Award winning Melbourne, Australia’s The Maes (formerly The Mae Trio) are sisters Maggie (banjo, guitar and vocals) and Elsie Rigby (fiddle, mandolin and vocals).
The Maes are currently working on their third album, which is set for release May 2019. What started as a plan to make a 4 track EP mid tour last year at Lake Echo studio in Nova Scotia, Canada with producer Daniel Ledwell, turned into recording a brand new album in studios across Canada, Ireland, Scotland and back home in Melbourne; working with Ledwell in Canada, Gordon Maclean on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, Liam King on Inish Bofin, John Fitzgerald in West Cork, Ireland and finally finishing up back home in Melbourne with Brendon Love of The Teskey Brothers.
Over the last three years the pair have toured extensively, bringing their unique contemporary twist on folk music to audiences in Australia, North America, the UK and Ireland; most recently performing at the legendary Telluride Festival in Colorado.
Other stand-out shows include performances at the Hydro Stadium at Celtic Connection, Glasgow, Americana Folk Festival, Nashville, Cambridge Folk Festival, UK; Edmonton Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Canada; Woodford, Port Fairy and National Folk Festivals, Australia.
Their sophomore album, Take Care Take Cover was awarded Best Folk Roots Album 2017 by The Age Music Victoria Award and has received rave reviews at home and abroad with The Australian calling it a “simply superb sophomore album”. They have also performed sessions for Rolling Stone and Sirius XM Village Folk.
Take Care Take Cover was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with producer and engineer Erick Jaskowiak (Crooked Still, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, The Waifs). The album features guest performances by The Stray Bird’s Maya De’Vitry, Darrell Scott, The Time Jumper’s Jeff Taylor, Victor Krauss, Jano Rix, and Kai Welch. The album follows on from their debut, Housewarming which earned them the Folk Alliance Australia Youth Award and NFSA Folk Recording of the Year.
The Maes new album is set for release May 2019.
“simply superb sophomore album.” The Australian *****
“…underscores the ever growing potential these girls have to capture a truly international stage. Folk Radio UK
“The Mae Trio songs are powerful, the vocal harmonies soar, and their own instrumental prowess is impressive” Penguin Eggs
"quite simply breathtaking" Rhythms Magazine
"Located at a crossroads where Australian, English and American folk traditions meet, The Mae Trio are in the midst of creating something unique and very much their own." Songlines
Combining 60s and 70s folk singer/songwriter influences with a contemporary Americana/bluegrass sound, “John Flanagan has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on” (Timber and Steel). John recently released his latest album, ‘There’s Another Way to Where You’re Going’ which was recorded in Nashville with producer Viktor Krauss and he has been playing to full houses around Australia in a double album tour with Sal Kimber. He recorded the album with the best of the best, including grammy award winning engineer Neal Cappellino and musicians who have played on records with Willie Nelson, Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris, to name a few. The album debuted in the top 10 iTunes singer/songwriter charts and has received regular national radio play and rave reviews:
“★★★★” –The Brag Magazine
“The music is just gorgeous, I absolutely love it” Felicity Urquhart, Saturday Night Country ABC Radio
“I think it is a wonderful record, it’s one that grabbed me from the opening bars.. and then kept me captivated all the way through” -The International Americana Music Show (US)
His engaging, honest lyricism and timeless melodies have seen him pick up song-writing awards all over and win over fans at many major music festivals around the country. John won the respect of the Australian roots music scene when he took out the prestigious Gympie Music Muster Talent Search in 2013. John currently plays alongside festival favourite Liz Frencham and bluegrass virtuoso Dan Watkins in a dynamic trio characterised by warm vocal harmonies and impressive acoustic arrangements.
"John Flanagan has written the best story song of the year ... has proven himself a songwriting force to keep an eye on" Timber and Steel
"John Flanagan has a gentle gravity in his voice and words, the kind that makes you stop and listen" -Wally De Backer (gotye)
"Gorgeous... what a beautiful blend of voices, space and music and song and lyrics... it's lovely... voices that just blend so nicely, it just makes you feel good." -Darren Middleton (Powderfinger)
“It’s storytelling via bluegrass and folk music, with classic-yet-refreshing songwriting and captivating lyricism”
“What’s the Australian version of Americana?... This EP encapsulates it” –themusic.com.au