Painting by Sia Joo Hiang gugu and gorilla

Jon Duncan

Jon Duncan is a singer-songwriter and poet from Sandy Bay, Tasmania.

Jon has put out five albums through Half A Cow, the most recent is Fledglings, which will be released on 12th August 2022.


18 months of personal upheaval – the death of a mother; enforced acquisition of a childhood home; time spent in, then out, then back into hospital – sees Jon Duncan in a reflective mood.

Recorded mostly live, his new album Fledglings is a heartfelt collection of spare, bittersweet melodies clothed in his characteristic ukulele stylings, wrapped up in a voice that is worn, intimate, warm, confidential, as Duncan meditates on themes of love and of loss, of mortality and the hope of renewal.

Joined by the USA’s Kevin Griffin (electrics/harmonies) and Singapore’s Sia Joo Hiang (vocals/ukulele), the album also features covers of Grand Salvo, Joni Mitchell and an aching version of ‘Birds and Ships’ from the Mermaid Ave sessions.

Interview with Jon (March 2021)

“Everything was impromptu. I like to just pick up an instrument sometimes and press record and see what happens. All these pieces happened this way. There is the odd bung note here and there but it definitely has a mood, a vibe and the rawness and the immediacy of playing and recording matters more to me than perfection. I hope that comes through in the soul of this music. Even my lyric songs I generally write and record straight up like this.” – Jon Duncan


He began recording with a Tascam 4-track cassette machine in 1992 and ever thereafter lamented the demise of analogue, only to rejoice with the silent majority at the Lazarus-style vinyl resurgence.

He has played live around Tasmania for more than twenty years and released his first LP, Where Your Treasure Is, in 2001 and his first volume of poetry, Songs of Solitude, in 2014 – a wrecking-ball memoir of time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

Jon also writes and plays in two duos: Silence Is Autumn and Two Little Woodpeckers. Both of these bands have recorded LPs and are ongoing. Check them out on YouTube.

Spare, soulful, intimate, real and raw as it gets. Music to break your heart even as it puts you back together.


Buy Music


released 12th August 2022


released 19th March 2021

What We Left Behind

A short history of everything

Songs for lost Shepherds


Tethers  (hac258)
released 19th Feb 2021

Jon Duncan – concert + baritone ukuleles, 6 + 12 string acoustic guitars,
melodica, kalimba, toy glockenspiel, percussion + voice

w/ Sia Joo Hiang – harmony on ‘nobody knows me at all’

words + music ℗ Jon Duncan 2021 © Jon Duncan 2021

cover art by sia joo hiang: gugu and gorilla (

what we left behind (hac248)
released 7th August 2020

  1. Blues for Beverley
  2. Conversation #1
  3. The Wanderer
  4. Endings and Everything After
  5. Triangle Takes Two
  6. The Horsemen
  7. Blues for Edgar
  8. Wishbone Rag
  9. Blues for Robert
  10. Sophie
  11. Roundabout Reel
  12. The Accuser
  13. Conversation #2
  14. Azaleas
  15. Conversation #3
  16. Song of Solitude

All songs by Jon Duncan

Improvisations recorded Jan-July 2020

Jon Duncan: baritone ukulele on 1, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15. concert ukulele on 2, 5, 10, 14, 15. tenor resonator guitar on  3, 6, 9, 12, 16. percussion on 7

Cover art by Sia Joo Hiang

A short history of everything (hac232)
released October 2019

  1. Candle
  2. Come The Highway
  3. I’m Always Trying To Catch A Sunbeam
  4. Take Some Mending
  5. Withered On The Vine
  6. A Short History Of Everything
  7. Guess I’ll Go and Eat Lunch!
  8. The Deeper In
  9. Desert Pavement Waltz
  10. How’m I Gonna Get Through Friday?
  11. Three Strands
  12. The Road That Led To Rome
  13. Rebecca
  14. Saturday Song
  15. Slippery Lip Blues
  16. No Box, No Dice
  17. Between Yes and No
  18. Low End Blues
  19. Foldin’
  20. Springtime Showers
  21. Attic
  22. All Is Forgiven

All songs by Jon Duncan P & C 2019

Jon Duncan – soprano, concert, tenor resonator & baritone ukuleles; nylon & steel string acoustic guitars; voice; bass on 14; harmonica, percussion on 15.

Kevin Griffin – electric tenor ukulele on 1, 7, 13, 18, 22; harmony on 1, 5, 7, 13; cello on 5; bass on 13.

Sia Joo Hiang – baritone ukulele on 15; harmony on 19.

Cover art by Sia Joo Hiang P & C 2019

songs for lost shepherds  (hac233)
released 12th November, 2019

  1. serpent
  2. cain
  3. shore
  4. wolves
  5. shapeless
  6. birds
  7. unmarked
  8. dandelions
  9. drown
  10. abel
  11. winter
  12. light
  13. secrets
  14. risdon
  15. castle
  16. sea

All songs by Jon Duncan P & C 2019

Jon Duncan – baritone ukuleles & voice; parlour guitars on 3, 9, 16; concert ukuleles on 8; percussion on 7.

Kevin Griffin – electric tenor ukulele on 2, 6, 11, 14.

Cover art by Sia Joo Hiang P & C 2019

“Jon Duncan started in a blaze of glory tonight and broke many hearts. He won over many more…” – Natasha Turner, The Examiner, July 4, 2001.

“Deeply confessional, visceral, heart wrenching, revealing a wisdom not so much hard won as hard worn.” – Claire Hiller, from the liner notes to Songs of Solitude, October 21, 2014.