Lucy Wise is a multi-instrumentalist and singer based in Malmsbury, a little town an hour north of Melbourne, Australia. Accompanying herself on guitar, ukulele and Appalachian dulcimer, she creates a contemporary sound that draws from folk, Old Time American and Celtic music. The evocative imagery and universal themes in Lucy’s songs have won the hearts of listeners from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds and have seen her tour three albums and two EP’s in Australia, NZ, the US and the UK since 2010. “Lucy is a natural storyteller, infusing songs with a sense of place so strong you can almost feel the dusty earth crunch beneath your feet as she sings,” says The Brag.
Lucy’s latest album, “Winter Sun” was received with critical acclaim: a 4.5 star review in the Weekend Australian and was a finalist in The Age Music Victoria Awards’ Best Folk or Roots Album. Comprising songs about love, friendship and the relationships people form with their environment, the album draws on Lucy’s experiences over the last few years of touring as well as times spent closer to home, walking the streets and creek paths of Melbourne’s inner north.
“A wonderful representation of healing, self discovery and the processes of becoming grounded and learning self worth … It is no secret that Lucy is a gifted writer, but “Winter Sun” will have you experiencing a new sense of empathy and have you walking in her shoes from track one,” says 27 Magazine.
Lucy is currently recording her fourth album, to be released in 2022.
Sam’s interested in the Ukulele and Hawaiian music began way back in Perth the early 80’s. He spent many years playing with Steel Guitar ace Lucky Oceans and together the formed their first Hawaiian band, many years before the current Ukulele revival. He has since developed a sweet jazzy island sound, a result his annual visits to Hawaii since 2008.
Sam has studied with islands greats including Byron Yasui, Benny Chong, Kimo Hussey, Herb Ohta Jnr and slack key guitar masters Cyril Pahinui, George Kuo and Jeff Peterson. You will also find him sitting in with many local Waikiki bands - the best way to learn! A regular at many ukulele festivals,
Sam and sister Lucy have fond memories of Ukulele great James Hill joining them for their set at the 2014 Newcastle Ukulele Festival. Sam has also performed and conducted workshops at the NZ Ukulele festival, Melbourne Ukulele Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Fairbridge Folk Festival, concerts in Fremantle with Hawaii’s Kimo Hussey and has been a regular tutor at the Albany Ukulele Retreat for the last 3 years. Sam is well known for his guitar work with Grace Knight, Stephen Cummings and Joe Camilleri and many others but is often featured on Ukulele with singers including Emma Hamilton and Hetty Kate. The ABC release “The Ukulele” also features Sam on 8 tracks.
Sam has also performed and conducted workshops at the Melbourne Ukulele Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival and Fairbridge Folk Festival and most recently on Zoom!
The ABC release "The Ukulele" features Sam on 8 tracks.
YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLznsTlYow93dOL0C8-cE5jSjv9ILp5lqI
Performers: The Australian Ukulele Orchestra
The Australian Ukulele Orchestra is a Sydney based ensemble performing a wide repertoire of classical and contemporary music arranged for ukulele and led by Ian Porter. Originally focused on event and festival performance, the group has responded to the current climate by making videos and extending its repertoire in preparation for a return to more normal times.
Check them out for news on Facebook and listen to our feathered friends here
Jack n Jel, Mac n Wal
Jack n Jel
At home Mark and Jane (their real names) run 8 weekly ukestra/choir sessions (i.e. post covid), and they also have built an international reputation for ukestration workshops, helping community ukulele groups to develop their musicianship and joy beyond hum n strum. They deliver festival ukulele workshops that engage both beginner and experienced players in fun and dynamic arrangements of contemporary songs.
Jack n Jel (not their real names) are a rare commodity: performers who can teach, teachers who can perform. They are multi-instrumentalists (guitar, bass, banjo, and trumpet) but particularly ukulele. On stage they are joined by Ruth McCrae and John Wallace to make Jack n Jel, Mac n Wal, a four piece vocal harmony strong band that creates original music and reinvents the songs they love. Their music varies from folk, to country to Latin to even prog rock!!! Try and fit them into one genre if you can.
Hailing now from Newcastle, Ruth happily spends her time as a music teacher, singer/ songwriter and ukulele playing member of Jack’n’Jel. Ruth has had many music highlights which include singing with Café of the Gate of Salvation for almost 10 years under the choir leadership of Tony Backhouse. Performing highlights include Womadelaide, The National Folk Festival and Newcastle’s own Newkulele Festival! Ruth cannot remember any day from about the age of 3 where she has not sung or played music.
As a performer, Ruth Allen's eclectic set encompasses quirky covers, pointed parodies and originals with musical stories that will delight your ears, warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and sometimes bring a lump to your throat.
Ruth completed the 3-year teaching certification with Canadian ukulele supremo James Hill, and has attended workshops with Kimo Hussey, Aldrine Guerrero, Sarah Maisel and a host of other local and international experts. She leads the Port Macquarie Ukestra and Camden Haven Ukulele Musicians, runs concerts and workshops in the Port Macquarie area and at festivals, and offers private lessons face-to-face and online.
Ruth plays with the Australian Ukulele Orchestra, as a duo with Andrew Smith, and also co-directs a community choir and a pub choir, Bar Cappella. Ruth is a founder and former Vice President of the Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association.
Ruth's mission is to help people become the best uke player they can in the shortest possible time with the least effort and the most fun.
Snez & Stewart in The Songwriter session
Multi-award winning artist in the independent music scene, SNEZ has never been afraid to put her heart on her sleeve. Celebrating 3 months of success off the back of her critically acclaimed fourth album ‘Fisher on the Sea’; Snez has spent the last 12 years touring Australia, venturing into regional areas in VIC, NT, WA, SA as well as the East coast, squeezing her world into a van for months at a time….and loving every minute of it.
Rich with contemplative storytelling of people you feel like you have broken bread with as an ally or an enemy, taking you on a journey of life’s rollercoaster ride.
Boldly stepping into the spotlight with her latest offering, Fisher on the Sea, Australian Singer/songwriter, Snez delves deep into her centre to deliver her best statement to date. Intensely honest and introspective, sometimes plaintive, sometimes fierce, her songs have a way of settling into your heart and making a home, subtly weaving their magic into your soul.
The fierce bite of ‘Let it Hurt’ shatters the conception of traditions, capturing a moment of vulnerability in a relationship. The veil further stripped away with the bare bones of ‘Letter to the Moon, a raw encounter into the life of a single mum. Touching on the heritage of her family, Snez takes us on the journey from the migration of her parents motherland, Macedonia, to the working class, steelworks town of Port Kembla, featuring her mothers story ‘Neptunes Daughter’, and capturing the steely essence of the blue collared life with ‘Steelworks Kids’.
Recently the 2021 Winner of the Alistair Hullett Award – Songs for Social Change for her song ‘No Points for Me’ (Fisher on the Sea 2021)
Stewart Peters – Singer-Songwriter & Producer
Stewart Peters is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter and Producer. He has co-written and produced with many successful artists over the past 25 years.
Awards include: winner of various sections of the of the ASAI Awards on several occasions. Stewart has also represented Australia as a finalist with the prestigious Vina Del Mar Song Contest in Chile; finalist in the Yamaha International Song Competition on several occasions; the Australian Song Competition; finalist for the Gibraltar Song Competition and winner of the Blue Mountains Acoustic & Roots competition.
As a producer, Stewart has a reputation for a warm, relaxed honest sound and openness with his co-writers. He specializes in mainly acoustic sounding productions, favouring acoustic guitars, natural drum and keyboard sounds.
Work with Developing Songwriters (and Western Fringe Songwriters Network)
He also works with developing songwriters and musicians through his organisation ‘Western Fringe Songwriters Network’, where he workshops and individually, co-writes and ‘fine-tunes’ their songs and music for free.
He has been a Recording & Performing Musician for 30 years, working professionally as a Songwriter, Producer, Singer, Guitarist and also in Live Theatre.
He has produced eight commercial CD’s of his original songs.
Cathy Welsford & Angie Smith - The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach
Cathy plays all sizes of ukulele, harp ukulele and banjo uke, as well as stick dulcimer, 5 string banjo, guitar, percussion, piano and keyboard. She was a founding member and inaugural president of the Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association (AUTLA). She holds a Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Teacher's accreditation, a Mistress of Education degree and was a Project Officer for the New England Conservatorium of Music. She recently developed two ukulele-based education programs which she is currently presenting to schools and pre-schools across New South Wales. Cathy teaches the Valla Beach Garage Band who perform at local events and in the streets of Valla Beach and Nambucca Heads.
Your Ukulele Camp hosts, Cathy (Fast Fingers) Welsford and Angie (Random Chords) Smith have been performing, writing songs and organising community events together for thirty years, singing their way through numerous political upheavals, cultural revolutions and just plain standing up against injustice. They provide high quality ukulele workshops at clubs and festivals up and down the east coast of Australia from Cairns to Tasmania, and are also tutors at Bellingen’s annual Camp Creative. They perform as The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach, interspersing beautifully harmonised original songs with evocative instrumental pieces, outrageous rock and sassy covers. A fearless song-writing duo, they compose contemporary folk ditties documenting the events, issues and celebrations of the times and of their outrageous life experiences. Their long awaited CD, Keep Laughing, Seriously is finally out, now available at festivals, on Spotify and through their website at www.thewildwomenofanywherebeach.net.
Review from Michael Fine at Troubadour Folk Club Event on 29 May 2021.
We billed it as a night of 'Creative Singer-Songwriters with Ukulele, at the Everglades'. But it deserved much more. Those of us lucky enough to have been there will remember this evening for a long time. A room full of laughter. Inspiring performances. Great original songs! And sharing that deep feeling of intimacy between audience and performers that only the most special events can ever produce.
The Wild Women were a hoot from the start. But cleverly, as we were lulled into the comfort of laughter and shared enjoyment, they began to get deeper and deeper in their reflection on what it means to be treated as a older woman, and how to respond to it. Cleverly, their message was about older blokes as well. They played some quite demanding instrumentals which I think went well beyond folk music. I thought of them as mini symphonic sketches, on the ukuleles. The lasting memories I have is of the joy they have and their rebellious embrace of gender and ageing. These are two women who are determined make the world a better place, one witty line and clever key change at a time.
Angie is a music historian with a Mistress of Education (Hons) and PhD (Education). She specialises in working with ukulele Beginners and Seniors, as well as in repertoire development, workshop exercises, songwriting and strum techniques. An experienced teacher, she brings to her workshops a unique understanding of the learning process together with ample patience and a firm belief in the ability of humans to learn. Her broad musical knowledge and ongoing research enable her to offer a wide range of workshops including beginners, strum techniques, rhythmic picking, twelve bar blues, Latin rhythms, Songs of the 20s, 30s and 40s, Hollywood Hawaiian, Great Movie Songs, and Australian, Gypsy, Scottish and Irish folk songs. Her Senior Armidale Ukulele group has now grown wings and meeting regularly to jam, rehearse and perform independently in the NSW Northern Tablelands.