After releasing a solo album a couple of years ago, Queensland’s Mark Boulle is back with his band mates for Haba Dudes album number five. On Gofer Land the outfit is billed as Mark Boulle and the Haba Dudes but make no mistake; this recording is still very much a band effort.

Mark Boulle’s ruggedly raw voice stands out front and centre, but the instruments really elevate it, whether they’re the swell of strings, a classic piano, or some simple hand claps. These elements help bring the songs Mark penned to life. They add gravity to the words, and realise Mark’s vision.

When you slip a Haba Dudes record on, you know you’ll be entertained. At 15 tracks Gofer Land is an ambitious album, but its diversity ensures that it doesn’t drag. The band seems to delight in delivering the unexpected.

The album starts with the laidback “Lovin in Your Mind,” a track which is as much fun to listen to as it seems like it was to perform. “Hurt U Again” is another of those numbers that feels like we’re listening to a jam session. I was thrilled to be taken along for the ride. More highlights come with the ultra-catchy “Take Me Slowly” and sultry “Animal Kingdom.” I was beginning to almost feel like I knew what to expect from the Haba Dudes, some gypsy music here, a little folk there, when they threw me for a loop with “Gypsy Man.” This track shows real fire with its rocking, reverby guitars.

I guess you never really know what to expect from the Haba Dudes. And that’s just why I like them, and their latest release Gofer Land.

Image source: Mark Boulle and the Haba Dudes Bandcamp page

Groovin’ the Moo is back and ready to rock regional Australia once again.

The organisers have assembled an impressive lineup for 2013, including international acts They Might Be Giants, Tegan and Sara, The Kooks, and Example. The local talent is hardly lacking either, with The Temper Trap, Tame Impala, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Flume, and Urthboy all on the bill.

Punters will also enjoy local food stalls, markets, slingshot rides, and chill-out areas for those moments when it all gets too much.

Maitland and Canberra festival goers can get their tickets from 9 am on February 5, and music lovers in Bendigo, Townsville, and Bunbury can get theirs on February 6. How clever yet simple to see a festival staggering sales to prevent system meltdown! All tickets will be available from the Groovin’ the Moo website and Moshtix for $99.90 plus booking fee.

27 April 2013 – Maitland Showground, Maitland
28 April 2013 – University of Canberra, Canberra
4 May 2013 – Prince of Wales Showground, Bendigo
5 May 2013 – Murray Sports Complex @ Townsville Cricket Grounds, Townsville
11 May 2013 – Hay Park, Bunbury

Image source: Shervin Lainez @ Wikipedia Commons

They’ve taken their own sweet time about it, but Panama will finally tour their debut EP It’s Not Over.

I suppose we can’t really blame Panama. After the record dropped in November there was Christmas madness to contend with, and then the New Year festivities. Now that everyone’s lives have calmed down, it’s now the perfect time for the Sydney quintet to play for the masses.

They’ll kick off their national tour with a hometown show tomorrow night before looping around the country. If that’s not enough notice for you Sydney, don’t worry about it. You’ll get another chance to see Panama when they complete the tour where it began late next month.

30 January 2013 – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi
14 February 2013 – The Ripe 1st Birthday @ Workers Club, Melbourne
15 February 2013 – Cats @ Rocker Bar, Adelaide
16 February 2013 – Perth Festival, Perth
22 February 2013 – O-Fest @ UTS, Sydney

Image used with permission from Positive Feedback

Victorian radio station PBS will open up their airwaves and doors for the second annual Drive Live event next month. From February 4 to 8, exciting Aussie acts will play live in the studio from 5 to 7 pm.

Bands including Lower Plenty, Pony Face, The Townhouses, Brothers Grim, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, NoZu, and Absolute Boys have already signed up to be involved.

If you’re a local you can get down to the studio to see it all unfold. You can RSVP to reserve your spot from tomorrow; keep an eye on the PBS website to find out how. If you can’t be a part of the action, you can tune in to 106.7FM or the PBS website, which features a live stream and a Drive Live program.

Image used with permission from Show Off Services

This Australia Day I wanted to look at the Aussie songs my husband loves. That might seem like the sort of sappy thing married women do sometimes, but hear me out. My husband is an American. He moved to Australia a little over seven years ago to start our lives together. You’d be surprised how much culture shock you can have moving to another English speaking country. I remember taking him to Day on the Green shows, and seeing him bewildered as the crowds sang out iconic songs that had seeped into our consciousness. We didn’t even remember learning them, yet we knew every word.

Gradually though, he assimilated and those songs became a part of his story too. It’s unavoidable perhaps when you live with a music-mad woman like myself. I’ve loved watching as he found his favourite Aussie artists and songs that resonated. And so here’s an Aussie post for him, and for those of you out there that share his musical taste.

Happy Australia Day!

If you loved Mama Kin’s new single “Was It Worth It” as much as I did, you’ll be excited to hear the Fremantle songstress will hit the road this spring to support the release of her new album The Magician’s Daughter.

The album will drop on February 22 and Mama will hit the road just a week later with special guest, Melbourne multi-instrumentalist Spender. I saw Mama supporting The Waifs a while ago and she threatened to overshadow the support act. Music lovers are in for a very special night at the following shows. Tickets are on sale now from the venues.

1-4 March 2013 – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup
7 March 2013 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
13 March 2013 – Lizotte’s, Kincumber
14 March 2013 – The Basement, Sydney
15 March 2013 – Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba
23 March 2013 – West Coast Blues N Roots, Fremantle
11 April 2013 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
12 April 2013 – The Loft, Warrnambool
17 April 2013 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle
19 April 2013 – Mullum Civic Hall, Mullumbimby
20 April 2013 – No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen
21 April 2013 – The Pelican Playhouse, Grafton
26-28 April 2013 – Fairbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge
30 May 2013 – Fly By Night, Fremantle
31 May 2013 – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough

Image used with permission from Two Fish Out of Water

If the lead single “Walking on Me” is any indication, music lovers are in for a real treat when Jordan Millar releases his album Cold Lights on Curious Minds next month.

This is such a feel-good song, with a great marriage of pop, folk, and blues. I love the acoustic guitar that anchors the easy vocals. This is really great stuff that takes me back to some of John Mayer’s early material. And as anyone who knows me knows, that’s a very good thing.

Jordan Millar’s Cold Lights on Curious Minds hits stores on February 15.

Pete Murray is back with The Byron Sessions, a reimagining of his last album Blue Sky Blue.

It might seem a bit superfluous to rerecord the album that only hit stores in 2011, but I think there’s method in the madness. While the album got to number six on the Aussie charts, it certainly didn’t make the impact of Feeler or even See the Sun. Whatever he did the first time didn’t resonate, but this new recording might thanks to some well selected special guests.

The lead single “Blue Sky Blue” features a great rap bridge from up and coming urban act Fantine. I love the edge it brings to Pete Murray’s gentle song. Other tracks on the album feature Ash Grunwald, Busby Marou, Bernard Fanning, and Katie Noonan. Rather than feeling like he’s relying on big names to sell the songs, the rerecordings feel like spontaneous jam sessions, so much richer than the originals.

The Byron Sessions is about community, from the original idea jamming at home with mates, right through to its realization as an album, so it makes sense to get out there and see the people that have really supported me over the years, no matter what corner of Australia they’re from,” Pete explained. “It’s about celebrating the last decade coming full circle and sharing it with a community of people around the country who have all had their own journeys and life experiences at the same time.”

He’s clearly proud of The Byron Sessions, which hits stores on February 1, because he’s taking it just about everywhere starting with a show in Byron tonight. Seriously, can you believe how many gigs he’s doing? Here are all the places you can see Pete Murray play over the coming months.

24 January 2013 – The Brewery, Byron Bay
14 February 2013 – The Spirit Bar & Lounge, Traralgon
15 February 2013 – The Forge Theatre, Bairnsdale
16 February 2013 – The Wool Exchange, Geelong
17 February 2013 – Riverboats Music Festival, Echuca
20 February 2013 – Yamba Bowls Club, Yamba
21 February 2013 – Lismore Workers Club, Lismore
22 February 2013 – Armidale Ex Services Club, Armidale
23 February 2013 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour
27 February 2013 – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany
28 February 2013 – Esperance Civic Centre, Esperance
1 March 2013 – Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie
2 March 2013 – Capitol, Perth
3 & 4 March 2013 – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
7 March 2013 – Commercial Hotel, South Morang
8 March 2013 – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
9 March 2013 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully
10 March 2013 – Pier Hotel, Frankston
14 March 2013 – Regent Multiplex, Ballarat
15 March 2013 – Corner Hotel, Richmond
16 March 2013 – The Depot, Adelaide
17 March 2013 – Nautilus Theatre, Port Lincoln
21 March 2013 – Port Macquarie Panthers, Port Macquarie
22 March 2013 – Club Forster, Forster
23 March 2013 – The Cambridge, Newcastle
24 March 2013 – West Tamworth Leagues Club, Tamworth
4 April 2013 – Orange Ex Services Club, Orange
5 April 2013 – Dubbo RSL, Dubbo
6 April 2013 – Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
7 April 2013 – Hornsby RSL, Hornsby
9 & 10 April 2013 – Lizotte’s, Dee Why
11 April 2013 – The Abbey, Canberra
12 April 2013 – The York Theatre, Sydney
13 April 2013 – Waves, Wollongong
14 April 2013 – Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Batemans Bay
18 April 2013 – Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone
19 April 2013 – Magnums Hotel, Airlie Beach
20 April 2013 – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville
21 April 2013 – Brothers Leagues Club, Cairns
23 April 2013 – Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich
24 April 2013 – Hi-Fi, Brisbane
26 April 2013 – Villa Noosa, Noosaville
27 April 2013 – The Northern, Byron Bay
28 April 2013 – Twin Towns, Tweed Heads

Nick Barker will lead a stellar lineup of local musicians celebrating the life of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott in Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be – The Story of Bon Scott.

Melbourne’s Corner Hotel will host the event on Tuesday February 19, the 33rd anniversary of Bon’s passing. Something tells me Bon would approve of the pub venue. The show will tell the story of Bon’s life, from his childhood in Scotland to his time living the rock and roll dream with the rest of Acca Dacca. And yes, there will be plenty of music.

Celebrate Bon’s life with Nick Barker, Tommy Boyce, Justin Garner, Alex Raunjak, and Steve Brown at the Corner Hotel on February 19. Tickets are $27 plus booking fee from the Corner Hotel box office.

Image used with permission from Shows in Space Publicity

Thought the Byron Bay Bluesfest lineup couldn’t get any bigger? Think again. The organisers have just announced a fresh crop of incredible international and local artists.

The most exciting for me is the coming together of Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. These blues icons have just recorded a new album together called Get Up which they’ll showcase with their set. It seems meant to be as they actually met Bluesfest way back in 1996.

After Zac Brown Band were announced as Jason Mraz’s support act, I suspected they’d soon announce a Bluesfest show. It seems my hunch was correct; they’ll play on Easter Monday.

It’ll also be great to see the oldies from The Music Maker Blues Revue, including Ironing Board Sam and Major Handy, showing the young things how it’s done.

Music lovers will also enjoy sets from Leonardo’s Bride, Skipping Girl Vinegar, and Kim Churchill. And that’s along with everyone else we already knew about, including Robert Plant, Santana, Paul Simon, and Bonnie Raitt!

Bluesfest hits Byron Bay on the Easter long weekend, from March 28 to April 1. There are still some tickets left but I wouldn’t wait too long to get yours. This announcement should encourage a few more folks to indulge!