Downunder Beats #10
Broadbeach is over for another year and I believe that it went really well, it was even featured in a gig on our national radio station, ABC on Saturday Night Country. A folk duo from Canada, Tomato Tomato were even on there as one of only a couple of International Acts, amongst our indies and a handful of signed performers.
The launches are starting to happen. I did a review of Shane Nicholson’s new album, Love and Blood on CountryAs, my blog. It is a great album. The new albums are coming thick and fast, I will have to take out a mortgage on my rental so that I can afford them!
Central Coast Country Music Festival
There is only one Memorial Park Event staged this year, on August 13, though there are many artists featured at pubs and clubs around the area from Friday, 11 to Sunday 13. Both Indies and signed artists are featured: Toyota Starmaker winner, Rachael Fahim, Hurricane Fall, Tori Darke, The Wolverines and Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole are on the stage. At the pubs and clubs, Bill Chambers Band, Whiskey Business, NeillyRich, Gayle O’Neil and Steve Passfield are featured. The Central Coast is in New South Wales, about an hour and a bit’s drive north of Sydney. It is a beautiful coastal area and it is the home of many of our country music artists and music studios. It is basically a free festival and it is well received. It is a pity that there aren’t two days in the park – it was awesome last year, with lots of great music. With so many music festivals on around the country it is difficult for the artists to appear at all of them. Also, a merger of councils on the Central Coast has changed things politically and economically as well.
Andrew Swift: I have only discovered “Swifty’s” work in the last couple of years. He is another singer/songwriter out of the wonderful musical pool in Victoria. Swifty has been doing quite a lot of shows with Gretta Ziller of late, which is where I caught up with him this year at Tamworth, but he has been songwriting for a long time. I also caught a bit of Swifty’s work at Hats Off in July last year with Allison Forbes and Lachlan Bryan told me a bit about him too. He was a finalist in this year’s Toyota Starmaker, and I must admit, I was very disappointed that he and a couple of others missed out. He is part of the great Alt. Country Music (Americana) scene in Australia and definitely one to watch....and listen to, of course!
Mitch and Andrew are similar in a lot of ways, and they both reside in the same part of the world. I saw Mitch LIVE earlier this year with Lachlan Bryan and Jen Mize, just down the road from where I live. This young man has a big future. He is very entertaining – and that is even before he picks up his guitar! I really love his music. He is also part of the Alt. Country scene and he is currently working on a new album. I will be one of the first in line to buy it. He is off overseas to spread the love and the music.
This fella is a champion bloke. He is as Indie as they come. He is very supportive of his fellow artists and he is one of those dark horse talents who is ready to bolt. I firmly believe in this guy’s talents. At Tamworth a few years ago, I saw him on about 8 different shows in a handful of days, hosting, singing, playing for himself and others and doing a great job of every role. He is a terrific songwriter and a wonderful singer. He is now based in Tamworth, becoming very much part of the country music family there and he sings and paints for his supper. His last name is hard to pronounce (it is nothing like the spelling) but his future is one smooth road, if y’all get right behind him.
Brendan teamed up with the aforementioned Brendan at this year’s Hats Off at Tamworth in July for a show and it seems like an obvious fit. Brendan Smoother’s music is slightly different, but they share a similar work ethic and value system and they are both great blokes. Brendan S’s songs run parallel to his work as a Paramedic. It is a definite case of art imitating life. Brendan mixes it up a bit. He is definitely part of the Alt. Country music scene, but he also seems just as at home with more traditional country music.
The April Family:
I have mentioned them a few times on Down Under Beats but I had to feature them in our Infamous Five in the 10th edition. This band is truly something special. From the unique delivery and vocal prowess of Kylie to the strong lead guitar of Casey and the incredible multi-talented genius in Michael Carpenter, the trio will take you through every month of the year and every year of a century. Michael has also teamed up with one of our songwriting legends, Allan Caswell on a duo album. He produces many of our great Alt. Country Artists as well. Their album is one of the best of the year, encompassing many of the 79 types of Country Music.
It is all instrumental
I have a love of words. I am a librarian and a would be writer and an English/History double major and theatre and creative writing minor so it goes with the territory. Along with the words, however, comes the music. Otherwise, a song would be a poem......not that there is anything wrong with that. We are very proud of our major export, Tommy Emmanuel and his equally talented brother Phil, but there are many others. Michael Fix is fabulous, he is one of our most consistent guitarists (and not a bad singer!). I went to his gig last year with Darren Coggan and I thought that his guitar was going to explode or at least fly. He is a master. Andrew Clermont runs The Supper Club sessions at Tamworth each year, which chiefly features guitarists, fiddle players, bluegrass, slide guitars, cellists, and other strings. It is a very unique fixture on the festival calendar and it is growing in popularity each year. Each night features a different style and then the finale features a “best of” or a mix of the styles previously featured. There are vocalists too, but it mainly features the power of the instruments. Steve Passfield is a beaut singer but his key is his great picking. He is one of the best guitarists in this country...and isn’t bad at some other strings too! My favourite guitarist in the world is the King of Tasmania (though he lives in Sydney these days), Stuart French. Like Willie Nelson, you know that it is Stuie when you hear just a bar. He is best known for his work with his amazing wife, Camille but also for his work with the Golden Guitar Winning Feral Swing Cats. Camille and Stuie have won a Golden Guitar or two as well, and this year, Stuie won the instrumental award on his own. “The Boys in The Band” – (or the girls – like Ali Foster one of our best drummers and Clare O’Meara one of our best fiddle players). We are very blessed with some of the world’s best musicians – Brad Bergen who can play just about any instrument, Michel Rose, a great pedal steel player, Paul Bain and guitarists like Simon Johnson, Rusty Cochrane, Andrew Wrigglesworth, Damian Cafarella, Michael Carpenter, Casey Atkins, Anthony Stewart, and many others, including our session musos and those who play for so many at Tamworth and other festivals. Play on!
Thank you for all of the support that the artists, fans and many others in the indie music world have given me and my posts. I hope that in some small way, this helps our Aussie Champions show the world what we have to offer....some amazing talent.
To see some more of my reviews and information on artists, please go to CountryAs on Wordpress or tune in to Countryon, 2GLF 89.3FM online or on demand, 12-3pm with Bob Browne and Kaz Johnson, Tuesdays.
Hooroo until next time