Festival Dates Announced!!
28-29 Dec 2013!!
All tix are FREE!!
Program announced - see it here.
Artist Apps are now CLOSED
Listen to GFF Radio on Soundcloud:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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