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lamarca Sessions and Concerts in Australia (26) RE: Sessions and Concerts in Australia 04 Nov 05

George and I had a wonderful trip to Oz this September, and were warmly welcomed by 'Catters Bob Bolton, JennyO and Jack Halyard in Sydney. Bob was all set to take us out to Toongabbie the very day we arrived - and then Air New Zealand cancelled our trans-Pacific flight, so we lost a day. Sniff. Oh, well - judging by how tired we were when we finally did arrive, we would have slept through most of Toongabbie.

Margaret Walters, who runs Sydney's Almost Acoustic club, graciously hosted a sing-around at her place at short notice, and Bob Bolton, JennyO and Jack Halyard all came out to swap songs. All the folks who were there were really nice - no-one threw things at me when I sang Randy Newman's "Political Science" (and a few folks actually sang along...)

We spent our second week with Danny Spooner and Gael Shannon, who generously acted as our own personal tourguides to Victoria, blending folkie visits and events with great birdwatching sites and sights for me. We briefly stopped by the Annual Guildford Banjo Festival (truly scary for visiting Americans; seeing all these Oz denizens toting banjos and playing American bluegrass and old-time tunes under the eucalyptus trees was one of those out-of-context experiences...) Danny took us to the monthly Guildford Folk Club sing, too, where we got to hear a whole 'nother batch of wonderful singers and insrumentalists, and sing a few American songs in exchange.

Another website that was useful in finding folk events was:

Go to their Links page for individual musicians' pages, club pages, etc.

All I can say is that almost everyone we met during our way-too-brief time in Australia was incredibly nice, and that travelling around NSW and Victoria was really easy - all the towns had Visitor Info Centers staffed with helpful people, free maps and clean public toilets. (I wish the US made things so easy...) We only saw a tiny piece of Australia, but we'd go back in a heartbeat!

Teresa, while I don't have an electronic journal of the trip, please PM me for some of our favorite spots, both musical and non...

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