Category Archives: Review

Live Review : Tina Arena at Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – 13 September 2017

Written by Natasha Wyborn

Quiet please there’s a lady on stage and boy what a lady she is. In todays music industry marked with tantrums and constant drama Tina Arena is a stand out, a survivor. In fact Tina has been a star since she first hit Australian television as part of the Young Talent Team all those years ago. Unlike a lot of artists Arena’s history is promoted proudly throughout the show. There is reference to it and photographs on the multiple screens provide the audience to transform back to a time when life was so much simpler.
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EP Review : BLACK STONE CHERRY – Black to Blues

Review by Pete Coates

Fresh on the heels of Black Stone Cherry’s recent trips to Australia, first as support to Steel Panther, and then on their first headlining tour of some smaller club venues, the band took some time out to spend two days recording a set of their favourite blues tracks, from the artists who influenced them as they grew up, and whose tracks they jammed to in the various garages they used to rehearse in. Now these are the songs they listen to on the tour bus sharing a bourbon or two!
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Album Review : Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together

Review by Peter Coates

One of the old guard of the US Blues battalion, equally respected by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and John Mayall with whom he earned his stripes in the 1970s and 1980s, and the young upstarts of the industry, such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales, Walter Trout has basically gathered together a who’s who of the modern blues family to perform with him and his band in a joyous project that really delivers a fantastic collection of original tracks written by Trout specifically for the guitarist joining him for the track (with a little help from his wife in channelling the different blues styles to the right guest!).
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Album Review : Simo – ‘Rise & Shine’

Review by Peter Coates

Another Nashville trio who spends more time on the road than in the studio, performing live, writing on the bus and in dressing rooms, with 215 shows in 2016 supporting their debut album, Let Love Show The Way, SIMO are way more than just a vehicle for the ridiculously talented singer / guitarist JD Simo, whose serious blues chops were showcased in the loud and raucous songs on the first album.
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Album Review : THE DUSTFLOWERS – GET THERE

Review by Peter Coates

Brisbane band The Dustflowers belong somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line in the southern USA, with their first release ‘Get There’ a collection of 5 songs that are gritty hip-swinging blues-rockers with a country twist, or country-rock with some added soul! You can take your pick – whatever style you like, the songs are all class! Recorded on the Gold Coast at Blind Boy Studios, and produced by Brad Hosking, a well-known session player and producer, this EP is a great intro to an Aussie band with stacks of international appeal.
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Live Review + Photos : TRAIN at The Tivoli, Brisbane – 31 July 2017 (support J.R. Reyne)

Review and photo by Peter Coates

The original band’s front man Patrick Monahan is Train now, offering up a greatest hits set, with a terrific sound and production, supported by a band of very competent session musicians and two female backing vocalists bulking up the harmonies.
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Album Review : Sonny Landreth – Recorded Live In Lafayette


Another high quality and interesting release from Provogue / Mascot Label Group which is becoming something of a powerhouse for both established and up and coming blues artists of all persuasions. Clyde Vernon “Sonny” Landreth is a renowned slide guitarist, and “the King of Slydeco”, hailing from the deep south of the USA in Mississippi who has been based in Lafayette for many years . His background includes being part of both John Hiatt’s band and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, as well as featuring on both live and studio recordings with the likes of Marshall Crenshaw, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat and Mark Knopfler.
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Album Review : SHAMAN’S HARVEST – Red Hands Black Deeds

Review by Peter Coates

There is a haunting menace to the vocal arrangement in the title track of this latest release from the Jefferson City, Missouri southern country alt-rockers Shaman’s Harvest…….a band I am ashamed to admit had passed me by until this, Red Hands Black Deeds, their 6 th studio album was promised for review.
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Live Review + Photos : Grinspoon at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne on 30 June 2017

Review and Photos by Meghan Player

Grinspoon at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne on 30 June 2017
Photographer: Meghan Player

Admittedly, I was 9 years old the year Grinspoon released their debut album, ‘Guide to Better Living’, so I can’t say with certainty where I was when I first heard it. What I do know is how much this band and their music shaped a better part of my teenage years, and now adult life.
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Album Review : THOMAS WYNN and THE BELIEVERS – WADE WAIST DEEP

Review by Peter Coates
TWB

This album has been something of a challenge to review…….and has required multiple listens over the last couple of weeks to be able to gather my thoughts sufficiently to write the review. This is purely because the album is so complex, stunningly diverse and wonderfully executed, that it cannot easily be pigeon-holed, and the musical influences so widespread that it is hard to know where to start.
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Live Review: The Record Company with support Little Georgia – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – 20 April 2017

The Record Company at Northcote Social Club, Melbourne - 20 Apri
Review by Peter Coates

Making the dash across town from the early and packed-out Bluesfest sideshow of St Paul & The Broken Bones, I made it into a sparsely populated Northcote Social Club bandroom just in time for the grunge-folk duo that is Little GeorgiaJustin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix have been involved in a few musical projects over the years, and got together in 2015 to explore their mutual attraction for alternative country songs.
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Live Review : Zac Brown Band with support The Pierce Bros – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – 19 April 2017

Zac Brown Band at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne - 19 April 2017 Photographer: Peter Coates

Zac Brown Band at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – 19 April 2017
Photographer: Peter Coates


Review by Peter Coates

The Pierce Brothers are an Aussie duo of brothers Jack and Pat Pierce, offering a set of guitar and percussion country-folk delivered with punch and self-deprecating humour. Both brothers have strong and soulful voices, and most of the songs have a strong beat and some rabble-rousing choruses – opener It’s My Fault and Only One as examples, which all combined to bring the crowd alive……”we’re totally professional……done venues like this 100 times…….at home!”
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Five

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Five Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Five consecutive days in the sunshine was a rare treat for Bluesfest regulars who have endured years of mud to listen to the incredible artists invited to perform at this world class festival. Day five felt very relaxed as the big crowds had thinned and lining up for a bite to eat or something to drink seemed almost instant in comparison to previous days. Weary stall holders still served customers with smiles and delicious concoctions but understandably they were looking forward to the event drawing to a close.
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Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 – Day Four

Review by Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe + Ant Ritz
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2017 - Day Four Photographer: Stuart Blythe
Everybody loves Santana. I hope the other bands with a 7.30pm time slot had an audience because it felt like the entire festival population was trying to get as close as possible to Carlos Santana and the incredible line up of singers and musicians on tour with him at the moment. It is amazing what we can put up with if the music is sooo brilliant that being pushed, crushed and having a variety of drinks spilled on you is all taken with good nature and shared understanding of I just need to be as close as possible to this magnificence.
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