Deep Down South

Melbourne-Country with Laura from the Weeping Willows

Howdy Country Update readers!  Laura here, from the Weeping Willows and as I write this, I’m still a lil’ bleary-eyed and jet-lagged having just returned from a UK/Europe tour with Deep Down South’s own Golden Guitar winner, Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, along with Imogen Clark (she’s not from Melbourne, she’s from the Blue Mountains, but she spends so much time down here we’ve declared her an honorary Victorian…) 

We’ve always considered Lachlan to be world-class, so it warmed our cold, cold hearts to see the overwhelming reception and enthusiastic response he received overseas, at several sold out shows across England and appearances at the UK’s premier Americana Festival, the Maverick Festival in Suffolk.  ‘Best of the Festival’ was bandied about by attendees and reviewers alike!  Melbourne audiences don’t despair, he’ll be doing a much-welcomed return home show on Sunday 2nd September at the all new Caravan Music Club, with some special guests (hint hint!).

While you’re putting that in your diary, make sure you also add Great Aunt’s show at the Newport Bowls Club on Thursday 6th September where you’ll be able to pick up their brand new EP, A Mess That I Left.  (I was fortunate enough to get an early listen and it’s truly magical!)  For those yet to discover Great Aunt, they’re an Americana/Roots duo from Melbourne, a collaboration between songwriter/instrumentalists Megan Bird and Chelsea Allen, drawing attitude and inspiration from their diverse musical backgrounds in Punk, Blues, Jazz and Roots Music.  Sierra Hull meets Tom Waits in Louisiana, you could say!  I’d jump on the bandwagon now; these ladies are going to be HUGE!

You can also catch Great Aunt at one of Victoria’s most exciting folk festivals, the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, back again in 2018 from Friday 12th until Sunday 14th October in beautiful Kinglake.  Hardly strictly Bluegrass, you’ll also be able to hear Folk Music, Old Country, Americana, Mountain Music, Acoustic Blues and Celtic music across the weekend as well as attend a Hoedown Bush Dance, Musical workshops, Gospel and community concerts, Jam sessions at all hours and lots of great activities!  This year’s line-up is better than ever with performances from The Kissin Cousins, Cherry Pickers, Davidson Brothers, Coolgrass, Whisky Dram, The Stringbusters, Slim Dime, The Undertones, Front Porch, Tom & Jerry, Brucellosis, Flying Engine Stringband, Mysterious Mose, Duck Down Pickers, Montgomery Church, Blue Limit, Dancing With Angels and Clandestiny.

Speaking of festivals, it’s always exciting to see the Out On The Weekend announcement and this year’s did not disappoint with international acts Margo Price, Tony Joe White, Willie Watson, Courtney Marie Andrews and Birdcloud to be joined by locals acts Wagons, The ReChords, Emilee South, Dan Parsons, The Original Cartridge Family, Georgia State Line, Davey Craddock and more!  Saturday 13th October at Seaworks in Williamstown.

October will also see the release of The Age Music Victoria Award nominee, Matt Joe Gow’s much anticipated new album, Break, Rattle and Roll.  Matt is a mesmerising, energetic live performer whose sound lingers somewhere between The Rolling Stones, Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen.  Hard to define but easy to enjoy and one of our favourite Australian artists.  His new LP also features guest vocals from Golden Guitar nominee, Gretta Ziller!

Gretta Ziller has had a busy 12 months since the release of her debut album with tours up and down the East Coast and festival appearances galore!  You can find her at the Patchewollock Music Festival from 19th – 21st October and supporting Adam Brand in the coming months.  Joining Gretta in Patchewollock is much loved Country-Folkie, Michael Waugh, who has been busy on his own Australian tour with fellow Golden Guitar nominee, Rich Davies.  Melbourne fans, catch them at The Thornbury Theatre on Friday 14th September!  (A common Melbourne problem, Gareth Leach and Gretta Ziller are also performing at The Spotted Mallard on the same night…  I guess it’s a good problem to have!)

You’ll often find fantastic Country Music acts at The Spotted Mallard.  Coming up you can see The Stetson Family with Charles Jenkins on Sunday 23rd September, James Van Cooper and Axle Whitehead on Friday 5th October and Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart on Saturday 17th November!

In other Deep Down South news, Casey Radio in South Eastern Melbourne have been great supporters of Alt-Country/Americana/Singer-Songwriter artists for many years now and have just added to their Storyteller stable with Storytellers at the Station, a live radio show recorded for future airplay.  Three artists, live and acoustic at the radio station in front of a live audience.  Upcoming performers include Gretta Ziller (29th September) and Allan Caswell (28th October).  A regular fixture at Tamworth Country Music Festival for the past few years, Casey Radio and Storytellers will be back at festival in 2019!

Whilst not strictly a Victorian, Mr. Allan Caswell recently released an exceptional new album (many proclaiming his ‘best yet’), Mexico, recorded here in The Garden State with Melbourne producer (and The Wildes member) Damian Cafarella and a host of local musicians.  He’ll be down for the Mildura County Music Festival from Friday 28th September – Sunday 7th October alongside Connie Kis Andersen, Sharon Benjamin, Lance Birrell, Owen Blundell, Rob Breese, Jeff Brown, Stephen R Cheney, Aly Cook, Don Costa, Country Horizon, Dale Duncan, Angela Easson, Dwayne Elix, Emma Jene, Lee Forster, Angus Gill, Paul Gibbs, Terry Gordon, Bec Hance, Johanna Hemara, Kate Hindle, Ged & Trudy Hintz, Graeme Hugo, Michaela Jenke, John Krsulja, Glenn Jones, John Lecner, Dianne Lindsay, Warren Mahoney, Cameron Mason, Neil McArthur, John O’Dea, Steve Passfield, Evan Platschinda, Taylor Pfeiffer, Alby Pool, Reg Poole (OAM), Amber Joy Poulton, Dave Prior, Anita Ree, Kim Ritchie, Kiara Rodrigues, Michelle Russell, Show Pony Express, Aleyce Simmonds, Pete Smith, Steve Sparrow, Justin Standley, The Long & The Short Of It, Gina Timms, Rodney Vincent, Bryen Willems, Chooka Williams and Dani Young!

In closing, we’d like to remember our dear friend, Tom Fauvette, guitarist for Melbourne Country-Rock act, Rick Hart (and the Sweet Addictions) who is dearly missed by the Country Music community.  We sincerely thank Denise Torenbeek and the Country Update team for this wonderful opportunity to talk up our town and for all the fabulous work they do throughout the year!  Best wishes everyone, we’ll see you on the road!