Performers 2019

Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival 2019 Performers

The line-up for the 2019 Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival has been finalised. We had a wonderful batch of submissions, and as always, it wasn’t an easy job to select the performers. We’ve been able to secure a terrific line-up including plenty of great Bluegrass, two Western Swing bands, Old-time fun, contemporary singer-songwriters, and a touch of Celtic Rock. Read on…

Made in Taiwan

Andrew Clermont with Jenny Lester (Canada), Daryl Jack (Melbourne) andAron McLean (Beechworth)are back together after 25 years, re-living the crazy three years which saw 6 or 700 shows of this group together! The intervening years have seen so many musical adventures for each of the members of Made in Taiwan. Andrew Clermont is well known to Wirrina festival regulars and has been constantly touring with The Apostle String Band and 22 years of Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club orchestra across the planet. He is a three time Australian Bluegrass Guitar Champion and has played fiddle for Tom T Hall (USA), Troy Cassar Daley, The Screaming Jets, Anna Lisa Kerrigan, The Waifs, and has toured Europe ten times with bands including Totally Gourdgeous, BluGuru, Dya Singh World Music Group, The Beggars, The Borderers (France) and Skägen (Denmark) plus Germany. Jenny Lester (Fiddle) is a dynamic Canadian Bluegrass performer and recording artist who has established herself as an important singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her original songs are carefully crafted in the bluegrass convention while at the same time displaying a contemporary freshness and vitality that breathes new life into the fabled “high lonesome” sound. Daryl Jack has performed close to 3000 shows since the original Made in Taiwan years including those with The Fargone Beauties and Tamworth’s BackBeat. He’s now includes Dobro into his instrumental prowess. Aron McLean is now mostly seen playing with Peter Denahy and is very excited to see the years vanish and re-live this fun yet powerful show.

All in all, expect one very seamless Bluegrass unit!

Web: JennyLester Andrew Clermont

Facebook: Andrew Clermont

Bluegrass Made in Taiwan a long time ago
Bluegrass - Made in Taiwan

The Borderers

For more than two decades The Borderers (Jim Patterson and Denise Alex Alexander) have electrified audiences across Australia and the world with their fusion of Celtic rock, zydeco, African, folk, gospel and whatever style of music that happens to take their fancy. Jim and Alex are renowned for their unbelievably high-energy shows and think nothing of performing high kicks on stage and sprinting through the audience encouraging dance marathons.

Picking highlights from their 20+ year career is like walking through a garden of riches. They’ve recorded with African, Indian and American soul and gospel singers, performed at Womad in England on the day Princess Diana died, entertained 30,000 people on New Year’s Eve in Melbourne’s Federation Square and 750,000 at Adelaide’s Skyshow, and rocked Byron Bay’s Blues & Roots Festival, Port Fairy’s Folk Festival, and the famous Skagen Festival in Denmark. With ten albums under their belt it’s clear that they are a much-loved, admired and sought-after act and we are lucky to have them at Wirrina in 2019.

Facebook: The Borderers

The Borderers

Nobody’s Sweethearts

Nobody’s Sweethearts are a Western Swing band from Adelaide, S.A. Western Swing is fast energetic dance music based on 1920s, 30s and 40s jazz and hillbilly. Essentially it is hot string jazz played with country instruments—guitar, fiddles, bass and steel guitar. You can’t help but dance at their gigs!
These guys are masters of their craft.

Featuring: Wilson, Ted, A.J., Peter, Ross, Ashley, and Dusty
Facebook: Nobody’s Sweethearts

Nobody's Sweethearts

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!

Featuring: Mark Bandick, Lou Evangelistis, Paul Cooper, Gage Stead, Rob Cooper


The Cherry Pickers

Flying Engine Stringband

Visiting from Melbourne, Flying Engine Stringband are some of the country’s finest purveyors of traditional dance and social music from the southern states of America. They play an eclectic mix of driving & hypnotic Old Time Appalachian Stringband music, Mountain Blues & Ballads and Traditional Cajun/Creole 2-Steps & Waltz’s from Southwest Louisiana. Acoustic, up-tempo dance music. Also great for not dancing to!

Craig Woodward
–fiddle, clawhammer banjo, Cajun accordion, vocals
Liam Wratten–fiddle, clawhammer banjo, Cajun triangle
Susan Shaw–guitar mandolin, vocals

Facebook: Flying Engine Stringband

Flying Engine Trio

Jen Lush with Tara Coates

Jen Lush writes evocative, starkly modern folk songs spun from the heart. Her recent album of Australian poetry crafted into songs has taken Jen and her stellar band to festivals and venues throughout South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. Currently recording her new album, Jen returns to the deeply personal, taking the magnifying glass to the small idiosyncrasies of her life in the suburbs, mining for simple joys and everyday frailties in acoustic songs which teeter on the edges of folk, alt-country and something entirely it’s own. Appearing for the first time at Wirrina Bluegrass Festival with fellow singer-songwriter Tara Coates.

Facebook: Tara:   Jen:

Jen Lush
Tara Coates

The Wolfe and Thorn

Emily Wolfe (Fiddle) and CC Thornley (Banjo) will bring traditional music from Tasmania and abroad to the Wirrina stages this year. Their music is sustainably sourced, gluten free, and suitable for all diets including Vegan and generally fussy. They recommend a Tasmanian cider, craft beer or a good red wine to compliment the palate. Experience serendipitous surprises and unexpected joy with their mix of Dixie, Gypsy Jazz and Classic timeless favourites.




Backwater are a Melbourne based traditional bluegrass band with a solid pedigree. They play the early traditional Bluegrass made famous by Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and the Stanley brothers with a smattering of Carter Family material. Backwater also draw material from the best of the second generation of bluegrass performers: Audey Blaylock , Jnr Sisk, Karl Shiflett, Larry Sparks, Del McCoury, Vern & Ray, Dave Evans, James King, Red Allen and Joe Val etc

Rob Lewis– guitar, vocals
Peter Somerville– banjo, vocals
Maxine Sutcliffe– double bass, fiddle
Mark Pottenger– mandolin, vocals

Facebook: Backwater


William Alexander

Crooning troubadour and old time folk singer, William Alexander (the kid from Bourke), brings back the songs of hillbilly and country musics greatest figures as well as his own songs of the new world and all its trials and tragedies. Born in Bourke, NSW, William grew up in the western country of New South Wales. William’s family relocated to the Mallee country of North West Victoria when he was a young teenager but he maintained an intense physical and spiritual connection with the land of red dirt that he first came from. Over the last few years, 22 year old William has played many concerts in cities, towns, bars and halls. Playing concerts and festivals across the country has gained many loyal fans and friends who encourage and inspire him. William plans to tour the country sharing his new record with people in 2019 once the harvest at the organic garlic farm where he works has ended.


William Alexander

Slim Dime & The Prairie Kings

Slim Dime and The Prairie Kings are an old-time party band with a difference.Their energetic live show includes smokin’ guitar twang, fiddle, electric table slide and all guns blazing! They play Hillbilly big band music for the folks who love to kick up their heels and step onto the dance floor. With musical influences from the 1930’s and 40’s (such as Bob Wills) Slim Dime and The Prairie Kings throw in a dose of Honky-Tonk and Bluegrass to create a modern blend of classic sounds.

Jen Land –vocals, tenor guitar
Chris Taylor–vocals,  electric guitar
Mark Pottenger–vocals, steel guitar
Maxine Suttcliff –vocals, fiddle
Andrew Barcham–vocals, bass


Facebook: Slim Dime

Slim Dime & the Prairie Kings

Bluegrass Junction

Adelaide-based Bluegrass Junction 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.

Featuring: Trevor Warner, Nick Cawthorne, Geoff Bridgland, John Bridgland, and Stephen Loss.

Bluegrass Junction

Henk Groot Trio

From Manum SA, Henk Groot is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter. He is a regular participant and performer at Wirrina Festivals. In 2019 he will team up with Ashley Turner (fiddle) and Neil Chapman (bass) to play original songs, Country, Folk and more.

Henk Groot
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