All posts by Marshall Cullen

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A Talk with Tania De Jong on her early influences and new album Flying Free

On the eve of the First Single and Title Track from her new Album ‘Flying Free’ (Out on MGM Friday July 21) we have a chat with Tania De Jong (AM)….

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  1. Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer? What did your family have to say about it?

When I got the lead role in Oklahoma, the school musical – I was 17. Please see question 4. My family were supportive but encouraged me to do a stable degree first as a back up as my grand parents were artists and being an artist is a hard life, especially in Australia. So I did a Law Degree and also went to Opera School, coached tennis (to earn money as I was a top tennis player). Then I set up my group Pot-Pourri in 1987 with another student at Opera School, Jonathan Morton. He sings in a couple of songs on this CD.

2. What inspired you to become an artist and who are your early influences?

My grandmother invented the original foldable umbrella in Vienna in 1929 and my grandfather was an acclaimed sculptor. My great aunt was a renowned actress on the Paris stage. My mother is a writer and creator.

Art, music and invention runs through my family DNA.

See more here:

Visit The Duldig Studio (DGR charitable organisation) where my grandparents’ work now resides (as well as in galleries around the world) and be inspired by their extraordinary story of escape and survival. The Studio (which is my grandparents’ former home often reminds people of the Anne Frank House in Holland.

My mother’s book “Driftwood” telling the story will be launched August 20 2017 a month before my CD launch.

WATCH these short beautiful videos for more background and inspiration:

Against all Odds  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j8HxQrhfyg

Flirt – The Magical Umbrella of the Sculptress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25gVCAHrBJY&feature=youtu.be

3. Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along? What gets you going creatively?

It’s usually being in a beautiful place connected to divine consciousness, a higher spiritual energy emanating through nature and then transmitting to me in the form of lyrics. Flying Free lyrics came into my head at Macchu Picchu as I was imagining a gathering of all the people who were most special to me. That sense of being connected to all that is. Everlasting Light lyrics came after my first experience with psychedelics in the purest form of psilocybin. I realised that we are all continuing light and felt this amazing, enormous love and connection to the circle of life.

4. Tell us more?

PLEASE be inspired by my TED Talk which tells the below story and much more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_HOBr8H9EM

5. Favourite artists of all time?

Abba, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles and John Lennon’s Imagine, Louis Armstrong, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

6. Fave Book? Fave pet?. 

I love dogs and had a beloved poodle cross till last year. A favourite book is “Racing in the rain” which sees the meaning of life and human relationships from a dog’s point of view.

7. Fave food or drink and is there a story associated with that?

Superfood junkie – love wheatgrass and maca and coconut oil and aloe vera juice and green organic vegetables. I famously asked for a Bok Choi Burger at MacDonalds when I was on tour with my group pot-Pourri – based on a dare from them!

8. What are your future plans for 2017/2018?

Launching this CD and confirming more singing and speaking gigs in Australia and globally, including concerts, singing at events where people do not expect it, getting the whole audience singing and finding their voice.

I sang in Vienna at the Kursalon the other week and had an awesome response. I hope to do more singing in Europe and USA and Asia. I’ve performed all over the world with my group Pot-Pourri in the past and we still do gigs all over the place

www.pot-pourri.com.au

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FLYING FREE RELEASE DETAILS
Official Worldwide Release Date Flying Free Single July 21(MGM) Digital Only
Flying Free Album Release September 1 (MGM)  CD and Digital(14 tracks)

more at

-Social media links
https://twitter.com/TaniadeJong
https://www.facebook.com/taniadejongam

-Official site 
http://www.taniadejong.com

YouTube channel  
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCo1xm_Sdslk7MytjEHO73Q

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Fiona Joy Releases Audiophile Album Into The Mist

Australia’s very own Contemporary Instrumental success story Fiona Joy will release her new Audiophile Album ‘Into The Mist’ as part of both the LA Audiophile Show (including The Sony-sponsored Hi-Resolution Magic Bus) next month and The Australian HiFi Show where she will perform live at The Intercontinental Sydney in late July.

fion la audio bus

Into the mist epitomizes the art of contemporary solo piano recording in today’s market.
This is Fiona’s second album to be released on Blue Coast Records where once again she teams up with Cookie Marenko, Producer and Engineer, who is well known for her contributions to the world of Audiophile recordings ever since her early years at Windham Hill under the watchful eye of Will Ackerman.

Fiona brings calm, sensual and delightful sensations to her unique compositions on “Into The Mist’ .Performing on an 1885 Steinway Grand Fiona’s talent is evident in her control of the instrument.
Her previous solo piano album Signature –Solo received critical acclaim by topping ZMR’s radio chart in 2016 and winning the Award the ‘Best Piano Album’ in the same year.

Into The Mist was recorded in the Highest Fidelity Possible, a new format DSD (Direct Stream Digital). Her choice to make the album in this format and utilize new recording technologies makes her both a pioneer and role model for other musicians to follow.

cookie marenko

Producer Cookie Marenko said
“Not all artists are as easy as Fiona to work with. One of the reasons I enjoy her so much is because she let’s me do my job…. produce a great record filled with passion and emotion.”
Fiona Joy said
“It was truly an amazing experience working with Cookie again and her label Blue Coast Records (content Partners with Sony for Hi-Res) plans to officially launch Into the Mist with a customized event for our friends and supporters.  We will have exclusive access to Sony-sponsored Hi-Resolution Magic Bus - built by Jon Whitledge, its known as the world’s best car stereo. I can’t wait….”

Into the Mist: Release details:
Official Worldwide Release Date June 2nd(Blue Coast/Sony SACD)
LA Audiophile Show –  Sheraton Gateway Hotel LA Airport
3rd June 3-5pm (Show runs 2nd – 4th June).
The Magic Bus will be location at the front of the Hotel.

Australian HiFI Show
Featuring Live Piano Performances by Fiona Joy
Intercontinental Sydney July 28-30

LISTEN HERE
Interview Recorded in the Magic Bus

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Click the images below to Checkout two of the tunes/videos from the album

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Fiona mist YT2

The feel of Into the Mist brings back to my mind…immediately…the wonderful years of Windham Hill, when I could buy an LP (or later, a CD) with complete confidence that I was going to love it.  Fiona’s piano, recorded to Quad DSD, is simply there, and Cookie’s mastery in the audio arts is no less than Fiona’s on piano. Together they give us a quiet tour of creative force, without sonic compromise.
Dr David Robinson- Editor in Chief Positive Feedback Mag

Social media links
https://twitter.com/fionajoymusic
https://www.instagram.com/fionajoymusic/
https://www.facebook.com/fionajoymusic/

-Official site 
http://fionajoy.com

YouTube channel  
https://www.youtube.com/user/fionajoy

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QnA With Tenille Rogers from The Dirty Earth

tnille rogers singer the dirty earth

Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer/writer? What did your family have to say about it?

I actually got into music from a very early age. I did the obligatory recorder and piano lessons, and my older sister and I used to make up songs and put on shows for our parents. However, the turning point for me was when my sister started taking guitar lessons when I was 8 years old (she was 11 at the time) and because I wanted to be just like her I begged my mom to let me go as well. I did acoustic lessons for 4 years and then went on to learn electric with another teacher, who encouraged me to record my first EP at the age of 12. My parents have both been extremely supportive of me throughout, driving me to gigs when I was a teen and coming along to cheer me on.

What inspired you to become an artist and who are your early influences?

I was very lucky to grow up with parents who loved music. My mother has always been into her rock music like the Stones, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, while my dad loves his soul music. I loved the classics like Etta James and Dusty Springfield but my passion always lay in rock music. I greatly admire Joan Jett, I’m a huge fan of Jefferson Airplane and Fleetwood Mac are an all time favourite of mine.

Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along? What gets you going creatively?

When I’m writing solo stuff I usually start from the vocal melody up. I find a phrase or a line that really speaks to me and then I write around it. While in the band however it’s a lot more collaborative. Either Raff has a really good idea and fleshes it out or he gives it to me to do the vocal lines, as well as some great tunes that were born out of a jam session and a killer riff that we’ve just run with, much like Cheating Heart our current single (LISTEN HERE)

What current Local acts inspire you and why? What international acts?

I love Alpine because they’re quirky and fun. They mirror a lot of the attitude that I loved so much in No Doubt so it’s a throwback to my teens. Internationally I’m heavily influenced by The Donnas and Adele.

What are your future plans for 2017/2018?

At the moment we’re focussing on Aurora and getting some good mileage out of it because to be honest it’s a pretty solid album. We have already started tentatively looking at some new songs for the next album but we’re also bringing some old songs from Ascendancy and Autonomic out for our sets to keep things new and exciting for our fans.

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Official Site 

www.thedirtyearth.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com/thedirtyearth

Spotify
www.play.spotify.com/artist

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Hollerin Sluggers on Tour and New Music Video!

The Hollerin Sluggers are on tour promoting their new album! Find out where you can see them next!

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Check out their latest music video for Going Up The River!

Haven’t heard the whole album yet?What are you waiting for?!

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Want to know what they’re up to? Follow their socials!

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Tom Eaton New Album Indesterren Q&A

Read Tom Eaton’s new Q&A talking about his albums Abendromen and most recent one indesterren! 

 What inspired you to become a composer and who are your early influences?

I started playing piano in high school around 1987 and got into synthesizers at the same time.  Mostly I was listening to the pop music of the time,  Peter Gabriel, Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, but also Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre.  Through a friend I was led to Windham Hill…Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges and George Winston, and those more acoustic albums balanced the music coming from the Private Music label that was releasing amazing electronic work.  So my piano playing was being influenced by the sequences of electronic music and people like Winston, and my electronic work was being influenced by the ambiance and sparseness of the Windham Hill records, which was similar in use of space to what Patrick O’ Hearn was doing at the time.  Probably the deepest and most lasting influences were Tangerine Dream and Tim Story.

Tell us a little about how you write, how do the songs come? What gets you going creatively?

Both of my albums that were released in 2017 came from a huge emotional upheaval and life change I was going through.  “Abendromen” was a way to process the deep sadness and loss I was feeling, and “Indesterren” was more about me finding my footing in a new chapter of my life.  My music frequently starts at the piano, even if the piano doesn’t play a huge part in the finished material.  For much of what I doing these days, the first thing I do is create an ambient electric guitar loop as a textural landscape for the piece and then work the melody over that shifting drone.  Once I have the bones of melody, usually drawn from one of the piano improvs I’ve got stashed away on video, I start weaving electric guitars, bass, percussion and synthesizers in and around the melody until things seem to find a sense of cohesion.

Your bio mentions that you’ve been a recording engineer since 1993. Tell us more about that?

I opened my first commercial studio in 1993, catering mostly to the folk and singer-songwriter scene around Boston/Cambridge, MA.  For seventeen years I produced albums in that genre before a chance opportunity led me to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road studio in Vermont when Will was in search of an engineer.  We hit it off and in the last six years, we’ve produced more than fifty albums together for clients from all over the world.  We record at Will’s studio in the mountains of Vermont and then I mix and master at my own studio where I am usually working on some of my own music in addition to the Imaginary Road albums.

 What is the first record you bought and why?

I was dj-ing friends parties starting in sixth grade, with my own 45 collections, so it must have been some pop hits of the time.  Prince, or Men Without Hats or Hall and Oates, maybe.  I definitely remember the first three CDs I bought: Tangerine Dream-Tyger, U2-The Joshua Tree, The Police- Every Breath You Take, The Singles.

 What current Australian(or Local) acts inspire you? Ditto for international acts?

I’ve done a bunch of work now with Fiona Joy, both on her Signature Synchronicity album and in her capacity as a member of the FLOW group with Will Ackerman, Jeff Oster and Lawrence Blatt.  Working with Fiona is a blast…she is fearless and completely committed in the studio.  I adore Damon Albarn’s recent work…his “Everyday Robots” album is brilliant.  There’s a rock band from the states called House of Heroes that is amazing, their newest album “Colors” is getting a lot of play here these days!

 Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show?

My music sits somewhere between “pretty” new age, full on electronic music and ambient music…with some electric guitars thrown in for good measure.  I wander in and out of using rhythm parts…some songs are percussion driven and others float on those beds of swirling electric guitar.  When I’ve played live in the past few years it has been solo piano… the albums are too textural for me to pull them off in concert by myself, so sitting at the piano seems like a direct and familiar way to introduce at least part of my voice to an audience.

 Favourite artists of all time?

David Sylvian, The Blue Nile, Tim Story, Tangerine Dream, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, Kate Rusby and Will Ackerman!

Where do you see artist careers heading?

Well, it’s hard to see the financial return side of the business improving anytime soon, but for those that want to be out on the road playing there is still a living to be made.  It’s a different music industry model now that the internet allows music to be moved nearly instantly all over the world.  I still love making albums that are collections of songs circling around a central theme or feeling, but the world seems to have returned to a more singles-based model, though of course vinyl is coming back to some degree, so there are music listeners who do want to immerse themselves in a longer experience, which is a good thing.  I hope that somehow the streaming world comes around to a more artist friendly system, where fans can listen without spending too much money and musicians can get more than fractions of pennies per spin.

What are your future plans for 2017/2018?

I have three albums of my own in the works right now, and the constant cycle of albums that Will and I are working on.  So my plans are to sit right here in front of my mixing console and make some music!

Tom Eaton Album Cover

Want to listen to Tom’s latest album? Find it here:

Spotify                           

 iTunes

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Interested in what else Tom Eaton is up to? Check out his socials!

Facebook                            

Website

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Luke Escombe Takes It All Off On New Album Skeleton Blues

Taking it all off….

“Skeleton Blues” is the new solo record from singer/songwriter/guitarist Luke Escombe.

Release Date Friday March 3 (MGM)
Will be available at all good retailers (Bandcamp, iTunes, etc.) and streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and more.

Luke will next perform the songs from Skeleton Blues at Django Bar in Sydney on Saturday 4th March!

Plus catch him TONIGHT Tuesday Feb 28 on Ross Fears Australian Spectrum Show – Streaming online worldwide at
http://alive905.com.au/ross-fear-australian-spectrum-show/

You can also check out this awesome interview with Christine Anu on ABC 702 from last week here

https://soundcloud.com/luke-escombe/luke-abc-interview-on-evenings-with-christine-anu

He is also having a chat on Eastside FM  this afternoon.

Recorded live on to 2 inch tape at the legendary Damien Gerard studios in Sydney, this raw and revealing session combines the sound of primal electric blues with Luke’s distinctive wit and wordplay.  The recording took place just 24 hours before the US election, and the tape reels capture the sense of foreboding.
“Skeleton Blues” lays bare the key influences in Luke’s music. It includes covers of songs by Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, as well as two electrifying renditions of the old spirituals “O Death” and “John the Revelator”, a song Luke first heard performed by Son House on a live recording from the early 60s.

Although presenting a more serious side to his songwriting, there is still a healthy dose of Luke’s sly humour in first single “Punctuation Blues”, a track which combines a Lightnin Hopkins-inspired guitar groove with such lines as “punctuation is like making love/ you gotta know when to put it in”.

Skeleton Blues” also shows Luke’s fascination with reaching back into history to offer new perspectives on the present.  “The Lipsi” is a song about life in East Germany in the 1960s, while “William Blake” pays homage to the 18th century poet and visionary whose “illuminated books” spoke out against corruption and the rampages of the industrial revolution.

Meanwhile, previously released songs such as “21st Century Blues”, “Confidence”, “Axe in the House” and “Get in the Cool Room” take on a deeper meaning when stripped of their band backings. As the title of the record suggests, these are songs which have been cut down to their bare bones.  There’s nothing here but electric guitar, stomp and that voice. John Shand of the Sydney Morning Herald once declared “Luke Escombe is an exceptional singer…his commanding voice carries echos of Dr John, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, and Jim Morrison”

Luke recently performed the songs from “Skeleton Blues” at the Bridgetown Blues Festival in WA and as a support act for Australian music icon Russell Morris at Camelot Lounge in Sydney.

Luke will next perform the songs from Skeleton Blues at Django Bar in Sydney on Saturday 4th March!

Skeleton Blues” is accompanied by videos for “Punctuation Blues” and “O Death – filmed live in the studio. The album was recorded and mixed in a single three hour session, with no second takes or overdubs.

Pre release single videos/listening streams:

Luke Escombe “Punctuation Blues”

Watch the Video

 

Luke Escombe – O Death (cover)

Watch the Video

 

Originally from the UK, where his late father was one of the pioneers of the modern rock and roll touring industry, Luke has called Sydney home since 1999. As well as his three albums as a blues and roots artist, he is a critically acclaimed writer, comedian and MC, an in-demand public speaker, an ambassador for health charity Crohn’s and Colitis Australia and the creator of an award-winning “roots music” show for kids, families and foodies called The Vegetable Plot.

Social Links

lukeescombe.com
facebook.com/lukeescombemusic
twitter.com/mrescombe
youtube.com/user/LukeEscombe
lukeescombeandthecorporation.bandcamp.com

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Joel Leffler – Run with the Wolves – New EP

Inspired by his Dad, who would burst into his room playing guitar and singing blues songs he made up about going to school, music has become Joel’s passion.  Not very surprising, when you see the lineage of the Leffler family.  Turns out that the Leffler music heritage stretches well back into the 18th century, with multiple successful Professors of Music sharing a direct bloodline with Joel.

Joel’s journey began in 2003 when he woke one morning to find that his Father had fulfilled his birthday wish.  At the end of the bed was a brand new acoustic guitar.  ‘You would think when I was a kid, my father bursting into my room with his guitar singing blues songs he made up about ‘getting up & going to school’ would have turned me off music, but it in fact did the opposite.  He bought me my first guitar, taught me my first chord and booked me my first gig at 16.  He inspired me to not only become a singer but a writer & creator’.

Now with 10 years of song writing under his belt, 2 nationally recognised song writing awards, 4 top 10 Triple JJJ Unearthed charting songs & a string of appearances on stages around the country, Joel is within arm’s reach of matching his forefathers.

Joel’s new EP, ‘Run With The Wolves’ is produced by Sony Music Australia’s in house engineer Pete Holz & mastered by Grammy award winner William Bowden.

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Track List

  1. Atmosphere (3:29)
  2. Run with the Wolves (3:49)
  3. Promise Me Tomorrow (2:47)
  4. Love Thirsty (3:02)
  5. In My Pocket (3:24)

Upcoming Shows

3 March – Sutherland Entertainment Centre, Sutherland

11 March – Rocksalt Tapas & Winebar, Menai

Socials 
Website:  joelleffler.com 

Facebook: facebook.com/thejoelleffler

Instagram: instagram.com/thejoelleffler/

Twitter: twitter.com/thejoelleffler 

Spotify: spotify.com/album/7kacprHvlSa8DcAhVFMuI9

iTunes: itunes.apple.com/au/artist/joel-leffler

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Mama K and The Big Love – Release First Single off Debut Album

Australia’s Deep South birth’s a traditional old school Funk/RnB Band ‘Mama K and the Big Love’

“Hailing from Australia’s “deep-south” (Hobart, Tasmania), Mama K and The Big Love perform all original, old school funk, soul and rhythm n blues. – Think The Blues Brothers with Aretha out front”

The brainchild of Kartika Franks (Mama K) who formed the band back in 2014 with a view to creating an original group to fit in with ex-UK Guitarist and Composer Dave Johnstone’s musical ethos – “I think groove, melody and lyrics are the three key components of any song, and any one of those elements can spark a song idea. The complete lyrics always come last and take forever. I attempt to write lyrics that tell a story, or convey a message as poetically and efficiently as possible. I like the syllabic rhythm of words and their sound when they complement each other sonically… The song subjects either come from storylines or from the things I am passionate about,”

The debut record was recorded late last year at Red Planet in Hobart by producer Stewart Long (Violent Femmes, Luca Brasi) . The album was tracked through a 1975 Vintage Harrison 24/32 Recording Console and mixed to a Vintage Studer B67 Analog Tape Deck. “So much can be done with digital these days, but sometimes you just want some romance!” said Stew, We used old gear wherever it felt good.”

First single and video “Moth to The Flame” Is a story about a stripper and her loyal flock of followers (who hang off her every move), and a priest with his loyal flock of followers (who hang off his every word).

Single ‘Moth to the Flame’ Release Date Friday February 17
Pre release trailer-

facebook.com/MamaKandtheBigLove/videos/1858236047788276

The song is brilliantly brought to visuals in the video featuring acclaimed Hobart Actor Jeff Michel who plays both roles in a masterful cross dressing, hip churning solo performance. See
https://youtu.be/RiGaKuCpPLQ

 

The Album ‘Blind’ will be released March 10
(pre release review copies are available on request)

Upcoming Shows
Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
‘Busting Out’ – International Women’s Day event for Women’s Health Tasmania
Moonah Arts Centre, 23-27 Albert Road, Moonah, TAS, 7009
7.30 – 9.00pm
Tickets $25 full / $20 concession.

Album launch party – Friday, March 17th, 2017
The Duke Hotel, 192 Macquarie Street, Hobart, TAS, 7000
8.00pm

Recent Quotes
“…they’re an incredible band… a really, really exciting group, huge voicesRyk Goddard,
ABC Radio Hobart (Breakfast show 27/01/17)

“what an amazing band….  I already have people wanting your new CD” Alan Jennison,
Publisher/Editor Tasmanian Living Magazine (24/01/17)
         

Social Links 

Website: mamakandthebiglove.com

Facebook: facebook.com/MamaKandtheBigLove

Youtube youtube.com/channel/UC21JvWyYBKgBW6mYqZ0UxsA

Twitter: twitter.com/MamaKandBigLove