Blue Eyes Cry
The blues is often seen as a resort of the older person, preferably with a black t-shirt and Harley Davidson. In my last column I talked about the origin of the blues in work songs decades ago in the south of the USA.
There’s actually a large number of younger people getting into the blues, often as a result of participating in the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society’s ‘Youth in Blues’ program, or our local ‘Blues Boot Camp’ organised by Wayne Jury and with a high quality set of mentors including Chris Wilson, Tim Neal, Sarah Carroll, Sandy Brady, Dave Steel and David Park. Recently, one such graduate, Jarrod Shaw, was a headliner at Sleepy Hollow.
Blue Eyes Cry is such an amazingly accomplished young band. Fronted by a brilliant voice in Iseula Hingano, and backed by her partner, Nathan Brett (guitar), with Stuart Prendergast (bass) and Cameron Smith (drums).
They originally started as a trio on the North Coast of NSW at Woolgoolga and linked up with Stuart when they moved to Melbourne, using their winnings from first prize in a local talent competition to fund the move. Their influences run the gamut of the modern blues scene – Robert Cray, Eva Cassidy, Robin Trower, through to soul artists such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway etc.
Blue Eyes Cry perform at premier music festivals and venues around Australia including Blues on Broadbeach, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Gympie Muster, Australian Blues Music Festival, Apollo Bay Festival, Blues at Bridgetown, Echuca Winter Blues and many more. The best irony of all this is that on their tour last year, they were hailed in Maroochydore as a “Melbourne band!”
Iseula spent a few years in London where she absorbed as much as she could about the music business in one of the most competitive environments in the world. In 2013 Ise was awarded the ‘Female Artist of the Year’ at the VIC/TAS Blues Awards.
Blues Eyes Cry have grabbed the attention of local blues fans and organisations, including Sleepy Hollow Blues Club, the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society, Hugo Armstrong of the Blues Train and John Durr of Black Market Music. This year they took out two Chain (Australian Blues Music) Awards – ‘Best New Talent’ and ‘Song of the Year’ for the title track of their new album. When you think about it that is a pretty impressive list of achievements for a young band. The blues is safely in the hands of the younger set these days, as much as any other genre.
Why not get out and about and find some of the younger talent that is on offer? At Martians Café they have a number coming up soon – Alana and Alicia, Benny Walker and Shaun Kirk. Pistol Pete’s Food and Blues has Tex Miller and Jessey Jackson regularly. You can also check out Saints and Sailors in Portarlington, Sandbar at Torquay and the Piping Hot Chicken Shop in Ocean Grove as regularly having young bands as well as seasoned artists.
While we’re at it, Blue Eyes Cry’s debut album Sleeping Alone has some killer tracks on it and is well worth getting hold of, in stores, on CD or through iTunes.
Oh, and I do have quite a few black shirts, but never rode a Harley. Yamaha Nomad was the last I had!
Written by Dr John Lamp. Presented by The Sleepy Hollow Blues Club