Bundanoon Sessions Weekend

Queen's Birthday 10-13 June in Bundanoon

When the Bundanoon DanceFest was cancelled, some regular musicians put in a request for a music weekend in its place.

Essentially this was a music sessions weekend with time slots allocated to some focussed sessions eg Backblocks Tunes, Sea Shanties, etc and other informal sessions.

BSW 2022

The music used is available for download: Local Living Legends; Wall-toWall Waltzes; Saturday Slow Session; Backblocks Tunes; Ukranian Tune; Putting in the Lilt

Some feedback

Thanks for the great weekend of Australian trad… I managed to squeeze in the couple of tunes I knew and had especially fun at the Saturday morning slow session.
Gerry Harris

Thanks again for a really wonderful weekend of music playing and learning, and for the organising that went into enabling our gathering again of the Bundanoon music "family". 
It was so good to meet up with people again and to have time to sit and chat as well. 
We played some really beautiful tunes again and I came home with many new ones to learn as well. 
Denise Hibbs

What a great weekend of sessions we shared at Bundanoon over the long weekend.
A big thanks to everyone who contributed, especially Dave for organising venues, programme and the booking system, and to all those who coordinated singing or music workshops/sessions, or those who just came along to be part of it.  The music and company were excellent, with plenty of beautiful tunes, lively tunes, interesting tunes, as well as songs, and the hilarious ‘Silly Songs’ session on Sunday night set the tone for a fun and relaxed final evening of song and music.  
Carole  Helman

I very much enjoyed Saturday at Bundanoon. Thanks for your organisation.
Ron McLaughlin

Ron was at Shayne Kerr’s workshop on the musical saw and I mentioned a saw player I’d invited to a Bush Music Festival in Marrickville in the early 1980s. Would you believe he was Ron’s grandfather’s cousin, known in the family as Uncle Walter!

Ron sent this info from a 1995 booklet of The Mclaughlin Family compiled for a family reunion gathering:
Walter McLaughlin, 10th child of John and Isabel McLaughlin born 1909 worked on the land most of his life. He later located to Sydney where he worked for CSIRO. Walter is a talented musician on the piano. Of late he has become renowned as a busker at Circular Quay where he plays the gum leaf and musical saw.
In 1972 Walter was World Champion Draughts player. When he was 83 he married Theresa Williams. They currently live in Sydney where Walter still does busking.


Bush Traditions Spring Gathering 2022

30 Sept-3 Oct 2022  at Goulburn.

The 2022 Bush Traditions Spring Gathering is moving to Goulburn at the Goulburn Club. After the success of the Autumn Gathering there in March the Committee has reconsidered the proposed Gunning move in favour of Goulburn. The management of The Goulburn Club are very welcoming and we look forward to a weekend of music, song, folklore, crafts and poetry in the best of our Gathering traditions.

Applications to run workshops/ sessions etc will be online nearer the date.

Dancing in Fetters Tour

October 2022 at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum

The exhibition moves to the Hakesbury Regional Museum in October 2022. Opening date is Saturday October 29, 2022. So we are looking for musicians and dancers to provide the backdrop to this event. Please email if you are interested

May 2023 on Norfolk Island

The exhibition is going there in May next year and we'd like to create a week of folk activities associated with convict culture. Workshops each morning (dance,music, song, maybe theatre), free time in the afternoon to explore the island, then an event in the evening (dance, concert, sessions, an act from the play).

It is a wonderful opportunity to see Norfolk Island and to be guided by Don and Sue Brian who have lived there and researched its history. Additionally there will be times when music, dance and song are called for so participation will be guaranteed.

If you would like to register interest in joining the tour please email the organisers so you can be kept informed of group tour bookings savings and the programme.

April 2022 at Ross in Tasmania

The tour kicked off in Brisbane and was well received with Heather providing an introductory lecture with music and dance demonstrations included. Then it was packed and shipped to the Tasmanian Wool Centre in Ross, Tasmania. Ross is a small town about 120 km north of Hobart with a history that includes a Female Factrory in the early settlement days.

The exhibition was launched on Friday 8th April with an introductory talk from Dr HeatherClarke and some music and demonstration dancing.

Local musicians John Tomlin and Trish Williams with Nanette Drielsma & Dave Elliston organised a Saturday mini festival there on 9th April. The programme included lots of music, historical tours of the Tasmanian Wool Centre and the Ross Female Factory, a family bush dance and then a session in the Man-O-Ross.

Bundanoon DanceFest 2022

After consultation with callers from near and far, the Bush Traditions committee has decided that the 2022 Bundanoon DanceFest will NOT be proceeding. The general consensus (and it wasn't quite unanimous) was that until the social dancing scene regains some of its lost momentum the dancefest would not be viable.

The venues have been rebooked for 2023 so in the meantime, we trust that local dance groups will build up in numbers and fitness.

Looking forward to taking the IST out of SOCIAL DISTANCING in 2023

Bush Traditions Autumn Gathering 2022

4 - 6 March 2022  at The Goulburn Club, 2/19 Market Street Goulburn


The Goulburn Gathering was a ringing success. 35 on Friday, about 80 all up, in the Goulburn Club- a great venue, once a gentlemans club. The music was good & consistent, even through massive rain storms on Saturday. We had some good old fashioned "singabouts". I loved Don's shanty workshop on the Cape Du Couedic lighthouse on Kangaroo Island.
Gavin Holmes

Bush Traditions Gathering 2021 Singabout Zoom Concert


Thanks to Emma Sputnik we have a list of all the contributions. And thanks for the enthusiasm from the fifty or so participants.

Dave Johnson (Host)- I’ll Be Glad when Glad Sets Us Free
Carole Garland - I Dream of Tully Where the Sun Goes Down (Bill Scott)
Don Brian - South Australia (oldest edition)
Emma Sputnik - God-Forgotten (poem
Bruce Watson - Song for Shirley Andrews (To the tune of Mudgee Waltz)
Margaret Walters - Nets Below the Gangway
Tony and Jude Stuart - Joe Yates Jig Set
Brian Gutkin – Goorianawa (Duke Tritton)
Alan Swift - Four Little Johnny Cakes
Linda Swift - Concertinas Congregate
Colin Webb - A poem about growing up on a dairy farm at Burrawang
Richard Officer - A Mountain Station (AB Paterson / Officer)
Lesley Ferrier -Bush Paranoia (by Lesley)
Helen and Tony Romeo - The Old Gum Tree + Phonograph Jack (Jim Graham/ Romeos)
Ron McLaughlin - Bushman’s Song (Travelling Down the Castlereagh) by AB Paterson
Karen Fong - Henry Lawson, Henry Lawson poem by Jack Drake
Christine (?)- Dance Limerick
Dave Johnson – On the Wallaby (Henry Lawson/ Dave de Hugard)
Emma Sputnik - Gum Tree Canoe
Brian Jonathon - That Old Beer Garden (own song)
Ray Mulligan -Joe Cashmere Varsovienna on Button Accordion
Tony Stuart - Joe Yates Mazurkas -Laplo (French origin) and two others
Don Brian - Pump Shanty about Captain Bligh
Linda Swift – Tribute Poem about railwayman Keith Brown
Richard Officer - South Bound Ship (Tune of Belgarth Waltz by Brian O Hadra)
Colin Webb - The Miner a poem written by a member of his wife’s family from a handwritten notebook
Allan Swift - Wee Dark Engine Room (Harry Robertson)
Peter Percival - The Belgarth Waltz on guitar
Helen and Tony Romeo - Armistice Day a poem by a Great Aunt of Helens’ + On the Track, (Jim Graham /Helen and Tony)
Bruce Watson – The Old Bush Dance (Tune of Veleta Waltz) with audience participation including dancing with a dummy and a broom!!

* Thanks for a wonderful evening Dave.
We loved seeing folks again and hearing first class music. 
Memories, Memories, Memories of times gone by when we listened and danced to wonderful music.
Barbara and Lance
* Thanks Dave for organising the Singabout Zoom ... you had a great crowd.
Helen and Tony
* Thanks for organising/MCing the Zoom last night. Not as good as the real thing but the best thing on offer at the moment.
Alan Swift

For future reference:
Zoom is designed for voice transmission but there are changes to the settings that make it work much better for musical performance. Instructions for adjusting the audio settings are given here.


Settlers Session in Canberra

A New Music Folio organised by Moir Holmes with versions suitable for laptops and for printing.

Bush Traditions

Check here to see who is behind the events you enjoy.

The 2022 Australian Heritage Dance calendar, which is generated by Brian Samuels is here.

Online version of John Merediths collection of portraits and the text of his book.

nfsaReal Folk Videos
Some classic bush music now on YouTube

concAnglo Concertina Tutor
A set of bush tunes arranged with fingering and all for Anglo Concertina players.

PopUp Weekends
Occasionally a camping weekend is organised for a mini-gathering, usually somewhere with a historical connection to our music. Information is sent out via the BT mailing list.

This website is maintained and developed by David Johnson.
Suggestions and contributions for inclusion welcome.