Songwriting legend heads Folk By The Sea line-up

Iconic Australian singer-songwriter Neil Murray heads a stellar line-up of 51 acts for this year’s 6th Folk By The Sea Festival, to be held in Kiama in September.

Murray’s songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Missy Higgins and Powderfinger to Adam Brand and Jimmy Little, while his best known song is Christine Anu’s version of his anthemic My Island Home.

The song featured at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Neil Murray

Murray, who helped form the ground-breaking Warumpi Band in 1980, is currently touring Australia performing songs from his latest album Blood & Longing, as well as his classics like My Island Home and Good Light in Broome.

Folk By The Sea’s Rod Cork says organisers are thrilled to have a performer of Murray’s standing to head this year’s Festival.

“Neil Murray really is one of Australia’s finest contemporary songwriters and performers.

“Originally from Victoria, he moved to the Northern Territory in the late 1970s and has been one of the driving forces in bringing Indigenous musicians to national prominence.

“We are very proud to have such an important Australian musical figure at our festival.

“It reinforces Folk By The Sea’s reputation for showcasing outstanding national and international acts, as well as local artists.”

New Zealand band Across The Great Divide, which is a fusion of Americana, Celtic and Scandinavian influences, and northern English folksinger Richard Grainger, who is described by the BBC as “the folksinger’s folksinger”, head a strong international line-up at the three day event.

As befitting its Kiama location, there will be a strong Celtic influence at this year’s festival, led by perennial favourite Enda Kenny, new wave Melbourne female quartet Co-cheol and powerhouse band Highlander with its rock edge to traditional Celtic songs.

“There are 33 international and national acts, but we’ve also got a really strong local presence, with 18 acts from the Illawarra,” says Rod.

“These include Dear Violet, a talented trio of teenagers from the northern suburbs who really impressed everyone at the Illawarra Folk Festival at Bulli this year, and Kiama band The Water Runners who are always popular.”

Folk By The Sea will also feature a two-hour Woodstock 50th anniversary tribute show on the Saturday afternoon, with The Carefree Road Band, The Water Runners and Buck & Deanne performing songs from 1969’s Woodstock Festival – arguably the most famous music festival of the 20th century.

This year, all three days of the Festival are ticketed events, held at Kiama Pavilion and surrounding venues at Kiama Showground.

Details: 27-29 September. Early Bird three-day tickets are on sale now for $90 at www.folkbythesea.com.au or by calling 1300 887034

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