November marks triple j’s annual respect-fest of all things Australian music. Ausmusic Month is one giant celebration, which aims to bring Aussie music to the forefront of our brains and our ear holes.
Who better to hit up than Sydney-based, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, Jack River. A creature of the coast and a true cognoscenti of her local music scene, River has not only curated a boutique music festival, but seven of the eight bands showcasing are products of the Great Lakes area. Set in River’s hometown of Forster on NSW’s Mid North Coast, Grow Your Own festival aims to celebrate the incredible amount of local talent, including a set by River and Dope Lemon. You can also catch River when she officially launches summer this December, via a string of intimate (debut headline) shows.
First Aus artist/band CD purchase?
Jet, Get Born. When I was 12. Listened to it on repeat for a very.long.time.
First Aussie music festival you went to?
Blues Fest 2007 – Ben Harper, John Mayer, Paul Kelly, Xavier Rudd, John Butler Trio. Age 15. It was so great cause my addiction to live music was born. It was the first time I saw thousands of people swaying together and believing in things I believed in.
Favourite up and coming Aussie artist/band?
Gretta Ray. She is bringing back rich poeticism in folk/pop. Her voice is so bold and empowering and she seems like a total legend.
Biggest influential throwback in Aus music?
Peter Garrett for his resilience and ability to speak politically through his music. I remember seeing him on the front page of either Time or The Economist and feeling two passions of mine feel possible to conquer. Same with Paul Kelly.
Favourite Aus artist/band to see live?
Tame Impala. Those boys are from outer space.
Favourite Aus venue to see live music?
It’s a toss up between the Enmore and the Opera House. I have seen so many of my favourite artists at the Enmore over the years, so it’s this ultra mystical place in my head. And the Opera House – I just feel like it has the best sound in the country. Once I got a midnight tour of the venue with a friend and I sang one of my songs to an empty room on the stage – and the quietest of notes reached the other end of the hall.
What is your ultimate Australian-made track? One that encompasses the Aussie way or the Aussie music scene?
‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’. It tells such a story of a moment in history, that I still feel is evolving, as in we’re still young, still finding and making our culture. Paul Kelly definitely feels like one of the main voices of strayan’ music and the beautiful acoustic guitars that ring through out it sound like walking through gum trees down to the beach on a dusty summer afternoon.
If you could have written any song by an Aussie artist from past or present, which song would it be?
‘Run to Paradise’ – The Choirboys. So I could sing it at every show ever.