We scored a QnA interview with this fascinating artist from the USA who spent time in Byron Bay busking and selling cassettes when first starting out
- Tell us about the moment you decided to become an artist. What did your family/friends have to say about it?
“I discovered my music while living in the outback canyons of sedona in the early 90’s. I lived in my VW van for 3 years and spent much time meditating in the silence of this ancient land scape. I heard the music in the silence and then I sensed angels around me who eventually made themselves known. They told me my life purpose and mission was to play the harp and bring thru special music for thistle of the dawning of the golden age. At first no one could believe my incredible story. My family thought I had gone off the deep end.I was in my early 30’s and music had not been a large part of my life up to that moment. But eventually everyone realized I was very serious about this. I got a small harp and made my first recording Harp Magic only 10 months later with no formal lessons. Harp Magic went on to be nominated for String Album of the year in the NAIRD Indie awards.
2. What is the first record you bought and why?
I can’t remember the first record I bought it was sooo long ago. My record buying started in high school.I listened to Genesis, Yes, Steve Hillage, and George Benson!! I had a super nice vinyl record collection with all albums protected by plastic sleeves!!
3.Tell us a little about what a crowd can expect at a live show?
My performances are called A Evening of Harp Magic with Peter Sterling. I create a magical atmosphere with atmospheric sounds. Long reverbs and delays. I use colored light s and lasers to create a mood that is dreamy and fantasy .
4 Who are your early influences and Favourite artists of all time ?
Andreas Vollenwieder, Hillary Stagg and Loreena McKennit
Beatles, Genesis. Yes, Grateful Dead.
5.Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along?
All my music is born thru improvisation. Every time I sit at the harp it takes me on a journey of discovery. My award winning 2021 album Sanctuary of Light was a complete improv from start to finish. I sit at the harp, press record and began to play the music for the first time
6.What are your future plans for 2022/2023.
Releasing my new album Visions and Dreams spring 2022. Coming soon 🙂
When he is asked, “What is the best part of being a musician?” Peter answers, “Creating music that touches the heart and soul of listeners… bringing peace and healing to people all over the world. I love receiving letters about how my music has touched peoples’ lives.” Peter looks back at his path to the present now and humbled at his worldwide success. Back when he was recording his first 8-track compositions on a cassette tape in Byron Bay, Australia, and then marketing it by going door-to-door to Sedona’s stores, he could scarcely imagine that one day his music would reach people across the planet through international airplay (Pandora, SiriusXM, Soundscapes) as well as on major airlines (United and American).
Checkout Peter’s latest Release The Winding Way
Composed & produced by Peter Sterling for Harp Magic Music (BMI)
Peter Plays a custom made Lyon and Healy electric Troubador, keyboards, vocals, percussion, freenote chimes, G-Dov Gertzweig/violin, Richard Hardy silver and bamboo flutes, Hans Christian Cello
Mastered by Eric Boulanger, The Bakery Sony studios Culver City
“I worked on this record for over one year during the time of the global pandemic and lock down. Tucked away from the world in my home studio, these songs came forth from my heart and soul during this difficult time for all of us. As in music so in life says the back cover. I have found as many others have that our life is not a trek from point A to point B, but rather a meandering journey down the Winding Way with many unexpected twists and turns along the path to the destination of our hopes and dreams. My wish is that this music will uplift and bring joy to your heart and soul as you journey forth.” PETER STERLING
The Winding Way is OUT NOW (Harp Magic Music)
Spotify album link:
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Thirty Three Degrees are an original rock band with a strong groove and some rootsy vibes, from the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.
After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Shane decided to re-enter the music world and search for like-minded musicians to write and perform with. At this same time, Chris was re-entering Australia from Los Angeles with the same goal. Thanks to musician classifieds on social media, the two met up and at the end of January 2020, Shane Romeyn and Chris Roberts formed the band.
The good vibes and good songs flowed out immediately. Due to COVID-19 gigs were off the table for the most part, so with the temporary assistance and amazing bass work of Chris’ brother Mike, the band decided to instead enter the studio and recorded their debut album.
Shane Romeyn: “This song came about in an instant when Chris started playing a Johnny Cash type rolling drum beat. From the outset it felt like a fun song which didn’t need over thinking in its structure or anything to take away its light heartedness. The cords just instantly came and before I knew it the theme was going to be a light hearted crack at falling out with your loved one and nothing you say or do gets you back in the good books. You end up drinking on your own! I’m sure many people have been there before.”
Drinking On My Own
Up-tempo snappy drums start this rocking new single from Thirty Three Degrees. The band kick in and with the song being all about ‘drinking’, the vocals, guitar licks and solo are appropriately gauged. You certainly get the vibe pretty quickly.
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Andalcia Spain, 1975. A young boy sits enthralled at the feet of a flamenco guitarist, feeling the addictive power of this music for the first time. The spirit of flamenco enters his soul forever. Since then Gareth Koch has woven a diverse life in music. In a career spanning over 20 albums he holds a PhD, has won an ARIA, is a multi-instrumentalist & writes across diverse genres.
In its purest form flamenco combines elements of song, dance, percussion & guitar playing. As early as the 4th century B.C, Roman chroniclers praised the dancers of Andalucia. From then on the history of the region saw a succession of invasions & immigrations by Romans, Jews, Vandals, Celts, Arabs, Berbers & Gypsies.
During Islamic rule (711) the exiled Gypsies created a unique music which retained strong Eastern & Moorish characteristics. The guitar put in a relatively late appearance in this musical epic. Its most direct ancestor arrived on the scene in the 17th century in the Christian courts of Spain, before it spread to folk music to such an extent that it has become a national symbol of Spain.
The ‘Rumba’ is now one of the most popular styles in the flamenco genre.
About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).
Stream / download here:
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NEW REVIEW For CJ Shaw’s Album ‘ALL SORTS’
Nominated for a 2020 Music Teacher of the Year ARIA, CJ Shaw is an unadulterated, unashamedly Australiana rather than Americana singer-songwriter, sort of Shane Howard meets Fred Smith if you will. Shaw keeps it all pretty simple too, two and three chords at most as he spins his stories, some aimed at younger listeners – as you’d expect from a teacher – rambling, cheeky ditties full of whimsy – others serving more mature musical tastes with tales that ponder life as it’s lived in this wide brown land. “We would all do a lot less harm,” he suggests in ‘Choose to Chew’, “If we ate our Coat of Arms” – which makes sense of the recipe card for CJ Shaw’s Fair Dinkum ‘Roo Bolognese included! Obviously one of his children’s songs, but hey, we all need a bit of fun once in a while. ‘Werewolves’ straddles the generations, delivered straight-faced yet obviously not to be imbibed in that spirit. The seraphic Hannah Czaben takes the vocal spotlight on ‘Full on Heart’, another gentle two-chord stroll, a rumination on separate lives that could have been more lived more happily together that, along with songs like ‘Lonely Road’, is proof that when he allows himself, Shaw is quite the poignant singer-songwriter.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lennie Gwyther’s story is no exception. A 9 year old boy who, along with his horse Ginger Mick, traversed 1000 kilometres of Australian wilderness to arrive in Sydney for the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.
Along the way he became a celebrity, admired for his bravery and determination. This was during the depression years and heroes were in demand. This unassuming boy was an unlikely icon that united the country as a symbol of hope.
Checkout the amazing stop animation video to go with the song kindly premiered by Scenestr magazine
This song was written to teach Australian history to primary aged students (and curious adults alike). The storytelling lyrics allow students, the same age as Lennie, to imagine his courageous three month journey to witness a momentous moment in Australian history. One taken without parents, cars, electricity and, most unbelievably, mobile phones.
The stop-motion music video to accompany the song is made by award-winning animators ‘Eleanor & Giovanni’ and features 3D felted puppets who play out the historical story of Lennie Gwyther. These meticulously hand-made puppets and backdrops create a child-like physicality to captivate the audience – drawing them into this inspiring Australian story.
As the song says – “There ain’t many like Lennie”
Armed with a guitar and a swag full of harmonicas, singer-songwriter CJ Shaw’s intricate finger-picking, word play and storytelling never fails to captivate his audiences. CJ Shaw’s music is distinctly Australian in style, influenced by Paul Kelly and Slim Dusty. His lyrical storytelling and musicality lends itself to audiences of all ages.
In 2020, CJ Shaw was nominated for an ARIA Award for ‘Music Teacher of the Year’ with Jimmy Barnes as his official ambassador presenting him with the nomination. This prestigious music industry acknowledgement recognised his dynamic and poignant songwriting for primary-aged children. These celebrated songs are woven through his performances and albums, played alongside satirical and storytelling Australiana folk songs.
In 2021 CJ Shaw released his album ‘All Sorts’. Combining the best of his children’s songs with his unique brand of contemporary Australiana, Shaw has dubbed ‘All Sorts’ “the ultimate Family Album”. With over a decade experience touring and performing at music festivals in Australia and Timor-Leste, CJ Shaw is an exciting Canberra musician at the top of his game.
CJ Shaw – Ain’t Many Like Lennie is out NOW December 3rd through Foghorn/MGM
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It’s been a strange path for Halfway Homebuoy to finally end up as ‘based’ on the NSW Central Coast, an hour north of Sydney. The band was formed almost 10 years ago on the ski slopes of Switzerland where all of the (then) members were working the season and playing shows at night.
With three Englishmen and one Aussie the band moved out here and were recommended to Foghorn Records where they quickly found a home. As things happen after a few years the visa’s ran out, the Aussie moved back to Europe and the sole remaining member, principal writer and singer, Jack Davison, married an Aussie and stayed here. Unfortunately, he was left without a band.
Not to be deterred, Jack found local musicians, new songs were written, live shows booked, a new album released, the band continued on. Now based on the coast and with a new record almost finished the guys are ready to reboot post lockdown into 2022.
All the Homebuoy recordings have been made at Damien Gerard Studios, first in Balmain and now, the new album at the new facility in West Gosford. With Andrew Beck engineering and co-producing, Jack says, “DG’s has always made us sound magical, and the new spot is no exception, not to mention close to home”. The new record features new material, some penned by Jack and others written by the whole band in preparation for the recording session. The new songs continue the bands’ own UK/Euro/Aussie rock style with the additions of extra guitar and keys adding interesting layers. Russell Pilling is the mixing engineer and has just finished these two songs mastered by Andrew Beck – the first taste of the new album.
The first single from Halfway Homebuoy for 2021 features a powerful guitar and drum intro along with some Chilli Pepper’s like bass runs. Jack’s power vocals soar over the mix and the solo guitar has some brilliant hooky riffs. An up-tempo rock song, closes out with some strong backing vocals.
Kick Me Out
Acoustic guitar and vocals begin this mid-tempo song that carries till the band kick in with a strong rhythm and guitar bed. The chorus is truly anthemic with backing vocal and keyboard layers intermingling to create a very catchy and memorable tune.
The River is OUT NOW – November 5th via MGM
Producing and playing music since his early teens, Daxton’s passion has kept him continually creating new material both for his band and solo career. On stage, Daxton comes across like he was born to play, his unique guitar style blending perfectly with heart-warming vocals.
Daxton has appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Blues & Roots and Tamworth Country Music Festival where he supported artists such as Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole. He also has had one of his tracks ‘Moody Liz’ featured in the popular American TV series Doll House.
Based in Sydney, Daxton is best described as a blues/rock artist with a twist of pop and rock. He plays slide guitar rock/blues songs with a fresh and innovative sound. The new album ‘Electric Satellite’ is a heavy, rustic blues rock album with psychedelic pop/rock sounds scheduled for release in 2022.
Daxton’s raw and bluesy acoustic guitar and harmonica begin this laid-back mid-tempo blues tune. The drums and bass come in from the chorus to fill out the mix and some subtle guitar riffs add to the hooks. Daxton’s vocal delivery is heartfelt and real, a perfect match to the music.
Daxton – Otherside is out NOW November 12th
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Jut added to our playlist Gabriel is the title track single from Sydney singer songwriter Jack Nolan’s upcoming 2021 Americana album, Gabriel.
We were on the road, from heaving LA freeways and into Death Valley, a most peculiar place, an unknown place. When your mind is elsewhere, irretrievable, like mine at the time, the valley’s a parallel universe, perdition. We were in the midst of a three-day dream. I fell upon a crossroad, landing eighty-six metres below sea level in the Californian Desert at a place, Badwater Basin, where an androgynous guardian appears, Gabriel, kind, gentle yet hard-lived and furrowed, who gave and left me with hope that all would be well.
“The original version, the demo, had that magic, which I thought about releasing it as it was, having gone into the old Damien Gerrard studio in Sydney, to bang down some ideas. I played everything, guitars, shakers, lead, the vocal and I also sang the harmonies. It worked, but my belief in the song told me to give it the environment it deserved. Arriving in Nashville I briefed producer Justin Weaver, who went about recreating the demo perfectly from the ground up. I still handled the guitars, the lead vocal and all harmonies but was smart enough to hand off the rest to the boys!.’’ Listen for Jimmy Paxson on the trash can drum, swinging around the harmonies and Justin Weavers banjo, that is the optimism and the final outcome.
Jack Nolan is a singer songwriter based in Sydney, Australia, who’s been performing and releasing music and albums since the mid 90’s. Along with a five-album solo catalogue Jack also fronted The Kelly Gang, with Rick Grossman, bassist for The Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus, along with Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst, and guitar player Martin Rotsey. Their 2004 album Looking for the Sun was critically adored along with their energetic live shows of the time.
Within Nolan’s music, mysterious and shimmering chords unite his sound with that of the Americana genre, once quaintly described as ‘Darlinghurst Country’ uniting elements of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and ambient atmospheres fusing Nolan’s passion for intensely charged electric guitar and finger-picked acoustic guitar.
The title track single from forthcoming album GABRIEL
September 8 – Gabriel – Single – Digital
October 8 – Gabriel LP (Vinyl, CD, Digital)
Written by Jack Nolan
Recorded at ‘Welcome to 1979’ in Nashville TN 2020
Produced by Justin Weaver
Engineered by Chris Mara
Mixed by Chris Mara & Justin Weaver
Mastered by Ryan Smith, Sterling Sound Nashville TN
Jack Nolan – Vocals & guitars
Justin Weaver – Electric Guitars, slide, banjo & backing vocals
Jimmy Paxson – Drums
Chris Autry – Bass
Gabriel is OUT NOW Quay Records/MGM.
Stream or Download:
Scents Video Premiere:
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