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August 15, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Pick of the Bunch Vol 3 concert in Mudgee Oct 18 2013

Plans are underway for a big concert presented by Gulgong Folk Festival and @ Sunpower Studios in Mudgee at the newly renovated Town Hall Theatre featuring the cram of Local talent with an accompanying CD…called ‘Pick of the Bunch Vol 3′
Weve approached 4 artists so far including Nick Wall Fan ClubGlenn Van Reason/ Jess Holland and Fig Jam…more news as it comes to hand…date is Fri Oct 18
Simon Tedeschi gives it the big thumbs up
http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/1575942/musician-praises-revamped-town-hall-theatre/

 

July 4, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Crowdfunding…the festival needs your help

Hi everyone. Im Richard Lawson, director of the Gulgong Folk Festival. For the last 27 years this festival has been at the forefront of the Australian folk scene, breaking new artists and fostering new and independent music in Australia.

Now we need your help. We’ve had the majority of our funding pulled and we really need funds to keep the festival alive. We are trying to achieve a target of $9,000 which will go directly to paying production and artist costs for the next festival in December 2013.

Heres the link to help…

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gulgong-folk-festival/x/3819835

This is a small not for profit festival which has been totally run by volunteers for the last quarter of a century and with its independence also goes a great responsibility to foster new and upcoming talent, who would normally not get a chance in the festival atmosphere of Australia. It is a great stepping stone and has already been instrumental over the last 2 years in breaking 10 artists who played there…including the AprilMaze/Daniel Champagne/The Falls and Mustered Courage.

There are a raft of funding options with some great rewards including your name on the front page of the web site and promo some great autographed festival paraphernalia [including the 2012 huge festival banner] and signed tshirts and posters pplus some fantastic CD packs and house parties by selected artists.Even if you cant help financially you can help us by promoting and networking this campaign with your friends and ensure the survival of this great festival. ‘The biggest little festival in Australia’ 

June 1, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Submissions streaming in……..

Submissions opened for the 27th Gulgong Folk Festival on May 1st and stay open till August 1st

So far we have received over 70 submissions so it looks like we might get well over 200 this year up from 150 last year. Some big names have put their hat in the ring but at this stage we are not giving away any tips…but their is a definite lean towards virtuosity this year

Jump on the site and whack one in…you never know??

http://www.gulgongfolkfestival.com.au/apply-artists.html

Web Banner Square June 21 2012Web Banner Square June 21 2012Web Banner Square June 21 2012Web Banner Square June 21 2012Web Banner Square June 21 2012

April 26, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Clay Push to hit Gulgong

Join us in Gulgong for the biggest ceramic event in Australia this year! 
With 17 international ceramic masterscoming to Gulgong, it is a unique opportunity to join with fellow mud lovers and enjoy a week long immersion in all things clay!

Claypush
Click on our page above to read the details.

Vale Janet Mansfield, 1934 – 2013
Clay Push Gulgong 2013 will be held, as planned, in celebration of the life of Janet Mansfield – potter, exhibitor, author, editor, publisher and convenor of clay festivals in Gulgong.

Clay Push Gulgong 2013 is the ninth in the series of ceramics events which have been held every three years (since beginning in 1989) in Gulgong, NSW, Australia.

The event dates are Sunday 28 April – Saturday 4 May 2013.
The event culminates with a special day; details to be confirmed.

Image

April 17, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Artist apps open soon!!

Hey Everyone

Dont forget applications  for the Gulgong Folk Festival 2013 open on May 1st and stay open till August 1. Last year we were inundated by over 200 applications but we still managed to find places for 50 of you so compared to a lot of other festivals the chances of getting a guernsey are pretty good.

This year the festival is mooted to run from a gala showcase gig at the Opera House on Sat 28 Dec through to New Years Eve late so its slap bang in the middle of the holiday period.

Web Banner Square June 21 2012

Also this year we should have the artists accom available again at the legendary Redhill Field studies centre.

We’ve already had a few applications filtering in and here is one of the ones we were really interested in…all the way from Brazil is a fantastic Klezmer Gypsy Jazz band called ‘Klezmorem’, who are looking to tour Australia in January and might be starting with us.

It might be a truly international affair at the festival this year…check this out

March 29, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

GFF at Blue Mountains Music Festival March 2013

About 3 months ago I was asked to volunteer for the Blue Mountains Music Festival and told with my experience I would be put on staging and MC work. I didn’t need a second look as I was keen to learn how a major festival worked Festival skies ...misty mountain hop Fri night

Festival skies …misty mountain hop Fri night
Liz Stringer Blues Room Friday
Liz Stringer Blues Room Friday

The time came round and I was rostered on 3 shifts ..the first on the Friday night at the Blues Room in the Katoomba RSL and the second after a whole day off on the Saturday was a big spell in the Mainstage Pavilion from 11am till 7.30pm.

First up I got side of stage and witnessed Liz Stringer’s Blues/Soul intensity first hand. Passion is what seems to drive and make great music and here was a clear example. She is starting to make real headway and her intensity and passion is what seems to be winning it for her, indeed the theme over the weekend was not just musical excellence but driving passion that boils out of every great artist here. Next my good friends from Melbourne and Gulgong Folk Festival times , April Maze, were on and I loved doing their stage set up. They nailed the set in their usual charming fashion and it was a lot of fun having some friends around. Speaking of passion next up on that stage was the Popes, Shane McGowans [Pogues] backing band for a few years in the 90s. By now I had made my presence clear as a stage manager and Tim my cohort was leaving me to it a bit. The Popes were chockful of energy…a bit light on the songwriting side and a bit anthemic for me but there was no denying their infectious energy

Rich and Dave Allen form the Popes...broken fiddle!!
Rich and Dave Allen form the Popes…broken fiddle!!

The set up for these guys was more intense and it was a full rock band set up and I was doing drums/guitars/bass and all the usual water /leads/string changing requirements. I take my job seriously and I watched the stage like a hawk making sure they were all comfortable…I had to do a lot of running back and forth to front of house to get foldback changed as well. the drummer was a legend and Dave Allen on fiddle a nicer guy you couldnt meet…he reminded me of Dave Hill from Slade.

Volunteer office
Volunteer office

I had Saturday off and strolled round and checked out all that makes a larger festival work…lots of volunteer grunt on security and ushering and miles of cable/barricading/lights and festival stalls plus big sound and light rigs…so

much to take in before the next  Gulgong Folk Festival

lZoe Keating weaves her Phillip Glass style magic  Guinness tent Sat

Zoe Keating weaves her Phillip Glass style magic Guinness tent Sat
Spooky Mens Chorale Guinness tent Sat
Spooky Mens Chorale Guinness tent Sat

I was impressed with Zoe Keating and her cello loops  [very Phillip Glassish] was thrilled to catch Luka Bloom [he even played ‘Diamond Mountain’ first song] but was tempted to an early bed as Id just found out via SMS that I was going to be MC tomorrow on mainstage as well as stage manage Arlo Guthrie/ Kate Miller Heidke and Seth Lakeman. Pretty nervous and thought I should do some youtube research…I didnt even know who Seth Lakeman was…little did I know what a profound experience he would be tomorrow!!

Guitar chronicles Mainstage Sunday
Guitar chronicles Mainstage Sunday
Arlo Guthrie warming up
Arlo Guthrie warming up

Early onstage and before anyone else was there Id cleaned up the stage from the night before and started setting up for first act which was Mike McClellands guitar circle including Fiona Boyes/Sean Taylor and Chris Smithers. Next up Red Molly were so so but then the action really picked up with Arlo Guthrie arriving backstage…by now Id taken over stage management and was to do the MC for him. I was so friggin nervous having to go out in front of 2000 or so people but it went OK. He was a lovely guy and very approachable and I gotta say a wonderful guitarist/story teller and his singing reminded me of Willie Nelson…the last song ‘Peace be with you’ brought me close to tears as I realised his wife of 30 years had died only last October and how sad he must still at his tender waning age of 66.

Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie
Kate Miller Heidke pic Elizabeth Walton
Kate Miller Heidke pic Elizabeth Walton

Kate Miller Heidke was imperious and swerved from Opera to idiosyncratic pop with utter ease. Id got her album ‘Little Eve’ back in 2007 but she has grown in stature so much in the last few years and 2 albums and I found her voice/songs and presence utterly rivetting. Sarah and Mama were particular standouts   chilling!!

Seth Lakeman…Id met up with him and the drummer Simon earlier in the day when they came in to check their set up and hire instruments…lovely guys straight up and down and utterly Irish!!  ..[note they were the only artists to do so at whole festival]

What a force of nature , what a show…Id caught one song of theirs at the big top on Saturday [Kitty Jay] but was spellbound and  they were fantastic …I found myself running again and really having to take care of Simon on drums…the hire kit was falling apart round him a bit and at one stage I was holding down the hi hat whilst he played…a brilliant set and my pick of the festival.

Seth Lakeman  pic Elizabeth Walton
Seth Lakeman pic Elizabeth Walton

All in all a fantastic experience and nice to know my staging credentials got me a guernsey on the mainstage…must admit I do love being in the zone with the artist and it only makes me hungrier for a great festival

January 28, 2013 / richardlawsonmusic

Fest wrap up / Sam Paine Mudgee Guardian reflects…

Mudgee Weekly’s Sam Paine Looks At GFF 2013:

As I interviewed the musicians on their way to the Gulgong Folk Festival, I got more and more excited about the event. I started putting their music on while I wrote up each performer’s article, so that hopefully the feel and the sound would seep into my stories.

Mustered Courage were the best to listen to while typing – that fast-paced bluegrass finger-picking had me typing twenty miles a minute. With this kind of home-made Folk Festival radio station, I started to see I was going to enjoy a lot of the music out in Gulgong, and I began to look forward to the weekend more and more.

Mustered Courage in rehearsal Opera House Day 1.

Mustered Courage in rehearsal Opera House Day 1.

Rich with Mustered Courage and the Falls.

Rich with Mustered Courage and the Falls.

Mustered Courage Street Party 42 degrees!!!

Mustered Courage Street Party 42 degrees!!!

I also discovered the limitations of newspaper journalism when it came to describing music as I attempted to tell people what they would enjoy at the festival, without simply saying, “It’s folk, but it’s not quite Simon and Garfunkel” or “You know that song you hear on the radio and you start clapping your hands and stomping your feet?”

I put an unusual amount of thought into explaining contemporary folk-influenced music and used a lot of hyphens in phrases like “folk-influenced” and “fastpaced bluegrass finger-picking”.

I did have a great time in Gulgong, and was fortunate enough to find that the music I liked best was made by the musicians I liked best.

The Falls and Jack Carty (laid-back, slightly-melancholy harmonic folk) both impressed me on the first night and I bought their CDs right away.

Jack Carty serenades a gorgeous couple dancing old time like only he can at POW Hotel ...  says it all about the peculiar mix of trad and new at GFF 2013

Jack Carty serenades a gorgeous couple dancing old time like only he can at POW Hotel … says it all about the peculiar mix of trad and new at GFF 2013

The Falls had everyone in rapture at the Opera House...simple/beautiful/evocative

The Falls had everyone in rapture at the Opera House…simple/beautiful/evocative

By Saturday afternoon when the roads were melting and the hottest day of summer was upon us, I ran into them again and they asked what that cool drink in my hands was – I told them the girls in My Little Dress Shop were selling iced tea and took them over to be customers and sit in the fantastic little courtyard hidden out the back.

Fanny Lumsden cooling off in a local creek.

Fanny Lumsden cooling off in a local creek.

Brothers 3 dance to Kings of Congo Congo in the blazing heat of the street party

Brothers 3 dance to Kings of Congo Congo in the blazing heat of the street party

That night I got to see The Twoks too, in the Gulgong RSL, with a high-energy, high-tech combination of drums and an electric violin attached to a looping machine and some effects pedals to turn it into a full band.

The Twoks rule OK at the Gulgong RSL...final night

The Twoks rule OK at the Gulgong RSL…final night

Southerly Change and Friends close the festival Gulgong RSL

Southerly Change and Friends close the festival Gulgong RSL

I sat with a few other people at the far end of the RSL’s long tables, and halfway through an amazing song that should have been burning up the Top 20 charts, I thought, “I can’t believe there’s no one here to hear this except us and a couple of regulars!” only to turn around and realise the back half of the room had filled up at some point and everyone who had stayed on for the last night of the festival was in there.

I bought their CDs too, because it seemed like the only thing in my power to do to help push them a little closer to being the world-famous performers they ought to be.

The night rolled on and the last band, Southerly Change, started pulling musicians up out of the dancing crowd to jam with them on stage, doubling their band in size by the end. It was a foot-stomping, toe-tapping, hand-clapping, along-singing, floor-shaking good time, and I can’t wait for it to become as well known as the Mid-Western Region’s Woodstock deserves to be.

I’m going to be the hardest-working bluegrass-listening, adjective-pondering, hyphen-scattering music journalist either side of North Carolina.

 

Fanny Lumsden, The Falls, Jack Carty, Bellyache Ben and Timber and Steels Gareth Hugh Evans hamming it up during a legendary session at the POW Hotel..

Fanny Lumsden, The Falls, Jack Carty, Bellyache Ben and Timber and Steels Gareth Hugh Evans hamming it up during a legendary session at the POW Hotel..

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