Catch Kiama's Folk By The Sea festival with Jan Preston, The Hillbilly Goats, Fred Smith and more

BOOT SCOOTIN: The Hillybilly Goats (and Hermie - short for Hermaphragoat) are one of the headline acts at this weekend's Folk By The Sea. Picture: Andrew Pattinson

BOOT SCOOTIN: The Hillybilly Goats (and Hermie - short for Hermaphragoat) are one of the headline acts at this weekend's Folk By The Sea. Picture: Andrew Pattinson

The Hillbilly Goats describe themselves as “folk on steroids” and they’re sure to please the crowd at Kiama’s Folk By The Sea festival if their last appearance is anything to go by.

The Golden Guitar nominated trio and their mascot Hermie the Goat “blew everyone away” according to festival organisers when they graced the stage in 2015.

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Kick your shoes off, put your hoe down and hang onto your britches!

This weekend these Queenslanders will join dozens of local, national and international acts who will play at a string of venues around the seaside town from Friday to Sunday.

“We use the catch phrase: ‘kick your shoes off, put your hoe down and hang onto your britches’,” lead singer Mahney Wearne said.

“We do tell stories about the history of our music too… we’re not just a band, we’re a show with tap dancing.”

Tutus and fishnet stockings are also part of the act.

umberland Gap - The Hillbilly Goats (official video)

After years working as furniture importers, Wearne (Goat Girl) and her husband Bryce (Goat Boy) decided to up the ante of their merry melodies and make music full time.

That was seven years ago and they continue to make people happy with a much more “satisfying” career, now with Goat Buster/fiddler Jacinta Simons along for the ride.

We still are those embarrassing hillbilly parents. - Mahney Wearne

“We made a rule when we started the band we weren’t going to play sad, slow songs so everything is completely high energy, flat-out, happy music you can’t help moving to,” Mahney said.

The Wearne’s will be bringing their 10-year-old daughter on their adventure this time, whose now starting to realise just how popular her parents are.

“We still are those embarrassing hillbilly parents …[but] she’s starting to come around it,” Mahney said.

“We played at the Gympie Muster a couple of weeks ago and she got to see Jessica Mauboy and Judah Kelly, and … she’s kind of like ‘oh, so they’re not so uncool – mum and dad know Judah Kelly’.”

Meantime Hermie the Goat only joined the group four years ago after being picked up on the way to the Tamworth Country Music Festival but his star is quickly rising.

“We joke now he’s becoming more famous than us because he does make more newspaper appearances than we do and TV ads,” Mahney laughed.

Other artists performing at Folk By The Sea include boogie woogie piano queen Jan Preston and DFAT officer-turned-songwriter Fred Smith.

While the styles of music range from folk, Celtic, world, roots, country, bluegrass and gypsy.

Friday and Saturday venues include the Showground Pavilion, Rugby Clubhouse and Uniting Church Hall.

The Sunday program is FREE with artists performing at stages in Hindmarsh Park and the Kiama Bowling Club.

For the full program visit: www.folkbythesea.com.au   

The story Expect tap-dancing, tutus and a goat at Kiama’s Folk By The Sea first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

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