When you’ve been in the entertainment industry for more than half your life, you would be excused for thinking that the majority of people who do so, would be, and should be, very well known.
That’s no exception when it comes to Eileen Shapiro, except for the fact, that when the majority of those who are the readers and fans of the likes of Dianna Ross, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper and so many other big name singers and actors, may not realize that the articles and interviews they are reading, are written by the very well respected journalist and celebrity herself, Eileen Shapiro.
Eileen writes for over 40 international magazines and online blog sites reviewing albums, live shows, and interviewing major celebrities such as Emma Stone, Kesha, Dianne Warwick, Boy George, Toni Braxton, Adam Ant, Brooke Shields, Rick Springfield, Jennifer Hudson and hundreds more.
In addition to the reviews and interviews, Eileen is an author, publicist, pr manager, social media manager, event management and partner of ‘World Star PR’.
So many of the ‘Stars’ around the world have become great friends with Eileen, not only because she has been doing it since her teenage years, but because she is a genuine down to earth soul, who see’s the good in every person creating trust and honesty both with celebrities and the fans. And it doesn’t stop there.
Throughout my endeavours associated with Music Talks, I’ve come into contact with Eileen several times building a lovely relationship through social media and the promotion and collaboration of wonderful artists and celebrities.
It was through my mix up of times and dates between the USA and Australia that we decided to record our spontaneous chat, creating a podcast for all to hear.
As girls do, we talked and talked and captured great conversation about how Eileen began writing for the ‘Star Trek Giant Poster Book’ and the ‘Star Trek Medical Reference Manual’ which then lead to writing books, and interviewing some of the most well known singers and actors in the world.
Enjoy the podcast and see further links to Eileen Below
Christine Anu on Indigenous Australia, Music and Aretha Franklin
Australia’s iconic Indigenous entertainer, Christine Anu, is returning to stages nationwide to celebrate the life and legacy of legendary soul diva Aretha Franklin in her hugely successful show, REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook.
In this must-see show, Christine delivers a passionate and energetic performance to pay tribute to her idol, the Queen of Soul, who passed away on the 16th August 2018.
During the show, Christine will sing Aretha’s most memorable and powerful tunes, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Angel, Today I Sing The Blues and many more unforgettable classics.
Christine will also sing songs from her own incredible back catalogue of hits, including the iconic My Island Home and Sunshine On A Rainy Day.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing my REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook show to venues in NSW, Canberra, Victoria and Western Australia in the second half of 2019,” Christine – who provides the big vocals, the glitz and the glamour of a true diva in one of her most captivating performances to- date – said.
“I grew up listening to Aretha. She is one of my greatest influences and an idol.
“I believe she is the greatest soul singer of our time and I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity to pay tribute to this wonderful woman in this way,” Christine added.
REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook was initially performed in 2012 to coincide with Aretha’s 70th birthday and the release of Christine’s album of the same title. The show has been brought back in 2019 after popular demand and a number of sold out performances.
To add to this, Christine has just wrapped-up her two and a half year tour of her In Conversation and Song show, which saw her perform to approximately 45,000 people in intimate settings at theatres, galleries, festivals and schools.
Christine’s illustrious career spans more than 20-years in theatre, dance, music and children’s entertainment.
During this time, she’s amassed multiple awards, including five ARIAs, eight Deadlys, a Green Room Award for Best Actress in a Musical and she’s won Song of the Year for her chart-topping hit, My Island Home.
She’s also had gold and platinum albums, and was recently the first recipient of the Australian Songwriters Associations inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Australian First Nations music.
Christine has appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, as well as in The Matrix Reloaded, Dating the Enemy and most recently, in the Australian film, UNSOUND.
She’s also had roles in a number of TV series including Wildside, The Alice, Playschool, Outland, Black Comedy, Kiki and Kitty and many more.
Currently, Christine is the host of the national radio show, Evenings across Australia, on Friday and Saturday nights on ABC Radio.
Saturday, 24th August – Riverside Theatre (Parramatta, NSW)
Saturday, 7th September – Freo. Social (Fremantle, WA)
Thursday, 12th September – Canberra Southern Cross Club (Canberra)
Thursday, 19th September – Brass Monkey (Cronulla, NSW)
Saturday, 19th October – Wyndham Cultural Centre (Weribee, Victoria)
Saturday 26th October – Montreal Community Theatre (Tumut, NSW)
Saturday 2nd November – Jetty Theatre (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
Saturday 9th November – The Vanguard (Newtown, NSW)
Christine Anu has been gracing Australian and overseas audiences for over 30 years, from her first big hit, ‘My Island Home’ with many more following. Christine has also performed and worked with the likes of Paul Kelly, Neil Murray, Archie Road, Renee Geyer to name a few and made several acting performances in TV and Film including ‘Dating The Enemy’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ as well as several stage musicals.
Christine is about to embark on her REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook Show and I caught up with Christine just before she hits the road.
Listen to the podcast here, or via iTunes, YouTube or iHeart Radio.
Four-time Golden Guitar winner, Australian singer-songwriter, Amber Lawrence is back with her 6th studio album, ‘Spark’.
Recently celebrating her wedding and the birth of her son, ‘Spark’ and it’s 10 songs reflect these new milestones in Ambers life that she shares in her own style of songwriting – deeply personal, fun and energetic singalong songs alongside some heartfelt ballads.
It’s been almost 3 years since Amber’s last solo release – ‘Happy Ever After’. In that short time Amber has released two children’s albums (The Kids Gone Country and Aussie Aussie Christmas), released a collaboration with Travis Collins (Our Backyard), won three Golden Guitar Awards in 2018, performed her original work ‘100 Year Handshake’ in New York for the President of the United States, co-hosted the 2019 Golden Guitar Awards, began hosting her own radio show for iHeart Country Australia (receiving a nomination for Top 10 New Radio Talent to watch)… and met and married the love of her life and gave birth to a baby boy, Ike, in August 2018.
Produced by ARIA-nominated Stuart Stuart of Analog Heart Studio (Sheppard, The Veronicas), ‘Spark’ is a collection of deeply personal stories that speak directly to the listener with messages of resilience, individuality and finding true love, in the form of catchy pop-country songs that you just can’t seem to get out of your head. Songs such as first single Outrageous, with lyrics such as “I don’t have a Plan B just because I should’, ‘I Get It Now’ reflecting on the special relationship she shares with her mother, Lorraine and ‘Everlast’ & ‘Hell to Hallelujah’ which are both a declaration of love to new husband, Marty. The powerful album opener ‘Heart’ is a song about fight and survival which the album title ‘Spark’ is lifted from and the song lyrics will serve as the theme song for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Gold Telethon in June 2019.
Every song on the album was written or co-written by Amber between Australia and Nashville, which makes it so much more intimate to listen to, as Amber lets you into her personal life with sincere and beautiful dedications to those she cares most about.
Listen to our awesome chat on our Guest Talks Podcast and make sure you take a listen to her album, Spark!
‘Spark’ is out everywhere NOW!
Amber will also be on tour from May 2019 – tour dates below.
Sat 22 June – Sawtell RSL
Sun 23 June – Coutts Crossing Hall
Sat 27 July – Upper Hunter Farmers Benefit, Aberdeen
Sun 11 Aug – The Entrance Country Music Festival
Sat 12 Oct – Cruisin Country
Fri 25 Oct – Astor Hotel, Goulburn
Sat 26 Oct – Shoalhaven Bowls and Rec Club
Sun 27 Oct – The Oaks Hotel, Albion Park
Fri 1 & Sat 2 Nov – Murgon Muster ‘Your Town Your Tour’
Fri 15 Nov – Paterson School of Arts ‘Your Town Your Tour’
Sat 23 Nov – The Juniors South Sydney
Fri 6 Dec – Oberon Carols ‘Your Town Your Tour’
Sat 14 Dec – Matraville Carols
Podcast with Amber Lawrence
* At the beginning of this podcast there were some connection issues with Skype, however this only lasts for approx. 10 secs.
Captain Of Lost Waves Hangs 10 As The Master Of Entertainment
The Captain is not just the figurehead of his musical vessel: he’s ringmaster; bard; troubadour; master of ceremonies and sage. With one leg in early 20th Century vaudeville and the other in tomorrow’s social commentary (yes, he has very long legs!), there’s far more to him and his absurdly engaging world than any of your ten-a-penny musical stars. Seen through showers of glitter, kaleidoscopic lens flares and in the rainbows in a million puddles, the Captain of the Lost Waves tells stories to connect with everyone past, present and future.
With almost a quarter of a century entertaining people through his storytelling, The Captain is the kind of ebullient troubadour you might imagine flitted from village to village in centuries past. Indeed, with no concrete details as to his Earthly origins (beyond some vagaries about the Wild Wild West of Yorkshire in England) what can be said is that he has travelled extensively, taking his show to audiences who are transported aboard his mystical voyages as he variously inhabits the personae of Scaramouche, The Pied Piper and all the good captains rolled into one (Hook, Pugwash and Beaky for starters).
Following up the debut album Hidden Gems – Chapter 1 is Synthesis – the story so far. A limited edition tin cased cd album and vinyl. The record features the singles to date plus 2 instrumentals, also the first two singles taken from Hidden gems – Chapter 2 (Uniforms and January) – the former also featuring as a Darcadian Remix.
Hidden Gems – Chapter 2 – ‘Circus Of Morality’ has now arrived. A record made in the analogue domain on an old Mara MCI JH24 two inch tape machine. The sub-plot of it being based around ‘The Circus Of Morality’ with the album’s elaborate artwork reflecting a game board that each of us must navigate. It features a list of world class musicians alongside The Captain’s trusted accomplice Muzwell The Mute on Accordion. The diverse range of sounds used include Bouzouki, Violin, Sitar, Vibraphone, Banjo, Synths, Kettle Drums, Choirs and Harmonium.
You can hear how much of a storyteller The Captain truly is when listening to our Guest Talks podcast as he takes us on our own journey through conversation.
Take a listen to our chat and hear the what The Captain say’s about the struggle of the indie musician, becoming lost in the art of music and entertainment, his upcoming album, “Hidden Gems – Chapter 2 – ‘Circus Of Morality’, and a whole lot more.
Finally A Podcast From Super RnB Dance Queen Pioneer, CeCe Peniston
When I was asked if I’d like to have a chat with CeCe Peniston, I can’t even begin to describe my excitement. After all, Ms Peniston was one of those super stars of the 80’s & 90’s along side the likes of Jodie Watley and Crystal Waters whom I’d dance to in my living room and didn’t care who was watching.
CeCe Peniston has had numerous hits including the renowned smash hit, Finally that had it’s revival thanks to the Australian Movie, ‘Priscilla, Queen Of The Dessert’.
During our podcast I learned quite a bit from Ms Peniston, and while we are all getting older, Ms Peniston is taking it all in her stride as she shares her new passion alongside her music, keeping her young and super fit.
We talk about all kinds of things from music to hobbies and have a typical female to female chin wag with loads of laughs.
Cherie Oakley; Stands Out and a Success In Her Own Right
Cherie Oakley’s music has been described as pop country with a twist of soul.
The up and coming artist is also a country hit writer. Reba McEntire’s Turn On The Radio, written by Oakley went to #1 on the Billboard Country charts.
Cherie recalls making up songs as a child and recording them on her Fisher Price recorder, singing for hours on end. “I was told that I began singing as soon as I could talk, and used to draw pictures of myself performing on stage in front of a massive audience. It’s always been my dream.”
And that dream, it seems, is coming true. Signed by the Number One Group, Cherie has been working closely in artist development with Paul Worley and is currently working on her debut album with renowned producer Dann Huff.
Cherie has enjoyed a successful career in the studio already as an established studio session vocalist featured on singles and albums by The Band Perry, Martina McBride, Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill, Reba, Gretchen Wilson, Cassadee Pope and Sarah Darling as well as others including the cast from the popular CMT Channel show, Nashville.
In addition to being a session singer, Cherie has experienced an extensive career as a touring background vocalist for superstars such as: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Gretchen Wilson, Amy Grant and Trace Adkins. She has also performed with such artists as: Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Reba, Martina McBride, Luke Bryan, LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Nettles, Kacey Musgraves, Big and Rich, George Strait, Idina Menzel, and Mary J. Blige to name a few.
She’s performed on The Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, ACM Awards, CMA Awards, VH1 Divas, The View, The Tonight Show, Ellen, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CMT Diaries, American Idol, The X-Factor UK, BBC Breakfast, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Late Show with David Letterman and Star Search. You might even remember her from Christina Aguilera’s team on the first season of “The Voice”.
Born in Indiana, Cherie credits her family for her love of music, reminiscing of their long drives across the US as traveling evangelists. “My dad has always loved country music, and we would all sing along as it blared over the speakers in our old blue truck.”
I had the privilege of chatting with Cherie about how she began, where she’s been and where she’s going. It was a great chat too with many laughs.
If you haven’t heard of Pink Floyd, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I had an amazing chat with Scott Page who joined Pink Floyd on their ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ tour after he recorded saxophone on the track ‘Dogs Of War’, followed by ongoing recordings of Pink Floyd’s television documentary and live concert Pink Floyd in Venice and Delicate Sound of Thunder concert film, both of which were released as an album.
Prior to joining Pink Floyd, Page played and toured with Toto and Supertramp in which we discuss more about on the Guest Talks podcast.
Page has mentored artists and gives great advice for any artist wishing to make it in today’s music world.
Aside from the music, Page has founded and formed several companies including ‘Walt Tucker Productions’, ‘7th Level’, launched ‘New Media Broadcasting Company’, ‘Direct2Care’ and ‘GetYourOPI’.
We also talk about how he began as an entrepreneur, his business ventures, his past, and latest passion combining the music and technological innovation with one-of-a-kind live, immersive concert experiences known as ‘Think:EXP’.
Tickets for Think: EXP are available now for April 5th/6th/26th/27th and May 15th/16th. via http://thinkexp.co/
And don’t forget to listen to the end about the discussion of the Australian Cane Toad. 🙂
Links to all that has been mentioned in the Guest Talks podcast
Ken Kunin; The Brainchild of ‘On Song International’
On Song International began in Australia in 2016 as an online platform for songwriters to showcase their own songs in a studio environment.
Since 2016 On Song International spread it wings to include songwriters from around the world and connect via the On Song site and YouTube channel where songwriters can showcase their original songs and youtube channel.
This global music hub is the brainchild of musician Ken Kunin and provides a global stage for independent singer-songwriters to come into the spotlight and offer their precious music to a global audience.
The music and TV now have a world of music lovers to share their work through social media and On Song International’s beneficial platform are their support for truly gifted songwriters to move on and upward to the next level. The audience views the artists via Youtube and Facebook and are able to make comment, like and share their favourite featured artist.
I talked to Ken Kunin about how On Song International began and where what’s in store for his growing platform.
For the first time since being inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, as the ‘2017 Legacy Winner’ at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, much loved New Zealand singer/songwriter Sharon O’Neill returns for ‘Home Again Tour II’.
Sharon O’Neill’s career has spanned 4 decades with 6 studio albums, 7 New Zealand Music Awards, 6 Australian Countdown Awards, an APRA Silver Scroll and many hits that have made her a household name. Sharon has written for and with other artists including Dragon and Robert Palmer.
Although she often performs in mixed artist shows in NZ and Australia, it is a rare event for Sharon to present a full show of her own material.
In 2017 the highly successful ‘Home Again’ Nelson concerts sold out 3 months ahead of time, for the 2 shows in Sharon’s hometown of Nelson, with fans travelling from throughout New Zealand and Australia.
Sharon returns this time to do 2 concerts at the newly refurbished historic venue The Boathouse along with a matinee concert at the Hornby Working Men’s Club in Christchurch and a concert at the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club in Wellington. This will in fact be the first time in her career that she has presented a full show of her music in Wellington.
Fans can expect some changes in song line up from last years concerts, but still with favourites like ‘Maxine’, ‘Words’, ‘Lucks on Your Table’, ‘Danger’ & ‘Asian Paradise’, along with gems from the Smash Palace Movie & some surprises. . Sharon tells the stories of the songs and about the writing and recording of her hits. It is an intimate and enjoyable evening, close up and personal, with one of our most cherished singer/songwriters.
Sharon will be accompanied by a 7 piece band on the ‘Home Again II Tour’ including her partner and musical director Alan Mansfield (Dragon, Robert Palmer Band) on Keys, Clinton Brown on Bass, Dean Hetherington on Guitar, Simon Williams on Saxophone, Ric Hetherington on Drums, Aly Cook & Chrissie Small on Backing Vocals.
Ben Ransom Brings Classic Song ‘Young Years’ Back To Life
For rising star, Ben Ransom, the Dragon classic “Young Years” holds a special place in his heart. His Mum – who sadly passed away from brain cancer – was looked after by the same palliative care nurse who took care of Marc Hunter in his final days. Releasing the song was Ben’s way to honour his Mum and the late Marc Hunter, an artist Ben has always looked up too.
Fellow singer songwriter Aly Cook sent Ben’s version to the song’s writers – Sharon O’Neill & Alan Mansfield (Dragon, Robert Palmer Band) . Sharon loved Ben’s version of ‘Young Years’ and graciously accepted the invitation to record a guest vocal and appear in the music video, filmed in an old drive in theatre in Dubbo.
“It was a surreal and amazing experience to have the actual songwriters perform this with me and to do so on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Dragon recording”, said Ben. “A truly special moment where the planets aligned and allowed me to share my take on this classic song with some of the legends in the business”.
Ben Ransom is an exiting singer songwriter from Sydney who’s acclaimed new album, “101”, has been gathering momentum since it’s release in January 2018 on Country Rocks Records.
The ‘Young Years’ single is now heading to the top of indie and commercial radio airplay charts across Australia. With the most recent chart position as of today (November 5th) shooting to No: 1 onKix FM Australia Wide.
Sharon O’Neill joined Ben Ransom on stage recently at the legendary Leadbelly, a Sydney venue for the launch of the ‘Young Years’ single, performing to a delighted crowd with a great band.
I had a great chat with Ben Ransom about his career to date, the release of ‘Young Years’ and his new album, the past and the future for this incredible Aussie talent.
It was such a privilege to speak with legendary Jazz pianist Bob James for our Guest Talks feature.
Bob James has a long and extensive career in music with 58 albums to date and after a long hiatus is releasing his latest album in trio format, ‘Espresso’.
Discovered by the great Quincy Jones in 1963, it wasn’t long after James had began his quest for greatness with countless awards including multiple-GRAMMY® Awards, worked with the likes of Creed Taylor, working on albums for artists like Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr, among others. While with CTI, James found great popular success overseeing significant hits for Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Maynard Ferguson, and Kenny Loggins.
Long after establishing himself as one of America’s most accomplished composers, arrangers and instrumentalists, multiple-GRAMMY® Award-winner Bob James achieves his long-time ambition to return to the trio format he last utilized on 2004’s Take It From The Top, and embraced as an up-and-coming artist.
Scheduled to release August 31, 2018 on the evosound label (Evolution Music Group), Espresso is also James’s first studio recording as a leader since 2006’s Urban Flamingo.
“Evolution Music Group presents high end and cutting-edge fidelity quality products, from packaging to audio,” says James.
The album will be released on multiple formats including high quality 180 gram vinyl, MQA-CD, SACD, and hi-res audio download.
Though busy since 2006 with an array of projects, ranging from albums and appearances with the all-star contemporary jazz ensembleFourplay to collaborations with David Sanborn, Keiko Matsui and other renowned artists, James hasn’t reclaimed his place in the spotlight as a solo performer — until now.
“I wanted to do this as part of a trio — piano, bass and drums,” James explains. “With Fourplay and in other larger settings, I loved that I could solo and then kind of disappear into the setting to accompany other soloists. To play in a trio requires a different level of commitment, with the piano being much more prominent. You need perhaps a greater degree of optimism and bravery. That was how I felt when I first got into music. Espresso is my attempt to recapture that.”
Inspiration for this project stems from a week-long engagement with sensational young bassist Michael Palazzolo and the respected veteran drummer Billy Kilson at the Blue Note in New York City last October. The musicians felt an immediate chemistry as they tackled standard repertoire as well as new James originals. Audiences sensed it too. “Soon everybody there was encouraging me to have the guts to jump in there and do this,” James recalls.
So, just two months later, the group reconvened at Stagg Street Studios in Van Nuys, California. With their inspired energy and musical bond the trio laid down the varied tracks that comprise Espresso. Two covers were on the list: an ear-opening reconfiguration of Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and an equally fresh perspective on “Mr. Magic” (which James had arranged and conducted on the 1975 Grover Washington session). The rest of the album comprises a stream of original material.
The funk strut of “Submarine” is a direct follow up to 1974’s “Nautilus” – one of the most heavily sampled songs in hip-hop. The classic sound perfectly blends in the fresh, complex, and rich textures from Espresso, which finds James sampling himself and recording over it. “Nautilus” samples range tracks from Jay Z, Tupac, Freddie Gibbs, 9th Wonder, and A Tribe Called Quest to Ghostface Killah, Slick Rick, Danny Brown, Wu Tang Clan, Mary J Blige, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and many others.
Many people may know of Bob James famous composition, “Angela”, the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi as well as having composed all the original music used in that television series for its entire run.
Jason Davis, super music manager, has spent his entire two decade career in the music industry and worked with many worldwide stars, including Boyz ll Men, Sugar Ray, P. Diddy, Alabama, Lonestar, Dolly Parton, among many others.
Davis is an entertainment industry executive with a broad range of titles including award winning songwriter, award winning author, independent record label president, executive TV producer, entertainment consultant, former Senior VP of A&R for Dolly Parton’s management company CTK management and a serial entrepreneur.
He has also secured record deal offers with CEO’s from the largest music companies in the world, including Capitol Records, Sony, Interscope, Island / Def Jam, Epic, Atlantic, RCA, and J Records. Traveling between New York, London, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville, he built a reputation working with the top songwriters, producers, and recording artists in the entertainment industry on a global level. Over the span of his career, he has not only pioneered new approaches to the signing and development of some of the world’s most successful recording artists and songwriters but he has consistently championed innovative business models and partnerships with a wide range of companies around the world.
The Early Stages
His career began as a songwriter when he was discovered by Grant Cunningham, the former VP of A&R for Sparrow Records. Davis went on to write a #1 Billboard hit, received several ASCAP songwriting and publishing awards, and was nominated for a Latin music award. Davis has also co-founded other cutting edge entertainment companies such as Radar Label Group (Jimmy Eat World, Plain White T’s, Neon Trees, The Unlikely Candidates), One One 7, Awaken Records (Austin French), and Care For Kids.
He is also co-president and partner of booking agency Higher Level Agency and an artist manager with First Company Management.
Mark Spray is a business owner/entrepreneur, with business ventures ranging from web design, the manufacturing of autism related products and social media expert.
Tracey Arbon talks to Mark about his recent business ventures in manufacturing weighted blankets and other autism related products and how we draw parallels into the business mindset and how music should also be regarded as a business by the artist.
We delve into the detrimental effects a negative surrounding has on your success and hear how this has been recognized and dealt with from Marks experience as well as one the best social media platforms which has helped his business grow to epic proportions.
Mark has seen and still experiences in a huge growth surge in his ‘Calming Moments’ business with his lovely wife Cherisse as we find out how this was achieved from the ground up.
In the last 10 years Aly Cook has performed around the world from New Zealand to Australia, UK & Europe. Building a fan base everywhere she goes.
Aly’s sound is an eclectic mix of Country, Blues, Folk & rootsy songs rich with harmonies and catchy choruses.
A multi award winning New Zealand artist including New Zealand Female Country Artist of the Year and being finalist for NEXT New Zealand Woman of the Year 2016 for her contribution to the Arts.
Aly’s songs have graced the independent country music charts including the Australian Top 40 Country Tracks Chart (Airplay based). Include 4 x number one singles from her album ‘Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel.
In the last 2 years she performed as opening act to Melissa Etheridge, REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis & The News, Rosanne Cash in Poland & Laura Bell Bundy in Italy.
Aly’s ‘Western line’ was named the number one song for 2017 on the Top 40 Country Tracks Chart for 2017 and Aly was awarded international artist and awarded a #1 award for having ‘Western Line’ reach number one on the Tasmanian Country Chart . Aly performed at the award in 2017.
Key 2 Artist Promotions offers a low cost and high delivery PR service for independents. Their business motto says it all – ‘Your Success is Our Success’. Aly Cook, as well as being a successful independent recording artist, publicist and entrepreneur, with a wealth of experience in the industry, is a partner in the business with Therese McKee. With Therese in Sydney and Aly in New Zealand they work with music artists on both sides of the Tasman. Key2 Artist Promotions offer a range of services including Music Distribution to Radio & Media, Artist Publicity, Social Media Promotion, Media Releases, Radio Scheduling, and Facebook Page & Website Construction for Artists. They offer affordable packages tailored to suit the artist’s budget and future goals.
Following 4 number one singles from her album ‘Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel’ on the Australian Top 40 Country Tracks airplay chart, this week marks the beginning of a new direction for singer songwriter Aly Cook as she releases a newly commissioned song ‘Poison Rain’. (Electronic Acoustic Adult Contemporary) The song has been “Self Penned” and co produced with Jay Pheye in his little Golden Bay Studio and mastered by Benny Tones. ‘Poison Rain’ is now available on Itunes.
‘Poison Rain’ calls for an end to 1080 poison and other rodenticides in New Zealand, poison that is banned in many countries. The song asks for a better solution to be found, one that does not involve tons of poison continually tipped on New Zealand’s native forests.
Aly Cook became intent on looking into 1080 poison after a conversation she had with friends who featured on a TV Wild Video. New Zealand farmers were interviewed in the video who had all suffered stock losses from 1080 poison drops. These farmers had been instructed by various government departments to put their compensation payouts down to ‘track maintenance’ or ‘stock food’, after their animals had tested positive for 1080 poisoning. Other farmers were asked to sign confidentiality clauses. Watch the video here. This conversation lead Aly to look more into safe ways to reduce the number of stoats, rats and possums in the NZ bush. If there was nothing to hide, the farmers would not have been instructed to lie on an invoice.The more Aly looked into it, the more oxymorons she found. Doc claims 1080 did not kill invertebrates… yet 1080 was developed as an insecticide.
This set Aly on a path to expose the hidden and inconvenient truths about 1080 and other aerially dispersed poisons. She has joined thousands of others who would like to to see a change to New Zealand’s policies on the choice of pest control and to who intend to put pressure on the government to join many other countries in the banning of the use of 1080 poison.
It became clear to Aly that there were many images online of native animals that had been killed by 1080; personal experiences of people who had lost stock and pets to the poison; and people who had collected dead native birds after 1080 drops. However, those who claimed that the poisoning doesn’t kill native species, including our own department of conservation, would do anything to deny the obvious truth. Instead they point to their scientific studies, which simply don’t match the visual images and people’s experiences that are out in the public arena, in much the same way as the tobacco industry commission studies overode studies that pointed to the dangers of smoking, the same has been done in the case of 1080. Science can and has been manipulated throughout history.
Pictures do not lie! Videos do not lie! Farmers should never be encouraged to LIE on their invoices simply because certain government departments want to hide figures on stock losses. Science is only good science when figures are not manipulated.
Images from youtube of birds collected after a 1080 drops.
1080 and other poisons are indiscriminate killers. The death suffered by animals is extremely prolonged and agonising. It is totally inhumane and must stop.
New Zealand has always been a country where people can hunt pig and deer freely and this has now become a hazardous risk for hunters and the public due to the poison drop.
Aly Says …
“There are lies everywhere covering up, for example, the recent ‘so called’ Botulism case (Here is the interview with the actual family and excerpts from their medical notes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6i4pZ5RYI4&t=570s yet official statements in the mainstream media differ from the actual medical reports. The hunter’s dog died the day the wild pork was collected . After eating the pork it made the family so violently ill that they were thrashing around and the hospital staff had to strap them into their beds for days”. The family tested negative for Botulism yet they were not tested for 1080 poisoning until 18 days later following a lawyer being engaged by the family. I urge kiwis to watch this documentary and also think about what this is doing to our clean and green image. We have to find a better solution to pest control than this”.
All proceeds from the sale of ‘Poison Rain’ will go back into paid promotion of the TV Wild video and the song to the public and to continue the lobby to the NZ Government TO BAN the USE of 1080 and similar aerial dropped poisons.
There is an enigmatic bigfoot-like character that just came out of the woods after 15 years of being lost. He goes by the handle Ghostly Beard, and he’s a visionary artistic entity with a boundlessly creative sweep that encompasses soft rock, jazz, prog-rock, fusion, pop, classic rock, and more.
Ghostly Beard’s kaleidoscopic creativity has garnered him comparisons to such diverse artists as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Genesis, XTC, Cat Stevens, Weather Report, Michael Franks and Chicago.
He crafts immersive dreamy sonic landscapes that emotionally blur the line between dark catharsis and subtle rays of hope
‘The Love In Your Eyes’ is the first release from his forth coming album and we take a look at behind the scenes of the Ghostly Beard.
What better way to introduce an independent artist on the first day of his official release; ask a plethora of questions ranging from musical, production, where he grew up to his current place of residence and so much more…..including the musical toaster.
Ghostly Beard talks about the meaning behind ‘The Love In Your Eyes’, the first single from his forthcoming album, ‘Inward’, due for release May 4th.
To find out more, take a listen to our fun and very informative 1hr & 15 minute podcast; don’t forget to set yourself up with a drink and nibbles to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Warren H Williams and Jessica Mauboy | You Were Always On My Mind
Warren H Williams is an aboriginal singer, musician and songwriter from Hermannsburg in Central Australia. Williams is an Arrernte man who plays country music and works as a broadcaster on CAAMA Radio in Alice Springs.
He started playing guitar at six with his father Gus Williams. In 2007, he wrote the musical Magic Coolamon, which debuted as the first ever Central Australian Indigenous musical and in 2015, Williams made his directorial debut, writing and directing two episodes of the Aboriginal television series Our Place for ICTV.
In 2016, Williams teamed up with emerging artist Dani Young, writing and recording an album of traditional country duets in Nashville. The album, Desert Water was produced by Grammy and ACM award-nominated songwriter Billy Yates, and features Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale.
Warren H Williams is considered a living legend, and has released 10 album to date.
Most recently he has teamed up with Australian superstar Jessica Mauboy.
This classic track appears on the long-awaited season two album ‘The Secret Daughter’ and lovingly honours Country Music Legend Warren H Williams as an elder, mentor, and as a significant part of Jessica’s wider Aboriginal family connections.
It was Warren H Williams who opened the door at CAAMA Music to an 11 year old Jessica Mauboy and immediately recognised her incredible vocal talent. He swiftly got her into the studio where Jess was able to record for the first time.
Fast forward to the Yabun festival 2017, a chance meeting that saw them make a pact to record together again. Having an incredibly tight schedule, and little time outside of her TV and promotion responsibilities, Jessica made the duet project happen in the course of her busy life by writing Warren into an episode of The Secret Daughter (season 2).
Warren plays a cameo role as Billy’s Aboriginal uncle ‘Marlon’ in a scene where ‘Billy’ is introduced to her aboriginal side/family. The scene showcases a duet of ‘Always on my mind’ performed acoustically around the campfire.