Wednesday, 16 October 2013


If you scroll down to the article dated October 1, 2013, (two below this one), you will be able to read all about Brett’s introduction to the PBGB Shed.

And if you read Brett’s Musician’s Page, you will find out more about Brett’s background.

Anyway, we did promise that we would be posting a few more of Brett’s songs over time. And here we present the second of Brett’s songs we have recorded thus far. It’s called "Man In The Mirror", and you can listen to it by clicking HERE.

"Man In The Mirror" is another of Brett’s fiendishly clever songs – have a close listen to the lyrics and you will surely agree with us that Brett has that brilliant songwriter’s / poet’s  technique of capturing and sharing emotions in a way that most everybody can relate to.

In essence, Brett is telling us something we all know........that “ if you really want a lover, and you really want to love her”,  then you have to love the man in the mirror first.  And guess who the man in the mirror is !

Brilliant Brett !!

This version of "Man In The Mirror" was essentially captured the first or second time we played the song with Brett. He just launched into the song and the rest of us scrambled to keep up with him.  It has been tidied up a little bit in the studio, but really, we were astonished by how quickly this came together.  Thing is, Brett reels off his songs with such conviction that it is just a matter of playing along behind him.  In this instance we seem to have got it right pretty smartly.

Brett (Vocal and Acoustic Guitar) is supported on "Man In The Mirror" by Chris Ralfs on Bass, Neil Porter on Guitar, Backing Vocals and Keyboards, and Peter Reid on the drums.

What a cracker song – pacey, punchy, poppy !!  Well done Brett.

We’ll be posting more of Brett’s songs right here on The PBGB this space !!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


A couple of months ago, one of our favourite local combos, Guitarama performed at  the grooviest  music venue on the Far South Coast, The Cheeky Mango.     

A favourite combo at the best bar in town ?   We just had to be there !

During Guitarama’s  performance, one of the players stepped forward and played a couple of songs solo.  The young man in question was Matt Burrows, and Matt’s tender rendition of his own composition ‘Isolation’ really rang our bells.  Here was a young guitarist playing a hauntingly beautiful piece of music that he had written himself.  Hmmm........

So straight after the show Pete asked Guitarama maestro and PBGB  Family Member Dave Crowden,  whether he thought Matt might like to come over to The Shed and record his song. Dave was back in thirty seconds with a  cheery “yes please”.

And so it came to be.
Some background.............Guitarama was put together by Dave Crowden  in 2004. All the players are taught music by Dave. The line-up changes as the more senior members  finish school and move off to university or the big smoke, whatever, and younger students come in  to take their places. A revolving line up. This brilliant concept of Dave’s gives his students valuable experience in many facets of professional musicianship - working together as a combo, performing live, studio recording and so on.
We know how brilliantly Guitarama  works as a stairway for budding musicians.  Musicians who have travelled through  Guitarama on their musical journeys  include Kim Churchill and Daniel Champagne, both of whom have found great success on local, national and international stages.
Will Matt be next  ??
Dave’s passion for helping young musicians learn their trade and gain exposure really resonates with PBGB. We too strive to give local musos opportunities to play and record their music and to be heard.  So  we are delighted  Matt took up our offer of spending some time in The Shed.
As it happened, Dave decided to play bass behind Matt, and recruited fellow PBGB Family Member ( and fellow Figment ) Ken Vatcher, to sit behind the drum kit. Ken, as PBGB Blog readers well know, is also a passionate supporter of young talent.
The first song the lads recorded was  Isolation.  We hope you agree it is a beautiful piece that bodes very well for Matt as a songwriter. Very tasty indeed. Understated, lots of tension and a beautiful melody.
Matt, Ken and Dave then went on to record Ritual, another of Matt’s compositions.  
When that was in the can we had a good laugh, then we gave Matt a PBGB T Shirt and welcomed him to the PBGB Family.  Welcome Matt !
Nice work all ‘round guys, thanks.
All the recording and engineering comes courtesy of Raymond Toms – nice work RT ! 
The great black and white photos were shot by Matt’s Dad, Steve. Thank you  Steve, you captured the day really well.

Addendum :  Since Matt recorded his songs in The Shed, a couple of interesting things have happened. First, rumour has it Matt was at the 2013 Narooma Great Southern Blues Festival  watching a performance by Charlie A’Court .  Apparently one of Charlie’s stage tricks is to wander into the audience, pick someone he thinks looks like a guitarist, and give the chosen one his guitar and ask him to play a solo.  Matt was the chosen one, and by all accounts Matt wailed. Brought the house down !
Then ( coincidence ? )   another brilliant and generous supporter of local music, Tim Holt, invited Matt onto his ABC South East Radio show. So Matt went in, had a chat with Tim, and they played his new recording of Isolation.
It all seems to be happening Matt !  Well done mate.  Don’t leave it too long before coming back to The Shed.
You can read more about Matt here.

ABC article on Matt's unexpected performance at the Narooma Blues Festival - here's the link to a video of the performance itself!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Brett Ralph Brings Love and Laughter to The Shed

A few weeks back our ‘grizzled bass warrior’, that’s Chris Ralfs to you, asked whether he might bring an old pal along to The Shed for a bit of a jam.  Well, to quote Keb Mo, “the door is always open”, so in came Chris with his long time buddy Brett Ralph.

Brett, an Eden local,  strode in, plugged in his acoustic guitar, and launched into a couple of his original songs.  We played along as best we could, and very smartly realised that Brett is a superb songwriter, an excellent acoustic player, and a fine vocalist.  Score !

The songs kept coming, and Brett quietly let us know “yea, I have about eighty originals up my sleeve”.  Well, we thought, if they are anything near as good as the couple of tunes you just rolled out we have a veritable gold mine of new songs to play with here.  Much excitement and anticipation !

Chris had brought Brett along for a specific purpose.  They have been mates, and played music together, for many years – decades in fact.  Chris was well aware of the high standard of song writing and performance that Brett delivers, and has set a  goal of recording a high quality cd of Brett’s songs, using the resources of The Shed along the way.

OK we thought, here is a brilliant opportunity to keep The Shed busy, not to mention challenged,  for months.

Game on !

Brett has been back to The Shed three or four times since.  During those visits, Brett, Chris, Neil, Raymond, Ken and Pete have accompanied Brett as he has run through a batch of songs, sussing out which might might work best on the cd.

Of course we had the recorder rolling................always a smart move, you never know what is going to happen. Gems appear.

Sure enough, when we played back the results of day one, we were very pleasantly surprised. Not only had we captured a few songs from start to finish, they actually sounded pretty darn smart.

On further listening, it really sunk in just how good Brett’s songs are.  They are short, punchy, and they get well and truly stuck in your head.  So, are  they pop songs ?

They tell real stories about real people and events on the far South Coast of New South Wales.  So are they folk songs?

Pop Folk ??  You figure.

Anyway, we started to think we should introduce Brett to our millions of PBGB Blog fans.

We figured that the recording of the ‘formal / hi tech / carefully crafted cd’ was one thing, a long term vision. But in the meantime, why not post some some out-takes / bootleg versions of Brett’s songs on the PBGB Blog ?  We reckoned that some of the quick ‘demos’ we were recording sounded very damn smart, and it would be a pity to waste them.

So what we figure is that we'll post, over time,  a smattering of Brett’s songs, picked up off the cutting room floor, and pasted together for the PBGB Blog.

To that end, we have created a Brett Ralph Project page, which you can have a trawl through by clicking on that title / icon  on the right of your screen.

The first song we offer up is titled "Love and Laughter". 

Love and Laughter is a happy love song.  It was the first song of Brett’s we ever played. It’s a cracker.

This version features Brett on Vocals and Acoustic Guitar, Neil on Guitar and B3 Organ,  Chris on Bass, Raymond on Organ pad,  and Pete on Drums.  The production comes courtesy of a collaboration between Chris and Neil.

Brett – a very warm welcome to The Shed !!!  Your visits have put a real spark into our regular Seshes.  We believe in your music and your playing and singing abilities, and we are keen to work with you on all sorts of projects.

And folks, watch this space for more postings of Brett’s songs – released here in typical Shed Jam / Bootleg / Out Take / Demo format as Brett works on his cd.

Thanks for introducing Brett to us Chris – a big win all around !