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The latest edition of Undercover Radio features new music from Robyn Archer plus some old gold 1940s Hawaiian tunes from Keith Branch & His South Sea Islanders; Australian folk royalty Eric Bogle, John Munro and Gary Shearston; past legends of Australian country Buddy Williams & Reg Lindsay, along with Hall of Fame inductees Roger Knox, Chrissy Amphlett and Jenny Morris.

 

Robyn Archer

ROBYN ARCHER

Robyn Archer: Classic Cabaret Rarities is the arts and cabaret icon’s 11th album and her first since Keep Up Your Standards, a 1997 collaboration with Paul Grabowsky.

Rouseabout Records is delighted to welcome Robyn Archer to its roster. Robyn’s entire back catalogue will soon be re-released for download and streaming.

Robyn is internationally recognised as a world-leading expert in the performance of the German cabaret repertoire. Her landmark Robyn Archer Sings Brecht Vols 1 and 2 were recorded in the 1980s with the London Sinfonietta at Abbey Road studios in London. They were released originally by EMI and subsequently by Walkabout Records.  Her hit show A Star is Torn celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019-20: it played all round Australia and in London’s West End for a year at Wyndham’s. Robyn has performed throughout the world in London, Paris, New York and Berlin, but also throughout Australia, Europe and Asia.

For the last twenty years Robyn has earned a reputation for festival direction – the National Festival of Australian Theatre, Adelaide Festival, Melbourne Festival, Ten Days on the Island (which she created for Tasmania), The Light in Winter (created by Robyn for Federation Square) and the Centenary of Canberra (2013). In the last five years she has made a significant leading contribution to the cultural transformation of Queensland’s Gold Coast 
Alongside all this activity Robyn has continued to sing, and more recently has performed successful seasons at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, City Recital Hall (Sydney) and Arts Centre Melbourne with three different cabaret recitals – Que Reste-t’il (French songs from the 1880s to the 1960s), Dancing on the Volcano (German songs from Berlin between the wars), and The Other Great American Songbook (American songs from the left, from Stephen Foster to Pink). Robyn won the 2013 Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer, and was named Cabaret Icon at the 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival She has just completed a successful new show Picaresque for the 2019 Adelaide Festival.

Robyn Archer; Classic Cabaret Rarities is a selection of French and German shows from Que Reste-t’il and Dancing on the Volcano. Brilliantly accompanied by her two long time recital colleagues Michael Morley (piano and voice) and George Butrumlis (accordions and voice), most of these songs are rarely recorded, and certainly never in these translations - mostly by Morley and Archer. 

The music is spirited and detailed, the content of the songs both hilarious and biting, and as a whole the album paints a picture of classic European cabaret very different from the odd amalgam which the word cabaret has come to signify in 2019.  It is not comedy, not burlesque and definitely not lounge; but it is very funny, musically exquisite, and Archer’s voice is robust, tender and typically articulate as each song becomes a little drama all of its own. Not for the superficial, this album is a genuinely rare treat.

“Arguably the greatest cabaret artist in the country”
Australian Book Review

“Just when we were wondering what cabaret is any more, along comes Robyn Archer to give us a splendid master class.”
The Barefoot Review

Robyn Archer: Classic Cabaret Rarities (RRR91) is coming soon on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order & digitally on Apple Music and Spotify.

"On Archer’s new CD, Classic Cabaret Rarities, she presents examples of European cabaret in three of its heydays. From fin-de-siècle Paris there are the songs of Aristide Bruant; from Germany in the first thirty years of the twentieth century — from expressionism to Weimar — there are songs by Wedekind, Brecht and Friedrich Hollaender; from 1950s Paris, there’s Léo Ferré and Brel. They are intense songs, all of them: angry, tragic, bitingly funny; songs about ideas. They matter to Archer and she makes them matter to me. This is the real thing.”
Andrew Ford for Inside Story

 

Robyn Archer: Classic Cabaret Rarities (RRR91) is available to download or stream on Apple Music and Spotify from 26th April 2019 and on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order from May 3rd 2019.

For more information: Artists Page

Eric Bogle

Eric Bogle

Eric Bogle is one of the best and most prolific songwriters of the last several decades.

Born in Peebles in Scotland Eric says he was ‘destined to be a politician or a folk singer of protest songs… and so one of these prophecies came to pass’. He emigrated to Australia in 1969 and embarked on the perilous career path of a professional musician in 1980.

He has won many awards along the way, including the Order of Australia medal for services to the entertainment industry and a Peace Medal from the United Nations for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony.

Eric is also Australia’s foremost singer of WW1 songs. Possibly his best known song ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ confirmed its status by appearing as a question in the Australian version of Trivial Pursuit whilst ‘No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France)’ has been covered by both June Tabor and The Fureys.

With 11th November, 2018 being the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day – the official end of WW1 it’s no surprise the good folk at Illawarra Folk Club were thrilled to have Eric Bogle performing the night before at the Master Builders Club. [Source: Illawarra Folk Club E-Newsletters]

Eric headed back out onto the road with shows in WA & VIC in March and is headlining a tribute concert for his long time musical companion and best mate John Munro in Adelaide in May.

His album with John & Brent Miller When The Wind Blows originally released on Larrikin in 1984 is now available to download & stream through Apple Music & Spotify for the first time. The album contains Bogle classics like ‘Hard Hard Times’, ‘Bushfire’, ‘Soldier, Soldier’, ‘Shining River’ & Eric’s trademark humour in the unforgettable tragic tale of ‘Little Gomez’.

Rouseabout Records Executive Producer Warren Fahey reflects … “Raymond Briggs’ graphic novel, the 1980s animated classic When the Wind Blows is one of the most powerful depictions of nuclear armageddon ever made. I remember when I first read it and when, a short time after, Eric Bogle, obviously equally moved, wrote his song of the same name. The song sent shivers up my back and even now, decades later, I imagine the nightmare image of Trump and Comrade Kim, fingers to the button, ready to blow up our world in the name of political folly. There are other songs on this album that shake my old bones but above all, this album’s final song ‘Safe in the Harbour’ is still one of my all time favourites. Eric wrote this song for the Canadian folk musician Stan Rogers who tragically died at very young age in an air crash in 1983. For me, it is testament of Eric’s extraordinary insight as a poet.”

More Information:  Artist Page


KEITH BRANCH

KEITH BRANCH & HIS SOUTH SEA ISLANDERS

By the time Keith Branch stepped into the Columbia recording studios in Sydney on 20th June 1947, the popularity of Hawaiian music was starting its slow and steady decline. Although it wouldn’t begin its official demise until the mid-1950s, after World War II the style was nowhere near as popular as it was in its heyday of the 1930s.

The six recordings made by Branch for the Regal Zonophone label sit at an interesting point in the development of the Hawaiian genre; then at the tail-end of its influence as a form of mainstream popular music. The style had not yet been subsumed into the “exotica” and “easy listening” categories, and the rock and roll craze, which eclipsed most WWII pop music, was still years to come.

The electric steel guitar sound so synonymous with the genre had also not yet succumbed to the garish performance style so characteristic of later steel players, who incorporated techniques like excessive glissando and heavy use of the volume pedal. Later vinyl-era recordings of Hawaiian hapa haole music tended to feature more elaborate and “exotic” orchestral arrangements, and were mostly instrumental. The combination of Branch’s sensitive steel playing, sparse accompaniment (guitar, uke and bass), along with crooner-style vocalising, stand in contrast to these later shifts.

The songs themselves reflect a greater awareness in Australia’s position and connection to the wider Pacific, with references to Hawaiian culture but also Tongan and Maori. Although they are ostensibly pop songs, authored or adapted by white Australian/New Zealand composers, and recorded for profit, the themes mark a trend towards more local and topical songwriting, and a broader sense of “Australianness”.

Although Branch’s musical legacy is brief, the recordings made under his name were kept in the EMI catalogue right until the mid-1950s, just before 78s were phased out altogether. Over 70 years later, his recordings are reissued here for the very first time. I hope that this compilation is one in a series of many that are dedicated to the overlooked recordings of Hawaiian music made in Australia during the 78rpm era.

More to come… - Michael Alexandratos

Keith Branch & His South Sea Islanders (RRH80) is now available to download on iTunes, stream on Apple Music & Spotify.

For registered AirIt Radio Users three songs from the album are available on Amrap's AirIt catalogue: Malo Lelei, Manu Rere (A Maori Love Song), and Pokarekare. Listen out for Keith Branch & His South Sea Islanders on 2AirFM, 2SEA 104.7, Vox FM, KCR FM, Three D (SA), Radio Alexandrina Community Broadcasters Inc., 2Bobradio, Radio 4EM, Artsound FM, 2BACR, 2mce Community Radio, 5 Triple Z & 98.9 North West FM.


John Munro

John Munro

Writes Rhythms Magazine’s Tony Hillier … The passing of John Munro last May was a major blow to Australian acoustic music. As long-time right-hand-man to fellow Scot expat Eric Bogle and a leading figure in local bluegrass circles, the guitar and mandolin whiz was a significant contributor during more than four decades down under. Thus, the re-release of his magnum opus The Eureka Suite, which arguably didn’t get the publicity it deserved when initially launched back in 1999, is richly merited. Apart from illustrating a pivotal mid-19th century event in Australian history, the folk opera underlines Munro’s all-round ability as well as showcasing the high standard of South Australian folk musicianship in general. Sydney Morning Herald’s Bruce Elder adds “It's a true Australian rarity – a folk concept album – and the re-release is an important contribution to our folk canon.”

oser.

The Eureka Suite features Eric Bogle, John Schumann, John Munro, The Goldrush Band, Kat Kraus, Mike O’Callaghan, Dave Moss and is now available to download through iTunes and stream through Spotify  & Apple Music. It is also available on CD directly from Undercover Music via mail order.

Rouseabout Head Honcho Warren Fahey has produced video clips for YouTube for ‘The Land Belongs To Them’ and ‘Republic’.

For registered AirIt Radio Users three songs from the album are available on Amrap's AirIt catalogue: The Land Belongs To Them (feat. John Schumann), Rebellion (feat. John Schumann) and Republic (feat. Eric Bogle)

Look & listen out for The Eureka Suite in Rhythms Magazine, Trad&Now and Sydney Morning Herald and on Radio Adelaide, PBS FM, WOW FM, Hobart FM Community Radio 96.1, Triple U FM, 94.7 Coral Coast Community Radio, Highland FM, Radio 1629 Newcastle, 90.1 Happy FM, 5GTR, Monaro FM, 3CR, Edge Radio 99.3FM, Today’s Country 94One, 2SER, BayFm 99.9, ZFM Country Radio16.com.au, Power Country ALSO Aussie country radio, 5 Triple Z, Vox FM, 99.9 Voice FM, 3NRG Inc, King Island Community Radio, KIX FM Kangaroo Island, Fleurieu FM, Phoenix FM 106.7 3PFM, 2AirFm, Rainbow FM, Tjuma Pulka Media Aboriginal Corporation and Radio Alexandrina Community Broadcasters Inc.

This release is a testament to John Munro’s wonderful musical legacy and life.

More Information:  Artist Page

Gary Shearston

Gary Shearston

Undercover Music recently received a beautiful request to use the lyrics of Gary’s ‘Song for Kimio Eto’ from his brilliant album Only Love Survives which was the third release on our Rouseabout Records label way back in 2001…

 

Company: JAPAN

Message: HELLO. (Sorry my poor English.)

Subject: "May we use Shearston's lyrics in a book (bibliographic novel)?"

Mr.Gary Shearston wrote a music, its title is "Song for Kimio Eto" in album "only love survive".

My Master (she is about 80 years old) of KOTO (Japanese traditional Instrument) now plans to publish about memory of Kimio ETO. She was a private secretary of KIMIO Eto more than 40 years.

Mr. Gary's music is one of the most impressive and heart warm memory. So she want to introduce Lyrics of the music "Song for Kimio ETO".

May we use the lyrics of Sheaston's "Song for KIMIO ETO "?

Regards,
Kazuo Haraoka (Dr)

 

Of course we obliged.

Listen to ‘Song for Kimio Eto’ in the latest edition of Undercover Radio. Better still, steam Only Love Survives on Spotify or Apple Music. You can order the album on CD directly from Undercover Music.

“The word ‘legend’ is used freely in the music world, but few could be more entitled to its use than Gary Shearston.”
(Ian Dearden, Trad & Now)

MArcus Holden

Marcus Holden

Finally Sydney has a regular mid week Gypsy (and other acoustic) music night that has started up.

The venue is the Rio Bar in Summer Hill, a small groovy bar right near the rail station and five minutes’ walk from Lewisham West Light Rail Station.

Gypsy Swing Sessions launched on February 6th and features our very own multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Marcus Holden on violin, Cameron Jones (guitar) and Loretta Palmeiro (clarinet). Every week they’ll feature a special guest. Come along and join them. Tell your friends, colleagues and anyone from out of town looking for a great night out. Rio Bar is going to become the place to hang out for good music midweek.

In the meantime, Marcus Holden’s solo albums The Brolga (RRR73) and Cicadas & Roses (RRR62) are both available on Apple Music & Spotify and on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order..

More Information:  Artist Page

Roger Knox

Roger Knox

First Nations country music legend Roger Knox was inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame during the event’s 15th anniversary last year.

Celebrating a career which spans over three decades, Roger has spent a lifetime recording, touring and advocating for his people. “It is really deadly and a great honour to be inducted into the National Music Awards Hall of Fame, alongside heroes like Uncle Seaman Dan and my brother Kutcha Edwards. I was humbled to be invited to tell my story at last year’s Music Vault in Melbourne – it was a great privilege,” said Knox. The awards were held at the iconic Darwin Amphithatre and featured live performances from rising star Baker Boy, folksters Busby Marou, country legends Kasey Chambers and Alan Pigram, triple j Unearthed’s NIMA winner Alice Skye and many more including crowd favourite Roger Knox who performed ‘Arnhem’ & ‘Koori Rose’.

For the first time, the NIMA Hall of Fame inductee was celebrated within the Australian Music Vault, a free music exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne. Following the awards ceremony the Australian Music Vault created a special display acknowledging Roger Knox as the Hall of Fame recipient that included awards, artwork, rare photographs and performance footage, posters and precious mementoes from Roger’s own personal collection reflecting his journey as a musician and community advocate.

The Australian Music Vault senior curator Carolyn Laffan said, “We were extremely proud to be able to share Roger’s story with visitors to the Australian Music Vault. “For more than 30 years Roger’s music has brought joy and healing to audiences in remote areas of Australia, in prisons and correctional centres and at festivals across Australia and North America. “His story of survival and resilience has already been an inspiration to many and we hope his display will encourage a whole new audience to fall in love with his music and stories.” (Sources: Country Music Capital News, The Music Network)

Roger Knox’s Warrior In Chains (RRR64) is available on Apple Music & Spotify and on CD-Pro directly from Undercover Music via mail order.

More Information:  Artist Page

Buddy Williams

Buddy Williams

FROM ORPHAN BOY TO AUSTRALIAN LEGEND

"Take me back to Dorrigo,
dear old Dorrigo,
That's the place I love the best
Where Bielsdown Waters flow
The country town where I
grew up and learned the
farmer's ways,
I'd love to live it all again, just
like the good old days"

These are the opening words of one of the 120 sides that Buddy Williams “The Yodelling Jackaroo” recorded for the famous Regal-Zonophone label. He loved Dorrigo, even though, as one old-time resident said, "he came to town as little more than slave labour for the family that had adopted him". Yet, it was this experience, as a graduate of the school of hard knocks that prepared him to become an Aussie country music legend.

He was born Harry Taylor on September 5, 1918.

Orphaned at birth, his first memories were of Glebe Point orphanage. From this institution, he was fostered out to various homes until adopted by a family at Dorrigo. Despite the rigours of home-life, he gained his love for the bush, roaming the hills and making firm friends on neighbouring properties. Finally, with the police turning a blind eye, "as long as you've got a job", Buddy cleared out from the farm and took various jobs around Ebor and Grafton.

During his time in Dorrigo, Buddy heard and learned to love the early country music and determined to become a singer. He sang on radio 2GF in Grafton and after a dare busked in Coffs Harbour making over £13 in a day, a small fortune during the Depression!

Finally, on September 7, 1939, he cut his first six sides. They were an immediate success but unfortunately, WWII conditions greatly curtailed his ability to capitalise on this. Some of his biggest hits were recorded at this time, including Headin' For The Warwick Rodeo, Where White Faced Cattle Roam, Music In My Pony's Feet, Where The Lazy Murray River Rolls Along and war themed songs like The Shearers Goodbye, The Dying Soldiers Prayer, I'II Be Back Never Fear, Sunny Australian Sweetheart and Stockmen In Uniform.

Buddy served in the 2/31st Battalion, 7th Division, and was badly wounded in Borneo in 1945. After recovery and war's end, he recorded The Overlander Trail, which was a huge hit, established his travelling tent shows and began touring Australia. From the late 1950s he toured hall variety shows which he continued to do almost up to his death in 1986. He recorded hundreds of songs firstly for EMI and later the RCA label. His touring shows gave many artists their first breaks into show business. Buddy was elevated to the Aussie CM Roll of Renown in 1978.

A special event was held in Dorrigo in September 2018 to celebrate what would have been Buddy's 100th birthday. It included a memorial show on the Saturday evening,other events in the town and on Sunday 9, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the museum.
(Source: Garry Coxhead, Country Music Capital News)

More Information:  Artist Page

Reg Lindsay

Reg Lindsay

On June 2 1968, at a farewell that included family, friends and media, Reg Lindsay was presented with a Certificate of Achievement by managing director of Festival Records before leaving Sydney for the United States.

On June 6, four days after Reg's arrival in Los Angeles, presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy was assassinated, making it a dark time in the country. The news resulted in the cancellation of Reg's video taping so he took the time to visit Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, record companies and TV and film studios.

What amazed Reg most was that country music was being played on radio 24 hours aday and on a trip to Las Vegas he was pleased to find that country & western music was playing at half of the venues including the Golden Nugget, and The Mint hotel.

Reg was one of the first Australian country music artists to lead the way in the US. He arrived in Nashville to a huge welcome. At the motel where he was staying had a big sign "Welcome Australia's Reg Lindsay To Nashville". After appearing on the Grand Ole Opry he received an encore and was invited back the following night. During this time he met Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, Marty Robbins, Leroy Van Dyke, Billy Walker, Charlie Walker, Don Gibson and others.

He did a show for 400 army boys, performed at Ernest Tubb's with Dean Munroe and his Bluegrass Boys, was made honorary citizen of Tennessee and Roy Acuff presented Reg to the Governor of Tennessee.

The four songs he recorded in Nashville were released as a special promotion through Festival Records coupled with a brand new LP Roadside Mailbox.

On July 21, 2019 the world will acknowledge 50 years since man - Neil Armstrong - first walked on the moon. Reg's version of the 1971 hit song Armstrong [written by American John Stewart] is buried in a time capsule in the Lyndon B Johnson Space Centre, Houston, Texas.
(Source: Country Music Capital News).

More Information:  Artist Page

Chrissy Amplhlet

Antenna

The legendary and iconic front-woman of Divinyls, Chrissy Amphlett, was inducted into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame late last year.

Every year in conjunction with awards for the state's finest artists, albums, music venues and festivals, The Age Music Victoria Awards induct local legends in recognition of their contributions to Victorian music.

Speaking about Amphlett's ongoing influence and legacy Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan said, ‘’Chrissy has a Melbourne city street named after her and a mural in her hometown of Geelong, and it’s about time she was inducted into the Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame. While she may have left us five years ago, her influence lives on in acts such as Amyl and the Sniffers, Ella Hooper and Dallas Frasca.’’

The induction was accompanied by a special performance from Ella Hooper with Dallas Frasca and speech from Little Pattie. Good on ya, Chrissy! (Sources: www.pbs.org.au, www.themusic.com.au).


Chrissy was a special guest on Antenna’s Installation LP singing lead vocals on ‘Divine’. Listen on Spotify and Apple Music. Meanwhile, ‘Come On Spring’ was featured on Double J’s 7 songs from the 1998 Hottest 100 you might have forgotten.

“As always, I’m at pains to stress that these are the songs you might have forgotten. Cos I know some of you are blasting Antenna on a daily basis, and that’s cool.

Antenna – ‘Come On Spring’ (#64) As a rule, supergroups tend not to last. That’s why you haven’t heard from Antenna in 20 years or so.

Dave Faulkner from Hoodoo Gurus, Kim Salmon from Scientists/Beasts of Bourbon, and Justin Frew and Stu McCarthy from Southend (yes, you do know them) joined forces for this very short-lived project.

In ‘Come On Spring’ they proved that they were a more than worthy proposition and we kinda wish we could’ve seen what more they could do. Alas, it wasn’t to be. But at least we’ve got this brilliant track – and its accompanying album Installation – to remember them by.”
(Dan Condon, January 2019)

Listen on Spotify and Apple Music.

More Information:  Artist Page

Jenny Morris

Jenny Morris

The Hall of Fame inductions keep coming. This time congrats go to Jenny Morris who was deservedly inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame in October 2018. To celebrate, all of Jenny’s releases on Yep! Records from the early noughties including her Hit & Myth LP will soon be available for the first time to stream and download. For more information check our her artist page.

More Information:  Artist Page

 

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Robyn Archer

  1. Friday 30th August, The Fortunes of Exile Grainger Studio, Adelaide (SA)

Eric Bogle


  1. Sunday 26th May, Trinity Sessions (Tribute Concert for John Munro), Adelaide (SA)