Reviewed by: Tracy Korsten
The latest of the Adelaide Music Collective sessions, featuring inductions to the SA Music Hall of Fame, were held on Friday April 10 to a capacity audience at the Goodwood Institute.
These nights are jewels in the crown of SA music (and Australian music generally), and was as entertaining and inspiring as any you are ever likely to experience.
The evening kicked off with a welcome from Enrico Morena, the unflagging organiser of these nights. Up-coming inductions will include Eric Bogle, Kasey Chambers, and the one I’m hanging for: The Moonshine Jug and String Band. Enrico also has to fly to London soon to induct Robert Stigwood. So keep an eye open for the next sessions, and book early. They sell like trendy desserts in Mason jars.
Garry Burrows took over from Enrico as MC for the evening, a job which he does with solidity if nothing else.
First act, Max Savage, gave us some boot-thumping, gutsy, country songs, with a blue-grass tinge. He proves himself to be a skilled song-writer and an enigmatic performer. His set of six ranged from love to country, to R M Williams boots.
Savage was followed by The Yearlings. These guys were a revelation, delivering lyrical rock ballads with country undertones. Their playing was tight, and their stage presence unquestionable. It was disappointing that they only got to do four songs. A couple more would have been an elegant sufficiency.
After the break, David Day was brought on to conduct the inductions. Although looking very frail in his wheel-chair, “Daisy” proved himself to still have a wicked wit and a knowledge and passion for Australian music that few can match. The inductees sat around in armchairs, chatting to Day about their careers and bantering with each other. This was the most special part of the night. The inductees were Archie Roach; the late Ruby Hunter; Mark Holden; and Twilights members, Paddy McCartney and Peter Brideoake.
Holden then took over the stage for his set, which was a delightful, musical memoir. He is a great raconteur and can still belt out a song. Singer/guitarist, Mick Ryan, joined him to perform Kill Party, a song which they wrote together about their shared (albeit uncomfortable) tribal history. Second duet of the night was with son Cane, performing a gorgeous, blues-folk number Travel By Train.
Final performer for the night, Archie Roach, drove the wagon home with five iconic numbers, including Took the Children and The Old Mission Road, and a special number by his beloved partner, and fellow inductee, the late Ruby Hunter.
These nights are amazing. But, they need to be in a bigger venue if that is possible. The Hall of Fame is also currently looking for a new, permanent home, so if you know of a place that would like to house the rich history of SA music (and thereby the rich social history of SA), then please let Enrico know.
And in the meantime, keep supporting these nights of musical excellence.
The next AMC-organized gig is at that beautiful venue, The Singing Gallery, in McLaren Vale, on May 15th.