Starboard Cannons are changing the way we think about folk music. Bringing a contemporary feel to the Australiana genre, the trio consists of Ashley Bell, Matt Bone and Jan Van Dijk, who are able to cross their sound spectrum from melancholy to energising.
As Starboard Cannons keep to their soothing combination of guitar, bass, banjo and fiddle, Ash believes it’s all about the themes and imagery in the lyrics when it comes to Australiana music.
“I suppose that in the way that Americana is used to describe a certain genre, Australiana probably refers more to the concepts and the lyricism than to the actual music,” said Ash.
“Where the Americans derive their classic sound from is based in country and blues music, we tend to lean more towards our Celtic and British heritage.”
Before the trio enters a busy 2016 of writing, jamming and recording, Starboard Cannons will be part of the Festival of Small Halls tour, travelling from town to town across the country.
When asked what we could expect to see from their shows, Ash first described the important bond between a crowd and the musician when it comes to performing.
“We play music because we love it. We love seeing people enjoy themselves and we love being a part of an atmosphere that is created by the relationship between performer and audience,” said Ash.
“I get as much of a thrill watching Jan tear up the fiddle and Matty rock the doghouse as anyone in the crowd.”
“Every song I write is very personal to me, and inviting a hall full of strangers to hear my quite intimate thoughts is very special. I don’t feel like we leave each other as strangers.”
As part of a growing music scene, it seems the way in which Australian folk music has been received in the past decade is not just a fad. Ash thinks it’s because people are no longer limited to commercial radio and television that they are discovering different kinds of music.
“There’s certainly been a massive resurgence of folk music in popular and mainstream culture in the last decade. The lines between rock music, folk music and pop became so blurred that now it’s hard to tell what’s what. And it’s great!
“Turns out people love Aussie folk music, they just didn’t know about it.”
If you’re missing your fix of Australiana folk, see Starboard Cannons at Festival of Small Halls tour at Springbrook Community Hall on Friday 4 December and Mudgeeraba Memorial Hall on Sunday 20 December, before they set their sights for Woodford Folk Festival.