Thank Folk It’s Friday – 4th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Melbourne’s Husky released their new single “I’m Not Coming Back” ahead of their Timber and Steel presented national tour. Details here

– The brand new Old Crow Medicine Show album Remedy hits stores today. Details here

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows are heading out on a tour of Victoria this month. Details here

– Enigmatic singer-songwriter Keaton Henson released a surprise instrumental album Romantic Works. Details here

Castlecomer released their brand new video “Fugitive” – and a warning, it contains beard-acide. Details here

– Singer-songwriter and radio presenter Emma Swift has a new a EP on the way this August. Details here

– Sydney trio Little May have released their new single “Dust”. Details here

Midlake finally brings folk music and jogging together with their new video “Aurora Gone”. Details here

Angus and Julia Stone will be touring their brand new album this September. Details here

Bob Dylan has added a Sydney Opera House show to his Australian tour this September. Details here

– UK trio Peggy Sue have re-recorded their track “Longest Day Of The Year Blues” with Willy Mason. Details here

– Central Coast singer-songwriter Pepa Knight has released his new single “Clams”. Details here

– Melbourne siblings Dan and Amy have released their new single “Sometimes Life” along with details of their new EP and upcoming tour dates. Details here

The Eels released their new NSFW video for their track “Lockdown Hurricane”. Details here

– Brisbane Breaking Hart Benton have expanded into a trio and have released a new video “More Than You Deserve”. Details here

– A brand new celtic music session has kicked off in Sydney on Saturdays at The Merton Hotel led by Folklore. Details here

Nickel Creek released the animated video for their latest single “Hayloft”. Details here

– With his new album out this week Tobias Hengeveld has released a video for the title track “The Daylight Express”. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter HeyMun released her new video “Sailor”. Details here

– A brand new Bluegrass festival in the Byron area, The Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, has just been announced for this August. The lineup includes The Mid North, The Stetson Family, The Morrisons, Starboard Cannons, Heartworn Highway and Barkers Vale Brothers. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Ollie Brown is launching his new EP Weatherboard House at the end of the month. Details here

– The new William Fitzsimmons album still isn’t out in Australia. We shared his video for “Lions” just to make us feel a little better. Details here


We’re halfway through the year and we’ve picked 10 albums and EPs from 2014 you should own including releases from First Aid Kit, Davidson Brothers, Green Mohair Suits, Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys, James Vincent McMorrow, Justin Bernasconi, Nick Mulvey, Nickel Creek, One Up, Two Down and Passenger. Blog here

Releases This Week

RemedyOld Crow Medicine Show

The Daylight Express
The Daylight ExpressTobias Hengeveld

Nobody Ever Leaves
Nobody Ever LeavesTracy McNeil

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Justin Bernasconi

Justin Bernasconi

Justin Bernasconi continues hois tour around Australia to promote his amazing new solo album Winter Pick. If you’re a fan of singer-songwriter-guitarists then these shows are not to be missed.

Friday 4th July – Taps, Mooloolaba, QLD
Saturday 5th July – The Royal Mail, Goodna, QLD
Sunday 6th July – Queens St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 6th July – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 10th July – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 11th July – MoFo Folk Club, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Caitlin Park
Friday 11th July – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Clare Bowditch with Adalita
Friday 11th July – Festival of Voices Tasmania, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart TAS

Friday 11th July – Mandala Organic Arts Café, Gold Coast, QLD

Graveyard Train
Friday 4th July – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 5th July – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 6th July – The Loft, Warnambool, VIC

Husband with David Craft, The Lammas Tide
Friday 4th July – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle, WA

Imogen Clark, Darcy Fox and Paige Renee Court
Wednesday 9th July – Revolver Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 10th July – Spirit Bar, Traralgon, VIC

Jeff Lang
Friday 4th July – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 5th July – Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury, VIC
Sunday 6th July – The Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Friday 11th July – Mullumbimby Town Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW

Josh Pyke with Jack Carty
Friday 4th July – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Saturday 5th July – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Justin Bernasconi
Friday 4th July – Taps, Mooloolaba, QLD
Saturday 5th July – The Royal Mail, Goodna, QLD
Sunday 6th July – Queens St Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 6th July – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 10th July – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 11th July – MoFo Folk Club, Sydney, NSW

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Dan Waters and The Weeping Willows
Friday 4th July – Revolver Bandroom, Prahan, VIC

Little Bastard
Friday 4th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th July – Baha’s, Rye, VIC
Thursday 10th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 11th July – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD

Mark Wilkinson
Saturday 5th July – The Forum II, Melbourne, VIC

MoFo at The Gaelic feat. Justin Bernasconi, Sloe Gin Junkies, Brendan Reed Dennis
Friday 11th July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Mustered Courage
Saturday 5th July – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 11th July – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

Peasant Moon
Sunday 6th July – Menagerie at The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Solid Air – A Tribute to Nick Drake
Thursday 10th July – Camelot Lounge, Sydney, NSW

The Audreys
Friday 4th July – Fly By Night, Perth, WA
Saturday 5th July – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA
Friday 11th July – Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, SA

The Beards
Friday 4th July – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 5th July – Sol Bar, Maroochydore, QLD
Sunday 6th July – The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 10th July – Armidale Uni, Armidale, NSW
Friday 11th July – The Family Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

The Folk Informal feat. Kay Proudlove, Dylan Orsborn, Ainsley Farrell, Tom Stephens
Thursday 10th July – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW

The Pierce Brothers
Friday 11th July – Hotel High Plains, Dinner Plain, VIC

The Yearlings
Saturday 5th July – Courthouse Hotel, Mullumbimby, NSW
Sunday 6th July – Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 9th July – Old Kirks, Yamba, NSW
Friday 11th July – No 5, Bellingen, NSW

Tiny Ruins
Friday 4th July – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 5th July – Mojos Bar, Perth, WA
Sunday 6th July – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 8th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tom Stephens
Thursday 10th July – FBi Social, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th July – The Aztec, Forster, NSW

Tracy McNeil
Friday 4th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th July – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC
Thursday 10th July – Coogee Diggers, Sydney, NSW
Friday 11th July – The Stag & Hunter, Mayfield, Maitland, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Tom Paine’s Bones” – Dick Gaughan

To celebrate the American Independence Day today we thought we’d pay tribute to Tom Paine, one of the key figures in the revolution. An Englishman, Paine’s writing is said to have partly inspired the revolution and he is also credited as one of the writers of the American constitution. There’s a couple of great folk songs about Tom Paine including this one performed here by the great Dick Gaughan. If you’re interested in hearing more of Tom Paine’s story and how it’s been captured in folk song we can recommend listening to the FolkCast episode 083 where their folk historian Babba choses the Fairport Convention track “Here’s To Tom Paine” for his story behind the song segment.

Listen to Peggy Sue’s Track “Longest Day Of The Year Blues” featuring Willy Mason

Peggy Sue
Image Courtesy of Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue is not a band we’ve covered a lot on Timber and Steel but they are firm favourites on the UK nu-folk scene. They recently re-recorded their track “Longest Day Of The Year Blues” featuring singer-songwriter Willy Mason.

Listen to the track below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 5th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Mark Wilkinson posted a live video for the stunning track “Man In The Window”. Details here

– Last Friday Music Feeds streamed a day of live folk music on their Youtube channel including performances from Achoo! Bless You, Isaac Graham, Leroy Lee, Billygoat Tucker (Billygoat and the Mongrels) and The Falls. We’ve collected all five videos for anyone who missed them. Details here

Boy & Bear realsed the stunning new video for their track “Southern Sun”. Details here

Jinja Safari released their brand new video for the track “Dozer” and unveiled a bunch of Australian tour dates through September and October. Details here

– Nu-folk legends Calexico have announced Australian tour dates for September this year. Details here

– Ex Middle East member Jordan Ireland has just released new music under his new moniker Stolen Violin. Details here

– Melbourne trio The Jed Rowe Band have released the video for their track “Castlemaine”. Details here

The Paper Kites released the video for their track “St Clarity” as well as a bunch of national tour dates. Details here

– Melbourne’s Major Chord have released details of their upcoming album Transition. Details here

Willy Mason has released his brand new video “Talk Me Down”. Details here

Frontier Ruckus also unveiled their new video for “Black Holes”. Details here

Spotlight On

New Madrid

“It wasn’t until I heard this album that I realised there’s something inherently missing from indie rock music- the satisfaction of inspired and well written solos. New Madrid offer this in surplus.”Thom Owen Miles spotlight’s New Madrid. Profile here

Releases This Week

Josh Pyke
The Beginning And The End Of EverythingJosh Pyke

Sweet Jean
Dear DepartureSweet Jean

Even The Stars Are A MessWhitley

Timber and Steel Presents

Buffalo Tales
Buffalo Tales
Friday 5th July – The Courthouse Hotel, Tamworth NSW
Saturday 6th July – The Coffs Hotel, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Friday 12th July – Mudgee Brewing Company, Mudgee, NSW

Official Site

Gigs Next Week

Dan & Hannah Acfield
Friday 5th July – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC
Sunday 7th July – Bar 303, Melbourne, VIC

Folk Club feat. Harriet Whiskey Club, All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Pierce Brothers
Wednesday 10th July – The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Fraser A Gorman w/ Bob Harrow (Immigrant Union)
Wednesday 10th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

John Flanagan
Friday 5th July – Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 6th July – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 7th July – House Concert, Woolongong, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Friday 5th July – The Aero Club, Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 6th July – JB HiFi Instore Performance, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 7th July – The Dag Sheep Station, Nundle, NSW
Wednesday 10th July – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

MoFo feat. Little Bighorn, Mimi Gilbert
Friday 12h July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 5th July – Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Sweet Jean
Friday 12th July – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC

The Stillsons
Friday 5th July – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 6th July – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 7th July – The Union, Sydney, NSW

The Jed Rowe Band
Friday 5th July – No 5. Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 6th July – Mandala Arts Organic Cafe, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 7th July – The Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 11th July – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 12th July – The Gollan Hotel, Lismore, NSW

Thelma Plum
Saturday 6th July – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Friday 5th July – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 6th July – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 7th July – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

Friday 12th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Jock Stewart” – Ewan McLennan

I heard this song on Scott Balfour’s new album recently and was reminded just how great a singalong it is – “So be easy and free when you’re drinking wi’ me, I’m a man you don’t meet every day”. This version by Ewan McLennan has a wonderful softness to it and of course, being live, plenty of audience participation.

Watch the New Stop Motion Willy Mason Video “Talk Me Down”

Willy Mason
Image Courtesy of Willy Mason

The latest video from Willy Mason, for the track “Talk Me Down”, has been beautifully stop-motion animated by Toby Ashenheim. “Talk Me Down” is the latest single off Mason’s brilliant album Carry On which will be re-released by Communion on the 20th August. Check out the video below:

Communion Melbourne Announces Lineup for 7th April

Communion Melbourne
Image Courtesy of Communion Melbourne

Hold onto your hats Melbourne – you’re in for an absolute treat. Next Sunday the 7th April Communion Melbourne once again takes over the Toff in Town with one of their biggest lineups to date.

Heading up the list of artists is none other than Mr Willy Mason. Mason will be in the country next week for a string of dates and if you haven’t gotten tickets Communion Melbourne may be your only chance to see him – he’s practically sold out every single other show he’s playing while he’s in Australia. Joining Willy Mason on the Communion Melbourne lineup will be US duo Deap Vally, Timber and Steel favourite Jordie Lane and Melbourne alt-folk-rock four piece Playwrite.

Tickets for Communion Melbourne are just $18 and with a lineup like this are sure to get snapped up quick – pick them up here. For more information check out the official Facebook page here.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd February


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– As is has been the norm in the last couple of weeks Monday morning kicked off with a brand new track from Passenger, “Golden Leaves”, in a live video featuring the Palatine Quartet. Details here

Willy Mason released the video for his latest single “Pickup Truck” from his album Carry On. Details here

– A Nick Drake tribute album based around the Way to Blue concerts has been announced for April this year featuring Teddy Thompson, Vashti Bunyan, Green Gartside, Robyn Hitchcock, Lisa Hannigan, Scott Matthews, Krystle Warren, Danny Thompson and more. Details here

Sarah Humphreys released her adorable new video “Boy Wonder” featuring her son Jude. Details here

– US banjo player Abigail Washburn and collaborator Kai Welch have revealed their full Australian tour dates when they’re in the country for WOMADelaide. Details here

– The entire first disc of the Son of Rogues Gallery pirate songs album is now streaming online. Details here

– We were blown away by the new Keaton Henson track and video “Lying to You” and we think you will be too. Details here

– Folk-rockers Dawes released the full version of their new single “From a Window Seat” after a couple of teasers. Details here

Bellowhead released the video for their latest single “Roll The Woodpile Down”, probably our favourite track from Broadside. Details here

– Check out the full list of dates for Paul Brady’s upcoming Extremely Acoustic Australian tour. Details here

– Breton folk duo Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet have a couple of shows booked on top of their Cobargo Folk Festival appearance. Details here

Stornoway released the slightly surreal video for their brand new song “Knock Me On The Head”. Details here

Simone Felice has announced his second Australian tour in 12 months this March and April with Jess Ribeiro in support. Details here

– Get yourself set for the weekend with the brand new video from party-folkers Crowns, “Four Walls”. Details here

The Gum Ball has delivered its final lineup additions for 2013 including John Schumann and Hugh McDonald (Redgum), Van Walker and Liz Stringer. Details here

– Melbourne duo Brighter Later will be launching their new album The Wolves in Melbourne this March. Details here

– Folk and acoustic music once again shone at the Brit Awards with big wins from Ben Howard and Mumford and Sons. Details here


“Whatever happens on stage, it’s very organic, it’s very improvised. It’s not like we have a rehearsed scenario at all” – Simone Page Jones and Miles O’Neil from Miles and Simone chat to Janine Estoesta. Interview here

Beat and Holler, being my first album, was this unveiling – it took everything in me to step out in that moment and go “here am I, here’s my songs, they’re extremely personal and everything I have and am right now is in them”. So to come to the other side of that expression I was wondering what do I do here? I don’t have another body of work in me that’s of that level. I don’t want to now go and write a collection of 12 country greats. I want to go deeper. What moves me and what am I drawn towards – it just became this body of questions that I asked over time and I was confronted with as I moved further and further into the process of writing and recording Magician’s DaughterMama Kin chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here



“With connection and energy at the forefront of her creative design, Mama Kin and her band have more than delivered, especially with the over-all dynamic of each of the tracks. Danielle Caruana’s vocal has excelled itself, showing a much richer range and reach, with a subtle control of tone and nuance that drives the album to a new sonic dimension”Serena Skye reviews Mama Kin’s Album The Magician’s Daughter. Review here

“The Undertow EP has all the buzz and pop of his first EP with toasty, catchy tunes and soaring sounds but there’s also a darker edge. What you can hear is a maturity and perfection in each masterfully orchestrated track presented to the ear and a confidence emulated through his soothing, alluring vocals”Nikita Andrea reviews Hudson’s EP The Undertow EP. Review here


“The performance only being contained for an hour, instead felt as though you walked atop the pages of history’s greatest musicians. Traveling through notes and crumpled paper of the days of Bob Dylan to Etta James, Gram Parsons to Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris to Sun Kil Moon. Simone holding a consistent operatic howl of inconceivable passion, coupled with an agonizing crescendo of something between great love and great despair”Janine Estoesta reviews Miles and Simone in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

WishboneBobby Long

Old Yellow Moon
Old Yellow MoonEmmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

Family Pets
Family PetsJulia and the Deep Sea Sirens

The Magician's Daughter
The Magician’s DaughterMama Kin

Son of Rogue's Gallery
Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys – Various

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 22nd February – Crossroads Wine Bar, St Helens, TAS
Sunday 24th February – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 1st March – Martain’s Cafe, Deans Marsh, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Arlo Guthrie with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
Thursday 28th February – Southern Cross Club, Canbera, ACT
Friday 1st March – Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Brett Winterford
Saturday 23rd February – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Friday 22nd February – Wollongong Conservatorium, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Independent Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Cobargo Folk Festival
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February – Cobargo, NSW

Don’t Mention The Wall
22nd to 24th February – Cobargo Folk Festival, NSW
Friday 1st March – Tara Guest House, Sydney, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 22nd February – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Bondi Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23 February – Newport Arms Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Cronulla Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 24 February – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 1st March – Bateau Bay Hotel, Bateau Bay, NSW

Eli Wolfe
Friday 22nd February – Goulburn Club, Goulburn, NSW
Saturday 23rd February – The Commercial Hotel, Milton, NSW
Sunday 24th February – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Friday 1st to Monday 4th March – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup, WA

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens
Friday 22nd February – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Friday 22nd February – St Joseph’s Church, Perth, WA

Melody Pool with Katie Brianna
Saturday 23rd February – Club Azzurri, Highfields, NSW

Mustered Courage with Oh Pep!
Thursday 28th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Sunday 24th February – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

Paul Kelly and Neil Finn
Wednesday 27th February – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st March – Elder Park, Adelaide, SA

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 23rd February – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, WA

Sarah Humphreys
Friday 22nd February – The Front, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February – Tumbafest, Tumbarumba, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 22nd February – Ararat Live, Ararat, VIC

The Tallest Man on Earth
Thursday 28th February – Recital Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 1st March – Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

The Tiger and Me
Friday 1st March – Riverside Live, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Talking With My Father” – Dougie MacLean

Today is my Dad’s birthday so I thought it was worth dedicating the FFF to him with this Dougie MacLean classic. Happy Birthday Dad!

Watch the New Willy Mason Video, “Pickup Truck”

Willy Mason
Image Courtesy of Willy Mason

I think Willy Mason gained a lot of Australian fans while he was out here supporting Mumford and Sons last year. Mason’s been on the scene for a while now but its really been in the last few months that I’ve seen a heightening of the buzz surrounding him.

The lastest single from Willy Mason’s latest album Carry On is “Pickup Truck” which has a brand new video that has just hit the interwebs. Check it out below:

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2012

Folk Record Store

What an amazing year 2012 has been for music. Australian artists are dominating international charts, fan favourites have released long awaited new albums and the wealth of new talent on the folky side of the musical fence is growing almost every day. At Timber and Steel we’ve seen our biggest year to date in 2012, both in terms of site traffic and our reach, and we know it’s only going to get bigger and better in 2013.

As always rather than give you a definitive “Best of 2012” list we asked each of our contributors to give us their own top five albums that fall into the genres we love here at Timber and Steel – folk, acoustic, alt-country, bluegrass, Americana, trad, singer-songwriter and everything else in between. And as always our contributors have each given us a unique insight into the music they’ve loved in 2012.

So without further ado we bring you Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2012:

Bill QuinnMermaid Avenue

1. Billy Bragg and WilcoMermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
Any contender for my #1 album this year was going to have to do well to beat this one. (In fairness to the competition, we’re talking three CDs plus a documentary DVD here.) But albums that can span time and evoke memories always attract me. And this collection covers not just the 13 years or so of the collection, but also evokes and brings alive images of the Oklahoma dustbowl and 50s New York, and times and places foreign to me. And they’re imagined and realised by someone who also came from right outside Woody Guthrie’s traditions and era. That’s a skill. It probably helped to be there (twice!) as Bragg explained and truly did bring to life the stories behind the collection live.
2. Craig and SimoneWhere Cedars Grew
3. Beth OrtonSugaring Season
4. John ThompsonAn Australian Folk Song a Day
5. No HausfrauNo Hausfrau

Catherine MayBreak Your Own Heart

1. Jack CartyBreak Your Own Heart
Considering I only discovered Carty’s music a few months into this year, he’s had a huge impact on my most played list. Break Your Own Heart combines everything music should be: heartaching, honest lyrics, soothing guitar playing and a catchiness that doesn’t wear thin on you. It took a lot to top my all time favourite Missy, but somehow he’s done it. I might be late to the party, but Jack Carty quickly became the soundtrack to my six months in Australia and every time I hear his familiar melodies, I can’t help but recollect fond memories of the best six months of my life.
2. Missy HigginsThe Ol’ Razzle Dazzle
3. Kate Miller-HeidkeNightflight
4. Joshua RadinUnderwater
5. Tom CopsonWoven

Gareth Hugh EvansCarry Me Back

1. Old Crow Medicine ShowCarry Me Back
In picking my favourite album of 2012 I had to think long and hard about which records I had revisited most throughout the year – and which records I listen to the whole way through without hitting the skip or Genius buttons on my iPod. And with stakes like that the clear winner has to be the latest album from Nashville stringband Old Crow Medicine Show. Vibrant, exciting, challenging and familiar, Carry Me Back is OCMS at their best – making music in the traditional American style about traditional American subjects (war, poverty, bootlegging, tobacco farming) without ever sounding contrived or derivative. In a year where I have really embraced bluegrass, old timey and Americana music, moreso than ever before (although you wouldn’t know it from the rest of my list), this has been without a doubt the standout and will continue to be on high rotation for some time to come.
2. The ChieftainsVoice of Ages
3. Jack CartyBreak Your Own Heart
4. PassengerAll The Little Lights
5. The FallsHollywood

HazThe Lumineers

1. The LumineersThe Lumineers
I spent much of 2012 catching up on albums that I had missed out on in 2011, so there is a lot of music that I couldn’t include in my Top 5, including recent releases by My Morning Jacket, Paul Simon, and Iron and Wine. There was also those that didn’t quite fit the folky mold, including Of Monsters and Men, and Alt-J. I made an exception with Band of Horses, as to me ‘Mirage Rock’ is a tribute to the classic Americana of the late 20th Century that would contribute to what would become Alt- Country. JUST beating Band of Horses to #1 is The Lumineers’ self titled album, which at the time was just a chance online find. A collection of stories put to song, which encompasses the folk tradition, following the journeys of the band’s leader through the trials and triumphs of love, lies, war, and belief. Nostalgic and relevant, reminiscent and remorseful. A fun yet emotional collection of songs, delivered with a wry smile, a knowing glance, and a familiar nod. Descriptions aside, this has been my most frequent roadtrip album of choice, to sing along to, and accompany the landscapes along the way. An album with a great life span that will get me through to their Aus tour in early 2013, and beyond.
2. Band of HorsesMirage Rock
3. The Avett BrothersThe Carpenter
4. Mumford and SonsBabel
5. CalexicoAlgiers

JDXThere's No Leaving Noe

1. The Tallest Man on EarthThere’s No Leaving Now
“I was more than just a coward. I was handsome too”. One of the best opening lyrics I’ve ever heard. I was in a doctors’ waiting room; the venue for many of my musical discoveries. Kristian Matsson’s intricate chords, his sweeping melodies, his metaphors, sharp, yet brittle, stole me from the moment, as my favourite folk music always does. Matsson said There’s No Leaving Now was about wanting to deal with your own weaknesses. I felt weak. This album made me feel stronger. I could write reams about imagery, or interpretation, about how “Bright Lanterns” is the world’s best post-colonial protest song, about how this isn’t The Wild Hunt and whether that matters. But then I’d be saying too much.
2. Father John MistyFear Fun
3. Paul KellySpring and Fall
4. Tim HartMilling the Wind
5. Willy MasonCarry On

Jules StentonFive Lights

1. Nick HugginsFive Lights
When I first heard Five Lights my brain did a little backflip. “What IS this music?”, it asked. “I dunno,” I replied, “But let’s listen to it again and again until we figure this shit out”. The album stops at all stations. Half-spoken vocals make the songs tricky to sing along to. The out-of-tune, repetitive plinking of an old piano is both corrugated and comforting. The lyrics are beguiling and at times, just plain weird. If I had to compare Five Lights to a physical thing – it’d be a state of Australia – with city and country and birds and house parties and trains and ordinary folk falling in love. Nick Huggins clearly has a giant musical brain, and his brain took my brain on holiday to the aforementioned state and showed it a thing or two (a trip preferable to the guided Contiki tour of singalongability, I think).
2. Bat for LashesThe Haunted Man
3. David Byrne & St. VincentLove This Giant
4. Grizzly BearShields
5. The Green Mohair SuitsThe Green Mohair Suits

KT BellDetail of Distance

1. Kim ChurchillDetail of Distance
I had been eagerly anticipating the next installment from Kim, and in such circumstances, sometimes hopes can get too high. Happily Kim has delivered a solid album which has been an anthem of my recent travels through Europe. Building on his strengths, Kim has delivered an album full of rhythmic tracks and enigmatic tales that move you enchant you throughout your day. This album never fails to make me smile.
2. Jack CartyBreak Your Own Heart
3. Mumford and SonsBabel
4. The LumineersThe Lumineers
5. The April MazeTwo

Serena SkyeFear Fun

1. Father John MistyFear Fun
The richness of this album for me lies in all of its differences, a gleaming tapestry of songs, Tillman’s voice the golden thread holding them all together. While each piece is vastly different from the last, in instrumentation and production, they fit together seamlessly, each laced with the same sharp wit, dry observation, acerbic humour and intense imagery that Tillman presents. Lyrically, one might be forgiven for thinking Fear Fun was going to be a harsh listening experience; However, perhaps the most enchanting and surprising part of this record, amid tales of waste and questionable activities, is the sublime vocal lines and sweeping melodies. Such vast emotion and beauty is poured into each fragment of song, with harmonies that slip over one another, cloaking the brutality, creating an experience that is both thought- provoking and moving.
2. Tim HartMilling The Wind
3. Paul KellySpring and Fall
4. The Tallest Man On EarthThere’s No Leaving Now
5. Xavier RuddSpirit Bird

Thom Owen MilesHome Again

1. Michael KiwanukaHome Again
Michael Kiwanuka’s debut album Home Again stands out as 2012’s highlight for me because I suppose I’ve never heard a record quite like it. Soul, folk and jazz influences all combine spectacularly in a soothing collection of songs. Unlike other albums in my top 5, and most of the “folk” albums in my collection, Home Again is not the musing of a troubled artist. It’s far from poetic or philosophical, which I suspect is the reason it hasn’t been met with the critical acclaim it deserves. What it does bring to the table is a timeless and stylistically vast listening experience that bridges sounds as distant as Tracey Chapman from King Crimson or Bill Withers from Paul Simon, and does so without ever overreaching.
2. Beth OrtonSugaring Season
3. Punch BrothersWho’s Feeling Young Now?
4. The Tallest Man on EarthThere’s No Leaving Now
5. Jack CartyBreak Your Own Heart

Interview: Willy Mason

Willy Mason
Image Courtesy of Willy Mason

Following a successful tour of Australia supporting Mumford and Sons recently US singer-songwriter Willy Mason has returned home just in time to release his third album Carry On, due in Australia this Friday the 30th November. Our very own Gareth Hugh Evans managed to get Willy Mason on the phone to chat about his time in Australia, sharing the stage with some of the biggest acts in the world and what we can expect from Carry On.

Gareth Hugh Evans: How do you feel the Australian tour went?

Willy Mason: Really good. Better than I could ever have expected.

GHE: Was it daunting playing to those Mumford and Sons audiences?

WM: Yeah, I was intimidated by the size of the venues.

GHE: I went to the Canberra show and it looked like the crowd turned up pretty early and caught you opening. I’m assuming you got quite a good response from the various crowds at those shows.

WM: It was a nice surprise. People knew the songs and were singing along. And the ones that didn’t were nice to me.

GHE: It must have been inspiring sharing the stage with Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – these are guys who have gone on to huge international success.

WM: It was great watching those bands, I learned a lot from them I think.

GHE: And there’s so much energy on stage, they’re really collaborative even brining you out on stage at the end of the show to play along – it felt like a bunch of guys jamming in their living room, albeit in a massive venue.

WM: Except it’s a really big living room.

GHE: It must have been really cool getting on stage with them.

WM: It was fun. It was a really good energy and atmosphere. We played hard.

GHE: You also played the Dungog Gentlemen of the Road stopover while you were here. Was that a different experience playing in regional Australia?

WM: Yeah, that was different to anything I’d ever been a part of before. This town started off with 2,500 population and I think something like 10,000 people went to the show. We got there a day early and watched it go from being a ghost town to being a rock and roll party.

GHE: Were you happy to see a part of Australia that a lot of touring artists don’t normally get to?

WM: Yeah. It was great to be on a tour like that and actually delve into the unknown regions of the continent.

GHE: You also played a couple of headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne. What made you want to also play your own shows while you were out here on a pretty hectic schedule?

WM: It was just that I already had a plane ticket over there so it was a chance to get back and do some shows which I haven’t had the opportunity to do since 2007 or something like that. So I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.

GHE: I’m assuming the set was probably quite different at the solo shows compared with the Mumford and Sons support slots.

WM: Yeah, I got to go a little bit further into the catalogue and play a longer set – play some stuff that works better in a smaller room.

GHE: I’m assuming you had a responsive crowd as well, being your own headline shows.

WM: Yeah, the crowds were really nice. I was surprised how many people turned up. They were two pretty full rooms and I was lucky enough to have some help performing – some of the Mumford guys, some of their band, came and sat in with me at the Melbourne show. At the Sydney show I had some of the guys from Delta Spirit with me. So there was a bit of collaboration there.

GHE: And you were playing a lot of newer stuff while you were out here which I guess is because your new album Carry On at the end of this month. It must have been kind of nice to debut some of those newer songs to the Australian audience – like you say it’s been a number of years since you’ve been out here.

WM: It felt really good. The new stuff went over well – people seemed really excited to hear it. Some people even knew some of the songs that haven’t been released yet somehow – they must have seen them on the internet.

GHE: Talk us through a bit of Carry On. You recorded it in the UK, is that right?

WM: Yeah it was recorded in London. It was a pretty simple operation – it was just me, my brother, a producer and a keyboard player. We recorded it pretty quickly, over a couple of weeks.

GHE: The producer was Dan Carey who’s produced bands like MIA and Hot Chip – not really bands in the same singer-songwriter vein as yourself. What do you feel a producer like Carey brought to the album?

WM: It’s all pop music y’know? [Dan Carey] did bring a lot, he brought a lot that I got to learn from him as far as working in the studio. Especially sonically, he’s got a good handle on painting with sound and making things do things that you normally wouldn’t expect them to do. He also turned me on to playing the electric guitar which I hadn’t really been doing much prior to the album. He showed me what an electric guitar can do and now I play one all the time – I play it live. The rhythm section really kind of stems from him – it’s got a bit of a groove to it that’s a little bit different to prior records.

GHE: I was going to say that the rhythm section is really what stood out for me on Carry On. That was Dan’s influence?

WM: Yeah it was.

GHE: I was reading that Carry On is the third and final chapter in a trio of albums that started with Where the Humans Eat. Was that a plan from the start or did you feel like you needed to continue that story.

WM: Yeah, I needed to continue that story. I got into a lot of trouble with the first album and it’s taken me two albums to get out of it.

GHE: That’s awesome. Do you feel like this time around that that story’s finished and you’re ready to start telling a new narrative with your next work?

WM: I hope so. But it may be wishful thinking.

GHE: Mate that’s all we have time for today. Thanks so much for chatting to us today. Looking forward to the new record.

WM: Sure thing. Good talking with you.

Carry On will be released nationally on Friday 30th November.

New Video From Willy Mason, “I Got Gold”

Willy Mason
Image Courtesy of Willy Mason

As the euphoria that surrounded the recent Mumford and Sons tour begins to fade away those still clinging to the memories may be able to relive just a slice of them with the new video from Mumford support Willy Mason, “I Got Gold”.

Taken from Mason’s upcoming album Carry On, the audio for “I Got Gold” has been floating the interwebs for the last couple of weeks. Check out the wonderful video (featuring some funky old man dancing) below:

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