Adelaide Scottish Fiddle ClubPerforming a varied program of contemporary and traditional music, the Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club is excited to be launching their long-awaited debut CD. Join this vibrant community group for toe-tapping jigs and reels, and haunting slow airs taking you on a journey from Scotland and Ireland to Nova Scotia, Scandinavia and even Australia! A stage full of fiddles joined by cellos, guitar, double bass, piano and harp is surely a sight and sound to behold!
Afro Moses (GHA/AUS)Afro Moses is an award-winning artist from Ghana, West Africa. His illustrious career features such accomplishments as being voted twice as Ghana’s Best International Music Ambassador and sharing the stage with highly renowned artists such as Ziggy Marley and Youssou N’Dour. Afro Moses delivers a high-energy show containing positive messages of unity and individual beauty. His music spans countless styles including African, reggae, funk and pop. He'll have you jumping and wanting more.
Aidan Connolly (IRE)Aidan Connolly is a master young fiddle player from Dublin and is considered one of the leading Irish musicians of his generation. His debut album, 'Be Off', was released in 2016 to critical acclaim and is considered one of the best fiddle albums of recent years. He has toured extensively in the USA and Japan and has performed in Sweden, France, Spain, the UK and Australia. Aidan is celebrated for his unique style of playing.
Alan Downes (NZL)Performing only his own original work, Alan Downes sings lyrical ballads about the good times we need to remember and how the bad times can give you the best yarns. They are (mostly) true stories of people and places told with careful observation, a good dollop of humour and a little nostalgia.
Alana WilkinsonDescribed as equal parts vulnerable folk singer and vitriolic poet, the shining beam of sunlight that is Alana Wilkinson has turned heads recently with stellar performances across major festivals such as Blue Mountains, Queenscliff, Woodford and Nannup. Combining delicate melodies with disarmingly insightful vignettes about the human condition, Wilkinson is a smiling assassin who leaves audiences feeling like they’re sitting in her living room, chatting about life over a steaming cuppa.
Alaska String Band (USA)The Alaska String Band brings the best of Americana. Winners of the Fame Awards – Bluegrass Band of the Year, this group is polished, with riveting harmonies that are totally off the charts. Groove along while this captivating four-member family band offers up American roots favourites … swing, jazz, rock, original, pop, folk and Bluegrass.
Alex and Annette Hood – NFF Lifetime Achievement AwardeesThis year’s recipients of the National Folk Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award Alex and Annette Hood have had a long engagement with the folk scene for many years, most significantly in developing the Australian Folk Theatre that travelled Australia performing songs, poems, dances and stories for children. They will be supported by Paverty Bush Band for their Festival appearances.
All Strings AttachedBlending elements of high energy Celtic punk, unpredictable gypsy strings, pirate shanty folk rock and a circus sideshow extravaganza, the genres used to describe All Strings Attached are endless. With soaring Eastern-European inspired violin melodies fused with hip-shaking rhythms, driving guitar riffs and layered vocals, they may be hard to describe but they are sure to leave you satisfied.
Allegra DunningAllegra Dunning is the Junior Folk Federation NSW Young Folk Artist of 2019 – at 11 years of age! Allegra performs a mix of rearranged covers and her stunning originals. She writes songs about experiences emotions and things we fear with a distinctive Americana/ blues/ folk feel. She performs with her trusty guitar yet is a multi-instrumentalist and plays drums, piano and ukulele. Her music will move you.
Amazing Drumming MonkeysAustralia’s favourite family puppet show is coming back to the NFF with a new character – “Kiiko” and her funky little drum kit! The Amazing Drumming Monkeys have been wowing audiences around Australia and overseas for the past 16 years with a clever combination of puppetry, live music comedy and heartwarming themes resulting in a funny and engaging show suitable for the whole family.
"*****Our favourite concert" (Rolling Music – Shanghai China)
AvaraAvara presents the passion, intricacy and excitement of music sourced from the Alevi and Turkish folk traditions. Avara is Paul Koerbin (Sirocco, The Renaissance Players), Philip Griffin (The Balkanics), Phil Carroll (Yalla! ) and Andy Busuttil (The Bridge Project). Avara blends the musical backgrounds of each of its players into a dance and audio performance experience that will leave the audience enthralled and energised.
Barkers Vale Brothers, The"Combining the ancient traditional sounds of bluegrass and old-time music with laconic, provocative songwriting and dry banter, these two brothers from northern NSW are slowly but surely developing a cult following on the Australian folk festival circuit.
Sharing a member with their sister act The Pitts Family Circus means Gareth and Vaughan will put on a show that you won’t forget.
Caution: Some tunes may contain partial nudity, inverted banjo playing and pyrotechnics."
Barleyshakes, TheThat the Barleyshakes manage to be at the forefront of traditional Irish music in Australia while breathing it new life is remarkable. Intense energy, beautiful harmony, and irresistible dance rhythms are what make them tick. Members contributed to the Lord of the Rings award-winning soundtrack; they also won the Queensland Music Award for world music.
Barren Spinsters, TheThey look like a two-piece, sound like a five-piece, and move like a hair piece. Frontman Brendon Houlahan plays guitar with his hands, bass with his feet, and sings with his face. Matt Tennant belts the drums really hard, sings a little bit, and wears really dumb shirts while doing it. Together, The Barren Spinsters deliver 70s blues rock with a modern thrashy twist. Much the same way that Wolfmother doesn’t.
Big Sky MountainWith a sound that's a cross between the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Kasey Musgraves, Big Sky Mountain are seven women and a whole lotta jaw dropping harmonies. With shows that include Tamworth Country Music, Perisher Peak and Girakool Festival ,these ladies will have you up on your feet or crying into your laps with their beautiful songwriting and captivating show.
Blackberry JamBlackberry Jam have performed for the delight of people all ages for the past 25 years! Be ready for an abundance of energy, expertise and fun as they take to the stage at this year's NFF. On stage, at a dance, or at the KidzFest, you’ll be tapping your toes to some of Australia’s finest bush music.
Brisbane Girls Grammar School Celtic EnsembleThrough unique partnerships, performance and competition, Brisbane Girls Grammar seeks to challenge girls technically and personally imbuing them with a love for music and creative self-expression. Celtic Ensemble explores an eclectic mix of English, Irish and Scottish folk music, film scores and other pop-folk crossover genres.
Brisbane Girls Grammar School Gypsy BandThe Brisbane Girls Grammar provides girls the opportunity for creative self-awarenss while developing technical skills and a love for music. Gypsy Band with its exploration of folk and gypsy music from Eastern Europe is part of the school's rich musical offerings
Bruce WatsonNot just another Singer/songwriter! Bruce’s music is joyful, thought provoking, with totally engaging original songs from one of Australia's folk icons. Bruce is a master storyteller in song. His music reflects life in all its beautiful, funny, tragic and messy glory, often with a twist and a quirky sense of humour. “An Australian folk hero!” (The Boite). “The best songwriter I have seen in a long time.” (Eric Bogle)
Bush GothicPerforming at some of the world's most happening festivals including Mona Foma, Festival # 6 (Wales) and R.I.F.F (India), Bush Gothic have developed a cult following amongst those who like their pop intelligent and their folk dark. Using tales from Australian history as their source material, their musical influences range from minimalist electro to experimental breakbeat. Best Music Weekly Award – Adelaide Fringe. BBC Music Magazine – 5 STARS.
ChaikaARIA nominated ensemble melding the earthiness of folk with the dexterity of jazz and craft of classical, Chaika’s vast influences create superb genre-blending vocal and instrumental music that transcends labels. “Like a gust of wind ushering in a new season of possibilities” (What’s on Sydney) they are steadily forging a new direction in Australian music.
Chipolatas, TheThe Chipolatas first performed at the National Folk Festival in 1996, returning in 1998 and 2000. After a 20-year break they are very pleased to return to Canberra! Combining mindful circus artistry with dynamic roots music, break-beats, ballads and spoken word they are ‘evolving’ tradition with contemporary stylings. The Chipolatas are a highly-acclaimed live arts performance company who have become a trusted brand and mainstay of festivals around the world.
Chloe and Jason Roweth with Matt Nightingale
Chloe and Jason Roweth with Matt NightingaleDrawing their inspiration from the warmth of old-style bush entertainment and folklore, the Roweths work with vibrant arrangements of new and old traditional Australian ballads and work songs, early country music, original music, poetry, yarns, and dance tunes, weaving together and carrying forward diverse threads of the Australian tradition. Integral to the sound is the formidable and expressive double bass of Matt Nightingale.
CloudstreetBringing fresh life to the best of the tradition, Nicole Murray, John Thompson and Emma Nixon have carved themselves a niche internationally as outstanding performers of acoustic folk music. They deliver a powerful and moving musical experience based on entrancing musicality stunning use of vocal harmony and above all a compelling sense of fun. cloudstreet will sing and play their way into your hearts.
Colum Sands (IRE)Colum Sands is a universal storyteller who draws on a long Irish tradition of poetic musicality to weave songs for the world. With experience of countless performances and studio and broadcast work with young musicians and veterans like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, Sands uses humour and sharp observation to celebrate what unites rather than what separates. His new album 'Song Bridge' includes songs written for his extensive environmental campaigning over the past two years.
Crystal RobinsCrystal Robins is a Darwin based musician and songwriter who has been performing from a young age. Notable performances include Vivid Live Sydney, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival, and singing with the support act for Boney M and The Pointer Sisters on their Australian tours. Crystal’s songs showcase an eclectic mix of folk, alternative and pop melodies, drawing on her diverse musical experiences, and her skills as a multi-instrumentalist and captivating vocalist.
Curtis Eller’s American Circus (USA)Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer. Eller is a show business veteran who started his career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat. The American Circus has developed a devoted international following based on dynamic stage performances that incorporate a dreamlike view of American history and silent film style, physical comedy. The iconoclastic troubadour has spent a decade relentlessly touring the clubs, theatres and festivals of North America and Europe. The Band will be touring Australia in support of their latest, critically acclaimed album “A Poison Melody”.
Dan BakerWith an emphasis on strong lyrical foundations, Dan Baker weaves intricate finger style folk harmonies around thoughtful and powerfully delivered melodies. Dynamic manipulation and vivid imagery persuade audiences to follow the singer through difficult subjects, while honest vocal tones maintain reassurance of safe passage.
Daoiri Farrell TrioA former electrician who decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.
David SpryCarefully crafted lyrics set to a mix of cinematic and raw, stripped-back compositions are the hallmark of David Spry's music. His style moves from gritty and intimate songs to free-spirited, fun tracks. David strongly identifies with his Indigenous Maranunggu/Marrithiyel heritage which has informed not just his songwriting but his take on life and how to live it as a conscientious human, leaving a legacy and being mindful of his place in the world.
Deline BriscoeDeline Briscoe’s live vocal delivery has the ability to change the weather, interweaving Wungabadi (Yalanji song) with folk/jazz/roots/soul infusion. She has toured with some of Australia's best vocalists like Archie Roach, Lou Bennett, Paul Kelly, Shane Howard, Emma Donovan, and Tiddas and collaborated with composers Iain Grandage and Andrea Keller. Deline has also toured worldwide with ensembles Black Arm Band (2008–2016) and Mission Songs Project (2017–2019) and is currently touring with her 2018 album 'Wawu'. The trio includes Airileke (drums) and Stephen Maxwell (keys/bass).
Elephant Sessions (SCOT)Creating a progressive blend of intricate tunes engulfing guitars with a bass and drum-heavy backline, Elephant Session' music combines the very best of trad funk and electronica resulting in a new and exciting sound. Gigging extensively around the UK they swiftly built a fan base and went on to release their debut album 'The Elusive Highland Beauty' in 2014 to critical acclaim.
EquusEquus is a Mongolian/ world/ roots music infusion combining traditional Mongolian folk, Mediterranean strings and original grooves with contemporary fusion jazz and blues. Equus has been described as "Genre-defying genius! ... Deep trance grooves with a plethora of rapidly shifting musical styles ... Incredible throat singing ... Moments of improvised sonic rapture". From epic ballads and atmospheric soundscapes to rollicking horse gallops through bluegrass, blues, Middle-Eastern and swing, you’ll be taken places you’ve never imagined.
Fay Hield (UK)Fay Hield’s choice of English folk material and the delivery of it, reflect a rare sensitivity and appreciation of the tradition whilst remaining naturalistic and highly distinctive.
She has released three solo albums on Topic Records and been nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Fay is also a founding member of the English folk super-group The Full English. "Unadorned and quite exquisite" * * * * – Uncut Magazine
Fiddle Chicks, TheThe Fiddle Chicks are Dee Trewartha (The Cow Patsys) and Emma Luker (Eric Bogle Band), who perform using only fiddles, voices and stomp boxes to create their unique sound and original tunes and songs. After six albums and nearly twenty years on the music scene they still have a passion for performing. Let them take you on a musical voyage through daily life and love, with a few laughs thrown in!
Fiona Ross & Shane O’MaraShortlisted for Scots Singer of the Year in Scotland’s 2019 Trad Music Awards, Fiona Ross has established her reputation as a leading interpreter of Scots song. Her earthy singing style, grounded delivery and diverse repertoire showcase the richness of the Scots song tradition. ARIA Award winner Shane O'Mara is one of the nation's most respected guitarists. These two highly accomplished artists combine to deliver a set of Scottish songs and tunes that is both steeped in tradition and imbued with contemporary flair.
Freewheeler, TheIt's all the about the flow. The simple magic of The Freewheeler is to set the music loose, the tunes flying and the rhythm humming. The trio brings together Ado Barker (fiddle), Dougal Adams (flute) and Ben Stephenson (guitar), musicians who have been at the heart of Irish trad in Australia for a generation. This sound taps the music at its core, lifting and rolling with a rare freedom – not to be missed!
Georgia State LineHonest, and refreshingly self-assured, Georgia State Line’s unique brand of country-infused melancholy yields music that’s equal parts heartsick and hopeful. Combining some of Melbourne's best – Tom Brooks, Patrick Wilson and Laura Baxter – and fronted by lauded songwriter Georgia Delves, the band melds both vintage and contemporary sounds to craft songs steeped in Tennessee sunsets. Delves’ voice is effortlessly colourful and textural with a depth and grace to rival even the most revered of talents.
Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse – KoorlangkaKoorlangka (Children), a performance of rare Noongar language with strings has crystallised a project which connects one of the world’s oldest languages with our youngest generations. Koorlangka is a suite of children's songs and lullabies in Noongar language. Multi-award-winning duo Singer/songwriter and Balladong (Noongar) daughter, Gina Williams, and guitarist Guy Ghouse have created a suite of songs which incorporate both their current catalogue and some new pieces each highlighting the breathtaking beauty of Noongar language.
Good Girl Song Project, TheThe Good Girl Song Project anchors itself in great storytelling and original songwriting and features Penny Larkins, Penelope Swales, Helen Begley and Jamie Molloy. They present their stunning folk song cycles “Settlement” and "Voyage" which follow the experiences of new female immigrants to colonial Australia of the 1830s. The struggles and triumphs of new immigrants in an old world are brought to life with finely wrought folk arrangements and tightly scripted stories
Hat Fitz and CaraHigh-energy duo Hat Fitz and Cara are among Australia’s most talented roots music artists. The husband and wife team have clocked up 10 years of worldwide touring festival performances and album releases from their home base in the hinterland of South East Queensland's Sunshine Coast. They are showing no signs of slowing down, bringing their own mix of Blues and Gospel-infused roots. Their festival touring circuit takes in Australia, the UK and North America.
Hello Tut Tut
Hello Tut TutHello Tut Tut takes its audience on a high energy, stimulating musical safari shaped by the aesthetics of cultures from around the world. With members of Australian, Hungarian, Jewish, Polish, Czech and Swiss descent, the seven-piece draws upon sounds of klezmer, gypsy, Balkan and Latin musical traditions to craft original music that is contemporary, entertaining and highly danceable.
Henry WagonsHenry Wagons is a true renaissance man with a unique swagger reminiscent of a day when front men gave back bucket loads of charm and were shrouded in enigmatic mystery. Unanimously lauded as one of one of Australia’s great entertainers a Henry Wagons show is a true sight to behold.
Hillbilly GoatsFestival faves and Bluegrass Golden Guitar finalists, The Hillbilly Goats are a “show” featuring stories and song combined with hard fiddle, fast harmonica, clogging bones and big harmonies… Drawing influence from trad folk tunes, their passion lies in the history and they love to seek out stories of songs almost forgotten and bring them back to life with boundless energy. Kicke yer shows off! These Goats are FUN and not to be missed!
Honey Dewdrops, The (USA)Americana duo The Honey Dewdrops – Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish – have long felt the push-and-pull between their original roots in the Appalachian mountains and their current home in urban Baltimore. You’ll hear it in their harmony-soaked songs and the mastery of their instruments’ acoustic tones, but also in their songwriting, which reflects the hard realities of today.
Jellyman’s Daughter (SCOT) TrioScottish duo The Jellyman's Daughter lands squarely in the middle of an intriguing crossroads between bluegrass post-rock folk and soul. Mixing their unique vocal harmonies with wild and visceral cello driving guitar and sweet mandolin Emily and Graham write their songs together with a focus on doing something new. In 2018 The Jellyman’s Daughter released their new album ‘Dead Reckoning’.
with inclusion in Popmatters’ ‘The 20 Best Folk Albums