A multi-award winning artist whose signature ‘hammock music’ is a blend of soul, reggae, infectious rhythm, ukelele, tasty harmonies and powerful log drumming. Following the launch of the new EP Bay Sessions, Bobby won the ‘Most Popular Male Artist’ award at the Queensland Music Awards.
‘Refreshing, groovy and chilled out all in one’ Timber And Steel
Bobby Alu is an accomplished songwriter & travelling musician born on the Gold Coast. He is a Singer, Ukulele strummer & drummer since the womb. Whether it’s with just him & the baritone ukulele or backed by a slick charismatic band Bobby is known for his signature smooth hammock music & high vibes. Inspired by his Polynesian heritage & following a strong family lineage of performers he writes songs of love, life & travel.
As one of Australia’s top drummers performing around the world for the past 6 years most recently for Xavier Rudd, it was a swift progression stepping out from behind the drumkit to take the mic. Making a name for himself Bobby Alu & his band have enjoyed repeat invitations to Bluesfest (2011/12), Woodford Folk Festival (2010/12), Nannup festival (2011/13) & Island Vibe (2010/11/13), boosting an already stellar CV for this increasingly in-demand performing artist. He recently took out the people’s choice award in the ‘Most Popular Male’ Category at the 2015 QLD music awards.
Joined by highly respected QLD musicians Paulie B (The Beautiful Girls, George), Stewart Barry, Richie Seymour & Hua Hillman this band is the engine room facilitating a bed of style under Alu’s songs. Over the past four years they have been building popularity with successful tours & festival appearances in all states of Australia.
The band’s latest release is the ‘Bay Sessions’ EP. Recorded live in Byron Bay & released Jan 2015, it has already recieved rave reviews with sold out shows.
“Bay Sessions is a beautiful collection of uplifting and diverse instrumentals and solicitous lyrics. Bobby’s approach to music encourages individuals to embrace their quirks and pure individualism, it’s not very often that music makes you feel so positive about yourself these days, but Alu does a fantastic job of making you smile and high-five yourself.”
Blank Gold Coast
The 2010 debut self-‐titled album sparked immediate following after being listed in Triple J Roots N All ‘Top 10 albums of 2010’ also peaking at #2 in the iTunes Australian world music charts. Song ‘One to Wait’ won a QLD music award & ‘Changes Changes’ was included in the popular Putumayo ‘Australia’ compilation released worldwide May 2014.The 2013 album ‘Take It Slow’ recieved great reviews, award nominations & featured in Virgin Australia’s inflight selection. Bobby is also the drummer for Xavier Rudd’s latest project The United Nations. An 8‐piece powerhouse band currently touring the world.
LIVE: Expect a fresh, simple sound with tastes of Polynesian ukulele, pacific beats, catchy songs, tasty harmony & powerful log drumming on a bed of slick style. Pass through moments like you’re in a hammock or a slave to the beat. A band that grooves like Withers, moves like Marley, charms like Harper but smooth like Fat Freddys.
First appearing on the folk music scene in Australia in 1977, many fans consider Rick an institution; especially when it comes to performing at Port Fairy.
Rick E Vengeance, with his eclectic taste in clothes and flair for entertaining, first appeared on the folk music scene in Australia back in 1977 and at Port Fairy in 1978. Now 38 years later, many fans consider him an institution (some would say a relic), especially when it comes to performing at Port Fairy, where his legendary Sunday Singalongs have become an absolute festival highlight. Over the years he has been many things – dance caller, radio DJ, guitar teacher, accomplished MC, band leader and a fine guitarist. To see Rick in full flight come to the Shebeen on Sunday night for the 18th
To see Rick in full flight come to the Shebeen on Sunday night for the Sunday Singalong!
At the heart of Little Georgia is a true friendship. After several years on the road touring together as part of different projects Ashleigh Mannix and Justin Carter have now decided to explore their passion for songwriting together in this new collaboration.
After a huge year on the road touring both Australia and North America, indie/alt-country duo Little Georgia will not be slowing down any time soon as they prepare to release their debut album, “BOOTLEG”.
In June 2015, collaborators Justin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix headed south to a farmhouse on the rugged coastline of Portland, Victoria.
Together with friends they captured their honest music in it’s purest form, recording their debut album live to tape.
The first single “Forget Me” is a raw and gritty alt-country tune that takes you through the heart-felt emotions of loneliness and regret. The single is set to be release on Wednesday the 11th of November 2015, accompanied by a cinematic clip shot by Californian filmmaker Matt Kleiner.
Having launched Little Georgia at the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival, it seems only fitting that the duo returns to the festival in 2016 to launch the album, followed by a number of dates along the east coast of Australia.
Keep an eye on littlegeorigiamusic.com for the latest information surrounding the release.
The Texas based duobrings lilting song craft and charismatic chemistry which has been heard world-wide thanks to the couple’s work as integral members of Steve Earle and The Dukes. Albums are Birds Fly South & 2014’s Good Luck Charm.
“The first thing people usually ask us is ‘What’s it like as a husband and wife playing music together?,'” says Chris Masterson. “We always say that the lows are low, but the highs are really high.”
There are plenty of highs on Good Luck Charm, the second album by The Mastersons, the collaboration that Chris shares with his marital and musical partner Eleanor Whitmore. Generously filled with infectious melodies, instinctive harmonies and vividly insightful lyrics, Good Luck Charm embodies the uncanny rapport that singer- guitarist Chris and singer-violinist-guitarist Eleanor have developed in their experiences living, touring and making music together.
The Austin, TX-based duo’s lilting songcraft and charismatic chemistry have already won over listeners around the world, thanks to the couples ongoing status as members of Steve Earle’s band The Dukes, their frequent opening sets for Earle, and their critically-lauded 2012 debut album, Birds Fly South.
Although Good Luck Charm is the Mastersons’ second album, in many ways it’s their first full-on collaboration. Whereas Birds Fly South consisted largely of songs that they’d composed individually, all of Good Luck Charm‘s material was co-written by Chris and Eleanor, giving the material added depth as well as a powerful collective lyrical identity that’s matched by their expressive harmonies.
“This is a more purpose-driven record,” Eleanor states. “The first record was kind of his/hers, but this one is entirely ours.”
“Playing a few hundred shows has really solidified us as a band and focused our vision for the new record,” Chris observes. “Every song is crafted for the two of us. When we made Birds Fly South, it just seamed like a good idea to do a record. Now we know it is.”
Good Luck Charm – recorded with noted producer/engineer Jim Scott, whose resume includes work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Wilco and the Dixie Chicks – raises the stakes with 11 emotionally precise new songs that are firmly rooted in sometimes-harsh reality, yet which radiate with hope and optimism.
“It’s cautiously optimistic,” Eleanor says of the twosome’s new material, adding, “I think we tried to steer the songs in a direction that was a little more positive and a little more upbeat. Our last record had a lot of broken-character songs, but I think that this one reflects the place we’re in now.”
Good Luck Charm‘s title track, for example, is an uplifting ode to human connection that was originally inspired by the pairs visit to the Texas state capitol during Sen. Wendy Davis’ pro-choice filibuster in June 2013.
“It was really striking,” Chris recalls, “how many people we saw there – friends, family, all kinds of people from our community. It was so powerful to be around a bunch of people trying to speak up for what they believe in.”
“This isn’t meant to be a political album, but there are definitely some tracks that touch on that,” Eleanor asserts. “But it’s meant to be galvanizing, not polarizing. In the current political climate, people are frustrated and feel like they don’t have a voice, but I know from experience that if people organize and speak up, they can make a difference. That’s what that song’s about.”
Elsewhere on Good Luck Charm, “Uniform,” “Anywhere But Here” and “Cautionary Tale” offer a sublime blend of unflinching honesty and heartfelt positivity, while the heart-tugging “I Found You” and “Easy by Your Side” poignantly celebrate enduring romance with sensitivity and humor.
“‘Cautionary Tale’ took us a couple of years to write, and it’s one that a lot of people seem to be responding to,” Eleanor offers. “It’s a cautionary tale for the digital age, where people are trying to numb themselves from their jobs or their struggles. There’s a lot of loneliness out there, but it’s important to connect with people. That’s a theme that comes up a lot in these songs.”
Denton, TX-born Eleanor and Houston-bred Chris have both been making music for most of their lives. Eleanor, the daughter of an opera-singer mother and a folk singer/airline pilot father, began playing fiddle at the age of four and studied with legendary Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble, and she and her sister Bonnie (now a respected singer- songwriter in her own right) played in the family band. Chris, meanwhile, was a teen guitar prodigy, playing the blues in Houston clubs by the age of 13.
Both future partners had considerable success as instrumentalists-for-hire, with Eleanor backing the likes of Regina Spektor, Kelly Willis, Diana Ross and Will Hoge, and Chris playing with Son Volt, Jack Ingram, Bobby Bare Jr. and Wayne Hancock. After meeting at a festival in Colorado in 2005, each released a solo project – Eleanor’s Airplanes and Chris’ The Late Great Chris Masterson – but eventually found more satisfaction in writing, performing and recording together. After a five-year stint living in Brooklyn, they realized that there was little point paying to live in New York when they were spending most of their time on tour, and relocated to the more hospitable environs of Austin. By then, they were already touring and recording with Steve Earle, performing together on numerous Earle tours and playing on his acclaimed album The Low Highway.
“Playing with Steve has been great for us,” Eleanor says. “For one thing, he’s an amazing songwriter, so that kind of holds us to a certain standard. He’s also a great storyteller, and that’s taught us a lot about relating to an audience. One thing we’ve learned in touring with Steve is that people remember the stories that you tell as much as the songs you sing. If you make them laugh or make them cry, they take that home with them as much as they would a song.”
“You learn something different from every artist you work with,” Chris adds, “whether it’s how they handle the crowd or how they write songs or how they handle rehearsing or recording. We’ve accumulated all of this experience in our time working with other artists and I’m grateful for it.”
While Chris and Eleanor have learned a lot from Steve Earle, they themselves are an integral part of his band. “Chris is the best guitar player that’s ever been in this band and Eleanor’s a better musician than any of us,” exclaims Earle.
Chris and Eleanor wrote most of Good Luck Charm while on tour with Earle, stealing whatever time they could to work on the songs. “We spent a lot of time hiding out in dressing rooms with our guitars,” Chris notes. “On our days off, we didn’t go out or do anything fun; we were just holed up in hotel rooms writing these tunes.”
“It was a challenge,” Eleanor adds, “but having a deadline lit a fire under us, and I think that some of that urgency is reflected in the songs.”
By then, they’d found a sympathetic ear in producer Jim Scott, whose clear, unfussed production spotlights the strengths of Good Luck Charm’s songs and the honesty of the Mastersons’ performances. “Jim was high on our list of dream producers,” Eleanor states, “so when he said he was interested in working with us, we packed up the van and the dog and drove out to California, and recorded and mixed the record with Jim in 15 days. It was a tall order, but he made it easy.”
“We’ve always loved the way Jim’s records sound,” Chris adds. “They always sound organic, without a lot of trickery or bells and whistles. After working with him, I can say that his records come out sounding as good as they do as the cumulative effect of a series of good decisions. He has a real ability to get the best out of every performance, and he got it to sound good without us ever having to spend four hours playing ping-pong while he got a snare sound.”
Jim Scott stated, “Chris and Eleanor might be the hardest working husband and wife team in the business. They had a great spirit in the studio, pushing themselves and each other to greatness in every phase of the recording process. From the songwriting to the live performances, they are true professionals that bring joy to music.”
With Good Luck Charm under their belt, The Mastersons plan to promote it in the best way they know how: by getting in front of people and singing and playing together.
“At some point, we got to a place where it felt like the shows we were playing had really started to connect with people on an emotional level,” Chris observes, adding, “I think all the success we’ve had out on the road comes through on Good Luck Charm.”
“We’re really lucky,” he concludes. “We get to get out of bed every day and write a song or go play a show together, which is pretty much all that we’ve ever wanted out of life.” (from their web site)
Mick delivers honest and uplifting stories in a true Irish balladeer fashion that moves you to your core, and is now on the cusp of releasing his debut studio album after a successful crowd funding campaign in 2015.
Aine’s music embraces ache, honesty, and rhythms which a thousand years of ancestry have slammed foot to floor boards to, in both celebration and protest. Her new album Queen Of Swords cradles the spirit of her Irish homeland, recorded under the desert sky in the Australian outback.
These party animals combine virtuosic musicianship, crazy arrangements, catchy grooves and upbeat rhythms to whip the audience into a veritable frenzy. Bullhorn is nine piece behemoth that is hell-bent on good times.
Brisbane based dynamic new wave brass band, BULLHORN, are an acoustic force of nature with a line up including 7 horn players, 1 drummer and 1 monster MC.
If you’ve seen brass bands before forget everything you think you know. BULLHORN are a band like no other. Their sound is born from a mix of hard hitting hip hop, funk, soul, jazz, reggae and dance music. Through the combination of their high energy shows, remarkable musicians and musical arrangements, and the massive charismatic presence of Roman MC, BULLHORN never fails to inspire and get the audiences moving on the dance floor.
There’s an old saying, popularised by The Breakfast Club: “you mess with the bull, you get the horns”. What does it mean? Not much really. Mostly that if you do something dangerous, you might get hurt. One dangerous thing you could do would be to miss the crazy, brass based, MC led explosion that is BULLHORN. Formed in 2011, these party animals combine virtuosic musicianship, crazy arrangements, catchy grooves and upbeat rhythms to whip the audience into a veritable frenzy. As adept at creating original tunes as they are at reimagining the likes of Bonobo and Easy Star All Stars, this nine piece behemoth is hell-bent on good times.
Emma and her hot band play hard hitting and heartfelt soul with gritty songwriting – optimistic, angry and melancholic. The music is fluid, live and raw. The new album Dawn was recorded in one room, on eight channels of analogue tape.
DAWN takes some cues from the burgeoning soul revival, but it’s a far looser interpretation than many releases in the style. This is no attempt at reviving a bygone era. There’s no horn section.
There’s more rock in there. There’s more country in there. There’s more, in Emma’s words, “blackfella music” in there. The songwriting is more akin to classic Aboriginal bands like Coloured Stone than it is to Sharon Jones. The sentiment is personal, for both Emma and the band, and forward looking, rather than revivalist. Shades of every soul record you ever liked sneak through: Al Green’s Hi Records era? Check. Aretha’s Classic Atlantic recordings? Check. Stacks of Stax? Check. It’s all there, but all
different. DAWN is its own thing, indigenous Australian soul. From the ferocious opening salvo of Black Woman to the sweet and gentle comedown of Over Under Away, DAWN is above all a journey through Emma’s life written in song.
Emma grew up singing church songs with her maternal grandparents on the North coast of New South Wales. Her first secular gigs were singing in The Donovans, a band comprised of her mother and five uncles. With her mother, Emma sang country for years and in her youth was a fixture at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, but she always yearned for the bluesier tones of her Father’s record collection, full of American artists like Laverne Baker and Etta James and Indigenous Australian artists like No Fixed Address and Archie Roach. Years later, after touring and recording with many of the mainstays of Indigenous music and developing as a solo artist in her own right, Emma met members of The PutBacks, and finally she found a band with the gritty blues soaked tones she had been looking for. She also found, in PutBacks bassist Mick Meagher, a co-writer and collaborator on the soul songs she had been waiting a lifetime to write and sing. The results are well worth the wait and hopefully, only mark the beginning of this oh-so-right collaboration.
” Driven by brutally honest lyricism, irresistible percussion and a purist’s respect for the funk and soul tradition, Dawn hearkens back to the heyday of Stax and Atlantic Recordings” Karaslamb (Okayplayer) 4 Stars Rolling Stone
“Emma Donovan’s undeniable deep soul voice has met its match at last in The PutBacks. They sass and kiss, twist and twine like a totally-into-each-other feisty couple. Dawn is the perfect marriage of singer and band. ” Paul Kelly
“Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer. She’s the real deal.” Francis Devin Rimer (Wax Poetics)
Parallels have been drawn between Greg and eccentric USA artists Dan Hicks and Jonathan Richman. A longtime member of the radio show Coodabeen Champions, Greg’s covered a lot of ground, musically and physically. You’ll cover all that ground with him in one show!
Kat, Pete and Kim bring stunning chops on fiddle, dobro and bass, complimented by beautiful harmonies to their re-imagining of trad bluegrass, old-time country and folk styles. Little Rabbit are launching their brand-new CD of original songs and blistering instrumentals at the festival.