It's been a big year for Magpie.

Magpie Diaries, a long-time labor of love for Matt Johnston, released their debut record, Sanctuary (recorded with Crowded House's Matt Sherrod), and is about to embark on their biggest national tour to date.

Following the tour, Magpie Diaries will return to home turf, Dashville, for the 14th Gum Ball festival.

Harking back to an era well before their birth, Magpie Diaries have a sound born from the ‘70s. Bathed in inspirations provided by acts such as The Band, Neil Young, Grateful Dead and Van Morrison. It's dreamy Americana country mixed with a rockier alternative. Whilst the influences are evident, the approach is very much unique. It's the simplistic, candid story telling approach which reflect lead singer and songwriter Matt 'Magpie’ Johnston's enduring spirit.

Born and bred to be the Dashville man, Magpie grew up on the same rural property where he now hosts some of the best weekend outdoor parties Australia has to offer. Generally consumed by festival creation and the “running of the project”, it was the desire to play music that started it all.

It’s been a rollicking 14 years since the first Gum Ball was held, where he first stood on stage alongside his brother Dan in their teenage rock 'n' blues outfit Johnny Real & The Lovemakers.

Over the years, just as the audiences have grown, so has Magpie and his musical vocation. Through development within the all-star band the Dashville Progress Society, his brotherhood with Baghead and his beautiful drumming wife Jessica, he is slowly but surely working his way towards sharing a collection of personal music that tells his story within this crazy world.