Slide Milligan’s musical journey has been half a life in the making but sounds as exciting as the latest Australian Rock & Roll export being paraded around the world. After years and years of playing in bands through the late 80’s/90s, Dave “Slide” Milligan gave up his musical dreams to pursue a trade in rural fencing and woodworking. To unwind after working all day in the paddocks of rural Australia and his sawmill, Dave built himself a lap steel guitar.
Over the years he started to write a collection of exceptional songs that weren’t your usual “roots” music fare, mixing his hard rock background and his ability to tap into that authentic Australian sound. Despair and dread mixed with sunshine and water, and he caught the ear of local producers and with some help with production from Indie impresario Andy Clockwise (he was working on a fence on Clockwise’s farm when he was back from LA and the two lit a bonfire in the paddock), “Slide” has produced a psychedelic slide guitar masterpiece called “Blood Red River”. A pastiche of outlaw country, psychedelic post-punk & a different approach to the slide guitar. This music sounds familiar yet fresh in the current musical landscape. At the ripe old age of 52, this new artist is sure to make a splash in the country-indie-rock crossover here and abroad.
The track is an undeniable summer anthem in the vein of the Sunny Boys, Australian Crawl & The Church, and features vocals by Slide’s daughter Lani. The up-tempo “Australiana Classic” song rolls along with infectious melody and nostalgic production. Sure to resonate with fans of Classic Australian Pub Rock, Pink Floyd & Waylon Jennings.
Up-tempo drums begin this blues rock/indie tune. Produced by Andy Clockwise, who also did a brilliant job on the kit, this song is peppered with modern sounds but maintains a retro feel. Think Black Keys, Jack White and adding it to your list you can’t go wrong.
Slide Milligan – Blood Red River is out NOW (May 6th)
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Volume 2 of Raining Treasure from John Kennedy – iconic Aussie Indie Covers from the golden age – Physco, Shivers, The Nips are Getting Bigger to name a few
John Kennedy’s 2019 album Raining Treasure Vol.1 celebrated the golden era of Australian independent music from the late ‘70’s and the 80’s. This album, Raining Treasure Vol.2, goes both deeper and wider into the world of Australian indie music. 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 covered songs from Radio Birdman, The Riptides, The Cruel Sea and more.
Some selections covered are likely to create controversy with indie music diehards. The Sports and Mental As Anything? Indie? Really? The Mentals released their records on Regular Records, the Sports on Mushroom; both Australian independent labels. The Angels ?!?! They were on pioneering Australian independent label Albert Productions. Weddings, Parties, Anything (WPA) were on major label WEA. What defines these songs as indie for Kennedy is the independent spirit of the music and the bands who originally recorded them.
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, the Go-Betweens, Pop Mechanix and the Lime Spiders. 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.
Bassist Phil Hall played with Sardine v and the Dropbears. Guitarist Murray Cook started out with indie hopefuls Finger Guns before going on to form 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.
The tracklist is:
The Album Launch Show is on the 6th of May @8pm
At the Petersham Bowling Club
Raining Treasure (Australian Indie Gold Covers Vol.2) is out now 22 April 2022,
on Foghorn Records through MGM.
Stream or Download
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Since releasing the album All Sorts in 2021 and iconic Australian Story Stop Animation Video ‘Ain’t Many Like Lennie’ to be aired on SBS CJ Shaw has built on these success’s to move into 2022.
Album launch -Canberra This Weekend April 2
CJ Shaw’s latest album ‘All Sorts’ has been very well received by critics and fans alike (4 1/2 STARS BMA Magazine). Launching his album with two shows at the Belconnen Arts Centre on 2nd April 2022, CJ is excited to be playing these songs live. Dubbed “the ultimate family gig”, the first show has already sold out so get in quick.
ABC Canberra placing ‘Adelaide’ on rotation:
CJ Shaw’s single Adelaide is gaining frequent airplay on ABC Canberra radio. This song about the birth of CJ’s first child draws on the nuances of living in the Nation’s capital, evoking a sense of place. The hand- drawn video clip to accompany the song, referencing the scenery of the Capital was accepted by the Canberra Short Film Festival shown at Palace Cinemas.
Australian Spectrum Show Live in Person Interview April 5
Ross Fear’s internationally acclaimed album show will feature CJ and his acoustic guitar, plus album tracks and a hefty chat on the show next week April 5. Broadcast from Sydney’s Alive 90.5 and streamed worldwide.
Ain’t Many Like Lennie:
Long Awaited New Electric Blues album from slide and blues man Daxton out today February 18
Daxton releases his new album ‘Electric Satellite’, a twelve-track slide blues album with up-tempo spacious songs produced by Pat Dow and Marshall Cullen. Daxton has worked with Pat on many projects – someone who has a keen ear for Daxton’s rustic blues mixed with psychedelic pop/rock sounds.
The new album is Daxton’s seventh following the release in 2018 of ‘In Verses’ which features songs covering his favourite themes: life and death, the yin and yang of life, love and loss, while still keeping his always positive and up-tempo vibe.
Producing and playing music since his early teens, Daxton’s passion has kept him continually creating new material both for his band and solo career. On stage, Daxton comes across like he was born to play, his unique guitar style blending perfectly with heart-warming vocals.
Daxton has appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Blues & Roots and Tamworth Country Music Festival where he supported artists such as Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole. He also has had one of his tracks ‘Moody Liz’ featured in the popular American TV series Doll House.
Based in Sydney, Daxton is best described as a blues/rock artist with a twist of pop and rock. He plays slide guitar rock/blues songs with a fresh and innovative sound. The new album ‘Electric Satellite is a heavy, rustic blues rock album with psychedelic pop/rock sounds.
The title track to the new album is a frenetic up-tempo post punk folk blues anthem. A full band and all the rocking bells and whistles to make it work.
High As A Kite
Bluesy slide guitar starts this classic Daxton tune. Catchy backing vocal ‘ooh ahs’ and full band including the classic Hammond organ, complete this mid-tempo tune.
Down and dirty blues from Daxton, featuring blues harp, slide guitar. Mid-tempo drums and bass, snappy guitar licks and riffs and the whole thing comes in at a rockin’ 2mins 47seconds.
Daxton – Electric Satellite is out NOW February 18th
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I worked on this record for over one year during the time of the global pandemic and lock down. Tucked away from the world in my home studio, these songs came forth from my heart and soul during this difficult time for all of us. As in music so in life says the back cover. I have found as many others have that our life is not a trek from point A to point B, but rather a meandering journey down the Winding Way with many unexpected twists and turns along the path to the destination of our hopes and dreams. My wish is that this music will uplift and bring joy to your heart and soul as you journey forth. - Peter Sterling
About Peter Sterling
Born in Santa Monica, Peter began playing the piano at 6 years old, first accompanying his brother who was practicing violin. When he was 33 Peter moved to Sedona, Arizona, drawn to its energy vortices, its natural beauty, and its powerful connection to a higher purpose in life. It was in Sedona that Peter discovered his affinity for, or more accurately, his mystical connection with the Celtic harp. It was 1993 and he took to the instrument, without any formal training or lessons, like the proverbial fish to water.
His career as a recording artist began in 1994 with his first album, Harp Magic, released on the World Disc label. Success came almost immediately as the recording was nominated for the Best Instrumental Album award by NAIRD (now A2IM), an organization for independent musicians. His acclaim continued and grew exponentially in the 2000s with multiple nominations from the prestigious website New Age Reporter/Zone Music Reporter, including several nominations for Album of the Year. His albums consistently charted high up in their top 100, including grabbing the #1 spot for his 2013 release, Twilight Serenade. While his recent works are released on his own Harp Magic label (including his 2018 album, Magic Kingdom), Real Music, one of the giants of new age music, released his Shadow, Mist and Light album in 2005. His most recent recognition came in 2017 when he shared the Hollywood Music and Media Award for Best New Age song. In addition, Divine Reflection from Sanctuary of Light won the HMMA for Best Ambient/New Age song of 2021 and Sanctuary won the 2021 COVR Silver Award in the Visionary Music category.
When he is asked, “What is the best part of being a musician?” Peter answers, “Creating music that touches the heart and soul of listeners… bringing peace and healing to people all over the world. I love receiving letters about how my music has touched peoples’ lives.” Peter looks back at his path to the present now and humbled at his worldwide success. Back when he was recording his first 8-track compositions on a cassette tape in Byron Bay, Australia, and then marketing it by going door-to-door to Sedona’s stores, he could scarcely imagine that one day his music would reach people across the planet through international airplay (Pandora, SiriusXM, Soundscapes) as well as on major airlines (United and American).
Composed & produced by Peter Sterling for Harp Magic Music (BMI)
Peter Plays a custom made Lyon and Healy electric Troubador, keyboards, vocals, percussion, freenote chimes, G-Dov Gertzweig/violin, Richard Hardy silver and bamboo flutes, Hans Christian Cello
Mastered by Eric Boulanger, The Bakery Sony studios Culver City
The Winding Way is OUT NOW – via Harp Magic Music
Spotify album link:
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A CHRISTMAS ALBUM
The past couple of years has seen the recorded output of classically trained guitarist Gareth Koch rise exponentially to match (almost) that of his most recent musical collaborator, Steve Kilbey, releasing two solo albums, an EP, Code Blue, and now a second EP, Elizabethan Jangle – really a mini-album, its seven pieces succinctly and elegantly arranged and performed – all instrumental, as well as two albums with Kilbey within the past 20 months. This time around, Koch has returned to familiar territory, the music for lute composed by John Dowland (1563-1626), some of whose catalogue he’s recorded for ABC Classical. This time around he’s “reimagined” some Dowland, as well as Henry VIII’s ‘Greensleeves’, and rearranged some pieces from the Elizabethan era for a contemporary audience, the solo lute replaced by flamenco, classical and steel-string guitars, occasionally accompanied by Hofner and Rickenbacker basses as well as the odd bit of bodhran (I think), the additional instrumentation, all played by Koch, never overwhelming the central melodies, which drift between feisty and celebratory and liltingly romantic. ‘Tis pity ‘tis so short a time one gets to share with this remarkable minstrel in this context. Another dozen pieces please! Ensuring some sort of continuity with his even more prolific collaborator, the pastel portrait of Koch gracing the CD’s cover is by Steve Kilbey. Just for good measure, Koch released a third solo album just before Christmas 2021, his take on a variety of Christmas music from medieval through traditional to ‘Little Drummer Boy’, again all beautifully arranged and performed, nothing saccharine, so keen readers might want to grab a copy of A Christmas Album to put away for Christmas 2022.
Stream Elizabethan Jangle here:
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Imagine timeless European Christmas music played instrumentally, as if upon a choir of lutes. Ancient & exquisite songs, deep within the human psyche, are now newly arranged by ARIA Award winning guitarist Gareth Koch. The interpretations reveal his signature blend of contemporary flair laced with medieval sensibilities.
The arrangements are both elegant & appealing, sidestepping any notion of commercialised Christmas clichés. Re-imagined as troubadour-like ballads or tender Austrian folk songs, each carol receives a unique treatment. The listener is invited into an array of soundworlds, ranging from the early medieval to English folk-revival.
The music of this album leads us away from the bustle of many modern realities. Instead, we are drawn into a gentler universe, filled with subtlety & nuance. In any year, at any time, this album presents a Christmas message we all need to hear.
Little Drummer Boy
This timeless mid-tempo classic Christmas carol is dealt with not just using multiple classical guitar parts but with hand percussion and rice shakers.
Ding Dong Merrily On High
An up-tempo and superbly played Christmas piece dating right back to the 1800’s. Even some 12 string electric features in Gareth’s new arrangement.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
A very old piece, dated to the 16th century and referred to in Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. Gareth recreates the vocal melody perfectly and becomes a terrific hum along piece. Bass guitar rounds out the arrangement featuring multiple guitars: acoustic, nylon string and electric creating a lush sonic tapestry.
About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & song writing. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects. Over the past two years he has released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). Earlier this year a third collaboration with Steve saw the release of double album ‘The Hall of Counterfeits’ which was nominated in this years AMP Prize.
A Christmas Album is OUT NOW November 26th – via MGM
Pre order CDs in shrink wrapped double gatefold package below
Order CD from the Official Store or stream/download below
CD’s Also available at good retail record stores across Australia
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‘The GABRIEL Album Launch’
Book here – Tickets
Friday 12 November,
The Red Velvet Room
Upstairs at The Coogee Diggers
2 Byron Street Coogee
Support Australian music & musicians
After all these crazy months, we’re finally live again.
Join me and the band at the Red Velvet Room – upstairs at the Coogee Diggers, 2 Byron Street, to release and celebrate the critically acclaimed LP ‘Gabriel’, released earlier this month.
Get your VINYL copy at the show.
Come and support Australian music and check out my great band.
Jack Nolan – Acoustic & electric Guitars
Travis New – Electric Guitars – Andrew Farris INXS, Mi-Sex, Imogen Clark
Andy Horvath – Drums – Casey Donovan, Adam Brand, Boney M, O’Shea, Jack Vidgen, Cyrus, Vanessa Amorosi, Kate DeAraugo, to name a few.
Tim Sampson – Base – Andrew Farris /Christine Anu
Gabriel is Jack Nolan’s fifth solo album, and the first album he’s yielded to someone he trusted enough to produce: This is an album that mines its own carefully sculpted acoustic world with a profoundly atmospheric sense of place, and a depth of self-knowledge that speaks of arrival after a lifetime of sometimes hard, sometimes tender experience.
The genesis, Gabriel came to Jack a few years ago, sat at his side on a long desert drive that he wasn’t sure he’d come back from. The title track, in its own unhurried and roundabout way, eventually found itself in Nashville, USA, on an album completed just before COVID-19 wrought its havoc on the world.
Atonement is upfront in titles like The Hopeless Son and Restitution Song. Others — Tomorrow Came, Faster Than the Speed of Change, A Fool Would Follow Me — are deeper stocktakes, songs from life’s rear view mirror. Ghosts of people and places and other, maybe darker things, receding for sure, but too close to ignore.
Produced by Justin Weaver and captured on two-inch tape in the aptly named ‘Welcome to 1979’ Studios by engineer Chris Mara, the assembled band included drummer Jimmy Paxson, bassist Chris Autry, keys player Phil Towns and pedal steel player David Spires who were joined by backup singers Terri Lynn Weaver & Siobhan Maher Kennedy. Justin himself applied the deeply textured lead and electric guitars.
Gabriel, is a record offering up evocative, ethereal stories, perhaps best signalled on the album’s title track, with Nolan singing “Endless lanes /endless cars // In the absence /of stars” reminding us of this new world, turned on its axis in 2020/21.
Gabriel is OUT NOW Oct 8 Quay Records/MGM.
Vinyl LP, CD and Digital
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