NEWS FLASH! Aussie Blues Guitarist within a whisker of Grammy Nomination
Recorded in Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana with bass player and producer Charlie Wooton of Royal Southern Brotherhood fame, it’s just been announced that Australia’s own premier blues guitarist James Southwell’s latest album, The Dockside Sessions (Where The Wind Blows) is a strong contender for nomination in the forthcoming 60th Grammy Awards in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category!
Featuring some of America’s finest sidemen, among them keyboards player Michael Lemmler from the George Porter Jr Band, harmonica player Jason Ricci, Prince Percussionist Rafael Pereira and Doug Belote from The Eric Clapton and Tedeschi Trucks bands and mastered by six-time Grammy Award-winning engineer David Farrell, the album debuted at #1 on the Australian Blues Airplay Charts and has sat within the top 25 ever since.
Not bad for an album that Southwell, a finalist in both the 2014 and 2015 Memphis Blues Challenge, hadn’t even expected to make. He’d first met Wooton at the Narooma Blues Festival back in 2015 and immediately felt they’d found kindred musical spirits in each other. A few months later Wooton invited Southwell to come on over to record in the US.
“I was shocked and surprised and didn’t expect them to follow it up,” Wooton admits, “but they rang to say they’d booked the flight, Originally just to record a couple of songs that turned into a whole album. From nothing it went to being a full album in Dockside Studios”
“Best album I’ve ever been a part of,” is Wooton’s opinion, while on the subject of Southwell himself,
Riotact reckons “James is not afraid to push his music past all previously existing boundaries and well past what most musicians consider the limits of what is safe.”
Released in June 2017, The Dockside Sessions (Where The Wind Blows) could just become the first album by an Australian blues musician to score a Grammy. The Recording Academy has added the album to the Contemporary Blues Album Category that voting members can vote for Grammy Award Nomination. So let’s all get behind it in whatever way we can and bring in the gold for Australia!
19th-21st January NSW – with special guest Gail Page playing three full band shows, plus two solo acoustic shows at the 2018 Thredbo Blues Festival
28th January NSW – Waves – Towradgi Beach Hotel
Update: The full length self titled album, featuring the singles Up On The Mountain, Venice and By the Wayside is available NOW and you can get it here: http://yhanleal.com
Yhan is currently on a massive National Tour to promote the album
see dates here
Watch the videos here
Listen to the new tune Venice right here
Heres a recent Interview
Yhan Leal walks the line with light feet. The Colombian born, now Bellingen based singer songwriter dedicates his waking hours to honing his artistic craft. After 20 years of performing Yhan, a truly gifted guitarist and angelic singer, has found his musical identity. Yhan Leal represents a new direction of Folk.
When did you settle in the Bellingen Shire?
I’m sure this is my 6th year, It’s flown by but I’ve had had such a wondrous time here.
- Can you describe your earlier life in Colombia?
Well I was only in Colombia until age 5 so the memories are very dreamlike, enormous white houses, wild rivers, and I remember leaving for Australia in a confused state in the middle of the night.
- Have you always had music in your life?
Yes, my mother sang to me, spanish love songs and nursery rhymes. My three older brothers had very diverse taste in music, from Opera to Metal, and we always had the record player going.
Are you musically trained?
Yes, I started in a Classic Guitar school at age eight for a few years then started learning electric guitar at my local music shop, I loved hanging around in that shop, ended up teaching there myself.
I also started singing pop songs naturally with the guitar at age 8, then took singing lessons at around 17 for many years. I loved learning everything I could about music, I bought countless books and videos and had many teachers, but my high school music teacher will always be my most revered.
Would you describe your music as ‘folk’ based?
Yes, folk means ‘people’ and my ideas for songs are always about the experience of the individual. Intimacy and an acoustic guitar is also very folk, but I also embrace modern sounds like samples and effects, so I call my genre ‘modern folk’.
You can hear those kind of sounds on my new single and video ‘Up On The Mountain.’(premiered on Triple J Monday October 2nd)
- You are performing at the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival. Is this the first year you have performed for this festival? Can you describe what you are expecting?
Yes this is my first time performing at the festival, I’m excited to play to an audience who appreciate that less is more! I’m going to play as stripped back as possible but give my songs everything I’ve got.
- Have you got any exciting plans for your music into the future?
Yes, I will be launching a brand new album this November 11 at the Bellingen Memorial Hall. I’ll be performing the entire album and recreating it;s production with the support of mostly local musicians, including an electronic score. Tix are on sale now via my website www.yhanleal.com and from Roots Records in Bellingen.
I also have a bunch more shows
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.
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.
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
Interview Recorded in the Magic Bus
Click the images below to Checkout two of the tunes/videos from the album
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