Month: May 2019

Single release: ‘Olive, Call Me’ by The Pigs

Hillbilly-Synthesiser-Album-Cover-258x258.pngUnrequited love can be hard to handle – but not necessarily, if you reassure the object of your affection that you’re ‘good to go’ if her significant other happens to bite the dust. And especially if you offer a range of options for how that might happen … In their latest single from their album Hillbilly Synthesiser, ‘Olive, Call Me’, bluegrass band The Pigs muse on what might be if Olive should suddenly find herself single. It’s tongue-in-cheek, of course – or maybe not. Only The Pigs know …

Watch the video for ‘Olive, Call Me’ below:

The Pigs are on tour in Queensland:

Friday May 31, 8pm
Highfields Tavern
Cnr O’Brien St & Highfields Rd, Toowoomba, QLD. 4352
Ticket Sales: $25.00 + Booking Fee / Door Sales: $35.00

Saturday June 1, 8pm
Racehorse Hotel
215 Brisbane Rd, Booval QLD 4304
Ticket Sales: $25.00 + Booking Fee / Door Sales: $35.00

South Kolan (Bundaberg)
Friday June 21, 6pm
1821 Gin Gin Rd, South Kolan QLD 4670
Tickets $30 + bf

D’Aguilar (Moreton Bay)
Saturday June 22, 7pm
Dag Pub (D’Aguilar Hotel)
2040 wood st D’Aguilar, QLD
Tickets Adults $30 + bf / Children $15 + bf

Friday July 12
Black Bear Lodge, 8pm
1st Floor, 322 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006
Ticket Sales: $20.00 + Booking Fee / Door Sales: $25.00

Hervey Bay
Saturday July 13
Bush To Bay Music Festival

Hillbilly Synthesiser is out now. Buy it from the band at:

Or listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Single release: ‘Hard to Breathe’ by Aaron Jurd

Aaron Promo 2.jpgSinger-songwriter Aaron Jurd is from Lake Macquarie in New South Wales but he’ll be travelling far from home this year. Off the back of two great singles – first ‘Set Me on Fire’ and the latest, ‘Hard to Breathe’, Jurd has booked appearances at Bluewater Country Music Festival, Hats Off to Country in Tamworth and the Deni Ute Muster (dates below).

‘Hard to Breathe’ starts with keys – not often heard prominently in country songs – and kicks up into a catchy country-rock tune. Jurd has a great, strong voice with a lovely tone and the upbeat tone of this song is a counterpart to the ballad-esque ‘Set Me on Fire’.

Listen to Aaron Jurd on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

May 24: West Wallsend Workers Club @ 8pm
June 1: Nambucca Heads Bowling Club @ 7.30pm
June 8: Shoal Bay Country Club @ 9pm – Bluewater Country Music Festival

Hats Off to Country, Tamworth
July 12: Tamworth Services Club @ 8.30pm
July 13: Manilla Services Club @ 7.30pm
July 14: Tamworth Services Club @ 2pm
October 5: Deni Ute Muster

Single release: ‘Cross That River’ by The Holy Smoke

Cross that riverPerth trio The Holy Smoke is made up of highly accomplished individuals: Rose Parker has toured extensively throughout Australia, USA and Canada as one half of the Velvet Janes, supporting artists including Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco, Luka Bloom and The Black Sorrows; Delilah Rose is a 2018 WAM Award nominee, 2019 ISC Songwriting Comp nominee and 2019 WA Country Music Award winner, and Karlee Rae is a top graduate from WAAPA, is in her 20th year of vocal and piano coaching, has toured internationally and recorded multiple albums and EPs.

Together, these artists create beautiful harmonies – as contained in their latest single, ‘Cross That River’. The song is, says Delilah Rose, ‘about putting down our screens and tuning into the people and nature around you. Let’s relish in this moment because
all we ever truly have is right now.’ It is a toe-tapping, uplifting song to carry you into the weekend – and if you’re in Perth and would like to experience the joys of The Holy Smoke in person, you can do that on 18 May at Golden Days at Freo Social.

Listen to ‘Cross That River’ on:

Apple Music | iTunes



Single release: ‘I’m Fine’ by Jasmin Bade

Jasmin Bade - I'm Fine.JPGSinger-songwriter Jasmin Bade hails from Melbourne but after graduating from The
Conservatorium of Music at The University of Tasmania she moved to Nashville in 2018, having dreamt of doing just that since she was six years old.

‘I’m Fine’ may be Bade’s first release but her musical education isn’t hard to detect: she has a warm, well-developed voice (and great enunciation) and the song has a tight country-pop structure with a clear message. The song’s title comes from the protagonist insisting ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’, even when she’s not. Bade says that she hopes the song allows listeners to feel that they aren’t alone in their emotions and that mental health is a topic that needs to be discussed.

Listen to ‘I’m Fine’ on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Soundcloud | Spotify


Single release: ‘Stand Still’ by Simon Imrei

Simon Imrei (Stand Still - Cover Art).jpgVictorian singer-songwriter Simon Imrei has been a touring member for several bands, including Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, and last year released his sophomore album The Sum of Scenes to great acclaim. His new single, ‘Stand Still’, is taken from a forthcoming EP. The first thing to say about it is that it is oh, so easy to listen to – and that is a very enthusiastic compliment. When a song is easy to listen to it invariably means that its creator and everyone who’s had their hands on it, including the singer, the musicians, the producer and sound engineer, have wanted to make sure that the listener has a great experience. But that intention starts with the creator, who, in this case, is also the singer.

‘Stand Still’ is a song about heading down the coast with someone, living out of an old suitcase and, basically, taking the time to stand still. The execution of the song reflects the meaning of the lyrics – it feels laidback, almost cosy, like an invitation to be still. That’s no doubt why it’s so easy to keep it playing in a loop – each listen perpetuates those feelings.

Listen to ‘Stand Still’ on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Soundcloud | Spotify

Imrei will be launching the single with his acoustic band at the Merri Creek Tavern in Melbourne’s Northcote on Saturday 18 May, with special guests Louie & The Pride. Tickets are on sale now from the venue website:

Video release: ‘Pretty Little Fools’ by Fanny Lumsden

std_26391It has been noted elsewhere on this website that singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden has many strings to her proverbial bow. She also has a few accolades to acknowledge her prowess with said bow: her latest (second) album Real Class Act debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Country chart (the only independent release to do so in 2017); it was the AIR Independent Country Album of the Year 2018, nominated for ARIA Country Album of the Year, 4 Golden Guitars and 3 CMC Awards.

One of those strings is that Lumsden – and her partner in art and life, Dan Stanley Freeman – make videos for her songs, and they do this so well that the video for ‘Elastic Waistband‘, a single from Real Class Act, won a Golden Guitar. Now Lumsden and Freeman have produced a worthy successor, and a great piece of entertainment in its own right, with the creation of a clip for Lumsden’s latest single, ‘Pretty Little Fools’. Filmed at the local pool in Ungarie, New South Wales, the video documents a small-town rivalry in the form of a synchronised swimming competition. And that description makes it sound altogether too serious, so you’ll have to watch it for yourself:

Later in the year Lumsden and her band will embark on one of her renowned Country Halls Tours – the dates are too numerous to list here but you can find them on her website.

To listen/buy:

Apple Music | Artist’s website | iTunes | Spotify

Single release:’40,000 Star Hotel’ by Kelly Brouhaha

Album Cover DIGITAL.jpgThe website of South Australian singer-songwriter Kelly Brouhaha states that she ‘spends most of the year around a campfire, travelling in her 1992 Toyota Hiace Van called ‘Pamela Vanderson’. That last piece of information is a clue: namely, it reveals that Brouhaha has a well-developed sense of humour and language. The mention of a campfire is also a clue, because it relates to Brouhaha’s work, which involves a lot of travelling the country playing music, sometimes in the company of Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan, and that experience, and Brouhaha’s way with words, leads to the creation of a cracking good song in the form of her new single, ‘40,000 Star Hotel’. The 40 000 stars of the title are not from the Michelin guide but the southern sky, and this robust, appealing song gives us a sense of Brouhaha’s life on the road. It was co-written with Aleyce Simmonds and produced by Shane Nicholson.

This is the first single from Brouhaha’s forthcoming self-titled album, which will be released in June. You can pre-order the album from the artist at

Listen to ‘40,000 Star Hotel’ on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

June 7 Cooee Arthouse, Aldinga
June 8 The Wheaty, Adelaide
June 12 Pistol Pete’s, Geelong
June 15 The Old Church On The Hill, Bendigo
June 16 The Wesley Anne, Melbourne
June 26 Lizotte’s, Newcastle
June 28 The Manly Fig, Sydney
June 30 Flow Bar, Old Bar
July 6 The Junk Bar, Brisbane
July 27 Sol Bar, Maroochydoore

EP review: Pieces of My Heart by Cassi Marie

unnamed.jpgIt has been proven true over and over again that age is irrelevant when it comes to Australian country music artists. An emerging artist can be sixteen or sixty, and with the CMAA Academy offering the Junior Academy the teenagers are just as likely to be accomplished as older artists. Queensland singer-songwriter Cassi Marie is seventeen but she’s already studied with artists such as Amber Lawrence, Lyn Bowtell and Ashleigh Dallas, and that experience shows. The four songs on her new EP, Pieces of My Heart, are country-pop gems. Cassi Marie’s voice has a lovely clean tone that enables us to hear the emotion behind and meaning of her lyrics. There is bittersweetness and poignancy on these songs that can’t be taught – it has to come from within the artist.

The EP was produced by Bill Chambers and mixed by Nash Chambers, and while it’s always good to have such heavyweights in the studio, the songs and their singer have to be good in order for the EP to shine, and this EP is a beautiful shiny introduction to this artist.

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify


Lee Kernaghan on tour for Backroad Nation

Lee-Kernaghan-Backroad-Nation-tour.jpgEach time I interview Lee Kernaghan it is both a pleasure and very interesting. Kernaghan has been at the apex of Australian country music for so long that his popularity could be taken for granted, but each conversation reminds me that he’s there because he is passionate about his music, the stories he’s telling and about connecting with his audience, and he’s really, really good at all of those. His new album, Backroad Nation, will be released on 10 May and Kernaghan will be playing so many places that instead of listing them here I’ll send you to his website. It was wonderful to speak to him once more and find out about his album and his forthcoming tour.

With so many hit songs and albums and tours behind you, it seems as though you keep looking to up the ante. I was reading that you’re going to have different design, a few different elements in this show. How do you keep that momentum going through your career?

I love making music, touring and performing and singing about my country and my people and it’s what drives me.

It seems to me in observing your career, listening to your music, that you keep your audience in mind. You’re really aware of that connection with them. Does it feel to you like you have a relationship with them?

I hate the word ‘fans’ because I then think of them as fans – they’re my mates – and I want to give them music that will be a soundtrack for the parties, for barbecues, for road trips, all kinds of different occasions. And a lot of time goes into it creating those songs. A couple of years of songwriting. I travelled Australia a couple of times over collecting ideas for the album. And then I travelled halfway around the world to Nashville. Some of the greatest writers on the planet are over there and I just wanted to make sure that no stone was left unturned. I wanted to make this record a real good one.

Continue reading “Lee Kernaghan on tour for Backroad Nation”

Video premiere: ‘Aussie As’ by Matt Scullion

image004 (1).jpgThere’s a strong lineage of what might be called ‘Australiana’ songs that are high on sentiment and full of nationally recognisable details, including The Seekers’ ‘I Am Australian’ and the recent ‘Our Backyard’ by Amber Lawrence and Travis Collins. (Despite its title, Peter Allen’s ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ isn’t one of these because it’s about his longing for home rather than being a song about Australia.)

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Matt Scullion has created a wonderful addition to this lineage with ‘Aussie As’, with the video making its premiere here today. Scullion – who also writes songs with other Australian country music artists – has a contemporary vision of what constitutes being ‘Aussie as’ that is as much about our cultural diversity as it is about other, longer-lasting Australianisms. His crisp songwriting – done in tandem with Paul Grierson of Simply Bushed – brings recognisable elements such as nippers on the beach and a footy on the roof into the context of an Australian culture that is changing just as its population does.

Watch the video below:


The song was recorded by Shane Nicholson with the extraordinary Lyn Bowtell on backing vocals. No doubt ‘Aussie As’ will find many fans who will cherish it – and some of those fans will discover the song when Scullion plays it live, as he will do on the following dates:

Sunday 12th May – Edgeworth Bowling Club – Newcastle – NSW

Thursday 16th May – Wickham Park Hotel – Newcastle – NSW

Friday 17th May – Harmonie German Club – Canberra – ACT (w/ Drew McAlister)

Saturday 18th May – Tourist Hotel – Queanbeyan – ACT

Wednesday 5th June – The Scullion Sessions – Stag & Hunter Hotel – Newcastle – NSW

Saturday 8th June – Smoke in Broke – McNamara Park – Broke – NSW

Wednesday 3rd July – The Scullion Sessions – Stag & Hunter Hotel – Newcastle – NSW

Saturday 13th July – Hats Off To Country Music Festival – Tamworth – NSW