Category Archives: In-house-performances


Chris Aronsten

If Chris Aronsten wasn’t born on the west coast of Ireland, he should have been. For his latest collection of songs The Road to Ballyvaughn strikes to the heart of the English and Irish folk tradition. Yet this sensitive singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, based in Byron Bay, remains a unique and unashamedly Australian voice.

Aronsten plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, spoons and stomp-box. And there is no shortage of energy in his solo performance. A typical concert includes original songs and a few selected covers played on the various instruments. He blends the songs with fiddle tunes, American-style bluegrass flat-picking on guitar, and instrumentals on mandolin.

In recent years Aronsten has begun making headway into the UK festival circuit. He has spent the past few northern summers there, playing folk clubs, country halls and house concerts across England, as well as some time in Ireland’s County Clare playing in sessions and meeting some great musicians. He appeared at the Warwick Folk Festival and the Broadstairs Folk Week in Kent In the U.K., and back in Australia at the Maldon Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival in Canberra.

Aronsten did two Australian tours with Maddy Prior in 2000 and 2002 and has supported Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Bert Jansch, Christy Moore, Seamus Begley and Jim Murray, Lunasa and Fairport Convention when they’ve toured Australia.

His Album The Road To Ballyvaughn:

What makes The Road to Ballyvaughn so special is that Aronsten has pared back the instrumentation to produce what is essentially a live recording of 12 finely-crafted, simple melodies and stories. First he recorded the guitar and voice together – only keeping first or second takes from start to finish – then adorned them only as needed with lines from the mandolin or violin, which weave images of countryside through which he has wandered, thinking of loves lost and love within reach. His time spent playing in England and Ireland with the masters of traditional form is evident in the skill he brings to the lyrics and tunes.

“I wanted an honest presentation of the songs, without any cutting and pasting. Then it becomes a true reflection of my performance.”


Slim Pickens

Slim Pickens is a blues and roots musician from theByronBay(Northern NSW) area. Slim is a very experienced performer with over 40 years in the music business. In the last 10 years he has played at some of this countries top music festivals (including the Byron Bay Bluesfest alongside many world renowned artists) as well as touring in Europe.

His “Happy Trails” CD went to #2 on The Australian Blues and Roots Charts and he has just released his 5th album “Pass It On” which is getting airplay right around Australia

Slim has been performing at Glen Helen since 2008 and regards it as his favourite gig. His show takes us on a journey through the music of the 1930’s depression era. Songs of struggle and hard times but with a little humour thrown in to the mix. Martin Jones of Rhythms Magazine said in his review of Slim’s “Happy Trails” album ..”If this CD doesn’t make you smile, you could be beyond help.”

Slim also encourages participation from his audience and if you are here for one of his nights, you could very well end up being part of his Glen Helen Egg & Spoon Orchestra.


John Baker

Best known for his band, The Baker Suite, John Baker excels at unfolding relaxed folk/pop/jazz stories full of humility an subtle seduction. He combines poetry and music with evocative melody to carry the listener on journey’s from the seaside carnival ground to the central desert . His sound has been described as reminiscent of Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Sting and Leonard Cohen.

Based in Adelaide, Australia he regularly tours nationally and internationally (Germany, Czech Republic, France, Japan and New Zealand), but returns to Glen Helen every year for a month-long residency. He describes Glen Helen as being like a songwriting retreat where the space and beauty allow for time to slow down and provide endless inspiration.

Festival appearances include the Bohemia Jazz Festival (CZ), Okayama Cultural Festival (JP), Nelson Arts Festival (NZ), International Guitar Festival (AU), Adelaide Festival of Arts (AU), and The National Folk Festival (AU). He has opened for Elton John, Kate Ceberano, Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter, Vika and Linda Bull, Francoiz Breut (Fr), Mary Gauthier (USA) and The Audreys.

“I have always treasured great song writing, and after listening to The Baker Suites’ demo recordings I was struck by the depth and authenticity of the material. It harks back to great writers such as James Taylor, Jimmy Webb, Carole King or Burt Bacharach” Paul Grabowsky.


Barry Skipsey

Barry Skipsey is a local Singer – Songwriter from Alice Springs. Having lived and worked in Central Australia for the past 35 years, Skip (as he is often referred) is a regular performer at Glen Helen Resort. The added bonus of an evening with Skip, is that he is also a talented Photographer.

When he’s not out here with us, his Photographic skills are sort by many including, Australian Geographic, Major Daily Newspapers and Tour Operators seeking coverage of their slice of the outback.

“I’m not a Studio Photographer and I don’t do Weddings”, he explains. “I love rolling in the dirt and live and work out bush most of the time”.

So the added bonus of an evening listening to Barry Skipsey performing his True Blue Aussie songs, is that his images, portraying the people, the flora and fauna and colour and character of Central Australia, are projected on the big screen beside him

Click on the following You Tube Link to see an example of what we’re talking about.


Dominique Costello

Dominique Costello is singer and songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin picker, Indian flute blower, accordion player, foot, drum and tea-spoon tapper.

She has toured New Zealand and the east and west coasts of Australia with the well-known Brisbane band Timbah, as well as performed with The Bluegrass Kittens, rootsy femme trio The Feather Foundry, Hargrave and Maine (featuring Michael David), The Jimmy Watts Band, world music group The Johndom Tree, The Goodtime Family Band, as well as recently formed big-band Run to Fire (featuring Sami Cha). Dominique has also supported Australian music icon Neil Murray of Warumpi Band fame.

From folk to country rock, old-time, bluegrass world fusion and reggae, Dominique’s uniquely soft yet lively sound surfaces comfortably within a whirl-pool of musical styles. Described as “a mesmerising performer with blended tones and heartfelt rhythms (Anna Henderson, ABC Northern Territory), her musical warmth, comfortability and natural energy provides a melodious space broad enough for audiences to either sit, listen, sway or dance – and always feel welcome to join the musical experience.