All posts by Marshall Cullen

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Hussy Hicks Talk It Up

Hussy Hicks – That Old Heartache

Coastal Heart, Southern Soul.

Added to 2016 BLUESFEST LINEUP FOLLOWING THEIR STUNNING AMW PERFORMANCE

Now receiving air play by Sarah Howells on Roots n All – Triple J

and as of today NUMBER 3+6 ON AIRIT METRO AND REGIONAL CHART

When you think of the USA’s Deep South, you think of bluegrass and country, rhythm and blues. And when you think of the Gold Coast it’s all about the surf. Hussy Hicks have taken the best of both and brought them to life with their latest single ‘That Old Heartache’.

The girls from Burleigh Heads  with countless local and international tours under their belt venture out yet again for summer with a new single  and tour to lead into their 2016 album release….interview and tour dates below….

Here’s some background from a chat with singer Leesa-

  1. What inspired you to become a singer/writer/ and who are your early influences.(Leesa) I grew up listening to really traditional country music, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton… you get the idea! I think the initial inspiration to become a singer was when mum and dad took my sister and I to the Tamworth country music festival, it must’ve been about 1990, and after watching all the concerts and glitzy costumes I was totally sold… Singing was pretty much all I wanted to do from that point, so I started having vocal lessons when I was 9 years old and then started playing pub gigs with my sister at about 13. Julz started really young as well, she was plying violin from about age 3, then picked up the guitar at about 7 or 8. She hit the gig trail at 13, just like me, playing with a bunch of different Gold Coast acts and eventually joining the Phil Emmanuel band. Julz’s influences are definintely more from the blues world, her dad is a real blues-lover and you can hear a lot of that in her playing.

2-Tell us a little about how you write, how do the songs come? What gets you going creatively? I write in bursts and under deadlines… I always have books full of bits and pieces of unfinished lyrics and melodic ideas and then when it’s time to get back into the studio I’ll knuckle down and finish off half a dozen songs in an afternoon or two. Sometimes I’ll sit and dedicate time to writing and it will be a complete failure, then I go through phases where almost everything I hear will inspire a little song to emerge in my head.

3-A recent story would be? An article popped up recently that mentioned an incident from many years ago that has been a real talking point of late – Julz once got into a bar fight with Osama Bin Ladens cousin… it sounds rather dramatic but it actually happened by accident and was over before we even realised what went down. I’ll elaborate: Julz and I were playing a series of shows in Dubai back in 2006 and we hit the clubs one night after our gig. We were having a great time and got a little over-exhuberant with our dancing, pulling out some kind of ninja moves and Julz stepped back and bumped into Prince Bin Laden. He pushed her out of the way and Julz continued to play along with her ninja dancing thinking he was totally in on the fun, until things got serious and security came running in and took the prince away to the VIP room and gave us a very stern talking to!

4-Fave food or drink and is there a story associated with that…. Julz and I like to tend toward vegetarianism but both of us are suckers for Cajun Crawfish. It’s a totally southern thing and it’s one of the many drawcards to spend time in Alabama. They’re essentially yabbies that get boiled up with cajun spices and are usally served with corn and potatoes… and they’re the perfect food for a lazy afternoon sipping on beer and watching the world go by

Tour Dates

October

10 –  Federal Hotel, Bellingen NSW

16 – Taps, Brisbane QLD

18 – Buskers by the Creek Festival, Currumbin QLD

21 – house concert, Thirroul NSW

22 – Lazybones, Marrickville NSW

23 – Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, WIndsor NSW

24 – Great Northern Hotel, Byron NSW

30 – Currumbin Creek Tavern, Currumbin QLD

November

1 – Grass Roots Music Festival, Brisbane QLD

6 – Cinema under the Stars, Ballina NSW

7 – State Library, Brisbane QLD

18 -The Basement-Sydney

19-22 Australian Music Week, Cronulla NSW

28 – Destination Blues, Glasshouse Mountains Tavern, Qld

Dec

4 – The Night Quarter, Gold Coast QLD

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www.hussyhicks.com

Mike Caen

A Chat with Mike Caen

1. What inspired you to become a singer/writer/band? And who are  your early influences?
When I was 8, my Dad started playing drums in a casual surf band, Ventures and Shadows material, and they rehearsed at our house, which seemed to involve mainly a lot of beer drinking and laughing.  My older brother taught me some chords and my memory of holding that 1st chord I learnt  for which I practised for about 2 weeks. I was in heaven, and had found something I was good at.

We lived in the NZ countryside, and I had a Saturday job to save up for my first guitar. When I was 12, I was sent to boarding school, discovering that no one bullied me when I was playing the guitar, which of course led to constant practice. This was the rise of the guitar heroes, Clapton, Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Allman Brothers  etc.

I started going to Auckland Uni jam sessions in my school uniform and had gotten a reputation as a bit of a prodigy. I saved up for my first Gibson by cleaning nightclubs, and was the right age when NZ had changed it’s licensing laws from 6pm closing to 10, which opened the door to a pub rock explosion.

I then basically played gigs 3-5 nights most weeks, eventually with Streettalk, with whom I recorded a couple of albums, one of which won a NZ ARIA for album of the year (and which I only found out about many year later.)

The first album was produced by the (in)famous American eccentric Kim Fowley, of Bee Bumble And The Stingers, Runaways etc. fame, who mysteriously appeared one Christmas in Auckland, had liked our singer, and proceeded to write and record with us over 2 weeks of grueling 16 hour days in the studio. If we were getting too tired, he’d say “Ok, let’s do a reggae track”. At the end of the marathon session, he rang and recorded assorted luminaries in the US, asking for their opinion of our tracks, played at blistering volume as he held the phone up to the speakers.

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

I’m often playing word games in my head. I see double meanings, puns, poignant words or phrases that can mean two entirely different things (e.g “Sirens”). More and more I realise that my songsare an autobiographical  diary.

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The first verse or idea inevitably comes from some mysterious spark, often fully formed and perfect. Then I almost always get stuck, and putting myself in different situations, e.g cycling, driving the car, cooking helps me keep refining the ideas. Distraction allows a different part of my brain to take over, and it can take days and weeks of polishing before I have the final song.

Sometimes revisiting a song over and over, e.g “Only Love”, which sat as a melody and one verse for probably 10 years. And then the whole recording came together in one day.

3. Your bio mentions “Mental As Anything”, what went on there and more?

My daughter was starting school at Newtown School Of Performing Arts, and I went to the orientation day. While I had been playing guitar with Jenny Morris, Adam Brand and various country artists at the time, I was getting tired of having to learn new songs. I bumped into Dave Barraclough, who was bassist for The Mentals, and he had mentioned they needed a new Reg. I had a play with them, loved the songs and they were great people too. We played 100 shows a year for 11 years.  I liked their pop sensibility, humour and the slide and surf connotations in their music. And Greedy and Martin are a pair of true pop eccentrics, in the nicest possible way. For any musician looking for a long term gig, I recommend hanging around school orientation days!

I also got involved with soundtrack music at that time, and worked on a few shows, including Mythbusters, which turned into a bit of a monster. I was flat out doing guitar sessions, so it was a very busy and diverse creative period. With The Mentals, I got to travel all over Australia, many times, and to Bangkok, Shanghai, Port Moresby, and Macau.

4. What is the first record you bought and why?

My first record was “Something In The Air”, by Thunderclap Newman, which I thought, and still do, is an astonishing piece of pop. Pete Townsend, at his creative best, produced it I believe.

5. What current OZ acts inspire you? Ditto for international acts?

I really like Bernard Fanning’s singing, the juxtaposition of his heartfelt voice and Powderfinger’s guitar rock made something special. Pete Murray’s songs; Tame Impala, Gotye, Shane Nicholson, all have an element of tenderness to their music that moves me. Neil Finn, not Australian but maybe associated via Crowded House is, as a singer and songwriter, way up there for me, and I’m inspired by the way he integrates creativity and family.

6. Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show.
Paraphrasing him due to the passage of time, my music was once described by producer Peter Blyton, as “haunting melodies over great beats”, and I hope that still stands. My songs have been called heartfelt, which is about the biggest compliment I could ask for. Maybe a tad “Haunted House”.

7. Favourite artists of all time?
Beatles, Stones, Clapton, Chuck Berry, The Pretenders, Neil Finn.

8. Fave film? Fave Book? Fave place? Fave animal or pet? And story if there is one.?

Fargo, by the Cohen Brothers, just grabbed me from the beginning to the end. The black humour and unpredictability. Left me hanging out for anything they do.
Fave book, probably Cloud Street. I like the way Tim Winton seems to chronicle the male condition in his writing better than anyone else I’ve read.
Fave place, Piha in NZ. Wild, black sand beach on the West Coast, where I’ve spent a lot of time. Patonga in Australia, a village at the mouth of the Hawkesbury while my daughter was growing up, surprisingly unspoilt for being only an hour and a half from Sydney.

9. Fave food or drink? And is there a story associated with that?
Most memorable was the catering touring Australia supporting Paul McCartney. Playing for 25 minutes to 10-20,000 people, having to the best (free) vegetarian meal imaginable, watching Paul and his great band for 2 hours, sitting and chatting to him about song-writing at 3 am after the last show. Doesn’t and probably won’t get better than that.

10. You are backstage with Eric Clapton, what do you say?
Thank you.

11. Where do you see Aussie music heading?                                               It’s strange looking at the OZ music world from the perspective of someone who was there pre-internet. The record companies used to act as a filter, supplying the gargantuan amounts of money needed to make a record. And it’s easy to forget they supplied the promotion departments too.
Now the world is awash with music, someone can make a hit record on their laptop, using amazing tools they can buy (or even illegally download) for a relatively tiny amount of money. Then the challenge is to stick out, and it seems the collaboration of social media and old-school promotion does it best. And yet it’s all the same in the end, something strikes an emotional chord with enough people, and briefly shines.

12. What are your future plans for 2015?
Continuing to try and master the interesting, perplexing yet challenging world of performing and promoting my record, without the luxury of hiding behind someone else’s success.

Mike Caen, Mike Caen

https://itunes.apple.com/en/album/id1012682656

Andrew barnum

A chat with Andrew Barnum

Andrew Barnum known for the Vitabeats early 80’s electro smash album  Spot the Spanner and single Beat Box has a  new collaboration with Producer Boris Hunt – ‘Memory Collective’ is out and about – he gives us a little insight into his background below —

  1. What is the first record you bought and why? “The Rolling Stones ‘Big hits, high tide and green grass’ in a plastic sleeve from Palings, George Street, Sydney. I bought it because potential girlfriends and bandmates liked it, and all the mothers couldn’t stand Mick. The rebel factor. The first album would have been The Beatles ‘Please Please Me’, but we got that one for Christmas from our parents as a peace offering. “
  2. What current OZ acts inspire you? Augie March, Dick Diver, Basenji, Machine Translations, Courtney Barnett, Brendan Gallagher, Java Quartet, Perry Keyes, Mark Lucas, David Kilgour (NZ), Necks, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Gareth Liddiard/Drones, Nick Cave, Sarah Blasko, Urthboy, James Muller, Mad Dog Boy.

 international acts? Blur, David Bowie, Sufjan Stevens, Beachwood Sparks, Beck, Derek Trucks, Brian Eno, Flaming Lips, John Scofield, Sigur Ros, Mac Demarco, D’Angelo, Sun Kil Moon, Damien Jurado, Bonnie Prince Billy, Bill Frisell, Radiohead, Daniel Lanois, Boards of Canada.

3 Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show – ‘The Funky Folk-rock family band.’ Myself on acoustic guitar and vocals, Lissa and Cayenne Barnum on vocals, with Java Quartet members Michael Galleazzi (Bass) and Mike Quigley (Drums) plus guests.

4 Favourite artists of all time? Randy Newman, Van Morrison, Byrds, David Bowie, Pete Seeger, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan & The Band, Go-Betweens.

5 Fave film? O Brother where art thou

Fave Book? Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Fave place? South Coast NSW / Mexico

Fave animal or pet? Starpup (Our 16 year old Jack Russell terrier)  (see him starring on the video right hand pane- ed) plus 2 donkeys: Mercy Marley and Thesis Lloyd And story if there is one. We’ve recently moved: our city studio is Marrickville, but home is now Meroo Meadow NSW.

6 Fave food or drink Horchata (Cold drink from Mexico made from ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley)

7 You are backstage with Warren Zevon (RIP) what do you say?‘My first apartment stay in Hollywood was in the same street as the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel from your song ‘Desperados under the eaves’. When were you there and how did the song come about?

http://memorycollective.wix.com/absongs

https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/memory-collective/id989728514

 

 

 

 

 

350cd-back-cover copy

Yhan Leal-Wilderness

Yhan Leal, the Colombian born, now Bellingen based singer songwriter has created a fine new album with the help of Producer Rob Wolfe.
The songs were written in a an old tin shed on the back of his property
and honed while busking locally before recording with Rob at his local studio.

As a young immigrant growing up in northern New South Wales’

backwater life wasn’t easy. Classical guitar came naturally, working

his way through the magic of Lennon, Elvis and Richie Valens.

Writing his first compositions to suit his older brother’s poetry

nurtured a talent for song writing.

In 2013 Yhan released his debut EP Sail Home. His new Album

Wilderness, all recorded in a local North Coast Studio, is the next

major step in this musicians journey.

Already receiving comparisons to Surfjian Stevens,
Connor Oberst and Jeff Buckley-
Yhan has just last week SOLD OUT the local Bellingen
launch of the record and will soon
be taking it out on the road.

Official Release date – July 3

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes 1st new release in 15 Years

VIOLENT FEMMES RELEASE LONG AWAITED NEW EP & TOUR

The Violent Femmes are set to bid the world a belated “Happy New Year” with the release of their long awaited EP and massive 35 city USA Summer Tour. The four-track EP will be be released in June, and is their first collection of songs in 15 years. “Happy New Year” was recorded this past New Year’s Eve in Hobart, Tasmania(Brian Ritchie’s recently adopted home town), after the legendary band performed a sold out concert at the world famous Sydney Opera House. The EP is highlighted by the Jake Brebes-penned single, “Love Love Love Love Love”

Digital Release Date JUNE 5
Vinyl In Store(Planet/MGM) – JUNE 19.?

One of the most beloved bands of the golden age of indie rock, Violent Femmes returned to action in 2013 with an acclaimed performance at Coachella. Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails) joined founding members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie and the newly reconstituted band embarked on a wide-ranging tour that included headline dates and ecstatically received festival sets around the world.

Violent Femmes came together in 1981 in Milwaukee, WI, and werequickly ranked among the era’s most inventive and original, constantly pushing forward with their singular blend of folk and punk, sarcasm and spirituality. The trio released eight studio albums and more than a dozen singles, among them such iconic classics as “American Music,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” “Nightmares,” “Add It Up,” “Kiss Off,” and of course, “Blister In The Sun.” Violent Femmes’ remarkable three-decade career earned them cumulative sales of many millions worldwide, with 1983’s VIOLENT FEMMES earning RIAA platinum certification eight years after  its initial release.

Following the USA Tour Australian dates are due to be announced as well as Interview availability.

For more information, High Rez Images, CD Pro(due next week), downloads and streaming links and anything else, contact marshall@damiengerard.net

-Social media links
https://twitter.com/violentfemmes
https://instagram.com/officialviolentfemmes/
https://www.facebook.com/officialviolentfemmes

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

YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDgrjVbeoBc4l0GL8_RzNwg