The National Announces Even More Artists for 2016

All Our Exes
Image Courtesy of All Our Exes Live in Texas

Last week The National Folk Festival announced a whole lot more artists for its 50th anniversary in 2016 and we’re getting super excited.

Included in this round of announcements are Vishten (Canada), Tony McManus & Beppe Gambetta (Scotland & Italy), Bluetongue Bush Ceilidh (UK), Brian Peters (UK), The Beez (Germany), All Our Exes Live in Texas, Castlecomer, Andy White (UK), The Davidson Brothers, Women in Docs, Matthew Dames, Eastwinds, Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band, Danny Spooner and Margret RoadKnight.

The National Folk Festival takes place in Canberra over the Easter long weekend, 24th to 28th March. Earlybird tickets are available now via the official site.

Full Line Up Announced for Majors Creek Festival

Kate and Ruth
Image Courtesy of Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton

Majors Creek Festival is a small folk festival held in the small town of Majors Creek, NSW, south east of Canberra. The next festival is going to be held over the weekend of the 20th to 22nd November and they have just finalised a lineup that includes a who’s who of Timber and Steel favourites.

Headlining this year’s Majors Creek Festival roots singer-songwriter Heath Cullen in full band mode, trad songbirds Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton (above), indie-folk sweethearts Women in Docs and raucous Adelaidians The Timbers.

Joining them will be the likes of Bill Jackson with Pete Fidler, Dear Orphans, Echo Deer, Edema Ruh, Enda Kenny, Little Wise, Maia Jelavic, Riogh, Shiny Bum Singers, Sparrow-Folk, The April Maze and many more.

For more information on the Majors Creek Festival check out the official site here. The full lineup is below:

Heath Cullen, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Women in Docs, The Timbers, Accapalerang, Angharad Drake, Bajaly Suso, Bellyfusion Bellydance, Ben Drysdale, Bill Jackson with Pete Fidler, Braidwood Dance School, COZMO, Craig and Simone Dawson, Cumbe!, DASH, Dear Orphans, Deep River Choir, Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners, Doctor Stovepipe, Echo Deer, Ecopella, Edema Ruh, Enda Kenny, Folklines, Indi Pendant, Jasmine Beth, Jim and Ingrid Rehle-Williams, Little Wise, Lugh Damen, Maia Jelavic, Mat Brooker, Maypole with Molly, Mike Cosgriff, Merrilyn Simmons, Mexico Lindo, Moochers Inc., Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows, OMG Dance Crew, Pete Wild & The Only Ones, Pop Up Choir, Riogh, Rory Ellis, Salsa with Rachel and friends, Shiny Bum Singers, Sparkle Circus, Sparrow-Folk, Surly Griffin Morris, TABLA Bellydance, TallaTango, The April Maze, The Fuelers, Tony Eardley, West Texas Crude

Gold Coast Folk Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

Perch Creek
Image Courtesy of Perch Creek

Award winning event the Gold Coast Folk Festival has announced its 2015 lineup featuring over 30 local, regional and national bands.

That lineup is headined by Melbourne’s Perch Creek (above) and locals The Lamplights and also features Alexander William, Andrew Cousins, Angharad Drake, Ash Perrow, Barkers Vale Brothers, Black Rabbit George, Callisto, Dave Luxmoore, Erwin Zerbe, Ewan Mackenzie, Felicity Lawless, Franke, Fuglissimo, Guy Kachel, Kiara Jack and the Jills, Luke Houselander, Mat Brooker, Mr Chuck and Missy Chrissy, Out of Abingdon, Owl Valley Bluegrass, Peter Van Herk, Quatro, Rabble, Red Crow, Sarah Frank, Sonia Serin, Soul Sisters, The Rockin Seed, Thrillbilly Stomp, Toni Pollard, Watling and Bates, Women in Docs and many more.

The Gold Coast Folk Festival is held at the Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang on the 19th and 20th September. For more information check out the official site here.

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

A Wealth of Singer-Songwriters at The National Folk Festival

Paul Brady
Image Courtesy of Paul Brady

Dave O’Neill, former Artistic Director of the National Folk Festival and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, used to muse that he could program an entire National Folk Festival just with women singer/songwriters.

His comment were not pejorative, simply a reflection on the number, and indeed the quality, of women musicians and songwriters on the Australian and, indeed, international folk/roots circuit.

It’s not that there is an absence of them at this year’s national – which includes the wonderful Judy Small, Briege Murphy from Ireland (songs covered by Frances Black and Niamh Parsons), Canberra’s Simone Dawson, Women in Docs, and Lizzy Rutten from the exciting “newish” band Son of Rut.

But what makes The National so different this year is the number and quality of the male members of the genre who will gather in Canberra, and no doubt share some of their wisdom and chops in the famous “Session Bar” over Easter.

For any budding local songsmiths, wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit around with Ireland’s Paul Brady (above), Andy Irvine and Finbar Furey, Kieran Kane and David Olney from the US and Canadians David Francey and James Keelaghan.

Here’s just a small collection of the people who have covered their songs: Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, Steve Earle, Carole King, John Prine, Cliff Richard, Ronan Keating, Bonnie Raitt, Brooks and Dunn, Phil Collins, Art Garfunkel, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Santana, and Tammy Wynette.

Paul Brady, from the border town of Strabane, is perhaps the most intriguing and successful of this richly talented group. His website – – lists upwards of 70 world class performers who have covered his songs, either on recordings or live.

Brady’s songs are notable for their thoughtful and powerful lyrics and engaging musical structures.

Essentially, Brady’s songs can’t be classified, such is the range and depth of his work, reflected in the people who cover them – from our own Margaret Roadknight to Cliff Richard!

Here are two of my favourites: the first, “The Island”, is one of the most powerful anti-war, anti-violence songs ever written.

And another that brings back special memories of a cold winter’s day in Beijing in the early 1990s.

And, you’ll all have noted that Andy Irvine, Brady’s collaborator on the seminal 1976 self titled album will also be in Canberra over Easter. Here’s a taste of what might be.

Finally, there’s not enough space here to do justice to all the other outstanding performers and writers listed above. I’ve had a sneak preview of Go Jane Go, the new CD from Kieran Kane, David Francey and Lucas Kane, which will be released on their upcoming tour, which takes in three days at The National.

Not to be missed; buy a ticket here –

Peter Logue is a Canberra based journalist and musican, who is also on the Board of the National Folk Festival.

Musical Artists for Melbourne and Brisbane Spring/Summer Finders Keepers Markets

Melbourne Finders Keepers
Image Courtesy of Finders Keepers

We only just remembered that now that it’s Spring and going into Summer then it’s time once again for the Finders Keepers Markets to take place in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Finders Keepers is a twice yearly event bringing together independent artists and designers to showcase their talents in a wonderful market environment. And best of all it always features some fantastic folky music as well.

The first market off the bat is Melbourne this weekend, the 19th and 20th October, at the Royal Exhibition Building, in the Carlton Gardens. The musical lineup has been announced and the program is as follows:

Friday night:
6.45pm – The Tiger and Me
8pm – Judge Pino and The Ruling Motions
9.15pm – Jemma and the Wise Ambitious Men

10am-12pm – Niko Maersk
12pm – Baby Drivers
1pm – The Townhouses
2.15pm – Fox + Sui
3.30pm – Flash Forest

Brisbane Finders Keepers
Image Courtesy of Finders Keepers

Next up will be the Brisbane Finders Keepers which will be held at the Old Museum on the 3rd and 4th November. The lineup for this event has also been announced and is as follows:

11am – Megan Cooper
12pm – John and Alexander
1pm – Women in Docs
2pm – Alana Boyle
3pm – Thelma Plum

11am – Dana Hassall
12pm – David Flower and Caroline Trengove
1pm – Dave Di Marco
2pm – Pacha Mamma
3pm – The Whiskey Archive

The musical lineup for the Sydney markets, on the 8th and 9th December at CarriageWorks is yet to be announced – and as soon as it is we’ll let you know.

For more information check out the official Finders Keepers web site here.

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