Hats Off to Country – Tamworth July


Program current as at 19 June 2018.

Show Title  Venue Time  Ticketed or Free?
Wednesday 11 July 2018
 CCMA Jam Night  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Thursday 12 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Oasis Band with host, Wayne Elliott  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Opening Night Acoustic Session with Anthony Taylor, Sandra Humphries, Alby Pool  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Albert’s Muso Jam  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Friday 13 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum Opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Bobby Valentine  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Trevor Coombes  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 TSA Songwriters featuring Kylie Adams Collier, Brendan Smoother, Melissa Robertson and Wendy Wood  Tamworth City Bowling Club, Napier & Brisbane Streets, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Anthony Taylor  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Oasis Band with hosts Lawrie & Shelley Minson  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  7:00pm  Free
 2018 CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music Graduation Concert  The Family Hotel, 190 Bridge Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 The Brendans’ Dinner & Show  Carmen’s Restaurant, 2-24 Spains Lane, Kingswood  7:30pm  $50 per person including three-course dinner. Bookings essential on 02 6762 6700.
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 Howdy’s Hoedown  The Pub, 99 Gunnedah Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Goldheist  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Finnian Johnson  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Missy Lancaster  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:45pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth 10:00pm Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth 11:15pm Free
 Saturday 14 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 ABBA Bronze Bust Fundraiser for Frank Ifield  Southgate Inn, 16A Kent Street, Tamworth  10:00am  $10 Donation at door
 Gary Daniel  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters featuring Georgie Taylor, Ian Wilkinson, Trinity Woodhouse, Wendy Wood, Red Heart Blue, Ian Burns, Becci Nethery, Tony Kennelly, Melissa Robertson, Dunc & Sue, the Shelly Jones Band, Kathryn Luxford, the Floyd Black Band, Kylie Adams Collier, Peter Salata and Brendan Smoother  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  10:30am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 Showpony Express “Make A Wish Come True” Single Launch  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Wayne Elliott  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 John Lecner  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  12:00pm  Free
 Kora Naughton “Ride or Die” Album Launch  Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar at The Family Hotel, Bridge & Belmore Streets, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Triple T  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Tamworth Live & Local Acoustic presented by 88.9FM Jodie Crosby  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm
 Bob Easter  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 The Weeping Willows & Allison Forbes  City Sider Motel, 237 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Hattie Oates  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Greg Bain  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  3:00pm  Free
 Gayle O’Neil  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  4:00pm  Free
 Aleyce Simmonds and Brad Butcher  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Matt Scullion & Friends  Hogs Breath Cafe, 265-267 Peel Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Graeme Doubleday  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  5:00pm  Free
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters featuring Kathryn Luxford, Shelly Jones Band, Ian Burns and Red Heart Blue  Tamworth City Bowling Club, Napier & Brisbane Streets, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Don Costa  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Sandra Humphries and Jared Scott  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Luke O’Shea Dinner Show  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  7:00pm  $35 Tickets includes 2 course dinner – Buy tickets from the club
 Oasis Band with host Trevor Coombes  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  7:00pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  7:30pm  Free
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Adam Harvey  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 The Cartwheels  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Sally-Anne Whitten & the Rumour Mill  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00pm  Free
 The Beau Hatch Country Band  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  9:00pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:15pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:30pm  Free
 Sunday 15 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Don Costa  Tamworth Shoppingworld, Bridge & Denne Streets, West Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 Chris Strohfeld  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters Over Lunch featuring Duncan Hill, the Floyd Black Band, Chelsea Rollings, Brendan Smoother, Peter Salata, Kylie Adams Collier, Tony Kennelly, Becci Nethery and Shelly Jones Band  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 John Lecner  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Centrepoint Walk-up Stage presented by Capital Country Radio and Country Music Bulletin  Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Lyn & Phil Manning  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  12:00pm  Free
 Songwriters Show featuring Michael Bryers and special guests  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  12:30pm  Free
 CCMA Hats Off Tribute to the Dallas Family  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Bob Easter  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Lawrie & Shelley Minson  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Allison Forbes presents: The Big Birthday Bash Bonanza  The Tamworth Hotel, 147 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Greg Bain  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Triple T  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  3:00pm  Free
 Songwriters’ Retreat Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds, Jeremy Edwards PLUS special guests Brad Butcher, Jeff Gibson, John Krsulja, Brendan Nawrocki and artists from the 2018 Songwriters’ Retreat*  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  4:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Graeme Doubleday  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  4:00pm  Free
 Alby Pool and Pals  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  4:30pm  Free
 Oasis Band with host Rob Breese  Oasis Hotel, 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth  5:30pm  Free
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Playlist if I was on Community Radio this week. 25 June

Listen to the Words – (theme song) – Luke O’Shea

Shine your light – Rick Hart

When They Ring the Bell – Montgomery Church

Remember My Name – Allison Forbes

Tennessee Lullaby – Sally-Anne Whitten

Tough as Geranium – Susan Lily

Redhead at Heart – Melissa Robertson

Old Memory – Rose Zita Falko

Think my Mamma loved my Daddy – Cathy Dobson

Old Chimney – Brendan Smoother

Leave me to my blues – John Flanagan Trio

Unclouded Day – Connie Kis Andersen

Sweet Bird of Youth – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

King of the Sky – Andrew Swift

Woman is the Wind – Jodie Crosby

Candle for a Cowboy – Anthony Taylor

Heart Turn To Stone – Col Finley

Gig Reviews/Previews

Top 10

Birds in Cages – Tamara Stewart’

Running WIth Ghosts – Megan Cooper

Cinderella – Kristy James

Under My Skin – Kirsty Lee Akers

Believe in Love – Blake O’Connor

Fiddle – Tori Forsyth

Found my way home – Brad Cox

Late Night Girl – Imogen Clark

Countrified – Kingsford Smith

In A Garden – Rex Dallas

Baling Twine – Michael Waugh

Footsteps Coming Home – Kate Hindle

For a Day – Matt Scullion

That’s Why Lonely People Drink – Allan Caswell and Jen Mize

 

Totally Biased Fan Review: Tamara Stewart – The Truth, the music & me : Part 1 : Ruin

tamarastewartalbumcover.jpg

This is an interesting concept. This is the first in a three part series about heartbreak and healing. Tamara posted a few years ago about her putting together a new release. I had no idea that it would be a three parter. Three EEPS, I guess (Extended, Extended play).

Tamara is one of our finest songwriters. Lately, she has been living and working in Nashville, but she is originally from Victoria and she was in Australia for a long time, writing for others as much as for herself. She shared the honours with Luke O’Shea for being the champion of Songwriters in the Round Concept.

She still comes home to visit and appear and various festivals. However, she seems to be fairly established in America now. Her songs are universal. They are the songs of women everywhere….there is something “Juddy” about her, something Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, about her, but essentially, she is ours and she always will be.

Her songs are easy to relate to. She touches nerves with her powerhouse voice, honest lyrics and a quiet strength and determination. She wears her heart on her sleeve, she doesn’t pull punches and she doesn’t mince words.

Tamara has always been a trailblazer. Her life has had its ups and downs and she seems to dust herself off, make brave moves and she powers on. Her returns to Australia are always welcome but we all appreciate her flying the flag for us overseas.

She will never fall into the bubblegum country type. Her songs have that country flavour that will never fade.

If this is only part one of three, then we are in for a hell of a ride.

 

Tracks:

Birds in Cages

Broke my Heart

Piece of My Mind

Untied

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Totally Biased Fan Review: Allison Forbes and Montgomery Church

Saturday 23 June, 2018  5-7

The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick, Victoria.

AllisonandMontgomeryChurch

A few weeks ago, I reviewed an album on here called In the Shadow of the Mountain by Montgomery Church. The duo from Cooma in New South Wales, delivered what I think is in the top 5 country albums so far this year.  Technically, it is labelled folk music, but as country folk is one of the 79 types of country music and my personal favourite, this 60’s Aquarian flower child was beside herself.

I will forever be remembered for my custard line, which was meant as a compliment and also I was trying to use different words, as often in these reviews, you can become cliched or at least have your own buzz words and sayings.

Needless to say, I was delighted when a surprise gig popped up on my screen with one of my favourite Tamworth Sisters, Allison Forbes and at one of my fave venues.

A pretty packed intimate room enjoyed the music of not just one fab artist, but 3. They are doing a bit of a tour together at the moment and living out of caravans.

Allison sang a lot of her songs from her EEPs, except for one of my favourites, Remember My Name, but I shall forgive her for that as she did sing A Pirate’s Life (known to us fans as The Pirate Song) and my personal favourite,  What’ll happen to me now.

As usual, she threw in a few off the cuff songs and also sang a few with Montgomery Church and visa versa. Allison always injects a bit of humour into her performances.

Allison Forbes has one of the most unique voices in Australian music. She is an awesome songwriter and a beaut ambassador for Tamworth and Australian Country Music.

One day, her EEPs will grow into an album and I will be one of the first in line to buy it.

Montgomery Church thought that were safe with a couple of songs but there was someone from Cooma in the crowd!  Their beautiful harmonies, dobro music to die for and some well crafted folk songs made their appearance an act to complement Allison’s music. They have a similar sound….and is Mr Gump would say, they went together like Peas and Carrots.

It was a great way to chill out on a cool Melbourne early evening. Thank you for the music guys…..and may the custard flow forever.

 

 

 

 

Special Event Review: Country Rocks The Black Dog – Raising Funds for Mental Health – in memory of Tom Fauvette

Sunday 17th June, 2018 – 2pm

Rick Hart, Mat Black Band, Katie Brianna, Mitch Power Stand Up, The Weeping Willows and Great Aunt with special guest, Brad McKenzie for Black Dog Institute

 

 

 

CountryRockstheblackdogSun

Train and bus breakdowns, a major accident on a road and a bridge into Melbourne and  two lifts from friends there in the pouring rain, hail and a power out and musos running in the rain with guitars and merch and a still a full house.

As we walked into the club, musos and fellow fans were milling about with club staff trying to work out what to do. Maybe Tom was just letting us know that he was there. As country musos, they know how to do it unplugged but it wasn’t necessary. Enter one of my country music sons, ready to do his alternate work choice, stand up and the power went back on….His name is Mitch Power, by the way.  He will be forever known as Much Power from now on.

This gig was more than a gig. It was more than our country music family gathering to sing some tunes and to tell some stories – funny and sad – it was a bittersweet afternoon in memory of our dear friend, Tom Fauvette and to raise awareness of the Black Dog Foundation and other programmes like it (Lifeline, Beyond Blue) who try to help and understand the growing problem of Depression and to do something about it.

I haven’t heard the final tally yet but I suspect that there were a lot of funds raised for the cause. Blackdog merchandise, merchandise of the artists and lots of donated items were sold and bid for in the silent auctions.  Rick Hart released an E.P. with a new song dedicated to Tom and three other previously recorded songs and feature Tom.

Laura Coates (Mrs Wrigglesworth) from The Weeping Willows, hosted the event with a special address by Brad McKenzie for the Blackdog Institute.

Great Aunt started the proceedings, two gals with great harmonies, interesting instrumental combinations and an awesome sound.

Brad addressed the crowd and then we were treated to a performance by the wonderful Katie Brianna, who did a gig the night before in Sydney, flew down for this gig and flew back home….just as well she works for a travel company now!  As always, she too, shone a light on the day and sang most of my favourite songs of hers, sprinkled with her dry wit and big smile.

The Weeping Willows were their usual awesome selves. They are heading off to Europe mid week to do a tour with Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes and Imogen Clark but they dedicated a lot of time and effort to this event, including their musical genius. Cathy Dobson was in the crowd and we did our usual flirting with Andy and he reciprocated with a couple of unanticipated lines on stage.  It’s ok, Laura, we mean no harm! Poor Andy wasn’t very well but he soldiered on.

As one fellow fan at my table said, “I never tire of listening to the Willows.

I think Mitch was actually on before the Willows or after them, I can’t remember (getting old) – in any case, the man responsible for turning back the electricity, heat and food back on for us was a crack up. I love his music and for Mitch to tell a joke or two was never going to be a big stretch, because he is a naturally funny person. He had to “clean it up a bit” because there were lots of kids there, but with a swear jar he managed to make a little bit of extra money for the cause.

Mat Black Band were on and I was glad to hear them. I had heard Matt’s name mentioned here and there but I hadn’t heard his music. It was great to hear some new songs by a different band. The last song was a rippa and really pumped it up for Rick.

Rick Hart is a good man. It was a tough day at the office for him, having to say goodbye to his dear mate all over again but at the same time, he was amongst people who loved him and Vanessa and Tom and people who have seen the Black Dog once or twice or know people who have. Rick had most of his family there and they are a tight, loving bunch and he had his country music family there as well.

Amongst the crowd were other awesome musos: Lloyd Clarke and his good wife, Cathy Dobson and her husband, the dynamic Andrew McClean (who blew us away with his harp and a surprise vocal in the finale), Rose Zita Falko, Mitch’s other half and a great singer in her own right and lots of regular fans and music promoters. Tom’s boys were there too, understated but they were there.

Rick sang some of his big songs, including my favourite, To The Grave which he mentioned me in and the girls (part of the Anglo/Indian ABBA) did their own tribute by tying paisley scarves to the mic stands as Tom loved paisley.

Most of the artists joined in on the finale, “The Weight” which was apt. Previously, Rick sang the new song, dedicated to Tom and while Rick made it through the song, I didn’t and I think most of the crowd found it hard to hold back the tears too.

When these sad things happen, you hope that something good comes out of it. You hope that at least one person can be saved or one person can change their opinion about mental illness.

I am very lucky to have a legendary family and a great bunch of friends, and this fine country music family who have shown me time and time again, how special they are. yesterday was a shining example of that.

God Bless Tom, wherever you are. May your star always shine.

RickHartBlackdog

Totally Biased Fan Review – Luke O’Shea – Pinball

Luke O'Shea Pinball

What Luke had to say about the album and what was posted on his Facebook page:

Many moons ago there was a band…

Medicine Wheel was its name and it was fronted by a young, singer-songwriter, called Luke O’Shea.

After living and touring abroad for eight years, throughout Canada, the United States, Japan, Ireland and Great Britain, Luke returned home to Terra Australis to pursue his music career within the evaporating live music scene. It was the late 1990’s where angst driven grunge was being replaced by more melodic alt-rock – and the competitive and corporate ‘Battle of the Bands’ – were all the rage.

After claiming a few titles – Medicine Wheel – with varying musicians, slowly built up a solid reputation as an explosive live band– but once again after returning home busted arse broke from another run up and down the East Coast, a disgruntled O’Shea stumbles across the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Greatly inspired by what he sees, hears and feels, Luke’s writing and recording takes a notable turn and soon afterwards Luke O’Shea & Medicine Wheel are signed to ABC/Universal Music Australia, giving Luke a loving step up into the Country Music fraternity. Twenty years, seven albums and nine Golden Guitars later, Luke O’Shea is now firmly established within the Australian Country Music family – and is widely regarded as one of its finest writers.

However… before completely surrendering over to the stories, instrumentation and production of Australian country music – Luke teamed up with long time collaborators, David Sleishman on drums – Kiwi guitarist, Phil Doublet – and bass player, producer Matt Fell, – with the pure, muse-driven focus of capturing the songs and the very special wikka – that was Medicine Wheel.

Now due to the politics of varying labels, managers, distributors, agents, branding and all the other bullshit that goes hand in hand with a career in music – this Luke O’Shea / Medicine Wheel project – was never released. Bizarrely – for 15 long, crazy years, this incredible collection of songs have simply been patiently waiting – just bouncing around – like a rogue Pinball.

As Luke finally decrees, “It is my sincere pleasure to finally share this project with you. It will certainly give you – the listener – an insight as to where I came from musically – and what fuelled me around planet for so long. The songs and stories are still identifiably Luke O’Shea but perhaps the lyrics are a little more cryptic with more universal themes. I sincerely love the distinct energy, power and passion behind each track – where the combined focus, musicianship and production skills of Phil, Matt and myself have made many of these songs far bigger than the sum of its parts. I hope you enjoy – and if so – please share Pinball with friends and music lovers, far and wide!”

 

I went to a Luke O’Shea and Damian Howard gig a few weeks ago in Melbourne, which I reviewed on CountryAs (before I couldn’t post on there) – you can still read it by following the link on this blog. I asked Luke if he had any new music coming out soon. He said that he was working with Damian and Lachlan from The Wildes and that got me excited. What a special combination. He said that something would come out later in the year. Then bing bam boom, this gets released. A day’s warning from guitarist and equally talented Phil Doublet, hit facebook and we all attacked ITunes. The genre is Pop. Perhaps that was why Luke didn’t mention it, he probably thinks that I only like country music. Good music is good music and I have everything from Classical to Blues to Jazz to Musicals to 60’s rock and folk to heavy metal in my collection – not just country. I even have some Opera!

The key word in my question was also “new music”. Essentially, this stuff is 15 years old or more.  To be honest, a lot of it doesn’t drift far from what Luke does normally anyway. Some tracks are a bit rockier, bluesier, but it is still essentially Luke. That distinctive voice and those little tell tale wo oh ohs and elongated words and yeahs.

Melissa Robertson, who is a fellow Luke devotee and she even wrote a song about Luke, “He’s A Writer of Songs”, said that she thought that it sounded like an album with Paul and The Wings feel. I can hear that a bit on some tracks, but it is undeniably Luke. Being compared to Paul is kind of a cool thing, though.

Snow on the Brindabellas is not a new song to Luke fans (not Show on the Brindabellas – as it is listed on ITunes!) It has always been a favourite of mine, so I am glad that it was included for some familiarity and as it is the last track, it is fitting….showing where Luke and the boys went afterwards.

All the songs are good, quality songs and they should have been included on a recording years ago. Such is the command of the powers that be. Maybe it was because they head down a slightly different track to the genre specifics that record companies wanted. I am not sure.

I think that Luke has reached a point now where he can call the shots more. It is a long way from the days when I was one of the few in the crowd….now they are hanging off the rafters and getting turned away at gigs because there aren’t any seats available. Golden Guitars, tributes, other awards and recognition from varied audiences and critics have helped all of that.

The album is polished, surprising, not surprising and full of new favourites. Luke could sing the phone book to me and I would love it. If you love Luke’s regular stuff, you will love this.

If you are afraid of the brand, country, you can pick this up and enjoy it for what it is, an interesting mix of styles that anyone can enjoy without thinking that they have slipped into that “uncool” genre that many of us love.

 

Track Listing

Wait a minute

Lost in All the Things that don’t matter

Satelite

Because of Love (High Horses)

Come on Get out

Shattered

These are the days

Momentum

Come and Gone

Tell it to the World

Call for Me

Greatest show in town

Snow on the Brindabellas

 

Totally Biased Fan Review: Raw – Kristy James

KristyJamesRaw

The current trend of EEPs continues! To me, there are singles, EPs (4 songs) EEPs (More than 4 songs, less than 8) and LPs. Sometimes, there are those which can be classified as double LPs. I guess the frustration/joy of an EP/EEP is that it does leave you wanting more.

Kristy (my fellow KJ) who lives a bit south where I came from (one Hillbilly Heaven) – Tamworth and a little north from where I lived for a big chunk of my life (the other Hillbilly Heaven) – The Central Coast of NSW.* Her influences are obviously not just country.

Unlike a very well known country artist – whom I love, but he pushed the boundaries too far on his recent album, Kristy still has that country feel to her songs, despite the fact that her music is either country rock or country blues.  In the end, good music is good music and her songs make sense and have cohesion, unlike the other album that I was referring to.

With 6 songs, we are treated to a couple of previously released singles and some powerful back ups. Kristy’s voice goes through a few octaves and styles. I like her best when she is bluesy and soulful on songs like Stone Cold Sober.

The guitars work well throughout the EEP, twangy, bluesy and rocky. The guitar solo on Stone Cold Sober is pretty awesome.

All of the songs are fighting songs. By that, I mean, fighting to achieve, dealing with struggles, broken hearts, etc. I love the raunchy Push and Cinderella’s broken fairytale. There are some lines in the opening song, Everything to Nothing which set the EEP up with a theme, either intentionally or unintentionally. It is a wonderful song to open the proceedings.  It is powerful and easy to relate to. I am sure that 95% of women and probably a large percentage of men have gone through that situation before….and question it all like Kristy does in the lines of the song. Her voice soars to new heights.

Dark Sunglasses is a thumping, dark song. Some more great guitar riffs in this one too and big, bruising drumbeats.

Brand New is probably my favourite, though it is a close call. I think that it showcases Kristy’s sweeter tones and high notes. The lyrics are both powerful and tender. It is a song about struggle but it is a very hopeful song at the same time. The more times that I hear it, the more that I like it. It is almost an anthem.

On one hand, the EEP is aptly named Raw – the songs subjects hit close to the bone and they expose the protagonist’s vulnerabilities in the songs but on the other hand, it is the total opposite of Raw – it is a well crafted EEP that has a beginning and an ending as we follow very polished chapters of a highly entertaining and thought provoking novella.

Top shelf.

 

Track Listing

Everything to Nothing

Cinderella

Dark Sunglasses

Brand New

Stone Cold Sober

Push