The Lockdown Sessions!

Well, I’m not gonna lie, the Covid thing has been a bit disruptive, but it’s also been good. We got back from Vic just in time as the gate closed behind us, and went into lockdown. This gave me an opportunity to follow up on some ideas. I’m working on some new material for the Black Swans of Trespass, but that’s a long game. Wolfe & Thorn are currently rehearsing a new album, with the first session on Thursday next week. There’ll be sneak previews. I want to take my time with it, because I notice that normally we have very limited time & funds on most projects, and the material suffers. Now we have some time to give the material the attention it deserves.


The big news is, the first project is now completed and available on Bandcamp (Art pending,) and Youtube.

The Lockdown Sessions!

I wanted to do a live recording of a performance of songs in our collective repertoire, arranged simply & acoustically and film it. Here are the 4 songs, and a little bit about who is on them and why those songs.

  1. Message to Rudy with Jalen Sutcliffe

I met Jalen in my second year at the Con and immediately knew I had to poach him. He was an incredible performer in the Gospel Choir and soul band. Very inspirational! I had put together a ska ensemble exploring Jamaican jazz, reggae and mento, and Jalen suited this material perfectly. Currently the ska ensemble – The Mentolists is in the garage having a full refit and rebuild. In the meantime i wanted to keep the material fresh with the new line up.

2. Choir Girl with Shanice McLean

When I explain to people that I want to do is have a kick ass reggae/ska band with banjo, most of them struggle with idea. When I say I want to do a Cold Chisel ska tribute band, with banjo, it usually makes things worse. But Shanice got it. She had done a gig with us at the Repub and sung Peter Tosh’s legalize it. She gave it a great character and i wanted to explore that further, and i knew that the acoustic setting of this project would allow that, much better than a full rock band in a busy pub.

We’ve been doing Choir Girl like this in both the BSoT and the Mentolists for a while now. I love Cold Chisel intend to do a lot more of their material as part of a re-invention passion project. But I think the Jamaican style works, and I think about the melody now more a Drummond horn line than a Moss guitar lick. But of course, neither of those a really present in this folksy arrangement. Not bluegrass, not quite mento but definitely inspired by both.

3. None Shall Escape the Judgement with Rudy Matoy Nakaumatou

Rudy brought a lot of energy to performances with the Mentolists, and he really engaged with this tune, which is favorite of mine too. I first was introduced to it by Ernest Ranglin, and later to their original version, Earl Zero, Johnny Clarke etc. So I’ve played it in a lot of different ways. I was aiming for a kind of Neville Chambers/Moses Deans vibe on the melody, but in this setting and key the Arpa flourishes are just too hard to resist.

I love the edge that Rudy brings to this tune. “Joombi” is a word from Queensland. It caused much hilarity in rehearsals, so they kept it! For further details, you’ll have to ask the singers.

Penis. It means penis.


4. Satta Massagana with Jalen Sutcliffe

This tune I think became Jalen’s favorite. The first version I know about was the Abyssinians, but it’s become a Rasta spiritual and a reggae standard. Jalen gives it such a soulful rendition here. Some licks I lifted and adapted from Ranglin’s Below The Bassline version.

It was filmed at Pablo’s Cocktail bar in Hobart. When you’re in town, check it out. They have Jazz there most nights.

The filming was done by Derek Hickman at Tomorrow’s memories Photography.

Ian Parsons is what done the sound. He might have a FB or website somewhere, but otherwise message me an I’ll pass it on.

I’ll speak to you again once the tunneltots are free!

To Victoria!

In a week’s time the BSoT head over to Victoria!  We have a bunch of gigs.  See the poster below…
IF you want some banjo or uke lessons, I’ll be doing one-on-one lessons for A&B Music in Geelong exclusively.  The days are Monday & Tuesday February 24 & 26.
IF you want a violin lesson, or know someone who does, Emily Wolfe will also be available!  AND if you wanna learn about double bass, Paul Sharp will also be doing some bass workshops.
I’ve been pretty much focused on the tour and making arrangements for that so the ol’ Gig Listings page has been a bit slack lately.  Sorry!  I’m about to fix that right now.  And we’ve got a bunch of dates just come in for April and beyond, so keep an eye on it.

It’s gonna be a really exciting year for the BSoT with a couple of major projects in the pipeline.  I’ll let you know as we get closer to them becoming realities.

Our last show before we head off is at the Macq01 Story bar, Sunday, 6.30pm.  This is an excellent time to collect any money we owe you, retrieve the mower, and get the DVD’s back, so pop in say good bye.

We return in March with another month of Sundays, and then we’ll take a break from the Macq01 until August.

Here’s the website for A&B Music.  Be sure to book, as places are limited!

And here’s the poster!  SMALL CORRECTION – The Geelong Central show is now at 12pm FRIDAY, not Saturday.


Tour poster 1

New Wolfe & Thorn Album

Well it’s finally happened.  With the assistance of the Folk Federation of Tasmania’s grant, we have completed our first recording of the Wolfe & Thorn!  Featuring Tasmanian heritage music from the convict fiddler Alexander Laing, tunes by folk icon Steve Gadd, and many more.
This project was originally conceived as a joint project to help raise funds for the Maritime Museum, and there was intended to be a launch there.  Unfortunately they seemed to have lost interest and haven’t responded to our numerous attempts to coordinate this effort, so sadly we had no choice but to go ahead without them.  As a result there’s two traditional sea shanties on the album.  While not strictly Tasmanian heritage tunes, they were sung by sailors in Hobart during the era of sail.
We don’t know why they pulled out as we have had no communication with them.  We’d be open to working with them and think the Museum is a great asset to our town, and one that should be invested in.  Sadly, there’s very little we can do about it.

We have yet to do a launch, but the album is available digitally on Bandcamp, and in person directly from The Wolfe & Thorn, and we’ll keep you posted about upcoming shows and also the launch when it does eventually happen.

Here are the links:


W&T F&B1_edited-1

Also!  Here’s a sample clip of one of the tunes.  You’ll notice that the synching of dancing & playing doesn’t quite match.  this is because we filmed it live and then used the album track, so a few things are little off, but IT’S STILL GOOD!!!
Special thanks to David Wanless and his immaculately dressed Folk Federation Dancers for volunteering their time.  These guys meet regularly and beginners are very welcome.  Find out more here:

Dance Groups and Regular Events

Super special thanks to Randall Muir who did the accordion and is heard but not seen on this track!

The clip:


Clip was produced by Max.e.videos:


New recordings available!

We’ve finally finished the Mentolist’s first demo.  Here’s link!

There’s new works coming from Wolfe & Thorn real soon!!!  Like, really really soon.  Like…hang on….oh no, maybe not that soon.  But soon!!!

BIG thanks to Nicky Bomba, Bustamento & the FOV crew for having me guest with them!  What a great night!!  It’s surreal when you play a gig with one of your biggest influences.  I’m kind of tripping out a little.

Ok that’s all for now.  If you want more regular updates head on over to FB and like us up, or just hassle me.



Rektango pics!

Recently the Black Swans of Trespass had the honor of being invited to perform for a month at the prestigious Hobart live music  event REKTANGO.

Here are some pics, and later some video, from that event!

Over the weeks we played we had a fill-in drummer (Al Tolond) and bass player (Sasha Gavlek) for a show each.


More MWF pics

So, what you’re not seeing is the crowd!  When a band takes a photo they are extremely conscious about getting the crowd in the shot.  But when the crowd takes a photo, they don’t think about the crowd, just the band – because THEY ARE the crowd!

Anyway, this was was packed and the place was jumping!  Hopefully some will surface with the crowd soon!  More pics are coming in!

If you took pics of that night, let us know, and we’ll post ’em!

Big thanks to pro photographer Rachel Daniels for these ones.

Rachael’s Photography on Facebook

Rachael’s Website


Mid Year Update

Hi there.

Been doing some great gigs with the BSoT lately.  Thanks to the efforts of Paul Sharp, and new drummer Lawrence Churches.

We’ve also seen the launch of a new Trad Jazz project, The CC Strutters.

And there’s yet another folkie ensemble taking shape out there.  Emily Wolfe from the Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble and I are teaming up to do some of the other side of Trad music.

There is talk of a recording of the BSoT as well.  Exciting times!

Oh, and I have been doing a radio show on Edge Radio, 99.3fm.  6pm Every Friday.  It’s called “The Naked Folks,” and it’s about folk music.  And it’s podcasted!! You can listen anytime, anywhere.

here, have a link!
And some others…

Here’s the view of the audience from Saturday’s gig at the HBC.  (Note avuncular facial growth.)


Here’s our view of the audience…