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Lee Kernaghan

Lee Kernaghan was born on April 15, 1964, in Corryong, Victoria on the foothills of the Snowy Mountains high country. The son of a truck driver and later multi platinum recording artist Ray Kernaghan, Lee spent his formative years growing up in the Riverina country of Southern NSW. Lee’s Grandfather was a third generation drover of sheep and cattle and his experiences on the road with his Pop ran deep, producing a string of hits that began with the release of his first album, the ARIA award winning The Outback Club in 1992. His first number one hit ‘Boys from the Bush’ became an anthem, a celebration of a way of life that connected with the hearts and minds of a younger generation of rural Australians. His music was country but it rocked and was the harbinger of a new era for Australian Country Music. “When Garth (Porter) and I first wrote Boys from the Bush I had no idea it would ever be a hit. It was just a song about me and my mates, working on the land, going to the pub and tearing around in utes. I didn’t think anyone would be that interested in us...we were just kids from the bush but Garth said “this record (The Outback Club) has to be about your life and where you come from” so we wrote that song and several others and before long I had a band and we were out on the road performing them live.”

NEW STAR RISING
In January 1993 Kernaghan was awarded his first Golden Guitar for Song of the Year (Boys from the Bush) along with more Golden Guitars for Album of the Year (The Outback Club) and Male Vocalist of the Year. Kernaghan and Porter collaborated again in 1993 to produce the highly acclaimed Three Chain Road album which featured the smash hits She’s my Ute, The Outback Club and the award winning duet Leave him in the Longyard with Slim Dusty. Three Chain Road won Kernaghan a record five Golden Guitars at the Australian Country Music Awards, the 1994 ARIA Award for Country Album of the Year and Double Platinum Certification from the Australian Record Industry Association. Throughout his career Lee Kernaghan has dominated the charts with successive hit albums including Three Chain Road, 1959, Hat Town, Electric Rodeo, The New Bush, The Big Ones and #1 album Spirit of The Bush. Awarded Hit Maker of the Decade in recognition of unprecedented chart success throughout the 90’s Lee was recently named the biggest hit-maker of the last twenty years on the Australian Country Tracks Chart 2009 edging out musical greats from Australia and America for the number one position.

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS
It hadn’t always been smooth sailing for Kernaghan who after winning the 1982 Starmaker award soon found himself in the musical wilderness. “I remember being on a real high after Starmaker but my first single didn’t have any impact at radio, there was a failed record and management deal somewhere in there and before long I was back in Albury, NSW trying to get gigs anywhere for me and my band. Nobody wanted to hear much country back then so I was mainly singing pop/rock covers and some rock ‘n roll. I remember working in a piano bar playing cocktail music for a couple of years and even called bingo at the SS&A club between sets. Probably the darkest day was playing at the Carriers Arms Hotel in early 1990. I loaded in my PA and started playing at 8pm but a couple of hours went by and nobody turned up. At 11pm the bar manager said I could knock off and I loaded all my gear back into this little modified horse float I was towing, knowing that not a soul had turned up to my show, not even my Mum!”

PASS THE HAT AROUND
Kernaghan has always been passionate about the bush, children, families and the people of rural, remote and regional Australia. “The boys and I rolled into Charleville QLD one Saturday morning back in 1997. We’d been touring hard through the bush for the previous few years and had seen first hand the effects of drought and economic rationalisation on smaller towns and communities. We’d also experienced first hand the mighty spirit of country people that binds so many towns together and helps keep people going through good times and bad. As I looked up and down the main street of Charleville that morning I turned to the boys and said this is a Hat Town. As soon as I had said the words I knew it would be the title of my next album.” ‘Hat Town’ became the first number one hit from the album which also produced the number one songs and music videos ‘Gettin’ Gone’ and ‘Goondiwindi Moon’, which featured the stellar guest vocals from Grammy Award winning Trisha Yearwood. Wanting to give something back to the country Lee announced the “Toyota Pass the Hat Around Australia Tour” that went on to raise over one million dollars for country communities doing it tough. Funds were raised to air-condition country schools, for bushfire rebuilding projects, for the purchase of medical equipment for remote hospitals, emergency services, drought and flood relief.

A NEW MILLENNIUM
By the end of the 90’s Kernaghan had spent the last eight years of his life recording and touring at a heavy pace. He entered the new millennium with his retrospective Rules of the Road album that featured his reworking of the Coster/Dusty classic Cunnamulla Fella and posthumous duets with the legendary Tex Morton and Buddy Williams. By 2002 Kernaghan was ready to rock and released Electric Rodeo, which topped the Australian Country Chart and debuted #4 on the ARIA Top 50 Album Sales Chart. Electric Rodeo was released in tandem with Kernaghan’s performance as The Balladeer in the hit stage production “The Man from Snowy River Arena Spectacular” which won him his third ARIA Award for Best Musical Soundtrack. 2006 saw the release of his Album of the Year The New Bush, which was certified Platinum by ARIA and in 2007 the companion album Spirit of the Bush featured the Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Adam Brand and Steve Forde.

TAKING IT ON THE ROAD
Kernaghan’s dynamic live performances have been a trademark to his stellar career which has enabled him to take country music “out of the box” and serve it up, pyrotechnics and all to a mainstream audience. Lee Kernaghan has become a leading figure in Australian music and a fine ambassador for his craft. Kernaghan has an undisputable passion for his music and his country and was named 2008 Australian of the Year by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. To many people he represents the spirit and values of contemporary rural Australia but for Lee it’s everyday Australians that inspire him the most. He has sold over one million albums in Australia, won 27 Golden Guitars, 3 ARIA awards, had 26 number one hits and 10 hit albums – all of which have achieved Platinum or better sales.

THE PLANETS ALIGN
On November 6, 2009 Kernaghan releases his latest collection of songs, Planet Country. Two years in the writing and producing, Planet Country may very well be his finest album to date. Recorded in Sydney and Nashville with what Lee describes as “some of the best musicians in the world”, Planet Country reveals enormous depth, masterful songwriting and maturity in Kernaghan that can only have come from experience. Standout singles include ‘Planet Country’, ‘People like Us’, the majestic ‘Love In The Time Of Drought’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Australian Boy’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Scars’ the southern rock inspired duet featuring U.S. country superstar Dierks Bentley. “Planet Country is about me and it’s about us. There’s not one line from any song that I haven’t lived myself or believe in. Every song on the album is there for a reason. Everyone who has contributed, from the players, songwriters, production and engineering team has made making Planet Country a highlight of my career. At the end of the day it’s only music, but there’s something special about this one for me.”

SPIRIT OF THE ANZACS
2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli. In honour of this landmark occasion, music icon and former Australian of the Year, Lee Kernaghan, teams up with a host of local artists and musicians to bring you ‘SPIRIT OF THE ANZACS'.
Recorded at Rancom Street Studio in Sydney, Lee worked with long-time producer and collaborator Garth Porter. Granted unique access to the Australian War Memorial archive, ’SPIRIT OF THE ANZACS’ is inspired by the letters of these diggers to their loved ones from WWI thru to the present day.

'SPIRIT OF THE ANZACS’, the remarkable new album from Lee Kernaghan & Special Guests, has claimed the ARIA Album Chart #1 spot, overcoming a host of international and domestic releases with one of the strongest second week sales of the year. ARIA has also certified that the album has gone GOLD after only two weeks of sales.

‘Spirit Of The Anzacs' has dominated the iTunes All-Genres album chart this week with the Deluxe Edition of the album hitting the top of the chart on Sunday evening. The music video featuring the charity single Spirit Of The Anzacs’ has also claimed the number one position on the iTunes All Genre video chart.

Lee is thrilled that this album has resonated so strongly with the Australian public, saying “Writing and recording these songs that have been inspired by the letters and true stories from servicemen and women is the most humbling yet inspirational experience of my career.

I am so grateful for the contribution and incredible performances from some of Australia’s greatest artists, who have joined me in honouring the Anzacs. Every nation has its story. This ours”.

Additionally, ABC Music achieves a landmark this week, achieving their first ever artist No.1 ARIA Mainstream album. Robert Patterson, Director – ABC Commercial, said “It is a great achievement that ABC Music has attained its first No.1 mainstream chart album. It’s also entirely fitting it should be by Lee Kernaghan – an artist who has worked in partnership with the ABC for his entire career.”

‘Spirit Of The Anzacs’ features a diverse array of stars across the musical spectrum including Lisa McCune, John Schumann, Sara Storer, Fred Smith and VC recipient Ben Robert Smith.  Superstars Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington donated their time and talents to the ‘Spirit Of The Anzacs’ charity song and video with all proceeds going to Legacy Australia and Soldier On.

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Release
Multi award winning vocalist Jasmine Rae has announced her new album ‘Lion Side’ will be released on July 24th. The brutally honest songwriter and electrifying live performer has also released the video to her current single ‘Green Light’.‘Lion Side’ is a culmination of several years of soul searching, rigorous and often tortuous self-assessment, indecision and the need to find greater inner-purpose and direction. Ultimately, Jasmine Rae has rediscovered that her true path to self-enlightenment is through her music.“I took a long time to make this album, but ultimately I simply had to do it,”says Jasmine Rae.“Music has always been my way of thinking out loud and figuring things out. Writing and performing allows me to express those feelings… to be dramatic… be loud or be fragile… be emotional… and be real.” Recorded in both Sydney and Nashville with producer Lindsey Jackson (Jessica Mauboy, Tori Kelly, The McClymonts), Lion Side comes from an artist who is an inspiration to everyone around her, while often wounded, angry and fragile. In fact, she would even go as far as saying ‘Fraudulent’ at times.  The album’s current single ‘Green Light’,which is being embraced by both pop and country formats, reflects Jasmine’s battles with anxiety and indecision. “There are always opportunities: The opportunity to take action, or to purposefully let something go; to make a call or leave things unsaid; to change or try again or try differently,” says Jasmine Rae of the song. “No decision – is a decision in itself. This song is the inner dialogue of one of those experiences. These are some of the circling thoughts of doubt and indecision that drive me crazy.”Also available today is a second album release track with album pre-orders, ‘Carrying The Flame’. The song is a tribute to Jasmine Rae’s greatest mentor, and the friend who is now carrying on his legacy, while creating his own. “Being real is a superpower. It’s what heals us together.”It’s the mantra behind Jasmine Rae’s album Lion Side, which will be released on July 24, 2020
Release
Travis Collins, the 2019 CMAA Male Artist of the Year and CMA Global Artist Award-winner, is never more at home than he is under stage lights – world-beating band in tow. It’s this captivating dynamism and essential energy that thrills at the core of supercharged new album, Wreck Me.“For a while, we were messing with the idea of calling this Reckless Abandon,” Collins jokes of the album’s guiding ethos. “We were just like, we’re going to find or write songs that we want to go out and play, and never get bored playing.”Wreck Mesaw Travis reuniting with Nashville super-producer, Luke Wooten (Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley). The first two singles to drop, Make Up and Weekend, went on to impact the national country airplay charts. The third single, Rainy Day, is a gentle, earthy sway, and finds Collins giving thanks for the life of a friend lost too soon. As Travis goes on to describe the album, ‘Wreck Me’ is an album that took its first steps before I even really knew I was making ‘an album’.. session by session, I was just trying to record a bunch of songs that hit me right.. songs that challenged me as a singer and songwriter.It’s the widest footprint of styles and sounds that I’ve ever put together. Each song has its own moment, some dive deeper and more personal, and others soar into new places I haven’t been yet. I’m really proud of that. I feel it’s the truest reflection of me musically so far.”For the tireless Collins,the two years since the release of  his previous studio outing Brave & The Broken can be measured in country miles. That album stormed the charts, spawned a string of No.1 hits, and launched a sweeping national tour that saw Collins and band bring their expansive sound to audiences far and wide.Brave & The Brokenarrived amid an immensely rich period in Collins’ already enviable career.Then the CMC Male Artist of the Year for two years running, Collins made 2018 his own. Brave & The Broken landed hot on the tail of three Golden Guitar wins for Our Backyard (2017) with Amber Lawrence, and a CMAA Awards sweep in 2017 on the back of Hard Light (2016), which saw Collins take home Golden Guitars for Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Single of the Year. Hard Light also netted three No.1 hits.Rounding out an immense few years, Collins took home the 2019 Golden Guitar for Male Artist of the Year, and last year opened for US megastars Tim McGraw and Luke Combs.  Wreck Me sets to be the next chapter in an already impressive career.Tracklisting:Wreck MeBetter Than You Found ‘EmRainy DayDamn GirlGirl Outta The CountryOwn A BoatMake UPWeekendDesperado
Release
Multi Award Winning Country Music Artist Adam Brand is back with his new album, Speed Of Life.  Already labelled by critics as “his best and most positive work yet”.Produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley & Brad Paisley), the new studio album succinctly reassures fans that Adam is in a good place in life, following his record breaking “Milestones” tour in 2018 and the birth of his first child, a baby girl, last year. A relaxed Brand sings of life, love and laughter on Speed of Life.“The whole experience of making this album was a vastly different experience to all the other albums I’ve done in the last 20 years. It was a calm and stress free process and I put that down to the place in life I’m at. I felt no pressure in putting this album together… no urgency to find that big hit song… to be honest I let my heart guide me this time, and my heart was full of the wonderful notion of my baby girl who was about to be born. I whole heartedly believe she gave me that calmness and clarity in knowing what I wanted to sing about this time around." Says Adam.The new single ‘Fly’ is also released today and is a song that Adam describes as a prayer you want to give someone you love. The video was shot in the Nashville studio of Grammy Award winner producer Luke Wooten while Adam was there recording the song, as well as in Australia. A stellar career that shows no signs of slowing down with Adam nominated for multiple ARIA Awards, win 12 Golden Guitars, sell over half a million CDs & DVDs, as well as earn 3 x Platinum &  5 x Gold albums.Adam is scheduled to perform on CMC Rocks next week and Big Country Festival in May.Speed of Life is an example of how Brand continues to deliver as one of the modern giants of Australian Country Music. It seems that life really has been good to Adam Brand.Tracklisting:1. Speed of Life2. Life’s Been Good To Me3. Fly4. Messin’ Up A Good Thing5. Freakin’ Weekend6. Just A Love Song7. Baby I Miss You8. You Are Not Alone9. Don’t Wanna Let You Down10. Time Of Our Lives
Release
Iconic Australian band Custard makes a welcome return in 2020 with their eighth studio album, ‘Respect All Lifeforms’.The album kicks off with lead single, the irresistible nationwide lockdown hit, ‘Funky Again’ - a catchy pop offering that mentions the Russian winter of Operation Barbarossa AND home renovations in one convenient 3-minute package.The accompanying video, directed by long-time Custard collaborator, ARIA Award winning Andrew Lancaster, skillfully combines the band’s three true loves - Jacobean architecture, social distancing, and late 70s New York funk.Custard circa 2020 features the classic line-up of David McCormack, Glenn Thompson, Paul Medew and Matthew Strong. Originally formed in Brisbane in 1990, Custard released a series of classic guitar pop albums over the next decade, including Wisenheimer, We Have the Technology and Loverama. The band developed a cult following, touring extensively across Australia and abroad, as well as producing a parade of unforgettable singles, including ‘Apartment’ and ‘Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us)’.After disbanding at the end of the 1990’s, the band returned in 2015 with new album Come Back All Is Forgiven, which was followed by 2017’s The Common Touch.In more recent times, frontman David McCormack has found a new legion of fans as the voice of Dad ‘Bandit’ in the smash hit ABC Kids series Bluey, which has quickly become the most watched program in iView history, with 21.3 million views to date.‘Respect All Lifeforms’ Track list:1. Couple’s Fight2. Funky Again3. Harlequin Records4. A Cat Called No5. Wishing6. Take the Skinheads Bowling7. The Min Min Lights8. Talkative Town9. Like People10. Watcha Waiting For11. Come Tuesday
Release
For her 20th studio album, Katie Noonan takes listeners back to where it all began – the iconic pop songs of the 1980s that first ignited her passion for music.From pooling pocket money with her brother to buy the first Crowded House album, to having her mind blown by the incredible video clips of a-ha and 1927, to dancing around in stonewash denim singing Whitney Houston, Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper songs into a hairbrush mike, these are the singers and the songs that inspired her to pursue a career in music – a career that has seen her named one of the greatest Australian singers of all time by the Herald Sun, with five ARIA Awards from 25 nominations across a number of diverse genres.On this album Katie is joined by four of the finest jazz musicians in Australia – Zac Hurren (saxophones), Sam Keevers (piano), Phil Stack (double bass) and Evan Mannell (drums) – all fellow babies of the 1970s who grew up with this music as their earliest influences.They put new jazz spins on these classic tunes that reveal just how good the songwriting was, despite the occasional daggy synth effect or over-the-top production. Terence Trent D'Arby’s smash hit ‘Sign Your Name’ is reimagined as a sultry late-night groove, while Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ is transformed into a piano ballad that exposes the heartache and longing at the core of what has long been a party-starter.‘Electric Blue’ by Icehouse is given an irresistible cha cha makeover, while ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘True Colors’ are stripped right back to their bare bones, with Katie’s extraordinary voice taking centre-stage and delivering performances of these songs as raw and moving as you have ever heard them.This is a joyous and heartfelt album, full of surprising and delightful takes on beloved classics. It’s an album for that small part of us that is forever leaping around our bedrooms, singing along to the radio, and gazing adoringly at the posters of pop stars on our walls – even if nowadays that’s a more accurate description of our children than ourselves!TRACKLISTING 1 Don’t Dream It’s Over2 Blue3 If I Could4 Just The Way You Are5 True Colors6 Electric Blue7 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)8 When Tomorrow Comes9 Russians10 Sign Your Name11 Take On Me12 Running To Stand Still Katie Noonan: VoiceZac Hurren: Tenor and soprano saxophonesSam Keevers: PianoPhil Stack: Double bassEvan Mannell: Drums, cymbals and percussion
Release
ABC Jazz is thrilled to announce the re-release of Lush Life: A Tribute to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn by The George Golla Orchestra, timed to celebrate George’s 85th birthday in May 2020. One of the iconic records in the history of Australian jazz, Lush Life has been unavailable in any format for a number of years.Lush Life holds a significant place in Australian music history as the winner of Best Jazz Album at the inaugural ARIA Awards in 1987, and features a Who’s Who of performers including John Hoffman on flugelhorn, Craig Scott on bass, Len Barnard on drums, James Morrison on trombone and George himself on guitar, and produced by the great Cleon Dennis.Lush Life is a tribute to the extraordinary professional and personal relationship between two greats of American jazz – Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Their creative partnership lasted 25 years, and led to an enormous catalogue of works that have become cornerstones of the genre, including ‘Don’t Get Around Much Any More’, ‘Take The A Train’, ‘Mood Indigo’ and ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’, all of which feature here.In the original liner notes for the album, George writes, ‘One nice thing about reaching maturity is the knowledge that one has accumulated a vast backlog of experience, both pleasant and otherwise. In the garden marked ‘pleasant’ lies a bed of wonderful music heard and experienced down the years, a great proportion of which was created by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, two long-term collaborators of magical ability in the idioms of jazz. When long-time friend and producer Cleon Dennis suggested I record some of their best tunes, I was naturally overjoyed as I’d spend years playing much of the material in various settings. I felt comfortable and sure that I could do justice to the spirit (as much as I perceived of it) of the Duke and Billy. They were men who lived their full lives in urban society, sophisticated yet warm, full of humour and wit. Their music is a perfect vehicle for the gentle side of jazz.’We hope you enjoy getting to know this gorgeous record all over again.
Release
‘This is your one chance. You have your secret dreams. Follow them! Make them come true!’Using words and music, The Peasant Prince tells the inspiring story of Li Cunxin, better known as ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’: his childhood and his journey to become one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers.With music by composer Katy Abbott setting the scene, Li tells his life’s story in eight episodes over half an hour - from his humble beginnings in rural China to his triumphs as principal ballet dancer of the Houston Ballet. It is a story that will inspire the young and the young-at-heart, with reflections on a family living in hardship, inspiring teachers, and the joy of finding that one thing that you love most in the world.Based on Li’s best-selling memoir Mao’s Last Dancer and children’s book The Peasant Prince, this is a heart-warming tale for anyone who ever dared to dream.The Peasant Prince is being released in three different versions. A CD, which contains two versions of the work – one narrated in English and one narrated in Chinese. And the English and Chinese versions are being released individually on digital and streaming platforms.TRACKLISTINGEnglish version/Mandarin version1 Introduction 9 序章 (Introduction)2 Kite Themes –Hopes and Wishes 10 风筝——希望与心愿 (Kite Themes – Hopes and Wishes)3 Frog in the Well 11 井里的蛙 (Frog in the Well)4 Home and School 12 家里,学校 (Home and School)5 Leaving Home, Arriving Beijing 13 离家到北京 (Leaving Home, Arriving Beijing)6 By the Light of a Single Candle 14 烛光之中 (By the Light of a Single Candle)7 USA 15 美国 (USA)8 Dance of My Life 16 一生最重要的舞蹈 (Dance of My Life)
Release
Strong Cotton Socks is a trio made up of James Macaulay on trombone, Flora Carbo on winds, and Merinda Dias-Jayasinha on vocals.The band came together quite spontaneously and collaboratively. Inspired by Dias-Jayasinha’s performance at a late-night jam session at the Jazzlab following the Melbourne Jazz Festival, Macaulay sent her a sketch for a chorale. The following day Dias-Jayasinha responded with lyrics for it, prompting them to organise a jam and inviting mutual friend, Flora Carbo, along. It worked so well that Strong Cotton Socks was born, making their debut at the Jazzlab in early 2019.Playing arrangements of original repertoire, Strong Cotton Socks collaborate to bring words and music together in a chamber-like setting with space to breathe, pause and to improvise. From through-composed arrangements of songs and shorter set pieces, to longer works featuring more improvisation, everyone contributed arrangements in a very natural, collaborative process.TRACKLISTING1. Transposed 1’422. Sleep Through 3’003. Falling Towards You: I 3’244. Falling Towards You: II 1’485. Falling Towards You: III 3’416. Lately 4’037. Dreams of Tokyo 7’218. Stroop 4’449. Flowers Away 2’3610. Flordrey 3’06Strong Cotton SocksJames Macauley – tromboneFlora Carbo – saxophoneMerinda Dias-Jayasinha – vocals
Release
ABC Jazz is excited to announce the release of To Iceland, To Iceland!, the new album by Antelodic.Antelodic is an instrumental chamber jazz trio featuring the unusual combination of guitar with two saxophones. The woodwinds - Gideon Brazil (tenor saxophone) and Monty Mackenzie (alto saxophone) - often perform the role of rhythm section, allowing the guitar (Robbie Melville, winner of the Instrumental Category of the 2018 International Songwriting Competition) to become the melodic voice.Formed in 2012, the trio have developed a highly nuanced approach to their creative practice that allows them to experiment in the moment while maintaining a unified ensemble sound. The music combines meticulously arranged, densely notated compositions with moments of improvisation and sound sculpting, reaching beyond the traditions of both classical and jazz to create a style very much of its own.Individually, the musicians have worked with artists as diverse as Gotye, Krystle Warren, Shane Howard, Vince Jones, Orchestra Victoria, Tim Rogers and Stephen Magnusson, and collectively they have worked for over 17 years in Melville’s band cleverhorse. Antelodic performed at the 2018 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues, Inverloch Jazz Festival, throughout regional Victoria and has recently returned from performances in the UK.Following on from their debut album Quiet Sufficient in 2017, the trio headed into ABC Melbourne’s Studio 345 in the closing weeks of 2018 to record To Iceland! To Iceland!. A considered, mature,honest and deeply personal collection of Melville’s compositions, To Iceland! To Iceland! celebrates life, and honours those we have lost along the way.“There was a great deal of synchronicity involved in the development of this album,” says Melville. “On the day I wrote the track To Iceland!, I went to the music shop I worked in and heard some music playing over the stereo system. It was a haunting, slow choral piece, and caught my ear straight away. It turned out to be an Icelandic hymn called Heyr Himna Smiður. I found it so moving that I instantly decided to arrange it for Antelodic. When I returned home later, my wife opened the door holding a book of the Icelandic Sagas which she had just bought for me that day, thinking I might find them interesting. I couldn’t ignore all of those signs.“As I composed the rest of the album, I imagined sailing to Iceland across the seas, framed as a metaphorical journey – impossibly arduous, boundless and unending. We have spent so much time in Antelodic striving for better performances, better arrangements, a deeper connection with each other and with audiences. We never get to a point where we’re completely satisfied, but that’s positive. It means we’re still learning, improving and searching, still on the journey.”Several pieces on the album, including the title track, are anagrams of the trio’s name. The album’s opening anthem, No Dialect, and two other short pieces, No Citadel and No Idle Act are three distinct arrangements of the same song. The Last Word and Dog Days were written to honour the memory of Melville’s friend Michael Dragwidge, who died suddenly at the end of 2017.The joyful Djamba Germaine uses several overdubs to augment the usual sound of the trio, adding electric guitars and baritone saxophone. Sombrero Fallout is an ethereal piece inspired by a Richard Brautigan novel, constantly shifting between major and minor harmony.On To Iceland! Melville swaps the classical guitar for a high-tuned steel string, resulting in some surprising voicings. Heyr Himna Smiður makes use of an electric baritone guitar to create a darker texture, while the woodwinds mimic the vocal phrases of the hymn’s lyrics, written by warrior chieftain Kolbeinn Tumason on his deathbed in 1208.Tango in Pusan was written on a balcony in South Korea, drunk on gin one summer afternoon, and features the playful group interaction that is more prevalent in their recent live shows. Gone is a gentle memorial to Melville’s grandmother. The pensive mood of Blue Tongue Bend, 1988 is a nostalgic look back at Melville’s youth. TRACKLISTING 1. No Dialect 2’012. The Last Word 6’213. Djamba Germaine 4’504. Sombrero Fallout 4’265. To Iceland 1’246. Heyr Himna Smiður 5’557. Tango In Pusan 4’238. Dog Days 6’029. Gone 4’0010. No Citadel 2’0111. Blue Tongue Bend, 1988 5’2812. No Idle Act 0’59Robbie Melville guitarsGideon Brazil tenor & baritone saxophoneMonty Mackenzie alto saxophone
Release
Omega Ensemble are one of Australia’s top chamber music ensembles, champions of new works but also enthusiastic interpreters of the legends of the past.  They also have a rich history with ABC Classic, regularly invited into the studio for radio broadcasts in addition to having released three critically acclaimed albums since 2016.  So when their 2020 concert season was cancelled due to COVID, ABC Classic dove into our archives to revive those studio recordings, never before released to the public. Thus, the Master Series was born.  This series of digital releases takes listeners on a journey through the rich history of chamber music, exploring landmark works by Mozart, Beethoven, Faure, Nielsen and Hindemith.  Released fortnightly from May 29, these recordings will go some way to keeping audiences in touch with the wonderful musicians of the Omega Ensemble – until the next time we can see them in the concert hall.  Omega Ensemble Master Series: Beethoven: Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, Op. 16 – released May 29Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24 No. 2 – released June 12Nielsen: Wind Quintet, Op. 43 – released June 26Fauré: Piano Trio, Op. 120 – released July 10Mozart: Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 – released July 24