March, 2018

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 31, 2018

Good Friday blessed Bluesfest audiences with even more colour and joy at the festival which just keeps on giving. Jason Rosewarne captured the Day 2 action featuring a bunch of impressive Australian acts including Little Georgia, The Teskey Brothers, Mia Dyson and All Our Exes Live In Texas. Also to be found at the other end of Jason’s camera lens were; Juanes, Asgier, Con Brio, Jimmy Cliff, Bobby Rush and Lauryn Hill

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 30, 2018


Corner Hotel, Melbourne March 29, 2018
Report and Photos: Mark Moray (Wicked Rock Photography)

Every music venue has a story to tell, as do the artists that play there, but there wouldn’t have been a bigger story than Walter Trout’s, which played out at the Corner Hotel in Richmond last night.

Trout last played Melbourne in the ‘80’s. He was booked to tour Australia again in 2014 but was forced to cancel due to serious health issues. As Walter described it, he needed a new liver. Lying on his back for eight months in a hospital bed, he lost 120lbs, died twice and his memory fried … it was going to be some battle. Fortunately for Walter, his family and music lovers worldwide, he’s now well on the road to recovery and tonight, he’s triumphantly celebrating with the few hundred fans who have ventured out to the Corner Hotel to greet the American blues guitar legend.

Wife Marie Trout opened the proceedings with a short prologue on how Walter survived his illness, before Walter entered the stage with his band, Michael Leasure (Drums), Sammy Avila (Keyboard), Danny Avila (Bass Guitar & Sammy’s son) and later in the set, a cameo by John Trout (Guitar – Walter & Marie’s son).

With Fender Strat in hand, Walter begins the explosive show and starts to tell us stories from the Battle Scars Album. It’s dark, it’s depressing, it’s sad, but it’s real and essentially the blues. From ‘Almost Gone’ to the heart wrenching ‘Please Take Me Home’, a beautiful song that he wrote and dedicated to his wife, this is clearly a personal and very powerful gig for all involved.

Walter went on to acknowledge those who were major influences on his life, such as BB King. ‘Say Goodbye to the Blues’ was his nod to the great Bluesman and boy did his guitar do all the talking. ‘We’re All In This Together’, the title track from his current album, recorded in one take with Joe Bonamassa, was brilliantly executed by Walter and his son John Trout. ‘Going Down’ ended the show but not without an amazing guitar dual from father and son, engaging the audience to a chant, finally leaving a tear in the eye. Nothing beats an encore like Chuck Berry’s  ‘Little Queenie’ and a final 15-second rendition of  ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to close. As my wife Ros put it after the set, there may be many fish in the blues sea, but there will only ever be one Walter Trout.

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 30, 2018

Musical wunderkind Black Summer, otherwise known as Rhys Toms, is back with a luminescent new song Sadness, featuring Bahamian vocalist Chloe Campbell, which was released on March 23. The perfect followup to 2017’s Young Like Me, which has racked up over three million streams across multiple platforms, Sadness is an…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 30, 2018

Bluesfest 2018 may have begun with a little rain but punters were well and truly compensated by the amazing array of talent on stage for day 1 including; Gov’t Mule, Gomez, Newton Faulkner, The New Power Generation, Tash Sultana and the legendary Steve Cropper in The Blues Brothers band. Check out Jason Rosewarne’s amazing day 1 photo gallery


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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 28, 2018


Corner Hotel, Melbourne March 27, 2018
Report: Greg Phillips. Photos: Mark Moray (Wicked Rock Photography)

You know it’s going to be a memorable night when the house is packed and pumped well before the support act makes an appearance. Lukas Nelson (son of Willie) and his band Promise of the Real, waltz onto stage and launch into Aliens, a song Lukas tells us he’s recently written. Four Letter Word, the opening track from their debut album is a country laced rocker, many in the audience seem to know well. The Promise of the Real guys are tight and punchy yet feature that wondrous, ragged glory which led Neil Young to requisition them for his own tour and recording purposes. The hard working unit has been together now for over a decade and it shows.

Lukas jokes to the audience that all he’s heard since landing in Australia is the word ‘shame’ (referring to the recent cricket scandal) and congratulates us as a nation for our ability to actually feel such emotion, the premise being that politically, there doesn’t seem to be too much humility at home in America.

It becomes quite obvious from the outset that Nelson’s voice bears a striking resemblance to his father’s distinct tones. Even their guitar licks feature similar ’spanky’ characteristics, however what dad produces on old ‘Trigger’ pales in comparison to some of the the fiery output produced by Lukas and his Les Paul Junior.

The vocal similarity is particularly prominent on the atmospheric Set Me Down On a Cloud, featuring sweet harmonies from the band. A highlight of the set is (Forget About) Georgia, a song which cleverly picks up where the classic Georgia on My Mind left off. Lukas tells us that he used to date a girl named Georgia and found it difficult once they split as at the time, he was playing Georgia on My Mind on stage with his father on a nightly basis. Consequently he wrote this tune, which begins as a country croon and builds into an epic, ten minute sonic sandstorm.

Anyone heading to Bluesfest over Easter needs to witness this band that locks in, listens and then proceeds to take you away with them on an alt-country, rock ’n’ roll jamboree.

Guitar legend Warren Haynes and his band Gov’t Mule waste no time in delving into some rich and substantial , jam-style rockin’ as they rip into the Staples Singers’ cover It Takes More than a Hammer and Nails, a song Mule recorded on their 2002 album The Deep End Vol 2.

Earlier in the set, the band spend quite a lot of stage time reflecting on older material. Rockin’ Horse from their debut album is dusted down and dished out with energy and finesse. Fool’s Moon from The Deep End Vol 1 follows, edging the band further into a solid groove.

Matt Abts’ thumpin’ drum beats signal the start of the familiar Slackjaw Jezebel, a perfect platform for Haynes to don his Firebird guitar and emit some fretboard fireworks. Revolution Come, Revolution Go, the title track from their current album offers the band a chance to lay down a funkier style of jam. Behind his bank of keyboards, Danny Louis resembles a mad professor concocting sounds in a lab, measuring, adding, colouring and injecting vital ingredients into the sonic mix.

A soulful Endless Parade from 2006’s High & Mighty album presents a cruisier side of the band. Nods and winks to Haynes’ music influences appear in the form of short iconic  guitar motifs. A Gimme Shelter lick is one of many. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground, the final track off the new album is also the last song of the set proper but there ‘aint no way this crowd is letting go anytime soon.

Giving his own band a well deserved rest, Haynes returns to the stage with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, who bind with him in a joyous version of The Band’s Makes No Difference, complete with audience sing along. A final knock out blow comes in the form of a euphoric Cortez The Killer. In a music environment, where radio is saturated with so much laptop rock, it’s heartening to experience an audience losing their minds over dueling instruments and free-form band dynamics. A killer ending to a killer show from one hell of a jam band.



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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 25, 2018

Growing up, YolanDa Brown played piano, violin, drums, and oboe before settling on the saxophone as her main instrument. As further proof that her thirst for knowledge was as great as her love for music, YolanDa notched up two masters degrees in Operations Management, began a PhD and learned Spanish…

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 22, 2018

Well before seventies’ art rockers 10cc were churning out hits, band member Graham Gouldman was already a bonefide chart-topping songwriter, having penned some of the biggest selling songs of the sixties. Gouldman had written For Your Love, Heart Full of Stone and Evil Hearted You for The Yardbirds (which kick…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 21, 2018

Pattie Boyd was the wide-eyed, model face of Sixties’ London who inspired ex-husbands George Harrison and Eric Clapton to write some of the greatest love songs of the 20th century. Most famously, Harrison wrote for her Something, and I Need You. Gripped by the desire to wrest Boyd from the arms of an increasingly errant Beatle, blues-god Clapton wrote Layla, and once they were married, Wonderful Tonight.

This May, Boyd will bring her compelling and entertaining life story to audiences in Sydney and Melbourne during an intimate three hours of George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me; An Evening with Pattie Boyd. Starting off with a swanky hour of cocktails, guests will have the chance to rub shoulders with Pattie. They’ll then enjoy a conversational two-hour show during which she will share memories, film footage and personal photographs of modelling and music-celebrity marriage.

It’s an era that’s been referred to as the “rock-ocracy” of the sixties. Those who moved in that circle included members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd.

Though a fashion-world icon in her own right, after she met Harrison on the set of A Hard Day’s Night, Boyd was carried along by the hysteric adulation of the Beatles era and became one of the world’s most talked about musical muses; she features in Clapton’s latest and current documentary, Life in 12 Bars.

Says Boyd on the socio-musical landscape of the time: “I think there was definitely a more energetic and vibrant attitude between musicians. I think some of this shows in my photographs – it seems as if the 60’s and 70’s were a free society with not as many restrictions as [we have] now. Of course, I knew I was living an unusual and exotic life with all these divine people coming in and out of our lives.”

Tuesday, 15 May at Four Seasons, Sydney
Wednesday, 16 May, at Grand Hyatt, Melbourne

Pattie & George on their wedding day

The Exhibition – Blender Gallery, Sydney
As well as the Evening with Pattie Boyd, Sydneysiders will be able to visit her second exhibition in 10 years, at the Blender Gallery, as part of the city’s annual Head On Photo Festival. It will feature selections from Pattie’s remarkable archive in an exclusive exhibition.

Boyd’s modelling career and marriages put her in the enviable position of being able to take intimate photographs of some of the world’s greatest musicians.  Accordingly, her photography documented events – public and personal- around the lives of Harrison, Clapton and their friends. They included Paul and Linda McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, members of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream and more – performing, recording and partying.

The exhibition opening on May 5 until June 2 will show many vintage prints and intimate Polaroid’s never seen before. Boyd will attend a special launch on May 11.

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Posted in Artist Profiles, Artists    //    Post Date - March 21, 2018

Energetic folksters Perch Creek are back with a mischievous new single Gold Shop, a thrilling car-chase of a track, which is out on March 23. The family band have also announced a hilarious, vintage-inspired clip to accompany Gold Shop, directed alongside Honey Editorial. This single is the second taste of…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 20, 2018

Returning for its twenty-first year, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival continues to demonstrate that ‘jazz can happen anywhere’ for ten days with over 100 events that feature nearly 400 Australian, international and emerging artists.

This year jazz will hit all the right notes in 26 venues across the city ranging from the world-class Hamer Hall to intimate clubs, plus vibrant café gigs in Melbourne’s west and free festival community events including Jazz Massive – a huge participatory mass-music making event on the lawns of State Library Victoria.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Michael Tortoni, says that this year’s festival illustrates that jazz is the common ground that brings together a diversity of artists, genres and experiences.

“This year our program focuses on the waves of influence that jazz has – both within itself and also the influence it has on other music genres. We are really excited to showcase some of the future directions of this vital and ever-evolving artform,” said Tortoni.

The 2018 program features an impressive range of international artists, including funk legend Maceo Parker (USA) paying tribute to Ray Charles, jazz-blues chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux (USA), the (inter) stellar Sun Ra Arkestra (USA) and the irrepressibly energetic Yemen Blues (USA); plus modern masters such as Branford Marsalis (USA), Gretchen Parlato (USA), Christian McBride (USA) and Terri Lyne Carrington (USA); alongside future masters such as Nubya Garcia (UK) and Francesco Cafiso (Italy).

Many outstanding Australian artists are also showcased in the festival program, including The Others – a new collaboration between Paul Grabowsky AO, James Morrison and Kram; Harry James Angus’ new project, Struggle With Glory; and Brenton Foster as the recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission.

Melbourne-based Barney McAll will premiere two works: Trilogy of Cycles at Birrarung Marr’s Federation Bells and Sweet Sweet Spirit featuring music by the great gospel composer Doris Akers at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.

The festival’s international exchange program with the Tokyo and Singapore jazz festivals is supporting the development and world premiere of The Gravity Project, which brings together contemporary Japanese and Australian improvisers Paul Grabowsky AO, Masaki Nakamura, Kuniko Obina and Aaron Choulai and the Chok Kerong Trio from Singapore.

Jazz Out West returns with local DJ, radio broadcaster and music personality Mz Rizk as Guest Programmer, focussing on a range of experiences not usually found in a jazz festival, including a cross-genre tribute to high priestess of soul: Nina Simone and emerging crossover artists Thando, Cool Out Sun, KillaHertz and Kalala & The Round Midnights.

The festival offers a substantial free events program, which includes Sound Walks throughout the city, free lunchtime concerts at St James and the long-running artist workshops and Close Encounters series, which has expanded to include career development workshops led by industry experts and practitioners including Chelsea Wilson (Brunswick Music Festival), Fem Belling (The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra), Marcus Strickland (Christian McBride’s New Jawn / Twi-life) and many others.

Family-friendly festival events include Lah-Lah’s Big Jazz Adventure and the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir at Southern Cross Lane.

Embedded in one of the world’s greatest music cities, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival allows audiences to experience some of the best jazz artists and to be immersed in a stunning program which offers something for everyone.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival
1 – 10 June 2018

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