Our Story

The Haystack Mountain Hermits are a family of six multi-instrumentalists with quite peerless flair, and a touch of happy lunacy to boot!

Joanna Funk in Scenestr.

Haystack Mountain Hermits are all related (and have the embarrassing photos to prove it), all multi-instrumentalists and all go.

Between them they play guitar, mandolin, double bass, accordion, washboard, ukulele, banjo, snare drum, harmonica, kazoo, xaphoon … and more! Think of a homemade gypsy/skiffle/folk/bluegrass pie with a dash of country and crazy!

Catch a Haystack Mountain Hermits’ show … you’ll laugh, you’ll sing, you might even dance. But mostly, you’ll just wonder how the hell they all fit into one vehicle with all those instruments.

One family. One band. One day … they’ll get a bigger bus. #weplaywesingwefight

 These Hermits are so upbeat they make the Wiggles sound like Nick Cave.

Ernie Belroy

Flick through the family album …

In 2011, the Haystack Mountain Hermits loaded their Toyota van with every unusual instrument they could find (and not much else) and set off on their “Are We There Yet?” busking tour of Australia. The kids were 7, 9, 11 and 13 as they fought over instruments, seat positions and the colour of the sky; developing their musicianship while travelling the long, straight sections of Highway One. Contrary to popular belief they were not assigned their instruments at birth – hospital records just state name, time, length and weight as usual. Family photos from the Busking Tour show cute young’uns holding instruments almost bigger than them, whose gap-toothed smiles and hungry expressions helped pay for the groceries and top up the fuel. And buy the occasional coldie. Don’t judge. They did 8 hour stretches of driving with 4 kids.

Busking at Salamanca Markets Tasmania 2011

After travelling more than 26 000 kms and with performances in every state, the Hermits returned home to SE Qld, where they kept busking and performing together at private functions and small festivals. In 2017 the band entered the Australian National Busking Championships competition on a whim and came away Regional champions, albeit feeling like the proverbial stunned mullets. They won the Best Band section in the Nationals in the same year. They were astonished (so astonished, in fact, that they did not respond to the announcement, thinking there had been a mistake) and absolutely delighted to be crowned Tamworth Busking Champions in 2018, following this with more ANBC Regional success and being crowned Australian National Busking Champions in November, 2018.

Tamworth Busking Championships
Awarded Best Buskers 2018

2019 saw the band release their debut EP in a soggy fashion during an epic, drought-breaking thunderstorm (we cried “Send ‘er down Huey” … and he did!) and step up to major festival performances at Tamworth, Groundwater and Ballina. Along with Gran and Pap, Haystack Mountain Hermits were featured in the popular ABC series The Recording Studio, with the soundtrack featuring various artists winning an ARIA. The Hermits continued to donate their talents to causes close to their hearts, with Ewingar Rising Bushfire Benefit supporting communities close to Haystack Mountain, NSW. Yes, Haystack Mountain really exists. Kerrie’s family have lived and farmed there for more than 110 years.

EP Launch at Witches Falls Winery
Snowflakes Festival

2020 started with great promise at Tamworth, with many festival bookings locked in. The title track from the EP Going Home was shortlisted in the Australian Song Association songwriting competition. The year then took a shortcut down the S bend, and finished up conked out like a second-hand lawnmower in long, dry blady grass. But you know that already.

Hermits were thrilled to usher in 2021 at Woodford Folk Festival’s Bushtime and we look forward to meeting you down the track somewhere at a Festival, live music venue or supermarket.

Bushtime, Woodford Folk Festival 2020

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