I was too young for the festivals and, although the music would’ve been right up my alley, roughing it would not have been as I do appreciate the comforts of home. Many of the Australian bands that appeared at these festivals, appear in my vinyl collection and played at Pubs when I first ventured into … Continue reading BS (Before Sunbury)
I stumbled across the Des Bettany Trio when researching newspapers of yesteryear. On further investigation a website dedicated to Des by his kids was unearthed. What a life! Lancashire born Des Bettany, a trained analytical chemist, was a gunner for the 88 Field Regiment in WWII. He was captured in Singapore by the Japanese and … Continue reading Des’ Sketch
Every so often a new innovation in harmonicas piques the interest of the author and Seydel keep pumping them out like no one’s business. My interest was twofold: firstly, the ability to play Irish jigs and reels by huffing and puffing and secondly, that the developer of this new tuning was an Aussie. The Major … Continue reading Tony’s Cross
Dr. Hook Wild Colonial Boys My 45rpm single and the lads (caricatures) on the cover of the Rolling Stone. There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Doolan was his name (or was it?)Of poor but honest parents, he was born near Castlemaine (which one?)He was his father's only son, and his mother's pride and joySo … Continue reading Wild Colonial Boys
I have been well ministered by Steve Williams on the need to stay away from the vocal when playing harmonica, both in the band and in the recording studio. In recent times I have become increasingly discerning of harp players trying to play too many notes and play phrases that don’t appear to have any … Continue reading The Space Is The Place!
An early advertisement in the Colony for a Mundharmonika at R Clisby’s Musical Repository in Rundle Street Adelaide. It appears in the South Australian newspaper the Sud Australishe Zeiting in 1862. South Australia had a large intake of German settlers in the 19th Century, so much so that they represented 10% of all South Australians … Continue reading Schokolade & Adelaide
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes; God bless little children while they're still too young to hate. When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line 'bout old dogs and children and watermelon wine. I want to preface this article by stating that making the charts (or … Continue reading Old Dogs Never Die.
Ah, but thousands of people march to my songs. Some just ignore me and shuffle along. Some others tip me, hah, and sometimes they sing right along...One for the money, two for the show, three for the busker who plays by the road. (Always The Busker - Jon English) There's not too many musos that … Continue reading Busker’s Lament
Thirty years to the day the stars aligned for Steve Williams to play harmonica on a John Farnham tune that would change his life forever. A remarkable set of circumstances, links in a chain reaction, would take him from Melbourne's Pub music scene into the heady heights of the concert arena. To celebrate the anniversary … Continue reading One Link In A Chain
Strange days indeed. Most peculiar Mama. Had a reply earlier this month to an email I sent in November 2018 from harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. Nearly fell off my couch! Better late that never. After Memphis Charlie's second album with Ben Harper I asked him this question via his website contact. "Just wondering if Charlie … Continue reading Crackshot