CATH BUTLER’S JOYNT VENTURE * ELI WOLFE * FIONA BOYES * HAT FITZ AND CARA * JESSE VALACH BLUES MOUNTAIN * JUNGAL * LLOYD SPIEGEL * MARK EASTON * MINNIE MARKS * NICK AND LIESL * PETE CORNELIUS * THE MOJO WEBB BAND * VDELLI
The Volume 4 CD has arrived and is now available for purchase! Thank you to the artists who contributed a track to the CD, without your support this project just wouldn’t happen. A total of 50 artists have contributed to the Blues Explosion CD and our aim is to have 12 compilation CDs out into the world before age prevents us from driving to gigs!
The CD will be launched at Beaches Hotel on Sunday, 19 May at 5pm by guitar legend Lloyd Spiegel, rising star Jesse Valach Blues Mountain and youngster Laura Zarb.
CD Review by Michael Smith, Associate & Contributing Editor, The Drum Media
With the fourth in this exciting ongoing series of compilations showcasing the best of Australia’s emerging as well a few established artists and acts working within the broad parameters of blues music, from hard-edged rock to traditional acoustic Delta workouts, Tony Cini’s Blues Explosion establishes itself as the must-have release of the year for any self-respecting lover of not only blues but also original Australian music in general.
It kicks off in fine style with the suitably explosive Ain’t Bringing Me Down from WA’s Vdelli, before pulling back with the heartfelt blues rock ballad, Cold Shoulder, from Melbourne’s Jesse Valach and Blues Mountain, with one subtly mellifluous solo to die for. Still only 18, Minnie Marks, from the NSW northern coast hamlet of Crescent Head, is punching well above her weight not only as a guitar stylist but also with a voice that sounds like she’s experienced more heartache than her years could ever suggest on her feisty Little People.
Things get more laidback with Tasmanian Pete Cornelius’ contribution, Town Of Machine, a touch of the cruisy end of the late great Stevie Ray in the mix. And feisty is the perfect descriptor for the distaff half of popular festival duo, Hat Fitz & Cara, the latter’s Irish energy having revitalised an already well-respected Australian Dust Bowl bluesman, as evidenced by their contribution, Power, from their Wiley Ways album. Who would have thought Irish tin whistle would meld so easily into a soul/blues stomp?
They’re not all about the youngsters either, these Blues Explosion compilations. Would you please make most welcome Queensland’s best kept secret and Chain Award winner, Ms Cath Butler, with enough sass and savvy to give Renee Geyer a run for her money, here joined by her band Joynt Venture on her down and dirty slowburn blues, Dangerous Desires. Guitarist Lloyd Speigel should be no stranger to anyone who’s been following Australian music the past decade or so, here sinking his teeth into his Murder For Breakfast. Similarly, the divine Fiona Boyes has become an essential part of any self-respecting blues/roots festival and the US Blues Music Awards nominee delivers her tribute to one of her Delta blues heroes, Baptized In Muddy’s Sweat, with the verve we’ve all come to expect.
Newer kids on the block, Brisbane’s Mojo Webb Band, dig even deeper into the Chicago blues with Love Done Right – don’t get too close ladies! Though the three Melbourne ladies who make up Jungal give the boys a run for their money on their raucous call to arms, Say It. Guitarist Mark Easton once fronted a glam rock band back in the late ‘80s but rediscovered his mojo and recast himself as one bad bluesman, and gets that hard groove working overtime on his How Do You Sleep At Night. Eli Wolfe has also explored a variety of musical avenues, most memorably with The Honey Palace, but has struck gold stepping out on his own, as evidenced by his slinky acoustic roots workout, Cards Are On The Table. As for the happily hippie couple Nick & Liesl, they may not be blues in any traditional sense, but there’s so much sunshine in their contribution, Most Of My Life, that you can’t help but smile and know that whoever thought the blues could only exist in the pain of a dirt poor black American for the Mississippi Delta circa 1930 will be reminded that the blues is a living tradition that continues to absorb influences from the people it touches and then inspires to make it in their own image. Long may it do so.
Michael Smith, Associate & Contributing Editor, The Drum Media
Blues and Roots Charts
We have entered the Charts at number 3 against some stiff competition. What was a pleasant surprise is that Volume 3 has re-entered the charts at number 12 – WHOA!
What’s been happening?
We had a fabulous couple of weeks with the Mason Rack Band (QLD) and Doggn’ It (NSW Representatives at the Memphis Blues Challenge) performing at Towradgi Beach Hotel a fortnight ago.
While last weekend, we had the girls from Jungal (VIC), the Christina Crofts Band (with Harry Brus) and Paul O’Brien Band performing on Sydney Harbour on Saturday afternoon; and then on the Sunday evening we had Jungal, The Vanns (an exciting young band from Kiama) and Leroy Lee performing at Beaches Thirroul.
It has been a busy couple of weeks and we look forward to some R&R in the next couple of weeks with some attendances at a few Blues Festivals and gigs (not organised by us!) thrown in for good measure.
Thanks to everyone who came along to any of our gigs.
Please continue supporting all gigs because without your support gigs and live music will surely disappear!
Leah and Tony
Final Show of the Year - With Three Amazing Acts - Tom Richardson Project – Ashleigh Mannix – 19-Twenty
Last night at The Vanguard, Tony and I were reminded of why we have this little project called Blues Explosion. We had three incredible talents on one bill, you should have been there! But lucky you, tomorrow those three amazing talents are doing a repeat performance at Towradgi Beach Hotel, north of Wollongong.
So get into your car (or jump on a train) and come down to Wollongong for a morning swim, lunch and then some fantastic entertainment in the afternoon with a few light beevies.
I know that Tony and I rave about every Blues Explosion bill but you should try and make our last gig of the year so you can witness the future of blues and roots in this country and guess what, the gig is ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Sunday, 9 December 2012, 3pm
Towradgi Beach Hotel,
170 Pioneer Road, Wollongong
Miss these guys at your peril!
Leah and Tony x
Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Chart #31 – July 2012
A sincere “Thank You” to Anthony Moulay and all the DJs that take part in compiling this chart and a huge “Thanks” to all the artists who provided their tracks on Volume 1, 2 and 3 – without your generosity, these CDs wouldn’t happen.
Tony and Leah
Volume 3 Out Now!
Tony Cini’s Blues Explosion Volume 3 was launched in June 2012 with 3 explosive gigs. Check out our updated website at www.bluesexplosion.com.au!
Also check out our Facebook page and “Like” us.
3 Shows - 1 Weekend!
Sydney / Wollongong
Tony and I have been working up to this weekend for the last 3 months and we could not have imagined it going as well as it did.
On the Friday night, the Rocks Rhythm Boat cruise was a sell-out. On the Saturday night, the Volume 3 CD launch at The Vanguard, Newtown was also a sell-out. While the free Sunday afternoon gig at Towradgi Beach Hotel drew a big appreciative “Blues” crowd.
Thanks to all the people who joined us in our weekend of festivities – the artists, our family, friends and blues followers.
Special thanks must go to the Mason Rack Band (Mason Rack – guitars / lead vocals / percussion; Nathan Lee-Archer – bass / vocals / percussion; Joel Purkess – bass / vocals / percussion) for travelling down from Queensland and making the weekend very special for both Tony and myself. We really enjoyed hanging out with you guys and thanks for Rackifying us!
The success of this weekend encourages us to start planning for the next event and we will keep you posted of any developments.
Yet again “thank you ALL so much”.
You guys rock!
Leah and Tony
It was a cool evening in Sydney but you wouldn’t have known this if you were on the Rocks Rhythm Boat! Friends and family turned up in force to support our first Special Event.
You Tube clips and conversations littered with superlatives such as “world-class” and “dynamite” don’t relay the high-energy performance that you get from the Mason Rack Band.
In the confined space of the boat, it was smok’in on board. Punters were able to get intimate with the band as they played poles, tables and chairs.
Many of those who came on the cruise became repeat offenders and came back for seconds and thirds over the weekend.
It was a fantastic night with the Mason Rack Band winning over new fans young and old including:
- April Papalia (Tony’s niece) recently turned 18 and has definitely grown up and we suspect is trashing her One Direction posters as we speak and replacing them with Mason Rack Band photographs!
- 82 year old Grandmother to April and Mother to Tony Cini rocked her socks off, spending most of the night on the dance floor!
The Vanguard, Newtown
Thank you to the people who came to The Vanguard in Newtown for Round 2.
It was a great night punctuated by fabulous performances by each of the acts.
Opening the bill was the best dressed cat in the house Isaiah B. Brunt, who is an absolute talent on keyboards, ukulele and slide guitar and thanks to John Maddox who accompanied him.
To conclude the evening were the Mason Rack Band who spun their magic and got the crowd on their feet.
Thank you guys!
Tony and I love the Vanguard for a number of reasons: the intimacy and vibe of the venue, and its owners and staff who make us feel very welcome.
To the gentleman [sorry I have forgotten your name] who told me that he had come to the gig purely because he had such a great time at the last Blues Explosion CD launch in December 2011 – thank you.
You weren’t familiar with any of the acts but you said that you knew it would be a great night out so you came along.
Tony and I have been working on getting the Blues Explosion concept and product recognised in Sydney and it looks like we are making some progress!
Oh …. and by the way …. once again, the evening was a “sell-out”.
Thanks to everyone again – the artists; the venue – Russell, Tim, Nigel and Darren (on the desk); and all the people who came along!
Towradgi Beach Hotel, The Gong
Sleep deprivation is setting in but this is the final round of the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, repeat offenders are waving and greeting other weekend warriors.
We have come to the end of the weekend without casualties and it promises to be a grand finale.
The Towradgi Beach Hotel patrons love and know their blues. They are going to witness knock-out performances by the PJ O’Brien Band and the Mason Rack Band.
Paul O’Brien kicks off the afternoon with some hard-edged Chicago/ Texas style guitar and our Mississippi-born friend Rusty is in heaven, doesy-doe-ing with the locals [that's the equivalent of crowd-surfing blues style].
Two big Mason Rack Band sets follow mesmerising Mason Rack virgins and reminding us all how lucky we are to live in Wollongong to see world-class acts like this at our local …. free!
And then it ends. It seems so unfair that the weekend is finally over and a new week is only a few hours away – the spell is broken but the memories will always be there. ….
Thanks to Tony for being such a tenacious advocate of Australian blues and roots music, (putting up with me) and making such an effort in making this weekend such a great success.