It was a sad day for local music lovers when Philadelphia Grand Jury parted ways. Their single “Good News” was one of my favourite feel-good tracks for 2009. So I was thrilled to hear that Simon Berkfinger, Dan W Sweat, and MC Bad Genius have kissed and made up, and are ready to do it all again.

The Philly Jays are preparing to tour along the East Coast this month. If you’ve missed them, you’re going to want to get to these shows, not just to bask in the nostalgia but to give them the funds they need to record a follow-up to Hope is for Hopers. So dig deep folks and get yourself along to these reunion shows.

8 November 2014 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
12 November 2014 – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi (FREE)
13 November 2014 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
14 November 2014 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane https://www.facebook.com/philadelphiagrandjury

New Zealand born, Melbourne based singer-songwriter Sean Kirkwood released his debut EP Tales for the Barman way back in April, but it didn’t exactly break through. It’s a shame, because the songs I’ve heard are incredible, including the gorgeous “Don’t Want to Own You.” I just love the way he marries folk, roots, and blues, and his no frills vocals. There’s something so compellingly raw and organic about what he does. If you love it too, you can grab a free download on Sean’s Bandcamp page.

Hopefully more people will sit up and take notice when Sean takes his songs on the road this month. If you like what you hear check him out at the following venues.

13 November 2014 – Grace Darling, Melbourne
14 November 2014 – Exeter Hotel, Adelaide
15 November 2014 – Babushka Bar, Ballarat
17 November 2014 – The Phoenix, Canberra
22 November 2014 – Cambridge Sidebar, Newcastle
23 November 2014 – Pacific Hotel, Yamba
28 November 2014 – Cardigan Bar, Brisbane
29 November 2014 – Bohemian Bungalow, Eumundi (afternoon)
29 November 2014 – Upfront Club, Maleny (night)
30 November 2014 – Milk Factory, Brisbane
2 December 2014 – The Rails, Byron Bay
4 December 2014 – Seaview Tavern, Woolgoolga
7 December 2014 – Menagerie, Sydney

It takes a special someone to score the support slot for a legend like BB King. Someone like Melbourne born guitarist and songwriter Hamish Anderson.

Before he warms up the stage for BB, Hamish will be back on home soil to support the release of his swampy, sexy new single “Burn” and his new EP Restless, which hits stores on November 7. Hamish said he “wanted the recording to capture the sound, to be like a Polaroid. Imperfections and all.” And isn’t that refreshing in this day of autotune?

Hamish is basing himself in the U.S. now, so this is a rare chance to see this Australian-born talent performing. Tickets are on sale now for the following shows.

13 November 2014 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
20 November 2014 – Side Bar @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
21 November 2014 – Oaf Sydney, Sydney
26 November 2014 – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane (FREE)

I’ve got to tell you, the last few days have pretty much sucked. I’ve got the cold that I mentioned which is darkening my mood. And yesterday my mum’s cat, who she’d entrusted to my sister’s friend while she went overseas, went missing. Miss Prissy’s deaf, and about 40 minutes from home, so my thoughts are consumed with wondering about how the poor thing’s coping and whether we’ll be able to find her. Novacastrians, if you come across a pretty, small but adult, long-haired white cat, please shoot me off an email.

So needless to say, I needed something to break out of the funk, and I found it in the form of The Twoks and their recently released EP First Light. The Melbourne duo have created something really fabulous here. There’s a real ’80s pop vibe running through the songs, with their positivity and hooky melodies, but the addition of violins gives them a real twist. There was almost a Dave Matthews Band feel to the instrumentation whenever those fiddles kicked in.

The Twoks grabbed me with the opening song and title track “First Light,” a cheerful poppy number which just makes you feel good. I wasn’t quite feeling all the party chanting of “Hey,” but I’m making a mental note to give it another spin when my mood’s less dark. I was back on board for the breezy island ditty called “Hold On.” The lush layers of “Step Slide” are exquisite. By the closing number “My Place,” I wanted to reach for my hairbrush and dance around my living room.

The Twoks have such a great infectious energy. The songs are fabulous, anchored by the driving drumbeats of Mark Leahy and Xani Kolac’s angelic vocals and violin prowess. Her voice is sweet with just a hint of edge, a little like Susannah Hoffs of The Bangles. First Light was just what I needed to immerse myself in today.

If you like what you hear in that nifty widget, you can catch them at the following shows.

30 October 2014 – New Globe Theatre, Brisbane (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
31 October 2014 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
5 November 2014 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
6 November 2014 – The Vanguard, Sydney (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
7 November 2014 – The Heritage Hotel, Wollongong (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
8 November 2014 – Bella Union, Melbourne (EP launch)
14 November 2014 – Grace Darling, Melbourne (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
20-23 November 2014 – Mullum Music Festival, Mullum
28 November 2014 – Yay Ya’s, Perth (supporting Ezekiel Ox)
5 December 2014 – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide
13 December 2014 – Major Tom’s, Kyneton

Kristy Lee Peters is KLP, a Sydney electro diva who’s bowled me over with her debut single “Medicine.” The song has a cool easy groove, but Kristy’s heartfelt vocals give it just the right amount of edge.

You might not have heard of her before now, but KLP’s actually had an amazing year playing SXSW, Field Day, Splendour in the Grass, and Big Sound. She’s also the tastemaker behind triple J’s Saturday night House Party. Not bad for a girl who’s only just released her first track!

KLP is celebrating the release of “Medicine” with shows along the East Coast and WA. Catch her at the following venues over the next month or so.

2 November 2014 – Shebeen, Melbourne
13 November 2014 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
14 November 2014 – Stranded Festival, Stradbroke Island
15 November 2014 – The Factory, Sunshine Coast
22 November 2014 – Bayside Festival, Perth
29 November 2014 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
5 December 2014 – Why Not @ Fitzgeralds, Bunbury
6 December 2014 – You’re Welcome @ Toucan Club, Mandurah

Image used with permission from Rare Finds

I was really impressed with Citizen Kay when he burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. Rap isn’t usually my genre of choice, but I loved the way he blended it with big funky brass and created tracks brimming with positivity. He’s gone a bit darker with his latest song “Freedoom,” but I really appreciate the message behind it. I don’t normally post big slabs of quotes but I think Citizen Kay explains how the song came about better than anything I could write.

“’Freedoom’ is a song I’d actually written around the same time as Manage but it was so, so different to anything else I’d ever written around that time because it was inspired so differently to any other track I’d written,” Citizen Kay explained in a press release. “I was searching the net pointlessly one day, watching news reports around the world and random videos etc. when I clicked on a news story from America about some gang on gang/black on black shootings that had happened in a local area and how they’d escalated to the point where innocent people were being shot and killed simply because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Now being someone that’s lived in Australia for most of my life, I’ve always found these things almost unbelievable. As I was watching this news documentary there was one guy in particular being interviewed about his thoughts on everything and how the community could better itself and absolutely everything he talked about he used the word ‘we.’ After a bit the reporter picked up on it and asked why he kept saying ‘we’ and if it implied that he had any part of it and he responded with something along the lines of ‘Yeah, I have a part in it … you have a part in it and everyone on the planet has a part in it.’ He went on to explain that these things will never stop until ‘we’ make the true and conscious effort to strive for peace.

“There were more specifics about black people killing fellow ‘brothers’ as well for the most part of the video and from that I began writing lyrics but doing so from their perspective (particularly the one guy in the interview). I thought about what he might say if he was the one writing the song and ‘Freedoom’ is what came from it. It’s heart-breaking to see any sort of unnecessary violence anywhere or to anyone so although the song really had nothing to specifically do with me, it actually meant a lot more to me that a lot of other songs I’d written and that’s simply because it’s probably one of the only songs I’ve written completely from someone else’s shoes but still somehow, at the same time felt like it could have been me.”

“Freedoom” comes from Demokracy, a mini-album set for digital and CD release on November 7. Citizen Kay will celebrate its release with his own shows ahead of supporting Ice Cube on his sold-out shows around the country.

1 November 2014 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
7 November 2014 – Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide
8 November 2014 – Laundry Bar, Melbourne
21 November 2014 – Academy, Canberra
28 November 2014 – The Roller Den, Sydney
29 November 2014 – CoLAB Festival @ Oak Lawn, UWA, Nedlands

With their debut self-titled EP in stores now, the supremely talented Little May are preparing to wing their way around the country to bring its songs to music fans in the flesh. Those include the dreamy lead single “Dust,” which is available for your listening pleasure here.

Little May have earned their live chops playing such high-profile gigs as Splendour in the Grass, Laneways, and Big Sound, so fans are in for a real treat at these shows.

6, 7, & 9 November 2014 – Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth (supporting Rodriguez)
16 November 2014 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
21 November 2014 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
22 November 2014 – The Front Gallery & Café, Canberra
27 & 28 November 2014 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
29 November 2014 -  Gorgeous Music Festival, McLaren Vale
5 December 2014 – Solbar, Sunshine Coast
6 December 2014 – Black Bear Lodge,  Brisbane

With her Songs That Made Me album now in stores, Katie Noonan and some of her musical sisters are set to take the CD on the road.

Following the successful 2013 tour, Katie and other amazing local female talents have laid down tracks which pay homage to the songs that shaped their lives. Not only is the album full of fabulous music, 100 percent of the profits from sales will benefit the Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon campaign.

I am so thrilled to be able to join with these remarkable women, utilising the Songs That Made Me concept, to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon campaign,” Katie said in a press statement. “It’s not every day that you get to work with such incredibly gifted artists and contribute something meaningful at the same time.”

Featured artists Angie Hart, Melody Pool, and Sam Buckingham will join Katie for these very special shows.

30 October 2014 – Artbar, Perth
7 November 2014 – The Gov, Adelaide
8 November 2014 – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne
13 November 2014 – Joan Sutherland PAC, Penrith
14 & 15 November 2014 – The Basement, Sydney
16 November 2014 – Lizotte’s, New Lambton
21 November 2014 – The Byron Theatre, Byron Bay
22 November 2014 – Old Museum Concert Hall, Brisbane
23 November 2014 – Soundlounge, Gold Coast

Image used with permission from Revolutions per Minute

The Short Fall have wowed me with their single “Seasons,” the lead track from their recently released EP State of Mind.

This song is superb. The harmonies from Ryan and Angelo Conway are the kind of perfect you only get when siblings perform, and the gentle acoustic guitars support their angelic voices beautiful. In short, I’m in love.

The Short Fall recorded State of Mind on the Capricorn Coast with producer Anthony Lycenko, who’s recently worked with the likes of Pete Murray, Busby Marou, and Xavier Rudd. The EP’s in a very similar vein to the acoustic folk those more established Aussie artists produce, but that’s far from a bad thing.

With such talent, you know The Short Fall are going to be able to produce the goods in the live arena. Catch them on this tour before they start playing bigger venues!

24 October 2014 – The Irish Village, Emerald
25 October 2014 – Customs House, Rockhampton
2 November 2014 – Brolga Riverstage, Maryborough (FREE)
6 November 2014 – SolBar, Maroochydoore (FREE)
7 November 2014 – The Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay (FREE)
8 November 2014 – The Milk Factory, Brisbane (FREE)
15 November 2014 – Noktoberfest @ Gladstone Racecourse, Gladstone
21 November 2014 – Yeppoon Town Hall, Yeppoon (ALL AGES)

Jericco have crept under my skin with their latest single “Colour Outside the Lines.” Brent McCormick drew me in with his a capella vocals early before the band assaulted my ears with the rest. Honestly, once the sound got turned up I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with it, but by the end of the track I was loving its anthemic quality. It’s a bit heavier than the music I’m used to, but I love it when something out of the box turns my head. And it all kind of makes sense for a song called “Colour Outside the Lines,” doesn’t it?

“In a world that sets us free … ‘Colour Outside the Lines’ is about an energy that travels through us,” Brent explained.

The track comes from Jericco’s forthcoming sophomore album Machine Made the Animals, which is scheduled to hit stores in early 2015. Fans should get a taste of more songs from that release when the Melbourne band travels around the country to promote the single, kicking off with a Brisbane show tomorrow night. Tickets will be available at the door, so make sure you check them out.

25 October 2014 – The New Globe Theatre, Brisbane
14 November 2014 – Fowler’s Live, Adelaide
21 November 2014 – Musicman Megastore, Bendigo
22 November 2014 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
27 November 2014 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
28 November 2014 – Transit Bar, Canberra, NSW
29 November 2014 – Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW

Image via Collision Course PR