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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 2, 2014

books1-1Bobby Keys, the Rolling Stones saxophone player for more than 40 years and famous for that immortal sax solo in ‘Brown Sugar’, has died. Keys who had been unwell for months, was replaced on the recent Australian tour by Karl Denson.

Born in 1943 in Texas, Keys started out playing sax in bands in the 50s and was called on as a session guy for legends such as Buddy Holly and Bobby Vee. Apart from his long association with The Rolling Stones, he has also recorded and performed with George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Eric Clapton, The Faces and many, many other iconic artists.

Misfortune has plagued The Rolling Stones this year, firstly with the suicide of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.  The original Australian dates were consequently postponed until November. Then a Jagger throat infection lead to the cancellation of the Hanging Rock concert for a second time. Now comes the sad news of Keys’ death. Fortunately, some Australian fans got to see Bobby Keys play with his own band The Suffering Bastards when they stayed behind in Australia after the March Stones tour postponement. Anyone who caught the show at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre witnessed an incredible rock show and a great musical history lesson.

Keith Richards left this short but heartfelt message on his Facebook page this morning, “Another good bye to another good friend. I will miss you, Bobby.” In November, sources close to The Stones suggested that Keys was in rehab and doing well, hoping to join the band again in 2015. However, his battle with cirrhosis came to an end this morning.

RIP Bobby Keys, your work will live on with classic album recordings such as Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, All Things Must Past and Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

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Posted in Accessories, Gear    //    Post Date - December 2, 2014

On Stage Mini Plug in Guitar Amps Practice your electric guitar whenever you want with the OSGA5000MI. Simply plug the OSGA5000MI directly into your guitar, plug in your favourite headphones, and rock out in privacy. No cable necessary. Tone and Gain controls let you tailor the sound from sparkling clean…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 1, 2014

middletonOn the surface, an unusual coupling of artists for a tour. However Darren Middleton, former Powderfinger guitarist and now a respected solo artist in his own right, teams up with acclaimed actor, singer-songwriter Guy Pearce to perform in intimate venues around the country from New Year’s Eve.  “Guy and I met a little while ago, hit it off ridiculously and have decided to do a little run of shows together,” said Middleton of his new tour buddy.

Darren has had a busy year, touring his ‘Translations’ album throughout April and May, followed by some dates with Busby Marou. Pearce has just released “Fly All The Way”, the third radio track from his acclaimed album, “Broken Bones”. Having produced the album himself, Guy says of “Fly All The Way”, “I wanted this song to have a pretty lo-fi – and almost petulant – feel, because it’s about growing up, really; being forced to grow up, or even being stuck at an age and unable to grow up.  It also looks at parents who still have a lot of unanswered immaturity oozing out of them, which contradicts everything they’re trying to “teach” their kids.  Kind of fun, kind of scary … who’s in charge here?”

Darren was once a contributor to Australian Musician. In 2009, Powderfinger guest-edited the magazine just before the release of their final album. A search of Powderfinger on will reveal all of those articles. Middleton has also made the top 50 cut in our Best Singer/Guitarist poll. To vote for Darren, view the poll here.

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - November 30, 2014

As part of the 2014 Melbourne Festival, Sydney’s Shaun Parker & Company presented Am I, an ambitious dance production featuring the music of Nick Wales. Greg Phillips caught up with Nick on the set of the show to discuss the creation of the music and how he tries find that…

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Steinberg UR44 Audio Interface

Posted in Computer (Software, plug-ins), Gear, Sound (PA, mixer, mics, recording)    //    Post Date - November 30, 2014

Product: Steinberg UR44 Audio Interface Reviewer: Christopher Steller Distributor: Yamaha Australia Steinberg’s UR-Series interfaces have been around for a few years now, with their higher end units paving the way for the now ubiquitous UR22. I’ve had some students and clients working with the UR22 in the last couple of…

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Posted in Blog, Uncategorized    //    Post Date - November 28, 2014

rialwayGreat to see that the Railway Hotel in Brunswick (Melbourne) at 291 Albert St, has been back in action for a few weeks now, providing yet another quality venue for artists and punters to enjoy.

Next week the hotel will be hosting two record launches; The Horns (Friday) and The Cants and Loose Pills (Syd) on Saturday night as well as a rare appearance from Patrick Donovan’s (Music Victoria) band Cows Muff and John Von Goes legendary band Alloy Head and the Victor Motors on Friday December 19.

Support local music y’all

Friday December 5
The Horns + special guests
Are launching their debut single, ‘Play With Fire’, on Friday December 5th.
It all kicks off at 8 and its just an easy 10 bucks on the door. The single is going gangbusters on JJJ.

Saturday December 6
The Cants/Loose Pills (CD launch)/Barebones
LOOSE PILLS (featuring members from New Christs, The Eastern Dark, Lemonheads, Orange Humble Band, Handsome Young Strangers, The Scruffs….phew!) are headed on down the Hume Hwy to launch their fantabulous new album, “Rx” at The Railway Hotel, Brunswick on Saturday, December 6th.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 28, 2014


The new lineup of supergroup Kings of Chaos includes: Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Robin Zander, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Nuno Bettencourt. The band are currently at Sun City in South Africa performing the songs of Aerosmith, Guns n Roses, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Extreme and more. The band just posted this pic (minus Tyler, who they say was in the casino) to their Facebook page.

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Posted in Gear, Special Features    //    Post Date - November 27, 2014

Vote now in our Best Australian & International Singer/Guitarist Poll for a chance to win a Yamaha FG650MSLTD Solid Top Acoustic Guitar. We’ve all seen the polls for best guitarist, the shred meisters and tone masters. The best frontman polls have also been done to death. But what about those…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 27, 2014

by Greg Phillips

John Butler's classy acceptance

John Butler’s classy acceptance

The 2014 ARIA Awards have been run and won and there’s nothing left to do but examine them, so let’s do that. Arguments about how the ARIAs are televised aside (I’ll get to that in a minute), the awards do spotlight Australia’s increasingly important contribution to the world of contemporary music and there were many positives about last night’s show. The international success this year of Sheppard, Sia and 5 Seconds of Summer has been extraordinary and it was great to see those achievements being recognised. The pairing of Sheppard with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra was a nice touch. The induction of Molly Meldrum into the Hall of Fame and his acceptance speech was a heartwarming moment. John Butler was all class in his acceptance speech. Paul Kelly and Neil Finn gave an old school performance and showed that  songs will always prevail over sizzle. Dan Sultan delivered a good dose of soulful rock ‘n’ roll. Chet Faker on piano, accompanied only by cello  gave a chilling performance of his tune Talk is Cheap. Sia’s wins were well deserved and unfortunate that her video acceptance speech was clumsily broadcast. On her Twitter account today she posted that she had made 4 award acceptance videos and only one got used. She also offered her ARIA awards up to any fan who could prove that they have recently bestowed a good deed on the world. Of course, Katy Perry and One Direction were there for the money shots. It’s apt to acknowledge that behind many of the artists performing on the night were a bunch of talented backing musicians who scored a gig and got some fine exposure. The ARIA awards are also a great opportunity for the industry to come together and celebrate a year of hard work. Artists get to meet other artists, network, exchange war stories and maybe even discuss collaboration opportunities. 2014 was a wonderful year for Australian music and at last night’s award presentation, that was recognised.

illy with someone

illy with someone from overseas!

I used to whinge and whine to anyone who would listen about the annual ARIAs telecast and its lack of dignity. Let’s face it, there have been some less than slick productions in the past. Lately, I have resigned myself to the fact that in order for the awards to be televised, and for Australian music to be placed front and centre in the mainstream media, then there has to be a commercial value for the show’s presenters. In order for it to be of commercial value, it has to follow the production aesthetic and philosophies of TV’s most marketable shows, which happen to be things like X Factor, The Voice, Big Brother, Masterchef etc. It also means that to appeal to a mass audience, the awards show has to feature recording artists and TV personalities who have the biggest reach. The fact that those people mainly appeal to the young female teen market is irrelevant to the presenters, it’s a number’s game. So in order for the likes of respected, quality artists like Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, Chet Faker, Dan Sultan, Illy, Hilltop Hoods, Peking Duk etc to receive their due recognition, they have to be packaged alongside some manufactured pop culture icons. It also means that non-music related TV staffers such as Osher G or whatever his name is this week, and Angela Bishop, get to host and present it and slot in subtle cross promotional network references as directed. In today’s fickle, celebrity-driven, social media world, if you want the ARIAs to be broadcast on commercial telly and made a big deal of on the internet, then that’s the equation. At one end of our music spectrum there’s your X Factor/Voice style artists and at the other, there’s the Triple J pool. If only the ARIA award telecast could reflect the fact that there’s a whole other world of quality Australian music in between.

And the winners were:


Best Adult Contemporary Album winners Neil & Paul

Best Adult Contemporary Album winners Neil & Paul

Album of the Year
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Best Group 
Sheppard – Bombs Away
Best Male Artist
 Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Female Artist
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Breakthrough Artist
 Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
Best Independent Release 
Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Adult Contemporary Album
 Neil Finn & Paul Kelly – Goin’ Your Way
Best Blues & Roots Album
 John Butler Trio – Flesh & Blood
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album
 DZ Deathrays – Black Rat
Best Rock Album
 Dan Sultan – Blackbird
Best Urban Album
 Hilltop Hoods – Walking Under Stars
Best Country Album 
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet
Best Children’s Album 
The Wiggles – Apples & Bananas
Best Comedy Release
 Buddy Goode – It’s a Buddy Goode Christmas
Best Pop Release
 Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Best Dance Release
 Peking Duk featuring Nicole Millar – “High”
Song of the Year 5 Seconds of Summer – “She Looks So Perfect”
Best Australian Live Act 
Keith Urban
Best International Artist One Direction – Midnight Memories
Best Classical Album 
Lior, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Westlake – Compassion
Best Jazz Album
 Paul Grabowsky Sextet – The Bitter Suite
Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album
 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Sydney Symphony Orchestra – Gurrumul: His Life and Music
Best World Music Album
 Joseph Tawadros – Permission to Evaporate
Artisan Awards
Best Cover Art  
Tin & Ed – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Engineer of the Year 
Eric J Dubowsky – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Producer of the Year
 Nicholas Murphy – Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Best Video *Sia – “Chandelier” – Sia Furler, Daniel Askill
ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee
 Molly Meldrum
ARIA Industry Icon Award
 Denis Handlin (ARIA Chairman/Sony Music Chairman & CEO)

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - November 26, 2014

It wasn’t so long ago that singer, songwriter and guitarist Hamish Anderson was hawking his undiscovered bluesy wares on Triple J’s Unearthed. Now he flits between Melbourne and LA, recording and performing with some of the world’s finest musicians. As he tells Greg Phillips, life ain’t so bad at all….

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