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BiG MERiNO – Debut album Suburban Wildlife

BiG MERiNO – Debut album Suburban Wildlife

Big merino

Sydney based Alt-Country/ Rock/ Soul band Big Merino released their debut album Suburban Wildlife on the 13th of May 2018, all recorded and engineered by Russell Pilling over three weeks at Damian Gerard Studios.

Big Merino songwriters Alex and Stuart write socially and politically-charged song lyrics that are sometimes gentle and nostalgic and at other times nothing less than a fierce cry for revolution.

Big Merino’s music has a handmade quality to it, they try to blur the lines between Rock, Country, Blues, Roots, Soul, Funk, Grunge occasionally and make their way into lesser known genres. Stuart’s passion for New Orleans second lane and Cuban music has its influences in the bass lines and rhythms of several songs.

How did the Big Merino start Alex?

It just grew like topsy, at first it was Stuart and I we went to school together and we played in bands together for years. It was just two old friends jamming and making up tunes then suddenly there was a bass player and finally we found a drummer (We did manage to explode another drummer along the way) and my wife had a birthday coming up so we played a few songs and after that we just kept going.

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What was the first record you bought? And what drove you to make music Alex?

My first record I think it was “Night at the Opera”. It was awesome but I remember ABBA being on high rotation a lot back then or it may have been something deeply uncool.

It’s hard to walk past something as beautiful as a guitar and not want to pick it up. I was your regular earnest, spotty, undateable 15 year old when I first started playing the guitar. I never lost the passion and my early influences were all those sixties and seventies bands.

What was the first record you bought? And what started your journey to make music Stuart?

My first record was The Monkees “Someday Man”. I loved that song! It was classic 60’s pop song written probably by Neil Diamond or some other great songwriter. The B side was a Mike Nesmith song called ‘Listen to The Band’.

In my early 20’s I lived in London with a friend who introduced me to the infamous 100 Club. At that stage it was a Jazz/ Blues venue and I was lucky enough to see several old Blues legends like Memphis Slim, Nina Simone and Slim Gaillard. The night I saw Memphis Slim my whole world changed and I was going to be a performer.

My other big influence is Black Gospel Music. I spent years listening to the great Gospel groups like The Soul Stirrers and The Swan Silvertones – trying to emulate that sometimes ferocious, sometimes tender vocal delivery.

What are the future plans for Big Merino?

Get our album done and out there, get some gigs at festivals and play to bigger audiences, more travelling and playing & singing!

Other cameos on the album include:

Featuring guest performances from the creme de la creme of Australia’s musical talent, including:

Musician of the Year at Tamworth Music Festival Clare O-Meara, player extraordinaire Jonathan Zwartz double bass, Johnny G from Johnny G and the E-Types on piano, organ and accordion, Australia’s most sought after percussionist Jess Ciampa, Living legend James Greening on trombone, sousaphone, euphonium, trumpet, flugelhorn and pocket cornet, the pedal steel player of choice for Australia’s leading country performers Michel Rose from the  band The Catholics, a string quartet from the Sydney Chamber Orchestra. Stuart’s wife Alice is featured on 2 songs for vocals.

Reviews:

Beach sloth – “Big Merino goes for a powerful, heartfelt sound on the symphonic folk musings of Suburban Wildlife.”

http://www.beachsloth.com/big-merino-suburban-wildlife.html

Dancing About Architecture (by Dave Franklin) – “The art of pinning down a band in just a few generic descriptions or a handy soundbite is the stock-in-trade of the music reviewer but I have to admit that it will take a better man than me to concisely pin down Big Merino.”

https://dancingaboutarchitecture.info/2018/05/19/suburban-wildlife-big-merino-reviewed-by-dave-franklin/

Middle Tennessee Music.com (by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman) – “Comprising of a team of seasoned music makers, Big Merino is the culmination of various musical styles, years of various experiences and the talented personalities which have come together like Voltron to form an appealing, soul-infused rock record that can be listened to from beginning to end…multiple times…without getting old.”

https://www.midtnmusic.com/big-merino-suburban-wildlife/

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Loren Evarts (USA)

Loren Evarts- Newest album Home Again

Loren Evarts newest album Home Again

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Home Again is the 6th original album, of this amazing contemporary pianist. It revisits several pieces previously recorded by Loren in the 1980’s, and eight new ones. It was produced by Grammy award winner Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) at his Imaginary Road studio in West River valley, Windham County, Vermont and was engineered by Tom Eaton.

Featuring Grammy-winning artists and Grammy-nominated Artists Eugene Friesen on cello (Paul Winter, Trio  Globo), Rhonda Larson on many types of flutes (Paul Winter, Ventus) and Jeff Haynes on percussion (Pat Metheny, Pete Seeger), bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel and King Crimson).

Besides Piano, Loren Evarts has been known to perform by singing, trombone, hammered dulcimer and organ.

Loren has performed professionally in the Connecticut area of USA in a variety of musical situations for over 40 years. He has been grateful to have been involved in performances with artists such as Dave Weckl (Chick Corea), Gerry Neiwood (Chuck  Mangione), Everett Silver (Chuck Mangione), Mike Davis (Rolling Stones), Danny Stiles (Bill Watrous), Fred Vigdor (Average White Band), Rhonda Larson (Paul Winter Consort).

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About Loren Evarts:

I was in first grade when I heard a fellow classmate play the piano, and I said, “Hey, I want to do that, too.” Of course, I had no idea that you had to practice, which made me think twice about my choice. But due to frequent beatings from my mom, I persisted, Partially kidding!

I started playing classical piano at age 7, but like a lot of kids, I started listening to pop radio in middle school. Fortunately, I was allowed to stick in a few popular tunes in my lessons along with the serious music. In high school I started to get influenced by jazz. My biggest influences were bands like Chicago and Tower of Power, Elton John, James  Taylor, Carole King, Jazz singer Al  Jarreau, and jazz pianists like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Liz Story.

What can a crowd expect at a live show? 

My music is probably best described as a mix of new age, jazz, classical and world. It’s piano-based but sometimes I will add a percussionist, bassist or woodwind player for concerts.

What are your future plans for 2018/2019?

Well, I am an American so, like many of my fellow citizens, I am looking to survive until 2020(enough on politics). But otherwise, At my stage of the game, I just want to put out a good product, and I hope to write some new material now that my newest album has been released. And that means I have to sit down at the piano and start! I am always gratified when people enjoy my music. I no longer crave being a big star. It’s nice being in this place.

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Joel Leffler – New EP – Strip Me Bare

Joel Leffler – New EP – Strip Me Bare

Following on from his ‘Run With The Wolves’  EP and tour Joel Leffler has released a stunning new EP “Strip Me Bare”, produced by long-time collaborator and  ARIA  winning Producer  Peter  Holz  (Peking  Duk, Gang of Youths).

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The first single  “In  My  Sights” from the new EP is the song which features a guest vocal from  Melissa  Jane. Joel and Melissa shared a house together and have worked together on numerous recordings.  This poppy anthemic tune hits home and you can’t help but sing and dance along to this great party song. 

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Melissa:  ‘Joel  and  I have always written and played together. Our voices blend  & complement each other really well. I think this track is just one of those feel-good anthems. The  chorus  is  super  catchy,  you’ve been warned.’

Joel:  ‘I had this melody stuck in my head for weeks. I would wake up, drive to work  & go to sleep all with the chorus sitting on the tip of my tongue. I have never been so haunted by a melodic idea as much as  I have on “In  My  Sights”. 

Pete  Holz:  ‘We’ve taken off from where the  1st  EP left off and gone a little more into the synth and drum machine world  - but still kept a lot of guitar and groove in there!  A  pleasure  having  Melissa  Jade  feature  too  -  such  a  great  singer  and  really  bought  another  higher  level of the  track.’

Joel will be performing live at The  Brass Monkey and other Sydney venues for the new release of Strip Me Bare.

‘Strip Me Bare’ EP Launch! 10 of May 7pm @ Brass Monkey, Cronulla Joel Leffler [Band] With Special Guest ‘Tyler Joseph’2.1

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