Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Score and Twelve Years Ago

In a little town called Barry in Wales, two score and twelve years ago, a red haired baby girl entered the world. On this day a proud Mum and Dad could never have suspected that this little girl would become the twenty seventh Prime Minister of Australia.
I believe history will treat Ms Gillard very kindly. The debacle that saw Ms Gillard challenge the 26th Prime Minister  for the job will be the stuff of wordsmiths for decades to come. I also believe that the action will ultimately be totally vindicated, as the idiosyncrasies of the Australian Labor Party are ultimately exposed and unwound to allow the popularly elected members of the Parliamentary Party to actually do the job for which they are elected.
I believe that the often hinted at autocratic ways and subversive actions of Kevin Rudd, that finally so comprehensively undermined the party machine, will be exposed.
History will treat Julia well and many of the legislative advances that were implemented under her stewardship will be hailed as positive benefits to this nation.
Will she be remembered amongst the Statesmen of our time, Menzies, Hawke and Howard unlikely, but on this her 52nd Birthday I take off my hat to a great politician, our first woman Prime Minister and say well done and wish you a very Happy Birthday.
I am sure in the privacy of your home that quirky little smirk will lighten up your face many times as the truth is ultimately delivered to the World.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music - The Window to the Soul

I have now been producing and presenting a Program called Out and About on WOW100.5FM for over six months and in that time the content has progressed quite considerably and today I have a focus on local Independent Songwriters,Composers,Lyricists and Musicians.

It has become a passion and I am very privileged to have now met so many very talented people and I am sure many many more to come.Mind you I have always loved music and as a kid played a variety of instruments and sang in a number of Choirs around town including a Boys Choir in "The Play of Daniel" at the  Festival of Arts in Adelaide in 1964. It was produced by Colin Ballantyne and featured world famous countertenor Alfred Deller.
Also about that time I was also in a school music club held each lunchtime in Mr Winstanley's Music Room. There I met and sang with Peter and Martin Wesley-Smith and Keith Conlon. They went on to be the Wesley Three and produced at least two albums including City Folk.
The school I attended also had a couple of very good classical musicians Rick and John Brewster-Jones. We probably had a snippet of what was to come in the school Music Competition of around 1968. The Band section had a little group with these two performing with a couple of others. We went head to head with our own band - Jimbo on Bass Guitar because no one else wanted to learn how to play it. Loved my Green Maton Bass. Any way they won, we lost and they of course today have dropped the -Jones and have had a modicum of success as the Angels.
My rekindled passion kind of started recently when I was talking about a segment I was planning for RUOK Day and Beyond Blue, very good friend of mine, Charlie Helen Robinson suggested I play and talk to local artist Brett Monten whom has written and performed a song called RUOK.
At about the same time Amber Joy Poulton was about to release her new album "Foolish Things" so I booked into the show to be held at "Lickerish" on Semaphore Road.
Well I arranged for Brett Monten to come into the show for an interview and we had a great show talking about his music and the Band he belonged to "PlanB".

I had a ball that day and Brett successfully set the path for me from that day. He introduced me to SCALA (Songwriters,Composers and Lyricists Association) and the fact he had entered a new song in FOOM (Festival Of Original Music) being held at The Light Hotel in Light Square in the City Of Adelaide. He also recommended to me a new Adelaide Group the the "Germein Sisters" and their single "Da Da Doo"
So I went to Amber Joy Poulton's Album release "Foolish Things".

I was home, they had me hook, line and sinker. To watch and listen, to hear the back story of each song, how and why it was created - the Soul laid bare for all to see, listen too and understand and to make of it what you will. To me very powerful stuff indeed. I asked Amber to come on the show, but man she is one very busy lady, mother, runner,fund raiser and in her spare time wonderful artiste. We will get her on the phone one day. The album is going well and the single "Rosalie" is bringing Amber some success as it climbs the Country Music Charts.
Opening the show that day was a "pint"sized chick Susan Lily. She sang a few songs from her album "Butterfly". Man there was something about this lady and her music. As she described her journey and the fact that Adelaide had only recently become her Home Town - being a native of Hay, way out in Western New South Wales. Being first to perform that day, in fact it is probably her music that clinched my return to my beloved musical hideaway.

Well any way I decided to contact Susan and invite her to my show. Wow she said yes - this is exciting, me interviewing Susan Lily. Hell I do not want to look like an idiot so I started researching and found web sites everywhere and so many musicians. Susan arrived at the studio on the appointed day and again we had a ball - I think we both enjoyed the experience. Not only did the morning go well but I had a new friend as well.
Her new single from her Album "Butterfly" - "My Hometown" was released and we began pushing and promoting that as much as we could on the show. Other presenters heard the music and we were able to ensure that it was being played across a variety of programs. Wow this is fun - I am enjoying getting to know these people and through Community Radio do my teensy weeny little bit to help.
Susan later contacted me and let me know that she was a finalist in the SCALA FOOM Competition. Great, off I went to the final - Susan sang her song "Daisy Jane" (you must hear it when released) - pretty good, but as the night wore on so many great artists, so many great songs - thankfully the responsibility of judging did not fall to me because there were so many great songs.How do you just pick one.
Well Susan won the competition and with so many other category winners and honourable mentions all of whom will be on the new SCALA Album featuring this years best of the best. They had the CD of last years winners for sale so picked one up and BOOM all of this talent previously just names in a Gig Guide were in my hand, great music.
In amongst this period I had made contact with Georgia Germein and arranged for her to come to the studio. On the appointed day Georgia arrived with her Mum/Manager Sue. Again a great interview and the back story to the music that was being created by Georgia just so powerful. The story of "Because You Breathe" being recorded in Ireland by Billy Farrell - Corrs Producer. The move from Solo Artist to the Germein Sisters (and Brother Charlie) captivating. I have written more about the Germein Sisters in the article below.

So back to the title of this article. The privilege of meeting these talented people, introducing their music has done something special to me - the opportunity to meet these wonderful people and to have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the passion, heart, body and soul that is delivered to us in their music is, well---Life Changing.
I love music in all of its forms, genre does not matter. I know when my own son was creating electronic music I understood the passion with which it was created - Ok I was prejudiced being his greatest fan - but again the contribution of self to the Music was to say the least impressive.
Yes, my little Community Radio Programme has found a direction and I am so looking forward to the wonderful journey it takes me on - I hope that many will join me on that journey. I hope they will stop and listen intently to the music and hear the talent, the passion, the body and Soul I have now had the magnificent pleasure of experiencing up close and personal.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dawning of the Germein Sisters

It seems so appropriate to be writing on my blog "Aoede" - the Muse of Voice or Song. Tonight I attended the Album launch of The Germain Sisters - "Because You Breathe". Tonight I witnessed the birth of a new group who can and will carry all before them on the world stage.
I shall introduce you to this wonderful trio of Sisters.
Firstly their is Georgia - Georgia has been songwriting for a while and is responsible for being the composer of all the new music on the new album. Georgia (as a 19 year old ) already has a successful solo album "Take my Hand" and now some six years down the track has this evening launched a new album with her siblings at The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel.
These days they live with Mum and Dad on a property near the Deep Creek Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills and from what I understand Georgia with her trusty recording apparatus creates the mystique of her music that will now be "The Germein Sisters".
Sisters Ella (Elfie) and Clara join older sister Georgia in her latest effort in the musical kingdom and are you ready world it is magnificent.
Ella plays Bass Guitar and The Electric Cello (an awesome instrument), as well as being very involved in the vocals exudes a passion for music and I fear is the mischievous elf of the the family.
Clara is the drummer, sometime guitarist and also very much a part of the vocals we will all come to know and love. Drummers of the world watch and weep as one so young can take her craft to the heights I witnessed tonight.
The single Da Da Doo has been released for sometime and is one of those songs that can only be described as that ear worm of a song that once heard just hangs there in your brain. Tonight we heard all of the album live. A quality stage performance that takes on some of the best I have seen. I find it hard to choose a favourite but amongst them are Sunny Days and Golden but to be selective is harsh on the rest of the album.
So to watch them live - amazing. Will they be compared to The Corrs - of course they will. It was recorded in Ireland and produced by Corrs Producer Billy Farrell and assisted by Stuart Gray of Jealoustown Studios. Sharon Corr (the violin playing Corr) in fact is featured on two tracks on the album and one suspects had a sentimental journey of what she and her siblings must have felt like at the beginning of their journey.The Celtic lilt to the music is just captivating.
Then the similarity does not stop there as little brother Charlie joins his sisters on stage and the album featuring in the final track on the album "Don't Wait".I have it on good authority however on this occasion he will not be touring with his sisters, one day I do not think he will have that choice, particularly based on the crowd response to his performance.
Tonight I feel privileged indeed to have been present at the dawning of the Germeins. I shall follow their star as it shines brightly in our Universe,