A plethora of talented musicians turned up at our lovely coffee gardens in Glasshouse on Sunday! Kevin Brand began proceedings with a set of originals – all new to me and all certainly worth hearing. Mary Martin followed suit with a song of her own then paid songwriter Warren Freeman – also in attendance, the highest compliment by performing one of his numbers.
Mary was joined by friend Jan Webster to finish her bracket with Rita MacNeils’ Working Man. Warren didn’t have one of Mary’s to play but nevertheless gave us a good set of his own songs including a new one displaying his concern for the environment and the man in the bush – sentiments not unlike those expressed in the MacNeil song. Karen Law commented that it was great to hear so many originals and it was always her preference to search out artists playing new material, adding that as much as she might be able to play covers by “name artists”, she didn’t see any of them playing her songs! Karen’s set, which was drawn from her new album, featured the two newest members of her group – Anna and Rob, both of whom add immensely to her sound. Rob is an impressive bass player and Anna’s warm voice attractively compliments that of Karen and her son Murray.
Continuing on the singer songwriter theme we heard Rob McGowan at his best beginning with his lovely ballad I’m here for you featuring finger picking on the nylon string guitar, and continuing with two more love songs for our pleasure. Rob has a high vocal ranges and he makes it seem effortless. Glenn Stephens similarly goes forever upwards, shaming all of us who appear to be forever languishing in our boots. (If anyone ever wants to propose a law against men with heavenly high voices singing in public, please count me in! ) Glenn appeared with an old harmonium in place of his usual digital piano. I was anticipating a divine Indian raj – a style of music well suited to the harmonium’s drone, but instead Glenn surprised us with a set of 80s rock classics accompanied by Jon Brown on guitar and harmonies and Kevin Brand – forever looking for an in, taking up the bass to fill out the duo’s bottom end.
We also had the chance to enjoy the music of Roey and Jim Fitzpatrick as a duo, with Roey’s performance of Summertime to begin their set almost stopping the show. It’s a super arrangement and allows Roey to show off her impressive vocal range. Jim then sang Sylvie which he does particularly well, especially with Roey’s harmonies tastefully thickening the mix. He also gave us two numbers in Spanish including the old pop standard Louie Louie, which was not quite what I had expected! (Granted, a musical setting of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry in it’s original language might have been asking a lot, but you never know…) Two newcomers to the Musos were Rob and Pat Larkin who entertained us with some 50s numbers made famous by the likes of Dean Martin, but sung beautifully in harmony by this duo. They are both clearly professional artists and are welcome back to our stage anytime.
Mr Doug Pullen (he of the bass) finished the afternoon with a short set. Doug wasn’t anticipating being called on to play and in his haste forgot to tune his instrument which had been sunning itself in the afternoon warmth. Halfway through his first number for solo bass and voice he threw in the towel. Being accustomed to Doug’s stage antics I thought it was part of the show and was quite surprised when he later assured me it was a genuine tuning issue. Which only makes it the more extraordinary that he was brave enough to take up his 12 string guitar for his second number, which in true show biz style of course, rang out beautifully in tune!
The show must go on and it does forever with the Musos. We will be happening again next Sunday at Eudlo Hall and hope to see many of your smiling faces in attendance!
Have a great week
dr michael whiticker
composer, recording and live sound engineer, performer, producer, mentor, video maker, educator, music and event facilitator