By Kaz Johnson
It has been a busy week music wise and work wise for me....pretty full on as us Aussies would say! Did a whole lot of reviews and went to two very cool gigs in Melbourne on the weekend. I have the last of my community radio training tonight and cutting a demo tomorrow, so I will be LIVE on air soon!
The two gigs that I went to last weekend were fabulous. On Saturday night, I went to a house concert in the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir. Andrew Swift, Megan Cooper starred and their guests were Mitch Power and the fabulous Gretta Ziller.....4 stars for the price of one. A great night of awesome Alt. Country/Folk music, good food and good company. There were stories and humour and as always with a house concert, it was literally like being in your own loungeroom.
I went to The Retreat Hotel at Brunswick on Sunday for a free concert and thank goodness it was in the main room, as the crowd was quite big and the band didn't have to squish into a small space. My Tamworth "Sisters" Sally-Anne Whitten and Allison Forbes performed individually and together, with Alwyn Aurisch (Sal's Guitar Maestro husband) and Trev on bass and Zac (Alwyn's son) on drums. Sal played lots of originals from her new album and a few from her last one and some favourite covers too. Allison played her hits and a couple of surprises. Both gals have great voices and they can sing pretty much everything. To have them both in the one room entertaining us and for free, it was truly a gift.
Some of the reviews that I did last weekend were Gary Hammond's latest offering, Number 26 which is probably his best album yet and features a couple of already released songs and some new material. It is a unique mixture of styles to match Gary's husky, unusual voice. Adam Toms has finally released an album, long awaited for by fans and again, probably his best work to date with a big mix of styles and a great vehicle for his powerful voice. Country Crooner, Adam Harvey release, Nashville Tapes is a great country showcase, with a couple of covers but lots of co-writes with my favourite country music songwriter in Australia, Mike Carr, as well as others. Adam Harvey's voice melts rock. He is the closest thing to Randy Travis that we have in Australia. Libby O'Donovan, wife of our mega talented country star, Beccy Cole and a truly amazing Diva in her own right, has one of the albums of the year on my review list this week. It is truly awesome. Like Sal and Allison, she can sing anything and she is a pretty good songwriter too! Kirsty Lee Akers, our pocket dynamo with the huge voice has her new album on the list as well. It is different to most albums that she has released, but still with the essence that we know and love about Kirsty. She spends most of her time in Nashville these days and you can see that she is experimenting with new things. All of these reviews and lots of other stuff are on my blog, Cowgirlup.
I am having a gig break this weekend because I have a lot of work on at home but there will probably be a few articles to write and I am working on a special music project. There are some amazing gigs on in Melbourne which I would have loved to have gone to, including Allison and The Weeping Willows (before she takes off to the NT in her caravan!) and the massive Guitar Festival which would have been really cool on Sunday but I have way too much on. The next few weeks will be huge with lots of gigs and albums and as per usual, as Winter turns into Spring in Australia. It seems to be one of the big times of the year in Australian music.
Here are some cool tunes that are teasers to new albums and gigs and some beaut stuff from the weekend.