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2014 Festival Artists

The line-up of Artists for the 2014 Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival features some of the very best Folk and Bluegrass and Old-Time country musicians from around Australia and overseas.

Performer Applications for the 2014 Festival have now closed as of 30th May.

Chris Henry and The Hardcore Grass

Chris Henry and The Hardcore GrassChris Henry and The Hardcore Grass (Nashville USA)

Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass draw from the best years of traditional bluegrass to pick out some of the most intense songs and tunes, and have risen quickly to be one of the most popular bluegrass groups in Nashville.

Chris Henry has been described by the International Bluegrass Music Association as the premiere Monroe-style mandolinist of his generation. After receiving a Song of the Year nomination for writing the song “Walkin’ West to Memphis”, his skill as a songwriter has been receiving national attention as well.
Chris comes from a traditional bluegrass background and blends his appreciation for the classic sound with his own creativity to stretch out into wide open spaces that have audiences riveted to hear and see what happens next.

During stints touring and recording with numerous national acts, such as the Lynn Morris Band, Audie Blaylock and Redline, and Dave Peterson and 1946 among others, Chris has continued to hone his craft and kept refining his formidable vocal and instrumental skills .

In 2014 Chris toured Australia with Peter Rowan (including a fantastic performance in Dorrigo), and during that time he fell in love with the country and people and is thrilled with the prospect of returning here with his own band.  

Fiddler, singer, songwriter, and creative extraordinaire, Corrina Rose Logston is one of the most energizing young personalities in bluegrass today, widely known for her lively and versatile fiddling and singing rooted in traditional bluegrass music. Her harmony singing bears testament to many hours spent listening to the great duet teams in bluegrass and country music, and her fiddling suggests influence from giants such as Benny Martin and Jimmy Buchanan.
Corrina has performed with the likes of Del McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Alison Krauss, and Charlie Louvin, among numerous others. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Beth Lawrence has been living in the South for 10 years and playing bass and singing with national bluegrass bands. Primarily she plays with The Mark Newton Band, Ron Block Band, Jerry Salley Band, The Daughters of Bluegrass and occasionally fills in with Alecia Nugent and Dale Ann Bradley.
Beth is currently up for bass player of the year for the International Bluegrass Music Awards.

Mike Garris on Guitar, Bass and Vocals, is a singer and song writer with Ronnie Bowman at Sony in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mike has recorded and toured extensively as a member of the Del McCoury Band, David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience, The Mike Garris Band and Area 51, to name but a few…

Annie Lou Band

Annie Lou BandAnnie Lou Band (Canada)

Heart-moving, homegrown tunes
Annie Lou is built around the original songwriting of Anne Louise Genest, who spent twenty years living in the Yukon woods. Now relocated to the balmier shores of Vancouver Island, Genest carries the spirit of an old storyteller inside her, and this voice, mixed with the stringband sounds of fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and upright bass, traces a journey through days gone by to the here and now.
Genest founded Annie Lou after finding herself drawn to old time mountain and traditional country music. “This music has a profound edge to it – there in the voices and in the playing is the lament we all carry as people trying to get by in this beautiful, terrible world.”, she says. “Joy and grief are two sides of the same coin. The older music expresses that tension so perfectly.”
Genest’s first outing as Annie Lou brought  2010 Juno and WCMA nominations, and her sophomore release “Grandma’s Rules for Drinking” delivers the same great energy, with an added elegant touch and subtle maturity. “Grandma’s Rules” garnered two 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for English Songwriter of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year, and enjoyed over a year in the top ten of the International Folk DJ playlist.
Beautifully crafted songs range from rousing and boisterous to gentle and poignant, and map a homescape of hard-drinking grandmas, rural dancehalls, blue collar fashions, and the deep snows and silences of a Canadian winter.
This is original string band music, rooted in tradition, and a vibrant celebration of our culture and our times that moves the heart as well as the feet.

Touring with Annie Lou in 2014/15:
Anne Louise Genest – guitar, banjo, vocals
Sarah Hamilton -  fiddle, guitar, vocals
Andrew Collins – mandolin, fiddle, guitar, vocals
Max Heineman – upright bass, vocals

Colin O'Brien

Colin O'BrienColin O’Brien’s music is informed by the past and speaks to the present. A playful performer, Colin delights his audiences with catchy melodies, groovy rhythms, soulful lyrics, fancy footwork and old time hat tricks. His banjo, fiddle and guitar playing, percussive dancing, and lyrics all express an earnest regard for the traditional, natural and true.

O’Brien is a nationally touring independent performer based in Nashville. He has shared bills with artists such as The Infamous String Dusters, Great American Taxi, Trampled By Turtles, Tim O’Brien, Del McCoury, Steve Martin, Sam Bush, Darol Anger and Peter Rowan. Colin has performed at innumerable venues and festivals throughout the United States.
Colin loves to engage his audience, young and old alike, and may at any time leave the stage to dance and sing among them; his voice, fiddle and feet all still resounding loud and clear through the stage speakers.

In 2011, the great Nashville musician, Larry Perkins, heard Colin play at the John Hartford Memorial Festival and was side-struck. “Colin’s music is genuine, whimsical, full of fun and carefully crafted. For me, it’s a very pleasant surprise”
He invited Colin down to Nashville to record. The resulting "After A Song" features Colin’s original songs performed with several of John Hartford’s band mates, including Perkins himself.

“After A Song Bottles the lightning that was John Hartford’s engagingly off-center songwriting.” -The Nashville Scene.

“Colin O’Brien is a great entertainer.” -Tim O’Brien

In addition to his solo song and dance, Mr. O’Brien performs with The Nashville Stringy-Band, an acoustic super-group featuring Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Todd Phillips on bass.

When not entertaining on the road, O’Brien may be found dancing in his front yard on the banks of the Cumberland River with his fiddle and banjo as the General Jackson steamboat rounds Hartford’s bend.

Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond (USA)

Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond

Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond (USA)

A master old-time fiddler and banjoist, Kirk Sutphin performs the Round Peak style long identified with the Galax/Mt. Airy area on the Virginia-North Carolina border. Kirk has deep roots in the tradition. His grandfather, a fiddler and banjoist, was from Round Peak. Famed Round Peak fiddler Tommy Jarrell, also spent much time teaching tunes to a young Kirk.

Kirk Sutphin is a master of the pure Round Peak style on both fiddle and clawhammer banjo. The banjo style of this area is highly developed, and Kirk’s smooth and seemingly effortless technique is especially evident when he plays the fretless banjo. He also has a rich knowledge of other historic banjo styles from the Blue Ridge and Piedmont. Kirk toured the nation twice with the NCTA’s Masters of the Banjo tour, and became the favorite old-time banjoist of another participant, Ralph Stanley.

Sutphin’s frequent musical partner is fiddler, singer and banjoist Eddie Bond from Fries, Grayson County a village of 600 just north of the Crooked Road that was built around a now-disappeared cotton mill on the headwaters of the New River. That cotton mill produced four of the high-flying string bands of the twenties; bands that helped invent country music with recordings on major labels and through radio broadcasting.

Eddie Bond plays in the forceful rhythmic dance style from the Galax/Mt. Airy area that captivated the world in the 1960s. He learned directly from legendary masters Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, and Kyle Creed, and other great musicians who did not record. Like many of the older master fiddlers from whom he learned, he is also a fine performer in the older clawhammer banjo style of the region, as well as a talented singer. Eddie plays at many dances in the region and is a frequent winner in the area’s many traditional fiddle and banjo competitions. A dynamic performer, he brings flair and a sense of humor to the music that engages audiences and delights musicians.

Tattletale Saints

Tattletale SaintsTattletale Saints (NZ/USA))

New Zealand born duo Tattletale Saints is vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Cy Winstanley and vocalist, double bassist Vanessa McGowan.

Now based in Nashville Tennessee, and originally part of London based 4-piece band "Her Make Believe Band", Winstanley and McGowan recorded the debut Tattletale Saints album "How Red Is the Blood" in January 2013 in Nashville with Grammy winning producer and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien.

Tattletale Saints were winners of the New Zealand Music Award for Folk Album of the Year 2014, and the band is currently touring the USA in support of the worldwide release of the album in March 2014.

“Intelligent, entertaining and thoroughly captivating”
Sing Out! Magazine, March 2014

"Sensitively understated folk and subtle simplicity… songs as memorable, lyrically considered and melodically engaging as many of Paul Simon's… a very emotionally engaging album"
Graham Reid,

"Cy is a beautiful singer, melodic yet conversational, and a vocal resemblance to Paul Simon is only heightened by the ambitiousness of his songwriting… in the unadorned setting of the duo it becomes clear how complete that talent is"
Nick Bollinger, The Listener April 2013.

Appalachian Heaven String Band

Appalachian HeavenAppalachian Heaven String Band is a lively, driving five piece Melbourne-based string band. They joyfully play traditional “Old Time” music of the rural south of the USA, mixed with some folk, blues, and country.

The musicians are Ian Alexander (clawhammer banjo), John Boothroyd (guitar, vocals), Maggie Duncan (fiddle, dance calling), Evan Webb (string bass), Kimberley Wheeler (mandolin/singer) and Graeme Fletcher (autoharp).

The band knocks everyone’s socks off with their exceptional musical skills and obvious love of the traditional material. They enliven concert stages, run square dances and give instrument workshops. Band members have extensive experience in dance-calling, and in teaching banjo, fiddle, autoharp and flat pick guitar.

The band’s repertoire is from the Southern Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The band loves to play, honour and share the music of the mountains. They sing happy and sad songs; they also want the audience up and dancing!

Appalachian Heaven has performed as a headline act at numerous festivals around Australia and New Zealand.

Workshops:  Intermmediate Clawhamme Banjo - "Getting in the Mode" with Ian Alexander Sunday 1pm - Kurrajong Tent

The Company

The CompanyThe Company are a Brisbane-based bluegrass band with a passion for high-energy acoustic music. From blindingly fast finger-picking to soulful songs with four part harmony singing, these blokes do it all. They’ve appeared at many of the major festivals in Australia and the UK and are highly regarded for their fervour and originality in the genre.

They come highly credentialed boasting two Australian Bluegrass champions on guitar, fiddle and banjo, finalists in mandolin not to mention numerous awards to their names from major music festivals in Australia. The Company includes George Jackson (Fiddle/Banjo), Michael Patrick (Mandolin/Fiddle), Markus Karlsen (Bass) and Jamie Clarke (Guitar).

"Fantastic! ... This band is raising the bar for acoustic musicians in Australia." - Hamish Davidson of the Davidson Brothers, 3-time Golden Guitar winner.

"Genre-busting, style-defying, marker-staking, bar-raisingly good. I know I am not alone in considering these guys to be the best band in town. Much of the country agrees. Or soon will, if this is their first taste". -Nick Weinert, Brisbane Folk Rag.

The Wish List

The Wish ListThe Wish List brings together fiddlesingers Emma Nixon and Nicole Murray, who invite other musicians to collaborate with them, exploring the possibilities of strings and voices. Surprising and joyous musical moments are revealed as their wish list grows!

What more could you wish for? At Dorrigo Emma and Nicole will be joined by Rebecca Wright (voice and cello) and Donald McKay (voice and bodhran). They will delight you with toe-tapping tunes and beautiful harmonies.

Winner of three Golden Fiddle Awards in both teaching and playing categories, Emma Nixon is a star of the Australian fiddle scene, her powerful and passionate performances of traditional and contemporary Scottish music enchanting audiences across Australia and around the world.

Emma also established and directs the Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club and is in demand as a fiddle teacher at summer schools and workshops in Australia and the UK.

Prior to joining forces with Emma Nixon, Nicole Murray has performed with singer John Thompson as the duo "cloudstreet", recording seven albums and touring internationally and around Australia. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, she has concentrated on trad music, harmony work and song writing. Nicole plays flute, tin whistle and guitar and violin, and is an accomplished writer of songs and flute tunes.

Nicole's passion for traditional music, innovative arrangements and soaring vocals make her performances uniquely compelling. Nicole directs Brisbane's Morningsong Choir and is the founding director of the Brisbane Folk Choir.

This year Nicole will be conducting the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival Choir Workshop, which will have Workshop/rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday morning leading up to a performance on the main stage on Sunday afternoon.

Ceilidh Clan

Ceildh Clan

Ceilidh Clan Presents:

A Scottish Ceilidh Dance Party

Are you ready for a Highland Fling?  Grab your tartan and dancing shoes...

Saturday afternoon at 4pm the Main Pavilion comes alive to the sounds of traditional Scottish tunes and dancing feet when Ceilidh Clan lead a Scottish Ceilidh Dance.

Ceilidh Clan (Emma Nixon, Nicole Murray and Rebecca Wright & Donald McKay - from The Wish List) teach and call all the dances, so anyone can join in. They make it easy for those new or unfamiliar with Scottish ceilidh dancing.

“Ceilidh” is prounounced “kay-lee” to rhyme with “daily”, and is a social event where  there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling. It originates from an old Gaelic word meaning to visit - a social evening with companions and neighbours, a party with music and dancing.

It’s fun for all the family - see you there...


Margaret and Bob Fagan

Margaret and Bob FaganMargaret & Bob Fagan are the original members of Australia’s pre-eminent folk music family, The Fagans, and have been delighting audiences both here and abroad for many years with their strong blend of politically-edged traditional and contemporary songs coupled with lyrical ballads and great choruses.

Margaret & Bob's repertoire is firmly rooted in the folk tradition, with songs coming from Australia, Ireland, Britain and the USA.  Margaret’s pure voice sits so comfortably with Bob’s superb guitar playing and their harmony work is legendary.

This year at Dorrigo, Margaret & Bob will present their much lauded concert/workshop on the Realist Writers. This fascinating collection of work looks at some of the many musical settings of the Australian poets who were members of the Sydney Realist Writers group. They were particularly active between the mid 1950s and mid 1960s, and include Dorothy Hewett, Merv Lilley, Jock Graham and Denis Kevans.

The Fagans’ most recent CD, Milk and Honey Land, was nominated for an Aria award.

Oh Pep!

Oh PepOlivia Hally (Guitar/vocals) and Pepita Emmerichs (Violin/Mandolin) write songs about travelling and the sea and travelling on the sea (and aliens/lust). In mid-2011 Paddy Montgomery (bouzouki/mandolin), Stuart West (double bass) and Justin Olsson (kit) began playing songs with Oh and Pep. This phenomenon was called Oh Pep!

After winning the songwriting award at Maldon Folk Fest in 2011 for their track ‘Fooling Around,’ Oh Pep! have played numerous Melbourne venues and festivals.

In September 2012, Oh Pep! released their long awaited self-titled EP at The Toff in Town to a jam-packed audience.

‘Oh Pep! are one of Melbourne’s best bands.’ Rich Davies, Rich Davies & The Devil’s Union

‘Big congratulations to Oh Pep! for last night’s awe-inspiring launch. In my opinion, Melbourne should be holding this band aloft and say “This is how you craft emotionally powerful music.” It’s just sublime.’ Les Thomas, Unpaved.

‘The more I listen to Oh Pep!’s songs the more I become addicted to their sound. The songs have such a down-¬to¬-earth feel with a creative use of different instrument sounds, percussion and impressive song structures which are supported by enchanting heart felt lyrics. I’d highly recommend listening to these guys!’ Zac Theo, Triple J Unearthed review.

The Mid North

Scott Collins and the Mid NorthThe Mid North are a rip roaring bluegrass band from Bellingen NSW. They feature Scott Collins (guitar & vocals), "Banjo Bill" Faulkner (banjo, harp, vocals), John Woolhouse (mandolin, fiddle), Will Pregnall (double bass), Cath Cooper (vocals), and four part harmonies.  They are fast becoming known for their impressive live shows and great song-writing. 

The Mid North's sound is a melding of Old-time Mountain Music, Gospel and Front porch folk. Their heart-swelling music and catchy melodies have attracted fans of all ages.

They won 'Album of The Year' and ‘Country Song of the Year' in the NCEIA Awards 2012 and their first single Rosewood got to no.1 on the AMRAP Charts.

Their live shows are riotous excursions into the dance music of the past, the joy and sorrow of the human condition and all in sing-alongs.

The Dorrigo line-up will include special guest Jenny Shimmin on banjo.

"The debut Bluegrass (Americana) Album from 'The Mid North' is an amazing album from start to finish. The songwriting, production and performances are outstanding. It will become your next high rotation album. Well worth a listen" - Bellbottom Magazine

The Barkers Vale Brothers

Barkers Vale Brothers

The Barkers Vale Brothers

Since their formation in 2009 The Barkers Vale Brothers have delighted audiences Australia wide with their digestible mix of dry humour and high quality acoustic bluegrass music.
Gareth Bjaaland on the five string banjo does most of the talking whilst his younger brother Vaughan Davies on guitar often chimes in with wry comments and sly observation.
Singing songs about murders, trains, cheese, women, animals and all things local, their complete dedication to the music and refusal to take themselves too seriously is warming and light hearted.
Don't miss these cheeky brothers all the way from Barkers Vale in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

“The barkers Vale Brothers play their exciting brand of rootsy bluegrass with rare originality and humour”

“The sparkling 5- string banjo and squalling swampy harmonies leave you high on mountain music"

The Jiggles

The JigglesThe Jiggles

Pop on your best tartan and learn to do fun Scottish dances with The Jiggles. It’s cool, it’s celtic, it’s ceilidh!

The Jiggles are a Brisbane based group of musicians specialising in traditional tunes and the teaching of Scottish traditional ceilidh dancing for kids.  A ceilidh is the traditional Scottish term for a bush-dance. Ceilidh is pronounced kay-lee, to rhyme with ‘daily’.

Happy celtic dance music and easy dances for kids (and their grown ups) are presented by wonderful Scottish players Emma Nixon, Donald McKay, Nicole Murray and Rebecca Wright (from The Wish List line up).

The dances are explained every time by Donald and then we add the fiddles, flute, cello and guitar.

Vic Manuel

Vic ManuelVic Manuel is a singer/songwriter who tells stories with guitar and ukulele through contemporary folk /roots songs. Vic inspires audiences with rich vocals and acoustic instrumentation echoing musical roots in old-time, folk, boogie and a touch of bluegrass. Currently based in the mid-north coast of NSW, Vic reaches out to audiences with a huge following wherever he plays. Vic Manuel and band perform his original songs with instrumentation including guitars, ukulele, piano, harmonica, fiddle, viola, double bass, and harmony vocals.
Vic Manuel has just released his long-awaited debut solo album Bury Me Deep, recorded in San Francisco and at Noiselab Bellingen, NSW, and featuring local and international musicians and singers.
Vic has been playing guitar and writing songs since he was 15. His creative energies have produced bands such as Mirkwood, the Mood, King Billy, the NDP, and Trunk Road on the east coast of Australia for many years, performing original material and inspiring other musicians. In the 2000s he toured and performed in the United States with notable guitarists Eric Schoenberg and Joe Miller.

Evan Mathieson

With his rich and powerful voice, Evan Mathieson accompanies his easy listening finger picking style on either the autoharp or guitar. He believes there are two sorts of music...good or he performs a diverse selection of great songs in many different styles.

Having had a 40 year love affair with the autoharp both as a skilled hand builder of the instrument, as well as a talented and enthusiastic player, Evan especially excels in good-fun, fast pickin' jam sessions!.

A Festival regular, Evan also returns to present another of his entertaining 'Autoharp Players' Workshops on Sunday at 11am. He  will also be performing in the Lunch Pavilion on Sunday at 3pm

On Friday evening from 9pm Evan and Lyn Mathieson will be hosting  an "Acoustic Transmission" Session in the Tallowood Venue. Come along for a session full of surprises.

Photo of Evan Mathieson at the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival taken by Lindsay Mar © Lindsay Mar


Evan Mathieson

Photo by Lyn Mathieson ©PHOTO MATHIESON 2012
Caloobasak Jug Band

Caloobasak Jug BandCaloobasak Jug Band - Teana and Barry with Evan Mathieson

Teana Amor (singer,amateur film maker, writer of stories and scripts, and player of guitar and extraordinary washboard player)] was the wash board player for The Gut Bucket Jug Band from way back in the 1960's, inspiring Mic Conway and Jimmy Conway to take up playing jug band music.

Barry Martin plays jug, tea chest bass and is  an exceptional blues harmonica player. They team up with Evan Matthieson on guitar, kazoo and autoharp to create a peep back into a bygone era from which players today are still very much inspired.

Don & John - Resonator Brothers

Resonator BrothersDon & John - Resonator Brothers
Local musicians Don Ferguson Jnr. (vocals, guitar, mandolin and National resonator) and John Woolhouse (vocals, mandolin, fiddle and dobro), have made regular appearances at the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival in various line-ups over the years.

Don & John - Resonator Brothers take it back to the “Brother Duo” roots of the founders of Bluegrass music, exploring the rich gospel heritage of this format in a fresh way. The current line-up features Luke Woolhouse on Bass, and “brother” Rob Gale on assorted bones, spoons, harp & washboard.

Presenting early songs from the Monroe Brothers, Stanley Brothers, Louvin Brothers, Dailey & Vincent, Gillian Welch and more, along with original numbers, The Resonator Brothers provide the simplicity of two blended vocal harmonies, one guitar and mandolin, one shared heart and an obvious passion for this music and message that will touch your heart and soul, and lift your spirits.

Spirit of The Glen

Spirit of the Glen"Follow the Spirit" - Glen Innes based Skye McKenny and Col Pike share a life-long love of
folk music and in 2002 came together to form Spirit of the Glen.

Spirit of the Glen bring great harmonies and a variety of instruments (nylon guitars, whistles, harmonica, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele and the occasional bangey thing) to their extensive repertoire which includes traditional, original, celtic and contemporary folk songs and tunes as well as those of the folk revival era.

Regulars in numerous far-flung venues ranging from festivals, wineries, pubs and clubs to churches and paddocks, Spirit of the Glen appeal to young and old alike and were Winners of
The Australian Celtic Festival 2009 Triquetra Award.

Black Train


Black Train love nothing more than sharing their passion for old time songs with the good people of this world.

Based around the central figure of "Reverend" Kim Mclean, Black Train eschews modern technology in favour of instruments made of wood and wire. Like their instruments,the songs of Black Train are tried and true, drawing on a variety of influences including Woody Guthrie, the Carter Family, and the traditional music of the Appalachians.

Black Train engage wholeheartedly in the folk process,keeping the great old songs alive, whilst delighting in watching them emerge from the depths of time.

"…the  songs of Black Train might be new leaves and flowers, but the vine they come from was planted long, long ago.
Late at night, as the wind blows through that vine, it sounds lonesome yet beautiful, like the yearning of Man for that which always seems to be…Yonder. "