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The Sheyana Band Releases Single ‘Big Hearts’

After a forced recording break during covid Tassie’s premier Blues/Rock outfit ‘The Sheyana Band’ is back to full strength with a brand new mini album and live local launch’s to support.

Heres the first single ‘Big Hearts’

Having already performed at festivals such as Party in the Paddock and played with Meg Mac, The Hoodoo Gurus,  Gang of Youths and more  the band are looking at extending the reach into mainland festivals from late 2023-2024.

Big Hearts is where Big Love comes from. A place where you use your Big Heart to look after your planet and each other. ‘I was out of my comfort zone in unfamiliar territory when I worked on that complex riff and unusual tuning. I bunkered down in Penguin, Tasmania and wrote “Big Hearts” with a fine wine, channelling Greg Allman & Foo Fighters for inspiration.’

Big Hearts is a band favourite song on The Sheyana Band’s ‘Ricochet EP’. After the Covid restrictions eased, the band started working the song into shape in production sessions with sound engineer Russell Pilling. It went from beating it out on a cardboard box at rehearsal to pouring our heart and soul into the recording.

We recorded drums, bass and acoustic guitar at Red Robin Recording at Leith, Tasmania, getting that live feel down along with “no stress” recording sessions. The band recorded electric guitars in the loungeroom and vocals in the doorway of a tiny library at Studio 90 in Penguin. Big Hearts is more than Big Love, it’s a higher love.

An outstanding recording effort with smooth and snappy production on this up-tempo single. Full band, rocky and catchy with a big chorus and riffy hooky guitars. Sheyana’s voice cuts through the mix beautifully for the sing along chorus.

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Influenced by the classics and drawing inspiration from their deep Tassie roots, The Sheyana Band are like a fine wine. A ripe fruity musical banquet, fusing stylistic flavours from Australian Rhythm & Soul, American Funk & Blues, English Pop/Rock & Punk, with a dash of Southern Country/Folk.

The Sheyana Band shake it up, roll it on the rocks, pour it in the groove and serve it with passion. Delighting audiences with an exciting delivery of powerhouse vocals, brilliant musicianship and heartfelt song writing, their captivating live shows have seen them share the stage with Australia’s finest.

London born, Tasmanian based singer, songwriter and guitarist, Sheyana, has been hooked on music since early childhood. The soulful Celtic/Sri Lankan storyteller brings flavour to the table with her stellar band, featuring Wayne Rand on lead guitars/vocals, Dan Jeffrey on bass & Leigh Hill on drums/vocals.

Having national and international recognition and airplay, the band have supported Deborah Conway, Hoodoo Gurus, Neil Finn, Meg Mac, Mojo Juju, Gang of Youths, Renee Geyer, Diesel, The Angels, Kevin Borich, Ian Moss, Bill Chambers and Fanny Lumsden. Nationally they won “The Chris Wilson Award” for Emerging Act of Year” with their album Big Love in 2018.

The Sheyana Band received a top ten hit in Sri Lanka in 2015 with their single “Keep the Change”, along with a Best Act nomination. Sheyana scored a blues award with the OzSong International Song Writing Competition in 2011 for her song “Two Birds”, which also made it to the finals in “Fresh Air” ABC National Song writing Competition. The Sheyana Band are a favourite act at major Tassie events: Skyfields 2017-2018, Forth Valley Blues Festival 2018, Party In The Paddock 2018-2019, Fruits of the Roots 2019, Festival of King Island 2020, Red Hot Summer after party 2021, Junction Arts Festival 2021, and Riverbend Blues 2023.

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The Mezcaltones Release New Album ‘Agavé Soirée’

Agavé Soirée is the fourth album release by The Mezcaltones. The Surf Country Tex-Mex theme continues with eight original tracks and one cover.
The album opens with “Matahari Mimi” setting a thumping surf/spy tone.
If I Could Make you See” is the first single from the album with a bluegrass meets 60’s Bakersfield twang.
Wouldn’t Last a Day” is a country blues duet co-written with Dani Young about the realisation that relationships can be worked out with a bit of give and take.
The next track is the bouncy optimistic “I Wanna Do it with You”; it will be the second single and has a cool groove with a fun feel that always goes well live.
Not Going Home” is a statement that a Mezcaltones gig is an all-in affair from the downbeat to the last note. Think Muddy Waters meets early Rolling Stones.
The Mezcaltones have reinvented Willie and Ray’s sombre “Seven Spanish Angels” to an up-tempo celebration wake song complete with mariachi trumpet.
Neralita delivers a powerful performance in her first lead vocal on a Mezcaltones album,
telling her man in no uncertain terms “If you think I’m just something to do… I got some News for You”.
Amity Isle” is the final track and bookends the album well with another instrumental that is at times frenetic before luring the listener into its cool and satisfying groove.

Song Descriptions

I Wanna Do It With You
Gotta love an up-tempo single that starts with the chorus. The Mezcaltones have scored bigtime with this catchy, upbeat, hooky tune. Plenty of guitar riffs, ooh aah backing vocals and snappy drums and bass on this full throttle Texmex track.

Seven Spanish Angels
Some true Texmex brass with a Los Lobos vibe, on this brilliant version of this classic Texan tune from the Mezcaltones. Sure to fill the dance floor and keep the radio vibes going. Up-tempo, full band backing and Col Porter’s distinctive vocals – another winner from the album.

Matahari Mimi
Another one of the duelling guitar instrumentals from The Mezcaltones. Up-tempo, hooky all the way and you could imagine the Shadows or Los Lobos having this tune in their set.

Four guys dressed as cowboys and two women dressed like Spanish Mexican Señoritas that you might find in a Quentin Tarantino movie – two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, a crazy front man and a beautiful dancer/percussionist.
Whilst their original songs have an alt country rockin’ blues flavour, the guitar tones also reach into the realms of 60’s surf instrumentals. With the band’s slick look and sharp costumes, THE MEZCALTONES are there to entertain.

THE MEZCALTONES comprise 6 experienced musicians who came together through their love of cool country rockin’ blues, and get down and get dirty Tex Mex sounds.

  • Don Juan – Texan Time Keeper with a Smooth Tequila Feel
  • Col Padre – Raspy Lead Vocals dripping with Desert Soul
  • El Shango – Lead Guitar possessed with tangy, psychedelic blues, magic finger licks
  • Lucre – Mezcaltonic Groovin’ Bass Sounds
  • Mimi – Spicy Seductress who shakes it like a Rattle Snake
  • Neralita – Queen of Southern Rhythm Strummin’
The Mezcaltones have previously played six Tamworth Country Festivals; Groundwater CMF; Sydney Blues & Roots Festival; Dashville Skyline Festival. Their previous album Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music debuted Top 10 in the Australian Blues & Roots charts.

The Mezcaltones ‘Agavé Soirée’ is Out Now via FOG/MGM


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Jack Nolan Releases Single ‘She Knew’

SHE KNEW is the fourth cut from Jack’s next LP set for release mid ’23.

What started as a little fingerpicker became one punchy alt folk pop number that grabs you from the top. Featuring Jack’s Gretsch fingerpicking hanging off Justin Weavers powerful electric guitar hooks, this song moves along at the pace of a storyteller running away. Like so much of Jack’s music, regret, joy, love, and redemption all play a part in this poetic soundscape.

Jack Nolan has delivered a true rocker for his new single. Electric guitars start the tune, a fast drum beat and classic arrangement make the tune ear catching and accessible straight away. This one would sit alongside classics Tom Petty, Paul Kelly and Springsteen for sure.

“Driving down to my mining town

I was swerving

I turned the wheel

I was drifting lanes

He’d broken down in traffic

I told her I loved her

She Knew”

And when all is said and done you can only do what’s possible; you can only be responsible for yourself.

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About Jack Nolan

Based in Sydney, Australia, singer songwriter Jack Nolan has been performing and releasing music since the mid 1990’s. Along with a five-album solo catalogue Jack also fronted The Kelly Gang, with Rick Grossman, bassist for The Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus, along with Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst and guitar player Martin Rotsey. Their 2004 album Looking for the Sun was critically adored along with their energetic live shows.

Once quaintly described as ‘Darlinghurst Country’, his sound unites elements of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and ambient atmospheres fusing Nolan’s passion for intensely charged electric guitar and finger-picked acoustic guitar.

The critically acclaimed 2018 album ‘Our Waverley Star’ was followed up by the equally impressive ‘Gabriel’. It was these two American outings that cemented Nolan’s love of Nashville and built from a connection with guitarist/producer Justin Weaver that started with a one-off phone call and developed into an alliance that Nolan describes as ‘Team America’. What’s now become a regular jaunt is an opportunity for Nolan to get away from all the distractions of home, and “arrive in town, in the northern winter, when everyone’s off the road, with my swag of songs to greet all the boys again to collaborate”.

 Jack’s new album – JINDABYNE – is set for release thus year. This album has waited in the wings while lockdowns and rules meant the guitar took on a whole new meaning. “I arrived home from Nashville in early March 2020 with ‘Gabriel’ ready for mastering. One week later, the world turned on its axis and – lockdown. This created a sense of urgency in me, so I made a conscious decision not to waste the time and went to work writing JINDABYNE. As soon as the plane could fly I was booked and took off back to the US”.

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John Kennedy Releases Album ‘John Kennedy and The New Originals’

John Kennedy’s new album project started in late 2020. Kennedy and his band were going to record two albums – one of new originals and a second volume of the Raining Treasure Australian indie covers series. The project started with a bang with Murray Cook having open heart surgery. That was followed by the second round of COVID lockdowns, so the band focussed on the simpler of the two – the Raining Treasure album.

By mid 2022, the band got the ball rolling again on the new originals album. With four songs in the can from the earlier sessions, “all” Kennedy needed to do was write eight new songs and record them before the deadline of Christmas 2022. No pressure.

Eight new originals were needed in six months. It was going to go down to the wire and as they were approaching the deadline, recording engineer Geoff Lee at Zen Studios had a heart attack. This put him out of action for four weeks before he came back to the studio part time.

The band persevered and with the help of Geoff and mix engineer Rusty, working remotely in Tasmania, they managed to get the project over the line.

Kennedy leaves Australia in June 2023 to live for an extended period in Spain. The album is probably the best collection of his original songs he has ever worked on. With band mates Peter Timmerman on drums, guitarist Murray Cook and bassist Phil Hall who has come into his own with arrangement ideas, additional instrumentation and co-production, Kennedy is working with the best band he’s ever played with. He is also singing better than he’s ever done. His talent has shone through, the perseverance has paid off and with this album Kennedy leaves the Australian indie music scene on a high.

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About John Kennedy

An enthusiastic young music journalist once described Sydney musician John Kennedy as a humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius not particularly humble. He is the singer / songwriter of many classic Australian Indie songs that have found a place in the hearts of music lovers of a certain generation.

Kennedy started his music career in Brisbane with his first band JFK and the Cuban Crisis. A move to Sydney brought immediate independent success with his first release on Waterfront Records, the Careless Talk Costs Lives ep. It’s featured song ‘The Texan Thing’ became a JJJ radio hit. The band broke up in the mid-’80’s after the release of the prophetically titled ‘The End Of The Affair’ album and Kennedy went on to pursue a solo career with his band vehicle John Kennedy’s Love Gone Wrong. Numerous indie hits including ‘Miracle (in Marrickville)’, ‘King Street’ and ‘Big Country’ followed but commercial success remained elusive. In 1989, Kennedy chose to travel the world with his guitar living by the mantra: Have Songs, Will Travel.

After ten years of living, performing and recording in LA, Berlin, Hong Kong, Holland and London, Kennedy returned to Sydney in the 2000’s and formed John Kennedy’s 68 Comeback Special. With an ever-changing line up of musicians, he continued to release numerous albums before settling with a stable group of bandmates: original Love Gone Wrong drummer Peter Timmerman, ex-Red Wiggle Murray Cook on guitar and Phil Hall formerly of Sardine v, The Dropbears and The Lime Spiders on bass. With this new release, this line up has now morphed into John Kennedy And The New Originals.

The last five years have seen Kennedy busier than has he ever been with six album releases in six years. The release will be his last for the foreseeable future with Kennedy planning to leave Australia in June 2023 to live in Spain for an extended period.

Song Descriptions

Discover Me
This swinging and rocking single ‘Discover Me’ is full of life, fire and passion. An up-tempo tune that would give you no idea these guys have been recording since the 1990’s. Catchy backing vocals and guitar hooks and riffs – a power pop classic.

Girl Of My Dreams
An acoustic/electric start with some great backing vocals a la Roy Orbison, a very chilled out rhythm section and baking band slowly groove into this ballad. Some really tasteful guitar and vocal work on this one.

It’s Good To Be Here
A more up-tempo radio friendly power pop song that harkens back to his early work; hooks and riffs abound, think Hoodoo Gurus, The Church and Died Pretty. Classic indie rock from those days with a modern edge and production.

John Kennedy and The New Originals is out now 10th March 2023,
on Foghorn Records through MGM. 

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Vanleer and Co Releases Single ‘Time Machine’

Central Coast artist William Vanleer AKA ‘Vanleer and Co’ release the debut single …..

This song was written as William’s way of honouring the loss of two close friends. As the song unfolded, it took William on a very personal journey, reminding him of things unsaid and always an unfulfilled desire to spend more time with a loved one or someone who has a special place in your life.

‘Time Machine was to be the song I needed to write and always wanted to write. It was to be the song I had been long since searching for from the very depths of my emotions; a song that would connect me with my past, my present and my future. A song that commemorates all those I have ever lost without being able to see them again or getting the chance to say goodbye along with those I am sure to lose in the near future.’ – William Vanleer

A mid-tempo Nashville sounding americana cut from William Vanleer. Electric guitar layers, bass, drums and a lyrical story everyone can relate to. This debut release sets the tone for many more to come from Vanleer & Co. Memories of the days of Kris Kristofferson and more recently Sturgill Simpson.

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About William Vanleer

William is a singer/songwriter based on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW. Originally from rural NSW, he was born the son of a coal miner who also played in a country band. His passion for music began early with his father teaching him to play guitar.

He would spend much of his younger years harbouring a burning desire for his father to teach him to play, but wouldn’t pick up his first guitar until the age of 14 after being placed into foster care.  While in care, William met his foster brother, Terry, who taught him to play Little Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Written for a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse cartoon.

In the mid 80’s William began composing, but it was not until he found a collaborator/friend and poet, Frank, that he was able to complete compositions that he was happy with. In 1989/1990 they entered two compositions into the steel city songwriter’s competition that ran Australia & New Zealand wide, both pieces making it into the final.

Since then he has performed for a variety of charity events held by the NSW RFS and Land Care organisations, as well as countless open mics along with band support roles in and around the Central Coast.

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