Sue: Local outfit The Harmonics are a 6 piece Funky Swinging Rhythm and Blues Band and they’ve been playing regular gigs around Adelaide now for nearly two years. I'm lucky enough to have front man and Harmonica player of the band - Greg Carmody or better know as 'Bobby Blues' here with me in the studio……welcome Bobby
Bobby: Thanks Sue it’s a pleasure to part of Bluestime
Sue So Bobby…. The Harmonics have built up quite a reputation around the blues scene in Adelaide. Tell us a little about the band.
Bobby: The Harmonics are a six piece funky swinging rhythm and blues band and we’re lucky enough to have Adelaide’s unsung blues treasure Russell Stuart – on Lead Vocals and Guitar…… he’s right up there with Adelaide’s best when it come to the blues. Russell is also one of Adelaide’s premier solo performers.
Dave Martin is on Bass guitar – Dave’s toured both nationally and internationally and was a key member of the ‘Sole Commitments’ and the band Rhythm Willy …. some listeners would remember them.
Neil Kowald on keys – Neil’s highly regarded across the blues scene and has played with many top Australian musicians including Chris Finnen.
Steve Toll - on Tenor Saxophone – Steve gives the band that extra dimension, that every good blues band needs…….Steve plays it real smooth. His dad was a key member of Adelaide’s swing band the ‘Penny Rockets’.
Paul Turner – on drums. Paul is a very dear friend of mine… we’ve played in a number of outfits together over the years…... Paul’s dad also played drums in a number of swing bands back in the 60’s.
And as you mentioned before …….I play Harmonica, percussion and provide the band with lead and backing vocals.
The band has been together since mid 2008 and since then ……we’ve been enjoying every moment of it!
Sue: The Harmonics take great delight in playing songs from not so well known blues artists, including KC Ray, Walter 'Wolfman Washington', John Juke Logan for example… that provides blues appreciators in Adelaide with a opportunity to experience “new live blues material” – Is that something the band wanted to focus on?
Bobby: Yes absolutely…… There’s so many fantastic unknown American blues artists that play a great range of blues music with clever lyrics and we’d like to ‘celebrate the existence of that music’ …….we want to keep that particular music alive.
It’s important to keep a fairly broad view on the blues …………there’s so much out there. Our audiences really like the stuff we’re doing.
Sue: The Harmonics are a fairly recent addition to the blues scene here in Adelaide - from the bands perspective - is the 'blues alive a well' here in Adelaide.
Bobby: Well from ‘our’ perspective yes it is…….its amazing how much interest there is in the blues and root scene here in Adelaide. Apart from the good work 3D radio does to promote the blues in Adelaide….there are a number of organizations like:
SA Roots and Blues they provide a fantastic web site on blues news, gigs, features on bands podcasts and more, it’s like a one stop shop for Blues and Roots music lovers. Dave Stoeckel does a mammoth job servicing that web site.
The Blackwood RSL Weekly Blues Jam on a Tuesday night – Roger Smith from the Blues Casters runs that club. They do a great job of promoting blues and provide a platform for new blues artists in Adelaide to perform.
The Semaphore Workers Club is a big supporter of the blues in Adelaide. We’ve had some great nights playing down there. The Semaphore Workers Club recently won “best service to the blues by an organization” as part of the Derringers Music Adelaide Blues Awards. Dave Pearce does a great job looking after the club and always makes us feel very welcome. You can always be guaranteed to see a quality act down there.
The Bacchus Bar is a regular hang out for the band – we’re there on the last Sunday of every month this year. Phil runs the show down there and also does a great job keeping the blues alive and well.
and I should mention the new blues venue in town the Wine Underground – Coopers 1862 Bar at 121 Pirie Street Adelaide. They’ve opened their doors to ‘the blues’ and have recently run some of Adelaide’s best blues acts there also.
I’d also like to mention the great support from Travis Taylor from Blind Dog Taylor and the Heat – Trav has provided us with good advice and information about the scene here in Adelaide. He’s also helped The Harmonics secure gigs around town…. Big thanks to Trav.
Sue: Can we expect a CD from the Harmonics this year?
Bobby: Yes – you can…….we’ll be back in the recording studio in April and plan to have something available by the end of the year……..it’s a long process! Russell and I will be writing a couple of songs to complement some of the covers we want to record so that will be interesting!
5 What gigs have you got lined up for The Harmonics during the year?
Bobby: Well we’ll be at the Bacchus Bar this Sunday 5.00pm – till 9.00pm
and at the Wine Underground next month ….
You can keep an eye on SA Roots and Blues for our future gigs.