PERFORMER LINKS: 2016 General2016 Dance2016 Spoken Word2016 Kids2016 Circus & Street2016 Participation


Below is the list of Performers for the 2016 Festival

Please note: The National Folk Festival and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.

A – C | D – F | G – K | L – O | P – S | T – Z

A – C
Acoustic Shock Acoustic Shock is one of Sydney’s oldest established Bluegrass bands, performing solid traditional bluegrass songs and tunes with a splash of Hank Williams honest truth. Featuring prize-winning instrumentalists Nigel Lever, Martin Louis, Jimmy Rush & Quentin Fraser. The band have not played for many years but have come together for a special reunion gig which will feature the talents of 9 yr old William Louis on banjo, mandolin and guitar
All Our Exes Live in Texas All Our Exes Live in Texas is a fantasy draft of Sydney musical talent, Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts & Georgia Mooney, all beautiful performers in their own right, here combining in four-part folk heaven. On mandolin, ukulele, accordion and guitar, All Our Exes deliver tunes that are clearly crafted with taste, care and skill in the context of a spontaneous, playful and utterly charming live show.
Web_Andrew Winton Andrew Winton Launching his new album, Glory Box Mechanics, festival favourite, award-winning songwriter and lap-slide guitar specialist Andrew Winton makes a welcome return. Conjuring up everything from sophisticated blues groans to celtic influenced melodies from his 13-stringed, double-neck, Alabama cypress tree root lap-slide beast, Andrew’s musicianship, eclectic influences & humour will leave you feeling fine! It’s cheaper than counseling…
Andy Salvanos Andy Salvanos is a leading exponent of the 10-string Chapman Stick and a favourite with fans of melodic solo guitar. His music has been described as “the sound of the world”, with a diverse range of influences coming together on a single instrument.
Andy White Belfast-born songwriter Andy White has twelve albums and three books to his name. A 21st Century Troubadour who filters storytelling and poetry through a folk pop sensibility, he’s toured the world many times over with his 12 string guitar, written with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Tim Finn – who introduced him to Australia – and worked with the great names of Irish music. Andy’s new album is How Things Are. “Andy White is a poet, albeit one who plays the acoustic guitar” FROOTS UK
Web_april maze April Maze, The With alternative folk music that has been described as a mix of spectral dustbowl blues, vengeful hoedowns and pared back swoon songs the April Maze’s sound is for all-weather – to curl up with on rainy days or to dance to in a sun-soaked summer. The April Maze delicately fuse a haunting melancholy sound with dreamy tripped-out harmonies, lyrical cello, banjo, guitar and sultry vocals.
Australian Chinese Music Ensemble The Australian Chinese Music Ensemble is a high-standard Chinese music ensemble. Because of their mastery of traditional, contemporary, and cross-cultural Chinese music they are well-regarded in the Australian ethnic communities. The ensemble has performed at the Melbourne Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Global Carnivals Australia Queensland, Four Winds Festival NSW, the Telstra Adelaide Festival etc., and it has also often performed for the ABC.
Web_ballpoint Ballpoint Penguins They’re smart, they’re sharp, they’re cute, some of them are cuddly…and they’re back at the National with their unique brand of acappella comic wit and subversion and a brand new CD featuring the song that should have won the Leonard Cohen Infinite Song Competition. The Penguins will bring a smile to your face, leave disturbing concepts in your mind and have you questioning the real meaning of life, the universe and everything. Iceberg meets lettuce. Python eats Swann.
Ballyhooley Ballyhooley re-unites Jesse Rowan (ex Spindlewood), Terry McGee (Irish flutemaker) and Melanie Turner (pumping banjo) from the Eurobodalla, with Canberra’s Pete and Sue Hobson. A band of long-time musical friends and seasoned performers, their multi-vocal harmonies showcase various styles of traditional songs and ballads from Ireland, Scotland, Australia, England and America – accompanied and acappella – with tasteful traditional tunes on banjo, flute, hammered dulcimer, fiddle and mandolin.
Banjo Girl, The – Taylor Pfeiffer The Banjo Girl is a Banjo player, singer, songwriter & yodeller from Adelaide. Highlights include performing on TV Shows – Spicks & Specks, BTN, Sunrise & The Today Show. Taylor has performed with Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, Adam Harvey, Troy Cassar-Daley, the Davidson Brothers to name a few. Taylor was awarded the 2015 People’s Choice Award for Most Promising Future Star in Tamworth. Her singles reached the Country Tracks Radio Top 40, Toughen Up Princess #18 & You Were The Stranger #21.
Beez, The (Germany) The Beez – that cabaret band from Berlin – have just graduated from their famous “Sitzdisco” (dancing while seated) to “Moshpitzen” (mosh pitting) with the addition of fabulous singing drummer Annette Kluge.Trademark soaring four-part harmonies, banjo, guitar, accordion-from punk to polka, cajun to country-The Wall has fallen!
Black Market Tune (Austria/Scotland) Award winning Black Market Tune are a successful example of outstanding musical collaboration and the globalisation of the Celtic Folk genre. Described as “Modern folk/world music with a Scottish backbone”, the group wafts and weaves a tapestry of song and music with a charming twist and sexy swing.
Black Mountain String Band Black Mountain String Band is a fantastic celebration of old time string band music: where three fiddles and voices harmonise with infectious rhythms of banjo, guitar and double bass. This superb group of Canberra musicians gathers around a single mic and share tunes and songs that draw from the well of old time tradition and timeless original material. The band is Donal Baylor, Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen, continuing the revival of Pablo’s father’s band from the 1970’s.
Web_bloodwood Bloodwood Long time folkies from the Territory’s Red Centre. Bloodwood have their own brand of Australian bush music winning them acclaim around the country and the world and a wealth of experience gained and shared with the Australian folk screen over many years. Don’t miss this last chance to be part of a Territory legend
Brian Peters (UK) A great ambassador for traditional English song and music, all-rounder Brian Peters combines passionate singing with multi-instrumental skills on squeezebox and guitar. Brian is an expert on ancient ballads, a leading anglo-concertina player, a respected researcher, and a performer full of energy and humour. He tours and teaches all over the world, and has performed three times before at the National.
Bruce McNicol Originally a Melbourne folkie, then a Nimbin songwriter, Bruce now lives in Deloraine, TAS. With guitar or accordion, keyboard or kazoo, plastic bag-o-phone or loop pedal, these original songs and poems of family and society are either serious social comment or display a bent sense of humour. He also transcribes French Mussette accordion pieces, and the workshop for this is suitable for all chordal or melodic instruments.
Burrows Bringing together three of Canberra’s best-loved songwriters, recently formed band Burrows have quickly become darlings of the capital’s folk scene. They weave together beautiful melodies and 3 part vocal harmonies with heart-wrenching lyrics to create intimate, honest and poignant songs that will stay with you when the night is over.
Bush Gothic Reclaiming lost Australian cultural territory ‘Bush Gothic’ has been described by Rip it Up magazine as ‘Outstanding’, invited to perform at the prestigious Mona Foma festival and their debut album reviewed as ‘Takes your breath away’ -The National Times. Songs of criminal women and convict men, treachery and transportation have been dragged out of the songbooks, ripped apart, then lovingly put back together as a reminder that our history never leaves us.
Bush Music Club The Bush Music Club was founded in 1954 to collect, publish and popularise Australia’s traditional songs, dances, music, yarns, recitations and folklore. They are the oldest folk club in Australia and continue to organise regular dance and music workshops, bush dances, concerts and colonial balls. BMC has been actively promoting Australian folk traditions for 60 years and will continue to do so well into the future.
Castlecomer For those of you yet to discover Castlecomer, they are a band of brothers and cousins who have been honing their craft over the last two years through endless touring and song-writing to bring you their newest and best product in the form of their latest EP. This is a excellent example of the direction that the band are heading in for their future releases and an exciting sign of what’s to come. Their live show is not one to miss.
Candy Royalle + The Freed Radicals Inimitable front woman Candy Royalle returns with a stellar line up including musical trio Sloppy Joe, Surreal Showgirl Betty Grumble and trumpet player extraordinaire Niveen Abdelatty performing new work (plus a few favorites thrown into the mix). Expect high energy, lyrical intensity, political levity and spectacular revelry.
Catgut Catgut is Nick Street (guitar), Miriam Jones (fiddle, 2015 National Folk Fellow) and Kieran Owens (banjo). These musicians draw on their respective musical histories — as members of political folk act The Lurkers and respected old-time/country outfit The Owens Family Band — to create a sound that is at once grounded in Appalachian tradition while hurtling head-long into futuristic and exploratory space.
Chloe & Jason Roweth Band The Roweths work with new and old traditional Australian ballads and work songs, early country music, original music, poetry, yarns, and dance tunes drawing explicit thematic connections between pieces to tell a larger story. These are the songs of the kitchen, verandah, shearers’ huts, the local, and the campfire. Bill Browne, Baz Cooper and Matt Nightingale add exceptional talent to the mix, bringing cutting edge arrangements of Australian traditional music and poetry to the big stage.
Chordwainers, The The Chordwainers play elegant instruments by world-renowned leather sculptor, Garry Greenwood. The instruments play like saxophones, didjeridus, harps and drums. Influenced by an eclectic mix of world music and years of exploring, we’ve captured our discoveries in original songs: whimsical, seductive, raucous, jazzy or straight.
Christopher Cady Christopher Cady plays Ragtime Blues in the Piedmont style drawing from the works of the old blues-masters such as Blind Blake and the Rev. Gary Davis, and excursions into the likes of Hoagy Carmichael. With appearances at The National, St Albans, Turning Wave and many other Festivals, and with two CDs out so far, a Cady set is a unique experience
Ciaran O’Grady, Aifric Boylan & Graeme Newell Ciaran and Aifric have developed a rich, unique concertina and fiddle duet over many years. They combine select Irish and English folk tunes with their own exquisite compositions. A lucky coincidence brought guitarist Graeme Newell to their door shortly after they emigrated from Ireland in 2014. It has been a meeting of musical minds. Aifric and Ciaran recorded a live album in Ireland before they left. It will be released at the Festival along with several brand new compositions.
Web_cloudstreet Cloudstreet From Queensland, John and Nicole have toured the world since 2003. Joined in 2015 by Emma Nixon on fiddle & vocals, they present a unique blend of spectacular harmony, driving rhythms and compelling repertoire, drawn from both the Anglo-Celtic traditions & their own compositions. Exuberant, world-class folk at its best. “You go to a Cloudstreet gig and it feels as though the clouds have lifted and the sun is shining again – that’s the effect they have on you” – Cefyddydau Mari Arts
Co-cheol Multi-award winning Co-cheòl are four lasses with a rich and powerful vocal sound that will challenge your idea of a girl group! Be taken on a journey to the Celtic lands and beyond with breath-taking songs, instrumentals and quirky body percussion
Web_colum Colum Sands (Ireland) Colum Sands has been described as a poet disguised as a songwriter and a singer disguised as a story teller. For many years the County Down songwriter has been weaving songs and stories that have taken him to stages around the world. Colum is also a BBC radio presenter, has produced over 100 albums, has worked with young musicians and veterans like Joan Biaz and Pete Seeger and was shortlisted for three nominations for the 2009 Grammy Awards.
Web_The Company Company, The Boasting two Australian Bluegrass champions on guitar, fiddle and banjo, The Company has a passion for high-energy original and traditional acoustic music. The playing and singing is crisp, melodic and soulful. In concert you witness the band’s virtuosity but also a wry humour and engaging camaraderie. “The Brisbane-based quartet is at the pinnacle of the Australian acoustic country scene.” David Costello, Courier Mail.
Conchillia Conchillia draw on a whole world of inspiration to create a new sound, unpredictable and delightful, pulsing with vibrancy and vitality. With a dash of French cabaret, a samba beat, or a calypso flavour -they wrap their lyrics in global beats to create something new, shimmering with luscious, tuneful appeal. “The selection of instruments and voice are the perfect match……wow…..just wow”. 5/5 stars – EP review by Music SA for Bside Magazine
Coolfin Mac Coolfinn Mac has been performing for over 15 years and won many awards. Coolfinn draws from the rich celtic traditions and their influence on the Australian tradition.
Craig and Simone Dawson Craig and Simone Dawson are doing a bit of “re-inventing themselves”. After performing for years together in many venues around Australia, they are currently working on songs using double vocal and stringed arrangements. Blending harmonies and rhythms, Craig struts his stuff with his fancy guitar work whilst Simone sits back and enjoys the scenery.

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D – F
Danny Spooner Danny Spooner is an internationally respected singer of British and Australian traditional and contemporary folksong. He has been singing in the Australian folk-scene for over fifty years presenting themed concerts and workshops and has appeared in Britain, the USA, Newfoundland Quebec, Canada, New Zealand and Slovenia.
Dave Oakes Singer songwriter having spent the last 38 years in Alice Springs, Born in Liverpool UK, early influences, English, Irish and Celtic folk music. Spent 4 years touring in the pubs and clubs around Europe and arrived In Australia in 1974. Founding Member of “Aspro Theatre” for 12 years before playing solo. Completed his first CD in November 2014 “Made in Alice Springs” and second CD expected by Christmas 2015 containing mostly original songs. Have had several songs recorded by other artists.
Davidson Brothers The Davidson Brothers outstanding musicianship and ability to entertain has seen the 3-time Golden Guitar winning act release their seventh studio album ‘Wanderlust’ recorded in Melbourne featuring their live band Jacob McGuffie on acoustic guitar and Louis Gill on upright bass. Well known for high powered pickin, fine vocal harmonies and classic humour, the Davidson Brothers are National Bluegrass champions and they lead the way for the current acoustic-roots music revival in this Country.
David Hyams and the Miles To Go Band Western Australia’s big band of celtic fusion features a world spanning array of instruments from wood flute to digeridoo. Described as a “refreshing combination of imaginative new material with deep respect for source traditions” the music ranges from the atmospheric, inspired by the Australian & Irish landscapes, to lively and blistering jigs and reels.
Web_den Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners taps a style of Bluegrass/Oldtime/Irish neither frozen in the past nor experimenting with the future but simply played on mandolins, guitars, fiddles, accordions and upright basses with songs blending contemporary and old fashioned Australian stories.
Doctor Stovepipe Doctor Jim (Ear, nose, throat and guitar), Doctor Gill, (Modern phrenology and registered fiddle practitioner) and Doctor Ed (double bass and proctology) together, are Doctor Stovepipe, with aural cure-alls and toneful tinctures for all occasions. Here today, gone tomorrow…your maladies, that is.
East Pointers, The (Canada) Ontario guitarist Jake Charron and 7th generation Prince Edward Island musicians Tim (fiddle) and Koady Chaisson (banjo) make traditional music seem ridiculously hip. An adrenalized, roof-rattling, performance monster, the trio’s excellent new release Secret Victory, penned mostly in Australia in early 2015, features the beautiful songs, free-wheeling, feisty instrumental jigs, stomps and reels and heart-breaking harmonies have made them torchbearers for a new wave in traditional music.
Eastwinds A Japanese didgeridologist, an Estonian songbird, an English guizoukist, an Iranian percussionist and an Australian woodwind maestro – if Australian multicultural music has a name, that name is Eastwinds. Our music is a vibrant blend of cultural threads, from the shores of the Baltic through the Balkans to Persia. Exquisite melodies, sophisticated rhythms, free-spirited improvisation and eclectic originality will transport you to a new geography of sound.
Encuentro Dos Encuentro Dos plays flamenco – passionate, fiery and deep. The band fuses flamenco with contemporary latin, funk and jazz flavours. Be mesmerised by the exquisite guitar playing of Juan Martinez, the rhythmic brilliance of Peter Vadiveloo on percussion, and the outstanding melodic groove of Antonio Mazziotta on bass.
Enda Kenny Enda has delighted audiences in eight countries over the past year and still managed to put the guitar down for long enough to walk the Camino. He’s very glad to be camping at the only National Folk Festival where you can go to bed with magpies and get woken up by cockatoos.
Fagans, The This famous family hailing from Australia & the UK is appearing on this side of the world for the first time in several years. Margaret & Bob combine with the next generation, James, Kate and the amazing Nancy Kerr to deliver stunning harmonies, driving instrumentals & familial joie de vivre. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear these legends of Australian Folk.
Fettlers, The Fifteen years ago Peter Bate and Tony Suttor started singing railway songs at Adelaide River Rail Heritage Precinct, an hour south of Darwin. The duo grew into a band and diversified, adding songs of aviation to their repertoire, as evidenced by their first two albums “Northern Railway Tracks” and “The Fettlers: Airborne”. Their next album will probably be about ships.
Fiddle Chicks, The With only their two fiddles, bass fiddle and stomp boxes, The Fiddle Chicks (Dee Trewartha and Emma Woolcock) create a unique musical experience for audiences at Festivals and events throughout Australia. Their unique minimalist sound is strong, energetic and vital. From their inspiring originals to unique arrangements of songs from the rich heritage of folk music, The Fiddle Chicks have proven themselves to be one of SA’s most endearing and original acts!
Freewheeler, The Forged of a deep and longstanding musical bond, The Freewheeler combines three of Australia’s finest traditional Irish musicians – Dougal Adams (flute), and Trouble in the Kitchen’s Ado Barker (fiddle) and Ben Stephenson (guitar). This is the sound of music set loose, the tunes lifting and rolling with a freedom that speaks
Frencham Smith Fred Smith has been a favorite on the Australian festival circuit for years much loved for his gentle wit, gift for story and melody, and sublime collaborations with Liz Frencham and The Spooky Men’s Chorale. Described in the SMH as “…an exceptional songwriter and certainly the equal of Bogle, Walker and Schumann”, Fred returns to the National with Liz and band to play songs from his bulging back catalogue.
Frumious Fiery and notorious, Frumious is a vibrant, high-energy band from Hobart, Tasmania. Frumious brings an eclectic mix of contemporary gypsy, jazz and folk, fusing together a wide range of influences. Frumious combines instrumental and vocal harmonies through violin, accordion, baritone ukulele and acoustic bass in an infectiously upbeat sound. Receiving special distinction at the Folk Alliance Young Performers awards at the National Folk Festival last year, Frumious is fresh and exciting.

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G – K
GhostNoises GhostNoises, a.k.a. Liam White, is a Canberra based recording artist and producer. GhostNoises is a multi-instrumentalist who blends hip-hop beats with elaborate, classically inspired indie-pop compositions.
Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse Winner of the Best Indigenous Act of 2013 at the WA Music Industry Awards and best Indigenous act at the NAIDOC 2014 awards, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse are a rare act who can capture the hearts and imagination of an audience and connect deeply through the power of song. Gina sings entirely in Noongar Language – rare and unique to the South West of Australia with less than 240 speakers left of this beautiful Language. Guy compliments on guitar in a way that will leave you breathless. With the blessings of her elders and community, Gina and Guy will take you on an unforgettable journey.
Goldstein Ostentatiously Australiana, Goldstein is a folk rock band that delivers highly entertaining, infectious and original tales about modern life in this great country. Cheeky and ballsy, the award winning band has played at major festivals and dodgy front bars and always refused requests to play 80s covers.
Gordie Tentrees Deeply personal, moving, melodic, uplifting and lyrically rich – these are the songs that will tear your heart out one note at a time, master storyteller and multi-instrumental performer Gordie Tentrees has arrived. Yukon based, farm boy, school teacher, youth counsellor turned folk artist Tentrees has released 6 albums, his latest Less is More presents a soundtrack to a storied past with songs of triumph, heartache and redemption. Gordie is joined by Jaxon Haldane, on banjo, mandolin
Guitar Cases Band, The Original outlaw country and folk influenced blues from Canberra’s hardest working band. Andy Daniels’ vocal delivery is like no other. Andrew Tatnell complements Daniels’ percussive style on resonator guitar with sweet melodies on Fender electric and slide on his self-made cigar box guitar. The talented Ang Perusco adds bristling blues harmonica, acoustic guitar and backing vocals, and the Master Percussionist Red Dog Herbert keeps the outfit smokin’ on bongos and cajone.
Hashemoto Hashemoto write beautiful songs and perform them around an upright piano. Their diverse influences range from Peter, Paul & Mary, to Claude Debussy and Radiohead.
Web_hayley Hayley Shone From toe-tapping blues, soft harmonic melodies to lip curling quips, Hayley Shone is a dynamic singer/songwriter. With tales both tall and true, old and new, Hayley weaves a unique narrative into her music. Growing as a performer fostered by the bearded, bell-jingling scene of the festival, Hayley is a next-gen folkie worth a watch.
Web_horsewood Horse&Wood Mongolian Horse Head fiddle (Morin Khuur) and al’ Oud (“the wood” in Arabic) combine in a unique fusion of galloping Mongolian rhythms, sparkling harmonic singing, and the warm, evocative nuances of the oud, and other exotic strings. First conceived at Woodford Folk Festival 2010/11, when upon first meeting these two fine exponents of their craft found a chemistry both musically and on stage, The result is always stunning and often undefinable!
Web_jaaleekaay Jaaleekaay (Gambia/Australia) Jaaleekaay is an exciting and unique collaboration between Australian guitarist Steve Berry and two of Gambia’s leading musicians, the highly celebrated singer Yusupha Ngum and kora prodigy Amadou Suso – a direct descendent of Korea Musa Suso who brought the instrument to the world 760 years ago. Touring Australia in 2016 as a five piece with a blistering rhythm section, Jaaeleekaay brings you a passionate mix of contemporary musical prowess and deep cultural tradition.
Web_Jacinta Price Jacinta Price With her mother a traditional woman from the Warlpiri tribe of Yuendumu (293km north-west of Alice Springs), and father an Irish Catholic from Newcastle, Jacinta Price’s blend of folk, blues and country music is a style that reflects her Aboriginal/Celtic heritage and her life growing up in Central Australia. Her debut album DRY RIVER is a tribute to her hometown of Alice Springs, with songs conjuring up the landscape, the people and the culture.
Jane Germain & Pete Cornelius Award-winning singer songwriters Jane Germain & Pete Cornelius in their own right have forged very successful careers in the roots music scene across Australia (and further afield!). Since moving to Tasmania from WA, Jane has let her music do the talking — and Pete was listening. Listening so well in fact that the two have been collaborating over some tasty old-timey tunes, footstompin’ down-home blues and a swag full of honest originals. Multi-instrumentalists Pete & Jane combine bottleneck slide, clawhammer banjo, finger and flatpicking acoustic guitars with a strong focus on lyric and harmony. Two people making rich soulful music in this impatient climate is more refreshing than ever.
Jay Wars and the Howard Youth Jay Wars is a Melbourne-based celtic folk punk singer/songwriter, who, along with his band The Howard Youth aim to make you dance whilst listening to stories from yesteryear and today.
Jerry Cans, The (Canada) The fast-rising northern Canadian band, the Jerry Cans, create music inspired by their hometown of Iqaluit, Nunavut. The five-piece group combines Inuit throat singing — and most of the songs are sung in Inuktitut — with danceable tunes inspired by the fiddles and accordions brought to the Arctic by early explorers from Britain and Scandinavia…
Jordie Lane Australia’s Storytelling Troubadour Jordie Lane has just come off the back of an epic 2 year world tour of his critically acclaimed Nashville recorded EP, ‘Not Built To Last’. Renowned for both his relentless international touring schedule and comedic storytelling (which is as much ramble as it is insight), it’s Lane’s unique guitar style and the unmistakable character of his voice that is, simply otherworldly. Accompanied by the multi-talented singer/songwriter Clare Reynolds on among other things, a Guitar Case Drum? they’ve been sharing their immensely powerful harmonies and unique instrumentation right across the globe with coveted main stage appearances at Philadelphia Folk Festival(US), Edmonton, Calgary & Winnipeg Folk Festivals (Canada) and Celtic Connections (Scotland).
Joseph Tawadros Quartet Internationally renowned oud virtuoso and composer, Joseph Tawadros is a triple ARIA winner for ‘Best World Music Album’ (2012-2014). Touring regularly to jazz and world music festivals of Europe, collaborating with artists including Béla Fleck and Lior, Joseph’s music crosses western and middle-eastern classical, jazz and folk genres. The Quartet perform works from Tawadros’ ARIA awardwinning albums and his acclaimed new release, ‘Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors’.
Web_kaurna Kaurna Cronin Recipient of the 2015 Folk Alliance Youth Award and the prestigious 2014 APRA-AMCOS Emily Burrows Award this wandering storyteller is on the cusp of a new breed of Australian DIY folk artists, reimagining the way music is shared, written and enjoyed globally. With grand storytelling, folk jams and a lyrical sincerity beyond his years, Cronin’s unique folk blend and moving performances have been capturing audiences worldwide, establishing this young talent as an emerging international sensation.
Keith Donnelly (UK) Keith Donnelly is a one man festival. Keith writes and sings amazingly original songs, plays great acoustic guitar, is the funniest man this side of anywhere, and guarantees every audience a brilliant show. And he is great with kids!
Web_kristina Kristina Olsen and her Band (USA) An award winning singer song-writer with a big bluesy voice that ranges across lilting ballads, swing, jazz and ‘raunch and roll”. Author and composer are added to her extensive list of achievements and her latest jazz influenced collaboration will launch at the festival.

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L – O
Web_latehorse Latehorse This solo folk/rock singer songwriter hails from Donnybrook WA. With a distinctive voice and heartfelt lyrics, he has established a loyal following performing at festivals, bars and restaurants, and has supported such acts as Davey Craddock, Dragon and Samantha Jade. With songwriting akin to David Gray and Passenger, his waggish fingerpicking style and infectious melodies are compelling audiences through and through.
Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band A fine tribute to the music and language of the Cajuns – Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band play the traditional music of Southern Louisiana. Andrew and Geoff Le Blanc (who are descendants of the Acadians) perform Cajun songs and dance music with energy and style. Accompanied by Richard Klein (USA) and Jesse Hull (Canada) on Cajun fiddle with Kimberley Wheeler on double bass – together they present a performance to delight audiences young and old.
Little Stevies, The Unpredictable on-stage banter, exquisite harmonies, irresistible melodies & songs that are akin to your favourite stories put to music, The Little Stevies have built an exceptional reputation as a must see live act, drawing loyal, Little Stevie-loving fans wherever they go. Their most recent album was described in the SMH as “incredibly well-honed, gorgeous songs rip out of the speakers with a deep, warmly polished sound that is better than just about anything I have heard in recent history”.
Loren Kate “Her guitar playing was tasteful and sensitive, played with a subtlety that unselfishly carried each song, allowing the lyrics to be clearly identified and appreciated. It was pleasing to hear such a fine, controlled voice, void of too much vibrato yet pitch perfect.”-RIU Street Press, Adelaide Winner of the Telstra Road to Discovery 2014, Loren released her latest record ’til night meets the sun’ in October 2015, touring the country, delighting audiences with her well renowned storytelling.”
Mae Trio, The With their roots firmly planted in folk tradition, Australian award-winning band The Mae Trio are a breath of fresh air on the contemporary folk scene. Incorporating stellar three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and lyrical sophistication, these youngsters are on a rapid rise. Recipients of the Folk Alliance Youth Award, the prestigious Maton Class Act Award and the NFSA Folk Recording of the Year for their debut album Housewarming, The Mae Trio have made a colourful splash globally.
Web_Manran Mànran (Scotland) Tagged as “Celtic-rock”, Mànran’s music has an eclectic mix of influences with a central ethos built around the band’s traditional Celtic roots, fiery tunes from fiddle, accordion, flute, uillean and Highland bagpipes bind powerfully to a rhythm section awash with elements of funk, jazz and rock to create some of the most innovative and uplifting instrumental music around. Coupled with songs in both Gaelic and English that undergo the same musical mixology.
Web_margroad Margret RoadKnight LIfetime Achievement Award 2014 winner, Margret sang Folk, Blues & World music at the very first National in 1967. Her career began in a Melbourne theatre in the early ’60s ‘folk scare’ and has subsequently taken her around the globe, often representing Australia. Expect re-imagined songs – a kaleidoscope of folk, blues, gospel, comedy, songs of social concerns, other genres & gems – from the performer renowned for her sense of humour & history!
Martin Pearson Martin is a strange mix of serious song, comedic parody and cabernet merlot. Not quite young enough to be up-and-coming and not quite old enough to be a legend, he will continue to describe himself as a folk-singer out of sheer bloody- mindedness, and will crash-tackle anyone who describes him as eclectic.
Matthew Dames A chance to see one of Tasmania’s finest contemporary folk singers and guitar players. Originally from Cambridge, UK, Matthew’s years on the road and attending festivals in both countries has allowed him to gather skills used to create his debut album Cold Stars and his new record, Walk with Me. Matthew was the winner of the 2015 Liz Johnston Memorial award for Vocal Excellence.
Miriam Lieberman with Lara Goodridge and Kate Adams African influences blend seamlessly with blues and folk infused melodies in singer songwriter Miriam Lieberman’s music. She accompanies her emotive lyrics and powerful vocals with kora (African harp) and guitar. She’s Joined by Lara Goodridge on violin and Liz Frencham on bass with lush vocal harmonies and soaring strings arrangements
Moonshine Whiskers & The Ragged Pony Hobart based trio of multi-instrumentalists Ross Smithard, Graeme Beer & Jackie Gregory play an eclectic mix of original tunes, not so well known popular music & some twisted versions of well known songs.
Nancy Kerr & James Fagan (UK) English-based Nancy Kerr and James Fagan celebrated 20 years as a duo in December. In that time they have won the hearts of audiences world-wide with their exquisite musicianship, highly energetic performance and deep connection with both their audience and one another. Tradition meets contemporary in spectacular style. Nancy and James have an undeniable chemistry that leaps from the stage. Nancy’s top shelf fiddle playing and James’s legendary bouzouki underpin two great voices in close harmony.
Nancy Kerr and the Sweet Visitor Band (UK) Beloved English musician Nancy Kerr (2015 BBC “Folk Singer of the Year”) reawakens a radical folk mythology as a backdrop for contemporary narratives about love and conflict, motherhood, migration, hardship and jubilation, and the tensions between rural and urban life. Nancy and her great band will present the “Sweet Visitor” album, as well as her very latest songs.
Nerds and Music Nerds & Music consists of two cyborgs assembled by some deranged mechanic in his back shed in Newcastle. The Nerds deliver debilitating satire coated in oppressive harmonies. On time. Every time. Audiences will be rendered dumbstruck by their weirdness, witticisms, wordplay, and alliteration.
Web_nineteen Twenty 19-Twenty Festival Favourites 19-Twenty are an award winning Blues & Roots act from the East Coast of Australia. Blending unique sounds and a highly energetic live show, this power trio have been blazing a trail through the festival scene including Woodford Folk Festival, Bridgetown Blues & Narooma Blues Festival just to name a few.
Noel Gardner & Alex Bridge Duo with award winning songs that touch the social conscience and hearts of audiences wherever they play. Rich emotive vocals combined with sensitive guitar, subtle bass and beautiful harmonies create ‘ Powerful messages in a velvet glove of music ‘. They have entertained festival audiences around the country as well as the U.K. in 2014.

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P – S
Perch Creek Perch Creek are a band of five energetic multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, four of whom happen to be siblings. This Melbourne-based band play harmony driven roots music with a creative energy and fearless spirit that sparkles with imagination and individuality. Perch Creek combine five-part vocal harmonies with folk, roots and rock musical styles all threaded together by the band’s unique collaborative song writing.
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (USA) Grammy winner, Peter Rowan is a true legend of American Bluegrass, with a history dating from 1964 as lead-singer/guitarist with the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. Since then he has released numerous albums of mostly original songs, and has performed and recorded with the cream of US bluegrass, folk and Americana musicians. His current band includes Patrick Sauber (Banjo), brilliant mandolinist, Chris Henry, and Paul Knight on double bass.
Phil Wiggins and Dom Turner (USA) The trans-pacific duo of Phil Wiggins and Dom Turner features America’s foremost harmonica virtuoso, Phil Wiggins and legendary Australian blues guitarist/vocalist Dom Turner, Phil Wiggins toured the world for 35 years with the Piedmont Blues duo Cephas & Wiggins. Dom Turner has played and toured for the last 30 years with the legendary Australian blues band, Backsliders.
Pie Eaters, The The Pie Eaters are Alan Musgrove and Robert Stephens. Alan Musgrove is an award-winning fiddler and has spent 40 years collecting and performing traditional music. He plays fiddle in a unique Australian bush style as well as playing guitar and singing. He is accompanied on vocals, piano and accordion by Robert Stephens, who can claim 30 years’ experience on the Canberra and Melbourne music scenes. Their music has a snappy style that retains the essence of traditional music.
Plough, The The Plough are an Old Time String Band that play high energy Appalachian style American Folk and Old Time Gospel. The Plough originates out of the Sydney Old Time and Bluegrass scene in Australia and are passionate about keeping the old music alive and relevant. Their debut CD, ‘Reap What You Sow’, has been described as harking back to those authentic field recordings of the 1940’s (Judith Jones, Bluegrass Bulletin).
Pocket Fox Canberra favourites Pocket Fox play original alt-pop music using an eclectic and exciting line up of instruments. With luscious vocal harmonies and foot-stomping horn lines, their music will have you dancing, singing and falling in love. The band is too large. But it’s worth it. You’ll see.
Raglins, The The Raglins are made up of two of Australia’s leading young folk musicians. Together they perform traditional Australian folk songs with a modern twist, reinterpreting ballads and arranging them into something contemporary and extremely memorable. With Robert Hillman on guitar and Hannah Pelka-Caven on vocals, their strong sense of humour and love of stories produce Australian music as you’ve never heard it before.
Web_rambling boys Rambling Boys, The (Ireland) The Rambling Boys are Gino Lupari (Bodhran and vocals), David Munnelly (Accordion) Sean Regan (Fiddle, Mandola and Vocals) Alan Burke (Guitar and Vocals). They are a group of amazing musicians with successful individual careers who have been members of various Irish traditional groups.
Rayella Rayella deliver a journey into the heartbeat of Australia’s centre filled with tales of life and history from the Indigenous Mudburra people’s homeland. Expressed through a crafty blend of genres including pop, country, rock and reggae and presented in a mix of both Mudburra and English language, their engaging, eclectic style appeals to a wide audience.
Redfern Shanty Club A jolly and raucous gang of youngin’s singing old sea and folk songs, making new friends, and discovering their sea legs. With a fiddle and an accordion, sometimes a cappella, and always a lot of fun choruses to get you singing like a salty dog! Redfern Shanty Club has a history of surprise guests, an encouraging, inclusive atmosphere, and noise-complaint-worthy volume levels!.
Richard Perso Richard Perso has developed his delivery blending multiple genres fused into a folky rocking roots and blues with didgeridoos.
Roaring Forties, The Veteran harmony singers with a cartload of traditional and finely-crafted contemporary folk songs about Australian social, industrial and political history, with rousing shanties and choruses. The Forties have contributed to the National from earliest times as individuals and in variously-named combinations. Members include Don Brian; Robin Connaughton; Tom Hanson; Chris Maltby; Margaret Walters and John Warner (renowned song-writer). Don and Margaret also perform as “Southern Cross Trawlers”.
Web_rowena Rowena Wise In the vein of Feist and Regina Spektor, Rowena Wise’s music lays pop-infused melodies, and quirky, conversational lyrics onto a sparse, folk canvas. Raised in the Margaret River, Wise has relocated to Melbourne and her star is rising with recent appearances at Woodford, Blue Mountains, and Fairbridge Folk Festivals, a nationwide tour with Jordie Lane, and plenty of Triple J love for her first single ‘Words’.
Sásta Sásta (Happy) are the most dynamic Irish band in Australia today. Pumping reels & songs with phenomenal energy will have you up and dancing in no time! These guys are also the preferred support band for international acts such as Sharon Shannon, Damien Dempsey, Aslan, Mundy and ‘The Popes’ (formerly of ‘The Pogues) Sásta headlined the St. Patricks Day celebrations in Hyde Park, Sydney in both 2014 & 2015 to over twenty thousand happy festival revellers, They are this years ‘must see’ band!
Sheila Kay Adams (USA) A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and clawhammer banjo player, Sheila Kay Adams was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina USA. The winner of National and North Carolina Heritage Awards, Sheila was a consultant and appeared in the acclaimed movie Songcatcher.
Sian Evans The Rusty Datsuns front lady (Sian Evans) teams with Jigzag fiddler (Caroline Trengrove) adds a stampy box, jingles, banjo and guitar creating a combined sound of traditional folk with a contemporary twist, inflections of bluegrass; alt – country….
Siobhan Owen This Welsh born Australian singer/harpist spent 2015 touring UK and Europe with her “Celtic Roots” concerts. She also performed in festivals in Australia and Japan and as guest lead singer in a show in Siberia! Multi-award winning Siobhan will take you on a reflective musical journey across the Celtic lands of Wales, Scotland, Ireland… and far beyond! Prepare to be enchanted by sublime vocals and heavenly harp as Siobhan performs stunning renditions of traditional and contemporary Celtic songs!
Web_skipping girl Skipping Girl Vinegar Expect to be uplifted by indie-folk raconteurs Skipping Girl Vinegar, as they launch their acclaimed new album and immersive live show The Great Wave across Australia. Rich with melody, layers and classic sing-along choruses, this heart-warming band is a must-see experience.
Sparrow-Folk Australia’s ‘Sirens of Satire’ are back with a brand new batch of delicious musical comedy. Sparrow-Folk, the only confirmed glam-folk band, has reached international acclaim with their heavenly harmonies and tell-all tunes. Best described as the love child of Carol King and Flight of the Conchords. Join the flock – they promise not to ruffle too many feathers.
Spiro (UK) ‘English folk meets Philip Glass’ *****Evening Standard. The English instrumental quartet Spiro mix driving fiddle, accordion, mandolin and guitar, while using English folk tunes as the raw material, inventing a unique locked-in ensemble sound that’s a wonderfully overpowering assault on the eardrums. They are essentially English, beautifully brilliant.
Stephen “Baamba” Albert Baamba is a national treasure. After 40 years in the business he has just released his first album. Baamba has performed on stages and theatres all over the world. He is loved and adored for his charismatic performances. He starred in the feature film ‘Bran Nue Dae’ – Baamba is one heck of a dynamic performer – the crowds just love him and we reckon he would be absolutely perfect for the National.
Steve Poltz (USA) Steve Poltz is one-of-a-kind. He is a fabulous singer songwriter and the ultimate storyteller who has the audience in the palm of his hand, captivating and drawing out every emotion throughout his performance. He makes you laugh, he makes you cry, he makes your feel. The end of every show leaves you wanting more.
Steve Wilson – The Man with the Concertina Steve Wilson – The Man with the Concertina – is one of the finest exponents in Australia of song accompaniment with concertina. 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 infusing and his performance certainly entertaining.

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T – Z
Timbers, The A High Energy Party Anthem Folk Explosion. Thumping rhythm with the melody of a mountain. APRA Award Winning band, The Timbers will cast you away to the sweaty, smoky, melting-pot of roots, folk, and celtic bushman punk.
Tony McManus & Beppe Gambetta (Scotland & Italy) Two of the world’s foremost acoustic guitar players combine to perform the music of their recently released album Round Trip. Tony McManus is a Scot and is long acknowledged as the world best exponant of celtic guitar and Beppe Gambetta is an Italian musician and is a virtuso acoustic guitar flatpicker and singer, Beppe has been called a “virtual United Nations of influences: Italian, Ukrainian, Appalachian, Sardinian, Celtic.
Ukulele Republic of Canberra (URoC) Ukulele Republic of Canberra, URoC, is Canberra’s longest established and largest community ukulele music performance group. They play and sing across a wide range of music – folk to rock, country to soul, blues to blue Hawaii. They also have other instruments in their line up including a double bass, and from time to time percussion, mouth organs and kazoos.
Vishten (Canada) Third generation Acadians living separate but parallel musical experiences, twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc from Prince Edward Island, Canada and Pascal Miousse (Magdalen Islands) create a Celtic sound that incorporates elements of the new ways while retaining and staying true to the essential Acadian spirit of their roots with step-dancers, fiddle, guitar, accordion, penny-whistle, mandolin, piano, jaw-harp and bodhran.
Wheeze and Suck Band, The The Wheeze and Suck Band is an acoustic/electric group that commands a large following in Australia. The four man act, comprising guitar, melodeon, percussion and mandolin deliver’s English style traditional and original material, plus a dash of Australian- inspired songs,all performed with plenty of audience participation and humour. The band’s latest album is ‘The Macclesfield Dandy’.
Wil Thomas Wil Thomas is a journey man and storyteller, With his tales of Bush rangers and modern day political gangsters, Thomas sings of redemption, love and revolution, weaving stories from a stormy Celtic coastline all the way to the blood red dirt of the Kimberley. Thomas’ quest for the story in song is passionate and single- minded. With the release of his second album ‘Provenance’ in May 2015, Thomas continues to build on the poetry and swagger of his debut, ‘Fisherman’s Bend’.
West Texas Crude “It took a couple of listens but the latest offering from local outfit West Texas Crude jumped up and grabbed me. Take Your Chances is a good album that ventures close to great the more you play it” (Canberra Times). For 2016 West Texas Crude welcomes back original band member Philip Williams from the UK with his beautiful harmonies and harp. We’ve also been joined by Greg Turnbull on percussion and Peter McDonald on bass. We’ll launch our third album “We’re Free We’re Rolling” at NFF.
Women in Docs Queensland’s indie folk sweethearts, women in docs, are known for stirring and humorous live performances and have amassed a loyal worldwide following. Key performances at South By South West, Austin, Texas; International Folk Alliance, San Diego and Memphis and Canadian Music Week, Toronto; 50,000 CDs sold independently and eight critically acclaimed releases has cemented women in docs’ reputation as one of Australia’s most enduring and loved acts.
Web_younguns Young’uns, The (UK) The Young’uns irrepressible humour, infectious love for harmony singing, passion for storytelling and commitment to maintaining the tradition of social commentary with the rare ability to make audiences laugh and cry in equal measure has made them well sought after in the English Folk Scene. They have developed their craft, absorbed the musical heritage of their native North East, sought inspiration from the hundreds of performers and are now preparing to take their music to broader audience.
Zumpa Be transported with this ensemble to forgotten fishing villages, moonlit olive groves, and a hard life under a hot sun. With accordion, clarinet / saxophone and double bass Zumpa provides the sounds and energy of folk, gypsy and Italian world music all in one basket.

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