Eleanor McEvoy On Tour In Australia – Interview at Wollongong City Diggers, 2014

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 St Paddy’s tradition in this south coast of New South Wales town centre. Accessible from anywhere and a short walk from the train station.

(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.

*** Audio file will be removed at the end of February 2020 ***

Bill Quinn: It’s getting on for 10.30pm on St Patrick’s Day in Australia, which means that over in Ireland, it’s roughly midday. People are at lunch, they’re settling into the snugs, they’re in the bars, they’re making St Patrick’s Day what it is.

Meanwhile, in the sweaty, sweaty, sweaty, hot climes of the Illawarra, at the back stage of the Diggers Club, I’m talking with Eleanor McEvoy. Hello, Eleanor.

Eleanor McEvoy: Hello, how’re you doing?

I can tell you that at home what they’re doing, they’re getting ready for the parade. The parade’ll be at midday.

BQ: Your home town/county is?

EM: Well, my home town where I was born is Dublin, a place called Cabra on the north edge of Dublin, but now I live in County Wexford in a more rural environment.

BQ: And so in all of these cities, all of these towns, in all of these places, they have their own separate parades?

EM: They all have their separate parades. The biggest one is in Dublin City, but I like to think the Wexford one is pretty cool too.

EM1
Image courtesy of Eleanor McEvoy

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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 déja 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

Dom Flemons — my personal hit of the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival

Image courtesy of Dom Flemons
Image courtesy of Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons — the real deal

I’m one who normally shies away from imported phrases and clichés — until that phrase or word or even that cliché is the most appropriate and resonant to unpack whatever notion or feeling or thing (a technical term, beg pardon) you want to get out there.

Case in point: I arrived at the Illawarra Folk Festival roughly 20 hours before I’d planned, on Thursday night. And when I surfaced on Friday morning, with one eye open, one eye closed, and a third eye tied behind my back for safe-keeping, about half a dozen people then independently proceeded to tell me, and of their own volition bailed me up, tied me down, roped me off, and press-ganged me on board the good ship Dom Flemons.

“Maaaaaate, you gots to see him!”

When I did indeed see him, I kid you not: I was spell-bound.

I was not alone by a long chalk.

The Miners Camp venue was full to over-flowing x 2, and everyone was spell-bound for the duration. When even many young children around the age of four or five even stopped their fidgeting and drawing with crayons for a song or two — well, that’s a fairly good barometer of the appeal of a performer.

Before that performance, and the packed out stage at Slacky Flat Bar the next day, I took just a few minutes of Dom’s time, high above the dog track in the grandstand on Friday morning, to have a chat.

I present that interview: live, uncut and un-fiddled with. No editing or anything.

The typed out wordification will be along later this week.

If you are only roughly within a quarter turn of the earth’s orbit away from anywhere Dom is playing on this tour, just get there.

Like I said: the real deal.

2013 Illawarra Folk Festival — interview with David de Santi

Sarah from the WooHoo Revue, appearing at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival
Sarah from the WooHoo Revue, appearing at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival

On Sunday 6 January 2012, I mooched into the Illawarra and managed to pinch 2’56” of artistic director David de Santi’s valuable time as the countdown to the Illawarra Folk Festival ticks inexorably down.

Note: after a two-hour session at Dicey Riley’s Hotel in Wollongong, the constabulary were testing patrons’ ability to say or spell ‘inexorably’ in order to test levels of sobriety.

The session was one of a series held at Dicey Riley’s Irish pub in Crown Street to get punters in the mood for the merriment to come at Slacky Flat, Bulli from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 January 2013.

So here’s that brief interview, and the text is available at the Timber and Steel blog.

*** 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 ***

And here’s the very fine TV ad for this year’s festival:

2012: An Overheard Productions year in review

Overheard Productions

2012 in review

[Insert audible groan of indecision mixed with ‘Oh well, why the hell not’-ness.]

I realise that ‘Year in Review’ blogs and lists can seem as passé as flash mobs and….. other things that are passé.

Like saying that things are ‘passé’.

But as per the opening sentence, ‘Why not?’.

As with many things that I’ve written since age 14, this may provide a mixture of utility for others (especially if I’m reduxing your interview or news event) and utility for me. It’s a natural progression from the Year in Review emails and Farcebook notes I’ve written in years gone by.

This 2012 version was prompted by that nonsensical Farcebook function that purports to consolidate your 20 biggest moments of 2012, using an algorithm that was obviously created by a very finite number of monkeys on a finite number of very old typewriters.

Radio

My glittering pseudo-career on community radio took an extended break in May when I hung up my boots from Artsound FM.

I love presenting radio programs. I’ve discovered so much good music, so many talented performers and met so many good people through it. But it’s nice to have a little more breathing room and leisure time.

I tend to throw myself in to things like this, boots and all, somtimes at the cost of sensible balance with other things, so I have enjoyed putting my energies into other areas.

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