The National Folk Festival Announces Over 40 More Acts for 2017

Jessie Lloyd
Image Courtesy of Jessie Lloyd

As the first hot cross buns hit our supermarkets you know that Easter is not that far away – and that means neither is The National Folk Festival.

And now it’s time to get even more excited because The National has just added 30 more artists to its lineup.

First up we have the First Peoples’ program celebrating Aboriginal artists. This lineup includes Genise and Nicholas Williams, The Mission Songs Project (curated by Jessie Lloyd, above), Tilly Thomas, David Spry, Dr Jared Thomas, Kutcha Edwards, Dubmarine, Wiradjuri Echoes and The Djaadjawan Dancers.

As well as the First Peoples’ program The National has added a bunch more artists from around the country including Mic Conway’s National Junk Band, The Mae Trio, Heath Cullen, The String Contingent, The Barleyshakes, Kate Burke, Luke Plumb & Ruth Hazleton, The Morrisons and many more.

The National Folk Festival is held from the 13th to the 17th April in 2017 – for more information and tickets check out the official site here.

JamGrass Unveils New Format and 2015 Lineup

Image Courtesy of JamGrass

Australia’s favourite psych-rock, folk and bluegrass festival JamGrass will be celebrating its 5th year in 2015 with a brand new look and a fantastic lineup.

2015 will see JamGrass move to the outdoors, taking the music to the lush surrounds of Bundoora Park in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. The festival will take place over Saturday 7th November and cram in as much music as your dancing shoes can take.

And then there’s the lineup.

Headlining this year’s JamGrass will be rising Australian star Harts, bringing his blend of classic 70s style rock, funk and blues to the party. Joining Harts will be some of the country’s best folk, bluegrass and psych acts including TinPan Orange, Mustered Courage, Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Richard in Your Mind, The Morrisons, The Imprints, The String Contingent, The Stetson Family, John Flanagan Trio, Mr. Alford Country and The Drunken Poachers.

And if that’s not enough JamGrass will also be throwing a launch party the night before (Friday 6th November) at The Spotted Mallard in Brunswick that will feature The Morrisons, The Scrimshaw Four, The Ramblin’ Roses, Astro Cobalt, Little Rabbit and The Weeping Willows.

To get your hands on tickets for both JamGrass events and find out more information check out the official JamGrass site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th March


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Alt-country singer-songwriter Gretta Ziller released her new video “Some Kind of Habit”. Details here

– The National Folk Festival added Daniel Ho as their final exclusive headliner for 2015. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Brian Campeau revealed details of his new solo album. Details here

– Indie-folk duo Betty & Oswald released their new single “King of Bohemia”. Details here

– UK nu-folk band Stornoway released their new video “Get Low”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne released her new single “The Rushing Dark”. Details here

Michael Kiwanuka covered Led Zeppelin’s “Ten Year’s Gone” for Mojo Magazine. Details here

William Fitzsimmons released his new single “Pittsburgh”. Details here

Emily Barker released her new video “Little Deaths”. Details here

Ruby Boots released her new single “Wrap Me In A Fever”. Details here

– Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield have released a tribute album to Elliott Smith. Details here

– UK singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop released his new single “Fifty Shades of Blue”. Details here

Bill Jackson released his new Double A side “Try/Somebody’s Darlin'” online. Details here

– Irish music legend Paul Brady will be releasing his new live album Paul Brady: The Vicar Street Sessions Volume 1 featuring collaborations with the like of Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Sinead O’Connor and many more. Details here


“I am definitely writing more about my experiences in America. There is a few place name drops in there. And that’s kind of a weird thing at first – it feels like a betrayal or something – and I’m just trying to work out what to do with that. These are songs that are in the very early stages. But coming back here right now there’s still a whole lot of stories that I’ve only half told in my head about Australia and that’s what I love doing when I’m in America with American audiences”Jordie Lane chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Details here

“For me as a young person writing music in this genre in Australia [Paul Kelly’s] the best at it. Writing songs that evoke some kind of feeling about being Australian and it’s very genuine and sincere so it resonates with me just as a person in Australia. And as a musician I admire him for doing something that I’m trying to do as well. And why these two albums? Because I like bluegrass better than I like pop music”The Morrisons chat to Gareth Hugh Evans ahead of their Paul Kelly tribute show tonight. Interview here

“All the playing that we’ve done together over the past year and a half as a trio has led us to approach this new project with a whole lot more experience of arranging together and of telling stories together”Lucy Wise chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“After recording the three albums just with us three – Graham [McLeod], Holly [Downes] and I – we really felt like we spent a lot of years and time and effort growing together musically. Learning a lot from each other. Coming from different backgrounds – Holly classical, me folk and Graham rock and pop – we had a huge amount of ground to cover to be as good as each other at various elements of music making. We had a lot of material to work with and a lot of growth and over those three albums we really felt like we did that. We sort of got to a point where we felt like significantly we could move into each other’s territory, hold our own and make that work. We had so much fun really developing and growing and struggling – actually being really inspired and forced to learn and grow – that we kind of looked around for something for our next project that would continue that direction for all of us, so that we wouldn’t stagnate and make the same album again” – Chris Stone from The String Contingent chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The [Alice Springs] folk club, there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing to compare with it now in any way whatsoever. You could write a song in a week and go and perform it in front of people and get feedback as to what they thought it was like. You can’t do that anymore hence the reason it takes me a long time to write songs” – Dave Oakes chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here



“The Blue Mountains Music Festival seems to have found the perfect balance. Wedging itself between the Port Fairy and National Folk Festival/Bluesfest guarantees a high calibre of artists not normally seen at a small town event. And its proximity to Sydney makes it easy for day trippers or weekend getaways from the big city. But it still feels like an intimate, community focused event, probably because it’s mostly set on the grounds of a school and the local volunteers are front and centre”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Details here

Releases This Week

Brad Butcher
JamestownBrad Butcher

Short Movie
Short MovieLaura Marling

The Wild
The WildRoscoe James Irwin

Seasick Steve
Sonic Soul SurferSeasick Steve

Radium Death
Radium DeathWilliam Elliot Whitmore

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Morrisons play Paul Kelly

The Morrisons

Tonight Sydney pickers The Morrisons take on the bluegrass albums of Paul Kelly, Smoke and Foggy Highway, in a very special one off show

Friday 27th March – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alabama Shakes
Thursday 2nd April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

All Our Exes Live In Texas
Friday 27th March – Spiegeltent, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Brad Butcher
Friday 27th March – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th March – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 29th March – TAPS, Mooloolooba, QLD

Candelo Village Festival
Saturday 28th March – Candelo, NSW

Darren Hanlon
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Festival, NSW
Sunday 29th March – Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 3rd April – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

David Gray
Wednesday 1st April – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 2nd April -State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Elwood Myre
Saturday 28th March – Cast Off! Festival, Woy Woy, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Tuesday 31st March – Coramba Community Hall, Coramba, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Bayldon Community Centre, Toormina, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Heartstring Quartet
Friday 27th March – Southern Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 1st to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Saturday 28th March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 30th March – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Jake Shimabukuro
Thursday 2nd April – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD

Jack Carty
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW (Early Show)
Saturday 28th March – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th March – The Porch Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Jordie Lane
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Liam Gerner, Caitlin Harnett
Friday 27th March – The Jive, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th March – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA

Justin Townes Earle
Thursday 2nd April – Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 3rd April – Boogie, Tallarook, VIC

Kim Richey
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lisa Mitchell
Friday 27th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Lucie Thorne
Friday 27th March – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemain, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Velvet Room, Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Lucy Wise Trio
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

National Folk Festival
Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – Canberra, ACT

Nuala Kennedy
Saturday 28th March – Candelo Village Festival, Candelo, NSW
Friday 3rd to Monday 8th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Saturday 28th March – Vinyl, Adelaide, SA

Paolo Nutini
Tuesday 31st March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 1st April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Rowena Wise
Friday 27th March – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Saturday 28th March – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Friday 27th March – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Solar Saturday Lounge Party
Saturday 28th March – Heidelberg Heights, Melbourne, VIC

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

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

The Pigs
Friday 27th March – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday 28th March – Mallee Fire Recovery Festival, Rainbow, VIC

The Seals
Saturday 28th March – Quarry Amphitheatre, Perth, WA

Friday 27th March – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th March – The Hills Are Alive, VIC
Friday 3rd April – Blenheim Camping and Music Festival, SA

Vance Joy
Friday 27th March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th March – Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW

Friday 27th March – Rad, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 28th March – The Front Gallery & Café, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2nd April – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 27th March – HQ Complex, Adelaide. SA
Sunday 29th March – West Coast Blues & Roots, Fremantle, WA

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Wrote & The Writ” – Laura Marling

Remember that time Laura Marling used the triple j Like A Version segment to sing her mate Johnny Flynn’s song “The Wrote and The Writ”? Awesome.

National Folk Festival Interview: The String Contingent

The String Contingent
Image Courtesy of The String Contingent

Australian instrumental trio The String Contingent have just put the finishing touches Facets, probably their most ambitious album to date. Not content to rest on their laurels the trio decided that Facets would be a collaborative album, seeing them work with some of the country’s best and brightest musicians – lauded recorder player Genevieve Lacey, saxophonist Sandy Evans (OAM), the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ARIA award winning cellist Julian Thompson, ABC recording and ARIA winning artists Chris Duncan and Catherine Strutt, and instrument inventor Linsey Pollak. The String Contingent will be launching Facets at this year’s National Folk Festival to we took the opportunity to chat to violinist Chris Stone about the project.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Let’s chat about the new album Facets. You did a Pozible campaign for it last year and it’s a pretty cool concept. Do you want to talk through where the idea to collaborate with all these different musicians came from?

Chris Stone: After recording the three albums just with us three – Graham [McLeod], Holly [Downes] and I – we really felt like we spent a lot of years and time and effort growing together musically. Learning a lot from each other. Coming from different backgrounds – Holly classical, me folk and Graham rock and pop – we had a huge amount of ground to cover to be as good as each other at various elements of music making. We had a lot of material to work with and a lot of growth and over those three albums we really felt like we did that. We sort of got to a point where we felt like significantly we could move into each other’s territory, hold our own and make that work. We had so much fun really developing and growing and struggling – actually being really inspired and forced to learn and grow – that we kind of looked around for something for our next project that would continue that direction for all of us, so that we wouldn’t stagnate and make the same album again. That really meant that we decided to look out of the group for some form of stimulus or benchmark or something to help us continue to travel and grow. This album actually came out of a little game on the road. Travelling down the Hume as we do a lot and passing the time with games like “if you could could pick five musicians to play a stadium gig with who would they be”.

GHE: That’s the nerdiest music game of all [laughs]

CS: [laughs] Yeah! It’s awesome fun. We had to say that everyone can’t have Chris Thile – you’ve got to keep him out of it otherwise everyone goes “well, Chris Thile”. So this particular game was if we could collaborate with six of our favourite instrumentalists in Australia who would they be? And we came up with this cool list and we were like “wow, can you imagine that album? Can you imagine being able to play with those people, can you imagine being able to write and record with those people?”. At which point my brain, which is an affirmative brain, said “well I’ll email them” and everyone was like “yeah, whatever”. So I emailed them and within a couple of days they’d all written back and said “we’d absolutely love to. We’re in”. Which was absolutely crazy – suddenly there was a project. It fits exactly the bill that we were talking about and it’s been put on a plate in front of us.

So at that point we got freaked out and terrified and over joyed and had to try and figure out how we were going to do this – and that’s where the Pozible campaign rally came into it because this album was a messy, difficult, complex album logistically to put together and it would cost more money than our previous albums when it was just the three of us. And we felt like we had something to sell our audiences that wasn’t just us producing another album, which we’d always funded ourselves. So that’s how the project began.

GHE: Does this mean you’ve had to then chase these musicians around the country in order to record with them?

CS: I was on logistics for it. We wanted a rehearsal session with each person – a planning session for four hours, a rehearsal session/composition session for four hours and then recording for four hours. Some people we got those three sessions over the course of a month and then some people we just got one meeting before the recordings and then the recordings. So it was an extremely tight time frame. It was a bit of a mess – we flew a few people around and drove a lot of kilometres to meet people. Genevieve [Lacey] was overseas right until the two days that we met her and we rehearsed and recorded. She was in the UK right up until that point so we had almost no contact. Linsey [Pollak] we had to pick up for four hours as he flew to Melbourne – we picked him up from the airport, took him to a rehearsal room nearby, played for three hours then put him back on the plane. Crazy stuff to try and make it work.

So it was a bit of a nightmare but thankfully it all came together. I think the goal was so exciting for us that it was really worth messing around and making it happen.

GHE: Were the collaborators involved in the composition of each tune or did you come to them with written tunes?

CS: Different for different tracks but the idea was that we wanted to collaborate from the ground up. Like Sandy [Evans] was great – she and Holly were in contact about that piece and they both wrote tonnes of music and an arrangement and stuff for us to turn up to at the first rehearsal and play. We even got to do a little bit of personal practice on that before we turned up. Then we turned up and arranged it and expanded it I went away and transcribed everything then the second time we met everything was good to go and we got to really polish it up.

With Linsey we walked into the room with absolutely nothing. We stood there holding our instruments, smiling at each other for a few minutes and then started just jamming and playing around. Some melodies came out – it all came together in three hours.

Julian Thompson’s piece is a real pastiche of different ideas. Julian wrote a little trio bit and the end for Holly, him and I to play. We pasted it all together over a couple of sessions. So really very very different for each track. We were trying to get as much as we could of the individual artists that we were playing with into the music and trying to get the most benefit out of spending time with them and listening to them and learning from them.

GHE: I guess that’s the whole point of the exercise. You don’t just want to write a score for someone and get them to come in for an hour.

CS: We really wanted that organic, real feel of having an actual guest in the group rather than just a soloist.

GHE: How do you then translate this album to a live situation? Because you’re never going to get everyone at in the same place at the same time.

CS: For the concept, as soon as it was born, that was always a consideration. We are at base a touring band, that’s how we’ve always made our income and that’s how we spread the word about our must. That’s what we do with our time – tour. So we knew that this album would be different but that also keyed in a little with our goals of making our music work a little harder for us. Finding ways to make the music travel without us having to physically travel. Playing with these people is great because it really opens doors. We can approach a jazz venue or a jazz radio station for instance and say “We’ve just done this album, Sandy Evans is on it” and they’ll say “get it in, we’ll play it”. Same with Genevieve Lacey, we’ll send it through to the Andrew Ford Music Show on the ABC and he’ll say “that’s great”.

One of the main reasons we wanted to do this collaboration project is to open a lot of doors for us.

But it’s nice performing live, which we do need to do, and we have looked at doing arrangements with just the trio and I think we’ll probably end up doing a bunch of those and seeing what works. For The National Folk Festival, where we’re going to be launching this, we’re very lucky to have a very large number of amazingly talented musical friends who are going to be [there]. There’s a couple of guests who are going to be there – for instance Chris Duncan and Catherine Strutt are going to be there and also Julian Thompson. We can’t get Sandy Evans but our ex jazz lecturer at ANU, John Mackey, who is one of Australia’s preeminent jazz saxophonists has offered to come in and play the track with us – which is incredible because to get to play with John Mackey is such a great opportunity. Ian Blake is going to cover another piece. Emily Rose from Chaika is going to come in and play another. So it’s going to be a big concert of lots of our friends.

And that’s the other part of this collaboration project. You can’t really jump up on a String Contingent piece, it’s not really designed that way normally. So these pieces are written to have people come and play with us so it’s really nice to ask our friends to come and play. So that’s a really nice thing that we’re looking forward to and it’s opening more doors again for us.

GHE: Was that a consideration when you decided to launch at The National? Here’s a time and place where all of these amazing musicians come together.

CS: Totally. At that point we didn’t really know who was going to be at the festival. But we always knew that there were going to be so many fall backs and if on the day someone says “I’ve a gig clash and I can’t make it” then we turn around and say “who else are we going to ask?”. The National’s amazing like that. It’s just such a safe place to turn up and presume that someone can cover something for you.

GHE: I also imagine that The National is great for you because being an instrumental band you can fill a room, which doesn’t happen everywhere.

CS: It really is and that’s one of the big things. If you play the type of music that’s not easily brandable and also doesn’t have elements of music that are the popular ones of the day, it’s a big thing. There’s a bunch of different music groups and communities that are passionate about instrumental music – like jazz and classical and some parts of folk – and The National really has a nice blend of everyone. You’ll see some of the best classical orchestral musicians in Australia sitting in audiences and playing as well. And people who are sitting in the session bar playing mandolin in a bluegrass session just happen to be incredible jazz guitarists who have international reputations. It’s a really good mix, The National Folk Festival, and the audiences are very educated – people who not just listen and appreciate music but have studied music. It’s a really lovely environment to play in because it’s just so receptive.

GHE: After The National you guys are touring, is that right?

CS: Yep. We’re heading across to Fairbridge [Folk Festival] and then doing a whole set of gigs in Albury-Wadonga, Yackandandah, Canberra, down the coast, Sydney, Newcastle, some Southern Highland gigs, some mountain gigs and some Riverina stuff – all CD launching gigs for about a month before Graham heads back home again.

GHE: And then later in the year you’re heading over to the UK?

CS: That’s right. We’re doing some work in the UK doing festivals and gigs and also in Scandanavia, in Norway, Sweden and Finland doing festivals and concerts. Hanging out over there for the summer which should be lovely. And then coming back to Australia for an October tour with Graham again.

GHE: Awesome. It sounds like you’ve got a lot of stuff planned.

CS: Yeah, we do have quite a lot of stuff going on – it’s a very busy year. Which is awesome really as it’s exactly what we want. It’s looking like a really strong, positive year with a lot of growth and development with venues and touring circuits and hopefully this album will help us open doors and travel further than we have before.

Facets will be launched at National Folk Festival. The full list of upcoming String Contingent dates are below:

Saturday 4th April – Flute & Fiddle, National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA
Tuesday 14th April – Arts Space Wodonga, Wodonga, VIC
Wednesday 15th April – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 17th April – On The Rocks, North Rocks Community Church, North Rocks, NSW
Saturday 18th April – Berrima Smalls, Berrima, NSW
Wednesday 22nd April – Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 23rd April – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Monday 27th April – Yackandandah House Concert, Yackandandah, VIC
Wednesday 29th April – Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Thursday 30th April – Temora Town Hall Theatre, Temora, NSW
Friday 1st May – Mechanics Institute Hall, Moruya, NSW
Saturday 2nd May – Cadgee House Concert, Cadgee, NSW

National Folk Festival Interview: Lucy Wise

Lucy Wise Trio
Image Courtesy of Lucy Wise Trio

Having just released her new EP A Painting of the Universe the Lucy Wise Trio are hitting the festival circuit this Autumn for the record’s launch, hitting the Port Fairy, National and Fairbridge folk festivals. I sat down with Lucy Wise to chat about the EP along with her experiences at The National Folk Festival.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Let’s start with the new EP, A Painting of the Universe which has a pretty interesting story behind it right?

Lucy Wise: It all started early in 2014 when the Lucy Wise Trio were invited to write some music for the 30th birthday of a national schools poetry competition, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. Lots and lots of schools participate in it and its for kids from age 6 to 18. So what we did was we read through 100 of the past finalists poems, so that got us through the past 10 years of the competition, and then we chose five poems to write songs about. We performed those songs at the awards ceremony last year and because we were so excited by the material and the creative realms it had opened up for us we wanted to record them on a CD of their own, so that’s what this new EP is.

GHE: It’s really cool. It feels a little different to the stuff you’ve done before. There’s a really nice, comforting feeling about the EP if that makes sense?

LW: I suppose the excitement and freedom of that creative process might come across in the songs? I think it’s because that directly transferred across from the kids’ poetry I think. The poems that we ended up choosing had the most honesty and freedom of expression. When I was writing the songs I responded to those poems and really enjoyed seeing where those poems could lead me. It was a really different process for sure.

GHE: How much of the original poems actually made it into the songs? And how much is your interpretation and inspiration?

LW: It depended on the poem. There were a couple of poems where the images and the way they were portrayed were just really clear and beautiful. I ended up using maybe half their words and half mine for one of the songs. And then for a lot of them it ended up being maybe four or five phrases out of the song would have come directly from the poem. It was a totally open and free process, I just left it open to wherever I felt the song needed to go. If it needed those lines from the poem then I popped them in.

GHE: Did you write the songs and then bring them to Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (bass)?

LW: Yeah. We made up a process for selecting the poems, so we all agreed on our favourite five together. And then we drew a narrative shape on a piece of paper for each one and that kind of represented the shape of the song that might result from that kind of story. Then they left it up to me to see what would happen, going away and writing a song about each poem. When I came back to Chris and Holly with the songs we arranged them. We worked out what the instruments could do to best serve each story.

GHE: It feels like these songs are very arranged specifically with Chris and Holly in mind. With them being such amazing musicians you definitely get a sense of landscape from their playing.

LW: It feels really different. All the playing that we’ve done together over the past year and a half as a trio has led us to approach this new project with a whole lot more experience of arranging together and of telling stories together. That’s cool that that comes across – we feel like we’ve developed lots but we like to know that other people can sense that too [laughs].

GHE: And you’re launching the EP now?

LW: Yeah, we just launched the EP at Port Fairy Folk Festival in Victoria and we did a Melbourne launch on Thursday night. We’ll be taking it to two more festivals – The National and Fairbridge in WA.

GHE: I feel like The National Folk Festival is a bit of a “home” festival for you. I’ve been going for the last 15 years and have watched you grow on stage there through the Wise Family Band, to your work with The B’Gollies to your current trio project. Does it feel like a homecoming for you?

LW: Yeah it does. The National’s always been a special festival for me. It was really one of the first festivals that my family played performed on a big stage. It’s where I made a lot of life long musician friends who I still work with and still love seeing and catching up with at the festival. It’s great to be able to launch the EP there because it certainly does feel like a bit of a folky homecoming.

GHE: I always recommend The National to my muso friends because it is such a collaborative festival. You meet so many amazing people and even if you’re not on the lineup you can still bring your instrument and get up and play in so many ways.

LW: Absolutely. I suppose the session bar has always provided that great opportunity – it doesn’t matter who you are you can just mix with everybody and you might just accidentally meet one of your folk idols and get to have a jam with them. It’s just that kind of place.

GHE: Finally, what’s the next plan after this tour?

LW: We’re about to have a little bit of a break from the trio and I’m going to be doing a little more solo stuff during the year. Chris and Holly are about to head off on a lot of touring with The String Contingent again – they’ll be doing Australia and the UK this year. And then it’s possible there’ll be a regional tour of the EP early next year.

GHE: Thanks so much for that Lucy! I’ll see you at The National

LW: Great! Thanks Gareth.

The remaining dates for the Lucy Wise Trio’s EP launch tour and a stream of A Painting of the Universe are below:

hursday 2nd to Monday 6th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April – Fairbridge Festival, WA

The National Folk Festival Announce Even More Artists for 2015

Kutcha Edwards
Image Courtesy of Kutcha Edwards

A bunch more artists were added to The National Folk Festival lineup this week and we can’t tell you how excited we are.

Firstly a plethora of indigenous artists will be gracing the stage at The National Folk Festival this year including soul/blues icon Kutcha Edwards, celebrated duo Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Golden Guitar winner Col Hardy, singer-songwriter John Bennett and the Djaadjawan Dancers.

These artists will be joined by the freshly announced My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard, Christopher Coleman Collective, Restless Legs, Alex and Annette Hood, The Bush Music Club, The Button Collective, The Coalbrook Band, Coolfinn Mac, Folklore, John Peel, Lime and Steel, Round Mountain Girls, Ryebuck Bush Band, Scots on the Rocks, Señor Cabrales, Southern Cross Trawlers, The Transylvaniacs, Waiting For Guinness, The String Contingent, Ukulele Republic of Canberra, Cathie O’Sullivan, Coral Eden and the Melbourne Colonial Dancers, Dingo’s Breakfast, Frank Povah and Chris Cruise, Keith McKenry and Santa Taranta.

The National Folk Festival takes place over the Easter Long Weekend from the 2nd to the 6th April 2015. For more information check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th June


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Timber and Steel are very proud to announce that we will be presenting Husky’s single tour this July. Details here

– Adelaide indie-folk duo Climbing Trees released their new single “Campfire Sky”. Details here

– Tonight will see Liam Gale & the Ponytails, The Double Shadows and Charlie Gradon at FBi Social. Details here

– Melbourne’s Tanya Batt has released a brand new track “Graveyard”. Details here

– We have a stream of the new Starboard Cannons album The Valiant and the Brave. Details here

– Sydney instrumental three piece The String Contingent are currently on a house concert tour and are about to wrap up their Pozible campaign. Details here

Patrick James has released details on his upcoming EP Broken Lines. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Jack Carty released a brand new single “The Joneses” co-written with Josh Pyke. Details here

Leah Flanagan is celebrating her birthday this weekend by putting on a gig in Sydney featuring Liz Stringer and The Re-Mains. Details here

James Vincent McMorrow released his brand new video “Gold”. Details here

– We have a stream of the debut self titled album from Melbourne’s Rough River. Details here

– Listen to the latest single from Nick Mulvey, “Fever to the Form”. Details here

– Another new Angus and Julia Stone single, “Death Defying Acts”, hit the internet. Details here

– The July edition of Sydney night The Folk Informal will feature Kay Proudlove, Dylan Orsborn, Ainsley Farrell and Tom Stephens. Details here

– The amazing Justin Townes Earle has announced plans to release his new album Single Mothers in September. Details here

– July’s MoFo at the Gaelic Club in Sydney will feature Justin Bernasconi and Sloe Gin Junkies. Details here

– Melbourne based folk singer, blogger and activist Les Thomas has released his scathing new track “Budget Reply (Hey Joe)”. Details here

Tom Stephens has released his new single “Nowhere to Roam” ahead of a string of dates next month. Details here

Owls of the Swamp released his brand new video “The Hypnotist”. Details here

Releases This Week


Winter Song
Winter SongDavid Blyth
Official Site

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Tiny Ruins

Tiny Ruins

New Zealand’s Tiny Ruins return to our shores off the back of a bunch of international buzz. This may be your last chance to see Tiny Ruins in such intimate venues so you should jump on top of these shows quick smart

Tuesday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Anitas, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 4th July – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Daniel Champagne
Friday 27th June – The Red Room, Ararat, VIC

Graveyard Train
Friday 27th June – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th June – RAD [Yours N Owls Presents], Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 29th June – The Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Friday 4th July – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC

Husband with David Craft, The Lammas Tide
Friday 4th July – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Jackson McLaren & The Triple Threat
Saturday 28th June – Little Features at Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th June – Menagerie, The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 27th June – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th June – Camelot Lounge, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday 29th June – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 4th July – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 27th June – Manning Entertainment Centre, Taree, NSW
Saturday 28th June – Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Cessnock, NSW
Friday 4th July – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Wednesday 2nd July – The Song Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 4th July – Taps, Mooloolaba, QLD

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th July – Revolver Bandroom, Prahan, VIC

Leah Flanagan Presents Liz Stringer and The Re-Mains
Saturday 28th June – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gale & The Ponytails w/ The Double Shadows, Charlie Gradon
Friday 27th June – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

Little Bastard
Thursday 3rd July – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 4th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Little Features feat. Jackson McLaren, Arbori, Timothy James Bowen, Original Sin, Aquila
Saturday 28th June – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Marmalade Ghost
Wednesday 2nd July – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Mustered Courage
Friday 27th June – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th June – Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th June – Winter Sun Festival, Eumundi, QLD

Sleepy Dreamers
Sunday 29th June – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th June — Camperdown Burns Festival, VIC

The Audreys
Friday 27th June – Tapas, Devonport, TAS
Saturday 28th June – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 4th July – Fly By Night, Perth, WA

The Beards
Friday 27th June – The Lionleigh, Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 28th June – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 29th June – The Jack, Cairns, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Thursday 3rd July – Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Friday 4th July – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD

The Paper Kites
Friday 27th June – The Anthenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 27th June – Shebeen, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th June – Spirit Bar, Traralgon, VIC

The String Contingent
Friday 27th June – House Concert, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 28th June – Lot 19 Arts Hub, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 29th June – Bella Union, Melbourne VIC

The Yearlings
Wednesday 2nd July – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Tiny Ruins
Tuesday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 2nd July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 3rd July – Anitas, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 4th July – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW

Tracy McNeil
Saturday 28th June – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Clouds (Both Sides Now)” – Dave Van Ronk

I’ve spent the last week devouring Dave Van Ronk’s memoir of the 1960’s New York folk scene, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, and as an offshoot have fallen down many a youtube rabbit hole listening to his music. This version of the Joni Mitchell’s classic “Both Side’s Now” (which Van Ronk called “Clouds”) is just stunning.

The String Contingent’s House Concert Tour

Image Courtesy of The String Contingent

Sydney folk and acoustic instrumental trio The String Contingent are pretty busy cats at the moment. Not only are they in the final days of a really cool sounding Pozible project, they’re zooming around the place playing a series of shows in houses and intimate venues around New South Wales and Victoria.

The Pozible campaign is to raise funds for their upcoming album. The project sounds really cool with The String Contingent collaborating with an eclectic list of musicians. I’ll let them describe what they’re up to:

“A six track album, each piece written with or for our guests, all top artists from the classical, jazz, folk and contemporary music scenes in Australia. The music will be as unique and varied as the artists involved. Some pieces will be fully composed, some improvised, some completely free. We are opening ourselves up to new musical possibilities, and to exploring the musical worlds of our guests. It’s risky, scary, exciting, inspiring and challenging. Just the way we like it!”

So far they’ve announced five of the six collaborators – saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans, recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, Scottish fiddle and piano duo Chris Duncan and Catherine Strutt, ACO cellist Julian Thompson and instrument player and maker Linsey Pollak.

If you want to check out the details of the project head to Pozible here – there’s only a handful of days to go!

The String Contingent are also currently making their way through Victoria and New South Wales performing a number of house gigs and intimate shows. The remaining list of dates are below – contact the band via their official web site for the addresses of the house concerts:

Friday 27th June – House Concert, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 28th June – Lot 19 Arts Hub, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 29th June – Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Sunday 13th July – The Old Courthouse, Gunning, NSW
Sunday 20th July – House Concert, Marrickville, NSW

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 18th January


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The latest song from the upcoming album Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys has hit the internet and it’s a version of “Shenandoah” featuring Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Details here

– UK indie-folk darlings Daughter has announced the details of their upcoming debut album If You Leave, complete with 10 single word track titles. Details here

The Crooked Fiddle Band are taking the crowdfunding route with their second album and are asking fans to contribute to a Pozible campaign. Details here

– UK singers Eliza Carthy, Lucy Farrell, Kate Young and Bella Hardy have joined their considerable talents for a brand new folk supergroup project Laylam, with a new album due on the 28th January. Details here

Donavon Frankenreiter is bringing his brand of surf-roots (and his moustache) back to Australia this February and March for a massive 30+ shows. Details here

– The new video from Hayden Calnin, “Summer”, is better written, acted, shot, directed and of course soundtracked than anything on Australian television at the moment – that’s my claim anyway. Details here

– The Counting Crows have confirmed a handful of sideshows when they’re in the country for Bluesfest. Details here

– Melbourne instrumental three-piece The String Contingent announced their new album Talk and started streaming it online all at once. Details here

– “Winter Make Way”, the new single from Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers is pretty stunning. Details here

Matt Walters has finally released his Vacant Heart EP, four months after the original release date. Details here

– Ex-Middle East memeber Mark Myers has unveiled his new solo project, The Starry Field, with a poppy debut single and a bunch of east coast tour dates. Details here

The Starry Field’s debut single “All Of My Love” also has a brand new video to go with it. Details here

The Perch Creek Family Jug Band have teamed up with the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats and the Bearded Gypsy Band for a east coast mini-festival tour this February. Details here

– “Line of Fire” is the brand new single from Junip from their upcoming self titled album. Details here

The Staves released their brand new video “Winter Trees”. Details here

– UK trio Bear’s Den have made their latest single, “Pompeii”, available as a free download. Details here

Passenger has revealed a brand new song “A Thousand Matches” via a live video that also features Stu Larsen and Isobel Anderson on backing vocals. Details here


“We started off on New Year’s Eve at Peat’s Ridge, and that was amazing. We’ve also ended up with large amounts of nude Australians, twice in a fortnight” – Jorge Kachmari from The Underscore Orkestra chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“We’ve decided quite recently that we’re not going to record anything all three of us together. Because Laura wants to focus on her career and I want to focus on mine. And I’m happy to play with Amelia and Laura when we’re together, but it’s kind of like a side project being The Miss Chiefs”Laura Zarb, Amelia Gibson and Vendulka Wichta of The Miss Chiefs chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here



“As a country-wide heat wave began to take hold you’d be forgiven for thinking only a crazy man would leave the beach lined coastline of Sydney for a weekend in New South Wales’ central west. And you’re probably right except I was driving over the mountains to take part in the Gulgong Folk Festival, an event I had heard so many good reports on in 2012 and which boasted a 2013 lineup that seemed lifted straight from the pages of Timber and Steel – how could I not attend?”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Gulgong Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Vacant Heart
Vacant HeartMatt Walters

Timber and Steel Presents

Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Grizzly Jim Lawrie with Kat Arditto
Sunday 20th January – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Archie Roach
Friday 25th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th Januray – Bulli, NSW

Kim Churchill
Friday 18th January – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 19th January – Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 20th January – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Tuesday 22nd January – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 23rd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 25th January – The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW

Leah Flanagan
Sunday 20th January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Lianne La Havas
Friday 18th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 20th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Monday 22nd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 23rd January – Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Tamworth Country Music Festival
18th to 27th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Mouldy Lovers
Friday 18th January – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th Januray – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW

The Starry Field
Sunday 20th January – The Public Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – The Round, Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th January – The Barcode, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 25th January – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

The Underscore Orkestra
Tuesday 22nd January – Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood, VIC
Wednesday 23rd January – Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Waterboys
Wednesday 23rd January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Don’t Forget Your Shovel” – Christy Moore

Was stoked to discover this song has an official film clip complete with a shirtless Christy Moore. This was one of those songs I used to love when I was a kid, mainly because the lyrics (and the way Moore sings it in his staccato Irish accent) are just so absurd, at least to a kid. But it really has a timeless message – that “if you’re going to do it don’t do it against the wall”. Mind your sandwiches.

The String Contingent Announce New Album Talk

Image Courtesy of The String Contingent

Sydney instrumental folk three-piece The String Contingent have announced plans to release their third album Talk on the 1st february this year. Recorded at the Newstead Uniting Church by Mischa Herman at the end of last year Talk is possibly The String Contingent’s most mature outing to date. Check out this making of video to get an idea of the process the band went through to make the album:

Talk is available to stream via The String Contingent’s bandcamp and we have the whole thing for you below. Have a listen and then make sure you pick this up come 1st February.

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