Blues News #732

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Blues News #732

For the first time in ages, we are seeing some welcome rain. Mind you, with the smoke we’ve been getting, it’s been had to actually see the rain but the hailstones were a giveaway!

We are still seeing gigs coming through to support bushfire victims. It’s hard to exaggerate the scope of events we are seeing for this cause, ranging from individual performances, local pub gigs and larger performances with international stars even throwing their weight behind the cause.

One local biggie I’d like to mention is ‘Dig Deep for Fire Relief’ coming up at The Sphinx on Sunday 16 February from 2pm-9pm. There will be three stages, raffles, auctions, sausage sizzle – all the usual fundraising suspects. Some of our favourites will be there: Sweet Felicia & the Honeytones, Blue Sunday, Ethan Farmer with Ivan Fisher, Suzanne Petersen plus more. It should be a great way to empty your wallet in a good cause.

Now I’d like to make a mention of Studio@54 on Grubb Road in Ocean Grove. This is a new one for me, at least as a music venue. In actual fact, they did kick off their summer music program last year, but I didn’t make it along. They’re probably better known as an Art Gallery and for the art workshops they host, rather than for music. Their main role is to share the talents and expertise of high quality local, interstate and international artists.

But I digress…

They have a lovely courtyard which was just begging to be used, and live music when the weather was good made an obvious choice. The gigs are relatively low frequency, about once a month, and on the 16th of February, Wayne Jury will be appearing there with Justin Brady. Wayne with guitar and vocals, of course, and Justin (best known for his work with Things of Stone and Wood) playing fiddle, harmonica and mandolin. Tickets via Trybooking.

At Pistol Pete’s on February the 8th, the Four Lions will be making an appearance all the way from Bendigo. These roots rockers are kicking off 2020 with a handful of Victorian shows, before heading back into the studio to record album No.5, hot on the heels of a successful 12 months where the band released its fourth album, the acclaimed Hard Days.

The band plies its trade in a potent blend of roots, rock, and alt-country that channels the spirit of their musical heroes, including Wilco, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. Punters can expect to get a sneak preview of new songs from the forthcoming album on the night. “I’m excited about recording and can’t wait to get back into the studio,” declares frontman Shann Lions.

Hard Days was the Herald Sun’s Album of the Week, a first for an independent, regionally based band, with its songs garnering national airplay. And it provided the ideal opportunity for the five-piece – consisting of lead singer/guitarist Lions, lead guitarist Keith MacQueen, keyboardist Stephen Briggs, drummer Gavan Moncrieff, and bassist Bradley Bradford – to further cement their reputation as one of their hometown’s most prolific and hardest-working bands.

Three choices there, Dig Deep for Bushfire Relief, Wayne Jury and Josh Brady, or the Four Lions.

Written by John Lamp
Photo by Kim Patrick Callow