Eleanor McEvoy On Tour In Australia

Eleanor McEvoy with Danny Priestley and Lindsay Martin of Riogh. Image courtesy of Danny Priestley.
Eleanor McEvoy with Danny Priestley and Lindsay Martin of Riogh. Image courtesy of Danny Priestley.

Eleanor McEvoy landed in Australia this week on tour from now until…. well, until Ireland warms up again in roughly six weeks’ time.

On St Patrick’s night, Monday 17 March 2014, Eleanor was a very special guest of Riogh and the Illawarra Folk Club at what’s starting to look a lot like a Paddy tradition in this south coast of New South Wales town centre. Accessible from anywhere and a short walk from the train station ūüėČ

(Our correspondent Bill Quinn later that night ventured down the road to another raucous Irish venue, and couldn’t help but notice that, despite the number of prone young bodies decked out in over-sized corporate green Irish hats, the music on the tannoy was Canadian Scots.)

But before that, and after one or three very large jars of piping cold very special St Patrick’s Day tea, Bill spoke a little with Eleanor about the tour:

Eleanor McEvoy’s tour is in the country up to and including Fairbridge Folk Festival in late April. Click here for a full list of tour dates.

Interview: Tolka (Victoria)

Image courtesy of Tolka
Image courtesy of Tolka

Interview with Tolka (Victoria)

I was initially attracted to the sound of Tolka¬†as they reminded me strongly of one of my favourite Australian folk bands. I won’t say which one, though it was mentioned in dispatches and a subject of some discussion when we spoke — press ‘Play’ below to find out more.

When we spoke earlier in the year, on a sultry Saturday evening when the Illawarra Folk Festival was fairly humming, strumming, beating and dancing, Tolka hadn’t at that point put one foot inside the recording studio for their debut album.

However, last weekend,¬†‘Tunes From The External Hard Drive’ was launched with appropriate fanfare in their hometown of Melbourne.

There are more chances for you to see Tolka for yourself via their gig listing. The album will be available soon at Bandcamp, or contact Tolka directly about where to snaffle a copy.

Upcoming festival gigs for Tolka:

3 to 4 June – Robert Burns Scottish Festival, Camperdown (VIC)
20 to 22 September – Turning Wave Festival, Yass (NSW)

There’s also an exhibition of the album’s artwork at the Brunswick Arts Space from 13 to 28 July.

Dr Gilbert’s Set from the National Celtic Festival, Victoria, 2013:

Interview: Johnny Huckle (ACT)

Image courtesy of Johnny Huckle
Image courtesy of Johnny Huckle

Interview with Johnny Huckle (ACT)

I first saw Johnny Huckle playing in Woden in the late 1980s or early 1990s. My girlfriend/fiancée at the time was working at ATSIC (née Department of Aboriginal Affairs), and more than the odd Friday afternoon would have us plonked at the Aboriginal Club or the Contented Soul watching Johnny belt out a blend of covers and originals.

His rendition of ‘Do The Hucklebuck’ was always a crowd-pleaser.

Fast forward twenty years or more, and I only manage to run into Johnny at festivals. As was the case earlier this year in Illawarra where we finally made some time to gather around the MP3 recorder and have a chat.

Hopefully you can decipher most of the conversation despite the cacophony of competing sound spillage.

Johnny Huckle performing Spiritman:

Johnny jamming with Canberra music and recording legend Trev Dunham:

Interview: Rick Nestler (USA)

Image courtesy of Rick Nestler
Image courtesy of Rick Nestler

Interview with Rick Nestler (USA)

at 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival

Posting this one up just a little bit late in the piece, so hopefully late is better than never.

I had the pleasure of talking with a number of interesting locals and visitors to Australia at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival back in January, and Rick Nestler was one of those.

It was a classic piece of going in cold as I knew little more about Rick than his name and how to pick him out of a line-up. However, as is often the case, the interviewee was interesting, obliging, funny and articulate.

Hear Rick talk about skiffle, jug bands, and yes, we talked about ukuleles.

Rick performing at the Illawarra Folk Festival:

Interview: Jeff Lang talks about sound and instrumentation

Jeff Lang on Moors. Photo by Alison Ferrier. Image courtesy of Jeff Lang.
Jeff Lang on Moors. Photo by Alison Ferrier. Image courtesy of Jeff Lang.

Bill Quinn walked into a tent where Jeff Lang was playing at the Candelo Village Fair in 2011 and was promptly blown back out by a wall of sound that might have had Phil Spector raising an eye-brow.

Or possibly his whole head.

Ever since, he’s been intrigued (that’s Bill, not Phil — as far as most pundits are aware, Spector’s views on Candelo are yet to be canvassed) by the sound level created by Lang and band, and was reminded of this at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival when one of Lang’s sets had the songs seemingly bouncing off the escarpment.

Finding an opportunity to bail Jeff up in the green room (ie the grass behind the tent), Bill whipped out the all-terrain microphone and quizzed Jeff on the sound matter, among others.

(Please excuse the seven second d√©ja vu moment at the start of the audio; the post-producer still has his ‘L’ plates on for the use of Microsoft Movie Maker…)

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Upcoming gigs: Jeff Lang will be appearing at the Snowy Mountains of Music Festival at Perisher on the June long weekend.

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George Mann Talks About The Almanac Singers CD and Tour, July 2013

Image courtesy of George Mann
Image courtesy of George Mann

George Mann proved to be a great hit with Australian audiences when he toured in 2012, and so he was a very welcome returnee in 2013.

Around the time of the Illawarra Folk Festival in January, George played a series of shows, predominantly with Rik Palieri, but also teaming up at the festival and later in the month at Wongawilli with compatriots Rick Nestler, Dom Flemons and Reanna Flemons née Muskovitz.

George Mann and Rik Palieri have recorded a CD of the songs of the Almanac Singers and in July 2013 plan to retrace the steps of the legendary 1941 tour.

On a stinking hot day (that’s an Australian term for ‘mighty hot day’ for our North American friends) at the Illawarra Folk Festival in Bulli, George and I found a cool spot and George told me more about the planned tour.

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

*** THE AUDIO OF THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED FROM SOUNDCLOUD DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS ***

A Folking Memory of Songs and Under-garments and Bravado and Musical Performance Advice from an Illawarra Folk Festival, Bra’

Andrew Winton, David Hyams and Bernard Carney at the bar, Illawarra Folk Festival. Photo by Bill Quinn.
Andrew Winton, David Hyams and Bernard Carney at the bar, Illawarra Folk Festival, 2012. Photo by Bill Quinn.

Some of my Facebook posts go on for days. Some have applied for their own postcodes.

Many people struggle with this and often ask, “What the hell are you gabbling on about?”

They’re falling into the trap of thinking I’m writing only for them. Yeah, I am writing for publics, but mostly it’s my way of thinking. I’m an extroverted extrovert. I can only make sense of my world by writing stuff down or hearing it out loud.

(And I’ve tried over the years to scream from Mt Painter how much I adore and admire and am jealous of introverts, but they jump to their own conclusions, pull a hammy, and block me and tell everyone I’m a truckwit. Shame.)

In part, it’s also my way of leaving my own feathers and tributes before there’s no place for them here on this earth. Thank you, Bernard Carney (CDs available now).

Well, that escalated into existentialism quickly.

Bill Hairy O'Quinn from County Clare.
Bill Hairy O’Quinn from County Clare.

Over on Facebook, I’m counting down to Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 when I have my head and face shaved for the Leukemia Foundation. Read all about it here:¬†https://overheardproductions.com/2013/03/15/billys-going-the-nude-nut-worlds-greatest-shave/

And please join in on the event because if you’re at the National Folk Festival, I’d love you to be there and bear witness: http://www.facebook.com/events/102837806558033/?fref=ts

So, I started at Song #60 and through my travels and travails, the countdown has been serious, silly and… yeah, both of those.

Last night a song came on the Saturday night Forever Classic Hits and Memories Relive Show which was a perfect soundtrack to the never-ending task of cleaning, packing, clearing, selling and carting to op shops, charity stores and the tip.

Read on, McDuff! _________________________________________________________________ Continue reading