Formed in 2011, father/daughter folk duo Hither and Yon hail from the Canberra region. Performing their own crowd pleasing compositions about lost love, current tragedies and the antics of the local fauna, they use vocal harmonies and accompany themselves on guitar.
They also sing traditional Irish, Scottish and Australian folk songs ranging from rollicking Aussie shearer’s songs to traditional celtic ballads.
Occasionally performing with family member Lyndal, they weave musical stories with emotion and artistry. Tom has been re-incarnated from a formerly well-known, but now sadly defunct, Canberra bush band, while daughter Heather burst out of local music programs, stage musicals, choirs and choruses.
They’ve performed locally and as far afield as the Innerleithen Music Festival in Scotland. With guitars in hand and voices at the ready will have you singing along to old favourites and humming their original tunes long after the show is over.
Debut EP from Canberra-based father-daughter folk duo, Hither and Yon, formed in 2011. They discovered that they could write and sing their own songs and arrange traditional Irish/bush songs and play guitar together. They play mainly in Canberrra/Queanbeyan but have performed as far afield as Wollongong and Scotland.
The EP is being launched in Canberra on 17 November. A full CD with a further 15 songs, of which 12 are original, is planned for 2014, together with a songbook of all their original works.
Tom has been singing since school and spent over a decade in a well-known Canberra-based bush band. He writes serious songs about national events, love and the environment, and quirky pieces about food and the local fauna. Tom plays guitar and banjo.He caught the songwriting bug courtesy of the music summer school run in conjunction with the Illawarra Folk Festival.
Daughter Heather burst out of music programs, stage musicals, choirs and choruses. Heather plays guitar and cello. Her songs are about love, life and family.
Wombat Hymn of the Republic
No More Vodka and Tonic Phone Calls
The Curry Song
Rock of the North
Doin’ Wrong has Never Felt So Right
CD Review by Graham Blackley
Hither & Yon feature the talents of father and daughter duo Tom and Heather Jordan who display an assured grasp of stripped back acoustic folk on their debut EP Come Hither.
Highlights of this fivetrack collection include: the vocal interplay between Tom and Heather on the playful Wombat Hymn of the Republic; the plaintive atmosphere of the moving No More Vodka and Tonic Phone Calls; and the solemn power of Rock of the North which delves into the human tragedy that occurred at Christmas Island in December 2010.
After listening to this enjoyable EP, I look forward to hearing Hither and Yon’s debut album which is due to be released in April.
Background to band members
Tom Jordan – founder – Tom has been singing and playing guitar since his teens but only fell into song writing when he turned 60 (after many years, it must be said, of also writing poetry). Tom’s extensive Australian repertoire grew during a decade as dance caller and lead singer for Canberra bush band, the Ettamogah Philharmonic Orchestra, in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The turning point to songwriting came at the Bulli Folk Festival in 2011 when tom did a song writing workshop with John Broomhall. Out of this came his first song, Old Murramarr, about the Milky Way.
Since then Tom has practised songwriting his craft by setting existing poems (e.g. by Banjo Paterson) to music, putting his own words to others’ tunes (e.g. Circle Tumburumba, about the number Pi) and by writing new lyrics and music (e.g. Old Murramarr, Rock of the North and many others). Tom’s songs are deeply personal, reflecting his childhood in Goulburn (Days of Gold), stories of growing up (The Rock of the South) and more recent experiences (The Man Bench). They can also be quirky and upbeat, reflecting on local events (Light Rail), encounters with local fauna (Wombat Hymn of the Republic) and general life events (The Curry Song). Tom also reflects his Celtic and Australia heritage through traditional songs from both cultures.
In his spare time Tom now sings barbershop bass with The Canberra Chordsmen and his own quartet The Corduroys. He also plays rhythm for the Canberra Scottish Fiddlers. In a former life he performed minor lead roles for several Queanbeyan Players performances, including Camelot, Li’l Abner and the Mikado.
Lyndal Thorburn – member – Lyndal (Tom’s wife) learned piano from an early age and then moved in to classical singing as a soprano. On moving to Canberra in 1979 she took to the local theatre stage with gusto, performing with both Canberra Philharmonic and the Queanbeyan Players as chorus member and dancer in a diverse range of shows (e.g. Kiss Me Kate, Brigadoon, Oklahoma) and later as makeup artist.
Lyndal creates many of the magical harmonies for which Hither and Yon is known and also managed production of each of their 3 CDs. She also provides much of the rhythmic support for the duo, through percussion and ukulele. Ever one for a challenge, Lyndal took up violin in 2013 and is now playing fiddle in local Irish and Old Timey sessions, as well as with Canberra Scottish Fiddlers.
Lyndal also sings barbershop tenor, with the award winning Brindabella Chorus, and has her own fledgling quartet, Shaken Not Stirred. She spent several years as section leader for the bass section of the chorus, and coordinates the national Southern Cross Regional Arrangers Program. As an arranger, she arranges modern and older songs for barbershop and a cappella singing, selling these online through SMP Press.
Heather Jordan – former member, founder – Heather (Tom and Lyndal’s daughter) co-founded Hither and Yon and wrote many of the songs on their first two albums. Heather is a guitar player whose love of music was kindled at school, during which time she was selected through national auditions for two seasons of Gondwana Voices, and learned cello. She took up the guitar towards the end of her school years (really, it’s a cello sideways!).
Heather has a wonderfully deep voice and after leaving school sang women’s bass with Brindabella Chorus. Her song writing started at about the same time as Tom’s, inspired by his success with John Broomhall. Her songs are also largely based on personal experiences, including sad late nights (No More Vodka and Tonic Phone calls), bad dates (the Bad Date Song) and fabulous holidays (Nor’n Iron).
Sadly, Heather is not singing with Hither and Yon at the moment, but can be heard on the band’s CDs Come Hither and Nor’n Iron