Jordie Lane

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Jordie Lane

“The Port Fairy Folk Festival is like a big reunion,” grinned singer-songwriter and storyteller Jordie Lane. “There’s a whole bunch of my friends on the bill – a lot of my buddies from Melbourne who I haven’t seen in a while – and my parents [his mother, lovable Aussie comedian Denise Scott] are coming to see me there from Melbourne. It will be the first time I’ve caught up with them in almost a year.”
Lane spent years cutting his teeth in pubs and clubs across the country before deciding to pull up stumps and head to the US. “Right now, home is Los Angeles, California,” he says in an impressive Beverly Hillbilly-esque accent. “I recently completed a tour of the East Coast with an amazing band called The Stray Birds, from Pennsylvania. They were such a pleasure to tour with.”
Lane goes on to tell a hilarious account of The Stray Birds coming to his defence when a clueless venue promoter wanted to leave him off the bill. After a little cajoling from the band (“he’s an international artist” and “we love him, and the audience will too”) Lane was allowed to soundcheck, and in turn was allowed to play his allotted 30 minutes opening slot. Here’s the kicker – upon introducing Lane to the eager crowd, the venue promoter jumps on stage claiming he’s found the next big thing, an undiscovered Australian talent, and that in fact it was HE who had to persuade the band to let him play! He assures me that once the initial shock wore off, everyone went on to play a fantastic show and it became just one more unforgettable memory of life on the road.
Others include the time they were stuck in the middle of a five feet snowstorm in Michigan, or more recently getting stuck in Boston for 24hrs on his way home to L.A. because of a dodgy door on the plane. “The door wasn’t staying open as we were all coming aboard, so the theory was it might not close properly during the flight. People were getting a little nervous and there’s no way we were staying on that plane – we’d likely be sucked out over Kansas or something!” Lane joked.
Home safe on solid ground, 2015 is shaping up to be another stellar year in the career of an amazing homegrown talent. In addition to returning to the Port Fairy Folk Festival in March, Lane is seeing out the summer on a 31-date tour of Australia and New Zealand, appearing at major festivals and regional venues including Beav’s Bar in Geelong on April 23. “I always have so much fun playing Geelong – it’s a place I’ll always come back to.
“At all the shows, I’ll be performing as a duo with Clare Reynolds; she’s also Australian but lives in America now, too. This will be our first time on a full tour as a duo,” Lane explained. “She sings amazing harmonies and plays percussion on my guitar case. I’m really looking forward to performing with her at Port Fairy.
“The line-up is pretty awesome! Sinead O’Connor and Buffy Sainte-Marie – I’ve never seen either of them live so I can’t wait. And Tracy McNeil & the GoodLife are playing … I used to be in a bluegrass duo with Tracy a while back. Oh, and of course John Butler is playing – such a cool guy. I run into him a bunch and always love catching up with him.
“You know, Port Fairy was one of the first major folk festivals that ever gave me a shot on their stage and that helped me get out there as a proper touring artist. I really love the fact that I’ll be back to play for the fourth time.”
When&Where: Ararat Live, Ararat – April 22 & Beav’s Bar, Geelong – April 23. Also, Port Fairy Folk Festival
By Natalie Rogers