Post to my students and their parents (2016)

A parent said recently,

He really enjoys playing. He’ll just walk by the piano and stop and play a song. Before he started having lessons, we discussed what we wanted for him. We wanted him to have fun learning music.

This parent went on to explain that he was “forced” to learn violin as a child, and did not enjoy that one bit (“You WILL practise now!”)

Continue reading “Post to my students and their parents (2016)”

Review in BASEQ’s The Groove

The EP review of Blues Arcadia recently appeared in the The Groove, the Blues Association of South East Queensland monthly newsletter.

BA’s vocalist Alan Boyle found it when he was looking for their ad and shared with me🙂

Thanks to Cath Butler, music promotion manager at The Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna, for submitting it there.

Incidentally, this was my first go at reviewing blues. I did it because I really wanted to write about Harvey’s band. But Blues is a massive genre and I did feel a bit out of my depth. So to the musicians who have recently sent me their music to review, thank you, but I won’t be doing more of these for now. Keep writing your beautiful music and lyrics, you are all amazing. 

Blues Arcadia EP review

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Blues Arcadia’s debut EP by the same name is seven original songs running the gamut of the blues.

These musicians are the real thing with nothing to hide.

Recording live to tape meant absolute commitment to every moment of the songs. Blues Arcadia

Songwriters Alan Boyle (vocals) and Chris Harvey (guitar) make our world a better place. Listen to Blues Arcadia and they will take you on a blues train, riding shades of rock, country and Motown. On tracks “Take The Money”, “Rockin’ Chair”, “Miss Lonely” and “Operator Please”, Boyle’s upbeat and raunchy story-telling is sometimes interspersed with stabbing horns, and plenty of blues-infused instrumental conversations from guitar and keys.

“Here Comes The Rain” is a timeless ballad. Boyle’s voice almost cracks painfully over Harvey’s gentle guitar; simple, honest, beautiful. Pianist Parmis Rose joins with clear, proud chords, and they take us to a space where everyone has been, in the quiet moments of a life. Here comes the rain, I feel it fallin’ on my face.

Rose opens “Time and Again” with Boyle, her open modern chords presenting all sorts of possibilities for this song, before Harvey’s guitar paints a rhythm ‘n’ blues hue over it.

“Corner Girls” is the lackadaisical blues of dusty roads, wooden shacks, Southern Comfort and the anticipation that comes with ice in a glass. Boyle sings of bitterness and the need to move on, his whiskey-laced tones underscored by honky-tonk keys and the plaintive wail of Harvey’s lead guitar.

You’ve got to be on the same page, musically speaking, when you’re writing songs. I think as a band within the blues genre, we have something different to say. We’re not trying to sound like everybody else, and we are finding our own voice, which is where the songwriting comes into it. We draw on all kinds of music. Our new EP’s not necessarily a blues album, it’s got all kinds of stuff going on. Chris Harvey

Find Blue Arcadia here and buy the EP.

About the band

Based in Brisbane, Blues Arcadia was formed by Alan Boyle (vocals), Chris Harvey (guitar) and Jeremy Klysz (bass), together with Parmis Rose (keyboard) and Steve Robin (drums) in early 2016.

The songwriting partnership of Boyle and Harvey began with a previous project The Bella Reunion, whose debut release “Introducing…” went straight to number 1 in the Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Chart in 2015.

The Blues Arcadia EP was recorded by Mike ‘Beachy’ Wild at The Barn Studios in rural Queensland.

In 2015 the band received an Australian Blues Music Award as Best New Talent and a Queensland Music Award nomination, and they have performed at many festivals in Australia including the Byron Bay Bluesfest.

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