I can’t speak for the other band members, but I got interested in playing music when a small group of friends played guitars at school and my friend’s mother, a music teacher, showed me how to finger-pick ‘Freight Train’ and gave me a book of traditional blues songs.
We’ve all been inspired by different influences spanning three or more decades. I came to bluegrass and old-timey Americana through the music featured on the soundtrack to Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, which led eventually to my association with the Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Society of Australia (BTCMSA).
The current members of Stillhouse Union all met through the BTCMSA monthly gatherings in Sydney, which enables musicians from rank beginners to the fabulously talented to play and learn from each other, often during the raucous jam sessions that can go well into the wee hours. Megan Legg is our vocalist and mandolin player. Ben Thomas, also our vocalist, plays banjo three-finger style as well as clawhammer, and is the composer of most of our original material. Ben Seeto is on dobro and acoustic lead guitars, Peter Black on the U-bass, and I sing harmony and play finger-picking rhythm guitar and have also started writing. We had the pleasure of being featured on the 2015 Best Of JMC Academy CD recording, but with lots of original material now, we hope to get into the recording studio again in the near future.
4.The Music You Make
The music we’re playing now features close harmonies telling tales of the road and rail, unrequited love, vengeance, redemption, hope and happiness in a collection of original songs inspired by classic bluegrass, modern Americana and the old-time traditional Appalachian sound.
5.Music, Right Here, Right Now
Sydney’s grassroots music scene seems to be overflowing at the moment with places such as Gasoline Pony, Petersham Bowling Club, Coogee Diggers and despite some iconic pubs closing, there’s still the Union Hotel, Songwriters Live at various venues around the city, and lots of small cafés and bars such as Yulli’s giving new and old artists the opportunity to share their talents.
Catch Stillhouse Union atThe Gasoline Pony on Thursday May 5.