A thirty-something music appreciator with a passion for blues, funk, reggae, jazz and soul. I love uncovering new acts and CDs to buy at live gigs. Follow me on twitter @tinajwalsh
Published September 12th 2012
Learn songwriter's inspirations - enjoy this listening room
On Wednesday evenings, three singer / songwriters gather at Dowse Bar, downstairs from Iceworks, in Paddington, to perform for a small crowd for the ultimate listening room experience. You'll get to hear their inspirations and songwriting process, and appreciate stripped back versions of their original songs.
My first experience here was late last year. The room was packed with people, however when the performers were introduced, you were asked to remain quiet until intermission and then throughout the second part. It's a great environment when you don't have to shoot a nasty glance to that loud, chatty person who just should be somewhere else when someone is performing.
Performing on my most recent visit was Sahara Beck, Alan Boyle and Innes Campbell. Sahara is only 16 years old, but she must be channelling an old soul. I saw her recently at Waxing Lyrical, and was blown away by the different guitar techniques employed and the imagery in her lyrics. Her song "You Could Be Happy" won a Queensland Music Award recently and it's easy to work out why. Amongst the original songs, each performers was asked to bring a song they wished they'd written. Sahara brought a beautiful version of Don McLean's "Vincent", best known for its opening line, "Starry Starry Night". This young woman is definitely a polished performer to see soon.
Alan Boyle is an Irish-Australian performer and always gives a great performance. There was a story about writing a song around the 11:11 phenomenon as well as writing a ghost story. Alan's cover was Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark", reminding everyone in the room that a guitar and vocals can belt out a rock tune with conviction. You can catch Alan perform as part of Brisbane Festival's free music program on Saturday 15 September. Read more here.
I hadn't come across Innes Campbell before, but learned that he's recently been performing Bluegrass, although his acoustic set was only slightly tinged with that genre. The description he gave of his songwriting process was very interesting, especially the background to Pig-Dog-Man, which was a challenge he set himself to write a song about the next news story he heard - on pig shooting. Innes' cover was Phil Collins "Coming In The Air Tonight", with a warning not to believe the urban myth that it was about Phil witnessing a drowning, it was actually about his divorce.