Two tours, 37 shows, many waterfalls, countless generous humans and one very full heart.

Just wanted to shout thanks from a roof top to every individual involved in these last two tours: the warm, open-hearted audience members, the inspiring collaborating artists (Patrick Pheasant, Liz Frencham, Bruce Molsky, Chris Stone, Holly Downes, Dan Witton, Jenny Thomas, Joe D’Esposito, Charm of Finches, Ingrid Bartkowiak, Rhiannon Fenn, Josefina Paulson, Jonas Åkerlund, John John Festival, Mal Webb), the artists who entrusted me with a part to play in their music (Kate Miller-Heidke, Darol Anger, The Maes), the people who’ve opened up their homes to me (especially the Pheasant family), fed me, let me use their shower (!!!!!), lent us snorkelling gear (…..), done many hours of driving (ahem, Patrick Pheasant), taken photos/vids for me (especially Bill Pheasant and Jess Foot), helped me book festivals (Una McAlinden from Folk Alliance Australia), directed or programmed incredible festivals (Chloe from Woodford, Erin from Cygnet, James from Newstead, Phaedra from Nannup, Caroline from Port Fairy, Bob from Blue Mountains and Pam from the National Folk Festival), and organisers of shows (Eleni, Tony, Paul Greene, Graham).

I’m also really grateful to NATURE for existing and being beautiful, because part of touring for me is taking myself to national parks to unwind, and if they weren’t there I’d probably go a little crazy!

Here are a few photos to let you in on what this year has been so far.

x Monique

Folk Alliance International Official Showcase


In February 2018 I’ll be flying to the USA to showcase at Folk Alliance International Conference as the Folk Alliance Australia Young Artist of the Year. I’m literally flying in and out in the space of a week, but I am so excited to come back to the States again, chase some opportunities, see some old friends and share my music with more people!

Have a listen to the official showcaser playlist… lots of incredible artists like Wallis Bird, Mile Twelve, Molly Tuttle, Laura Cortese, Jayme Stone and more!


Majors Creek Ros Hales award banner

I’m thrilled to be selected for the Ros Hales Award by the team at Majors Creek Festival, a NSW music festival which runs on the 10-12th November in 2017.  This is a fantastic new initiative sponsored by the Braidwood Folk Music Club to counter the under-representation of female acts in festival programs, promoting gender equality in the music industry. I’m so proud to be the first artist chosen for this inaugural program, and am excited to see the ripple effect it will create in our scene through future years.


Sunshine 1

Calling all string players! Get along to this brilliant camp in Queensland, Australia. I’ll be teaching the kids and beginner adult classes at the 2018 Sunshine Fiddle Camp, 2-7 January (just after Woodford Folk Festival, and just down the road). If you’re a professional, advanced or intermediate string player, you’ll be learning from legendary American fiddler Darol Anger (co-founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet and pioneer of the percussive technique, chopping), Crooked Still cellist Tristan Clarridge and killer Scottish-Australian fiddler Cathy Fraser. The camp journeys deep into fiddling traditions, with tunes taught by ear throughout the week, while charging forwards into progressive string techniques, rhythms, accompaniments, improv and more.

Check out the Sunshine Fiddle Camp website for more information and to register:

Back from America

It’s been a while since my last post, and that’s for a good reason… I’ve been BUSY AS! My trip to the USA was utterly brilliant. I met a tonne of inspiring people, had a full house for my Boston gig, went to some breathtakingly stunning natural places, recorded half an EP and made music all with old and new friends.


~Boston gig at Club Passim ~ EP recording in NJ ~ Miles of Music camp in NH~


~Sierra Scottish Fiddle Camp~

~Yosemite National Park~

~Shasta Music Summit~

QUBE Effect voting – be part of the action!

Friends, family, supporters and kind strangers! I’m calling on you to take a second (… well 10 seconds) to put your vote in for my video in the QUBE Effect competition! It’s an opportunity for emerging artists in Brisbane to film a video and have the public vote for their favourite. The prize includes a festival booking and $2000, which will help get the artist get to the next stage of their career. Have a watch below, and cast your vote here:

The process is SIMPLE AS! You just click “vote”, no forms to fill out or details to give. However if you want to go even further, please share the voting link around! It’s been so exciting to see it shared, not only by my amazing family and friends, but also by people I’ve never met before – including someone in Germany!

The clock/solar system in the video was designed and created by my sister, Ingrid Bartkowiak (Oh Crumbs Art). During the song she adds stars, moving around the clock in time with the music. This wasn’t really picked up in the video, but I promise it looked great in real life!

What I’d specifically like to put some of the prize money into, if it worked out that way, is vocal lessons with a really great jazz or contemporary teacher. I’ve had classical voice lessons, and I practise all the funny warmups and weird exercises every day (sorry family and neighbours). But it would be a good investment to get some proper contemporary technique, and to hone the songs that I’ll be recording soon.

That money would also really help with some other development activities I’m doing soon. I’m going back to America this year, to go to Miles of Music Camp, Sierra Scottish Fiddle Camp and Shasta Music Summit. Basically I’m going to spend several weeks surrounded by incredibly talented, inspirational folk musicians and songwriters, feeling really stupid, learning a tonne but growing from the whole rollercoaster. The People’s Choice prize would help a great deal with that financially.

This would be perfect timing as well. As the FAA Youth Artist of the Year, I’ve got mentoring for a year from an organisation that knows the industry backwards. If that’s coupled with financial support from this award, I can really hit the ground running.

So there you have it! I’ve got a plan. If you’d like to play a part in making it happen, that link up above is your friend! If you’ve already voted, a virtual hug and kiss to you! I’ve been really blown away by the grass-roots support so far, from both friends and strangers (I’m still pinching myself from that). Thank you for being here right at the start, helping me get a foot in the door. I am so grateful.

FAA Youth Artist Award in the bag! And a Canberra Times article!

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Back in Brisbane after an incredible festival of gypsy jams, old time sessions and Scottish fiddle hangs, Folk Alliance showcases, hilarious Beach Boys covers (including a dangerous amount of trumpet and melody-pop), old friends, new friends, mind-blowing performances and…

…an award! It means I’ll receive mentoring from the FAA and opportunities to play at national folk festivals over the next year. The Folk Alliance has played a big role in my development over the years as a folk musician. Five years ago, my friend Rhiannon was nominated for the same award as a fiddle player. She asked me (a classical cellist, just graduated from high school) to accompany her. So we smooshed together a 12 minute

faa r n m

2012! Ah we were so cute!

set of traditional tunes and won the panel over with our cute 17-year-old ridiculousness, matching long hair and I suppose, the promise of potential! We were naive but managed to bumble our way through the folk music industry, eventually morphing into songwriters and forming a four piece band. Five years later, I’ve learnt from an abundance of mistakes, I’ve immersed myself in the folk world through camps, festivals and encouraging friends, and I have clarity about where I am and where I want to be. I’ve got a lot to thank them for!

I’m excited about what this year will hold and can’t wait to work with Una McAlinden to keep this solo project moving forward!

Nash FAA 3

2017 FAA Youth Artist Award. Photo: Ian Fisk


Nash FAA 5

All ten finalist acts, including runners up Charm of Finches. Photo: Ian Fisk

The Canberra Times covered the award with an interview and shoot:

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 1.00.35 AM.png