best Engineered Album Non-Classical)
  • Steve Earle – 1 Nomination (Best Folk Album)
  • Fleet Foxes – 1 Nomination (Best Folk Album)
  • Eddie Vedder – 1 Nomination (Best Folk Album)
  • Gillian Welch – 2 Nominations (Best Folk Album, Best Engineered Album Non-Classical)
  • Béla Fleck & The Flecktones – 1 Nomination (Best Instrumental Composition)

The winners of the 54th GRAMMY Awards will be announced on the 12th February. For the full list of nominees check out the official GRAMMY web site.

The Grammys Cut Folk Awards

Arcade Fire

In a move that has shocked the music world the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced plans yesterday to cut 31 categories from its annual Grammy awards. The awards, which originally had 28 categories in 1959, will now boast a total 78 categories, down from 109. According to the NARAS the move is part of a massive overhaul of The Grammys, including a change to the voting process, and is seen as an effort to refine the awards’ vision.

“All categories will remain, they’ll just be found in different genres,” said Grammy President and Chief Executive Neil Portnow at a press conference on Wednesday. “The message isn’t about cutting, it’s about changing the way we present the awards.”

One of the biggest losers in the planned cuts are the folk, blues and roots specific awards with many of the sub-genre awards combined. While the NARAS will be accepting more submissions per award (40 entries per category, up from 25), many feel that narrowing the genres will mean a lot of “less popular” music will not be recognised.

The folk awards specifically affected are:

  • Best Traditional World Music will be combined with Best Contemporary World Music to create a Best World Music category
  • Best Traditional Folk will be combined with Best Contemporary Folk to create a Best Folk category (in addition to still-existing Best Bluegrass and Best Americana categories)
  • Best Traditional Blues will be combined with Best Contemporary Blues to create a Best Blues category
  • Best Hawaiian, Best Native American, and Best Zydeco or Cajun, along with Best Polka Music Album, which was eliminated in 2009, will be combined to create a Best Regional Roots Music Album

To get a full list of the changes and a comparison between this year and next year’s awards head to the official Grammy site.

Juno Award Nominees- A Folk Lover’s Guide


Image courtesy of Basia Bulat

Those who read Timber & Steel religiously would know that we tend to follow the Canadian music scene pretty closely. It’s not just the quality of music permeating the great northern land that we’re interested in, it’s the fact that there’s an overwhelming proportion of musicians blending folk influences amongst others, and creating new, however less traditional, breeds of folk. Although the majority of the exciting movements in Canadian music aren’t so much recognised in the mainstream frontier (which is no doubt the same in every country), the Juno awards aren’t completely void of excitement, as we hope to show. Check out a full list of nominees here.

Arcade Fire

There’d be very few readers out there now that aren’t well versed in Arcade Fire. If you hadn’t heard of them before, you’d have probably heard their name connected with their recent Grammy success. There’s no doubt that these guys are indie-rockers first and foremost, but their weaving of traditional influences and instrumentation into their music has made them a T&S friendly act, right from the get-go. This year they’ve been nominated for Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.

Basia Bulat

This young lady might just be the most exciting artist on this list. As an old-time folk lover, you can easily hear a traditional Irish-like sound in there, which is only thinly veiled by a more contemporary and alternative exterior. She has a fantastic voice, and is one hell of an autoharpist. She’s been nominated for New Artist of the Year.

Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene are in the same boat as Arcade Fire, being an outright indie-rock group with a folky twist. This collective is undoubtedly Canadian music royalty, including members of Stars, Apostle of Hustle, The Weakerthans, Metric, Jason Collett and Feist. They utilise strings, woodwind and brass instruments to achieve large, glorious and layered sounds. They’ve been nominated for Group of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.

Del Barber

Del Barber is a roots artist with a strong American folk influence, and enough of an indie stripe to have been pedalled by younger audiences. He has a couple of albums, but to be honest, this is the first time I’ve checked him out. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve heard so far, and intend to keep a close eye on him. He has been nominated for Solo Roots & Traditional Album of the Year.

Hannah Georgas

This Vancouver-based acoustic singer-songwriter is making really interesting pop songs with lavish arrangements. Her fresh interpretation of Tori Amos-like alt-pop is really refreshing, and has earned her nominations for New Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Definitely T&S friendly. Earlier in the week, editor Evan Hughes credited me with publishing the first female nipple on Timber & Steel, so by posting the video below, I’m really hoping to build somewhat of a rep. for “bringing the sex”, so to speak. It’s a great song, though…

Justin Rutledge

We’ve been covering Rutledge’s goings on here at Timber & Steel ever since he won my heart with the live version of “Don’t Be So Mean, Jellybean” on his myspace (seriously, go check it out!). He’s signed to Six Shooter Records, who give us some great Canadian acts, and you won’t regret spending the time to get to know him, especially his latest album The Early Widows, for which he’s been nominated for Solo Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. He’s made a couple of short films/acoustic performance videos. An older one is embedded below, but follow this link for another really good one.

Le Vent Du Nord

This is a really cool act, and I’m glad I came across them. They play traditional Quebecois folk music, and yes that’s exactly how it sounds- French, Celtic music. Confused? Canada loves them. They’re nominated for the Group Roots & Traditional Album of the Year.

Luke Doucet

Luke Doucet is a country styled singer-songwriter who has been a landmark on the Canadian roots-music landscape for some time. He’s released 8 records on Six Shooter Records (solo and with his band Veal), the latest of which has been nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. Watch him perform a song about an ex-girlfriend with his wife, Melissa McClelland, below. So awkward.

Old Man Luedecke

Old Man Luedecke has recently finished a decent tour of Australia which saw him wowing crowds across the eastern states and Tasmania with his traditional, quick-picking banjo stylings. I’ve heard people say that he was one of the highlights at Woodford Folk Festival, and I’m not surprised. Old Man Luedecke‘s laid back country charm allows him to really engage with the listener. He’s no stranger to the Juno Awards either, taking out the Solo Roots & Traditional Album of the Year in 2009. And he’s been nominated for the same award again for his latest album, My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs.

Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is a very rare talent. His brand of indie-folk is often compared to Andrew Bird and Sufjan Stevens, and with good reason. Pallett is a fantastic instrumentalist and vocalist who masterfully uses loop-pedals to create swirling layers of full and textured compositions that have all the power of a small orchestra. He has recently toured Australia as well, and played alongside Sufjan Stevens as part of Sydney Festival at The Opera House. His first release under his name (he previously released material as Final Fantasy), Heartland, has been nominated for Alternative Album of the Year. I hope he wins.

Royal Wood

Royal Wood is a creator of classic, organic, and usually acoustic pop music.  From what I’ve heard of him, he favours the piano as his fundamental instrument. He’s a little bit Lior, in that his sound is obviously very derivative, but unique and personal enough to an extent that allows people to become very loyal to it. He’s been around for a while, and i look forward to checking out his past works. He’s been nominated for the Songwriter of the Year award.

Said The Whale

I was surprised to see Said The Whale nominated for New Group of the Year, mainly because I thought they were already an established act. They’ve certainly been gracing my iTunes for some time. Regardless, they do deserve some accolades swung their way. They’re an indie-rock band, who utilise acoustic instruments a lot of the time. I’m a folk lover, and they do something for me. Embedding is disabled for my favourite folk track of their’s, but you can follow this link to view it, or take your chances on the video below.

Winners, Grinners and Public Cringers

Image courtesy of Calgary Herald

There have been a lot of music awards announced in the last month or so and I have to say I am quite disappointed in the public negativity surrounding the sometimes ‘surprise’ winners. In a time where music piracy is high, CD sales are down, online purchasing and sharing are the new black, it’s become the norm for every man and his internet connection to bag out musicians that they don’t like or haven’t even heard just because their precious favourite didn’t win. In short, our online society have become a bunch of whingers.

However, here at Timber and Steel,  we don’t subscribe to that norm, in fact we go out of our way not to say a negative word about anyone who gives their craft a red hot go. We aim to Spotlight new artists and let you know all the latest news from the folk, indie and trad (among other genres) world. So sure, we’re not going to be writing about the latest pop hit, but we do still recognise the excellence of musicians not from our chosen genres. And if we don’t know an artist, we google them!

So what am I on about today? Well two instances come to mind, Angus & Julia Stone winning the Triple J Hottest 100 and Arcade Fire‘s wins at the Grammy‘s and Brit awards. I noticed the day after Australia Day my facebook feed was full of people commenting on the hottest 100 being lame this year and many not agreeing that ‘Big Jet Plane’ should have won. And I’m sure many of you have now seen the amusing compilation of online backlash about the Grammy Awards.

Angus & Julia Stone won many accolades in 2010 and their song ‘Big Jet Plane’ came in at Number 1 in the Triple J Hottest 100. Amid the online whining that it was not the ‘hottest’ or ‘best’ song of the year, I could only think that the top spot can’t be that far off as Angus & Julia Stone won both Album of the Year and Single of the Year for ‘Big Jet Plane’ at the 2010 ARIA awards out a total 6 nominations. The ARIA’s are voted for by the industry with a mix of artists, manager, media, record companies and a variety of industry members having their say. The hottest 100 this year received a record number of votes from the public, over 1.2 million if I remember rightly. I am sure a number of people vote in the hottest 100 who are not avid Triple J listeners. Yet both the ARIAs and the hottest 100 yielded the same result.

And Pluck Your Strings blogged their thoughts on the problems with the current way the hottest 100 is carried out. While I agree partially with some points and I’m sure there are a number of other opinions out there in cyberland about who should have won, the point is that Angus & Julia Stone had the most people include ‘Big Jet Plane’ in their personal top 10 songs of the year through which they voted it in to the top spot of the count down. There was some backlash last year when Mumford & Sons took out the coveted spot with ‘Little Lion Man’ saying that people only voted because it had the F word in it. I have to admit I voted for it without having really ever heard it, I just knew the hype around it and the way people spoke about it meant the song was deserving for such a title. But that is the point, the award is for the song that impacted the most people – through whatever means. Heck, Cee Lo Green’s ever poppy ‘F you’ came in at number 7 arguably for the same reason, but it doesn’t mean people did not enjoy the entire song surrounding that word. And Mumford & Sons are still largely popular selling out concerts throughout the past year.

Arcade Fire are a group that admittedly I have not heard much of, though I have heard of them. For their album The Suburbs to beat out some of the industries biggest heavyweight (Lady Gaga and Eminem being the main contenders) is a huge nod to the independent Canadian group, especially as the Grammy’s are also peer-voted awards for the industry to recognise talent. To back that up with two Brit awards for Best International Group and Best International Album is surely a sign that they are doing something right musically. The Grammy win seems to have spurned a huge negative reaction in cyberspace, a hateful display of bad losers really. The only good things to come out of such negativity is this amusing youtube creation (for those who haven’t yet seen it)

So I guess my point is that I’d like to see all those online negative nellies to suck it up – your favourite act will never win every award, so learn to deal with it like a big kid. Congratulate the winners and if you don’t know who they are, google them and have a listen – you might even discover why they’ve been recognised. And if you’re still not happy you can sulk, but don’t take it out on the internet – there’s enough bad news and negativity out there already. Why not be constructive and write something positive about your favourite act and why you believe people should check them out or why they should win awards.

Celebrate the positive things in life, even if it’s not your favourite act getting a gong. The negative comments only serve to make us cringe.

So, in the spirit of celebrating winners and because I’m a great big Gleek (Glee fan for those not in the know) imagine my delight when, to celebrate winning Sectionals, the Glee characters chose to cover Florence & the Machine’s ‘Dog Days Are Over’. In the spirit of sharing the love, I thought I’d pop this short footage for you all to check out.

Watch Mumford, The Avetts and Dylan Perform at The Grammys

Dylan, Mumford, Avett

We promised you that as soon as we found a decent video of the Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan performance at this year’s Grammy Awards we’d share it with you – and here it is. In case you’re wondering about the track names they are (in order) “The Cave”, “Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise” and “Maggie’s Farm”. Enjoy!

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