Archive for month: January, 2018

Zoe Ryan

Zoë Ryan is a wandering singer-songwriter, who hails from Western Australia. Enigmatic and ever changing, her live show is made up of upbeat and down-tempo acoustic folk-roots, known for a distinctive vocal and narrative style. Recently, Ryan has toured the country solo and has appeared at a number of metro and regional locations and festivals, including Bellingen Turtle Festival, Perth’s Fringe world and Adelaide Fringe Festival. Ryan brings her new band to Cobargo Folk Festival for the first time, off the back of releasing a live EP captured during her Winter 2017 tour.

Whoa Mule

Whoa Mule brings you old time country ballads, original songs, and driving triple fiddle dance tunes. Inspired by the rapid weather changes of the Blue Mountains and the bustle of Sydney streets, these musicians deliver a performance characterised by both space and energy. With rich experience earned in bands such as Catgut and Golden Whistler, Whoa Mule affectionately reimagines old time music.

The Swamp Stompers

The Swamp Stompers play funky rock and blues with heavy grooves. Featuring local favourite Corey Legge on vocals and guitar, the band sounds like the musical lovechild of John Butler Trio, Led Zeppelin, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Searing slide guitar, contrasting dual-lead vocals, catchy guitar riffs, and dubstep-inspired didgeridoo soundscapes will have you on your feet bobbing to the groves. Bring your stomping boots and dance your blues away to one of Australia’s most promising young original acts!

The Northern Folk

A huge hit at last year’s Festival, they’re back by popular demand. Hailing from Albury, and now based in Melbourne, The Northern Folk are a collective of eleven musical talents, spreading their unique brand of folk/pop/stomp/rock into the roots of small towns and big cities alike. Combining two powerful vocalists, roaring horns, bashful bass and addictive percussion, their big, diverse sound proves flexible both on stage and on record, and is continuing to earn them a following wherever they travel.

The Somedays

From just over the border in Eurobodalla Shire, The Somedays are a captivating seven-piece Folk and Country Band with grooves to fill the dance floor and emotional heart wrenching ballads with sweet harmonies. Sizzling fiddle, dancing keys, funky base, driving drums, and rhythmic guitar and soaring vocals have been likened to a unique mix of Stevie Nicks, Deborah Conway and Johnny Cash.

The Martins

Mike and Lindsay, musical tarts who have graced the concert stage and the street corner in a range of line-ups, have been playing music together for many years. Their current act is a fusion of the blarney of Mike Martin, a songwriter and musician, and the elegance of Lindsay Martin, virtuoso fiddle player and accompanist. The songs reflect a traveling minstrel’s take on life, influences and experience.

The Fuelers

The Fuelers come at you like a cross between a cereal box cowboy band and a TV game show scripted by Frank Zappa. Describing their swinging, hot-rodded brand of country as “char-grilled racing tunes and deep fried dieselbilly” might give you a snapshot of their act. From the roar of the rodeo ring to the lonely streets of loss, the Fuelers will take you there. BYO hat, spurs and parachute.

The Awesome

From Mallacoota on the Victorian/NSW border The Awesome, feature regularly at concerts and venues along the vast stretch of the coastline and in places like Canberra. Singer/songwriter Mili Cifali trained in classical guitar with Timothy Kain, and Jim Horvath, and studied percussion with Stui Spears. Mili pens unique observations of Australian life, inspired by artists such as Rodriguez, and Paul Kelly. They are joined in delivering their wide range of folk and jazz songs by renowned indigenous artist/didgeridoo player Peter Swain.

Steve Wilson – The Man with the Concertina

Steve Wilson is on a mission – to restore appreciation of the concertina as an instrument for accompanying singing. His concertina style is refreshing and his songs, an eclectic mix of trad and contemporary folk, pop, country, jazzy, bluesy and original material, will bring a smile or a sigh and get toes tapping. Steve’s passion for the concertina is infectious. He likes it when you sing along.


Reflejos draw on many travels and collaborations to create music rich with Latin American rhythms, vocal harmonies and instrumentations, peppered with moments of Spanish and Eastern European folk tradition. Bonnie Smith’s soaring vocals lead audiences seamlessly from stirring laments to rousing melodies that will bring audiences to their feet.

Quaama Singers

The Quaama Singers hail from just a few kilometers down the road from the festival site. They will ‘pop up’ at various times and places around the Festival site singing songs that you will mostly likely know all the words to. Do join in.

Pete Wild and the Only Ones

Pete Wild’s first piano was rescued from a bulldozer at a demolition site. Combining his theatrical background and idiosyncratic honesty, Pete’s performance is deeply compelling as he moves from quirky theatrical absurdities to unexpected poignant and passionate expression. Pete and his band, The Only Ones are touring their freshly pressed album Calm, presenting fresh indi-folk pop, which reads as a survival manual for contemporary small-town country Australia. You will love this collection of vibrant vignettes.

Oud Vibrations

Oud, darabuka, voice and wind instruments blend seamlessly in a sparkling demonstration of instrumental unity. Melodies from Asia Minor and the Middle East combine with original compositions and extraordinary improvisation by two of Australia’s most proficient exponents of these exotic instruments. Andy Busuttil and John Robinson are Oud Vibrations.

No Such Thing

No Such Thing will get you up dancing with their diverse collection of Australian dance tunes. The name came about in an act of Aussie cheek, after a Scottish musician commented that “there is no such thing as Australian dance music”. The band recreates the authentic feel of the old time dance bands and if you don’t want to dance, just tap your feet or clap along.

Neil Murray

Another most welcome return act. Neil Murray was a founding member of the pioneering Warumpi Band, and has since released a string of remarkable solo albums – the latest being “Hindsight”- a 2 CD back catalogue selection. He received the 1995 APRA song of the year for “My Island Home” and in 2017 was made the Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year. Both “My Island Home” and Jailanguru Pakarnu- (Out From Jail) a 1983 co-write with Sammy Butcher in the indigenous Luritja language- have been included in the National Film And Sound Archives- “Sounds Of Australia” series. Widely covered, his song writing is diverse and influential and in concert, accompanied by renowned guitarist Damien Neil, he always captivates and inspires.

Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows

When Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows step onto the stage, they take children (5 to 12 years) and adults alike on a high-energy adventure full of spontaneous creativity, crazy drama acts, and exciting original songs that have them singing and dancing in no time! Inspired by ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Sesame Street’ ideals of sophisticated music and lyrics that connect to young people, they will excite and delight with their combination of folk, rock, funk, a touch of country and what can only be described as a ‘hypnotic Transylvanian polka’.

Maypole with Molly

Festival regulars and favourites, Maypole with Molly audience participation sessions encourage children and adults to dance around the maypole or play percussion. Dancers will learn how to make a Barber’s Pole, a colourful Weaving Pattern and a Spider’s Web with maypole ribbons. Founder and accordionist, Erika Cleaver (Molly) has been an accompanist and leader of several folk dance groups and is an experienced early childhood teacher who loves sharing music and dance with kids.

Mal Webb & Kylie Morrigan

Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beatboxing songwriter, Mal sings his brain provoking songs using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek. And Kylie (who’s played with Orchestra Victoria and the likes of Stevie Wonder and Barry White!) provides violin and voice in a perfect balance to Mal’s musical nuttiness. Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. Family fun free from facile frippery. And they won’t repeat a song all festival!

Lily & King

Lily and King describe themselves as “a quirky, musical junkyard from Melbourne”. Their aim is to make music using all of their limbs at the one time. Lily and King create rousingly catchy music that sits somewhere between a captivating 40’s nightclub routine and the raw, rambunctious spirit of New Orleans street buskers. Dixieland punk, junkyard blues, sailor songs, weird carnie show tunes and the odd bit of curious pop, their music is joyful, beautiful and a bit dirty and wicked too.

Leah Flanagan

Leah Flanagan has been capturing hearts for almost a decade and after the success of 2016’s release SAUDADES, now she offers her enchanting third studio album, OCEANIC SESSIONS. Recorded over three years from 2013 to 2015, at Midnight Oil legend Jim Moginie’s Oceanic Studios in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, the album reflects the mentoring collaboration between Moginie and Flanagan. A voice and presence that entrances.

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton are one of Australia’s favourite festival acts, renowned internationally for their vocal harmonies and exceptional musicianship on guitar and banjo. Their latest album “Declaration” is an album full of atmosphere and shifting gears – from tales of strong women and hardships to wistful vignettes, infidelity, true love, spirituality and the complexity of the world in which we live. They also featured recently on Andy Irvine’s new album with Luke Plumb, so they could pop up at the Festival in another guise.

Judith Browne

From The Crossing Youth Stage to the Festival’s main stages, Judith Browne is a sixteen-year-old Bega High School Student who loves to play guitar and sing. Wonderful, enchanting original songs from a talented singer-songwriter. One of our stars of the future.

Jed Rowe

Making a return trip to Cobargo, Jed Rowe is an acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne. His music walks the line between folk, blues and country, and his 4th album A Foreign Country is a richly told collection of stories of Australian life. Rowe’s sublime slide guitar playing and emotive vocal delivery have earned him a reputation as a standout live performer, and he has toured extensively in Australia and Europe. He was nominated for The Age Music Victoria Award for best folk or roots album in 2017.

John McSherry, Donal O’Connor & Niall Hanna

Hailed as one of the finest uilleann pipers of his age, John McSherry has been a major figure in Irish music for almost 20 years. A founder member of top traditional music bands, Lúnasa, Tamalin and Dónal Lunny’s Coolfin, he continues to push the boundaries of Irish music while remaining passionate about its ancient heart. Donal O’Connor, son of the celebrated fiddler Gerry O’Connor and renowned singer Eithne Ni Uallachain, he has inherited a musical legacy of at least five generations of fiddle playing and countless generations of traditional singers. They are joined by Country Tyrone singer and guitarist Niall Hanna.

Jane Thompson & James Rigby

Delightful, insightful, warm and engaging, Jane’s pure singing voice and award-winning song-writing, combined with James’ intricate guitar and strong harmonies, capture the essence of Australia’s heart and soul, landscape and humanity. Songs of reverence for life, our precious earth and a plea for tolerance and understanding, including beautiful songs from the late, great Michael Kennedy who said: “You come away from their concerts with your faith in human nature restored”

James Matthews

With a powerful, gritty voice and dexterous guitar playing, Matthew Burrows is a singer/songwriter with strong roots in Blues and Folk music. His passion and vulnerability are reflected in his songwriting and the intensity of his live performances.

Gleny Rae and Her Playboys

Swing not bling, grease not dust, laughter not tears, beer not whiskey, two step not boot scooting. Gleny Rae Virus and her Playboys – Sam Martin (bullfiddle), Robbie Long (guitar), Pete Fidler (dobro and mandolin) – are taking a leaf from the book of Ray Charles by experimenting with modern sounds within an old genre. Each performance starts with hillbilly swing then moves seamlessly through gypsy jazz, bluegrass, western and blues. Add a good dose of cheeky innuendo and some tales from Gleny’s western NSW upbringing, and you have an entertaining package of hillbilly swing music from Newcastle via Austin Texas!

Georgia State Line

Georgia State Line is an alt-country collective hailing from various parts of small-town Victoria. Fronted by singer-songwriter Georgia Delves, their music is a blend of old-time country, entwined with today’s Americana sound. Delves song-writing hones in on the bittersweet balancing act between growing up and staying young.


From a scarily young age, the Holden boys have been playing with fire. From their home in Candelo, about 40 minutes down the road from Cobargo, they honed their skills with the aim of running away to join the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. Jesse and Sammy busk around the beautiful Bega Valley, having fun at festivals and fairs as FUEGO. It’s a hot act in more ways than one.

Fiona Ross and Ken Nicol

Traditional singer Fiona Ross joins forces with guitar maestro Ken Nicol (ex-Steeleye Span & Albion Band) to deliver a captivating and dynamic set of Scottish songs, including material from the highly acclaimed album Clyde’s Water that Fiona recently recorded with virtuoso Celtic guitarist Tony McManus. An esteemed tradition bearer in her native Scotland, Fiona brings knowledge, passion & depth to her performance. Her singing style and extensive repertoire showcase the richness, depth and diversity of the Scots song tradition.

Eric Bogle

The word “legend” fits with ease on the shoulders of Eric Bogle, internationally known and respected singer/songwriter who, along with his long term partner in crime, John Munro, has been travelling the world for the past 38 years or so, generally having a good time and callously inflicting his songs on the mostly innocent bystanders he meets along the way.

Eric and John will be joined by Peter Titchener on bass. If you’ve never seen him perform, prepare to be magically inflicted.

Ego Lemos

Ego Lemos, a musician, singer songwriter and environmental troubadour, is a remarkable man, with a remarkable voice in more ways than one. He is the Winner of the 2009 Screen Award and an APRA award for Best Original Song composed for the film Balibo 5. He is also the founder of the Permaculture and sustainable agriculture network in Timor-Leste. He currently works as an adviser for the Timor-Leste Minister of Education on national curriculum reform focusing basic education in the arts and culture including Permaculture.

Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners

Den Hanrahan’s music is a compendium of ballads, laments and reckless dirges from his songbook of the open road. He puts a very Australian stamp on his love for Americana music with an acoustic backing band that is steeped in the traditions of Ireland. Intrigued? So is the band and that’s why their concerts are so edgy, dynamic and real as Den’s powerful voice and driving guitar tackle the songs of remorse, love, addiction and redemption.

Deep River Choir

This well known Eurobodalla group featuring singing, dancing and drumming presents a fun and uplifting show with songs of peace and freedom along with stunning harmonies and rhythms from Africa. You will learn the stories behind the songs and have the chance to sing and dance too! They love to share the spirit of community music making with everyone.

David Ross Macdonald

The son of an ex jazz trumpeter/dentist, David ditched geology to fail at jazz college then took up washboard to join The Waifs over a Port Fairy Guinness before falling in love with a 1935 Gibson guitar while touring the USA with Bob Dylan which lead to him performing his grab-bag of songs and stories from the road less travelled but long toured. We’re sure he will explain a bit more at his concerts.

Christine Collister & Michael Fix

She draws her inspiration from the Celtic mysteries of the Isle of Man, in the middle of the Irish Sea. He has both the dry deserts of Australia and a German heritage in his blood. Between them, vocalist Christine Collister and guitarist Michael Fix create a rare musical synergy, balancing unique arrangements of timeless songs with their own unforgettable compositions, transcending cultures and musical traditions to entrance audiences wherever they perform. With Christine’s sultry, sensuous voice, combining with Michael’s exquisite guitar playing, the listener is forever transported to places in the soul where only music can take you.

Chrysoula K & Púrpura

This all-woman band from Greece, Púrpura took their name from the Latin word for “purple”, a colour that is the symbol of spirituality, of mystery and of nostalgia for a time when people’s differences were not a cause of division and pain. Púrpura perform songs from the discography of band leader Chrysoula Kechagioglou, as well as traditional and modern songs from different countries, including Greece, Argentina, Portugal, Armenia, and Italy. Chrysoula K. & Púrpura combine elements of tradition with classical forms creating a new sound that is real, nostalgic, vivid, playful and airy. They combine the traditional lute, with the classical flute and cello.

Chris While & Julie Matthews

With 22 years of unrivalled musical partnership gathering numerous nominations, awards and critical acclaim along the way, English Singer/Songwriters, Chris While and Julie Matthews Julie are more powerful than ever and remain at the top of their game. This will be their thirteenth visit to Australia in 20 years. They bring with them their latest studio album, ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ which has garnered much media attention and rave reviews.

1917 Strike

“1917 Strike” is a fascinating and entertaining story of one of Australia’s greatest class struggles – the 1917 great strike. To mark its centenary, AWGIE award-winning writer PP Cranney has created a docu-concert that tells the story through words and music. Christina Mimmocchi, Chloe and Jason Roweth and Catherine Golden perform the songs – some from the time and some original.

Bruce Watson

Joyful, thought provoking, totally engaging, Bruce is an icon of the Australian Folk scene and a major songwriter and performer. He has won a swag of awards and had his songs covered by many other performers. Bruce’s music reflects life, ordinary people, social justice and the environment, often with a surprising twist and quirky sense of humour.

Black Joak Morris

Black Joak Morris performs the traditional folk dancing of the bucolic English Cotswolds. Their Morris dancing is fresh and varied, friendly and skilled, danced to live music provided by talented and knowledgeable musicians. The dancing ranges from single-person jigs to nine-person spectaculars. Morris is an ancient tradition associated with fertility rites and celebration of the seasons. It is also a living tradition and Black Joak perform many dances written recently, including Australian Morris dances developed by the side itself.

Benny Fowler

Benny’s music draws on islander flavours fused with the reggae and African roots of his past musical projects to create hypnotic soundscapes underpinned by painfully catchy melodies. Add to this the beautifully poignant lyrics that Benny has become known for and you can’t help but expect something special. Think world folk music with a gentle edge that cuts.

Annie Bryant

Storyteller and children’s songwriter, Annie Bryant, takes you on a musical story journey through the garden, around the farm and into the Australian bush. Annie’s heartwarming stories and sing-along family folk songs tickle and delight the senses, while celebrating a child’s sensory connection to the natural world, growing food, living with animals and caring for the earth.

Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb

Lauded as masters of the bouzouki and mandolin, the legendary Andy Irvine (Planxty/Mozaik/Patrick Street) combines with the brilliance of Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty) to present one of the most anticipated collaborations in recent times. The duo brings with them their first album together featuring original and traditional songs and bearing all the hallmarks of iconic folk and traditional music.

Alistair Brown

Alistair covers the field from comic ditties, big ballads, songs of struggle (usually unsuccessful) and against temptation, odes to conviviality and songs of unashamed sentimentality. Of course there are also outrageously funny stories from a master of the art. Born in Scotland, he has been singing the old songs, and new songs written by people who like the old songs, since he was fifteen years old and a regular at his local folk club.

Alanna and Alicia

Twin sisters, Alanna & Alicia, charm audiences with their original folky/jazz songs, sweet harmonies and onstage warmth, wit and fun. At our festival, they are launching their beautiful new album, ‘Songs I’m Singing with Me,’ and also singing songs from their previous albums, including Twin lines 2013 and Two in a Book 2010.

Accompanying them are Damien Neil (guitar) and Matiss Schubert on mandolin, violin.

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