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John & Caroline Bushby

Tracey Curtis
Jeremy Taylor
John & Caroline Bushby

Haunting Sounds from Two Talented Multi-instrumentalists

John & Caroline Bushby: The Secret is Out!

John & Caroline
Clennell Hall Folk Festival 2007

Originally from Tasmania, Australia, John and Caroline along with their talented fiddle playing son, Malcolm now live Northumberland in the North East of England.

They are highly regarded performers in Australia, and have worked widely with ABC radio and television. With their band Tantallon, they have toured Scotland twice and performed at festivals around Australia and at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany in 2006.

Their original songs and tunes have won awards in Australia and some of their music has been used for the soundtrack of an American community TV progamme about Scottish immigration.

For many years they along with their Irish band Finnegan's Wake, they were the mainstays of the Tasmanian Folk revival. They inspired many future musicians to take up the music, many of whom had not been exposed to traditional music before. One exceptional musician, Luke Plumb, now playing with Scottish band Shooglenifty was inspired to play the music after seeing Finnegan's Wake perform at the Tasmanian Celtic Winterfest in Hobart. The rest they say is history.

Finnegan's Wake went on to perform at Festivals and Clubs in Tasmania and Australia. They were the first Tasmanian band to record an album of traditional music. The album was simply called Van Dieman's Land.

John and Caroline were also involved with the founding of the internationally acclaimed Tasmanian Folk Festival held annually in January from 1977 until 1986. This festival as well as their folk club, The Bothy, were instrumental in attracting and introducing many of the top line English, Irish and Scottish musicians to a Tasmanian audience.

Originally from Cornwall, with Welsh and Scottish ancestry, Caroline plays the gut-strung Celtic harp and the whistle. She was a member of the Tasmanian Harp Orchestra before moving to the UK.

She also teaches harp and is a fine singer.

Born in Tasmania with a strong Scottish background, John started singing the songs of Robert Burns at the age of 6! He is a talented multi-instrumentalist playing a wide variety of instruments as well as being a fine singer . John is also a musical instrument maker and repairer and most of the instruments (apart from bagpipes) that he and Caroline play were made by him.

John plays Scottish smallpipes, Scottish lowland pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes, whistles, bouzouki and guitar.

John has also been involved with the book design and CD production and design in 2005 for The Halliard's Broadside Songs CD and book passage and in 2006, the mastering, layout and design of the Halliard's Last Goodnight CD. These are available from Mollie Music at

They have recently finished their new CD recording Borderlands. The CD features a mixture of traditional and original music and song. It was recorded in their own studio, Shearwater Digital in Wylam, Northumberland and released on their own label, "Shearwater Records"

In 2006 they competed in the Lowland and Border Piping completions and gained two 3rd places and a second.  Later that year John won the Lowland Pipes competition at The Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.


John & Caroline are available NOW for Folk Clubs & Festivals.



 March 14th 2008: Stonehaven Folk Club, Scotland

Clennell Hall Folk Festival Alwinton May 9th - 11th 2008

September 26th 2008: The Hearth  Main Road, Horsley

Folk Acts For Folk Clubs & Folk Festivals.