2017's Performers

Evan Mathieson

evan mathiesonEvan Mathieson was born and bred on the family farm which ran along the cliffs adjacent to the Shipwreck Coast of Western Victoria. His love of Australian history grew from his family’s stories of the shipwrecks and rescues in their area through to “The Twelve Apostles” in the days of yore. Singing with or without accompaniment was a strong part of the family tradition.
After his father’s sudden death, the family dairy farm was sold and Evan moved east to the “big smoke” of Melbourne. He bought a guitar, taught himself to play, and immersed himself in the vibrant live music scene that flourished around the inimitable Frank Traynor’s Folk & Jazz Club.
Evan’s next move, guitar in mini-moke, was north to the warmer climes of Queensland where he met and married Lyn.
In 1969 Evan was the Programmer for the 1st Moreton Bay Folk Festival (aka the 3rd National Folk Festival) and has been hooked on the music ever since.
As well as solo performances way back then, Evan sang in a trio specialising in sea shanties and other traditional songs, and also with these "partners in crime" he formed the very lively Ramitta P. Memorial Jug Band.
Evan’s musical interests are many and varied:— a cappella vocals, finger-picking guitar, kazoo, harmonica, and then playing and eventually building his own distinctive Autoharps.
He hasn’t missed a Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival since they started, and is delighted to be back once more for the 16th!
For this 2017 Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Evan is performing:-
*SOLO with Autoharp, guitar — songs of folk, oral history, humour, and life at sea featuring the real-life songs of the late great Harry Robertson www.harryrobertson.net
*EVAN teams up with TEANA AMOR and BARRY MARTIN as the amazing KAZOOBAFAK JUG BAND www.evanmathieson.net

David Hyams

DavidHyams ND234 SBased in Fremantle WA, David Hyams is known nationally as a composer, producer and instrumentalist, as well as long time sideman to the likes of Bernard Carney, John Bennett and more recently, ARIA nominee Harry Hookey. Playing guitar, mandolin, dobro, bouzouki and harmonica, he’s traversed numerous styles including the celtic inspired mix of his “Miles To Go” band. Over the last 15 years, the band has become a favourite at Australian festivals, opened for Bob Geldof and Maryanne Faithfull among others, and has been 8 times nominated for a WAM (WA Music industry Association) award.
David is also a seasoned songwriter and has collaborated as co- writer/arranger/producer with songwriters such as Bill Chambers, Lucky Oceans and Frank Jones. In recent years he has shared his skills and experience through workshops and projects - from the country and 'desert reggae' styles of Central Desert Aboriginal communities, to the rap and hip hop of WA's maximum security prisons. Particularly known for his ability to work with diverse communities, David continues his work in jails with the “Murru” album and band (as producer and musical director for leading Australian arts company BighART) involving the community of Roebourne in WA’s North West.
David’s most recent album, Travelling Bones is his first in singer-songwriter mode. With its roots in folk, country and blues, it continues the strong connection to the Australian landscape which has long characterised his work, including stories of an encounter with an emu on a desolate stretch of north west highway, a celebration of Kimberley nights, and the ritual pilgrimage to favourite southern coastal haunts. Newer songs inspired by his prison experiences also feature in the mix.
David currently hosts popular Fremantle songwriter night “The Writers Block” and his songs keep gaining recognition, with “Gone” coming fourth in the National ASA Awards in 2015.
" 'Travelling Bones' is a beautiful contemporary folk and country album with a hint of blues that fills a small part in your soul that you wouldn't otherwise have even known was empty" 
Emma Bradstock - ISOLATED NATION



The Sinners

IMG 5983 Safety In Numbers on the Dorrigo main stageSAFETY IN NUMBERS (SINners)
Have you ever wanted to join in but don’t know where to start? Got an instrument hiding in the car boot? Love to sing, don’t know the songs? Watched a jam or three and wondered how do they do it? Join the Safety in Numbers ‘SINners’ group to learn some bluegrass gospel songs in the ‘safety’ of a large group. Learn by doing!

This is a workshop on how to put a song together and perform as a group - when to play loud, when to play soft, what a lead break is, the basics of bluegrass and the boom-chuck rhythm. No need to be shy, everyone is welcome. Beginners, singers, experienced players, those trying to master a second instrument - all can join in. We will learn two songs together in preparation for opening the gospel concert on Sunday morning. The larger the group the better – hence the name Safety In Numbers.

This continues a tradition started at the Bluegrass & Traditional Country Music Association monthly get-togethers in Sydney. The SINners meet every month, learn 3 songs and open the whiteboard concert... and learn the most important lesson of all, have fun playing music! The workshop will be hosted by Harold von Finster (a musician of many years’ experience) and Jacinta Connery (a beginner’s perspective - Jacinta started playing from scratch about five years ago).

Thanks to Lindsay Mar for the photo

Yhan Leal

Yhan lealYhan Leal, walks the line with light feet. The Colombian born, now Bellingen based singer songwriter dedicates his waking hours to honing his artistic craft,
doing so in his humble way – busking daily in his local community.
After 20 years of performing Yhan, a truly gifted guitarist and angelic singer, has found his musical identity. Yhan Leal represents a new direction of Folk.

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