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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 27, 2018

Often described as hard rock’s original supergroup, Mr. Big, are headed to Australia for the very first time, as part of a massive national tour along with another celebrated American rock band Extreme. Mr. Big formed in 1988 and immediately began to solidify their place in music history. By combining…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 25, 2018

One of Australia’s greatest guitar players Phil Emmanuel, brother of Tommy has died. On the night of Thursday May 24th while visiting his brother Darcy in Parkes, NSW, Phil suffered from a massive asthma attack which led to his death. “On behalf of the family, it is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our much loved brother, Philip Ernest Emmanuel,” Darcy informed the press.

Tributes from other Australian musicians have begun to circulate on social media.

“Vale the great Phil Emmanuel … the Wiz .. will be sadly missed by all of us for his great sense of humor and astonishing guitar skills … our love to all the family at this time.” said bass Rob Little, who had played with both Phil and Tommy Emmanuel

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of Phil Emmanuel’s passing. Both Phil and Tommy were always very supportive of me as an up and comer. I jammed with Phil on many occasions, but was never loud enough, we ate pizza together and exchanged jokes. I’ll alway remember Phil as a lovable rogue and a bitchin’ lizard lovin’ guitar player. VALE Phil Emmanuel,” said Jimi Hocking

In 1996 as part of International Guitar Month activities, Australian Musician presented an Aussie Guitar Greats Honour Roll, written by guitarist Geoff Wright, who has toured internationally and played alongside JJ Cale. In the feature, Geoff wrote this of Phil:

“If brother Tommy plays it sweet, Phil plays it from the street. A Hank B Marvin kind of guy at age ten, Phil’s playing has so much fire and his chops on electric are pretty well as good as you’ll get! The band Goldrush produced some great albums featuring Phil out front (Tommy played drums) and man, did he burn! His shows with Tommy illustrate Phil’s total command of his instrument. Phil is a true character and well travelled gentleman and his playing exemplifies the man himself – humour heart and fire.”

Phil’s musical roots stemmed back to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, his influences include guitar great Hank B Marvin and The Shadows, the Ventures and the Beatles. Phil then turned his attention to the music of Al Di Meola, Carlos Santana, Steve Morse and Gary Moore and the much admired Jeff Beck. But It is Hank that Phil attributes the path he chose to take on his musical journey. Phil has said if it wasn’t for “Hank B. Marvin and The Shadows” I wouldn’t be the electric guitar player I am today. “When I first heard Hank play in 1959 I was fascinated and hooked by his sound and use of echo. To this day he is still my favourite guitarist”
Phil’s versatility is well known and acknowledged, by both musicians and fans alike, which becomes obvious from the receptions he would receive at all his shows, along with all the accolades from the musicians he has performed alongside, from Jazz – James Morrison, Don Burrows to Big-Band – Ed Wilson, the Royal Military College Band, to Country – Slim Dusty, Reg Lindsay, Lee Kernaghan, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson Tammy Wynette, to Rock and Blues Dire Straits, The Shadows, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes, Roy Buchanan, Don Walker, John Farnham and Ian Moss, to name a few.

A highlight for Phil came in the year 2000 when he performed to a worldwide audience of 4.5 billion at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics with Brother Tommy, INXS, Vanessa Amorosi, Savage Garden and Midnight Oil. It gave Australia’s “forgotten son” a chance to shine and also to receive the recognition that he undeniably deserved.

Phil is survived by his wife Amanda and his children Jessie Maree, Jamie Lee, Georgia Dee and Marshall Travis.

RIP Phil Emmanuel and thank you for the music



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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 25, 2018

Palais Theatre, Melbourne May 24
Report: Greg Phillips Photos: Mark Moray Wicked Rock Photography

It had been a long time coming. Jason Bonham, son of Bonzo has been playing his Led Zeppelin celebration show for eight years now and had threatened to bring it to Australia on many occasions. Originally scheduled for January this year (during the Australian Open tennis, which Jason enjoys) the show was cancelled and then rebooked for May. On top of that, Led Zeppelin headquarters demanded that JB change the name of his show from Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience to Led Zeppelin ‘Evening’, apparently the Zep guys have plans of their own for the ‘Experience’ moniker in the future. It’s unfortunate that the January tour didn’t go ahead as it would have preceded the tour by Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. For many in the crowd tonight, the last time they visited the Palais Theatre was to see Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. While the legend only played half a dozen Zeppelin tunes that night, his performance was incredible. With fresh memories of the authentic voice of Led Zeppelin in mind, tonight’s show was always going to have that monkey on it’s back.

Hitting the crowd with Immigrant Song first up and straight into Good Times, Bad Times was an astute move, presenting a couple of big guns early and announcing that JBLZE were here to rock. Pulling the microphone around to his face, Jason apologised for taking so long to get here and promised to take us Over the Hills and Far Away! Wanton Song and What Is and What Should Never Be proved that these guys had significant chops. Guitarist Jimmy Sakurai, who bears quite a resemblance to Jimmy Page, reconstructed Page’s recorded guitar parts perfectly and while that’s obviously an admirable quality, in a way it was oddly disconcerting. Jimmy would never play tunes live the same way as he did on the albums. Similarly with singer James Dylan, if you were to close your eyes, the vocal was very Plant-like but his stage presence was a little insular. His sunglasses may have given him an air of cool but it wasn’t until he took them off and actually smiled, that he began to make a connection with the audience. I guess at this point I needed to give myself a reality check, make a note to self that this was not Zeppelin, never would be and I needed to get myself into the spirit of the celebration rather than make unrealistic comparisons, as most of the enthusiastic audience had already done from the show’s beginning.

What sets this show apart from the many other Zeppelin tribute shows is the genuine lineage. Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonzo Bonham was Jason’s father and we were blessed to be able to witness childhood footage of Jason and his dad together. The clip of Jason dancing purposely along to Gary Glitter’s Leader of the Gang with his parents watching on was priceless. Also charming was the tale of how Jason’s grandmother forced John to learn big band style jazz drumming and play at a local club, a skill which went a long way to making him the drum legend that he became. He added that the real reason gran wanted to attend the jazz club was to be with the trumpet player John Henry … who she later married. One of the most poignant moments of the night was Jason jamming to footage of his dad on the drum classic Moby Dick. Jason had read an article in which his dad said that his dream was for the two of them to jam together one day at London’s Royal Albert Hall. “Well, we get to do that every night … with technology,” Jason told us in an interview earlier in the year.

Fool in the Rain, a sizzling Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter and Misty Mountain Hop followed as the band began to really kick into gear. Jason then took a moment to recall the Led Zeppelin reunion gig at O2 Arena gig in 2007 while footage of the gig preparation showed behind him. He told us that the moment he actually felt at one with the rest of the band and the music was during the epic song Kashmir. Coincidentally, it was also the moment tonight where I began to feel connected to Jason’s band. Suddenly It all seemed to gell. Alex Howland on keyboards and the sublime Dorian Heartsong on bass helped to create a mountain of sound. Slinging the the double neck Gibson on was enough for Sakurai to declare that Zeppelin’s anthem Stairway To Heaven was imminent. The audience needed no guidance to assist James Dylan with singing the classic lines. The obligatory encore came and no surprises that it rocked with Whole Lotta Love and Rock n Roll. After two and a half hours of pure Zeppelin magic the crowd still wanted more but as Jason suggested during the night while feeling the love, this might need to become a regular celebratory event.


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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 24, 2018

As part of Make Music Day activities on June 21st, the Melbourne public are invited to come into the Foyer areas of Arts Centre Melbourne  – in both the Theatres Building ( the one with the white spire on top) and Hamer Hall ( right next to the Yarra river )  – on Make Music Day –  and play the pianos provided . One piano is in Hamer Hall and there are two pianos in the Theatres Building

For those that ‘make music’ on  the pianos and for all the other music fans that come along to listen,  you can also drop in to the amazing Australian Music Vault free Exhibition  at Arts Centre Melbourne that celebrates the achievements and stories of our Australian Music Industry.

Access to the Theatres Building foyer is from 8am until 11pm
Access to the Hamer Hall foyer is from 10 am until 6 pm

Register your Make Music Day event here

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 24, 2018

Eric Bogle is probably best known for his song ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, which confirmed its iconic status by appearing as a question in the Australian version of Trivial Pursuit! But he is far from being a one-hit wonder. Some of his other songs: ‘No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France)’, ‘Leaving Nancy’, ‘Now I’m Easy’, ‘Shelter’, ‘My Youngest Son Came Home Toady’ and ‘If Wishes were Fishes’ are now beginning to rival “Matilda” in the icon stakes.

After taking a break from touring, Eric has decided that the lure of getting out into theatre’s and clubs has been too strong so he is heading out in May/June for a run of- shows, kicking off in Tamworth on 30th May and winding up in Warrnambool 16th June.

Joining Eric and the band is the wonderful Ami Williamson, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “Forceful, funny, powerful and poetic, Ami Williamson is an Alt- Folk Singer/Songwriter like no other! I cried, I laughed- then both at the same time – one woman show at its best”

With 17 studio albums and eight live collections to his credit and appearances at almost all of the major folk & country music festivals across Australia and overseas, Eric is rightly regarded as one of the folk music world’s greatest living singersongwriters. A recipient of an Order of Australia medal for services to the entertainment industry Eric was also awarded a United Nations Peace Medal for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony. His songs have been recorded by artists as varied as Joan Baez, Mary Black, Donovan, Slim Dusty, John Williamson, The Dubliners, Peter Paul & Mary, Billy Bragg, The Pogues and The Dropkick Murphy’s just to name a few.

ERIC BOGLE – Alive & Pickin’ Tour
Wed 30th Capitol Theatre Tamworth
ph: 02 6766 2028

Thu 31st Maclean Services Club
ph: 02 6645 2946

Fri 1st Casino RSM Club
ph: 02 6662 1666

Sat 2nd Music by the Sea – Sandgate Town Hall

Sun 3rd Byron Theatre Centre Byron Bay
ph: 02 6685 6807

Thu 7th Camelot Lounge Marrickville

Fri 8th Southern Cross Club Canberra
ph: 02 6283 7200

Sun 10th Lizottes Newcastle
ph: 02 4956 2066

Wed 13th Westside PAC Shepparton
ph: 03 5832 9511

Thu 14th Wellington Entertainment Centre Sale
ph: 03 5143 3200

Fri 15th Thornbury Theatre
ph: 03 9484 9831

Sat 16th Lighthouse Theatre Warnnambool
ph: 03 5559 4999

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 24, 2018

The New York Times declared jazz singer Kurt Elling to be “the standout male vocalist of our time.” Over a dozen Grammy nominations, a Grammy win and topping the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years would back up the New York paper’s claims. When interviewing Elling about music, as…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 24, 2018


Twenty years ago, the Mirabel Foundation was established to take care of children (0-17years) orphaned or abandoned due to parental drug use. With enormous support from the music industry, Mirabel was launched in 1998 at The Prince of Wales Hotel and featured a star studded line up including Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel, Archie Roach, Augie March, Chris Bailey, Spencer P Jones, Rowland S Howard, Renee Geyer, The Avalanches, Molar, Deborah Conway and Rebecca Barnard.

Twenty years on, Mirabel remains the only organisation in Australia working specifically with this group of vulnerable children, many of whom have experienced extreme grief and trauma. Mirabel works at restoring a child’s sense of love, self-worth, belonging and hope – all critical factors for them to reach their full potential as young adults. Mirabel believes that ‘every child deserves a childhood’ and is currently supporting 1600 children and young people with 8 new children a week referred to our programs. The generosity of the community not only ensures that we never turn a child away but also gives these children a voice, assuring them that they are not forgotten.

To mark the 20th birthday, Mirabel are hosting a fundraiser at The Prince in St Kilda – where it all began – with a star studded line up of who’s who from the Melbourne music scene all donating their time and giving it up for the Mirabel kids!

Where else could you see the likes of Paul Kelly, Mark Seymour, Deborah Conway, Vika & Linda Bull and Ross Wilson alongside Dave Larkin, Davey Lane, Benny Walker and Clare Bowditch with support from members of the legendary RockWiz band, Pete Luscombe and Clio Renner with Bill McDonald and Dan Kelly and the night hosted by Brian Nankervis – this is a special 20th birthday celebration not to be missed!

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for $70 + BF on sale at The Prince of Wales, St Kilda

For more info on Mirabel please see the below link:

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 22, 2018

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has today announced an East Coast tour of Australia in October 2018, his first visit in more than six years. Blues fans are in for a rare treat with Ash Grunwald supporting this legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter.

The tour commences at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on October 4, travels to Brisbane on October 5 at Eatons Hill Hotel, and concludes in Melbourne at the Forum on October 6, showcasing Kenny’s array of rock and blues hits from an impressive career that spans over 20 years.

Tickets for the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s East Coast Tour are on sale Wednesday, May 23rd at Midday. For ticketing information, head to, or

2017 was a huge year for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, his latest studio album Lay It On Down dropping in August. The album featured all new material written by Kenny and several of his musician friends.  Debuting at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, #1 on the Rock Chart, #1 on the Internet Chart and #5 on the Billboard Top 200 (US all-genre album chart). Recorded at his home studio in Shreveport and co-produced by Marshall Altman, Lay It On Down also spent eight weeks at the top of the Blues chart.

The Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens.

At 16 years old, he signed his first record deal and burst onto the scene with the release of his 1995 debut album Ledbetter Heights. His relentless touring and success on US rock radio helped to drive the album to Platinum sales status in the USA. His 1998 sophomore effort Trouble Is… also went Platinum in the US followed by 1999’s Live On.

2004’s The Place You’re In was a blistering rock record and was followed up by 2007’s ambitious 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads; A certified Platinum selling dvd documentary and soundtrack for which Shepherd received two Grammy nominations, a Blues Music Award, The Keeping The Blues Alive Award and was the #1 selling Blues album of the year.  The film followed Shepherd and his band while they travelled throughout the American South and Midwest to record with such vintage blues greats as B.B. King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards on their home turf.

2010 saw the release of Shepherd’s long-awaited first live album, Live! In Chicago, recorded at Chicago’s House of Blues during the all-star Legends Tour, which was in support of the 10 Days Out release.  Shepherd received another Grammy nod for Live! In Chicago which featured special guests such as blues legends,Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Pinetop Perkins and Bryan Lee. The live disc debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Blues chart, as did 2011’s How I Go.

2014 delivered the release Goin’ Home, Shepherd’s seventh #1 debut on the Billboard Blues charts.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is thrilled to welcome Ash Grunwald as special guest on this tour.  For 12 incredible years Ash has sustained a level of success in the Australian music scene that is the true testament to the well of his talent; nominated for six ARIA awards and three APRA awards, winning two of the latter. Global tours, remarkable collaborations with musicians both old and new, a fanbase that is not defined by age along with critical acclaim as the bastion of traditional blues whilst being at the forefront of innovation.

Tickets on sale Wednesday May 23rd at Midday
Thursday 4 October          Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 5 October               Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 6 October          Forum, Melbourne, VIC


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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 19, 2018

Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips chatted with American piano great Henry Butler while he was in Melbourne, Australia playing some gigs with his wonderful Jambalaya band, which features Fred Cash (bass), Bobby Bryan (guitar) and Adrian Harpham (drums). Henry Butler is considered one of the  finest exponents of the fabled New…

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 18, 2018

Empty your head of thoughts … all the thoughts, kick off your shoes, loosen your shirt, pour a neat whisky, slump helplessly into a recliner, press play and surrender to the sounds of Roadhouses’ self-titled debut album. Soak it all in, you’re going nowhere in a hurry but guaranteed to…

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