The Bushbys

Originally from Tasmania, Australia, John and Caroline along with their talented fiddle playing son, Malcolm now live Northumberland in the North East of England.
They are highly regarded performers in Australia, and have worked widely with ABC radio and television. With their band Tantallon, they have toured Scotland twice and performed at festivals around Australia and at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany in 2006.
Their original songs and tunes have won awards in Australia and some of their music has been used for the soundtrack of an American community TV progamme about Scottish immigration.
For many years they they were the mainstays of the Tasmanian Folk revival. They inspired many future musicians to take up the music, many of whom had not been exposed to traditional music before.
With their band Finnegan’s Wake,they were the first Tasmanian band to record an album of traditional music. The album was simply called Van Dieman’s Land.
John and Caroline were also involved with the founding of the internationally acclaimed Tasmanian Folk Festival held annually in January from 1977 until 1986. This festival as well as their folk club, The Bothy, were instrumental in attracting and introducing many of the top line English, Irish and Scottish musicians to a Tasmanian audience.
Originally from Cornwall, with Welsh and Scottish ancestry, Caroline plays the gut-strung Celtic harp and the whistle. She was a member of the Tasmanian Harp Orchestra before moving to the UK. She also teaches harp and is a fine singer.
Born in Tasmania with a strong Scottish background, John started singing the songs of Robert Burns at the age of 6! He is a talented multi-instrumentalist playing a wide variety of instruments as well as being a fine singer . John is also a musical instrument maker and repairer and most of the instruments (apart from bagpipes) that he and Caroline play were made by him.
John plays Scottish smallpipes, Scottish lowland pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes, whistles, bouzouki and guitar.
John was also involved with the book design and CD production and design in 2005 for The Halliard’s Broadside Songs CD and book passage and in 2006, the mastering, layout and design of the Halliard’s Last Goodnight CD. These are available from Mollie Music at
Since arriving in the UK they have recorded two CDs, Borderlands in 2007 and their traditional Christmas album, Heap on More Wood, 2008
In 2006 they competed in the Lowland and Border Piping competions and gained two 3rd placings and a second. Later that year John won the Lowland Pipes competition at The Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.
In 2009 they also gained places at the Lowland and Border Piping Competitions, in solo piping, piping and song, pipe with other instruments and pipe duet ( with Judy Barker).


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