Shearwaters are medium-sized long-winged seabirds. Many are long-distance migrants, with the short-tailed shearwater migrating from Tasmania to as far north as the Arctic Ocean off northwest Alaska. Eighteen million of them arrive in Tasmania each year for the breeding season, where they breed on islands and coastal cliffs.


Like the shearwater, we too have travelled from Tasmania to the northern hemisphere.     We are now living in Newburn , near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.



Celtic Music from The Borders & beyond....

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Shearwater Music

John and caroline Cropped Lionheart


NOW AVAILABLE: Our long awaited collaborated CD with lutenist Susan King.  See Recordings page

An unbelievable sound, haunting, beautiful.   Dave Forshaw, Clennell Hall Folk Festival, May 2007

 'Pure Class' George Welch, Newcastle upon Tyne 

Not only are they experienced and talented multi instrumentalists and performers, John is also an experienced musical instrument maker and repairer.


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)

54 Southway

 Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 7RD


Ph: 0191 2291681

Mob:   07783 505 622 or 07845 427 250

[email protected]

[email protected]