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About Southern Fork Americana Fest.

Friday 5 October: WILLIE WATSON W/ HOLLY ARROWSMITH

"There's so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level." For nearly 2 decades Willie Watson has been making modern folk music rooted in older traditions. Folksinger Vol. 2, produced by David Rawlings, carries on a rich tradition in folk music: the sharing and swapping of old songs. With his rich vocal range, Watson breathes new life into classic songs like 'Samson and Delilah' featuring harmonies of gospel quartet the Fairfield Four. Arriving three years after Folksinger Vol. 1 - his first release since parting ways with the Old Crow Medicine Show - Vol. 2 carries on the spirit of a time nearly forgotten.

Holly Arrowsmith's sophomore album, A Dawn I Remember, is already gaining critical acclaim, alongside an APRA Silver Scroll Top 20 nod for closing album track, 'Slow Train Creek'. Sunday Star Times gave the album a five star review while Otago Daily Times compared her vocal performance to an "early Joan Baez or the superstar voices of Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris." The album was recorded between the beautiful coastal town of Colac Bay and The Sitting Room Recording Studio with renowned producer Ben Edwards. Holly Arrowsmith's music often touches upon earnest matters of life, wrapped up in metaphors of nature and the soothing mountain environment that raised her.

Saturday 6 October: STEVE GUNN W/ ARTHUR AHBEZ

Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. Close listening reveals the influence of blues, folk, ecstatic free jazz, and psych in his continually unfolding output. In 2016 Steve released, Eyes On The Lines, his first album for Matador Records which the Washington Post called, "so intimate and so mysteriously distant all at once".

Volume II is the long awaited second album from acid folk troubadour Arthur Ahbez, and follow up to 2013's critically acclaimed Gold. Best described as a soul lost in the spirit of song, Arthur finds solace in the ethos of Jazz, Folk, and Psychedelic movements of the 1960s.

Friday 12 October: REB FOUNTAIN W/ TOM CUNLIFFE

After touring and recording with Finn Andrews (The Veils) Reb Fountain released 'Hopeful & Hopeless'; "the most perfect EP ever made," (Simon Wilson, Metro). The album, recorded live at Auckland's Wine Cellar, recently won a Tui award for Best Country Album 2018 and title track, 'Hopeful & Hopeless' won APRA Best Country Song 2018 and it doesn't end there! The much awaited follow up, Little Arrows, featuring the late Sam Prebble was nominated for Best Folk Album 2018. "Reb Fountain is to be counted among our finest songwriters whose imagery is both personal and universal, and her command of a melody and a song transcends genre." (Graham Reid, Elsewhere).

Auckland-based folk artist, Tom Cunliffe, recently released his second album, Template For Love, following his debut Howl and Whisper. In his late teens Toms love of typography drew him to Wellington, where he studied design. It was here that he first started playing guitar and writing songs. Howl and Whisper was recorded in Lyttelton with producer Ben Edwards and was praised for its diverse songwriting and compared to The Waterboys and Bob Dylan.

Saturday 13 October: THE EASTERN W/ EMILY FAIRLIGHT

NZ's hardest working band, The Eastern, have been roaring around the music scene for ten years and with four albums and well over 1000 shows under their belt, they have no plans on stopping soon! Best known for their 2012 record, Hope and Wire a bold double album that reached Gold Status, climbed to #2 in the NZ Charts and debuted at #1 on the NZ iTunes chart. They have played and toured with Fleetwood Mac, Steve Earle and Old Crow Medicine Show amongst others and manage to tick off 200 shows a year every year! No Depression mag described the band as "One of the most modern roots acts from any country" and Radio NZ and NZ Herald hailed them as "National Treasures." NZ Country legend Barry Saunders simply called them "The truth."

Wellington based indie-folk songstress, Emily Fairlight has been composing and performing for over a decade, carting around her introspective alt/folk through New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She recorded her sophomore album, Mother Of Gloom,  with Doug Walseth of The Cat's Eye Studio in Austin, Texas. Second Hand News described the album as "deft and exquisite, drawing you completely into Fairlight's stories," and Radio New Zealand praised the songs for distilling "moments of emotional turmoil into palpable images anyone can feel."

Wednesday 17 October: MARGO PRICE W/ COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS

"One of the most compelling country talents to come out of Nashville" (Vulture). Margo Price's first solo album Midwest Farmer's Daughter debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's Country Albums chart and graced Best-Of lists everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to NPR Music. Most recent release, All American Made was written alongside partner/husband Jeremy Ivey and unapologetically depicts the trials of everday life, politics and sexism. It was hailed as "a potential classic," by Pitchfork and Rolling Stone praised its "amazingly vivid songcraft". Passing up on a more slicker, polished sound, Price has been lauded for her commitment to the grit and honesty in her music.

Courtney Marie Andrews is delighted to return to NZ once again, "New Zealand, I adore your beautiful country and I can't wait to make my way back there the third time!" She played her first NZ show in July 2017 following the success of her album Honest Life. The crowd described Courtney's performance as "exquisite", "utterly brilliant" and Courtney herself said the downunder tour was "pure joy". So much so that she came back that November and delighted the crowd with news that she'd return again with a new album. And that she will. Recorded over eight days and produced by Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits) Courtney revealed May Your Kindness Remain a record dedicated to the people she met on the road.

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