What is Australian Americana Music?

According to the newly launched Americana Music Association of AustraliaAustralian Americana music builds on established definitions of the genre and “melds them with aspects of uniquely Australian sounds, stories and lyrical content, often influenced by our history, people and place in the world.”

Americana is contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. source

As an active performing, writing and recording artist in Australia’s burgeoning Americana scene, I have come into contact with a huge number of talented musicians that I wish more people heard. Australian Americana musicians need a central location for potential fans to discover, enjoy and share.

Australian Americana Gig
Playing with my band as part of the Americana Music Association of Australia NSW Launch. *Photo Credit: Jolyon Gray


A Playlist For Australian Americana Music

Over the past few months, I’ve come to recognise the significant role that playlists – in particular those made and promoted within Spotify – hold in the 21st Century music promotion/discovery landscape. All recent music industry podcasts and blog articles will tell you the same thing; playlists have now become the majority of music fans’ preferred medium for music discovery.

I want to do my part to make it easier for more people to discover Australian Americana artists.
Here’s my Spotify playlist featuring one song per artist to help get the word out. I will be updating it regularly.

For more information about this fast-growing, exciting genre in Australia, check out the newly launched Americana Music Association of Australia. They give a great run-down for those interested or curious.

If you’re an Australian artist making Americana music that wants to get one of your songs included, shoot me a message via the contact page with your favourite track.

I woke up on this overcast, rainy sunday with the intention of posting about a gig that I have this Wednesday at Sappho’s (see sidebar on right or facebook event here)…However, following a quick email check, I discovered that one of my heroes – The great finger and flat picking bluegrass/country/americana guitarist Doc Watson has sadly passed away at the ripe old age of 89.
The email was part of a newsletter that I receive from the great tuition site Homespun Tapes.

The email read:

REMBERING DOC WATSON  3/3/1923 – 29/5/2012

It’s hard to put into words the profound impact we felt when we first heard Doc Watson’s old-time songs and guitar picking. Since he arrived on the national scene in the early ’60s, generations of players have been inspired to try their hand at “Black Mountain Rag” or “Deep River Blues,” but rarely has anyone achieved the subtle tone and rock-solid rhythmic pulse that Doc seemed to do so effortlessly. His music has been heard by millions, but it was his down-home humility and brilliant, inquiring mind, as much as his musical virtuosity, that captivated his friends and fans. 

Here at Homespun, we were honored to have worked with Doc on two instructional DVDs. Our friendship with him also led to our annual participation as sponsors in MerleFest, the great music event he hosted not far from his home in Deep Gap, NC. Doc will be greatly missed, but his music will live on as long as people sing traditional mountain songs and pick fiddle tunes and country blues on banjos and guitars.


To show my respect for such an artist, I’ve decided to spend all of today learning a few of his tunes to play this Wednesday evening at Sappho’s. I’ll try and get someone to video so I can post up here.

Also! The Sappho’s gig has no wet weather plan and is out in a courtyard, so fingers crossed that the rain holds out!



My writing of this post represents something great…It represents my intention to maintain this blog as something constant. Let’s set ourselves a goal of maybe 3-4 times a week? Yeah? Yeah.

Moving on..
As of late, I’ve been slaving away on my Vodafone iPhone-tethered internet to get this website int0 some kind of presentable shape. I’ve added pages, content and fixed up visuals. Pretty soon I’ll start slamming the Facebook and Twitter universes and alerting all to its existence. 😉

Besides this geeky usage of my time, I’ve also been working on my classical guitar repertoire and preparing for prac in a high school.
What? What?! You say ahh?
Yeah… for those unaware, I’m in my 3rd year of a Bachelor Music/Bachelor Education degree at UNSW in Sydney and will be doing the above very soon. (Prac tomorrow, exam 2 weeks)

For anyone interested… My classical repertoire currently includes:
I from 14  ETUDES by Maximo Diego PUJOL
La melanconia by Mauro Giuliani
Menuet I and Menuet II from Cello Suite I by J.S. Bach
and lastly one of my favourites…
The Old Spanish Castle is Full of Vampires, Sleeping from Gothica by Phillip Houghton

To share the pure brilliance of a composer like Houghton, I’ve included a pic of Spanish Castle. Did I mention that he is a Sydney-Sider? I’m also pretty proud of how it looks colour-wise. I’ve done so to make more sense of dynamic changes and to provide intensity with visual(accents etc). I’m also hoping that it will help me in my interpretation.

Spanish Castle sheet music coloured in!


I promise I’ll add some Youtube videos when my recording setup is sorted..

Speak soon!