Blues News #721

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Blues News #721

Home is the sailor and all that. Actually, home is Ethan Farmer from his experiences at Boston’s Berklee College of Music’s five-week music performance course. As you should recall from a previous column, the Sleepy Hollow Blues Club made a grant to Ethan from the Vic Hunt Memorial funds to assist him. I’ll be having a chat with him about that so that I can report back to you soon!

In August on the 25th, the Club has booked his Ethan Farmer Band, and this will be the first opportunity to hear him following his trip. If you miss him at the Club, he’ll be at Pistol Pete’s on the 29th.

The Ethan Farmer Band is a high energy group of young musicians, buzzing with virtuosic talent and taste. Their sound is a blend of electric blues, funk, and sizzling jazz, with much-improvised blues guitar, laid soulfully on top.

The band is fast climbing to great heights in the Victorian Blues scene, making a big impact with its awe-inspiring, locked-tight sound that leaves audiences thrilled. Off the back of success performing classic blues covers, the band now focusses more on its own contemporary spin on the genre, with original tunes that incorporate elements of soul, jazz and rock into the mix!

Each of the band members, though young, is a seasoned professional at performing live music, all of them having been featured alongside Australian Blues greats like Chris Wilson, Geoff Achison, Jesse Valach, Jimi Hocking, Sweet Felicia, and being part of numerous festivals and shows across the country.

The Pistol Pete’s gig is a duet gig with Ivan Fisher.

Now I’m indulging in some expatriate Tasmanian bias.

On the 28th at Pistol Pete’s Brad Gillies, not only from Tasmania, but from Launceston, where I spent a fair part of my life, will be appearing.

Yes, I used to live about two blocks from the Boags brewery, but, alas, was too young to sample its wares!
Brad is a former grunge guitarist-vocalist who has made the shift into the world of blues.

‘‘It’s a funny thing,’’ Gillies said. ‘‘I grew up listening to a lot of the Seattle scene in the ’90s and 2000 and stuck with that until I branched out into the local scene and realised there were a lot of good blues players here and around Australia.

“Some of my favourite Launceston bands are blues bands, I sort of went along that path and it took me in that direction. I’m happy playing that music now, I guess.”

Gillies has a sound lending itself to a sometimes rock and sometimes swamp (slide) southern style guitar, fused together with the blues and a solid stomp section as well as a vast vocal range and the harmonica, a new addition to Gillies sound/act. This brings a dynamic and yet full wall of sound for the listener.

He released a debut solo album “Heavy Peace” and a 3-track single in July 2018.

For your diaries, Ethan at SHBC on the 25th or at Pistol Pete’s on the 29th and Brad Gillies at Pistol Pete’s on the 28th.