Seasons greetings from The Goodwills

It only ever dawns on me how much we are still doing as a musical duo (and trio- when Helen Rowe joins us) when I lodge my APRA live returns. (APRA is the organisation that pays song-writers royalties when their original songs are played).  

Highlights of 2018 included the Goodwills trio being booked at both the Maleny and Neurum Creek festivals. Both of these small festivals are staying true to the ethos of a folk festival as a community gathering of like-minded people. The latter has a cap on tickets and camping numbers, so if you are serious about going, get in early for the September 2019 festival.

In November, the trio performed at Brisbane’s longest running unplugged venue, Red Hill Folk. If you have never discovered this truly unique jewel in Brisbane’s entertainment scene, it’s at Red Hill Bowls Club every Wednesday night at 7.30. Entry is $2 and there is supper. Some nights it is an open floor event (anyone can get up and sing or recite) and occasionally there are guest acts.

We performed as a duo at the Australia all Over outdoor broadcast in Toowoomba in September. As a bonus, we got to watch the street parade and marvel at how Toowoomba has grown since we lived there in the 1980s.

Once again, we held unplugged house concerts at our home in Maleny with guests including Evan Mathieson, Cloudstreet, Tin Star and Sadie and Jay. In October Bob held a private function at the Maleny RSL to celebrate his 70th. Bob and guests performed to about 85 people and a jolly time was had by all. We called it our ‘out of house concert’. Bob sent emails to just about everyone he knows, so sorry if you missed it for whatever reason, because it is unlikely to be repeated!

Bob started writing songs again in 2018 and has a few in the works for debut in early 2019. We are working with Pix Vane-Mason to put some of these tunes down for perpetuity, so watch this space.

Bob wrote a song about refugees on Nauru, Manus Island et al and made a short video documentary to go with it. If you have not already seen this, it is worth a revisit. (

We’ll be back in the New Year with our house concert series- first one is in February. We’ll let you know the date and guest artists in plenty of time to book.

Finally, thanks to those who supported The Goodwills (and Bob’s blog, Friday on My Mind) through our website shop.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bob, Laurel and Helen

Goodwills at Red Hill Folk Nov 14

The Goodwills with Helen Rowe (centre), photo by Paul Brandon

Hello friends of The Goodwills, it is almost November and we have a gig coming up in Brisbane! On Wednesday November 14 we (Bob, Laurel and Helen Rowe), are the featured acts at Red Hill Folk. This weekly institution in the Brisbane folk scene is held at the Red Hill Bowls Club, Fulcher Street. The music is unplugged and starts at 7.30pm. Admission is $2.

This follows on from appearances at Macca’s outdoor broadcast from Toowoomba, Neurum Creek Festival and Maleny Music Festival, all in September.

In other news, Bob is writing new songs and plans to put a highly topical tune out there any day now.

Goodwills live on Australia all Over

Our friend Paul Brandon took this happy photo of us with guest musician Helen Rowe in the green room at Neurum Creek Festival. Laurel and I will be travelling to our old stamping ground (Toowoomba) today to attend Macca’s outside broadcast (OB) in Laurel Bank Park (tomorrow, Sunday September 23). Australia all Over has been a great supporter of our music over the years so it’s good to give something back when we can. Come over and say g’day.

We played back to back festivals in Maleny and at Neurum Creek (near Woodford) over the past month. It’s great to be among musician friends and audiences who actually sit and listen. The trio will be back together on Wednesday November 14 as guests at Red Hill Folk (Red Hill Bowls Club, Fulcher Street for a 7.30 start.

Goodwills play Neurum Creek 2018

Fresh from well-received gigs at Maleny Music Festival, The Goodwills and guest Helen Rowe are performing this weekend at Neurum Creek Festival. We always enjoy this camping weekend, whether we’re performing or not, so it is an added pleasure to join the list of talented musicians playing under the big tent.

We’re performing on Saturday morning, after Brisbane folk legend Anne Infante. We’ll have CDs at the shop or come up and say G’day after the gig. Bob has been writing songs again so is likely to perform at least one new song in the set.

Neurum Creek Festival, September 14, 15 and 16.


Goodwills house concert roll call at Maleny Music Festival

The Goodwills

Quite a few of the guests appearing at the Maleny Music Festival this weekend have also played in our loungeroom over the last year or two.  Cloudstreet, Fred Smith, Sadie & Jay, Tin Star, Karen Law Band and Steve Tyson (who brought along some of his comrades from Rough Red) are among those on the festival bill. We also welcome back Jenny Fitzgibbon from her world travels and, not to forget, we are doing a gig too.

The Goodwills with guest musician Helen Rowe play the Tibrogargan Stage on Saturday at 1.10pm. Laurel and I are also taking part in the Concert for Refugees on Saturday night in the same venue.  The festival starts at the Maleny Showgrounds on Friday evening with a Welcome to Country and continues until Sunday afternoon, with a finale concert at 3.45pm with Zumpa. This is our third festival and we feel privileged to vie for the title of elder statespeople of folk!

Sadie and Jay, Maleny house concert August 5

Sadie and Jay house concert

Brisbane based duo Sadie & Jay are our house concert guests on Sunday 5th August after recently returning from their second successful tour in the UK. The duo is a creative combination of a deeply traditional folk musician (Jay), with a jazz, blues and roots singer (Sadie). Their songs feature the duo’s vocal harmonies, Jay’s intricate finger style guitar, bouzouki and banjo and Sadie’s double bass. They are influenced by the storytelling nature of the Anglo-Celtic traditions and contemporary folk, blues and roots music which reflects in their collaborative songwriting.

Sadie & Jay recently spent six weeks performing and promoting their second album ‘Rogue Folk’ at folk clubs, house concerts and festivals in the UK. They were thrilled to be guests performers at Upton upon Severn and The Great North Folk Festivals. They won The Great North’s ‘World Around Us’ song competition with their A Capella piece “Song Already Written.”

The concert on August 5, which starts at 2pm, also features house band The Goodwills with guest musician Helen Rowe. Tickets are $15 at the door and afternoon tea will be available. Bookings are essential.

As we are travelling in July, the best way to book is to send Laurel an email goodwills <at> or through our contact page.

NB: Our June house concert guests Tin Star, Sadie & Jay and The Goodwills have all been booked to perform at the Maleny Music Weekend August 31 – September 2. Don’t miss Bob & Laurel’s other musical endeavour, as part of Maleny chamber choir ‘Tapestry’ – performing at this festival on Sunday September 2.   

Goodwills house concerts are sponsored by the Queensland Folk Federation 





Goodwills performing at Maleny Music Festival

The Goodwills

The Goodwills have been booked to perform at this year’s Maleny Music Festival from August 31 – September 2. Programme details will be released soon.  Our musician friend Helen Rowe will be performing with us so expect fine fiddle playing, whistling, three-part harmonies and Bob’s original songs.

Fans of our Maleny house concerts will recognise a few of the bands performing at the seventh Maleny festival. They include the Fred Smith Trio, Cloudstreet, Tin Star and Sadie and Jay (the latter will also be performing at a house concert on August 5). More on that at a later date.

Two fine local choirs will also be performing at the Maleny festival, Sweet Chilli and our own Tapestry, directed by Kim Kirkman. We (Bob & Laurel) have been members of Tapestry, a mixed acapella chamber choir, for a long time.

The Maleny Music Festival will have something for everyone, with artists as diverse as Getano Bann, Estampa, Nicole Brophy, Kevin Bennett, Martin Pearson, the Hillbilly Goats and fine Celtic bands the Barleyshakes and The Jar.

We hope to see you there. Check out the festival; and book tickets here.


Tin Star at Goodwills’ house concert June 10

Tin Star (l-r) Dan Grant, Penny Boys, Cathy Bell

Brisbane trio Tin Star make their Goodwills’ house concert debut on Sunday June 10. Penny Boys, Cathy Bell and Dan Grant are a Brisbane-based trio who have been performing at folk clubs and festivals since joining forces 18 months ago. Hinterland music fans may have spotted them playing at last year’s Maleny Music Festival and rumour has it they will make a return visit in late August.

In the interim you can enjoy this trio, whose music is a little bit folk and a little bit country but like their idols, Gillian Welsh and David Rawlings, meets somewhere in the middle.

Penny and Cathy were members of the popular Brisbane group The Poachers while Cathy and Dan have been long-time collaborators with Brisbane songwriter Mark Cryle. Cathy plays fiddle and accordion, Dan plays guitar and both provide harmonies for Penny’s distinctive, mellifluous voice.

Tin Star has been working on original songs for a debut album while performing at festivals including Wintermoon (NQ), Turning Wave (Yass), Music by the Sea and the West End Sessions. Last year the trio performed at the Neurum Creek and Maleny music festivals.

Here’s a live sample from the Wintermoon festival

The concert starts at 2pm on Sunday June 10 with a set from your house concert hosts, The Goodwills, often heard on Australia all Over.

Admission is $15 and bookings are essential. Afternoon tea will be available. For bookings contact Laurel goodwills (at)

This concert follow a sold-out show by Cloudstreet on April 22. Our house concerts are popular and we have a limited number of seats so if you would like to book, email Laurel or use the contact page on this website.

We have one more concert scheduled for 2018 with the entertaining folk duo Sadie and Jay, currently touring in the UK.  They will perform on Sunday August 5. Check back later for details.

Cloudstreet house concert April 22, 2018

In our 20th year of presenting house concerts we are pleased to welcome back internationally renowned folk group Cloudstreet. The Brisbane trio return to Maleny on Sunday April 22, their sixth appearance as guests of The Goodwills (Bob & Laurel Wilson).  Cloudstreet perform New Australian folk music, a combination of Anglo-Celtic and Australian traditional songs and tunes, coupled with trad-styled original songs. Their music is arranged for an array of instruments including guitar, concertina, flute, whistle and fiddle and now includes the fiddle playing and singing of Emma Nixon.

Original members John Thompson and Nicole Murray have toured in the UK several times and have now completed two UK tours as a trio with Emma. Nicole and Emma have also performed at The Goodwills’ house concert as The Wish List.

Hosts Bob & Laurel Wilson (The Goodwills), in company with fiddler/singer Helen Rowe, will perform an opening set of originals and covers.

The concert starts at 2pm. Tickets are $15 and afternoon tea will be available. Bookings are essential. Email Laurel goodwills (at)

Later in the year we will have the Brisbane trio Tin Star (June 10) and Brisbane duo Sadie & Jay (August 5). Sadie & Jay,who have been ‘on a promise’ to perform in our loungeroom for a while, will just be back from a UK tour.

We have hired the Maleny RSL for an event on October 27 but can’t tell you about it at this early stage. Put those dates in your diaries, though.

Goodwills’ house concerts are sponsored by the Queensland Folk Federation.