Performers 2017

Wirrina Performers


Enjoy reading about the wonderful musicians who played on our stages in 2017.

Nine Mile Creek

Coming to us from Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges, Nine Mile Creek play a special blend of ‘hi-octane’ traditional and original bluegrass material, with a touch of swing and Americana. They regularly play at the Mountain Pickers Association monthly nights at Burrinja Café in Upwey ( Dandenong Ranges, Victoria). They frequent Australian bluegrass festivals, including Mountain Grass, Kelly Country Pick and the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass festival. They also perform at non-bluegrass events to enthused audiences.

Line-up: Mark Pottenger (Mandolin), Andrew Barcham (bass), Colin Weight (banjo),  Doug Wallace (guitar).


Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club

Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club is about to turn 20 years young! Born of Festivals from Fairbridge WA, The National ACT, Port Fairy VIC & Woodford QLD it has had 20 years now at Tamworth Country Music Festival NSW and appeared as far afield as Tallin in Estonia, just a few years back! The “orchestra” this year will include handy locals Quentin Eyers and Margie Russell with bass, guitar, piano and much vocal harmony. Regular music partners John Francis plus Janet and Hugh Gordon of Tamarisque and Brigalow years, bring in the Gypsy to New Acoustic, Fogelberg, to crazy flights of fancy sewn with a fine needle and thread from Western Australia, with Jude Iddison completing the triple fiddle team. Oh! But there be always a wild card or two at The Supper Club—incredibly powerful despite his outward calm, SA’s rarely seen Tim Bailey on guitar and banjo and surprising vocals! And I know a certain Dobro man who’s never too far away—Leonard Cohen!

Clermont has a 20 year history to celebrate through this gathering, for which he is also completing a Photo Book Supper Club Almanac this year. He has a Patreon site for that too! His collection of Australian made instruments will feature:  White Swallow banjo (SA), Gilchrist mandolin and  Roger Buckmaster Fiddle (VIC),  Epoch White Dove Fiddle (QLD/TAS), Mick Moffat Mandola (NSW), and assorted Didgeridoos. The music will soar and visit near and afar to Finland and Appalacia, Shetland to California, and so much more.

Line-up:  Andrew Clermont and friends


Bluegrass Junction

Adelaide-based Bluegrass Junction will be taking to the stage at Wirrina in 2017. The band comprises musicians who share a lifetime’s passion for straight old-fashioned three-chord bluegrass music, with great instrumental skills and strong harmonies driven by the power of a bass fiddle.

Trevor Warner is a Hall of Fame inductee and three times Australian Bluegrass banjo champion. He now fronts the band as a superb Bluegrass fiddler. Nick Cawthorne, one of South Australia’s best Bluegrass guitarists, drives the rhythm on a vintage DeGruchy guitar, complemented by Geoff Bridgland on banjo and John Bridgland on mandolin. It’s all tightly held together by Stephen Loss on bass fiddle. Trevor and Nick share lead vocals, and John adds tenor harmony, to get that ‘high, lonesome sound’ that characterises traditional Bluegrass. Formed in 1997, but with most members playing Bluegrass for 30 years or so, the band has an extensive repertoire.

Line-up: Trevor Warner, Nick Cawthorne and the Bridgland brothers, Geoff and John, and Stephen Loss.

The Reverend and Mrs Rowdy

The Reverend and Mrs Rowdy emerged full-fledged, complete with backstory, bizarre theology, and new-old songs in a 2015 Adelaide Fringe show. From the ashes of that sold-out season emerged a five-piece Rowdies ensemble. Individual Rowdies have been part of the Adelaide music scene since the 80s. The Reverend (voice, guitar) led the much-loved Adelaide 80s punk-folk band Jack Nasty Face. Mrs Rowdy moved from classical piano to that ol’ double bass coz she “just wanted to jam”. Brother Nick Atherton is a travelling minstrel who calls Adelaide home but travels the country earning his keep, and his reputation as a “must see” slide guitarist. Sister Bell, fruit of the loins of the Reverend and Mrs Rowdy, found her superb voice in a musical family and spends her days as a Stage Manager in the Adelaide theatre scene. Add Young Nick Challans (guitar) apprentice carpenter in the very image of JC himself, and you have the genuine original Rowdies sound—spreading important political messages of our time and place, modern stories of post-industrial life, and a honkytonk flavoured Americana gospel according to Hank, Patsy and the Sex Pistols.

Line-up: Jem Phillips (aka Rev Rowdy), Trisha Drioli (aka Mrs Rowdy), Isabella Drioli-Phillips (aka Sister Belle), Nick Challans (aka Brother Nick), and Nick Atherton (aka Old Nick).


The Cherry Pickers

Renowned Adelaide Bluegrass band, The Cherry Pickers, have been winning over audiences with their unique style for over a decade. Whether it’s Ralph Stanley or Paul Stanley, every song gets that “Cherry Pickers sound”. They play a mix of original material, ‘blue-grassed’ arrangements of favourite rock and pop songs (e.g., Harley and Rose, Take a Long Line, I’m on Fire), and of course many Bluegrass classics. The Cherry Pickers appear regularly around Adelaide and have played at many festivals across the country including the National Bluegrass Festival, Mountain Grass, the Kelly Country Pick, JamGrass , the Fleurieu Folk Festival, and the Healesville Festival. In 2016, the Cherry Pickers toured the US including playing at AmericaFest in Nashville Tennessee. They regularly feature at the Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival and we welcome them back with open arms!

Line-up: Mark Bandick, Lou Evangelistis, Paul Cooper, Gage Stead, Rob Cooper


Slim Dime

Slim Dime are an acoustic folk duo. Their music is contemporary and urban, but woven through with the simplicity and space of old time mountain music. Listen close: you can hear fog soaked valleys, mountain ash forests and the grit of gravel road. Using minimal arrangements—acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, banjo and vocals, they make a sound that is all bare bones and emotional complexity. Jen Land’s voice tells stories with nuance and emotion. Chris Taylor’s playing is intelligent and idiosyncratic. The songs talk of lives lived and lessons learned, of sorrows and of loss, but there is redemption too, and even joy. Their most recent album, Travelogue was released 2016. They play at festivals regularly throughout Australia.

Line-up: Jen Land & Chris Taylor


Savoir Plunk

Meet Adelaide’s Savoir Plunk, the surprise hit quintet at the 2016 Cairns Ukulele Festival! They also played sell out shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2017. Gigs are packed with the sounds of swing, jazz , blues, and BritPop. Savoir Plunk features vocal harmonies, drum/cajon, the ukulele range (incl. bass, banjolele, 8 string, resonator), and a multi-instrumentalist teasing a diverse range of percussion (melodica, xylophone, vibraslap etc). Savoir Plunk is a band (not a uke group) covering genres from the 60s and beyond. This is Ukulele for grown ups! They are eclectic, fun, and captivating. Shelley Wigley plays ukulele and sings lead with her commanding voice and great stage presence. Dave Taylor, known for his bass playing in Bluegrass bands, has downscaled to a U-bass for this act. Priscilla Steampunk is the band’s multi-talented ‘percussion Queen’. Christopher Carr (AKA Sir Fez) is known around town for his ukulele teaching, but features on Cajon, single drum, and vocals. Colin Falconer has been dragged to the dark side , playing lead uke, from his beginnings as a London studio musician and frequenter of Tin Pan Alley. An act not to be missed!

Line-up: Shelley Wigley, Dave Taylor, Christopher Carr (AKA Sir Fez), Colin Falconer, and Jodie Shooebridge (AKA ‘Priscilla Steampunk’).

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