A selection of Musos Reports from 2013

Glasshouse Musicians Club, 10 February 2013
A great afternoon’s music was enjoyed by all who ventured along to the Coffee and Tea Merchants on Steve Irwin Way on Sunday afternoon. It began with our new resident quartet PADME featuring Paul, Adrien, Doug, Michael and “Everyone” or at least anyone else who happens by. Then followed a series of first appearances for the Musos Club with Cowboy - a singer guitarist recently arrived in our area, but originally from the Barrington Tops, with an impressive, resonant voice. He was followed by Warren Freeman a singer songwriter who I first met at a Loose Acoustic event, who appealed with his intense vocal delivery and thoughtful originals. He included a lovely song written for his daughter –
Carry Me.  Dave Mitchell, who apparently was playing his originals for the first time in public, gave us an inspiring set. Noting all of his originals were written about women, I especially enjoyed his God Sent Me An Angel. The Goodwills - down from Maleny and also appearing with us for the first time, showed what consummate professionals they are with their clever lyrics and largely original set. I especially enjoyed How I wished I was asleep and the Information Highway. Our fifth new act for the Musos Club today was Karen Spann, who we have been seeing for some months at our shows but only heard for the first time today, and what a lovely velvety alto voice and natural stage presence she has. 
Other acts today included the always impressive Tommy Leonard whose set included a wonderful performance of the Russian folk song
Those were the Days, the Kaffee Klub – Adrien, Sherree Caf and Shane, whose set included a Bee Gees medley featuring the harmonies of Adrien and Sherree, and Doug (known to his close friends as Dove) Pullen with a great send up of a Roy Orbison classic, retitled as Blew by You.
The Musos is on again next Thursday, February 14 at the Sports Club and we do hope some of you can get along. And just in case you need reminding, February 14 is a day which was first associated with
romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Say no more, but sounds like we have a theme for next Thursday! Troubadours do your stuff!

Glasshouse Musicians Club, 24 February 2013
Thank you to the 40 plus people who dropped into the Coffee and Tea Merchants on Sunday afternoon. The weather did the right thing by us and we enjoyed a full afternoon’s music. Retaining our good record we welcomed a new performer in Hamish Sewell who gave us Teddy Thompsen/Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan numbers and then surprised us by attempting Irving Berlin’s What’ll I do. Hamish assured us it was his first public performance and if this is the case then he is off to a good start - he has a fine folk voice, competent guitar technique and an interesting taste in music. Once his confidence develops I am sure his work will grow in stature. Our recent regular Adrien Powell gave us the club’s first didjeridoo performance with a rendition of Solid Ground in which he attempted the guitar, didj and vocal roles. Being a drummer I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had turned to his cajon at some point in the song, instead he saved it for his accompanying work with our regular backing musicians Paul and Doug.
Other performers on the day included Frank Moroney with one of his usual well thought through sets and a particularly entertaining group of songs from Doug Pullen delivered in his inimitable tongue in cheek style, right down to a warning  as to the audience friendliness of the song’s contents! Cowboy was back a with strong set including a fine rendition of the Ode to Billie Joe and Tina and Gavin gave us songs which once more showed off Tina’s beautiful singing voice.
Paul Fagan entertained us with his impersonation of Johnny Cash’s vocal inflections and I took the opportunity to break out my recently acquired Cole Clark Violap – a lapslide guitar that brought many in the audience forward for a good look. If you don’t know this instrument go here for a peek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZaYPGcS_nU and enjoy one of the masters of the instrument – Jerry Douglas, playing a Cole Clark. The Violap has one of the most successful pick up systems I have yet come across with two individual outputs from its two humbuckers producing a wonderful clear sound in which every cry and howl is right there in your face - it is one instrument that repays any time you spend playing it with its responsive silky voice.


Glasshouse Mountains Musician’s Club, 14 March 2013
The Musos Club was held at the Sports Club last Thursday and welcomed the work of two artists new to our flock.
Ann Leung who like myself has taken part in one of the Loose Acoustic Winterbreak courses  http://www.looseacoustic.com.au, came up from Brisbane and gave us four original songs which made an immediate impact. Ann has a well set up Maton guitar and she uses alternate tunings to great affect accompanying her gentle voice with independent bass and melodic lines which she weaves antiphonally around her vocal line. Later in her set she gave us a country song - accompanied in a more traditional style, which she wrote in response to a dare at the Brymaroo Rodeo.  Ann is an artist worth keeping an ear out for as is Karen Law who performed for us accompanied by Tommy Leonard. Tommy is the sort of finger style guitarist and harmonising vocalist anyone would be happy to have in their act and working with the palette offered by Karen’s fine songs, Tommy was in blistering form. He later performed the most frenetic version of Sultans of Swing I have ever heard and took our regular backing band - this week going under the moniker merk ‘n stein, along with him. Our “good ole boys” later teamed up with Karen for few covers. We do hope she will make the Musos an on-going part of her performance schedule! Other performers on the night were either regulars or, like Glenn Major, performers who we see regularly and always encourage.
Andrew Bilby is someone who seems to grow in stature each time we hear him and he gave us possibly his most impressive number yet, again accompanied by Adrien, Doug and Paul. Andrew suffers from an intellectual disability but is one of the sweetest young men you could imagine. He is certainly a credit to his devoted father Clive! I have never doubted the power of music to heal, to empower and to fill with joy. And Andrew is a wonderful example of that.


Musos Club, 25 & 28 April 2013
It was a reasonably quiet night at the Musos this last Thursday April 25, however being Anzac Day most performers had prepared songs which acknowledged in one guise or another, the futility of war.
Amongst the evening’s highlights were Adrien Powell performing a heartfelt rendition of John Schumann’s I was only nineteen and Tina Davidson giving us Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind. Glenn Stephens sang 1927’s Compulsory Hero and the Don Walker classic Khe Sanh, and Caf Kaos sang Bruce Robison’s Travelling Soldier, made famous by the Dixie Chicks. Pam Mathews took us back much further in time with versions of Lilly Marlane and It’s a long way to Tipperary. The Band Played Waltzin Matilda is a standard of these sorts of retrospectives and not surprisingly it found its way to our stage as well. A part of the role of artists and clubs such as ours is the representation of a community voicing of sadness, even despair at the senselessness of war. Artists don’t necessarily hold answers but they certainly paint pictures, and in this regard Eric Bogle’s gruesome classic stands up there amongst the great anti war songs.
A lighter note was evident with the Musos at the Coffee and Tea cafe on Sunday April 28. Doug Pullen played the most entertaining set we have yet seen from him with a rousing version of the Jeff Beck inspired, Barron Knights hit– The Wally Song, and followed it with the Rick Nelson classic Garden Party, including an introduction which beautifully set the scene for this song recognising the vacuous nature of hollow relationships.
Two guests - Lawrie White and Warren Freeman, came up from Brisbane – and continued the high standard we enjoy from their work. They gave us a duo as well as their solo sets and took us into country territory with their numbers. Tina and Gavin Davidson gave us a set and it allowed Tina to strut her stuff with a powerful version of The House of the Rising Sun – one of her most striking performances to date. They were joined on stage by daughter Laurel – in her first public performance. A hesitant backing vocalist at this stage but the voice is certainly there, so as her confidence grows we will surely hear some great work from her. Mary Martin gave us another of her heartfelt sets with a combination of originals and covers and Lee Moon – making his first public performance as a musician, played two original songs. Other performers on the day included Frank Moroney with a solid version of Slim Dusty’s Leave him in the long yard, Paul Fagan giving Moondance a good work out and yours truly, taking advantage of Gavin’s assistance on the mixing desk, shared a few covers, including the Gram Parsons/Keith Richards classic – Wild Horses

Musos Club 12 May 2013
It was a special day for the Musos this last Sunday, not just being Mother’s Day and so great to play for all the mums out there, but also for the range of fantastic performers who graced our stage. Aside from our regular regulars – who one can never thank enough for playing for us week after week, nor the fantastic regular audience - for just being there, but also we have our occasional regulars, who this week included Karen Law, Memphis and Tommy Leonard.
Karen was joined by her 2 primary school age children Murray and Hazel and what talent we enjoyed! Karen is a fine singer guitarist/ song writer and with young son Murray playing some very accomplished licks on guitar and backing vocals and even younger daughter Hazel on vocals, it was a most impressive family set. Someone even inquired as to whether Murray is giving lessons! In his set Memphis featured fiddler Meye, up from Victoria and a fine addition she was to his swampy blues sound. Imagine Bob Dylan in the days of Scarlet Rivera and it was nothing like that, but it is “ball park”. Tommy Leonard is a veritable walking encyclopedia of music of the past 50 years as he draws comfortably on classic pop to little known but exquisite folk numbers, playing from memory, and performing each with a commitment rarely heard amongst the best of musicians. His stentorian vocal and inimitable finger style guitar playing is a feature of his performance. What a wonderful asset he is to our events!
A very special guest turned up as the last act for the day and that was Toni Childs. It was one of those chance moments – her car broke down, she came in to enjoy the beautiful coffee and hospitality of the cafe, and drawn in by the aroma of the music, asked if she could do a set. Paul, Doug and I had the pleasure of accompanying her in a few bluesy numbers, and I had the distinction of being assured - verse after verse, how “bad” I was as I wailed on the harmonica inspired by her phenomenal voice. Music is the most stunning of levellers and with a great voice in front of them, backing musicians rise to the occasion. Paul delivered some searing guitar lines and Doug as always played the most tasteful of bass, to end this most special of Musos Club events.

Musos Club 23 and 26 May, 2013.
This last Thursday May 23 at the Sports Club, the Musos saw a good turn out, with 50 odd people coming to the event. We were pleased to welcome a new performer in singer Catherine Belk. She has a rich alto voice and her style lends itself to country, but she displayed in her performance of Words from the Bee Gees, that she is happy to branch out into popular repertoire. Another guest we don’t see often was JJ Munyard, who although only 10 or so, wows us with his performance on the Stratocaster and showed on this occasion he is also a strong vocalist. He joined Jon Brown, Tony Vobr and Glen Stephens in a few bluesy songs and later featured with Paul Fagan in a Chuck Berry number. Jon and Glenn also gave us a fine duo set featuring their impressive vocal harmonies with some testing repertoire including Bennie and the Jets, Everybody’s got a hungry heart and Rikki don’t lose that number. Other performers on the night included Gary Josland and Carol lynn Gresik - both in top voice, Laurie White with a great performance of 24 hours from Tulsa, Frank Moroney, Doug Pullen, Adrian Powell and Tommy Leonard who introduced us to the work of New Zealand song writer Mark Gillet. Sadly Mark, who is a largely unheralded talent, recently passed away. Perhaps it is now up to performers such as Tommy to record his songs so they have the chance to find their place in the standard repertoire.
On Sunday May 26 the Musos was at our Coffee venue at 1094 Steve Irwin Way and what an afternoon of riches was laid before us. The highlight for me came from artists new to us - No Ambition, with singer guitarist Adam Pinkowski and vocalists Joanne and Sheryl. They produced the sort of harmonies you literally die for - close, three part, tonally balanced and beautifully in tune. Each of them took solos in a set that included an original, a James Taylor number or two and The Wayfaring Stranger - a negro spiritual. They were then joined on stage by local girl Natalie Przychoszki in a vocally rich version of Smile. Earlier we had enjoyed harmonica player Iain Scott and his daughter - vocalist Reve, in some raunchy blues tunes. They are also new to us and it leaves one pondering, where do all these wonderful musicians come from? Other performers on the day included Jonathon Currency (AKA Frank Moroney) Anthony Infant (AKA Doug Pullen), Catherine Belk, Mick Dawson, Mary Martin, Adrien Powell, Kaf and Paul Fagan. The ever reliable Rusty Strings – Gerry and Doug, with their foot-tapping, folky, bluegrass repertoire attained the sort of level we have come to expect from them and earnt Gerry the Most Award as a thank you for his performances for the Musos for this month. Rob Goodwin, who is a good supporter but one we rarely hear, finished off a great afternoon for us by belting out some Creedence and Eric Clapton numbers backed by Paul, Doug, Adrien and yours truly.

GHM Musos at the Sports Club 11 july 2013.
Another great night for the Musos with 2 new performers appearing and some outstanding artists from last year coming back to entertain. As Doug Pullen – our statistician, regular bass player and part time comic noted, we have now had 133 different acts at the Musos club, so it is no surprise that we seem to have new acts at almost every session. On this occasion we welcomed a very young talent in Cassie Hilbers. She might be 10 years old, but performing
Grow my wings and fly - one of her own songs, to open her set was a surprise, then following that with a professionally executed Kasey Chambers number, shows that here we have an artist whose ability is well beyond her few years.  The relaxed yet confident nature of her presentation, original songs, strong voice (for one so young) and impressive sounding ¾ size Maton guitar shows that she has everything in place and will doubtless go on to a big career in music. We wish her all the best and hope she makes the Musos a regular port of call on her journey!
Another newcomer was drummer Alex Swinton who joined singer/guitarist Job Cran in a couple of short sets. He was particularly competent and appeared completely at home at the Musos. Reggie and Ellie Thompson are consummate professionals. We have enjoyed their work before and on this occasion they set the bar just as high. Reggie is an outstanding guitarist and his stage presence is electric. With his and wife Ellie’s vocals right on the button in a repertoire of country and rock and roll it just doesn’t get much better at the Musos. Carol Lynn Gresik stepped up a notch for this session with a set with backing tracks and later in the evening fronted a band with Brett Hall on bass, Paul Fagan on guitar and “Scoobs” Powell on kit. She has a lovely voice and it is always a treat to have her sing with us. Other performers at this session included JJ Munyard, Andrew Bilby, Kathy Belk, Frank Moroney, Mick Od, and Doug Pullen.

Glasshouse Musos 25 July 2013
A dazzling night was had July 25 at the Musos with a visit from the corpulent “man in red”, and some of our special friends coming along to entertain. It was almost frosty (for Queenslanders) in the Glasshouse Mountains, so Christmas in July at the Sports Club was not out of place. A not unanticipated surprise included a visit from a certain Stan A Lucas (aka Doug Pullen), who was unquestionably built to play the part of the red costumed, cranky one. He spent most of his entertaining set complaining about his beard and his wilful staff and we all had a good laugh – thanks Doug! Jon Brown stayed with the Xmas theme with a Canned Heat Christmas blues amongst other themed numbers. Can we thank Google or is it Jon’s prodigious memory and repertoire for the songs he comes up with? He was joined on stage by a big band including a new member for the Musos in bassist Brendan Cook - as always we welcome new players!
Tina Davidson sung for us and what a great artist she is becoming. Her able support band for a set which included These Boots are made for walking and Under the Boardwalk, included a solid leading role taken by bassist Brett Hall. The consummate professional - Ian Williams, gave us four beautifully performed songs from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and John Williams along with one of his own. I marvel at his presentation, almost honey toned voice and exquisite touch on the guitar. No less a phenomenon is pianist and singer Glen Stephens, who along with Jon Brown make up the duo One Small Step. Fantastic harmonies and a great 70s/80s repertoire in which tonight (we squeezed in two sets) included the likes of Queen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Manfred Mann, Thin Lizzy, The Buggles and Steely Dan. Frank Moroney – always finding something new for me, gave us A Pub with no Beer, a Response to a Pub with no Beer, and the Sequel to a Pub with no Beer. How challenging can it get! Also on the program were JJ Munyard, Adrien Powell, Job Cran, Pam Mathews, Michael Dawson, Gavin Davidson, Paul Fagan and yours truly.

Glasshouse Musos, 8 September 2013
The Musos enjoyed more fresh talent this last week, with performers well known to the folk scene – Ewan Mathieson and Dermot Dorgan, gracing our stage this sundrenched Sunday afternoon. I’ve enjoyed Ewan’s autoharp and vocal work before at the Maleny Music Weekend, so it was a reminder of his rich repertoire and deep knowledge of the Australian music scene, with each song peppered with anecdotes about a character or event that he might have known in his long career. My favourites from his fascinating two short sets were the Hugh Prestwood classic I’m just a ghost in this house and the 1967 Harry Robertson song We’re here to serve the people, which cleverly draws a relationship between a politician’s serving of the people and a bull’s serving a herd of heifers. Dermot Dorgan was new to me but what a brilliant song writer he is, with a particular talent for clever lyrics. Both of these artists are part of the rich tapestry which is Australian music today. For more on their work, go to these URLs Outstanding lighting designer and long time friend of mine Mark Bancroft brought out his harmonica for a set of bluesy numbers and other performers on the day included a particularly fine bracket from Frank Moroney which included a very funny love song from his own pen about a “toothless hag” along with sets from Paul Fagan, Doug Pullen and yours truly.

Glasshouse Musos, 12 September 2013
We had the first of our celebrations of the music of Leonard Cohen at our session last Thursday at the Sports Club. Amongst artists singing Cohen songs were Jacinta Foale, Tommy Leonard, Peter Gawith, Michael Rhoddy, Ian Williams, Neil Fitzsimmons, Carol Lynn Gresik, Glenn Stephens, and yours truly. Tina and Gavin Davison, Brett Hall, Doug Pullen, Adrien Powell, Bella and Paul Fagan were also on the program, a making it a varied and full night.
Each artist brought much of their own style to their Cohen performance, so it was something of a shock when Glenn Stephens, who we know well for his virtuosic piano performances and soaring vocal range, growled his way through Cohen’s Everybody Knows. It was so uncharacteristic of Glenn to use that low register of his voice, that when he coughed as his throat reacted, it was no surprise to any of us. He returned to more familiar territory for the rest of his set pushing it right up to the stratospheres with songs of Stevie Wonder amongst others. I am an avid Ian Williams fan and so anticipated he would both surprise and delight me with his offerings. Leaving Green Sleeves – Cohen’s rereading of the Elizabethan classic was a beautiful surprise, and No Way to say Goodbye one of the many delights. Ian further flabbergasted me, popping up on stage to sing harmony with me when I was performing my Cohen set with Doug and Adrien, so I promptly messed up a chorus – singing Lover Lover Lover at double tempo, but so enjoyed the mistake that I challenged him though to the end of the song by continuing to sing it incorrectly. Thank you Ian for being so courteous!
We hadn’t seen Peter Gawith for a while as his work takes him all over the country, but his performance of First we take Manhatten was rollicking and, being one of my Cohen favourites, a special pleasure for me. Jacinta Foale was joined on stage by Tommy Leonard and performed the classic Anthem amongst others but I was even more impressed by her own song, the very beautiful Sleeping Beauty which shows what a fine song writing talent she is. Jacinta also displayed her gift as a pianist accompanying Neil Fitzsimmons in Cohen’s modern classic Hallelujah, which, along with Suzanne, is probably his most loved song. Michael Rhoddy with his fluid, classically styled nylon string guitar playing, gave us a characteristically gentle, almost meditative reading of a number of (for me at least) less well known Cohen songs, while at another stylistic end Carol Lynn Gresik included Cohen’s version of Tennessee Waltz in her short set.

Glasshouse Musos, 22 September 2013
Need it be said the Musos enjoyed more fresh talent this week? Somehow they keep coming with rarely a week passing without newcomers gracing our stage. This week - our second session with the Leonard Cohen theme, four new artists appeared. Klaeton and Daninca came down from Mooloola Valley and gave us a consumate performance which included two classic Leonard Cohen songs – I’m your Man and Tower of Song. Klaeton is a strong acoustic guitarist and has a rich baritone voice along with a commanding stage presence and Daninca’s voices is simply stunning. These two also look fantastic on stage and I expect they are doing very well. I certainly thank them for sharing their talent with us. Sandi Fav - keen to take part in the Leonard Cohen event, came up from Brisbane to perform. Sandi has a big, almost brassy voice and gave us versions of Hallelujah and Everybody Knows from the pen of L Cohen, along with a good original – For Blue. Sandi is worth looking out for if playing in a club near you! Our other newcomer – Sue Thompson, came down from Gympie with a group of friends, and played two originals and an old Neil Young song. One got a strong sense of Sue’s love of music, and although she admitted suffering from nerves, with her rolliking style I imagine her sitting around a campfire, happily entertaining her friends.
Possibly the most compelling performance of the day for me was Tommy Leonard singing Mike McClellan’s I got over you a long long time ago - simply stunning. And his version of So long, Marianne wasnt too bad either! Our other performers - Mary Martin, Doug Pullen, Paul Fagan and yours truly, all successfully joined in the occasion’s theme including accordionist John Pyner giving us an instrumental version of Cohen’s reading of Greensleeves and Michael Rhoddy bowing to the inevitable with an exquisite and tightly controlled version of Suzanne. I’ll admit to a passion for Cohen’s work - he remains one of the great lyricists, and turning only 79 this week probably has more than a few good songs still left in him. I for one look forward to them!

Glasshouse Musos 26 September 2013.
The Glasshouse Musos appeared at the Sports Club last Thursday and had the pleasure of a visit from our colleagues from Jammit at Woodford. John Lynn and Chas Whiting played a couple of sets for us and brought along a group of dancers who certainly livened up our evening by getting up and shaking their booties! They enjoyed a range of 50s and 60s standards including classics such as Del Shannon’s Runnaway with the keyboard solo expertly performed by Chas. John is no slouch on the guitar either so they were a welcome addition to the night. Other performers on the evening included Jon Brown who delivered one of his reliable sets with Tony Vobr on bass. Never one to step back from a challenge Jon had a go at AC DC’s All In the Name of Liberty/Jailbreak. It might have been because his voice was feeling a little gravelly, or possibly - with the same chord progression as Gloria, most musicians would be able to have some fun with the song. The acoustic guitar wasn’t quite Angus Young, but Jon’s a school teacher by trade so I imagined the school satchel securely in place as he strutted his stuff. The drum duties for the night were taken by Scoobs (also a Woodford regular) and Geoff Hillier who we see whenever his motorhome is in town. A big thank you to Mr Adrien Powell for bringing his kit along and sharing it with others, though the two “well oiled” young ladies who took to the kit at one point probably would have done better sticking to the dance floor. Scoobs had the task of playing guitar and singing while they cavorted - good on him for being such a gentleman. He was joined by friend and photographer Sue Jones over from Woodford, singing harmonies in one number. I do hope she will come back in the future and we can hear her without the drum accompaniment.
Tina Davidson gave us one of her well prepared sets with a hand from the very reliable Gavin on guitar and the solid bass lines of Brett Hall. She was also joined on stage by her friend Stephnie Molnar making her debut as a harmony vocalist. Amongst the highlights was Tina’s version of The Letter (from the Boxtops) which earlier in the evening Paul Fagan had also given us with a slightly more Joe Cocker feel. Paul’s slow jazz version of Summertime with an impressive bass accompaniment from Doug Pullen was the standout from his short set. Also performing on the night were yours truly and our littlest regular Bella, who apparently insisted Paul play her ½ size guitar while accompanying her. Always fun at the Musos – you never quite know who is going to turn up or what is going to happen.

Glasshouse Musos 10 October 2013
A special guest at the Musos this last Thursday night was Rob Hopkins, a country singer down from Gladstone for a few days. Rob has a beautifully formed rich deep voice and you don’t need to be a fan of country music to enjoy what he does with it. His repertoire extends from popular rock through to country and Australiana and he mentioned a new interest in gospel music so I’ll be interested to see where that takes him over the next year or two. He was ably backed by our regular good old boys The Cowpats – Doug, Scoobs and Paul. Another newbie on the night was a solo set from Louise Munyard - Lu Lu to her dad. She is 16 and gave a very capable showing as a singer guitarist, including one original in her set. We hope to see a lot more of Lu Lu as she clearly has masses of potential. Her younger brother JJ - a regular at the Musos, played rhythm guitar in Jon Brown’s band The Strolling Drones, who paid homage to their artistic inspirations with a solid version of I Miss You, in a set leaning perhaps more in the direction of reggae than rock n roll. A young band appearing at the Musos for the first time was The Trough Lollies – Job, Tony, Sam and Billy. They played a solid set with strong vocal and guitar work and repertoire that moved comfortably from Johnny Cash to Chuck Berry, the Blues Brothers and Elvis. Lead guitarist Job Cran – hair and head bouncing and rolling as he plays, displays his passion for Stevie Ray Vaughan licks, at times almost pushing them to a more “metal styled” freneticism. Visually he is certainly the excitement side of the band but musically everyone ably pulls their own with singer Sam in particular providing a very solid showing.
Evan Mathieson joined us for the night and impressed many who were hearing an autoharp played live for the first time. Evan of course is a fine raconteur as well as musician and his performances are witty and educative covering a wide repertoire drawn from the folk idiom. Also on the program were the brilliant young Cassi Hilbers who included two originals in her set, Frank Moroney, Tony Vobr on bass and Geoff Hillier who sat in on drumkit for a set.

Musos Club, 24 and 27 October 2013
The Glasshouse Musos had a theme for it’s get togethers this last week and it was Music of the Vietnam War Era - roughly 1962 to 1975. Australia of course was extensively involved in this war with one third of its forces of 60,000 troops being conscripts. This was a bone of contention for many Australians, so it is not surprising that most of the memorable songs of the period have a political intent. We heard some of them at our session with our newbie for the evening Cory Josland, expertly accompanying his father Gary in a version of Stop, Hey What's That Sound written by Steve Stills in 1966. Cory then took over the vocal duties in a brilliant version of Radiohead’s High and Dry, complete with striking falsetto chorus and followed it with Hendrix’s Red House. Cory is a prodigious talent and we welcome him back to the Musos anytime. Tommy Leonard both surprised and inspired us with an uplifting version of King Crimson’s Epitaph performed as a medley with Deep Purple’s A Soldier of Fortune. He followed this with Imagine and Sounds of Silence inviting a chorus up from the audience that included Rob Goodwin and Jon Brown. Jon was joined on stage by Tony Vobr and JJ Munyard and included the very relevant Six O’clock News (Larry Norman) in his set. Later Glenn Stephens joined them and they sung Cold Chisels’ Khe Sanh and When the War is Over amongst other numbers.
Earlier in the evening Doug Pullen gave us some late sixties Aussie repertoire from Jim Keys and Matt Taylor, and joined me on stage when I sung Woodstock (Joni Mitchell), I Was Only 19 (Redgum) and The Band Played Walzin Matilda (Eric Bogle). Paul Fagan solidly backed by Doug on bass including Ronnie Burns’ song for the conscripted Normie Rowe – Smiley, in his set. He also sung the song made famous by Barry McGuire - Eve Of Destruction, which turned out to be very popular as it was later sung by Matty, who took the further opportunity of writing his first song for the occasion and sharing it with us. Lu Lu Munyard performed her recently written, original anti war song - This is the 2
nd War, proving if nothing else that creative artists continue to provide a social comment on events which live on, often long after the event and news of the day have faded. And little Bella accompanied as usual by Paul, showed just how flexible we are by contributing some children’s songs probably written before Vietnam was even French Indochina!

Glasshouse Musos, Sunday afternoon, 24 November 2013.
This was a most unusual Musos session. It was a record breaker for us with 14 acts wanting to play, including 6 new acts, but a storm hit us 30 minutes into the session, and being a garden setting, our well roofed performance space wasn’t quite enough to protect us from the onslaught and the 40 odd minutes of storm (including hail) that followed put an end to our amplified day. Undaunted, in true “never say die” Muso style, guitars were unsheathed and an acoustic session followed.
A special thank to Lawrie White and harmonica wiz Greg Thorne for starting off our acoustic session in fine form; to Tommy Leonard for taking up his guitar and wandering amongst the natives; to Brian Harris for coming along to his first Musos session – guitar in hand, and making so much effort to join in and help; to Allen Shaw for adding his banjo to the fine collection of instruments already featured at the Musos; and to Garry Bagnall for bringing along a whole swag of fine originals, and playing and singing so competently. Other performers who did “sing in the rain” included Barbara R-R, Kevin Brand, Doug Pullen, Paul Fagan, Scoobs Powell and yours truly.
Thanks to everyone who came along and stayed and my apologies to Miss Vicki, Carol Lynn Gresik, Mary Martin, Frank Moroney and Pam Mathews that you didn’t get to play but please do come to another session and I’ll use my connections to guarantee pleasant weather (ie cross my fingers).

Glasshouse Musos at the Sports Club, 12 December 2013
It was a good turn out for the Musos last night and included a very fine young performer appearing with us for the first time. Typical of so many youngsters, 12 year old Kaiyana May or KK as she is fondly known, is confident and a little sassy in an endearing way. She boldly stated as she sat, guitar at the ready, “How many songs can I do, 3 or 4? Ok I’ll start with an original I’ve just written. It hasn’t been performed in public before. It’s all about my life.” Most of us had a little chuckle at that, but her talent was immediately apparent so we settled in for a fine set from this young lady. Later in the evening she asked if she could get up again and do some songs with Musos regular, and himself only 11, JJ Munyard. It is great to see such young performers so contentedly playing music together. There was a certain awkwardness in their ensemble sound but with time and some good direction the potential is certainly there. Good on them for grabbing the moment.
Also on the program was Kevin Brand, on holidays from his regular Thursday gig in Woodford. Kevin formed up with the Kevins (Jon Brown, Doug Pullen and Tony Vobr) to play some of his infectious reggae and skiffle feels. Earlier in the evening, in the absence of a drummer, he had offered to sit in on wooden chair. We put a mic on it to lift the sound, but even his knuckling down to the task in hand didn’t quite do it justice. I guess a chair is a chair is a chair. There is no getting away from that. We’ll have to get ourselves a drum kit, or at least a drum with skins to accommodate such as the Kevins!
Jon Brown’s set featured bluesy numbers with a Christmas theme – both informing us of the range of artists who have a Christmas message, and reminding us that the all-pervasive commercial drive of this time of year, should be tempered with other more genuine values. The evening was filled out by a range of performers in different ensembles and along with those mentioned above included Lu Lu Munyard, Rob Goodwin and yours truly.

Glasshouse Musos Sunday 22 December 2013
It was a nice roll up for the Musos this Sunday. We welcomed old friends back and enjoyed the work of two newcomers. And it was John Donnelly, one of our new talents, who provided something of the talking point for this event. Our theme was loosely country so we were interested to see what came out of it, and most performers responded with a country angle of one sort of another. One even stating it was a song from their own “country” - Australia. Fair enough.
John Donnelly (JD) is a performer with a deep bass voice and accent that has Johnny Cash written all over it, and he didn’t disappoint on this occasion with quite a few of Johnny’s number (Ok, we gave him 2 sets). What was interesting for me was his adaption of lyrics here and there to reflect a more contemporary view, such as with Cash’s Man in Black where JD added his own verse at the end to reflect on Johnny Cash’s passing. For my own input I couldn’t resist a number from local song writer Mark Cryle - Johnny Cash is Dead. It is a beautiful song about recognising, remembering and rediscovering. For me Cash is one more of those great artists with whom one seems only able to begin to develop a real relationship after they have died. It is as though there has been a line drawn in the sand, and now one can step up and contemplate their oeuvre.
Other artists on our program included Warren Freeman, Mary Martin, Sandi Edwards, Doug Pullen and Scoobs Powell, all with thoughtful selections - covers and originals, from their repertoire, and Rob Goodwin who was joined by his sister Sue in a couple of numbers. Sue is another Musos newcomer who clearly knows how to sing, so we’ll look forward to her returning with her own selection of songs. Perhaps brother Rob, who is keen to gain the confidence to accompany himself on guitar, can take on the challenge of putting together a repertoire with Sue. Now there’s a New Year’s resolution worth undertaking!
Dear friend Noel Gardiner also performed a heartfelt set for us and typically there wasnt a song book in sight. As he assured me “if you need to look at a book you aren’t ready to perform the song”. This is good advice. We all know as performers how easy it is to sing lots and lots of new songs just because it feels good and organisations such as ours encourage that by providing regular get togethers for people to air the songs they are toying with. The question Noel asks is whether one should perform the song in public if you don’t yet know it well enough. I am certainly guilty of that. It could be my musical background which was all about “dots on the page”, but more likely it is a confidence thing. I do tend to write notes to myself – key, tempo, picking or strumming style, pauses, harmonies etc. and then refer to them during the performance. I also note with interest performers such as Sting, who generally has the words to his songs in front of him.
So another year comes to a close. To those amongst us for whom 2013 has been a less than great year, we wish you a much better 2014. One person who hasn’t been well enough to attend the Musos for the last three sessions and has struggled with his health all year long, has been our flash guitarist Paul Fagan. We wish him a swift recovery from his ills. And personally I can’t thank enough a colleague who has been there through thick, thin and bad weather this last year and beyond, and that of course is Doug Pullen - resident comedian, musical encyclopedia, bass player, and super PA helper. Our regular supporters are the backbone of the Musos - thank you friends for coming week after week, drinking the fine coffee and other beverages on offer, and giving our musicians the best of your ears! Without you we wouldn’t be able to do this. And for everyone else do have a lovely Xmas and New Year break. We’re back January 9 at the Sports Club from 7pm and January 12 at the Coffee garden from 1pm.