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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Home on the Plantation

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Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

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Blues Plantation, Hotel Brunswick, Sunday

Ladies and gentlemen, an exciting new blues band has emerged from the northern rivers area.

Comprising some of Australia’s most accomplished and seasoned musicians, the aptly named Blues Plantation play a variety of early American, British and Australian blues grooves with raw authenticity.

The group joins Canned Heat’s James T and Bourbon Street/Feramones front man, Colin Germano (aka Col Meredith), both on guitar, vocals and harmonica, with Radiators/Hi Home I’m Honey drummer and pianist Mick Buckley. Completing the lineup is Tokyo Joe legend and local solo artist Craig Scott (aka Toke) on bass.

Richly inspired by such blues greats as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley and the like, Blues Plantation also draw from the first-generation white blues of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Rolling Stones, George Thorogood, Eric Clapton and, of course, Canned Heat.

James T is widely known for his 10-plus years in the legendary American blues band that played at the original Woodstock in 1969. His open-tuned guitar style, gritty blues vocals and wailing harmonica provided Canned Heat its trademark sound though the 80s and 90s.

Although Colin Germano is widely remembered as the dynamic rock vocalist and songwriter for 80s/90s rockers Bourbon Street, he is more recently known for his role as lead singer in the Byron-based supergroup, The Feramones. As a solo artist, he plays as Col Meredith, under which name an LP entitled Fine and 27 is to be released later this year.

On drums is Mick Buckley who, at the age of seven, was drawn to the Jerry-Lee Lewis style of piano playing. In the 80s he broke into the live circuit as the hard-rocking drummer for Australian stalwarts The Radiators. After touring the USA Mick returned home to Australia and called on some old mates from Noiseworks, The Radiators and Ted Mulry to form The Yeehaa Boys, playing honky-tonk piano. Now settled in the northern rivers area, Mick is back on the drums with Blues Plantation.

Craig Scott, better known as Toke, came across the pond from Rotorua, NZ in 1989 and quickly formed the Lennox-based rock band Tokyo Joe. The group went on to become a northern rivers favourite for many years, during which time he also played in popular 70s covers duo Two in a Groove with Col Germano. Since then, Toke has earned the reputation as a gifted songwriter, vocal harmony specialist and an outstanding bass player.

The common thread running through Blues Plantation is the broad appeal of their soulful, rhythmic sound. People of all ages dig the grooves and the band and audience often become one. Whatever direction the group takes on any given night, all roads lead to the dance floor.

See Blues Plantation at Hotel Brunswick on Sunday.

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