New Music

New Music is Marty's Lifeline in Lockdown Melbourne

Marty Blackmore

A lifeline of $13m offered to Victorian live music industry by State Government will hopefully save some of the great music venues in Melbourne… music, what does it sound like New Zealand??

Some new recorded music tweaking my ears this past week includes:

Neil Barnes, a San Francisco based harmonica player’s latest album Bald Guy With A Lot On His Mind, is a lot of album featuring some fine original instrumentals and then vocals of blues covers handled by a variety of singers including Lady Bianca (Sly & The Family Stone, Van Morrison), Lauren Halliwell, Sid Morris and Kyle Jester along with guitarists Ron Thomson and Big Jon Atkinson.

What we get is an album that takes us on a wonderful West Coast blues journey, all the time propelled by Barnes’s strong harp playing, influenced by Paul Butterfield and Lee Oskar.

Here’s a version of The Band’s "Ophelia" (Featuring Lauren Halliwell) and original "Placerville Gold" (featuring Kyle Jester)


This next artist Jonathan Terrell and his album Westward is a revelation! Bloody fantastic, what a discovery! What a singer!

From Austin, Texas, I guess you would call Terrell a singer songwriter grounded in country and folk (he was born in a single wide trailer deep in the East Texas pines to a family of ex-religious cult musicians and music has been a part of his life since birth), but this album, some three years in the making, brings elements of Springsteen, Young into the mix of personal themes, love, loss, redemption, producing “a windows – down highway driver. Those are my favorite kind of records – the ones where you can sit and listen to the whole album front to back, windows down and just blasting it through the sunset.”


The album features a cracker road band plus a collective of Austin musicians including Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), Shakey Graves, Band Of Heathens, Black Pumas and songwriter David Ramirez.

Before you do anything else right now, play "Never Makes A Sound"  and "Cowboy Song" 


Van Walker is a singer/songwriter from Melbourne, although originally from Burnie in Tasmania. Ghosting is the title of his new album which has taken some 5 years to deliver during which Walker has taken stock of near burnout and the end of a relationship…all of which has been gathered together in personal songs that are a little dark in places but ultimately give “a silver lining”.

Whilst definitely not a party album it features strong song writing and vocals, with able support from guitarist Jeff Lang, Matt Walker and Lost Ragas’s Shane Reilly, and has been on my playlist as a “grower”!

"When You Were Mine" and "Closing Time" are well worth your attention.



Go well…


Written By: Marty Blackmore Marty Blackmore is from Melbourne, originally from Invercargill, where he had a record store in the 70’s. Then, 120 record stores in Australia and New Zealand during 80’s and 90’s (well he was the GM). Currently rewired, plays in a Duo and a Band, loves finding new interesting artists and music in Blues, Americana, Country, Soul and Singer/Songwriter.