Translate

Friday, 23 June 2017

Kate Ceberano - 1996 - Blue Box FLAC


Change/Blue Box/Love And Affection/The Rules/Living With Lies/Looking At You/All That I Want Is You/One Small Request/Something That You Really Need/Around This Time Of Day/Mantra/Save Your Love For Me/Brilliant Lies (From The Motion Picture)



Catherine "Kate" Ceberano AM (born 17 November 1966) is an Australian singer. She achieved success in the soul, jazz and pop genres, as well as in her brief forays into musicals—with Jesus Christ Superstar—and film. She has also achieved success as a songwriter, with the hit "Pash" receiving a gold sales certification in 1998.


Blue Box is a 1996 album released by recording artist Kate Ceberano. The album's second single, "Change" was nominated for two ARIA Awards in 1996.  

Following the success of the 1992 Australian leg of Jesus Christ Superstar, Ceberano was inundated with interest from various record labels. She elected to go with Elektra Records and moved to New York to record an album with producer Fred Maher. On the eve of delivering the album to the label, Elekra records named Sylvia Rhone as its chairman and CEO. Rhone sacked seventy-eight artists (including Ceberano) as she wanted to turn the Elektra into a hip hop label and Ceberano's album was scrapped.  Some of these songs appeared on Blue Box.



Ceberano returned to Australia where she filmed the TV show and recorded the album Kate Ceberano and Friends, which was released in January 1994. Ceberano hired Richard East as her manager and they signed with Mushroom Records to record a new album. Ceberano and East travelled to London to write and record and whilst East was stayed in London to work on the musical Mamma Mia!, Ceberano travelled to Los Angeles and worked with Mark Goldenberg on a number of songs. Mushroom Records eventually released the album in 1996, which consisted of songs from all of these recording sessions. In her 2014 autobiography, Ceberano said "I'm not sure how the [new] material sat with the Globe songs. After all the arguing, with myself and with other people, over what kind of singer I was, whether I was a jazz singer or a pop singer, Blue Box gave me the confidence to think of myself simply as a singer".



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Kings Of The Sun - 1990 - Full Frontal Attack FLAC


Crazy/Lock Me Up/Drop The Gun/There Is Danger/Hooked On It/Vampire/Rescue Me/Full Frontal Attack/Howling Wind/I Get Lonely/Haunt You Baby/Overdrive



 Kings of the Sun (also abbreviated K.O.T.S.) is an Australian hard rock band formed by Jeffrey Hoad and Clifford Hoad in Sydney in 1986.


In 1986 the band was signed to Mushroom Records, where they recorded their first single. During this time both Tommy Poulter and John McKinnon left the band and Anthony Ragg was brought in to take McKinnon's place. Their debut single, "Bottom of My Heart", was released in 1986 with "Bad Love" as its B-side. After its release "Bottom of My Heart" charted in the ARIA Singles chart at #47. Both songs would later be re-recorded for their 1988 debut album, Kings of the Sun.

The band was signed to RCA Records after the RCA executive Simon Lowe saw them perform in Sydney and the band traveled to New York City to work on their first album. Bandmate Ron Thiessen did not accompany them, as he left prior to the band being signed, and he was replaced by Anthony Ragg.  In 1988 the band released their self-titled debut album Kings of the Sun, which was produced by Eddie Kramer and mixed by Dave Thoener.


 A single from the album, "Serpentine", placed on the 19th position of the U.S. Mainstream Rock Songs chart `and in Australia, made it to position 48.  The album's second single, "Black Leather", made the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 98th position. After the album released Glenn Morris joined the band to play lead guitar and the group toured the United States and Europe.  They returned to Australia in 1988 to open for Guns N' Roses, but were kicked out of the tour after Clifford Hoad "dropped his pants in front of the audience and bad-mouthed Guns N' Roses publicly".  There had also been tension due to a remark Hoad made in an interview for the Australian On the Street magazine, where he claimed that Guns N' Roses took much of their image from Rose Tattoo.  Years later Hoad responded to this by stating "When I said those things, I meant them. It wasn’t necessarily aimed at Guns N’Roses. It was aimed at the Australian press and public. ‘OK, make a fuss over Guns N’Roses but at least know that Rose Tattoo exists.”

More lineup changes occurred in 1986 after Morris left the band to join The Screaming Tribesmen, although he rejoined KOTS before the band released their second album, Full Frontal Attack in 1990.


Full Frontal Attack was released in August 1990 and was produced by William Wittman. Dave Thoener returned to mix the album.  The album's first single, "Drop the Gun", received a positive reception and reached the 30th position in the Billboards Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Other singles released include "Haunt You Baby" and "I Get Lonely". After the album's release Kings of the Sun toured with The Screaming Jets in 1991. Full Frontal Attack was the last album the band released through RCA Records and Morris and Ragg left the band in 1992. 




The band's third album Resurrection was released in 1993 through Mushroom Records.  It was recorded at A&M Studios and Paramount Studios and was mastered at Precision Mastering.  Phil Soussan and Brad Spurr both contributed to the record and Spurr joined the band after its release.

Kings Of The Sun self-produced the album except for two tracks by mixer Mark Dearnley, "First Thing About Rock'n'Roll (I Remember)" and "Fuzz".  Two singles were released from the album, "Trapped Inside Your Heart" and "Road to Nowhere", and the band supported Jimmy Barnes on his Australian tour during 1993. 

 Spurr left the band around 1995 and was replaced by Dean Turner on bass.  The single Bombs Away was independently released in 1995.


The band recorded their album Daddy Was A Hobo Man!! in 1997 and was not released until 2011, when it was made available as an independent release.  Of the album, Clifford Hoad stated that they did not want to release an album similar to their prior releases and that "This album, we wanted to record with no commercial pressure what so ever, also, at the time we wanted to record as a 3 piece and live in the studio, this is what you’re hearing."

In 1998 the band supported Sammy Hagar's Australian tour. Kings of the Sun officially disbanded in 2001.



Friday, 9 June 2017

GANGgajang - 1996 - The Essential FLAC


 Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia/Gimme Some Lovin'/Hundreds Of Languages/Ordinary World/Giver Of Life/Distraction/Talk To Me/The Bigger They Are/Initiation/Maybe I/American Money/The Shadow Of Your Love/The Luck Of The Irish/Ambulance Men/Tree Of Love/House Of Cards/To The North/Initiation (Mad Wax Mix)Sounds Of Then (Mad Wax Mix)



 GANGgajang was formed in 1984 after several songwriting sessions for the ABC TV program Sweet & Sour. Some of the songs were used in the show but Mark "Cal" Callaghan from The Riptides, former members of The Angels drummer Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup and bassist Chris Bailey, together with Kayellen Bee and Marilyn Delaney, decided a brand new band would best showcase their songs.

After adding former Aliens guitarist and keyboard player Geoffrey Stapleton and Adelaide born guitarist Robert James, "GANGgajang" became their self titled debut album. With sales in excess of 120,000, it spawned the hit singles Gimme Some Lovin, House of Cards, Giver of Life, The Bigger They Are and the now unofficial Australian national anthem, Sounds of Then (This is Australia).



In 1987, GANGgajang's music was featured exclusively in the Quiksilver surf movie Mad Wax. The film became a cult surf classic and introduced the band to a worldwide audience. GANGgajang was named "World's Best Band" two years in a row by the World Pro Surfers' Association.

A second album, gangAGAIN in 1987, completed the first phase of the band as everyone took some time to pursue individual projects. Over the next few years Cal released a solo album, Buzz played sessions, produced albums and movie soundtracks, Chris worked with artists as diverse as Jimmy Barnes, Alannah Miles and Nathan Cavaleri, Geoff formed The Dukes with Sean Kelly and Rob wrote a book, "The Second Best Book of Disunderstandabilism" and recorded his songs with Wendy Matthews. In 1991, the band reformed (without Kayellen and Marilyn, who had gone on to successful careers in the film industry), and took to the road for one brief tour. The audience response was so overwhelming it encouraged the band to record the 3rd album, Lingo which was released in 1994 on Rooart and chalked up another three hit singles, Hundreds of Languages, Talk To Me, and Ordinary World. Lingo is now available on BMG records. In 1995, the first two albums were repackaged into The Essential GANGgajang, which has now sold over 30,000 on the Shock label.


  The GANG also toured Brazil for the first time, playing to over 60,000 rapturous fans in ten concerts through nine cities and in 1996 the Nine TV Network adopted Sounds of Then (This is Australia) for its 1996 year promotion, sparking a revived interest in the band's live dates around Australia. The GANG continue to perform across Australia and beyond and in February 2001 they completed their third tour of Brazil, performing to enormous crowds . When not performing or recording together as GANGgajang each member is otherwise occupied. Singer Mark Callaghan is General Manager of Shock Music Publishing, drummer Buzz Bidstrup has managed Australian music legend Jimmy Little since the release of his 1999 ARIA award winning CD "The Messenger", while guitarist Robert James released his first solo album Suzannah Suite and is now recording a second in between touring Australia in solo mode and with Australian icons Yothu Yindi.


Keyboard player and resident artist Geoffrey Stapleton is now living in Adelaide and preparing his next exhibition of paintings to be called "Oceans and Deserts" while maintaining and developing www.GANGgajang.com. Chris Bailey is working in a wide variety of music cultures in Sydney and has produced an album for singer/songwriter Dave Debs. Chris also plays in Jimmy Little's live band. The steady requests for GANGgajang live appearances at events across Australia gives them the valued opportunity to continue doing what they do so well. The band has played together for over twenty years and every live performance is as special as their last. They love what they do and so does the audience. The GANG played the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour as part of the Corroboree 2000 celebrations and during the Olympics the band was in demand for concert appearances around Sydney as part of the Olympic Arts Festival

October 2002 saw the release of the long awaited fourth album, "Oceans and Deserts" to critical acclaim and extensive airplay across Australia on ABC radio. A live concert featuring a selection of new songs and some of the classics was filmed for the ABC's "Live At The Basement" series for screening on 25th May 2004.



Saturday, 3 June 2017

Linda George - 1974 - Linda FLAC


Hard To Be Friends/Indian Summer/The Singer/Mama's Little Girl/You And Me Against The World/How Many Days/Give It Love/Memphis Nights/Love Me/Between Her Goodbye And My Hello


Linda George was born in 1951 in the United Kingdom and emigrated with her family to Australia in 1964 where they settled in Adelaide, South Australia in the Satellite migrant town of Elizabeth. By 1968, George had already worked professionally as a duo and moved to Melbourne to find more musical experiences. George had joined her first band Nova Express, a jazz fusion group similar in repertoire to United States acts Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears in 1973.

Linda George signed with independent label, Image Records, and released her first solo single "Let's Fly Away" in May In March 1973, she took the role of Acid Queen in the Australian stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy. Her fellow cast included Daryl Braithwaite, Colleen Hewett, Billy Thorpe, Ross Wilson, Jim Keays, Doug Parkinson, Broderick Smith, Wendy Saddington, Bobby Bright and The Who's own Keith Moon (as Uncle Ernie for the Melbourne show only). It was later televised by the Seven Network and received a TV award for the year's most outstanding creative effort. For the Sydney show, Australian music commentator Ian "Molly" Meldrum replaced Moon. George won the TV Week King of Pop award for "Best New Female Artist" (1973).



The raised exposure helped promote her second single in July, her cover version of the Gladys Knight & the Pips US hit "Neither One of Us", arranged by the Australian music writer and pianist Peter Jones, which peaked at No. 12 on Go-Set's National Top 40 singles chart. George's follow up single, a remake of Ruby and the Romantics 1963 hit "Our Day Will Come" with a co-production between Peter Jones music arranger and Image records., reached the Top 40 in February 1974.

Her debut LP album, Linda, appeared in August on Image Records. Session musicians were used and US record producer Jack Richardson (Alice Cooper, The Guess Who, Poco and Bob Seger) was brought to Australia by label boss, John McDonald, The first single from Linda was her biggest hit and became her signature song, "Mama's Little Girl" (previously by Dusty Springfield), which went to No. 8 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. The second single, "Give It Love", did not reach the top 40. Linda peaked at No. 32 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and stayed in the top 100 for five months. George won awards for "Best Female Vocalist" and "Best Female Single".


 She appeared both in the 1973 and at the 1975 Sunbury Pop Festival in January. Richardson also produced her second album, Step by Step, which was released in December. It featured a tougher rock sound compared to the previous album's soul and pop sound. After the first album Linda she parted ways with her management company. To promote it she formed the Linda George Band which performed throughout 1976 to positive reviews. The album's first single "Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Dah Day" charted reasonably well in former hometown Adelaide, but public reaction in the rest of Australia was lukewarm. The album peaked in the Top 40. A third single, the title track, was released in May 1976 but failed to make the charts. George then released a non-album single "Sitting in Limbo" in November 1978, a cover of the Jimmy Cliff song, it also did not chart. George left Image to continue working as a session singer and raise her children. Throughout this time George continued to be in demand for live television performances throughout Australia, and occasional solo performance shows. Peter Faiman produced an iconic segment with George in the "Paul Hogan" show and she featured regularly on the 'Naked Vicar show', and Don Lane and Bert Newton shows.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Stevie Wright - 1974 - Hard Road CD FLAC


 Hard Road/Life Gets Better/The Other Side/ I Got You Good/Dancing in the Limelight/Didn't I Take You Higher/Evie (Parts 1, 2 & 3)/Movin' On Up/Command Line



Stephen Carlton "Stevie" Wright (20 December 1947 – 27 December 2015), formerly billed as Little Stevie, was an English-born musician and songwriter who has been called Australia's first international pop star. During 1964–69 he was lead singer of Sydney-based rock and roll band the Easybeats, widely regarded as the greatest Australian pop band of the 1960s.

 Hard Road is the debut solo album from Australian singer Stevie Wright. The album's first single "Evie (Part 1)" was hugely successful and the title track was later covered on Rod Stewart's 1974 album Smiler. The album itself reach #2 on the Australian albums charts in 1974 was the 16th highest selling album in Australia that year. The compact disc is currently out-of-print and has become quite rare. A digital edition was available on iTunes as of June, 2014. 


In 1973, Harry Vanda and George Young returned to Australia after a period working in London paying off debts incurred while working as the Easybeats. They renewed their partnership with Albert Productions and as in-house producers began assembling a roster of artists for the label, among them their former Easybeats bandmate Stevie Wright.

Work soon commenced on an album with Wright, with Vanda and Young assembling a backing group that included themselves, pianist Warren Morgan of The Aztecs, and Malcolm Young, George's younger brother and the rhythm guitarist for AC/DC, on guitar.  Wright wrote six songs for the album, while Vanda and Young wrote the remainder, including the title track and the three part "Evie".


There are four different album covers for the album: The original Australian release, the Polydor release, the Atco release and the Australian compact disc reissue cover (which also serves as the artwork for the digital edition). Hard Road was scheduled to be re-released worldwide on high quality, 180 mg vinyl for maximum dynamic and authenticity, April 19, 2014 through Albert Productions (Alberts). Renowned mastering expert Don Bartley converted the original analogue tapes to new vinyl masters, on vintage and retooled analogue gear.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

M@tt Finish - 1984 - Word 0f Mouth FLAC Cassette


Out On Those Moments/Tai Ming Money/Come On Over/Light Up My Days/Always Another/Died In Love/Does It Feel/Words And War/Still Roads (I Need It)/Blind And Running


 Formed in 1978 by vocalist/guitarist Matt Moffitt and drummer John Prior, the sound owed much to Matt’s impassioned voice and lyrical songwriting and John’s dynamic musical arrangements, complete with Jeff Clayton’s melodic, economical guitar parts and Rick Grossman’s muscular bass.
from the Matt Finish website

 After two years of performing eight shows a week on the Australian pub circuit, Matt Finish was signed to Peter Dawkins’ The Giant Recording Company. At the finish of 1980, the band released their debut double-A-side single, “Matt Finish Plays Africa” with the songs “C.I.A.” and “Mancini Shuffle”

The following year, 1981, saw the release of the band’s first album Short Note, followed by the live EP Fade Away. Finally, as a result of Moffitt’s declining health, the band split up at the end of the year.
A year passed before Moffitt, Prior and Clayton reformed in 1983, joined later in the year by Bertie Dorset. The new line-up recommenced touring and, in November, released Matt Finish. This EP was followed in 1984 by the album Word of Mouth.

The band again broke up in 1985 when Moffitt decided to start a solo recording career.

In 1990 Matt Finish reformed with original members Moffitt and Prior joined by Jennifer Barrett (guitar), former Eurogliders members Guy Le Claire (guitar) and Lindsay Jehan (bass). In 1991 the band split.

 Moffitt released a limited edition solo acoustic CD EP, “Euroka”, in April 1992.

In June 1992, Matt Finish released “One Day at a Time”, the first Matt Finish single produced in eight years.


 The line-up changed once again, and in 1993 the band, comprising Moffitt, Paul Dawkins (keyboards), Rohan Cannon (guitar), Bobby Christian (bass) and Adrian Cannon (drums) recorded Matt Finish’s third album, By Heart, and released the EP Earthbound. The following year the band released the singles “Blue” and “Will I Ever Know?” recorded with Eliot Reynolds and Justin Leaf. Moffitt, Reynolds and Dawkins co-wrote many new tracks but the band split yet again. Dawkins and Moffitt continued to work together for a couple of years after, including the recording and mixing of an (at the time of writing) unreleased album that contained ten songs

In 2001, Matt Moffitt and Rick Grossman formed the band Fire Hand Ember, with Joseph Calderazzo (guitar/bv) and Wayne Gretch (drums). FHE performed about 20 times, sometimes under the names “Matt Finish” and “Matt Moffitt”, including at the launch of Just a Short Note (The Best Of) in December.

    On 13 August 2003, Matt Moffitt died in Sydney in his sleep from a stroke at the age of 46.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sherbet - 1977 - Photoplay FLAC


High Rollin/Magazine Madonna/Midsummer Madness/What Do You Do/I Got Love/Still In Love With You/Love Is Fine/Let Me Flow/The Way I Am/It's A Game



 Their 1977 album "Photoplay" was retitled "Magazine" for US release, and featured elaborate gatefold packaging. Though the album and its lead single "Magazine Madonna" were successes in Australia (both reaching #3 on their respective charts), the retitled LP failed to chart in the U.S., as did the associated single.




https://rockportraits.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/sherbet/

Coloured Stone - 1990 - Black Rock From The Red Centre FLAC


 Island Of Greed/Breaking Hearts/Sacred Ground/Michael William Lawrie/Kapi Pulka/She's The Girl With The Broken Heart/Dancing In The Moonlight/Take Me Back To The Dreamtime/Magic Girl/When I'm Gonna Learn/I Wish I Was Living In Your Dreams/Black Boy/This Land



Coloured Stone is a band from the Koonibba Mission, west of Ceduna, South Australia. Their sound has been described as having a unique feel and Aboriginal (Indigenous Australian) qualities. The band performs using guitar, bass, drums, and Aboriginal instruments – didjeridu, bundawuthada (gong stone) and clap sticks – to play traditional music such as the haunting "Mouydjengara", a whale-dreaming song of the Mirning people.


 The original Coloured Stone band members were three brothers, Bunna Lawrie (drums & lead vocals), and Neil Coaby (rhythm guitar & backing vocals) and Mackie Coaby (bass & backing vocals), and their nephew, Bruce (aka Bunny) Mundy (lead guitar & backing vocals). All are from the mission settlement of Koonibba, South Australia. Bunna Lawrie is the leader and singer of the band and he was also their original drummer.

Bunna Lawrie is also a member and respected elder of the Mirning Aboriginal tribe from the Coastal Nullabor, South Australia. He is a Mirning whaledreamer and songman, medicine man and story teller of his tribe. He is Coloured Stone's founding member and chief songwriter.

The band's single, "Black Boy" was a success when first released in 1984 -it became the number one song in Fiji and it sold 120,000 copies. It was followed by "When You Gonna Learn" and "Dancin' in the Moonlight". The lyrics of "Black Boy" included the line "Black boy, black boy, the colour of your skin is your pride and joy," which was a somewhat revolutionary sentiment for Aboriginals of Australia in the 1980s. It moved black audiences to increase their dancing each time it was played at an early gig in Alice Springs.


 Bunna Lawrie's son, Jason Scott played guitar, bass, drums and didgeridu for Coloured Stone from the age of 13 years. His first major gig was "Rock Against Racism" in Adelaide. Jason has also performed at the Sydney Opera House and he toured the US in 1994 with the Wirrangu Band as part of a cultural exchange program. With his band 'Desert Sea', Jason released an album in 2002 titled 'From the Desert to the Sea'.

The current members of Coloured Stone are: Bunna Lawrie (vocals, rhythm guitar, didgeridu, gong stone), Selwyn Burns (lead guitar, vocals), Peter Hood (drums), Cee Cee Honeybee (backing vocals) and guest musicians (bass guitarist, didgeridu player, keyboard player.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Stars - 1977 - Paradise FLAC


Back Again/Let's Get Moving/Paradise/Jupiter Creek/Mighty Rock/West is the Way/Song For the Road/No Time for Crying/Look After Yourself/Rocky Mountain Way/



Adelaide band The Stars first came to prominence with Quick on the Draw produced by Beeb Birtles in 1976. Beeb along with rest of Little River Band were impressed with the Adelaide band and brought tapes back to Melbourne where they scored a contract with Mushroom records. The band sported a “cowboy” look wearing boots, checked shirts and cowboy hats. The band consisted of Mick Pealing (vocals), Mal Eastick (guitar), Glyn Dowding (drums) and Graham Thompson (bass). 

After the success of their first single they added Andy Durant as a second guitarist. In 1977 they toured with Joe Cocker and in 1978, The Beach Boys and Linda Ronstadt.The band's debut album, Paradise, peaked at No. 11 on the Australian Kent Music Report in 1978 and included their highest charting single "Look After Yourself" which reached No. 21 on the related singles chart.
Although not a teen band in the mould of Sherbet or Hush, The Stars appeared regularly on Countdown and scored a top 30 hit with the Andy Durant song “Mighty rock”.
Andy Durant died on 6 May 1980 aged 25. Later that year Stars guitarist Mal Eastick organised the Andrew Durant memorial concert in Melbourne. The concert featured Stars, Jimmy Barnes, Rene Geyer, Richard Clapton and many more. The profits from the concert and sale of the double album went to The Andrew Durant Cancer Research Centre.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Mal Eastick - 1995 - The Southern Line FLAC


Goin' Home Tonight/Don't Take Advantage Of Me/Ocean Deep/Jumpin' With Stevie/My Life Story/Boundary Rider/Two Loves/Louise/The Double 'EE' Boogie/Gone, Gone, Gone/Times Like These (I Feel Like Goin' Home)




 Mal Eastick, one fine blues rock guitarist, has a passionate, explosive and soulful style that has been featured with some giant recording and performing acts for over 30 years. Mal has now crafted a dynamic new show which draws on some of the highlights of his 30 year career as one of Australia's leading guitar players. He plays with a vengeance and can rock the blues with the best. He has jammed with Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, George Thorogood and Joe Walsh. Mal's style is like Texas meets Australia, with shuffles, boogies and lounge-styles, to traditional Blues that hits all the right notes. If you're into guitar, get into Mal.

Mal Eastick is widely considered to be Australia’s finest musical protagonist of the blues. Playing guitar since his mid-teens, Mal has achieved a standard of playing that is, at once, both envied and admired. He has played with Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Tommy Emmanuel, Jimmy Barnes and Kevin Borich, just to name a few.

Mal’s early career was epitomized by his time with legendary band, The Stars, and his work on the Andy Durant Memorial concert and album. In the 1980s Mal played in the Jimmy Barnes Band and also formed his own touring outfit. Two albums, Southern Line and Spirit have followed.




Mal Eastick - 2001 - Spirit FLAC


Jungle Funk/Heavy Heart/Another Man/The E St Shuffle/Talkin Bout My Baby/Love So Strong/The Gringo Swing/Lost in the City/Blues for Aaron/Bye Bye Baby/I'll Never Be Back/Swept Away



Like the unending patience of the old miners who panned for gold, my diligent efforts yielded me a truly remarkable recording from Mal Eastick, the veteran Australian blues/rock guitarist. "Spirit" is Eastick's much anticipated sequel to his very fine 1995 release "The Southern Line". It contains 12 original tracks either written or co-written by Eastick, including 5 very fine instrumentals. Every selection on this CD is a first class offering and quite frankly it has been a long time since I have heard a recording from anyone that is this consistently good from start to finish. Eastick's guitar is clean, crisp, and commanding throughout the entire set, and he is most admirably backed by John Makey on vocals, excellent bassist Ian Lees, who I knew from his work with Kevin Borich, and Rudy Miranda on drums. This is a very polished and professional band and the studio sound is excellent as well.

Picking personal favourites is a problem here, as the entire set is so strong. I will mention, however, the heavy hitting blues/rock numbers "Heavy Heart" and "Talkin' 'Bout My Baby". Any one of the 5 instrumentals is also very good. And, as another indication of how consistently good this recording is, I would have recommended that my readers buy it if it had ended on track 9. Thankfully, the set does not end with no.9, as tracks 10 and 11, "Bye Bye Baby" and "I'll Never Be Back" respectively, are in fact the strongest two on the set. I find this most unusual and unlike most recordings I review. This wonderful CD again reminds me of why I am such a great fan of Australian blues/rock recordings, as several of the artists that I have reviewed (Dave Hole, Kevin Borich and Rob Tognoni) have a similar such commitment to excellence as does Mal Eastick.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Kevin Borich - 1977 - Lonely One FLAC


Need Your Love/Tell Me Why/Lonely One/Six Million Dollar Role/White Ship/Tango Queen/Good To See You/By The Light/Rescue Dream/Acropolis


Kevin Borich was born in 1948 in Huapai north west of Auckland on New Zealand's North Island, he attended secondary school at Rutherford High School in Te Atatu, a suburb of Auckland. In 1961, at the age of 12, Borich recorded a private single on Astor Records with two sisters, Judi Donaldson and Sue Donaldson (later as New Zealand duo, The Chicks). As a guitarist, Borich formed The Mergers in late 1963 with fellow students, Brett Neilsen on drums and Trevor Wilson on bass guitar. Initially they performed covers of The Shadows material as an instrumental band after school and on week-ends.


With the addition of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Phil Key, The Mergers with Borich on lead guitar/vocals, Neilsen on drums/vocals and Wilson on bass guitar, were eventually renamed as The La De Das in 1964 in Auckland, New Zealand. In June 1965 they recorded their debut single, "Little Girl", and later that year added Bruce Howard on keyboards. From 1966 to 1967 they had five New Zealand top 10 hits, By 1968 they were based in Sydney and recorded their concept album, The Happy Prince, in 1969 on EMI. The La De Das recorded further albums and singles and despite critical acclaim had little chart success, only Borich remained throughout until he disbanded the group in 1975. After The La De Das, Borich toured with John Paul Young & the Allstars for some months before forming a new band.

Kevin Borich Express was formed in early 1976 by Borich on lead guitar, lead vocals and occasional flute with Harry Brus on bass guitar (ex-Blackfeather) and Barry Harvey on drums (Wild Cherries, Chain). They recorded a track, "The End of Me" before Brus and Harvey were soon replaced by Reuben San Fiansco on bass guitar and Gil Matthews on drums. Subsequent line-ups were typically a three piece with a succession of bass guitarist and drummers. They released their debut single, "Goin' Somewhere" in October using Fiansco, and John Annas on drums (Wendy Saddington Band), following in March 1977 was their debut album, Celebration! with Annas, and Tim Partridge on bass guitar (Mighty Kong (band), The Johnny Rocco Band). The album was favoured by critics and peaked in the top 30 on the Australian albums charts.

In early 1977, Borich supported the tour by UK rock guitarist, Jeff Beck; this was followed in October by supporting the Rockarena tour with Santana, Fleetwood Mac and Little River Band - Borich was invited on-stage to jam with Carlos Santana. In July 1977 they recorded the "Lonely One" album. On its completion, Tim Partridge left the trio. He was initially replaced by Tim Ayers from the Renee Geyer Band and then Bob Jackson. The single "Tango Queen" was released in November. Bob only lasted until March 1978, when he was replaced by Paul Christie. Following a farewell concert in Melbourne late in May, the Kevin Borich Express headed for the US where they toured extensively. In the US keyboardist Tim Schafer was added.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Renee Geyer - 1995 - It's A Man's Man's World FLAC


 It's A Man's Man's World/They Tell Me Of An Uncloudy Day/Take Me Where You Took Me Last Night/Since I Fell For You/What Do I Do On Sunday Morning/Love The Way You Love/Scarlet Ribbons/Do Your Thing/And I Love Him/It's Been A Long Time/Mama's Little Girl/Once In A Lifetime Thing/Feel Good




It's a Man's Man's World is the second studio album by Australian soul/R & B singer Renée Geyer. The album was released in August 1974 and peaked at number 28 on the Kent Music Report.



Renée Rebecca Geyer (born 11 September 1953, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian singer who has long been regarded as one of the finest exponents of jazz, soul and R&B idioms. She had commercial success as a solo artist in Australia, with "It's a Man's Man's World", "Heading in the Right Direction" and "Stares and Whispers" in the 1970s and "Say I Love You" in the 1980s. Geyer has also been an internationally respected and sought-after backing vocalist, whose session credits include work with Sting, Chaka Khan, Toni Childs and Joe Cocker. 


In 2000, her autobiography, Confessions of a Difficult Woman, co-written with music journalist Ed Nimmervoll, was published. In her candid book, Geyer detailed her drug addictions, sex life and career in music. She described herself as "a white Hungarian Jew from Australia sounding like a 65-year-old black man from Alabama". She spent more than ten years based in the United States but had little chart success there. Geyer returned to Australia in the mid-1990s and her career has continued into the 21st century with her 2003 album, Tenderland, which peaked at #11 on the ARIA albums charts.

Rock historian Ian McFarlane described her as having a "rich, soulful, passionate and husky vocal delivery". Geyer's iconic status in the Australian music industry was recognised when she was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on 14 July 2005, alongside The Easybeats, Hunters & Collectors, Smoky Dawson, Split Enz and Normie Rowe. Geyer and fellow 1970s singer, Marcia Hines, are the subjects of Australian academic, Jon Stratton's 2008 Cultural Studies article, "A Jew Singing Like a Black Woman in Australia: Race, Renée Geyer, and Marcia Hines".

Monday, 1 May 2017

Alastair Riddell - 1975 - Space Waltz (2002) FLAC


Fraulein Love/Seabird/Out on the Street/Angel/Open Up/Scars of Love/And up to Now/Love the Way He Smiles/Beautifull Boy



 From New Zealand in 1975 comes this fantastic no.1 album of Bowie influenced visionary rock.

Moving on from a band he formed in '72 (that included drummer Paul Crowther and guitarist Wally Wilkinson) Riddell began writing songs of sci fi imagery and named his new project Space Waltz. Enhancing the imagery by designing and tailoring dramatic costumes from acres of curtain material, like Bowie, it was not for him the de-rigeur denim uniform of the day.
His debut single Out On The Street with an irresistible bad attitude "she'll vamp around town, trying so hard to be cool." visceral yet voyeuristic, hit no.1 in New Zealand.


Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz. L to R: Brent Eccles, Peter Cuddihy, Alastair Riddell, Greg Clark, Eddie Rayner





So too the album, released by EMI NZ, as Alastair Riddell won a New Faces style TV contest towards the end of 1974 and toured extensively on the back of it.

A New Zealand review:
"The characters in the songs of Space Waltz populate an imagined world, it is androgynous and disquieting, a planet that shifts on its tectonic plates as Alastair's guitar modulates from ferocity to tenderness. In a land that has neither flag nor borders and its citizens dream of cyber-love, to the strains of keyboardist Eddie Rayner's synthesizer. It is Godzone, yet devoid of god; a paradise comprising metal-flake, eyeliner and nine precocious idylls created by a guitar virtuoso from the back of beyond."






Given this is the early 70's at a time of Ziggy Stardust, the Spiders from Mars, Space Waltz is everything you want from an album of the period and a parallel to the UK scene. The album created a major impact down under. One of the runners up in that 'New Faces' contest were the group Split Ends, who by now included Crowther and Wilkinson in their line up. When Space Waltz had scored and been toured, the Keyboardist, Eddie Rayner, joined Tim Finn and that group took off supporting Roxy Music. 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Black Sorrows - 1988 - Hold On To Me FLAC



 The Chosen Ones/The Crack Up/Chained to the Wheel/In the Hands of the Enemy/Raise That Lantern/Hold on to Me/Glorybound/Fire Down Below/Sleep Through the Hurricane/The Story Never Changes/One Driver/Waiting for the Rain/Mercenary Heart/Kiss the Motherlode/Before the Shooting Stars/Safe in the Arms of Love



The Black Sorrows are an Australian blues rock band formed in 1983 by mainstay vocalist Joe Camilleri (ex-Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons), who also plays saxophone and guitar. Camilleri has used various line-ups to record 17 albums, with five reaching the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Charts: Hold on to Me (September 1988), Harley and Rose (August 1990), Better Times (September 1992), The Chosen Ones - Greatest Hits (November 1993) and Lucky Charm (November 1994). Their top 40 singles are "Chained to the Wheel" (February 1989), "Harley + Rose" (August 1990) and "Snake Skin Shoes" (July 1994).


Hold On to Me is the fifth studio album by Australian rock band The Black Sorrows. It's the group's first album to feature the vocals of Vika and Linda Bull.


Rudyard Kennedy from AllMusic gave the album a positive review saying; "Joe Camilleri and company may borrow many of the same ingredients that James Morrison uses to make his music -- blues, soul, and R&B, as well as flashes of gospel, country, folk, and even Brill building pop -- but the trick is in mixing those well-worn ingredients together and coming up with something new. That's where Black Sorrows show that they're fit to be mentioned in the same breath with artists like Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones. Every song on Hold On to Me sounds like it could be a classic (and classy) radio staple, without sounding like a copy of anything else. Not only is Hold On to Me's literate songwriting (by Camilleri and lyricist Nick Smith) superb, but the playing is also uniformly excellent (and, at times, positively inspired), and vocalists Camilleri and Vika and Linda Bull are soulful and gritty throughout. Hold On to Me deserves to be remembered as more than just an Australian classic -- this is a record that deserves to be heard and hailed by music fans the world over." 


Black Sorrows are

    Linda Bull – backing vocals
    Vika Bull – backing vocals
    Mick Girasole – bass
    Peter Luscombe – drums, percussion
    Wayne Burt – guitar
    Jeff Burstin – guitar, slide guitar, mandolin
    Joe Camilleri (aka Joey Vincent) – saxophone, vocals, slide guitar

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Allison Durbin - 1986 - The Very Best Of Australia's Queen Of Country Music FLAC


Oh Boy/Born A Woman/If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me/Blue Moon Of Kentucky/I Love A Rainy Night/    Blanket On The Ground/Rockabilly Rebel/Tennessee Waltz/Help Me Make It Through The Night/Dream Lover/Here You Come Again/Lying Eyes/Your Cheatin' Heart/All Alone Am I/Funny Face/Satin Sheets/Are You Lonesome Tonight/Take These Chains From My Heart/    Blue On Blue/Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue








A nice album enjoyed ripping it I think Hammard were a little presumptuous labeling the album "Australia's Queen Of Country Music" after all she is a Kiwi I know we often claim Kiwis as our own but we usually stop short of putting it on an album cover I wonder what Allison thought about it.


 Allison Durbin was born in Auckland in 1950, where she grew up and attended Westlake Girls High. Having started singing at the age of 5, she spent six years with Uncle Tom's Friendly Road Children's Choir, along with her six brothers and sisters. Whilst at high school, Allison began to haunt the local youth clubs, where she got to know the bands quite well. She was always hassling the bands at Dave Dunningham's Surfside to get them to let her get up on stage and sing a song or two, to show off her vocal talent. In 1963, she entered and won a talent quest at the Surfside Ballroom, prompting Dunningham to contact Eldred Stebbing from Zodiac Records.

Stebbing was impressed and before she had turned 14, Allison Durbin had recorded her debut single, "Count On Me"/"Lover's Lane", for Zodiac. It didn't sell very well, so another was tried, "Rules Of Happiness"/"Two Shadows" with the same result. It was her third single that got her going. She did a cover of "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" with "Little Brother" on the reverse and this version out-sold the original by Herman's Hermits, giving Allison her first hit. She did one more single in 1965 for Zodiac called "Mix It Up"/"Little Girl Go Home".

In 1966 Allison then teamed up with the Mike Perjanik Band in the studio and released two singles on the Impact label. The first was "Sailor Boy"/"My Last Date", followed by "Borrow My Love"/"Don't Let It Happen". Before long she was featuring as the band's vocalist in their live work. Now only 16, she set off on a nationwide dance spot tour with special guest Tommy Adderley. After this, she did it again as part of the 'Impact Label Show", before appearing in a series of engagements in the South Island.



In October 1966, she and the Mike Perjanik Band moved across the Tasman for a residency at Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel, before moving into the prestigious Latin Quarter in May 1967. After nine months, she left the band to pursue a solo career. She worked clubs and hotels, and returned briefly to New Zealand to tour with Gene Pitney. She was booked for a large amount of TV work, appearing on Bandstand, the Go Show, It's All Happening and others, all of which helped to put a professional gloss on her performances and win her new fans.

By the time Allison returned to New Zealand in late 1967, she was a professional. She'd learnt her craft and her television appearances displayed none of nervousness other 17 year olds betrayed. Now managed by Doug Elliot, she was signed up to a new contract with HMV in 1968.

Durbin's first HMV release was a cover of Morgana King's "I Have Loved Me A Man", backed with "Sand". Produced by Howard Gable, the song sold in excess of 30,000 copies in New Zealand, easily the best-selling local release of the year, spending two weeks at number one and collecting the 1968 Loxene Golden Disc Award. With little promotion, it also cracked the Australian charts, running abreast with the Morgana King version. Her first album "I Have Loved Me A Man" was also released at this time.



         
                                                                                                 
From the album another single was released called "Don't Come Any Closer"/"One More Tear". It reached number 3 on the national charts in December 1968. In April 1969 a new single, a cover of Joe South's "Games People Play" backed with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling/Soul and Inspiration" also made the charts, peaking at number 4. In 1969, Allison was awarded the "New Zealand Entertainer Of The Year Award", even though she had basically been living in Australia for nearly two years.

In 1969, Allison married Howard Gable and they settled in Melbourne. Initially she divided her time between the two countries, enjoying substantial success in both. But as the seventies progressed, she concentrated on the more lucrative Australian market. A second album "Soft and Soulful" was also released in 1969.

Allison's popularity was also huge in Australia, with her picking up the "Queen Of Pop" award for Best Female Artist, three years running in 1969, 1970 and 1971. During those years, singles continued to be released concurrently in New Zealand and Australia. They included "Sha La La La Lee"/"Cry Like A Baby", "He's Bad Bad Bad"/"Am I The Same Girl", "Don't Make Me Give In"/"World Of Music" in NZ and "Words Of Silence" in Aust, "Hallelujah"/"Tonight I'll Say A Prayer", "Holy Man"/"Letter To Bill", "Golden Days"/"Make The Feeling Go Away" and "Words Of Love"/"I Have A Son". Next came her best selling Australian single. It was a cover of Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" backed with "Didn't We". It reached number 24 on the National charts in May 1971. 




In 1971 Allison recorded an album with John Farnham, who had been voted "King Of Pop" during the same years Allison received her awards. It was called "Together" and from it two singles were released. The best was "Baby, Without You" and it reached number 27.

Her next solo album came in 1972, "Amerikan Music" and the title track was the last single to make the charts for her, reaching number 33.

Allison then tapered off her singing work to concentrate on her family and by the time she did return in 1976, her days as a pop singer had passed. She moved into country music with great success. Joining the Hammond label, she produced six albums, one each year from 1976 to 1981. They were 1976, "Born A Woman", 1977 "Are You Lonesome Tonight", 1978 "Three Times A Lady", this one achieving triple-platinum status with sales of over 150,000 copies, 1979 "Bright Eyes", 1980 "Shining Star" and 1981 "My Kind Of Country". Missing a year she released "Country Love Songs" in 1983.



In 1986, Hammond released a best of album called "The Very Best Of Australia's Queen Of Country". Two years later a "best of" album of her pop songs came out on the Axis label, called "Amerikan Music".

1992 saw a return to the recording studio for Allison, after a number of years of dealing with personal issues. The album was called Reckless Girl and the songs are quite different to her recent country songs and earlier pop hits. Sadly it seems that this is the last studio album for Allison, as her personal life has caught up with her once again.

None of the Hammond Country albums were ever released in New Zealand, so in 1996 EMI put together a selection of songs from these albums and released a CD called "Country Classics" in New Zealand.

In 2001 EMI released a CD called "The Very Best Of Allison Durbin" which contains most of her early New Zealand singles.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

John Paul Young - 2006 - In Too Deep FLAC


In Too Deep/I'm Living On Dreams/Isn't It Sunshine/Not Me/When You Love Me/Spanish Guitar/I've Been Waiting/When I Remember You/Having A Few/How Can I Live (Wthout Love)/Oh My Love



 J.P. Young was one of the most popular and successful Australian male solo singers of the late Seventies. His powerful soulful voice was the right instrument the new songs of former Easybeats songwriting team George Young and Harry Vanda.
' Young had had a few single by 1974 when Vanda and Young took over his career producing his records. His big breakthrough came in March 1975 when Albert records released John’s recording of Vanda & Young’s "Yesterday’s Hero". In November the same his debut album "Hero" was relased - produced by Vanda and Young and featuring entirely material written by them.



More hits like "Lost in Your Love" and "Love is in the Air" followed and 4 more albums were released before the end of the decade. By 1979 his succesful chart career began to wind down. The singles were beginning to sound too much the same; the arrangements and melodies were created too much over the same formula.
By the end of 1980 his backing band "All Stars" which had featured names like Warren Morgan , Johnny Dick , Doug Parkinson, Ian Winter , Ronnie Peel , Ray Arnott , Vince Meloney, Kevin Borich , Phil Manning, Tony Mitchell and Ray Goodwin split up.
Young gathered new All Star musicians throughout the 1980´s´and released a couple of more albums and a string of singles,









"In Too Deep", which sees John reunite with his 70's hitmaker Harry Vanda as producer and principle songwriter. Several of the titles have been written by Vanda / Young including the first single "Isn't It Sunshine". In Too Deep is the ninth studio album by Australian singer John Paul Young and first studio album in 10-years.

Working in the company of the Vanda and Young team, John Paul Young became one of the biggest Australian stars of the 70’s and his career has progressed through the 80’s, 90’s and into the 21 Century over 4 million sales worldwide.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Jo Jo Zep - 1983 - Losing Game (12'' Single) FLAC


Losing Game/Celebration



The Jo Jo Zep single, "Losing Game", was issued in 1983, and was produced by Split Enz member Eddie Rayner and Camilleri. "Losing Game" was released in the United States but was the last single by this version of the group, which by this point was essentially a solo project of Camilleri that the pub crowds and Australian public were not ready for. They played for 120,000 peeps at a Huge Rock Concert at Sydney Horden Pavilion with INXS, the new rising Goanna Band, Australian Crawl, Jimmy Barnes and Swanee and this hi-powered, precision Latin Rock Line-up really impressed The Rock Press, the crowd and the other bands, who stood beside the stage open jawed!

Choirboys - 1986 - Fireworks (12'' Single) FLAC


Fireworks/We Can Dance (Live)/When You're Young (Live)




 The Choirboys is an Australian hard rock and Australian pub rock band from Sydney formed as Choirboys in 1978 with mainstays Mark Gable on lead vocals, Ian Hulme on bass guitar, Brad Carr on lead guitar and Lindsay Tebbutt on drums. Name was changed to The Choirboys with preparation for the sophomore album Big Bad Noise in 1988. The band whose set-up saw many changes went on to release 8 studio albums from 1983 to 2007. Their 1987 single "Run to Paradise" remains their biggest commercial success. Choirboys signed with Mushroom Records and released "Fireworks" #60 on the charts in May 1986, they also opened for Deep Purple on their tour of Australia.



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Syrius - 1971 - Devil's Masquerade (2012) FLAC


Concerto For A Three-Stringed Violin And Five Mugs Of Beer/Crooked Man/I’ve Been This Down Before /Devil’s Masquerade/Psychomania/Observations Of A Honest Man/In The Bosom Of A Shout /Take 2 Signature/Shattered Dreams/I'm A Man/Fixing A Hole/Summertime Blues/Who Is The Clown



While technically not an Australian band they were here for 2 years before returning to Hungary while here they became part of the lanscape and recorded this album on the Spin Label.





Miklós József "Jackie" Orszáczky (8 May 1948, Budapest, Hungary – 3 February 2008, Sydney, Australia) was a Hungarian-Australian musician, arranger, vocalist and record producer. His musical styles included jazz, blues, R&B, funk and progressive rock; he mainly played bass guitar – from the early 1990s he used a modified piccolo bass – but also various other instruments. In 2006 Orszaczky was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit by the Hungarian government. Also that year Orszaczky was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and died on 3 February 2008, aged 59.


 In 1969 Orszaczky joined jazz-fusion and progressive rock group, Syrius on bass guitar, guitar and vocals. Other members of Syrius were Zoltan "Joel" Baronits on piano, oboe and saxophone; Latsi "Les" Pataki on organ, piano and drums; Mihaly "Michie" Raduly on saxophone, flute and violin; and Andras "Andrew" Veszelinov on drums, guitar and trombone. Australian backpacker, Charles Fisher, saw one of the group's gigs and advised them to tour Australia. Syrius toured there in 1970-71, including a performance at the Myponga Festival in South Australia in January 1971. In Melbourne they recorded an album, Syrius, with Fisher producing, which was released both in Australia (on the Spin label) and Hungary. In Australia they also issued a single, "I've Been This Down Before". According to Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, Syrius were "Hungary's top rock attraction, and had already issued several albums of jazz fusion before relocating to Australia". In October 1971, after the tour, the group returned to Hungary.


 Progressive fusion jazz influenced by impressionistic effects and Frank Zappa – that’s how we would sum up the first (and most important) album of one of the most underrated Hungarian bands, Syrius. “The Devil’s Masquerade” was recorded in Australia, and that’s the only record created by the classic lineup: Zsolt Baronits (alto and tenor saxophone, vocals); Miklós Orszáczky aka “Jackie” (vocals, bass, violin, acoustic guitar); László Pataki (piano, organ); Mihály Ráduly (alto and tenor saxophone , flute, piccolo); and András Veszelinov (drums, vocals). There is a strong ’70s experimental-avant-rock edge to it too, with a butter-churning funky rhythm section – sometimes a bit too cacophonous for everyone’s liking, but clearly a masterpiece.

Butler - 1973 - Butler FLAC


Bang Bang/Sucide Ride/We're Getting Nowhere/In The Morning/Especially For You/Green River/Reach Out/Tilda Jane/Mistake/Southern Magic/Here We Come/Mirror Don't You Weep



Butler were one of few all-Maori rock bands. All four members were originally from Rotorua, but the band actually formed in Christchurch in 1970. Predominantly an underground group, they played their early gigs at the Open Door, before moving into Trevor Spitz's nightspot Aubrey's. Having built a strong Christchurch following, the band took stabs at other South Island centres, returning to hometown Rotorua in 1971. From there they began building up a North Island following, proving popular on the University circuit with their combination of originals and Led Zeppelin / Wishbone Ash covers.

Some television exposure followed with a spot on 'Happen Inn', 'Popco' and 'Free Ride'. This was fairly rare for an underground group and even with this they never really gained much pulling power.


 In 1973 they recorded a self-titled album for Pye. It was released on the Family label and from it came one single, "Green River"/"Especially For You". They never scored a hit single and the only album they released was a commercial flop, but Christchurch-based band Butler found a warm place in the hearts of many NZ rock fans in the early and mid-1970s. Their fusion of psychedelia, progressive and blues-rock shone in a live setting, and Butler became a highly popular band on the national campus circuit. One of the few all-Maori bands of that era, the story of their formation is one of the most fascinating in NZ rock.
Show less -

The creation of Butler was both spontaneous and unconventional. A typical New Zealand rock band circa 1970 would comprise high school pals or early twenty-something Pakeha males, jamming in a garage or rehearsal space. The bonds between the four members of Butler were forged in the tobacco fields of Motueka and a drop-in centre in Christchurch. Butler comprised four Rotorua area born and raised Maori teenagers. The original (and only) line-up comprised Steve Apirana (guitar, vocals), Heidi Warren (guitar, vocals), Angel Adams (bass), and Hori Sinnott (drums). Apirana started playing guitar at age 15, and a year later he and Warren (who was a year younger) decided they'd start a band. Their dream, however, only coalesced with these jams in Christchurch. "We approached the guy who was running the centre and got him to open it up on a night it was not normally open so we could practice," Steve told Cross Rhythms. "Three days later, the son of the minister offered to be our manager. Here we were, a band formed in three days, nowhere to play, only a couple of instruments, but we had a manager!"



 As a buzz around Butler built, the band was invited to play orientation week gigs at the University of Canterbury, starting in early 1971. I had just begun studies there, and I have fond memories of beer-soaked campus gigs featuring Butler serving up high-energy and more than competent cover versions of the songs we'd play in our frigid student flats. Butler's career took a significant leap in 1972 when they took over from fellow blues-rockers Ticket in a residency at top Christchurch music club, Aubrey's. Apirana told Maori TV, "Ticket were like The Beatles to us. They were the number one band around. I'd go to see them whenever I could, getting tips from their compositions." Regular playing at Aubrey's, support slots for visiting bands like Daddy Cool and other gigs in Christchurch and beyond helped Butler hone their skills, and they began asserting themselves as one of the best live bands in the country.


This fast-growing reputation led to an invite to appear at the now-legendary Ngaruawahia Festival in early 1973, alongside such other fledgling New Zealand bands as Dragon and Split Enz. "Back then everyone was getting record deals," notes Apirana. "Our manager asked around for a deal and Pye took us up on it. They put us on a new label, Family. I think John Hanlon was the only other artist on it." 
 




Butler's disenchantment with the record and the label grew as time went by. "It took them 18 months to release it and by then we’d progressed more into prog rock and bands like Wishbone Ash. We weren’t even playing many of those songs on the record." An initial single had a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival hit 'Green River' as the A-side, but it fared poorly. "The label never really got behind it," Apirana laments.

On the Butler album, nine group originals nestled alongside covers of 'Green River’, Cher's hit 'Bang Bang’ and the Four Tops classic 'Reach Out I’ll Be There'. Despite the album's failure, Butler remained popular on the touring circuit, and they opened for such visiting groups as The Average White Band and Osibisa.  By 1976, Butler were hoping to make another album, one that better captured their improved musical chops, but internal and philosophical differences within the band deepened, causing them to call it quits in 1977.