Bluegrass Bands

Have we got your band listed? Send details to editor@australianbluegrass.com.

Astro Cobalt

Astro Cobolt

Astro Cobalt are a new addition to the South Australian acoustic music scene formed as recently as 2011. The band plays contemporary bluegrass and features Jeri Foreman on fiddle, Paul Cooper on banjo, Gage Stead on bass, Doug Loudon on guitar.

The Barkers Vale Brothers

Since their formation in 2009 The Barkers Vale Brothers have delighted audiences Australia wide with their digestible mix of dry humour and high quality acoustic bluegrass music.Influenced by Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs and many others, they play bluegrass, and some roots and swing.Gareth Bjaaland on the five string banjo does most of the talking whilst his younger brother Vaughan Davies on guitar often chimes in with wry comments and sly observation.Singing songs about murders, trains, cheese, women, animals and all things local, their complete dedication to the music and refusal to take themselves too seriously is warming and light-hearted. The group hails from the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Black MountainString Band

BMSB

The Black Mountain String Band is a fantastic celebration of old time string band music.  Twin fiddles and voices harmonise with infectious rhythms from banjo, guitar, double bass and mandolin. This superb group of well-known Canberra musicians gather around a single mic and share tunes and songs that draw from the well of old time tradition, and the inspiration of original material that feels as old as the hills. The Black Mountain String Band is Donal Baylor, Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen, who are reviving Pablo’s father’s band from the 1970’s.

Donal Baylor

donalbaylor

Donal has played on the Australian music scene for many years as a sideman and as a bandleader. He has always loved the ‘classic’ sound of traditional music and his influences include the great players of the genres. He also considers himself fortunate to have played with many talented Australian singers and musicians, who have all helped in shaping his musical style. Donal is pleased to keep you posted about gigs and news – feel free to contact him.
Bluestone Junctionbluestonejunction Bluegrass Junction is South Australia’s premier bluegrass band, made up of musicians who share a lifetime’s passion for old-fashioned hard-core three-chord bluegrass music – with great instrumental skills and strong harmonies driven by the power of a bass fiddle.

The band comprises Trevor Warner, Nick Cawthorne and the Bridgland brothers, Geoff and John, with power-bassist Stephen Loss. Trevor is a Hall of Fame inductee and three times Australian bluegrass banjo champion, and now he fronts the band as a superb bluegrass fiddler. Nick, one of Australia’s finest bluegrass guitarists, drives the rhythm on a vintage Degruchy guitar, complemented by Geoff on banjo and John on mandolin. It’s all held tightly together by Stephen’s enthusiastic and powerful bass playing.

Bluegrass Parkway

Bluegrass Parkway is currently celebrating the band’s 21st anniversary. They are the longest continuously performing bluegrass band in Australia. This milestone in Australian bluegrass history has seen the band play at many folk and country music festivals throughout Australia, New Zealand and the have also performed at festivals in the United States.What sets the band apart from others is the importance they have placed on presenting Bluegrass music in its most authentic form. Since early 1994, Bluegrass Parkway have performed around a single on stage microphone, as was the norm for the pioneers of the genre during the 1940s.The Band features Paul Duff – mandolin, Maria Duff – bass, Guy Paris – guitar, Mick O’Neill – banjo and Donal Baylor – fiddle.

BluGuru

BluGuru sounds like Jeff Beck meets Ravi Shankar on the set of ‘Oh! Brother Where Art Thou?‘ while dancing in Rio.Bluguru describes themselves as a twisting tail of Bluegrass gone Celtic/ Blues/ Swing/ Jazz/ Indian adventure, in all possible orders.  Josh Bennett(Adelaide Fringe Award Nominee for Best Music) Parvyn Kaur Singh (sublime Voice & Indian Dance) & Andrew Clermont (3x Flat-pick Guitar Champ/ multi player and organiser) – Distilled from The Lawnmowers & The Supper Club (fringe to Tamworth CM Fest). Twin Guitars, Mandolin, 5 string Fiddle, plectral Banjo, sitar, dilruba, tabla, didgeribone & extensive harmonies and more

Bluestone Junction

Bluestone Junction’s sound is traditional bluegrass, but their repertoire includes original compositions, tunes by modern bluegrass ‘traditionalists’ such as the Johnson Mountain Boys, and of course classic compositions from bluegrass pioneers such as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, the Stanley Brothers and more. Bluestone Junction is Chris Jacobs on guitar, Mick Harrison on banjo, Mike St. Clair-Miller on double bass, Adam Gare on fiddle and mandolin and Pete Fidler on Dobro and mandolin. They perform as the music’s originators did, around a single valve powered large plate condenser microphone that accurately captures the complete performance without resorting to electronic trickery.

Buffalo NickelBuffaloNickel

An exciting new acoustic trio with a focus on the compelling fiddle music of America and Australia. Grounded in tradition and drawing on influences of Bluegrass and Celtic, the boys of Buffalo Nickel have a very distinctive style. Grounded in tradition and influenced by Bluegrass and folk, the boys of Buffalo Nickel bring raw energy to the stage along with their passion for acoustic music. Daniel Watkins, go-to Bluegrass Guitarist and strong lead vocalist is joined by Australian Bluegrass Fiddle champion, George Jackson and brilliant mandolinist, Paddy Montgomery.

Bushfire Band

Bushfire is a trio featuring the distinctive banjo style of Rob Davis delivering traditional bluegrass to Beatle’s classics, Aussie bush dances to Paul Kelly, unaccompanied harmonies to whip cracking, country classics to Irish jigs, this is the versatility and uniqueness of Bushfire.Blend all of that with a “down-to-earth” Aussie style, mix in some of Dave Luxmoore’s fiddle, mandolin and guitar, some catchy originals by Tracey Davis and you start to get the feel of Bushfire. Bushfire features Rob Davis on banjo, Dave Luxmore on fiddle and Tracey Davis on bass.

Simon CarrollSimonCarroll

Simon Carroll plays old-time music mostly played clawhammer style on the banjo, good humoured banter and appropriately placed stories and poetry is what you to get from this multi-talented and Ballarat-based performer.

Change of HeartChange Of Heart

Bluegrass band Change of Heart have been a musical feature of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for many years. The band specialises in fine four-part harmony and versatile musicianship. Principally a Gospel bluegrass band they give also consideration to a great many modern and traditional bluegrass songs and tunes.

The band features Phil McLaren on guitar, Terry Contini on mandolin and fiddle, Dave Heart on mandolin and banjo, Bungy Nicol on double bass and Greg McGrath on banjo and guitar.

The Cherry Pickers The Cherry Pickers

The Cherry Pickers’ unique take on Bluegrass has been winning over audiences for over a decade. Whether it’s Ralph Stanley or Paul Stanley, every song gets that “Cherry Pickers sound”. Their tasty arrangements are reverent to the Bluegrass tradition as well as to the original songs, such that they defy any hillbilly stigma. The Cherry Pickers appear regularly around Adelaide and have played and many festivals around the country including the National Bluegrass Festival, MountainGrass, the Kelly Country Pick to name a few. In 2016, the Cherry Pickers toured the US including playing at AmericaFest in Nashville Tennessee.

The Cherry Pickers are Mark Bandick on guitar, Paul Cooper on banjo, Rob Cooper on Dobro, Lou Evangelistis on mandolin and Gage Stead on bass.

The Colvin Brothers

The Colvin Brothers

Melbourne based duo, The Colvin Brothers, are Colin Weight (Guitar, Vocals) and Vinny Russell (Mandolin, Vocals), two pickers who came together through a mutual love of bluegrass, as well as country and old-time influences.

The CompanyCompany

Boasting two Australian Bluegrass champions on guitar, fiddle and banjo, The Company have a passion for high-energy original acoustic music. From fast finger-picking to soulful songs with sweet harmonies – these blokes do it all. Highly regarded for their fervor and originality, they’ve appeared at festivals all around Australia and the UK and have featured on local ABC radio in Brisbane with Richard Fidler and National ABC radio with Lucky Oceans and the Daily Planet. The Company includes George Jackson (Fiddle/Banjo), Michael Patrick (Mandolin/Fiddle), Markus Karlsen (Bass) and Jamie Clarke (Guitar).

Coolgrass

Coolgrass, is one of our more irreverent and colourful bluegrass bands.The line up has taken many shapes and forms over the past 10 years or so. Originally a five piece band, it dwindled almost overnight to a three-piece band including Jim Golding on banjo, Doug Wallace on guitar and Peter Hisco on double bass and started playing gigs as a semi-serious outfit under the banner Coolgrass, Rhythm and Bluegrass.One of the most hilarious bands in the land, Coolgrass’s line includes Jim Golding on banjo, Doug Wallace on guitar, Bruce Packard on mandolin and Angus Golding on double bass.

Cripple CreekCrippleCreek

Cripple Creek hail from Adelaide, South Australia and is a bluegrass and  alternative country music ensemble who, to quote from their website…’… is an energetic acoustic foursome with stirring harmonies and instrumentals that play songs from spine tingling ballads to toe tapping breakdowns in a unique blend of bluegrass and alt-country.’Cripple Creek play a variety of popular, traditional and original songs in a bluegrass style, all with lush harmonies. Fire-ry instrumentals round out an impressive performance. Great harmonies and a driving sound combine with a dynamic and passionate acoustic sound to give them a unique sound. Four lead singers and three songwriters give the band a versatility no other local or national bluegrass ensemble can match.Cripple Creek are John Hyland: Guitar, dobro and vocals, Henk Groot: Guitar, mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Ron Williams: Banjo and vocals and Ian Davis: Double bass and vocals.

The Davidson Brothers

Hamish and Lachlan Davidson do many recording sessions and regularly perform live on national television. Highlights include Hey, Hey Its Saturday, The Panel, Good Morning Australia and playing on The Man From Snowy River soundtrack. The pair have toured with Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan and shared the stage with superstars such as Tommy Emmanuel, Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes.After a total of six nominations in the Australian Country Music Awards since 2004 (aka the Golden Guitars), the Davidson Brothers finally won their first Golden Guitar in 2009 for Best Instrumental (Left Hand Drive). At this point in their career Hamish was 25 years old and Lachlan was 24. They also won Best Instrumental in the Independent Australian Country Music Awards in 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2009.

Fat Chance

Fat Chance was formed in November 2008 and have appeared at Harrietville, Girgarre Moosic Muster, The Basin Music Festival and Newport Folk Festival, Beechworth Kelly Country Pick, Whittlesea Country Music Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival and National Music Festival.They play an assortment of songs, but all with a bluegrass twist to them. You’ll hear some trad bluegrass, but also some pop songs done in the bluegrass idiom, some cowboy and C&W songs, some blues and a few novelty songs. The lineup is Andrew Barcham on banjo, Don Gula on bass and harmonica, David Aumann on mandolin and Jim Golding on guitar.

Hardrive Bluegrass Band

Hardrive Bluegrass Band is one of Australia’s favourite bluegrass bands featuring high-lonesome vocals and great instrumentals from a traditional line-up of Dave Helens on banjo, Nick Dear fiddle/mandolin, Lachlan Dear on guitar and Matt Ryan on double bass Hardrive plays original Australian songs and tunes in a traditional bluegrass style. The band has recently won the Victorian and National Country Music Awards Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Award for their fourth album ‘Lightning’.

High Lonesomehighandlonesome

Lying somewhere between Folk, Country and Bluegrass, High & Lonesome have a distinct rootsy feel which pays homage to some of the influences the band members have come under over the years, with echoes of many country and bluegrass heroes.High & Lonesome features Chris Ellis on guitar and Mark Wardle on banjo.
The HillWilliamsHillWilliams

The HillWilliams band was formed in 1997 consists of  Ananda Braxton-Smith vocals , Nigel Croydon on guitar vocals, Mick Harrison on banjo, Dave Carr on mandolin, Bruce Packard on bass and Doug Wallace on Dobro and guitar .

The band has played a number of live radio gigs on PBS and ABC 3LO as well as many Harrietville festivals from 1998 on. The band’s latest CD is titled A Beautiful Life.

Innes CampbellInnes Campbell

Innes Campbell is a Brisbane base performer, singer and songwriter with a number of albums under his belt. Inness is one of Australia’s best flatpick guitarists

John Flanagan and the Begin Agains

John Flanagan and the Begin Agains blend traditional Americana style with deeply honest Australian storytelling to create a simple yet expressive style of bluegrass/folk music. Influenced by Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek, this four-piece Melbourne band has a unique sound with warm, crystal clear harmonies and delicate acoustic textures.John has been performing as a singer/songwriter since 2004 and was a 2010 Toyota Star Maker finalist. In 2008 he joined with members of The Melbourne Bluegrass Project to form The Begin Agains, recording his debut solo album Meet Me In Between. The band features, Jane Patterson, Andy Zito and Mark Zito.

Little RabbitLittleRabbit

Little Rabbit are an energetic string band from Melbourne with a bluegrass/old timey sound showcasing some real fancy finger-work and sweet vocal harmonies while playing original and traditional songs and tunes.
Little Rabbit features Pete Fidler on Dobro and mandolin; Kat Mear on fiddle and banjo and Kimberley Wheeler on upright bass.

The Mid North

The Mid North hail from Bellingen in NSW. They play mostly original bluegrass and americana music including ‘Where I found my home’ as featured on World Wide Bluegrass radio, crowd favourite ‘Rosewood’ also featured on ABC radio and the rip-roaring ‘Where the Sun Shines’. They also play a string of bluegrass standards that will get you whooping and a hollering.
The Mid North are Jenny Shimmin on banjo, Will Pregnell on double bass, John Woolhouse on mandolin and fiddle with Scott Collins on guitar and vocals

The MorrisonsMorrisons

The Morrisons are a raucous 6-piece string band that forge elements of alt-country, bluegrass, old-timey and folk to create a unique and contemporary Australian sound. Highly accomplished pickers, singers and multi-instrumentalists, they are a modern day string band like no other, featuring banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, harmonica, washboard and harmony singing. The Morrisons have shared the stage with some of Australia’s finest musicians and have performed at major festivals around the country including Harvest Festival, The Blue Mountains Music Festival, Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, St Albans Folk Festival, Jamgrass, Newtown Festival and many more.

Mustered CourageMusteredCourage

Formed in 2010, Mustered Courage was born to bridge a gap between traditional bluegrass music and the Australian alternative music scene. Two long-term friends collaborated with the goal to create a record blending modern song-writing with the instrumentation and energy of traditional bluegrass music.
Mustered Courage are Nick Keeling on vocals banjo; Julian Abrahams on vocals and guitar; Josh Bridges on vocals and bass; Paddy Montgomery on mandolin and vocals.

Nine Mile Creek

Nine Mile Creek is a bluegrass band playing traditional and original Bluegrass, with a touch of Swing and Americana. Lead vocal duties are shared, and two, three and four part harmonies make for an exciting, toe-tapping musical experience. The band has a strong repertoire, and is a regular contributor to the Mountain Pickers Association’s monthly night. They regularly feature at Australian bluegrass festivals, including Mountain Grass, Kelly Country Pick, Great Alpine Creek and the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass festival.

 The Nullarbor Mountain BoysNullaborMtnBoys

Perth’s newest and hottest acoustic sensation The Nullarbor Mountain Boys saddle up and ride into town to deliver hip-shootin’, pistol packin’ bluegrass from their mythical hideout in the mysterious and rarely-visited Nullarbor Mountains.Members include Rod “Rodeo” Vervest Andrew “Slim” Winton Bob “Badlands” Thomson Dave “Dangerfield” Clarke Russell “The Rustler” Holmes Charles “The Sherrif” McCarthy

The O’Donnells

The O’Donnells are part of the new generation of Australian Bluegrass, exciting audiences with their unique family harmonies and high energy traditional acoustic music. The band features parents John and Wendy with John Jnr, Jacqui and Katelyn. The band is Overall Group and Senior Winners of the 2009 QLD Country Music Festivals Champion of Champions.

The Original Snakeskins

Combining elements of country,folk and bluegrass, the Original Snakeskins play toe tapping tunes with soaring three-part harmonies. Hailing from Melbourne , this band was formed in 2000 and has released three CDs. They compose and perform in the true spirit of the greats of the forties and fifties . The band comprises of Anne Unger vocals, Steve Raw Hyde on double bass, Drew Fingers Gallus on guitar and Dobro, Alan Prickles Rose on harmonica, and Andrew Dr. Feelgood Langton on banjo and mandolin.

Owl Valley Bluegrass Band

Owl Valley Bluegrass Band

The Owl Valley Bluegrass Band brings bluegrass music to the Gold Coast hinterland on a regular basis. These are held on the 4th Sunday of each month.The lineup includes Stewart Porter on guitar, mandolin and harmonica, Rob Davis on banjo and Mark Webber on double bass and Dan Kerin to the lineup on fiddle, mandolin and guitar.

The Pipi PickersPipi-Pickers

The Pipi Pickers are a 4-piece band from Leigh in New Zealand. The Pipi Pickers have been laying down their energetic, contemporary, “full-bodied” style of bluegrass to audiences since 2007. They have played the main stage at the Auckland Folk Festival, Wellington Folk Festival, Warkworth Kowhai Festival, Harrietville Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music Convention and the Great Alpine Pick, both in Harrietville, Victoria, Australia, and the Redlands Bluegrass Festival in Queensland, Australia.The Pipi Pickers are Barry Torkington on guitar, Garry Bigwood on mandolin, guitar and vocals, Nat Torkington on 5 string banjo, and Jenine Abarbanel on double bass and vocals. Jenine’s strong leading vocals have been compared to Natalie Merchant and Gillian Welch. Nat Torkington is considered one of the best Scruggs-style 5-string banjo pickers in New Zealand, and his licks will blow your mind. Barry and Garry lay down a solid wall of luscious rhythm guitar as well as each picking mind-bending solos. In 2010, Garry picked up the mandolin adding another delicious layer of sound to the ensemble.

The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats

In an age of dancing robots and the electric toothbrush, the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats are taking it back to a simpler time, where the pickin’ was fast and the banjo was king. With fire in their bellies, these musical comrades hailing from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula bring their raw and gritty version of bluegrass kicking and hollering into the modern-day. The influence of old-time mountain-music combined with rock‘n’roll sensibilities make the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats an act that make you sit up, take notice and come back for more. Long live the Dead Rat.

The Redlands Bluegrass Boys

The Redlands Bluegrass Boys was formed in 1998 by a group of enthusiastic acoustic musicians based at the Redlands Modern Country Music Club.The group features Allen McMonagle on guitar and fiddle, Neil Wills on mandolin and guitar, Fred Hudson banjo, Bill Turner on guitar and Tom Stekinga on double bass. The band specialises in great vocal harmonies and they play a wide range of bluegrass influenced music and between them have been involved in many forms of music including country, country rock and Australian bush bands.

Runaway Dixie

South Australian based Runaway Dixie features Virginia Coad, Lynette Coad and Jim Hermel. They cover a broad range of music from traditional Bluegrass & Gospel, to vibrant Country classics, along with their own original material in the same vein.
The band formed in early 2009, and their first album was released that year and have since released four albums. They were also Tamworth Golden Guitar nominees in 2016 and 2017.The group has received several TSA Songwriting Awards for their original material and in May 2017, they represented Australia at the Mississippi State Bi-Centennial Celebrations as part of the Jimmie Rodgers Festival in Meridian, Mississippi USA.

Seagrass

Seagrass is an all original Tasmanian bluegrass band that have been together since 2006. Their goal is to develop a sound that is uniquely Seagrass. Their style of music is best described as a merge of acoustic blues and traditional bluegrass. The songs are original pieces that combine vocal harmonies with melodic guitar/mandolin styles.The band consists of : Mark Phillips on bass, Tim Saunders on banjo, guitar and bottleneck guitar and Rowlie Walker on mandolin. Tim Saunders and Rowlie Walker are both avid song writers, constantly expanding their writing and arrangement styles.

The Seals

Hailing from Perth’s northern suburbs, The Seals hit the scene in mid 2010 with a series of raucous and rollicking shows, turning heads and gaining a dedicated following. As word got around that a bunch of young men often sporting too much facial hair and playing strange instruments were tearing up the stages of Perth pubs with the accompaniment of their beautiful fiddle player this following continued to grow.
Their debut EP was launched in the uproarious setting of an over-capacity crowd at Manhattan’s Bar that literally had people crawling through the windows in order to join in the ruckus.Playing a unique blend of blues, country, bluegrass and reggae, The Seals have continued to wow audiences with their sweet vocal harmonies, unusual instrumentation and highly energetic stage show and have since been riding a wave of success ever since.

The Sheepdogssheepdogs

The sheepdogs are a trio of musicians playing music that is fun, energetic and acoustic.The members of the sheepdogs are: Stephen Treloar – Mandolin, Lee Wilson – Resonator Guitar, Colin Thorne – Guitar. The sheepdogs play regular gigs on the Sunshine Coast with more occasional appearances in Brisbane and other locations in south-east Queensland. Formed several years ago to pursue a mutual enjoyment of string band music from the 1930’s through to the present day, the sheepdogs, drawing on inspiration from bluegrass, western swing, early jazz and honky-tonk artist, have evolved a sound that is all their own.

SlimDimeSLIMEDIME

Slim Dime is an acoustic, folk, country, americana duo from Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges. Their music references the simplicity and space of old time mountain music, fog soaked valleys and mountain ash forests.

Jen Land & Chris Taylor have been playing together for the last 10 years making country tinged music in as bands such as The Original Smith Family and The Bitter Sweets. They presently play in Slim Dime and the Prairie Kings – a Western Swing Boogie Woogie 6 Piece band and Slim Dime – an acoustic duo.

The Water Runners

The Water Runners

The Water Runners hail from South Coast NSW and have become a popular act at pubs, clubs, festivals and other events in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, the Snowy’s, Far South Coast, Sydney and beyond. They play a high energy blend of original, bluegrass-infused Australian folk that also draws on country, roots and traditional folk.

The Wayward AnglesWaywardAngles

 

The Wayward Angels are a four-piece, all female bluegrass band who bring versatile vocals and sweet harmonies to bluegrass, old-timey and alt country covers and originals. Kay Armstrong (banjo, vocals), Jody Bell (mandolin, vocals), Brenda Kelly (guitar, vocals) and Anne-Marie Lawton (double bass, vocals) met through a local Brisbane bluegrass jam session, and have been taking their brand of bluegrass to Brisbane audiences since 2013. The four members of the Wayward Angels are accomplished vocalists and share the responsibility of leading songs between them. This allows them to bring their individual strengths to the foreground and provides variety for listeners.  Their style draws from the traditional tunes which form the foundation of bluegrass music but they are also influenced by artists like Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show, Blue Highway and The Punch Brothers.

The Wilson Pickers

The Wilson Pickers play banjo, fiddle, harmonica and acoustic guitar-based songs that draw on bluegrass, folk, country among other styles.The band members hail from the north and south and features, from Victoria, Sime Nugent on harmonica and vocals; and John Bedggood on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; and from Queensland, Danny Widdicombe on guitar and vocals; Ben Salter on banjo and vocals and Andrew Morris on guitar and vocals. All have successful music careers outside of the Pickers.The Wilson Pickers debut album Land Of The Powerful Owl was nominated for an ARIA Award in the Best Blues & Roots Album category in 2009.

Our Archives