Frank Povah played at the early Gulgong Folk Festivals
Frank Povah, played at the early Gulgong Folk Festivals.

Frank Povah has wide-ranging and varied interests.  He is self-educated, well read and enjoys vegetable gardening and raising pigeons and poultry.  Frank Povah will be remembered by many older folkies in the region, as he was a resident of Wollar for about 11 years back in the 1980s. He was a staunch supporter of the Gulgong Folk Festival in its beginnings and recalls New Year’s Eves when 100 or so couples danced the Pride of Erin along Mayne Street and up the hill on Herbert Street. Frank often played solo for an after mightnight Blues Dance” in the Opera House. A multi-instrumentalist, he has been recorded and filmed for the archive of the National Library (NLA), first by the late John Meredith and later by Rob Willis. In 2015, Frank and his long-time partner-in-music, Chris Cruise, were recorded in house at the NLA – a total of 9 hours of music – and were guests of the library at the National Folk Festival as well as performing on the festival program. One of his tunes has been added to the Australian repertoire of Bush Music list and well known Mudgee fiddler, Allan Walsh has featured two of his instruments on recordings.

Frank has been performing since early childhood and was performing traditional blues in the mid 1950s, which drew him into the “folk revival” in Australia at about the time of its birth in this country. His vast and varied repertoire ranges from traditional blues and “jook” music, through Appalachia to pop songs of his grandmother’s era to those learned from the radio in his childhood to anything else that at one time struck his fancy. He has travelled and performed all over Australia and New Zealand, in Canada and in the US where until recently he had lived for five years. It has been written that a concert by Frank is a lesson in social history you didn’t know you were having.

Frank will be MC at the 150 Yrs of Henry Lawson and the RSL on Sunday at 11:30.