January 2006

Hello to you all and a belated seasons greetings.

I had some fun gigs in the last month of last year 2005. Johnos in Cairns, for instance, where I had the pleasure of witnessing cane-toad racing. What a Hoot!!! I got to jam with the legendary Johno and Rick Montgomery. I also had the pleasure of telling legend Phil Emmanuel to turn his volume down. He, of course, ignored the order. Fun Guys, all of them. If you find yourself in Cairns, it’s a “must go to Johno’s time of day”.

The Old Canberra Inn is always great to play. Small and intimate. Gets quite crowded, tho. Mine hosts are Brian and Lahny. They are a beautiful and most generous couple, and they made me feel most at home while I was staying at their home. While at the O.C.I. I also took part in the making of a documentary by Mary May Gill. I hope it works out well for her.

On Tuesday 13th December, Bill Kavanagh and Sue drove me and Peanuts to the Dan O’Connell to catch ‘Off The Cuff’ for their C.D Launch. Our good friend Warren Hall is their pianist, and what a pianist!!!! Warren has not been very well for some time but he is, I’m glad to say, on the mend. Tho he has bits and pieces taken out of his guts, he has the intestinal fortitude to beat his health problems, in my opinion. On the night ‘Off The Cuff’ played–up a storm, and Warren was at full strength by the sound of it. But I know it must have been very tiring for him. Bill Kavanagh has since gone back to W.A. and will be missed.

I was to do a regular monthly gig at Fishys in Mornington, but they had volume problems which have since been fixed, so I’II be at the new venue on February 19th and March 12th. Hope to see you there. It’s a great Restaurant and Blues Music Venue. Peter and his beautiful wife Roberta are excellent hosts and the atmosphere is great. Bookings are essential.

Had a great time at the Sleepy Hollows Blues Club’s Bluestone 10th Festival on New Years Eve, too. Andy & wife Margie were lots of laughs as were all the committee members. Very close community in Geelong with many travellers from Qld and all over regular patrons of this well organized event. Loved Stringybark McDowell. All enjoyed recovery day too but not as much as some Hic!

The Coolart Homestead Jazz Festival was something else. Ran into a few old Jazz Muso’s, I hadn’t seen for a long time; like, Ian Orr and Bob Wetstone. Nice to see them at a festival, rather than a funeral, eh? Fiona Boyes and I did a number together, I think she made up on the spur of the moment. Something about the sexual prowess of the older male. Somehow we managed to swap guitar licks that had something to do with that and we had the audience in stitches. Don’t ask me how that worked but, it did. By the way, Fionas set was brilliant!!!

My next gig of note was on Saturday 21st January at the Mineral Springs Hotel, Spargo Creek near Daylesford. There was no power when Ken Hatton, who was my driver and sound production engineer, and I arrived there. Thunderstorms were the order of the night. I had a fair size audience waiting for me, but all of a sudden the bleepers went off and half my audience disappeared to fight fires in the Wombat National Park. Had a great night anyway, thanks to neighbours generators and the power coming back on at around 10.30. Many thanks to Mike, Sue and Bob.

On Saturday January 28th I went to play at the Eltham 7th Annual Festival. Ran into Margaret Roadnight, whom I hadn’t seen for years. She did a great performance with Little Fi, another one of my favourites. Somehow I volunteered ( Peanuts told me ) to judge an original composition contest. My co-judges were : Steve Sedergreen and veteran Brian Brown. At times I was completely out of my depth. I asked Brian, how you can tell one original contempory piano jazz piece from another and he said he didn’t know. Just play it by ear, I guess.

So, Keep The Faith. Till next we meet.