The Fleurieu Folk Festival Announces 2014 Artists

The Little Stevies
Image Courtesy of The Little Stevies

South Australia’s premiere folk festival, the Fleurieu Folk Festival, has just announced artists for its 2014. Held in Willunga, south of Adelaide, the Fleurieu Folk Festival will this year take place from the 24th to 26th October.

The headliners for this years festival includes Keith Potger of The Seekers, Melbourne sister duo The Little Stevies (above) and Sydney fiddler Marcus Holden (Fiddlers Feast). Joining them will be a bunch of national and South Australian artists including Wheeze & Suck Band, Women in Docs, Warren Fahey, The Weeping Willows, Nigel Wearne, Kaurna Cronin, Chris Finnen, Courtney Robb and many more.

“The interest we receive from interstate musicians wishing to play at the Fleurieu Folk Festival continues to grow every year,” festival organiser Pete Thornton explained. “The festival is recognized nationally as one of the most family-friendly and accessible festivals on the live music calendar. Audiences of all ages love it and performers love to play in it.”

For more information on the Fleurieu Folk Festival, including how to get your hands on earlybird tickets, check out the official web site here. The full list of artists is below:

The Little Stevies, Keith Potger, Wheeze & Suck Band, Women in Docs, Warren Fahey, Marcus Holden, Christine Wheeler & Friends, The Old Empire Band, The Littlest Fox, Grimick, The Weeping Willows, Nigel Wearne, The Lazy Farmer’s Sons, Anna Armstrong & Jordan Farrell, Slim Dime & the Prairie Kings, Bart Thrupp, Louisa Wise, Chris FinnenHalfway to Forth, Junior, Astro Cobalt, Goldstein, Courtney Robb, Maggie Rutjens, Serendipity, Siobhan Owen, The Hushes, Kaurna Cronin, Kevin McCarthy

Details of This Weekend’s Northern Beaches Music Festival

Northern Beaches
Image Courtesy of the Northern Beaches Music Festival

Don’t think for a moment that just because Easter has come and gone that the folk festival season is over – we’re still smack bang in the middle of some fantastic events right around the country.

If you’re in Sydney this weekend you’d do well to get yourself north of the bridge to the Berry Reserve in Narrabeen for the 2014 Northern Beaches Music Festival. Sydney itself doesn’t have a defining folk festival but it does have a bunch of smaller festivals that are within easy access scattered around its outskirts and the Northern Beaches Music Festival is definitely worth a day (or even weekend) trip.

This years bill includes a wealth of amazing local and national artists, including the likes of Laura & Susie, Luke Escombe, Dave Calandra, Charlie Gradon, Wheeze and Suck Band, Betty & Oswald, Direwolf, The April Maze, Alanna and Alicia, The Green Mohair Suits and many many more. The festival kicks off on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th May and tickets are an affordable $35 for adults per day ($25 on Friday and $75 for all three days).

For more information on the Northern Beaches Music Festival check out the official site here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 29th March


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne singer-songwriter James Kenyon has announced a string of dates up and down the east coast this April. Details here

Fiddlers Feast released the video for their fantastic track “The Devil Went Down To Tamworth”. Details here

Timber and Steel favourites The Falls scored the support slot for The Lumineers’ sold out shows this weekend. Details here

– Country supergroup The Hillbilly Killers have revealed their first three tracks online. Details here

Darren Cross, one half of Sydney alt-country duo Jep and Dep, has just released his new solo single. Details here

– Details of the 2013 Festival Folk Sing album, Festival Folk Sing Judy Small have been released ahead of this weekend’s National Folk Festival. Details here

– We finally have an official video for the track “Run Boy” from Kaurna Cronin. Details here

The Snowy Mountains of Music have revealed the first artists on their 2013 lineup including Jeff Lang, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star and Mustered Courage. Details here

MoFo in Sydney announced its special April lineup that includes Lucy Wise and the B’Gollies and Mem Davis and the Kindred Spirits. Details here

– Next Saturday sees World Musician Day take over Sydney Park in Sydney’s inner-south with a lineup that includes The Crooked Fiddle Band, Betty & Oswald, The Lunch Mothers and more. Details here

– Regular Sydney night Upstairs and Underground is returning for 2013 with a folk-flavoured lineup. Details here

Communion Melbourne announced a massive lineup for next weekend including Willy Mason, Deap Vally, Jordie Lane and Playwrite. Details here


“Ann Vriend (Canada) is a very regular and very welcome visitor to Australia and this week she’s touched down in Sydney to kick off a month of shows that will take her south to Tasmania and north to Queensland — with appropriate stops along the way”Ann Vriend chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“You could say that singer-songwriters are being opportunistic in that some of our traditional avenues might have even closed down. But then you could say the folk club scene is being opportunistic because they’re getting young, fresh, interesting talent to just revitalise their thing. It’s a happy marriage I think”Brett Winterford chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Interviewing Andrew Cronshaw is a bit like watching Waragamba Dam in flood. There’s a mighty capacity, but the volume contained therein and the urge for it to surge out means there’s a fair old splashing and cascading over the spillway”Andrew Cronshaw from SANS chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“They’re just my favourites and I adore their music and I’ll hunt them down at every festival and sing along, and sometimes dance along, and that’s just the way it is and ever shall be, Wheezer World without end, amen. So yeah, I quite like the Wheeze and Suck Band” – Tony Pyzarkowski from The Wheeze and Suck Band chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“I interviewed Griff at Punchbowl Boys’ High School in Sydney’s south-west earlier this week and we spent a bit of time talking about the benefits to be had from inter-meshing music and education. And by and by we did discuss music, and Grimick’s first foray to the National Folk Festival this weekend” – Chris “Griff” Griffiths from Grimick chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here


“It’s no secret that we’re fans of beards here at Timber & Steel. From Joe Purdy to Ray LaMontagne, William Fitzsimmons to Josh T Pearson and obviously the likes of The Beards, we find beards to be synonymous with folk, blues and roots music. While at Womadelaide this year (which is essentially beard paradise) we took the opportunity to take some photos of some pretty cool beards”Thom Owen Miles and Arcade Photo document the Beards of WOMADelaide. Blog here

“At the beginning of the new year I drove to Melbourne for three days. There were no hot meals and we only stopped to sleep in the closest located motel off the Hume highway. If you’re road tripping this year to a festival, a new city or even just heading home; I recommend pillows, pit stops and a well-considered soundtrack for your journey. Behold – my tried and true top 10”Laurenandmoore gives us her top road trip tunes. Blog here



“After a couple of years of mud-inducing torrential rain the Blue Mountains Music Festival was this year blessed with un-seasonally warm sunny days and crisp clear nights – a combination that drew some of the biggest crowds I’d ever seen at the festival. The market stalls were humming, the venues were pumping and the atmosphere was electric – and of course the music was spectacular”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Review here

“WOMADelaide has been running for 21 years now and I suppose they’ve essentially perfected it because for as long as I’ve been attending the festival it’s kept the same site layout, precincts, stages and amenities, which definitely contributes to the comfort levels of repeat attendees”Thom Owen Miles reviews WOMADelaide. Review here

“As the throng of spectators pushes to the front, I’m not the only one feeling claustrophobic. There’s dudes with dark armpit patches sharing stories about ex-lovers, a few oldies leaning on the far wall with a modest beer, groups of excited girls wielding handbags and a clear backwards cap to energy drink ratio. I get the impression that most of these people know each other. A crew of friends and family whistles and barks as The Pierce Brothers enter with a traditional, “G’day!””Laurenandmoore reviews The Pierce Brothers at The Evelyn in Melbourne. Review here

“There was so much happening on stage that I struggled to write it all down. One minute the horn section were dancing; then they were jumping; then they abandoned their instruments altogether as the piano had a jazz aneurysm. A few false endings and they finished with flashing lights and wailing. His Merry Men are such a visually engaging band and definitely brought their own house party tonight. I would love to catch these guys again on a bigger stage, with or without the pajamas”Laurenandmoore reviews His Merry Men at The Empress Hotel in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

The Ash and Clay
The Ash & ClayThe Milk Carton Kids

Gigs Next Week

Ann Vriend
Saturday 30th March – The Stage, Hobart, Tas
Sunday 31st March – Jazz at Mona, Hobart, Tas
Monday 1st April – private rural house concert, Tas
Tuesday 2nd April – Skwiz Cafe Gallery, Sheffield, Tas
Friday 5th April – The Upfront Club, Maleny, Qld

Ben Howard
Wednesday 3rd April – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April – Byron Bay, NSW

Bobby Alu
Friday 5th April – Nayri Niara Festival, Bruny Island, TAS

Counting Crows
Saturday 30th March – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner and Swingin’ Utters
Sunday 31st March – Panthers, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 1st April – Big Top Luna Park, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Eli Wolfe
Wednesday 3rd April – The Old Kirk, Yamba, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Saturday 30th March – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 3rd April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th April – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads, QLD
Friday 5th April – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD

Jake Shimabukuro
Sunday 31st March – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Monday 1st April – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Wednesday 3rd April – Lizottes, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 4th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Corner, Melbourne, VIC

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 5th April – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Sunday 31st March – The End, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 4th April – The Treehouse, Byron Bay, NSW

Luka Bloom
Sunday 31st March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Fly By Night Musician’s Club, Fremantle, WA

Michael Kiwanuka
Tuesday 2nd April – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD

National Folk Festival
Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April – Canberra, ACT

Saturday 30th March – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Wednesday 3rd April – Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane, QLD

Patrick James
Friday 29th March – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 20th March – Barcode, Wollongong, NSW
Wednesday 3rd April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS

Paul Simon with Rufus Wainwright
Saturday 30th March – Hope Estate, Hunter Valley, NSW
Tuesday 2nd April – Entertainment Centre, Sydney, NSW

Seth Lakeman
Friday 29th March – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 31st March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
Monday 1st April – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT

Simone Felice with Jess Ribeiro
Saturday 30th March – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 31st March – Boogie Festival, Tallarook, VIC
Wednesday 3rd April – Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 4th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5th April – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Sleepy Dreamers with Brightly, Run Rabbit Run
Thursday 4th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Hillbilly Killers
Saturday 30th March – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Sunday 31st March – Boogie Festival, VIC
Thursday 4th April- Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 5th April – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT

The Lumineers
Friday 29th March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 30th March – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD

The Starry Field
Friday 29th March – The Clever Duck, Cairns, QLD
Sunday 31st March – The Old Magistrates Courthouse, Townsville, QLD
Wednesday 3rd April – The Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 5th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW

Tim Guy
Thursday 4th April – Lock n Load Bistro, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 5th April – Sol Bar, Maroochydoore, QLD

30th March to 1st April – Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Japanese Whaling Song” – Martin Pearson with Liz Frencham

In 1999 I volunteered at the National Folk Festival after spending my teenage years ignoring folk music for the most part. The experience was amazing – when I wasn’t working I was absorbing every single artist and experience I could. And I’ve been going back whenever I can, including this year. So I thought I’d give you a little bit of a Folk Festival experience from the wonderful Martin Pearson – a man whose intros are always longer than his songs.

National Folk Festival Interview: Tony Pyrzakowski, Wheeze and Suck Band

Wheeze and Suck
Image Courtesy of The Wheeze and Suck Band

This Article By Bill Quinn Originally Printed on Overheard Productions.

As I’ve said many a time on stage and in print, I don’t even try to have a veneer of objectivity when it comes to some bands.

They’re just my favourites and I adore their music and I’ll hunt them down at every festival and sing along, and sometimes dance along, and that’s just the way it is and ever shall be, Wheezer World without end, amen.

So yeah, I quite like the Wheeze and Suck Band.

There, we’ve got that bit established.

If you think age shall weary them, just click on the video link below and suspend disbelief. What says so much with music and dance in this shaky clip I took at St Albans Folk Festival a couple of years ago (Anzac Day weekend — put it in your calendar now; thank me later) is the range of ages the Wheezers appeal to.

What child could resist jumping around to a bunch of men in funny hats and cloaks? And that’s for the young at heart and the young in the head.

And the young.

It’s enough to even make you groan with empathy (and maybe a little sympathy) to John ‘Red Tips’ Milce’s jokes, trotted out at irregular intervals in pure Lancashire-ish.

Fiddler-player Tony Pyzarkowski is one third of a regular trio along with Butch Hooper and Kevin ‘Bodhranworld dot com‘ Kelly who form “Kelly’s Heroes” and bash out three hours of stuff you probably know, stuff you may know and stuff you may not have heard of in PJ O’Brien’s pub in Sydney every Sunday night from 6-9pm. (No chance on Easter Sunday — that’s National Folk Festival central.)

After last Sunday’s session, Tony had a bit of a chat about what’s going on with the Wheezers and looked forward to the National Folk Festival starting this Thursday 28 March 2013 in Canberra.

The Wheeze and Suck Band at the National Folk Festival:

Friday 29 March – The Majestic, 10pm
Saturday 30 March – Scrumpy, 10pm
Sunday 31 March – Marqee, 5pm

Review: Sunday @ Snowy Mountains of Music Festival, Perisher NSW

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Photos by KT Bell

After an epic start to the festival experience, and a great big sleep to recover from a great first full day, we were back on a bus up the mountain for our second day at the Snowy Mountains of Music (SMoM). Saturday had been so huge we wondered how the festival was going to improve on such a brilliant experience.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Given that we were at the mercy of the festival bus, we were absolutely delighted to arrive at Perisher in time to catch the second half of Bec Matthews‘ only SMoM set. Her range is huge, from swamp blues, through to West African folk and all delivered with a charming relaxed air. Playing the most intriguing instrument, the Kora, Bec had the intimate audience transfixed and every person who walked through the door of the small bar at The Man were struck by the one woman show, even as she re-tuned between performances. Bec did also perform later in the evening with Afro Mandinko but we were sadly not able to catch it.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Next on the list was Big Erle which came recommended by a friendly volunteer. I’m glad we took her advice, the name alone had me thinking of some of the older more trad folk styles but dear god did Big Erle get the blood pumping. A real foot stomping band, this five piece took Basil’s Bar by storm. Fitting in the little corner that was the stage was near impossible and it certainly would not contain them as harmonica solos flowed over from the stage, tinged with experiences of the 90s East Coast music scene and coloured by more blues than you can poke a stick at. The stage lines were blurred as band members wandered through the audience, playing at antics on the floor. The stand out for me was the lead guitar and vocals. His effervescence and performance filled the entire space and drew me in to every piece. A tight 3 piece, expanded to a 5 piece for the festival, Big Erle is a not to be missed act that definitely pleases the crowds.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Taking a break and checking out a different venue, the Jax Bar (conveniently located at the other end of the building from Basil’s Bar)  we grabbed a cider and some lunch and sat down to enjoy the more traditional sounds of the Wheeze and Suck Band. Four well dressed chaps of my father’s era make up the band, with matching red sashes around stylish top hats and rather smart suits. Living up to their band name in more ways than one, it was an absolute pleasure to see a great range of instrumentation including a squeeze box accordion, mandolin, violin and guitar creating wonderfully textured jigs and an even mix of traditional songs I recalled the words too and more contemporary style roots tunes. An absolute gem of a band to find and perfect match for a cold cider. I didn’t get to see enough of them as we shuffled off to the next set, so I will endeavour to track them down again soon.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Back to Basil’s to catch the highly recommended Heath Cullen and the 45 and we found the tiny place packed with adoring fans. Heath Cullen is a rather attractive young guy so I’m not surprised he has a following, but his audience was such a mix of demographics that it must have been a sign of this musical prowess. His music was much more of a melodic exploration leaning towards some of the more acoustic indie sounds I recall from years ago, but with a fresh new perspective. It was a tight set with excellent performances from all of the band. While it didn’t stir my heart strings, the rest of the audience was in raptures, his albums sold out and the calls for encore managed to woo the band and the stage manager to allow just a couple more songs.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011For many years I have been a fan of The Stiff Gins but had never managed to see them. Once a trio but now a strong duo, the two took to the stage with just a guitar and microphones. Having seen a raft of bands and groups producing multi-layered sound for most of the day, it was such a beautiful and satisfying set to see two gorgeous women create such harmonies and melodies without a mix of instruments. Their new works display a matured sound built on the successes and lessons learned from the past. The two have both been learning their indigenous language and we were lucky enough to have them explain a few phrases and sing some new works in their language. Without the story in English, their music transcends to an emotional storytelling style that sweeps you up in to the life of the story. I had seen many quiet audiences at this festival, but the crowd gathered for these two girls had a hush and awe about them that stood strong until the end of their set. They thankfully got to play an encore, my favourite Stiff Gins song from many years ago, for which they also explained the story behind, Morning Star. The applause they received was well deserved.

Snowy Mountains Of Music Festival 2011Who wouldn’t take the opportunity to see Skipping Girl Vinegar two nights in a row? Their on stage energy filled the Smiggins stage and brought the crowds to their feet, dancing to their groove. The adjoining rooms were full of very happy people, with drinks flowing and the most excited kids dancing at the front of the dance floor (see lead photo). Amusingly, the previous night, Amanthi’s slice had only been rated 9 out of 10. Determined to get back to her 10 out of 10 quality, she had whipped up another outstanding slice and an audience member tested the new slice and confirmed she had reached her 10 out of 10 standard once again.

SNowy Mountains of Music Festival 2011The next act to grace the main stage was Marshall & The Fro. We’d heard nothing overwhelming about the band so weren’t anticipating a lot from them. The three piece blues rock outfit looked unassuming enough, we settled with our ciders and expected to just watch the set through. Oh how wrong we were. Marshall and the Fro blew us and everyone in the room away. Lead guy Marshall was enigmatic without being over the top, the bassist powered through every song and the drummer was just awesome. Their set was full of huge songs that you couldn’t help but move too. It was like spying in on an epic jam session, they were having so much fun. Marshall took to the dance stage and played guitar among the crowds, even getting one very enthusiastic audience member to strum while he played the chords. This outfit is one truly crowd participation kind of act. Marshall told of a friend who said his young daughter could play guitar, and when Marshall heard her play, he was blown away by her ability. So excited, he actually got her up on stage and had her play during the set. In this kind of community setting, the crowd was hugely supportive and she really got in to the groove and played extremely well. Now we’ll see her and her band on next year’s SMoM line up I bet. It was an outstanding set and a highlight of the weekend.

SNowy Mountains of Music Festival 2011Once the crowd had recovered from some serious rocking, it was time for headline act Christine Anu to take to the Smiggins stage. The room was thick with anticipation and as she took to the stage, the crowd erupted with excitement. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Christine Anu on stage, so it was great to have her warm up the crowd with a variety of her back catalogue. Of course many were waiting for her signature hits, but the crowd were equally wowed by her repertoire. Fans who remember her from 15 years ago were as equally pleased as the new fans who have not known her beautiful music before this weekend. Her enchanting character, her feisty, cheeky moments and smooth voice carried the entire room through the cold, snowy night into a rosy and glowing celebration of great Australian music.

SNowy Mountains of Music Festival 2011It was nearly time to catch the bus back to Jindabyne, but we managed to sneak in to The Man and catch The Go Set before we had to leave. We went in with little to no expectations and had an absolutely blast with this punk/ rock outfit who wielded some awesome folk instrumentation. They even had a bagpiper in kilt and all. There was the occasional John Farnham ‘You’re the Voice’ kind of moment with those bagpipes, but this was a party band through and through. And just when you think you have a party band pegged, their second last song, they ask the crowd whether they could do an ‘acoustic’ song.  Really, actually acoustic, the whole band stepped out from the stage area, in to the audience and performed a completely acoustic and enchanting song which we all hushed to hear. A beautiful moment was shared, and then it was back to the party. Knowing how to end a great night, their last song saw the lead singer climb one of the huge wood posts in the center of the room and sing to the entire crowd leaning over their heads. Tell you what, we certainly left that gig buzzing.

With the nights entertainments almost all wrapped up, we climbed on to the bus back to Jindabyne, a little disappointed we didn’t get to see Afro Mandinko who were currently rounding out the night at the Smiggins stage, but it was late and we had a long drive ahead of us the next day. It was sad to leave Jindabyne on the Monday morning and we were sorely tempted to zip back up the mountain and catch the Final Concert which featured so many of the great acts, all doing 2 songs each, but we had to take advantage of the long weekend holiday to get back to Sydney. The road trip home was long but full of chatter about the amazing acts at the festival. Certainly one of the most unique and family friendly festival’s I’ve ever been too, it’s easy to see how the Snowy Mountains of Music festival could become the June Long Weekend staple activity each year. And with such a stellar line up this year, I can only wait to see how they will out do themselves in 2012. Mark it in your diaries!

Folk in Broke This November

Wheeze and Suck Band
Image Courtesy of The Wheeze and Suck Band

If there’s one thing that’s better than watching folk music it’s watching folk music with a nice glass of red in hand. And luckily this November you can do just that at the Hunter Valley’s Folk in Broke festival.

Situated at the beautiful Nightingale Vineyard in the heart of the Hunter’s Broke Fordwich region, Folk in Broke will feature some of Australia’s premier trad, folk and roots artists over three days from the 5th to the 7th November. The lineup (so far) includes Paul Robert Burton, FIG, The Wheeze and Suck Band, Beeswing and in their first official performance since the National Folk Festival Timber and Steel favourites Takadami.

Tickets are $154.50 for the entire weekend and are available now from Sticky Tickets. Check the Folk in Broke web site for more details.

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