January – The Tasmania Month
Woodford and Cygnet Folk Festivals were a lot of fun. It’s sweet being able to spend so much time in Tasmania in January. I’ll be flying back to Hobart after the Illawarra Folk Festival this weekend to play seven shows in seven beautiful locations with The East Pointers on the Festival of Small Halls tour.
In other news, the new album has been mastered and we’re putting a tour together for a bit later in the year. There’s also a South Australian run and another visit to Tasmania in Feb/March to be announced soon. It’s 41 degrees in Melbourne today. That’s just too much. Seriously.
January 13, 2016
Playing times for the Westernport Hotel in San Remo SUNDAY 25th OCT
Here are the correct playing times today. Music starts at 5:30 and I’ll be playing from 6:30 for two sets.
October 25, 2015
Festival of Small Halls tour with The East Pointers announced!
I’m excited to help announce this tour of Tasmanian small halls in January with Canadian trad power trio The East Pointers. We’ll all be hitting Woodford Folk Festival (QLD) followed by Cygnet Folk Festival (TAS) and Illawarra Folk Festival (NSW) and then be travelling through Tassie playing in seven towns in seven beautiful venues around the state. This is going to be FUN!
Tickets are on sale 22 October at www.festivalofsmallhalls.com and at select community outlets.The Festival of Small Halls Queensland New South Wales is presented by the Woodford FolkFestival in partnership with the Cygnet Folk Festival and Illawarra Folk Festival.
October 22, 2015
The First of What I Suspect Will Be Many Canadian Tours Winds Up, Nashville, Portland, Melbourne.
I’m now back in Melbourne writing this final tour wrap. The sun is shining (thank god), the Hawks won a third premiership in a row (and as a friend reminded me; yes, I do know how lucky I am to be a Hawthorn supporter…) and I’m just acclimatising to being back home after a big almost three months away. This weather is making it pretty painless though…
So to wrap everything up, this is what the last couple of weeks of the tour looked like. I played a very fun show with Tracy McNeil, Luke Sinclair and Chris Altmann and Trace, Luke, Cat and I celebrated being reunited long into the morning while Chris and Alysha had unforgivingly early airport runs and flights to deal with the next day. It was great to see everyone again.
I then had two shows with the legendary Ron Hawkins, a widely loved and respected Canadian songwriter who I met through Mick Thomas (a good friend of Ron’s ) as a solo artist but who was the front man for many years for iconic Canadian band the Lowest Of The Low. The man can write a song. He brought me to tears a few times over the course of his set and we also got to play some of mine and some of his together as the weather started making a clear statement that Summer had unceremoniously left and that Autumn had already settled in his place at the table. The very last Canadian show was with Ron at the London Music Club in London, Ontario and it was a fitting way to end the run, one of my favourites of the tour.
Reluctantly and with heavy hearts we said goodbye to Toronto, and Canada, and flew to Nashville for the Americana Conference. I wasn’t an official showcaser there but, thanks to Sounds Australia and Sofar Sounds Nashville, still got to play in that crazy city three times, including at the Bluebird Café, which impressed my Nashville (TV show) watching friends no end. There was a healthy (in numbers and partying capacity) contingent of Australian musicians there and it was a crazy week, which included many proud moments watching friends bring their music to the world. The Tennessee locals are a super friendly lot and I was made to feel very welcome. I even talked to a fella there who plays for the local Nashville Aussie Rules footy team the Kangaroos, who assured me that Australian Rules Football has a healthy representation all over the States. Stoked.
To round out the trip I took an unscheduled jaunt back to Portland, where it all began, to do a bit more recording (more will be revealed later) and have one more Sushi Train… It felt good to go back and a nice way to consolidate some friendships I’d made during the recording and enjoy the town for a few days before heading home.
And then I headed home. I’m already planning some big things for the new album and for getting back to the US and Canada next year for more extensive touring. And some more recording, who knows.
The world is my sushi train.
October 8, 2015
Squirrels and Whiskey
Wow. Where to begin. So I’m in Toronto now. I’m playing a show tonight with my friends Luke Sinclair, Tracy McNeil and Chris Altmann. That’s bound to be a fun one. Only three more gigs in Canada and then it’s off to Nashville for Americana Fest. I can’t believe the Canadian tour is almost over. I’ve had the best time.
So, the last two weeks…
After Edmonton we travelled to the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan and I played on the Saskatchewan side of the street (you know, Smith Street in Melbourne style, only it separates provinces, not just suburbs…) at a place called the Root. (Apparently they’d already had plenty of Australians around to explain why us antipodeans would find that name amusing…) I played first and then Jill Zmud took to the stage, in front of a large contingent of her local family, a lot of whom I met before the show. The Root is a great place, it reminds me of a place in Collingwood, Melbourne I used to work at called Kooshi that my friend Sophie ran. Great food, great coffee, unpretentious and welcoming. It was a grand time.
The next day we drove into the Badlands. (Yes, there’s an actual place called that.) Dinosaur country. We drove over the flatness of Alberta, the air thick with smoke from fires that were raging in BC and Washington, US. And then suddenly the Badlands opened up under us while our trusty Camry carried us down among the prehistoric hills. The sort of country Wile E Coyote would hang out in. I played that night at the Last Chance Saloon (pictured below) and we ended up having a whiskey party while jamming with a travelling American musician that night. So much fun. So much whiskey…
The next day we arrived in Red Deer at Gilmore Guitars to record a podcast, playing a few songs and chatting to David Gilmore, former radio DJ and founder and luthier at Gilmore Guitars. What a legend. We stayed with him and his wife Adrienne and I played a show that night in the workshop to a lovely crowd, some of whom regaled us with stories later that night while we drank wine and I noodled around on a brand new electric that Dave had made. Lovely mob.
The next day was an epic one. I played a set at the Market Collective, a big open-air craft market in Calgary around Midday and then we drove the 10 odd hours back to Vancouver, through the Rockies. Not an ugly drive, as you can imagine. We arrived at a friends’ house just outside Vancouver and sat by candle light catching up after the entire city had been ravaged by storms the night before. Some folks were without power for a couple of days. A rainy East Vancouver welcomed us back for one more night and we flew to Toronto brutally early the next day. I was sad to leave British Columbia. What a diamond.
Ontario, however, has also been kind. Toronto’s a big city, bigger than I’d expected. I played a show opening for a powerhouse of a band called Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar (SO, SO GOOD) at the Dakota Tavern, a top venue. Chris Altmann and his wife Alysha were there, as well as some other Toronto friends. We celebrated at a bar run by some of those friends on Bloor Street. The next day we headed up to Kempville and I played a show at The Branch to a very small but very lovely crowd. We headed off after the show to Stittsville near Ottawa to record with our mate Larissa Tandy. I spent a few days writing songs and watching the squirrels in the backyard while Cat recorded twelve drum tracks and I was called upon occasionally to add some bass or piano. We were at Jim Bryson’s studio, who was engineering and producing the album for Larissa. We had a grand time, us four, and I hope that he’s recovered after spending an entire weekend with three Aussie loud mouthed women…
Our hire car situation, by the way, continues to be hilarious. We now have a massive Ford Taurus with a sunroof and a cream leather interior. I upgraded from a car so small my guitar wouldn’t fit in the boot to the beast that we’ve lovingly named Tony for a measly $50 for the entire two weeks. We. Are. Riding. In. Style.
So, yeah. Wow. Still can’t believe it’s almost over. There’ll be one more blog post to round off the Canadian adventure reporting. And next week we’re off to Nashville, then back to Portland for a few days and then home to Melbourne. Come on Spring, welcome me home xx
September 12, 2015
So now I’m in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I’ve just finished a run of festivals and shows in beautiful British Columbia. Vancouver was my introduction to BC and we drove north through Birch Island, Prince George, and then Dunster for the Robson Valley Music Festival and on to Fort St James for MoM Fest. We’ve had a couple of days off and tonight I’ve got a gig at the Black Dog in Edmonton, the first of five shows in a row in Alberta. The scenery is breathtaking, everything I’d hoped Canada would look like.
It’s safe to say I’m quite smitten with this country. I’ve met some fantastic people, very generous and welcoming and fun. And some incredible musicians too. It’s an inspiring place. We are the proud hirers of a tough looking black Toyota Camry. ‘Tough looking Camry?’ I hear you ask? I KNOW! We’re yet to think of a name for him/her but it’s been our trusty companion since Vancouver. And the stereo’s good. I’d ride a donkey around as long as it had a good stereo, to be honest… We’ve only had one small incident, which wasn’t our fault. And it sounds like we weren’t the only ones to have trouble leaving MoM Fest last weekend. The festival gods wanted us all to stay, obviously.
We’ve also seen the Northern Lights twice. This is incredible and I heard locals saying they’d never seen them before. I’m humbled, to say the least. The first time was in Robson Valley, near Dunster on the Saturday night of the Robson Valley Music Festival. There were flares lighting up parts of the sky. That was pretty beautiful. But the real kicker came on the Saturday of MoM Fest, near Fort St James, when the luminous green of the Northern Lights put on an incredible show above us for what seemed like hours. Extraordinary. I’ll never forget it.
On Tuesday morning we fly to Toronto to play shows and meet up with some Aussie friends including Tracy McNeil, Luke Sinclair and our old mate Chris Altmann who moved back to Canada with his wife Alysha a few years ago. I’m looking forward to wringing as much out of Canada as I can before we fly to Nashville for the Americana Fest in September. Here’s a couple of rivers for you xx
August 27, 2015
So… I made an album!! Ten tracks recorded at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Oregon. I can’t quite believe it. It’s probably going to be completely mixed by the end of the week. Crazy. The songs are kind of different but kind of the same as my other albums. A profound observation from me, no?.. It’s hard to describe what they sound like in words (let’s just say a little bit 70s and a little bit 80s…) but I can’t wait for people to hear it and see what we’ve come up with after beavering away for the last couple of weeks. (There’s a place near here called Beaverton, just FYI.) Adam Selzer, studio founder, is a dead set legend. Such a joy to work with. We recorded the rhythm section/rhythm guitar to tape and it sounds lush as.
Portland is a sweet town, surrounded by forest and divided by the Willamette River. In fact the city is bursting with beautiful trees and it’s so lovely to be here in the summer while everything is exploding with green. Except the lawns, because it’s been very hot and dry. Portland loves a good queue and we’ve been avoiding them as much as possible. I’ve also discovered the wonderment of Kombucha. And Sushi trains.
My manager Cat and I are off on my Canadian tour tomorrow, via Seattle to see some friends. I’m very sad to leave Portland but I know I’ll be back. Here’s the view from the studio.
August 4, 2015
Bon Voyage show at the NSC July 5th
Winter’s set in. And good on it. I love the cold weather and the cosiness of being inside when it’s hammering down sleety rain outside. Delightful. Having said that I have managed to find myself in the position where I’ll miss most of the Australian winter when I head off to the US in July to start recording my 5th studio album (in Portland, Oregon) and then head up to Canada for six odd weeks of gigs. My first tour in the region. I can’t wait. Pretty much the only things I’m taking are my Ugg boots. Everything else I intend to buy there. Apparently the Op Shops are crazy good and very cheap. Look out…
To have a little party before I go I thought I’d play a gig at the old favourite, the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. Adam and Tim will join me and the fantastic Brooke Russell will be opening the show. It’s a Sunday afternoon affair. Hopefully it’ll be sleeting outside so we can cosy up together for the afternoon! And then stop sleeting when everyone has to ride home later… The presale ticket link is in the Shows section of my website. I recommend booking for this one because it’ll be the last gig for many months in Melbourne.
I’ll also be playing an intimate house concert in Collingwood on Friday the 12th of June. There are limited tickets and all info is available in the Shows section too.
June 1, 2015
Fairbridge playing times – LIZ IS NOT PLAYING FRIDAY NIGHT
For those in WA heading to Fairbridge Music Festival this weekend, here are my playing times. I’m not actually playing on Friday night, as previously advertised in the Shows section of lizstringer.com
Here are the two sets Liz will be playing over the weekend:
Saturday 11th April: Mandja 2pm
Sunday 12th April: Djindalux 2pm
April 10, 2015
Memo Music Hall!!
Autumn is upon us. I love it so much. I just spent a lovely Easter playing at the Bealiba Blues ‘n’ Cruise fest in beautiful central Victoria on Easter Saturday and then spent the second half of the time at Boogie Festival near Tallarook. We live in a lovely part of the world. And the footy’s back. Yesssssss.
I’m so excited to be playing a band show with my long time collaborator Adam May on drums and our talented friend Alics Gates Eastley on bass to officially open this great new venue, the Memo in St Kilda on Saturday the 18th of April. The Memo is run by our friends out at the Caravan in Oakleigh, so it’s bound to be another ripper. Krista Polvere will be the opening the show too. If you go to the SHOWS link on this website you’ll find links to more info and tickets there.
For WA mob, I’ll be at Fairbridge Festival this weekend. I haven’t been over to the West since the Live at The Yarra tour last year, and I’m so happy to be coming back.
April 7, 2015