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.

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2012 Folk in the Foothills at Jamberoo Lodge

Entrance to Jamberoo Lodge. "Abandon all signal, ye who be with Optus and its subsidiaries." (Long John Silver, 1756.)
Entrance to Jamberoo Lodge. “Abandon all signal, ye who be with Optus and its subsidiaries.” (Long John Silver, 1756.)

Folk in the Foothills 2012

Some scribblings by Bill Quinn

Sunday 14 October 2012

I’ve written extensively, exhaustively and some might say nauseatingly in the past on what I deem to be the restorative power of folk festivals.

They’re good for what ails ya.

Your worst day at a festival beats your best day doing many other things. I mean, look, it IS possible to say, “Gee, I had a great day at work!” It is. I’ve had them meself. But I can’t remember too many times when I’ve said, “Well that was a crappy festival day”.

My first and latest Folk in the Foothills was in 2008 and I recall it vividly for two very specific reasons. Back in those days, I was singing with Ecopella, that wonderful, sustainably-good four-part singing mob from around NSW and the ACT.

And what made it doubly good for a small ‘g’ greenie such as meself that day was that when I arrived somewhere on the south coast to give a lift to the choir director, I was brandishing the front cover of The Canberra Times which was announcing that the Greens looked like winning the balance of power in the previous day’s Legislative Assembly elections in Canberra.

And the other reason I recall well was that at Jamberoo in the mid-afternoon, I spied two rather gorgeous women who did indeed look like they were having a pretty crappy festival day.

(See, it all came around to a point of some sort in the end. And that’s just the way I planned it. Yeah, right.)

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Liz Frencham on touring with Gregory Page and Jimmy the Fish

Liz Frencham talks about playing solo

and with Jimmy the Fish and Gregory Page

This is a slightly elongated and fuller version of the interview with Liz Frencham that first appeared in Timber and Steel on 28 September 2012.

Liz Frencham is one of the hardest working women in folk.

Liz’s collaborations, bands and projects are legendary. If you laid out her records end to end, including her solo, band, contribution and bit part playing thereon CDs… my, it would take a long time to pick them all up again.

Liz spent part of winter cocooned away in rural Victoria, but in recent times she’s been on the road with her bluegrass outfit Jimmy the Fish, and with the inspired pairing with Fred Smith as Frencham/Smith.

Sometime in the late 1980s, or so it seems, Liz had an interview with Bill Quinn which included one landline, one mobile phone as conduit, and another mobile phone as recording device. Liz was in picturesque southern Trentham, and Bill by the banks of the Moruya River on the beautiful Eurobodalla Nature Coast in rural, coastal New South Wales.

As Liz prepares to strike out on a tour with US singer-songwriter Gregory Page, I started by asking Liz where her preference for solo or band performing lay.

Liz Frencham: I wouldn’t call it a preference. It’s exactly the same, say, as playing playing with Jimmy the Fish and playing with Fred.

Playing solo is “different” and it requires different skills. Probably one thing it has in its favour at the moment is that it still completely terrifies me.

It’s not something that I’ve mastered. It’s exciting and I haven’t settled into a comfortable groove, which makes the possibilities seem more endless. I wouldn’t say it would be a preference, per se.

I am a bass player, and when you’re fitting into your role the most is when you’re accompanying somebody else.

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