Category: Album of the year


The Barleyshakes

Nominated for

Album of the Year for Irishtown – Finalist
Instrumental of the Year for Jessica’s – Finalist
Song of the Year for Farewell to the Gold
Song of the Year for Rosie Reilly



Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia, the Barleyshakes are a Celtic band with world music influences who combine
intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms in their live performances. Adored throughout Australia and beyond for their “bent” Irish sound, they are winners of the Queensland Music Award for World Music.

Ever since their inception in the 90’s in Dublin, the Barleyshakes have been turning heads. Their mission, to inject new life into Irish music while honouring the tradition past, was to become a life-long adventure for each member. Their live shows have taken them around the globe and they continue to take audiences on a joy filled ride wherever they perform.

The band use fiddles, flutes, tine whistle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals, bass, bodhran, and drums to create their truly wonderful Celtic sound. They have shared the stage with Lunasa, Metallica, Kila, Joe Cocker, Sharon Shannon, Altan, and Grada, to name a few.

After well over a decade together this ensemble know each other intensely and they communicate freely to create something fresh every time they perform. They recently release their 8th album entitled “Irishtown” and it was instantly made album of the month by ABC national radio.



Sadie & Jay

Nominated for

Group of the Year
Album of the Year – A Passing of Seasons – Winner
Song of the Year – Dust to Ashes
Song of the Year – Salvation Jane
Song of the Year – The Lucky Country
Song of the Year – Leaving the Harbour



The creative combination of a deeply traditional folk musician with a blues and roots singer gives Sadie and Jay an intimate and enchanting sound. They play beautiful songs with exceptional vocals, glorious harmonies, intricate finger style guitar, bouzouki and double bass. They are influenced by the storytelling nature of the Anglo-Celtic traditions and contemporary folk, blues and roots music which reflects in their collaborative songwriting.

Born in Scotland and raised in New Zealand, Jay (David J Penman) grew up in a musical family immersed in traditional British folk music. For many years Jay has been a member of four part family A-Capella group The PENMANS. With Welsh heritage, Sadie’s love for singing is instinctive. From jazz & blues to world & roots music, Sadie has performed with accomplished musicians, theatre and cabaret enriching her spellbinding vocal ability.
For the past six years Sadie and Jay have been performing as a duo in and beyond the Brisbane folk and festival scene. They’ve had two very successful tours in the UK in 2016 and 2018 with a third scheduled for 2020. Most recently they were guests at Upton Upon Severn and Great North Folk Festivals in the UK and they were the headline act for New Zealand’s Hamilton Folk Festival in 2019.
Sadie and Jay have released three original studio albums, Curious (2015) Rogue Folk (2017) and A Passing of Seasons (2019) featuring several high profile South East Queensland musicians. Their third studio album features refined and spirited historical Australian stories in Sadie and Jay’s characteristic modern folk style.

Richard Grainger – British folk singer/songwriter & Festival Director
“Sadie & Jay – fabulous duo, highly professional with exquisite arrangements of songs in the folk and acoustic style. Sadie is a beautiful singer and is the double bass player, while Jay provides expert well worked guitar accompaniments. Both take lead vocal and their harmonies make the hairs on the back of your head curl.”

Alison Bell – Vice President of The Brisbane Folk History Project
“This is the third album by Brisbane based duo Sadie and Jay and it is possibly the best of Australian contemporary folk music that you could purchase. Few artists pay such exquisite detail to the total soundscape. This album will leave delightful sounds echoing in your head long after you have stopped listening to the actual tracks…”

Robin Brew – Hamilton Folk Club NZ
“This all too temporary importation demanded my attention from their first offering, not only for their superb musicianship, lovely use of dynamics, vocal shading etc but really topical, relevant and brave songwriting about issues that need raising.”

“Ellen’s Lullaby” FINALIST for ‘Song of the Year’ 2019 Australian Celtic Awards
“Trinity” FINALIST in DUO Category 2018 Blues&Roots International Song of the Year
“Taking My Time” FIRST PLACE 2015 Illawarra Folk Festival Song Competition
“Why Would You” Top 30 OPEN 2015 Australian Songwriters Association Awards

“Song Already Written” FIRST PLACE 2018 Great North Folk Festival
“Rogue Folk” #7 Top 10 FOLK ACOUSTIC 2018 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
“Red Red Dirt” Top 30 AUSTRALIA & COUNTRY 2018 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
“Long Way From Lost” FIRST PLACE 2017 Illawarra Folk Festival Song Competition NSW

“Verandah” #4 TOP 10 FOLK & ACOUSTIC 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
“Leaving the Harbour” #5 Top 10 FOLK & ACOUSTIC 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
“Dust to Ashes” Top 30 AUSTRALIA 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards




Celtic Fusion

Nominated for

Album of the Year – The Last Great Love Song – Winner
Group of the Year
Instrumental of the Year
Song of the Year

Thomas Burton nominated for
Producer of the Year



Celtic Fusion is a versatile four-piece multi-instrumental band playing Celtic-based folk music for over ten years, incorporating a combination of traditional songs and tunes with country and western and contemporary numbers.

The band line-up includes an Irishman, two Scots and an Australian. All members share lead vocals and harmonies whilst playing a range of diverse instruments:

Tom Kimmet – vocals, uillean pipes, tin whistle & guitar
Sarah Harris – vocals, guitar, bodhran & tin whistle
Laura Campbell – vocals & fiddle
Thomas Burton – vocals, ubase, tenor banjo, mandolin, g-banjo, guitar & percussion

Their latest CD – The Last Great Love Song – is a tribute to band member Jim Hill, who recently passed away. They chose some of Jim’s favourite tracks and recorded fresh material around them. Jim’s contribution to the numbers features original vocals, tin whistle, flute and tenor saxophone.

The CD begins with the sounds of studio session ‘chat’ before launching into a lively rendition of ‘Galway Girl’. They finish the recording with ‘Last Great Love Song’, a reflective number that inspires this musical project perfectly.

While they take their music seriously, they believe in having fun and including the audience in enjoying the experience.

Celtic Fusion aims to present the very best of music in the Celtic tradition, and audience participation and satisfaction will always be their number one priority.



String Loaded

String Loaded Celtic Fiddle Band

Nominated for

Celtic Artist of the Year – Winner
Group of the Year – Winner
Album of the Year – Continuous Line – Finalist
Instrumental of the Year – Cooley’s Reel
Instrumental of the Year – Highland Cathedral
Instrumental of the Year – Carolan’s Draught
Instrumental of the Year – Cock of the North/100 Pipers/Bonny Dundee – Winner
Instrumental of the Year – O’Keefe’s Slide/Congress Reel
Song of the Year – Parting Glass
Song of the Year – Leather Wing Bat
Song of the Year – Wild Mountain Thyme – Finalist
Song of the Year – All For Me Grog
Producer of the Year – Ray Blissett – Continuous Line



2018 Australian Celtic Instrumentalist of the Year

String Loaded are a multi-award winning Irish & Celtic Fiddle Band from Newcastle, Australia.

“The beauty, skill and infectious energy of the girls’ fiddle playing and singing will leave you spell bound and fill your heart with joy.”

The band features the feisty fiddle playing sisters, Gabi and Liv, supported by Ray, on guitar and Jen on bodhran and telling the stories behind the tunes. The bands energy and passion for their music is evident in their award winning albums and particularly in their exciting live shows. String Loaded have performed at Festivals and shows around the world including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, Fiddle Festival on the Orkney Islands & the infamous Woodford Festival.

Over the past 10 years this high energy family band has established themselves as an authentic, professional, high class Irish & Celtic Concert Band. They are best known for their upbeat and passionate Irish, Scottish, Bluegrass fiddle music and singing. Think … Toss the Feathers, Riverdance Music, Whisky in the Jar, Devil Went Down to Georgia, Scotland the Brave, Danny Boy … This band will deliver a concert that has universal appeal for all ages and bring a smile of joy to everyone.

“Thank you String Loaded. Your Irish music was world class! We are looking forward to seeing you again next year.” Alaistair Murphy

Every festival, corporate presentation, concert, wedding needs an Irish Jig and a Scottish Reel! String Loaded perform a mix of traditional and contemporary tunes and songs, with a very exciting sound.

No Irish theme party is complete without the excitement and passion of ‘live’ fiddle music!!