Andy will be at Southgate Inn -Tamworth Festival
Noon - 4pm Monday 21st - Saturday 26th
Andy Baylor and the Cajun Combo will be playing
at the Cooks River Boat Club on Saturday October 27th 2008.
After a sellout show at Cooks River in April this year,
Melbourne’s Roots music maestro Andy Baylor is back with his
celebrated Cajun Combo for another huge night of “Bop Boogie In
The Dark” - boogie woogie, blues, western swing hot Cajun two
steps and funky waltzes, in the authentic setting of Sydney’s
only Louisiana style swamp shack – The Cooks River Motor Boat
Club at Tempe. (SEE OVER)
media enquiries – 02 9251 6940 0405 726 753 firstname.lastname@example.org
BOP BOOGIE IN THE DARK!
ANDY BAYLOR HIS CAJUN COMBO
Andy Baylor and his Cajun Combo have been touring around this
big broad land all year delivering the hottest roots music on
the scene. From the mudslides and floods of the Gympie Muster to
the heat and dust of country capital, Tamworth, from the
primitive swamps of St Kilda to the dilapidated dancehalls of
the Outback - Andy and band have travelled the road less
travelled …that funky lonesome lost highway of rhythm and blues.
Andy’s band include:
Mr Sam Lemann - red hot guitarist-national flatpick
champion and wedding/function guitar supremo.
Mr Steve “Swampboy” Teakle - on accordion, rubboard, clavichord
Micheal ‘V-Doll’ Vidale - on double bass, the ubiquitous country
Joel T Davis - the secret weapon- on drums and percussion!
Sydney roots music fans get ready….there’s something special
a’coming, so get on board….dance all night to the hottest roots
music smorgasbord north of the Murray Bayou….two-steps, waltzes,
hypnotic blues, country hurtin’ songs, zydeco juke joint funk
and high lonesome fiddle tunes…..
MR.B’S BOOGIE BY THE
BAYOU….SAT 12TH MAY
Melbourne’s own country roots music maestro,Andy Baylor,
has assembled an all-star line-up for a special one-off show at
Sydney’s funkiest old-world venue-The Cook River Motorboat Club….
After a recent battle with Cancer and a triumphant return to
Tamworth country music festival ,Andy will be playing a highly
danceable mix of Cajun two-steps, waltzes, hot western swing and
honky tonk boogie woogie with
-Sydney’s own master of the sacred steel guitar-Michel ‘the mighty
-man about town with the tubs-drummer extraordinaire-Joel T.
-from the bayous of Melbourne’ guitarist to the stars-‘magic’ Sam
-Steve ‘swampboy’ Teakle on accordion and piano and rubboard
-Mr. Andy ‘hillbilly’ Scott on the big double bass
Andy will lead with his cryin’ fiddle, hot blues guitar and
What they say about Andy and his band:-
“Andy Baylor is a national treasure –the king of forgotten roots
styles-…” –Rhythms magazine
“where ‘d you guys learn to play like that?” –Bob Dylan
“Andy Baylor is truly one of the architects of the current
blues/roots trend in Australian music”- Ken Williams , The Age
“ Andy –you’re the man!”-Coco Robicheaux
Mr. B’s Boogie By The Bayou
Andy Baylor and his Cajun Combo
Cooks River Motorboat Club
Holbeach Ave. Tempe,029558 5522
SAT.12TH MAY, 8.30-12.30,
ANDY BAYLOR BIO
Andy Baylor, Australian musician of renown, has his roots
in the inner- urban art movement of seventies’ Melbourne –a time
of musical experimentation, freedom and folk clubs. He has spent
the last thirty years honing his unique musical talents.
Never having been drawn to mainstream commercialism, Andy has
traveled the back roads of popular culture seeking knowledge and
inspiration from many forgotten sources . He has drawn on
America’s great 20th century legacy of popular music and his own
Australian roots, creating a new individual voice combining
instrumental virtuosity on several instruments with a strong sense
of place and history.
As a guitarist, Andy combines a deep knowledge of blues, jazz and
folk and country music and has played with many visiting U.S.A.
masters. Jimmy Witherspoon (Legendary blues shouter), Big Jay
McNeely (R ’n B saxophone pioneer), Jimmy Mc Griff (funky, famous
Hammond organ virtuoso, Flaco Jimenez (tex mex accordion king),
Coco Robicheaux (contemporary singer, songwriter from New
Orleans), Louisiana Red (Bluesman), Screamin Jay Hawkins (voodoo
blues king) .He was hand-picked by Bob Dylan to support some of
his shows in ‘92(Dylan was given a copy of Andy’s first CD) Robert
Plant did the same on his ’86 tour …. .He has also toured with Taj
Mahal, John Mayall, Slim Whitman,New Orleans Soul singer ,Betty
Harris ,Zydeco great-Queen Ida,Steve Riley’s Mamou Playboys and
Cajun band Balfa Toujours.He has played with bluegrass
greats-banjoist Bill Keith,fiddler Mark O’Connor as well as
sharing the stage with country greats Gillian Welsh,Bill and Kasey
Chambers….the list goes on .
Always a busy working musician with unmatched versality, Andy has
played with many great Australian artists –country, folk and rock
with Paul Kelly, Slim Dusty, Anne Kirkpatrick, Redgum, Ross
Wilson, Chris Wilson,Richard Frankland, Joe Camilleri, Bomba, Chad
Morgan, and jazz with local legends Bob Barnard and Ade
Monsborough, Judy Jacques, Ken Shroeder,Alan Browne, and many
During the 1980’s,with his band The Dancehall Racketeers, Andy
toured everywhere in Australia, from Aboriginal settlements in
Arnhem Land to big city concert halls breaking down barriers and
introducing such (then unusual and obscure) styles of music as
Western Swing, cajun, zydeco, rockabilly, country ,hillbilly and
blues to Australian audiences.
Andy is truly one of the architects of the current “roots /blues”
trend in Australian popular music.
As a violinist, he has created a unique Australian sound with
elements of swing, celtic, cajun, classical and country fiddle
styles. In 1992 and again in 2005 he travelled the backroads of
the U.S.A. as a fiddler, where he gained valuable experience
meeting and playing with many legendary musicians including
bluegrass greats David Grisman , Texan swing fiddle master Johnny
Gimble (A member of Bob Wills Texas Playboys), cajun fiddle greats
Dewey Balfa, Rufus Thibodeaux ,Dave Greely and accordianists Ray
Abshire and Marc Savoy.
Back in Australia, Andy has continued his musical journey with a
host of diverse musical projects and his many CDs reflect his wide
CRY FREEDOM 2005
A new CD from Richard Frankland’s Charcoal Club with
original songs dealing with politics, koorie life, protest songs,
love songs and the search for Australian identity.
HOMETOWN STOMP, 2005
This collection of music was the result of two days of live
“in the groove” recording at Barry Stockley’s Fatsound Studio in
West Melbourne, August 23rd/24th 2004 ….just up the road from
Festival Hall, where many of the greats have stomped it off over
the years…..There is a selection of blues, stomps, boogie -woogies
mixed with tex mex, country ballads, fiddle tunes and cool
instrumentals……all designed for your dancing and listening
BUCKLEY’S CHANCE, 2004.
Was recorded at Mick Thomas’s studio and is a collection of
original folk ballads. The songs and music on this C.D are
strongly rooted in the past, but have a distinctive contemporary
Australian aesthetic. There are elements of folk, celtic, country,
cajun and blues which are transformed into new hybrid styles.
MELVILLE MILK BAR BLUES, 2003.
This CD release is a veritable smorgasbord of retro-roots
music styles….23 tracks collected from the vaults of the legendary
PRESTON RECORDS STUDIOS, featuring a who’s who of the Melbourne
underground music scene. As Andy calls it , “AUSTRALIAN
AMERICANA”… a complete re-casting of such styles as BLUES,CAJUN,
ROCKABILLY, BOOGIE WOOGIE, COUNTRY AND ROCK’N’ROLL. All captured
by Retro Recording Guru, Graeme Thomas at his Preston Records
Studio (an old abandoned milk bar in Melville Rd.) with his ’56
Pye mixer and microphones that could have come straight out of Sam
Phillips’ Memphis Sun Studios.
FRONT PORCH FAVOURITES, 2003.
Andy re-united with his famous brothers, fiddle virtuoso
Donal, and guitarist, Peter to record this collection of old time
country music with western swing , fiddle tunes, blues and fine
string band pickin’….a big hit with the new-old-timey trend in
Australian folk circles.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, 2001.
A collection of surreal original songs co-written with poet
Nicholas Langton.A mix of folk styles, soul and modern pop, the
album explores themes of modernity, alienation and identity with a
lyrical sense of social realism.
Blues, cajun and country music influences with a deeper
original input…a real re-casting and re-mixing of traditions
,recorded and produced by Nicky Bomba in his Newport Studios
THE CHARCOAL CLUB-MEETING 1.
A collaboration with renaissance Gundijtamara man Richard
Frankland and Lou Bennett of Tiddas fame featuring original songs,
many of which were an integral part of Richard Frankland’s
groundbreaking play “CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DEAD” produced by
Melbourne’s Playbox Theatre.
GUAVA LAMPO, 1999.
A hit CD by “ funk supergroup ” Banana Oil, feat. Tim Neal,
Dave Williamson and Nicky Bomba- a mixture of funky jazz, reggae
and originals. This album features Andy exclusively on his Fender
Jaguar guitar in a soul -jazz style and the CD won the APRA JAZZ
AWARD and featured the radio hit single “My Family”
THE YARRAVILLE SESSIONS, 1998.
A release by the Dancehall Racketeers with a musical mix of
country swing, blues and boogie woogie-a “roots” music smorgasbord
by this legendary Australian band.
THE BUSH IS FULL OF GHOSTS, 1995.
An original song- cycle with a strong Australian
flavour….poetry and roots music with a strong sense of place and
tinged with elegaic sadness
ANDY BAYLOR’S CAJUN COMBO, 1992-TONIGHT
A collection of dance music, inspired by the unique musical
traditions of Louisiana. The band features many great Melbourne
musicians, including George Butrumlis (Black Sorrows, Zydeco
Jump)and Lisa Miller.It is powered along by the famous Daddy Cool
rhythm section of Gary Young and Wayne Duncan….a classic.
Review from Andrew Block
............Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo punch out some
rollicking southern sounds when they play live, and their
self-titled CD released on Shock Records promises more of the
same. Fiddle and guitar player, Andy Baylor was Bob Dylan's
personal choice as support act on his '92 tour, and the musos
behind him have equal respect.
............To drop a couple of names from this versatile band;
drummer Gary Young is ex- Daddy Cool and Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons
and Wayne Duncan (bass) the heart of Daddy Cool's rhythm section.
Andy Baylor (guitar, vocals and fiddle) has toured with accordion
player, Flaco Jiminez and played fiddle with Slim Dusty. He learnt
to play cajun waltzes and two-steps from fiddlers in Louisiana. In
New Orleans he soaked himself in funky blues and country, mardi
gras rhythms and dance music of the juke joints.
............In the last couple of years Cajun Combo has played
with Screaming Jay hawkins, Louisiana Red and Queen Ida and her
Bruce Gillespie's Review
............Here I was thinking that cajun music was just a
tiny bit monotonous. But fortunately I listened to Andy Baylor's
Cajun Combo. and my ears received a new message. For Baylor's
style of cajun music has lots of variety. It has oomph and whizz
as well. Baylor's band has many strengths: Andy Baylor singing
male lead vocal, Lisa Miller singing female lead vocal, Peter
Linden, Brendan Shearson and Sam Lemann on guitars, Wayne Duncan
on bass, Gary Young on drums, Jimi Baeck on saxophone, and of
course, since this is a cajun record, George Butrumlis on
accordion. These people must have about three million years of
musical experience between them. It shows.
...........The songs range across a wide variety of styles, all of
which are (perhaps) aspects of cajun. "Allons a Lafayette", an
intrumental, is the closest the band comes to what I think is
cajun: all very French, as well as bluesy. But Lisa Miller's
rendition of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" is a convincing
slow countryish rendition of a song I thought I knew well. 'These
Arms of Mine', the old Otis Redding song is, on the other hand,
West Coast blues. Other tracks are more country than cajun.
...........In other words, Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo is more
wide-ranging and interesting than anything you might guess from
looking at the cover. Try this CD when you next need a good cheer
Andra Jackson Sunday Herald Sun
From swing to cajun, Andy Baylor likes all types of unconventional
music..............Andy Baylor has made his name playing an array
of musical styles, but with the latest CD the Melbourne musician
wanted to stamp his own style on it. Baylor, founder ot the swing
influenced Dancehall Racketeers and R&B sounding Honeydrippers,
member of the rockabilly outfit The Autodrifters and jazz based
Karl Hird Trio, now fronts his own Cajun Combo band ranging over
zydeco, western swing and blues. The compulsive songwriter has
penned songs for these bands and recorded with his own combo as
well as the arty Banana Oil and the Karl Hird Trio, in their music
.............In contrast, The Bush is Full of Ghosts is original
material set to the US roots music of which he is an exponent.
Baylor, who plays fiddle, guitar and mandolin, says the reason he
got to know different styles was " partly my personality and
partly the instruments I play ". A guitar is present in all styles
of music, from funky rhythm to bluegrass country to acoustic jazz,
he says. "But being born in Australia, one is not really born into
a strict musical culture," he says. "For example, if you are born
in Louisiana you play cajun music. But in Australia you get your
musical culture, or I have, from records, television and books....
you can get records from anywhere, so all this adds up to diverse
interests." With this gap in mind, Baylor came up with material
that drew on the experience of living in Australia without being
too self-conciously Australian.
............" I wanted to sing about things that were around me ,"
he says. " Some of those bush bands of the 80's made a self
conscious attempt to be Australian, bunging on a colonial accent
and corks in the hat. "I've worked with Slim Dusty and a lot of
country artists and I just wanted to do something that was
natural." The subjects in the songs include Melbourne's
alternative culture hub, Brunswick St., the colorful character of
seedy St. Kilda and Healsville's bushland. Recording began in
1993. Five tracks were down when Baylor was diagnosed with cancer.
Recording was put on hold for two years. That interval left it's
imprint on the later songs, which Baylor describes as more
personal with an elegiac tinge. "That's why I've always loved
country music. Within its simple form there is incredible scope to
tap into the emotions, lost love and things like that. "The CD is
dedicated to a friend who died shortly after the sessions." Peter
Linden, an American preacher who played slide guitar on three
tracks, died in a US plane crash. Even the title track, The Bush
is Full of Ghosts, conveys a sense of loss "about the passing of
Aboriginal inhabitants". Five songs were co written in 1993 with
Melbourne scriptwriter Nicholas Langton. The 1996 songs include
the satirical instrumental Surfin' on the No.15 Tram and King
Boozoo, inspired by zydeco accordianist Boozoo Chavis.
Keith Glass Sunday Herald Sun
..............Andy Baylor is one of the great musical
treasures you can stumble across any night of the week plying his
trade in the inner city bars of Melbourne. He plays jazz, country,
blues -you name it- with equal aplomb. He recently found himself
with a clutch of songs about Melbourne, the outback, Australia,
lost love and Louisiana zydeco legends that just has to come out.
Now they have. Andy's laconic vocals and the low-key but faultless
playing from the likes of Gary Young, Wayne Duncan, Howard Cairns
and Sam Lemann are a sheer joy. You don't have to whack someone
over the head with a boomerang to be quintessentially Australian.
When he ruminates about our own Big Brown Land, you realise all
the jingoistic claptrap that passes for "Australiana" does not
come near to the true sense of spirit Andy has achieved on the The
Bush is Full of Ghosts
Ken Williams EG Melbourne Age Friday
The Bush is Full of Ghosts Andy Baylor (independent
.............Could this be the soundtrack for reconciliation? As
Andy Baylor sings on Big Broad Land, "this land has many
histories" The title song tells, "The bush is full of ghosts,"
while Baylor recites a list of images Australian (not to be
confused with cringe-inducing "Horstryl-iarna") atop the jogging
rhythm section of the sterling Gary Young and Wayne Duncan and the
lyrical steel guitar of the late, truly lamented Peter Linden, to
whom the album is dedicated. The 12 songs are nicely varied in
tone and delivery, whether they concern the road life and the
home-grown honky tonk, inner suburban haunts, lost love, the moon
and good times. Baylor, who sings in a voice unaffectedly
Australian, is a master guitarist and fiddler.
.............As a musician, he has always seemed unusually
sensitive to the needs of the ensemble and the song, whether he be
working with locals the Dancehall Racketeers and the Cajun Combo
or visiting Americans Big Jay McNeely or Jimmy McGriff; The Bush
is Full of Ghosts only confirms this view. Playing throughout is
immaculate and delicately balanced, even when the band drops into
a variation on the swampy Suzie Q riff for King Boozoo, a tribute
to Zydeco man Boozoo Chavis, or when Andy takes to the waves on
the instrumental Surfin on the No.15 Tram, which brings to mind a
conjunction of guitarists Gatemouth Brown (Texas) and Ernest
Ranglin (Jamaica) in twangbar heaven. xxxx - Ken Williams
AGE REVIEW OF “CRY FREEDOM”
Most of the popular songs written in the past 10 years are
about booty: getting it, not getting it, shaking it or faking it,
not that there's anything wrong with that. We're just not
accustomed to songs about things that matter.
But thoughtful music doesn't have to be dour - many of the
non-booty songs by noteworthy activists such as Woody Guthrie and
the early work of his best-known disciple, Bob Dylan, are wry,
poignant and downright funny.
The tradition can still be found in artists such as Richard
Frankland. A filmmaker, playwright and indigenous activist,
Frankland is also a talented musician, blessed with a soulful,
He's partnered in the Charcoal Club by Andy Baylor, in top form on
guitar, fiddle and anything else with strings. The pair are helped
out with drums, bass and a heavenly choir of backing vocalists.
And just because the songs are about subjects such as human rights
( Cry Freedom), Aboriginal issues ( Don't Go Down That Dreaming)
and peace in the Middle East ( Jordan Rain), doesn't mean they
can't also be luscious and tuneful, such as the gorgeous Asunder,
and Baylor's delightful vocal on the Buddy Holly-ish Last Tear.
“ HAPPY TO BE HERE-SWINGIN’
WITH ANDY B”
ANDY BAYLOR’S WELCOME BACK TO TAMWORTH
ROOM, SOUTHGATE INN, TAMWORTH 2007
It has been an eventful time for Melbourne’s country roots music
man, Andy Baylor, cruising down the backroads ….
He kicked 2005 off with a brand new highly acclaimed CD release
-“Hometown Stomp”- a rockin’ double CD mix of blues, boogie woogie
and Cajun soul and a celebration of his country roots.
National touring followed with The Baylor Brothers and The Cajun
Combo, followed by a tour of South East Asia with Lucky Oceans’
Western- Swing All –Stars.
Later that same year , Andy received a grant from the Australian
Arts Council and journeyed to Southwest Louisiana with his fiddle
to deepen his knowledge of Cajun and Creole music…. He jammed with
the who’s - who of Louisiana music and narrowly escaped being
caught up in Hurricane Katrina.
In September 2005 he performed at benefit concerts in Melbourne
aimed at helping New Orleans musicians. The second of these
concerts found him playing guitar for the legendary soul singer,
Betty Harris in what was a sensational show..
A week later disaster struck and Andy found himself diagnosed with
He subsequently spent 6 months undergoing a gruelling regime of
chemotherapy which saw him miss his engagements at the Tamworth
Festival for 2006.
Andy is now making a full recovery and is looking forward to
his fans in Tamworth2007……. this will be his ‘Welcome Back to
His band features an all-star line-up including Professor MICHEL
ROSE on pedal steel, legendary drummer, Tamworth’s own J.T.DAVIS,
national guitar flatpicking champion SAM LEMANN , guitars, and
long ,tall Victorian ANDY ‘Hillbilly’ SCOTT on double bass.
Andy and his swingin’ band will be joined by special guests in
what will be an evening of SENSATIONAL country roots music…hot
western swing, fiddle hoedowns, rockabilly, boogie woogie, country
hurtin’ songs, and more….As a special part of the show Andy will
pay tribute to the king of western swing himself-BOB WILLS, and
also to the daddy of country music –THE GREAT JIMMIE RODGERS
‘HAPPY TO BE HERE-SWINGIN WITH ANDY B’ with Andy Baylor
and THE WESTERN SWING ALL-STARS .with special guests
Hot western swing, fiddle specialties, swingin’ twin guitars
,old-style country ballads, boogie woogie and hillbilly jazz….not
to be missed…..
SWINGTIME IN THE BLUEGRASS
For one special night only, the Baylor Brothers play deep
in the heart of St. Kilda….Hot western swing, bluegrass
fiddle,old-timey string band specialties and rhythmic retro-billy
will echo out across Melbourne’s bohemian capital….
In the homey surrounds of the famous St,Kilda Bowling Club
,Australia’s prime exponents of hillbilly swing and bluegrass will
come together with vintage guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins,
harmonicas, double basses, slides, antique drums, toy saxophones
and more in a night of acoustic swingtime in the bluegrass…..
Special guests of the Baylor Brothers will include the debut
performance of a brand new band on the scene:-Melbourne Bluegrass
Revival featuring vocalist, guitarist Chris Jacobs,fiddler,Will
Manovel, bassist,Mike St.Clair-Miller and banjo picker Mick
Other guests include Professor Rick Dempster on steel guitar and
harmonica and Sister Tracey Miller singing up a country gospel
storm and Andy ‘hillbilly’ Scott with some slappin’ double bass
and country humour.
Country blues, hillbilly swing,fiddle breakdowns, bluegrass hurtin’
songs,waltzes,rags,reels,boogie woogie,retro-billy,front porch
favourites….everything old is new again….
SWINGTIME IN THE BLUEGRASS
ST.KILDA BOWLING CLUB
66 FITZROY ST. ST.KILDA,ph.95370370
FRIDAY 6TH OCT. 9-LATE $15.00
Andy’s combo a regrettable
VICTORIAN-based multi-instrumentalist Andy Baylor this week
made the difficult decision to cancel a series of shows in
Tamworth with his famed Cajun Combo.
Andy Baylor’s Cajun Combo has been the mainstay of SouthGate Inn’s
Gate Bar noon timeslot for several years and will most definitely
be back again in 2007 – but for the 2006 festival, the combo’s a
After extensive discussions with his oncologist, Andy was told in
order to put a stop to the non-Hodgkins lymphoma that’s reappeared
after 12 years, he needs a full program of chemotherapy.
“I could have come to Tamworth and performed, but if I wasn’t
well, it would be a disappointment to the fans – and to me –
knowing I wasn’t giving 100 per cent every day,” Andy said.
“My doctor is quite confident he can successfully treat my
condition, so I don’t have too many concerns in that area. All I
want now is to get on with the treatment and get on with my life.
“I am really sorry to disappoint my fans in Tamworth, but I’ll see
you all at the 2007 Festival – better than ever.”
Anyone wishing to make contact with Andy can do so via his
The Baylor Brothers
“WELCOME HOME MR. B”
Andy Baylor and the “Inner - Urban -Down-Underground All –Stars”
Fiddler, guitarist Andy Baylor has just returned from a 5 week
sojourn in Southern Louisiana where he has been on a cultural
odyssey- A search for roots, rhythm, cultural identity, meaning
and the real difference between a yabbie and a crawfish. He had a
big welcome home gig/party at Melbourne’s best- known inner- city
music hang-out at The Rainbow Hotel.
Andy brought together an all-star line-up for the occasion
featuring:- Master of the cowbells –Lyn Wallis;
Rockabilly bass – slapper- Andy “hillbilly” Scott;
Guitarist –Ashley Cluss;
Steel guitarist and harmonica virtuoso-Rick Dempster;
Hometown Horns featuring Barry “Mr Pelican” Wratten and Sandro
“The Winemaker” Donati;
other guests will included Mr Ed Bates; Denis Close-percussion;
Blues, Gospel Diva Tracey Miller,GitGal Sarah Carroll and many
Long revered as a master guitarist and fiddler as well as a
driving force behind many great Melbourne bands, Andy and the
Inner Urban Down Underground All –Stars played it ALL….Blues,
Country, Rock, Soul, Cajun, Funky Bar room Chanka-chank ,and
3CR Hot Damn Tamale Show presents Andy
Baylor Christmas Blues Party with his trio featuring Peter Beulke
on Double Bass and Denis Close Drums. Plus the funky, hip horns of
Sandra Donati, trunpet and Adam Simmons, Saxophone Wednesday
22nd Dec Rainbow Hotel Fitzroy 9pm $5
- ANDY BAYLOR’S HOMETOWN STOMP
ANDY BAYLOR, LEGENDARY ROOTS MUSIC KING,
HAS A BRAND NEW CD…HOT OFF THE PRESS….…
“HOMETOWN STOMP”,A DOWNHOME COLLECTION OF STOMPS, BOOGIE WOOGIES
BLUES AND CAJUN-STYLE PARTY TUNES
THE DOUBLE C.D. SET CAPTURES THE LIVE FEEL OF ANDY’S LEGENDARY
SHOWS AND WAS RECORDED IN WEST MELBOURNE IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR….
THE BAND FEATURES:
ANDY ON GUITAR, FIDDLE AND VOCALS, WITH A WHO’S-WHO OF AUSTRALIA’S
FINEST ROOTS MUSICIANS INCLUDING:-
JOEL DAVIS ON DRUMS AND PERCUSSION,
STEVE GRANT ON ACCORDIAN AND SAX,
ED BATES ON STEEL,
RICK DEMPSTER ON DOBRO, STEEL AND HARMONICA,
PETER BAYLOR ON GUITAR,
SAM LEMANN ON GUITAR,
ANDY SCOTT ON DOUBLE BASS,
DENIS CLOSE ON PERCUSSION.
THE MUSIC MOVES THROUGH HOOKER-ESQUE STOMPS (JOHN LEE, THAT IS) ,
HANK WILLIAMS COUNTRY BLUES,ORIGINAL CAJUN STYLE DANCE TUNES,
BLUES BALLADS, BAR ROOM BOOGIE WOOGIE AND MORE….A VERITABLE
SMORGASBORD OF ROOTS MUSIC STYLES
- Fiddle with family ties
- Donal Baylor
- March 17, 2004 -
The Brunswick Music Festival is the place to experience the
melodic strumming of the Baylor Brothers. Sophie Best reports.
From the front garden of Andy Baylor's house, on a quiet Brunswick
street, comes the lively sound of two acoustic guitars being
strummed and plucked.
It's an impromptu rehearsal for Andy and his brother Peter, who
are reuniting next week with the other Baylor brother, Donal -
championship-level fiddle player - for a performance at the
Brunswick Music Festival on Friday.
The Baylor Brothers are one of Australia's most accomplished, if
obscure, family bands.
Their combined musical knowledge encompasses all forms of
traditional American roots music - country, blues, western swing,
cajun, rockabilly, hillbilly, old-time and jazz - and between
them, the brothers are proficient on just about every stringed
instrument you can name.
To the brothers, making music comes as naturally as breathing.
Andy and Peter set down their instruments to talk about the
musical life as they've lived it since growing up in Healesville
in the late 1960s.
As they sit on the porch, surrounded by native plants and tweeting
birds, they recall how unconventional their choices then seemed to
their father, an Irish-born solicitor with a small country
"The old man would drive home from work, and see us all on the
porch, playing guitars and fiddles," recalls Peter, "and he'd just
. . ." He stops speaking and mimic's his father's incredulous
"I think most parents are distressed when their children want to
go into the arts," says Andy. "It's a tough place to try to make a
living, playing music."
- It was Andy, the eldest, who led the Baylor brothers'
charge into music. In his late teens, he left the family home to
study at Monash University by day, and play music in the emerging
inner-city pub scene by night. "It was student days, much more
radical," he remembers.
"Music was in; music and politics, and drugs. That was just the
kind of time it was. Back then, if you were in a band, you could
work every night."
Andy brought his enthusiasm home to his younger brothers, together
with his musical instruments and collection of import records.
"The guitars and fiddles were lying around, and we were able to
try them out," Donal says, speaking from Canberra where he now
"I started playing guitar virtually the same day as Peter, then
hearing the fiddle on some of Andy's records really sparked it for
me. The sound just grabbed me in a big way."
"Once the music thing had started, it just caught like wildfire,"
"I remember Donal used to practise away like mad. He started off
doing Bob Dylan, sitting there with his harmonica, and I got into
jazz - Django Reinhardt and stuff. So we'd be in our different
bedrooms playing away, and Andy would come up and be able to play
jazz or bluegrass, or whatever we were into."
In time, the brothers pooled all their musical idioms in the early
1980s to form the Dancehall Racketeers, a swing band that took in
all styles, from jazz to country, with Andy and Donal on twin
fiddles and the whole band decked out in string ties and velvet
"We used to jump in the van and off we went, around the whole
country," says Andy. "That was being professional musicians on a
very full-on level. It was a pretty interesting time."
The rest of the Baylor family was nonplussed. Their younger
sister, Belinda, took one look at her brothers' lifestyle and went
Their mother, Gracia Baylor, followed a path into politics, which
led from the mothers' club to Liberal Party candidature and a seat
in the Senate.
The Baylor Brothers have always been outsiders to the networks of
the music business.
"We've never played commercial music, ever," says Andy. "Our
contemporaries were people like Australian Crawl and
Men at Work. We were on another planet."
- Peter agrees. "I never had ambition," he insists. "I just
wanted to play music I liked. It set me apart from all my friends
- in the early '80s, everyone was into the Birthday Party, and I
was listening to Wes Montgomery records."
After the Dancehall Racketeers broke up, the brothers took
different paths for a while. Slim Dusty discovered Donal's
fiddle-playing skills and recruited him into his touring band;
Andy pursued solo and session work in Melbourne; and Peter moved
to Sydney where he formed a band that he persuaded Donal to join -
for a time.
"That wound down, because Donal just hated the night life," Peter
says. "He's not a drinker, he's not a smoker - at 9 o'clock, you
could tell he was ready for bed and we'd be about to start
playing! I don't think he ever settled into that lifestyle."
Donal confirms his antipathy towards the nightlife. "If it had
just been the music, that would have been fine," he explains, "but
some of the more unsavoury aspects of dealing with the music
business were tiring.
"I don't think I had the determination and the willingness to go
in as hard as Peter and Andrew have. People like me just can't
live that way. I live a fair bit cleaner than Peter does; I'm a
bit quieter. I like the stability of being at home."
Since settling in Canberra with his family, Donal has reduced his
musical life to part-time. "I enjoy music far more now than I ever
did when I was doing it for a living," he says.
During Donal's most recent visit to Melbourne, the brothers got
together in the studio to record a selection of traditional and
classic country tunes, appropriately titled Front Porch
"All it is," Donal explains, "is just three brothers sitting
around playing. It's really as close as you can get to sitting
around the lounge at home."
All three brothers are struck by the depth of the musical
connections that emerged in the process of jamming and recording
"Donal can pick out a tune, he doesn't have to play the whole
tune, and we're on to it," says Andy.
"Everybody knows exactly what to do. It's almost that telepathic
communication; it's just a natural thing, the depth and the
feeling you can get with family."
- Tamworth Festival 2004
Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo
- Andy Baylor
- Sam Lemann
- Stuart French and Andy Baylor
- Michael Vidale and Sam Lemann
- Andy Baylor, Joel Davis, Michael
Vidale and Sam Lemann
- Stuart French, Andy Baylor, Joel
Davis, Michael Vidale
- Joel Davis
- Stuart French
- Stuart French and Gleny
- Helen and Leslie
out and have the memories