Performers at KVFF 2019
Watch this space!
Their appreciation of classical music, Tin Pan Alley tunes, Tropicana and music from films combined with AJ’s love of historical fact and Jenny’s classical flare to present concert goers with a musical experience that crosses time zones – combining timeless melodies with an irresistible blend of abandon and precision.
Allegra Dunning is the Junior FFNSW Young Folk Artist of 2019 at her young 10 years of age. She is a singer songwriter from The Blue Mountains.
Allegra performs a mix of rearranged covers and her originals. She writes songs about experiences, emotions and things we fear, with a distinctive Folk/Americana feel. She performs with her trusty guitar yet is a multi instrumentalist and plays Drums, Piano and Ukulele.
Her Music will move you and leave you in awe as her music is wise beyond her years and her experience from many festivals and events shows with her stage presence. Allegra has also performed live on radio where she performed her breathtaking original, My Bones and on Sunrise Channel 7 performing her original Best Friends.
Allegra as a songwriter is the ultimate storyteller, that will take the audience on an emotional journey.
Anabelle Kay has been a travelling one woman band for the past 7 years.
Originally form the Central coast, NSW this worldly Gypsy has found herself living in corners and touring endlessly.
Similarities to seminal artists such as Joan Baez, Gillian Welch, Karen Dalton and Laura Marling are evident in Kay’s music, however, you will be hard pressed to compare her signature voice to anyone.
Andsome Friends sing contemporary a cappella music with a clear view of the past. Whether a suite of Irish slip jigs with Australian lyrics, a Baroque fugue about recycling, or a mash up of 1960s tv themes, their music provokes smiles, oohs, aahs, and fevered requests to know ‘when are you releasing your album?’
Triple j Unearthed duo Anna & Jordan are the epitome of original Australian folk. Their gentle acoustic sounds paired with their incredibly well written songs and unique talent for technical music result in a performance that is truly hypnotising. With Jordan on guitar and Anna opting for the violin, the ultra talented performers somehow make two instruments sound like one.
They look like a twopiece, sound like a five piece, and move like a hair piece. Frontman Brendon Houlahan plays guitar with his hands, bass with his feet, and sings with his face. Matt Tennant belts the drums really hard, sings a little bit, and wears really dumb shirts while doing it.
1/2 pastiche, 1/2 panache, and 1/2 improper fractions, Bleeding Gums Murphy are a cosmic collision of wry and racy comedy, rich vocal harmonies and ample interstitial banter. A musical coup de grace that will tug your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone all at once.
A fine collection of seasoned musicians arising from the ashes of the Canberra chapter of British masterchef. Turn up the heat, play with Playford, and discover what a rant is, English Ceilidh style. If you like your English dance music ”well done” or perhaps even “crisp”, then this band is for you. They’ve earned a solid reputation for high energy English dance music so prepare to dance your socks off with the hottest band since Hades!
We have a large repertoire covering many different styles from Gospel to Classical to World Music, African, Jazz and Pop! Our Musical Director, Mr Gary Smith is classically trained (at the Con) and has been a highly sought after act around Sydney for many. Indeed we boast a number of professional singers and musicians in our group.
Black Joak Morris performs the traditional folk dancing of the bucolic English Cotswolds (Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire). Morris dancing is fresh and varied, friendly and skilled, danced to live music provided by our talented and knowledgeable musicians. The origins of Morris are lost, but have been linked to ancient English rituals connected to hunting and harvesting traditions. The Joakers are an energetic side from Sydney who couple athletic display with bright costumes and loud bells to delight and mystify audiences of all ages.
Founded in 1954 to collect, publish and popularise Australia’s traditional songs, dances, music and folklore the Bush Music Club is Australia’s oldest folk club. We have been actively promoting Australian folk traditions to young and old since then and will continue to do so into the future.
The Bushwackers are celebrating their 47th year of performance, with a long and proud history of performing at festivals and events around the country since their inception in 1971. The Bushwackers perform their exciting brand of Australian music featuring the Lagerphone of frontman Dobe Newton, along with a band of stellar musicians. The music is all-Australian with the stories, humour and sense of history that has helped to forge our national identity.
Canberra Shanty Club is a community singing group that runs a fortnightly session at pubs around Canberra to sing our favourite sea shanties and folk songs. All singing levels welcome and we’ll teach you the parts you need to sing. So if you can stamp and shout and show some passion join us for a tune or two.
Canberra Contra Club
Canberra Contra Club recreates the exhilarating and inspiring contra dance scene from northern America. With diverse, dare we say eclectic, music from the Apalacians through to Quebec, a social dance style that anyone can do, and world renowned callers (who teach and call all the dances), Canberra Contra Club will be a highlight of the festival.
Charlie & Jensen is a musical conversation between acoustic artists Hunter Beasley and Luke Wright. They journey through genres, shifting from vocally charged original songs, to virtuosic instrumental tunes. They take a stripped-back, raw approach to music and performance mixing bluegrass, gypsy jazz, country and spontaneity. Their musical chemistry is evident in their debut album ‘Whiskey Before Breakfast’, a collection of single take recordings, unedited and undeniable.
Drawing their inspiration from the warmth of old-style bush entertainment and folklore, the Roweths work with vibrant arrangements of new and old traditional Australian ballads and work songs, early country music, original music, poetry, yarns, and dance tunes, weaving together and carrying forward many threads of the Australian tradition.
Dear Violet are a young Australian trio from the Illawarra. Their enchanting harmonies accompanied by acoustic guitar are beautifully unique. They are known for their covers of traditional folk songs and keeping folk alive for the next generations.
Poignant, satirical, funny and engaging and verrrrrry musical, The Dixie Chooks belt out their own songs and a few well known favourites with big voices, glorious harmonies and lots of instruments, Wendy and Moira will have you crying till you laugh!
East Row Rabble delivers a slick mix of funk, ska, blues and soul with heavenly horn lines that will get your booty shakin’ and your feet shuffling. Addressing a mixture of world issues and daily curiosities, their songs explore the varied elements of any situation with honesty, hope, and cheekiness.
Three talents… Two cultures.. One trio band – Egypsy is creating one of the most unique world fusions, by mixing Middle Eastern and European tunes in an intriguing way. Atif, Nad and Sako on their respective instruments; darabuka (percussion), Nay (bamboo flutes) and guitar are playing a unique genre of music, both originals and covers, to entertain and amuse the audience.
“…one of our finest lyricists…he shows true mastery of crafting melodies and marrying them to the words without recourse to a shotgun…” John Shand, SMH. Songwriter, comedian, raconteur and author Fred Smith joins forces with an all-star band to present songs from his rich back catalogue and his new album “Warries”.
Uplifting, inclusive and lighthearted Food of Love has been celebrating the thrill of the human voice in harmony for 20 years. When you have a community event that needs the musical touch , Food of Love is the choir you call. We love songs with a sweet tune from any tradition.
FolkLines play bush music for bush and colonial dances, and lead sessions for those who want them.
With lots of hats and voices, he’s a wonder to behold,
a writer and performer – three-times champion, we’re told.
Bush poetry performance makes him come alive, you see;
it’s dinkum Aussie culture that will fill you full of glee.
So come along, experience his characters in rhyme
come climb the slime and grime, no crime, it’s prime, a time sublime!
George Mann has produced albums featuring such folk music legends as Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton and produced national tours of the US and Australia in honor of the Almanac Singers (2013) and Joe Hill (2015). George brings his experience as a union organizer and educator to his concerts– stories and songs about real events and the struggle for a better life.
With their eponymous album winning three titles in the Australian Celtic Music Awards 2018, Gone Molly are truly unique folk storytellers. Breathing life into colourful characters and tales imagined or discovered, ‘The Mollies’ will lead you on a journey through the grimy streets of London, over ghostly battlefields and down into the faerie dells of Anglo-Celtic history. Delivered with a joyful energy and a hint of the theatrical, their live performances are not to be missed!
On the nebulous intersection of trad jazz, Americana and ol’ fashioned folk sit The Grubby Urchins, a duo of happy-go-lucky young Melburnians with dirty feet and a penchant for the eclectically bizarre. Armed with heady harmonies and intrepid instrumentals, the Urchins wage stylistic war on songs old and new.
We are a well known a cappella choir with a love of the uplifting and passionate quality of the gospel genre. Our repertoire includes traditional gospel songs as well as modern gospel-inspired numbers which draw on related musical styles such as soul, R & B and jazz. Under the dynamic direction of Stephen Clarke the choir will inspire audiences with uplifting and toe tapping music.
We performed in the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival in 2014 and are excited to be back.
James Palethorpe, Eoin O’Keeffe & Ian Hayden have been playing in Irish ceili dance bands for many years and are steeped in the traditional dance music of Ireland. The band members are all versatile musicians who love playing the exciting up-tempo music needed for Irish ceili dancing.
The Lurkers play acoustic hillbilly punk about super-profits, civil disobedience and the post-post-feminist revolution. They were the winners of the 2013 Songs for Social Justice’ Award, presented by the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund for their song ‘Mining Man’, a protest song about Coal Seam Gas mining.
The Lurkers played their beloved Kangaroo Valley Folk Fest 2018 and organised the Woody Guthrie Tribute hour that treated punters to collaboration of almost the entire festival line up, getting up on stage band by band to play a Guthrie song each. This climaxed in an all bands in, rousing rendition of This Land Is Your Land. We would love to come back again this fine year for more fun n’ feisty folk with you all!
Maypole with Molly and her lively accordion will have kids dancing and creating intricate ribbon patterns or playing percussion. Emphasis is on fun audience participation where adults are invited to join in. Erika Cleaver (Molly), an experienced early childhood teacher and her helpers enjoy sharing music and dance with kids.
Melanie has been described by the Sydney Morning Herald as having a voice of ‘the utmost delicateness’, as a ‘songwriting gem’ by The Australian. Based in Candelo in southern NSW, Melanie has recorded Eleven albums and EPs including her latest solo album, ‘Song to Sing on a Saturday Night’ and this August’s release duo album ‘The World Has A Gentle Soul’ with Steve Appel. Melanie’s critically acclaimed album The Cloud Appreciation Society was long-listed for the 2013 Australian Music Prize, Quatre Chemins for the 2015 Australian Music Prize, and she was nominated for an APRA award in 2011.
She has toured with Glen Hansard and The Frames, Jason Mraz, Bernard Fanning, Lou Rhodes, Slaid Cleaves and Sarah Blasko among others, as well as touring extensively on her own in Australia and Europe. Melanie recorded an album in French, which was funded by the highly successful Pozible campaign and gave Melanie a six month residency in France, writing songs with poet Alain Rivet and pop icon Helena Noguerra. Melanie has also written songs with Wendy Matthews and Catherine Britt, and for film and television.
Recipients of the 2018 National Folk Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Margaret and Bill Winnett, love nothing better than teaching people to do Irish dancing then see them put their skills to the test at a Ceili. Their workshops are always fun and full of energy, the Ceili even more so!
Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar , a husband-and-wife duo setting the Americana/Folk scene ablaze, as a duo or with their five-piece band, The Mammals. Singers, songwriters & storytellers, social & environmental activists, poets and parents, they tour with their children in tow, embodying a down-home approach to Americana. Ruth is carrying on her family tradition, being the daughter of legendary fiddler/composer, Jay Ungar (‘Ashokan Farewell’).
Playing traditional Australian bush, dance and bushdance music, No Such Thing hail from across the South Coast and have played at a variety of folk festivals since 2002. Look out for their book of Tunes We Like To Play!
Electro-folk, klezmer-fusion entertainer Niq Reefman is an incredible one-man-musical. Drawing curiosity globally with his eclectic tale-spinning songs he’s also the BEST IN THE GALAXY at playing trumpet and accordion simultaneously. His songs fuse jazz chords, folk lyrics & pretty melodies with a splash of comedy, into an artwork of ear candy!
TMadis Alvre and his wife Tiina will present a variety of Estonian, Finnish and Swedish folk dances, suitable for beginners as well as more experienced dancers and ranging from circle and formation dances, to couple dances and progressive dances. Accompanied by Helen Strutt and Kieran Scott from Salmiakki Pelimannit.
Nerds & Music consists of two cyborgs assembled by some deranged mechanic in his back shed in Newcastle. Their repertoire ranges from sea shanties about the national broadband network to meditations on the colour brown. Audiences have been rendered dumbstruck by their weirdness, witticisms, wordplay, and alliteration.
A powerful and passionate performer, masterful songwriter & Story teller with heart on his sleeve.
The Peppercorns are Craig Sinclair (guitar, vocals) and Lara Norman (violin, mandolin, vocals). Hailing from the south coast of WA, this duo bring together a wealth of musical influences on their bluegrass, swing and old-timey inspired folk tunes. Using a traditional single microphone approach, their delicate string arrangements, soaring harmonies and timeless lyrics create a unique sound, both intimate and powerful.
Obsidian is well known for dancing down a darker, more industrial path, but is cheeky, colourful and fun when dancing in the light. The troupe performs a range of choreographies in their own fusion style of bellydance traditions with modern industrial styling added to the mix along with dance motif influences from Goth, burlesque and flamenco.
With a name like Peter Willey, what else could he be but a comedian? Peter is a seasoned stand-up and accomplished singer / guitarist with an arsenal of sharp tongued stories, jokes, impressions, poems, original songs and irreverent reworking of famous tunes. He has performed at countless folk and comedy clubs, and too many clubs and pubs. Hilarious!
ReCollected – Don and Sue Brian, excavate diaries, journals and old newspapers looking for songs, poems and old crafts. They then tell the stories in illustrated workshops and demonstrations
They have presented workshops at the National Folk Festival, Australian Folklore Conference, local history groups and to Norfolk Island history tours.
A dynamite force in world roots music, adored for their frenetic drum choreographa dynamic force in world music with ies and infectious dance grooves, Rhythm Hunters bring cutting edge physical percussion, western horns, Asian flute, deep grooves and electro beats, making them one of Australia’s most exciting festival acts.
Take a tantalising trip through versatile verse with livewire poet Robyn Sykes: frolicking folk, powerful protests, serious stories, rollicking rhymes. Authentic Aussie entertainment.
Melbourne’s mesmerising contemporary world music band The Royal High Jinx have burst onto Australian festival stages with originality virtuosity and theatricality. Their songs and tunes are inspired by European traditions peppered with Gypsy Jazz Latin Balkan & Swing grooves with a pinch of Folk. In 2018, TRHJ excited and ignited European audiences on “Gone Gone Gone” Germany Tour. Sing along with and dance to Melbourne’s most colourful band.
The Bush Music Club’s Sapling program for young musicians and would-be musicians aged 8-16 gives them the experience and enjoyment of playing Australian collected music in a relaxed atmosphere with expert bush musicians as tutors, using their own acoustic instruments or ours!
Canadian balladeer and veteran road warrior Scott Cook returns with a new intercontinental stringband, consisting of fellow prairie boy Bramwell Park on banjo, and Aussie comrades Esther Henderson on fiddle and Liz Frencham on upright bass. Sturdy songs, equal parts introspection and insurrection.
Shoalhaven Community Choir
A non-profit volunteer community choir that anyone can join, Shoalhaven Community Choir have a history of performances across the region including at the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival.
Scottish Country Dance Workshop
Come and join in the fun of Scottish Country Dancing with a special program of dances sure to get everyone up on the floor! You’ll have your toes tapping to the fantastic music of lively jigs and driving reels as you enjoy this fun and social form of dance.
Session Experience provide a welcoming accessible place to play music in a session like environment. We love playing music with others but find just “joining a bar session” can be intimidating, so we started running slow sessions at festivals where we hope everyone feels welcome.
Get in the festival mood with the intoxicating original music of The Somedays. An eclectic mix of seasoned musicians sharing the music love. From folk to jazz, blues to country, reggae to rock and lots in between, they even have a sea shanty sailor song. One not to be missed!!
The Surly Griffins are Canberra’s local morris side. They like to challenge the neat traditions of morris, bringing together Border and Cotswold styles, and throwing in some Yorkshire Longsword dancing for good measure. With their vigorous stick-clashing, flamboyant costumes, and jaunty music, the Griffins will give you full morris satisfaction.
Skinner & T’witch are an original, contemporary folk acoustic duo from England, performing folk, flamenco and theatre style songs. ‘A pair of comic geniuses’. David Chamberlain, Blues and Roots Radio
The Sweet Sorrows bring Celtic charm and edge together with soft harmonies to create an Americana/Celtic/Roots fusion. (CrossRhythms UK)
Based in Co. Wexford, Ireland, The Sweet Sorrows are veteran Irish singer-songwriter Sammy Horner and his Australian wife Kylie. They tour globally with their blend of original and trad music delighting audiences with their humour and vocal harmonies. Sammy’s guitar and bodhran is matched well by Kylie’s whistles, melodica and accordion.
An evening with The Sweet Sorrows always promises to be highly entertaining, provocative and moving. Their intimacy, transparency and strength of passion on stage has won them many fans.
Winner of the Maldon Ministerial award, touring with iconic musician Tex Perkins and Ruckman for the Rockdogs, Tim Woodz is “all grins and silly anecdotes” as he performs Jazzy folk tunes with a quirky narrative. Tim’s songs provoke beautiful, nostalgic and charming imagery with energetic musical warmth.
Nowra sisters Joy, Kathy and Robin Sharpe are Trilogy, whose repertoire extends from Celtic folk to 1970’s kitsch. If there’s a three part harmony out there, we’ll find it – and we love to hear you singing along.
Watchglass uniquely fuses folk, pop, and a splash of funky-jazz into a catchy blend of original tunes. Featuring soulful vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, and percussion. Ethereal and personal vocals will take you on an emotional journey while still retaining the elements of fun and soulfulness.
The Water Runners play a unique blend of bluegrass-infused Australian folk. Engaging stories, tight harmonies and strong musicianship combine to produce an unforgettable entertainment experience. With a brand new album to show off in 2019, come see why this band has been wowing crowds at venues and festivals far and wide.
Crooning troubadour and old time folk singer, William Alexander (the kid from Bourke), brings back the songs of hillbilly and country musics greatest figures as well as his own songs of the new world and all its trials and tragedies.
The Willing Ponies play a unique brand of acoustic bluegrass-based progressive acoustic music they like to call “acousticana pop”
Comprising some of Australia’s finest pickers, Willing Ponies are a progressive acoustic band that play original songs of relatable life that are both universally inspirational and distinctly Australian
A lively four-part rendition of traditional and modern material in Welsh and English.