Introducing Callum!

Hi everyone,

I’ve got some fabulous news! I’m proud to announce that one of my students is going to make his debut performance with me at Meraki Management‘s UNLOCKED gig Thursday 25th August at The Waratah Hotel in Hobart.

Callum is a really great guy who is working towards a Duke of Edinburgh award through OAK Tasmania. For those who aren’t familiar, the DofE is open to young people under 25 and comprises four areas the participant has to complete – service, physical recreation, skills and an adventurous journey. We identified that learning to play the guitar is a skill and performing in front of an audience in a public place would certainly be an adventurous journey. It takes a lot to get up in front of a group of strangers for the first time but this man loves music and is determined to do well. And it’s that level of passion and commitment that makes it all worthwhile from my perspective as a teacher.

Both Callum and I are indebted to the wonderful Amy Fogarty from Meraki Management who has been so supportive, everyone at OAK but especially Teena who has guided both of us through the process.

It’s been a lot of really hard work but Callum is a great student and a natural performer. I’m really looking forward to it 🙂 If you’re in Hobart Thursday 25th please come down and support us. We’re on at 7pm ❤

Rock star in the making!

Rock star in the making!

PS: The Superstars have been making a video! More about that next post 🙂

 

The Last Gig of 2015

Hi everyone, it’s been lovely to have a break from blogging but I’m itching to write again – there’s been so much going on!

It’s the busiest time of year for me in the garden – I’m planting out heat-hardy salad vegetables like mad to take advantage of our brief but often vicious summer. There’s been several kilos of fruit off the raspberry canes already and several more to come, basil is being cropped, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis and chillies are starting to ripen. On top of all this, I’m making some small wicking boxes this week for the front balcony, which gets all the morning sun and is great for tender salad greens.

A couple of weeks ago, local musician and friend George Begbie won the Rudy Brandsma Award at the ASA national awards in Sydney. Many of us who knew George when he first started performing were thrilled but not really surprised – he’s always been that good!

And my wonderful singing group at Oak Tasmania are playing at the in-house end of year BBQ this Friday. Rehearsals are getting tighter and more intense, we’re all getting excited about showing off some new skills. I hope there’ll be some photos I can share with you all from that too.

But tonight is my last public gig for 2015.

I’m playing a short set at The Homestead in support of my dear friend Matt Sertori. I’ve known Matt for many years and despite his seemingly irreverent lyrics, he is one of the most thoughtful, intense and inspiring performers around.

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There is a misconception that Matt playing solo is just a comedy act but I think it’s important to understand there are two distinct sides to this demanding performer. Listen to his (often scathing) lyrics and look behind the laughter, there are some deep and incredibly serious subjects being dealt with. Here, there is a depth to the writing and an intensity in performance that can be downright confronting.

I am honoured to be playing support tonight for many reasons. Matt is also the man who drew me into the ASA over a decade ago and instigated the supportive, mentoring attitude that prevailed until quite recently. If you’re in or around Hobart I urge you to come and listen to this most fascinating and complex songwriter. And say hello – I love catching up with you all.

Take care wherever you are ❤

UNLOCKED – Day 1 NaBloPoMo

So, here in the southern hemisphere it’s the evening of November 1st. Welcome to NaBloPoMo where the challenge is to write a blog post every day of this month.

I’ve just got home from an afternoon gig at The Yard at The Brunswick Hotel in central Hobart and it was really great fun. I caught up with old friends and met some new ones – and the music was great! UNLOCKED is run by Meraki Management and the brain-child of Amy Fogarty, who is something of a force of nature.

Cassie at UNLOCKEDMy friend and former student, Cassie O’Keefe (above) was also on the bill and really nailed it with her set! We had dinner after (the food is really good, by the way) and Cassie and I are looking forward to our next gig at The Homestead, Thursday 19th November.

From my point of view, it was really heartening to see so many young musicians at today’s gig who are just starting out. It invigorates those of us who’ve been around the traps for a while and enables musicians embarking on their careers to rub shoulders with folks who’ve got some experience. There’s always something new to learn – no matter how long you’ve been doing this!

See you all tomorrow, where I’ll probably talk about some gardening things – my other great passion 🙂

Now it’s your turn…. What are your great moments as a mentor or mentoree? Leave your stories in the comments! 

The Busy-ness of Spring – Upcoming Shows

Chestnut Tree Spring Oct 2015

Hello friends,

I love spring. The cycle of the seasons visibly turns and every day brings new things in the garden, the chickens are laying more eggs than we can keep up with, and here in Hobart we’re coming out of the hibernation of winter and starting to go out again.

Rhubarb Fool

Rhubarb Fool

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Wee Beastie Sourdough

Wee Beastie Sourdough

 

And I’ve been busy! In the kitchen I’ve been making Vanilla Ice Cream and Baked Coffee Cheesecake with the excess eggs, brewing and bottling cider, making Rhubarb Fool from the mass of spring rhubarb and my weekly “Wee Beastie” Sourdough. It’s been absolutely wonderful to eat so well, with so much produce coming directly out of the garden.

The garden is always a work in progress but I’ve started planting out climbing beans this week, there’s basil in the Seeds and Basil Seedlings Oct 2015greenhouse and too many vegetable seedlings coming on to mention.

And there’s music happening too! I’m in the middle of a unit in Creative Writing for my second major through Griffith University. For my final assessment I’m planning to write a portfolio of new pieces that will become new songs. Depending how it goes, perhaps the core of another album.

Meanwhile, there’s gigs coming up too.

This Sunday at The Brunswick Hotel in Hobart, I’m playing a short set out in The Yard (the beer garden) with a bunch of other local musicians, including the incredibly talented Cassie O’Keefe and my friend Matt Dean. Very pleased also that this is a family friendly show, so feel free to bring your young music-lovers 🙂

Thursday 19th November, I’m sharing a night with Cassie at The Homestead in Elizabeth Street, one of my favourite places to go and hang out with friends. No idea what’s going to happen that one – we might even work out some songs to play together!

Friday 20th November, I’ll be doing the early spot at The Globe Hotel in Davey Street. If you haven’t caught this weekly event yet, I really recommend it. It’s organised by Kevin Gleeson who basically loves all kinds of music and is good friends with so many of us. It’s a great excuse to hang out and have a good time with mates.

And there’s more on the horizon! If you want to keep up to date with my shenanigans, hook up with me on Facebook here.

Yep, it’s spring and it’s busy – just how I like it.

Wherever you are, be well friends ❤

Road Trip Notes

Seagull July 2015

 

Hey everyone,

So, last week before the snow hit Hobart, I went on a jaunt up to Burnie and Launceston. I haven’t played in Northern Tasmania for a few years. Too long some friends up there told me – and I have to agree!

Although it was primarily to support Butterscotch Pony launch their single, I found an excellent venue in Cafe Jucobi in Upper Burnie, where the welcome is warm and the food is excellent. There was a very small audience but it made for an intimate gig and we all had fun, despite some pretty awful weather. My heartfelt thanks to Stacey Wing, who not only organised the gig but also gave us somewhere to stay, fed us and is generally something of a superstar in my book ❤

Launceston was great fun! We arrived early at Shots on Wax in St John St, which meant brunch before a lunchtime gig. The coffee was perfect and I can highly recommend the pastrami melts! This was to promote the Butterscotch Pony single launch later that night and the idea was we’d do a teaser of the evening show, each doing two songs from our sets. Also, I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen for four years. Seeing Phil was worth the whole trip 🙂 I had such a great time and it must have been okay, as Andy wants me back to do a Launceston launch of my solo CD later in the year 😉

Matt Dean performing at Shots on Wax 1 Aug 2015

Then off to the Northern Club, a beautiful old building in Cameron Street. After dealing with all the usual issues of discovering there wasn’t the right sound gear there for the gig and managing to source that gear, we all managed to get a sound check and had time for a sumptuous feast before the silliness started.

Me being a loudmouth - image courtesy of Josh Troy

Me being a loudmouth – image courtesy of Josh Troy

It was a great crowd and I caught up with another dear friend I literally hadn’t seen for years – absolute bonus that Mareka had her now adult son and his partner with her. All the acts were great but headliners Butterscotch Pony were their usual brilliant and unique selves. If you haven’t had the BP experience, I highly recommend it!

While I really enjoyed playing, I did get accosted by a drunk towards the end of the night who was happy to tell me what I “have to do”. It was quite hilarious and a little sad when she put her hand up and said “I know what you’re thinking”. I somehow doubt she did…….

After a long few days, we discovered a stuff up in accommodation arrangements, we wouldn’t be able to get to our room until after 3am. *Sigh*

So, I found the all night petrol stop in the middle of Launceston (who make excellent coffee, by the way) I hit the highway with my trusty wing man, and under the light of the blue moon, made it safely into my own bed at 3:30am. Worth the drive ❤

What are your best/worst road trip experiences? Leave your thoughts in the comments – I want to hear your stories!

 

 

ASA Update

ASA July 2015 Poster

ASA July 2015 Poster

Hello friends,
I’m pleased to announce the Australian Songwriters Association Tasmania are returning at a new venue – The Homestead in Elizabeth Street on Tuesday July 21st.
I’m incredibly honored to be the feature artist that night – which also means I’ll be under examination by MC Matt Dean prior to my set. If you want to hear me rabbit on about my craft, performing and mentoring please come along. As with all ASA Wax Lyrical nights, this is a free show.
At the moment, I’m trying to find out if we can film the interview so those of you who are interested but don’t live here can get an opportunity to see and hear what I’m about.
Meanwhile, there’s more gigs to talk about soon!
Take care,
Debra ❤

Butterscotch Pony Artwork Sneak Preview

Hey everyone,

Further to my previous post about my upcoming gigs in northern Tasmania, here’s a little sneak peek at fabulous artwork Butterscotch Pony are using for their latest release, “Bicycle/Planned Accidents Never Happen”. The cover was created by the incredibly talented Jen from Red Parka Designs.

Planned accidents

I think it’s gorgeous – but everyone knows I’m a sucker for white rabbits ❤

Love to you all

Debra ❤

 

 

 

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