Since the release of her first album ‘Soon’ in 2006, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Liz Stringer has carved out a reputation as one of Australia’s most respected and critically acclaimed songwriters and performers. She has recorded and released four studio albums, with her latest, 2012’s ‘Warm In The Darkness’, being shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and named ‘Album of the Year’ by Brian Wise of RRRfm Melbourne and Rhythms Magazine.
In October 2014, Liz released a live solo album and DVD, ‘Live at The Yarra’. Recorded and filmed at the iconic Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, the release received significant critical acclaim (including making Triple J Roots and All’s ’10 best albums of 2014’ list), and led to sold out shows on a 15-date solo tour around Australia, immediately followed by a support slot on The Waifs’ national tour.
Highly respected by her peers as a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Liz has collaborated with many artists including Mick Thomas, Damian Cowell, Van Walker, Suzannah Espie and Mia Dyson. She is one third of the power trio Dyson Stringer Cloher, collaborating with friends and contemporaries Mia Dyson and Jen Cloher, who undertook a 35 date Australian tour at the end of 2013, earning the title of ‘Best Live Gig of 2013’ from the Rhythms Magazine readers poll, and followed up with appearances at Blues Fest and Queenscliff Festival in 2014. Liz is also a member of the critically acclaimed Livingstone Daisies, along with Van and Cal Walker and Michael Barclay.
A passionate advocate of independent music and extensive regional touring, Liz has become a favourite among punters across Australia for her generous and engaging stage demeanour and her skill as a songwriter.
Not content with conquering the local scene, Liz has recently toured in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, and was officially showcased at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, USA in February 2014.
“These are some of the finest lyrics I have heard from a local artist in recent years.” - Brian Wise, Rhythms Magazine
“Her performance is as intense as it is personable, as profane as it is sacred” - Mick Thomas
Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "Australiana-soaked alt-country at its finest", Sal Kimber and The Rollin’ Wheel have emerged as frontrunners in the new wave of Australian alt-country and roots music.
Since her debut release ‘Sounds Like Thunder’ in 2008, Sal and her band have performed at some of the country's finest festivals such as Port Fairy Folk, Whittlesea Country Music Festival, National Folk Festival and supported the likes of Kasey Chambers and Felicity Urquhart. Sal's music has been recognised with numerous awards, including 2010 Victorian Female Vocalist of the Year at the Victorian & National Country Music Awards.
Their first full-band album, 'Sal Kimber & The Rollin' Wheel' met with critical acclaim, and saw the band embark on a national tour in late 2011 and early 2012.
Sal Kimber & The Rollin' Wheel - Stumble In The Dark (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
The Wilson Pickers
The Wilson Pickers are an Australian ensemble with an impeccable pedigree. Comprised of four of Australia's finest singer/songwriters - Andrew Morris, Danny Widdicombe, Sime Nugent and Ben Salter - and one of its most highly sought after multi-instrumentalists - John Bedggood - they perform original folk and country tunes utilising bluegrass instrumentation and superb 5 part vocal harmonies. The group’s obvious kinship and desire to have a good time whilst playing music together has garnered them considerable favour with live audiences across the nation.http://www.wilsonpickers.com/
The Wilson Pickers - Half a Man
Well recognized as one of New Zealand’s established songwriting stars, indie-folk singer songwriter Mel Parsons’ star is on the rise. Following the success of both her debut album ‘Over My Shoulder’ in 2009, and sophomore offering ‘Red Grey Blue’ in 2011, Parsons is on the cusp of the release of her third full length record ‘Drylands’. The Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year, has just released the first single from ‘Drylands’ - the gutsy & rhythmic audience favourite originally performed with Fly My Pretties, ‘Far Away’. With a dynamite live show, solo or with her band, Parsons is an engaging performer with a natural emotive voice that allows the listener to become part of the story.
The Eastern are a string band that roars like a punk band, that swings like a gospel band, that drinks like a country band, that works like a bar band, that hopes like folk singers. They sing love songs like union songs, write union songs like love songs, and want to slow dance and stand on tables, all at the same time.
Often described as New Zealand’s hardest working band, they have spent the last few years playing over 200 nights a year up and down NZ and beyond. They have toured with, and opened for, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Earle, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Jayhawks and Jimmy Barnes, but they’re just as happy on a street corner or in a backyard singin’ and kickin’ up their heels.
Ruth Moody is an Australian-born, Juno Award winning songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada. Founding member of the internationally-renowned trio The Wailin' Jennys, she has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically-acclaimed albums, and has appeared many times on the popular American radio show A Prairie Home Companion. 2013 saw Ruth embark on a world tour in support of her sophomore solo album, These Wilder Things, which included 12 European shows opening for Mark Knopfler.
Ruth Moody- Trouble & Woe (Live from the Great Hall)
For some time now The Yearlings have been calmly carving out a giant piece of real estate in the Australian alt country landscape. Their latest album ALL THE WANDERING (Vitamin Records) is another gem to add to an already glittering catalogue.
Their fifth studio album, ALL THE WANDERING, released in May 2014 ended up on many top album lists of the year, including a spot on Rhythms Magazine's Top 10 by Marty Jones and a Top 50 spot for their song 'Blue Sky Boy' on ABC Radio National's Inside Sleeve with Paul Gough.
Since they met back in 2000, Robyn Chalklen and Chris Parkinson have been making music that exudes raw beauty, honesty, intimacy and passion, have made numerous festival appearances across Australia and internationally and supports include Steve Earle, The Punch Brothers and Justin Townes Earle. The Yearlings give a new strain of acoustic music, distilling Americana alt country through the filter of distinctly Australian life.
With Parkinson's signature tones and Chalklen's hypnotic addictive prose they deliver tunes with a confidence that carries addictive fragility. Quiet, intimate, raw and powerful, drawing on influences as far reaching as The Band, Gillian Welch, Gerry Garcia and Matt Walker.
Robyn Chalklen Guitar and Vocals
Chris Parkinson Guitar and Vocals
"This is the record I've been waiting for" - Marty Jones, Rhythms Magazine
"In ALL THE WANDERING, individual crafts come together to create a polished river stone, so picking standout tracks on this record is an act of futility. Press play - they've taken care of everything" - Hayward Williams
The Stetson Family are said to be “more Old Crow and Gillian than Del, Jimmy or Bill” as they tip their hats to bluegrass and folk Americana with their own free-wheelin’ style and harmonies to fill your soul. Their songs take you on a journey down life’s often joyous and sometimes crooked highway. They spread their wings internationally in 2013 with their independently-released album, O Winding River, hitting some mainstream charts in the US and Europe, including the Roots Music Report and the Alternate Roots Chart. Not related by blood, but family nonetheless, The Stetsons have that dynamic borne from long-term friendships and the sheer joy and love of making music together. Their third album True North will be officially launched on July 26 at the Spotted Mallard in Melbourne, with guests including Dan Parsons, Suzannah Espie, Nick O'Mara and Bree Hartley.
Canadian songstress Tracy McNeil first visited Australia in 2007 with just a suitcase and her highly acclaimed debut album 'Room Where She Lives'. Initially intended to be a vacation, the trip turned into a creative writing frenzy that still hasn’t stopped. McNeil won the hearts of Australians in 2008 when she co-wrote and toured with Jordie Lane under the moniker Fireside Bellows. McNeil and her stellar band released her second solo album ‘Fire From Burning’ in mid-2011. Offering an alt-country concoction of grit, grace and an honest vulnerability, this is a very different artist on the rise.
In the midst of recording his next batch of songs (due for release in late 2012), Nick Lovell's current direction features a marriage of traditional folk and country flavours with his happy knack for writing damn catchy pop tunes. At the centre of his new sound are delicate harmonies, stripped back guitars and the occasional banjo. Nick's band, "the Second Bloom" will feature Mark Vandenboom on lead guitar and Monique Vandenboom on harmonies.
Hayward Williams (USA)
Hayward Williams (USA) grew up with a guitar in his hands, performing from an early age in cafes and bars throughout his home state of Wisconsin and around the Midwest. With two albums under his belt, he has visited Australia numerous times in the past two year to share his unique brand of alt-country Americana. Built on a foundation of folk and blues, Williams’ performances display a raw intensity tempered by his easy self-possession and wry charm. His latest album, Cotton Bell, was released in Australia last April and is a showcase of his effortless guitar playing and thoughtful, distinctive tenor. Williams has appeared at Yackandandah Folk Festival, Darebin Music Feast and Sydney Fringe Festival, among others.
2013 Port Fairy Folk Festival - Artist of the Year
Ever seen a Suzannah Espie gig? You’d remember if you had. Because odds are that, from that moment on, you wouldn’t have been satisfied to stop at one. This Melbourne-based singer songwriter has been casting spells over audiences ever since she first took to the stage with her alt-country pop band, GIT, in 1997. A woman of compelling beauty -- statuesque, with piercing blue eyes framed by golden curls -- she has a voice to match, an intoxicating mix of country, soul, blues and pop. A gentle, sweet trill that can move grown men to tears one moment, or an Aretha-esque hellcat belt that can raise the roof the next; however she sings it though, it’s still unmistakeably Suzannah Espie.
From the high mountain hunting grounds of northern BC emerges Miss Quincy; knife strapped to her leg and guitar slung over her back, ready to rock 'n' roll like the bad ass...excuse me, Lady, she is. Trusty sidewomen in The Showdown at the ready, Quincy gives a sly glance and launches into a raunchy blues riff, promising the expectant audience, "This one's gonna hurt..."
It's truth in imagery for Canadian all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band Miss Quincy and the Showdown, who recently released Roadside Recovery, their third full-length album. The album is a testament to the touring warriors Quincy and the band truly are; having clocked over 100,000 kms while honing their musical skills crossing no less than seven countries, playing every dirty barroom, music club, house concert and festival on the way. They've mostly seen it all, made their choices good or bad, and now they're gonna to tell you all about it. You won't find them singing pretty pages out of their diaries, this is down and dirty roots & blues and straight up rock n' roll.
Miss Quincy began her music career in the wild mountains of northern BC, though she's been a touring warrior since the beginning, releasing her debut Your Mama Don't Like Me in 2010, and follow-up Like The Devil Does in 2012. In the past two years with The Showdown, Miss Quincy has chalked up over 250 shows and 15 festivals through 7 countries throughout Europe and North America, winning fans from near and far.
Along with her rock and roll life on the road, Quincy has another, lesser known, vocation: for one to three months a year she lives off-grid as a bush cook in northern BC and has recently launched her first blog, Rock n’ Roll Bush Cook, a collection of recipes and stories from both life in mountainous hunting camps and life as a touring performer.