Charlie Parr + The Maladies

Last night I went to Notes Live, a little venue in Newtown, one of those dinner-and-a-show places.

I was there mainly for the opening act, The Maladies. I’ve blogged about them before, having heard their songs on FBI radio and really enjoying their eclectic roots-and-psych CD. They were good at Notes, although I could tell they were a little too freaky for most of the crowd. “This Wood and This Wire” was awesome, though they played it first. I was glad that they didn’t tame down the screaming in songs like “Feel So Fine”. A couple of songs, like e new one they admitted no one liked, were poor. But I like these guys a lot, and I’m sure they’ll continue to polish their live chops.

The main act was American Charlie Parr. I’ll admit I’d not previously heard of Parr, but damn he was good. It was just him and his acoustic strings, either steel guitar or banjo. He played some really authentic Delta blues and Kentucky folk. He was, honestly, and aficionado of the guitar. His picking style blew me away, and his vocals were honest and clear. For fans of country blues and folk he was the real deal. I mean, anyone who covers Dock Boggs (“Prodigal Son”) is not just a poser. Parr played some great, great acoustic roots music.

The Holy Soul + The Stabs + Whipped Cream Chargers + The Maladies

fbi radio has a cool new blog (their “flog“). I just spotted an amazing gig on it, one I’ve just bought a ticket to. The headliners are The Holy Soul. And support includes two Australian bands I’ve been really excited by, The Stabsand The Maladies. All these acts for only ten bucks. That’s amazing.

Who’s in?

The Maladies – Without You By My Side Baby, The Deal Just Can’t Go Down

Another Australian band I picked up on from FBi radio is The Maladies; Imentioned them a couple of months back. I got their album – Without You By My Side Baby, The Deal Just Can’t Go Down – on the weekend.

It’s a fascinating mix of roots influences. Blues and country and gospel are the clear ones (they name-drop Dylan and Cash), but they rock in all sorts of jazzy, folky, punky ways too. “I Feel So Fine” goes through nearly all these genres in just one song; it ends so ludicrously you wonder if it was a mistake they decided to have the balls to just keep in. That’s the binding theme, pure guts and attitude and fearlessness. I love this album.

You can listen to, and download, “Song From A Hot Country” from my music Box on the right-hand side of my blog. I suggest you do.

The Maladies

I heard “This Wood & This Wire”, a song by Sydney act The Maladies, on FBi radio the other morning, and I was intrigued. It was rock, but with some country roots, stoner jam sounds, and frequent Bob Dylan references.

I liked it, and I sought out their MySpace. That song and a few others are there, and they’re all good. They’re not playing it safe. They’re gutsy and intelligent and soulful and rough. This review of their first album – With You Right By My Side Baby, The Deal Just Can’t Go Down – spells it out pretty well. I’m going to get it, right now.

I know that bands often name-drop cool influences, but their list is a pretty good one:

Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Don Walker, Hank Williams, Paul Kelly, The Triffids, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Dr Nina Simone, Patsy Cline, The Drones, Dan Kelly, Sam Cooke, The Soul Stirrers, The Louvin Brothers, Karen Dalton, The Black Eyed Susans, Elvis, Dirty Three, Leadbelly, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, X (Australia), Dean Martin, Louis Prima, The White Stripes, Bluebottle Kiss, Suicide, The Supremes, Django Reinhardt, Bo Diddley, Amy Winehouse, Patti Smith, Professor Ratbaggy, Gillian Welch, Edith Piaf, King Curly, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, The Stanley Brothers, Jonathan Richman, Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbisson, The Ronettes, The Birthday Party…

They’re playing next week at the Annandale Hotel, with some other bands, for only a tenner.