Beautiful Blue – Songs in the key of Tom Waits This Thursday

Tom Waits
Image Courtesy of Nigel Wearne

This Thursday some of Melbourne’s best singer-songwriters are descending on The Wesley Anne in Northcote to present a bunch of original music inspired by the one and only Tom Waits. Waits is one of those songwriters whose music has inspired musicians around the world and across genres and Thursday’s event, Beautiful Blue – Songs in the key of Tom Waits, is bound to be a treat.

Nigel Wearne’s new single “Beautiful Blue” is the launching pad for the night which will also feature music from Luke Watt, Sarah Carroll, Lachlan Bryan, Jeb Cardwell, Alanna & Alicia, Marisa Quigley and Jim Green.

The music kicks off at 8pm with tickets just $15. For more information visit the booking site here.

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.

Listen to Tom Waits and Keith Richards’ Contribution to Son of Rogues Gallery

Rogues Gallery 2

Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys, the follow up to the Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski and Hal Willner produced album of pirate songs Rogue’s Gallery will be released on the 22nd February and features a bunch of famous folks heaving away and hawling away across two discs (check out our piece here on the album including the contributors and track listing here).

The latest track to find its way onto the internet from Son of Rogue’s… is the traditional American folk tune “Shenandoah” transformed in the way only they can by Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Check it out below:

Johnny Depp Announces Follow Up to Pirate-Themed Compilation Rogue’s Gallery

Rogues Gallery

When Johnny Depp was working on Pirates of the Caribbean in 2006 he, along with director Gore Verbinski and producer Hal Willner, put together a compilation of sea shanties and “pirate ballads” titled Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, featuring contributions by the likes of Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Sting, Teddy Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Rufus Wainwright, Martin Carthy, Lucinda Williams, Nick Cave, Akron/Family and more. Now almost seven years on Depp, Verbinski and Willner are revisiting the high seas with a sequel.

Titled Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys the new compilation once again takes in two discs and features the likes of Shane MacGowan, Beth Orton, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, Michael Stipe, Courtney Love, Broken Social Scene, Marianne Faithfull, Richard Thompson, Tim Robbins and many many more. The album is due for release on the 19th February.

The full track listing for Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys along with Shane MacGowan’s version of “Leaving of Liverpool” (with Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski).

Disc 1
1. Shane MacGowan – “Leaving of Liverpool” [ft. Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski]
2. Robyn Hitchcock – “Sam’s Gone Away”
3. Beth Orton – “River Come Down”
4. Sean Lennon – “Row Bullies Row” [ft. Jack Shit]
5. Tom Waits – “Shenandoah” [ft.Keith Richards]
6. Ivan Neville – “Mr Stormalong”
7. Iggy Pop – “Asshole Rules the Navy” [ft. A Hawk and a Hacksaw]
8. Macy Gray – “Off to Sea Once More”
9. Ed Harcourt – “The Ol’ OG”
10. Shilpa Ray – “Pirate Jenny” [ft. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis]
11. Patti Smith and Johnny Depp – “The Mermaid”
12. Chuck E Weiss – “Anthem for Old Souls”
13. Ed Pastorini – “Orange Claw Hammer”
14. The Americans – “Sweet and Low”
15. Robin Holcomb and Jessica Kenny – “Ye Mariners All”
16. Gavin Friday and Shannon McNally – “Tom’s Gone to Hilo”
17. Kenny Wollesen and The Himalayas Marching Band – “Bear Away”

Disc 2:
1. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention – “Handsome Cabin Boy”
2. Michael Stipe and Courtney Love – “Rio Grande”
3. Marc Almond – “Ship in Distress”
4. Dr John – “In Lure of the Tropics”
5. Todd Rundgren – “Rolling Down to Old Maui”
6. Dan Zanes – “Jack Tar on Shore” [ft. Broken Social Scene]
7. Sissy Bounce (Katey Red and Big Freedia) – “Sally Racket” [ft. Akron/Family]
8. Broken Social Scene – “Wild Goose”
9. Marianne Faithfull – “Flandyke Shore” [ft. Kate and Anna McGarrigle]
10. Ricky Jay – “The Chantey of Noah and his Ark (Old School Song)”
11. Michael Gira – “Whiskey Johnny”
12. Petra Haden – “Sunshine Life for Me” [ft. Lenny Pickett]
13. Jenni Muldaur – “Row the Boat Child”
14. Richard Thompson – “General Taylor” [ft. Jack Shit]
15. Tim Robbins – “Marianne” [ft. Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs]
16. Kembra Phaler – “Barnacle Bill the Sailor [ft. Antony, Joseph Arthur, and Foetus]
17. Angelica Huston – “Missus McGraw” [ft. The Weisberg Strings]
18. Iggy Pop and Elegant Too – “The Dreadnought”
19. Mary Margaret O’Hara – “Then Said the Captain to Me (Two Poems of the Sea)”

Free Download: “170 Million Amercians” Compilation (featuring Wilco, William Elliott Whitmore, Devotchka, Dr. Dog, Tom Waits, Man Man etc)

Want some awesome free music? All you have to do is know or find out an American zip code and have an email address! Input the information to the website linked below and the following tracks are all yours! The artists featured on the compilation have all gifted their music for the cause of maintaining public broadcasting in the US.

<Follow this link to download the 170 Million Americans Compilation>


Review: Josh Pyke Fans First at GoodGod Small Club, Sydney

Josh Pyke Fans First Sydney EditionPhoto by KT Bell

Josh Pyke supported by Jackson McLaren
23 June2011, GoodGod Small Club

I’d never been to the GoodGod Small Club until Josh Pyke decided to host his Fans First Tour Sydney show there. I’d heard of it, I’d heard stories of when Mumford and Sons played at a Communion night there (backing Pete Roe). Just by the name, you would assume it’s a small room, but I hadn’t really conceived just how small, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We rocked up early to grab a bite at The Dip, the cantina style restuarant inhabiting the front bar area of GoodGod. Not a huge menu to choose from, and the meals themselves weren’t enormous, but they were interesting flavour combinations and really damn tasty. With the food being so nice, we decided we had to share a dessert, the cookies and cream, which turned out to be one of the tastiest dessert’s I’ve had in this city. Salted caramel ice cream, that’s all I’m saying. While we were waiting for our dessert to arrive, we noticed a long line of people along the wall all the way out of the club. At this point we realised these were the fans all vying for the best spot in the club, and we were not in that line.

When we finally joined the end of the queue and made our way in to the GoodGod dancetaria room (the ‘Small Club’) we were struck at just how tiny and intimate the venue actually was. There wouldn’t be more than 20m from the stage to the bar, and this night was sold out so the room was quite full of eager fans. The support act, Jackson McLaren, was a friend of Pyke‘s and took to the stage in a black western shirt, looking a little like a young Richie Valens, to woo the crowd. His style was quite relaxed and we often felt we could have been listening to an early Paul Kelly with a mixture of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and even Simon and Garfunkel thrown in there too, just to mix things up. I get the feeling McLaren is still finding his own style and voice, it’s in there, some of it emerges through his current repertoire, and I’m sure it will only further develop as time progresses.

Finally the man of the hour took to the stage. Looking very chilled out and a little bit excited (or maybe that’s anxiety), Josh took to the stage with a huge grin as if greeting a bunch of old friends. It’s been a long time between drinks since the Basement Birds took him away from his solo work, but everyone had a bevvy and were ready for lots of favourites as well as a raft of new tunes. Performing solo, Pyke created the layers in each song by looping sounds from his iPhone, a tambourine, vocals and percussion played on the body of his guitar. It was evident he was having great fun on stage, f*ck-ups and all. The night was packed with many, many old favourites, some I didn’t realise I knew the words to until I was singing along with every other person in the room. He played a great cross section from his back catalogue and the smiles on every face were evident of a great show. 

Pyke was very friendly and familiar on stage, almost as if mucking around in his lounge room when some friends had popped in. He recognised fans from shows and told stories of how he knew them (one of which had been injured at two shows, hopefully a trend not to be continued). There was the “I Love You” girl who shouted out between songs and Pyke happily replied “I love you too”. We were surprised his set wasn’t peppered with more new material. Of course he played his current single “No One Wants A Lover” which we were all singing along too. Two other new tracks made it in to the set, one of which I can’t remember the name but made me think of sunshine and clouds on a summer’s day. The other, “Factory Fires”, was a really lyrically interesting story with an almost lamentful musical air. While he did occasionally struggle with the technology to create the looping tracks, it eventually turned in to a fun game where silly comments and crazy beats would come together and at one stage Pyke broke out in to a rap… but it didn’t last long.

The night was filled with many sing-along moments. To end the night, and because there isn’t really a “back stage area” at GoodGod, Pyke pretended to head off stage and we all roared for an encore, even though he’d merely stuck his head under the back curtain. He pulled out a new song for us, and promptly forgot the words. The crowd suggested he Google them on his iPhone, but the new album is so tightly under wraps that there was nowhere online he could have found them. Instead he took a request from the crowd and commented he’d need help with the words as he hadn’t played it for around five years. The night wound up with huge cheers and clapping from the room full of fans. We’d all been part of something special, an exclusive peek in to Josh’s world without all the hype and pretense of a large gig. This was Josh as our friend, and that’s why he put the fans first for this mini tour.

With two more show left tonight and tomorrow, fans in Adelaide and Melbourne are set for a real treat. For those who missed out on tickets to the Fans First Tour, the Sparrow’s Only pre-sale tickets are now available for Josh Pyke fan club members. If you haven’t signed up for the mailing list yet, you might want to do it now and get in for tickets before they go on sale to the public on 7th July.

Review: The Wild Frontier, “Until The Day Breathes”

The Wild Frontier
Image courtesy of The Wild Frontier

When reviewing an album, one can attempt to do so via a couple of methods: have a few listens, and write a reflection of first impressions; or, sit on it for a while. Have a listen now and then, let the songs mature, and fit in with what’s going on around you, until suddenly a hook takes hold, and there’s no going back.

The latter is where we’ve found ourselves regarding The Wild Frontier’s Until The Day Breaths. To catch yourself singing a song, sans music, whilst going about your day… you have no choice but to go back and revisit an album. The culprit is “The Thing I’ve Been”, a cruising song reminiscent of Dave Graney’s cool swoon, the opaque tone of The National, and the wine red velvet depth of a Nick Cave ballad. Throughout the album, The Wild Frontier’s sound and song writing has been likened to that of Lambchop, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Beach House, Arcade Fire, and the afore mentioned Nick Cave.

In fact, it would be easy to rest solely upon the Nick Cave contrasts of Christopher Mayes’ vocals throughout this album, if it weren’t for the diversity of his, and the voices featured on Until The Day Breathes. From the opening track, “For You”, we are greeted by the gorgeous voice of pianist Philippa Vaughan… fitting comparisons, without any exaggeration, include Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Jennifer Charles (Elysian Fields), and Martha Wainwright. It’s the sort of voice that makes you put a song on repeat just to hear again.

From the ethereal, to the apocalyptic imagery of “The Heavens Are on Fire”, and the banjo driven, Johnny Cash/June Carter inspired “My Friend Called Tom”; Christopher and Philippa share vocals on the album, with the occasional addition of guitarist and co-founder David Mackie adding a subtle and understated element to the vocal trio. Teamed with Stephen Mansfield on bass, and Leon Spencer on drums, this Sydney based five piece have produced a rich, complete collection of earthy, dramatic, and passionate songs about darkness and light.

Having released their album in October 2010, the momentum of this album has been steadily growing both locally and overseas.

Catch The Wild Frontier live:

Friday 15th April, 9pm @ Melt (12 Kellet St, Kings Cross), opening for James The Grey, along with PJ Wolf & band.

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