FROM the fiddles and accordians of Northern Ireland to smoky, Parisien-influenced jazz, next year’s Port Fairy Folk Festival will be a typically eclectic line-up that straddles genres, nations and cultures like a well-stamped passport.
Headlining the list of acts bound for the 38th annual event on March 7-10 will be American chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux, the New Orleans funk of Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Irish quintet LÃºnasa, Kiwi comedy-country institution The Topp Twins, the genre-hopping Alaska String Band, Canadian singer-songwriter Rose Cousins and British multi-instrumentalist Rory McLeod.
Also making the trip are Northern Ireland’s Altan, Spain’s Antonio Serrano, the UK’s Blair Dunlop, Gambia/Australia collaboration Jaaleekaay and American bandleader Pokey La Farge.
Among those travelling considering less distance will be Killarney’s Archie Roach, who makes a triumphant return to the festival. Roach performed there in 2010, giving an emotional performance and accepting the Folkie’s artist of the year award.
Also representing the Australian contingent at the event will be roots guitarist Ash Grunwald, ARIA nominee Ben Salter, the islander sounds of Bobby Alu, iconic blues group Chris Wilson’s Crown Of Thorns, virtuoso guitarist Daniel Champagne, acclaimed songwriter David Bridie & The Pills, intriguing duo Dog Trumpet, country experimenters Gleny Rae Virus & Her Playboys, the Seychelles influences of Grace BarbÃ, the all-star JVG Guitar Method, vocal powerhouse Marisa Quigley, award-winning folkies The Mae Trio, bluegrass funsters The Pigs, and harmony-heavy popsters The Tiger & Me.
For regular Folkie-goers there are also some returning favourites in Margret RoadKnight, Mic Conway’s National Junk Band, The Band Who Knew Too Much, The Tealeaves and Things Of Stone & Wood.
Two ticket releases have already been lapped up, but more are now available by visiting the festival’s website.