[Audio Interview] Fred Smith Launches ‘Dust of Uruzgan’ Book

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Image courtesy of Fred Smith

The first lesson of communication is that everyone digests information in different ways, and the savvy communicator has their content in multiple formats for multiple audiences.

Fred Smith certainly has a few bases covered with his ‘Dust of Uruzgan’ project.

“It started as a war then turned into an album and then into a theatre show then into a musical and now into a book. It’s a pretty straightforward sort of setup, really.”

Fred Smith spoke just before his Brisbane book launch and a house concert in Maleny, however, unfortunately we weren’t able to get this out of the post-production mill prior to those events.

So if you ignore the tense issue of the direction we’re facing in terms of those dates (i.e. it’s behind you), herewith the interview:

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And yes, there is an award in a supporting role for Fred’s daughter Olympia, though we’ve cut out and saved some of the higher high C notes she regaled us with for the extended 12″ remix.

Fred next takes the book on the road to Melbourne, Victorian regional centres, Canberra, Sydney, then back to Queensland for some regional appearances.

All tour details are at: https://www.reverbnation.com/fredsmith/shows

Details of the book are at the Allen & Unwin site:

https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/biography-autobiography/The-Dust-of-Uruzgan-Fred-Smith-9781760292218

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Image courtesy of Fred Smith
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[Audio Interview] Karen Green Artist (Canberra) talks about art, social justice, and Grey Woman Matters

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Grey Woman Matters exhibition, 2014. Image reprinted by kind permission of Karen Green

Audio of interview with Karen Green Artist also of Grey Matters Woman (Facebook).

Karen Green talks with Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions about art, entering the Archibald Prize 2016, and expressing her passion for social justice through art and Twitter.

Karen Green first came to the attention of Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions while he was presenting various programs on Artsound FM in Canberra from 2008 to 2012.

Karen came into the studio with fellow artist Gosia Orzechowska one morning for a chat, and Overheard Productions has been interested in her works ever since.

In more recent times, Karen Green has been very active on Twitter, sharing thoughts, links and events about social justice. It was this interest that led to a chain of events that saw her enter a portrait of Kon Karapanagiotidis of the Melbourne-based Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in the 2016 Archibald Prize.

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Kon Karapanagiotidis by Karen Green.
Entry in 2016 Archibald Prize. Reprinted with kind permission of Karen Green. Continue reading

The BordererS: To Canberra Polish White Eagle Club and beyond

The BordererS Live
The BordererS Live

The BordererS from Adelaide have forged a reputation for frenetic, energetic live performances, built on the back of relentless touring.

September and October sees no let up, as having only recently returned from a very special performance at the Sydney Opera House (for the Sydney LifeForce Memorial Service on Suicide Prevention Day), the next few weeks has the band bouncing in and out of NSW, Victoria, then back to NSW for the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival.

First cab off the rank is a performance in Canberra at the revitalised Polish White Eagle Club. This venue has long been a favourite of Canberra music aficionados, helped by the fact that the club has been for many years completely pokie-free. (A phrase to gladden the heart of many fine musicians — especially acousticos.)

The BordererS have been slowly building a loyal following of Canberra fans with repeat appearances at the National Multicultural Festival, and some memorable gigs at King O’Malley’s irish bar among others.

A BordererS favourite review from National Multicultural Festival 2015
A BordererS favourite review from National Multicultural Festival 2015

They’ve also chalked up five appearances at the National Folk Festival and are always keen to return for more of the same. “The late night sessions at the National (when the festival shuts down for the night) with all of the top performers and the public all seated and singing together have been some of the most memorable nights in the band’s career,” Jim Paterson says. Continue reading

The Woodford Files: Trouble In The Kitchen (Sarah Island)

Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage
Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage

Youtube has a simple facility where at the push of a button, your shaky video is stabilised and appears much more professionally recorded than when you were actually adding some extra jigginess via mundane bodily functions such as breathing or sneezing.

Or weeping uncontrollably.

Let’s go back a few years.

At probably my first Woodford Folk Festival, I got a treasured copy of the then very new ‘The Next Turn‘ album by Trouble in the Kitchen. As I set off down the D’Aguilar Highway on 3 January, processing eight days’ worth of festy wonderfullness, I was in an emotional, impressionable state, making listening to the 14 tracks all the more powerful.

(Some of my most treasured and loved folk albums have seared straight into the deepest levels of my cerebrum by dint of being absorbed in post-festival drives.)

However, my attention must have wandered on Track Five as I didn’t pick up all the lyrics nor their significance. I acquired and adopted a handful of mondegreens, and ran with those for many months until one day I sat with a stack of 20-25 Woodford-collected/purchased CDs and…

I read the liner notes.

Continue reading

Owen Campbell on ‘The Pilgrim’ Tour, May 2014

Owen Campbell to play The Abbey, Canberra on Friday 2 May
Image courtesy of Owen Campbell

Owen Campbell to play The Abbey, Canberra on Friday 2 May

Australian blues man Owen Campbell has been busy promoting his latest album ‘The Pilgrim’ and will be taking the show back to his old stomping ground of Canberra at The Abbey on Friday 2 May 2014 to kick off his ‘Remember to Breathe’ Tour.

Show only tickets are available for just $20 or dinner and show is $65. Booking fees apply to both and the details are available at The Abbey.

Owen took some time out to talk with Bill Quinn who was cooling his heels at Central Railway Station, and the foyer of the local Gaelic club proved to provide the best acoustics.

Tour dates for Owen Campbell

Saturday 3 May — Camelot Lounge, Marrickville
Sunday 4 May — Lizotte’s, Newcastle
Friday 9 May — Mudgee Brewing Company
Saturday 10 May — TAB Garden Hotel, Dubbo
Sunday 11 May — Towradgi Beach HotelThursday 15 May — The Armidale Club, Armidale
Friday 16 May — Goondiwindi River Jam
Saturday 17 May — Queensland Hotel, Goondiwindi
Sunday 18 May — Royal Mail, Goodna
Wednesday 21 May — The Joynt, South Brisbane
Thursday 22 May — Blues on Broadbeach Festival

Interview: Johnny Huckle (ACT)

Image courtesy of Johnny Huckle
Image courtesy of Johnny Huckle

Interview with Johnny Huckle (ACT)

I first saw Johnny Huckle playing in Woden in the late 1980s or early 1990s. My girlfriend/fiancée at the time was working at ATSIC (née Department of Aboriginal Affairs), and more than the odd Friday afternoon would have us plonked at the Aboriginal Club or the Contented Soul watching Johnny belt out a blend of covers and originals.

His rendition of ‘Do The Hucklebuck’ was always a crowd-pleaser.

Fast forward twenty years or more, and I only manage to run into Johnny at festivals. As was the case earlier this year in Illawarra where we finally made some time to gather around the MP3 recorder and have a chat.

Hopefully you can decipher most of the conversation despite the cacophony of competing sound spillage.

Johnny Huckle performing Spiritman:

Johnny jamming with Canberra music and recording legend Trev Dunham:

A Punter’s Perspective #43: Overheard at the 2013 National Folk Festival

The iconic National Folk Festival bunting
The iconic National Folk Festival bunting

A Punter’s Perspective

Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#43 Overheard at the 2013 National Folk Festival

First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2013

I usually stop short of epithets like ‘the best’, ‘the greatest’ or such like. But in a relatively short experience of the National Folk Festival (my ninth of a possible 47), this year’s was definitely the most anticipated Nash I’ve personally known of.

A number of variables made the lead up to this one a little tantalising. The organisers made no bones about the fact that it’s been testing times for the National. Some may shudder at words they’ve used like ‘consolidation’, ‘challenge’ and ‘sustainable’, but I’m actually a bit of a fan.

If there are threats to a festival’s viability, you can either fix a smile and adopt a ‘Move on, nothing to see here, all is well’ approach. Or squat on your heels, furrow brows, chew bits of bark and declare we’ll all be rooned.

Or you can call a spade a spade (not a manual earth-moving device) and accept there are indeed challenges and forge ahead.

Disclaimer: I’m observing all of this from some distance, and am NOT privy to any of the National’s internal machinations. Continue reading