Sleepy Hollow has the Wayne Jury Four playing at the end of August.
Wayne is not someone you have to introduce to people in the blues community, but, on the off chance that your eyes have strayed here from the Pop Culture column, let me introduce you to Wayne.
So, easy stuff first – he’s been recording since 1989, nine CDs since, and I think another one as well (Doors and Bridges?) which I have tucked away in the “car box.” Guarantees it gets played a lot!
Wayne set off at from Geelong at the ripe old age of 16, playing several sets a night, seven nights a week up and down Australia’s East coast.
He was supporting Australia’s finest touring bands – AC/DC, Ayers Rock, Little River Band, Buffalo, Cold Chisel, Dragon, Hush, TMG, etc. (C’mon, even if you aren’t shaving yet, surely you’ve heard of at least one of them!)
Living in boarding houses and being robbed at knife point told him maybe Melbourne was not the right place to be right now.
Travelling to Sydney regularly to perform helped him meet up with like-minded musicians and after an altercation with his band (at 18, with no place to stay and $8 in his pocket) he took his bag off the bus and planted himself in Sydney.
Since then, he’s been playing in Australia and overseas. I have no idea how many thousands of gigs that translates into!
OK, so far you could probably find one or two musicians who could point to a similar record, but Wayne was House songwriter at J. Albert and Son for three years.
Never heard of it? OK, quick history lesson. Have you heard of the Brill Building? Just Google it. No actually, better, check Wikipedia.
We’re talking about a Broadway, New York building which was positively infested with excellent songwriters Burt Bacharach, Buddy Feyne, Carole King, Johnny Mercer, Rose Marie McCoy, Irving Mills, Billy Rose, Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin – people who had more Billboard hits than you’ve had hot dinners.
Anyhow, Alberts is the Australian version of the Brill Building operations. Henry Vanda and George Young (the core of the Easybeats) were mainstays of Alberts, and Wayne was in the mix, creating and working at the cutting edge.
Where was I? Oh yes, so, amazingly successful musician, composing with the best, but there’s more to Wayne than this.
If you excel at something, you start to think about the future, not just your future, but what is coming after.
Wayne has been teaching for some time.
Over recent years he’s been running the Blues Boot Camps and Youth in Blues programs. These take young musicians, and give them a chance to work with experienced music professionals and get an idea on how to develop a music career.
But, the gig, yes, he’s a great bloke, but what a musician! You have to make it to this one on the 28th of this month.
Anyhow, this weekend, I’ll be at Harvester Moon for Corey Harris on Saturday, and the following weekend at Sleepy Hollow Blues Club for Wayne Jury on Sunday.