Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Nev Nicholls ‎– 1978 - Blazing Diesels FLAC

Blazing Diesels/Mack's Cafe/One Of Those/Rigs And Roads/C.B. Radio/The Men Who Dare To Drive The Interstate/My Travelling Stereo/Make A Mile/Silverwater Holiday/A Tiger In My Strides/Heaven/Footballin' Truck Drivin' Man/ I Wish I Could Sing Like Johnny Cash/My Truckin' Life

Despite a cover that screams that it wants to be added to the worst album covers ever this is a good example of the Truck Driving genre that was at it's peak in the Seventies.

Nev Nicholls was born on the 16th of September 1930 at Millthorpe, central west NSW. Spent his early childhood on a farm at Tallwood. In 1941 he started playing the guitar, learning mainly songs of Buddy Williams, and started writing songs of his own. In 1942 the family moved to a larger property near Blaney, but his father died shortly after leaving the family battling to make a living. As the age of 12 Nev had to work on the family farm with schooling a secondary consideration. When conditions on the farm permitted Nev worked on other properties to earn extra money. Nev started singing at church concerts and on 2GZ, the local radio station.

In 1952 he travelled to Sydney to put down some custom recordings and was given an audition and then signed with Regal Zonophone.  He put down 22 sides for Regal Zonophone, mostly his own material. Appeared on “Australia’s Amateur Hour” and “Tim McNamara’s Talent Quest. With ambitions to be a superstar he moved to Sydney, but jobs were scarce in the music industry and so took a job as an insurance salesman. 1954 he signed with EMI.

In 1957 went on his his first country tour with Reg Lindsay. Nev with Chad Morgan, Rick & Thel and Kevin King formed "The All Star Western Show" which also included fiddle player Peter Mollerson. This show lasted about a year. 1958 rejoined with Reg Lindsay to do tours through NSW and QLD. 1961 was a disastrous year for travelling shows as television had been introduced to country areas and the radio stations were not playing much country music. Nev saw that the conditions for touring were deteriorating so started working the Sydney pub circuit.

In 1968 he joined with Kevin King for a 10 year stint at the Texas Tavern in Kings Cross (Sydney). Members of Nev's band, "The Country Playboys" included: Guitar Players: Phil Emmanual, Dave Longmore, Gary Brown, Farmer John Hayton, Mick Hamilton, Kenny Kitching, Laurie Allen, Peter Bazley. Bass Players: Allan Tomkins, Les Young, John Dunn, Mike Fahy, Johnny Heap. Drummers: Steve Hopes, Laurie Webb, Paul Kniepp, Tony Stan and many more. Guests who dropped in and did a spot here and there included: Diana Trask, Charlie Pride, Tom T Halls Band "The Storytellers", Buddy Emmons the world’s best steel player who was touring with Roger Miller. Not forgetting the local guest artists who appeared on a weekly basis including: Jade Hurley, Roland Storm, Johnny Devlin, Laurel Lee, Carter Edwards, Terry Kaff and many others far too many to enumerate. Female singers were: Jan Kelly, Nikki Bradley and Lorraine Delaney.

 Signed with RCA in 1974 and made his first album of trucking songs “Keep on Truckin’” which achieved Gold Sales. 1975 he won a Golden Guitar award for Instrument Track of the Year with “Nashville Express” as Nev Nichol’s Country Playboys. 1977 saw him Inducted into the Hands of Fame.

1978 – 1988 - The “Nev Nicholls National Roadshow” went to air throughout Australia on more than 90 radio stations- a weekly 2 hour show. He also launched a travelling show under the same name and he toured that show all around Australia starring at various times, Gary Brown, Phil Emmanuel, Lisa White, Debbie Lee Rae (now known as Kaye Payne) and Cowboy Bob Purtell.

During the Nineties  The “Nev Nicholls Roadshow” continued as a travelling show after the radio program ceased and was extensively backed by "The Silver Wings Band", he did tours with the Brisbane group "Buckskin" and "Fusion" out of Wollongong. In Northern Queensland the band to supply the music was "Paper Train", In Melbourne "Freight Train", Tasmania "The Good Old Boys" and in Western Australia "Hazzard County". In Queensland for shows Nev became friends with the President of the Townsville Country Music Club, Dick Nettlefield and together they hatched a plan for the "Champion of Champions" event that has now been running very successfully.

As a further string to his bow Nev launched his own record label "Nicholls'N’Dimes" where two winners from Townsville's big festival scored a record deal with the label, "Saddle Tramps" band and also the "Gottani Sisters". The sisters have since moved to America and have been working consistently touring as backup singers with some of the big names of country such as George Jones and Janie Frickie. Other people to cut records on the label were: Reg Lindsay, Cowboy Bob Purtell, D'Arcy Le Year, (now part of the Wolverines) Lisa White & Desree Crawford and many more. Including "Our Buddy" the Buddy Williams tribute album which had the biggest names in Australian Country dueting with Buddy. People like: Slim Dusty, Gordon Parsons, Smoky Dawson, Shirley Thoms, Alan Hawking, Kevin King, Reg Lindsay, Tex Morton with Sister Dorrie, Johnny Ashcroft & Gaye Kayler.

1992 saw him inducted into the "Australasian Country Music Roll Of Renown" at Tamworth,  Fast forward to the late 90's and "Massive Records" have released a lot of Nev's LP's on CD that are enjoying a new lease on life.

Nev had always been a prolific writer and besides recording vast numbers of his own songs he had also had many covered by other artists among these are: Reg Lindsay, Chad Morgan, Frankie Davidson, Johnny Garfield, Terry Gordon, The Wayfarers, Truckin Stevens and by no means least his long time friend Lucky Grills. Lucky and Nev shared an album in 1998, a truckies album of course, titled "Ya Wanna Screw Driver".

Nev Officially retired from country music entertaining in 2002. He was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame that same year at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth.
Thanks to Mustang for this one.

Marcia Hines - 1983 - Heart Like A Radio (Single) FLAC

Heart Like A Radio/She Got You

Marcia Elaine Hines, AM (born 20 July 1953), is an American-Australian vocalist, actress and TV personality. Hines made her debut, at the age of 16, in the Australian production of the stage musical Hair and followed with the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. She achieved her greatest commercial successes as a recording artist during the late 1970s with several hit singles, including cover versions of "Fire and Rain", "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", "You" and "Something's Missing (In My Life)"; and her Top Ten albums Marcia Shines, Shining and Ladies and Gentlemen. Hines was voted "Queen of Pop" by TV Week's readers for three consecutive years from 1976.
Hines stopped recording in the early 1980s until she returned with Right Here and Now in 1994, the same year she became an Australian citizen. She was the subject of the 2001 biography Diva: the life of Marcia Hines which coincided with the release of the compilation album Diva. Since 2003 she has been a judge on Australian Idol, and her elevated profile led to a renewed interest in her as a performer. Her 2006 album, Discotheque, peaked at number 6 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums chart. Hines was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on 18 July 2007.

Hines is the mother of singer Deni Hines, with whom she performed on the duet single "Stomp!"

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

J0hn Williams0n - 1990 - JW's Family Album FLAC

Christmas Photo/Camel Train To Yamba/Teach Me To Drive, Dad/ Just A Dog/ Flight Of The Blowfly/Goodbye Blinky Bill/ Crocodile Roll/ On My Ukelele/Big Bad Banksia Man/Old Man Emu/Koala Koala/My Dad Snores/ Old Sow/When We Were Kids/ A Proud Man (Allan Border)/Home Among The Gum Trees

 John Robert Williamson AM (born 1 November 1945) is an Australian country music and folk music singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist, television host and conservationist. Williamson usually writes and performs songs that relate to the history and culture of Australia, particularly the outback, in a similar vein to Slim Dusty and Buddy Williams before him. Williamson has released over fifty albums, ten videos, five DVDs, and two lyric books and has sold more than 4,000,000 albums in Australia. His best known hit is "True Blue". On Australia Day (26 January) in 1992 Williamson was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) with the citation: "for service to Australian country music and in stimulating awareness of conservation issues". He has received twenty-six Golden Guitar trophies at the Country Music Awards of Australia, he has won three ARIA Music Awards for Best Country Album and, in 2010, was inducted into the related Hall of Fame. 

JW's Family Album is the ninth studio album by Australian country music artist John Williamson. The album was released in October 1990 and peaked at number 21 on the ARIA Charts and was certified platinum. It included a re-recording of Williamson's debut single "Old Man Emu" with a new "Dingo Verse". At the ARIA Music Awards of 1991, the album was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album. At the Country Music Awards of Australia of 1992, the album won Top Selling Album .

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Tony Bonner - 1968 - Introducing Australia's Tony Bonner FLAC

Fisher's Ghost/When You're Not Near/Wine And Women/We May Meet Again/The Three Trees/Don't Try To Pretend/Skippy/Saturday Girl/True/Proud Of You/In My Book/Granada

Anthony Frederick Bonner AM (born 23 November 1943) is an Australian television, film and stage actor and singer. Bonner became famous in the 1960s children's television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, later moving on to lead roles in the dramas Cop Shop and Skyways.

Bonner was born in Manly, a northern beach suburb of Sydney. His grandfather, James Bonner, was a former Mayor of Manly and founding President of the Manly Life Saving Club. His father, Frederick Bonner, was a musical comedy actor at Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney.

After leaving school he started work for a company supplying mannequins and other equipment for window dressing. He also worked part-time in his father's theatre as a wardrobe attendant, fostering his interest in acting.

Bonner's first professional stage acting job was in 1961, aged 18. His first major role was as helicopter pilot Jerry King on the television series Skippy.

Bonner went on to appear in many Crawford Productions television series including The Box, Matlock Police, Division 4, Cop Shop, Skyways and Carson's Law.

In 1970/71 he had a guest role in one episode of the UK-based ITC television series The Persuaders! starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. He featured in an advertising campaign for the Ballajura real estate development in Western Australia around the late 70's.

Notable film roles include Eyewitness (1970), You Can't Win 'Em All (1970), Creatures the World Forgot (1971), Inn of the Damned (1975), The Mango Tree (1977), Money Movers (1978), The Man from Snowy River (1982), The Highest Honor (1983), Quigley Down Under (1990), Dead Sleep (1990), Hurricane Smith (1992) and Liquid Bridge (2003). He also twice portrayed Australian World War I soldier Murray Bourchier, to whom he bears a remarkable likeness, in the 1987 film The Lighthorsemen and a 1993 episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (where footage from The Lighthorsemen was inserted into the episode).

Bonner also starred in the 1985 TV mini-series Anzacs alongside Paul Hogan, Jon Blake, Andrew Clarke and Megan Williams. Bonner played Lieutenant (later Captain) Harold Armstrong, commanding officer of the 8th Battalion (Australia) of the First Australian Imperial Force in 1914 and their journey in World War I through Gallipoli in 1915, and then on the Western Front in Belgium and France. The series was a huge rating success when it aired on the Nine Network.

Bonner also does advertising work, such as the part of veteran burger naming expert Ken Thomas in a 2007 McDonald's ad campaign. In September 2008 he sued Fauna Productions Pty Ltd, the production company for Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, seeking residuals from merchandising and DVD sales.

Bonner recorded a cover version of the Bee Gees song "Wine and Women" in 1968. He later appeared with Barry Gibb on an episode of Bandstand. Later in his career Bonner appeared in several stage musicals including Annie Get Your Gun and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Bonner is patron of several charities including The Smith Family and the Wesley Mission suicide prevention program. He has also served on the board of the Variety Club and is Publicity Officer and past President of the Manly Life Saving Club. Bonner was married to Australian actress and model Nola Clark from 1972 to 1992. They had three daughters. One daughter Chelsea Bonner is the owner and director of the Plus-size model agency BELLA model management.
In 2017 Bonner was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts as an actor, to surf lifesaving, and to the community through charitable organisations.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Reg Lindsay - 1970 - Australia's King Of The Road FLAC

Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/Shotgun Boogie/King Of The Road/That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine/Gonna Find Me A Bluebird/Four Walls/Bouquet Of Roses/Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/I Love You Because/Tears On My Pillow/Lonely River/Detroit City

It was sad that Reg Lindsay, one of Australia's most talented and successful country music stars, should have virtually disappeared from the country scene after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage in Tamworth in 1995.

Although he made a  welcome guest appearance on the Golden Guitar Awards in 1996, and appeared at a handful of other events during the late '90s, his health deteriorated and he never really regained his  ability to perform. He finally died on August 5th, 2008 at the age of 79.  

 Reg was a major figure in Australian country music from the early '50s to almost the end of the century. Born in 1929 in Parkes NSW, he will always be associated with his now legendary motorcycle ride from Adelaide to Sydney in 1951 for his winning tilt at Tim McNamara's famous talent quest. Already identified by that maker of stars, The Australian Amateur Hour, his Sydney win set him firmly on the road to commercial success, with a Rodeo records contract, Show Boat gigs, touring and recognition far and wide.

 But it wasn't just Reg's fine talents as a singer, songwriter and entertainer that set him apart. He had another key interest, one that was to benefit not only Reg but many other country entertainers. That was his interest and flair for broadcast media. But for the entry in Tim's Talent Quest he could have ended up as an ABC Rural Broadcaster. Instead, fortunately for us, he chose country music rather than just country, though his love for the bush continued for the rest of his life particularly through his enduring involvement with rodeo and horses.

In 1951 he talked his way onto 2CH in Sydney, shortly after switching to 2SM where he  entertained big audiences for over 12 years.

 But it wasn't just radio. In 1964 Reg was invited to take over Channel 9's country music show from Roger Cardwell. The Country & Western Hour was networked around Australia from Adelaide and was so successful that it ran for seven and a half years followed not long afterwards with a new TV show, Reg Lindsay's Country Homestead from Brisbane. Over his TV and radio years, Reg gave literally hundreds of young artists a boost, helping to develop the industry he loved so much.

In 1968 in the midst of his TV work, Reg started the Reg Lindsay Country Store in Parramatta which he ran for many years.

He also travelled and worked in America enjoying significant success in the late 60s and 70s and receiving many plaudits as well as appearing several times on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1977, John Minson and I watched Reg Lindsay performing at FanFair in Nashville and remember being highly impressed at how this outstanding Australian easily outsang and outshone so many of the much more famous American stars around him.

Reg was one of the first to be inducted into the Hands of Fame in 1977 and he collected a pile of other Awards and recognitions including three Golden Guitars for Best Male Vocal in 1974, 1978 and 1980, the Roll of Renown in 1984 and an OAM in 1989. He recorded some 64 Albums, composed and recorded over 500 songs. His big hits like "Armstrong" carried his voice and reputation as a singer to listeners all over the nation. It was country music with a universal appeal.

Reg Lindsay was a highly successful country music entertainer who through combining his flair for the media with his own huge singing talent was able to bring country music to many Australian over some five decades.

Reg was truly a trailblazer for today's country music.  Thanks to Mustang.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Jimmy Little - 1965 - Onward Christian Soldiers FLAC

Onward Christian Soldiers/All People That On Earth Dwell/He's Got The Whole World In His Hands/Fight The Good Fight/Nearer My God To Thee/One Road/I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say/Stand Up For Jesus/Lead Kindly Light/Hold The Fort/Holy, Holy, Holy/Lifeline

James Oswald Little was born on 1 March 1937, a member of the Yorta Yorta people with his mother, Frances, a Yorta Yorta woman and his father, James Little Sr, from the Yuin people. Little's totem is the long-necked turtle. Jimmy Little Sr. was a tap dancer, comedian, musician and singer who led his own vaudeville troupe along the Murray River during the 1930s and 1940s. His mother was a singer and yodeller who had joined Jimmy Sr.'s troupe.

Little grew up, the eldest of seven children, on the Cummeragunja Mission on the Murray River in New South Wales about 30-km from Echuca in Victoria. Little later recalled his upbringing, "[my parents] taught me well about the value of life, freedom, love, respect, all those basic things that we need. As Vaudevillians, I loved them. It was part of my dream to follow in the footsteps of Mum and Dad. And I'm so proud that I was able to do that". He became a devout non-denominational Christian. He is an uncle of writer, soprano, and composer Deborah Cheetham and older brother of the late Aboriginal author and singer-songwriter Betty Little. In February 1939, about 200 to 300 members of the mission participated in the Cummeragunja walk-off – in protest at the low standard living conditions. The Little family moved to his father's tribal land (near Wallaga Lake) and lived for some years on the New South Wales south coast at Nowra and Moruya.

Not long after moving, Frances died from a tetanus infection after cutting her finger on an oyster shell. At the age of 13 Little was given a guitar and within a year he was playing at local concerts. When 16 years old he travelled to Sydney to perform on a radio programme, Australia's Amateur Hour. In 1955 Little left home to live in Sydney and pursue a career in country music, he was influenced by Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and Jim Reeves. His mellow style earned him the nicknames of "the Balladeer", "Gentleman Jim" and "the Honey Voice".

Tony Barber - 1966 - Someday...Now FLAC RE-POST

 Intro/Someday/No More Moanin'/If You Want My Old Clothes, It's Too Late I've Got 'em On/You Can't Lie To A Liar/Nobody/Someday Soon/Wait By The Water/Talkin'/Untrue/Tea For One/Fever/I Want Her Too/Is It Raining 

Anthony Arthur Barber, known as Tony Barber (born 3 December 1942, Norwich, Norfolk)
Tony Barber, former guitarist & songwriter with the original Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, debuted as a solo singer in 1966 with one of the best beat/pop singles of the era, and scoring a major Top 5 National Aussie hit straight off the bat with "Someday"..sounding not unlike his old band  He released six singles three extended plays and an LP in Australia in the mid-'60s.

Guitarist, singer, songwriter and author Tony Barber is one of the unsung heroes of the Beat Boom in Australia. Rock historian Dean Mittelhauser considered him "one of our most underrated performers from the Sixties" and felt that Tony had "played a bigger part in the success of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs that has been generally credited".

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Jimmy Little - 1963 - Sing To Glory FLAC

 I Am On The Battlefield/Royal Telephone/Just A Closer Walk/The Church In The Wildwood/By And By/Somebody's Knocking At The Door/When The Saints Go Marching In/Hornets/Life's Railway To Heaven/Old Time Religion/Each Step Of The Way/Answer The Call Of Jesus

 James Oswald Little, AO (1 March 1937 – 2 April 2012) was an Australian Aboriginal musician, actor and teacher from the Yorta Yorta people and was raised on the Cummeragunja Mission, New South Wales.

From 1951 he had a career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, which spanned six decades. For many years he was the main Aboriginal star on the Australian music scene. His music was influenced by Nat King Cole and American country music artist Jim Reeves. His gospel song "Royal Telephone" (1963) sold over 75,000 copies and his most popular album, Messenger, peaked at No. 26 in 1999 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1999 Little was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and won an ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album. On Australia Day (26 January) 2004, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia with the citation, "For service to the entertainment industry as a singer, recording artist and songwriter and to the community through reconciliation and as an ambassador for Indigenous culture".

As an actor, he appeared in the films Shadow of the Boomerang (1960) and Until the end of the World (1991), in the theatre production Black Cockatoos and in the opera Black River. As a teacher, from 1985, he worked at the Eora Centre in Redfern and from 2000 was a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney's Koori Centre.

In 1958 Little married Marjorie Rose Peters and they had a daughter, Frances Claire Peters-Little. Little was a diabetic with a heart condition and, in 2004, had a kidney transplant. After his transplant he established the Jimmy Little Foundation to promote indigenous health and diet. Marjorie died in July 2011. On 2 April 2012, Little died at his home in Dubbo, aged 75 years.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

The B0ys - 1981 - The B0ys FLAC

A1 Weoh, Weoh, Weoh    
A2 Same Game    
A3 Spend My Time    
A4 When You're Lonely    
A5 First Time    
A6 Waiting (All Night Long)    
B1 Leave It All Behind    
B2 Memory Lingers On    
B3 Hurt Me Babe    
B4 Why'd Ya Do That    
B5 On My Own

 Boys originally formed by guitar playing siblings, Lino and Camillo Del Roio, whilst still at high school as the Rockhouse Corporation in 1977 and started out as a cover band playing mostly top 40 rock but then progressed into playing original songs. "When You’re Lonely" was the first single released in August 1980, with the single going to No. 1 on the local charts and reaching No. 52 on the national singles charts. In September 1980 the band appeared on Countdown. The Boys released two further singles, "Hurt Me Babe" in March 1981 and "Weoh Weoh Weoh" in September 1981, which reached No. 57 and No. 76 on the national charts. The band released their self-titled debut in November 1981. In September 1982 they released, "Don't Say No", which was followed by their second album, Inside the Cage, in December 1982,. The band's original singer for the first album, Brent Lucanus, was replaced by Wayne Green (Wayne Green and the Phantoms) on their second album. A further single, "Lonely Dreamers", was released in March 1983, The original band went through several line-up changes but brothers Camillo Del Roio and Lino Del Roio were constant members throughout. The band split in 1983 but reformed in 1987 with Camillo and Lino on guitar, Eddie Parise on bass, drummer Frank Celenza, Tony Celiberti as keyboardist, and singer, Troy Newman (Extremists). A year later the band changed their name to Boyschool but split soon after.

Following the band's break up guitar playing brothers Camillo and Lino formed D.D and the Rockmen with Celenza

Lino Del Roio was appointed sales manager for Kosmic Sound (a music equipment supply company), in the late 1980s, which the two brothers subsequently bought, acquiring a number of other dealerships of leading brands of the time including exclusive dealerships for Steinberger and Ken Smith basses. They both played guitar for Western Australian hard rock outfit The Jets in the early 1990s. Tony Celeberti is an arranger for sheet music transcriptions who has worked on material by Guy Sebastian and Powderfinger, amongst others, for Australian publisher Music Sales. Brent Lucanus went on to play in a few bands around Perth, notably Change Alley with Gary Dunn.
and the DeMarchi sisters Suze and Denise. The band's drummer and bassist, Celenza and Parise, went on to form Bamboo Curtain, before joining Baby Animals. Troy Newman moved to Sydney following the band's break up and found moderate success as a solo performer, scoring a Billboard hit with the single "Love Gets Rough" and the album Gypsy Moon in 1991, released through Atlantic imprint East West Records and by Warner Music in Australia. He released a second album, It's Like This, in 1996. Newman died in March 1997.

Masters Apprentices - 1971 - Choice Cuts FLAC

Rio De Camero/Michael/Easy To Lie/Because I Love You/Catty/Our Friend Owsley Stanley III/Death Of A King/Song For A Lost Gypsy/I'm Your Satisfier/Song For Joey - Part II

 If you are not yet familiar with The Masters Apprentices, I should direct you to the fabulous anthology "Hands Of Time-1966-1972" on the Raven label. This faultless collection was compiled by Australian rock historian Glenn A. Baker, and provides and excellent introduction to this great Australian group, who along with The Easybeats were the two top acts down under in the late 60's early 70's.

 The Masters started life in 1966 as a primal R&B garage outfit that specialized in ultra primitive rock and roll in the style of The Pretty Things and Van Morrison's early group Them. Their early sides were penned by the group's guitarist, a gifted writer named Mick Bower, but their obvious focal point was lead singer Jim Keays. Keays had both style and talent, and possessed a wailing vocal range that would rival Pretty Things lead singer Phil May.

 Early Masters recordings such as "Undecided", "Buried And Dead" & "Hot Gully Wind" are top drawer, freakbeat ravers that take a back seat to no-one. As time went on Mick Bower's songwriting became more sophisticated and reflective, tracks such as "Wars Or Hands Of Time", "Theme For A Social Climber" & "Tired Of Just Wandering" showed tremendous maturity. Sadly Bower suffered something of a nervous breakdown and was advised by his doctor to leave the pop business, which he eventually did. 

This could have spelled the end for the Masters, but Jim Keays picked up the pieces and weathered the group through the flower-power era. This era of the group was resonsible for the classic "Elevator Driver" 45 and also "But One Day" (which was a Mick Bower holdover.) The Masters entered their next phase leaning towards a harder, more progressive sound which was first introduced with the 1969 album "Masterpiece." All the while the Masters were incredibly popular in Australia regardless of their several lineup shifts. Jim Keays was the one constant that kept the group's head above water. However as 1969 turned into 1970 the group felt they were stagnating in Australia and decided to take a shot at global acceptance and relocated to England.

The Masters arrived in England in the spring of 1970 and signed with the EMI progressive label Regal Zonophone (home to The Move, The Tickle, Procol Harum & others.) This lineup featured Jim Keays on lead vocals, guitarist Doug Ford (previously with The Missing Links & Running, Jumping, Standing Still), Glenn Wheatley-bass and Colin Burgess on drums. This lineup would prove to be group's finest since the Mick Bower days.

 The Masters managed to book Abbey Road Studios to record their first album on UK soil. "Choice Cuts" (which was issued in the UK simply as "Masters Apprentices" or the "chair album") was nothing short of a revelation and a quantum leap artistically for the group. This album is just a drop dead classic from the word go. Released in 1970 "Choice Cuts" is the equal of any great record you care to mention from that year. The Masters prove to be just that, masters of any style they chose to attempt, pop, folk, progressive and full tilt, heavy rock. It's all there and it's all good!

"Rio De Camero" is a vibrant opener which combines a latin, shuffle beat with Glenn Wheatley's fluid, upfront bass lines and funky minor chords played by Doug Ford. Keays interjects with his shrieking, double-tracked vocals, the whole thing ends with a rush of guitar muscle (this track was included on the "Hands Of Time" collection.) "Michael" begins as a plaintive acoustic ballad that quickly evolves into an all out heavy guitar blitz that simply never lets up. 

  "Easy To Lie" is absolutely threatening! It begins with Wheatley's throbbing bass line and leaps right into a massive acid guitar frenzy, Keays has his vocals treated to where he sounds like Ozzy Osbourne. Doug Ford hammers at his axe with the savage intenisty of T.S. McPhee of The Groundhogs, while the rhythm section lays down a sinister, gorilla beat that would have made the Hogs proud. Then comes an absolute curveball in "Because I Love You" which reminds me of Peter Frampton's melodic contributions to Humble Pie, the song employs bright acoustic guitar patterns to a rousing chorus which fades in the manner of The Beatles "Hey Jude" & Donovan's "Atlantis." I'm sure the female fans of the group dug this romantic tune all the way.

"Catty" returns to the blistering hard rock of "Easy To Lie", the spare, punishing guitar chords remind one of Free's late, great guitarist Paul Kossoff. While the overall feel of the number is that of a funky Black Sabbath. "Our Friend Owsley Stanley III" is also in Black Sabbath territory with an equal measure of "Stand Up" era Jethro Tull. Obviously the song is an ode to the US acid kingpin, perhaps acid got to Australia a bit late, as most groups were more into singing about granola and ecology flags in 1970.

"Death Of A King" is another Groundhogs style pissed off heavy ballad which concerns itself with the tragic death of Martin Luther King. This song addresses the subject in a much more convincing fashion than U2's self-serving "Pride" anthem. "Song For A Lost Gypsy" goes for the heavy thud of Blue Cheer with positive results. "I'm Your Satisfier" is a down and dirty, funky number that once again draws a Free comparison. The final piece "Song For Joey Part 2" begins with some lovely acoustic guitar work from Doug Ford before hurling another curveball at the listener, this piece quickly shifts into the greatest Van Morrison copy since the USA garage band Things To Come's "Sweetgina", however this one goes for Morrison's "Astral Weeks" style and Keays and Co. pull it off perfectly. 

  "Choice Cuts" was greeted by glowing reviews in the UK press but somehow the record failed to attract much action at the shops or on radio and sank into obscurity until being re-discovered by collectors in the 1980's. The record now changes hands for $150+ but it lives up to that lofty price tag with room to spare. There have been a few legal and semi-legal CD re-issues of it down the years, but it seems to be out of print at the moment. Hopefully this will change very soon. "Choice Cuts" is a dazzling blend of folk, heavy and progressive styles that should be in every serious record library. The good news is that the Masters would actually up the ante with "Choice Cuts" brilliant follow-up "A Toast To Panama Red" (more on that one in a bit.)

The Masters Apprentices were one of the great groups of the late 60's early 70's and it's about time their name starts getting mentioned next to the MC5, Pretty Things, Stooges, Groundhogs etc. because they no doubt belong in that company.  (Reviewed by Dave Furgess)

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Pollyanna - 1996 - Long Player FLAC

Big Bully/Piston/The Cake/16 And Counting/Bakelite/Keep Me Guessing/Electric Cardigan Rock/Lemonsuck/Potomac/Squeeze/T-Shirt Tan/Railride/Kickboard

  Pollyanna were an Australian alternative rock band, which formed in 1993 as Blue Trike by Matt Handley on lead vocals and lead guitar (ex-Catherine Wheel) and Maryke "Rayke" Stapleton on bass guitar and vocals. Their brand of noisy indie guitar pop appears on four studio albums, Long Player (1996), Hello Halo (1997), Delta City Skies (1999) and Didn't Feel a Thing (2001). Long Player, their highest charting release, peaked at No. 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Two of their tracks, "Pale Grey Eyes" and "Lemonsuck", were both listed on the Triple J Hottest 100, 1995. The group were nominated for Breakthrough Artist – Album and Best Alternative Release for Long Player at the ARIA Music Awards of 1996. The band broke up in 2002.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Lucky Starr - 1964 - The Silver Spade Digs Lucky FLAC

Make Yourself At Home-Lovely Way To Spend An Evening/Clementine/Blue Berry Hill-Rock A Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody-He's Got The Whole World In His Hands/The World I Used To Know/I've Been Everywhere/Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/The Three Trees/Some Of These Days/Bye Bye Blackbird-Cotton Fields-Lazy River/Mule Skinner Blues/You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You/What'd I Say

Lucky Starr was born as Leslie Morrison in 1940. His father was a motor mechanic and his mother was a housewife, and he had a younger sister. He attended Canterbury High School before starting an apprenticeship as an electrician.

Two-and-a-half years later he began his rock and roll career in 1957 as Les Starr, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, of the Hepparays in Sydney. Other members were Tony Caperero on lead guitar, Bruce Gurr on piano, Dave Taylor played bass guitar and Owen Smith provided drums and percussion. Starr recalled how, "the guitarist in his band taught him how to play in five months." After winning several talent quests, "someone idly punned that he was 'a lucky Starr'."

 Late in 1959, as Lucky Starr, he signed as a solo artist to Festival Records, and in December he released a four-track extended play, Sentimental Journey. For his early work he used the Hepparays as his backing band. He followed with four singles in the next year. He was a regular performer on television music and variety shows, Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock, and took over from Johnny O'Keefe as host of the latter for a brief period in 1960, while O'Keefe was touring the United States.

In May 1960 Morrison, aged 19, was involved in a romance with touring Mouseketeer, Cheryl Holdridge, who was under 16. In May 1963 he recalled, "We corresponded when she went back to the States, and I decided then to follow her, somehow. Once, in 1961, I waited up all night to phone her when she was recovering from a tonsils operation. But we are not 'in love' any more, I guess."

Starr released his cover version of the novelty, tongue-twisting single, "I've Been Everywhere", in early 1962, it was written by Geoff Mack, which name-drops numerous Australian towns. It peaked at number one in Sydney in April. "Spinner" from The Biz described the track, "It's a hard hitting novelty number with a slight C and W flavour. Full of gimmicks it features high velocity lyrics in which Lucky recites 120 towns in the Commonwealth... He sings each verse in one breath and you'll wonder how he does it when you hear it." Adapted to American towns, it became a United States country music hit for Hank Snow after being released in September of that year.

Starr released a compilation album, I've Been Everywhere, in June 1962, which included his early singles and their B-sides. "Spinner" opined, "it shows his versatility to the foil, which is evident in the tracks, 'Candy Pink Lips,' 'Suspense' and "Sweet Georgia Brown.' Other tracks include: 'Heart-Break,' 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,' 'I See You as an Angel' and others. In our opinion this LP is worthy of a place in the libraries of both young and the young at heart alike — it's a beauty." According to the journalist, "he has worked at his profession perfecting his musicianship, taking voice training, learning acting and dancing — in a word, learning enough to make the most of his 'break' when it came." In July of that year he issued a four-track EP, Lucky's Been Everywhere, with his four versions of "I've Been Everywhere": the Australian one, the US one, the British one and a newly-written New Zealand one.

During 1963 he travelled to the US where "he played the Nevada circuit, opening in mid-1963 at the Mapes Hotel Casino Room, Las Vegas." According to The Australian Women's Weekly's Robin Adair the tour was organised by US entertainer, Norman Kaye (of the Mary Kaye Trio). Starr signed with local label, Dot Records, which released a lone single, "Poor Little Jimmy Brown", however "proposed American movie roles and major record deals never happened." He returned late that year to Australia and appeared in Once Upon a Surfie, a Christmas-themed surfing musical alongside "Dig Richards, Jackie Weaver, Bryan Davies, Jay Justin, Rob EG, Jan Green and The Delltones."
 Starr issued another solo album, The Silver Spade Digs Lucky, in 1964. He subsequently toured "the USA, New Zealand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Italy." According to Daily Mercury's correspondent, "he was the first Australian performer to entertain the troops in Vietnam; in fact paying his own way there and made five subsequent trips into the war zone." During the late 1960s Starr performed as a country musician "and took his travelling show around the Australian bush." In 1980 he was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame with their Hands of Fame.

In September 2015 Starr released a re-working of "I've Been Everywhere" titled, "We're Going Everywhere... On the Old Hume Highway". He has two children and a grandchild. As of July 2015 he was still performing regularly. Thanks to Mustang

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Think - 1976 - We'll Give You A Buzz (2008) FLAC

Light Title/Look What I've Done/Rippoff/Stringless Provider/Big Ladies/Our Children (Think About)

Think’s We’ll Give You A Buzz, released on Atlantic in 1976, with cover painting by Neil Vesey.

In 1976 Auckland-based Think released their only album, We’ll Give You A Buzz, featuring six long tracks with great instrumental virtuosity. Highlights include the guitar wizardry of the late Phil Whitehead and strong Hammond organ and synth by Don Mills. Recorded in a week at Stebbings by Julian Lee and Phil Yule for WEA, the album was released on the prestigious Atlantic label. We’ll Give You A Buzz featured a striking album cover design by Neil Vesey. Unheralded at the time of release, but extensively bootlegged on CD since, the album was finally officially released on digital channels in 2014. The average price for an original of this one from online re-sellers is north of $600, a sign of both its poor original sales and the current high regard for its musical content.

  What you'll find here is a mix of mid to late 1970s British pomp / prog similar to England, Kestrel, and Nostradamus, combined with some obvious pop moves and the required boogie rock number ('Rippoff') that all Australasian bands felt obligated to include back then. Of course Think were not alone in releasing music such as this from the region, as you will find other examples in Dragon (first 2 albums), Sebastian Hardie, Aleph, and Ragnarok. There's excellent songwriting and instrumental breaks throughout. Other than the one trip up as mentioned above, all the rest is excellent in my estimation.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Zoot - 1980 - Zoot Locker (1995) FLAC (RE-POST)

You Better Get Going Now/1 X 2 X 3 X 4/Monty And Me/It's About Time/Sailing/Yes I'm Glad/Little Roland Lost/She's Alright/Sha La La/Flying/Mr Songwriter/Strange Things/Hey Pinky/The Freak/Evil Child/Eleanor Rigby

Plympton High School mates John D'Arcy on guitars and vocals, and Gerard Bertlekamp (later known as Beeb Birtles) initially on lead guitar and vocals formed Times Unlimited in Adelaide, South Australia with drummer Ted Higgins and a bass guitarist in 1964. Birtles moved to bass guitar and they were joined by Darryl Cotton, lead vocalist from local rivals, The Murmen. The new group of Birtles, Cotton, D'Arcy and Higgins formed in 1965, and were named Down the Line from The Hollies version of Roy Orbison's "Go Go Go (Down the Line)". Soon Gordon Rawson, an ex-school mate of Birtles, briefly joined on rhythm guitar.

Down the Line performed covers of English Mod groups: The Hollies, The Move, The Who and The Small Faces in many clubs and discos around Adelaide, gradually gathering a following. They sometimes backed Bev Harrell, a then popular singer, who was managed by Darryl Sambell. By May 1967, Sambell also managed rising singer, Johnny Farnham, and used Down the Line as session musicians on demo recordings which secured Farnham a contract with EMI Records. One of these was "In My Room", written by Farnham, which became the B-side of his debut single, "Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)" released in November. After recording with Farnham, Down the Line were approached by Adelaide-based musician, Doc Neeson, who was interested in band management and suggested:     Y'know, you should change the name to something short and punchy like Zoot. — Doc Neeson, mid-1967.

They liked the name but did not sign with Neeson, who formed a pub rock band The Angels in 1970. Zoot were playing some original material in their set and by early 1968 D'Arcy was replaced on guitar by Steve Stone. D'Arcy was later a member of Allison Gros alongside Graeham Goble. Other Adelaide bands, The Twilights and The Masters Apprentices, inspired Zoot to tackle the national market, so in mid-1968, Zoot relocated to Melbourne. Prior to the move, they had entered the South Australian heats of Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds, finishing second in a tense contest to The Masters Apprentices (eventually second nationally to The Groove).

Although Zoot were a popular band during the late 1960s, critics labelled them as teenybopper or light bubblegum due primarily to the Think Pink – Think Zoot publicity campaign devised by their management. After relocating to Melbourne in mid-1968, Zoot signed with Columbia Records/EMI Australia and were managed by Wayne de Gruchy, they recorded their first single, "You'd Better Get Goin' Now", a Jackie Lomax cover with David Mackay producing. They invited the music media to Berties discothèque—co-owned by de Gruchy and Tony Knight—to promote its release in August. Think Pink – Think Zoot had band members dressed head to toe in pink satin, they arrived in Cotton's pink painted car, they were photographed with Cotton's pet dog Monty—fur dyed pink—and the venue was pink themed throughout. The publicity gimmick brought attention to the group and attracted significant numbers of teenage girl fans, however it caused problems in establishing their credibility as serious rock musicians. By December, management by de Gruchy was dropped in favour of Sambell and Jeff Joseph, who also managed Farnham and The Masters Apprentices. 

Zoot's second single, "1 × 2 × 3 × 4" was released in December and charted on the Go-Set National Top 40 Singles Chart. By September 1968, Higgins and Stone had returned to Adelaide to be replaced by Rick Brewer (ex-The Mermen with Cotton, Third Party) on drums and Roger Hicks on guitar. Besides radio airplay, the band appeared regularly on local pop music TV show, Uptight!. Their third single, "Monty and Me" continued the Think Pink – Think Zoot theme and was produced by Go-Set writer, Ian Meldrum (later hosted Countdown), which also reached the Top 40 in June. Meldrum also produced "The Real Thing" by Russell Morris and used Hicks as a session musician—he wrote the song's opening guitar riff. Zoot was voted Top Australian Group in Go-Set's pop poll published in June, just ahead of The Masters Apprentices and Brisbane group, The Avengers. In July they undertook a tour through the eastern states with Ronnie Burns, The Sect and Jon Blanchfield on the bill.

Hicks left by September for The Avengers, and was replaced by Rick Springfield (ex-Icy Blues, Moppa Blues Band, Wickety Wak). Meldrum had produced Wickety Wak's single, "Billie's Bikie Boys" with Birtles as a backing vocalist. From September, Zoot joined other Australian bands on the national Operation Starlift tour, which was generally a publicity success but a financial disaster. For Zoot, it brought about increased media ridicule, peer envy and scorn from detractors, much of the criticism was homophobic such as "pretty pink pansies" taunts. October saw the release of "It's About Time" by EMI, Zoot read about it in Go-Set and had expected to re-record its demo quality. In December, in Brisbane, they made headlines when they were assaulted by street toughs, resulting in injury to Cotton.

 By early 1970, band members had tired of the garish pink outfits and associated harassment and physical abuse, hence, to rid themselves of the bubblegum/teen idol image, they burnt their outfits on TV music show, Happening '70. Zoot then promoted their fifth single "Hey Pinky", released in April, with an advertisement in Go-Set which featured a nude picture of their bums. "Hey Pinky" was a hard charging guitar oriented song but it failed to chart. The song, written by Springfield, was rebellious in nature and openly mocked the pink outfits as well as their previous management and their detractors. Their debut album, Just Zoot followed in July and reached No. 8 on Go-Set Top 20 National Albums Chart. Go-Set also released their 1970 pop poll results in July with Zoot in fifth place behind The Masters Apprentices for 'Best Group', Springfield was second to Doug Ford (The Masters Apprentices) as 'Best Guitarist' and fifth as 'Best Composer', while Brewer was third as 'Best Drummer' to Colin Burgess (The Masters Apprentices).

They finished second in the Victorian heats of Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds to little known band, Nova Express (with vocalist Linda George). In August, both bands went to the national finals, where Zoot finished second to The Flying Circus.

In December they released a hard rock cover of The Beatles' song, "Eleanor Rigby" which became their most popular single when it peaked at No. 4 in March 1971. It remained in the Top 40 for twenty weeks and reached No. 12 on the Top Records for the Year of 1971. Their next single, "The Freak" / "Evil Child", another hard rock song, was released in April and peaked into the top 30.

With the chart success of "Eleanor Rigby", RCA expressed interest in bringing them to the United States to record, but they encountered problems with visa work permits, meanwhile Springfield was being scouted for a solo career. Along with other disappointments and frustrations, this led to the band breaking up in May 1971. Go-Set published their 1971 pop poll results in July with Zoot in third place behind Daddy Cool for 'Best Group', Springfield was 'Best Guitarist' and fourth as 'Best Composer', Brewer was second as 'Best Drummer' to Burgess, Birtles was second as 'Best Bass Guitarist' to Glenn Wheatley (The Masters Apprentices) and "Eleanor Rigby" was 'Best Single' ahead of Daddy Cool's "Eagle Rock". EMI/Columbia released a compilation, Zoot Out in 1971 and another, Best of the Zoot Locker 1969–1971 in 1980.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

@yers R0ck - 1976 - Bey0nd FLAC RE-POST

Moondah/A Place To Go/Catchanemu/Song For Darwin/Angel In Disguise/Little Kings

Ayers Rock was the leading Australian 'jazz-rock' group of the 70s, fusing rock with influences from soul, R&B, jazz and Latin music. The band was built on world-class standards of playing and complex arrangements, and inspired by overseas groups such as Traffic, Santana and Weather Report. The original members were all seasoned players, widely regarded as among the best musos in the country, and their musical connections were woven through a series of major bands of the 60s and early 70s.

Mark Kennedy was and is still widely regarded as one of Australia's best drummers. He rose to prominence as the original drummer in Spectrum. He left that band in late 1970, just after recording their first LP, and he became an in-demand session player, as well as working in a series of loosely connected groups including King Harvest (where he first teamed up with McGuire and Doyle) and Friends with Leo De Castro.

Left: the original lineup of Ayers Rock (1973). Clockwise from left: Duncan Maguire, Mark Kennedy, Jim Doyle, Ray Burton (seated)

Duncan McGuire was a true rock veteran (and one of the unsung heroes of Aussie music). His first band was The Phantoms way back in 1959. He was a member of The Epics (1962-64), who backed Little Pattie live and on her early Singles and first album, as well as playing with Reg Lindsay, Johnny Ashcroft, Brian Davies, Jay Justin and Johnny O'Keefe. From 1966-68 he was a member of The Questions (Doug Parkinson's first major band) which also included Ray Burton and Doug Lavery (who later joined The Valentines and Axiom). McGuire stayed with Parkinson through In Focus and Fanny Adams before shifting to Melbourne and playing with King Harvest and Friends.

Jimmy Doyle had been a member of the backing bands for The Delltones and Dig Richards, and during the early Sixties he also worked as the musical director for renowned honky-tonk pianist Winifred Atwell.

Ray Burton had been the rhythm guitarist in the Dave Bridge Quartet in the early Sixties, and then a member of the Delltones' backing band, after which he joined the first lineup of successful Sydney harmony-pop group The Executives. He worked variously with Doyle, McGuire and Kennedy in King Harvest, Doug Parkinson In Focus and Friends. He relocated to the USA in the early 70s, where he worked with Helen Reddy and co-wrote her 1972 international mega-hit "I Am Woman".

In 1973 the above-named four took the logical step and formed their own band, McGuire Kennedy Burton. Later in the year, they added another player, multi-intrumentalist Col Loughnan. Col had actually started his career as lead singer with Sydney vocal group The Crescents. In 1962 Col was recruited to replace Noel Widerberg, lead singer with The Delltones, who had been tragically killed in a car accident earlier in the year. Col performed with The Delltones for five years (1962-67). In the late Sixties Col returned to his first love, jazz, and his prowess on a wide range of instruments (alto, tenor and baritione saxophones, flute, keyboards and percussion) gave the Ayers Rock sound a distinctive edge.

With Loughnan on board, the new band changed their name to the more marketable (and patriotic) Ayers Rock. They were one of the first groups signed to Michael Gudinski's newly established Mushroom label, and their debut single, "Rock'n'Roll Fight", was issued at the end of 1973.

They performed at Sunbury '74 and one track from their set, Ray Burton's "Morning Magic", was included on the Highlights of Sunbury 1974 LP, which has recently been re-released in the 2-CD set Highlights of Sunbury 1973 and 1974 on Michael Gudinski's Liberation Blue label. These tracks are the only extant Ayers Rock recordings to feature Burton, who left the band during 1974. Col Loughnan's official website features a superb colour clip of the group performing live at Sunbury, with excellent sound.

                 Jimmy Doyle,Duncan McGuire,Col Loughnan,Chris Brown and Mark Kennedy

He was replaced by singer-guitarist Chris Brown, whose previous credits included a stint in Little Sammy & The In People, the noted '60s Sydney club outfit led by singer Sam "Little Sammy" Gaha (father of TV's Eden and Danielle Gaha); although not commercially successful, this notable band variously included Brown, Harry Brus, Michael Carlos, Barrie McAskill, Col Nolan and Janice Slater.

Ayers Rock's debut album Big Red Rock was taped live before an invited audience at Armstrong's Studios in Melbourne over two nights in September 1974. The live-in-the-studio approach worked extremely well for Ayers Rock, and the album clearly demonstrated why their awesome live 'chops' had made them such a popular concert attraction. But it also was something of a necessity for the cash-strapped label -- they took the same approach with andnother early signing, Mackenzie Theory. The Ayers Rock LP reportedly cost Mushroom a mere $5000 to record.

 Big Red Rock was an early critical and commerical success for Mushroom, showcasing the band's considerable prowess and the material was a good balance between the more commercial song-based material of McGuire and Brown and the more adventurous instrumentals. The LP features three songs by McGuire, including their memorable second single, the Latin-flavoured "Lady Montego", a song that dated back to McGuire's stint in Friends; an earlier, slower version appears (in a live recording) on the Garrison: The Final Blow LP.

Big Red Rock also features two excellent pieces by Loughnan, two songs by Chris Brown, and a dazzling cover of Joe Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz", originally recorded by Weather Report (who were at that time virtually unknown in Australia). Loughnan's power-jam "Crazy Boys" is also worth hearing for its hilarious intro; dedicated to an unnamed Sydney hamburger joint, it includes a sly reference to a "Gudinski burger" and very funny joke about "Dr Hopontopovus, the Greek gynaecologist".

As Vernon Joyson has noted, Ayers Rock's recordings suggest that there was some dilemma about whether they should pursue a more expansive instrumental-based approach or opt for a more song-based commercial sound. From the evidence of Big Red Rock, its arguable that its the instrumental tracks -- "Crazy Boys", "Big Red Rock" and the brilliant cover of "Boogie Woogie Waltz -- that stand up best today, but the demands of radio airplay and gigging meant that this dilemma was never satifactorily resolved, and the group's relatively short lifespan and small catalogue meant that they never really got the chance to reach their full potential.

                                                  Playing at the Concert For Bangladesh

In the late 1975 Ayers Rock performed at the final gigs at Melbourne's fabled Reefer Cabaret. Live versions of the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and "Boogie Woogie Waltz" were included on the double-album A-Reefer-Derci, culled from performances from the last two nights on 30 and 31 December 1975, and released by Mushroom in 1976. Like Mushroom's earlier Garrison: The Final Blow set, it commemorated the closure of the venue and was a means of thanking the Reefer Cabaret for supporting Mushroom's artists during 1974-75.

During '75-76, Kennedy began working with Marcia Hines and they later became engaged, which led to him leaving Ayers Rock in 1976. He was replaced for a time by Russell Dunlop, who, like Kennedy, was a seasoned veteran, and a respected session player and producer, but his permanent replacement was hotshot young drummer Hamish Stuart, who has since become a mainstay of the Sydney music scene and one of the most respected drummers in the country. At this point the group also added a permanent keyboard player, Andy Cowan (ex Madder Lake).

Ayers Rock's second LP Beyond was not quite as successful sales-wise, but no less impressiv musically. By this time the emphasis had shifted to longer works that allowed the band to showcase its considerable improvisational skills, and the LP consists of just six tracks, three each by Col Loughnan and Chris Brown. One of Brown's songs, "Little Kings", was lifted to become their third single.

 Duncan McGuire (left) and Chris Brown at the Record Plant, L.A. in September 1975.

Recorded in Los Angeles, the album was vastly more expensive to record than its predecessor, reportedly costing Mushroom a whacking $60,000, but by this time Mushroom's coffers had been swelled by the massive success of Skyhooks. The LP was also released in the USA, with different cover art. Their fourth and final single for Mushroom, "Song For Darwin" (May 1976) was inspired by the Cyclone Tracy disaster that had devastated the city on Christmas Day 1975.

After parting with Mushroom, the band broke up for about three years, but it was reformed by Brown, Doyle, Stuart and Cowan in 1979 and they established their own label, Red Rock. A new single, "On The Avenue" was released at the end of 1979, followed by "Lies" in early 1980, both issued through Polydor. The singles were both included on their third and final LP Hotspell, distributed by RCA. Unfortunately, the album was not successful and the band broke up in 1981.

Founding members Jimmy Doyle and Duncan McGuire have, sadly, both since passed away; Duncan died in 1986 from a brain tumour and Jimmy died in May 2006 from liver cancer.

On a happier note, we are pleased to report that Mark Kennedy, Col Loughnan and Ray Burton are all still going strong. Ray has his own website, faeturing great information and images of his career, past and present. Col has recently released a new CD, Ellen St, and his earlier collaboration with guitarist Steve Murphy, entitled Feel The Breeze, is also highly recommended. Both are available from Col's website, which is listed below.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Judith Durham - 1971 - Australia's Own Judith Durham FLAC

Gift Of Song/Wailing Of The Willow/The Light Is Dark Enough/Take Care Of My Brother/God Bless The Child/Here I Am/What Could Be A Better Way/Skyline Pigeon/The Ones Who Really Care/It Don't Cost Very Much/Ferris Wheel/Climb Ev'ry Mountain

Judith Durham AO (Judith Mavis Cock, born 3 July 1943) is an Australian singer, songwriter and musician who became the lead singer of the Australian popular folk music group The Seekers in 1963. The group subsequently became the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States, and have sold over 50 million records worldwide. Durham left the group in mid-1968 to pursue her solo career. 

Durham returned to Australia in August 1968 and her first solo television special, 'An Evening with Judith Durham' screened on the Nine Network in September. During her solo career she has released albums titled For Christmas with Love, Gift of Song and Climb Ev'ry Mountain. In 1970 she made the television special, Meet Judith Durham, in London, ending with her rendition of "When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day" by Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1862–1946).

 In 1975 Judith starred in an acting and singing role as Sarah Simmonds, a burlesque type performer in "The Golden Girl", an episode of the Australian television series "Cash and Co." Set in the 1800s Australian goldfields, this episode also featured Durham's husband, Ron Edgeworth, on piano. She performed six songs including "Oh Susanna", "When Starlight Fades", "Maggie Mae", "Rock Of Ages", "There's No Place Like Home" and "The Lord Is My Shepherd".

During the 1970s she returned to traditional jazz and recorded Judith Durham and The Hottest Band in Town and Judith Durham and The Hottest Band in Town Volume 2 and in 1978, The Hot Jazz Duo. Durham performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978, receiving a standing ovation in front of a crowd of 3,000. She then moved to Queensland and focused on her songwriting.

In 1994, Durham began recording albums again. Her 1994 album, Let Me Find Love peaked at number 8 in Australia. In 1996, she released a covers album, Mona Lisas, under the direction of producer Gus Dudgeon. This was re-released as Always There in 1997 with the addition of Durham's solo recording of fellow Seeker Bruce Woodley's "I am Australian" (with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply and Mandawuy Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi) and the Smith Family theme song of the title. Her recording of "Always There" was first released on the 1997 double CD Anthems, which also featured Bruce Woodley's "Common Ground" and the Seekers' "Advance Australia Fair" arrangement.

In 2001, Durham did another Australian tour and in 2003 she toured the UK to celebrate her 60th birthday. Her birthday concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London was filmed and released on DVD in late 2004. The album was released on CD and download in 2014, titled Live in London. In 2006, The Seekers were awarded the "Key to the City" of Melbourne by Lord Mayor John So. As part of the ceremony, Durham sang part of her song "Seldom Melbourne Leaves My Mind" and was later invited by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund to record the song, as a fund-raiser, with Orchestra Victoria. 

The decision was then made to record The Australian Cities Suite with all proceeds from the sale of the CD to go to the charitable sector. The album was released in October 2008. The project was to benefit charities such as the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Australia (Durham is national patron) and Orchestra Victoria, in addition to other charities which benefit from the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund or its national affiliated network United Way.

In 2006, Durham started modernising the music and phrases in the Australian National Anthem, "Advance Australia Fair". She first performed it in May 2009 at Federation Hall, St Kilda Road.

It was released on CD single. On 13 February 2009, Durham made a surprise return to the Myer Music Bowl when she performed the closing number at the RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl – Sidney Myer Music Bowl 50th Anniversary with "The Carnival is Over". On 23 May 2009, Durham performed a one-hour a cappella concert in Melbourne as a launch for her album Up Close and Personal.

 In October 2011, it was announced Durham had signed an exclusive international deal with Decca Records. George Ash, President of Universal Music Australasia said "It is an honour to have Judith Durham join Decca's wonderful roster of artists. When you think of the legends that have graced the Decca Records catalogue it is the perfect home to welcome Judith to, and we couldn't be more excited to work with Judith on not only her new recordings but her incredible catalogue as well."

Between 2011 and 2016, Decca Records re-released Gift of Song and Climb Ev'ry Mountain, The Australian Cities Suite and Up Close and Personal (as An A Capella Experience) as well as two compilations and a new studio album, Epiphany.

In June 2018, to celebrate Durham's 75th birthday, a collection of 14 previously unreleased songs was released on the album So Much More.   Thanks to Mustang

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Finch - 1977 - Nothing To Hide FLAC

That's Your Way/Changes/Foolin'/Say You'll Be There/Leave The Killing To You/Nothing To Hide/Dreamer/Where Were You/One More Time/Right Day Fir A Riot

Finch were an Australian hard and pub rock band, initially forming as Stillwater in 1972. By 1973 they had changed their name with the line-up of Peter McFarlane on drums, Owen Orford on lead vocals, Bob Spencer on lead guitar, and Tony Strain on bass guitar. They won a 2SM/Pepsi Pop Poll, earning a contract with Picture Records to release their debut single, "And She Sings" in January 1974. Their first album, Thunderbird, appeared in May 1976. In March of the following year Spencer left to join Skyhooks and the group went through various line-ups to settle with McFarlane and Orford joined by Mark Evans (ex AC/DC) on bass guitar. Their second album, Nothing to Hide, was issued in March 1978. Upon attempting to enter the international market they changed their name to Contraband by October that year. They issued a self-titled album in May of the next year but disbanded later in 1979. 

 Stillwater formed in 1972 in Sydney as a hard rock band and by the following year had changed their name to Finch. The line-up of Finch was Peter McFarlane on drums, Owen Orford on lead vocals, Bob Spencer on lead guitar, and Tony Strain on bass guitar. They won a 2SM/Pepsi Pop Poll, earning a contract with Picture Records. The group released their first single, "And She Sings", in January 1974 while Spencer was still in high school. Finch contributed to the soundtrack album for the surfing film, Drouyn (August 1974), which featured world champion, Peter Drouyn. Finch's tracks, "Sail Away", "Lady of Truth" and "Roses" were used in contrast to "jazzy incidental material". The Canberra Times' Michael Foster noted the "sound is no less compelling, and perhaps is more evocative because it is less insistent on the one beat and theme".

 The band worked in the pub rock circuit and released a self-financed album, Thunderbird, in May 1976 on Eagle Records. It was produced by John Zulaikha (Buffalo), Brian Todd (their manager) and the band. Tony Catterall of The Canberra Times felt it was "not without its merits" as the group "are always at least exuberant", however "it suffers sadly from a lack of originality (Free, Status Quo and Black Sabbath influences abound), naivety in the lyrics and poor production". Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, noted the group "had a good deal of English-flavoured blues and hard rock buzzing around in their systems". In December they released a single, "Short Changed Again", which peaked at number 29 on the Sydney chart. As the single gained notice their distribution company foundered.

Late in 1976 Finch moved to Melbourne and supported a national tour by Supernaut. In March 1977 Spencer left to replace Red Symons on guitar in Skyhooks. Tony Strain left the band at the same time. From April to July the band went through nine different members (including Sam Mallett, Skeeta Pereira, Gary Quince, and Graham Thompson) before Peter McFarlane and Orford were joined by Mark Evans (ex AC/DC) on bass guitar, Graham Kennedy on guitar and vocals, and Chris Jones on guitars. The band signed to CBS / Epic Records and issued the single, "One More Time" in October. They started recording material for their second album, Nothing to Hide, in the following month. Dave Hinds (ex-Marshall Brothers, Rabbit) replaced Chris Jones (who joined Feather) on guitar and vocals in December.

The band adopted a more hard rock style, and the next single, "Where Were You?" reached number 14 in Melbourne and number 33 in Sydney in February 1978. Nothing to Hide (March) was produced by Peter Dawkins (Dragon) and provided a second single, the title track (May). The Canberra Times' Luis Feliu opined that they continued to provide "punchy rock and roll and a bit of R and B, the British way ... However, Finch's style has now become overworked to the point of being uninteresting". Finch signed with CBS's United States subsidiary label, Portrait Records. Due to a Dutch band also called Finch, the Australian group were renamed as Contraband.

In October 1978 Portrait issued Contraband's debut single, "That's Your Way" and Barry Cram (ex-Pantha, Avalanche, Russell Morris Band) replaced McFarlane on drums, who joined Swanee. In May the following year an album, Contraband was released, which was also produced by Dawkins. Some interest was generated in the US but the album was not successful in Australia. It provided two singles "Rainin' Again" (March 1979) and "Gimme Some Lovin'" (July) – which is a cover of The Spencer Davis Group 1966 single. Earlier Finch material was re-released under the Contraband name. However Portrait dropped them later in the year and they broke up.