Kruger Brothers Signed for 2014 Bluegrass Conference

Kruger BrothersThe Kruger Brothers have just been signed for the 2014 Bluegrass Conference. Days after organisers announced the lineup, the event sold out. This event has become the most prestigious bluegrass event in Australia. International names such as Ross Nickerson, Alan Munde, Jens Kruger, along with Australian artists of note, Ian Simpson, Martin Louis and Peter Sommerville have also been a part of the teaching faculty.

Conference convenor and event organiser Peter Nahuysen has advised that they are currently negotiating with surrounding accommodation houses in Maleny in an attempt to provide additional capacity for the conference.

We will have more details soon.

About the Kruger Brothers:

Since a formal introduction to American audiences in 1997, the Kruger Brothers’ remarkable facility with their instruments and unique take on the American Songbook have made them a fixture within the world of acoustic music. Although initially staying fairly close to a traditional repertoire, the group later turned to song writing and composition in order to draw more closely from their personal experiences. The result is a catalog of songs distinguished by rich detail and an insight into the delicacy and complexity of everyday life. The honesty of their writing has since become a hallmark of the trio’s work.

Here’s a clip of the Kruger Brothers playing “Forever and a Day”.


Davidson Brothers – Wanderlust

Davidson BrothersThe Davidson Brothers release their latest album Wanderlust on Friday 20 June and have announced a special launch show at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel on Thursday 19 June.

The Davidson Brothers have been performing together for over 20 years. They are regulars at many major festivals programs and tour Australia extensively. They have also played multiple times in Europe and the USA.

To coincide with the album launch announcement, have exclusively shared a short film on the making of Wanderlust.

Known for their high-powered acoustic performances and extraordinary musicianship, the brothers release their seventh studio album Wanderlust in June 2014. Recorded at Sing Sing South Studios in Melbourne by engineer Adam Rhodes (Paul Kelly, Angus & Julia Stone, The Waifs) the new album features all new original material and is an outstanding insight into the Davidson Brothers exploring new areas. Featured on the eleven track album are Jacob McGuffie on acoustic guitar and Louis Gill on upright bass. These exceptional seasoned young musicians joined the Davidson Brothers’ live band in 2012 and are both graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts.

Hamish and Lachlan show how they can nail the contemporary bluegrass sound with Everytime I Leave and Take Me to the Mountains. The album follows a theme of the desire to travel and draws on new sounds with the roots influenced track It’s Time To Go.

Travelling Bluebird was inspired by attending festivals across the country in the family wagon, whereas Lost in Amsterdam was written about the recent experience of touring Europe.

Always demanding attention for their instrumental ability, the Davidson Brothers show why they’ve taken out so many prizes including three Golden Guitar awards, with tracks like Grass Hound and Bottle Cappin’ Back Crackin’ Blues.

Mark Thornton (Jerry Reed), who has produced the last four albums, joined Larry Marrs (George Jones, Randy Travis, Marty Stuart) in mixing the album tracks at Side Kick Studios in Nashville TN. Larry also contributed harmony vocals, whilst the album has been mastered in Sydney by Ted Howard (Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers).

Wanderlust is the seventh studio album from the Davidson Brothers, released June 20 this year. They launch the album at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on June 19 with Fanny Lumsden, Sweet Jean and DB’s. Tickets on sale now from

Thu. 19 June – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
w/ special guests Fanny Lumsden, Sweet Jean and DB’s. Tickets $15 available here.
Corner Box Office 1300 724 867.


Special Concensus to Play MountainGrass 2014

Special ConsensusThe newly established MountainGrass festival is in full preparation for their 2nd event to be staged in Harrietville, Victoria 14-16 November 2014.

This years’ headline is Grammy-Nominated act ‘Special Consensus’ from the United States. A four-person acoustic bluegrass band with a repertoire that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions by band members and professional songwriters, and songs from other musical genres performed in the bluegrass format.

Formed in 1975, the band is fronted by Chicago based banjo player Greg Cahill who is a former president of the International Bluegrass Music Association and along with his band they’ve released 16 recordings, played the Grand Ole Opry and developed a successful Traditional American Music program in schools across America.

Having toured the national circuit for over three decades, Special C has since performed internationally in Europe, Canada, South America and the UK but this will be their first visit to Australia.

The 2012 band release Scratch Gravel Road (Compass Records) was GRAMMY nominated for Best Bluegrass Album. Other band members include mandolin player Rick Faris, guitarist Dustin Benson and bass player Dan Eubanks.

Old South – World Tour

Old SouthBluegrass, Americana & Folk – Old and new tunes about broken hearts and lonesome nights; trains, mothers, coal mining, murder, whiskey and going home… All the misery and tears you could wish for wrapped in the joy of singing and playing acoustic only. Hot bluegrass, smooth harmonies, fast instrumentals. Now recognised as one of Australia’s leading bluegrass bands, they have been playing together and with others in Australia and overseas since the 1960’s.OldSouthTour

Since 2011, Old South has been frequently invited both to play and present workshops at the Fleurieu Folk Festival, The Wirrina Bluegrass Festival, The Great Alpine Pick, the Harrietville Bluegrass Convention, the MountainGrass Festival, the Kelly Country Pick, The Kapunda Celtic Festival and the Semaphore Music Festival.

Old South will release their second CD later this year.

About Old South:

Phil Parker - Lead singer, guitar. Phil has a clear and powerful vocal style, perfect for the music. Having played in four bluegrass bands, he has developed a commanding knowledge of harmony theory and technique, and ensures everyone knows their parts and remembers them.

Geoff Bridgland - Baritone, banjo, fiddle. Geoff has been playing bluegrass with a range of bands since he was in the “Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys” in 1968. Geoff plays 5 string banjo as straight as he can and is sometimes allowed to irritate the old-time fiddle for a short while.

Andrew Hook - Bass, mandolin, guitar. Andrew has been playing in various Victorian and SA bluegrass bands since 1980, and has worked extensively with Paul Wookey and The Rank Strangers with whom he released 3 albums and who were finalists in the Best Foreign Bluegrass band category in
international competition in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989.OldSouthPoster

Dave Taylor - Tenor, double bass. The thinking man’s bassist, tenor harmony singer and Timelord. His high harmony rounds out the Old South sound and his jokes have made the men realise that reality is optional after all, which puts him way ahead in this game.

Leonard Cohen - High baritone, Resonator guitar. One of the founders of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band in NZ, he joined the Skillet Lickers on moving to Adelaide. He has toured widely, played with Pete and Mike Seeger, Slim Dusty and Reg Lindsay, recorded six albums and performed on TV and radio. Leonard has played before the Prince of Wales and another pub in Dubbo.

Richard (Dick) Best 1925 – 2014

Dick Best with Hamish DavidsonRichard (Dick) Best, one of Australia’s regular and very popular identities on the bluegrass banjo scene passed away last Wednesday. Dick was aged 89.

Dick was a well know dealer in banjos, and for those who have had the pleasure of meeting him he was a most interesting and character and a true gentleman. His love of the banjo was shared by his great love of horses.

The photo above is one of Dick with a very young Hamish Davidson at the 1998 Yarra Junction Fiddlers convention.

The relatives and friends of the late Dick Best are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral. The Service is appointed to begin at 10.00 am on Thursday 17th April, 2014 in St. John’s Anglican Church, Carthage Street, Tamworth.

Further details can be found on the SMH Website.

By request, no floral tributes, a donation to Australian Diabetes Council in lieu thereof would be appreciated. A donation box will be available at the church

Stolen Stelling Mandolin

There could be nothing worse for a musician than to learn of the loss of their instrument. Well perhaps there could be but it is right up there with having your house burgled and possessions taken. When one of those possessions happens to be a unique custom-made mandolin, then the heartache must increase exponentially.

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Anna Xeni a regular face at bluegrass and old-time music events in Australian and particularly Victoria, has told us today that her left-handed Stelling S-5Q Mandolin #138, among other things, has been stolen from her house in Brunswick today.

Left handed mandolins are extremely rare. This is likely the only left-handed Stelling in the country. Anna’s prized instrument was sourced by well known local luthier Laurie Grundy from the famous Stelling Banjo Works in the USA.

The mandolin is an F style Stelling model S-5Q with the serial number 138. It has the most beautiful quilted maple back and sides and tobacco brown stain slightly sunburst and valued at about US$8,500.

The theft is currently under police investigation.

New Album for The Company

The CompanyBrisbane bluegrass band, The Company, head into the studio this April to record their new album.

Having been almost two years since their last release, The Company are champing-at-the-bit to get back into the studio and record what will be a whole album of new material.  Their debut self titled release in 2012 was received with critical acclaim and was a culmination of a very creative and productive first few months in the life of this band in its current line-up.   So again, the bag of new songs and tunes is bursting at the seams and a recording date has been set for early April, 2014.

It’s been a quiet summer and after finishing on such a high performing with American bluegrass legends Allan Munde and Jens Kruger (USA) late last year, we’ve enjoyed the down-time to work on a lot of new material - Mick Patrick.

While a final track list is yet to be decided, this new record will feature a much heavier portion of songs than the last album.  The band has had a number of requests from fans about wanting more songs and they aim to please. As a result both Mick (lead singer and mandolin) and Jamie (guitar) have been adding new songs to the set-list as well as tunes.  Bass player, Markus has delivered new compositions to the arranging table and George (banjo/fiddle) is making his contribution also – at least from afar.   George is the one member of the band that is no longer based in Brisbane and in between touring and recording with other projects he still finds time and energy to remain one of the ‘Company Men’.

Outside the studio, The Company is not slowing down on their list of live shows.  With a busy March and April already booked, the band are looking forward to performing for their local fans in and around Brisbane and northern NSW.  Upcoming shows in April include:

  •  Thursday April 3rd – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
  • Friday April 4th – Forest Hill School of Arts Hall
  • Saturday April 5th – Kyogle Old Time Bluegrass Jamboree
  • Sunday April 6th – House Concert, Lismore

Go online for more information on live shows and updates on the progress of the record.  The band intends to launch a crowd-funding campaign in order to get this album released.  You will have the opportunity to pre-order, contribute and be part of this exciting new album.

The Banjo Girl on Spicks and Specks

TaylorPfeiffer1News just in from Taylor Pfeiffer is that come this Wednesday the 26th of March at 8:30pm she will be appearing as a guest on the music quiz show Spicks and Specks on ABC1 Television.

Taylor Pfeiffer, known around Australia as “The Banjo Girl”, and loves to sing, yodel and accompany herself on her Bellbird 5-String Banjo. Taylor was inspired to play the banjo after hearing the 1960’s Australian TV theme song “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” at the age of seven.

I have been watching Spicks and Specks for years. I’m very excited to say that I am in the segment “Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma” (or Look Ma for short). I had to disguise 5 songs, by playing the banjo and yodelling and the teams listen to my versions and buzz in when they recognize the song.  I am also closing the show with a guest from the panel, Ben Mingay, Music Theatre / TV Actor from Wonderland, Packed to the Rafters, Blue Heelers and All Saints. The audience loved the closing song. I had a brilliant time. I’m not going to spoil all the surprises for the show, but I will tell you that Denise Drysdale (Ding Dong) is on the panel and she is a laugh a minute - Taylor Pfeiffer.

TaylorPfeifferTaylor found it an unreal experience being in the studio with such a great cast and crew. The show can be seen this Wednesday at 8:30pm on ABC1 and again on Thursday on ABC2 at 8:30pm.

Call for Artists Wirrina Bluegrass Festival

Wirrina BluegrassThis is the first call for performers interested in appearing at this year’s festival at Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival, September 5th-9th 2014.  We invite practitioners of bluegrass, old time, stringband, traditional country (and other acoustic roots musicians) to send us an email ( and let us know what you can offer.  We are also interested in anything else acoustic-music-related that will help share the live music at the festival. Surprise us with your ideas and skills, and bring them to South Australia.

We are based at Wirrina Resort - an hour south of Adelaide –  which has newly upgraded resort accommodation at special festival prices, plus an excellent restaurant, cafe and bar. Right next door is the Wirrina Cove Holiday Park  and it is offering FREE unpowered camping to festival goers and competitive rates on their powered sites.

More details and updates will be available as plans come together over the next 6 months at the festival website.

2014 Fiddlehead Festival

FiddleheadLogo2014 Fiddlehead Festival is set for 15th March from  10:00am to 9:30pm.

A great line up of musical performers and workshop leaders has been confirmed for the 2014 Fiddlehead Festival, to be held this Saturday at the Yinnar Recreation Reserve.

Starting with a delicious breakfast of croissants, coffee/tea and juice at the Yinnar Art Resource Collective at 7.30am and costs $10.

Lovely acoustic music will be performed by the Boolarra Ukulele Group, Sean Carroll and then Edward Nass, in the fabulous art display room at Arc.
Gates open at the Recreation Reserve at 10am, and a day full of activities and entertainment for everyone. Entry is $10 adult, children U 16 free. Latrobe City will be running buses from Morwell to the Festival at no charge for Morwell residents, and includes a voucher for the Lions BBQ.

Activities for children include: Phil Melgard’s Odd Sock Circus and circus tricks, music making, Koko the Clown, petting zoo, craft activities including play dough and painting, face painting, jumping castle – and most of the children’s activities are free of charge.

There will be over 60 market stalls on site, including food, drinks, crafts, instruments, jewellery, plants and much more.
The outdoor stage concert starts at 10asm, and features local groups Ukelicious, Jambusters, Redwood, Coalville Road, Borderline, Strzelecki Stringbusters, The Nigellas, Karavana Flamenca, Brody
Young, The Molly Maguires, Briagolong Bush Band and local percussion genius Steve Schulz with a drumming spectacular. Other bands include Slime Dime and the Prairie Kings, Tim Woods, Salubrious, Bakersfield Glee Club, Headonistic Pleasures.

The Indoor stage features The Harmonisers, Acoustic Kitchen, Moore Fiddling Around, Appalachian Heaven, The Hollands, Dani Capron, Andrew Clermont, Bent Street, Faux Grass, The Ruminators and Folk Train.

Steve Schulz will also lead several drumming and percussion workshops, including using the new musical sculpture known as “The Whack It”. Other workshops will also be held (free entry) throughout the day, including Clawhammer Banjo with Ian Alexander, Fiddle with Maggie Duncan, Mandolin with Andrew Clermont, ukulele with Tanya Nola, Acapella singing with The Harmonisers, A “Big Sing” with the Mirboo North Vocal Nosh, and jam sessions with the Jambusters and around the grounds.

Jane Coker will lead the rehearsal for the massed song, written by Mirboo North’s Betty McLaughlin especially for the Festival, and then this will be performed on the main stage in the afternoon.

Please note: No alcohol to be brought on site, and no dogs/pets permitted.  It should be a fabulous day of music, community building, fun and entertainment.

Contact the Yinnar General Store for more details ph. 51631261, or