In many of my chats we always spend some time talking about the person’s day job but with Fiona Boyes, music is her day job. Fiona has been a professional musician for over 25 years and during that period has won many awards and distinctions. Indeed at the time of recording this Fiona had two nominations coming up in the in the American Blues Music Awards for her latest album “Professin’ The Blues”; one for best acoustic album of the year in America and one for Fiona personally as Acoustic Artist of the year.
Fiona recorded this from her home in beautiful Yamba in northern New South Wales and if you listen carefully you will hear the occasional rainbow lorikeet bird chatter in the background. Continue reading →
You met Stringy Bark last week, now hear the woman beside the man Molly CoddleCream herself (a.k.a. Cheryl Firth).
Molly takes us through her interesting life before Stringy which gets even more interesting after teaming up with Stringy. Molly’s influence is noticeable in the music Stringy is making these days and this chat gives us a lot of insight into how that comes about.
Stringy Bark McDowell (a.k.a. Ken Terrington) is a talented laid back musician with a great sense of humour. The humour came through notably in the Muddy Puddles blues band from the 90’s which as Stringy reveals was a bit of a satirical look at the blues from the outset. But it is his outlook on life and the “take no prisoners” attitude combined with his musicianship that makes him what I think is the “Neil Young” of Australian music.
He is living in an off-grid house in South Australia with his lovely partner Molly CoddleCream (a.k.a Cheryl Firth) and still traveling around Australia to play gigs. But not in a city if he can help it, which is a bit of a handicap for a musician.
Here is the other half of the Blues Preachers, Captain Bluetongue, as promised during the previous episode with Brother John. They are a very balanced duo both musically and spiritually and this shines through in this chat with the Captain.
It is also fitting that this is published on this date, 18th January 2017, which is the 40th anniversary of the Granville train disaster in which 83 poor souls lost their lives, including Captain’s older brother. Please see the link below for more details of this tragedy.
Blues music originated in the difficult social conditions that poor people spent their lives in from the earliest times in the USA. Most musicians attracted to the blues also have a well-developed sense of social justice but my guest this week, Brother John from The Blues Preachers, has more than many. It unashamedly informs the music he creates.
A keen student of the history of music and an observer of the social issues facing us all today, he addresses these from a firm spiritual base and the results make compelling listening in this podcast. Continue reading →
From a 30+ years veteran of Australian blues music last week, Shayne Soall, we have this week a relative debutante, Patty Mifsud, who is just starting to get known around the Sydney blues circuit as a very capable blues harp player.
Patty is also a wife, a mother, and holds down a full-time job as an employment consultant while striving for excellence in her “spare” time as a musician. The Rolling Stones were the first to draw her attention to blues harmonica many years ago and lead her to listen to many of the greats of blues music as you can see from the references below to people mentioned in this podcast. But it is only in recent years that Patty has decided to pick up and learn to play the harmonica. Now she is joining jams and playing gigs around Sydney as she continues to hone her skills.
Saturday night in Amsterdam, Sunday morning in Sydney, the wonders of technology join us together to bring you a chat with the lovely couple known as “Evrin“, Riny and Evi, Riny Raijmakers and Evi Terschegget to give them their full titles.
Riny is the singer-songwriter of the partnership and Evi brings a beautiful presence and voice from a jazz background, smokey as Evi describes it. Continue reading →
Like an earlier guest in episode 18, Keith Nicholson, Pat Procter is a maker of quality cigar box guitars but over on the other side of the country, West Australia. They seem to be a special breed these cigar box makers and the quality of Pat’s work is remarkable as you can see from the gallery of Pat’s examples below. Click on a pic to see a larger view. Continue reading →
Pip Cowan’s website”Busking My Way To Mississippi” sounds like a bit of a challenge but factor into your expectation that Pip is a quadriplegic and the enormity of the undertaking presents itself.
A motorcycle accident on the farm at the age of 17 had left Pip a quadriplegic with limited use of his arms and hands. But the disability has led him to an interest in blues music and he is now starting to master the diddly bow, a one-stringed cigar box guitar. From there it seems a logical step to travel to Mississippi to learn at the home of the blues.
Please listen to the podcast and then go to the links below to delve into Pip’s world and most importantly, DONATE to help Pip achieve his dream.
“Limitations can be good fertile grounds for inspiration”
Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old colored boy who was murdered in 1955 by two white men for the perceived crime of wolf-whistling at a white woman.
Chris O and Jonathan Beckenstein in 2016 collaborated over Soundcloud on a song called “The Lowlands” which honors the relatives and strangers who stood up in seeking justice for the murder of Emmett Till.
At the time Chris and I spoke about what music to include in her recent interview, Chris mentioned this song. Chris had composed the lyrics as part of a collaboration with Jonathan Beckenstein in New York who wrote the music. All of this collaboration took place through the medium of Soundcloud. That was intriguing enough but as I became familiar with the background to Chris’ inspiration in writing these lyrics I realised we needed to do a separate podcast on this topic, to bring the focus just to this song and the event that motivated it.
Please take some time to explore the following links, particularly the YouTube video, to get a better understanding of the horror of this event but which led eventually to the end of racial segregation in the USA.
I have also included a link to another Jonathan Beckenstein collaboration, We All Know How It Ends, that Chris recommended.
Jasmine Beth is firstly a writer who has developed a rare talent through her music and her voice to convey beautiful shared experiences with audiences. Combine that with her social conscience and you have a very interesting person to talk to.
Jasmine was in England when we caught up over Skype but will be back performing in Australia from December 2016. Check out her website below for tour dates, music lyrics and other info about the lovely Jasmine Beth.
It’s time for a break away from the “boys only” flavour of the podcasts to date, so my guest on this episode is Chris Okunbor, a musician from the Blue Mountains, better known by her public persona of Chris O.
As you will hear Chris has led a varied and wonderful life, full of exotic experiences, all of which I think comes through in her voice and her choice of material for her performances at gigs all around the world. You will also get a chance to hear in the podcast some of the songs from her latest album “Wailin and Ragging The Blues”.
It’s not every day that you get to talk to a cigar box guitar maker so I felt privileged having the opportunity to chat to Keith Nicholson. I was introduced to Keith by Mark Bishop who featured in episode 16 and it is Mark playing an original composition on Keith’s cigar box resonator as the opener to this episode.
Keith Nicholson is as he says, “A jack of all trades but master of none”, but after talking to Keith and seeing his work, I beg to differ. As a cigar box guitar maker he is indeed a master of his craft. This is an amazing musical art form which specialises in creating beautiful musical instruments, mostly from recycled parts. You can see some of his instruments in the Gallery below from pictures that Keith sent over . Continue reading →
I had the good fortune to meet Mark Bishop at a local market recently and even better, to get a chance to interview him. Mark is a mild-mannered pathology manager by day and a talented blues musician by night. By blues I mean music, not Carlton all you AFL fans.
Mark plays a number of gigs in and around Sydney where you can catch up with him in person if you are in the area. Check out his website and Facebook page links below to find out where he is playing next and/or buy a copy of his CD.
As a blues fan for more years than I care to admit I enjoyed talking to Mark and also to be able to share some of his music with you. Continue reading →