ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED SEBASTIAN MARINO
Review Jodi Marino
It’s always a great time of year when Byron Bay’s famous Bluesfest is on, even for us down here in Melbourne. We are fortunate enough that often, the touring artists come down to give a small taste of the array of talent that comes together for the event.
And tonight we have talent by the truckload.
First up for the evening are an Australian alt/country/folk duo called Little Georgia. They are Ashleigh Mannix and Justin Carter, who launched Little Georgia at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2015.
In 2016 they returned to Tamworth to release their debut album BOOTLEG, which was recorded on a farm property in Portland Victoria.
As the pair come onto stage they have a laugh and a bit of banter about having just flown in, did some fine tuning of their guitars and then dived straight in.
From the moment they started, the chemistry and synergy they have washed over the whole room. Ashleigh’s voice so distinctive and strong that it just commands your attention. Sounding like a cross between Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton, and Janis Joplin her vocal range and strength was outstanding.
Their cover of HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN was simply stunning and rivaled, if not bettered, the version done by folk queen Joan Baez many moons ago.
With songs like CALIFORNIA and FORGET ME, it was clear that this duo was going to be a name to watch for in the future.
Although The Record Company were only formed in 2011, their rise has been rapid and with very good reason.
Their 2016 debut album, GIVE IT BACK TO YOU, was nominated for a Grammy Award and they have toured relentlessly, having supported the likes of Blackberry Smoke and John Mayer.
The three piece outfit that is THE RECORD COMPANY, consists of Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, and Marc Cazorla, hail from L.A and play blues rock with a distinctive edge.
As they enter the stage, Chris introduces themselves as ‘We are The Record Company and we play Rock n Roll“.
Leading straight into a song called ON THE MOVE, the now filled room all start to move, almost involuntarily. You simply cannot help but tap your foot and feel the groove.
Immediately you feel the bass vibrate through your soul and Chris’ harmonica skills are very finely tuned.
Having only one full album (and one 6 track ep) under their belt means the crowd is familiar with all the tracks played.
BABY I’M BROKEN, HARD DAY COMING DOWN and RITA MAE YOUNG are all played to perfection and winning over anyone in the venue who was not already a fan.
The best thing about this band is that whilst the essential elements of traditional blues are ever-present and easily recognizable, the mix with the rock undertones and the general composition makes their sound distinctive, somewhat unique, but altogether amazing and super appealing to anyone who is a lover of great music.
With a dozen strong setlist, it is easy to see the direction these guys are headed….straight up. The energy and feeling both put in and put out by them is nothing short of electric.
When you walk out of a show like this, being disappointed that it is over, you know what you have seen is something special.
I know that personally, I loved every minute of the performance and will be watching the rise of The Record Company.
I eagerly await their return, as they are one band this chick will be sure never to miss when they are in town.
Get yourself listening to them, you will not be disappointed.
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED MATT ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Middle of The Road – the rebirth of Eric Gales.
New album out Friday, February 24, 2017 on Mascot Label Group/Provogue.
Featuring appearances / collaborations from Gary Clark Jr, Lauryn Hill, Eugene Gales and more.
Eric Gales exclusive AU appearance at 2017 Byron Bay Bluesfest.
Rohan had a quick chat with the man himself , you can hear the audio below
One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world – Joe Bonamassa
He is absolutely incredible – Carlos Santana
How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery – Dave Navarro
This guy could be the best player on Earth – Mark Tremonti
You want the blues?
“Unfortunately you have to go through some things to be free”, says Memphis born Eric Gales. “Now, I feel the most free I’ve ever been in life, even more so than when I was a kid”, he opens up. “You gotta help yourself man, once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.”
The title of Gales’ album Middle of the Road is the running theme throughout the record. “It’s about being fully focused and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
This is where Middle of the Road finds the rebirth of Eric Gales. A new album that sees him more free than he’s ever been and where the biographic songs take you on an intimate journey with him. Along the way he brings in not only a host of guest and collaborators, but also those closest to him; Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr, Eugene Gales, LaDonna Gales, Lance Lopez, Raphael Saadiq and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram.
Middle of the Road is Eric Gales fourth album on Provogue/Mascot label Group and sees him at his most expressive and creative yet. It is a deeply personal and reflective record that echoes where Eric is in his life right now, allowing him to open himself up and to really flourish.
Listen to the track ‘Carry Yourself’ from the album below.