Tag Archives: new album

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Daxton Releases New Album ‘50% Grit’

A long-time friend asked Daxton to produce a stripped back, raw but lively and psychedelic dirty blues song. ‘Just something I can really get into as I drink my bourbon to late at night please mate’.

Dax took on the job with gusto and was so engrossed that before he knew it 7 new tunes were born. The song, Rise Above, fulfilled the original request and opens the album. The rest of the tunes don’t disappoint and range from dirty, stompy, bluesy slide pieces to slightly more grungy but poppy tunes with some snare and percussion added in.

Song Descriptions
Rise Above
Dirty scratchy psychedelic harp and cigar box guitar feature in this mid-tempo track from Daxton’s new offering.  Distorted, rough and ready vocals set the tone for the next six tracks on this mini album.

Nothing to lose
A more up-tempo blues tune. Bass, slide cigar box guitar and some simple drums flesh out this one with his life-worn vocals and lyrics filling in the story.

Right On time
Guitar riffs and electric slide stabs plus some nifty catchy vocal lines abound in this mid-tempo song. There’s some stomp box keeping time and enough changes and interesting sounds to keep you rocking all the way through.

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.

Daxton – 50% Grit is out NOW September 23rd
Foghorn/MGM

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Luke Escombe Releases New Album ‘Whale Beach Road’

Finally out on all digital platforms here is Luke’s latest album, an ode to brilliant songwriting and musicianship all wound up in family stories.
Luke says -

“I genuinely believe that Whale Beach Road is the best album of “adult music” I’ve made, and it’s very special to me because of all the family history written into the songs.

Whale Beach Road is the first full studio album I’ve made solely under my own name. I started writing the songs in early 2020, towards the end of the fires and before the first lockdown. Initially, I was working on a memoir but then the stories started turning into songs instead.

At first, I was hesitant to apply for Jobkeeper in 2020, as I felt like other people needed it more than me, but then I realised it would give me the funds to go and employ all of the amazing musicians on this album, like drummer Evan Mannell, bassist Zoe Hauptmann, Aaron Flower on guitar and Clayton Doley on Hammond organ. There was even enough to get string and backing vocal arrangements for most of the songs, which gives it that luxurious 70’s soul vibe I was after while still sounding modern and clean. I could have been a hermit and lived off beans and rice, but instead Jobkeeper enabled me to keep creating and collaborating with my community.

Whale Beach Road is a very personal album, but I think there’s also something very universal there in that the songs are all about searching for love and hope in an uncertain world. It was all written and tracked between the Northern Beaches of Sydney and the Central Coast, and I think those beautiful locations feed into the sound. Hopefully the album takes listeners to a good place.”

Family – On Feature Track ‘Max and Melanie’

“While I was writing Max and Melanie I had the idea that it would make a good 70th birthday present for my Mum, a way of paying tribute to her family and where she came from. I’d never actually realised it before, but she was a political refugee, an asylum seeker in her own country. I carried on her story in another song on the album – “Lady Sunlight” – and then started to think about my own story, and all the events and circumstances that had led me to the exact place I found myself at the time of writing these songs: a house on Whale Beach Road. That’s how the album found its narrative, and its title. It’s about people trying to hold on to love and hope while confronting the powerful tide of history. To paraphrase the chorus of Max and Melanie, history makes plans for us, but we can still make plans for ourselves. I find that idea very hopeful.”

“Luke Escombe is a rock-soul singer, raconteur, blistering blues guitarist, comedian and songwriter, and very good at them all” – Sydney Morning Herald

Luke Escombe is an ARIA-nominated singer-songwriter who combines his blues, rock and soul influences with subversive humour, poetic lyrics and heartfelt storytelling. He is the creator of the internationally acclaimed one-man show “Chronic” and the writer and front man of multi award-winning Aussie kids band The Vegetable Plot.

Luke has released numerous albums and EPs with his band Luke Escombe and the Corporation and one album solely under his own name, 2017’s Skeleton Blues. The album was recorded direct to tape in a three-hour session at Damien Gerard Studios, featuring his smoky-voiced cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man in the Long Black Coat” alongside distinctive originals like Punctuation Blues and The Lipsi. This new Luke Escombe studio album, Whale Beach Road, was recorded in between lockdowns with some of Sydney’s most in-demand session players.

Luke received his early musical education in London, where his father’s job in the rock and roll industry enabled him to see hundreds of legendary performances by artists like Freddie Mercury, Prince and Bruce Springsteen while he was just a boy. When he’s not channelling his childhood idols, Luke is an ambassador for a number of health charities, a member of the NSW Arts Advisory Panel, a teaching artist with the Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning Program. He is also a song writing mentor with the Sydney Children’s Hospital’s Chronic Illness Peer Support program [ChIPS] with whom he wrote and recorded the track “Wake up Call” in 2021. He believes strongly that music and storytelling can play a transformative role in health, education and society. Among his more obscure awards is the title of “Sydney’s Sexiest man voice”, which he won in a competition on a once-popular Sydney radio station.

Luke Escombe – Whale Beach Road (Foghorn/MGM) August 19

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Slide Milligan Releases Debut Album ‘Blood Red River’

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.

Song Descriptions
Feelin’ Fine
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.

Gasoline
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)
Foghorn/MGM

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John Kennedy Releases Raining Treasure Vol. 2

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.

JFK RT PR

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.

JFK CARTOON

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. 

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CJ Shaw – Belconnen Arts centre album launch, radio rotation and video

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:

lenvid

CJ Shaw’s latest single and video clip ‘Ain’t Many Like Lennie’ has gone from strength to strength.
With the support of Arts ACT, Canberra animators Eleanor and Giovanni created a music video with felt puppets following the journey of legendary 9 year old Lennie Gwyther and his horse Ginger Mick travelling unaccompanied for 600 miles to witness the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
SBS has selected this music video ‘Ain’t Many Like Lennie’ to be aired on April 1st 2022 and will feature on SBS on Demand streaming platform. The video was also shortlisted in the Munich Music Video Awards 2021 and is a finalist at the Animate Film Festival.
Tony Mott photo shoot
Earlier this year, CJ Shaw had an artist photoshoot with Tony Mott who is Australia’s premier music photographer. CJ Shaw said working with Tony Mott was a ‘career highlight’.  Taken over one day, these photos will form the press kit for his future publications.
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Latest Review
Nominated for a 2020 Music Teacher of the Year ARIA, CJ Shaw is an unadulterated, unashamedly Australiana rather than Americana singer-songwriter, sort of Shane Howard meets Fred Smith if you will. Shaw keeps it all pretty simple too, two and three chords at most as he spins his stories, some aimed at younger listeners – as you’d expect from a teacher – rambling, cheeky ditties full of whimsy – others serving more mature musical tastes with tales that ponder life as it’s lived in this wide brown land. “We would all do a lot less harm,” he suggests in ‘Choose to Chew’, “If we ate our Coat of Arms” – which makes sense of the recipe card for CJ Shaw’s Fair Dinkum ‘Roo Bolognese included! Obviously one of his children’s songs, but hey, we all need a bit of fun once in a while. ‘Werewolves’ straddles the generations, delivered straight-faced yet obviously not to be imbibed in that spirit. The seraphic Hannah Czaben takes the vocal spotlight on ‘Full on Heart’, another gentle two-chord stroll, a rumination on separate lives that could have been more lived more happily together that, along with songs like ‘Lonely Road’, is proof that when he allows himself, Shaw is quite the poignant singer-songwriter.
Michael Smith
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Daxton Releases New Album ‘Electric Satellite’

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.

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Song Descriptions

Electric Satellite
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.

Bad Tmes 
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
Foghorn/MGM

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Peter Sterling’s Latest Album ‘The Winding Way’

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

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Gareth Koch New Reviews

GARETH KOCH

ELIZABETHAN JANGLE

A CHRISTMAS ALBUM

Foghorn Records

 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.

MICHAEL SMITH

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