Actors who become singers — we all know the story, huh? Quite often, when an actor achieves a certain level of notoriety—and gathers subsequent wealth—the temptation to blow some cash on studio time, some expensive session musos and put out an album is immense.
And the results can expose some harsh truths, particularly the one that says, ‘stick to your day job’. The production is usually world-class, as is the band. But the weakest link is often the star spearheading and financing the project. And the summary of its parts only add up to thirty-odd foot of well, you know what.
It was some time in the late 90s. It was maybe a Foreday Riders gig, but more likely a Whose Muddy Shoes Gig. It was definitely at the smelly old Oxford Tavern in Wollongong. Without a shadow of a doubt, it was Ray Beadle on guitar.
Me, I was a slightly cocky young guitar shredder hanging out at my favourite pub in the Illawarra, checking out as many bands as I could, sometimes 3-4 nights a week. On this night, a guy who was not too much older than me was sitting in with veterans, and tearing the blues a new backside on his beaten up black Paul Reed Smith.
I’m a child of the 80s. Naturally, my ear has been bent towards a taste for slick production and playing.
As an only child, you don’t get much say or older-relative influence in the music you’re exposed to. On FM radio (AM until the late 80s for even the most adult contemporary stations) I was subliminally fed sweet harmony, chorused guitars and compressed walls of sound. I still love that today – Huey Lewis and the News, Little River Band, Hall and Oates, you name it.
So, I’m a little slower to warm up to music of the more ‘organic’ or raw-form kind.
With this, my earliest blues guitar heroes were Stevie Ray Vaughan, R...
Acoustic blues is a part of the blues that I’ve really only ever admired from afar. Being primarily an electric player, of course my heroes have held Stratocasters, Telecasters, 335s and Les Pauls.
But over the last couple of years I’ve been noticing the acoustic guys, especially those with gospel blues leanings. For some reason, the blues seems to become more significantly, well, bluesy, when filtered through or derived from the American church teachings from the first few decades of the 20th century. Yes, I know one obvious connection: the call and response of field workers and the solace found in the Bible at the tim...