The celebrations marking the release of Take Me To Town, our self-proclaimed landmark compilation of contemporary Australian alternative country music continues next week with a very special showcase evening at Australian Music Week in Cronulla on Wednesday Nov 7th at El Sol Restaurant.
Tracy McNeil and her band The GoodLife take the songwriting core of Americana music and fuse it with a glorious and warm glow of 70s pop/rock. From her Canadian origins to her home of the last decade in Melbourne she’s made an award winning name for herself, appearing at festivals around the country and transporting audiences with dreamy, bucolic songs of nostalgia and affairs of the heart. Tracy’s ‘Take Me Town’ track ‘Paradise’ sounds like a stone cold classic from the minute you hear it and the exciting thing about her set at our Australian Music Week showcase will be hearing songs from her forthcoming new LP, due for release in the new year.
James Thomson was pegged for great things right from the start. Author/label owner Stuart Coupe recognised his talent and released his debut album, which quickly gained media attention from journalists such as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Bernard Zuel and Chris Familton of Post To Wire. International supports, a second album (Cold Moon) and further critical acclaim followed, much of it centred on James’ ability to capture the soul of traditional blues as wonderfully as he can channel both the freewheeling grooves and sweet sensitivity of 70s country-rock. A new album is just around the corner and you’ll get a sneak preview of some of it as James joins the ‘Take Me to Town’ showcase in Cronulla.
Newcastle’s Ben Leece is the real deal. Raised on Kamilaroi country, he grew up on a small farm in Quirindi, on the Liverpool Plains south of Tamworth. He first picked up his father’s Maton guitar as an early teenager and began writing songs before he even knew how to play. Things have continued that way ever since. Ben had previously played in popular Newcastle band The Delta Lions before heading out on his own in 2016. After releasing his debut 7” single, ‘Trace’ in 2017, he caught the attention of Dashville Skyline who added him to their bill later that year. His performance left such a mark that he has been asked to return to Dashville in 2018. ‘Trace’ went on to win the Alt-Country Song of the Year award at the 16th annual Independent Music Awards. A short time later, Ben made the Top 15 finalists in The Americana Music Prize of Australia.
Dan Parsons has the knack for writing a copious amount of songs that dial into the sound of wistful dreams and organic, ambling rhythms. His guitar playing is as essential as his words and soulful, honeyed voice that recalls everyone from James Taylor to Iron and Wine. He’s as much a folk singer as he is a country balladeer and the ‘Take Me Town’ showcase at Australian Music Week is the perfect opportunity to bathe in the heart swelling musical talent that is Dan Parsons.
Peta Caswell is fast earning a name for herself as one of Sydney’s brightest and most promising alt-country vocalists and writers. With 2 decades of performing experience under her belt, 2017 has seen her establish herself with her own material. ‘Take Me To Town’ features the first taste of her original work, ‘Hard Work’. With one listen, you’ll not only be blown away by the power of her voice, you’ll also quickly discover that quality songwriting runs in the family. Peta is the niece of legendary Australian songwriter and singer, Allan Caswell and is destined to forge a successful trail of her own.