Corey Harris is one of the great unsung talents of the blues genre. He doesn’t have the global profile of a BB King or a Buddy Guy, two of the many artists he’s toured with, but he deserves it. Something tells me he doesn’t mind his lack of superstar status. The unassuming performer can quietly go about what he does, creating music which blends blues with soul, rock, reggae, and more.

Corey Harris hasn’t been to Australia in 16 years, but in a couple of weeks he’ll be back playing shows for local audiences. If you want an indication of what you’ll see at the show, check out this video which features performances from the North Sea Jazz Festival in April.

Here are all the places you can catch Corey playing while he’s in Oz.

19 August 2016 – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne
20 August 2016 – Harvester Moon Café, Bellarine
21 August 2016 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle
23 August 2016 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
24 August 2016 – Harmonie-German Club, Canberra
25 August 2016 – The Basement, Sydney
26-28 August 2016 – Gympie Muster, Gympie

I think Montaigne is one of the most exciting acts to emerge from Australia in recent times. I must admit, some of her singles haven’t been to my tastes. But true artists don’t just create songs that please everyone all of the time. They push the boundaries and dare to be different. When her songs have connected with me, I’ve fallen head over heels. That’s the case with Montaigne’s latest single, “Because I Love You.”

It’s as catchy as any pop song, but under its upbeat tune there’s the dark postmortem of a relationship gone wrong. And Montaigne’s voice, always on point, is shown off to full effect here.

“Because I Love You” is the latest cut from Montaigne’s debut album Glorious Heights. She’s hitting the road next month to bring its songs to fans around Australia.

13 September 2016 – The Spiegeltent @ Brisbane Festival, Brisbane (ALL AGES)
16 September 2016 – Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba (ALL AGES)
23 September 2016 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
24 September 2016 – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
1 October 2016 – Beyond Festival, Canberra (ALL AGES)
2 October 2016 – Wildwood Festival, Port Macquarie (ALL AGES)
3 October 2016 – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra (ALL AGES)
7 October 2016 – Uni Bar, Wollongong
8 October 2016 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
9 October 2016 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle (ALL AGES)
14 October 2016 – Workers Club, Geelong
15 October 2016 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Image used with permission from On the Map PR

Dead Letter Circus’ national tour is fast approaching, and tickets are still available. If you’ve been on the fence about catching them this time around, it’s worth noting the band will donate one dollar from every ticket sold to Sea Shepherd.

This money will help fund fuelling vessels for South Sea missions, feed the Sea Shepherd crew, and raise awareness about the importance of ocean conservation. If you’re passionate about the cause, you’ll also have the opportunity to match Dead Letter Circus’ donation when you purchase your ticket.

“It never ceases to amaze me the level of support Sea Shepherd receives from caring, compassionate people like Dead Letter Circus,” said Jeff Hansen, Sea Shepherd’s managing director. “Without this selfless support, our ships would remain idle at dock and not be able to defend our oceans. Sea Shepherd is delighted to have the support and on board partnership of Dead Letter Circus with a dollar from each ticket sold going straight to our fuel tanks, plus stalls at all their gigs that we encourage all to get along and see.”

And let’s not forget that your ticket also buys you a cracking night out. Dead Letter Circus is at the top of its game, with tracks like “The Burning Number” helping to propel the band’s most recent album Aesthesis to number two on the ARIA Charts. Add in Clint Boge, the former lead singer of The Butterfly Effect, appearing everywhere but WA and Melbourne band Rival Fire warming up the crowds every night and it’s an irresistible bill for hard rock fans.

18 August 2016 – The Gov, Adelaide
19 August 2016 – 170 Russell, Melbourne
20 August 2016 – The Metro, Sydney
21 August 2016 – The Cambridge, Newcastle
25 August 2016 – Brunswick Heads Hotel, Brunswick Heads
26 August 2016 – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast
27 August 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
1 September 2016 – Players Bar, Mandurah
2 September 2016 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River
3 September 2016 – Capitol, Perth
4 September 2016 – Newport Hotel, Fremantle

Melbourne rock act Residual has really impressed me with their latest single “All For You.”

It’s one of those songs that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Sam Burtt’s vocals are so powerful and the driving music just hits you in the gut.

“All For You is about a relationship I was in,” Sam explained. “We had both recognised that the end was nigh, but loved each other too much to ever call it a day. However, that day came a day before we started tracking vocals. I remember sitting in the courtyard at the studio and giving the lyrics a pretty substantial re-write. This song is really about giving yourself to someone, despite the knowledge that it will soon end.”

The film clip is also killer, the perfect foil for the track’s angsty lyrics.

“All For You” comes from Residual’s EP Haunt, which is slated for release on August 26. The band will celebrate the release of the single and EP with a swag of shows in their home state, including a residency at The Workers Club, and a special Sydney gig.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been properly playing shows. We’ve done a lot of travelling whilst simultaneously preparing for this release, so there’s already a real sense of natural excitement for us – and if we do our job right, that will really rub off on the audience,” Sam said in a statement. “We just want to show everyone how much growing up we’ve done.”

Witness Residual’s evolution for yourself at the following shows. Tickets are available from the band’s website.

8 August 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
12 August 2016 – Kubu Studio, Geelong
13 August 2016 – Tap House, Bendigo
15 August 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
18 August 2016 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
20 August 2016 – The Loft, Warrnambool
22 August 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
25 August 2016 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
29 August 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne

My Echo is getting nostalgic with the release of the new single “Old and Grey,” which gets an official release today. The track speaks of old friendships that have been through hardships and come out the other side stronger than ever.

To celebrate the release, My Echo will head out on a quick tour of select capital cities. Fans can look forward to hearing “Old and Grey” and other songs from the Melbourne band’s forthcoming debut album Brothers at the following shows.

30 July 2016 – The Crown and Anchor, Adelaide
5 August 2016 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
13 August 2016 – Botany View Hotel, Sydney

I’ve fallen hard for “Twenty Two,” the latest single by Sydney’s Lazy Colts.

This is one of those very introverted, special songs. The vocals aren’t big, the melody won’t get stuck in your head, but it’s a track with something to say. Take the time to really listen and I’m sure you’ll be captivated too. The gritty, honest video is just so striking too.

“Twenty Two” comes from Lazy Colts’ debut album Trojan, which will drop on August 5. The following day Lazy Colts will embark on a tour to promote its release.

6 August 2016 – Wesley Anne, Northcote (18+)
7 August 2016 – Labour in Vain, Fitzroy (18+)
13 August 2016 – Sancho’s Dirty Laundry, Canberra (18+)
20 August 2016 – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane (18+)
27 August 2016 – Franks Wild Years, Thirroul (ALL AGES)
28 August 2016 – The Oxford Circus, Sydney (18+)
4 September 2016 – Hotel Blue, Katoomba (ALL AGES)

“Wanaka,” the second single from Melbourne indie folksters The Peeks, reminds us all just how powerful a voice can be.

The single is an exercise in restraint. The gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar supports Fraser Henry’s voice beautifully. His vocals are so raw and powerful, reminding me a little of David Gray’s. It builds slowly, taking listeners along for the ride. I am completely in love with this song!

“Wanaka” comes from The Peeks’ debut album Grow Up/Grow Down, which has only just been released. The Peeks will launch it for a hometown crowd first before travelling around the country.

30 July 2016 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
5 August 2016 – The Milk Factory, Brisbane
6 August 2016 – The Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay
11 August 2016 – The Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
12 August 2016 – The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Newcastle
27 August 2016 – The Loft, Warrnambool

I’ve long been a fan of Henry Wagons’ slightly unhinged style of Americana folk. He’s served up another winner with his latest song “Head Or Heart.”

“Nashville is a town full of some of the finest in music and booze. A musician’s paradise! It’s the perfect storm for getting in a real mess. ‘Head or Heart’ is a song about that time of the night when it becomes difficult to decide between your rational mind, or what’s below the belt. The head or the heart,” Henry explained in a press release.

The clip has got just the right sort of spontaneous feel to suit the song. It sees Henry on a music-making frenzy, shaking the foundations of a fully stocked garage along with the band that helped him put together his recently released solo album After What I Did Last Night.

Henry Wagons is currently touring around North America. He’s set to announce some Aussie dates soon.

16 & 17 July 2016 – Vancouver Folk Festival, Vancouver
21 July 2016 – The Flying Steamshovel, Rossland
23 July 2016 – Vinomania Secret Wine Party, Edmonton
24 July 2016 – Interstellar Rodeo, Edmonton
25 July 2016 – Secret Show, Edmonton
26 July 2016 – Ironwood, Calgary
29 July 2016 – Live From the Divide, Bozeman
30 July 2016 – Red Ants Pants Festival, White Sulphur Springs
3 August 2016 – Music City Roots, Nashville
5 August 2016 – Hill Country Live DC, Washington
6 August 2016 – Hill Country Live NYC, New York City
11 August 2016 – Dakota Tavern, Toronto
12 August 2016 – Pearl Company, Hamilton
14 August 2016 – Interstellar Rodeo, Winnipeg

It seems like Australians have a lot to be angry about, because I think punk music is the strongest it’s been in this country for a really long time. The latest punk act to cross my path is Jones the Cat, a four-piece out of Newcastle who are currently touring their new EP Paste On Smile.

These guys formed at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music in 2013, and they’ve been relentlessly gigging and recording ever since. The EP features the lead single “I Don’t Want to Die Here (Anymore),” an introspective take on gentrification and outgrowing a city that this girl from Newie gets all too well.

These are the remaining dates for the Paste On Smile EP tour.

21 July 2016 – Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney
22 July 2016 – Crown & Anchor Hotel, Adelaide
23 July 2016 – Whole Lotta Love, Melbourne
5 August 2016 – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle

Image used with permission from Done Music Publicity

Adelaide rockers The Hard Aches have served up a superb slice of angst with their latest single “Glad That You’re Gone.” I can’t help thinking of You Am I when I listen to this track. There’s a similar crunchy, organic truth to what they’re doing which is really exciting.

“Glad That You’re Gone” is getting some airplay on Triple J and The Hard Aches are making the most of it. They’ve just wrapped up a tour supporting Tired Lion, and in a couple of months’ time they’ll be out again supporting Luca Brasi and playing Poison City Weekender. No doubt it’s only a matter of time before we see these guys headlining.

17 August 2017 – The Basement, Canberra
18 August 2017 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
19 August 2017 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
20 August 2017 – The Zoo, Brisbane
25 August 2017 – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
26 August 2017 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
27 August 2017 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
28 August 2017 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
9-11 September 2017 – Poison City Weekender @ Max Watts, Melbourne