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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - August 27th 2014

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BOLT OF THUNDER
He's Australia's most prolific bluesman - Black Smith Hopkins' new album, White Thunder, includes a song called Lucky 13. It's his 13th album in 17 years. Not that it's been a smooth ride. "I think being a bluesman in Australia, or anywhere in the world for that matter, is not easy," Nicholas Hopkins-Smith tells Howzat! "Don't be a bluesman," he sings on the album, before declaring, "Fuck them, I'll do it my way."
The son of Company Caine's Gulliver Smith (who co-wrote John Farnham's 'A Touch of Paradise'), Black Smith Hopkins grew up listening to AC/DC, Billy Thorpe and Chain. Buddy Guy is his all-time favourite artist. But no one sounds quite like him. Black Smith Hopkins is wild, uninhibited and loose. It's like an old American bluesman has landed in Australia - and he's pissed off. American magazine Blues Revue described him as "the love child Iggy Pop and James Brown never had". A fan said he sounded like "white thunder", hence the title of the new album. Nick records live-to-tape with no overdubs. The result sounds so alive. He also sings about "very little reward", though he says, "Your reward is that people hear your music and enjoy it." And as he declares in They Backed The Wrong Ones: "I'm still here and that's gotta count for something." Black Smith Hopkins could have been a contender. Oh, well. "Don't let the bastards get you down," he reflects in Bother Anymore. "Keep on keeping on." Words to live by.


HITS AND MISSY
Missy Higgins' album of Aussie covers, OZ (out 19 September), opens with her take on Something For Kate's You Only Hide. In the accompanying book, Missy reveals she wrote Paul Dempsey a fan letter when she was 17. "I remember wanting so badly to let him know what his music meant to me," she explains. "The connection that you can feel with a songwriter is inexplicably intimate, as though they're the first person in the world to really get you."


GOAL!
Footy's greatest song, Mike Brady's Up There Cazaly, hit number one 35 years ago today (27 Aug).


SONG BY GUY
Guy Pearce was the one Neighbours star who refused to release a record, even though he was the cast's most musical member. But he's now issued his debut single, Storm, and it's good, reminding Howzat! of Mark Seymour. After leaving Ramsay Street, Guy played a rock star in the Aussie movie Heaven Tonight, and then recorded the soundtrack to A Slipping-Down Life, based on the Anne Tyler novel. Guy is launching his album, Broken Bones - recorded at Neil Finn's Auckland studio - at The Toff In Town on 12 November.


HOT LINE
"Ooh, you hurt me so, smashed my heart like a glass window" - Stephen Cummings, Love Is A Hurting Thing.


CHART WATCH
Sydney DJ Timmy Trumpet jumps from 10 to six.

Freaks TIMMY TRUMPET (number six)
Happy Little Pill TROYE SIVAN (10)
Amnesia 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (14)
Come Home With Me GUY SEBASTIAN (16)
Black Widow IGGY AZALEA (18)
Gladiator DAMI IM (21)
Que Sera JUSTICE CREW (28)
Geronimo SHEPPARD (29)
Fancy IGGY AZALEA (32)
Chandelier SIA (36)

Hilltop Hoods spend a second week on top.

Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (number one)
Angus & Julia Stone ANGUS & JULIA STONE (three)
5 Seconds Of Summer 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (10)
Hungry Ghost VIOLENT SOHO (11)
The Very Best INXS (13)
Bombs Away SHEPPARD (16)
Burnt Letters TAYLOR HENDERSON (17)
Honest People JOHN WILLIAMSON (21)
My Side Of The Street ADAM BRAND (22)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (23)
Vessel EP THE KITE STRING TANGLE (26)
The New Classic IGGY AZALEA (27)
Utopia 360 (30)
No Other Name HILLSONG (33)
Here's To You & I THE McCLYMONTS (37)
Built On Glass CHET FAKER (39)
Best Years 1974-2014 RICHARD CLAPTON (40)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Bluesman BLACK SMITH HOPKINS
Love Is A Hurting Thing STEPHEN CUMMINGS
You Only Hide MISSY HIGGINS
Virtual Friend EMMA HEENEY
Storm GUY PEARCE

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