The Willie Wagtails are an acoustic powerhouse who play a unique blend of Aussie bush dance jazz. Consisting of banjo, trumpet, upright bass, fiddle and mandolin, the Willies play a mix of New Orleans jazz and Aussie folk music, creating a loud swinging cacophony. Combined with a penchant for the dinky-di vernacular and fondness of the great outdoors, The Willie Wagtails set out to remind us of our Aussie roots; the dreamtime, the early settlers, the Aussie battlers, and the late-night servo meat pie.
Their performance approach harks back to the good ol’ days when musicians would crowd around one solitary microphone. Watching four musicians maneuvering around each other, changing proximity to this lone mic is an entertaining (if not at times clumsy) treat, and each member not only plays but sings lead and supporting roles at any one time.
The Willies have toured Australia extensively playing festivals, pubs and halls far and wide, with appearances including the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Tablelands Folk Festival (QLD), Guildford Banjo Jamboree, Newstead Folk Festival, Bendigo Blues and Roots, Maldon Folk Festival, Fleurieu Folk Festival (SA), Nanga Folk Festival (WA), Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (NSW), as well as supporting artists including The Duhks (Canada), Jaron Freeman-Fox (Canada), Perch Creek and The Woohoo Revue.
With a punk approach to the folk jazz idiom, they spare none in their live shows. Often schizophrenic in their setlists, they’ll have you bopping along to a familiar local ditty, swooning with a ballad of sweet nothing before staining yet another pair of your fresh undies with a fast-paced jazz cracker.
Bushrangers Need Bush marks The Willie Wagtails’ most creative outburst to date. It features 12 original tracks including songs of creekside hanky-panky, Geoffrey Rush, Southern Cross ute stickers, solar panels and above all, home.
The album features a high-energy dynamic, loud and proud, capturing a moment in time when the group's renewed sense of inspiration was overflowing in all directions. It is a multi-faceted Aussie folk jazz party hullabaloo!
Available in digital or hard-copy on Bandcamp.