Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016

Child Records

You’ve heard what we think the top albums of 2016 were, but lets be honest this is the piece you’ve really been waiting for.

Every year we reach out to the community of folk and acoustic musicians in Australia and around the world to ask them to pick their favourite album or EP of the year, and this year they came through in spades.

So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2016.

Bill ChambersEagle & The Wolf
Bill ChambersCold Trail
What a record. Bill just turns up when he feels like it and shows us all how it’s done. The title track is one of the best driving songs ever written and we’ve done A LOT of driving this year! This record has been with us on every trip and inspires us as artists of the alt. country genre to dig deep and keep being real, in life and in music. He’s the baddest and the best.

James KenyonAnna Cordell
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
This album takes me into such a beautiful space, it is so beautifully written and produced, I find myself smiling every time I listen to it – I’m entranced and inspired.

Joe MungovanImogen Clark
Joe MungovanWay Down South
Joe totally embodies the Joni Mitchell quote about songwriting, “The closer you get to your heart is the closer you get to everyone else’s”. This EP is an evolution for him, the production is so sparse and spacey, almost Bon Iver-ish, and very different from the folky style of his first EP. But what remains is Joe’s amazing ability to capture so perfectly the melancholy of the human condition with his beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics. A big 5 stars from me. Love ya, Joe!

Piers FacciniSam Lee
Piers FacciniI Dreamed An Island
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago but I think needs mentioning in this years crop. Piers is one of the finest male singers and his musicianship is exquisite. It’s an album of great sensitivity with deep thought and poetry inside. The songs are so well formed, he has a knack at creation of timeless soundings orgs.

DD DumboDan Flynn
D.D DumboUtopia Defeated
Oliver has really found his own unique sound while incorporating some diverse influences including folk, electronic and world music. I was really impressed with his songwriting and his ability to draw you in to his strange little world. I also love the production with all those sonic layers that reveal themselves over repeated listens. Amazing debut.

Michael KiwanukaSkyscraper Stan
Michael KiwanukaLove and Hate
I got hooked on this album while touring around New Zealand. The songwriting is melodic, the dynamics are masterful and the closing track, “Final Frame”, kicks me in the guts.

William CrightonJosh Rennie-Hynes
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I first heard William at Nannup at the start of this year and loved it. He’s a great performer and his songs are top notch. This album captures all of that perfectly. The production is spot on and is a testament to the benefits of what a more DIY approach to recording can achieve.

Bon IverTanya Batt (BATTS)
Bon Iver22, A Million
There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, Canary, Braille Face and Hayden Calnin were three I wanted to choose too. However, it had to be Bon Iver. The most highly anticipated album in my life, it did not disappoint. This album means so much to me, It’s an extremely innovative album within soundscapes and also so raw, filled with emotion. Many tears were shed when I first listened.

MoulettesClaude Hay
MoulettesPreternatural
Moulettes new album Preternatural really grabed me from the first second, Distorted Cello, Oboe, guitar bass drums and they all sing insane harmonies perfectly live….Audio candy

Bill HuntLiam Gale (Liam Gale & the Ponytails)
Bill HuntUpwey
Conversational, melodic, witty and hooky songwriting flood through the beautiful ebb and flow of Upwey, Hunt’s first of many offerings. The songs are hued by a consistent arrangement of drums, bass, violin and Hunt’s subtle and precise guitar style. But they don’t rely on these arrangements; each song a story, assisted by the swell of instrumentation to convey the tales that swing from the near Latin grooves of “Odalik” to the slow sexy grind of “Sea of Love”. At six tracks long, it leaves you wanting more. Perfect.

Childish GambinoSahara Beck
Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
Listening to this album is like switching off the real world and stepping into an original and new world. I find it very inspiring.

Oh PepThe Little Stevies
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I think the songwriting on Stadium Cake is really interesting. The songs take me to a place that I’m not expecting both lyrically and musically when I begin listening to them and they keep me guessing, which I absolutely love. The arrangements and production are also super cool, and I’m simply just a big fan of talented women and female partnerships doing great things in the arts.

Side PonyFanny Lumsden
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
It seriously makes me the most joy filled human ever. Side Pony is possibly my biggest songwriting envy of late and they just really nail that motown meets pop retro good times.

Nick CaveMiles O’Neil (Miles and Simone)
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
I was scared to listen to this album due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it. Finally
mustering the courage one bright morning I listened to it through while walking beside the sea.
I stopped many times during that walk to sit and, floored, marvel at the breathtakingly
sadness and beauty captured in what is, to me and I’m sure many others, a masterpiece.

Hayden CalninForest Falls
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1/2
Hayden is an absolute stayer of the Melbourne music scene, but it’s for good reason. This record is world-class. Sparse, rich, cinematic, and desperate in its feel, it holds on to you long after the first listen.

Button CollectiveThe Bottlers
The Button CollectiveThe Lonesome Sea
As a softly lilting mandolin emerges from the silence of the opening track, Brodie’s haunting lyrical ballad begins to unravel the story of the heartbreak of a man, torn between travelling the lonesome sea and those who he has left behind. This beautiful yet bittersweet combination of well-travelled wordsmithing and an instrumental palate carrying a nostalgically truthful warmth, could be heard in any far-flung tavern in the dead of night, as tired candles flicker. Finishing with a raucous fling titled “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, the Button Collective’s release concludes on a stirring high, twisting your arm to crave another ale. The EP’s recording, mixing and mastering add a special flair, as you hear the charismatic live-elements that give you a heart-swelling, beer-swilling singalong that you can partake in at any time. Well done fellas!

The Dreaming RoomPhia
Laura MvulaThe Dreaming Room
Her lyrics explore feminism, faith, self-worth, race, and her harmonies, arrangements and production are deep and multi-hued. One of the most exciting songwriters around, unafraid to experiment with multi-genre collaborations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and Nile Rodgers.

JoyGordon Wallace (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
The Peep TempelJoy
This is a great third album by the Melbourne based three piece that has initial flavours of 90s Aussie pub punk/bloke rock (like Cosmic Psychos) but that is just the beginning – the album is musically quite varied, with intelligent, dark, caustically humorous and often political lyrics with moments of honest beauty.

Wartime SweetheartsJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
It’s always great when a local artist drops something as fully formed and self-assured as Louise Nutting’s second album under the Wartime Sweethearts moniker. Experimental without forgetting the songcraft, it deserves its rightful place amongst the St Vincents, Dirty Projectors and My Brightest Diamonds of the art pop world. Props to local label Art As Catharsis, whose releases in October alone spanned from Wartime Sweethearts to Hashashin’s eastern mathrock and No Haven’s dark hardcore. Eclecticism rules the day!

BeyonceTaryn La Fauci
BeyoncéLemonade
To create and release a piece of work that is so intricately linked and ordered, one you must listen to from start to finish to understand the whole was really refreshing! The film that accompanied the album was also richly interesting, deep and powerful. To address themes such as infidelity and race and then to weave them powerfully into a full album, which on release caused so much controversy and started a conversation world wide, I thought was really great.

Melody PoolKevin Mitchell (Bob Evans)
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
Another beautiful record from the most under-rated songwriter in Australia. “Love, She Loves Me” gives me goose bumps every time.

Winter WheatFrank Turner
John K SamsonWinter Wheat
I am a long term partisan of John’s work, so it’s not surprising that I liked this record. But god-DAMN, the man just keeps delivering. This record had me in tears three times on my first listen through, and it gets better with age.

David BowieWilliam Crighton
David BowieBlackstar
My favourite album from 2016 is Blackstar from David Bowie. There were a lot of great albums but I listened to it the most.

TigallerroSteven Barnard (Arbori, Jon Cotton)
Phonte and Eric RobersonTigallerro
Smooth grooves, dope rhymes, sweet melodies. You’d be hard pressed to find another 2016 record his year that has this flow, though Anderson Paaks’ Malibu is a close second. It rolls effortlessly from track to track and the inevitable ass shaking comes with a no “slutty table top twerking” guarantee. It’s rare that a hip hop record explores what it means to be a man of sexual fidelity, a family man, and even man of faith in higher power. Getting hype or turning down, my morning wake up or my party starter, this record has been a solid find.

Julia JacklinJesse Lubitz (TinPan Orange)
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
This album is a gem. The more I listen to this record, the more the songs shimmer and shine with a beautiful honesty. Jacklin’s songwriting is earnest and her voice perfect – it feels like an important voice which dances delicately on a wire between mundanity and profundity.

Bon IverOliver’s Army
Bon Iver22, A Million
Although becoming more and more electronic heavy, Justin Vernon’s signature haunting melodies and dynamic vocals remain consistently endearing. I found the production to be quite bold and experimental, and I love that they’re continuing to explore their sound and push it in new directions. Sonically, it’s spacious and beautiful.

RadioheadKim Churchill
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
My top album of 2016 has probably got to go to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead. It really hit me at the perfect moment. I was deep in the studio and sometimes getting a bit overly flustered by how complex the process of recording can be. I think Radiohead have done something incredible in the way this album is so relaxed, so subtle, but so powerful. There is this beautiful calm confidence that I am completely in awe of. To be alive whilst their legacy is still being added to is a real treat!

Conor OberstThomas Busby (Busby Marou)
Conor OberstRuminations
Brave, personal and heart achingly real. It feels like you’re in the room with him as he’s pouring his heart out.

Iggy PopEm George
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
It would be a total lie for me to say that I have been patiently and politely waiting for a new Iggy Pop record because I’ve been extremely impatient and downright rude, mouthing off to my vinyl copy of Lust for Life, begging to the Iggy Pop gods for a new release and then Post Pop Depression hit in March this year. Produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), the entire album is gritty and dark, sharp and tight with that small hint of sadness that lies just under the surface of Iggy Pop’s music. However in true Iggy fashion, the melodies and heavy drums lift the album into something that is hard to define, taking you to another place. My pick for 2016!

KaleoGerrit Gmel (Citizen of the World)
KaleoA/B
I came across these guys on Spotify a few months ago as they were our number one associated artist then. I had never heard of them before but their album has been on repeat ever since. Their album is incredibly varied, with high-energy songs like “Way Down We Go” and soft ballads like “Save Yourself”. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.

Gregory PorterJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, Backsliders)
Gregory PorterTake me to the Alley
I watched a YouTube clip of Gregory Porter performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and watched it several times over, absolutely mesmerised. The album is just as mesmerising; full of soul, jazz and RnB, beautiful arrangements and Porter’s effortless delivery; just enough grit and soul to keep the jazz interesting! I listen to this album when I want something that will absolutely zone me out of where I am and what I am doing, Porter’s soothing voice is like being wrapped up in blanket and given a cup of hot cocoa.

Bruce MolskyShell Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Bruce MolskyCan’t Stay Here This a-Way
Bruce Molsky always manages to bring such a rich, unique sound to the old-time classics. His latest album is no exception. His fiddle-singin’ gives me warm fuzzies akin to sitting by a campfire under a starry sky.

David BowieJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
David BowieBlackstar
It was hot, humid January afternoon driving through a sun-shower when I first listened to David Bowie’s Blackstar album. Released just 2 days after his death aged 69 this is an amazing final piece of work from this incredible artist. The hauntingly beautiful voice and instrumentation echos with songs about finality and death. Listening to this I was filled pure joy, sadness and reflection of this artist’s inspirational legacy.

Black Mountain String bandThe Plough
Black Mountain String BandTime Traveller
This year The Plough discovered the Canberra based Black Mountain String Band and can’t get enough of them. The exuberance and variety they bring to a live show is showcased beautifully in their recording. Their mix of traditional and original songs and instrumentals take the listener back in time through a landscape of high energy Old Time, Western Swing, triangle pumping Cajun and plucky Fiddle polkas. This CD’s been on high rotation in the Lancer’s CD stacker ever since it was launched in the bush capital on a chilly winters night.

TyrannamenFraser A Gorman
TyrannamenTyrannamen
A brilliant, gruff mixture of Memphis Garage-soul blended deep in a gravel filled, VB bottle of Australian 70’s pub rock. Eight tracks long, all killer no filler.

Margo PriceNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo is one of the first of a new breed of Americana artists to come out of the new epicentre of country music in East Nashville. Alongside Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, et al., these guys are playing authentic honky-tonk reminiscent of 1970s outlaw country, yet with their own fresh take. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter reminds me of the edgiest tracks from Dolly Parton, and the fact she is the first country act signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records is a testament to the quality of this album.

Oh PepJames Kenyon
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
Stadium Cake is a brilliant album – brave arrangements, tight pop writing, great lyrics and Liv’s voice is a pleasure. I love the ambition of the album, and the assuredness the result. It’s an inspiring record

Julia JacklinAinsley Farrell
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
I’ve had the chance to see Julia perform these songs over the past couple years so I’ve been very excited for her album. She has an incredible songwriting talent topped by this powerful yet vulnerable voice that’ll break your heart and put it back together again all in one go. If you get the chance to see her and her band live I wouldn’t miss it.

Liz StringerMel Parsons
Liz StringerAll The Bridges
I have been a fan of Liz for a good few years now, I’m completely smitten with her voice – all husk, beauty and pain. I had high expectations for her new album, and All The Bridges delivers and then some, it’s been on repeat in my house since it arrived.

CanaryKathleen Mary Lee
CanaryI Am Lion
I like this because it is a celebration of very big, very beautiful feelings that I reckon have no other way of being celebrated other than through this kind of emotionally epic music. The lyrics are attempts at honesty and the music is always their non verbal emotional equivalent, making the album a very cathartic experience. If you want it to be. A bit of a masterpiece

Eagle and the WolfSam Buckingham
Eagle & The WolfEagle & The Wolf
Sarah brings out Kris’s sweetness and Kris brings out Sarah’s no bullshit strength – making this album the perfect balance of heart and “fuck you”. It just sounds like two musicians being real and having a ball. Awesome songwriting, perfect harmonies – it’s golden.

Sian EvansTori Forsyth
Sian EvansHow Time Has Treated Thee
This EP has only swept across my table recently but it is hands down a stand out. It makes me feel happy, sad and inspired all in one hit!

Songs From DanLucie Thorne
Dan TuffySongs From Dan
Aussie expat (now Dutch resident) and legend Dan Tuffy (Big Low, Wild Pumpkins at Midnight) has made one of my favourite albums not just of 2016 but of all time (seriously!). Co-produced by Melbourne’s Matt Walker, and recorded partly here in Melbourne, and partly in Holland, this album is an extraordinary collection from a true poet who sings straight to the heart of it all. Check it out folks!

Sian EvansHusky Gawenda (Husky)
Damien JuradoVisions Of Us On The Land
While this is Damien Jurado’s twelth album, it is the first I heard of him. Visions is a psychedelic, mystical odyssey, one that takes place within and without. The internal wanderings, the struggles and revelations, mirror an external landscape that is both beautiful and haunting. Each listen draws you further into these mirror worlds and all the while Jurado’s songs and sounds are immediately and undeniably striking.

Tracy McNeilLeah Flanagan
Tracy McNeil and the Good LifeThieves
Thieves is such an enjoyable record to listen to. It’s poppy and catchy yet underneath the veneer of fun singalong good times the songs themselves incredibly well crafted and arranged. Tracey writes a damn good song and if you’re lucky enough to see her band live, you’ll see them play those songs damn well too.

Adora EyeMusketeer
Adora EyeIf You Need A King, I’ve Been Prepared All My Life
This is probably the most raw and enduring folk album I have listened to all year. I am sure that this Swedish singer-songwriter was up all night writing this album in a smokey boat in the Stockholm harbour somewhere. You can almost see him clutching that ink pen with a red right hand, as his pet raven swings in a cage above his head eating dead beetles.

Hiss Golden MessengerDave Powys (The Paper Kites)
Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like A Levee
I heard this album playing in a record store in London, and as I flicked through racks of vinyl I was drawn into the melodies and depth of his song writing. Every now and then you come across an artist who really moves you, or scratches an itch you never knew you had – this album has done both for me.

The Kill Devil HillsCatherine Traicos
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
This album encapsulates all that I love about the The Kill Devil Hills. A mad racket of noise, it pulses with life and is as ripe with heartfelt ballads as it is with sexy, sinister, badass, guitar driven numbers. Enjoy with whiskey.

Robert Ellis10 String Symphony
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
His first self-produced effort combines thoughtfully crafted songs with unique and interesting arrangements, expertly performed by him and his killer band. It’s the full package real deal and we love it so much.

The Dead MaggiesThe Dead Maggies
The Cloves and The TobaccoAcross The Horizon
TCATT are one of many celt-punk bands making great music in Java, and this album is a standout. It’s straight up driving celtic punk, with big powerful singalong choruses that tug the heartstrings. Good arrangements and musicianship help make this album great. We played with them in their hometown of JogJakarta, in the attic of a vegetarian cafe. The power cut out just before the gig, so the bands went ahead and played unplugged, it was a great moment of sweaty singalongs.

Howe GelbMark Moldre
Howe GelbFuture Standards
Late night meanderings. Laid back, whisky infused jazz piano. Wordplay and lyrical twists that stand alongside the wit of Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael with the quiet phrasing of Chet Baker. Gelb continues to walk to his own beat – confounding expectations whilst smashing and recreating genres. His history has always hinted towards a love of jazz and occasionally detoured into Monk style musings – here Gelb embraces it wholeheartedly.

TullaraSian Evans
TullaraBetter Hold On
Earthy folk and roots with a dash of dirty grunge, Tullara presents her debut EP Better Hold On. Featuring her superb guitar slinging and percussive finger tapping wizardry, genius pop-roots arrangements and powdery vocals; it’s as if an Aussie Taylor Swift, John Butler and Andy Mckee were entrapped in a love triangle and spawned gold threads of wild honesty weaving together this admirable little Roots record. It’ll jerk a tear and invoke a bit of primal badass equally.

TaliskJake Pember (The Button Collective)
TaliskAbyss
Ever since first hearing Mohsen Amini’s amazing concertina playing earlier this year I have been a little bit obsessed with this band. They have the perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, and each member has such command of their instruments that every track feels as natural and flowing as a conversation.

Max SavageKaurna Cronin
Max SavageTrue Believers
Max has a brilliant ability to invite his audiences into the narrative of his works. With brilliant imagery and musicianship True Believers captures a great snapshot of true Australian culture, while also creating a great sense of nostalgia by grasping that 80’s Australian rock sound perfectly. The perfect soundtrack for an Australian road trip or any suburban household.

Nick CaveAlex L’Estrange
Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
Amongst all the huge artists that dropped albums in 2016, and the loads of Australian artists that arguably dropped career highlights (Ball Park Music, These Guy, D.D Dumbo), there was one album that I found myself frequently listening to, uninterrupted, alone on the hi-fi, and that was Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s not necessarily my favourite, I think it’s an impossible task to name a favourite, but it was the first album that came to mind for this list, and that means more than anything. Hearing it coupled with the film One More Time With Feeling was challenging, given its subject matter. But its atmosphere was expertly executed; dynamic, fluid, smooth and heartbreaking. The rooms of Air, La Frette and Retreat studios are beautifully on display in songs like “Girl in Amber”, where the wispy backing vocals of The Bad Seeds hauntingly resonate across the walls. These contrast the desperate and almost maddening mantras of “I Need You”. What makes it a truly extraordinary album, is that it isn’t just doom and gloom. ‘Skeleton Tree’ doesn’t dwell on tragedy, it addresses it as part of the human condition, and there is an underlying beauty in that.

William CrightonClaire Ann Taylor
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
The storytelling and the whole atmosphere created by Crighton on this album is incredible. His dark, brooding voice and emotive style of delivery, commanded my attention from the first moment I heard it.

Andy ShaufWilliam Fitzsimmons
Andy ShaufThe Party
This was my favorite album of the year for one simple reason: MELODY!!! Andy is everything that’s right about classic “pop” music; never playing a note without a damn good reason for doing so, and songwriting that makes you feel something deep in your gut. He’s the worthy musical son of Harry Nilsson that we’ve longingly been waiting for.

LuciusRuby Boots
LuciusGood Grief
I have to choose this album because I’m still, since its release, pulling away the layers on it. Although it’s a predominantly pop record, the lyrical content and melodic arrangements are so intelligent and accessible all at once – a fine line that is hard to walk. The girls’ voices are otherworldly and tend to make me forget where I am and what I’m doing every time I put this album on. I still can’t get enough of it.

WetLacey Cole (Lazy Colts)
WetDon’t You
If you have a soft spot for B-grade pop ballads/R&B this Brooklyn-based three piece may just have written the soundtrack of your 90s-nostalgia drenched dreams. Their latest album Don’t You is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Helmed by the stunning front-woman Kelly Zutrau, her unusual vocal inflections and impassioned delivery suggest an emotional complexity in what may otherwise be confused as banal sentiments (one song is called “Baby, You’re The Best”). Once combined with the lush production and rhythms of the band – assigned with the noble task of turning tears into toe-tappers – these songs are wonderfully earnest, rarely overwrought and exactly what you need right now.

James KenyonJoe Murphy (The Timbers)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
I have been lucky enough to see James play a couple of times. His beautifully crafted songs are reminiscent of great songwriters like Paul Kelly. The album is a stunning representation of his work.

JRHMabel Windred-Wornes (Charm of Finches)
Josh Rennie-HynesFurthermore
I love this album. It’s got so much warmth, it’s spacious. I listen to it late at night doing my homework and it’s so calming. It’s like the energy he captured recording it in the hills of Woodford transmits. We met him at Bendigo Blues and Roots Fest this year and felt we’d discovered a rare gem. He’s an amazing songwriter.

Tom BrosseauMatt Bauer
Tom BrosseauNorth Dakota Impressions
Beautiful storytelling, vivid imagery, and an incredible sense of place. I’ve always loved Tom’s records and he’s at the top of his game here writing about his native North Dakota.

Jim JamesTimberwolf
Jim JamesEternally Even
It’s a pretty passionate political plea and America needed a timely voice. He even released it the day before election day. I think his voice is very much from another world, so that’s an important “third person” kind of perspective. It’s a well sequenced collection of songs, and I really love the warm psych and soul inspired production/composition. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that Jim James and Blake Mills would make up my sonic dream-team.

Nigel WearneJustin Bernasconi (The Stillsons)
Nigel WearneDrawing Circles
Nigel has really forged his own fingerpicking techniques on both the banjo and guitar on this album, and his voice tenderly delivers every song with intense concern and passion. Just check out the live version of the title track.

The Kill Devil HillsMark ‘Looch’ Lewis – (Wifey/Handsome Young Strangers)
The Kill Devil HillsIn On Under Near Water
I have always loved this band. In all their incarnations and styles whether that is folk, country, gospel, rock or what I call the “WA dirge” (Kim Salmon, Drones type bass driven tunes). Hard to believe it is now 12 years since the release of their debut Heathen Songs when that “Drinkin’ Too Much” song first got my attention. And while it has been 7 years since the last studio album Man You Should Explode, the good news is that I reckon this is the most cohesive album yet. Cracking harmonies, great playing and strong tunes. Tracks like “The Nets”, “Chinese Burns” and notably “The Kid” are 3 of the best tunes they have released. Let’s hope there is more output and touring to come.

Austin LucasMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Austin LucasBetween the Moon & the Midwest
I spend a fair bit of time on the road traveling to see my partner and this record became the perfect traveling companion for me. Took a few listens to get into and also realise it’s a concept album which draws from Lucas’ own past experiences. Without spoiling the outcome, it follows the luckless musician Richard, his partner Kristie Rae and his best friend William. It features killer song writing with pedal steel, twangy tele, country influences with punk rock subtlety, numerous guest vocals from the likes of John Moreland and Corey Brannan, and a cracker duet with Lydia Loveless “Wrong Side of the Dream”, dealing with the struggles and plights that many musicians face. My song of the record is “William”, the solo acoustic number at the end that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the guts. Songwriting at its finest.

Cody JinksAndrew Cavalieri (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Cody JinksI’m Not the Devil
Raw, honest and heartache. That is this album! The first track really sets the mood for the rest of the album, but is broken up by “Chase This Song” which is a damn banger of a driving song! The outlaw vibe flowing from Junks’ music really prepares you for some hard times and disappointment in life. Bloody hell I love this album! Honorable mentions: Murlocs – Young Blindness, Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep and Mudcrutch – 2.

Wartime SweetheartsLaura Bishop (Chaika)
Wartime SweetheartsSo Long Sparta
A killer voice, some super awesome writing skills, and an obsession with bodybuilders (hello Ms Olympia!) make this my favourite album of 2016. Wartime Sweethearts, aka singer-keyboardist-loop artist-songwriter Louise Nutting, signed to Art As Catharsis Records this year and released an album full of all the beats and electric piano and vocal harmony sounds that I like to hear (and I wish I could make) – and my favourite track “Figure It In, Figure It Out” has all the unexpected twistings and turnings of chord progressions that I wish I could write. One day Chaika will make sounds like this! One day…

Neil YoungTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Neil YoungPeace Trail
Well with everyone saying we should just put 2016 behind us (although to be honest we should probably be approaching 2017 with a little trepidation too) I’ve decided not to dig too deeply into the past when thinking of my favorite record release of the year. I’ve loved many, but my recent love is the just-released 37th album by Neil Young. Peace Trail is short, musically experimental within its tight three piece band approach, and lyrically angry and poignant. I love it for the drummer’s drummer Jim Keltner and the way his delicate touch chases Neil’s quirky phrasing around the songs. I love it because it captures another freeze frame moment from a restless and undaunted songwriter, and I love it, of course, for those mighty guitar tones.

Davey CraddockLachlan Bryan
Davey CraddockCity West
2016 was a great year for my friends releasing good music. Melody Pool comes to mind, as do The Weeping Willows, Henry Wagons, Ange Boxall and Bill Jackson. It’s actually really hard to contribute to a “best of” list when you’re close to many of the artists – it’s hard to be objective – even after I rule out the records I was actually involved in making. Actually – it’s always hard to be objective, whether you know the artists or not. Furthermore, judging a whole body of work is hard – and for me, more than ever, 2016 was the year of the song (as opposed to the album or EP). And as songs go, the one that’s really stuck with me this year is the song “Number 9” by Davey Craddock. I love the cricket references. I asked Davey if he was a diehard cricket fan like me. He’s not. I was bitterly disappointed.

The Stray BirdsThe Mae Trio
The Stray BirdsMagic Fire
The Stray Birds made our fave album of 2014 and they’ve done it again in spectacular style with Magic Fire. It’s everything about this album and this band, the playing, the three part harmony and songs that are unabashed, true and unadorned. Magic Fire is a reminder of the things that matter, it’s definitely a fire and maybe a little bit magic.

Tori ForsythAndrew Swift
Tori ForsythBlack Bird
This EP is right up there as one of my favourite releases of 2016. From the moment I heard the opening title track, “Black Bird”, I knew that I was in for a treat. The diversity on display within the 5 tracks of Tori Forsyth’s debut release excites me. The songs are so well crafted and presented with such a mature sound, especially for someone so young. I’m eagerly awaiting the next release from one of Australia’s most promising young songwriters.

Hayden CalninRoscoe James Irwin
Hayden CalninCut Love Pt 1
A beautiful album from Melbourne artist Hayden Calnin. Drenched in melancholy and ambient awesomeness, this album had me at hello. (One of my favourite live shows of 2016 as well).

Jordie LaneNadine Budge (The Stetson Family)
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
Have to say I’ve been particularly digging Jordie Lane’s GLASSELLLAND this last couple of months – with mighty input from the multi-talented Clare Reynolds. Let’s face it, Jordie’s a bit of an all-round talented guy!

Melody PoolDavey Craddock
Melody PoolDeep Dark Savage Heart
One of my fave local album’s of the year was Melody Pool’s Deep Dark Savage Heart. I’m a sucker for strings and a massive chorus and I love the way the songs build from really intimate, delicate and ornate passages into full-blown, wailing-on-a-mountain top with Stevie Nicks, 100 soaring bats and a thunderstorm moments. I saw her launch it at the Abbotsford Convent earlier this year and it was a really powerful and affecting show for me.

Methyl EthylTim Guy
Methyl Ethel – “No.28”
I know it’s not an album, but I’ve listened to this song more than any other this year, and it only came out a little while back. It has a lot going for it – great rhythm behind a smart piece of songwriting and then the whole thing is bathed in a deep silver mercury type thing. An Australian classic I swear.

DocksThe Staves
Amanda BergmanDocks
Our favourite album of 2016 is Docks by Amanda Bergman. Her voice is utterly sublime. You want to listen to every word she says. The music is dreamy, deep, soft, moody with melodies that whirr deliciously around your mind for days and weeks on end.

Katie BriannaRaechel Whitchurch
Katie BriannaVictim or the Heroine
I picked this album up when Katie and I did a songwriters showcase together. Sitting beside her listening to her songs was so magical – her voice is one of the most enchanting I have ever heard and her lyrics hit you right in the feels every time. Reminds me of a young Lucinda!

James KenyonMandy Connell (Stray Hens)
James KenyonImagine You Are Driving
James’ lyrics have that magic of time and place usually associated with voices like Paul Kelly or Bruce Springsteen. You can practically smell his scenes. You’re there. This album captures the voice but better than that, like a Tim Winton book, its a record that makes you present in Kenyon’s stories.

Jordie LaneLiz Stringer
Jordie Lane & The SleepersGLASSELLLAND
It’s no secret that Jordie Lane and I are good mates. We grew up together, musically speaking, and I am more familiar with his work than with most other artist’s. His new album, his first full-length release in five years, is called GLASSELLLAND, recorded by Jordie himself in various make-shift recording spaces in North Los Angeles and co-produced by his fiercely talented partner, Clare Reynolds, who also co-wrote half of the songs and sings and plays a heap of instruments on the record. Jordie’s songwriting and musicianship continue to evolve and stretch out with the years and these songs, and the way they’re recorded, ache with longing while driving forward with a swagger and a playful showmanship, melodically rich and hooky as fuck. I always become a bit weepy listening to Jordie sing. And, now, the combination of him and Clare ruins me every time. Beautiful.

David BowieColin Jones (Colin Jones & The Delta Review)
David BowieBlackstar
An exceptional reflection on final days and the unknown. Every note by Bowie, McCaslin and the band emphasize the chaos and fragility of life. There is no better swansong for an artist.

A Moon Shaped PoolEmma Anglesey
RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool completely surrenders to simple truths that both lie in plain sight and in the messy tangled, kicking and screaming realities of life. The epic levels of angst in the opening track “Burn the Witch” are like an exorcism – Jonny Greenwood’s sharp string arrangement take you right to the edge – and then from there it’s like Alice falling through the rabbit hole of raw emotion and you go deeper and deeper.

DawesTim Hart (Boy & Bear)
DawesWe’re All Gonna Die
Some of the best lyric writing welded on to some pretty simple, but catchy, pop songs. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama shakes, Laura Marling), this is a great record start to finish if you can forgive some slightly John Mayer sounding guitars that pop their head up from time to time. This I the record I keep coming back to this year

Oh PepRebecca Bastoli
Oh Pep!Stadium Cake
I don’t think I have ever been so entranced, excited or exhausted by the journey of listening to an album start to finish.

Bon IverDustin Tebbutt
Bon Iver22, A Million
Bon Iver has once again exceeded expectations on this release. It’s both familiar and foreign, delicately coloured, softly focused yet angular and stark. It’s brave, honest and all the things that I loved about Justin’s earlier works, without coming close to formulaic. It’s colloquial and conversational, yet inherently profound. Incredible stuff both musically and sonically.

Margo PriceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
There’s something comforting about Margo Price’s debut album, almost like I’d listened to it before, but not in an overly familiar sort of way. Perhaps there’s something in her glorious voice that reminds me of my parent’s Dolly Parton records. She’s a great story teller, and I want to know more about her heartaches and headaches, particularly when accompanied by her crack band. I’m also proud to say my 4 year daughter keeps calling for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle)” when we’re in the car – and I can’t think of anything else I’d want her to be listening to right now.

BJ BarthamHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
BJ BarhamRockingham
It pains me to say this but BJ Barham’s new-found sobriety has coincided with a serious coming of age as a songwriter. Taking a (very) short break from American Aquarium duties, BJ’s solo release (a genuine side-project) is seriously hard-hitting stuff. It rivals Aquarium’s 2012 release Burn. Flicker. Die. for intensity, but of a completely different nature. With sparse arrangements (often acoustic) Barham, as storyteller, gives you an uncensored and unashamed glimpse into how rural America has been left behind. Not for the faint hearted.

William CrightonSam Newton
William CrightonWilliam Crighton
I’d caught Crighton perform a bunch of times at local venues around Sydney and really dug his tune (and especially the music video) “Woman Like You” prior to this album’s release. So I was anticipating this release. Really excited for it. I was stoked when I heard that he and producer Matt Sherrod came through with the goods. Big time. Highlights for me are “Riverina Kid”, “Priest” and “2000 Clicks”. In my mind, this one is about as strong as debut albums get.

Chaim TannenbaumEliza Carthy
Chaim TannenbaumChaim Tannenbaum
The album that I have most enjoyed and most visited this year is the debut of the kind, quiet genius Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound Records). I’ve had the privilege of working with Chaim over the years but it was only recently I realised that I have lived with his distinctive voice and gorgeous humility since I first began to love music. It’s his voice that forms the third harmony in “Complainte pour St Catherine” on the first McGarrigle sisters’ album, a song I played over and over as a child until you could almost see through the record, and he has been quiet companion and producer to theirs and their extended family’s work ever since. It’s somewhat typical of his humility that he has waited this long to make an album, produced by his dear longtime friend and collaborator Loudon Wainwright III. It’s a collection of avuncular stories told in his gorgeously expressive voice with beautiful, minimal production. Some trad, some conversational originals covering everything from the fate of the baseball stadium Ebbets Field to living in a depressing grey London in the endless rain in the 1960s. An album to listen to with your eyes closed by the fire. Again and again, and again.

PinegroveQuinton Trembath
PinegroveCardinal
The lyrics on this album read like the private diary of a well spoken (and well read) guy filled with both anxiety and excitement for life. The musicianship and dynamics complement this introspectiveness well, making it perfectly suited for intense solo listening as well as for being cranked on road trips with friends.

Sean McMahonAlison Ferrier
Sean McMahon and the MoonMenShiner
Sean McMahon’s laid back yet somehow intense vocal brings this fantastic collection of songs to life in my living room. Shiner’s ragged elegance is full of the sort of raunchy country rock I can’t get enough of. Stand out tracks for me: “Shiner” and “Here Comes the Night Again”.

WhitneyEddie Boyd
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
This album just grew and grew on me since my first listen. Simple, catchy tunes that make me wanna dance or go driving for a long time. I think Whitney nailed everything about this album – the instrumentation, the production, obviously the songs. Also, they’re heaps good live.

Secret PathThe Once
Gord DownieSecret Path
The Tragically HipMan Machine Poem
This year was a hard year in Canadian Music. We have a fella here by the name of Gord Downie. He is a legend. He has helped raise Canadians to be more real with his music. He is the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. There are not many people in Canada who don’t know who The Hip are. Their music has become part of our DNA. Gord, this year, made a statement saying he has terminal brain cancer so he obviously fighting for the men and women of the north. The folks that have needed a voice for far too long. He is being that voice. He is showing us how to be Canadian and that we can’t be without acknowledging the needs of all of our people, without respecting all of our people. This year, instead of succumbing to his illness, he put out two albums. One with The Hip and one solo. Here they are. They are magic and will go down in history in our great nation. It’s amazing to watch one man build his second legacy.

Cash SavageJessica Cassar (Jep and Dep)
Cash Savage & The Last DrinksOne Of Us
This has everything you want from a record. It’s dirty and beautiful, and dark as hell. Cash sings with a thunderous anguish that cracks, rumbles and echoes so perfectly any sorrow you might have ever had. And like any good storm, the album’s darkness reveals a little light, one that roars some sort of painful end, or much needed beginning. I love this record!

Tracy McNeilGretta Ziller
Tracy McNeil & The GoodlifeThieves
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to the game when it comes to Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife. I caught their set at Out on the Weekend and was captivated! Their 2016 album Thieves is just so dang easy to listen to, I will confess it is turning into a “chilling on the deck summer favourite” of mine! Please, if you haven’t already, pick up or download a copy of this album and chill!!

Bill JacksonRosie McDonald (RAPT, Trippy Hippy Band, Seanchas)
Bill JacksonThe Wayside Ballads Vol. 2
Bills’ reputation had preceded him before I heard him at Fairlight folk with Ruth Hazelton and Pete Fiddler. I grabbed the opportunity to contribute to his The Wayside Ballads Vol. 2 crowd funding campaign to get Bill and Pete over to Nashville to record with some very fine session players. Bill kept me updated with postcards and messages so I felt like a sideline cheerer in this whole project. Then the CD arrived! Magnificent songs, co-written with Bills’ brother Ross. Bills’ time worn voice, rich and mellow, rootsy, Americana-ish but very very homegrown, local accent, stories big and small, tender and big hearted. Pete’s playing shines in amongst the session guys, a great listen. Music for travel, the cabin, the verandah, anywhere.

Kate Burke and Pete WildMelanie Horsnell
Kate Burke and Pete WildLive at St Peters
In my small town we have the most marvellous artists touring through, but I also love our sweet locals, and I adore this live record by Kate Burke and Pete Wild. Pete Wild’s “Mars 1” is a love song about a person who goes on the Mars mission leaving his forever love behind, the Martin-Martin song is an old village favourite and the last love song between Doris and Arthur makes me giggle and lament at the same time. And I adore playing Kate Burkes version of Frozen Man on repeat when everything in life gets a bit much.

MontaigneGretta Ray
MontaigneGlorious Heights
My favourite record that was released in 2016 is without a doubt, Montaigne’s Glorious Heights. What impresses me most about this record is the fact that it is rather evident that the artist went into this project with the intention of experimenting with her sound and taking risks, drawing inspiration from a range of her influences and assuring that each song conveyed a slightly different emotion from the previous track. I believe it was this approach of 20-year-old Jess Sero’s (Montainge) that resulted in the production of what I perceive to be a very imaginative and bold debut album. This record showcases the fact that Jess has, unquestionably, one of the strongest and most commanding voices in the Australian music industry, this being exemplified through the outstanding production and arrangements of the songs that make up Glorious Heights. As well as this, each song is demonstrative of Jess’ incredibly clever and unique songwriting, which I cannot wait to hear more of in years to come; the simplicity yet complexity and quirkiness of a lyric such as “when you touch my skin, I think ‘this isn’t boring'” makes one ponder on such a line, as Jess’ way of writing is different, daring and something that never fails to make me smile. Glorious Heights made me so very excited about how extravagant pop music is becoming in this day and age, and on the whole made me very proud to be a young woman in the Australian music scene.

WhitneyTreetop Flyers
WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
I first started hearing about this band online, so was waiting for the album with anticipation. When it dropped I must have played it back to back straight away, which rarely happens. They are hard to put in a genre, which is really great. No Woman is one of our faves of the year. They are great live and do a version’s of NRBQ’s Magnet, so happy campers over here.

Drive By TruckersShane Nicholson
Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
In a year of many great records, this stands tall above the crowd. It’s everything I love about the Truckers: gutsy and raw, clever and thoughtful, sometimes irreverent and full of attitude, and sometimes tender and restrained. Imagine a bastard-child born to Son Volt, Matthew Ryan and Uncle Tupelo, but all dressed up in those well-worn and unmistakable Drive-By Truckers clothes. How could that not make for the coolest kid on the block this year?

Conor OberstJack Carty
Conor OberstRuminations
It’s bloody beautiful in its simplicity. Gorgeous songs performed honestly. It seems like every track is a complete performance and any imperfections only enhance the sincerity of it all for me. Such an incredibly good songwriter.

Hayes CarllThe Weeping Willows
Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Lovers and Leavers is Hayes Carll’s most personal, introspective and “exposed” album to date, both in terms of the intimate, confessional songwriting and the stripped back arrangements, reminiscent of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams, never saying too much – or too little. This intimacy draws you in, while Carll’s vulnerability captures you and takes you on a journey through heartache and reflection. Hayes was always in good hands with dynamic duo Joe Henry (producer) and Ryan Freeland (engineer) at the wheel, steering gently towards a common, graceful goal. Henry’s arrangements are characteristically unique yet elegant and tasteful, while Freeland brings his trademark clarity and warmth. Check it out if you’re fans of the late, great Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt or fellow Texans, Steve Earle and Kevin Welch. Stand out tracks: “Sake of The Song”, “The Magic Kid” and “Drive”.

Iggy PopKelly Day (Broads)
Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
Sometimes you’ll find a record that makes you feel high from the moment it begins. Iggy’s new album, channelled through the hooky sounds of Josh Homme and given a Bowie-esque lean, made me grin like a mad person. And then immediately take it for another spin.

Robert EllisMegan Cooper
Robert EllisRobert Ellis
I was waiting to go on air for an interview. While we were pfaffing around getting ready “The High Road” came on. I pretended I knew who Robert Ellis was when I was advised who the artist was that had pretty much hypnotised me in 30 seconds flat. I went out and paid cash money for the album the next day. Every song got me on first listen. Cinematic moments. Super personal bits. Non-standard approaches. Aspirational.

PassengerSam Brittain
PassengerYoung As The Morning, Old As The Sea
Mike has always had a wonderful way of crafting simple and memorable melodies. Combine this with his always captivating lyrics and you have a master songwriter who’s tunes that sneak their way into your day. Songs that sooner or later without realising you find yourself humming whilst waiting in line for your morning coffee. Although often his storytelling veers on on the darker side of heartbreak and loss this latest album has a lighter touch, proving Passenger is and a yard stick for the aspiring modern folk troubadour. A dynamic artist who’s albums have been true to his own brand since day one. Additionally his band on this record are also fantastic live. I recently caught his show to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin, it was one I won’t soon forget.

Bon IverAde Vincent (The Tiger and Me)
Bon Iver22, A Million
Another great record from Bon Iver – I have loved all three so far. I like how it also pushes into some new and interesting territory with the production. The auto-tuned a cappella of “715 – CR∑∑KS” is a particular highlight

Margaret GlaspyMaia Marsh
Margaret GlaspyEmotions and Math
It makes me feel really empowered whenever I listen to it, as a woman myself playing music. The songs are strong, guitar tone is great and her voice has this amazing growl that cuts through a sincere sensitivy at the same time.

BlondDirewolf
Frank OceanBlond
My hat is profusely off to an artist who can seamlessly bridge so many facets of musical integrity. What I mean by that nonsensical shit is that the entire record is some kind of highly strung soundboard (literally) which either sends you flying high just to get high, or high because you’re just too fucking upset. “Skyline To” and “Seigfried” are perfect examples. The whole collective arrangement kills me too, it’s like listening to recent Bon Iver whilst playing Sega in a radio store – the musicality is superb. I could say a lot more, but I’ll safely surrender by saying it definitely influenced the direction of my mind in doing another record.

Bon IverWildwood Kin
Bon Iver22, A Million
Easily. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. It’s just genius.

Tattletale SaintsGeorge Jackson (The Company, Buffalo Nickel, One Up, Two Down)
Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints
Nashville based, New Zealand duo Tattletale Saints released their self-titled, second album this year, and it’s beautiful. Cy Winstanley (Guitars, Vocals) can pen songs with the best of them, his offerings on this album range from self-reflective and insightful, to sometimes cynical and cutting but always with a masterful craftsmanship. Vanessa McGown (Double Bass, Vocals) provides both solid and virtuosic Double Bass playing and vintage tinged country vocals. The new album is definitely a departure from their earlier acoustic recordings – but for a new fan, like me coming along, this is a bold and engaging listen complete with a production dripping in vintage tones and depth. Listen, and enjoy!

Genni KaneBill Jackson
Genni KaneSelfies
Ex-member of seminal Australian band, The Flying Emus, Genni Kane has a voice that can’t be denied. This long awaited record shows she is also a very gifted songwriter and the opening track “Little White Dog” is the beginning of a beautiful journey that deserves your attention.

Nancy KerrRuth Hazleton (http://www.billjacksonmusic.com/, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton)
Nancy KerrInstar
A heady mix of poetry, politics and social commentary, Nancy Kerr’s Instar is an achingly beautiful collection of original songs framed within the landscape of traditional folk music. Beautifully performed and produced, Instar is, without doubt, one of the masterpieces of folk from 2016 and a work that will inform the tradition for a long time to come.

Fanny LumsdenThe Pigs
Fanny LumsdenSmall Town Big Shot
This album is full of great songs written from Fanny’s heart. She’s the real McCoy. Whenever we see her play live her songs get stuck in our head for weeks after. “Bravest Of Hearts”, “Soapbox” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down” are just a few of the crackers on this rekid. This is a breath of fresh air for Australian Country Music. We love Fanny! More… More…

Side PonyHannah Acfield (The Acfields)
Lake Street DiveSide Pony
Give me a bit of 60’s sounding soul any day of the week! The songs are catchy, nice melodies and make you wanna move. I’m a sucker for a sterling vocalist. This was fav album for me.

Julia JacklinWillowy
Julia JacklinDon’t Let The Kids Win
An album about the little things in life that somehow manages to sum up the bigger things as well, cutting right through the mess to the heart of it all. Beautifully written and perfectly executed. It’s lovely to see an artist from the Sydney folk music family reaching great heights with an exceptional debut album.

John FlanaganSal Kimber (Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel)
John FlanaganThere’s Another Way To Where You’re Going

Bill ChambersRicky Pann (The Willing Ponies)
Bill ChambersCold Trail
Jen MizeWarnings and Wisdom
Sam BushStoryman
Bill Chambers is an Australian Journeyman troubadour. Songwriter, producer, sideman and front man, Bills live shows have influenced many and earned him a legion of devoted fans. Cold trail is Bills first studio album in four years and reminds the rock pop acts infiltrating modern country of where the heart of country lies. Cold Trail is a collection of honky-tonk “life lived” country that is the real deal. Produced by Bill and Recorded at his son Nash Chambers foggy mountain studios, Cold Trail is a world class record that draws on many influences to deliver country authenticity with Aussie perspective. A cracker record.
It’s a long way from Jen Mize roots in the Appliacian mountains of Georgia and North Carolina as a decedent of Lumbee Tribe of native Americans to the Sunshine coast of Queensland. Jen Mize is the real deal in every respect. An American songwriter with an incredible voice delivering an album packed with dynamic, well-crafted songs that’s all killer no filler. Shane Nicholson’s earthy production, arrangments and playing provide a tastefully rich sonic pallet that does this fine singer justice. The album glides from old-timey to traditional country and honky tonk, setting a very high bar of authenticity. An absolute stand out record.
Sixty-four-year-old Sam Bush has many stories to tell as a musician, innovator, writer and singer. One of my favourite musicians on the planet, Sam is a bluegrass master and the father of newgrass music spawned from his groundbreaking band the New Grass Revival. Sam is arguably one of the most influential mandolin players in history having played with just about everyone from Bill Monroe to Leon Russell. This record is a collection of finely crafted songs with a crack band featuring vocals from Emmylou Harris and Alison Kraus. A masterful record.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 8th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld announced a joint tour for May. Details here

The Pigs released their cover of “Addicted To Bass” featuring Josh Abrahams himself on bottles. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Patrick James released his new single “California Song”. Details here

– The legendary Joan Baez has announced Australian dates this September. Details here

Claude Hay released his new single “Crossfire”. Details here

– Award winning singer-songwriter Kaurna Cronin released his new​ video “Inside Your Town Is Inside Your Head”. Details here

– Legendary singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter announced her first Australian our in 10 years with support from Tift Merritt. Details here

– Melbourne’s Jed Rowe announced details of his new album The Last Day of Winter produced by Jeff Lang and featuring members of The Stillsons. Details here

– Sydney bluegrass trio Catgut announced details of their album launch show. Details here

– A new Americana festival, Dashville Skyline, has been announced for Octover. Details here

Passenger has been announced as one of the supports for Ed Sheeran later this year. Details here

– The Finders Keepers Markets in Sydney this weekend have announced a musical lineup that includes Direwolf, Leroy Lee, Not Good With Horses, Julia Jacklin, Richard Cuthbert, Jacob Pearson, Katie Wighton, Brian Campeau and many many more. Details here

– Emerging Sydney singer-songwriter Rebecca Bastoli announced a fundraising concert for her new EP next month. Details here

Timberwolf released his new video “Whiskey Jar”. Details here

Blog

“Is the latest folk “revival” over? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately as Timber and Steel celebrates its fifth year of blogging” – Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans reflects on Timber and Steel‘s fifth birthday. Read the blog here

Releases This Week

The Travelling Kind
The Travelling KindEmmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
iTunes

Lau
The Bell That Never RangLau
Official Site

Dark Bird is Home
Dark Bird is HomeThe Tallest Man On Earth
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Squeezebox Trio, James Kenyon, Tobias Hengeveld

Squeezebox Trio

The Porchlight Sessions at the Petersham Bowls Club in Sydney have been showcasing some of the best folk music this country has to offer. This week’s show features three of the best – The Squeezebox Trio, James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld

Thursday 14th May – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Brad Butcher
Friday 8th May – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC

Buffalo Nickel
Friday 8th May – Cardigan Bar, Sandgate, QLD
Saturday 9th May – Megan Hall, Dorrigo, NSW
Sunday 10th May – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW

Catgut w/ Bonniesongs
Friday 15th May – Glebe Justice Centre, Sydney, NSW

Claude Hay
Saturday 9th May – Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 15th May – Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville, NSW

Dan Parsons and Steve Grady
Friday 8th May – Live N Lounging, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 9th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 14th May – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 15th May – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS

Direwolf and Willowy
Wednesday 13th May – The Boatshed, Manly, NSW
Thursday 14th May – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 15th May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Elwood Myre
Friday 15th May – Rad, Wollongong, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets Sydney
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May – Australian Technology Park, Sydney, NSW

James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld
Thursday 14th May – Porch Light Sessions, Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th May – House Concert, Maitland, NSW

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 8th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 9th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gale & the Ponytails
Friday 8th May – Gearin Hotel, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 9th May – Parkes Hotel, Parkes, NSW
Friday 15th May – Grace Darling, Collingwood, VIC

Man Of Constant Sorrow: A Tribute to the Music of O Brother Where Art Thou? feat. The Morrisons, Brian Campeau, Lucky Luke, Georgia Mooney, Hannah Crofts, Katie Wighton, Luke Escombe
Friday 8th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. The Squeezebox Trio, James Kenyon, Tobias Hengeveld
Thursday 14th May – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW

Ruby Boots
Friday 15th May – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA

Steve Smyth
Friday 8th May – The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD

Sydney Blues and Roots Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May – The Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 15th May – Street Theatre, Acton, ACT

Timberwolf
Friday 8th May – Great Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 9th May – Surfers Paradise Festival, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Rabbit Song” – Boy & Bear

To celebrate our fifth birthday this week I thought I’d re-post the first ever song we featured on Timber and Steel – “Rabbit Song” from the then on-the-rise Boy & Bear. If you want to read out 2010 review of the track check it out here

Watch the New Video from The Pigs, “Addicted To Bass”, feat. Josh Abrahams

The Pigs
Image Courtesy of The Pigs

Last week bluegrass band The Pigs released the video for their latest Australian cover, the Josh Abrahams track “Addicted To Bass”. And as an extra special treat the cover features a cameo from Abrahams himself – on the bottles.

“Addicted To Bass” is taken from The Pigs’ latest album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics. Check out the video below:

The Pigs are in the throws of a national tour – check out the remaining dates here:

Friday 15th May – Street Theatre, Acton, ACT
Saturday 16th May – Kinross Woolshed Hotel, Thurgoona, NSW
Friday 22nd May – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd May – Katoomba RSL, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 29th May – The Spirit, Traralgon, VIC
Saturday 30th May – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th June – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 13th June – Norths Leagues Club, Kallangur, QLD
Friday 19th June – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 20th June – Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Varsity Lakes, QLD

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 20th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

The Staves revealed three new tracks from their forthcoming record via live videos. Details here

– American singer-songwriter Pieta Brown released her new video “Flowers of Love” featuring Justin Vernon on backing vocals. Details here

Mumford and Sons released their new video “Believe” and I provided my thoughts. Details here

Owen Pallett has been in Australia this week. Details here

Pepa Knight just released his new video “Coyote Choir”. Details here

– Sydney pickers The Morrisons will be taking on the bluegrass albums of Paul Kelly in a very special show. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Fraser A. Gorman released his new video “Broken Hands”. Details here

– The latest single from The Pigs is a bluegrass version of the Powderfinger classic “My Happiness”. Details here

Sufjan Stevens released his new track “Should Have Known Better”. Details here

– And while we’re on Sufjan Stevens, he’s been announced for this year’s Vivid Live. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk duo Winterbourne released the video for their single “Steady My Bones”. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Laura Jean and Aldous Harding have announced joint tour dates this April. Details here

Laura Marling revealed another new track, “Strange”. Details here

– UK trad group Sam Lee & Friends released their new video “Blackbird”. Details here

– Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men have announced plans to release a new album this June. Details here

Ben Howard has rescheduled this month’s Australian tour dates until May and June. Details here

– The new Mark Knopfler album Tracker is out today and we have the video for the first single “Beryl”. Details here

– Blue Mountains band Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars kick off their EP launch tour at Bluesfest. Details here

Releases This Week

Declaration
DeclarationKate Burke & Ruth Hazelton
Bandcamp

Tracker
TrackerMark Knopfler
iTunes

The Staves
If I WasThe Staves
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon hit Australia this week for a series of highly anticipated shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The band’s 2014 album Benji was amongst the best last year so you can guarantee these are going to be pretty special shows.

Saturday 21st March – Atheneum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 22nd March – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 23rd March – City Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 25th March – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Gigs Next Week

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Wednesday 25th March – The Melbourne Folk Club, Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 27th March – Spiegeltent, Hobart, TAS

Andrew Swift
Friday 20th March – Crown + Anchor, Adelaide, SA

Brad Butcher
Friday 27th March – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Darren Hanlon
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC
Tuesday 24th March – Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba, NSW
Wednesday 25th March – Gallipoli Legions Club, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 26th March – Manning Bar, Sydney, NSW

Davey Craddock
Saturday 21st March – Bunbury Entertainment Centre, Bunbury, WA

Elwood Myre
Friday 20th March – Vic on the Park, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 21st March – Kincumber Hotel, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 22nd March – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 25th March – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Friday 20th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC
Saturday 21st March – Moyston Hall, Moyston, VIC
Wednesday 25th March – Adelonia Theatre, Adelong, NSW
Thursday 26th March – Bonegilla Migrant Experience, Bonegilla, VIC

Heartstring Quartet
Saturday 21st March – Deloraine String Festival, Deloraine, TAS
Wednesday 25th March – Nicholas Hotel, Beechworth, VIC
Friday 27th March – Southern Folk Club, Adelaide, SA

Jack Carty
Thursday 26th March – Manning Bar, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Saturday 21st March – St Paul’s Church, Bridgetown, WA
Sunday 22nd March – Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA

John Flanagan
Friday 20th March – Illawarra Folk Club, City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 21st March – House Concert, Newcastle, NSW

Jordie Lane
Thursday 26th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Liam Gerner, Caitlin Harnett
Friday 20th March – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 25th March – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Thursday 26th March – Yarra Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 27th March – The Jive, Adelaide, SA

Kim Richey
Wednesday 25th March – Melbourne Folk Club, Melbourne, VIC

Lisa Mitchell
Wednesday 25th March – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 27th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Nuala Kennedy
Saturday 21st March – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 22nd March – Kiama Community Hall, Kiama, NSW

Owen Pallett
Saturday 21st March – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Roland Kay-Smith
Friday 20th March – Illawarra Brewery, Wollongong, NSW

Rowena Wise
Thursday 26th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Friday 20th March – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, SA
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, VIC

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Friday 20th March – The Illawarra Brewery, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 21st March – The Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW
Sunday 22nd March – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday 27th March – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

Sun Kil Moon
Saturday 21st March – Atheneum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 22nd March – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Monday 23rd March – City Recital Hall, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 25th March – The Bakery, Perth, WA

Taryn La Fauci
Friday 27th March – The Bunker Room at Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

The Bottlers
Friday 20th March – The Corrimal Hotel, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 21st March – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. All Our Exes Live in Texas, Kim Richey
Wednesday 25th March – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly
Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 27th March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Timberwolf
Friday 20th March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 27th March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC

Vance Joy
Friday 20th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Saturday 21st March – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 24th March – Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 27th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Winterbourne
Saturday 21st March – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 22nd March – The Lair, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 26th March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 27th March – Rad, Wollongong, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Saturday 21st March – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 22nd March – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 27th March – HQ Complex, Adelaide. SA

Yackandandah Folk Festival
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd March – Yackandandah, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Irish Boy” – Mark Knopfler

Taken from the the 1984 movie Cal and featuring the talents of Paul Brady (tin whistle, mandolin) and Liam O’Flynn (uillean pipes), “Irish Boy” is among some of Knopfler’s best soundtrack work. A fitting song for a week with St Patrick’s Day and a new Mark Knopfler album.

Watch The New Video “My Happiness” From The Pigs

The Pigs
Image Courtesy of The Pigs

The next classic Australian track to get the bluegrass treatment from The Pigs is the Powderfinger track “My Happiness”. And you know what? It works so well it could well and truly be a new bluegrass standard.

“My Happiness” is taken from the new album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics. Check it out below:

The Pigs are heading out on tour over the coming months. Check out the full list of dates here:

Friday 27th March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 28th March – Mallee Fire Recovery Festival, Rainbow, VIC
Friday 17th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Saturday 18th April – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 1st May – Lithgow Workies, Lithgow, NSW
Saturday 2nd May – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW
Friday 15th May – Street Theatre, Acton, ACT
Saturday 16th May – Kinross Woolshed Hotel, Thurgoona, NSW
Friday 22nd May – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd May – Katoomba RSL, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 29th May – The Spirit, Traralgon, VIC
Saturday 30th May – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 12th June – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 13th June – Norths Leagues Club, Kallangur, QLD
Friday 19th June – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 20th June – Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Varsity Lakes, QLD

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 30th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– London based Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker has announced a new solo album The Toerag Sessions. Details here

Timothy James Bowen released his new video “Let Me Be Your Fire”. Details here

First Aid Kit released their new video “Master Pretender”. Details here

– Singer-songwriter Jess Locke released her new video “Change The Sheets” from her forthcoming album Words That Seem To Slip Away. Details here

Bear’s Den have released their new video “Think of England”. Details here

– Bluegrassers The Pigs released their new video “You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed” featuring Fanny Lumsden and Red Symons. Details here

– English husband-wife duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman released their video for the track “Child Owlet”. Details here

Brad Butcher confirmed his new album Jamestown will be out in March along with dates for a national tour. Details here

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations have announced a new album plus dates for a national tour. Details here

The Wild Comforts released their new video “Better Off Dead”. Details here

– UK four-piece Stornoway have released the video for “The Road You Didn’t Take” along with details of their new album. Details here

– Perth Bluegrassers The Seals have announced their plans to finish up this year but not before a final show in their hometown. Details here

– English folk darling Bella Hardy has announced her new album With The Dawn. Details here

– Sydney old-timey three-piece Catgut are streaming their new album Flying Spiders Over Texas online. Details here

The National Folk Festival added more artists to its 2015 including Kutcha Edwards, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, the Djaadjawan Dancers, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard, Christopher Coleman Collective, Restless Legs, The Button Collective, Folklore, Lime and Steel, The String Contingent and many more. Details here

– Sydney duo Winterbourne have announced their first ever national headline tour. Details here

Darren Hanlon has announced details of his new album Where Did You Come From? as well as a national tour this March and April. Details here

Reviews

Recordings

“One House is an outstanding release from one of the true rising stars of the Australian folk scene. A completely contemporary folk album that is rooted heavily in the tradition, One House is Tolka at the peak of their powers”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews One House by Tolka. Review here

Gigs

“And then I was off! Having just a day at the festival meant I needed to see as much as possible in a small amount of time. Anyone tracking my progress around the showground would have seen me almost running between venues, ducking in halfway into sets, saying g’day to the artists as they clambered off stage only to then piss-bolt to the next gig”Gareth Hugh Evans recounts his 12 hours at the Illawarra Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Catgut
Flying Spiders Over TexasCatgut
Bandcamp

S
SEmmy The Great
Rough Trade

Sailing By The Stars
Sailing By The StarsRoland Kay-Smith
Bandcamp

The Lone Bellow
Then Came The MorningThe Lone Bellow
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays

Bell St Delays, the duo project of singer-songwriters Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles) make their way to Sydney and Maitland this weekend bringing their beautiful harmonies and stunning folk songs to their NSW fans

Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Wednesday 4th February – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Angus and Julia Stone
Wednesday 4th February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA
Friday 6th February – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Ann Vriend
Friday 30th January – Sovereign Resort Hotel, Cooktown, Qld
Saturday 31st January – The Reef Casino, Cairns, Qld
Sunday 1st February – Brisbane Jazz Club, Fortitude Valley, Qld
Thursday 5th February – House Concert, Tallai, Qld
Friday 6th February – Mother’s Milk, Sawtell, NSW

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Friday 30th January – Twilight At Taronga, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Melbourne, VIC

Bell St Delays
Friday 30th January – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 31st January – The Junkyard, Maitland, NSW

Black Market Tune
Friday 30th January – Albert Park Yacht Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Roxby Hotel, Sydney, NSW

CW Stoneking
Friday 6th February – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Husband
Friday 30th January – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA

John Flanagan
Wednesday 4th February – The Yarra Hotel, Abbottsford, VIC
Thursday 5th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Friday 6th February – The Bluebee room, Adelaide, SA

Kim Churchill
Friday 30th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 31st January – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 1st February – Festival of King Island, TAS
Thursday 5th February – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 6th February – Amplifier Bar, Perth, WA

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Friday 30th January – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Monday 2nd February – The Loft, Melbourne, VIC

Mandy Connell with Tom Ciccone
Saturday 31st January – Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 4th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Melody Pool
Tuesday 3rd February – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Passenger
Thursday 5th February – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT

Peasant Moon
Friday 30th January – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Jeff Lang, Emma Swift, Matt Langley
Wednesday 4th February – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Saturday 31st January – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Edey
Friday 30th January – Harvest Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Saturday 31st January – Flying Saucer Club, Caulfield RSL, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“‘S iomadh rud tha dhith orm/Ciamar a ni mi ‘n dannsa direach” – Carolina Chocolate Drops

This is one of my favourite tracks from the Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis live album where Carolina Chocolate Drops singer Rhiannon Giddens performs it which then prompted me to hunt out some CCD versions on Youtube. Look out for the traditional “raising of the foot” to signify the change in songs in this video!

Watch the New Video From The Pigs feat. Red Symons & Fanny Lumsden “You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed”

The Pigs
Image Courtesy of The Pigs

For their latest video The Pigs have enlisted two unlikely collaborators – Timber and Steel favourite Fanny Lumsden and ex-Skyhooks guitarist Red Symons. The collaboration makes more sense when you discover that The Pigs have chosen The Skyhooks’ track “You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed” to recieve their distinct bluegrass treatment.

“You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed” is taken from The Pigs’ new album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics – check out the video below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 9th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Lachlan Bryan and Aleyce Simmonds have announced a collaborative east coast tour. Details here

– US singer-songwriter Sean Rowe covered “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country band The Wild Comforts released their new album Silver City Sorrow this week and are heading out on tour. Details here

– Sydney’s Darren Cross released his new video “And The New York Rain Came Down”. Details here

The Pigs announced details of their new album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics as well as releasing the video for the track “Devil Inside”. Details here

– Brisbane alt-folk quartet Elbury released their brand new video “Caught Out Alone”. Details here

Nova and The Experience released their new video “We Made” from their brand new EP Where We Go. Details here

– Perth singer Husband released his new video “The Money”. Details here

– US Americana singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham has announced a new album, Fear and Saturday Night. Details here

– Next week will see The Wild Wild Inner West Review hitting sydney featuring Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels, Amber Rae Slade, Fanny Lumsden and Chris Murphy. Details here

– Watch “Home”, the new single from young sister duo Charm of Finches. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Alanna Eileen is set to launch her new EP Absence next weekend. Details here

– Folk-blues artist Seasick Steve has announced details of his new album due this March. Details here

– Perth based singer-songwriter Joel Barker kicks off his national tour in Sydney tonight. Details here

Jim Lawrie (now without the Grizzly prefix) gave us a taste of his upcoming album EONS. Details here

Interviews

“We always make a new setlist for each concert, and for festivals we usually add quite a few up-tempo tunes to fire up under the dancers”Afenginn chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Festival shows are always a bit special- the audiences are always a bit excited because there’s been a lot of word of mouth about us, and they’ve read about us in the program. There’s always the opportunity to bring guests up on stage too, which we haven’t had much chance to do in 2014. But ultimately I think we are always a bit excited to be at a festival and that boosts the energy of the set. We’re all festival babies and ge a buzz from the babel of culture at a big gathering- the music, food, seeing people we haven’t seen in ages- meeting new ones”Stray Hens chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“At Illawarra this year I will be concentrating on my audio-visual presentation The Anzacs: 100 Years On. It runs for 75-80 minutes and Nerys (Evans) and I do it together. I present, she presses the buttons. There is a great deal of audience participation and even reluctant singers find themselves joining in. Was that me singing??? I think I do Anzacs twice at Illawarra and have a couple of other “concert spots” as well. Looking forward to it as usual”Ted Egan chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We are really looking forward to 2015. More touring is on the cards; new songs and a new album are on the way. Plenty of gigs and good times to be had for sure”Big Erle chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“I had probably my most memorable NYE a few years ago in the then Duck and Shovel, at a Beatles Singalong of all things, but this year, it was a case of same venue, completely different music on offer” – bring in the New Year again with the Woodford Folk Festival, Black Market Tune and Bill Quinn here

“I was like an excited 10yo boy. Heightening the experience just behind me was an almost two year old who was in paroxysm and frissons of delight and was joining in, improve-style, during the choral bits. Wonderful. An absolutely stunning achievement” – Bill Quinn enlightens us on the Woodford Folk Festival Fire Event. Check it out here

Releases This Week

Nova
Where We GoNova and the Experience
iTunes

The Wild Comforts
Silver City SorrowThe Wild Comforts
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Cygnet Folk Festival

Cygnet

Tassie’s little festival has become a must stop for many touring folk musicians and this year’s lineup is spectacular including Afenginn, Black Market Tune, Charm of Finches, Dan and Amy, Daniel Champagne, Dear Orphans, Fred Smith, John Smith, Lucy Wise, The BordererS, The Company, The East Pointers, The Mae Trio, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, The String Contingent and many many more.

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Archie Roach
Saturday 10th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 11th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Black Market Tune w/ Folklore
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Tuesday 13th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 14th January – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Charm of Finches
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

Debashish Bhattacharya
Thursday 15th January – City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Bulli, NSW

Jessica Pratt
Saturday 10th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Friday 9th January – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 15th January – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

John Smith
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Kim Churchill
Thursday 15th January – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Wednesday 14th January – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 15th January – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW

Olivia Chaney
Sunday 11th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Paper Lions
Friday 9th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 10th January – Transit, Canberra, ACT

Passenger
Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS

Slow Club
Thursday 15th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 16th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – George Town, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The East Pointers w/ The Button Collective
Wednesday 14th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. David Francey, James Kenyon, Lucy Wise
Wednesday 14th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Wild Comforts
Friday 9th January – Babushka Bar, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 10th January – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Thursday 15th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

The Wild Wild Inner West feat. Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels, Amber Rae Slade, Fanny Lumsden, Chris Murphy
Thursday 15th January – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Thredbo, NSW

Tim Edey
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Tiny Ruins
Friday 16th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Upstairs & Underground feat. Betty & Oswald, Jacob Pearson, Caitlin Harnett, Goodtimes She Wrote
Saturday 10th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Shape of My Heart” – Noah And The Whale

Noah and the Whale were always going to move away from their acoustic roots so much so that we haven’t covered their latest album Heart of Nowhere anywhere on Timber and Steel. But we still love the music these guys make and we’re sure you do too!

Watch the New Video from The Pigs, “Devil Inside”

The Pigs
Image Courtesy of The Pigs

You can always rely on The Pigs to take existing tracks and subvert them, bluegrass style. Their latest offering is a wonderfully twangy version of the INXS song “Devil Inside”.

Check it out below:

“Devil Inside” is taken from The Pigs’ upcoming album The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics. The album is fittingly due for release on Australia Day, the 26th January – you can pre-order it here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 1st August

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Nick Mulvey has released a series of instructional videos to help you learn the songs from his album First Mind. Details here

– Central Coast singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall released “Under A Spell”, the first single from his upcoming album Daniel Lee Kendall Is Dead. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Direwolf is launching his new EP tonight. Details here

– Melbourne folk-rock artist Tim Wheatley & Crooked Saint have released their new video “Burning The Midnight Oil”. Details here

– Dili based Australian singer-songwriter Cj Shaw and his band The Blow Ins are streaming their long awaited new album Milk Crate Throne online. Details here

– The Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival have announced a bunch of artists for October including Annie Lou Band (Canada), Chris Henry and The Hardcore Grass (USA), Colin O’Brien (USA), Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond (USA) and Tattletale Saints (NZ), Catgut, CloudStreet, Dan Parsons, Fred Smith, Lucy Wise Trio, Margaret and Bob Fagan, Oh Pep!, One Up Two Down, Stray Hens, The Company (above), The Mid North, The Morrisons and many many more. Details here

– Melbourne duo Turtle & Fox have released their brand new single “I’m A Sardine”. Details here

The Pigs posted a video featuring 14 songs about Lorraine in five minutes. Details here

– The New Joe Mungovan single “Cotton Wool” hit the net this week. Details here

Jack Carty got his dance on in his latest video “The Joneses”. Details here

– The amazing Josh T Pearson has announced his first ever Australian shows. Details here

– Melbourne based trad five-piece Stray Hens have released their new video “Byker Hill”. Details here

– Quarterly Sydney folk night Fairlight Folk has announced its August lineup – Justin Bernasconi and the Dukes of Thornbury, Aaron Lyon and Laura Zarb. Details here

– We fell in love with the new music interview podcast Wait Long By The River and think you should too. Details here

Vance Joy announced plans to launch his new album with a single show in Melbourne this September. Details here

– English folk singer Martha Tilston has announced details of her new album The Sea

– Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming will be making their way to Australia for the Melbourne Festival. Details here

Interviews

“Man I can tell you that’s definitely been a mix dose of unrelenting stress, but I’ve been lucky to have worked with such incredible people that the end result is something I’m 94% happy with, which is quite a lot. I’m sure I’m not the only songwriter to have written a whole EP and then rolled over one day saying “I can’t believe I almost released this. No thanks, bin them all”. That happened twice unfortunately, but after getting out of my head for awhile and taking some time to be inspired the tracks kind of chose themselves. And it felt right”Direwolf chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Angus and Julia Stone
Angus and Julia StoneAngus and Julia Stone
iTunes

Emma Swift
Emma SwiftEmma Swift
iTunes

Weatherboard House
Weatherboard HouseOllie Brown
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Husky

Husky

Friday 1st August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams

Melody and Marlon

I’ve already stated elsewhere that “this may possibly be one of the most exciting tours of 2014” so if you haven’t been to see Melody Pool and Marlon Williams then you should really jump at the chance. These two are among the best and brightest coming out of the acoustic music scene in Australia and New Zealand right now. Don’t miss out!

Saturday 2nd August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 3rd August – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Wednesday 6th August – Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Thursday 7th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th August – St Martin’s Parish Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Saturday 2nd August – Bangalow Showground, Byron Bay, NSW

Busby Marou
Friday 8th August – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Caitlin Park
Friday 1st August – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 2nd August – The Hive, Brisbane, QLD

Clare Bowditch with Adalita
Saturday 2nd August – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th August – Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Dan and Amy
Wednesday 6th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Darren Cross
Thursday 7th August – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Direwolf w/ Brendon Moon, Karl-Christoph
Friday 1st August – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 2nd August – Mobys Waterfront Lounge, Denmark, WA
Sunday 3rd August – Redcliffe on the Murray, Pinjarra, WA
Friday 8th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Husky
Friday 1st August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Jep and Dep
Sunday 3rd August – Miss Peaches, Sydney, NSW
Friday 8th August – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Sunday 3rd August – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th August – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT

Melody Pool and Marlon Williams
Saturday 2nd August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 3rd August – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Wednesday 6th August – Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW
Thursday 7th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 8th August – St Martin’s Parish Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW

Pepa Knight
Friday 1st August – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 7th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Redlands Bluegrass Festival
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th August – The Kindilan Convention Centre, Redland Bay, QLD

Rose Wintergreen
Sunday 3rd August – The Turbine Platform, Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

The Beards
Saturday 2nd August – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 7th August – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Friday 8th August – Spurs Saloon Bar, Devonport, TAS

The Company
Thursday 7th August – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

The Yearlings
Friday 1st August – The Song Room, Barossa Art Gallery, Tanunda, SA
Saturday 2nd August – Rosemount Winery, McLaren Vale, SA
Sunday 3rd August – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, Adelaide SA

Vincent Cross
Friday 1st August – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 2nd August – The Shack, Narrabeen, NSW
Sunday 3rd August – Radio Folk & Roots, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 7th August – Gnomon Pavilion, Ulverstone, TAS
Friday 8th August – The Gallery, Gignet, TAS

Wagons
Friday 8th August – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Geordie” – Joan Baez

I’ve spent a lot of this week listening to NPR Music’s coverage of last weekend’s Newport Folk Festival. During the Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer set Mitchell introduced her version of “Geordie” by saying “we’re going to give you a ballad that it’s possible barefoot Joan Baez could have done on this stage fifty years ago”. So I hunted out Baez’s version of the Child Ballad and thought I’d share.

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