Friday, September 17, 2010

Soulsong at Santucci’s Open Mic Thursday 16th September 2010...

Congratulations to the small troupe of Soulsingers who turned up at Santucci's cafe in Carnegie (Capital of The World) to perform last night. Gaylene, Nerida, Stella and Lyndon performed Hashivenu as a group. WARNING: Richard: I think the LBD (Little Black Dress) is becoming the dress de rigueur of the female members of the group – and pretty stunning they did look to. Lyndon & Gaylene did a mystical performance of Carmelita with Gaylene channelling Linda Ronstadt and Lyndon channelling Warren Zevon (who wrote the song), then Lyndon went on to blues it up a la Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee with a rendition of Bring It On Home To Me. Nerida did solo's on 500 Miles and a moving rendition of Janis Ian's Lying Song. I think Nerida also discovered that we all get nervous when the spotlight is only on us and that only repeat performance can give us the ability to relax into the song, which Richard teaches us, and which is one of the best aspects of a performance at somewhere like Amberly, which I don't think has been stressed enough in selling it to people, but, ironically, if you want them to learn not to be stressed about it perhaps it's best not to stress it. But importantly and essentially this was an incredibly brave and accomplished performance from Nerida.

There were very accomplished performances by others, the ukulele man for instance (more of that later) but most noticeable for me was his incredibly insightful choice of songs and lyrics (including a stunning Beyonce number – which I'm sure Beyonce could not have managed). But the highlight of the night for me was the incredibly beautiful, two performances, by opera singer Catherine Northey, down with us for the night, sitting in the audience for the whole night in her "civies" and then delivering her stunning performance (no mic necessary thank you) as she roamed through the audience caressing various members and the purest loveliest most natural sound and manner you could imagine. Remember, there is no cover charge for these events. Though, of course, we can never guarantee that any will be repeated. But this was something. I hope this isn't being disloyal to Santucci's (and I will definitely be advising when the next open Mic is on) but you can catch Cathy with the other members of her quartet at Il Locale (582 St Kilda Road, Windsor?). Such a night.

Lyndon also jammed with a guitarist who said he didn't know any actual songs but wanted to play with the blues harp, during which Lyndon gave the world premiere performance of the new country and western classic I believed her when she said I'll be back, my jeans are in your dryer. (Thank you appreciative audience, thank you Ballarat Women's Ukulele Choir).

This brings me back to last Saturday night when I jammed with the Ballarat Women's Ukulele Choir at the Fig Tree Village in Warrnambool, while I was attending the Tony Backhouse Gospel Workshop in Warrnambool. We did an extraordinary repertoire including Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, (and yes Carmen, the Monkees I'm A Believer) and of course the new country and western classic I believed her when she said I'll be back, my jeans are in your dryer.

By this stage it would take me too long to describe all the elements of the Tony Backhouse Workshop beyond recommending that everyone should do one at least once for the experience. I am not particularly religious and certainly not evangelical (about anything but singing) and yes, some of the lyrics give me pause to think more about personal responsibility than about happily (and perhaps mindlessly) handing it all over to the higher power. But hey, this is not philosophy 101 (Sydney University 1975) and yes, some of the evangelicals in the Warrnambool group added a slight cringe factor for me, but also hey, what do I know, the sound certainly was a bit heavenly. But I think that might also have something to do with Tony having the remarkable capacity to carry all the parts of a song in his head, and be able to sing them in demonstrator mode for each section, and be able to carry the solo part while we were all learning. As I say, I recommend that if Tony comes to town – give this experience a try. I have passed on to Richard and a few others a sound bite of one song – Over Yonder (if you miss me at singing...) and if he and you guys like it perhaps we'll learn it at Soulsong.

Had other adventures. Cleared a tree across the great ocean road. Got sick, got well. But love you all. See you at singing. Love. Lyndon.



Blogger Cattyrox said...

She wondered why he referred to himself in the third person.

6:05 pm  
Blogger Lyndon Walker said...

He wonders about that himself sometimes....

7:59 pm  
Blogger CMP said...

I have heard Cathy (Northey) sing. I agree with you, that her voice is exceptional. I think her voice is better than Yvonne Kenny-and less stuffy. We as Australians are always very very proud of our own wonderful artists and this artist deserves more support and exposure so's that all of us Aussies can have the honour and the pleasure to hear Cathy. I cannot wait to hear and see her again.

11:37 pm  
Blogger CMP said...

Dear Lyndon, I hope this blog is not the 10th you have received from me as I have been having trouble getting my comment across-I'll try again as my P.C. is doing my head in. I apologise if the other comments managed to get through as I think they didn't. . It's about Cathy (Northey) I have heard and seen her before and she is star quality. Her performances and voice send shivers through me. I totally agree with what you have had to say about her. I think she sings better than Yvonne Kenny- and less stuffily too!! Cathy is highly qualified and her credits are wonderful. We as Aussies love to see and hear our own wonderful talented artists and are very proud of their achievments. Can we have more of Cathy for us and the world?

12:10 am  

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