Lis Johnston Memorial Award – The First Nine Years


Features Lis Johnston, John Thompson, Migeul Heatwole, Kathryn Clements, Zulya Kamalova, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, Michael Kennedy, The Poachers, Jenny Fitzgibbon, Rachael Oak Butter & Ben Gooden, Friends of Lis

CD REVIEW – by Richard Johns

This CD contains the first nine winners of the “Lis Johnston Memorial Award” between 1994 and 2002, determined and made at the annual Australian National Folk Festival.   It also contains two tracks of Lis Johnston’s beautiful singing.

Her voice sets the standard for aspirant winners and I am very pleased that it has been preserved by the earlier vinyl Tribute Album.  That double disk is available from Jamie Johnston and what a tribute it is.

The award CD’s tracks only include four traditional songs.   The rest are from named authors.  The authors vary from Henry Lawson, to Johnny Mullhern, through to Rachel Oak Butler and Ben Gooden’s well-intentioned humanistic song with the hubristic doubtful conclusion, representing “today’s heritage” for future generations.

The winners and the songs all provide interesting shades of contrast and insight into the prevailing mindset in the given year of the award.
The winners therefore are not necessarily the best in the country in the year of award.
I state this not because I disagree with the judges’ decisions but because the obvious needs to be stated frequently to those blinded by jealousy and ego spawned angst.

Whether you are new to folkmusic or a festival hardened veteran, I commend this CD to you.  For the newcomer, it is a fabulous introduction to a handful of the many superb practitioners in folkmusic.

For the veteran it is a golden memory and opportunity to reflect on a very tiny perspective of the “tip of the iceberg” of Australian folkmusic.

1 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: TN256-41 Category:

Additional information

Weight .200 kg
Dimensions 22 × 16 × .50 cm


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