Top five artists to see at Port Fairy Folk Festival

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Top five artists to see at Port Fairy Folk Festival

Entering its 42nd year in 2018, the lineup for Port Fairy’s renowned Folk Festival features an exciting diversity of local and international talent, promising to be a vibrant celebration of music and culture. Since its onset in 1977, the festival has evolved into a intricate piece of the coastal Victorian town, and has earned Port Fairy global recognition in the world of folk music. This year the annual celebration will be held from 9 – 11 March, and host emerging and established artists that reflect a multitude of cultures, generations, and genres. We’ve rounded up our top five.

All Our Exes Live in Texas
Releasing their debut album When we Fall earlier this year, this four-piece’s unique indie-folk sound has been met with critical acclaim from Rolling Stones, The Australian and Double J, as well as scoring #8 on the ARIA Album Chart. Joining together three years ago after an O Brother Where Art Thou tribute show, the four Sydney based singer-songwriters – Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts and Georgia Mooney – have since toured with The Backstreet Boys, Night Sweats, Nathaniel Rateliff and Australian icons Megan Washington and Mama Kin. The group’s combination of mandolin, ukulele, accordion and guitar, as well as the distinctive voices of each artist, makes for a charming balance between traditional and modern folk, and make them a must-see at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Long established figures within the Worlds-scene, Scottish folk group Breabach’s fifth studio album A Star has earned the band the Scots Trad Music Awards Folk Band of the Year for the second time and Album of the Year; as well as nominations for Best Band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and for European Album of the Year in the Songlines Music Awards. A soulful combination of bagpipes, whistle, Bouzouki and vocals, bass, flute and guitar, Breabach’s ode to their roots promises to be an integral part of the festival.

Stella Donnelly
Considered one of the emerging artists to watch out for, Perth based singer-songwriter and the 2017 winner of the Inaugural Levi’s Music Prize, Stella Donnelly, has gained immense international attention following the release of her debut EP ‘Thrush Metal’ at the beginning of this year. Written over a two year period, and featuring powerful tracks such as ‘Boys will be Boys’, ‘Thush Metal’ has since earned Donnelly a deal with the European agency behind The Lumineers and Julia Jacklin. The young talent’s career is beginning to escalate, and her stand-out performance at BIGSOUND, affirms that her contribution to the festival is not to be missed.

The Thin White Ukes

Since forming in 2014, this Melbourne based tribute act has demonstrated their adoration for the late David Bowie, while attracting a star-studded list of guest collaborators on the way including Jen Cloher, Kim Salmon and Steve Kilbey. Covering Bowie’s seminal work on precision ukeles and in three-part vocal harmonies, the trio – Betty France, Michael Dwyer and Robert Stephens – performs a diverse range of songs spanning Bowie’s 50 year career, and offer any Ziggy fan a beautifully eccentric homage.

The Teskey Brothers
Ingrained within Melbourne’s fringe scene for their distinctive mixture of blues and soul before the release of their self-produced debut album ‘Half Mile Harvest’ in January 2017 sparked wider attention for the group; The Teskey Brother’s have gone from strength to strength this year – playing to sold out venues across Australia and reaching #1 on the AIR independent Album chart and within the top 20 on the ARIA album chart. Deeply influenced by Motown yet honed into a uniquely personal expression, their appearance at Port Fairy Folk Festival will be an exciting part of what makes the festival innovative and broad-reaching.

When & Where: Port Fairy – Friday 9th – Monday 12th March, 2018

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Written by Ellen Muller