There has been a lot happening of late. I am busy with a number of projects from session work, teaching, recording, writing and gigs. Also I have been training a lot with my Martial Arts as I recently received my blackbelt in Karate and as one of my instructors said " It is only the start." Too true. Would you believe my greatest Music Teachers are my Karate teachers?
Thanks to all of you who have purchased Neil Mitchell's songs "The St.Kilda Mailboat song" and " Nova Scotia" on itunes. I had the pleasure of arranging and co producing the songs as well las playing 'Cello, Mandolin, Fiddle and didjeridu.The songs are being played across the Globe on Folk music programs from London to Texas, and to put it mildly, are being very well received. In fact on November 7 we are appearing on a skype interview to be shown in Texas, the fun bit of it is that it is a 6am interview, ah but to the good old days of early morning media.
Actually I have surrounded myself with great songwriters inadverdently. Phil Dean from Zep Tepi writes amazing songs that have a maritime flavour. I have been rehearsing with Phil recently and had the pleasure of playing with Phil and Zep Tepi's Musician extroadinaire CC Thornley recently and had a ball. If you are going to the Beechworth Celtic Festival come and say hi as I will be playing with Zep Tepi up there.
Of course Stompdog's Matthew McKenzie is a gifted Song writer and Stompdog are playing at Oscar's Ale House in Belgrave on November the 3rd. We have also increased the number of instrumentals recently which keeps me on my toes. Check the Channel section of this site as there are some new Stompdog vids for your pleasure.
There are also some little secret projects happening with other song writers and I will let you know when there is something to see and listen too.
I have been having a complete blast with The Prairie Kings led by the incredible Chris Taylor. We are at the Edinburgh Castle on November 3 between 6pm and 8pm and then off to the hills for Stompdog. The Prairie Kings specialise in Hillbilly swing which is a mix of blues, folk, Jazz, Swing, Gospel, just great stuff. We vary from a 3 piece to a six piece and getting a name around town. We are off to the studio on November 18 so watch out.
I have so much fun playing a completely new style. Sure, I can just trott out the same old licks but as an artist I just can't accept that. I put myself out there and have been pleased with the results, ie interesting spontaneous impro in the genre. I am genuinely excited by this.
Please ignore the lack of info on the page referring to Latest Gigs. The site is new and I haven't figured out how to use this feature. Here are some gigs over the next few weeks.
October 26. 7pm to 10pm. The heritage Balnarring with the Whscar's Ale Houseiskee Gypsies.
November 3. 6pm to 8pm The Edinburgh Castle Brunswick with The Prairie Kings.
November 3. Oscar's Ale House Belgrave. 9pm to late with Stompdog.
November 10/11. Beechworth Celtic Festival with Zep Tepi.
November 11. The Winelarder 5pm to 7pm, Solo Fiddle, The Mendolin, Red and Black Trio, Clifton/Harris Strings.
Yes, you might have worked out I am having fun with the new site. Go to the Channel section and there are 2 new Stompdog Videos up. Also there is a video for my Grade 1 and 2 students, the ever popular Waterfall and Hodown, one where I am playing a jig really plain and slow for a student where I look about 68, and one where my Cat plays with the ipad. Keep watching for my American Student Matthew Milligan playing a gig with me last month at The Winelarder, it is great and will be in 3 installments.
A quick and final brief mention of something that I will expand on in the future. I have 3 ensembles operating. It all started with The Faculty of Music Celtic Ensemble from Melbourne University, through to the Sydney Road Australian Fiddle and Mandolin School's Mad peoples ensemble, MYM's Melbourne Fiddlers, the O'Shea Strings Group and now the three groups I am playing with at The Winelarder. These ensembles are demanding for the director but so much fun. I feel world strings or folk strings really need to be out in public as an alternative and addition to the exam/ schoool orchestra style of string playing, which is great but can be a little narrow. Any performing Musician will tell you to play as much music as possible. Yehudi Menuhin and Nigel Kennedy are 2 "Classical"players who have expounded this philosophy. These groups are growing and if you are interested contact me at