MusicNT's Bush Bands Program provides specifically selected Indigenous musicians from remote communities across Northern and Central Australia with an opportunity to hone their musical and performance skills, gain industry knowledge and showcase what they've learnt at the annual Bush Bands Bash.
This year's Bush Bands Bash takes place on Sunday, 8th September at Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The line-up, announced in early July, includes six bands from across Australia, as well as MusicNT's Desert Divas and Sand Tracks touring bands Mambali and Barkly Drifters.
MusicNT are pleased to announce the following industry professionals and mentors for this year's Bush Bands Business;
Multi-award-winning singer/songwriter Shellie Morris creates music and sings in around 17 Australian Aboriginal languages, preserving and promoting culture. A celebrated international touring vocalist, feature performer in Black Arm Band and part of the internationally award-winning musical documentary Prison Songs, she is a varied and captivating artist.
David's music echoes his life through pain, loss and identity. David has chosen to follow the path of a Songman akin to his Marranunggu Grandfather, embracing an idiosyncratic lifestyle and travelling the landscape sharing his music and story.
David's unique style blurs traditional musical genres and has seen him touring nationally, performing at festivals including Nannup Festival, Blue Mountains Music Festival, Bendigo Blues and Roots, Caloundra Music Festival, St Kilda Fest, Nimbin Roots, Garma Festival and National Folk Festival. His songs with underlying dark themes are transformed with driving grooves and leave lingering positive vibes. David delivers a poignant balance of touching personal connections and infectious rhythms that only a dance will remedy.
David has made his mark in the industry earning support slots from Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jeff Lang, Busby Marou, Tex Perkins & Ash Grunwald. Working with Archie Roach's Indigenous Gospel Choir for the 'Into the Bloodstream' show and travelling to the Taoyuon International Indigenous Music Festival in Taiwan with Shellie Morris have been highlights both personally and professionally. Performing at the 2017 National Indigenous Music Awards was a defining and affirming moment in David's career.
Dallas is the namesake front woman of the three-piece, award-winning Australian rock outfit, Dallas Frasca. A standout of her class and an almighty presence on the mic, Frasca has not stopped for over a decade. She’s toured the world, clocking over 1000 shows with her band including 9 international tours and has managed to put a Top 30 Australian ARIA charting album under her belt, an #10 Australian album, as well as many awards including ‘Artist of the Year’, at the Independent Music Awards. In 2018 Dallas showcased her guitar skills in front of an estimated 1.5 billion viewers worldwide for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Her song, ‘All My Love’ finished third in the International Song Writing Competition, which landed her band to sign with French label, Verycords.
In her hometown Melbourne, Dallas is an industry mentor at Collarts Music College and the spearhead for the world-first concept, 'A Hitch to the Sticks Festival', where she takes the audience on the road with her across regional areas of Australia.
Warren H Williams
Warren H Williams is one of Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal singers and is considered a living legend. He has released 10 albums to date, with his latest album 'Desert Water' with duet partner Dani Young released on July 22, 2016. The album debuted at #2 on the ARIA Country albums charts, and the first single “Two Ships” spent 6 weeks at #1 on Tamworth Country Radio.
Williams toured with John Williamson and Pixie Jenkins between 1998 and 2010, including ‘Mates on the Road’, ‘Stone and Wire’, ‘Chandelier of Stars’ and ‘Wildlife Warrior on Tour. In 2004 he was the subject of an episode of the television series Nganampa Anwernekenhe.
Warren has distinguished himself as a broadcaster, composer, director and performer: a musician of rare and exceptional talent whose craft is rooted in country – Ntaria. He has been nominated for and won a number of prestigious music awards.
Casii Williams is a Western Aranda woman from Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and has featured on MusicNTs Desert Divas Vol I and II, with “How Can I” going to #1 on the AMRAP national radio charts. Cassi released a single, “Fallin Down” with SingHum Records in 2018, is a featured artist on triplej unearthed and has gone on to mentor with MusicNTs Divas program along with being a member of the Indigenous Women’s Music Program Reference Group.
Growing up in a revered musical family, she listened to all types of music from Eddie Van Halen to Sade.
“I am a third generation musician and am the first woman in my family that has pursued a solo music career. I first performed at the age of 10 at the Yeperenye Fesitval to around 20,000 people. After formal vocal training in Adelaide I experimented with jazz, blues, soul and rock n roll and love them all but it has been dance electronic music that helped me find my own voice.”
This year Casii has performed at Parrtjima Festival, Nannup Festival, Darwin Fringe Festival, Territory Day celebrations and Freedom Day Festival. Casii has performed at Bush Bands on a number of occasions, was one of the three featured female soloists last year and returns this year as a mentor for female artists.
Jason Butcher comes from a small community with a big music legacy. Papunya is a around 300 kms out of Alice Springs and was the birthplace of the legendary Warumpi Band.
Jason is a guitarist and founding member of Tjupi Band, Tjupi play energetic and emotive desert reggae. Singing in Luritja (as well as in English), they are the foremost musical inspiration for people across Central Australia. From growing up learning from the members of Warumpi Band, They form part of the new wave of uniquely Indigenous Australian desert reggae; alongside other musical innovators such as Saltwater Band and Letterstick Band.
Tjupi has released albums and toured nationally, as well as the Solomon Islands. Jason has also played in Neil Murray’s band at the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival and more recently at Garma and Gulf Country Festivals in ‘Friends and Family play Songs of Warumpi Band’.
Drew Goddard attended a conservatorium to study jazz guitar and drums before becoming the lead guitarist of Perth-based rock band Karnivool. Performing with Karnivool, Drew toured internationally and took home a number of awards for their work, most notably the 2013 ARIA for Best Hard Rock Album for Asymmetry. Drew also has experience as a project coordinator, through his regional and rural work with West Australian Music also known as WAM.
After studying the piano at the Victorian College of the Arts, Stephen worked as a piano player around the Melbourne club scene before heading over on a European jaunt that resulted in time spent learning the accordion in Russia. A return to Australia landed Stephen in the Top End where he worked for Charles Darwin University's music department, while here he worked with many Territory artists in remote location including Saltwater Band and Gurrumul in Arnhem Land.
After relocating to Melbourne, Stephen picked up work as a professional musician working with a range of artists such as; Neil Murray, Sara Storer, Chris Wilson, Deborah Conway, Ruby Hunter, Warumpi Band, Wildwater, Andy Baylor, Paul Kelly and Claire Bowditch.
Teakle is responsible for creating 'Barry Morgan' the much-loved lead of The World Of Organs musical comedy touring show. As 'Barry' he has appeared on Spicks n Specks and various ABC TV and radio shows.
Michael Hutchings is the APRA AMCOS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Representative. His role is to support, represent and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member, which number close to 1500 nationally. Michael has a wealth of industry experience behind him with his previous role of label and studio manager at Gadigal Music, Indigenous Music Manager for Music NSW as well as his work in event/concert production for a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events within NSW.
Ariel Blum is a Melbourne-based producer who has worked with artists including Sydney R’nB artist Lara Andallo, Melbourne artist Angie McMahon, Anna O, Sarah Stone, Cash For Gold and UK artist Florence and The Machine.
As an artist, he was the bandleader of 11-piece soul-band Pablo Discobar and fronted critically acclaimed Melbourne band Telescopes. His current project, Trip-hop act St.Ives is currently working on their debut album. Blum's composition work has featured in numerous TVC and short films for a range of brands and creative agencies including Corona, C-Kol, Clemenger BBDO, Cummins and Ross, Aquarius Films, Elevator Productions, Kojo, Manikin and am:lab.
Ariel is the founder of GRID Series (Grass Roots Indie Development), an artist development program that provides emerging artists with essential skills and recorded material to support them as they work towards a sustainable music career.
Born and bred in outback Broken Hill, but now happily spreading her time between Melbourne and Sydney, Bec boasts a Bachelor of Business and many years of experience wrangling talent and managing promotional campaigns for the likes of Sony Music, EMI Music and Shock Records. She’s bossy as hell but with brains to match so kinda the exact kind of person you want on your team.
Since graduating from Southern Cross University in 2000 with a degree in music, Michael has been fortunate enough to carve out a career as an artist, performer, producer and creative director. From performing at Festivals throughout the Americas and Europe as a member of indie band Le Trouble to composing and performing award winning soundtracks for film and brands, including a collaboration with Mom Def (Yasim Bey). Michael has experienced and understands what it takes to become and sustain a career in music- luck, connections, dedication, a willingness to fail, the practice of practice and the importance of style in art.