Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wine, donkeys and a beagle named Yani

It's such a pity I don't drink alcohol. I've just spent four days hanging out in one of the best wine-making region's in Australia - driving past hills covered in vines, dripping with grapes. I did, however, manage to get drunk. Not on wine, but on the kindness of friends - old and new - who handed me bowls of chilli con carne and homemade chocolate brownies after my gigs ... who allowed me to fall asleep in the back seat as they drove me home after late-night concerts ... who introduced me to their pet donkeys (Lavender and Snowflake) ... who made me feel 'at home' despite being many miles away from my own.

I had a wonderful time in South Australia supporting Irish songstress EleanorMcEvoy. We performed three concerts together. The first was in a heritage-listed courthouse surrounded by roses in full bloom. The second was in a candle-lit concert hall in the Barossa Valley with a stage that featured the most spectacular floor-to-ceiling pipe organ. 

And the final concert was in an old stone church full of Tibetan prayer flags - where a seat was reserved in the front row for a Beagle named Yani.

Big thanks to the following beautiful people who made my mini tour possible: Eleanor, Val, Geoff & Wendy,  Rarnee, Cherie & Ivan, Kathy & David, Jamie & Vicki.

More photos from my tour HERE

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After the Gold Rush

Neil Young will always remind me of my first love. On Sunday afternoons we’d step away from the chaos of dorm life at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst and escape to the quiet countryside in his big yellow Holden station wagon. Under the old bench seat was a stash of Neil Young cassette tapes. ‘After the Gold Rush’ provided the perfect soundtrack to the emptiness of the landscape - the endless yellow fields and sad-faced sheep.

On the day we broke up, he played me ‘Birds’. We cried together as Neil sang, “Lover, there will be another one, who’ll hover over you beneath the sun, tomorrow, see the things that never come today”.

I forced myself to listen to that album over and over, in the months and years following our break-up, despite the pain it caused. I suppose I was determined to recreate the ‘meaning of Neil’ for myself so that I wouldn’t have to lose his music to that relationship but the truth is – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to Neil without thinking about that boy. Damn that boy! Then again, there's a part of me that would like to believe that each time he hears Joni, he still thinks of me.

Here's my version of one of my favourite songs by Mr Young.