The Full National Folk Festival Program Revealed

Old Man Leudecke
Image Courtesy of Old Man Luedecke

Can you believe Easter is under two months away? Crazy times! With that in mind The National Folk Festival last week officially launched their 2014 program with well over 200 artists announced.

To recap the international contingent includes Woody Mann (USA), Damien Dempsey (Ireland), Tift Merritt (USA), Lindi Ortega (Canada), Old Man Luedecke (Above, Canada), Eleanor McEvoy (Ireland), Fásta (Quebec/Ireland/Scotland) and The Alaskan String Band (Alaska).

Not to be outdone the local additions to the lineup include a bunch of Timber and Steel favourites including Jordie Lane, Kate Fagan, The Little Stevies, Heath Cullen, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Castlecomer, The Mae Trio, The Barons of Tang, The Davidson Brothers, Tolka, Bernard Carney, The Ellis Collective, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Archie Roach, Joseph Tawadros Trio, Leah Flanagan, The Lurkers, Margaret Walters, Martin Pearson, The Morrisons, The Rusty Spring Syncopators, Sarah Humphreys, Sparrow Folk, The Stetson Family, Takadimi, Trouble in the Kitchen, Zeptepi and many many more.

The National Folk Festival has also announced the recipient of the National Folk Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award is folk veteran Margret Roadknight.

The National Folk Festival takes place at Exhibition Park in Canberra from the 17th to 21st April. Check out the official web site for more information.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Ashleigh Mannix released her brand new video “Devil In My Hometown”. Details here

Timber and Steel will be presenting the August tour for Sydney alt-country four-piece The Mountains. Details here

– Sydney trio Little May have released their brand new single and video “Boardwalks”. Details here

Whitley has revealed his new single “TV” ahead of his appearance at Splendour tomorrow. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Jack Carty has released his new video “What Does Your Heart Say” as well as announcing a massive national tour. Details here

– Central Coast singer-songwriter Mark Moldre is heading south in September for a tour in the ACT and VIC and has released a new video. Details here

Frank Turner released the video to his track “Losing Days”. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Hannah Karydas released her new video “Heavy”. Details here

Timber and Steel had the exclusive first listen to the brand new Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers single “Sea Elephant School”. Details here

Les Thomas is one of the busiest men in folk music – he writes the awesome Unpaved blog, does a lot of work with for refugees through These Machines Cut Razorwire and is a singer-songwriter as well. We have his new video “Song for Selva”. Details here

Gregory Alan Isakov has released the video for his brand new video “Living Proof”. Details here


“We love getting guests up with us, it’s a big part of the jambands/bluegrass scene to us. Surrounded by so many talented pickers you can expect plenty of special guests on stage alongside us” – Julian Abrahams from Mustered Courage chats to Gareth Hugh Evans about JamGrass Sydney. Interview here

“Speaking from my own experience, [Bluegrass] is music that can easily be participated in. Brother Jimmy played me some bluegrass once, I went out and bought a guitar and a Carter Family record within a day” – James Morrison from The Morrisons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think the reason that there are things called “folk songs” and “country songs” is mainly for marketing reasons. If I had my way I wouldn’t be pigeon holed at all”John Williamson chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think at its core people are really attracted to the spirit of this music. It’s not pretentious, it’s energetic and uplifting, it’s a connection to the past, and it is focused on community and shared experience. People are always looking for more authentic experiences and they don’t have to look too hard to find it in this kind of music” – Jimmy Daley of The Steamgrass Boys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We’re hoping to get some dancing going too – we really go nuts when there’s dancing” – J. B. Latime from The Rusty Spring Syncopators chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We just released a single and we’re finishing off the rest of the album, so hopefully we’ll tour to promote that. In the meantime, more beer more whiskey more songs” – Jason Mannell from The Green Mohair Suits chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

By Your Side
By Your SideAlison Avron

Edward Sharpe
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic ZerosEdward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Timber and Steel Presents

Fanny Lumsden
Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers w/The British Blues, The Burley Griffin
Wednesday 31st July – Folk Club at The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Sam Buckingham w/Whitaker, Tom Kline
Sunday 28th July – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Bears With Guns
Saturday 27th July – Ex Servicemans, Grafton, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Thursday 1st August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Fraser A Gorman w/ Forever Son
Wednesday 31st July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Friday 26th July – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Isaac Graham
Friday 26th July – The Bunker, Coogee, NSW
Saturday 27th July – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 1st August – Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 2nd August – The Purple Carrot, Bellingen, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Wednesday 31st July – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Zeally & Cliff, Torquoy, VIC

Laura Marling
Friday 26th July – St Joseph’s Church, Perth WA
Tuesday 30th July – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 31st July – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC

Of Monsters and Men
Monday 29th July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 30th July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 31st July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd August – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Paul Kelly
Friday 26th July – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 27th July – Moncieff Ent. Centre, Bundaberg, QLD
Sunday 28th July – Brolga Theatre, Maryborough, QLD
Tuesday 30th July – Arts Theatre, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 31st Juluy – Community Centre, Lake Kawana, QLD
Thursday 1st August – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Sam Brittain
Friday 26th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adealaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Sunday 28th July – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 1st August – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 27th July – Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 28th July – The Jetty Memorial Theatre, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Tuesday 30th July – Eastbank Centre, Shepparton, VIC
Wednesday 31st July – The Capital, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 1st August – Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Lighthouse Theatre, Warnambool, VIC

Splendour in the Grass
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay, NSW

The Tiger & Me
Friday 26th July – Blue Beat, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 27th July – City Digger’s Club, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Beyond Q, Canberra, ACT

The Timbers
Friday 2nd August – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Woohoo Revue
Friday 26th July – The Hot Club, Blackheath, NSW
Saturday 27th July – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 1st August – White Eagle Polish Club, Turner, ACT
Friday 2nd August – White Eagle Polish Club, Turner, ACT

Thelma Plum
Friday 26th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 28th July – The Aviary Rooftop Sessions, Perth, WA

Twang: A Night of American Bluegrass
Tuesday 30th July – The Festival Lounge, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Pirate’s Gospel” – Alela Diane

Thought you might want some pirate music to get your Friday night started.

JamGrass “On The Road” Interview: The Rusty Spring Syncopators

The Rusty Spring Syncopators
Image Courtesy of The Rusty Spring Syncopators

On Saturday 3rd August progressive bluegrass and jamband festival JamGrass is hosting its first ever “On The Road” show in Sydney at the Red Rattler Theatre. We thought we’d chat to some of the bands involved in JamGrass Sydney about the explosion of the jamband scene and the important part JamGrass plays in that scene.

Next up: J. B. Latime from eclectic Sydney band The Rusty Spring Syncopators.

Gareth Hugh Evans: JamGrass Sydney has a pretty special lineup – how are you feeling in the leadup to the event?

J. B. Latime: Gee, it’s really some lineup! We’re already big fans of The Morrisons who we always see ripping it up down at the Corridor Bar in Newtown, and The Green Mohair Suits are freaking amazing too. Haven’t heard much stuff from the other bands but it should be a really great mix

GHE: What can we expect from your set? Any special guests we can have the scoop on?

JBL: A whole bunch of freaky old songs – blues, rags, hillbilly, novelties and a lot of foot-stomping. We’re hoping to get some dancing going too – we really go nuts when there’s dancing. And we might have our friend Eirwen Skye belt out a few tunes with us too. All in all it’ll be a loose and vulgar display that will be guaranteed to loosen morals and drive honest folk to hard drugs.

GHE: What do you think it is about bluegrass/alt-country/jam music that has captured the collective consciousness of Australia’s cities? It seems to be everywhere at the moment.

JBL: I think it’s the utter simplicity and realness of this music which makes it so universal and beloved. The mainstream music scene on the other hand is really chock-full of mindlessly manufactured shit, and I think there has been (and to some degree has always been) a big reaction to this Voice/Idol fakeness. And banjos. Kids these days love them banjos.

GHE: How important do you think events like Jamgrass – where this type of music is celebrated in urban environments – are to celebrating and developing the bluegrass/alt-country/jam music scene?

JBL: Really damn important. Exposing folks to this music in a live setting is essential to keeping these scenes alive. It’s also a great chance for urban people who can’t make it to any of the annual folk festivals to see a great variety of this stuff.

GHE: After Jamgrass Sydney what’s next for the The Rusty Spring Syncopators?

JBL: After Jamgrass we’re probably going to take a little break from live shows so we can put together a record that has more then three songs on it (ie, our present CD). Following that we were thinking of finally heading down to Melbourne (and elsewhere!) for some shows … oh boy!

JamGrass “On The Road” Sydney takes place on Saturday the 3rd August at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

JamGrass Adds Final Artists to Sydney Showcase

The Morrisons
Image Courtesy of The Morrisons

JamGrass, Melbourne’s premiere progressive bluegrass and jamband festival, is hitting the road this year with a very special showcase in Sydney on the 3rd August before the main event at the Thorbury Theatre in Melbourne from the 11th to the 13th October. The Sydney event will take place at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville and will feature a lineup that includes Mustered Courage, The Steamgrass Boys, Rattlehand, Green Mohair Suits, Oh Willy Dear and DJ Dylabolical.

Late last week the festival organisers announced two more local acts to round out the Sydney “On The Road” lineup including blues/folk/old timey/jazz masters The Rusty Spring Syncopators and captivating bluegrass pickers The Morrisons (above).

Tickets for the Sydney JamGrass show are $23.50 (plus booking fee) and are available here. For more information on the event and the JamGrass Music Festival later this year make sure you check out the official JamGrass site here.

Country Roads in Sydney Announces June Lineup

The Morrisons
Image Courtesy of The Morrisons

Country Roads, the monthly alt-country night at The Oxford Art Factory, has definitely cemented itself as a must-see event on the Sydney alt-country and folk calendar and June’s show is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

On Thursday 20th June three of the country’s best contemporary folk, bluegrass, roots, blues and country musicians take the stage including country-soul five-piece The Morrisons (above), junk-blues favourites The Rusty Spring Syncopators and all-girl country super-group All Our Exes Live In Texas.

The night kicks off at 8pm and entry is free. For more information check out the official Facebook invite here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th March


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The week kicked off with a bang with the announcement of a brand new Laura Marling album in May, titled Once I Was An Eagle, with the first single “Where Can I Go?” already streaming online. Details here

– Monthly Sydney folk night MoFo has announced its March lineup including The Underscore Orkestra, The Rusty Spring Syncopators and Godfrey Uke and his Orchestra. Details here

Mumford and Sons revealed their brand new video “Whispers in the Dark”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers will be officially launching their brand new EP Winter Make Way at The Workers Club in April. Details here

– US folk duo The Milk Carton Kids released their latest video “Honey, Honey”. Details here

Crooked Still front-woman Aoife O’Donovan has confirmed plans to release her debut solo album Fossils this June. Details here

– UK trio The Staves released their brand new video “Facing West”. Details here

Jep and Dep celebrated the release of their new EP Through The Night with a brand new video for the track “Ain’t Coming Back”. Details here

– For the first time since 2011 the full lineup of alt-country legends Wagons will be playing at two special shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Details here

– The new project from ex-Middle East member Mark Myers, The Starry Field, has a debut album on the way and a national tour. Details here

The Steamgrass Boys are taking their Country Roads night in Sydney Monthly. The April lineup also includes Mustered Courage and 200k plus the MCing skills of Luke Escombe. Details here

– Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tim Guy has announced a brand new album (Dreaming of a Night Mango), a new video (“Many People I Know”) and dates for an April tour. Details here

The Tiger and Me finally released their brand new video for “Made it to the Harbour”. Details here

– New and classic folk collide with Joanna Newsom covering Sandy Denny’s “The North Star Grassman and the Ravens”. Details here


“Basement Birds, you know we were just trying to make a rootsy sounding kind of folk record, you know, making four part harmonies. With Jebediah’s last record we were, you know, we had so many years between records we were really trying to recreate ourselves a bit. Do a really adventurous, for us anyway, studio album that wasn’t about trying to capture our live sound. With this Bob Evans record, I was really just trying to start all over again” – Kevin Mitchell (AKA Bob Evans) chats to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

“At the Cobargo Folk Festival in February, Kim Churchill was the recipient of my vicarious joy at this news, and we spontaneously had a chat, leaning on someone’s trailer, outside a venue, out in the open — which was a bit of a mistake because as I now know: don’t try to do these things in a flukey, swirling breeze”Kim Churchill chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“At Canberra’s One Very Big Day this week to celebrate the city’s centenary, Fun Machine played to a heaving, sweaty mess of young and old beautiful people, as the last of the fireworks fell away (some into the crowd, allegedly!) as they put a fairly massive stamp on their cross-genre and cross-market universal appeal”Fun Machine chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here


“It’s the National Folk Festival. Arrayed in a slightly different configuration this year, with some changes, tweaks and sundry twists and turns. If you were sat at home thinking, aw, might give it a miss this year, my suggestion would be this: Don’t” – Bill Quinn reminds us it’s just two weeks until The National Folk Festival. Blog here



“There is a precision in the way these sounds are arranged which could only have been crafted. All the elements are carefully mixed to create a unique and fascinating texture, which surprises at every listen. It’s the kind of sound you’d expect from a dozen musicians in a world-class studio” – JDX reviews The Wolves by Brighter Later. Review here

Releases This Week

Bob Evans
Familiar StrangerBob Evans

The Stand In
The Stand-InCaitlin Rose

Deep and Down These Walls
Deep and Down These WallsDave Di Marco

MalaDevendra Banhart

Through the Night
Through The NightJep and Dep

RosieThelma Plum

Timber and Steel Presents

Kaurna Cronin
Kaurna Cronin with Ben Whiting and Hamish Anderson
Sunday 17th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Alice Springs Courtyard Sessions feat. Sally Balfour, Katie Harder & Dom Costello, Damien Armstrong and Scotty Balfour and the Diddly e’ Dees
Sunday 17th March – Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs, NT

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March – Katoomba, NSW

Bobby Alu
Friday 15th March – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Saturday 16th March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 17th March – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA

Breaking Hart Benton
Friday 15th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (with Sarah Humphreys)
Saturday 16th March – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 20th March – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd March – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Brett Winterford
Friday 15th March – Mars Hill Cafe, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, WA

Cordial Factory with Bexley De Lion and Al Parkinson
Saturday 16th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Damien Dempsey
Friday 15th March – The Bakery, Northbridge, WA
Saturday 16th March – The HI FI, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th March – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Dave Di Marco
Friday 15th March – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th March – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa, QLD
Friday 22nd March – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
15th to 16th March – Beechworth, Vic
Friday 22nd March – Springwood, NSW (house concert)

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd March – The Armidale Club, Armidale, NSW

Frogfest feat. The Barons of Tang, Takadimi, GrandMasterMonk and Dave Bova Band: Divina Commedia
Friday 15th March – Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Glen Hansard and The Frames with Lisa Hannigan
Wednesday 20th March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 22nd March – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Sunday 17th March – The Green Room, Sydney, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 15th March – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC w/ Ruthie Foster
Saturday 16th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 17th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC, w/ Ruthie Foster
Thursday 21st March – The Factory, Sydney, NSW w/ Ruthie Foster
Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd March – Yackandandah Folk Festival, Yackandandah, VIC

Luka Bloom
Saturday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Monday 18th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 19th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 20th March – Tilley’s, Canberra, ACT
Friday 22nd March – Wrest Point Showroom, Hobart, TAS

MoFo feat. The Underscore Orkestra and Chaika
Friday 22nd March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Friday 15th March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th March – The Hill Winery, Geelong, VIC

Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet
Friday 15th March – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Music Festival, VIC

Thursday 21st March – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Patrick James
Friday 15th March – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 16th March – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 21st March – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC

Paul Brady
Friday 15th March – Celtic Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 17th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – Guthrie’s, Adelaide, SA
Friday 22nd March – The Fly By Night, Perth, WA

Sally Seltmann
Wednesday 20th March – The Famous Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Seth Lakeman
Saturday 16th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, VIC
Saturday 17th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, VIC
Wednesday 20th March – Notes, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 21st March – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 22nd March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

The Tiger and Me
Friday 15th March – Elsternwick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 21st March – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 22nd March – The Brisbane Markets, Brisbane, QLD

The Underscore Orkestra
Friday 15th March – The Upfront Club, Maleny, Qld

Two Crows
Thursday 21st March – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 22nd March – Australian Celtic Studies Centre, Newcastle, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sonny” – Mary Black, Emmylou Harris and Dolores Keane

My Mum’s birthday happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day (this Sunday) which has its pros and cons – the pro being there’s always a party with loads of music and dancing, the con being that mum is rarely the focus of those celebrations. For her birthday I thought I’d dedicate the track “Sonny” as a FFF to her – a song I know she loves. And the fact that this version features two of Irelands greatest singers, Mary Black and Dolores Keane, is a little nod to the other celebration that’s happening this weekend (despite the fact it was written by a Canadian). Happy Birthday Mum!

MoFo Sydney Announces March Lineup

Underscore Orkestra
Image Courtesy of The Underscore Orkestra

Portland based gypsy-Balkan-swing folk six-piece The Underscore Orkestra have been wowing audiences around Australia for a couple of months now and it’s coming up to Sydney’s turn with the band announced for the March edition of MoFo.

Joining The Underscore Orkestra will be MoFo and Timber and Steel favourites The Rusty Spring Syncopators and Godfrey Uke and his Orchestra.

The March MoFo will take place at The Gaelic Club (upstairs) in Sydney’s Surry Hills on Friday the 22nd March. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are $20 ($15 for concessions) with all the proceeds going to the musicians. For more information check out the official MoFo facebook page here.

And check out Bill Quinn’s interview with The Underscore Orkestra for Timber and Steel here.

The Crooked Fiddle Band’s Sixth Annual Post-Festival Party

Post Festival Party
Image Courtesy The Crooked Fiddle Band

Every year Sydney gypsy party group The Crooked Fiddle Band bring together their favourite touring artists from the New Years festibal period for the annual Post-Festival Party in their home town. 2013 is the sixth time the Post-Festival Party has taken place and this time around it looks like an absolute cracker.

This Friday 4th January the sixth annual Post-Festival Party is set to take place at the Factory Theatre in Sydney. Joining The Crooked Fiddle Band this time around will be Polish traditional folk/electronica band the Warsaw Village Band, the incomparable Gregory Page, Sydney’s favourite old time verandah band The Rusty Spring Syncopators and some yet to be announced special guests.

The night will kick off at 7pm with tickets going for $25. For more information check out the official Facebook event here.

Liam Gale & the Ponytails to Launch New EP Towers & Time

Towers and Time
Image Courtesy of Liam Gale & the Ponytails

Sydney blues/folk-rock seven piece Liam Gale & the Ponytails having been popping up all over the place recently putting on their blistering live show in venues all over their home city. And this has all been in the lead up to their brand new EP Towers & Time which hit the web last month.

The launch Towers & Time Liam Gale & the Ponytails have announced a show at at Hibernian House next Thursday the 10th May 2012. Tickets (available here) are a mere $10 and include a free copy of the EP upon entry. ILUKA and The Rusty Spring Syncopators will be in support – for more information check out the official Facebook event here.

A stream of Towers & Time is below:

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