Mr Telecaster swings through Australia

Albert Lee webGrammy winning guitar legend Albert Lee is returning to Australia for his first local shows this decade. He’ll play a stack of headline gigs across the country, plus make appearances at Adelaide Guitar Festival, Melbourne Guitar Show, Sydney Guitar Festival and Gympie Muster.

Albert Lee is one of the greatest guitarists in both rock and country music history. Included on Albert’s cv are performances and recordings with Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel, Dave Edmunds, Willie Nelson, Bill Wyman, Carlene Carter, Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Bert Jansch, Herbie Mann, Keith Richards and Dolly Parton.

With a live show that kicks off with a blistering rendition of Fat’s Domino’s “I’m Ready” and makes joyous pit stops for classic tunes by Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Hoyt Axton, Buddy Holly, Jimmy Webb and Ray Charles, we’re assured a sensational night of fabulous music from a man renowned as a living history of rock and roll.

Inspired by Elvis’s guitarist Scotty Moore, British born Lee first displayed his awesome chops trading licks with the likes of Jimmy Page and sharing stages with Deep Purple, Humble Pie and Grand Funk Railroad as part of the fabulous Byrds/ Flying Burrito Bros inspired Heads Hands & Feet.

He moved to the USA where he recorded three albums as a member of The Crickets, and then joined Joe Cocker at his peak. In 1976, Albert become part of Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band alongside Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.

Tragic news as Spencer P Jones wrestles "inoperable" cancer

Spencer Jones by by Steve FordMuch-loved Australian rocker Spencer P Jones is terminally ill and may have months to live.

Spencer’s wife, Angie, confirmed the news on Facebook about 5.30 this afternoon. In a statement, she wrote:

First of all Spencer & myself would like to thank everyone in the community for all the love & support since Spencer was struck down with illness in 2015, rendering him unable to pursue his creative musical career.

For the past two years, we have been under the wing of the wonderful peeps at Royal Melbourne Hospital. Unfortunately after another scan in March this year the doctors found a cancer tumour in Spencer's liver. 

In short , as a result Spencer has now been diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer.

Rumours that Spencer’s health had hit a new hurdle had been circulating for weeks. His Beasts of Bourbon bandmate, Brian Henry Hooper, passed away on April 20, just days after a benefit show for him while he fought cancer. 

New Christs plan four shows before lay-off

 new christs emmy etie photoEmmy Etie photo.

The New Christs are playing their last gigs for some time, with Rob Younger going back on active duty with Radio Birdman, and they’re going out with a flurry that includes two interstate gigs.

Friday, July 6 finds them fronting up for two sets at Beaches Hotel at Thirroul in New South Wales for free. On Saturday, July 7 they’ll return to the scene of their Marrickville Bowling Club triumph with James McCann and the New Vindictives almost a year ago with precisely the same bill.

On Saturday, July 14 they’ll play a rare Melbourne show at the Cherry Bar, again with James McCann and the New Vindictives plus Penny Ikinger. And Saturday, July 21 finds them headlining the Fly By Night Musos Club in Fremantle, Western Australia, with The Volcanics and The Shakeys supporting. This will be the New Christs' first-ever WA show.

Solo Ed (By Request) and fresh The Aints! gigs roll out

ed solo by request

It wouldn’t feel normal in Australia if it wasn’t raining Ed Kuepper shows. Already announced as the Melbourne headliners for this year’s Reclink Community Cup at Melbourne’s Victoria Park on June 24, Kuepper's new favourite band The Aints! are playing an additional show at Geelong’s Barwon Club Hotel the night before.

Joining Kuepper in The Aints! are Sunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley, Paul Larsen (drummer for both The Celibate Rifles and The New Christs) plus solo jazz performers Alister Spence (keyboards), Eamon Dilworth (trumpet) and an additional brass section. Tickets for The Aints! play The Saints with special guests Ausmuteants are on-sale here.

Jack Howard's Epic brass bookended by solo Steve Lucas and Penny Ikinger shows

epic brass

It’s renowned as one of Melbourne’s most spectacular rock and roll shows and it hits Sydney’s Factory Theatre at Marrickville on Saturday. Epic Brass is the brainchild of Hunters and Collectors horns man Jack Howard and employs a stellar cast of underground stars to showcase the songs of the Saints, X, Laughing Clowns, Painters and Dockers, the Hunnas and Midnight Oil.

Former Sydneysiders Ron Peno (Died Pretty), Steve Lucas (X), Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis) will join Jack Howard and Fiona Lee Maynard, with John Archer (Hunters and Collectors) on bass and Ash Davies on drums. Tickets here.

If you’re of a resident of Sydney’s Inner-Western Delta, you won’t have far to catch two sideshows before and after Saturday. Steve Lucas plays a free solo show at the Golden Barley at Enmore from 8pm on Thursday night with Penny Ikinger backing up at the same venue at 7pm on Sunday, also gratis.

Get a Hard-On for vinyl at these shows

vinyl celebrationThe Hard-Ons are vinyl fans. They believe, like many others who are a bit greyer, that vinyl records that were released before the digital age tell fascinating stories about the song/artist/record label, that streaming and MP3s can’t quite relay.

The band is playing two shows this month that celebrate vinyl. The big news is that the first 120 punters to arrive at the June 1 show at the Chippendale Hotel in Sydney and the June 2 gig at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle will receive a discretely brown paper-bagged seven-inch single from the personal collection of the band members

Says Ray Ahn: “There are 240 random records culled from our personal collections and the like. Some are GREAT. Some are good. Some are OK. Some are pretty shithouse. All are from another time and place, there will be records from 50’s, 60’s, 70’s 80’s. In addition, three mega-rare Hard-Ons records that are probably worth a fair amount from the HARD-ONS’ archive will be up for grabs to six lucky punters.”

The band promises loads of Hard-Ons seven-inch records will be on sale at the merch table as well, including some long deleted rarities.

FRI 1 JUNE: CHIPPO HOTEL with WHITE DOG + HELLEBORES
SAT 2 JUNE: CAMBRIDGE Hotel NEWCASTLE + Human Failure + Obat Batuk

And later this month, the Hard-Ons hit Europe again:

Hard-Ons in Europe
JUNE
France
20 - TBA
21 – La Rochelle 
22 - Clisson, Hellfest
24 - Orleans, Blue Devil
Germany
25 - Essen, Don't Panic
26 - Osnabrück, Bastard Club
27 - Hamburg, Port Klang
28 - Berlin, music & peace
Finland
29 – Tampere

RIP Andy MacQueen (Exploding White Mice, Pro-Tools)

andy mcqueenExploding White Mice and Pro-Tools bassist Andy MacQueen has unexpectedly passed away. 

A fixture on the Adelaide live scene, it's understood Andy had complained of abdominal pains recently. Bandmates were understandably too upset to comment further but Jeff Stephens from the Mice posted this on his own Facebook page at 9.30 tonight:

All of us here in Exploding White Mice are utterly shocked and heartbroken at the passing of our dearly beloved Andy. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and to everyone who knew him. We love you Andy.

The Exploding White Mice reformed last year, playing two shows in their home town of Adelaide and making another appearance at the River Rocks festival in Geelong, Victoria. It’s understood plans were underway to tour more extensively. 

Power to burn on the LP version of "disasterpiece"

disasterpice lpIt’s said every great CD release deserves to come out on vinyl and the folks at Buttercup Records have been listening.

They’ve obliged by making Melbourne band Powerline Sneakers’ wonderful “disasterpiece” album, originally issued by Kasumuen Records on CD only, available on wax.

“disasterpiece” was one of The Barman’s choices in his 2017 Top Ten and it was easy to hear why. Gritty, hooky and raucous tunes from veteran survivors of bands like Powder Monkeys, Splatterheads and Ripe, it’s spent lots of time in the CD player and is reviewed here.

Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies on vinyl, it’s the usual bang-up Buttercup job - three colour variants, spectacular new artwork by Glenn Smith, double-sided insert and download card. Follow this link to order a copy before they're gone. 

Ex-Stooge James Williamson's new album looms

jameswilliamsonpinkhearts

The debut album from ex-Iggy and the Stooges guitarist James Williamson and his new band, The Pink Hearts, comes out on June 22 and we’ll have a review live in about a week.

“Behind the Shade” by James Williamson and The Pink Hearts will be on Williamson’s own Leopard Lady Records and is a diverse but powerful effort, with Frank Meyer (Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (That Dog) sharing lead vocals. 

Haden was one of the feature vocalists on Williamson’s album of previously unreleased studio versions of Stooges songs, “Re-Licked”. She also contributed violin to “The Departed” on the final Stooges album. “Ready To Die”. 

On “Behind The Shade”, Williamson supplies all of the riffs, guitar parts and most of the bass. The album also includes a host of accompanists.

They include Michael Urbano (Smash Mouth, Bourgeois Tagg, Todd Rundgren, John Hiatt) on percussion, Gregg Foreman, Hervé Salters, Paul Roessler, Nick Hart, and Audrey Vera on keyboards and piano, Jason Carmer on bass, Don Rooke on lap steel, Geoff Yeaton and Tony Peebles on saxophone and Steffen Kuehn on trumpet.

Click Read More for a video teaser and the tracklist.