Songwriter and folksinger Gary Shearston would have enjoyed his farewell at the Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday 18th August. The legendary Australian voice died on 1st July and his musical mates, and there were many, came to pay tribute and send him off with song.
Every artist likes a full house and this one was jammed packed including fans that had enjoyed his music for nigh on 50 years, maybe more.
Gary's talents were far-reaching: singer, songwriter, activist, author and humanitarian, and it seemed everyone had a particular story to tell. Spanning almost four hours the evening had been programmed by Rouseabout Record's Stuart McCarthy and thanks also to the wonderful comparing of Jon Wolfe, the pace never slackened so as to give a complete picture of this remarkable man. After a slide show of rare photographs, Shearston's young son, Luke, opened the program with a heartfelt and emotional song showing that he could well carry on his father's guitar and vocal talents.
Rouseabout producer, Warren Fahey, talked about his 50 year history with Shearston and how it had influenced his early interest in bush songs, acknowledging the role of the Bush Music Club in both their lives; he then sang three bush songs from their shared repertoire. Some singers sang one song and others, like Pat Drummond and Jim Low, sang songs that gave a deeper insight into Gary Shearston's musical and spiritual journey. Jack Humphrys from the social activism magazine ‘Australian Options’ came up from Adelaide to celebrate Gary's lifetime interest in social change including the role of his songs. McCarthy and Stuart Heather (who operates the Gary Shearston website) had sourced some amazing film footage of the artist as a young man. Home movies joined with Gary's riveting performance for the Newcastle Earthquake Benefit and a segment from his 1960s television series ‘Just Folk’. When the reel came to an interview with the 'Australia All Over' host and long-time friend, Ian 'Macca' McNamara, the entire audience sang along with 'I Get A Kick Out of You' and 'Shopping on A Saturday', It was an emotional half hour of film memories.
Post film the music continued with Luke Shearston performing two more songs whilst his sister Bonnie sang a dance remix of their father's 'Bonnie's Lullaby'. Eulogies followed by Stuart Heather and Radio host Barbara Morrison. As a final farewell, Terry Darmody & Mic Conway performed after impromptu contributions from Sally Henderson (wife of Gary’s great friend and fellow songwriter extraordinaire Don) and a stellar cameo by the great Jeannie Lewis that brought the house down.
Gary's wife Karen, her children and family had joined an army of fans and friends to make sure Gary Shearston's last curtain call was indeed a classic.
More Information: Artist Page
Writes Trad&Now’s Ian Dearden about Eric Bogle (with John Munro)’s latest album A Toss Of The Coin … At a time when two legends of the Australian folk music scene, Gary Shearston and John Dengate, have recently passed away, we can all be inordinately grateful that the inimitable Eric Bogle remains a living legend!!
Eric's back catalogue includes a stunning array of masterful contributions to the noble art of songwriting. I'm pleased to report that 'A Toss of the Coin', featuring long time collaborator, John Munro, demonstrates that Eric has lost none of his touch as one of Australia's best contemporary songwriters.
Eric (and John) remain in fine voice throughout this album - age has not wearied them, and may they continue to cast light in dark places by the magic of song.
A delightful, charming and moving album.
Anna Rose also suggests in the Northern Daily Leader “Bogle fans will find plenty to
love on this magnificent new gem of a disc, including two songs not written by Eric, and another two songs where John Munro takes the lead vocal on his own compositions, Absolution and Glory Days.
When An Angel Appears, the Mike O’Callaghan song, sounds as if it could almost have come from Bogle’s pen.
It was the nice, melancholy, reflective tone of Pete Titchener’s song, Don’t Throw Away Your Dreams, that made Eric want to put it down on this record.
There are plenty of gems from Eric as well, including Ashes, Song For James, Reg Evans’ Cradle, Home Is The Hero, Roll Call, A Toss Of The Coin, By The Arafura Sea and his own moving version of In Flanders Fields.”
Despite suffering the ill effects of a bad virus and sore throat Eric Bogle soldiered on through his SMS tour with long time partner in crime John Munro (Guitars, backing vocals), and companions Emma Luker (Fiddle, Backing vocals) & Pete Titchener (Bass, backing vocals) playing to sold out venues at just about every show and in the process proving he/they are as entertaining as ever.
Poses Australian Options’ Ron Durbridge …. What is it about these two performers? They’re boofy blokes, but when they sing any normal person melts.
We’ll defer to Anna Rose ….. “It’s a no-brainer. When Eric Bogle is in town, do anything you can to get there. His music will make your heart sing.”
Check out this month’s edition of Undercover Radio to hear some of the songs that were highlights during the tour.
In the meantime, look and listen out for Eric Bogle on ABC Local Radio, ABC Radio National, Today’s Country 94One with Tubby Dyer, Simply Australia, 3CR, 90.1 Happy FM, 2AIR FM 107.9, 99.9 Voice FM, 2NUR, Huon FM, Smart Radio Group, Radio 2LM, 100.9 ZZZ-FM, KIX FM Kingscote, Radio Port Phillip, Hobart FM, OPus Music Country Radio Network, Radio Adelaide, Radio Eastern 98.1, Dublin City FM and in Trad&Now, Northern Daily Leader, Australian Options, Country Music Capital News and Rock’n’Reel.
A Toss Of The Coin(RRR61) which hit number 1 on the Music Scotland Folk/Blues/Country/Roots/World Music Top 20 is OUT NOW digitally through iTunes and on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order.
Fore more information and interview requests, email Undercover Music
More Information: Artist Page | Artist Website
Like the rest of the nation we looked on in horror as events unfolded with the bushfires devastating many parts of NSW and send our condolences to those residents who lost their homes. Fortunately our very own Blue Mountains based singer/songwriter Jim Low and wife Valda came through relatively unscathed.
Reflects Jim …. Walking around the back of our property and along the fire trail at the end of the street, I realise just what a significant back burn was achieved at a time of great risk. Over half our block was burnt. The valley behind us has had fire in it for over a week but it is now out.
We feel very fortunate. The work of the fire fighters, the police, the Red Cross and other services and volunteer bodies has been truly amazing. And the skill of the helicopter pilots who so accurately water bombed the valley will be something we won’t forget in a hurry.
Earlier this year Jim released his second album on Rouseabout Records Across The Blue Mountains which contains 18 songs about the Blue Mountains written and recorded to help commemorate the region’s Bicentennial.
One of those songs ‘There’s A Fire’ tells the story of the O’Gradey family who had not been living in the north Springwood area for very long when a bushfire threatened their lives and property in 1951. Eerily those fires were very close to where the recent fires started on the Springwood side of the Winmalee shops on Hawkesbury Road.
Jim has witnessed first hand the resilience of the Blue Mountains landscape after a bushfire not to mention that of the people that call the Mountains home.
‘There’s A Fire’ is included in this month’s edition of Undercover Radio as a tribute to that resilience.
Recently featured on John Nutting’s Australian Country and in Le Cri du Coyote magazine, Across The Blue Mountains (RRR59) is available digitally through iTunes and on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order.
You can listen to a selection of songs from the album at the Undercover Soundcloud.
More Information: Artist Page
Marcus Holden is a musician with many strings to his bow. A soloist, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Marcus has appeared on albums, commercials, films, some of the world's great concert venues and performed with the greats of Australian music scene for many years.
Marcus is a founding member of award-winning iconic Australian fiddle band Fiddlers Feast and a director of the Golden Fiddle Awards which recognize Australia's bowed string musicians and teachers.
Rouseabout Records is excited to announce the forthcoming release of Marcus Holden’s debut solo album Cicadas & Roses.
Modern classical with folk overtones, delicate nose with BlackBerry high notes and a soft finish, Cicadas & Roses features pieces which Holden studied as a young violinist and challenged him to bring new life into by the likes of George F Handel, J S Bach, Antonio Vivaldi & Gabriel Faure, as well as an original composition ‘To Say Goodbye’.
Immaculately performed by some of Australia’s finest musicians, Cicadas & Roses includes artistic contributions from Raimondo Fioravanti, Garry Steel, Andrew Toner and Elsen Price, not to mention Holden himself playing violin, guitars, mandolin, violas, keyboards, strings, percussion, harp, dobro, qin & cittern just to name a few ……. Sheesh!
The album cover art features a work of the same title by Marcus’s mum Patti.
You can listen to the opening piece ‘Berceuse: Gabriel Faure’ in this month’s edition of Undercover Radio along with ‘Moon On The Lake’ from Fiddlers Feast’s Caravan LP.
The one-hour 'Larrikin Lad' documentary on Warren’s work in folklore and music was recently screened on SBS Studio. The documentary, produced by Rebel Studios, has already been selected for several international film festivals.
The ABC has also released the DVD of the film plus bonus films through all ABC shops, Sanity, JB Hi Fi etc and ABC online. Warren hopes you enjoy the journey
More Information: Warren Fahey