I thought it'd be a great idea to put the latest albums up from the artists playing at Bluesfest - so those of you lucky enough to go can check out what you want to see. And for those of you overseas who, I'm sure, will be extremely jealous. So check back here over the next week or so to check it out, and of course any more new announcements of performers will be added also.AND REMEMBER - POSTS ARE RUNNING FROM TOP TO BOTTOM - SO YOU'LL HAVE TO SCROLL DOWN AND GO THRU THE PAGES TO FIND THE NEWER POSTS


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The Bamboos – Medicine Man (2012)

During the last decade, Melbourne-based musical conglomerate The Bamboos have been making an impact with a hybrid sound tastefully referencing the great soul and funk of the 1960s and 70s, without ever falling into the retro trap.
That their material has been handled by Tru Thoughts, the Brighton-based independent that has brought forth musical delights by Quantic and Bonobo, already gives it a certain legitimacy – but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Medicine Man, the group’s 5th album, goes down like a mango and lemon syllabub. It’s tastefully done, and possesses many hidden textures and contours; the more you get of it, the more you like it. Perhaps the best thing The Bamboos have going for them is their superb musicianship.

Bandleader Lance Ferguson is obviously a brilliant guitarist but he is never overly flashy with his lead licks; his solos help convey emotion in suitably brief bright blasts of treble, instead of overburdening a tune with unnecessary pyrotechnics.

Bass duties are shared between Ferguson and his creative foil, producer John Castle, who also plays piano and a spot of drums, and the bass lines on this album are suitably cavernous, helping to ground the material between melodic hooks and danceable grooves.

Where Does The Time Go?, sung by Aloe Blacc, is the kind of song that anyone of a certain age can relate to; as Ferguson, Castle and team propel the music forward, Blacc laments the passing of his youth. Co-conspirator Kylie Auldist features on a quarter of the disc, and even if her style is rooted in early 1970s funk, the band pull in enough original elements to make sure the work is always their own.

For instance, Window counterbalances Auldist’s blues-funk growl with light strings and a gently bouncing beat. Similarly, Hello Stranger has a great sitar accompaniment that hearkens to 1960s psychedelia, but never in a way that is constrained by the reference. Other guests include Tim Rogers of You Am I, soul crooners Bobby Flynn and Daniel Merriweather, and Megan Washington, whose appealing vocals grace a horns-heavy version of The Wilhelm Scream.

The music here would sound dynamite live, so look out for appearances. And even if you can’t make it to a show, this album is definitely worth investigating.

1. Where Does the Time Go feat. Aloe Blacc (3:38)
2. What I Know feat. Kylie Auldist (4:07)
3. The Wilhelm Scream feat. Megan Washington (4:28)
4. Cut Me Down feat. Kylie Auldist (3:36)
5. I Got Burned feat. Tim Rogers (4:20)
6. I Never feat. Daniel Merriweather (3:52)
7. Midnight feat. Bobby Flynn (4:04)
8. Eliza feat. Megan Washington (3:50)
9. Medicine Man feat. Ella Thompson (3:08)
10. Hello Stranger feat. Ella Thompson (4:30)
11. Window feat. Kylie Auldist (3:51)


Royal Southern Brotherhood – Royal Southern Brotherhood (2012)

Although blues music itself is a style that easily lends itself to artistic collaborations, you seldom see the formation of the sort of talented “supergroup” that pop up with regularity in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. In hindsight, one could consider Muddy Waters’ various bands in the 1960s and ’70s, which included stars like James Cotton, Bob Margolin, and Pinetop Perkins, among others, as the closest that the blues have gotten to a bona fide supergroup…until now, and the formation of the Royal Southern Brotherhood.
A chance meeting in New Orleans during the humid summer of 2010 between Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, and Devon Allman led to a series of jam sessions at a secluded studio in the city’s Garden District. A bass player and drummer would be brought into the fold, a few informal local gigs would be booked, and it was rapidly apparent that a dynamic musical chemistry was developing. The band’s official debut performance at New Orleans’ Rock ‘n’ Bowl last September blew up big time, dozens of YouTube videos displaying the Royal Southern Brotherhood’s electric mix of rock, blues, soul, and funk.

On May 8, 2012 Ruf Records will release the Royal Southern Brotherhood’s self-titled debut album, which was recorded at the Dockside Studio near Lafayette, Louisiana with Grammy® Award-winning producer Jim Gaines. The band’s name certainly describes the collective members’ impressive pedigrees. Singer and percussionist Cyril Neville is bona fide New Orleans musical royalty, a former member of both the legendary Neville Brothers and the Meters, as well as successful solo artist in his own right.

The Royal Southern Brotherhood features the twin lead guitars of Devon Allman – son of Gregg Allman and frontman of Devon Allman’s Honeytribe – and Mike Zito, an award-winning musician, songwriter, and producer. Rounding out the band’s sound are bassist Charlie Wooten, of Zydefunk, and drummer Yonrico Scott, who has put in time with both the Derek Trucks Band and with Col. Bruce Hampton, an Atlanta-area musical legend.


The Beards – Having a Beard Is the New Not Having a Beard (2012)

If someone suggested that a band could form to sing songs exclusively about their love of facial hair and make a successful music career out of it, you would think they were mad. But that is exactly what The Beards have done. Having started the band originally to play a one-off show as a bit of a laugh, Adelaide rockers The Beards have been a surprise hit, touring extensively around the country and now releasing their third album, Having a Beard Is the New Not Having a Beard.
The collection of 12 tracks (well, 11 plus an 11 second interlude titled B.E.A.R.D) manages to span a range of beard-loving topics in styles from The Darkness-inspired glam rock through to reggae, blues and the all-important power ballad. You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man is a standout hit with an ‘80s rock sound fusing staccato guitar and synths with hilarious lyrics, including “Don’t try to fight, just get freaky with a beard tonight.” The album investigates more eclectic musical styles than previously heard from the band, such as the reggae-themed Bearded Nation and bluesy Still Got My Beard. Classic rock tracks and hand-swaying beard power ballads still feature strongly on the album however. Closing track There’s Just Nothing Better Than A Beard is a classic example that crescendos up to an epic end with screaming high vocals before it fades out, then back in again for a second self-indulgent rock finish.

It’s hard to say how many beard-related songs the quartet has left in them but, with three albums already under their belt and plenty of ‘growth’ here, it appears the pool of facial hair-inspired songs is not yet dry.


Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with.” - Eddie Vedder

In his young career, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro has already redefined a heretofore under-the-radar instrument, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone, won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder, Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on TV (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan), earned comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and even played in front of the Queen of England.

With his new record Grand Ukulele, Shimabukuro’s star may burn even brighter.

An ambitious follow-up to 2011’s Peace, Love, Ukulele (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Charts), the Hawaiian musician’s new record finds him collaborating with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and his own highly successful solo project. “It was very organic how it happened,” says Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row). “He attended a couple of my shows near where he lives in Santa Barbara and the concert promoter put us in touch. I was stunned. I mean, THE Alan Parsons? We ended up having dinner before the show and he casually mentioned the idea of possibly working together on a project. It was a priceless opportunity I didn’t want to pass up – he’s a genius.”

Parsons ended up helping Shimabukuro expand his sound, bringing in a 29-piece orchestra and a big-name rhythm section, including drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto), session superstar bassist Randy Tico and Kip Winger (Winger, Alice Cooper), who helped with the orchestration.

“The best thing was that, even with all those people, we recorded everything live with no overdubs,” says Shimabukuro. “It was great, tracking live with an orchestra and a rhythm section. We picked up on each other’s subtle emotional cues – you could feel everyone breathing together. It was like the old days of recording – when everyone tracked together – there’s a certain magic that happens.”


Current Swell – Long Time Ago (2011)
Long Time Ago is the group’s fourth album, and they’ve been putting them, plus touring, fast and furiously. That’s resulted in a pretty sizable fan base, and a new (and rare these days) major record deal with Warner. Current Swell play this somewhat undefined mix of groove music that’s very popular in the college-to-30′s crowd, who like outdoor festivals and jam bands and Jack Johnson and maybe would have followed Phish a few years ago. Now the allegiance lies with some heritage artists (say, The Allman Brothers crowd, Warren Haynes, that stuff), some of the Dave Matthews crowd, and newer bands don’t mind acoustic guitar and a bit of reggae beat.Current Swell tease the ears with that sound, including a bit of it on the cut For The Land on this album. It’s a great example of mixing old and new. It starts out with a banjo, but its mixed with a single synth line, which sounds like an Ennio Morricone theme from a spaghetti western. Then on the “for the land” chorus, the group hits the first “Land”, and then the second “land”, and you’re waiting for the third, which would completely match The Weight’s trademark harmonies. Being smart fellows, they never add the third part, but leave us hanging. The effect is the same though.



Tav Falco’s Panther Burns – Lore & Testament 1: Behind Magnolia Curtain / Blow Your Top [1981 & 1983] (Reissue-2012)
Behind the Magnolia Curtain was recorded at Memphis’ Ardent Studios, and issued by Rough Trade in 1981. The lineup was Falco with Alex Chilton and Jim Duckworth alternating on guitars and drums (original drummer Ross Johnson had been kicked out just before recording), and bassist Ron Miller. Also on board for four tracks was the Tate County Fife & Drum Corps, which included Abe Young and Jesse Mae Hemphill. The music, simultaneously drenched in and made in reaction to Memphis music history is equal parts primal, early rock & roll, deviant Delta-style blues, and avant-garde art — played without cynicism. In these songs, completely off-the-rails psychobilly, blues, tangos, wrecked ’40s-era tunes, and more often co-exist in the same moment. The sound is dense, the time is elastic (if you’re looking for a constant rhythm, forget it). This is ramshackle, raw, unholy, and utterly amazing; a timeless classic. It took the band a tad over six hours to record, and you can hear that. It sounds like swampy scraped mud, but somehow Falco’s acoustic guitar comes through. The songs are all covers –in those days Falco felt there were too many songs in existence already. While it’s true that the Cramps had an aesthetic that seemed similar, on the surface, Falco’s Panther Burns was at least as much about conceptual art as it was about music — this was revealed more in the band’s live show. Behind the Magnolia Curtain is one of the great recordings to emerge from the post-punk era and remains the essential Panther Burns document. [In 2012, Fat Possum reissued the album with its follow-up EP, 1982's Blow Your Top, in a deluxe edition entitled Lore & Testament, Vol. 1 Behind the Magnolia Curtain. It contains rare photos and wonderful, lengthy essays by Falco, Miller, and even Johnson.]




All Of This
Biding My Time
This Moment
Paint My Cup (Early 60's)
Dancing On The Moon
Save Some Time For The Others
Not Fire Not Ice
Underlying Message
5 Rocks

From humble beginnings, on the banks of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, folk inspired pop outfit, Busby Marou is making a serious impact on the Australian stage!
Since recording their debut EP (The Blue Road) with Australian singer/song writing icon, Pete Murray and acclaimed producer Anthony Lycenko, at Pete’s home studio in late 2007, Thomas Busby, Jeremy Marou and their band have come a long way!
In 2009, Busby Marou was one of five successful applicants for ‘Breakthrough’ – A Federal Government initiative supporting emerging indigenous contemporary musicians. The award assisted in the production of the band’s debut self titled album. Last year Busby Marou won the Deadly Award for ‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’ and a Q Song award for their song “Paint My Cup.â€\u9d
In late 2010, the boys were approached by former Managing Director of EMI, John O’Donnell, to feature as the only unsigned act (together with Australia and New Zealand’s most successful male artists) on the ‘He Will Have His Way – Finn Brothers Tribute Album’. The album went ‘Gold’ within a month of release and Busby Marou’s version of the Crowded House classic ‘Better Be Home Soon’ was spun on radio playlists across Australia and New Zealand and has been nominated.
The Album is currently being rotated on radio playlists across Australia and the first single ‘Biding My Time’ has recently been added to the Triple J playlist. The duo and band have shared the stage with the likes of Powderfinger, Pete Murray,The Panics, Archie Roach and many more.
Jeremy Marou, a proud Torres Strait Islander has a unique and rare musical talent. He excels on just about every instrument he touches including ukulele, bass, drums and piano, however, it is his natural ability on the guitar that makes you stop and listen. His experience with traditional Murray Island song and dance as a child shines though his melodies.
This combined with Thomas Busby’s distinctly Australian way of sharing stories has developed into a unique Australian song writing flavour with cracking harmonies, breathtaking musicianship and a natural feel for each others guitars!!



Hat Fitz and Cara – Wiley Ways (2012)

There’s a lot of debate in music about the over classification of artists and genres. Some even say there are just two types, either – good or bad – or even – music that you like or music that you don’t. One such act currently due to promote their new album in the British Isles is the husband and wife duo Hat Fitz and Cara. They certainly fuel the debate by throwing into the mix- an Australian Bluesman, an Irish Folk singer, Cara Robinson to give her full name, a touch of alt-country and instruments ranging from lap steel, piano and bass to flutes, fiddles and the usual guitar to cement the Blues sound that resonates throughout their music.
This current record is only their second full length album release since their formation in 2008 but Wiley Ways, a follow up to 2010’s Beauty and the Beast is set to help them get further established on the UK and Ireland roots circuit throughout the summer of 2012. Their growth plan is on the back of the success they have had in Fitz’s homeland of Australia, a place where they have settled and recorded this album.

The duo have written eleven of the twelve tracks on Wiley Ways, the exception being the Frank McNamara penned Company Underground and apart from the instrumental tune Sine, a number that fuses lap steel and flute, they share their contrasting vocal styles fairly evenly throughout the album’s duration. This contrast is highlighted in two particular songs, the opener Power, where Cara’s vocals have a touch of the song title and very different to her soft Irish brogue that accompanies other songs such as the closer Rusty River, and the Country flavoured Play Something New, where Hat’s raw outback accent superbly complements the acoustic strumming that is a feature of the song.

The duo’s bio throws an intriguing myth into the air of the suggested destiny these two had in meeting up, dating back to the colonisation of the Australian continent in the early 19th Century and this theme is further explored in the song Eliza Blue, named after a ship transferring felons from the British Isles around this time. However the strength of this album tends to be in the mix of sounds the band makes rather than poignant songs where the lyrics instantly grab you. There may be a comparison to another certain bearded Bluesman who regularly frequents the summer UK festival scene and the masses of mainstream music fans who flock to see Seasick Steve should take more than a passing interest in the pickin’ of Hat Fitz, expertly demonstrated on one of the latter album tracks Red Rattler.

Amongst their extensive summer tour dates, is a tentative appearance at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival in August and although the festival’s website is yet to confirm this, having come across their second album they will be an act definitely sought out on the Saturday. In fact the eclectic sound of Hat Fitz and Cara supported by this album will be a welcome addition to any live venue this summer.


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