Past Gigs


2017 Back in Australia



As a member of The Roaring Forties Margaret has been performing with them at various venues in New England. since 3rd June. The highlight of the tour is the 
Mystic Sea Music Festival 9-11 June, 2017
 – thereafter there are gigs in Waltham, Maine and Boston.

Sat June 3 Concert (preceded by wine tasting) at Maritime Gloucester 6:30pm – music from 7:15pm. 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester , Mass Phone: 978-281-0470 Web: Suggested donation: $15 members $20 others

Sun June 4 Informal visit to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum 66 Main St, Essex, Mass Phone: 978-768-7541
Mon June 5 Informal chantey sing at the Dog Bar Restaurant 5:30-9:00pm
65 Main St, Gloucester, Mass Phone: 978-281-6565 Web:

Tue June 6 Private function, Waltham , Mass

Wed June 7 Private function, New Bedford , Mass
Thu June 8 AHA! Concert, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park 6:00 – 7.30pm – free. 33 William St, New Bedford , Mass
(AHA!) (Museum)


Mystic Seaport  Sea Music Festival 8-11 June:
Full program at:

 Roaring Forties commitments:

Fri.       10am Don and Sue Brian – Norfolk: On the Middle Ground presentation

Fri.      from 7:00pm in the Boat Shed Night Concert slot – 25 minutes

Sat.:     12:00 Women and the Sea – (Greenmanville Church) – Marg contributes 3+ songs

Sat:      12:00 Chanteys at Work – the men (C.W. Morgan)

Sat:      1:00 Crime & Punishment (Village Green) – the Forties contribute 3+ songs

Sat:      3:00 Songs of Whaling (Greenmanville Church) – the Forties contribute 3+ songs

Sun.:    11:00 Contemporary (Village Green) – the Forties contribute 3+ songs

Sun:    12:00 Hard Yakka (Village Green) (50 mins of non-maritime Australian work songs)

Sun:    2:00 Boatshed Concert (50 minutes)

Sun:      3:00 Final Concert in the Boat Shed – including a song from each group/performer.

After Mystic:

Tues June 13 Waltham House concert – Boston Traditional Song/Folksong Society of Greater Boston 8.00pm – Reservations required: email for reservations and directions. Web: Suggested donation: $20; $5 for students

Thu June 15 Private function, Georgetown , Maine

Fri June 16 Concert at the Sidedoor Coffeehouse with local group, Roll and Go. 7.30pm
Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St, Brunswick , Maine Phone: 207-729-8515Web: Suggested donation $15.00

Sat June 17 Concert at Sail Power & Steam Museum 7.30pm Suggested donation: $15
75 Mechanic St, Rockland , Maine Phone: 207-701-7627 or 207-701-5050Web:–calendar.htm l

Sun June 18 Open session with Boston Area Chantey and Maritime Sing (BACAMS) at the USS Constitution Museum , Building 22, Navy Yard, Charlestown , Mass. Web: Phone: 617-426-1812



Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music & Dance – June 23, 24 & 25, 2017, Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY

Friday 2:30 – 3:45  Area 7 – Sons of Freedom – along with Joe Jencks and Tom Lewis.

Saturday 12:30-1:30  Area 2 – Songs of Australia with Chris Maltby (+Tom Lewis)

Sunday 1:15 – 2:15  Area 2 – Here’s to the Women – with Anne Hills & the Short Sisters

Sunday 5:00 – 5:25  Area 1 – Concert set with Debra Cowan

THEN  a week in Canada visiting friends in Montreal and Lunenburg.

Saturday July 1 – House concert, Limerock St., Rockland, Maine from 7:30 p.m.
Suggested minimum donation: $15. Info. & Reservations (strongly suggested, since seating is limited!): Call George Stephens/Kathy Westra at 207-593-8068.

Margaret returns to Australia, July 6, 2017.


Folk Festivals and other Gigs during 2017 – solo and also with the Roaring Forties, Southern Cross Trawlers, et al.

21-23 April – St Albans Folk Festival –The Roaring Forties were programmed in several concerts and presented a workshop on the origins and use of sea shanties.

14-17 April – National Folk Festival – Southern Cross Trawlers hosted the Thursday night welcome singing session and one on Saturday night. Don and Sue Brian presented a workshop on the Cabbage Tree Hat in History which I contributed to. Don and I were joined by Chris Maltby to give a concert spot on the Monday.

4 April 2017 – The Loaded Dog Folk Club contributed to Heritage Week by celebrating its 27 years of operation with an exhibition at the Leichhardt Public Library. The Roaring Forties were the first guests of the Club back in 17 Nov 1990. Margaret had a short set at the Opening and recalled launching one of the first folk music CDs with her solo album “For the Future and the Past” at the Dog early in 1991.

1 April – 30th Anniversary of the Solidarity Choir – Margaret was one of many performers helping this group of activists celebrate a significant milestone. It took place over about 8 hours at Gumbramorra Hall at the Marrickville Community Centre.

25 March – Loaded Dog Folk Club, Annandale – Margaret joined the main guest Christina Mimmocchi for a couple of songs.

24-26 February – Cobargo Folk Festival. Danny Spooner had been booked to perform. Although he knew he was very ill, he was eager to work til the end, and he asked Margaret to share the two concerts and the Copper Songs workshop with him and his wife, Gael Shannon. Danny did a marvellous job at the festival, but sadly died a week later.

18 February – LoadedDog Folk Club – Margaret and Redfern Shanty Club were the two guests.

11 February –Tribute Concert for Danny Spooner in Daylesford. This was an opportunity for singers and other musicians to perform at a special concert for Danny. Margaret and John Warner were both asked to perform. Besides their solo contributions, they also teamed up with Roaring Forties members, Chris Maltby and Robin Connaughton.

26 January – Australia Day concert for the Roaring Forties singing shanties at the Rocks in honour of the Tall Ships Race. Margaret was unable to join the Forties as she’d lost her voice, but the lads had the support of young Robert Boddington which more than compensated for her absence!

22 January – a live-to-air charity gig with the Roaring Forties and Robert Boddington.

13-15 January – Illawarra Folk Festival – Margarets’s only commitment was assisting at the launch of Colleen Burke’s book: The Waves Turn.


Summary of Margaret’s 2016 folk music activities – solo, and also those with the Roaring Forties, Southern Cross Trawlers, et al.

Folk Festival Gigs during 2016

1-2 October – Goulburn Bush Weekend – concerts and workshop on The Undaunted Female which had songs about Australian women facing fierce odds.

16-18  September – Turning Wave Folk Festival, Yass, NSW. The Southern Cross Trawlers sang in concerts and presented a workshop titled Sons of Freedom.

5-12 August – Norfolk Island Folk History Tour. A wonderful week exploring the history and culture of Norfolk Island and several opportunity to join Don Brian (who, with Sue Brian, led the tour) singing songs relevant to this former convict settlement and whaling station. Don, Chris Maltby and I (aka Southern Cross Trawlers) also sang sea shanties at the Jolly Roger –a lively pirate themed restaurant.

8-15 June – Top Half Folk Festival, NT at Mary River. I wasn’t an official guest, but had a concert spot and participated in many sessions and took advantage of the visit to Darwin to hang out with local folkies.1

6-17 April – Wooden Boat Festival, NSW.  2 full days of Sydney members of the Roaring Forties alternating with members of the Redfern Shanty Club serenading the thousands of participants at the festival in Darling Harbour.

24-28 March –National Folk Festival, Canberra ACT. The Roaring Forties presenting The Song Goes On, concerts and running sessions. And Margaret teamed up with Danny Spooner, Gael Shannon and Duncan Brown to sing songs of the Watersons.

15-17 January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW. Concerts with the Roaring Forties and two workshops Shellback Sheila : settings of the nautical poems of CF Smith and the other The Song Goes On (songs about singing).

8-10 January – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet, Tas.  Margaret solo concert spot, workshop –called Apocaloptimistic Now! with Christina Mimmocchi and Chris Maltby,  plus sea shanties at the yacht club.

Other Gigs during 2016

16 December –Hornsby Kurginggai Folk Club. The Roaring Forties sneaked in a few carols at the Wheeze & Suck Christmas Special.

13 December – Sydney Heritage Fleet Christmas Party on board the James Craig, Darling Harbour – with the Roaring Forties doing Christmas carols with Christina Mimmocchi.

26 November Loaded Dog Folk Club – a presentation of Copper Family songs with Danny Spooner and Gael Shannon.

23 October – an afternoon of shantying with singers from the Redfern Shanty Club at the Gasoline Pony – part of the Marrickville Festival.

24 September – Margaret had a short solo gig at the Magic Carpet Ride club in Newtown – with help from Christina Mimmocchi.

10 September – Gig on the Endeavour moored at Darling Harbour –with Don and Chris singing songs about Captain Cook.

27 August – Loaded Dog Folk Club. Margaret was the main guest and was joined for a few songs by the wonderful Christina Mimmocchi.

17 June – musical contribution to the Greens Fundraising Party in Corrimal.

28 May – Loaded Dog Folk Club: The Roaring Forties were the guests in tandem with members of the Redfern Shanty Club – great to see the tradition being taken up by these gorgeous young people.

30 March – singing at a wedding for some friends in Stanmore.

Concerts organised in 2016:

Shanty sessions on the James Craig –I organised and participated in these monthly events, choosing a different maritime theme every month.

28 October Peace concert held at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville. I helped Jeff Lee with aspects of this annual block-buster.

4 December –End of Year Folk Bash at the Gaelic Club in Sydney.  Concert, Mummers Play and Carols – coordinated along with others in the Folk Federation of NSW. Always a jolly afternoon.

The Seniors Gym Class got me to organise them into singing carols and other songs at our annual Christmas lunch. (I’ve never considered myself a choirmaster, but they thought I was!!)

Sheffield Carols Singing in Sydney. On 4 occasions in November/December, some singers from Black Joak Morris and other folkies met to sing Sheffield Carols around Sydney.  They seem so out of place in mid-summer in Australia – but they’re such good songs to sing.

I had two house concerts at my place in Ivy Street – one in April for Yvette Stalins from Somerset; and the other in July for Kerrie Maguire from Tasmania.


Overseas and interstate folk visitors staying at Ivy Street during 2016 included Celia Briar, Jez Lowe, Allison Kennedy, Marina Hurley, Danny Spooner and Gael Shannon.

During the year I attended several concerts in Sydney included ones from Vin Garbutt, The Young ‘Uns, Kirsty Bromley, Paul Spencer, Fred Smith, Christina Mimmocchi, Cap in Hand.


Thursday 8th January – singing (with John Warner maybe) at a Conference on Australia-US transnational and Comparative Labour History. Australian-US Comparative and Transnational Labour History Conference, 8–9 January 2015, University of Sydney, Australia. Historians and other scholars have long recognized both similarities and differences in the labour experience in Australia and the United States.  Click here for further details and registration.

Saturday 7th February – singing with Southern Cross Trawlers (Don Brian and Margaret Walters) at the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.

Wednesday 11th – Friday 13th February – involved with another Labour History conference Fighting against War: Peace Activism in the Twentieth Century, 14th Biennial Labour History Conference, 11–13 February 2015, University of Melbourne. Throughout the Twentieth Century, labour movement activists have been in the forefront of challenges to war and militarism. This conference, hosted by the Melbourne Branch of ASSLH, seeks to restore their role to our historical memory. For more information, click here

Saturday 14th February – singing with John Warner and revisiting the wonderful songs he wrote for the album Pithead in the Fern at the 120th Anniversary Korumburra Show February 14 & 15 2015

Friday 13th March : Southern Cross Trawlers at Dukes Place, Bush Music Club, Hut 44, Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville.

Thursday 2nd – Monday 6th April – singing at the National Folk Festival with Don Brian as Southern Cross Trawlers. Margaret will also be facilitating at various singing sessions. Don and Margaret with help from Sue Brian will be presenting a workshop called Norfolk ‘n’ Good   Don and Sue spent 5 years on Norfolk Island where they have gathered unique material from log books and other historical records. Of special interest are the visits from American vessels when whaling was done from open boats and the log written in verse that Don and Margaret have broken into different songs.



June long weekend – Top Half Folk Festival with the Roaring Forties.

Friday 10th October  7.30 for 8pm start at DUKE’S PLACE – the Bush Music Club’s regular night of Australian songs in concert and session
Hut 44 (Tritton Hall), Addison Road Community Centre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville

I’ll will be singing all-Australian material – several traditional, some Lawson, some Warner – lots about women, workers, the environment. I am aiming to have a song title for every letter of the alphabet! There will be lots of choruses and lots of songs you won’t have heard before.
Bring something to drink and a contribution to supper and (if you wish) Australian songs to share in the session after supper. $10. Enq: Sandra 9358 4886

Bus 428 goes down Addison Road and there’s a stop right near the driveway to the ARCC.  Hut 44 (Tritton Hall) is  is the Bush Music Club’s headquarters. This amp may be helpful:

Sunday 19th October 2014   Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival with The Roaring Forties.
Our two gigs are on Sunday 19th October 2014 – 12pm concert in the Marquee and a workshop called “Heavy Lifters”: songs of Australian Working Lives – 2.30-3.30pm in the Pony Club. Full program here:

Saturday 25th October 2014
Battery Point Community Hall Saturday 25th October 2014 7.30pm
52 Hampden Road, Battery Point (Hobart)
solo concert spot plus a duo with Don Brian as Southern Cross Trawlers’ll be kindly supported by Trouvers (Peter Hicks, Elaine Chevalier-Carter  and Roger Joseph).

26 October 2014
Seafarers Festival 2014 Sunday, 26 October 2014, 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Bellerive Boardwalk, Cambridge Rd, Bellerive (Hobart)
Southern Cross Trawlers (Margaret Walters and Don Brian) are on at 10.30am and 12.30pm with a selection of their maritime repertoire.