On Saturday morning, 16 February 2019 AEDT, I rang in to the ABC Weekend Mornings show on ABC Sydney radio.
To say I had some communication challenges is to grossly understate the case. Three devices, radio on the TV, a landline – but I couldn’t find my hands-free to use my main mobile phone whose receiver speaker thingumy doover is a bit stuffed.
So, Simon Marnie finally threw to Bill from Fassifern, and what he got in return was a bloke with a fascinating tail, I mean tale of a cat who used one paw to mask the sound of his jingling balls, I mean, bells as he stalked prey in the backyard.
(I know some people who pray in the backyard. Takes all sorts.)
But that tail, I mean, tale was delivered with all the sonic clarity and crispness of MHz that you’d expect were I speaking down the line from Mawson’s Hut, Antarctica. The story got through, but barely.
Back in early February 2018, I interviewed Jenny Thomas from Melbourne-based folk band Bush Gothic, at a time when both of us were looking forward to attending the National Folk Festival in Canberra at Easter.
One of us got there! It wasn’t me. 😥
It was to have been my first National since 2013, a year when I barely felt like I was there. Some nights I was tucked up in the tent by 10.30pm. It happens some time. But of course, your worst day at a festival beats your best day doing many other things, so…
Events transpired that instead of running around with various recording devices, filing copy for a small coterie of publications, I was roughly 400kms north on Lake Macquarie, providing various gardening and handyman services for a friend.
If you want to give your or any god a good laugh, make some plans!
Back to the subject at hand.
It’s been an absolute delight and pleasure to not only see Jenny Thomas and Jenny M. Thomas and Jenny Thomas and the System and the current incarnation: Bush Gothic perform, but also to interview Jenny several times, both here on the blog and also on community radio.
It’ll be great to see Bush Gothic perform again, down one of many dusty roads, but for now, here’s the interview we did in February. You’ll just have to put your headspace into some sort of cerebral TARDIS and pretend we are looking forward to another five or six days of magic at an upcoming National Folk Festival.
When opportunity and access to the appropriate hardware of the trade allows, it’s great to go on a whim and speak with random bands and artists.
On one memorable occasion, I was connecting with an Icelandic MOR band (Dikta) and within the week their interview with me was on radio in Canberra. That led to some lovely chats with their management in LA as well.
Big Tobacco Company come from Cincinnati, Ohio and their sound has the sort of raw, rough edge that you might expect coming from people who live on the southern edge of the cold and forbidding waters of Lake Erie. Or it would be if I got the name of the city right, because that’s Cleveland that’s on Lake Erie.
Ok, American geography is not a strong suit. I have Google Maps. I’m just guessing that if you’re that far up the country, it’s going to be colder than balls – except for maybe a week or two in July and August.
Minimal research before our interview proved to be a bonus. Some might call this ‘laziness’; the glass half-full version is: ‘living in the moment, all spontaneous and shit’.
No, seriously, it’s been beneficial in the past to not know too much about the interviewee before diving into a stack of questions, guided more by their responses than any predetermined views about the music, the genre, and the band’s ethos.
And so it was with Bobby. Any and all surprised responses are genuine.
Big Tobacco Company have a new self-titled album out now, and you can listen to tracks and buy them individually or en masse via their website.
On a stunning, clear, late summer lunchtime in St Marys in far, far western Sydney, Australia I pulled up a pew in the rugby league club and had a great chat with Bobby.
Blink twice, and in a two shakes of a lamb’s tail, it’ll be time for Blues On Broadbeach, that annual four day free festival of meaty and felafel-y good blues music in the heart of Queensland’s Gold Coast at (wait for it) Broadbeach.
About a dozen years ago or so it seems, Chris Harvey of Blues Arcadia sat down with Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions at Stones Corner Hotel to have a chat about the then way distant festival.
This interview is vividly memorable for several reasons, mostly because it was the day that, after giving Bowen and Ayr and surrounding areas a drenching and blow-wet, Cyclone Debbie finally arrived in Brisbane.
We got our chat in just before the heavens opened.
Herewith our chat.
Please excuse the references to the upcoming Stones Corner Festival. That’s in the rear vision mirror now, and my colleague of sorts Ashley will be presenting her review in an upcoming edition of Trad and Now magazine.
I’d say see you at Blues on Broadbeach, but you’ll just have to have my share of the fun, and flood social media with pictures, videos (if allowed) and reviews.
In a Central Queensland caravan park camp kitchen typing with one finger!
David M McLean is yet another of those prolific musical entities that are the engine room of independent music. You know the sort of person who slogs away in the foreground and background, tirelessly making things happen and ensuring the world is a music-filled and art-filled place to live, breathe, and hear.
A writer, composer, guitarist, producer, teacher, and possibly most front-brain right now, the brains* behind the Lexifest music awards for Lexington, Kentucky.
* Refer to the audio for how the brains and brawn of this event are distributed and attributed.
Late last year, I spoke with David as he sat in his truck with his cell phone somewhere on a cool Lexington KY evening. We spoke so long that my intention was to break the interview into two parts. However, after a series of technical gremlins and many edits later, I’ve whittled this down into the one sound file.
Part of the editing leaves the back end of our chat slamming like a door in a stiff breeze, so apologies for the abruptness.
I’m looking forward to hearing about Lexifest 2017, and here’s hoping the blizzards stay away from town in the run-up this year.