Thank Folk It’s Friday – 16th January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney duo Elwood Myre released their new video “Water to the Moon”. Details here

The Staves gave us a taster of their upcoming album with the single “Steady”. Details here

Sufjan Stevens has confirmed that he’s going back to his folk roots for his new album Carrie & Lowell. Details here

– This Saturday will see some of Adelaide’s finest come together for the Feelgood Folk Festival. Details here

Bluesfest released their sixth artist announcement including Hozier, The Waterboys, Jeff Lang and many more. Details here

– Sydney artist Sam and the Bird released their new single “I Believe In Ghosts”. Details here

Sam Lee & Friends announced their new album The Fade In Time to be released this year. Details here

– Sydney based singer-songwriter Taryn La Fauci released her brand new video “All of Me”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Leigh Bacchetti released his new single “We Are Helpless”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Ayleen O’Hanlon released her new single “Loverless”. Details here

– Melbourne’s Forest Falls released their new video “Heavy Hearted Girl”. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Mandy Connell has a bunch of home town shows coming up starting this week. Details here

– The Kyneton Music Festival announced its 2015 lineup including Laura Jean, Little Bastard, Tully on Tully, Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, Liz Stringer, Tracy McNeil and many more. Details here

– We posted Ainsley Farrell’s latest single “Salt/Swallowing Sea”. Details here

Iron & Wine has announced the Archive Series Volume No.1 album featuring early unreleased material. Details here

– If you’re in Sydney for Australia day head to The Rocks for free music from Thelma Plum, Dustin Tebbutt, The Morrisons, Winterbourne, Little May and more. Details here

– Sydney singer-songwriter Roland Kay-Smith has announced details of his upcoming debut solo album. Details here

Stornoway released their new single “The Road You Didn’t Take”. Details here

Interviews

“A wise person once said regular gigs are your backyard, festivals are like visiting a friend’s backyard and we always keep a mindful eye of who is in our festival audience – particularly if there are kids”Sparrow-Folk chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Eric Bogle’s songs were a mainstay through their many mediums in my house growing up and I even got to take a songwriting workshop he put on a few years back at the Illawarra. Will be bloody fantastic to see his personal interpretations of the songs he wrote and that were made so famous”The Bottlers chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We started as a band playing Australian folk festivals and for a while that was all we did. Playing to a festival crowd feels a bit like playing in our home town and we always look forward to it”The Mae Trio chat to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“My drummer Ben and I were going to make giant paper mache pearl hats as our costumes for the festivals 30th Anniversary Pearl Ball. I doubt it will happen as neither of us have much time or know how to paper mache. Perhaps by my 30th anniversary I will have learned how to paper mache. If I have, that’s how I will celebrate. I’ll also probably write a song about it as that seems to be a thing with me”Kay Proudlove chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“Volunteering is THE best intro to a festival, especially for the slightly or very out-of-pocket, and definitely for the sole traveller”Bill Quinn reflects on volunteering at the Woodford Folk Festival. Check out his thoughts here

“As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour”Bill Quinn bids farewell to the Woodford Folk Festival. Watch his video here

Reviews

Gigs

“But here’s the thing: I just don’t have a program focus. As in a focus on programmed artists. I skimmed a few headliners and others about three days before kick-off, and only really seriously started looking at the performer list on Christmas night, as I was kicking my heels back in Bankstown, waiting for a share ride to materialise from Melbourne via the Eurobodalla Nature Coast, and thence to Kariong, Mermaid Beach and Woodfordia. Oh, look. The Violent Femmes are coming! And Cat Empire. And Big Erle!!!!”Bill Quinn wraps up his Woodford Folk Festival experience. Review here

Releases This Week

Dan Mangan
Club MedsDan Mangan + Blacksmith
iTunes

Absent Fathers
Absent FathersJustin Townes Earle
iTunes

The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful WorldThe Decemberists
iTunes

Another Day
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis – Various
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Passenger

Passenger

Passenger is well and truly in the country and has a bunch of sold out shows all over the place this week. If you have tickets, congratulations! If you don’t I’d recommend doing everything you can to get your hands on some – these shows are going to be magical

Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Alanna Eileen
Sunday 18th January – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Republic Bar & Cafe, Hobart, TAS

Bernard Fanning with Little May
Thursday 22nd January – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Black Market Tune
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Wednesday 21st January – Sale Performing Arts, Sale, VIC
Thursday 22nd January – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC

Charm of Finches
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live Music Festival, VIC

Elbury
Saturday 17th January – Hoo Ha Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Far From Folsom
Saturday 17th January – Parramatta Gaol, Parramatta, NSW

Feelgood Folk Festival
Saturday 17th January – The Backyard, Port Adelaide, SA

Husband
Friday 23rd January – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA

Illawarra Folk Festival
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Bulli, NSW

Iva Bittová
Wednesday 21st January – The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney, NSW

Joel Barker
Friday 16th January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Kim Churchill
Friday 16th January – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 17th January – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Wednesday 21st January – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 23rd January – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW

Lachlan Bryan w/ Jack Henderson, Sam York, Aleyce Simmonds
Sunday 18th January – The Capitol, Tamworth, NSW

Mandy Connell
Thursday 22nd January – Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Newstead Live
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Castlemaine, VIC

Numberalla Folk Festival
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Numberalla, NSW

Passenger
Friday 16th January – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 17th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, 18th January – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 20th January – AEC Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd January – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, NSW

Peasant Moon
Sunday 18th January – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Slow Club
Friday 16th January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Tamar Valley Folk Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – George Town, TAS

Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 25th January – Tamworth, NSW

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. Oh Pep!, Open Swimmer
Wednesday 21st January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Thredbo Blues Festival
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January – Thredbo, NSW

Time Edey
Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Thursday 22nd January – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 23rd to Monday 26th January – Newstead Live, VIC

Tiny Ruins
Friday 16th January – The Aurora, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Barbara Allen” – Dolly Parton and Altan

For Christmas I received the book Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr and I’ve been devouring it ever since. The book comes with an amazing album which opens with this track – a version of the classic traditional ballad “Barbara Allen” performed in English by Dolly Parton and in Gaelic by Altan from Parton’s 1994 live album Heartsongs – Live from Home. Beautiful stuff.

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen (for 347 days…)

Woodford

Woven Cloud. Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival.

“I always judge a festival by its program. If a festival can’t attract big name acts, it’s not much good and I’m not much interested.”

I listened to my host as they opined their assessment criteria of a festival deserving of their attention.

Without much in the way of my comment. Certainly no critique or counterpoint from my way came.

I’m like that if I’m living temporarily under someone else’s roof. I listen and nod a lot. Even if I have strong opinions to the contrary, it usually takes a team of wild horses to extract them.

Here’s a case in point: The 2014-15 Woodford Folk Festival.

The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival

The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival

I only decided to go less than a month before it started. A Christmas to mid-January commitment in inner West Sydney had been cancelled on me at very late notice, so I immediately started planning for a passage to Woodfordia.

I applied for a media pass, about a week too late, as it happened. But it’s always good to know people who know other people, and when we’re all doing musical and arty things in similar spaces, good things can happen.

A media and adult season camping pass materialised before my e-eyes (one day as I was shooting pool against a formidable opponent in a Liverpool pub), and it was soon wagons north then north-west.

Who’s on first?

But here’s the thing: I just don’t have a program focus.

As in a focus on programmed artists.

I skimmed a few headliners and others about three days before kick-off, and only really seriously started looking at the performer list on Christmas night, as I was kicking my heels back in Bankstown, waiting for a share ride to materialise from Melbourne via the Eurobodalla Nature Coast, and thence to Kariong, Mermaid Beach and Woodfordia.

Oh, look. The Violent Femmes are coming! And Cat Empire. And Big Erle!!!!

Less is more

And here’s the thing. The presence of Big Erle from Illawarra, champions of the Bulli Heritage Hotel, the much smaller Illawarra Folk Festival, and the Corrimal Blues Stomp — that made me deliriously more happy than half the big name acts appearing.

When I found out on 2nd January that Big Erle were playing the Volunteer Party, I was in raptures.

Over the six full days of the festival proper (I had the wrong colour wrist-band for Boxing Day and was stopped at the frontier), I might have seen three brackets/sets/gigs from go to whoa.

The rest of the time was devoted to media: interviews, pictures, video and LOTS of post-production.

I mention this only to warn you: if you’ve come looking for an in-depth analysis of the performers at Woodford, you’ve like, totally so got the wrong guy, y’know!

Alex and Dani from Canada, Fine Earth Foods

Alex and Dani from Canada, Fine Earth Foods

It’s not Woodford per se; it’s you

Festivals for me are all about people.

The festival aficionados that you might only ever get to see once a year at thatfestival, or a number of specific festivals.

It’s the like-minded strangers who you make a connection with because you overhear them talking about Billy Bragg, or see them wearing the same eight-festivals-ago t-shirt that you had on yesterday, or there’s some other linking thing, tangible or ephemeral.

It’s the stallholders that you bond with over a beautifully-prepared Argentinian sausage combo, or stunning gemstone, or unusual item of dress.

Mostly, ze sausage, für better or wurst.

And for me, it’s definitely the random people you meet by pure accident and instantly click with.

I met one couple in the wonderful ornament to Woodford eateries that is Fine Earth Foods. And we engaged on the basis of he having heard me swear in Dutch as I put my gear down and slopped some tea. And that led to an in-depth chat about swearing around the world, language and accents, countries and culture.

Half an hour later as I walked off stage at The Poets’ Breakfast in The Duck, adrenaline coursing through my veins after a rather emotional reading, he was there at the next table to raise a hand and wordlessly high-five me into the middle of next week.

That’s a real festival vibe for me.

Woodford is…

A fit young woman in workout gear and masses of dreadlocks, running laps around the volunteer and overnight camping at six am.

Woodford is generally not…

Emergency services sirens, so it was a surprise to hear some on the first day zooming along the road to Beerwah. It was a one-off.

Into every festival…

Let’s name, identify, then push this elephant out of the room: yeah, it rained.

Quite a lot, actually.

I took a short video from the volunteers’ camp on the morning after the Fire Event in which I talk specifically about this and how some media outlets chose to make that the main (or main-ish) game in their reportage, initially. Ultimately,  I deleted it by mistake. Meh.

I won’t use the phrase I have for these media organs (lol), but let’s just say it rhymes with ‘truck bits’.

You see, after the volunteers, and organisers, and performers, and contractors, and stallholders, and visiting dignitaries — they gots to sell some tickets to some paying punters, and focussing on inclement weather is enough to put off some of the less resilient in the muggle community. And the choir we usually preach to as well who were maybe only coming for a day.

/off soapbox.

Though it did occur to me that Woofordians may have as many words for rain as Eskimos have for snow.

Home away from home

Home away from home

Have you got a dollar?

For me, the tone was set for my whole Woodford on the first full day of the program when I was stood at the counter of Fine Earth Foods, ruminating on what a pot of tea might cost.

Not seeing any signs and wondering if I needed to go back to my table to get extra, I turned to ask the woman stood next to me. She wasn’t sure, despite counting her own change having just bought a cup herself.

As I stood looking at my $3.15 and surmising I might need extra, there was suddenly a loud clink as an extra dollar dropped into my open palm of change.

Thank you, Anna of Bodypeace Bamboo Clothing. That simple exchange put me in a ridiculously good mood and set the tone for the next days, which I invariably started with a pot of tea at Phil and Michelle’s wonderful venue.

I sat there most days powerless, having run down my phones overnight. On the second last day, I saw the charging bay.

On the last day, I found out they ran 24hrs.

Overheard in the café

“Did you go to bed at all last night?”

“Over six days, typically not!”

Forging meaningful relationships

Woodford is a locality with a lot of love in the room. And most are in a laid back mood.

On the first day I ran into one of my Bankstown to Woodfordia travel companions in the company of a gorgeous young blonde.

Me: “Hi, I’m Bill.”

Her: “Hi Bill. I’m Dionysiaque.”

Him: “Thanks for that. Now I know her name!”

[He cops a whack for his comment.]

Him [winking]: “On no, it’s Diane!”

Which it was, I may never know.

What time is it?

Having differentiated myself from 96.36% of musos for 9.36 years as a watch-wearer, it’s a lifelong habit that’s left the building.

Time is a take it or leave it concept at Woodford. Important if you need to be at a venue (to perform or punt). Important if you’re a worker or volunteer and have shifts to get too.

Pretty arbitrary for others.

“Is that the time?”
“No, time is an abstract concept. That’s a wrist-watch.”
(Douglas Adams.)

Or as I was asked on one of those powerless morning tea times (of the soul):

“Do you have the time?”
“No, it’s one thing I don’t have.”

Garbage

One morning, I had a lovely chat with Stuart and Sue, volunteer garbologists from Hervey Bay.

They’d been meaning to come for years, wanted to volunteer, and ‘wanted to do something useful but didn’t want to have to boss younger people around’.

Their son suggested a great idea: street cleaners. Two hours of dedicated cleaning in the morning with a roving commission to clear any rubbish they saw at other times.

And how clean are the crowds?

“Woodford people are generally pretty good. Plus when they see us keeping the place clean, they tend to follow suit.”

Stuart was easily distinguishable by his attractive neck tie of a display of what items go into which bin.

Tokyo Bar

Tokyo Bar

Serious about Woodford

Overheard in the bar.

“I’m taking it serious this year. I even brought glasses and a highlighter this year.”

Overheard in a Morrocan tent on Day One

“Gee, there are a lot of people here!”

Strap yourself in for New Year’s Eve, then.

Not all baristas are town criers

The new chai tent is Melbourne-based Holy Cow. Some pined for the old chai tent, now the Pineapple Lounge.

I quite like the new one.

But the barista didn’t quite have the pipes to cut through the crowd noise for coffee pick-ups.

“Amanda. Amanda. Amanda.”

“Mate, you need a bass-baritone,” observed one scruffy wag waiting for his coffee. Probably me.

“Yeah, I guess we do.”

Right.

“AMANDA!!!!!!!!”

Pigeons flew off the guy ropes, tent poles rattled, and coffee cups danced on their racks.

“Wow, thanks mate. You’re hired!”

Still no Amanda.

An elder woman passed, touched my elbow and winked as she said, “You realise she’s probably too embarrassed and has left now!”

Family Outings

Family Outings

Giving the wandering minstrels some love

I forget which band it was, but a travelling group playing in Bill’s Bar told of how they realised on the plane they’d not brought linen, a requirement of their accommodation.

They mentioned this to the cabin attendant who became very excited to hear of musos headed to Woodford.

They were told to go to the Hungarian Bakery where a family member would see them right, were provided with some airline linen, and two bottles of Shiraz for good measure.

Nice.

Ad nauseum

This article does go on, and so do I.

With pages in my notebook to go, and with the Sunshine Coast mozzies and other insects taking chunks from my flesh, Ill rule a thick line under Woodford Folk Festival 2014-15, unquestionably my favourite festival of any genre of of all time, and leave you with some greatest hits.

Favourite gig: Trouble in the Kitchen, Concert, New Year’s Day.

Favourite perfomer: See above.

Memorable moment: Seeing David Francey sing “The Lock-Keeper” live.

Song for Woodford 2014-15: “Little Bag” by Lucy Wise Trio.

Place I’d choose to be other than Woodford: yeah, right. No.

See you on: 27 December 2015.

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Save The Last Dance Or Beer For Me

The Volunteer Party is like a baffling market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar

The Volunteer Party is like a wondrous market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar

As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour.

Actually, the sun was long gone by the time Fantuzzi closed out proceedings. And as they finished their last number, the vollys were just getting going and took responsibility for their own entertainment.

I was professionally torn. My obligations were long since dispensed with. I wanted to capture some vision of the band, but……

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Volunteer Party

Woodford
Image Courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

2014-15 is only my fourth trip to Woodfordia, so there are others who are 25 visits ahead of me.

The first three festivals I attended as a volunteer, and like my introduction into the world wide weird of folk merely two years previously, I could not have made a better choice than to join the ranks of vollys, as they/we are affectionately known.

Woodford Volly Camping

Woodford Volly Camping

 

I have very little if anything to compare with the frissons of excitement I had as a wide-eyed young 41 year old, reduced by an event to a gibbering little schoolboy.

(Except when on stage; always a professional behind the microphone, of course!)

I was in a trippy paradise of heaven. Everything was new, everything was bigger and more colourful, more musical, more stunning, than anything else I’d encountered in music and art to that date.

Sorry, Bayern State Opera, but Woodford takes the strudel!

(It even proved to be a sorting hat for me, because my partner at the time came with me (to her first Woodford). In stark contrast, she whinged and whined and moaned and griped and complained. It was too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too expensive, too cheap, too too too much. I put her at an arm’s distance, revelled in my then very patchy mobile phone reception, and on 31 December when she texted me to say she’d gone home to mother near Chermside, I punched the air, danced a jig, yodelled from the Hilltop, and dived right back into the festival. A week later we were over for good and she ended up marrying the sound guy. Good luck to them both!)

I left home several days before the festival started and made a savage hook turn trip from Canberra down to Bodalla then later from Moruya to north Brisbane in one Christmas Day non-stop haul. Google maps informs me that’s about 1450kms on the black-top. Another 74kms to the front gate of Woodfordia, in near carpark conditions on the Bruce Highway. Travel north from Brisbane to the festival on Boxing Day at your own peril.

The taste of service station sausage rolls still lingers to this day. Nothing on the highway of any higher gastronomic fare was on offer in 2007, apart from days old sandwiches in those hideous plastic containers that look like they’d been washed and glazed for display.

But as I left my then Canberra base, with one foot out the door, the phone rang and it was then MC Convenor, now Queensland Folk Federation president Rose Broe, telling me who I had on my rota to MC for.

Tripod, Sarah Blasko, Ernie Dingo, Eric Bogle (twice). And John Schumann (twice). I was going to walk out on stage and introduce my absolute god of music of 25 years plus standing.

Gulp.

“Rose?”

“Yes, Bill?”

“I’m a little bit excited now.”

“Yeah, thought you might be!”

Coopers Bar

 

It was wonderful. Pure magic. I was even asked to mentor the wonderfully talented, but new to MC-ing, Ange Takats. After watching one MC performance (Spooky Men’s Chorale), I told her simply this: “I have nothing to teach you. You’re a natural.”

And she is. Because (as I’ve written extensively elsewhere), she went on stage and was herself. Natural. No artifice.

Woodford

Woodford volunteering is usually In tents

 

Mixing with the vollys, gathering in the then (and still) just on the adequate side of adequate Volly Centre, where you got to recreate scenes from The Good Earth by traipsing through mud to get there!

Did we care? Not a jot. It was fun, it was wet, it was wild.

I came back the next two years running, and lapped up every second. Volunteering is THE best intro to a festival, especially for the slightly or very out-of-pocket, and definitely for the sole traveller.

At my second Woodford, I met the guys from the Tokyo Bar and made friends and compadres for life. After a five year break, it was a sheer delight to be co-located with them again, even though I went there on a media pass this year.

On the night of 2 January, when the punters have gone home, the musos have moved on to their sideshows and petrol money gigs, and the stalls are coming down, the last bar standing (this year, the Bazaar) pumps out slightly cheaper drinks, a couple of bands are roped in to get a little bit nutty and let everyone let their hair right down, and there’s something of a feeling of ‘get down and maybe not get up again’ in the air.

And there are speeches. Or really, just the one speech this time, with a miniscule intro.

You can hear my surprise on the tape, as I did not know that my former boss (of sorts) and mentor is Ms Prez now. You would only expect an MC wrangler to speak with credibility, authority and clarity.

Rose Broe knocked it out of the park. Even with a large furry animal half way down her ‘festival throat’.

If like me before Easter 2005, you’ve been sat back sucking the air in through your clenched teeth at festival ticket prices due to your current financial circumstances, have a good hard look at volunteering. We need our paying punters, but festivals would be nowhere without an army of volunteers, and they don’t come much better than at Woodfordia.

The Woodford Files: Fire Event Climaxes in Fire (hence the name!)

Fire Event
Fire Event image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

Before I’d heard much of anything about Woodford Folk Festival, back in the unenlightened days of roughly 2006, I’d sure heard about the Fire Event. Attending between 2007-2010, I joined the Fire Choir each year and loved it to bits.

BUT being able to sit in the audience with a smashing view, able to take in the full spectacle and stunning sound and light production, I was like an excited 10yo boy.

Heightening the experience just behind me was an almost two year old who was in paroxysm and frissons of delight and was joining in, improve-style, during the choral bits.

Wonderful. An absolutely stunning achievement.

My favourite part, and a moment for me that seemed to encapsulate Woodford, was when the cast on the ground just got stuck in hoe-down style while the tragic-comedy drama face burned.

The Woodford Files 2014-15: New Year’s Eve at The Duck with Black Market Tune

Black Market Tune
Image courtesy of Black Market Tune

You’re spoilt for choice as to where to spend those last moments of the year at Woodford Folk Festival.

I had probably my most memorable NYE a few years ago in the then Duck and Shovel, at a Beatles Singalong of all things, but this year, it was a case of same venue, completely different music on offer.

Enjoy these guys’ new year vicariously again!

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd January

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Gaelic Club in Sydney has some awesome Woodford sideshows coming up this month including appearances from Betty & Oswald, Black Market Tunes and The East Pointers. Details here

– Following his appearance at Woodford UK singer-songwriter John Smith will be making his way around the east coast for a string of dates. Details here

– Austro-Scottish celtic folk four-piece Black Market Tune will be touring throughout January. Details here

Tim Edey has a bunch of Woodford sideshows this January. Details here

– Trad four-piece Tolka announced their new album One House. Details here

Interviews

“And this led to a meeting with the just as lovely Deborah Suckling, the brains and organisational braun behind The Soldier’s Wife. Currently an irregularly performed concert, matching female singer-songwriters with ‘..the partners of Australian servicemen – both past and present – and putting the experience, emotions and lives of those women into song'” – Deborah Suckling chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Mixing music, theatre, improv and audience participation, The Travelling Sisters fill that little caravan-y void where some punters might remember a couple of late night clowns used to perform out back of The Duck (the venue formerly known as The Duck and Shovel)”The Travelling Sisters chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Andrew, like many folkies, wears many hats (some of them at the same time) and at Woodford he’s virtually juggling them. His supper club has two showings at Bill’s Bar every day, and Totally Gourdgeous are launching their new live DVD”Andrew Clermont chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Bill and Joey were seated in the most salubrious of surrounds (on the slippery slope at the back of the gent’s toilets next to The Duck and The Travelling Sisters‘ caravan), chatting about performance spaces, and radio, and grass roots music development” – Joey Channon from Rabbit Radio chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“About 3.6 minutes later, David and Bill were outside the donga by the Spirit of Woodford office, standing variously on the wooden palets or in the mud, dodging dangerous ants the size of small cats, and speaking over the sound spill creeping up the hill from Bluestown, chatting about Paper Lions, music advocacy and the wondrous, wonderful Woodford” – David Cyrus MacDonald from Paper Lions chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops”Aly de Groot chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

“John Smith is performing at Woodford Folk Festival, and at the time of writing has just finished his last show at The Duck. While that’s bad news for anyone on site who missed his gigs, or for anyone who got along and just wants to see more, the good news for John is that he can now find a shady tree and try to keep cool for the rest of the festival. “This weather is too hot for my blood!” he observed to the lunchtime crowd of Duck Eggs, as he referred to them, in a friendly way”John Smith chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here

Blog

“Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters. To people”Bill Quinn discovers The Lettering House at the Woodford Folk Festival. Read his piece here

“At probably my first Woodford Folk Festival, I got a treasured copy of the then very new The Next Turn album by Trouble in the Kitchen. As I set off down the D’Aguilar Highway on 3 January, processing eight days’ worth of festy wonderfullness, I was in an emotional, impressionable state, making listening to the 14 tracks all the more powerful”Bill Quinn details his love for Trouble in the Kitchen. Read more here

Bill Quinn captures the traditional Woodford Folk Festival three minutes of silence. Experience it here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

John Smith

John Smith

UK folk singer John Smith has wrapped up an amazing New Year and is heading down the coast for his first ever Australian tour including shows at The Melbourne Folk Club (with Caitlin Harnett) and the Cygnet Folk Festival.

Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Gigs Next Week

Afenginn w/ Crooked Fiddle Band, Leroy Lee
Thursday 8th January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW

Alela Diane
Thursday 8th January – City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, NSW

Black Market Tune
Thursday 8th January – Jetty Cafe, Dennes Point, Bruny Island, TAS
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Brass Knuckle Brass Band
Saturday 3rd January – The Milk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 4th January – Bellingen, NSW

Cygnet Folk Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet, TAS

John Smith
Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

Nariel Creek Festival
Saturday 27th December to Saturday 3rd January – Nariel Creek, VIC

Paper Lions
Friday 2nd January – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 3rd January – Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 4th January – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Wednesday 7th January – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 9th January – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. John Smith, Caitlin Harnett
Wednesday 7th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Melbourne Folk Club feat. The East Pointers, Tolka
Thursday 8th January – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Edey
Saturday 3rd January – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January – Byron Theatre, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 8th January – Mountain Mummas, Sheffield, TAS
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, TAS

Friday Folk Flashback

“Auld Lang Syne” – Andrew Bird

Happy New Year folk fans! Here’s to a massive 2015!

The Woodford Files: Three Minutes’ Silence

Woodford
Image Courtesy of the Woodford Folk Festival

The three minutes of silence is a tradition that started back in 1999 at Woodford Folk Festival.

A bell sounds several times at 11.30pm on New Year’s Eve, and across the site, tens of thousands of punters, stall-holders, musos, volunteers — everyone, really — fall silent.

For three minutes.

Hence the name.

This year, rather than immersing his feet in the creek running past The Duck, or MC-ing in The Chai Tent/Pineapple Lounge, Bill Quinn was perched just in front of the bell and caught some vision for posterity:

The Woodford Files: John Smith (UK)

John Smith
Image Courtesy of John Smith

John Smith is performing at Woodford Folk Festival, and at the time of writing has just finished his last show at The Duck.

While that’s bad news for anyone on site who missed his gigs, or for anyone who got along and just wants to see more, the good news for John is that he can now find a shady tree and try to keep cool for the rest of the festival.

“This weather is too hot for my blood!” he observed to the lunchtime crowd of Duck Eggs, as he referred to them, in a friendly way.

While pumping up the nachos at The Chef’s Table and their other gastronomical delights.

Bill Quinn was phonetically challenged….

I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.

Bill Quinn was challenged in terms of phone access which left John with some extra time to enjoy the shade of the Coopers Bar, but they eventually caught up for a chat:

Gig dates for John Smith’s Australian tour:

Saturday 3rd January – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 7th January -The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 8th January – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, TAS

The Woodford Files: The Lettering House

Lettering House

Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters.

To people.

With certain characteristics like a writer from Sydney (“Hello!”) with blue eyes (“Strike one!”)

And then someone with odd socks.

What could possibly be happening? What was this specifically non-specific form of delivering items of mail?

After an intrepid search through the back-blocks behind the Holy Cow chai tent, we managed to find Roger the Postie who explained all.

And as mentioned in the rambling intro, and to Roger off air, the whole shebang gave a strong resonance of Jacques Tati in Jour de Fete.

UPDATE 1: Wednesday 31 December 2014


Todd and Julie in The Lettering Office, Woodford Folk Festival

On New Year’s Eve in the Woodford Folk Festival media centre, a young couple walked in with a story to tell and wanted someone to tell it to. Megan and Jake had come to the right place to tell the story of Megan’s mum, Julie and the letter she’s received from Todd.

Listen in for the full romantic story:

UPDATE 2: Wednesday 31 December 2014

After posting this article, someone picked it up because the number of reads keeps rolling around like a poker machine dial, and this morning, it was getting a lot of interest in USA.

Then on Twitter, a lovely man named Geoff Richards piped up and told me about a song of his called ‘Write A Letter Home’. An’ it goes a little somethin’ like this:

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