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blue mountains music festival of folk roots and blues
Artists

Xavier Rudd 

Xavier Rudd

When he debuted in 2002 with the album To Let, Xavier Rudd began a journey that would see him become one of the most iconic voices in Australian music, literally and figuratively. With each new album, this journey has wound like a river making its way toward the ocean - twisting and turning, flowing and cascading as it relentlessly pushes forward.

Introducing himself as an artist of both imagination and conscience, To Let was definitive of Rudd’s ability to marry uplifting music with thought-provoking themes and concepts. It was music that, one way or another, made you feel good. With an array of guitars, didgeridoos, stomp boxes and percussion, Xavier Rudd re-introduced a lot of Australians to the sounds and stories of the land’s original owners, while introducing the rest of the world to an entirely new sound altogether.

 

 

Ash Grunwald 

Ash Grunwald

Blistering live sets on the festival circuit throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, America, Europe and the UK, have had critics and fans raving about his unique blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove for now, more than a decade. Nominated five times for Australia’s ARIA Awards, and a swag of award wins including MBAS Blues Performer of the Year 2003 and the AIR Best Independent Blues and Roots Album, and in 2009, taking out a prestigious APRA songwriting award for Blues & Roots Song of the Year.

His album of 2010, Hot Mama Vibes, was nominated for Best Blues & Roots album by both the Australian Record Industry Association and Australian Independent Record Label Association, and after a sold out national Australian tour, he capped off 2010 supporting Jack Johnson’s Australian tour.

…funky, heavy, rootsy soul beats, and that’s not even mentioning Ash Grunwald’s rustic soul voice.” - Sunday Telegraph. ”Amazing for one guy with a guitar and percussion” - Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

Lior 

Lior

Lior burst on to the Australian music scene in 2005 with his stunning debut album, Autumn Flow. Recorded and released entirely independently, and spearheaded by This Old Love and subsequent singles Daniel and Autumn Flow, the album became one of the most successful independent debuts in Australian history with sales surpassing Platinum.

A swag of accolades followed, amongst them three ARIA nominations (including Best Male Artist), as well as Triple J’s prestigious ‘J Award’ nomination for Album of the Year. Most artists set out with an ambition to build a career based on musical credibility and integrity whilst maintaining an independence and individuality in their craft. Lior is certainly part of that rare breed that has achieved this whilst garnering a great degree of success and critical acclaim.

 

 

The Stray Sisters 

The Stray Sisters

Sister connections run deep. Donna & Vikki get back down home not as "The Waifs without Josh",but as sisters astray, rediscovering their love for singing and performing together.

It was through harmonizing that Donna and Vikki forged a intuitive understanding of each other. The Waifs was their public vehicle but at home the sisters loved to sing and connect through the songs they grew up with.

With The Waifs temporarily out of action and Donna and Vikki living on opposites sides of the world, both felt the desire to return to the stage, inviting audiences to share in the joy of connecting through song.  They will be performing new material as well as reworked favorites from The Waifs.

 

 

 

 

Eleanor McEvoy (Ireland)

Eleanor McEvoy

Eleanor McEvoy is one of Ireland's most accomplished female singer/songwriters. Respected as a fine multi-instrumentalist in both traditional and contemporary music, she is best known for writing Only A Woman’s Heart, the title track of an anthology album that's gone on to be the best selling recording in Irish History.

Eleanor's strong Irish accent adds to her renditions of her quirky, perceptive songs, ranging from love ballads and story-telling to left-of-centre takes on the vagaries of life. Her song Sophie about a girl suffering anorexia has become an internet phenomenon with over 1,500,000 hits on YouTube. Never one to shy away from the big issues, her new album revisits some of her previous songs from past albums that have not been available as downloads, and a few new songs from live performances that have become favourites with her audiences here in Australia.

Eleanor will be touring Australia in March/April 2014 to promote her new album, Stuff!

 

Eric Bogle 

Eric Bogle

Eric Bogle is a well-respected, internationally-known singer/songwriter. Originally from Scotland, he emigrated to Australia in 1969. In 1980, after some years working as an accountant, he decided to abandon the relative security of having a proper job and set out on the far more uncertain career path of a professional musician.

Since then Eric has travelled the world with his music. In the past 30 years or so he has toured North America 8 times, Europe 12 times and has appeared at most of the major music festivals both in Australia and overseas. He has recorded a total of 16 CD's during his long career, and also a DVD. Many of his songs have become Australian classics, songs like And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Now I'm Easy and Shelter.

In 1987 Eric was awarded the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to the Arts in Australia, and in 1985 he was awarded the United Nations Peace Medal in recognition of his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial equallity.

A warm and engaging stage performer with a shrewd common sense view of the world we live in, Eric has the knack of being able to cut to the heart of the matter with a few well-crafted lines.

 

 

Grace Barbé 

Grace Barbé

Seychelles islander Grace Barbé is the real deal, a genuinely exotic world music star for the 21st century, with the talent, looks and voice to match. Grace’s soulful music reflects and celebrates the diverse cultural influences of her Indian Ocean heritage (African, Asian and European).

A colourful and energetic fusion of tropical island rhythms with African percussion, reggae, pop, rock and latin flavours, Grace’s “Afro-Kreol” sound is original, fresh and funky.

Having already performed at Australia’s leading music festivals including Byron Bay Bluesfest, WOMADelaide and Woodford plus internationally at SAKIFO and IOMMA (La Reunion), Reggae Donnsa (Mauritius) and Carnivale Internationale de Victoria (Seychelles) Grace is already well on the way to becoming the next diva of world music in the tradition of Angelique Kidjo and Miriam Makeba.

Grace lights up the stage with a vibrant and engaging presence that compels the audience to get up and dance. Her voice is a remarkably powerful instrument, and as a songwriter she has a rare and natural gift for rhythm and melody. Grace plays guitar and bass and sings in three languages; English, Kreol and French.

 

 

 

Jeff Lang 

Jeff Lang

Australian-based musician Jeff Lang has earned worldwide acclaim as a virtuosic guitarist, a dynamic songwriter and a startlingly unique live performer. With a back catalogue of 14 studio albums, Jeff has been featured at major festivals, pubs, clubs, arts centres and venues internationally for the past decade. Blending rock, roots, folk, blues, ballads, instrumentals, improvisation and a devastatingly high level of musicality, Jeff Lang is a singularly unique performer in our world.

Jeff has been showered with achievements and awards throughout his career - the most outstanding would be his six ARIA award nominations, as well as his two wins in 2002 and 2010.

Jeff’s last album, Carried In Mind (ABC/UNIVERSAL) has been nominated for both an Aria award and an AIR award, was named ”Album of The Year” by Australia’s roots music bible, Rhythms and also recently won the ”National Folk Recording Award presented by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archives.

Lang has built up a devoted, almost cult-like, following with his live performances.

 

 

Rory McLeod (UK)

Rory McLeod

This Russian-Jewish-Scottish bred Cockney hit the road in his late teens to live by his wits, and as a jug-band player, a regular in Hamburg blues clubs, and a fire-breathing musical clown in a Mexican circus. The rigours of circus life in a small travelling Mexican circus drove him over the border to Texas. Lacking a U.S. visa, McLeod took on Austin’s clubs from a base in Mexico. In 1981 he won the Texas harmonica championships and hung out in Austin playing with, among others, Texas greats Jimmy Dale-Gilmore and Butch Hancock.

He made it back to London to embark on a music career, which he launched with Angry Love in 1985. He is a storyteller supreme, weaving his Cockney spruik into highly rhythmic Latin/reggae/ blues inspired music; a one man soul band and once seen never forgotten.

Over his much travelled career, Rory has played harmonica, guitar, spoons and trombone with many great musicians including, Ani Di Franco, Michelle Shocked, Towns Van Zandt; from West Africa Ali Farke Toure, from San Antonio Flaco Jiminez, and in Australia Mick Thomas, and the Backsliders.

 

 

Slava & Leonard Grigoryan 

Slava & Leonard Grigoryan

The Grigoryan Brothers return to the Blue Mountains Music Festival with an eclectic program confirming their reputation as one of the finest classical guitar duos in the world.

Always keen to expand the guitar repertoire, they will be performing new works by Australian composers Nigel Westlake and Stuart Geenbaum. The program will also include highlights from their last release The Seasons, self-penned works and selections from the Latin and jazz worlds.

"(the Grigoryan Brothers)... bring the same mastery and enthusiasm to both old and new in their expansive repertoire, and they illustrate in every bar what real guitar-playing is all about." The Age

 

 

Hanggai (China)

Hanggai

The scope of Hanggai’s music is almost as wide as the grasslands out of which they journey. Taking in the wild open spaces of Inner Mongolia and the teaming, churning streets of 21st century Beijing, Hanggai’s music embraces the looking-glass world of rock, pop and bluegrass as seen and heard by a new generation of Chinese.

The six-piece Hanggai encompasses a hell of a lot of tradition, culture, fusion and folklore to produce their unique sound. With their brand new album He Who Travels Far, they continue to grow, incorporating many of the experiences that the past year of international touring has brought them.

 

 

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Trio (USA)

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Trio
photo: Ronald Rietman

Legendary US Bluegrass singer-songwriter and Grammy award winner, Peter Rowan, "the voice of Bluegrass", returns to Australia and our festival with a new album, and a hot new trio, featuring Chris Henry on mandolin and vocals, and George Jackson on fiddle, banjo and vocals.

Peter Rowan is a true legend of American Bluegrass, with a history dating from 1964 and his role as lead-singer/guitarist with the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. Since then Rowan has released numerous albums of mostly original songs, and has performed and recorded with the likes of Jerry Garcia, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, David Grisman, Del McCoury, Flaco Jimenez, Peter Tosh, and Steve Earle.

Rowan has demonstrated himself to be an artist of unusual depth and imagination, experimenting with other influences, while never losing track of the deep roots and musical purity that are integral to his presence. He is a singer and songwriter without equal, a multi-instrumentalist and accomplished guitarist. His beautiful singing is of the classic "high-lonesome", borrowed by Monroe from the Appalachian ballad singers, and which became the defining style of all bluegrass vocalists. The spirit of Bill Monroe lives on in the old and new music this trio will bring to Australian audiences on this tour.

In 2013, at the age of 70, Rowan released a highly-acclaimed album on Compass Records, The Old School, featuring 10 new original songs. "The Old School is a big school. It is where the tributaries of the river came from," Peter Rowan says of his new album. His festival appearances will showcase the songs from this album, along with other gems from his vast repertoire.

 

 

The Spooky Men's Chorale 

The Spooky Men's Chorale
Wave goodbye to choirs as you know them. Spooky Men's Chorale is a macho juggernaut that's big as a behemoth and show-stoppingly good. Sounding as sacred as a high church choir one minute and as stupid as a raft of drunken Kazahkstani butchers the next, the Spooky Men are a motley-crew of singers.
Over the past six years, the Spooky Men have toured frequently throughout the UK, featuring at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Islington's Union Chapel. In 2011, the group was also featured in a Speight's Beer commercial and were pictured frolicking in the landscape while singing "We are the spooky men. We dream of mastodons, practice mysterious handshakes and we can grow beards if we want to".
From disco to dervish; from renaissance to rock 'n' roll; from gospel to goodness-knows-what; Spooky Men's Chorale will take audiences on a song-filled rollercoaster ride that is fun for the whole family.

 

 

 

FLAP! 

FLAP!

A fiery yet charming ensemble featuring brass, guts, words and skins, Flap! have been described as music that is both old and new, a rambunctious collage of 1920’s jazz, English folk, gypsy brass and Trinidadian calypso influences. The end result is something fresh and distinctively Australian.

Flap! are not your everyday band. Influenced by the 1920’s prohibition-era dance bands but with a hip modern groove, Flap! feature an unusual but exceedingly effective line up of banjo-ukulele, cornet, trombone, double bass and drums.

 

 

Swamp Thing (NZ)

Swamp Thing

They’re the two left in the juke joint when the hurricane’s about to make landfall, when the revellers have gone home, sweat-soaked and exhausted. The bulbs are blown out, the floor’s full of glass, but two men are honour bound to keep playing, pouring their sweat into the parched earth like libation.

In the best traditions of two man blues and roots, Swamp Thing is a duo that you know are playing to stay alive. A former member of The John Butler Trio, Michael Barker (drums/percussion/KeyBass/Vocals) formed the power blues/roots duo Swamp Thing with Grant Haua vocals/guitar in 2010. These two unique musicians share a wealth of experience to craft blues- flavoured music with a deep groove and soulful spook.

 

 

 

The Tiger and Me 

The Tiger and Me

Described by Inpress Magazine as ”Cabaret/Circus/Euro Indie Folk-Pop Wunderkinds”, Melbourne quintet The Tiger & Me weave a rare mixture of styles and sounds as three lead vocalists exchange and merge tunes from whispered ballad to fevered maelstrom. Driven by piano, bass and drums, the band also draws on guitars, ukulele, accordion, violin and five voices to create an identifiable sound. The band released their critically-lauded debut album From a Liar to a Thief in 2010, which led to breakthrough appearances at several festivals including Port Fairy and Apollo Bay.

 

 

Sunas 

Sunas

Regarded as Queensland’s premier Celtic group, Sunas has been delighting audiences around Australia and overseas with their fresh and exciting take on traditional Celtic music.

Known for their engaging and intense stage presence, they are a group not to be missed. Sunas is a fiery four-piece band featuring multi-instrumentalists and exquisite three-part vocal harmonies. They play a unique and unforgettable blend of original, contemporary and traditional tunes and songs.

The debut album A Breath Away from Shadow was awarded four out of five stars by the Courier-Mail, and five stars by iTunes. Their second album, Celtic Road, was released with the ABC in 2011, was 5-starred by Amazon and spent over 10 weeks in the Aria classical/world charts, climbing to number 4 and made the ABC’s top 10 best-selling albums of 2011.

 

 

Mustered Courage 

Mustered Courage

In 2012, Mustered Courage played at every major folk festival in the nation. Through these experiences, these young song-writing pickers slowly earned a reputation for being one of the hottest, exciting and innovative bluegrass bands in the country. Mustered Courage captivated audiences in December 2012 at the Woodford Folk Festival. This year, the band has now has been added to many more festivals, such as the Port Fairy Folk Fest and The National Folk Festival.

Mustered Courage recently won the Country Category at the 2012 Music Oz Awards and toured extensively in 2013 promoting their new breed of alternative bluegrass to the world.

“Like fellow musical border crossers the Wilson Pickers, Mustered Courage make something old sound fresh with as much enthusiasm as skill. Nice.” - Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald).

 

 

Blair Dunlop (UK)

Blair Dunlop
photo: Suzy Gallier

Blair Dunlop is a 21-year old captivating vocalist, phenomenal guitarist and over the past year has emerged as one of the UK’s finest singer-songwriters. He is the son of former Fairport Convention member Ashley Hutchings, and took over running The Albion Band from his father in 2011.

Blair’s vocals have a paradoxically light and raunchy feel, a very much ‘once heard, never forgotten’ sound. On guitar, he is forging a style of his own which is quite breathtaking. He has already been asked to appear at guitar conventions and featured recently in Acoustic Magazine purely as an up-and-coming guitarist.

 

 

Chipolatas (UK)

Chipolatas
photo: DECARLO

These travelling players are custodians of an ever-evolving tradition, blending the old and the new, continue to cross cultures and create new genres with their unique and universally-acclaimed show Gentlemen of the Road. Transcending trends, capturing hearts and crossing boundaries, these 3 actors/musicians/clowns at the pinnacle of their powers flow seamlessly together - steady, joyful, resonant - in a celebratory performance.

A story without words unfolds… moments of inspired stillness… physicality and dynamism… rhythmic squeezebox… breakbeats and ballads… witty and charming… performed with impeccable timing.

This is where circus meets theatre and live music is played. A common ground where magic is made.

 

 

The Good Lovelies (Canada)

The Good Lovelies

Funny and upbeat, with just a pinch of sass, the Good Lovelies’ textbook three-part harmonies, constant instrument swapping and witty on-stage banter have enlivened the folk music landscape since they joined forces in 2006 for their first show at Toronto’s funky Gladstone Hotel.

How the Good Lovelies (Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore) got together is a bit of a mystery: Sue remembers meeting her band mates during a limbo competition, Caroline thinks they met at a chess tournament, but Kerri is convinced they first crossed paths during a bar fight. Their tireless rain or shine outlook and undeniable mutual respect have helped the trio weather years of constant touring and won them a loyal legion of fans.

 

 

Benny Walker 

Benny Walker
photo: Cindy Power

Inheriting his passion for music from his father and grandfathers, all talented musicians in their own right, Walker formed his first band at the tender age of 12. He cut his teeth on classic blues, surf and folk before finding his own voice in the raw honesty of acoustic roots music.

Hailing from regional Victoria, Walker has performed alongside some of Australia’s finest, including Archie Roach and Vika & Linda Bull, as well as performing at some of the country’s finest festivals, including St Kilda Festival, Moomba Festival, Nannup Music Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, and the 2012 Australasian World Music Expo, and making his international debut with a stand-out tour of Canada in 2012.

 

 

 

The Woohoo Revue 

The Woohoo Revue
photo: ruby graphics

Call them what you will – “Balkan gypsy brass band”, “roaring ’20s swing ensemble”, “Wild West fiddle contest” or a “soundtrack for Looney Tunes” – it barely scratches the surface. There are few, if any parallels to the sound of The Woohoo Revue.

A fiendishly talented sextet of horns, strings and drums, The Woohoo Revue have forged their reputation throughout Australia as a festival favourite with their signature sound and an adrenalin-fuelled celebration fit for dancing, drinking, and ignoring tomorrow. Their fiery compositions and virtuosic musicianship invoke a sense of romance and bravado. Every tune expresses a sense of occasion, transporting the listener to a rampaging after-party at a circus sideshow in a palatial ballroom.

 

 

Love Over Gold 

Love Over Gold

Hushed harmonies merge with lush guitars to define the striking sound of recently formed international duo, Love Over Gold.

Singer-songwriters Pieta Brown (USA) and Lucie Thorne (Australia) are both artists recognized for their distinctive vocal stylings and poetic sensibilities, and together, as a duo, the blend of their contrasting styles takes on a vivid life of its own. The pair met during Pieta’s first tour of Australia and became fast friends and fans of each other’s work.

Now, just two and a half years later, as Love Over Gold they present Fall To Rise. Recorded in Pieta’s home town in Iowa, Fall to Rise traverses the open expanses of both continents to a place where voices, guitars and poetry meet.

"Right from the start there’s been such joyfulness to this project; and such an ease to our connection" says Lucie. "From the very first song we worked on together it's felt like finding a songwriting soulmate."

 

The Pigs 

The Pigs

Australia’s favourite bluegrass funsters The Pigs are known worldwide for their combination of super-catchy original tunes and foot-stomping ‘Piggified’ cover versions. Crashing through musical genres like a runaway tractor, the Pigs’ latest album, The Great Bluegrass Swindle marries superb musicianship with a distinctly Australian sense of humour – and hints at the uniquely bent energy of The Pigs’ exceedingly popular live shows.

For over 8 years now, The Pig Family has been stepping out onto the big festival stages around Australia, barefoot and bewildered. Meanwhile the band’s YouTube Channel has seen more than 400,000 hits, with their Single Ladies video becoming something of a sensation (also seen on ABC’s Spicks and Specks and Australia’s Got Talent). In 2013 The Pigs’ Great Bluegrass Swindle rolls on, with more Australian dates, followed by a return to Germany and Denmark.

 

 

Equus 

Equus

The stunning artistry and musicianship of Mongolian horse head fiddle player and throat singer Bukhu meets the beautiful lilt of Arabic Oud and Turkish Saz of John Robinson, intricate and melodic lines of winds jack of all trades Andy Busuttil and smooth, inventive upright bass of Bertie McMahon, as well as guest percussionist Peter Kennard. EQUUS is the latin root of the word ’equine’. The traditional songs of Mongolia played as you have never heard them before. Unpredictable and spectacular. Exciting, pulsing, invigorating music. A Festival special event.

 

 

 

Hat Fitz & Cara 

Hat Fitz & Cara
photo: Tim Burke/Twist Photography

Hat Fitz is a "veteran” wild man of the blues scene in Australia. He has a record 18 straight appearances at Byron’s East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, a record that is not likely to ever be broken, and one which bears testimony to his amazing live performances and popularity with festival goers.

Cara draws on her soul background (she’s toured Europe and the United States with singers such as Jamiroquai and the hugely popular Corrine Bailey-Rae), and although blessed with a sensational voice she was not content to be labelled as ‘just a singer’. She has taken to drumming duties as well as washboards, flute and tin whistle, sometimes all at once.

 

 

 

Jack Carty 

Jack Carty

Jack Carty is a rare find. An inspired artist with a way with words and melody crafted by a unique upbringing, a natural flair and a dedication to his craft. Now 23, Jack spent his formative years tucked away in the secluded Bellinger Valley on the NSW mid north coast where music and stories acted as gateways to the wider world over the range and as distractions from the sheltered familiarity of a close knit community. In this environment Jack was afforded the time and the space necessary to listen, learn and write. And write he did, as often and as honestly as he could.

At 16 Jack packed his bags and hightailed it to Sydney’s bright lights and big personalities, leaving his friends and family behind to settle in the inner west, meet some like minded musicians, and play. The result was a string of line-ups and musical experiments resulting in adventures to venues and towns all over the east coast and a strong grassroots following.

 

 

George & Noriko 

George & Noriko

George and Noriko met by chance in Melbourne and after uncovering the similarities between traditional Japanese music and blues began to explore the uncharted musical possibilities. The two styles produced an amazing cross over and they began preparation for a performance at the 2007 Melbourne Fringe Festival. The West vs East project showcases the power and creativity that comes from the mixing of cultures.

Both musicians were born and raised in Japan but have made their lives in Australia. They promote and retain their Japanese customs but embrace and welcome the music and arts of so many other cultures. Mixing well known blues songs with ancient Japanese music enables people to, not only through sound but also sight, experience first hand the coming together of traditional and contemporary.

The traditional dress worn by Noriko, the cowboy image of George, the use of Taiko (Japanese drum) and the explanations and teachings given by Noriko and George provide an all round cultural feast.

 

 

Allan Caswell 

Allan Caswell

Allan Caswell is one of Australia's most recorded songwriters with over 500 of his songs recorded worldwide. His best-known song On The Inside (theme from Prisoner was No.1 in Australia and New Zealand, No.3 in the UK and made the Country charts in the USA.

He is the winner of 6 Golden Guitars in Tamworth, an ARIA, an APRA award, 2 Gold Singles, and several Gold and Platinum albums for his writing and production work. He recently won Album, Single and Male Vocal of the Year Awards at the Independent Country Music Awards.

His performing career has taken him to every state in Australia, New Zealand, New York, LA, Nashville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

 

Snez 

Snez

After receiving wide praise for her debut album Gypsy soul(2009), Snez has spent the last two years touring Australia with her co-writer, producer and guitarist; Stewart Peters, squeezing their world into a van for months at a time, visiting remote and regional Australia, sharing stories and songs… and loving every minute of it!

Snez is a maverick in the independent music scene, defying any old pigeonhole… never afraid to put her heart on her sleeve, or just let it all loose.

She has shared the stage with notable artists including Renee Geyer, Jenny Morris, Robyne Dunn, Mahalia Barnes, Gangajang and has been co-writing and performing with Stewart Peters, a man of many talents for 5 years.

Stewart cut his production teeth with the Australian rock producing legends Vanda & Young (AC/DC, Rose tattoo, Flash n the Pan, Choirboys, The Angels and of course The Easybeats) at Alberts Productions during the ’80’s. Stewart has since moved into a more comfortable (for him) acoustic/adult pop genre and has had continuing success as a writer/producer with various artists.

 

 

Dan Parsons 

Dan Parsons

A 25 year old honest, engaging singer-songwriter with a distinct resonant voice and deft acoustic guitar style. Sings intimate and disarming songs of failed love, great love, missing home, the intricacies and anxieties of the human experience. He is a multi-instrumentalist with a deft touch and a voice like caramel that has overtones of James Taylor. His sensibility is that of the west coast artists of the seventies, and his interest is in the songs for their own sake. This may explain his fascination with old analogue technology, as he goes from real to reel.

 

 

Roesy 

Roesy

At 17 he left school and studied Fine Art and Design in Galway but after 4 months packed it in as writing music was taking up all of his time. Two years later he signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and was introduced to Bernard Butler and they began recording in Edwin Collins’ London studio with Bernard producing. Sketch the day, paint the night was his first album.

Over the next few years he would travel for a few months at a time through Europe, Asia, USA and South America and return home in between to record the new material which became the self produced, The Spirit Store and Only Love is Real.

He was nominated for Best New Irish Act in the 2004 Meteor Music Awards and voted No.8 in the Trad/Folk section of the Annual Hot Press Awards 2005.

By June 2007, hungry for new inspiration he moved to Amsterdam, and subsequently made the move to live in Australia. Through his career he has shared the stage with Bert Jansch, Joan Armatrading, The Waterboys, Badly Drawn Boy, Billy Bragg, John Martyn, Donovan and Shane MacGowan.

 

 

Jesse Valach & Blues Mountain 

Jesse Valach & Blues Mountain

This band is a blues/soul outfit consisting of Jesse Valach (Guitar/Vocals), Torren Dove (Bass), Anthony Murray (Drums) and occasionally Rowan Mumford (Hammond) that formed around 3yrs ago after a small blues jam session at an RSL in Elwood, Victoria.

In that time they have performed at some of Melbournes top venues including The Vineyard in St. Kilda, The Nighthawke in Mentone, and The Cornish Arms Hotel in Brunswick. Although relatively new to the blues community they have already shared stages some of Australia’s biggest blues names including Andrea Marr, Jimi Hocking, Ray Beadle, and Geoff Achison. A highlight has been playing behind revered blues master Chris Wilson.

A popular selection of covers and fiery guitar with soulful/reggae/funk infused originals make this outfit a major act to watch for in the very near future.

 

 

The Borderers 

The Borderers

The Borderers are well known performers at many of the world’s top music festivals having played Byron Bay Blues & Roots, Port Fairy Folk, Edinburgh and Womad Festivals in Australia and the UK – as well as touring Canada and the USA. They’ve also supported artists including Tom Jones, The Proclaimers, The Chieftans and Shane McGowan from The Pogues. They got together in 1994 and have released 9 albums, 4 EP’s & 2 kids albums. Lead singer, Alex, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and came to Australia in 1987, whilst Jim was born in Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Australia on Christmas Eve 1993.

What sets the BordererS apart from other bands is their ability to get the whole audience involved.

”You must be dead if you’re not seen dancing at a BordererS gig” Jamie McKew - Port Fairy Festival Director (The biggest Folk / Roots festival in Australia) Jim & Alex Voted Best World Music Act At the Musicoz Awards!

 

 

Kooyeh 

Kooyeh

Following the release of their second single, Haven't found a Lady, Kooyeh are about to embark on their second East Coast tour of Australia in February 2014. Jumping fresh off a Julian Marley support, the boys are kicking off their tour with the Rainbow Serpent festival.

Kooyeh have geared up to promote their debut album Soul Cleansing and their second single release Haven't Found A Lady on their Soul Cleansing Summer Tour. "Haven’t Found A Lady is a cheeky, uplifting break up song about herbal methods of coping, sang in a Cee Lo Green twang" – Beat Magazine

Kooyeh exploded onto Melbourne's live music scene late last year, this incredibly talented band of young virtuosos are destined for the world stage and glory… their vibe reigned supreme with their soul enriching musical talents, gorgeous stage presence, impeccable rhythm and ethereal energy. With two singles off their debut album, Kooyeh has the music industry and fans alike ready to Cooee from the mountain-tops and get their reggae sway on.The bands tight knitted attitude is reflected in their live shows, and audiences benefit from their synergy and their tight sound. Not a band to be easily labeled, their journey through reggae, soul, hip hop, dub and electronica keeps the group – and their growing crowds – on their toes.

With four vocalists, a horn section, Live dubs and a tight, punching rhythm section, Kooyeh deliver a high energy show that keeps the dance floor buzzing as the spotlight sweeps between each of the singers, the riffing horn players, funky organ, bluesy guitar, and all the while the driving force of the bass.

 

 

Rachael Brady 

Rachael Brady

From the heart of the Blue Mountains comes the moon-dance tree-dreaming sound of Rachael Brady – country/soul/bluesy with a whole lotta heart -guaranteed to make you fall slightly more in love with each subsequent listen; Inspired and inspiring, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, a little kooky, always oddly beautiful, she has one of those voices that makes you want to crawl inside of it and sit curled up in its tender warmth (think candle lit hollow in an old mahogany tree). She’s joined by long time collaborator/guitarist Nigel Kerr, the two delivering a grab bag of infectiously charming tunes ranging in subject matter from the deeply personal to the reassuringly universal. Phenomenal voice meets songs of genuine depth, beauty and intelligence.

 

 

 

Andrea Soler 

Andrea Soler

Northern Rivers based singer songwriter Andrea Soler has recently returned from a successful and ground breaking international twelve-week tour throughout Europe. Andrea performed on the summer festival circuit which included Germany’s biggest folk and world music festival in Rudolstadt. Growing up immersed in the Chanson tradition of French Folk music in a bohemian family of Spanish and French descent. Her music evokes the tradition of the troubadour with a beguiling joie de vivre taking the listener on a journey through the realms of indie folk, jazz, roots and world music. Whether it’s an intimate solo show or a packed out festival, Andrea exudes a warmth and charm that quickly envelops an audience – she has an uncanny ability to connect with people through music on a very genuine and intimate level.

The Mae Trio 

The Mae Trio

The Mae Trio write contemporary folk songs that are surprisingly mature and insightful for musicians aged between 19 and 22. This multi-award winning trio brings a fresh take to the Australian folk scene in which they are deeply embedded by drawing on a range of contemporary ideas and influences. Their songs range from an intricate and detailed tribute to 19th century designer William Morris to a catchy yet thoughtful reflection on the effects of the drought on their home town in Central Victoria, Australia. They arrange them tastefully for banjo, cello, fiddle, ukulele, guitar, bass and superb 3 part vocal harmony. The trio present an engaging live performance, inviting the audience in with their infectious warmth and humour.

The trio’s debut album Housewarming, produced by the internationally renowned Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty), will be released in August 2013. Winners of the Folk Alliance Australia Youth Award 2013 and the Lis Johnston Award for Vocal Excellence 2011.

 

 

Belle Jar 

Belle Jar
photo: Camille Walsh

Established 2011, Belle Jar plays an energetic blend of gypsy, Klezmer, swing and pop styles, with a mixture of English and French lyrics. Belle Jar plays mostly original songs. They are a popular party band in the Blue Mountains for their driving rhythms and infectious melodies that get audiences up and dancing, sometimes on the tables. Their lyrics tell stories of urban disenchantment and of breaking out of the monotonous mould of the ordinary. Songs regularly culminate in wild abandon.

The band likes to dress according to their mood which can be anything from circus to burlesque to Paris chic and enjoys nothing more than a dancing, theme dressed audience to party with.

 

 

 

 

Andie Skinner 

Andie Skinner

This will be the third year that Andie has lit up the stage at the Tantric Turtle with her smile and joyous style of folk/pop crossover. Busking locally since she was eleven, she has become a bit of an institution on Leura Mall at weekends. 

Having discovered a camera on her computer in 2011, she created her own Youtube channel under the title of i want altitude, gathering a loyal following, internationally, of over 78,000 subscribers. 

At only 4ft 10, her big stage presence, unique vocals and insightful song writing with her guitar, prompted the Blue Mountains Music Festival Directors to nominate Andie to represent them at the 2013 National Folk Festival competing for the Folk Alliance Australia Young Performer of the Year Award for under 25 year-olds where she came an impressive equal Second. Big things are in store for this pocket sized talent after she completes her HSC this year.

 

Tinker & Friends 

Tinker & Friends

Accordion player and singer of unusual and eclectic folkie material, Tinker’s crisp vocals and fiery stage presence, combined with some wicked accordion, make her an unmissable performer for all those who love their classic folk and lively tunes.

Mike Kerin comes from a long line of Claire fiddlers going back at least one generation that he knows about. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and sings. His musical cv is diverse and eccentric—from Slim Dusty’s Travelling Country Band to the Australian Chamber Orchestra;  the Flying Emus to Irish dance extravaganza GaelForce—he is a “musician’s musician” and a quiet legend of Australian music. 

Mike and Tinker will be accompanied by guitar virtuoso Belfast?born Stuart Wakley whose cv is similarly impressive and wide ranging. From jazz bands to country bands to tradition irish and solo gigs, Stuart’s repertoire and experience is extensive. He is the “reel” deal.

Together they play music that has infectious drive and rhythm with their own particular take on tradition.

Wagana Aboriginal Dancers 

Wagana Aboriginal Dancers
photo: Jamie Murray
Wagana Aboriginal Dancers ~ Bangalang: Under the direction of Jo Clancy and Jacinta Tobin the Wagana Aboriginal Dancers perform contemporary and traditional Aboriginal dances inspired by the beautiful Blue Mountains and Central West NSW country. They honor and respect the Darug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands they dance on and aim to show their love of sharing culture through dance, music and story telling. Bangalang means Autumn in Wiradjuri language. During Bangalang the land animals are coming back to the river areas. It is a time to eat vegetable roots and collect windmill grass to make damper. Dhinawan's (Emus) are laying their eggs and Dhinawan can be seen under the Southern Cross in the sky. Watch, listen and feel the dances tell their story of Bangalang through traditional and contemporary movement, imagery and song.

 

 

Arcade Circus 

Arcade Circus

The Arcade Circus is a vibrant and rich tapestry of quintessence; reflecting, supporting and celebrating the many and diverse ways of being in this crazy and wonderful world.

During the Blue Mountains Music Festival, The Arcade Circus invites you to come and play; meet the colourful and eccentric characters as they teach you to juggle balls and scarves, spin a plate, hula a hoop, balance a flower, twirl rainbow ribbons, beat a diablo, roll some circus sticks, poi with tails or flags, ride a unicycle and generally have a fun time. 

Roll up, roll up and for a time runaway with the circus!