Archive for month: November, 2018

Zambezi Sounds

Headed by Zimbabwen musicians Felix Machiridza and Ben Mutondazi, Zambezi Sounds bring their sweet and spiritual Nyami Mbira and talking bass of the Zambezi River to Cobargo. Backed by Chilean percussionist Sinuhe Pachecco, Tom Sherringham on melodic guitar and Andrew Howard on drumkit. Their repertoire includes a hypnotic and highly danceable mixture of contemporary and traditional African rhythms, classic reggae, stories and songs.


With a history of one EP and a debut album released by the time she was 19, Vendulka is an artist you may want to keep on your radar. Travelling the world with nothing but her guitar and an open heart, she shares her experiences through haunting melodies and soulful lyrics. Don’t miss your chance to see her before she sets off on her next adventure!

The Rayos

Hailing from the Sierra foothills of Northern California husband and wife songwriting duo The Rayos. Elena, violinist from age 5, has enough on her plate, keeping Saul, country blues guitar/singer, in line while they dine, make love, play music, garden on their small apple farm, and run their analog recording studio Ancient Wave Studios.  Let them sing you one of their original songs of love and politics — back porch blues meets world beat.

The Novellas

The Novellas are a six-piece band from the Bega Valley with songs inspired by contemporary fiction from Australia and beyond. Sparse & atmospheric, The Novella’s paint in song the evocations of the printed word & celebrate the emotional power of storytelling. Noted Australian actors Patrick Dickson & Tracy Mann have joined the Novellas on stage reading excerpts from the books that have inspired the songs. The Novella’s are Myoung Jae Yi on guitar and vocals, Cellestine Janiola on vocals, Andrew Gray on piano, Anna Martin on drums, Josh Becker on bass, and Georgina Hargraves on oboe & sax.

The Michael Menager Trio

The Michael Menager Trio was born at Cobargo Folk Festival 2017. Sam Martin (guitar) and Michael Menager (vocals, guitar) signed for the festival as a duo. But at Sam’s last minute invitation, Dan Efraemson (violin) – from Malumba, a World Music band that Sam also plays in – jumped up on stage. And so it began. Michael’s lyrics cut along a philosophical edge, his rhythms and melodies cut across the spectrum of bluegrass, folk and blues, and his stories cut across the inner landscape of a poet and traveller. And Martin & Efraemson’s improvisations weave a framework for it all.

The Good Girl Song Project

In this theatrical song cycle, “Voyage”, four of Australia’s leading folk musicians recount the stories of the young women immigrants who voyaged from Gravesend to Sydney heading to a new life in Australia in the 1830’s. The original songs are based on the reseacrh of Liz Rushen, drawn from eyewitness accounts and source material of the time, and bring a fresh female perspective to the experiences of these young women. This is a compelling revisiting of a little-known aspect of recent Australian history. Performed by Penny Larkins (Vocals), Penelope Swales (whistles and vocals), Jamie Molloy (concertina and vocals) and Helen Begley (Guitars and Vocals) it is history at its most poignant and it’s never sounded so good!


Twice winners of Scotland’s Traditional Music ‘Live Act of the Year’ Award (2016 and 2011), SKERRYVORE tour their unique fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana worldwide. This appearance at Cobargo is their first ever perfomance in Australia. Their typically high energy set will be a mix of tunes and songs, a party waiting to happen. “Skerryvore have crafted a world beating fusion, which takes pride in their Scottish heritage and above all else is a pure joy to listen to.” FOLK RADIO UK

Shelby Grace

Inspired by her American roots, Shelby Grace is fast becoming a versatile and accomplished singer and guitarist. Hailing from the NSW Snowy Mountains, Shelby recently graduated from the CMAA Academy of Country Music. She was awarded Peoples’ Choice runner up in the 2017 Australian National Busking Championships and overall runner up at the 2016 Australian National Busking Championships. Shelby’s recent performances include Tamworth Country Music Festival, The Peak Festival, Cobargo Folk Festival and Floriade.

Sacred Cow

Sacred Cow’s repertoire is a genre-jumping, up-beat collection of songs from the ‘colourful’ life of songwriter, Sarah Cowan. Embracing social commentary and political activism, Sarah’s weapon of choice is an open-tuned, percussive guitar utilised to shoot down ignorance, challenge taboos and inspire empathy. Joined by Jeremy Kemp on funky bass and viola Brasilliera, and Jo Baxter shaking it up with percussion and stunning harmonies sacred cow acoustic are set to reinspire audiences and fellow musicians alike.

Robyn Sykes

Robyn Sykes is not your average rhyming poet. A flick of her pen makes words twist, tuck and double-somersault with pike. Poems prance. Ditties dance. ‘I love to entertain’, the multi-award-winning poet says. ‘And I love telling stories. I’m delighted to be part of the Cobargo Folk Festival.’ The Australian Champion bush poet learnt to say ‘Banjo Paterson’ before she said ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’… well not quite, but you get the idea. Buckle up for the ride as Robyn takes her audiences on a high-impact tour through life in modern Australia.

Richard Gilewitz

For nearly four decades, American fingerstyle guitar wizard Richard Gilewitz has fascinated listeners with 6 and 12-string finger gymnastics while spinning enchanting yarns of a seasoned raconteur. His concert performances around the world spill over with unexpected turns of the funnies, thought-provoking takes on life on the road, and tunes that propel the audience on a magical journey of sight and sound. His signature playing style delivers a technical diversity of banjo style patterns and classical arpeggios with a rhythmic percussive approach, exploring the history of guitar with sounds of folk to Americana, the blues to the classical, ragtime to pop, and somewhere in between.

Quaama Singers

The Quaama Singers will “pop up” at various times and places around the Festival grounds on Saturday between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. There’s also a stage performance on Sunday between 4.00 and 6.00 pm. Come and sing along to crowd favourites, beautiful chants and fabulous circle songs. No festival is complete without a rousing go at The Lion Sleeps Tonight and this is where you’ll find it!

Paverty Bush Band

Paverty Bush Band is Canberra’s premier bush band. Paverty started in 1970 as Franklyn B Paverty and the Platt Valley Crooners. With a strong instrumental line up including fiddle, banjo, flute, lagerphone and feet tambourines they get toes tapping and folk up and dancing. Paverty plays Australian folk music – an eclectic mix of traditional and original songs, ballads and tunes with country, blues, rock, bluegrass, skiffle and jug band influences.

Passionate Fools

Some could say it is foolish to think playing music is the most important goal in life – but this is the passion that drives Peter Hisco and Wendy Jackson, recent and welcome additions to the Cobargo music scene. Sometimes it seems foolish to try and play too many instruments at one gig -but being sensible can be boring. With sublime vocals that blend seamlessly and extensive instrumental skills on an array of stringed instruments – guitar, double bass, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and ukulele – the Passionate Fools will lift you up and warm your soul with music inspired by a broad range of styles from swing to blues to bluegrass.

Numb Bugger Dumb Bugger

Peter Otton is a multi-award winning local artist whose work is represented at NSW Government House. Tim Metcalf is a multi-award winning poet. Both men are long-term residents of the Bega Valley Shire.

Montgomery Church

Cielle Montgomery and James Church are ‘Montgomery Church’ – a blend of acoustic folk, Americana and bluegrass influences, grown and distilled in the Snowy Mountain ranges of country New South Wales. With their organic union of dobro, guitar, harmony vocals, and elegant songwriting, this captivating duo are enthralling in their dynamic intimacy and embrace all that is subtle, spacious, and sensitive.

Mensch Monique!

Mensch Monique! Cruise with compass in search of waves. Love a slow waltz down the boulevard. Get drunk on the storm and the calm before it. Peer down at the clouds from above and chew gum under water.. Mensch Monique! are the joie de vivre of Berlin/Kreuzberg Bohemia life on the land by the lake and the deepblue sea. Mensch Monique! are two voices, a guitar, and an acoustic bass. Mensch Monique are Jule Schroeder (ex The Beez) and Georg Sasspowski (Extreme Little Sleep).

Jodi Martin

Jodi Martin returns to Cobargo with a stunning new single, Love is Your Legacy. (and of course, a full show) Written in her hometown of Ceduna, this is Jodi at her raw and honest best. Following the momentum of her cheeky eco-single (Did Mother Nature Become a Criminal, co-written with Arlo Guthrie, the new single is an intimate journey through love and loss, steeped in the stillness and sparseness of the desert. Jodi is joined at Cobargo by her Candelo-based sister, Robyn Martin, to weave harmonies around songs that will leave a smile on your face and goosebumps on your skin.

Gone Molly

With their debut album taking out three titles in the 2018 Australian Celtic Music Awards, Gone Molly are unique folk storytellers. Ghosting across ancient battlefields, through grimy London alleyways and down into the faerie dells, their rich lyrics and catchy choruses make for a compelling live show where audience participation is a must! Recently joined by talented multi-instrumentalist Lachlan Baldwin, this is an act you don’t want to miss.

Glover and Sorrensen

Oh no! They’re back! Again! With their new show ‘Real Men Cry’, Glover & Sorensen are two blokes just having a chat with the audience about the realities of life. Sounds safe enough, eh? But with these two comedians onstage at the same time, bouncing off each other (verbally mostly, physically sometimes) it’s twice the laughs, twice the unexpected – and twice the trouble. It’s spontaneous fun (with some insightful bits). Each performance is different. Bring a helmet (and a tissue).

Daniel Champagne

Here are some things the critics say about a man who first unveiled his talent at the Cobargo Folk Festival: “Daniel Champagne is a crossroads. Fusing the strong traditions of Blues, Folk and other roots art with pop showmanship and admirable lyrical ability. I firmly believe that he will become an ambassador for roots music in a time where it desperately needs representation. The word Prodigy seems to entirely fall short of this soft-spoken young man’s skills, he coaxes sounds and melodies out of his instrument that literally drop jaws.” The Calgary Herald, Canada” “Today I saw the future of Folk – Festival goers flocking in their thousands towards the main stage to witness a young musical phenomenon from Australia dish out an absolute show-stopper.” The Firefly Column, USA. Make sure you see him and make up your own mind.


“Spine-tingling” (Rhythms) and “extraordinary” (Fine Music FM), Chaika employ ethereal harmonies and myriad instruments to create textures inspired by Balkan vibrancy, Turkish markets, Celtic stories, and Eastern Europe’s stunning landscapes. Now releasing their third LP, Chaika’s members individually have written for and performed with truly diverse roster on stages all over the world, including Monsieur Camembert, Riley Lee, and The London Bulgarian Choir. “Enchanting” (The Australian) audiences from folk festivals to the world-class Sydney City Recital Hall, Chaika surprise and move listeners, journeying an unidentifiable era and landscape with music that sits firmly “outside the norm” (Timber & Steel).

Bush Traditions Slow Sessions

No better way to start your day than joining Alan, Gavin, Moiré, Paula, Peter and Ray at the Slow Sessions. Over the years they have run dozens of sessions teaching traditional tunes, starting at the National Folk Festival in 2003, and now spreading their wings and strings to include a few festivals from St Albans to Cobargo. Whether you’re accomplished or a beginner, the focus is on fun and inclusion.

Bob McInness & Jane Ellis

Well known as Stringfiddle in Heritage & Scottish Dance Circles, Bob and Jane enjoy extending their repertoire into other aspects of traditional music, from reflective beauty to wild excitement, bringing empathy and rapport to the interplay of fiddle and piano. And it wouldn’t be a Cobargo Folk Festival without Bob leading the sessions in the bar.

Black Mountain String band

Making a return visit to Cobargo, The Black Mountain String Band is a celebration of string band music in all its forms. They combine fiddles and banjos along with guitar and double bass to draw from the well of tradition, while adding timeless sounding originals. Donal Baylor, Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen- who’s father pioneered old time picking in Canberra with his band of the same name in the 1980s – cleverly arrange this wide range of material in a seamless presentation and will delight aficionados and new audiences alike..

Bill Jackson with Ruth Hazleton

Highly regarded in the Australian acoustic music scene for their vocal abilities, songwriting and musicianship, partners Ruth Hazleton (Vocals/Banjo/Guitar) and Bill Jackson (Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica) first joined forces in 2007. Individually and as a duo they have toured the UK, Ireland and the US and have recorded and released more than a dozen albums to wide critical acclaim internationally – Ruth as part of seminal Australian folk duo, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and Bill as a solo performer. The duo presents a combination of original songs and traditional songs from the Americana and folk music traditions

On the Stoop

“This could be eight different bands from eight different corners of the world except it’s more like one fevered collective musical brain firing off ideas like skyrockets. Look, there’s one exploding above you right now,” wrote Bernard Zuel, in the Sydney Morning Herald. SMH. Mariachi, Balkan, New-Orleans swing, Spaghetti- Western, Cabaret, Film Score, Cumbia, Punk-Rock are all represented in this magnificent ensemble. Their recent LP, Home, received extensive radio support in Sydney including album of the week on Eastside Radio and airplay on community radio stations 2SER, FBi, ABC Radio National and RRR in Melbourne. Be prepared to be surprised and delighted.


Now Allan Stone is a poetry bloke, Otherwise known as Stonybroke.  He’ll make you laugh and make you cry  Or spin you yarns about pie in the sky. Raising awareness about Global pollution  And how we all must be part of the solution and  Three young lads, fresh out of luck  Towed through the bush, by a big Mack truck  A driver chap who gets into fights,  First Nation people with sacred sites, There’s even a bloke who had a lamb, And Mulligan who blew out the lamp. So come along, get on yer bike When Stonybroke is on the mike 

Baz Cooper

Baz has a long history of playing music of many genres in many parts of the world, from successful rock bands, to folk, blues and World music and has become something of a musical chameleon. All these influences come out in original songs and tunes and the music in Baz’s solo shows. Everything from piano boogie, to sparkling accordion features, to soulful ballads and songs that reveal his sense of humour; you never know what’s coming next!

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