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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Brothers and sisters of the blues unite at album launch

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Local band Brotherhood of the Blues launching their new album Right Back Home at Lismore City Bowling Club on Friday night. Image: Claudie Frock

Paul Bibby

Local band Brotherhood of the Blues brought their new album into the world with an explosion of energy, colour and driving rhythms on Friday night.

Around 100 people gathered at the Lismore City Bowling Club for the launch of ‘Right Back Home’, an album that speaks to the band’s trials and tribulations over the past two years.

Fronted by three talented young Aboriginal men with disabilities, the blues band has had their fair share of ups and downs in recent times, including going through the Lismore flood and the death of their first producer Anthony Lycenko.

We had the floods, then two of our friends passed away, and we had some broken bones as well,’ says Zac Paden, 24, a Bundjalung man who has hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

‘That’s plenty of inspiration!’

While this experience has inspired many of the songs on the new album, the tough times were put to the side on Friday night as the group got into the grove, performing many of the songs on the new album and some old favourites with their typical high-energy, driving style.

Central to this was the band’s powerful five-piece rhythm section, lead guitarist and harmonica player, a number of whom also provide back-up vocals in rich three and four part harmonies.

‘The three front-men generally come up with the ideas for the songs, and then we help fill them out,’ the group’s harmonica player and backing singer Paul Scharka says.

‘It’s a great collaboration but they’re really the creative force behind the songs.’

Also performing at Friday night’s launch were local singer-songwriter Ben Wilson, the RedInc signing choir and local indigenous hip-hop artists.

Next up on the agenda for Brotherhood of he Blues are two performances at Bluesfest, the event where they exploded into the limelight in 2016.

Nervous,’ is Paden’s refreshingly honest answer when asked how he feels about the upcoming Blesfest shows on April 19 and April 22.

‘But I’m pretty sure some of my other bandmates would say they’re excited so I guess that means we’re a mixture of nervous and excited,’ he says.

For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page


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