Delightful Melbourne folk duo The Maes (formerly known as The Mae Trio) will shortly be gracing us with a highly anticipated live performance within the regal confines of Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, in Brisbane, on 19 May.
Having immersed themselves in the folk music genre since birth (they were exposed to their first live folk performance from side of stage at 4 weeks of age – wow!) the sisterly duo of Maggie Rigby (banjo, guitar and vocals) and Elsie Rigby (mandolin, violin, vocals) have blazed their own unique trail on the world contemporary folk circuit since becoming a full time touring entity in 2014, playing some of the world’s most renowned roots based festivals, as well as Woodford and the Port Fairy Folk Festival in Australia.
Their award winning sophomore release from 2017, ‘Take Care Take Cover’, was recorded in Nashville and last year they toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, which was the genesis for their latest self titled long player, which they’ll be showcasing on this upcoming tour.
The new record has been received glowingly by both fans and critics alike, a moving, honest and intimate set of songs perfectly encapsulating the sisters’ masterful command of their genre, a place where sweetly serendipitous vocals, quality song writing and gorgeously unadorned instrumentation intersect in magical harmony.
The show forms part of a massive run of live dates, taking in such non-typical stop-offs as Wauchope, Neales Flat and Quorn, (in addition to the regular capital city destinations)throughout May and June.
In the lead-up to their upcoming Lefty’s show we fired a few questions off to the sisters..
You’re about to head out for a stack of gigs throughout Australia across the months of May and June. How are you feeling about these upcoming run of shows? You have some real ‘off the beaten track’ locations in the itinerary!
Yeah we love playing small Australian towns! Partly because we love touring in Australia and once you’ve played Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, you’re basically left with small towns. But also Elsie and I grew up in a small town in Central Victoria and there’s something really grounding about knowing you’re not playing for a room full of local folk music fans, you’re playing for a group of all sorts of locals – keeps us real!
For those coming to a Maes show for the first time, what can we expect from you in the live realm?
Hmmm… lots of songs and a few anecdotes, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, cello-shredding and heaps of vocal harmonies. Don’t come if you don’t like vocal harmonies.
After this run of Australian shows you’re heading over to London in September. Is this a one-off showcase type performance, or will you be getting in more European dates while you’re there?
Yes we have heaps of stuff still to announce on the overseas touring front for the rest of the year. Honestly this is such a big year of touring for us that we’re focusing on one thing at a time. I don’t even know all the cool things that are going to happen yet, but it’s very exciting!
Last year you toured extensively overseas through North America and Europe. What’s been your favourite overseas territory (or show) you’ve played so far? And is there anywhere you’d love to play that you’ve yet to do so?
One of the best things about the job that we have is that it’s so varied and there are different things to love about almost every place that we visit. It’s hard to compare the merits of a show on an Irish Island where you’re greeted by a school of dolphins on arrival and play tunes all night to a show at a festival in Colorado where you are surrounded on all sides by some of the most spectacular mountains in the world. I am very unimaginative and when I dream of doing shows they’re usually in places that I’ve already been…but the best shows always take you by surprise and the idea that the best shows and experiences of our lives are still ahead of us is such an exciting thought and part of the reason that we keep going!
Be sure to catch The Maes when they harmonize the roof off Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall on May 19.
Event details here.