All posts by Marshall Cullen

hummingbird update

NEW RELEASE: Big Merino – Brand New Single ‘Hummingbird’

 hummingbird update

Big Merino – New Single – Hummingbird

Sydney’s Big Merino have recorded a brand new song called Hummingbird.
It’s the very first taste of a bunch of new songs that will be recorded over the coming months at Damien Gerard Studios in Sydney. The as-yet-untitled second album from the blues-country-rock-pop group is expected to be released this Winter.

Hummingbird is not an ode to wildlife, rather a lament on the tragic and powerful consequences of unmanned military aerial drone strikes.

A special black-and-white video for the song was recently shot by band member Alex, who just happens to be a professional photographer. He captured the band on the rocks over the ocean at Maroubra Beach, Sydney and it’s available to watch now on YouTube. 

Big Merino will launch Hummingbird on Saturday February 23 at Gasoline Pony in Marrickville, Sydney.  

Formed a little over two years ago, Big Merino play original songs that blur the lines between rock, country, blues, roots, soul, funk and grunge, while occasionally making forays into lesser known genres such as New Orleans 2ndLine.

Citing their major influences as Glen Hansard, The Frames, Jackson Browne and The Rolling Stones, songwriters Alex Craig and Stuart Davis write socially and politically-charged songs that are sometimes gentle and nostalgic and at other times nothing less than a fierce cry for revolution.

Lead singer/guitarist Stuart Davis cut his teeth singing Gospel with Tony Backhouse in Cafe at the Gates of Salvation, and brings that soulful Gospel feel to everything he does. He is joined by Alex Craigon guitar, Peter Richardsonon bass and Colin Sevitt on drums.


Listen to ‘Hummingbird’ at all your favourite digital music platforms from Friday, February 15, 2019:

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The Bondi Beach Latin American Festival is happening March 17!


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Have you ever wanted to experience the vibrant culture, music, dance and cuisine of Latin America? On Sunday 17th of March you can do it all as the BONDI BEACH LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL returns to the iconic Bondi Beach Pavilion.

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This year the BONDI BEACH LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL completes its 40th year, celebrating the magic of Latin culture by the sunny sands of Australia’s most famous beach. The festival will kick off at 11:00 am with the always colourful beachside parade, representing a diversity of Latin and Caribbean cultures including Comparsa Urumbe (Uruguay), Sabor Boliviano (Bolivia), La Rumba Latina (Colombia), Bateria 61 (Brazil), and the exquisite dancers and costumes of the Carnivale.

From midday to 8 pm the fiesta continues with the Bondi Pavilion hosting 4 arenas where you will find a diverse range of artists and genres representative of Latin culture. Artists such as Pato Lara & The Teyuna Collective, Nativösoul, Cumbiamuffin, Havana Social Club Salsa DJs, and Australiasia’s leading Brazilian performance company, Rhythm Brazil among others, will make your body move with the upbeat and contagious music that the region is known for.

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The party vibes will be in full effect with Bondi Beach providing an amazing backdrop against which to enjoy the “Latin Village” and visit its market stalls. An incredible variety of Latin food will be on offer in the “Latin Beats and Eats Arena” including Argentinian BBQ, Sofrito paella, Venezuelan arepas, Mexican tacos and nachos, ceviche from Peru, empanadas from Chile and amazing desserts such as the ever-popular churros.

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Traditional and emerging Latin dance styles will be on show with folkloric performances on the main stage, and free dance classes with professionals.

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There will also be children’s activities and art exhibitions, allowing to enjoy and participate in the warmth, fun and happiness of the Latin culture.

This extraordinarily engaging experience presented by Waverley Council and Bondi Association of Arts and Music will take place on the 17th of March 2019 at the Bondi Pavilion, so prepare yourself for a stunning day of immersion in Latin culture.

Tickets are now available at

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Click here to buy them now!

(Kids under 12 are free!)

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Dis-Connect’s new EP ‘Social Disease’ is out Feb 8

The new EP from Hornsby, Sydney-based 3 piece Dis-Connect is called Social Disease and it’s out on Feb 8!

Recorded in May 2018 at The Grove Studios on the Central Coast, the EP features 4 brand new tracks that use their serrated punk/pop sound to accentuate the difficult issues that are examined in the lyrics. Social Disease offers a glimpse of some of the pressures facing middle and lower-class Australians, from the use of prescription and illegal drugs, troubled relationships and the struggle of a low income to cultural diversity, sexuality and political bias.

The EP will be launched at The Hornsby Inn, Sydney on Saturday 30th March.

 Dis-Connect are Phillip Lambert (lead vocals, bass guitar) Steven Tonge (back vocals, guitar) and Grahame Giles (drums). The band was formed after Phil recorded 7 songs in his bedroom and gave the songs and his drum kit to Grahame and from that point it was 6 weeks until the band’s very first gig.

After a few years of playing live gigs, Steve joined the band and they recorded a demo at Damien Gerard Studios with Russell Pilling. A lot of live gigs followed, as well as the release of their debut EP, featuring the track Harmony, which gained national radio airplay on Triple J.

Social Disease will be live on Spotify, iTunes and all your favourite streaming services on Feb 8

Connect with the band:

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New single from Texas Strangers – River of Tears

Texas Strangers are a 5-piece Central Coast-based country rock outfit.

UPDATE-

They’ve just returned from a successful trip to the annual star-filled Tamworth Country Music Festival, where they played 7 gigs to rapturous crowds.

River of Tears is the first single from their forthcoming album Borderline and it’s now been added to full rotation at ABC Country radio as of January 2019

The Forthcoming Album Borderline will be released On Foghorn/MGM in March

From the pen of singer/songriter Steve Killeen comes a soulful and haunting tale of alcoholism and abandonment. Much like a river itself, the song twists and turns, rises and falls as it reveals itself.

Set to a sweeping “Classic Nashville” arrangement, the Texas Strangers have delivered a great Country track that will remain with the listener long after they’ve heard it.

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The single was recorded during the album sessions for Borderline at Damien Gerard Studios engineered by Russell Pilling. The Song was mastered by Sage Audio Nashville Tennessee.

OUT NOW through Foghorn/MGM

Listen on Spotify now:

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Connect with Texas Strangers:

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NEW ACOUSTIC EP – Joel Leffler – Brighton Lakes Sessions EP

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If you were to walk in the front door of one of those homes, turn right up the stairs and left into bedroom 3 you would find a grand piano, an acoustic guitar & an air of something recognisably creative.

This 8 track EP features popular songs from Joel Lefflers’s previous titles ‘Run With The Wolves’ & ‘Strip Me Bare’ along with 2 brand new acoustic tracks fresh out of the studio, ‘Where You Are’ & ‘Home To Me (Caledonia)’.

Much like Brighton Lakes face lift; these songs have been re-imagined to give an insight into what they sound like both in pre-production & live in show.

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Joel says of his experience recording the acoustic sessions, “I was recently diagnosed with severe anxiety that found me laying in an ER bed at Liverpool Hospital…What I thought was originally derived from music actually turns out to be – that music itself is the cure!”

Brighton Lakes Sessions EP was written, recorded & produced by Joel Leffler followed by mastering by Andrew Beck at Damien Gerard Studios.

Listen here:

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Sydney Morning Herald review of IVONA ROSE – So Modern album

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IVONA ROSE
So Modern (Foghorn)

FOLK POP

Reviewed by John Shand

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum

Pick of the week 17-11-18

You hear the assortment of musical influences remotely, as if they are in the next room. In the foreground is a voice as both a singer and songwriter that sounds like no one else. Perhaps partly it is Ivona? Rose’s Polish background adding a layer of sepia-tinted Euro nostalgia to the folk and pop elements. But, more than that, it is a sense of clarity about how to burrow down to the authenticity of her own songs, so nothing sounds forced, even when they have been quite elaborately arranged and produced (the production being by Rose and Brian Campeau?, with the latter also playing guitar and synthisizers?). The songs are certainly not uniformly strong, but the title track, for instance, grabs you by the throat on the first listening, and sinks into your marrow the more you hear it, the music carrying faint echoes of Kate Bush while the lyrics lament the impact of modern gadgetry on our humanity. The textures are unique, too, with Rose’s piano, autoharp or melodica and Campeau’s? contributions coloured here and there by cello or trumpet, and underpinned by the authoritative and groovy rhythm section of Zoe Hauptmann? and Evan Mannell. JOHN SHAND