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Bill Jackson wears his musical heart on his sleeve … Dylan, Seeger, Woody, John Prine … Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt  … the influences are plainly there to hear but Bill tells his stories in his own unique way. His tales are real and relatable. The voice that projects them possesses that weathered, lived-in vibe. His musical backing, provided by some of Australia’s finest players is eternally authentic. As his bio reads, “He is fast becoming known as one of Australia’s finest songwriters within the country folk genre.” We like Bill.

You may have come across one, two or all three volumes of Bill’s recorded work, ’The Wayside Ballads’ or seen him play in an inner city Melbourne pub with fretted instrument king Pete Fidler or heard his alt-country, folk-rock flavoured tunes on the good ships 3RRR or 3PBS. His ally in songcraft is usually his poetic brother Ross. For Bill’s latest recording, an album titled ‘1965’ he has collaborated with Australian rock royalty Kerryn Tolhurst of Dingoes fame (and hitmaker for Pat Benatar), along with Ross, his wonderful wordsmith brother. If you haven’t experienced any of the above, we strongly advise you do so.


The 1965 album was released in October 2023 and it’s taken us a while to catch up with Bill but finally AM editor Greg Phillips got to chat with Mr Jackson via a zoom call recently to discuss the making of the record.

He could be from Austin or Charlottesville or Nashville. His songs, many co-written with his brother Ross, have been described as engaging, plainspoken and articulate: songs about Hank, Morphine, High Country Lovers and our shared common experiences. They are songs which transcend place and time and while folk in basis, step beyond. That is partially due to partner in crime Peter Fidler, who ranks right up there with Pat Wictor and Randy Kohrs and a handful of others on my best-of list for resonator guitar and dobro. Jackson and Fidler have this symbiotic relationship not unlike that of Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin, each providing the other with the wherewithal to make good music better. Jackson and Welch construct a building. Fidler and Kaplin lay down finishing touches… (Acoustic Music.Com)

His songs are gritty and real and come at you like a hammer, ringin’ in the mornin’. Take it or leave it, he’s telling it straight up’ (Shane Howard)

‘ Take a chance and listen to some Roots Music that cuts across Borders…’ (Keith Glass)

‘We heard Bill Jackson for the first time at the Unpaved Sessions earlier in the year and he’s up there with Paul Kelly’ (The Melbourne Folk Club)

Recent highlights have included working and touring with Nashville legends David Olney, Sergio Webb, Kieran Kane and David Francy and playing Festivals such as The Brunswick Music Festival, Newstead ‘Live’, The Maldon Folk Festival and The National Folk Festival in Canberra, as well as being invited to record tracks on tribute albums for Bob Dylan, Eric Bogle and Bruce Springsteen. He always writing and road testing new songs. Catch up with Bill Jackson news at

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