Welcome to Ararat Live 2024!
Ararat Town Hall
Bar open 7.30pm, performance 8pm
Info and bookings Ararat Visitor Information Centre, Ararat Town Hall website or phone 1800 657 158.
Dublin-born folksinger Enda Kenny is one of Australia's favourite festival performers. As a storytelling songwriter, his ability to instantly engage audiences is well known, creating evocative characters drawn from life that pull you in to their stories and songs that trigger memories you didn't know you had. He has the migrant's eye for his adopted landscape, has travelled widely across and around it and found the word pictures to bring it to life like you are travelling with him.
He has headlined festivals in Hong Kong and the UK, opened for the McGarrigles at Sidmouth Arena, toured through Germany and Holland, and played thousands of venues from Folk in the Bath and The Albert Hole to The Drunken Poet. He is equally at home around the campfire at Nariel Creek, Australia's longest running festival.
Kenny is a cracking solo entertainer, the raw emotion of songs like Heart Tattoo and Vigil are beautifully balanced by hilarious observations about everyday life and human frailty. As the world reopens it's doors to live music, his travels are taking him even further along the road. Make sure you catch him.
“On small stages to intimate audiences or large stages to festival audiences he always holds the crowd in the palm of his hand. Witty and intelligent songwriting and a brilliant night's entertainment” - Eleanor McEvoy
“Enda is regarded by many as the best folk singer-songwriter in Australia. He showcases his brilliant songs during hugely entertaining live performances...Heart Tattoo matches wonderful stories of local characters and places with strong melodies. The album has garnered high praise from reviewers, including likening Enda's lyrical skills to those of Leonard Cohen.” - House on The Hill
“The finest Irish songwriter living overseas” - Colum Sands
Folk duo Valley Road have been quietly captivating new fans over the last year with their heart-rending harmonies and intricate guitar playing, after winning a Troubadour Foundation Award in 2022 to make their debut album with Rod McCormack (released in October 2023). Their first singles have garnered wide-spread radio play, and they were featured as Album of the Week on ABC Country in November 2023.
Valley Road winds through rolling basalt hills, connecting two friends, Rebecca Jane Howell and Marty Mckenna, who have been singing together for over a decade. They weave their experiences into songs of people and place (usually sitting around Marty’s farmhouse kitchen table), bringing an Australian perspective to their diverse folk influences.
Rebecca could sing before she could speak, and honed her instinct for harmony through years spent in the Australian Girls Choir. She switched her city upbringing for an off-grid life in the Central Victorian bush, where she is inspired every day by the natural world around her. Marty grew up singing to the sheep on his family farm, with his dad, where he still tends the flock to this day. The farm provides a perfect setting for the duo to explore their shared love of intricate songcraft.
When Valley Road take to the stage, their years of friendship and singing together shine through, drawing listeners into their rich inner worlds through their contrasting yet perfectly suited voices and delicate guitar playing.