Fans of blistering live blues and roots music take note: Australia’s foremost, iconic blues and roots group Backsliders were nominated in the Roots category for the 25th Anniversary ARIA AWARDS!
Named by Doug Mulray in 2003 as “the best acoustic blues band in the country”, and with an abundance of career awards including ‘Band of the Year’ (Rolling Stone), ‘Best Live Australian Blues Act’ (Blues on Air Magazine) and ‘Blues Album of the Year’ (Rhythms Magazine), Backsliders are leaders and virtual pioneers in their own genre: the ‘delta-blues wall of sound’.
Live in concert, the band are a force to be reckoned with, fiercely blending an amped up authentic, original blues style, along with their evocative, unplugged ‘deep south’ acoustic delta blues mode. Backsliders feature guitarist/ vocalist, founding member and key songwriter Dom Turner plus drum and percussion virtuoso Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil, The Break). The band have notched up 25 years experience serving up the finest, meanest acoustic-based blues, starting out before “blues and roots” was a well-known term in the Australian music industry.
The new 2011 Backsliders album, Starvation Box, will be released via Fuse Records on August 12, available in all good record stores and online. Recorded in another former Midnight Oil member Jim Moginie’s studio, Oceanic Studios on Sydney’s northern beaches,Starvation Box is an affectionate nod the band’s past heroes containing five covers of past greats including Lead Belly, Robert Johnson and blues mandolin elder statesman and another key Backsliders influence, Yank Rachell.
The album title itself is based on the story that Lead Belly’s father Wes used to call his son’s guitar a starvation box, “coz you ain’t gonna make no money outta that thing!” After Lead Belly’s death, The Weavers went on to make a good income from his song “Goodnight, Irene”, so his father was partly right.
Many of the album’s original tracks follow the theme of paying tribute to musical heroes: “Failed Preacher Blues” is about the ‘Father of the Delta Blues’ Charlie Patton, for example, and“Bowie County” also mentions Lead Belly and the famous jail where he served time and escaped under an alias ‘Walter Boyd’!
On this run of concerts, Dom Turner and Rob Hirst will play as a 3-piece, alternately joined by two of Australia’s supreme and most creative harmonica players; the legendary Brod Smith(Dingoes, Brod Smith’s Big Combo) and ARIA award-winning harmonica guru Ian Collard(Collard, Greens & Gravy). Each of these blues-harp masters colour the Backsliders sound with a fiery display of guts and melody – you never know who will play on each night – but you can be sure that both pack a punch.
Fans can expect to hear a mixture of classic favourites from the band’s healthy back catalogue as well as the sublime cuts from Starvation Box. Make sure you come to a show and find out why the Sydney Morning Herald says “the Backsliders are the rarest of blues bands” and why Drum Media proclaims they deliver “contemporary roots music at its best!”
BACKSLIDERS – AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
|FRI JAN 20 The SOUNDLOUNGE Currumbin Gold Coast, QLD|
|SAT JAN 21 COMMUNITY THEATRE Byron Bay, NSW|