Details of the 2018 Stringmania Camp Finale

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
Image Courtesy of Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

This October the Victorian town of Warburton will play host to the annual Stringmania traditional music camp.

Co-directed by Scottish fiddle legend Alasdair Fraser and local favourite Chris Stone (The String Contingent), Stringmania takes place from the 1st to the 8th October and features a who’s who of local and international tutors including Adam Sutherland, Shane Lestideau, Paddy Montgomery, George Vardakis, Natalie Haas, Monique Bartkowiak, Michael Bryan, Holly Downes, Davydd McDonald, Greg Sheehan, Kavisha Mazzella, Cheryl Davison and more.

If you’re a string player and you want to attend the rumour is there’s a still a few places left at the camp – check out the official site here.

At the end of the camp, on Sunday 8th October, Stringmania will be celebrating with a grand finale concert. Taking place at the Warburton East Public Hall, the finale concert will feature performances from all of the camp participants as well as all of the tutors. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Warburton and Reefton CFA.

For more information on the finale concert, including how to get your hands on tickets, check out the official Stringmania site here.

Listen to the New Double A Side from The East Pointers, “82 Fires / Tanglewood”

The East Pointers
Image Courtesy of The East Pointers

Canadian folk music trio The East Pointers have just released their brand new double A side single “82 Fires / Tanglewood”.

“While in Penguin, Tasmania we spoke with an older gentleman, a lifelong resident, who said that there were 82 wildfires currently on the loose in Tasmania, the most in over half a century. It hit home the severity of what we were all experiencing,” banjoist Koady Chaisson explained. “It was a restless few days for us. Small human decisions about where to live or whether or not the show would go on didn’t matter, Mother Nature would always have the final say. Being in the middle of that brings an immediacy about it, you can feel powerless.”

The tracks are taken from The East Pointers’ highly anticipated second album What We Leave Behind which is due on the 29th September. Take a listen to them both below:

The East Pointers are heading back to Australia for the Mullum Music Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival and the Woodford Folk Festival with headline dates still to be announced. The festivals dates are here:

Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Wednesday 27th December to Monday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Trouble in the Kitchen and Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton Announce Rare Double Bill

Trouble in the Kitchen
Image Courtesy of Trouble in the Kitchen

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Trouble in the Kitchen and Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton have had on traditional music scene in Australia.

Trouble in the Kitchen, made up of Ado Barker (fiddle), Ben Stephenson (flute, whistle, bodhran), Kate Burke (guitar) and Joe Ferguson (bouzouki), brought a fresh, exciting take to Irish trad tunes when they first emerged in the lat 90s. The four piece has since become the gold standard by which all other Australian Irish-trad groups have been compared.

At the same time as Trouble in the Kitchen was making waves at folk festivals around the country guitarist Kate Burke joined with Ruth Hazleton on their duo project, exploring and reinterpreting traditional songs from the British Isles and the United States (and the occasional contemporary or self penned song).

To celebrate both bands’ second decade in the folk scene they’re playing their first ever double bill on the 9th September at Open Studio. If anyone has been to Open Studio before you’ll know it’s a super intimate space so we recommend getting to this gig early to avoid disappointment. For more details check out the official Facebook event here.

Willie Watson Announces Details of Folksinger Vol. 2

Willie Watson
Image Courtesy of Willie Watson

Since Willie Watson kicked off his solo career he’s been lauded as one of the most exciting American trad folk and country artists in the world. Watson’s 2014 solo album Folksinger Vol. 1 is considered by many to be a masterpiece and the good news is there’s a Volume Two on the way featuring a bunch of folk favourites.

Produced by David Rawlings and featuring collaborations with The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch, Morgan Jahnig (Old Crow Medicine Show) and Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), Folksinger Vol. 2 is due for release on the 15th September.

“I’m not trying to prove any point here and I’m not trying to be a purist” Willie Watson explained. “There’s so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level. It moves me and inspires me. I heard Leadbelly singing with the Golden Gate Quartet and it sounded fantastic, and I thought, “I want to do that.” I heard the Grateful Dead doing their version of “On the Road Again”, and it sounded like a dance party in 1926, and I wanted to do that, too. That’s the whole reason I ever played music in the first place—because it looked and sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.”

Check out the full track listing for Folksinger Vol. 2 below:

1. Samson And Delilah (feat. The Fairfield Four)
2. Gallows Pole
3. When My Baby Left Me
4. Dry Bones
5. Walking Boss
6. On The Road Again (feat. The Fairfield Four)
7. The Cuckoo Bird
8. Always Lift Him Up And Never Knock Him Down
9. John Henry
10. Leavin’ Blues
11. Take This Hammer (feat. The Fairfield Four)

Paul Brady Announces New Album Unfinished Business

Paul Brady
Image Courtesy of Paul Brady

Legendary Irish folk singer Paul Brady has announced plans to release his new album Unfinished Business on the 8th September.

Unfinished Business is Brady’s 15th solo album and his first since 2010’s Hooba Dooba. The album will feature nine new songs from Paul Brady along with two traditionals, “Lord Thomas And Fair Ellender” and “The Cocks Are Crowing”.

Check out the track listing for Unfinished Business below:

1. Unfinished Business
2. I Love You But You Love Him
3. Something To Change
4. Say You Don’t Mean
5. Oceans Of Time
6. Harvest Time
7. The Cocks Are Crowing
8. I Like How You Think
9. Maybe Tomorrow
10. Once In A Life Time
11. Lord Thomas And Fair Ellender

The Young’uns Reveal Fourth Studio Album Strangers

The Young'uns
Image Courtesy of The Young’uns

English trio The Young’uns won the hearts and minds of Australian folk fans when they visited our shores for last year’s folk festival season. So it’s likely we’re about to get very excited at the prospect of a new Young’uns album.

Titled Strangers, The Young’uns’ fourth studio release is due to hit stores on the 29th September.

The first single from Strangers is the beautiful “Be The Man” which features Rachael McShane (Bellowhead) on cello and fiddle and Jude Abbott on melancholic flugelhorn (Chumbawamba). The track was inspired by the incredibly moving story of Matthew Ogston and his fiancé Nazim Mahmood – check it out below:

Fiona Ross and Tony McManus Announce Double Bill Concert Tour

Fiona Ross
Image Courtesy of Fiona Ross

Celebrated Scots singer Fiona Ross recently released her latest album Clyde’s Water featuring the innumerous talents of Celtic guitar virtuoso Tony McManus.

Now the two folk music legends have announced plans to head to Australia for a double bill concert series throughout June.

The performance will see Tony McManus, who is based in Canada, performing his own set before joining Fiona Ross, who is based in Melbourne, on stage. Check out the full list of dates below:

Saturday 3rd June – Beasley Auditorium, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th June – Lauriston Hall, Kyneton, VIC
Friday 9th to Monday 12th June – National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, VIC
Wednesday 14th June – Sweet Home, Cobargo, NSW
Friday 16th June – The Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 17th June – Magda Community Artz, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 18th June – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 21st June – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney Announce Trad Project Offa Rex and New Album

The Decemberists
Image Courtesy of The Decemberists

Portland-based indie-folk darlings The Decemberists and English singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney have announced their new collaborative project Offa Rex and their upcoming album The Queen of Hearts.

The project will see The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney reimagine a number of traditional British songs in their own unique style.

“There’s this weird relationship between British and American music, this interesting trade and theft that goes back and forth,” Colin Meloy from The Decemberists explained. “My hope was that if we — the neophytes, the dilettantes, the pretenders — brought Olivia to Portland to work with Tucker, perhaps these traditional British songs would be infused with something different.”

The Queen of Hearts is due for release on the 7th July. The full track listing and the video for the sixties-English-folk-revival-esque title track “The Queen of Hearts” is below:

1. The Queen of Hearts
2. Blackleg Miner
3. The Gardener
4. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
5. Flash Company
6. Old Churchyard
7. Constant Billy (Oddington) / I’ll Go Enlist (Sherborne)
8. Willie o’ Winsbury
9. Bonny May
10. Sheepcrook and Black Dog
11. To Make You Stay

Trioc Announces Melbourne Album Launch

Trioc
Image Courtesy of Trioc

If you were at the National Folk Festival this year then you’d know that Melbourne based trad trio Trioc were one of the stand out highlights.

Made up of Allan Evans (harp, whistles), Cameron Hibbs (fiddle) and Matt Horsley (uilleann pipes), Trioc first formed at The National a few years ago and spent this year’s festival launching their new album A Fair Wind.

And now Trioc are bringing A Fair Wind to their home town of Melbourne with plans for a launch at iconic Irish venue The Last Jar on Sunday 4th June. If you want to hear some sweet Irish tunes make sure you get down – the full details are on the Facebook event here.

Watch the New Ed Sheeran Video “Galway Girl”

Ed Sheeran
Image Courtesy of Ed Sheeran

Yes you’re reading that correctly – we’re posting about the new Ed Sheeran video for his trad-pop track “Galway Girl”. After we posted about why this song is good for folk music we couldn’t really ignore the video. Plus it has a pretty cool cameo from Beoga.

So enjoy some pop music with just a little trad thrown in:

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