Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 May-Jun Contents 30 Rhythms
The Thredbo Blues Festival has been
an annual event for 22 years. I went
for a day a few years ago; this year I
decided to go for the whole weekend.
There were some good headline acts
such as Russell Morris and Fiona
Boyes and a lot of the others were
good as well. Thredbo is a great place
for a music festival with plenty of
small and not so small performance
places. It also hosts a long running
jazz festival and a more recently a
country music festival.
On Friday I wandered in to find Fiona
Boyes performing in the Kosciuszko
room, one of the larger venues. It
was a good set where she performed
numbers from several of her albums
including the latest Box and Dice.
Fiona has been around for some time
and has performed widely in Australia
and the USA. Fiona played a number
of different guitars all with great style.
Later I saw Glen Cardier and the
Side Show in the Thredbo Alpine
lounge who also performed well to
an appreciative crowd. I looked at
my program to see what was on offer
for the “remains of the day’. I noticed
that there was a Pearl show which was
sub titled - a tribute to Janis Joplin.
Now, I remembered Janis Joplin
and her tragic story but had largely
forgotten her. Not that I ever took a lot
of interest in the first place; although
I did record a friend’s LP Pearl on a
cassette years ago. Anyway I decided
to go and have a look.
About 10 minutes into the show, which
was in the famous or infamous Keller
bar, I thought: I can’t believe how good
this is, the lead singer was belting
out Joplin’s hits with great verve and
the musicianship of the band was
incredible. The show went through
Joplin’s life for about two hours and
included all the hits. I discovered that
the lead singer was Liza Ohlback a
blues singer of whom I’d never heard
of. But her new CD is number three in
the December blues chart. It was one
of the best shows I’d seen.
On Saturday I saw quite a few
performances including Richard Perso
(now a Canberra resident) Fiona
Boyes again, Dan Dinnen (a solo
singer and a purveyor of traditional
delta blues), the Foreday Riders from
Sydney who some Sydney people said
were legends, they were not too bad
actually. But Pearl was on again, this
time in the Kosiuszko room. I wasn’t
going to miss it. Also later Russell
Morris was to perform at the same
venue so If I got their early I would
get a seat as everyone wanted to see
the real thing. Pearl was fantastic, this
time they had a video presentation as
well. After the show I chatted with Liza
Ohlback, bought her CD and asked
if the show was coming to Canberra,
it is on the 5th of March at the Street
Theatre, do yourself a favour. I did an
interview with the show’s producer,
Chris Keeble, on ArtSound FM’s Arts
Café on 17 February.
Russell Morris. Before the set started
I asked a women seated next to me
if she thought he would perform “the
real thing” she replied that yes he
would, after all it was his biggest hit.
I was not so sure. Some artists do not
like playing the old stuff and Russell
Morris has re invented himself as
a blues singer. Anyway his set did
includes songs from Sharkmouth, Van
Diemen’s Land and his most recent
CD, Red dirt - Red heart. No “Real
Thing”. But he said at the end of the
set “If you cheer loud enough, my dad
will come back and play the old stuff ”.
Well they cheered and he came back
and played them all including the
“Real thing”. The crowed went wild.
On Sunday, again a number of
bands all good, especially the Hip
Replacements which featured some
great musicians such a guitarist
Gunther Gormann formerly of Daddy
Cool, Richard Clapton and Sherbet.
Finally the Andrea Marr band, a funky
outfit which featured a saxophone, the
only one I saw for the weekend. All in
all a great weekend of music.
Every now and then you come
across a new talent that shines.
Such was the case at the Spiegeltent
in Hobart on 31 March. Yirrmal
Marika, a young Yolngu man from
Yirrkala in North-East Arnhem Land,
performed with the Shane Howard
Trio. As Shane said, “Such talents
are everywhere but they’re rare”.
The closing song, Spirit of Place,
co-written by Yirrmal and Shane
Howard, was a celebration of how
special this country is and took us
from the tall tree forests of Tasmania
to all points of Australia. What a
show, what a talent.
It was great to see the “Rhythms”
team at Bluesfest and wonderful to
see people reading the magazine
avidly between acts.
As a long-term subscriber, I look
forward to even more widespread
readership for “Rhythms”, so it
was good to hear that more people
Thanks for your friendly welcome
when I came to the “Rhythms” tent.
My best finds at the Fest were
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night
Sweats, Lukas Nelson and the
Promise of the Real, Irish Mythen
and Rhiannon Giddens. But also
loved old favourites Graham Nash,
Jackson Browne, Russell Morris and
JULIE ALLEN, SUNSHINE COAST
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