Local acoustic duo Starboard Cannons combine unique and passionate songwriting with exciting, raw musicianship. The lads, Ash Bell and Matt Bone, have been writing and performing together since 2009. ‘Alt folk’, ‘Australiana roots’, and ‘Celtic colonial’ are just some of the ways their music has been described. Their debut album Somebody’s Opus draws upon the talents of some of Australia’s finest musicians, and will be released through Vitamin Records, followed by a national tour.
Co-produced by Jordan Power (Angus Stone, Powderfinger, The Vines), Somebody’s Opus ebbs and flows, using the dynamics inherent within each song to enhance the storytelling process. From the hauntingly sparse Bowen Station, featuring guest vocals from Sara Tindley, to the fully charged folk symphony Mists Of Culloden, this is more than simply a collection of songs; it is a story that lives and breathes.
What was it like during recording, seeing as this is your first time in a studio together? Matt and I were pretty agreeable, mostly. We had our moments. Fortunately we had Jordan (Power) around. He is an amazing engineer and producer, but mainly his value is in his skills as a mediator.
Your music is quite difficult to pigeonhole, yet there is something about it that is inherently Australian. How do you define it? We love all kinds of music, especially roots based. I don’t know the rules that separate country, folk, bluegrass, Celtic and Australiana music, so we’ve just tossed them all together.
There is a raw energy to it… was there anything that was important to you to keep that authentic appeal? All the recordings are just a microphone in front of an instrument. No amps or effects at all. That was our goal from the start and we managed to stay true and let each instrument speak for itself.
What can we expect from the launch party? It’s going to be an amazing night! We have a great band featuring Jason Caspen on drums and Steve Cook on fiddle and mandolin. Our shows always have a great, happy, folky, foot-stompy atmosphere, but this one is going to be extra special. And best nautically themed outfit wins a prize!
So don your breeches and join in the foot-stompin’ fun for Starboard Cannons’ album launch of Somebody’s Opus, at The Courthouse Hotel, Mullumbimby, this Saturday. $10, 8pm start.