The Cash man cometh
Dr Baz Ferrier and vivacious songstress Ilona Harker present a journey through the life and songs of Johnny Cash – a musical tribute to the legendary country superstar Johnny Cash, his epic life story and love affair with partner June Carter, threaded through with a tongue-in-cheek look at Johnny Cash’s wild side and their stormy offstage and onstage relationship.
The show captures Johnny’s looking back on his rise from humble conditions as a child on a poor cotton farm soaking up gospel and country music to tough times on work gangs, enlistment during the Korean war as a US airman, which got him to the honky tonks of Germany where he began to hone his characteristic style and began writing his unique songs, and on to his rise as a music sensation and a recording artist for the legendary Sun records alongside Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The show strings together all Johnny Cash’s great hits and signature tunes as the story unfolds, and woven through this rich musical journey is a fascinating glimpse into the darker side of his life, his outlaw image and the prison concerts, and the epic love story with lifetime soulmate June Carter, a child star and golden-haired girl of the famous country music icons The Carter Family. Looking back on his tough origins, his rise to fame, and his drug addiction, they laugh, they joke, they fight and they harmonise, as they bring so many great songs to life, accompanied by the rockabilly rhythm of the Tennessee Two (with lush backing vocals from Slim Pickens on bass and Neil McCann on twangy Fender guitar).
Ballina RSL on Saturday. Tix adults: $20, child U-16yrs $10. Group of 10 exactly: $18 per person. Show starts 8.30pm. Tix at venue.
The Music of Ooz
Ooz is an acoustic roots reggae artist with a large, eclectic repertoire of crowd favourites. His unique, laidback but lively style creates a relaxed atmosphere and his song choices have you remembering many of those forgotten classics. His ability to create layers with a loop pedal enables him to play bass guitar and lay percussion beats to accompany his performances and get the audience on their feet. Friday at the Byron Brewery from 8pm. Free entry.
Classic Aussie rock gets thing Moving
Moving Pictures have been having a blast out on the road with James Reyne. The Australian musical landscape in the 1980s was very heavily shaped and influenced by the band Moving Pictures. Formed in 1978 by Alex Smith, Garry Frost, Charlie Cole, Paul Freeland, Ian Lees, and Andrew Thompson, together they jumped out of the blocks with 1981’s #1 smash album Days Of Innocence and would go on to release three original albums from 1981 through to 1988. Days Of Innocence, produced by Charles Fisher, delivered the energetic Bustin’ Loose and the empassioned – and often covered – chart-topping smash hit What About Me? This song would go on to be awarded Best Single at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards and was the second highest selling single in Australia that year. What About Me? also entered the Billboard Top 40 and remained in the US singles charts for a massive 26 weeks. The song also made it into the illustrious Billboard Hot 100 singles list for 1983 – a rare feat indeed for an Australian band. Moving Pictures are touring national with James Reyne on his A Day In The Sun summer 2015/2016 national tour. Ballina RSL on Sunday. Tickets at the venue.
The Music Burden
Fergo & The Burden (formally known as JaFFer) are an exciting funky band hailing from Byron Bay. Fronted by local bass legend Fergo, who not only plays the bass like a demon but also possesses a soulful 5-octave vocal range! Fergo has played bass for many of Australia’s top artists including Pete Murray, Nicky Bomba, Marshall O’Kell, Jasmine Rae, Lisa Hunt Andy Jans-Brown and Cosmic and many more. Fergo is backed up by the funky fingers of Dan Brown on keyboards and the Amasian Jamie P on drums. Byron Bay Brewery on Saturday from 8pm. Free entry.
Small is beautiful at the Brewery
Join us as Groove on Sunday kicks off again in 2016 with the formidable Hamburg duo, Smallpeople (Smallville Records). Embrace the sunshine and make the most of the day, so get inside the ride from 2pm, and get into the shit-hot lineup, it’s that simple.
Byron Brewery from 3pm. Free.
The big blues Christmas announcement
Just in time for the festive season and wrapping up another incredible year, the 27th Bluesfest Byron Bay, held over Easter (Thursday 24 March – Monday 28 March 2016), at its exclusive event site (the lush 300-acre Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm just outside Byron Bay), announces more musical treats for their 2016 event. Washington State’s Modest Mouse will be making their Bluesfest debut in 2016 off the back of releasing their first album in eight years in 2015, the chart-topping Strangers to Ourselves, which peaked at No 1 on Billboard’s TOP ROCK Album Chart, No 3 on the Billboard 200 and No 15 on the Australian ARIA Chart. The lead single from the album Lampshades on Fire peaked at No 1 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs Chart and No 2 on the US Billboard Rock Airplay Chart.
The indie rock stalwarts played a key part in turning the Pacific Northwest in the US into fertile ground for indie acts including Death Cab for Cutie and the Shins. Their music is said to be influenced by groups such as Pavement, the Pixies and Talking Heads and over their 20+ year career Modest Mouse are responsible for bringing us hits such as Float On, Dashboard and Ocean Breathes Salty. Also on board is British singer/songwriter Graham Nash, a pivotal and founding member of one of the UK’s most successful pop groups, The Hollies, and now of supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash. He has also won a Grammy award, is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, an award-winning visual artist and photographer, a New York Times best-selling author, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. Graham Nash’s rich vocals and harmonies have shaped a generation of folk, country and pop music and, in a career spanning more than fifty years, Graham Nash has explored and created a diverse catalogue covering pop, rock, folk, jazz, blues, psychedelia and progressive rock and is one of the most distinctive vocalists and prolific songwriters of a generation. One of the most exciting artists of 2015, LA’s Kamasi Washington, is coming to Bluesfest with his band. He is a jazz composer, performer, band leader, pianist, drummer, saxophonist, and the list goes on. The jazz giant not only created his own album in 2015, The Epic, which peaked at No 5 on the US Billboard Jazz Chart, No 6 on the US Billboard Heatseekers Chart and The New York Times gave it the No 1 spot on their Best Albums of 2015 list. He also spends his time working on various albums and movie scores and is responsible for much of the arrangement of fellow Bluesfest performer Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-nominated To Pimp A Butterfly. Richard Clapton, one of Australia’s foremost singer/songwriters, whose hits include Girls on the Avenue, The Best Years of Our Lives,‘I Am an Island, Capricorn Dancer and (Down in the) Lucky Country has also been announced for Bluesfest 2016. Richard Clapton is now in his 40th year, since his first album, Prussian Blue, but shows no signs of slowing down. He has released more than 20 albums, which have cumulatively sold in excess of one million copies. Also included in this announcement is the sassy star on the rise Elle King, whose musical style encompasses country, soul, folk, rock, and blues and is bound to be a festival favourite in 2016. Another inclusion is Ash Grunwald, bringing his incomparable blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove. The prolific bluesman released his ninth studio album earlier in 2015, titled NOW, and will be coming to Bluesfest with an all-star band.
For tickets and information go to www.bluesfest.com.au.
50 years of timeless classics
The entertainment industry has certainly had its most defining moments during the last five decades of popular music and, with it, has produced and some of the world’s most enduring artists and some of the most notable songs ever written. From America’s first modern-day pop star, who went on to have a 60-year career, to two kings of rock ’n’ roll, from singer/songwriters who recorded some of the greatest songs of all time to homegrown Australian music icons. To choose what to incorporate into a show is a feat within itself. Paul Hayman presents 50 Years of Legends, taking the road less travelled – journeying into the legends of the business in all its facets, including songwriters, music producers, film soundtracks and the fascinating stories behind the hits that have made them legendary. He is supported by a superb live 4-piece band of exceptional standard. Paul has taken this entertainment experience one step further.
Special guest appearances by professional international champion dancer Kylie Wall complement Paul onstage at points in the show. A variety of show-quality costumes worn by both Paul and Kylie complete this entertainment package.
Ballina RSL on Friday 8 January. Tickets at the club.