Perhaps there is no better example of how small things can grow bigger than William Crighton, who will headline the program on Saturday night, October 5 at the 100-hectare property in Lower Belford.
Crighton will appear with his family band (his wife, Julieanne, his brother, Luke, percussionist Reuben Alexander and guest didgeridoo player extraordinaire William Barton). It's the middle of a four-show run that includes Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. And fresh off the back of a two-legged European tour through the UK, Scandanavia and Germany.
Barton joined part of Crighton's European tour.
"He brings a whole 'nother angle," Crighton says. "a depth, a soundscape that is very true. So much like it is resonating out of the heart of this country. He's so musical, he makes it do things I've never heard before."
When Crighton relocated to the Hunter Valley (Bellbird is home) from the Riverina, he quickly became associated with Matt Johnston and the Dashville crowd of musos. His career has been on a steady upward swing since his first album launched in 2016. But prior to that, he played the first Dashville Skyline festival in the spring of 2015.
"We have grown together," he says of the event. "That was our first show, our first band show was a Friday night at the very first Skyline. That was cool.
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"That festival will always have a place in my heart."
The festival has a reputation for catching Americana acts, both overseas touring performers and rising Aussies. This year is no exception, with Crighton pulling in a few of this year's Dashville performers on his own tour, including Irish blues artist Amy Montgomery, Newcastle's own Ahlia Williams and Paddy McHugh.
Crighton's own to-see list at Dashville includes Archie Roach, Nicholas Connors and Ahlia Williams.
"I know who's on the bill, but I don't read the playing order," he says. "I like to see who's playing and be surprised. It's such a relaxed place."
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There are many locals - Carl The Bartender, James Thomson, The Re-Mains, Little Quirks, Magpie Diaries, Andy Abra. Some stunning new voices - American Hannah Aldridge and Freya Josephine Hollick. And legends - like Wagons, Leo Rondeau, Kevin Bennett and The Flood, and Fanny Lumsden.
- Dashville Skyline returns to the Hunter Valley this weekend from October 4.
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