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Aussie Rockers Black Aces release new EP and single ‘Never Change’

Drawing from the history pages of Aussie rock come Victorian four-piece Black Aces!

Never Change is the name of their new single and also the title track of their new EP. Driven by dirty slide guitar, and a driving tempo, the title track is a catchy and upbeat rocker that pays homage to the old adage that ”some things never change”.

Also featured on the EP is the previously released single, Feverdreams. A fast paced rocker in the vein of the Australian rock greats that have come before them, married with Black Aces signature sound and Tyler Kinder’s distinctive and unique vocals, Feverdreams is a self-deprecating soundtrack to the hangover from hell.

Check out the video here:

As with the band’s 2017 album Anywhere But Here, the new EP was produced by Mark Opitz and Colin Wynne. Opitz has a long list of Aussie rockers from his own ARIA Award-winning career to take inspiration from, including AC/DC, The Divinyls, Cold Chisel, INXS and The Angels.

Formed in rural Australian town Bendigo by singer-guitarist Tyler Kinder, Black Aces set about forming a set of songs influenced by the greats of Aussie rock.  Bassist Alex works as a mechanic in the same shed where the band rehearses and write songs.

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After developing a strong live following across their homeland and sharing stages with the likes of Cosmic Psychos, Angry Anderson, Dallas Crane, and The Casanovas, Black Aces released their debut album Shot In The Dark in early 2016 and took their live show all the way to Europe and the UK.?

Through sheer hard work the album broke into the top 20 of the iTunes Australia rock charts, and the band ended a bumper year with a show stealing performance at Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales, alongside such heavyweights as Molly Hatchet, Living Color and Ratt – earning themselves a call back to the festival’s main stage alongside the legendary Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) in 2017. The band then released their second album Anywhere But Here in the same year and received a rave review from their famous fan. “Black Aces is like getting a new vintage AC/DC in 2017! And there ain’t nothing wrong with that!… My new turn to album. Anywhere But Here” – Dee Snider, Twisted Sister

The future looks bright for the boys from Bendigo.

UK Label Off Yer Rocka will be releasing the bands new music as per below-

Oct 3 Never Change Video Premiere

Oct 4 Never Change Single release/EP Pre Order/Tour Begins(dates below)

Oct 31 EP Release date

Black Aces are: 

Tyler Kinder – Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar
Jarrad Morrice – Rhythm Guitar
Alex McMillan – Bass
Pete McMillan – Drums
(FUN FACT: Despite Alex and Pete sharing the same surname, they in fact aren’t related at all!)

NEVER CHANGE TOUR DATES 

Friday – Sunday 4th, 5th, 6th October

Chopped, CARRISBROOK VIC

https://www.chopped.com.au/

w The Chats, The 5, 6, 7, 8’s plus more

Tickets: $230 for weekend pass

Time: Black Aces are appearing at 5.30 on Saturday 5th October.

Saturday 12th October

Shovel Fest, BENDIGO VIC

https://www.centrestaterodders.com/shovel-fest-bendigo

Tickets: $10

Time: 10am start – Band time TBC

Saturday 26th October

Crowbar, SYDNEY NSW

https://crowbarsyd.com/

w The Neptune Power Federation

Tickets: $17.85

Time: 8pm

Friday 1st November

Old Bank Hotel, DUBBO NSW

https://www.oldbankdubbo.com/

with Flickertail

Tickets: $10

Time: 8pm

Saturday 2nd November

The Vic Hotel, ORANGE NSW

https://www.victoriahotelorange.com.au/

with Flickertail

Tickets: FREE

Time: 9pm

Friday 15th November

Transit Bar, CANBERRA ACT

http://www.transitbar.com.au

with Flickertail, Loud So Clear & Babe Fiasco

Tickets: $10 presale  and $15 on the door

Time: 8pm

Saturday 16th November

Botany View Hotel, NEWTOWN NSW

https://www.botanyviewhotel.com/

with Flickertail

Tickets: TBA

Time 8PM

Sunday 17th November

Frankies Pizza, SYDNEY NSW

https://www.frankiespizzabytheslice.com/

with Lagerstein

Tickets: FREE

Time: 7PM

Friday 29th November

Stay Gold, BRUNSWICK VIC

https://staygoldmelbourne.com.au/

with Smoke Stack Rhino, Dead Preachers + TBA

Tickets: TBA

Saturday 21st December

Golden Vine Hotel, BENDIGO VIC

https://www.facebook.com/goldenvinebendigo/

Support TBC

Tickets: $10

Time: 9PM

The Never Change EP will be available to pre-order from October 4.
Officially released on October 31st. 

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The Blind Pilots release debut 3-track EP

When describing The Blind Pilots it’s easy to say the same old things about being an explosive four piece Australian Roots, Rock and Blues outfit from the Northern Beaches of Sydney. But the truth is all four members have known each other in previous successful bands, which gives them an advantage in the creative songwriting process.  The four friends share a close rapport and have a laugh together every week. They say, “There’s never a dull moment in rehearsals!” 

 The band members’ camaraderie is largely based on the fact they grew up listening to the same music and share common influences like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Led Zepplin and Midnight Oil.  Together they form a band making the most of dirty slide guitar, hard hitting drums, solid bass grooves, accompanied by a soulful vocal drenched in foot stompin’ harmonica riffs. “We all have an urge to push each other harder to get the best out of our muscianship and are driven to create those magic moments,” says lead guitarist and vocalist Owen.  

In a live format, the band produce an energetic show full of intense commitment, whilst still maintaining a laid back vibe.  

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The lead track of their brand new EP is called Tell Me I’m Wrong, which offers frontman Owen’s perspective on the current political landscape. Accompanying tracks are Telephone – a hard-hitting blues rock tune about breakdowns in relationships, complete with  dirty blues harp and riffing electric guitar.  The swampy southern blues rock style of Howling at the Moon fits perfectly with the lyrical lament about longing and yearning.  

 Between them, their experiences have seen them performing at festivals including Byron Blues, Woodford Folk, Festival Of Sun, Echuca Blues Festival, Mud Run, Harley Days, Throttle Roll, Sydney Blues Festival and has found them on the Australian Blues charts. With new ideas consistently being brought to the table this group will continue to make inroads in the Blues and Roots World and be one to watch.

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The Blind Pilots members are: Owen Mancell – Guitar/Vocals; Matt Hough – Drums; Ryan Stone – Harmonica; Daniel Changas – Bass/Vocals  

“Owen brings the spark, Matt is the conductor and reconstructs, Changas adds the bottom end whilst Stony waves the magic which is the icing on the cake.”

The Blind Pilots EP is out on August 30. 

Download or stream from August 30:

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Melissa Black’s Eden Project Makes Mark Overseas

Melissa Black has just wrapped a series of interviews in the US and has also scored several enthusiastic reviews for her recent EP release, The Eden Project.

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Melissa told Indie Music Discovery in the US, “I’ve had an amazing experience recording my new album with Riversong Music at The Back 45. Andy and Scott are an incredibly synergistic duo in the studio. They’re not afraid to push the envelope and the entire creative process is inspiring. I have found my authentic voice and sound.”

The Bandcamp Diaries enthused, “Fallen Angel has a cool 70s throwback sound, which reminds me of artists like Fleetwood Mac. I love Melissa’s energetic vocals and the overall cohesion of the instrumental track!”

The Red Carpet Living blog said, “In a world riddled with destruction, when something pure comes along – you feel it in every pore of your fibre. Because purity and the really good stuff – is translucent. Just like Eden. Her voice is like milk and honey on the radio waves of empty rasp, forced empowerment, and seductive allure.”

Melissa Black – The Eden Project EP is out now on Riversong. 

Download or stream The Eden Project EP now:

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Rebecca Daniel and Fiona Joy Hawkins Explore ‘The Lightness Of Dark’

REBECCA DANIEL AND FIONA JOY HAWKINS JOIN FORCES TO CREATE THE LIGHTNESS OF DARK – A POWERFUL MUSICAL EXPLORATION OF LOSS, MOURNING AND FINDING BEAUTY AMIDST LIFE’S SADNESS

Superb Classical Crossover Music, featuring award winning artists Rebecca Daniel (Violin/Voice/Piano) and Fiona Joy Hawkins (Piano/Voice) Will Be Supporting Their Cathartic and Healing New Album With A USA Fall Tour 2019.

Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

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Australian instrumentalists Rebecca Daniel and Fiona Joy Hawkins place this insight on the back cover of The Lightness of Dark to illuminate their creative and spiritual vision behind the project –their first dual album after many years of live and studio collaborations. The two explore the many facets of life and loss, the search for something positive in the crippling shadows and the potential beauty that can emerge from mourning and sadness.

The Lightness of Dark weaves its lush, cathartic narrative via music with varying instrumentation depending on the emotions the two are expressing. The opening track “Heavenly Voices” blends string quartet (featuring The Kanimbla Quartet)with organ, piano and vocals. Other tracks feature solo piano (“Ghosts, Insanity, Angels”), piano/violin duet (“Elegy”), piano with quartet pads (“Lake of Contemplation”), string quartet only (“Interwoven Threads of Chance”), string quartet featuring piano (“Empty Moments”) and other combinations uniquely fitted for the compositions they imbue.

“We believe our album will connect with everyone because we all experience loss in varying forms,” Fiona says. “It can be the loss of youth, a loved one, a pet, your health…Life changing events where we are left to mourn because of loss. People only face their own issues when you lead them to a safe place to do this.”

Rebecca and Fiona have enjoyed a long history of collaborations and are looking forward to working with renowned Australian Producer Llew Kiek. They have performed over 50 concerts together including at the Sydney Opera House for the 2012 MusicOz Awards, New Orleans for 2014 ZMR Awardsand 2017 Sydney Women’s International Jazz Festival-and Rebecca has appeared on nearly every one of Fiona’s solo albums. The two have played together as part of Fiona’s Blue Dream Ensemble, and Rebecca produced the group’s album Live at the Q.

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Rebecca Daniel studied violin and chamber music with Emanuel Hurwitz and the Amadeus String Quartet at The Royal Academy of Music. She worked with Trevor Pinnock and Simon Standage, and The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Orchestra Leader for Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music and Beauty and the Beast. She has recorded and performed with, John Denver, Bread, James Galway and the Chieftains, Will Ackerman, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Men at Work and INXS.

Rebecca cites John Lennon, Amadeus String Quartet and Samuel Barber as amongst her earliest musical influences. She also told us that a collection of 78’s from the 1930’s was her first music purchase. Her natural penchant for music was evident when she was very young. “I started singing as a baby, was given a violin at 4,” she says. “It was just expected of me to be a musician. But I only started writing a few years ago.”

Fiona Joy Hawkins, a Conservatorium-trained pianist, renowned for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, is a prolific composer who regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona’s song “Grace’ is on a 2014 Grammy Winning album, and in 2016 she won two Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York. She has several Best Piano Album ZMR Awards and has worked with Producer Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records and Cookie Marenco (Blue Coast Records) for hi-resolution audiophile recordings.

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Big Merino’s second album Sweet Little Angel is out now!

Big Merino’s second album to follow Surbuban Wildlife is Sweet Little Angel and it’s out now!
It features the singles that have already made an impact at radio – Hummingbird and the title track, as well as a cover of the classic Neil Young track Ohio.
The band recently played a successful launch for the album at the Marrickville Bowling Club and next Canberra audiences will have their turn. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than hanging at Smith’s Alternative with Big Merino!
Show starts at 4pm.
Sunday August 25 @ Smith’s Alternative, Canberra

Bruce Elder at the Sydney Morning Herald gave the album a glowing review recently – have a read below.

ADULT ROCK Big Merino
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It has long been an orthodoxy that second albums are more problematic than debut offerings. Here’s the exception. If Big Merino’s debut, Suburban Wildlife, was scattergun in its approach, this is a tour de force of, for want of a better term, classy adult rock, funk, soul and pop. It’s the kind of music Jo Camilleri and Van Morrison see as their bailiwick: a clever and sophisticated blend of heart-stopping gospel-style harmonies (I Watched the Light), and classy lead vocals (courtesy of Stuart Davis, a long-time member of Sydney-based choral masters Cafe of the Gate of Salvation).

Instrumental features include beautiful interplay between acoustic and electric guitar (the title track is seductive); searing guitar solos from Alex Craig (I Lay Me Down); delicious horns courtesy of James Greening (Satellite) and some pulsating funkiness on This Song and Living in the Past.

Oh, yes, and there is an astonishingly good reading (with blistering guitar solos) of Neil Young’s Ohio. The result is a deeply satisfying collection of songs which, while they defy any easy categorisation, sit happily at the richly mature end of popular music. Hear them at Marrickville Bowling Club, July 27. Bruce Elder

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Sweet Little Angel was recorded at Damien Gerard Studios.

Watch the video for Sweet Little Angel at YouTube:

Sweet Little Angel is out now on Foghorn Records through MGM. 

Stream or download:

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Brisbane’s Team Utopia release double A-side called Comin’ Back.

Building on the success of the singles and videos of  ‘Strips Off My Soul’ and ‘Calling Out To The Masses’, Brisbane’s Team Utopia release their new double A Side ‘Addiction’ and ‘Waiting for You’ under the apt title ‘Comin’ Back’.

The songs were written by Team Utopia and inspired by broken love and personal battles.  Addiction is a slice of classic hard-paced up-tempo rock from the dynamic Brissy outfit. Taking a leaf from their popular live set you can almost hear the punters singing along and moving on the dance floor to this tune.

The second of the double-A sides is Waiting For You, a more laidback rock tune featuring some classy female backing vocals. Lead singer Danny’s world-weary vocals tell the story.

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The ‘Comin’ Back’ release was recorded at Star Audio Studios in Brisbane, tracked and engineered by BJ McGuinness. The songs were then lovingly mixed by Russell Pilling at Damien Gerard Studios, while vocals were added in Sydney.
Final touches from Ex USA mastering guru Andrew Beck were added on the NSW Central Coast to add the final polish for radio and release.
And there you have it, another killer release from this exciting band!

Catch Team Utopia live soon at Rockin 4 The Homeless events. The band will be doing their bit for the very worthy The Breakfast Club charity.

Rockin’ 4 The Homeless with You Am I, The Superjesus, Diana Anaid and more!

Friday,  30th August 2019 – Gold Coast RSL Club, Southport

Saturday,  31th August 2019 – Picnic Hill, Cnr Oxley & Anzac, Redcliffe 

More local tour dates will be added soon. The band are also in negotiations for a USA West Coast run in February 2020.

Comin’ Back featuring Addiction and Waiting For You is out July 12 through Foghorn Records/MGM. 

Stream or Download the new songs from July 12:

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Steve Kilbey & Gareth Koch Release Second Single ‘Lost At Sea’

UPDATE:

‘Lost At Sea’ looks set to exceed the streams of the first collaborative offering from Steve Kilbey and Gareth Koch, Broken Toys (50K + streams on Spotify). ‘Lost At Sea’ has notched up 7000 streams in only its first two weeks of release!

‘Lost At Sea’ also sitting at #1 on the SoundsLikeCafe Chart, getting serious amounts of spins in cafes all around the country.

The video for Lost At Sea is out now. Check it out at YouTube here!

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Gareth Koch just announced the exciting news that the duo will be returning to the studio this October, to record several tracks including one called Thylacine (the scientific name for the extinct Tasmanian Tiger).

Koch recently talked about the song with British music journalist Jason Barnard. “The idea was to write a soulful ballad filled with ocean and journey references,” he explained. “Musically it harks back to a tuneful and almost Italian style of writing. The harmony owes a little to J.S. Bach’s ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, as does of course Procol Harum’s ‘Lighter Shade of Pale.”

He also talks about how he ended up writing music with Steve Kilbey, saying he’s been a fan since seeing The Church way back in 1980 at The Mosman Hotel in Sydney!

For the full interview, head to thestrangebrew.co.uk.

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(photo credit: Tony Mott)

“I’m just a guy holding the pen” is the poignant opening line of the recent Steve Kilbey & Gareth Koch collaboration ‘Lost at Sea’.

The statement seems innocent enough at first glance, yet it elegantly addresses the mystery of creativity. How does art come into being, and is the creator just a filter or medium for the creative process?

The sentiment is even more interesting given the background of the two protagonists. Steve Kilbey, perhaps best known as the frontman of veteran rock band The Church, has a lifetime of esoteric lyrics to his credit. Kilbey’s themes pose questions and riddle-like answers. Perhaps this is why his lyrics continue to engage us. Gareth Koch on the other hand, a Viennese-trained guitarist/composer, has explored the nature of creativity head-on in his PhD thesis. Perhaps between the pair, Kilbey & Koch might have some answers.

These considerations aside, this collaboration has yielded a truly beautiful and timeless ballad. There is a wistful and haunting lilt to ‘Lost at Sea’, as it floats seamlessly through a narrative of stolen hearts, voyages into solitudeand roaming in no-man’s land. And to compliment these lyrics is a delicious instrumentation, weaving and wafting, ghostly and waif-like, present yet elusive.

This is possibly why this collaboration works so well. Kilbey & Koch are both masters of the esoteric form. As they step sideways from their respective genres this coming together highlights a close aesthetic connection.

‘Lost At Sea’ is sure to follow in the footsteps of the first collaborative offering, Broken Toys, which last week was sitting pretty at #1 on the Radio Indie Alliance chart:

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Lost At Sea will be released on July 5 via MGM. 

Download/stream from July 5:

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Big Merino Release New Single and Album ‘Sweet Little Angel’

Big Merino have put the finishing touches on their second album at Damien Gerard Studios in Sydney. It’s official release date is July 27 but you can pre-buy the album ahead of time by heading to the band’s online shop.

The first single to be lifted from Sweet Little Angel is the balladesque title track, while it’s B-side accompaniment is a cover of the politically-charged protest song of 1970, ‘Ohio’. Penned by Neil Young and recorded with his band Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the song is a guitar-led melodic track that will be familiar to most music lovers.

The single will be released on June 28. 

Tracklisting for the album is:

Sweet Little Angel
I Watched The Light
I Lay Me Down
Mama’s Gonna Fall
Satellite
Ohio
This Song
Hard Lesson
Living In The Past
Day Without You
Hummingbird

Guest musicians on the record are:

Alice Papademetriou & Lisa Spence : additional vocals
John Gauci, Mike Gubb : Keyboards
James Greening : Horns
Jess Ciampa : percussion

Watch a sampler video by clicking on the YouTube link below:

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UPCOMING SHOW DATES ARE:

Sat June 8 @ Gasoline Pony, Marrickville
Fri June 28 Murringo NSW
Sat June 29 Quandialla NSW
Sat July 27 @ Marrickville Bowlo

Big Merino is a genre-busting band featuring Stuart Davis (lead vocals/guitar), Alex Craig (lead guitar), Peter Richardson (bass) and Colin Sevitt (drums).

Their songs blur the lines between rock, country, blues, soul and pop.  Despite an obvious passion for Americana (blues, country and Gospel) their music somehow also sounds quintessentially Australian, shaped by our landscape and their own stories.

“Great songs, great songwriting and best of all – full of a real sincerity and commitment”

Michael Smith – Rhythms

The album will be released on July 27 on Foghorn Records through MGM. 

Stream or Download Big Merino’s music:

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John Kennedy Raining Treasure Tour Update

Following the Successful Melbourne Show last weekend including an appearance from Kim Salmon,
The Sydney Launch is Friday June 21 Next Week at the fabulous Patersham Bowlo


And for Brisbane folks there are still last minute tix available for tomorrow night at The Junk Bar

Sydney musician John Kennedy’s new album Raining Treasure celebrates the golden era of Australian independent music from the late ‘70’s and the 80’s. Kennedy compiled a list of classic indie songs (and some obscurities) from that era and with his band, John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special, has recorded songs from The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, The Scientists and many more. Some of these acts were contemporaries. Some were inspirations. All had some great songs.

The idea for this release sprang from the 2017 album, JFK and the Midlife Crisis. It was a concept album about a middle aged Sydney musician looking back over his life to the glory days of the Australian indie music scene. It explored the joys and disappointments of being part of the thriving music culture that was centred around Surry Hills at that time. The logical next step was to cover some of the great songs from that fertile period. These songs take you back to the Trade Union Club and the Strawberry Hills Hotel.

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The tracklist is: 

1. Swampland* – The Scientists
2. Raining Pleasure – The Triffids
3. Leilani – le Hoodoo Gurus
4. Come On – The Atlantics via The Wet Taxis
5. Stuck On You – Sardine v
6. Girl In The Sweater – The Hard Ons
7. King Street* – John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong
8. Ocean Liner – The Lighthouse Keepers
9. Lee Remick* – The Go-Betweens
10. Refugee – The Apartments
11. When The Birdmen Fly – The Fun Things
12. Brisbane (Security City) / Electrical Storm – The Saints / Ed Kuepper
13. Nothing Grows In Texas* – Sacred Cowboys
14. Don’t Go To Sydney – The Zimmermen
15. St Kilda to Kings Cross – Paul Kelly
( * Suggested airplay tracks)
An enthusiastic young music journalist once described John Kennedy as a humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius nor particularly humble. He is the writer and performer of many fine songs, some of which have found a place in the hearts of music fans of the golden era of Australian independent music. Kennedy started his music career in Brisbane in the ‘80’s with his band JFK and the Cuban Crisis. The band moved to Sydney and after establishing itself on the indie music scene broke up leaving Kennedy to pursue a solo career with his band vehicle, John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong. Despite numerous indie hits, commercial crossover proved to be elusive leading to his decision to leave Australia. Kennedy spent the ‘90’s living and playing music in Berlin, Hong Kong and London before returning to Sydney’s Inner West in 2000. He formed a new band, John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special and continues to perform and produce independent releases.

Over the years Kennedy has shared stages with many of the acts covered on this new album. His band members have come from or gone on to the Triffids, Paul Kelly, the Go-Betweens and Ed Kuepper. The current line up of the band boasts its own fine indie pedigree. Long time drummer, Peter Timmerman was an original Love Gone Wrong member before moving on to the Widdershins. New bassist Phil Hall played with Sardine v, the Dropbears, the Lime Spiders and many others. Guitarist Murray Cook started out in Finger Guns before going on to found what is probably Australia’s most successful independent band, the Wiggles. Together with Kennedy they have created versions of these Australian indie classics, reinterpreting some, expanding some and celebrating them all.

TOUR DATES ARE:

Melbourne ALBUM LAUNCH – Swamplands, 744 High St, Thornbury VIC.
Saturday 8 June, from 8pm.

Brisbane ALBUM LAUNCH – The Junk Bar, 215 Waterworks Rd, Ashgrove QLD
Saturday 15 June, from 8pm.

Sydney ALBUM LAUNCH – Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton St, Petersham NSW
Friday 21 June, from 8pm.

Pre-sale tickets are available via Oztix, or buy tickets at the door.

Raining Treasure (Australian Indie Gold Covers Vol.1) will be released on 7 June 2019,
on Foghorn Records through MGM. 

Stream or Download John Kennedy’s music:

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Texas Strangers – ‘Borderline’ album OUT NOW

Texas Strangers – Borderline – Country – Album out now (MGM)

Featuring a dynamic live show of originals and covers, NSW Central Coast boys Texas Strangers are gaining a reputation for being one of Australia’s up and coming Country bands, with a strong Tamworth track record.

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Taking his inspiration from great song writers like Jimmy Webb, frontman Steve Killeen is combining great lyrics with strong country melodies that are connecting with a growing audience.

The debut album Borderline is out now via the good folks at MGM and the boys will be playing around the traps in support. The first 2 singles Always in the Rain and River of Tears both received strong support from ABC Country and national Community Stations.

Latest Review

Courtesy of RedbackRock

“Schmick production throughout gives this one an extra edge. And when the grandiose waft of Always in the Rain kicks in, you know you’re onto something special. Catchy as all hell. Pick of the bunch.”(Mark Fraser)

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