The announcement of Fru Skagerrak (NOR/DEN/SWE) and Liam Gerner (AUS) is set to deliver a musically dynamic experience of contrasts against the classic backdrop of Australia’s Small Halls. Armed with matching love for the stories of our time, these two gifted outfits are joining the call of rekindling the time-old tradition of gathering in the local small hall for a special night of live music, storytelling and community connection.

Excited to create their inaugural musical pairing for the Summer Tour 2019, Fru Skagerrak and Liam Gerner are preparing for a unique tour of Australia’s small halls.

“We can’t wait to change our woolen beanies for Australian sun hats and come visit your vast continent, said Anna Lindblad of Fru Skagerrak.

“We’re super excited to meet all the small communities and see the out of the way places!”, said Ms Lindblad.

Featuring first in the inaugural Festival of Small Halls Departure show at the Woodford Folk Festival, the Summer Tour 2019 returns to Tasmania for the third time on January 4th. Fru Skagerrak and Liam Gerner begin their journey in the northern wilds of the state at the Stanley Town Hall before looping eastwards to the likes of Wynyard, Rowella and Meander and continue south to the beloved Cygnet Folk Festival. After plunging down to the southernmost town in Australia, the party heads north to Australian institution Illawarra Folk Festival, the kick-off into two weeks through inland, central and northern New South Wales.

The music of Fru Skagerrak takes you on a journey through Scandinavia; from lowlands to mountains, from slow airs to lively polkas, in major and in minor, and everything in between. Fru Skagerrak – ”Lady Skagerrak” – are three master musicians – one from each Scandinavian country: Maja Kjær Jacobsen from Denmark, Elise Wessel Hildrum from Norway and Anna Lindblad from Sweden.

In 2011, these three globetrotting musicians met for the first time at Tønder Festival, Denmark’s biggest Folk Festival, in a roaring session that had engulfed the backstage bar. Through the mayhem of tunes you could feel a certain Scandinavian groove, and in that moment the connection between these three fiddlers was clear. After meeting at Tønder Festival for three consecutive years, Fru Skagerrak finally saw the light of day in August 2014.

The trio brings together the diverse traditions from each of their homelands, which surround the Skagerrak strait. Through a repertoire of traditional tunes, new compositions, and songs in their respective languages, they express their kinship and love of their shared heritage. The result is an explosion of the sounds that exist in Scandinavian music today.

Steeped in blues and country music, Liam Gerner left the Adelaide Hills to try his luck in London. The young guitar slinger quickly made a strong impression and earned a crust opening for Paul Weller, Jason Isbell, Drive by Truckers, Paolo Nutini and many more.  Liam then headed to the US, joined Texan country rocker Ryan Bingham’s band and experienced frontline American roots music. Returning to Australia in 2014, Liam released his debut album ‘Land Of No Roads’, a startling collection of original songs he composed while touring with Bingham and cut with some of LA’s finest players and his follow up ‘Liam Gerner and the Sunset Pushers’ (2017).

Since then Liam has been touring relentlessly throughout Australia, New Zealand and the USA.  Now based in Melbourne, Liam has developed his songwriting, collaborated with local musicians and formed The Sunset Pushers, a band as fluid and soulful as his songs.  Liam tours extensively in Australia/New Zealand and is an in-demand guitarist working touring and recording with The Eurogliders, Pnau, Pnau & Elton John, records with Empire Of The Sun, and Vika and Linda Bull.

Liam Gerner and his collaborator Nashville based Luke Moller recorded ‘The Bulletin Debate’ a collection of poems Liam turned to song. The poems were written in 1892 between Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson, printed weekly in the Bulletin newspaper and reflect their differing opinions about our relationship with the Australian bush. This album will be released in 2018.

To find out if the tour is visiting a town near you, or to grab your tickets, head to festivalofsmallhalls.com. If we’re not, please extend the invitation. As always, we’d love to come visit.

For more information visit: www.festivalofsmallhalls.com