Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Mandy Connell talks all things Folk and Roots

Recent stories

Treasured Australian singer-songwriter and Maldon local Mandy Connell is the face behind a monthly mini-festival at the Kangaroo Hotel in Maldon. The event, called Goldfields Folk & Roots: Roo Fest, offers a curated afternoon of folk and roots music celebrating local and invited musicians. Presented by Mandy Connell and Graeme Fletcher, Roo Fest grew organically out of the need for shows after the struggles of Covid.

A touring folk musician, Mandy Connell is a celebrated figure in the Australian music scene. She is known for her writing, soulful voice, and powerful stagecraft. Mandy also champions the music of others and is renowned for her covers and collaborations alongside her breadth of passion for the broader ‘folk’ genre. 

Mandy’s a bit busy these days. After moving to Maldon in 2019 and renovating a house while juggling work and study, she’s now in her third year of a degree, majoring in Visual Arts and Writing. A storyteller at heart, she hopes to create new avenues for telling the stories she feels privileged to hear. “I’m particularly interested in giving insight into female musicians, especially older women musicians and making it relevant to young women in the music scene.” 

Donna Woods, the owner of the Kangaroo Hotel, has proudly welcomed Roo Fest to her historic venue. The event fosters a music-loving audience under the bunting and grapevines of the beer garden. With performances by seasoned touring acts that play events like the Newstead Live Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the National Folk Festival, Roo Fest promises an exciting addition to the regional music scene.

This month’s event on Saturday March 18 offers four acts: Australian legend Mick Coates (with the Tibooburra Three), blues-country veterans Featherhead, comedic post-punk band the Badcock Brothers, and Phil and Trudy Edgeley. Coates, a local legend, is famous for his rich deep voice and his songs about the Australian landscape, from the Mutawintji trail to Broken Hill. Featherhead is a legendary blues and rock band fronted by Gary Adams, while Phil’s British Delta blues and Trudy’s Islander First Nations stories offer ‘dust-blown work songs to gospel-tinged country blues.’

Roo Fest tickets are limited, so reserve yours as soon as possible! The Kangaroo offers excellent country pub meals, and bookings are recommended for dining inside. There will be a separate Roo Fest menu for patrons in the beer garden.

In a musical tradition synonymous with Maldon, Roo Fest is set to become a treasured monthly music event. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Tarangower Times 17 March 2023

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 17 March 2023.


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