An Australian five-piece, Stray Hens, largely re-imagines old folk ballads. With their own original arrangements, archaic classics and old folky favourites become startling, moving...electric.

The band is fronted by three women, with lead vocals from all five members of the band- Ryan Tews on drums and keys, Mandy Connell on Guitar, Carmen O'Brien & Claire Johnstone on fiddle. The new album, engineered by Luke Plumb (Mae Trio, Kate & Ruth) was original Hens Sally Taylor (Fiddle) and Richard Grace (Double Bass).

Based in Melbourne, the band formed in 2012, and released a 7 track debut in 2013, with great success touring to folk festivals, and picked up admiration from a National and International audience.




"Stray Hens' innovative and interesting arrangements along with their tight performance and harmonies give us a fresh take on some well-loved classics as well as their powerful originals. From the beautiful 'Diamantina Drover' to the powerful 'Tom Paine's Bones' and the thought-provoking 'Pot and Tinker', this album is a real winner!"- John Angliss & Roger Montgomery (Dingoes Breakfast)

"Super voices and instrumentation - I found it haunting and strangely moving - the clever chorus phrasing gives it a real lift, nicely finished with those Aussie 'Paine' accents!" - Graham Moore, (Author of Tom Paine's Bones)

"Saw Ms Mandy Connell and friends play at Australia's National Folk Festival. A great talent with a passionate and compelling voice and a total command of her music! Catch her if you can"...Paul Brady

"One of my Favourite trad voices anywhere...." David Francey



Photographer: Paul X Stoney

Musician: Stray Hens Circa 2015/16

Location: Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne