Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th September


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Imogen Clark announced her new EP Love & Lovely Lies along with a launch show in October. Details here

– This Sunday’s Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney will feature Darren Cross and William Crighton. Details here

Sam Amidon released an album of home recordings titled Home Alone Inside My Head. Details here

– Sydney roots trio Eddie Boyd and The Phatapillars released their new video “A Lover And A Fool”. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Ayleen O’Hanlon, “Send Me Spinning”. Details here

– Adelaide band The Timbers have released their new single “All I’ve Got Time For” and have announced a national tour. Details here

The Weeping Willows will be hosting Americana Hayride in Melbourne at the end of October featuring Bill Chambers, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri and Dan Waters, Bill Jackson. Details here

– We premiered the new video from Brisbane’s Youngsmith, “Wither”. Details here

– The September Live ‘n’ Lounging will feature The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Kay Proudlove and Huckleberry Hastings. Details here

– Blues rockers The Snowdroppers head out on a national tour from today. Details here

Aldous Harding released her new video “Stop Your Tears”. Details here


– We contributed to the September mixtape from Americana Australia along with Post To Wire and Unpaved. Take a listen here

Releases This Week

Heath Cullen
OutsidersHeath Cullen


Suzannah Espie
Mothers Not Feeling Herself TodaySuzannah Espie

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Ayleen O’Hanlon w/ Tobias Hengeveld, Georgia Spain

Ayleen O'Hanlon

The stunning Ayleen O’Hanlon will officially launch her brand new album Blend and Spill with a show at The Toff in Town this Sunday. O’Hanlon’s been winning a lot of fans recently and this show is the perfect way to see what all the fuss is about.

Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Aldous Harding
Friday 11th September – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Ash Grunwald
Thursday 10th September – The Rosemount Hotel, Nth Perth, WA
Friday 11th September – Divers Tavern, Broome, WA

Ayleen O’Hanlon
Sunday 6th September – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Friday 4th September – Lennox Point Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW
Saturday 5th September – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 6th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolabah, QLD

Tuesday 8th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Fanny Lumsden
Thursday 10th September – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Folk By The Sea
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Kiama, NSW

Folkswagon feat. The Bollands, The Campervan Dancers, Big Strong Brute
Wednesday 9th September – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Darren Cross, William Crighton
Sunday 6th September – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Immigrant Union
Friday 4th September – David Bowie Late Nights @ ACMI, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 4th September – Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Phoenix Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Trinity, Adelaide, SA

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Friday 4th September – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – The Stables, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 6th September – Acoustic Sunday @ The Silver Shed, Millthorpe, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th September – Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn SA

Mark Lucas
Wednesday 9th September – The Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Mary Chapin Carpenter w/ Tift Merritt
Friday 4th September – National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Neurum Creek Music Festival
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September – Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, QLD

Perch Creek
Friday 4th September – Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 6th September – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Friday 11th September – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 4th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT
Saturday 5th September – Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy, NT

Redland Spring Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Cleveland, QLD

Sian Evans
Sunday 6th September – Carnival on Collins, Cairns, QLD

The Buck Loner Revue
Sunday 6th September – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

The Mae Trio
Friday 11th September – Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 4th September – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 5th September – Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 10th September – Bigsound, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th September – Helm Bar, Mooloolaba, QLD

The Timbers
Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September – Folk By The Sea, Kiama, NSW

The Waifs
Thursday 10th September – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA

Tom West
Friday 4th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th September – Cootha Classic, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 6th September – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 8th September – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September – Wirrina Cove, SA

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Friday 4th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th September – Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 6th September – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT
Friday 11th September – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Summer Before the War” – Fairport Convention

When I was a child our family went to the UK and Ireland for an extended three month holiday, much of which was spent in the car driving from place to place. Our soundtrack for that trip was a tape of Fairport Convention’s 1988 album Red and Gold. The album itself is over-produced in that 80s let’s-put-synths-on-everything kind of way but the songs are pretty special. Red and Gold always make me think of Summer in England.

Americana Australia, Post to Wire, Unpaved & Timber and Steel Present The September Sampler

Americana Australia

This month the good folks behind online community Americana Australia asked Timber and Steel along with our fellow roots bloggers Post to Wire and Unpaved to contribute tracks to their monthly playlist sampler. The result is a wonderfully eclectic mix of tracks that is the perfect playlist for the first day of spring.

The three tracks selected by Timber and Steel are pulled from what’s on high rotation here – “Travelling Shoes” from Jack Carty’s recent free live album, “Waly Waly” from Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton’s amazing new album Declaration and the brand new Packwood track “My Fair Life” which is taken from the album Vernal, released today.

Take a listen to the full playlist below:

A breakdown of who chose which track is below:

Post to Wire:
1. James Thomson – “Highway Nights (I Wanna Be)”
2. HT Heartache – “Cowboy Poetry”
3. Will Wood – “Quiet Night”

4. Suzannah Espie — “I’m Sorry”
5. Damon Smith and the Quality Lightweights — “The Sun And The Moon”
6. Alison Ferrier — “Be Here Now”

Timber and Steel:
7. Jack Carty – “Travelling Shoes (Live @ The Front)”
8. Packwood — “My Fair Life”
9. Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton – “Waly Waly”

Americana Australia asked Timber and Steel:
10. Raised By Eagles — “Waterline”
11. The Heggarties — “True to You”
12. Ben Bunting — “Don’t You Ever Speak My Name Again”

Happy 5th Birthday Timber and Steel!

Frog with Banjo

“The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune”
Irish Proverb

Is the latest folk “revival” over? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately as Timber and Steel celebrates its fifth year of blogging.

A lot of signs point to fact that the folk flame is waning after burning so brightly for the last few years. The lineups of mainstream festivals like Splendour, Falls and Laneway have seen a decline in folk leaning acts on their rosters. The Hottest 100 this year saw acoustic acts woefully underrepresented. And the flag-bearers of the nu-folk movement, Mumford & Sons, have just released an album with not a banjo or mandolin in sight.

But the more I think about it the more I am of the opinion that folk music isn’t retreating back into the shadows. I think what we’re seeing now is the hipsters and the cool-chasers jumping off the folk bandwagon and onto the “next big thing” (whatever that is) but leaving behind a scene that is fresh and revitalised. We may not see another folk or acoustic band take out the Hottest 100 or headline Splendour in the next couple of years, but that doesn’t mean folk music is going away.

I’m based in Sydney, so maybe I’m looking at the world through a particular prism, but it seems that folk and acoustic music is everywhere.

As live music returns to the pubs of Australia (given an extra push by the “small bar” movement) it’s acoustic music that seems to be making the biggest in-roads. Venue owners are quickly realising that putting a singer-songwriter in the corner of your bar not only brings a crowd, it’s also cost effective and won’t result in too many noise complaints. The establishment of regular weeknight nights in the local pubs, bars and venues around Australia’s inner cities is a very comforting trend that I can’t see slowing down anytime soon.

At folk festivals the cliental has become decidedly younger. I go to A LOT of folk festivals and it seems theres been a seismic shift from old-men-with-grey-beards-and-fishermen-caps to a younger crowd in recent years – performers and punters alike. I think this has come down to progressive festival planners and artistic directors expanding their definition of “folk music”, “country music” and even “traditional music”, opening up the doors of their festivals to new acts without compromising on the quality of the music that is presented there. Artists who may have struggled to find an audience in inner city venues are now finding themselves on festival bills on the merits of their music, not because they’re members of a particular scene or sing a particular way.

Online communities celebrating folk and acoustic music continue to thrive. Along with blogs like this one, Post to Wire and Unpaved, online groups have sprung up everywhere discussing and sharing folk, alt country, traditional, americana and singer-songwriter based music. Just join a group like Waitin’ Around To Die on Facebook to see how many people there are out there passionate about this kind of music.

And finally while Mumford & Sons may have “banned the banjo” (if you believe the sensationalism of the music press) they’ve left a legion of fans in their wake who have discovered folk and acoustic music through them. I’ve always referred to bands like Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, First Aid Kit and Bon Iver as the “gateway drug” to folk music. For every hundred people pushing “Little Lion Man” or “Little Talks” to the top of the charts there’s a percentage of people who are tracing the music back and discovering Emmylou Harris, Fairport Convention, Gram Parsons or The Pogues. And these people haven’t just abandoned folk and acoustic music because Mumford & Sons wanted their new album to sound like Coldplay – they’ve stayed and fallen head over heels in love with it.

I can’t believe Timber and Steel is five years old today. I’m really proud of what I’ve built and how the folk scene has evolved with me since I first put virtual pen to virtual paper. We’re entering a very exciting time for folk music in this country with the glitz and glamour of the recent years starting to fade and the quality rising to the surface. Timber and Steel has no plans on going anywhere any time soon – we’re looking forward to another year of amazing music!

Happy 5th Birthday Timber and Steel!

Gareth Hugh Evans
Editor in Chief

Listen to “Budget Reply (Hey Joe)” from Les Thomas

Hey Joe
Image Courtesy of Les Thomas

One of the greatest achievements of having such a divisive government in power like the current Abbott led lot is how it motivates people to become more politically engaged. And this in itself leads to the creation of politically topical art, and the folk music scene plays a huge part in this.

Melbourne based folk singer, blogger and activist Les Thomas has just released his new track “Budget Reply (Hey Joe)”, his response to the federal government’s recently released budget.

“The worst thing about the budget is that it targets the most vulnerable,” says Thomas. “This song is part of the groundswell and growing campaign to say no Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and their small-minded, brutal and heartless budget.”

The song features Justin Bernasconi (The Stillsons) on lead guitar, Mandy Connell on backing vocals, Barnaby Gold on drums, Tony Bonnici (The Prairie Oysters) on bass and Sam Melamed on Hammond organ. It’s available to buy on Bandcamp here with all proceeds going to the Bust the Budget campaign. Take a listen to “Budget Reply (Hey Joe)” below:

New Les Thomas Video, “Song for Selva”

Les Thomas
Image Courtesy of Les Thomas

Les Thomas makes me want to be a better person. He writes one of the best folk blogs on the web in Unpaved (if you don’t count Timber and Steel of course). He also hosts a regular gig, the Unpaved Songwriter Sessions at The Old Bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne every Monday night. And then there’s the work he does for refugees and asylum seekers through his These Machines Cut Razorwire project. And did I mention he’s a bloody good singer-songwriter on top of that? Yep, Les Thomas makes me want to be a better person.

Thomas has just released his brand new video and single “Song for Selva” which documents the harrowing experiences that many asylum seekers have to endure both through the lyrics of the song and via the stunning visuals of director Daniel Knight. “Song for Selva” is available to buy via Bandcamp with all proceeds going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Check out the video below:

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