The Pigs’ Home Brew

ThePigsAlbumUnashamed bluegrass sinners, The Pigs have taken it upon themselves to reinterpret a formidable collection of Australian pop songs on their new album called The Pigs’ Home Brew: 13 Aussie Classics.

The Pigs have built a reputation for dismantling mega-hit songs and rebuilding them in their signature style. Now, at the peak of their interpretive powers, they turn their hillbilly tractor beams towards home. Some of the reworked songs include Powderfinger’s My Happiness which has been converted to a country waltz. In addition we hear Farnham’s You’re The Voice receive a wild yodel makeover and Olivia Newton John’s Physical performed with unnatural desperation. Further, INXS’s Devil Inside has a lot more devil inside it. The first single from the album is You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed, featuring Red Symons on pedal steel guitar and accordion.

The Pigs have taken a different approach to recording this album, seeking to capture the energy of a live performance. “We didn’t want to split into different rooms and wear headphones,” says Stretch Pig “we just wanted the record to sound like people playing music in a room together. So we went to a cottage in the bush, set up some microphones and had some fun playing the songs.” Every song was captured on multi-camera video.

We’re celebrating the songs that we love and the songs we grew up with, from Cold Chisel to The Avalanches – T-Bone Pig.

The album also features many of The Pigs’ greatest hits, taken from a career spanning 10 years, 4 albums, 1 EP, concerts all over Australia and the world, countless TV and radio appearances, “squillions” of beautiful fans and 4 very painful blisters.

The Pigs’ Homebrew Tour is an event that’ll test your Reg Grundies and quite possibly, change your life.

The Pigs Touring Schedule:

Fri 13 Mar Newcastle, Lizottes
Sat 14Mar Central Coast, Lizottes
Fri 27Mar Warrnambool, The Loft
Sat 28Mar Rainbow Bushfire Recovery
Fri 17 Apr Cronulla, Brass Monkey
Sat 18Apr Wollongong, Heritage Hotel
Fri 1 MayLithgow, Lithgow Workies
Sat 2 May Rooty Hill, Rooty Hill RSL
Fri 15 May Canberra, The Street Theatre
Sat 16 May Albury, Kincross
Fri 22 May Sydnet, The Basement
Sat 23 May Katoomba, Katoomba RSL
Fri 29 May Traralgon, Spirit Bar
Sat 30 May Melbourne, Flying Saucer Club
Fri 12 Jun Toowoomba, The Spotted Cow
Sat 13 Jun Brisbane, North Leagues Club
Fri 19 Jun Maroochydore, Sol Bar
Sat 20 Jun Gold Coast Broadbeach CMF

Some time ago the Pigs appeared on the television program Australia’s Got Talent.

Dorrigo Performer Applications Open

DorrigoBannerDorrigio Folk and Bluegrass Festival is scheduled for 23rd 24th and 25th of October this year and performer applications are now open.

All are welcome, old and new festival patrons, to Dorrigo Mountain for an intimate and friendly three-day weekend of acoustic music featuring some of the very best Folk and Bluegrass and Old-Time country musicians from around Australia and overseas.

It’s a time when Dorrigo’s picturesque showground comes alive with people concerts, workshops, dancing, jamming, impromptu performances, poetry and children’s entertainment.

Tickets for the 2015 Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival will go on sale from their website at the end of April 2015.

2015 Manjimup Jamcamp

The Warren Arts Council have announced that enrolments for their 2nd jam camp are now open. Wernick

Jamcamps Australia has posted details of the enrolment process on its website for the Warren Arts Council. The camp is scheduled for three nights and three days from Friday 29th May to Monday 1st June this year.

The camp will feature a Friday night post dinner get-together jam. The camp tuition will start on Saturday morning at 9:00am (after breakfast) with group sessions, small-group practice throughout each day until late Monday morning.

Costs for the camp are $410.00 with an early bird offer of $380 until the 15th March 2015.

This year’s camp includes all tuition and accommodation, as well as breakfast and dinner for the three nights and days from 29th May to 1st June. Both shared and (some limited) single accommodation are available at the Manjimup Hotel.

The camp commences with a get-together and welcome jam on Friday night after dinner at the Manjimup Hotel.

Bookings are now open and deposits are being accepted via the Jamcamps Australia  website.

Wernick Method Jam camps and day sessions have been operating in Australia since 2007. There have been several camps run in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. future camps are being planned for NSW an South Australia.

Visit the Jamcamps Australia Website for details of the Wernick Method and to read of student’s testimonials from previous camps.

Mid North – Tales From a Mountain

Mid North AlbumScott Collins is one of Australia’s very few songwriters contributing to the ongoing collection of original Australian bluegrass music. Scott’s previous album was called You Were Right About the Stars. This new album is called Tales From a Mountain.

Songwriting can be a challenge for some. Writing words for a song can require one to search deeply into feelings, values and beliefs to deliver one’s message. Indeed the challenge is often one of having to bare the soul to deliver heartfelt beliefs and stirring messages from, sometimes, tender personal experiences.  Scott Collins has opened his heart on this album.

The music on Tales From a Mountain ranges from heart-wrenching blues, and haunting old-timey ballads to lively bluegrass instrumentals. His music underpins some great song writing and open-hearted confessions to the listener.

The album features Scott Collins on guitar and vocal, John Woolhouse on mandolin and fiddle, Bill Faulkner on banjo and Will Pregnell on bass. Adding to the vocal work is Cath Cooper and Josh MacKenzie.

Additionally we hear Kat Mear and Sammy Lind on fiddle, Hamish Davidson and Jenny Shimmin on banjo, Jamie Sampson on bass, Paddy Montgomery and Caleb Klauder on mandolin with Josh MacKenzie on backing vocals.

Corn Liquor is the opening track on the album and sets a great pace with Hamish Davidson’s hard-driving banjo and Cath Cooper’s supportive harmonies. Overall Cath does a fine job in supporting the vocals with her pure clear harmonies.

One of my favourites on the album is No Return. It tells the tale of a cowardly retreat of a gambler, philanderer and wonton cheat who is heading down the road of no return, leaving a letter of some regret and to be read by his abandoned woman.  A mournful ballad, haunting in melody and lyric and executed with style by Mid North’s band leader Scott Collins.

In short, this album is full of fine song writing delivered in a blend of complimenting musical styles and instrumentation with deft performances by a host of Aussie musicians delivered through a fine production effort from NoiseLab Studios. Congratulations Scott on another great album.

The Wayward Angels Head To Tamworth

The Wayward AnglesThe Wayward Angels is a four piece all-girl band delivering sweet vocal harmonies to a repertoire of alt country/bluegrass tunes.

The girls met through a local Brisbane bluegrass jam session and went on to form the Wayward Angles. They say they bring a taste of bluegrass with a feminine edge to Brisbane audiences and now they are heading to Tamworth.

The group cites their main influences as: Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show, Blue Highway, The Punch Brothers old-timey and bluegrass music

The Wayward Angels are: Kay Armstrong on banjo, Jody Bell on mandolin, Brenda Kelly on guitar and Anne-Marie Lawton on double-bass.

Performance Schedule:

  • Sat. 17th Jan – Post Office Hotel – 1:20pm – 2:00pm
  • Sun. 18th Jan – RB Sellars Stage – 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Gold Coast Folk Festival Artists Applications

GCAMFThe Gold Coast Folk Festival will be held 19-20 September 2015 at Country Paradise Parklands in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Around 4000 people attended the 2014 festival. The festival is expected to attract around 6,000 this year. There are three stages with 30 performances over the weekend.

Organisers are looking for up to 20 acts with a mix of local, interstate and international artists. Previous years have included Wes Carr, Hanneke Cassel (USA), John Schumann, the Bushwhackers, Round Mountain Girls, Michael Fix, Hat Fiz and Cara, The Company and many more. Click here to see the 2014 program.

The venue is an ideal setting for a festival. Set on 30 ha of rural farmland, each stage is under cover and has an intimate barnyard feel. The main stage can easily fit up to 600 people under cover. Sound production is by Patric Burke and the team from the Soundshed, who specialise in, and are exceptionally good at managing folk and acoustic music festivals around Australia. Colorful markets and food stalls are dotted under huge spreading fig trees, adding to the laid back atmosphere.

How to apply:

Applications will close once the program is full so get in early. For more information, please see the festival website or contact Rob Saunders.

The 2015 Gold Coast Folk Music Festival is sponsored by the Gold Coast Acoustic Music Club (Coast Acoustics), Councillor Tracey Gilmore, City of Gold Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland.

Mustered Courage – Kiss From a Rose

Mustered Courage’s brand new double single “Kiss From A Rose” & “Candle Creek” is available now.

Mustered CourageBased in Melbourne, Australia, Mustered Courage bridge the gap between traditional bluegrass and modern roots music. The quartet – consisting of three Aussies and a Texas expat – has risen to the top of Australia’s folk and roots scene on the strength of their energetic live shows and an eponymous debut album that won them a string of glowing reviews, loads of national radio support, an endorsement from Seal, and a trophy at the 2012 MusicOz Awards.

Mustered Courage’s quick ascent has not gone unnoticed in music industry circles, both in Australia and abroad. These pickers have played many of the major Australian festivals, have showcased in the at the International Bluegrass Music Association Conference’s “2014 Bluegrass Ramble” and are lining up the follow-up 2015 US tour.

Like the Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show or Nickel Creek, Mustered Courage breathe new life into the bluegrass scene with a style that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike.

We’re excited to be signing this deal with Lost Highway and feel the label understands us artistically, which is extremely important to us as a band. We’re looking forward to growing as recording artists under the Lost Highway label.” Julian Abrahams – Mustered Courage.

I first encountered Mustered Courage jamming at a back-yard party; real blue-grass harmonies, extraordinary musicianship, but with a modern new take on it all to their style. They played like their life depended on it – and that was at a BBQ! Just wait to you see them perform at a club or venue – or hear their new recordings. Urgency isn’t a word one associates with Alternative Country Bluegrass music – but that is just one of the special elements that makes Mustered Courage the leader in their space and so enjoyable to get wrapped up into – Michael Taylor Managing Director, Universal Music Australia.

33rd Yarra Junction Fiddler’s Convention

Yarra JunctionThe 33rd Yarra Junction Fiddler’s Convention will be held from 20th to 22nd February, 2015 at Camp Eureka, Tarrango Rd, Yarra Junction, Victoria, Australia.

Australia’s oldest and biggest old-time music festival for fans and players of String Band, bluegrass Cajun Old-Time Roots, Concerts, workshops, dances, fun, and of great sessions.

Expected to play are High Times String Band, Hill Williams, , Appalachian Heaven String Band, Snowy Mountain Ramblers, Nine Mile Creek, Faux Grass, My-T-Fine String Band, Kissin’ Cousins, Cat & Clint, Mama’s Mountain Jug Band, The Pups, Chilli Strings, Fruit Jar, Passionate Fools and Flying Engine String Band, Special guest Richard Klein fiddling with the Le Blanc Cajun Band.

Unpowered camping in 30 acres of beautiful bush, in a Heritage listed site. With a beautiful creek. Some (free) bunk-house spaces (contact Ken). Hot showers. Communal kitchen. Food van all weekend. $50 all weekend including cabins, bunkhouse or camping. All you need is a pillowcase and sleeping bag. Day tickets & concessions less. Under 18 free. Under-cover dance, concert & workshop areas. People start arriving on Thursday from 2.00 p.m., and we wake you up and throw the last of you out on Monday.

One hour drive from Melbourne central via Lilydale. Regular suburban train & bus.
For more information go to our website yarrajunctionfiddlersconvention.com, or phone Ken McMaster, (03)9481 7662, 0451 680 266 kennithmcmaster@gmail.com or Max Amos at 95512123,0428306687 amosmax@bigpond.com

Check us out on YouTube for lots of great videos of our concerts, dances, sessions and workshops.
It’s definitely not just fiddles. Truth is we named it after the Galax Old Time Festival in Virginia. It is the longest running old-time and bluegrass festival.


30th Illawarra Folk Festival

30th Illawarra Folk FestivalThe Illawarra Folk Festival will be celebrating its 30th Pearl Anniversary in 2015, and the engine room is full steam ahead with plans for what will be their greatest celebration and collection of Australian and overseas folk talent.

With 180 acts made up of 15 international acts, 74 national and 91 local Illawarra acts in 450 concerts, dances, workshops and sessions in 13 venues this festival will be a pearler.

International artists: Afenginn DENMARK, Bettina Schelker SWITZ, Black Market Tune SCOT/AUSTRIA, David Francey CANADA, Debasis Chakroborty & Kriti Ensemble INDIA, The East Pointers CANADA, George Mann USA, Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything CANADA, Kristina Olsen USA, Melisande – Electrotrad CANADA, Reg Meuross UK, Scott Cook CANADA, Tim Edey Trio UK

National artists: Stephan Pigram, Eric Bogle, Ted Egan, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra (premiere), Allez-gator, Appalachian Heaven String Band, Azadoota, Bernard Carney, Big Erle, The Bottlers, The BordererS, Chloe & Jason Roweth, Claude Hay, Cloudstreet, Curragh, Dave de Hugard, David Beniuk, Deep River, Choir, Enda Kenny & Lindsay Martin, Fred Smith, Guerilla Zingari, Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse, The Go Set, Greg Champion, John Broomhall, Jordan C. Thomas, Junior, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, The Lazy Farmer’s Sons, Lime & Steel, The Lurkers, The Mae Trio, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Martin Pearson, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Michael Fix, Mike Martin, The Morrisons, Neil Adam & Judy Turner, Nick Rheinberger, On The Stoop, Pat Drummond, Sally Harris, Sparrow-Folk, Springtide, The Squeezebox Trio, Stray Hens, Takadimi, Terry Serio’s Half Truths, Timothy James Bowen, The Transylvaniacs and Kengugro, Vardos, The Wish List and many more.

Click here for the whole lineup | Click here to buy tickets

7th Australian Banjo & Bluegrass Conference Day 3

Jens KrugerAfter an incredible concert Friday night at the Maleny Town Hall, Saturday started at around 7:30am with another breakfast offering of bacon, eggs, hash browns, savoury mince, sausages, fruit, yoghurt, toast, coffee tea and juice. The catering and support at Tranquil Park has been nothing less than incredible. What a fantastic team of people.

The morning of day 3 consisted of more of the same with masterclasses, workshops and demonstrations by Ross Nickerson, Jens Kruger, Mark Miracle, Uwe Kruger, Quentin Fraser and Joel Landsberg. By this time people were rising to the many challenged thrown out by the conference faculty and discussion around the breaks and meal times were focussed on the inspiration provided by the days teachings.

Lunchtime – more food.

The afternoon session gave us all an opportunity to listen first hand to one of the worlds most amazing music trio talk about their early lives as emerging musicians, their discovery of and inspiration from rock, blues, bluegrass and other forms of music, and the influences of those early music forms on their own music. It was a very moving and inspirational presentation listening to Jens and Uwe reflect on the early memories of their childhood and homeland. Joel Landsberg sat between them offering support musically, emotionally and with just as many stories of the Kruger’s history, like a third brother.

GeorgeJackson GregDunn Jens Kruger Mark Miracle Ross Nickerson Chris Melville

By mid afternoon the conference broke up to provide an opportunity for students to move off and rehearse for the evening’s in-house concert. This is a showcase of what they’ve learned and presented before a very supportive group of their peers and the conference faculty over the course of the evening.

Throughout the day Chris Melville of Melville Guitars, gave of his time to personally inspect our instruments, make small adjustments and offer advice of major changes as requested. His attention to detail and some 28 years of experience in building, repairing and setting up instruments was an immense benefit to many of the musicians gathered for the weekend.

Dinner time – more food.

The evening concert begins. Students take to the stage some bathed in fright, others quietly confident and composed. Through out the evening the camaraderie continues to build as students encourage each other both on and off the stage. A fitting finale to the weekends intense training programs, ongoing challenges and many demonstrations.

The Australian Banjo and Bluegrass Conference has developed a winning formula. The efforts Peter Nahuysen of Bellbird Banjos and his brother Mark has delivered yet another great conference aimed at fast tracking development opportunities for bluegrass musicians across Australasia.