Big news just in. I’ve been invited, with the full band in tow, to play in Binic, France at the 10th Anniversary of the Binic Folk Blues Festival from July 27-29 2018. I’ll be heading over with an Australian contingent including Infinity Broke and The Tall Grass. Jamie Hutchings, producer of my upcoming album, will be particularly busy playing in all three line ups. Much excitement. More dates to be announced.
PS Slowly but surely we’re chipping away at the mixing of the new album. More news on that front sooner or later….
Everything I Need is the 6th clip to be lifted from An Ear To The Earth. Filmed by Paul Melnyk in a home that was being gutted for renovations – in fact a home in which Mark spent a large portion of his childhood. This is also the first clip that features Mark’s band – the very same line up who recorded an Ear To The Earth a year ago in a empty guesthouse -live and straight to 1″ reel to reel tape – almost a year ago. Jamie Hutchings on percussion, Scott Hutchings on drums, Lee Hutchings on clarinet, Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo. Mark posted a nostalgic ramble on his Facebook page a couple of days ago which provides a little background on the history of the house the clip is filmed in. You can read that piece below…
A couple of weeks back
We filmed clip no. 6 in a house
where I spent 1/2 of my childhood
A house where as a nipper
we ran around around the feet
of Jamie and Scott Hutchings’ Dad, Lee,
as he practiced his
over his charts
spread across the dining room table
Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman licks
Trills, triplets and fingers flying
I still say my love of jazz
comes from listening to him
and his record collection
hearing him play
their old house in the Eastern Suburbs
is being gutted for renovations
it’s currently an empty shell full of memories
Of music we made as kids
9 years old
Charging our parents to watch us
Miming to Beatle records in suits
Early noisy attempts at starting bands
The Fallen Scarecrows (is what we called ourselves)
The Church, The Celibate Rifles, The Plunderers, Spy Vs Spy, Split Enz, Midnight Oil, Happy Hate Me Nots, Ups and Downs, The Stems mixed with Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Parker
A barrage of happy noise
It was perfect timing for me
to return to their home
with the greatest of old friends
Scott, Jamie, Lee and
(their) Brother-in-law Reuben (brother I never had)
old (newer) friend Adam Lang
and film a clip
for one of the songs on
An Ear To The Earth that Lee played on
– Everything I Need –
amongst the demolition, bricks and debris
before it all disappeared
beneath a new facade
all those years in the rubble…
I’ve been busy rehearsing with my band before we embark on testing the water and playing the new material from An Ear To The Earth at a venue that is (hopefully) somewhere near you. We’ll be taking the whole gypsy caravan on the road – Jamie Hutchings on guitar/percussion and his brother Scott on drums, Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo and lapslide guitar. We’ll be heading north for starters playing dates in Byron, Surfers, Brisbane – then heading back down to play Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast. You can check all the dates here. And never fear Southern Australia – Melbourne, Canberra, Ballarat and South Coast dates are coming real soon.
Lot’s of tracks from the new album have been receiving radio play over the past few weeks. Special thanks to The Outpost Show on 2serFM, Roots N All on JJJ, The Inside Sleeve on the ABC, In The Pines on FBi, Folk Buddies on 4ZZZ, Between The Tracks on PBSFM for making An Ear To The Earth Essential Album of The Week.
And below you can check out a live performance of Where Will I Be? on ABC 702 Weekend Spotlight with host Simon Marnie.
And finally you can read through my attempt at taking the Citizenship Test with website Mess and Noise – who called An Ear To The Earth “quixotic and genre defying” – here. Along with positive posts from:
See you at a show. Make sure you come up and say hi.
Here’s the brand new clip – and the second single to be released from An Ear To The Earth. This clip was directed by an old chum – Scott Hutchings, who has previously created some brilliant clips under the YouTube moniker 6pixies7.
Where Will I Be? describes the joys of our eventual demise and imagined escape…of course there’s also dancing, grave digging cowboys, runaway coffins and the backdrop of the Australian landscape. A song about death, dirt, sin, redemption and bad weather.
The big news is that the release date of my brand new album An Ear To The Earth has crept up on us. It’s already been receiving spins on JJJ, ABC, 2SerFM, RRR and FBi. You can now grab a copy of the brand new 10 track long player at the Laughing Outlaw website…and if you’re so inclined you can snap up a signed copy. It’s worth grabbing a physical copy just to see the excellent art that graphic artist Brett Curzon designed for the booklet. He’s a genius without a doubt. The album was produced by my old friend and musical wizard Jamie Hutchings and recorded live straight to 1″ reel to reel tape over a six day period. It was mixed by Chris Colquhoun (an absolute master of the controls). We’re all super proud of the results. You can pick up the album here:
But, if you’re one of those people who’ve given up buying CD’s you can download a copy on iTunes. Great news is the iTunes version is a bonus edition. It features 2 bonus tracks which were recorded during the Ear To The Earth sessions. One of them is a track that I found difficult to relegate to the sidelines of the album, but I’m really happy to be able to offer it to you now. Jamie and I co-wrote the song together – and recorded it together live, very sparingly – featuring only my vocal and acoustic guitar whilst Jamie played slide guitar in another room of the studio/guesthouse. It’s called Letters and I think for anyone who has purchased a copy of the album already – this is a track worth owning. The second bonus track is a revisit of an old Hitchcock’s Regret song called Small Town – from our first album Regretfulness – which originally came out way back in 2001. You can get the Bonus Edition of An Ear To The Earth here:
A couple of months back I recorded a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song called Jesus Was An Only Son from the album Devils And Dust – once again with Jamie Hutchings in the producers chair. As you can see in the pic below we were recording like it was 1984 – straight to a Tascam four track cassette recorder. The song was for a double album full of reinterpretations of Springsteen classics and it’s out now on Laughing Outlaw Records. The limited edition double CD also features extensive liner notes written by our illustrious label leader, Stuart Coupe, who has interviewed Springsteen on numerous occasions. You can purchase a copy of the 22 track release at Laughing Outlaw or on iTunes.
Here’s the first taste from the upcoming album An Ear To The Earth. It’s a calypso fuelled panic attack. A percussion driven nervous breakdown. Limbo as you sip a tequila and down Valium. An Ear To The Earth will be out real soon……
Produced by Jamie Hutchings. Mixed By Jamie Hutchings and Chris Colquhoun. Out on Laughing Outlaw Records April 5.