TEST REGION Riverboats Music Festival

NEIL & LIAM FINN

Neil & Liam Finn

A consummate performer and songwriter” – The Australian (Neil Finn)

"Finn writes irresistible songs that hum with riotous melodic invention” - The Guardian (Liam Finn) 

Neil Finn is one of the world’s greatest songwriting treasures - it’s no wonder we are so quick to denounce his Kiwi-dom and call him our own. Ever on the cusp of creative innovation, Finn’s musical genes run deep into the family line.

Following the release of his latest album, co-produced with his son Liam and  recorded live in front of an online audience, Finn’s latest incarnation is a full musical collaboration with Liam. Sublime, divine, wondrous, these are craftsmen to behold. 

"Liam and I have been dreaming up this record for the last  2 years. We have a wonderful band assembled to bring it to the stage and are casting the net wide to bring up some old treasures for the setlist” - Neil Finn

Neil and Liam will perform new material, solo back catalogue tunes and beloved Split Enz and Crowded House songs, backed by an all-star band for what promises to be a remarkable evening under the red gums.

Performing Saturday, February 17


 

 

KASEY CHAMBERS

Kasey.jpg

"Australia’s foremost progenitor of, and innovator in, the country-roots fold" - Rolling Stone

There is a moment in most artists’ young lives when they realise music will shape their future and define who they are. Kasey Chambers didn’t have to wait for that moment to arrive. Music is part of her DNA.

Born in Mt Gambier in South Australia, Kasey grew up in a home environment where listening to and performing country and roots music was a way of life. It had to rub off - and it did - just as in later years, living on the Nullarbor Plain and travelling all over Australia with her family, the young Kasey got an education like no other.

She spent her childhood absorbing the music of Hank Williams, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and other country greats loved by her parents. It was in the family’s revered Dead Ringer Band with dad Bill, mum Di and older brother Nash that 10-year-old Kasey got her first real taste of being on stage. By the time she was in her late teens she was fronting the band and writing some of the songs.

A change came in 1998 when Kasey, at the age of 22, travelled overseas on a rites-of-passage voyage of discovery. She came back ready to start her solo career. The resultant album, The Captain remains one of the most extraordinary and lauded debuts by an Australian artist in any genre. 

The critics and the public saw The Captain for what it was - a blast of fresh air in the local country scene. Kasey was on her way and picked up her first ARIA Awards, for best country album and best female artist. Greater success was to follow.

Jump forward to the present day and 2017 saw Kasey release her 5th number 1 album, Dragonfly. Featuring guest performances by artists including Paul Kelly, Ed Sheeran, Vika and Linda Bull and Keith Urban, Dragonfly was heralded by Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post as a landmark album in the career of one of Australia's most celebrated artists.

Performing Sunday, February 18


JOSH PYKE

josh.jpg

Acclaimed multi-ARIA Award winning acoustic troubadour Josh Pyke is one of Australia’s most respected and successful musicians, with an extensive career that has taken him across the country and around the world.

Josh’s breakthrough single was Middle of the Hill, which made it to #19 on Triple J’s 2005 Hottest 100 countdown and appeared on his debut release, a mini-album entitled Feeding The Wolves.

Josh followed up Feeding The Wolves with the 2007 release of his debut album Memories & Dust, which hit the ARIA chart at #4. The Gold record, hailed a "classic" by The Daily Telegraph and “world-class” by The Age, was acclaimed by critics and fans alike. It took out three ARIA Awards and was nominated for a J Award.

His second album Chimney’s Afire debuted at #3 on the ARIA chart, won an ARIA Award and also achieved Gold sales. Josh then followed this up with the 2011 release of his third album, Only Sparrows.

July 2014 saw the release of Josh’s fourth studio album The Beginning And The End Of Everything. Featuring singles “Leeward Side” and “Warm in Winter”, the album debuted at #7 on the ARIA albums chart.

Showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, Josh released his fifth album But For All These Shrinking Hearts in July 2015. The release debuted at #2 on the ARIA chart, making it his highest debut placement and fifth top-10 release in a row.

One of Pyke’s long time dreams was realised in early 2015 when he played two special sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House backed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The live recording of this performance was released in July 2016 and had two weeks at #1 on the ARIA Classical charts.

Performing Sunday, February 18


THE BLACK SORROWS WITH VIKA & LINDA BULL

The Black Sorrows

THE BLACK SORROWS

The Black Sorrows continue to be one of Australia’s most enduring touring bands and a festival favourite. Membership in The Black Sorrows has always been loose and fluid with Joe Camilleri being the only constant. In keeping with Joe’s desire to continually move forward, the latest incarnation of The Black Sorrows is - Claude Carranza (guitar/vocals), Mark Gray (bass/vocals), John McAll (keyboards/vocals) and Angus Burchall (drums).

Camilleri launched The Black Sorrows, a loose band of like-minded musicians, in 1984 following the demise of his seminal band Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons the year before. From humble beginnings playing inner-city cafes around Melbourne and selling albums from the boot of a car, Camilleri transformed the band into one of the most sophisticated ensembles in the country. 

Writer of milestone Australian songs including So Young, Hit And Run, Shape I’m In, Hold On To Me, Harley and Rose, Chained To The Wheel, Never Let Me Go and The Chosen Ones, Joe Camilleri’s music has become part of Australian music culture. As a member of Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons, Joe was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. Camilleri has shown fans and critics alike that he is a performer with an undeniable energy and love of it all.

Vika & Linda Bull

VIKA & LINDA BULL

For 30 years, the glorious voices of Vika and Linda Bull have comprised one of the most distinctive, versatile and emotionally charged sounds on the Australian music landscape.

Since their multi-platinum conquest of pop radio with the Black Sorrows in the late 1980s, the sisters have forged diverse pathways into soul, gospel, blues, country and the island music of their Tongan ancestry.

By turns tender and powerful, their rich solo vocals and instinctive harmonies have spawned eight albums of their own, as well as illuminating studio and concert performances by Paul Kelly, Rockwiz, C.W. Stoneking, Deborah Conway, Kasey Chambers and many more.

Their invitation to join Joe Camilleri's Black Sorrows ushered in that band's most successful era: Hold Onto Me, Harley and Rose and Better Times were all triple- platinum albums between '88 and '92, and the sisters' prominent vocals captivated massive audiences, here and worldwide.

Performing together Friday, February 16


THE TESKEY BROTHERS

The Teskey Brothers

“These guys are the real deal” - Brian Wise, RRR

Sam and Josh Teskey discovered American soul music of the 1960s via their parents’ record collection and were immediately taken. As teenagers, the two brothers jammed night after night in the bungalow behind their family home on the outskirts of Melbourne, devouring the R&B songbook and absorbing the tricks of the blues trade. In their obsession, the pair became accomplished players and soon began writing originals too, a process which came naturally.

In 2008, they joined with Liam Gough (drums) and Brendon Love (bass) to form The Teskey Brothers. The group spent the next eight years cutting their teeth in city-fringe pubs and backyard party jams, honing the old-school Motown soul sound and working it into something of their own. The covers made way for originals and in 2016 the band recorded and self-produced their debut album Half Mile Harvest.

The record was released independently in January 2017 and, despite minimal promotional fanfare, immediately gained attention. Community radio began spinning the first single ‘Pain and Misery’ and the word quickly permeated town. Nobody could quite believe this was the work of four young mates out of the Yarra Valley and not that of Stax Records alumni in Memphis circa ‘67. The sound so authentic, the songs so original.

Tickets to their Melbourne launch show sold out hastily, followed promptly by another. In total the band performed four sold out shows at the Corner Hotel, garnering praise from Brian Nankervis to Peking Duk and Allen Stone along the way. The Teskey Brothers have well and truly arrived, and it won't be long before the rest of the universe catches on.

Performing Saturday, February 17


HENRY WAGONS & THE ONLY CHILDREN

Henry Wagons

HENRY WAGONS & THE ONLY CHILDREN

Henry Wagons comes across like Nick Cave singing the Johnny Cash songbook” – Timeout NYC

Henry Wagons is a true renaissance man, with a unique swagger reminiscent of a day when front men gave back bucket loads of charm and were shrouded in enigmatic mystery. Unanimously lauded as one of Australia's great entertainers, a Henry Wagons show is a true sight to behold.

Drawing on a broad-ranging swag of influences, Henry's show is a high sensation roller coaster ride that ranges from the bluster of sweaty jumpsuit era Elvis, post karate kicks, to the somber, drunken malaise of Lee Hazelwood. He can touch on the tenderness of a recently heart-broken Roy Orbison while simultaneously embracing the menace of Nick Cave.

The past few years have seen Henry share stages around the world with Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Calexico, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham, Okkervil River, John Hiatt and more. Henry’s high profile festival appearances include Bonnaroo, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Laneway, Bumbershoot, Big Day Out and Ottawa Blues as well SXSW and Americana showcases.

As tends to be Henry's way, he always has a huge amount on the boil. After many years fronting the floor-fracturing outlaw band Wagons, Henry recently recorded his first ever full length solo album entitled After What I Did Last Night… in Nashville which was released in April 2016. The album was recorded under the watchful gaze of ‘new Nashville’ lynchpin producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose, Andrew Combs) who has helped bring a unique musicality and depth. Prior to this, Henry released a mini album 'Expecting Company' (including a duet with The Kills/Dead Weather's Alison Mosshart), as well as a live all-analogue 45rpm 12” vinyl as part of the prestigious Upstairs at United series, recorded above the famous United Records pressing plant in Tennessee.

On top of all of this, Henry hosts Australia's biggest national Americana/Roots music radio show 'Tower of Song', already a weekly institution, on national broadcaster Double J. Henry also keeps his insanely busy schedule packed as a television presenter, having worked on Australia's culture and arts show on ABC's 'Art Nation' for three years while also hosting interview series 'Rogue Tales' for James Squire and on TV series 'Keepers of the Flame' on Channel 10. 

With all this relentless and broad-ranging activity, it little surprise Henry was nominated by The Age as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Melbourne.

Performing Friday, February 16


GAWURRA

Gawurra commands attention regardless of backdrop4.5 stars, Rolling Stone Magazine

Gawurra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu artist hailing from Milingimbi (Yurrwi), North East Arnhem Land. With an emotional and resonant voice, Gawurra’s performances deliver a masterful musical sensitivity.

In 2016, Gawurra won the NT Song of the Year in the Pop category, four NIMA Awards and received national recognition throughout the music industry and mainstream media, including an ARIA nomination and 4.5-star review in Rolling Stone magazine.

Gawurra’s star has continued to rise in 2017, mounting his first national tour of Australia with sold out appearances in venues throughout the country and as a featured performer at major music festivals. Gawurra has established himself as a “must see” live act, gathering a mainstream following and captivating his audiences across the country.

In 2017, Gawurra started his own professional music and artist services business, Gawurra Catfish Corporation, to deliver Artist Representation, Music Production, Music Licensing and Recording Label Services. Gawurra Catfish Corporation operates out of Melbourne, Australia.

Yolngu people feel the spirit in Gawurra’s music in their hearts. The emotion in his voice touches everyone to build and refresh their spirit, making them stronger through the vine of love. Gawurra is a genuine young leader in his community, a respected song man with knowledge and power. It is important for Gawurra to connect his culture through his music to all peoples sharing the love from small communities of the Northern Territory to the major mainstream international music markets of the world.

Playing Sunday, February 18


MOJO JUJU

mojo.jpg

Smooth, shiny & loaded with sin. The kind of music that could make a Bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. Mojo Jujusings songs that sound like that night you can't quite remember, in that bar you swear you weren't at, with that girl you promise you've never met. Taking influence from (but never mimicking) the sounds of Jump, Hoodoo & Early Blues,

Pachuco Boogie, Rock ‘n’ Roll and a little bit of Bump & Grind, Mojo has created something undeniably her own.

Performing Saturday, February 17


NEIL MURRAY

Neil Murray

Neil Murray sings from the heart of this country– Jim Moginie, founding member of Midnight Oil

Neil Murray is one of Australia’s most original and respected singer/songwriters and has enjoyed a solo career since 1989.  He first emerged in the 1980s as a founding member of the ground-breaking Warumpi Band that helped make contemporary Indigenous music heard in mainstream Australia. 

His live shows are the stuff of legend and combine a rare gift for storytelling with a famously passionate performance. He has played at gigs and festivals small and large and remains an enduring and creative talent in the Australian music scene.

In 1995 Neil Murray received the APRA song of the year award for his composition ‘My Island Home’ originally written for the Warumpi Band and later recorded by Christine Anu. The song featured famously in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and was named 25th on APRA’s list of the top 30 Australian songs.

‘Blackfella Whitefella’, ‘Good Light in Broome’, ‘Native Born’ and ‘Burrumbeep Hill’ are just some of the iconic songs Neil Murray has penned. Jimmy Little, Missy Higgins, Christine Anu, Peter Denahy, Amy Saunders, Powderfinger, Tiddas, Adam Brand, Emma Donovan, Yirrmal Marika and Ursula Yovich and many others have recorded his works.

Neil’s output has done much to deepen Australia’s contemporary music heritage, and in 2017 he was named Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year.


CAITI BAKER

Caiti Baker

Caiti Baker, a vocalist and front woman raised on the sounds that birthed popular music, is soon to release her new music onto the masses. Born into a household filled with vinyl, CDs and tapes of blues, soul, gospel, jazz, big band and rock & roll, Caiti’s father, a blues musician himself, made sure that she was raised amongst music. Whether it was playing on the stereo, in the car, at a concert or attending week long festivals – music was everywhere.

As a child, Caiti developed a love and appreciation for the pioneering music but was drawn obsessively to hip hop, R&B, New Jack Swing and Neo soul. After being given an 8 track digital recorder, she learnt how to write and record songs on her own from the age of 12. Inspired by the greats like Aretha Franklin, Big Mamma Thornton, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Etta James and Little Walter; Caiti began to take notes on Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Destiny's Child, Lauren Hill and Faith Evans. 

Since stepping out on her own, Caiti has been signed to Perambulator Records in Darwin and has toured with and supported Gurrumul on his Gospel Album Tour in 2015. Caiti is also a backing vocalist for Briggs and is heavily affiliated with his record label Bad Apples (A.B. Original, Birdz).

Caiti writes songs about what she knows and feels, sings with her guts and soul and unashamedly performs the hell out of them.

Performing Saturday, February 17


JAZZ PARTY

Jazz Party

JAZZ PARTY

Essentially we are a dirty beatnik rock n’roll band who play jazz and soul music” – Darcy McNulty, Jazz Party

Late nights, flickering neon, blue smoke and beer fuelled dance freak-outs over a gravely wailing saxophone - think New Orleans processionals meets Twin Peaks. This is Jazz Party. Melbourne’s Monday night secret society led by former saxophonist and songwriter of Clairy Browne & The Bangin Rackettes Darcy McNulty and supreme diva and ex-Rackette Loretta Miller.

After moving to Melbourne himself, McNulty effortlessly integrated into the world of Melbourne jazz. Yet, despite being filled with incredible musicians, McNulty identified a strange uniformity within the jazz scene. He saw the need for a spontaneity and recklessness in music, the likes of which had never been explored.

Growing wildly from the lounge rooms of late night house parties to month long Monday night residencies throughout the city, over the past four years Jazz Party has held court at many of the most electrifying venues in Melbourne. 

“It’s important that we always keep things fresh and new somehow,” McNulty says, “That might mean getting a vibraphone and a slide guitar in a dirty rock venue, or having the bass player from the MSO sit in with a drunk blues harp player. We'll do it. It's all music."

Featuring a rotating cast plus regular features from members of bands such as Daniel Merriweather, The Cat Empire, Clairy Brown & The Bangin' Rackettes, Husky, Mojo Juju and Martin Martini - the spirit of Jazz Party is surprise and spontaneity and you just never know who will show up to play a Jazz Party gig.

Jazz Party is like nothing you have seen before or will likely see again, as if a wild shindig collided with a cult gathering. McNulty say “We’ve had the bar staff dancing on the tables. Generally, it gets pretty raucous. I mean, we haven’t had everyone take off their clothes yet. But we’re getting there.”

Performing Saturday, February 17


EATEN BY DOGS

Eaten by Dogs

"Very humble and human, a soft Australian night bled out with the expansive and atmospheric musicianship. This is a smooth, relaxing listen from start to finish" - The Music

While Melbourne is full of the world’s best alt-country songwriters and bands, Eaten By Dog’s are undeniably one of the towns favourites. Described as “the latest Australian ambassadors of honest alt-country music” (Tone Deaf, Dylan McCarthy), the four piece band perform music which is a brilliant balancing act between warmth and the encroaching despair. Even if the very mention of country music makes you cringe all over, Eaten By Dogs may give you a pleasant surprise. Their songs are honest, rich and spacious; music to listen to as you steer your way through the escapism of modern life.

Featuring members from Graveyard Train and Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Eaten By Dogs have been performing shows across Australia for the past 4 years. Following their self-titled album in 2014 which was nominated for The Age Music Awards, the band recently launched their sophomore album ‘Anxiety Ain’t No Currency’ to a sold out crowd at The Tote in Melbourne.

When you get to see Eaten By Dog’s you might notice that the band aren't interested in cowboy hats or Nashville. These guys seem more interested in the idea that while the world is well and truly in the midst of the 6th mass extinction, most of our true anxieties arise just after we post something online. They highlight the fact you can get up, find the fun in beating the hell out of life and squeezing every drop out of the bottle just to make it all worthwhile.

Eaten By Dogs: music of hope for the hopeless.

Performing Sunday, February 18


TRACY MCNEIL & THE GOODLIFE

Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife

TRACY MCNEIL & THE GOODLIFE

Alt-Country meets West Coast pop/rock, Thieves qualifies as a ‘classic album’ just waiting to be heard. McNeil grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. If either released any one of these songs today, they’d return to the top of the charts” - Rhythms Magazine

Canadian born McNeil has been releasing albums in Australia to the adulation of critics and aficionados since her arrival to our shores in 2007. Described as “fully realised, world-class country rock“ (Rhythms Magazine), her latest album 'Thieves' (winner Best Country Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards), brings a healthy dose of Californian shimmer, harking back to the halcyon days of late 70s L.A country rock with Laurel Canyon-esque harmonies hung from pop-hooks.

After sold-out shows in Melbourne, Tracy has toured the country and appeared at major festivals including Out On the Weekend (VIC), Port Fairy Folk Festival (VIC), Dashville Skyline (NSW), Bigsound (QLD) and AmericanaFest (Nashville, USA). Throughout her musical career, McNeil has supported international artists Dawes (USA), Old Crow Medicine Show (USA), Eilen Jewel (USA), Mary Gauthier (USA), Tony Joe White (USA), Great Big Sea (CAN, Lindi Ortega (CAN) and local luminaries Liz Stringer, The Audreys, Jeff Lang and Wedding Parties Anything.

Featuring in Rolling Stone’s coveted ‘Future Is Now’ segment, they highlighted ‘Thieves’ as a "dazzling fourth LP…a technicolour West Coast dreamscape: the sound of sunrise over cedars and noonday Joshua Trees and high desert dusk…✯✯✯✯

Performing Friday, February 16


FESTIVAL MC - BRIAN NANKERVIS

Brian Nankervis

MASTER OF CEREMONIES - BRIAN NANKERVIS

Brian's BACK! We're thrilled to announce that the wonderful Brian Nankervis will be joining us once again in 2018 as Festival MC. As co-creator of SBS TV's RocKwiz, Brian is one of the most respected people in the Australian music industry, and we're so excited we managed to tempt him back to Riverboats next year.

For the last ten years, Brian has been writing, producing and co-hosting (alongside Julia Zemiro) the AFI Award-winning SBS music trivia series, RocKwiz. The team recently wrapped up series thirteen of the show.

In 2013, Brian narrated and acted in Vandemonian Lags a theatrical presentation written by Mick Thomas and produced by the MONA Art Gallery.

In 2012, Brian hosted a new series for the Working Dog team on Channel Seven, Pictures Of You.

In 2011 Brian directed Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, a narrative concert based on the life of Bon Scott at the Athenaeum Theatre and co-wrote and hosted the ‘Queensland Country Comfort Hour’, five one hour radio shows for the Queensland Music festival and ABC radio in Queensland.