I like to think that The Barn is getting a reputation for sometimes putting on the BEST artists, story tellers and musicians that you’ve never heard of. You folks are starting to trust us with that responsibility and you just buy tickets. It may be that come September 2020 you may not yet have heard of Michael Waugh…..but I doubt it! I’m still haunted by his song Binder Twine heard more than a year ago now as it came randomly, unexpectedly through my headphones. Who writes like that? Michael Waugh does and his new album The Weir is proof that he does it consistently. He’s destined for “Big Things”! Don’t miss this show!
“When Michael Waugh opens his mouth, you should listen”. Andrew McMillen – The Australian
“Waugh shapes and colours his songs with the kind of unique Australian qualities associated with Tim Winton, Perry Keyes and Paul Kelly.” Rhythms Magazine
“Track three of Michael Waugh’s third album is This Song Reminds Me. It’s a roll call of Australian bands whose music the Victorian singer-songwriter grew up with, and includes three with whom Waugh has much in common: Redgum, Goanna and Cold Chisel. Like their respective songwriters — John Schumann, Shane Howard and Don Walker — Waugh writes with passion and probity about his own country. ” Phil Stafford – The Australian 4.5 stars
The Weir is a lyrical and musical tour de force… these songs have few equals in the current Australian music scene.” Eric Bogle
“Another masterclass in songwriting from Michael Waugh… it finds him perched on a songwriting mountain not many of us could hope to climb.” Shane Nicholson
Here’s a hypothetical for you…If you’ve got a friend overseas who has never been to Australia, and you want to gift them something that will give them a real sense of our country and who we are… what would it be? I’m thinking… a Tim Winton novel, a jar of vegemite, and an album from Michael Waugh. Sarah Howells
In the cracked earth of The Weir, Michael Waugh has unearthed rare treasures indeed.” Colin Buchanan
“It was on my third listen to ‘Warragul Police’ that I came undone, at the second mention of scrambled eggs when dad meets the cops at the screen door. I’m crying, reaching for my hanky and the cd player to play it again!” Brian Nankervis
Michael Waugh’s new album The Weir reaches up from the dried, cracked heart of Gippsland’s irrigation reservoir – Lake Glenmaggie – asking what it means to grow up Australian. It is family ‘carguments’ on long holiday drives to see the big things of Australia, mozzie-bitten itches of first summer loves, Meldrum-fuelled familiarity of Aussie rock classics, and the lived-in love of dinner with your partner in front of Neighbours. But it is also about what lies underneath – our underbelly laid bare by the drought; the distances that drive us apart, the economic devastation of rural communities, the death-wish of boys in country towns, the spectres of colonisation, racism and homophobia.
The Weir is Michael Waugh’s third album. It follows The Asphalt & The Oval (winner 2018 The Age Music Victoria Awards ‘Best Folk and Roots Album’) and 2016’s What We Might Be (Golden Guitar Award nomination 2017) and is Michael’s third studio project with multiple ARIA and Golden Guitar award producer winning Shane Nicholson.
Waugh’s songs peer unflinchingly into the lives of those who have faced misogyny, homophobia, illness, violence and mental health in Australian rural communities – but the stories are lovingly depicted, evoking striking images of funny, real, beautiful, strong and flawed people. They are deftly balanced with humour, hope and lightness – textured with Australian vernacular and detailed with idiosyncrasies of specific places and people.
His insightful tributes to friends, family and parenthood are simultaneously deeply personal and nationally recognisable; audiences see their own brothers, parents, pubs, rivers, struggles and joys reflected in the faces of those characters who live large in Michael’s songs.
First impressions aren’t always right. If you’ve been foolish enough to nail down the sound of acclaimed songwriter Gretta Ziller, then prepare to have the rug pulled out from under you. Queen of Boomtown, her stunning debut record, defies categorisation and demands repeated listens.
Ziller’s sound may bear the hallmarks of classic Americana music but its essence is far more diverse. The Melbourne songstress’ roots span jazz, blues, rock, pop and classical, that eclectic musical upbringing is reflected in the varied tracks of this full-length album.
Since it’s release last September Queen of Boomtown has garnered recognition with industry & fans alike, not only was Queen of Boomtown long-listed for the Australian Music Prize but she was also invited to perform at the Melbourne launch along side Jen Cloher & Birdz. The album received rave reviews from press, including Rhythms Magazine and a 4 star review from Rolling Stone Magazine. ‘Slaughterhouse Blues’ the first single from her album was also given an Honourable mention in the Unsigned only Songwriting Competition and International Songwriting Competition. The Album was also a finalist in the 2018 Age Music Victoria Awards for ‘Best Country Album’ Gretta most recently was mentored by Tom Busby (Busby Marou) as part of the 2018 APRA inaugural female songwriters mentorship program.