Wailin’ Wednesday: Chris Went to Australia & Heard A LOT of Great Music

Wailin’ Wednesday: Chris Went to Australia & Heard A LOT of Great Music

Our Artistic Director Chris Frayer went to the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) last week to speak on a panel and hear some of the best music from the other side of the globe (and stopped to sample some of the coffee from cool mobile cafés, like the one pictured above - a converted VW van).

The Canadian-Australian music connection is strong. Many Australian artists build huge audiences in Canada, and the same is true for Canadian artists touring through Australia. The evidence is here at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. Every year, we have more than a few Australian bands playing our stages to much fanfare. When Chris was at AWME, he spoke on the Touring in Canada panel, sharing the inside scoop on what it takes to break into the strong Canadian music scene. 

Chris (far right) and the rest of the Touring In Canada panelists. Canada, represent! 

And, of course, there are showcases. Chris first heard past-festival performers Blue King Brown and Tinpan Orange at AWME, so we could hardly wait for his plane to land to hear about the new discoveries he’d made. Here are a few of his favourites.

The Ding Dong Lounge was packed for Marlon Williams' set - an old time Americana singer who has already received two New Zealand Music Awards.

Mojo Juju played right after Marlon Williams and absolutely rocked the place with her soulful vocals and crushing guitar.

At the popular Hi-Fi club, Chris was introduced to Hiatus Kaiyote, a Grammy nominated neo-soul group from Melbourne.

The Nahko & Medicine For The People concert sold out three months before the conference, but Chris was there and loved the energy of the band. Oregon-native Nahko, born a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino, bridges the cultural gaps through music written to inspire spiritual and communal healing. Uplifting stuff!

At The Toff, The Tiger and Me impressed Chris with their performance, consisting of three lead singers, a multitude of instruments and top-notch attire. 

And the vocals on Ash Grunwald... Amazing Austalian bluesman. 


australia, awme, music

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Check back in March for the 2018 Winnipeg Folk Fest lineup!

Past Performers

Past Performers

Since 1974 many great performers have appeared on the Winnipeg Folk Fest stages. Check out the list!