Presidential Musing May 2018

A very merry month of May to all our blues people. As usual, there is a feast of blues and blues related shows on around Canberra this month and a couple of festivals for any intrepid travellers or those who just have to get out of town for a few days. Touring acts include legendary Blues Rockers “Dr Feelgood” at the Basement in Belconnen on Tuesday the 8th. The Blues Society has negotiated a discount on tickets for CBS Members to this event but in order to take advantage of the offer you need to purchase direct from the venue in advance.
Melbourne’s The Detonators are at the National Press Club on Thursday 10th, Hat Fitz & Cara (Qld) are headlining the Earth Mother Concert at Tallagandra Winery on Sat 12th, The Black Sorrows are performing in the Spiegeltent in Civic on the Thursday 17th, Julian James (VIC) at Old Canberra in on Saturday 19th and the Steve Edmunds Band is on at the Harmonie German Club Saturday 26th.
There are plenty of local artists gigs also happening including the Groove Kings at the National Press Club on Thursday 17th, KillWater hosting Bucky and Jeffro’s Blues and Roots jam at the Austrian Club on Friday 18th, the Black Hat Band and Leo Joseph at Beyond Q on the afternoon of the 19th and Minh Ha at the Old Canberra Inn on Sunday 27th.
Last month’s jam was a corker with surprise guest jammers, Davo Fester & Mick Malouf from Glenn Cardier’s band turning up to jam with our locals. I heard they had a terrific time. Even with the change in the date of the jam, we had a great turnout of punters and jammers. I’d like to thank Triple Bypass for doing a terrific job on hosting the day.
This month’s CBS Blues Jam will be hosted by Judi Pearce and the Arrangement. Judi is our very own Chain Award winning Vocalist who has been wowing audiences around Canberra for many years. Judi will be presenting a selection of classic blues and R&B numbers with great musicianship and sweet harmonies. Her band features Nicki King on vocals and percussion, Michael Hardy on guitar, James Hoogstad on sax and harmonica, yours truly on bass and vocals and John “Murv” Cowell on drums. This should be a great afternoon with plenty of support from our leading blues players.
Don’t forget that the workshop/Jam for aspiring players and singers is on again on Wednesday 6 June in the Keller Bar from 7:00 to 10:00pm. Unfortunately, we have had to slightly increase the admission price. Admission for CBS members will remain at $5.00, however admission for non-members will increase to $10.00.
Meanwhile, hope you all have a wonderful blues filled month and hope to catch up at the jam.

Presidential Musing April 2018

Greetings fellow bluesers. I trust you all had a wonderful Easter and those who were lucky enough to get to the Byron Bay Bluesfest are recovering nicely. We will have a write up and pics in next month’s Blues News.

Planning is well underway for our own mini festival in celebration of International Blues Music Day on Saturday 4 August. I hope you’ve got that date pencilled in your diaries. We’ve also just locked in the wonderful Jesse Valach presents Blues Mountain for Friday 3 August. So if you have interstate friends, invite them along for the weekend.

There are plenty of good things happening around town this month, the highlights being the Backsliders at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre on the 14th (we have a double pass to give away – see page 6 for details), Glenn Cardier & The Sideshow on Friday 21st and Chase the Sun on Saturday 27th at the Harmonie German Club.

Also  local bands Killwater at the Hippo Bar on Monday 9th, the Bridge Between at the National Press Club on the 12th, Moondog at the Hippo Bar on the 16th, the Black Hat Band and Leo Joseph performing solo at Beyond Q on the 21st and plenty more in the gig guide.

Our March Blues Jam was hosted by Undercover and a great time was had by all. This month’s Blues Jam will be hosted by, another new band, Triple Bypass, again with some very accomplished local musicians. Please remember that due to a booking error the jam will be held on Sunday 22 April (the fourth Sunday of the month). Next month we are back to the third Sunday as usual.

The Basement has extended an invitation to CBS members to attend their special event on Tue 8 May, Dr Feelgood (UK), with a discounted ticket offer. Tickets for CBS members will be $40, a saving of $15. These discounted tickets are only available from the Basement directly and will not be available on the night (see page 8).

Record Store Day is coming up on Saturday 21 April so get on in to your favourite record stay & grab yourselves a bargain. Our friends at Songland Records are looking for donations of your old CDs, vinyl, DVDs & cassettes with proceeds going to RSPCA. (see page 13)

Our workshop/jams are coming along nicely in the Keller Bar from 7:00pm to 10:00 pm on the first Wednesday of each month. These jams are for aspiring blues players who don’t quite feel confident to get up at the main jam but would like to play in an ensemble situation in a supportive atmosphere.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped at our stall at Connect & Participate Expo held on Saturday 24 March. Also thanks to The Drivers for showcasing the CBS on the day.

Hope to see you all at the jam this month.

Presidential Musing March 2018

Greetings fellow blues people. Summer has flown by and the year seems to be getting away from me already. I guess I’ll just have to console myself by checking out a couple of the top line acts we have coming up in Canberra in March. There are a couple of must sees in Collard Greens and Gravy at the Harmonie German Club on Friday 9th and Harry Manx at the Street Theatre on Wednesday 14th.  If acoustic blues floats your boat you can’t miss with either.

Local bands The Drivers and the Moondog Blues Band will be playing at the Austrian Club Mawson on Friday 16th and the Dorothy Jane Band at the Narrabundah Festival on the morning of Saturday 17th. Ex-pat Mitch Grainger is returning to the HGC with a band this time, performing on Friday 23 March. Our own master of all things keyboard, Leo Joseph is launching his solo piano CD, “Highway 88” at Beyond Q in Weston from 4:00pm on Saturday 24th. Check out our gig guide for all the fantastic blues acts around town in March.

Our February Blues Jam with Pat Powell was an absolute corker with the room packed & an overflowing jam board. Apologies to those jammers who couldn’t get a spot on the day. This month’s Blues Jam will be hosted by Undercover, a new band with some very accomplished musicians. This should be a great afternoon with plenty of support from our leading blues players.

The CBS jams held in the Goulburn Club at the Australian Blues Music Festival were again the talk of the festival with a number of interstate artists joining in & having heaps of fun entertaining the crowd in the jam sets.

Thank you to our two host bands, The Marji Curran Band & KillWater. Also, thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to help run the jams. Congratulations to all the 2018 Chain Award winners (see page 6 for all the details).

Don’t forget that the workshop/Jam for aspiring players is on again on Wednesday 7th in the Keller Bar from 7:00 to 10:00pm. We had some great feedback from the first workshop and are hoping to make this a monthly event.

CBS is once again participating in the annual Connect & Participate Expo being held at The Bus Depot Markets on Saturday 24 March. It’s a great day out for all the family. Keep your eye out for The Drivers who’ll be performing on the day.

Meanwhile, hope you all have a wonderful blues filled month and hope to catch up at the jam.

Presidential Musing February 2018

Greetings blues aficionados. As we all know February is usually a big month for Blues goings on around town, particularly with the Goulburn Blues Festival at our doorstep. We’re gearing up for our two Jams at the Goulburn Club on Friday & Saturday night of the Festival. Drop in & say hi.

This years’ festival features some great local and interstate acts and is always worth a hop down the highway to catch your favourite bands. Most of the local venues are involved and for the punters everything is free. Can’t argue with that.

Other good Blues acts around town include The Black Hat Band on the 12th and Killwater on the 19th at the Hippo Bar in Garema Place in the city. The Hippo Bar is working hard to establish itself as a Monday night blues venue and provides a classy atmosphere and live music on a night when otherwise you’d be sitting home watching the Tele.  Key Grip Full Strength featuring the mighty Leo Joseph on keys and the wonderful Angela Lount on vocals is on at Smith’s Alternative bookshop in the city on the 24th. This will be another great show from some of our foremost exponents of the blues.

Not forgetting of course that this months’ jam features Sydney’s Pat Powell band and will be a corker. Pat is also running a vocal workshop on the morning of the jam, which is a not to be missed for aspiring and established vocalists.

The first in hopefully a series of workshops for aspiring blues musicians will be held in the Keller Bar of the Harmonie German Club on Wednesday 7 February from 7:00 to 10:00pm. The workshop is designed to provide information about playing in a band situation and about how Blues songs are structured. A rhythm section featuring myself on bass and vocals, Dave Blanken on guitar and Mitch Preston will be hosting and mentoring.

We will make sure that all participants get a chance to have a play on material they feel comfortable with. Unlike the jams, the only audience for the workshops will be the participating players. 

The jam workshop costs $5.00 for Blues Society members and $8.00 for non-members.

Don’t forget K2’s 65th birthday celebration on Fri 23 February with Charlie A’Court from Canada and our own Ali Penney & Dave Blanken doing the opening set. (See page 4 for details)

Anyway, good blues and happy trails to all and I’ll catch up at the February jam.

Presidential Musing – January 2018

Well fellow bluesers, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. The silly season is now behind us but the Blues Festival season is just about to hit full swing. Over the next month or so we have the Thredbo Blues Festival on the weekend of 19-21 January, the Goulburn Blues Festival on the weekend of 8-10 February, and the Bruthen Blues Festival in Victoria on the weekend of 16-18 February. All of them have some very fine acts performing and look like being great opportunities to immerse yourself in a bluesy weekend away.  The Thredbo and Goulburn Festivals also feature a number of of our own bands performing including Marji Curran at Thredbo and yours truly in the Minglewood Blues Band at Goulburn. Marji and Killwater will also be hosting the CBS run jam sessions at Goulburn in the Goulburn Club.

Our Christmas Jam was a huge success with a record attendance for such a busy time of the year. The Groove Kings were magnificent hosts and it was great to see some new faces on stage too. We raised over $500 for local charity Marymead thanks to the generous donations made on the day.

Our first Blues Jam of 2018 on Sunday 18 February will be hosted by the legendary Pat (Patou) Powell, one of the finest Blues, Soul and Ska singers Australia has to offer. Pat is originally from Jamaica and came to Sydney in the 1970s via the UK. He quickly established himself in various local, national and international acts (including as backing singer for Kylie Minogue) and has long been the go to guy for anyone seeking an authentic blues or soul voice on their recording.

In addition to the Jam, Pat will also be running a vocal workshop in the Keller from 10:30 am until 12:00 midday on the morning of the Jam. I would seriously recommend any aspiring or established vocalists to get along. Whatever level you are at, there is much to be learned from this man. See page 6 for details.

Unfortunately due to a double booking, our April Jam will now be held on 22 April, the fourth Sunday in April. We will let you know more as we get closer to the date.

El Presidente (AKA) Deano

Presidential Musing – December 2017

The festive season is with us again; it seems to come around so quickly these days. Our last jam for the year will be hosted by the Groove Kings, one of our most talented blues bands and without doubt our leading exponents of Chicago style blues.  The Groove Kings are a bit of an institution in Canberra but if you haven’t seen them you really need to check them out. They really are a class act.

Jammers – make sure you get there early to put your name on the whiteboard. Our Christmas Jam is always well attended. Maybe it’s all those lovely treats on the tables? And don’t forget our giving Tree for Marymead. Unwrapped gifts or money donations gratefully accepted. There’ll also be a vintage music sale by Julian Gilchrist (see page 10 for details).

We have had some fantastic acts this past month; local, interstate & international. It was fabulous to see so many Blues Society members at the Jon Cleary event at the Canberra Theatre. I’d like to mention that Hippo Co (Garema Place) have started Blues on Monday nights. You can catch KillWater there this coming Monday 18 Dec at 8pm. The National Press Club wraps up the year with Ma Pearl Blues Band + Xmas Party on this Thursday night 21 Dec at 7pm.

2018 is shaping up to be another great one for artists wanting to visit Canberra to play. See page 4 for what’s already lined up at the Harmonie German Club. Special mention of Charlie A’Court’s show on Friday 23 February which is also K2’s 65th birthday celebration. She’s super excited that Charlie is booked for this night. We’ll have a special Members draw for a ticket at our February Jam.

Just a quick reminder about our blues workshop in February 2018. The workshop will be held in the Keller and is aimed at musicians interested in developing their skills around working with other musicians in a blues band situation.  Backline amplifiers and a drum kit will be provided. You need only bring your instrument. The workshop will be part presentation and part jamming and will feature a house trio with Dave Blanken on guitar, Mitch Preston on drums and my good self on bass and vocals.  The workshop will be held on Wednesday 7 February from 7-10 PM. Admission is $5.00 for Blues Society Members and $8.00 for non-members. 

It’s a fantastic line-up for the 21st Australian Blues Music Festival in Goulburn in February. And we have our host bands locked in for our Blues Jams in that beautiful old building, the Goulburn Club. Marji Curran Band will host Friday night’s Jam & KillWater will host Saturday night’s Jam. Starts at 9.30pm till late, so drop in & check it out. (see pages 7 & 8 for all the goss)

Remember, there’s no Blues jam in January. Our first jam for 2018 will be at the Harmonie German Club on Sunday 18 February hosted by the fabulous Pat Powell from Sydney. Full details in January Blues News.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday period.

El Presidente (AKA) Deano

The Presidential Musing – September 2017

First of all a big greeting to all Canberra Blues Society (CBS) members from the new El Presidente.

For those who don’t know me, I am a local blues musician and aficionado and was the first President of the CBS back in its inception in 1997. In recent years I haven’t been that active due to life and family commitments but have recently retired from work and felt the time was right to get back on the bike.

As you may already know, John Spencer and Kerry Sattler (K2) did not stand for their relative positions on the Committee at the last AGM which was held on 30 August. I thank John and Kerry for the wonderful job they have done over the last few years, guiding the CBS from strength to strength. They have left a couple of pairs of big shoes to fill, but I am confident that the current committee is fully capable of carrying on the good work. 

The new CBS committee is –

Dean Edgecombe – President, Kerry Scarlett – Secretary, Dan Collins – Treasurer, Ross Buchanan – Media Officer

Steve Hartnett – Events Co-ordinator, John Van Buuren – Membership Officer, John Spencer – Musicians Jam Co-ordinator

Over the next few weeks the committee will be considering a range of new ideas to further the promotion of blues music in the ACT and the region and will work closely with the Harmonie German Club and other venues and events involved in bringing the best in Australian and International blues acts to Canberra and the region. We will also be doing our best to raise the profile of our considerably talented home grown blues artists.

Our annual Youth Blues Jam was another successful day, with students from Narrabundah College forming Bundah Blues Band to open the jam, some great jamming from our locals; and young hotshots from Goulburn, Leaving Reality wrapping up the day with a killer closing set.

Here’s to warm weather and cool blues in the months ahead.


The Presidential Musing – August 2017

It’s August and there’s a new dawn about to rise for the CBS. At the end of the month we will be saying goodbye to K2 as she will not be standing again for the Management Committee.

This will be a huge loss to the Society after over 7 years of selfless commitment and thousands of hours work to propel the CBS to where it is today.

Now considered to be the largest and most successful, dynamic Blues Society in Australia is no mean feat, and we wish her well and might big thankyous from us all at the CBS.

The Annual General Meeting and election of Office Bearers and committee will be on Wednesday 30 August at the Harmonie German Club.

The CBS has recently started to purchase some back line equipment to help our present jams and future ideas with a drum kit. Also we are looking at a keyboard soon. One of the ways the CBS raises funds for these purchases is to run the Knuckles restaurant outlet for the HGC’s Oktoberfest and this year the venue has moved to the showgrounds in Queanbeyan. So as usual we be asking for volunteers to help in this endeavours as well. There will be also been a couple of spots for assistance in stage managing and MCs.

That’s enough to digest for now!

The Presidential Musing – July 2017

It’s July so come into the club for a warm environment and lots of very cool blues. This month we have mega acts appearing.

Firstly, if you haven’t renewed your CBS membership you need to do so now to continue receiving our monthly Blues News and all your membership benefits.

International Blues Music Day is fast approaching and we have a big day organised again, 12 acts, 2 stages with great interstate acts on the bill with the likes of Owen Campbell Band (headliners), Shane Pacey Trio, PJ O’Brien Band, Genevieve Chadwick, Kevin Bennett and Jeremy Edwards as a duo and Jarrod Shaw from Melbourne, with a local contingent of our top artists.

Once again our friends from Canberra Hot Rod Association will bring out their much loved beasts to display in the car park at 1pm. Music kicks off at 2pm with 11:30pm finish. As usual these events are a large undertaking and we’re still short on volunteers. So please think about volunteering some of your time to help us make this event one to remember. Contact K1 – 0414 292 150 or K2 – 0419 607 710 with your availability.

Last month’s jam was hosted by Blues on Tap the house band from Candelo Blues Club what an awesome blues band and well worth the trip to Candelo to see them, every 2nd Sunday of the month. Also a big thank you to all the jammers. It was a great day. Next jam’s host band is KillWater a great rocking blues band from the local area; well worth the effort to come and see.

If you missed Melbourne’s Jesse Valach presents Blues Mountain on Fri 7 July, you should be able to catch him in the not too distant future. He was so well received; he’s been given an open invitation to return whenever he wants. Geoff Achison and Justin Yap Band (both major award winners at the Australian Blues Awards) are touring as a double bill show, coming to the HGC on Sunday 23 July 3pm (check page 5 for all the details).

Friday Night continues the month with another couple of great line-ups: an up and coming blues/rock artist, Christina Crofts will be playing with her band this Fri 14 July – a must see! And the impressive Ali Penney & The Money Makers (Matt Ross, Mike Rix & Rosscoe Clark) will be on Fri 21 July.

The Presidential Musing – June 2017

Well Bluesters!

The half year is here already and there’s more great Blues action still to come for the next 6 months., however I’ll back track for the moment.

May started with the Moondog Trio and they were pretty awesome according to the reports I heard.

Tim Hulsman returned for the 3rd visit in 6 months with his band (which I prefer). Craig Kelly on Bass & Winston Galea on drums. They slayed it with two amazing sets with Tm going off on the slide lap steel guitar.

May Jam’s host band, The Mighty Bluzicians have had a line-up change. No Aria Stone!!  But with replacement James Hoogstad were as great as ever. Thanks very much. Also thank-you’s go to the punters & jammers for putting up with the short notice room change.

Was a real treat to have Marisa Quigley & hubby Darren Christie join the jammers for a set too.

On a personal note I was humbled and honoured at the same time to be re-elected to The Harmonie German Club Committee for the 3rd consecutive time.

This month saw PJ O’Brien Band kick off Friday Night Live with a brilliant performance (they’re back for our International Blues Music day on 5 August. Also this month on 16 June we’ll be having our first ever dinner/show event with the wonderful Dreamboogie (Melb). Bookings are essential for dinner/show tickets. You can get your tickets online through the Harmonie German Club’s website. You can still of course just come for the show. Depending on the success of this, we hope to bring you more dinner/show events in the future.

The CBS jam this month’s host band is from the Candelo Blues Club, their house band, Blues on Tap. Should be a great day for both blues groups.

Once again we will be holding International Blues Music day on Saturday 6 August with an exceptional line-up with this year headliner being The Owen Campbell Band on the main stage & Genevieve Chadwick on the Keller stage. Yet again these events are a massive undertaking and we need help to achieve a great day. So if you would like to assist us and volunteer some of your time I would be very much appreciative and contact K1 or K2.

Just a reminder, CBS membership need to renewed by the end of this month.