Thank Folk It’s Friday – 14th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– American singer-songwriter Joe Pug is heading to Australia for a string of dates in July. Details here

Fanny Lumsden released her new video “Totem Tennis”. Details here

– UK songstress Beth Orton announced Australian tour dates. Details here

– Northern Territory based festival The Top Half Folk Festival has announced The Ten Cent Shooters as its 2017 feature artist. Details here

– Ex-Noah and The Whale frontman Charlie Fink has announced plans to release his debut solo album Cover My Tracks. Details here

Interviews

“I am fortunate to know a couple of really great musicians who will be joining me on stage. They have an amazing ability to know what sound I want to create without me having to ask, and because of this they compliment my style and create space and depth to my writing”Sally Balfour chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“My sister Ivy creates beautiful and sometimes surprising vocal harmonies. We’ve been told our voices together sound like one voice singing two notes, yet our voices individually are quite different” – Mabel Windred-Wornes from Charm of Finches chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“When I hear a song, and I know and read it’s background and history and meaning, and if it sings to my heart then I need to sing it”Aoife Scott chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Take Care
Take Care Take CoverThe Mae Trio
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Bluesfest and The National Folk Festival

Majestic

It’s that time of year again where folk, roots and acoustic fans are faced with the Easter dilemma: do you head to Byron Bay for Bluesfest or Canberra for The National Folk Festival. We can never decide so this year we’re doing both!

Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Gigs Next Week

Alan Reid & Rob van Sante
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Andrew Bird
Saturday 15th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – The Playhouse, Canberra, ACT

Bluesfest
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Byron Bay, NSW

Bob Evans
Thursday 20th April – Front Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 21st April – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW

Boogie
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th April – Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC

Busby Marou
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Candelo Village Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Candelo, NSW

Colin Lillie
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 19th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Stag and Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st April – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Ed Wells
Wednesday 19th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

Emily Barker
Saturday 15th April – Port City Folk Festival, Fremantle, WA

Fairbridge Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Pinjarra, WA

Folkswagon feat. Nick Kingswell, Darby, Timothy James Bowen
Wednesday 19th April – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Golden Whistler & Whoa Mule
Saturday 15th April – Old City Bank Bar, Katoomba, NSW

Gretta Ray
Tuesday 18th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Henry Wagons, Jonny Fritz and Ruby Boots
Friday 14th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 21st April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Irish Mythen
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 21st April – The Gum Ball Festival, Dashville, NSW

Jane Cameron & the Crazy Carnival
Saturday 15th April – St Leonards Winery, Wahgunyah, VIC
Sunday 16th April – St Leonards Winery, Wahgunyah, VIC

Jeff Lang
Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Jonny Fritz
Friday 14th April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th April – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 20th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 21st April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Kasey Chambers
Thursday 20th April – Geelong Playhouse, Geelong, VIC
Friday 21st April – The Regent Theatre, Yarram, VIC

Les Poules à Colin
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th April – South Coast Folk Club, Adelaide, SA
Friday 21st to Monday 24th April – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge, WA

Martha Tilston
Friday 14th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, ACT

Michael Kiwanuka
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Monsieur Camembert
Saturday 15th April – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Nahko and Medicine for the People
Sunday 16th April – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

National Folk Festival
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Canberra, ACT

Neil Murray & Lucie Thorne
Wednesday 19th April – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

Oh Pep!
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th April – Boogie Festival, Bruzzy’s Farm, Tallarook, VIC
Friday 21st April – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 14th April – Barwon Heads Hotel, Barwon Heads, VIC
Wednesday 19th April – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 21st April – International Convention Centre, Sydney, NSW

Port City Folk Festival
Saturday 15th April – The Railway Hotel, Fremantle, WA

Round Mountain Girls
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Sally Balfour
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

St Albans Folk Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – St Albans, NSW

Ten Cent Shooters
Sunday 16th April – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

The Dead Maggies
Friday 14th April – The Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 20th April – The Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 21st April – Junction 142, Katoomba, NSW

The End Festival
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Hill End, NSW

The Gum Ball
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April – Dashville, NSW

The Lumineers
Monday 17th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 18th April – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th April – State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

The Mae Trio
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 18th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 20th April – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The McClymonts
Friday 21st April – Bathurst RSL, Bathurst, NSW

The Mountain Goats
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

The Rheingans Sisters
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 19th April – Foundry616, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 20th April – TBC, Katoomba, NSW

The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April – The National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

The Waifs
Saturday 15th April – The Roebuck Bay Hotel, Broome, WA

The Weeping Willows
Sunday 16th April – The Standard Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Tony Joe White
Saturday 15th April – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 16th April – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Monday 17th April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 20th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“To Be Alone With You” – Sufjan Stevens

The Top Half Folk Festival Announces 2017 Feature Artist

Ten Cent Shooters
Image Courtesy of Ten Cent Shooters

Over the Queens Birthday long weekend in June the Top Half Folk Festival will be making its way to the Glen Helen Homestead on the banks of the Finke River, about an hour west of Alice Springs. The boutique, family festival will be celebrating its 47th year with a weekend packed full of amazing music from the NT and around Australia.

This year’s feature artist at the Top Half Folk Festival is WA country-blues trio Ten Cent Shooters. Comprising Peter Woodward (guitar, vocals), Scott Wise (vocals, mandolin, guitars and harmonica), and Sean Diggins (double bass), the Ten Cent Shooters are celebrating 25 years together in 2017.

The Top Half Folk Festival takes place from the 9th to the 12th June. For more information check out the official Facebook page here.

Happy 6th Birthday Timber and Steel!

Bob Dylan

Running from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old time string band
My baby plays a guitar, I pick a banjo now

– “Wagon Wheel” Old Crow Medicine Show

Like many music writers I’m a frustrated musician. I play a decent fiddle and mandolin (and mediocre guitar) but my lack of commitment when it comes to practicing coupled with how intimidated I get with the amount of talent that’s out there has meant I’ve never really taken it further than backyard jams and open mics.

The truth is that Timber and Steel didn’t start life as a blog. The first incarnation of Timber and Steel was a band playing covers of artists that we’d discovered through Laura Marling and the burgeoning UK nu-folk scene – bands and artists like Mumford & Sons, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale, Emmy The Great, Pete Roe, Jay Jay Pistolet and more. Most of these bands went on to make a mark on the international music scene in some way or another but at the time we saw our band Timber and Steel as a vehicle to bringing these unknown artists and songs to an Australian audience, essentially continuing the folk process of sharing songs that has been happening for centuries.

Timber and Steel the blog was born during the band’s jam sessions from comments like “surely there’s music like this emerging in Australia as well” or “why isn’t anyone in Australia writing about this music?”. The blog was born out of the desire to share the music we were uncovering from Australia and around the world outside of what we were able to share on the stage. The rest, as they say, is history.

What I love most about the folk scene is its inclusiveness. My musical exploits may be purely amateur but if I go to a folk festival I will always arrive with at least one instrument in tow. My favourite regular nights in my home town of Sydney are the ones that involve a participation element like a jam session. My fondest memories from gigs are the ones that have ended back stage or at a local bar with a couple of guitars and a group of people keen to continue the music. My entire monthly gig and festival going experience is built around where I can pull out my fiddle or mando and have a play. Over the last six years I have jammed with some of the best in the business.

In what other genre of music can you participate to this degree? This is why I love folk music.

Timber and Steel the band still exists and still performs occasionally at low key nights and small festivals. Coming up we have shows at FolksWagon in Sydney on the 25th May and at the Top Half Folk Festival in Darwin over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. The blog is still a reflection of the music we’re discovering and want to share as well as helping us discover and connect with shows and festivals we may want to play.

Seeing Timber and Steel moving into its sixth year is surreal. The blog that was conceived my lounge room between working out Laura Marling songs was only ever going to be an outlet for sharing music, little did we know where it would take us. I’m incredibly proud of Timber and Steel and constantly humbled by how much we’ve been welcomed into the folk scene in Australia. I’m looking forward to many more years of watching, playing and even occasionally writing about folk music.

Happy 6th Birthday Timber and Steel!

Gareth Hugh Evans
Editor in Chief

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 15th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney singer-songwriter Lissa released her first new music in ages, the single “Run”. Details here

– New Sydney chamber-folk project OM Collective released their cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Details here

Catherine Traicos released her new video “Stolen Wings”. Details here

– Central Coast based band Elwood Myre have announced a full band tour. Details here

– The Cobargo Folk Festival announced its 2016 lineup including The Rambling Boys, The East Pointers, Beth Patterson,Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet, Kirsty Bromley, Alistair Brown, Vin Garbutt, Truckstop Honeymoon, Trouble in the Kitchen, Fred Smith & Liz Frenchman, The Backsliders, Daniel Champagne, Danny Spooner, Old Empire Band and many, many more. Details here

– Newcastle duo The Wayward Henrys released their new single “Early Grave”. Details here

– The final artists have been added to the WOMADelaide lineup including De La Soul, Asha Bhosle, Ainslie Wills, Ajak Kwai, Alpine, Apy Choir, Eska, Marcellus Pittman, Sarah Blasko, 숨[su:m] and Tek Tek Ensemble. Details here

– The Top Half Folk Festival have announced their 2016 headliners including Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson and Sonsy. Details here

Reviews

Gigs

“Upon arrival, the utter beauty of the organisation struck us plain and simple – from excellent signage on the roads leading to the venue, through to the process of getting in to the festival, it was all sweet and no fuss. We had wondered how a 3 day festival, that is usually a build up to the penultimate celebration on New Years Eve, would fare when the night in question was in fact the first night of the 3 day affair. It seems that for Byron Bay, the crowd for New Years was good, but instead the numbers grew significantly for the 1st and 2nd January days”KT Bell gives us an overview of this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“Over in Lola’s Bar, on New Years Eve, we stumbled upon a likely scene of rag-tag musicians and a tent full of eager punters. It was 2pm but the Button Collective soon had the dance floor packed with joyful revelry. Appearing as a 6-piece line up each day of the Byron stint, the sheer energy and cheer emanating from the stage was infectious”KT Bell chronicles her highlights of this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“I feel like I have waited my entire adult life to see a collaboration like Paul Kelly presents The Merri Soul Sessions. On the first day of the new year, I lined myself up in the perfect spot to soak up their entire Valley Stage show. From the get go, it was clear this is a slick set of friends who can bounce off each other and share the stage equally. A cool, soulful beat introduced the ladies and gents to the stage, Vika and Linda Bull, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru and Dan Sultan! The Bull sisters took the reigns with their contributions What You Want and Smells Like Rain that held the crowd captivated. I’ve never seen Dan Sultan as a backup singer but he took to the role well and provided his beautiful timbre to the depths of the harmonies”KT Bell reviews the unmissable acts at this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“I think my favourite find for the whole of Festival has to be Oh Wonder, a London-based duo who were performing in Australia for the first time thanks to the Falls Festival. You’ve got to love a band who brings their own stage backdrop, a 2-metre-tall set of light up initials for their band name… which read ‘OW’, It’s probably an appropriate sentiment for the level of hangovers, hair of the dog’s and sunburns that were evident post NYE celebrations”KT Bell recounts the artists she discovered at this year’s Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Review here

“A very special moment was when Out of Abingdon joined Honey on stage for a set including the beautiful rendition of “Blue” by Vince Jones sung by Elizabeth Walton and a haunting stirring version of “Amazing Grace” with Tina from Out of Abingdon’s arced bass. An audience member Craig from Mudgee remarked it was the most moving part of the whole event” – we review Mudgee Music Festival’s Mudsling event. Review here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller

Deep Down South

The best of the Melbourne alt-country scene meander their way up the east coast before arriving in Tamworth for the Tamworth Country Music Festival

Friday 15th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 16th January – Encore, Wollongong, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Tudor, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Allison Forbes
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 15th January – Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Toyota Star Maker Final, Town Hall, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – The Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Southgate Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW

Andrew Swift
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Albert Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Stage, Tamworth, NSW

Beth Patterson
Tuesday 12th to Sunday 17th January – Ilawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th January – Newstead Live Folk Festival, Newstead, VIC

Bluegrass @ Balls Head
Wednesday 20th January – Balls Head Reserve, Sydney, NSW

Boy & Bear
Friday 22nd January – Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Cake & Cordial Sessions ft. Paddy McHugh, Megan Cooper, Gretta Ziller, Andy Golledge, Brad Butcher
Friday 22nd January – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tamworth, NSW

Dana Hassall
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Country Turns Pink, Blazes @ Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Songhouse Sessions, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – This One’s For The Girls, South Tamworth Bowls Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Writer’s in the Round, Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Late Night Alt, Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – City Plaza, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Songwriters Round, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Deep Down South feat. Lachlan Bryan, Les Thomas, Mr Alford Country, Jemma Nicole, Andrew Swift, Brooke Russell, Tom Dockray, Gretta Ziller
Friday 15th January – Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth, VIC
Saturday 16th January – Encore, Wollongong, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Tudor, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW

Dirty Three
Friday 15th January – State Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Eagle & The Wolf
Wednesday 20th January – House Concert, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Longyard, Tamworth, NSW

Elwood Myre
Sunday 17th January – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Monday 18th January – Frog and Toad, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Fanzone Stage, Peel St, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Frog and Toad, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Late Night Alt at the Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Blazes Showroom at Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Capitol Theatre, The Songwriters Round, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Longyard Deck, Tamworth, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Mystery Guest Headliner, Elliot Maginot, The Campervan Dancers
Wednesday 20th January – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Bulli, NSW

Imogen Clark
Sunday 17th January – Tudor Front Bar, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Songhouse Sessions @ Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Americana in the Park, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Upstairs, Tamworth, NSW

Irish Mythen
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – The Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 22nd January – The Django Bar, Marrickville, NSW

Joanna Newsom
Thursday 21st January – Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW

John Butler Trio
Friday 22nd January – Belvoir Amphitheatre, Upper Swan, WA

Julia Jacklin
Monday 18th January – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Kev Carmody
Sunday 17th January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Friday 22nd January – The Tamworth, Tamworth, NSW

Late Night Library: Library Folk feat. Alex Guthrie, Taryn La Fauci
Wednesday 20th January – Hyde Park North, Sydney, NSW

Liam Gale & the Ponytails w/ Direwolf
Thursday 21st January – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Matthew E White
Friday 15th January – Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Lennox Theatre, Parramatta, NSW

Megan Cooper
Saturday 16th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – TSA Awards Show, Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Richo’s Roundup, Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Cake & Cordial Sessions, St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Tamworth, NSW

Melody Feder
Sunday 17th January – South Tamworth Bowling Club, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – Country Turns Pink, Blazes @ Wests, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Pig & Tinder, Tamworth, NSW

Newstead Live! Music Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numeralla Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th January – Numeralla, NSW

One Up, Two Down
Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd January – Andrew Clemont’s Supper Club, Tamworth, NSW

Out of Abingdon
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW

Peasant Moon, Ben Horder, Matt Ward
Friday 15th January – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Ryley Walker
Friday 22nd January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Sir Richard Bishop and Daniel Bachman
Sunday 17th January – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Songhouse Sessions feat. Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Darren Coggan, Michael Bryers, Katie Brianna
Tuesday 17th January – Tamworth Services Club, Tamworth, NSW

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Georgetown, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Saturday 15th to Sunday 24th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Beards
Wednesday 20th January – West Tamworth Leagues, Tamworth Country Music Festival, NSW

The Button Collective
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

The East Pointers
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, NSW
Monday 18th January – Bagdad Community Hall, TAS
Tuesday 19th January – Sulphur Creek Hall, TAS
Wednesday 20th January – Wynard Wharf Hotel Theatre, TAS
Thursday 21st January – Longford Town Hall, TAS
Friday 22nd January – Chudleigh Community Hall, TAS

The Franklin Electric
Friday 15th January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th January – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Tuesday 19th January – Fly By Night, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday 20th January – Indi Bar, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 21st January – The Rosemount, Perth, WA
Friday 22nd January – The Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA

The Plough
Sunday 17th January – The Coach and Horses, Sydney, NSW

The Wayward Henrys
Friday 15th January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – The Pub, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 17th January – FanZone, Tamworth, NSW
Monday 18th January – Dag Sheep Station, Tamworth, NSW
Wednesday 20th January – Post Office Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Courthouse Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 21st January – Cafe Retro, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Hogs Breath Cafe, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Tudor Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Thredbo, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“3 Slip Jigs” – Planxty

The Top Half Folk Festival Announces Headliners for 2016

Kate and Ruth
Image Courtesy of Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton

If you’re a constant reader of Timber and Steel you’ll know there’s a special place in our hearts for the NT’s boutique festival the Top Half Folk Festival.

Held alternatively each year in Central Australia and The Top End, the Top Half Folk Festival prides itself on its ability to showcase world class musical talent with a very community focused feel.

The 2016 festival will take place over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend from the 10th to 13th June at Mary River Park which is about 110km south east of Darwin. And while we’re still six months out the Top Half is already getting us excited by announcing not one, not two but three huge headliners.

First up is the remarkable Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton (above) who are two of Australia’s most respected and renowned folk musicians. Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton released their amazing album Declaration last year which topped Timber and Steel’s best of 2015 list.

Next up is country folk singer-songwriter Bill Jackson who is in the middle of releasing his Wayside Ballads album project. Jackson has wowed audiences throughout Australia and the world with his plainspoken and articulate songwriting.

And the final headliner is Adelaide/Canberra based close harmony singing duo Sonsy. The brainchild of Alison McAllister and Kate Harrison, Sonsy brings with them the sounds of the Appalachian mountains.

The rest of the lineup is yet to be announced but we’re assured it will be packed full of Top Half Folk Festival favourites.

Tickets for the Top Half Folk Festival can be obtained by contacting the Top End Folk Club via their official site here. Accommodation during the event can be booked directly with the Mary River Park.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– It looks like Bon Iver will return for their third cycle with Justin Vernon confirming their headline spot at the first annual Eaux Claires Music Festival. Details here

– Sydney indie-folk night Little Features celebrate their 3rd Birthday tomorrow with appearances from Justin Robinson, Charlie Gradon, The Button Collective and Ed Wells. Details here

– Canadian alt-country singer Lindi Ortega announced her new album Faded Gloryville. Details here

Jed Rowe and Alison Ferrier have announced a joint tour this July. Details here

– Singer-songwriters Jack Carty and Jordan Millar have announced a joint tour this August. Details here

– The Top Half Folk Festival announced their full lineup including Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers, Ted Egan, Colin Lillie, Barry Skipsey, Sally Balfour, Margaret Walters, Bob Sharp, Scott Balfour, Dave Oakes, Don Bruce, Neil & Mel Phillips, Rusty & The Infidels, Malarkey, Watershed Players, Edan Baxter, Chris Pemberton & Tony Suttor, Peter Bate, Paul Stewart, South Of The Berrimah Line, Phil Beck, Phil Gray, Kirsty Evans, Ted & Carolynne Burns and the-band-that-became-a-blog Timber & Steel. Details here

– Melbourne band Husky released their new video “Drunk”. Details here

The Milk Carton Kids released their new video “Poison Tree”. Details here

– London folk-rock five-piece Feldspar released their new single “Five Years”. Details here

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations released their new video “Flag” and announced a national tour. Details here

Packwood released his stunning new video for “Obstinate”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Sal Kimber and the Rollin’ Wheel have released their new video “Stumble in the Dark”. Details here

Releases This Week

Cold Moon
Cold MoonJames Thomson
iTunes

Jed Rowe
The Last Day of WinterJed Rowe
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Little Features feat. Justin Robinson, Charlie Gradon, The Button Collective, Ed Wells

Button Collective

This Sunday Sydney indie-folk night Little Features celebrates it’s third birthday with a lineup that includes American singer-songwriter Justin Robinson, Little Features mainstay Charlie Gradon, local folk heroes The Button Collective (above) and the buzzworthy Ed Wells.

Saturday 30th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Ben Howard
Friday 29th May – Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 30th May – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Monday 1st June – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd June – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Davey Craddock & The Spectacles
Friday 29th May – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW

Direwolf and Willowy
Friday 5th June – Rad, Wollongong, NSW

Iris DeMent with Pieta Brown
Friday 29th May – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

James Kenyon and Tobias Hengeveld
Friday 29th May – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Little Features feat. Justin Robinson, Charlie Gradon, The Button Collective, Ed Wells
Saturday 30th May – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Planet Dungog Music Festival
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st May – Dungog, NSW

Ruby Boots
Friday 29th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

The Pigs
Friday 29th May – The Spirit, Traralgon, VIC
Saturday 30th May – The Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne, VIC

Timberwolf
Saturday 30th May – Big Pineapple Festival, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Top Half Folk Festival
Friday 5th to Monday 8th June – Glen Helen via Alice Springs, NT

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sister” – Sufjan Stevens

“What the water wants is hurricanes, and sailboats to ride on its back”. Could those hushed opening lines, over 4 minutes into the track, be some of the best in modern times? I saw Sufjan perform this in Sydney this week and it was magic.

Full Lineup for the Top Half Folk Festival Revealed

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers

We’re less than two weeks away from our favourite little folk festival, the Top Half Folk Festival in Central Australia, and it’s shaping up to be an amazing event.

The Top Half has already announced headliners Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers (above) but this week they announced a raft of other artists including Ted Egan, Colin Lillie, Barry Skipsey, Sally Balfour, Margaret Walters, Bob Sharp, Scott Balfour, Dave Oakes, Don Bruce, Neil & Mel Phillips, Rusty & The Infidels, Malarkey, Watershed Players, Edan Baxter, Chris Pemberton & Tony Suttor, Peter Bate, Paul Stewart, South Of The Berrimah Line, Phil Beck, Phil Gray, Kirsty Evans, Ted & Carolynne Burns and the-band-that-became-a-blog Timber & Steel.

The Top Half Folk Festival is held from the 5th to the June at the Glen Helen Resort west of Alice Springs. As well as the festival there will be an informal welcome drinks in Alice Springs at the Gap View Hotel on Thursday 4th June. For more information on the Top Half Folk Festival including how to get your hands on tickets and accommodation check out the Central Australia Folk Society web site here.

National Folk Festival Interview: Dave Oakes

Dave Oakes
Image Courtesy of Dave Oakes

Liverpool born, Central Australian based singer-songwriter Dave Oakes is ticking things off his bucket list. Having finally recorded an album of songs written throughout his almost 40 years in the red centre, Oakes is heading to The National Folk Festival for the first time since it settled in Canberra. We sat down with Dave Oakes to talk about his music and his new album Made In Alice Springs.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Creating the new album Made In Alice Springs is ticking off a big thing on your bucket list right?

Dave Oakes: I become a pensioner in two weeks or three weeks time when I actually have my birthday and I’m 65. So before that for a wee while I thought “I’ve got to get a bucket list together” of the things I really needed to do. Like I’ve never, ever had any inclination to have a tattoo, I always thought they were for bogans only. But then I thought “bugger it, you haven’t got one, go and get yourself a tattoo” so I did, of a Liver Bird [for the Liverpool Football Club]. And then I thought I’ve got all these songs – and I’m still writing, I’ve got lots of new ones – so I’ve got to get them down. There’s a couple of new ones on the album album like “Ain’t Been Lost” – I wrote two years ago. That’s relatively knew compared to “Beneath Uluru”, “Wings of an Albatross” and “Ross River Cowboy”. And then last year at the Top Half Folk Festival I wrote “Ted” for the songwriting workshop, but I never performed it. It’s very hard to perform “Ted” because I don’t have the violin – I could play the part with chords but it’s not the same as having the violin come in.

GHE: Almost all of the songs on the album speak to your time in Central Australia covering a lot of the characters in Alice Springs and the countryside surrounding it. Were you a songwriter before you got to Alice?

DO: I’ve done it since I was about 14. In Liverpool I grew up in pretty central working-class Liverpool in Walton. When I grew up there at the bottom of our street as a lad just after the war they built a library. And in the library one of the head librarians, a fella called Harold Hikins, and he was into poetry – in them days poetry was pretty big. And when I was doing A Levels at school, from 15, 16 on, my English teacher was Roger McGough – he later one got into a band called The Scaffold – and he was into poetry as well. And he knew Hikins. So from that sort of start of writing poetry and that in the early days to picking up a guitar. When I was 19 I went over to Europe – I didn’t want to go to university like my parents wanted me to, it was 1968/69 and the Beatles were only just about to split up and everyone was going to India. There was no way I was going to go to University. To do what? I haven’t regretted that move ever. So I was in Europe with my guitar and went busking and started writing. The early ones are busker’s songs, very jingle jangley. I got myself a dobro for on the street because it was nice and load and my voice was always nice and loud. From busking it got from there to actually going and playing in the pubs.

I’ve always written songs and there’s a load before the Alice Springs stuff started coming up. Then there was loads of songs I wrote just for songs that we’ve done, me and [Rob] Laidlaw doing Astro – there were loads of songs I wrote for other people to sing as well.

GHE: Coming to Alice Springs in the 70s the Central Australian Folk Society was a big presence in town. Was having something like the folk club a big influence on you as a songwriter and performer?

DO: Absolutely. The 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. It takes me even longer to remember them. I can remember writing “Ross River Cowboy” when I was out for two weeks in the desert – I came back into town and I knew all the words and chords and I could just stand up there and play it. Whereas nowadays, I think “Ted” took me about three weeks to get into my head. The Folk Club definitely influenced everything. It was a great folk club, it was vibrant. The people that came there, just passing through people, were absolutely fantastic. It really was quality. There’s still nothing like it today I don’t think. But then again I’m getting old.

GHE: Living in Central Australia for coming up on 40 years, it’s been such a major part of your life. The characters and the landscapes seem to inspire your songs.

DO: And also 10 years living with Pitjantjatjara people and speaking Pitjantjatjara, that was an enormous shock to my system. I’m still not an inverted racist, I still think blackfellas can do wrong, I don’t think the sun shines out of their arse or anything. But I must admit that the sense of humour that the Aborigines have, it’s quite wonderful. The Pitjantjatjara people were lovely people to hang around with and hence the reason on “Kata Tjuta” where it says “I’m glad friend’s a desert fella, a black person fella” – that’s the translation. That says it all.

Where I used to live in Giles Street Caravan Park there was nothing between me and Kata Tjuta. I literally did look out of my window at Kata Tjuta, the spinifex plains were all that was between it and me. Every Friday night I’d get a slab in and my mate Charlie Walkabout would bring a mate with him, a good drinker, never causing any trouble or anything like that. That song’s basically about Walkabout. Without him I wouldn’t have stayed there that long – he taught me an awful lot about people, about life, about culture in the Pitjantjatjara way of looking at it. That was a great influence as well to me.

That’s why I left, because Walkabout died. There was no way I was going to hang around there with anyone else being the boss.

GHE: So on to The National Folk Festival – this is the first one you’ve played?

DO: Except the one we had in Alice Springs.

GHE: Except the Alice Springs one of course. What was behind the decision to apply for The National?

DO: I was looking after my mother for about 15 years, I brought her over from England. Hence the reason I had to work all the time and do things like that. She passed away last April, she was 93 and had a really good innings. When she passed away suddenly I had all this freedom – I could do anything I wanted to. So when I saw you could go to The National as long as you applied before June the 31st or something like that I just applied. I thought “they’re not going to have me, I’m an unknown”. And then they did! They said “no worries, we haven’t had anyone from that sort of area for ages and ages”. I know Ted [Egan]’s going to be there, and now that I know you’re going to be there I’ll know two people.

GHE: And you’re going to be at the Top Half Folk Festival at Glen Helen near Alice Springs which is your “home” festival as well. Every time it’s in Alice you play and you’ve played when it’s in Darwin as well.

DO: I did Darwin last year and that was great. It was the first time I’ve actually played alone for a long long time. I much prefer playing solo – you can make mistakes. And you can change your mind on what you want to play. I am looking forward to being alone at The National as well. The thing about the album, they’re really good with just the guitar.

GHE: I might leave it there mate – thanks so much.

DO: No worries. Look forward to seeing you at The National!

Made In Alice Springs is available now. Listen to the track “Wings of an Albatross” below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 13th March

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Top Half Folk Festival in Central Australia have announce Fanny Lumsden as their 2015 headliner this June. Details here

Jack Carty released his new single “If I Am A Candle, Then You Are A Spark” as he tours around Australia. Details here

– Sydney folk duo Elwood Myre have headed out on a huge East Coast tour. Details here

– The Bluegrass @ Yulli’s jam night returns to Sydney next week featuring George Jackson and Daniel Watkins of One Up, Two Down. Details here

– The St Patrick’s Day celebrations starts early with a bunch of gigs planned at The Gaelic Club in Sydney from tonight featuring Sásta, The Bottlers, ZeoN, Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson and more. Details here

– Adelaide singer-songwriter Tom West released his new video “Easy, Love”. Details here

Roland Kay-Smith kicked off his album launch tour this week. Details here

Releases This Week

Music Now
MusicNOW – 10 Years – Various
Bandcamp

Nanna
NannaXavier Rudd & The United Nations
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Gaelic Club Sydney St Patricks Day

Sasta

It’s St Patrick’s Day week and The Gaelic Club in Sydney have so much amazing music on from the likes of Sásta, The Bottlers, ZeoN, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson and many more. Get some Irish music into you!

Friday 13th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW (Sásta)
Saturday 14th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW (The Bottlers)
Sunday 15th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW (ZeoN)
Monday 16th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW (Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson)
Tuesday 17th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Andrew Swift
Thursday 19th March – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th March – Crown + Anchor, Adelaide, SA

April Maze
Friday 13th March – The Music Lounge, Acoustic Picnic, Manly, NSW
Wednesday 18th March – Wooloweyah Hall, Yamba, NSW

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March – Katoomba, NSW

Bluegrass @ Yulli’s feat. George Jackson & Daniel Watkins (One Up, Two Down)
Wednesday 18th March – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Brunswick Music Festival
Sunday 1st to Sunday 15th March – Brunswick, VIC

Bunker Bluegrass
Thursday 19th March – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW

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

Davey Craddock
Thursday 19th March – Defectors Bar, Perth, WA

Elwood Myre
Sunday 15th March – Charity Event, Warilla, NSW
Friday 20th March – Vic on the Park, Sydney, NSW

Festival of Small Halls feat. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Siskin River
Tuesday 17th March – Orange Showground Pavillion, Orange, NSW
Wednesday 18th March – The Simpson Pavillion, Grenfell, NSW
Thursday 19th March – The Rand School of Arts, Rand, NSW
Friday 20th March – Girgarre Town Hall, Girgarre, VIC

Heartstring Quartet
Saturday 14th to Sunday 15th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 17th March – Frankston Arts Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th March – Warragul PAC, Warragul, VIC

Jack Carty
Friday 13th March – The New Globe Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Jess Locke
Friday 13th March – The End, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 15th March – House Show, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 19th March – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Joel Barker
Wednesday 18th March – Settlers Tavern, Margret River, WA

John Flanagan
Saturday 14th March – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th March – Django bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th March – Illawarra Folk Club, City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Jordie Lane
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Josh Rennie-Hynes, Liam Gerner, Caitlin Harnett
Friday 13th March – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 18th March – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 19th March – Bleach Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 20th March – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Kim Richey
Friday 13th March – Mountain Mumma, Sheffield TAS
Sunday 15th March – Lake St Clair Lodge, Lake St Clair TAS

Lucy Wise Trio
Thursday 19th March – Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne, VIC

Nuala Kennedy
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW
Tuesday 17th March – Newcastle University, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 19th March – TBC, Newcastle, NSW

Roland Kay-Smith
Friday 13th March – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 20th March – Illawarra Brewery, Wollongong, NSW

Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson
Monday 16th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Rowena Wise
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Friday 20th March – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, SA

Sásta
Friday 13th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Skyscraper Stan And The Commission Flats
Friday 13th March – The Pier, Port Macquarie, NSW
Saturday 14th March – Lazy Bones Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th March – The Illawarra Brewery, Wollongong, NSW

Steve Smyth
Saturday 14th March – Elsewhere Festival, Newcastle, NSW

The Bottlers
Saturday 14th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Breabach, Stray Hens
Wednesday 18th March – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Timberwolf
Saturday 14th March – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 20th March – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Vance Joy
Friday 13th March – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th March – Regent Cinema Theatre, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 20th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
\

Winterbourne
Saturday 14th March – Wrangler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th March – Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th March – Moonshine, Manly, NSW

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Thursday 19th March – The Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

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

ZeoN
Sunday 15th March – The Gaelic Club, Sydney NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Wintersmith” – Steeleye Span

To honour the passing of Terry Pratchett we thought we’d celebrate with “Wintersmith”, the track written specifically for Terry Pratchett’s book series by Steeleye Span.

The Top Half Folk Festival Announces Headliner for 2015

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

If you venture to Alice Springs over the Queens Birthday long weekend this year (the 5th to 8th June) you’ll be greeted at the airport with an interesting juxtaposition. Collecting their bags and swags from the baggage carrousel will be Australia’s off-road motor sport enthusiest, in town for the Finke Desert Race – two days of bikes and buggies roaring through the desert at breakneck speeds. But dotted amongst the rev-heads will be the odd banjo and fiddle case, fisherman cap and bearded faces as folkies flock to the red centre for the 2015 Top Half Folk Festival.

Held on alternate years in Mary River near Darwin and Glen Helen, 130kms west of Alice Springs, the Top Half Folk Festival is one of the best small, community run festivals in the country. As mentioned it’s Central Australia’s turn this year and the venue couldn’t be more stunning – the beautiful Glen Helen gorge on the banks of the Finke River (the same river that gives its name to the motor race – although thankfully the revs of engines and the twangs of folkies are separated by hundreds of kilometres and won’t disturb each other.

Glen Helen

This is the Top Half Folk Festival’s 45th year and they’ve announced a very special headliner in Sydney alt-country singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden along with as many of her Thrillseekers she can drag north. The rest of the lineup this year is still being finalised (and the organisers are still taking expressions of interest from musician’s willing to donate their talents) and there will be a focus on youth performers with many of the town’s ex-pat folkies making the trip home especially. Yours truly included.

For more information on the Top Half Folk Festival including how to get your hands on tickets and accommodation check out the Central Australia Folk Society web site here.

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