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Review of Duke's Place, February - December 2016
February to December 2016

By Sandra Nixon
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2017

February - Miguel Heatwole. A versatile vocal musician, Miguel’s wide-ranging multilingual repertoire is influenced by folk and world music, political satire, Irish Gaelic, environmental causes, trade unionism and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol. His own song writing is similarly wide-ranging and voices the vital concerns of the peace activist, the family cat, or anyone in the welcome grip of passionate attraction. His often elegant and intricate melodies are delivered in a lyric baritone that is powerful, subtle and expressive.

February Session

March - Evan Mathieson. Evan was born in 1943 at Nullawarre on the coast of Victoria just to the east of Port Fairy. He spent his first 20 years on the family farm which bordered the sheer cliffs of the magnificent, infamous “Ship Wreck Coast” of southern Australia. His great love of folk music and the history of the land and the sea, comes from these early days where the experiences of ship wrecks and the oral transmission of the local history were a part of the web of everyday life.

Evan is also a luthier & makes autoharps

Lyn cut the ribbon on our new ramp.

April - Pat Drummond. Pat is an Australian Singer/Songwriter. His highly original music crosses the genres of country, folk and rock and roll and his musical career spans four decades. Based at Leura in the Blue Mountains, his style is a cross between songwriting and journalism. His well documented songs about real people and places are drawn from interviews gathered on his erratic tours across Australia and present a composite picture of that country and her people.

Pat on piano

we waved

and waved

and waved.

May - Jason Roweth - 'That’s Not How I Heard It!’ Some joker asked What is truth?, then buggered off… But Jason’s here with some bush poetry and yarns with a song or three thrown in. Lawson, Paterson, Dengate, Kevans, anon & etc… a show from the bush and beyond - with a grateful nod to the early days of the Bush Music Club.

June - Jim Low. I live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia and have done so for thirty years. From childhood I have maintained a deep interest in, and love of, Australian history. I have written books and articles, and developed school learning materials on Australian themes. My interest in Australia has also been expressed in many of the songs I have written. My song writing has been combined with many and varied performing opportunities. I have performed at restaurants, concerts and festivals and my music has been played on ABC radio. Each year I continue to enjoy the opportunities of travelling to Australian places and listening to, and documenting, the stories of the people who live there.

July - Ten Quid Poms. The Poms are performers and songwriters of contemporary and traditional music. Witty incisive commentators on industrial, political and social issues. Ten Quid migrants. Unfortunately Robin couldn't make it, so John did the whole show, including some of Robin's numbers. He was joined for some songs by fellow Roaring Forties members!

Don Brian & John

Don with John & Jenni

August - Penny Davies & Roger Ilott. Penny & Roger occupy a unique place in Australian music spanning the great divide between Folk and Country. They have reinvigorated the bush ballad, kept alive the protest song, and have celebrated all that it means to be Australian without a cork hat, lagerphone or phoney accent on the horizon. Penny Davies simply has one of the richest voices in Australian folk and country music; add in the integrity of Roger Ilott's gentle delivery, and you have the best harmonies you're likely to hear. Coupled with Roger Ilott's compelling acoustic guitar and Rickenbacker 12 string artistry, it's little wonder Penny Davies & Roger Ilott, who already have an Australia wide following for their music, are now finding an audience for their songs around the world. John Broomhall, Trad & Now

September - Dave Johnson. In a rare solo performance at Dukes Place in September, Dave presents a swag of old, and not so old, bush songs and tunes that resonate with the Australian psyche. Many of these will be from his mammoth book of Australian songs, including poems that he has set to tunes and others unearthed in his folkloric studies, and accompanied with guitar, banjo and concertina. Plus, on fiddle and concertina, some wonderful collected dance tunes that he has had some special association with. Dave was joined by 2 of his sons, Andrew on video & James on piano

James & Andrew


October - Martyn Wyndham-Read. Martyn knew Duke as they were part of the Four Capitals Tour in 1964, & as he wrote, t'will be an honour to play at Duke's Hall. English by birth, Martyn first developed his great interest in folksongs of the outback when he went to Australia in the early 1960's. There, while working on the South Australian sheep station Emu Springs, he gained first hand experience of life as a bush worker and at the same time fell in love with Australia and it's music.

Martyn in concert

Martyn with Duke

November - Don & Sue Brian. At Duke's Place Don and Sue Brian will be presenting the traditional Craft of Cabbage tree hat making along with a visual presentation of its history and a surprising number of songs that relate to this fashionable attire from the 1790s up until the depression of the 1930s. There will be some hands on involvement for those who wish to learn what is involved in this historic folk craft.In the second part of the program. Don will present some songs from his research on Norfolk Island including newly discovered convict songs recorded in diaries at the time. More photos here

December - Christina Mimmocchi. Christina's interest in bush music was awakened when she met Rob Willis at a folk festival who said to her I have a recording you might be interested in and she has never looked back. You can expect an evening of Australian music and poems, collected, found or imagined. There will be songs from the fringes, working songs, migrants' songs, the odd sea shanty as sung by her lovely assistant young Tomas, and all this will be tastefully interrupted by some spoken work comedy of the bearded kind provided by PP Cranney with whom Christina collaborated on the musical play Lola’s Keg Night and more recently 1917:STRIKE! a show developed as a tribute to the late Brian Dunnett.

Christina & Margaret Walters

Pat Cranney recites Lawson


(photos Sandra Nixon)

Related info:
Bush Music Club
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Review of Duke's Place, February - December 2016