The songwriters – Moreland

Jeff Lang

Australian singer/songwriter Jeff Lang became interested in music at age eight, when he started playing the clarinet. As a teen, he switched to guitar and began performing as a blues guitarist at 17, supporting artists like Albert Collins, Rory Gallagher, and Trudy Lynn. His musical vocabulary expanded to include traditional Celtic and folk elements as he began recording his own material in 1990. Along with gigs in local blues bands, Lang formed the Jeff Lang Band as a showcase for his songwriting skills. Though the band broke up in 1993, by the following year he released his debut album, Ravenswood. In in 1995, Disturbed Folk captured Lang in a live setting, and 1996’s Native Dog Creek was named Best Australian Blues Album in a Rhythms Magazine readers poll. 1998 saw the release of Cedar Grove, which came out in the U.S. the following year. In 2005 Lang issued You Have to Dig Deep to Bury Daddy, followed the next year by Prepare Me Well. ~ Heather Phares

Alison Ferrier

Born in London, Alison began her musical career in Melbourne playing acoustic guitar and fiddle with country duo The Wayward Fancies. They released their independent album ‘Meanwhile In The Parlour’ in 2005 and played their final show at The Forum as part of The Melbourne International Film Festival.

Alison’s second studio album (released June 2015) features Ali on acoustic and electric guitars, Cat Canteri (The Stillsons) on drums/ vocals, Justin Bernasconi (The Stillsons) on guitar/ vocals, and Ben Franz (The Waifs/ The Stillsons) on double bass plus other special guests including Suzannah Espie and Jeff Lang.

 ‘Sugar Baby’ was produced by roots guru Jeff Lang in 2012, and was described by the Unpaved website as: “think Lucinda Williams, or Emmylou Harris, in terms of unadorned and tender folk-edged vocals which benefit from a tasteful, no-fuss arrangement.”

Van Walker

Born & raised on the windswept prairies of north-west coast Tasmania, between lashings of hallucinogenic cheese & Magic Johnson, weened on William Blake & Ribald magazine, Van first heard the music of Bob Dylan around adolescence & began picking guitar & writing songs. Some hundreds of songs later and a hell-bent pick, he moved to Melbourne to form the rocknroll outfit The Swedish Magazines, and sing his unique hillbilly stuff on the side.

The first collection of these beguilingly simple songs came out in 2008 entitled   The Celestial Railroad, & in 2009 three separate sessions were released,  The Last Record Store (Jan) Greetings from Penguin Tasmania (Aug) & Love Fate (Oct). Drawing on the grand storytelling tradition of artists such as Ray Davies, Townes Van Zandt, Leon Payne & John Prine, & the acoustic finger-styles of John Fahey &  Mississippi John Hurt, Van created a sound both old & new, with a laconic familiarity that speaks to the heart with an intimacy more effortless than contrived.

“Van Walker writes songs with the ease the rest of us breath.” JB HiFi MAG, Aug, 2010.

Tracy McNeill

As an artist caught between two continents – her Canadian homeland and her now permanent Australian residency – Tracy McNeil’s latest album Nobody Ever Leaves is a fresh new sound that infuses North American roots with the heart and grit of Melbourne’s thriving scene. Add to this the pop-soaked splendor of 1970’s West-Coast California, and you’ll be coasting the musical landscape that McNeil calls home with her band The GoodLife: Dan Parsons, Bree Hartley, Luke Sinclair, Trent McKenzie.

McNeil made her introduction to the Melbourne music scene in 2008 when she teamed up with nationally acclaimed singer songwriter Jordie Lane to form the highly successful duo Fireside Bellows. Their first and only LP release, No Time To Die received rave reviews across the country and remains one of Australia’s most sought after independent releases.

After going their separate ways to pursue solo careers, Tracy followed up No Time To Die with successful sophomore album Fire From Burning in 2011. This cemented her reputation as a respected and formidable force on the circuit, and saw her go on to support international artists such as Dawes, Old Crow Medicine Show, Eilen Jewell, Mary Gauthier, Tony Joe White, Great Big Sea and local sweethearts The Audreys, among others.

Luke Sinclair

As a part of Raised by Eagles, Luke Sinclair delivered a blinding run of festival shows throughout 2014/15 and released their widely acclaimed follow-up LP Diamonds In the Bloodstream in May 2015. Launching to sold-out rooms across Melbourne and the East Coast, Raised By Eagles is a band that clearly hit the ground running and shows no signs of slowing down.

They have gone on to win ‘Best Emerging Artist’ and ‘Best Country Album‘ at The Age Music Victoria Awards 2015, scored a nomination at the Australian Independent Music Awards 2015 for ‘Best Independent Country Album’, and were invited to perform at the prestigious Americana Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mandy Connell

Mandy is bare souled & luminous on stage. With acclaim Throughout the Folk Sene Mandy is admired for her songwriting & delivery. Taking the Declan Affley Award (National Folk Festival) in 2005 and the Maldon Minstrel Award (Maldon Festival) in 2006, Mandy placed at the Port Fairy’s ‘Songs of Peace & Tolerance’. She has toured the UK, formed Trad 5 piece ‘Stray Hens’, & continues to write original music.

Winning the Declan Affley Award (National Folk Festival) in 2005 and the the Maldon Minstrel Award (Maldon Festival) in 2006, Mandey came second at the Port Fairy Songs of Peace and Tolerance Competition in 06 for her song ‘Riots in Redfern’.

Ayleen O’Hanlon

Melbourne folk musician, Ayleen O’Hanlon, is a rousing live performer with an ability to turn simple, poignant stories into song. Named as one of the top songwriters in the 2014 Darebin Songwriting Award, Ayleen writes from an honest place, telling of small town histories, downtrodden hearts, and back-of-the-verandah observations. Carried by her distinctive voice and skilled picking on the guitar and banjo, Ayleen’s sonic palette is a blend of folk, alt-country and Americana traditions, inspired by classic and contemporary artists like Emmylou Harris, Karen Dalton, and Martha Wainwright.

Gretta Ray

17-year-old Melbourne based Gretta Ray is one to watch in 2016, as she independently releases her debut EP ‘Elsewhere’ and first single ‘Unexpected Feeling’ – both due for release on 10 February 2016.

Immersed in music from early childhood, Gretta grew up in the company of successful Melbourne musicians Rebecca Barnard, Shane O’Mara, Lisa Miller and Dave Hosking. This, together with 12 years of training and touring with the renowned Young voices of Melbourne – had a significant influence on Gretta’s passion for songwriting, her ear for harmony and a fascination with form and melody. Without having released any music before, Gretta has already supported several accomplished Australian artists including Darren Hanlon and Liz Stringer.


Charles Jenkins

I was always very jealous of the fact you could sing your way across America, from Georgia to Galvaston. So for the last 15 years I’ve tried to do the same.

I’ve written records entirely based on place names and peoples names. I’ve written about Mildura, I’ve written about the Nullarbor, I’ve written about Dennis the train station.

The songwriters – Darebin

Mick Thomas

Mick Thomas has some secret magic to his writing… he surely can write great songs that make you say “Why didn’t I think of that?” but of course we never do. He writes about mates, ratbags, races, places, weddings, parties, funny stuff – anything – but they are really good stories and great songs. Mick is truly a legend around the best of fair-dinkum roots venues and festivals around the country. He is a character! He is funny! He can roll up to any crappy stage and make it the centre of the universe to any audience. He will talk the leg off an old chair and play the arse off a guitar, sweat the shirt of his back and lay you in the aisles.

Charles Jenkins


Charles Jenkins is a Melbourne songwriter/musician and performer with more than 25 years experience in the Australian Music Industry.

Starting out with the rockabilly/punk outfit the Mad Turks from Istanbul through to power-pop band the Icecream Hands, Charles is now forging a successful solo career, receiving critical acclaim for his six solo albums.

Charles has recorded and released 14 albums, both locally and internationally including his solo albums Bungalow (2004) and The City Gates (2005) and with his band The Zhivagos, Blue Atlas (2008),  Walk This Ocean (2010) and Love Your Crooked Neighbour With Your Crooked Heart (2012)

Justin Bernasconi

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.27.58 pm“Informal, yet masterful… Rippling guitar work that emanates both warmth and style”
The Sydney Morning Herald June 2014

Justin Bernasconi performs highly original tunes, infused with exciting, tasteful acoustic guitar playing with influences ranging across folk, bluegrass, ragtime and blues.

Though born in London, Justin was raised in Warboys, a small Cambridgeshire village famed for Witches and Lancaster Bombers. He arrived in Australia in 2004 and formed alt country group The Stillsons, with Cat Canteri and Ben Franz, in 2006. The band has released three albums, with their latest ‘Never Go Your way’ voted “Country Album of 2013” by Rhythms readers poll.

Cat Canteri

6776238_orig“The Northcote native thrives amongst the disproportionately talented and driven enclave of Melbourne northern suburbs – one to watch long term”
Rhythms Magazine AU

Canteri has strength and drive…so you’re thinking a 1970s framework of rootsiness and rockiness…it’s a very fine start”
Bernard Zuel – The Sydney Morning Herald

“Whilst she has the vocal ability to take you to some really dark places, she also has the freedom of expression to bring you back. Similarly, whilst some of the songs have a vulnerability to them, you never lose sight of the strength that’s needed to come back”
Fatea Magazine UK

Rich Davies

10527677_279969718853669_7966512871776696208_nRenowned for his captivating live shows and ‘superbly crafted songs dragged up from the depths of the soul and spewed forth upon the audience’ (Desert Highways), award-winning singer-songwriter Rich Davies has established himself as one of Melbourne’s most authentic and engaging artists.

Described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’ by Patrick Emery (Beat Magazine), Davies has performed alongside Australian artists Jeff Lang, Mick Thomas, Henry Wagons, The Drones, Paul Dempsey and Marlon Williams; international acts Snow Patrol, KT Tunstall, The Dandy Warhols and Beck; and has played a number of European festivals including Big Tent Festival and T In The Park.

Sean McMahon

11800592_493572104142332_7635245542922394529_nSean McMahon is a versatile singer/songwriter and guitarist with an unmistakable style and voice that rings true across a variety of sonic vistas captured in his career so far. Sean has recently made a returning to the land of electric guitars to bring you Sean McMahon and the MoonMen.

Jemma Rowlands


“In Jemma’s pub it’s always Sunday afternoon coming down, and almost Saturday night. Reckless and self-assured, sassy but not silly. Jemma and her fine young ambitious Clifton Hillbillies – old heads and young hearts. Memories you never had but find yourself wanting.” Mick Thomas

“Jemma has a voice that knocks me to the floor every time I hear it! Then her sturdy bunch of hillbillies drag me back up so I can happily do it all over again!!” Henry Wagons

With a Loretta for posture, and a Patsy for feeling, ever the bookie’s daughter, Jemma Rowlands offers grand odds on love, life and raw emotion. Following two single launches, Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies release their debut full-length album in September 2015. The highly-anticipated recording showcases the group’s talent for heart-on-sleeve confessional booth song-writing married with a wondrous Stone Country style.

Brooke Russell

IMG_9031“Brooke Russell and the Mean Reds’ country-inflected take on timeless pop that you’ll dig if you like Caitlin Rose.” Nashville Scene

“She’d be at home in the Nighthawks diner, except that she’s maybe not jaded enough. There’s an innocence and hope to most of her songs that feels like a balm.” McKinley Valentine,

Drawing influence from alt country, jazz and folk styles, Brooke Russell and the Mean Reads are inspired by the songs of Ryan Adams, Joe Henry, Sharon Van Etten, Gillian Welch, Tom Waits and Neko Case.

Their debut album, Poor Virginia was released in August 2013, and listed in Basement Discs Top 10 Australian Albums of The Year and Unpaved’s 50 Best Albums of 2013. Met with great reception, the album received airplay on Radio National, Triple R, Fbi, PBS, 4ZZZ and Southern FM as well as being featured in Frankie magazine. After an invitation to showcase at the 2014 Americana Festival in Nashville, the band have been working on their second album and released the new single, Never’s Gonna Take Too Long in April 2015.