Australians on the east coast are lucky – because the Roadshow Deluxe Tour is heading their way. The combination of Ben Mastwyk, Rose Zita Falko and Mitch Power is playing in Queensland and Victoria in November and December.
Melburnian Mastwyk has been building his fan base with songs such as ‘This Country’. Zalko also hails from the south and brings with her the successful debut EP Original Son and its iTunes top 20 single ‘A Town Called Lonely’. Completing the troika is singer-songwriter Mitch Power, who has toured extensively over the past few years and has also found success as a stand-up comedian.
That’s three guaranteed great artists on the one bill, making for a show not to be missed.
Sat 10th NOV | The Bearded Lady (3pm) | Brisbane, QLD
Sun 11th NOV | Can You Keep A Secret (6pm) | Brisbane, QLD
Fri 23rd NOV | The Skylark Room | Upwey, VIC
Sat 24th NOV | Major Tom’s | Kyneton, VIC
Thurs 13th DEC | Spotted Mallard | Brunswick, VIC
Sun 16th DEC | The Bridge Hotel | Castlemaine, VIC
One of the most impressive emerging country music artists in the Southern Hemisphere is New Zealand singer-songwriter Jenny Mitchell. She recently released a new album, Wildfires, and before that the title single. She’ll be appearing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and is currently on tour in Australia; if you need a reason to see her perform, simply watch the video below. I spoke to Jenny recently and found a clear-eyed artist and performer who is passionate about music and working hard to bring it to audiences on both sides of the Tasman.
You’re nineteen years old and you’re already about to release your second album, incredibly. When did your musical life start?
My dad is like a real traditional Hank Williams, Johnny Cash man. So when I was growing up my life soundtrack was the Dixie Chicks and stuff like that. My first on-stage performance with Dad was when I was four. So it has always been something that we’ve been involved in. In 2013 I did New Zealand’s Got Talent, so that kind of started a whole new sort of chapter … I think it’s a really hard transition from being sixteen and having it as a hobby to fulfilling it and saying, ‘Actually, I am going to try to do this.’ So it’s been an interesting time.
At four years of age you were probably too young to be nervous, but at thirteen, what was that like going on a national TV show?
I think it was really good. I think probably if it was a few years later, I would have been really stressed about the big picture and worried about all that stuff, but at the time I remember some of my biggest concerns was things like the different outfits that I didn’t like, and my friends at school will think I’m such a loser and stuff like that. So, I think it was almost good that it was so young, because it one, prepared me for those nerves, [which] were quite horrific. You don’t know what the judges are going to say, so I think it was quite good because it kind of put me through the boot camp of learning how to deal with stress and now I’m like, okay, nothing is as bad as that.
Continue reading “Interview: Jenny Mitchell”
New South Welshman Jack Tully and his band, The Seers, recently released their album Harkness Lane, which has influences as diverse as alt-country and psychedelic rock. Tully’s first, solo album was The Keeping, released three years ago and with a more stripped-back sound. Tully has said of the new album: ‘A lot of life can happen in three years and these songs reflect some of this transformation: growth, change, making peace with our stories, psychotherapy journeying, fatherhood. I’m trying to cut away the stuff that doesn’t matter and make space for what does. Some of the album does touch on the darker parts of life but overall I think there is definitely more light this time around.’
The latest single from the album is the atmospheric ‘The Great Tragedy’, and it is an honour to premiere the video here.
Harkness Lane is available now.
Apple Music | Bandcamp | iTunes | Soundcloud
Newcastle singer-songwriter Suz Dorahy has a released a compelling new single, ‘Margharita’. The song was inspired by the hardships of men returned from World War II and the women who shared their lives. While shell shock was named it wasn’t always identified in these returned soldiers who found it hard to adjust to domestic life and sometimes turned to the bottle for solace.
The song acknowledges the difficulties of maintaining relationships under those circumstances, and how love that once existed may be impossible to sustain. Dorahy is clear-eyed and unsentimental in this thought-provoking song.
Listen to ‘Margharita’ on Soundcloud.
Find Suz Dorahy’s music on:
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify
While Brisbane singer-songwriter Megan Cooper’s second album, Wild Mountain, has been available since July, her album launch is on 28 October so this post just squeaks in under the wire …
The most immediate fact about this album is the same as for Cooper’s first album, Ghosts, Choirs & Kings, and it is that she has a truly lovely voice. The second fact is that she knows how to write for her voice, lyrically and stylistically. The songs on this new album cross several moods, from jaunty to wistful, and all tell a story that is expressed beautifully through her vocals. There are some honkytonk sounds here as well as straight-up pop. She’s also an impressive torch singer.
All of this detail is, of course, a way of trying to describe what is often hard to pin down without sounding schmaltzy: the way music makes a listener feel. So I’ll go for the schmaltz and say that Wild Mountain brings a lot of joy, as well as a lot of meaningful entertainment, which, for this listener, is akin to the Holy Grail. Cooper has a lot of talent and the skill to bring it to listeners, and it’s all evident on this album.
Wild Mountain is out now. The album launch is on 28 October 2018 at The Black, Albion (Brisbane).
Apple Music | Bandcamp | iTunes
Singer-songwriter Kirsty Lee Akers has released a new album, Under My Skin, and because she released it in July and I missed the release date, I’ll keep this short and sweet in the interests of not delaying further … This is Akers’s fifth album and the first for which she has acted as a producer. But, really, on her fifth go-round it makes sense that she knows her sound better than anyone – and it’s clear on this album that she does. This is a cohesive, intelligently written and produced collection of country rock/pop. Akers knows how to write a catchy hook and also a melody that suits her robust, mellifluous voice.
Country rock and pop are, as noted elsewhere on this site, a growing genre in Australia. Akers leans towards the rock side and finds a distinctive place within it, as do The McClymonts, by honouring her sound and her voice. She’s not trying to sound like anyone else, and she shouldn’t, because this is a great collection of infectious songs that serve to entertain and also make you stop and think.
As a last note: I certainly hope this isn’t the last album she produces, and that she’ll produce for others.
Under My Skin is out now through Social Family Records.
Apple Music | iTunes | Sanity
Canadian-Australian Tracy McNeil and her band, The Goodlife, perform a certain kind of West Coast country-rock that has a particular ability: to induce happiness. It was evident on their last album, Thieves, and it’s there again on their new single, ‘Stars’, from their upcoming album, You Be the Lightning, set for release in 2019. ‘Stars’ has a lovely pep to it, and McNeil’s vocals that immediately carry you along into a dreamlike groove.
Pre-order ‘Stars’ here: https://TracyMcNeil.lnk.to/Stars
‘STARS’ LAUNCH DATES
Wed November 7 & Thursday November 8
Australian Music Week
Fri November 9
Grand Junction Hotel – The Junkyard
88 Church St, Maitland NSW
8pm, free entry.
Sun November 11
Northcote Social Club
With special guest Jim Lawrie
301 High St, Northcote VIC