Blues News #726

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Blues News #726

Two of Melbourne’s finest Americana musicians Rose Zita Falko and Ben Mastwyk are appearing at Pistol Pete’s on the 31st of October.

Melbourne artist Ben Mastwyk is a prolific songwriter with a unique method of writing on the move. Walking the streets, riding planes, trains, and highways, “There’s something about the rhythm of the world rolling by and the constant stream of scenes and characters that stimulate the process” he explains.

His 2015 debut album ‘Mornin Evenin’ received strong reviews and an invitation to perform at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe as part of the Americana Festival. Ben Mastwyk’s second album ‘Winning Streak’ had rave reviews from both Country Update and Rhythms Magazine.

Rhythms Magazine called his songs “Rich with meaning and truth … real and raw, just as true country music should be”. Unpaved described his brand of Americana as “straight-up country from the Hank Williams school via Townes Van Zandt & Willie Nelson”. Mastwyk has travelled the long highways of America’s south penning tales and poems as playful and amusing as they are dark and heartbreaking.

Rose Zita Falko grew up and lives in Melbourne. Her early life was surrounded by singing, poetry, and literature and this fuelled a passion to further explore the world of music. This journey has been a tapestry of exciting and eclectic opportunities with the focus now firmly resting on singing and songwriting.

Her debut EP “Original Son’ sold out the Wesley Anne and gained a feature review on the Australian Musician website; “Her songwriting gift, her remarkable voice, her professionalism, warm and welcoming stage presence, and her genuine delight in the patrons’ response had made it a musical evening to remember.”

Rose’s involvement at the DAG Songwriting Retreat co-writing with the likes of Felicity Urquhart and Kevin Bennett, was followed by a successful east coast summer tour with Kelly Brouhaha and Andrew Thomson and a series of vibrant performances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

She attended the REO rafting songwriters retreat in Canada where she was mentored by the likes of Bonnie Hayes (Bonnie Raitt, Cher and Billy Idol) and Matty Benbrook (Dido, Paolo Nutini, Faithless, Bobby Buzini). She was lucky enough to co-write with international artists such as Bobby Buzini and Nick Howe. Back in her hometown, there’s been time to support Jen Mize and Mark Sholtez, co-write with Gretta Ziller and successfully launch her debut EP, Original Son.

There is no archetypal Rose Zita Falko song, her songs range from a quiet soulful meander through to upbeat toe-tapping sing-alongs and have been described as sonic landscapes dressed in Western Noir melodies. When asked about her songwriting, she reveals that her songs come from a place of dedication to the love of poetry, a love of melody and from a place of trust in the art of improvisation whether it is working with a song for a day or over many years.

Now, even though it’s straying from blues, I’d just like to mention ‘An afternoon of Silent Films with piano accompaniment’ at the Victorian Railway Institute, hosted by Geelong Jazz Soirees. Not blues, but should be great fun!

I’m doing both!

Written by John Lamp