It’s been some time since we heard anything new from Meg Mac, but I think it’s been worth the wait. Her new single “Low Blows” is an absolute cracker.

“Low Blows” tells an intimate story, as you might expect from a track that started its life on Meg’s piano in her Melbourne bedroom.

“The song is about the need to stand up for myself – I don’t speak up or stand up for myself when I really need to,” she explained. “Since releasing it I’ve received lots of messages suggesting I’m not the only one who struggles with this.”

While it had humble beginnings, Meg recorded the track at Fort Worth’s Niles City Sound Studio. It sounds amazing, which is a great sign for the rest of Meg’s forthcoming debut album.

Drum and percussion enthusiasts, this one is for you. The Sydney Drum and Percussion Show rolls into town next month, and you won’t want to miss it.

The live performance program is particularly impressive, with Thomas Lang (George Michael, Tina Turner), Virgil Donati (Steve Vai, Tommy Emmanuel), and Michael Schack (Netsky) all on the bill. Lang and Donati also promise to play together for the first time ever.

It’s also the perfect place to buy, with a range of vendors selling drum kits, cymbals, traditional, orchestral, hand, and electronic percussion instruments, and accessories, as well as plenty of items exclusive to the show. Attendees can also take part in drum circles and percussion workshops during the event. If you love drums, this is the place to be.

“There’s so much about percussion, it’s the world’s most accessible form of music – people take their first steps in music through percussion,” explained Australian Music Association CEO Rob Walker. “We are excited to showcase our industry’s products and the wealth of local talent that Sydney and Australia has to offer, as well as international guests – three of the best in the world! We seek to educate and entertain, and showcase and grow our drum and percussion community.”

The Sydney Drum and Percussion Show hits Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion on May 27 and 28. Tickets are on sale now from the event’s website.

Image used with permission from On the Map PR

Kirsty Lee Akers continues to show plenty of sass with her latest single “Ain’t That Kinda Girl.” It’s a tongue-in-cheek song exploring the expectations placed on modern girls that Kirsty refuses to meet. It’s a spirited single that’s loads of fun.

The song was released while Kirsty is on a bit of a hot streak, hitting number one on the Country Music Channel (CMC) charts for her previous four successive singles. CMC named “Ain’t That Kinda Girl” its “country pick” on release, so no doubt it’s also destined for greatness!

It’s hard to believe The Ten Tenors have been making music for the last 20 years. To celebrate the milestone, the acclaimed Aussie group has just released its first album for Sony Masterworks, Wish You Were Here. The album pays tribute to some of our most loved, dearly departed performers of our time, including David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Jon English, and Prince.

I must admit, listening to it, I thought I knew what to expect. I expected music to please the oldies, the big torch songs with operatic leanings. And this album certainly delivered that with epic performances of tracks like “Hallelujah” and “Six Ribbons.” But there’s also some really funky contemporary stuff, like stellar versions of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and the title track “Wish You Were Here.”

After recently completing yet another sold-out tour of the United States, the lads are in fine form and ready to wow Australian crowds at the following shows.

1 August 2017 – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
2 August 2017 – Hamer Hall, Melbourne
3 August 2017 – Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury
4 & 5 August 2017 – State Theatre, Sydney
6 August 2017 – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra
10 August 2017 – The Events Centre, Caloundra
11 August 2017 – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane (Matinee & Evening Shows)
12 August 2017 – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
17, 18, & 19 August 2017 – Regal Theatre, Perth

Image used with permission from SGC Media

It took just a matter of hours for the guys from Grinspoon to sell out multiple venues on their upcoming Guide to Better Living 20th Anniversary tour. I didn’t even have time to get a news announcement out before tickets were snapped up. So I’m getting in quickly this time and letting you know more shows have been announced to meet demand.

The Grinners promise to play Guide to Better Living in its entirety, start to finish, for their ardent fans. They’ll be ably supported by Hockey Dad at all shows except Darwin and the Gold Coast.

To coincide with the shows, Grinspoon will release a 20th Anniversary edition of Guide to Better Living, expanding the original 16-track album to a 49-track extravaganza with live tracks, unreleased recordings, and other rarities. You can also get a limited edition vinyl pressing for the first time. This comes packaged with a second disc recorded at New York City’s legendary venue, CBGB’s.

So there’s plenty for Grinspoon fans to get excited about, especially these shows!

23 June 2017 – Kay St Entertainment Complex, Traralgon (18+)
30 June 2017 – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (Licensed All Ages)
1 July 2017 – Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave (18+ SOLD OUT)
6 July 2017 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Licensed All Ages NEW SHOW)
7 July 2017 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Licensed All Ages SOLD OUT)
8 July 2017 – The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane (18+ SOLD OUT)
9 July 2017 – The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane (18+ NEW SHOW)
29 July 2017 – One Tropical Day @ Darwin Ski Club, Darwin (Licensed All Ages)
3 August 2017 – The Wool Exchange, Geelong (18+)
4 August 2017 – Pier Bandroom, Frankston (18+)
5 August 2017 – Granada Tavern, Hobart (18+ SOLD OUT)
6 August 2017 – Granada Tavern, Hobart (18+ NEW SHOW)
10 August 2017 – The Jack, Cairns (18+)
11 August 2017 – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville (18+)
12 August 2017 – Magnums, Airlie Beach (18+)
17 August 2017 – Villa Noosa, Noosaville (18+)
18 August 2017 – Redland Bay Hotel, Redland Bay (18+ SOLD OUT)
19 August 2017 – Shaka Fest @ Miami Tavern, Gold Coast (18+)
24 August 2017 – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough (18+ SOLD OUT)
25 August 2017 – Metro City, Perth (18+)
26 August 2017 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide (All Ages)
31 August 2017 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (18+ SOLD OUT)
1 September 2017 – Lismore City Hall, Lismore (18+)
2 September 2017 – Racecourse Hotel, Ipswich (18+ SOLD OUT)
14 September 2017 – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay (18+ SOLD OUT)
15 September 2017 – Waves, Wollongong (18+ SOLD OUT)
16 September 2017 – UC Refectory, Canberra (18+)
20 September 2017 – CSU, Wagga Wagga (18+)
21 September 2017 – Barooga Sports Club, Barooga (18+ NEW SHOW)
22 September 2017 – Beer Deluxe, Albury (18+)
23 September 2017 – NEX Newcastle, Newcastle (18+ NEW SHOW)

With the album Head in the Trees, Heart on the Ground set to drop in just a few days’ time, I figured I should introduce you to The Singing Skies’ beautiful new single “Mountains.”

This is one of those songs that stopped me in my tracks. It’s achingly beautiful, with a haunting quality that draws you in and doesn’t let go. Take a moment to really listen, because it deserves way more than becoming background music for whatever it is you’re doing.

Head in the Trees, Heart on the Ground
is released on April 21. The Singing Skies will play the Red Rattler in Marrickville on that night before hitting Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills for Vivid Music on June 2.

Separately Dustin Tebbutt and Lisa Mitchell are creating some of the most beautiful music coming out of this country. So you just know that when they join forces, it’s going to be special. After both packing in crowds at venues across Europe, this talented twosome is coming home for the Distant Call National Tour.

Dustin and Lisa will share the same band and combine their collective energy for a truly unique 100-minute show each night. Dustin said he was inspired to perform with Lisa while touring Europe.

“Lisa and I have known each other for a few years, and we’d started looking at doing a tour together. I was in Amsterdam doing some shows and happened to be talking through it all with my keys player who also plays for Lisa. I think at one point we were joking that they could just stay on stage for both of our sets, and then the Idea to share a band started making more sense. It kind of grew from there,” he explained. “What we’re looking at now is a really collaborative show, where we share the stage, songs, and musicians; weaving our songs together. I’ll be playing some of Lisa’s music with her and she’ll be adding her magic to some of my songs. I think it’s going to be a really special run of shows.”

Tickets are available from the venues and through Dustin and Lisa’s websites.

10 June 2017 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
11 June 2017 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
15 June 2017 – The Triffid, Brisbane (Early 5pm show)
16 June 2017 – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
17 June 2017 – Solbar, Maroochydore
23 June 2017 – Newport Hotel, Fremantle
24 June 2017 – Badlands, Perth
30 June 2017 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
1 July 2017 – The Gov, Adelaide

Image used with permission from Mucho Bravado

I’ve been so impressed by everything I’ve heard from Melbourne soul outfit The Meltdown. So naturally when the band released its self-titled debut album, I couldn’t wait to wrap my ears around it. And I’ve been listening ever since.

The opening track “Darkness Into Light” sets the bar high with its epic gospel feel. It’s such a strong way to start an album, but the rest of the album certainly doesn’t feel like it lags. Every song feels like a hit, with big brassy notes and plenty of swagger. “Don’t Hesitate” feels like it could have come straight from an Otis Redding record. It’s got such a cool groove. The swampy “How Funny is Another Man’s Pain” is another real highlight.

I love it when The Meltdown is big and brassy, but the band is equally effective when things are pared back. The poignant “Forever and Always” and the striking closing number “Colours in the Sky” show just how effective restrained songs can be.

The Meltdown is just so cool, soulful, with a hint of funk and blues. The band is one of the tightest working in the country, with sublime vocals from Simon Burke and its self-titled record is one of those albums that you want to listen to again as soon as it’s done.

The Meltdown will launch its debut album with the following shows.

21 April 2017 – Gumball Festival, Hunter Valley
5 May 2017 – Venue 505, Sydney
19 May 2017 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
16 June 2017 – The Republic, Hobart
30 June 2017 – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne

Port Douglas muso Bobby Maguire has knocked my socks off with his new single “Breathe.”

The presser calls him an indie rocker, but there’s so much more going on here than that descriptor suggests. It’s as catchy as any pop song, but there’s a punky attitude in that heavy bassline that I really like. It’s that got that epic feel that a song by Kings of Leon or Naked and Famous might have, but it doesn’t feel derivative either.

I’m really looking forward to hearing more from this talented newcomer.

It’s been a long time since Australia had a girl group to call its own, but we just might have found one in Chasing Velvet. This fun act has just released their debut single “Vertigo.” Listen at your own risk, because you’re unlikely to get it out of your head for weeks.

These girls have the look, but we probably shouldn’t dump them into the same basket as Little Mix and Fifth Harmony. They’ve got a little more of a rock-edge than those British chartbusters, and they’re also much more than just voices. While all the ladies contribute their vocal talents to the single, Luci also plays guitar, Jaslyn is on bass, and Naomi has real chops behind a drum kit. Perhaps we should start thinking of them as the female equivalent of 5 Seconds of Summer rather than the next Girlfriend or Bardot.

They also weren’t put together by a money-hungry record exec or a TV talent show either. Instead they met through mutual friends; sharing their musical interests quickly led to jam sessions and Chasing Velvet was born.

With catchy tunes and real musical talent behind them, I predict we’re going to see a lot of Chasing Velvet this year.

Image used with permission from Spotlight Music Group