This morning on Music City Roots, it’s another toe-tappin’ start to your weekend, with live sets from Dave Mason, Paul Kelly, Catherine Britt & Bill Chambers, Mustered Courage, Melody Pool, and The Bushwackers. Jim Lauderdale hosts.
About the artists:
Dave Mason is a living rock legend. At age 18, the Worcester England native teamed up with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood to form the legendary band Traffic, who had a profound affect on the genre of rock and roll. While still a teen Mason penned the Traffic hit “Feelin’ Alright”. The song became a global rock anthem and has been recorded by dozens of artists (including Joe Cocker who had a huge international hit with the song), “Feeling Alright” remains a highlight of Mason’s live shows today.
After extensive touring with Traffic throughout the UK and Europe, Mason headed for the USA to pursue a solo career. He struck international gold with his debut album Alone Together, which is considered a seminal rock classic. It’s known for the marbleize vinyl, vertical gatefold packaging, the hits “Only You Know And I Know”, “World In Changes”, “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than you Gave” and more. The album has sold millions of copies.
Five highly successful albums for the CBS/Sony label followed, four of which received gold album certification in the US. His next album Let It Flow sold millions of copies and contains another major Mason classic “We Just Disagree”.
In addition to performing to sold-out audiences and being a permanent staple in record collections and hearts of fans around the world, Mason’s unique guitar work can be heard on many landmark albums and songs such as the Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Paul McCartney’s Listen To What The Man Said and Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Hendrix’s major rock standard “All Along The Watchtower” features Dave playing the acoustic guitars before Hendrix’s soaring entrance onto the track. The song is a big favorite of Dave’s and he performs it in nearly every on of his live shows.
Dave Mason’s work and career remain linked with numerous other members of rock and roll elite, including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi, Mama Cass Elliot, and The Spencer Davis Group.
Dave Mason’s career spans several important rock eras, and encompasses his work as a producer, performer, songwriter, and consummate guitarist. In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the groundbreaking group Traffic. Mason is also involved in the program he co-founded, Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV); an all-volunteer movement that provides veterans with the tools they need to transition to civilian work. Mason is also an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and lessons to children in public schools throughout the United States.
Dave Mason tours regularly and is currently performing a special Unplugged show Jonathan McEuen, son of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder John McEuen.
Imagine a new visitor to Australia looking to get a flavour of the country and its people. The perfect place to start is with the music of one of the world’s great songwriters, the man who has chronicled our country’s beauty and scars and desires, as well as the personal insights which know no borders, in an extraordinary song-writing career that now spans more than 30 years.
Since the early eighties, Paul Kelly has issued an enduring and wide ranging body of work with his own bands, written film scores (Lantana and Jindabyne), and produced albums for and written songs with some of Australia and New Zealand’s finest artists. Kelly’s recent album Spring And Fall, released in October 2012, was Kelly’s 19th.
Songs From The South, a selection of his popular songs first assembled in 1997 and expanded to a double album in 2008, contains many of his songs now lodged deep in the Australian psyche. He continues to cross musical boundaries. Australian youth network triple j released the tribute album Before Too Long in 2010. The tribute album featuring John Butler, Missy Higgins, Megan Washington, Paul Dempsey, Ozi Batla and many others; evidencing Kelly’s influence on generations of musicians.
His first work of prose How To Make Gravy, a self described ‘mongrel memoir’, was published in 2010 with Penguin and is accompanied by a CD box set of live recordings and an audio book with readings from Paul and some of Australia’s finest actors Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Judy Davis and Ben Mendelsohn.
The book, the audio book and the A-Z recordings now make up a unique app. An app which in Paul’s words is “the closest thing to how I imagined the book to be – something that sings and talks and plays.”
In August 2012, Paul Kelly – Stories Of Me, a feature-length documentary premiered in Melbourne. Distributed by Madman Films, the documentary is an intimate portrait of the very private man behind the music. For the first time on film, Kelly speaks candidly about the people who have helped shape his life and music. Featuring rare archival footage, Paul Kelly – Stories Of Me also unveils newly recorded live performances, as well as interviews with family members, former and current band members, music contemporaries and music media.
Catherine Britt spent 6 years in Nashville and has toured, performed and recorded with some of music’s most respected names – Kasey Chambers, Paul Kelly, Sir Elton John, Shane Nicholson, Jerry Salley, Tim Rodgers & Kenny Chesney – and has worked with some of Australia’s and Americas finest producers.
Her recording career commenced in 2000 when at the age of 14 she released the EP In The Pines which produced the hit single ‘That Don’t Bother Me’ which featured and was co-written with Kasey Chambers. This release gained critical acclaim and was followed in 2001 by her debut album release Dusty Smiles And Heartbreak Cures which contained the hits singles ‘Hillbilly Pickin’ Ramblin’ Girl’ and ’46 Miles From Alice’ and produced her 1st ARIA Country Album of the Year Nomination.
In 2006 her second album Too Far Gone followed with ‘The Upside of Being Down’ being a top 40 hit in the USA and a #1 hit in Australia as was ‘Swingin’ Door’, ‘Poor Mans Pride’ & the title track. It also lead to her debut performance on the Grand Old Opry (then and still the youngest Australian to do so), a 2nd ARIA Country Album of the Year nomination and 3 CMAA nominations including Album of the Year, Single of the Year & Female Artist of the Year.
Her third album Little Wildflower was released in 2008 and contained the stunning and her 3rd Top 40 hit in the USA, ‘What I Did Last Night’. It was a #1 smash in Australia and earned her the 2009 CMAA Female Artist of the Year Award and nominations for CMAA Album of the Year, CMC Artist of the Year and ARIA Country Album of the Year. ‘Little Wildflower’ and ‘Not Your Cinderella’ also hit the #1 chart position in Australia.
Catherine Britt, released in 2010, has produced three #1 singles – ‘Can’t Change A Thing’, ‘Sweet Emmylou’ and ‘I Want You Back’ and brought her more CMAA and ARIA nominations for Country Album of the Year, her 4th consecutive, and Most Popular Australian Artist while also being awarded the 2010 CMA Global Artist of the Year.
In 2011 Catherine received her 1st APRA nomination for ‘Can’t Change A Thing’ and was again nominated for CMC Artist of the Year. Catherine was also named in the top 12 finalists for the 2011 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, Australia’s most prestigious, with ‘Sweet Emmylou’ and was placed second overall.
Country Music Channel (CMC) have announced that “the darling of Australian country music” will join the channel to present a new series of Alt Country and this sees her become the first person to ever host a video clip-based program on the channel and in October Catherine will appear at the 2011 Americana Festival in Nashville where she has been officially invited to perform.
Britt has accomplished the most essential job a singer \ songwriter can hope to do: make music that is at once fresh and invigorating enough to speak to a new generation of fans, and yet naturally and firmly rooted in country tradition and the essential truths it has always brought to light.
Mixing old-school bluegrass with modern roots music, Mustered Courage rose to the top of Australia’s folk scene in 2011, thanks to a self-titled debut album that won the band a string of warm reviews, plenty of radio support and a trophy at the 2012 Music Oz Awards.
After playing every major Australian festival in 2012, these down-home pickers are in the middle of their biggest year to date- – a year that recently saw the release of their second album, Powerlines. Produced by Aria Award-winning producer Jimi Maroudas (The Living End, Eskimo Joe, Kimbra), ‘Powerlines’ finds the band fine-tuning a diverse sound that one publication recently described as “the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons.
Like the Old Crow Medicine Show and the Avett Brothers, Mustered Courage breathes new life into the crusty old bluegrass scene. Bluegrass used to be a kind of sit down scene, not anymore!
“Like fellow musical border crossers the Wilson Pickers, Mustered Courage make something old sound fresh with as much enthusiasm as skill. Nice. Three and 1/2 stars” – Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald/The Age)
In the dangerous search for middle ground, Mustered Courage manage to find the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons, with just the right mix of mirth and mournful. If Mustered Courage are this good a year after formation, I can’t wait for album two. – Music Australia Guide
The music may have a bluegrassy charm, but it is unfailingly relevant. With its string heavy, bluesy instrumental line and its pure and charming vocal harmonies, it’s difficult not to love these guys.. Four stars – The Herald Sun
Melody Pool is a songwriter and musician hailing from the Hunter Valley in NSW.
Born into a musical family, Melody was harmonizing on stage with her Dad by the age of 8. A year later, she ventured onto the stage in her own right and it was plain to see there would be no stopping her seeking a career in music.
Songwriting has become a notable extension of Melody’s talent. One of her own songs “Maybe” features on her 2008 debut EP, titled Heart To Heart Talk, which was launched at the Tamworth Festival in 2009. In July 2011, Melody released her second EP titled Awake, You’re All Around Me which is an assortment of 6 original folk/country songs woven into a beautifully crafted EP.
In September of 2012, Melody traveled to Nashville, USA, to record her first album with renowned producer Brad Jones and 4-time BMI winner Jace Everett, who discovered Melody’s talent when he toured in Australia in 2011 and was supported by Kirsty Akers of whom Melody was playing guitar and singing harmonies for at the time.
The highly anticipated debut album The Hurting Scene, (to be released on February 26th, 2013) is a stellar collection of 12 original songs of such depth and grandeur, they transcend far beyond her tender 21 years, and her ability to weave her heartfelt lyrics together with her whimsical voice reinforces the fact that her name is something she has in spades.
The Bushwackers are an Australian music institution, having performed for the last 42 years on stages at festivals, stadiums, clubs, bars, pubs, shearing sheds, dance halls, civic events – and just about everywhere else, across the length and breadth of the nation.
The Bushwackers pump out a vibrant mix of Australian traditional folk songs, wild celtic-based instrumentals and inspiring original songs. With a strong historical context and a unique ability to portray the culture in accessible terms, the band has defined the Australian experience for generations of fans – in Australia and overseas. With a rear-vision look at Australia’s past and a collection of contemporary Australian songs, The Bushwackers remain the defining Australian Band.
The six-piece lineup features the unique Australian percussion instrument the ‘lagerphone’ played by lead singer Dobe Newton, with fiddles, accordion, guitars, whistle, mandolin, bass and drums creating moments of gentle reflection, in between the dancing and toe-tapping celebration.
Songs of the workers, the convicts, the gold diggers and the bushrangers sit easily with originals touching on today’s issues.
Australian SongBook III is the latest of 23 Studio albums that have earned gold record certifications, multiple Golden Guitars, numerous awards and accolades, in a career that has defined the folk music of our land.
If you’ve wondered what ‘fair dinkum’ Aussie music’s about, this is your chance.