US-based Kiwi duo Tattletale Saints won the 2021 Folk Tui on Sunday for their third studio album, ‘Dancing Under The Dogwoods’. The award was presented at the Auckland Folk Festival, held over Auckland Anniversary weekend at Kumeu Showgrounds, northwest of Auckland. 

The 2021 award is for recordings released in the 12 months to 30 September 2020. It’s the second time the Tattletale Saints duo of Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan has won the Best Folk Artist award, having previously claimed a Tui in 2014 for their crowdfunded and Nashville-recorded debut album, ‘How Red Is The Blood’. 

Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen says the duo are well deserving of the 2021 Tui, with their dynamic folk sound earning them recognition for the second time, describing ‘Dancing Under The Dogwoods’ as “…another incredibly well-rounded folk album.”  

The other finalists for the 2021 Best Folk Artist Tui were Wellington’s legendary folk-blues artist Darren Watson with his self-recorded ‘Getting Sober For The End Of The World’ album, and progressive bluegrass newcomers You, Me, Everybody (an all-star line up of Laurence and Sam Frangos-Rhodes, Nat Torkington, James Geluk and Kim Bonnington), for their debut self-titled EP.

Recent previous winners of the Best Folk Album Tui award…

2014 – Tattletale Saints – ‘How Red Is the Blood’
2015 – Great North – ‘Up In Smoke’
2016 – Holly Arrowsmith – ‘For The Weary Traveller’
2017 – Guy Wishart – ‘West By North’
2018 – Albi & The Wolves – ‘One Eye Open’
2019 – The Frank Burkitt Band – ‘Raconteur’
2020 – Mel Parsons – ‘Glass Heart’