After a 30 hour trip (door to door) we landed in Melbourne, Vic. AUST for our 7 week tour. Our first few days were spent trying to adjust to the extreme time change and organize our technology, transport and other logistics.
Our first weekend of gigs couldn’t have been a more relaxing and welcoming start to our tour as we found ourselves in wine country. On Saturday, March 10 we drove up to Rutherglen for the Taste of Rutherglen festival at Chambers Rosewood Winery. Chambers is a family owned and run winery with a history dating back 150 years. We performed an acoustic set of Hollands! and old timey songs to about 80 guests. Enjoying a traditional Australian meal of Lamb and potatos. The wine was lovely and the owners, Bill and Wendy were delightful hosts. They were the kind of folk that know how to make you feel right at home, like family you see every year at the cottage. They had us in their home and offered up spirited conversation about the life and times of a boutique winery and an Aussie breaky, including veggiemite, toast, tea and fresh squeezed orange juice from their garden.
The next day we travelled a few hours west to the Burke and Wills Winery, owned by Heather and Andrew Pattison. We were honored to perform at Andrews “Burke and Wills Folk Music Festival.” An intimate and romantically reminiscent festival set around a marquee in the gardens, with the winery and vineyard an eye shot away. Andrew describes the festival this way, ‘‘It is probably the world’s smallest folk festival, and certainly the most intimate and relaxed. There is one main stage, home-cooked meals and snacks, cellar door wines, free camping, beautiful open, spacious and peaceful landscape miles from anywhere, yet only 101km from Melbourne.”
There were about 20 musical acts playing to about 200 festival patrons, who enjoyed a relaxed weekend of concerts, sing-a-longs, camping, quizzes, wine, food, talking to the Clydesdale, and even some snoozing under trees. A highlight for us was feeding the chickens. 🙂
The performers included The Beez (Germany), Jez Lowe and Kate Bramley (UK), Mic Conway and Robbie Long, Martin Pearson, The Hollands! (USA), Naom Blat, Rory Faithfield, Roger Montgomery, John Angliss and Graham Wilson, and The Nano Stern Band (Chile).
Our favorite muso was the talented and good humored performer Mic Conway, supported by Robbie Long on guitar. Mic and Robbie entertained the audience with their Vaudeville act playing songs on some unusual musical instruments with impressive magic tricks, juggling, and a fire-eating finale. True performers.
Another lovely moment was meeting Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo. We connected with Penny on Facebook prior to coming over and during our time in Australia were able to share in song with Penny and Carl. Hoping they can make it to the states to tour. We’d love to show them off.