Friday, July 1, 2011

Winterfest, and the Humbletones.

Arguing about the setlist with Andy. [Photo by Bruce Pryor]

Well, last night was bloody fantastic. The Bundanoon Winterfest lasts for a coupla weeks with all sorts of events, and was last night opened with a street party. This happens every year, and last year I was unfortunately too unwell with my neurological issues to be able to attend. Winterfest 2011 is a different story; I'm fit as a fiddle, and it was my first Winterfest street party. I also happened to be honoured with the role of entertaining the crowd with Andy Gordon, Mark Dabin, and a Highland drummer I had the pleasure of working with for the first time; Dave Helman.

What a wonderful atmosphere, and how lovely to see so many children enjoying a festive event at night in a safe environment. Congratulations to the Winterfest organisers and the Bundanoon community for running such a gorgeous event.

As for my news, I have some exciting stuff coming up; I'll be off to Brisbane for a little spell, and upon my return I'll be launching into the role of producer for the Humbletones' second album. The Humbletones' principal songwriter, Mark Dabin, is a soul of such charming purity, despite those struggles we all have that tempt us to become embittered and hard-hearted towards others. Or even worse, full of excuses for our weaker moments and inability to change or acknowledge the things we really want in this life.

I admire Mark for the courage he has had to remain a sensitive, considerate human being, full of openness, empathy and demonstrated love for his fellow humans, in the face of what can at times be a cruel existence. The difficulty for a lot of us lies in making the choice between either finding peace with our pasts and our mistakes, or indulging in a sort of masochistic and repetitive re-evaluation.

Some people love to read self-help books, or punch their personal trainer once a week, all the while chanting some kind of mantra about how much negative energy they're harbouring and how much of a victim they've been. Or perhaps they spend years pointing the finger at everyone else.

Other people just move on.

Some people see hindsight as a painful clutch of scars - perhaps even as a crush-zone of excuses for their knee-jerk behaviours - others see these traumatic memories as wonderful opportunities to grow. Mark Dabin is one of the latter.

Dabin's songs are a wonderful reflection of this component of his character. This is a human being who writes from life. Nothing this guy writes is superfluous or without heartfelt meaning. It is my pleasure to be working with this gifted songwriter and guitarist on what will be my first official production credit.

For more info on the Humbletones, check out the website.

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