[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

The Woodford Files: Fred Smith On The Couch With Melanie Tait (ABC RN)

Image courtesy of Fred Smith
Image courtesy of Fred Smith

Fred Smith is at Woodford Folk Festival showcasing his Dust of Uruzgan and Home albums, with a killer backing band.

Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National
Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National

After packing them in at The Bazaar today, Fred is going to take it easy, put his feet up and have a chat on the couch with Melanie Tait from ABC Radio National.

It takes place tonight in the Greenhouse at 8pm, so that gives you plenty of time to shovel down a plate of Govinda’s indian goodness or some gozleme or a plato spaghetti up the Junction, and wash it down with a quenching beverage at the Tokyo Bar before joining Fred and Melanie.

If they’re still hanging around at that hour of the day, be sure to have a chat to the lovely Michael just outside the Greenhouse about Future Super (getting all ethical on yo’ asses about where you put your retirement pesos) and the other green stall whose number plate I just can’t recall right now.

Fred’s other remaining gigs at Woodford folk Festival:

Wednesday 31 December, 3.30pm – Small Hall
Thursday 1 January, 11am – Concert Stage

2012: An Overheard Productions year in review

Overheard Productions

2012 in review

[Insert audible groan of indecision mixed with ‘Oh well, why the hell not’-ness.]

I realise that ‘Year in Review’ blogs and lists can seem as passé as flash mobs and….. other things that are passé.

Like saying that things are ‘passé’.

But as per the opening sentence, ‘Why not?’.

As with many things that I’ve written since age 14, this may provide a mixture of utility for others (especially if I’m reduxing your interview or news event) and utility for me. It’s a natural progression from the Year in Review emails and Farcebook notes I’ve written in years gone by.

This 2012 version was prompted by that nonsensical Farcebook function that purports to consolidate your 20 biggest moments of 2012, using an algorithm that was obviously created by a very finite number of monkeys on a finite number of very old typewriters.

Radio

My glittering pseudo-career on community radio took an extended break in May when I hung up my boots from Artsound FM.

I love presenting radio programs. I’ve discovered so much good music, so many talented performers and met so many good people through it. But it’s nice to have a little more breathing room and leisure time.

I tend to throw myself in to things like this, boots and all, somtimes at the cost of sensible balance with other things, so I have enjoyed putting my energies into other areas.

Continue reading

Fred Smith interview (for Timber and Steel) + video

Fred Smith and the Spooky Men’s Chorale

Fred Smith interview

Urban Sea Shanties, a few good Spooky men, and a swooping magpie

You might not hear too much more press on the Canberra Fred Smith gig this Saturday night (11 August) because it’s already sold out.

As of last night, there are still general admission tickets for Friday night’s gig at Notes, Newtown. Fred will be appearing with A Few Good Spooky Men and Liz Frencham.

But to hear more from the man himself…. no, I mean to read more from the man himself — I’m not on radio anymore — click here for my interview with Fred last week for the very fine Timber and Steel blog.

From the archives: Fred Smith — Taking ‘Texas’ to Tasmania (and Tilley’s, Tempe, Turning Wave…)

'Texas' by Fred Smith
‘Texas’ by Fred Smith

Fred Smith: Taking ‘Texas’ to Tasmania (and Tilley’s, Tempe, Turning Wave…)
First published in Trad and Now magazine, June 2008

Two more weekends and I’ll be going home
My home’s a nowhere
But a nowhere where I’m known
Where the sheep are nervous
And the men are all good blokes
Take me back to where the people get my jokes

From ‘American Guitar’, Texas (2008) by Fred Smith

So saying the above (or rather, singing the above), Fred Smith did literally head home — to Australia.

Fred’s first chance to play ‘American Guitar’ to a live audience came on his last night in the USA, after three years, coincidentally in a town called Frederick. (His first gig three years earlier had been, just as coincidentally, in Fredericksburgh).

The next morning after its debut, Fred hopped on a plane and returned to Australia via a two week tour of Canada.

Avid Trad and Now readers may have followed some of Fred’s adventures in these pages as he tripped around the USA from house-husbanding to house concerts, from suburban conventionality to folk conventions, and to a string of gigs, festivals and song contests along the way.

Fred has now been back in Australia for about six months and he’s appreciating the return to his old neighbourhood. Launching his ‘Texas’ album at Tilley’s Devine Café in Canberra last month, Fred relates a quote on topic: ”Home is the place you go where they’ve got to let you in.”

‘It’s good to be home!’ Continue reading