Sydney band The Mezcaltones are known for their high-energy live shows – and their collective sense of humour, which ensures each show is entertaining as well as being musically excellent. Both energy and humour are present in their new single ‘Na Na Na’ and the accompanying video, seen below. The Mezcaltones are taking their outlaw country-rock sound to the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival at Joe Maguire’s Pub:
18 January – 1.30 to 4.30 p.m.
19 January – 7.00 to 10.00 p.m.
21 January – 7.00 to 10.30 p.m
Apple Music | Spotify
In recent days and weeks parts of Australia have been destroyed by fires. Other parts are still threatened by those fires. One of those parts is the area where singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden lives. Lumsden and her family have evacuated, and in the midst of the oppressive atmosphere caused by the fires, and the fear and uncertainty, she has found time to buy supplies for people in her local town and to keep posting updates to social media, so that those of us who care about her – fans like me and many friends – know what’s going on.
Lumsden is one of the great chroniclers of Australian rural life. Her two albums, Small Town Big Shot and Real Class Act, are classics of country music. That would be reason alone to devote a playlist to her, but in acknowledgement of her bloody awful start to the year, and of the spirit, determination and resilience she has shown, this month’s Spotify playlist is all Lumsden all the time.
Please consider preordering her new album, Fallow: https://orcd.co/flfallow
- Bravest of Hearts
- Land of Gold
- Totem Tennis
- Rattle & Your Roll
- Roll On
- Elastic Waistband
- Real Men Don’t Cry
- Peppercorn Tree
- Peed in the Pool
- These Days
Buy from the Bush is a campaign that started on social media and has become a sensation in very quick time. In an effort to support businesses in drought-affected (and now fire-affected) parts of Australia, #buyfromthebush on Facebook and Instagram gives all Australians the chance to do their Christmas shopping from places that not only need a hand but also have wonderful, beautiful, often unique pieces for sale.
Now country music favourite Greg Storer has written and recorded a song to support the campaign, and the song ‘Buy from the Bush’ features his vocals as well as those of Sydney singer Anna Clark. Each purchase of the song helps Buy from the Bush bring some cheer to country towns. And if you’re yet to buy your Christmas gifts, consider buying from the bush (I have).
Buy the single for $5 here:
See all the great bush businesses on Instagram: www.instagram.com/buyfromthebush
And Facebook: www.facebook.com/buyfromthebush
Find out more at www.buyfromthebush.com.au
The Buckleys are a trio of siblings from the northern rivers district of New South Wales. They’ve been going to the Tamworth Country Music Festival for years, first busking on Peel Street in 2011 when Molly was 9, Lachlan was 10 and Sarah Grace was 12. That was, in fact, when the band formed – the Buckley family was on holiday in the country music capital when the younger generation decided to start playing, and found themselves in the top ten of the busking competition without even knowing they’d entered.
Now aged 16, 18 and 19, they are managed by Chris Murphy (who also managed INXS) and signed to Petrol Records/Universal Music, they have been nominated for a Golden Guitar in the Best New Talent category,
Currently recording in Nashville, the band will be returning to Australia at the end of the year – and ahead of that they’re released the new single ‘I’m Comin’ For Ya (Love)’. The Buckleys have an irresistible country pop sound – that early experience on Peel Street seems to have honed their instincts for how to capture a listener’s attention and keep them entertained. Although they were unknowns just months ago, this kind of ‘overnight success’ always takes a lot of work – and the proof is there in the songs. And it’s not just themselves they write for: collectively the trio have written well over 100 songs. Sarah was awarded top 5 in the 2014 American Songwriting Awards teen section and the following year both Sarah and Molly were once again nominated for a prestigious ASA Award. One of Sarah’s songs, ‘Strawberry Footprints’, was recorded by Felicity Urquhart for her album Frozen Rabbit.
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify
This month’s Spotify playlist is all new releases – see below for the full list.
Fanny Lumsden – ‘These Days’
Brad Cox – ‘Give Me Tonight’
Emma Dykes – ‘The Drovers’
Copperline – ‘Next Year’
Natalie Henry – ‘Water Over Wine’
Tom Curtain with Lee Kernaghan and Sara Storer – ‘She Gave Us The Song’
Aly Cook – ‘Southern Christmas Stars’
Andy Nelson – ‘Late Night Letter’
Kora Naughton – ‘Speechless’
Katie Bates – ‘Polka Dot Dress’
Leaving Lennox – ‘Weren’t Looking For’
Brittany Elise – ‘Pit Stop’
Aleyce Simmonds – ‘I Could Dance With You’
Renee Jonas – ‘Blame it on the Wine’
Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife – ‘Catch You’
Brook Chivell – ‘Fearless Rider’
Natalie Pearson – ‘Plan B’
Oh Harlow – ‘Give It A Miss’
There is a subgenre of Christmas carols that belongs to Australian creations, such as ‘Three Drovers’ and ‘Carol of the Birds’, to go along with Christmas-adjacent songs such as Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine in the Sun’. What doesn’t come to mind is a joint Australian and New Zealand Christmas song – but now there is one, thanks to NZ artist Aly Cook and Kay and Buzz Bidstrup, who have created ‘Southern Christmas Stars’.
The song depicts the experience of Christmas in warm weather, as well as the joy of reuniting with loved ones. The lyrics were written by Kay Bidstrup to celebrate the Christmas homecoming of her son after a year living abroad, and Buzz Bidstrup and Cook put the music together while Cook was in Australia promoting her latest album, Caught in the Middle.
While December isn’t yet upon us, this song is a lovely way to ease into the festive spirit – and, perhaps, it will become your new Southern Hemisphere Christmas anthem.
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify
Andy Nelson is a singer-songwriter from Bathurst, in the central west of New South Wales. Earlier this year he released his debut album, Man on the Mountain, which followed his debut, self-titled EP and appearances at festivals such as the National Folk Festival, The End Festival, Inland Sea of Sounds, Festival of Small Halls, Gympie Music Muster and Majors Creek Music Festival.
‘Late Night Letter’ is the second single from the album and it takes about three bars to establish that it’s likely to be devastating and unforgettable, and so it proves. The song tells the story of an adolescent boy growing up in small regional community where there was once a thriving industry that provided work and security. But – as happens all over the world – the work ends, or the industry moves elsewhere, and the people who relied on it are left behind because they can’t or are unwilling to move with the industry. (If you’re interested in an Australian perspective on this, I recommend The Death of Holden by Royce Kurmelovs.)
This is sparse instrumentation on this track, as befits the subject matter, and it’s incredibly effective, while Nelson honours the story and his lyrics with his delivery. For those who haven’t yet listened to Man on the Mountain, ‘Late Night Letter’ will provide the persuasive reason to do so immediately.
Apple Music | Artist’s website | iTunes | Spotify