What a world we live in. I can’t quite keep up with all the goings on so I’ve switched off from
The “News”. I grapple with this thinking maybe it’s irresponsible but for the short term, I’m
sticking with it.
My life is all about music at the moment. It always has been but I’ve immersed myself this
last 6 months to make a beautiful Jazz album called “The Night We Called it a Day” as an
homage to my late father Len, drummer and musician extraordinaire. I chose lesser-known standards from the great American songbook and tried to make it more of an album of
brilliant, timeless, and heartfelt songs rather than a pure “Jazz” type thing. People can be
frightened by the word Jazz ( even the origins of the word is somewhat unclear ). I gathered
a cast of superb musicians from my hometown Melbourne, Australia, which is not that hard
to do in this town. Melbourne is a hotbed of creative types and small enough for everyone
to usually cross paths.
Pianist Monique di Mattina arranged and produced the album. She is ridiculously talented
on so many levels and a dear friend.
Paul Williamson on Sax is the go-to guy. He is a master of his craft and oozes soul and style.
Steve Grant on trumpet is what some would call a freak of nature … he plays so many
instruments that I can’t even list them all but on this album, he plays beautiful trumpet.
Ben Robertson plays Bass and is the most melodic Bass player I’ve ever come across.
Sam Leman is on guitar. Effortless, tasty, and possibly the nicest guy in showbiz that every
singer wants in their band.
And my incredible son Harry O’Mara guests on drums for 4 tracks. He has a beautiful and
sensitive feel so reminiscent of my dad (his grandfather ) when he’s on the kit. Some could
call it nepotism having my boy on the album but he truly is my drummer of choice. He also
plays in my original band where we play songs from my last 3 albums prior to this new one.
I do a lot of other gigs to make a living. We just finished a series of shows doing Leonard
Cohen songs with classical guitar players Ben Dix and Dan McKay, Violinist/ musical director
Xani Kolac along with singers Alma Zygier, Henry Wagons, Delsinki, and Jacinta Caruwana.
It’s worth checking out all these artists’ solo explorations too.
Also a tribute to the Great Tom Petty. Many musicians HATE tribute bands but this is
different. It’s not like we dress up and pretend to be the artist. We do the great songs with
our own interpretations while still honouring them as they were written. Tom Petty was
such a great songwriter and it’s still hard to believe he is gone.
I would rather sing for my living than have to scrap around doing jobs I’m not interested in
as a lot of artists find themselves having to do to survive.
I also have my portrait in a new book of photos by photographer Suzanne Phoenix
Called IWD 2023 (International Women’s Day ) which I’ll put up in the photo section on the website.
There are lots of various gigs on the horizon that I’ll put up on BANDSINTOWN and the website.
Meanwhile, the leaves are starting to fall after a lovely summer here. I’m starting to write
songs for a new album, looking after the family, cooking, cleaning, doing shows, walking my
dogs (I love my dogs immeasurably), meeting with friends which is so important as we are
all getting older, dealing with aging mother and father in law and all the day to day stuff
that we all have to do. No complaints.