For a band that has only been together for a little over a year, Blues Arcadia (Alan Boyle, Chris Harvey, Jeremy Klysz and Parmis Rose) have made quite the mark with their dirty mix of soulful, Memphis blues.
Their self-titled 2016 debut EP acted as the perfect introduction, with it snagging them nominations, awards and festival spots.
Chris Harvey, the band's songwriter and guitarist talks about winning Best New Talent at the recent Australian Blues Music Awards. "It's great, we have only been a band for about a year so it feels amazing,” he says.
The positive response to their music can be related to the unique take the band have on the blues style. By combining the talents of each band member and understanding the freedom of blues, they have been able to create something quite special. "Well generally, there is a lot of freedom in how we interpret and improvise within blues.
"As a songwriter, you can write whatever you want within it. Music wise it's pretty simple; there are only three chords but there are so many variations and endless possibilities."
The group's chemistry has a lot to do with the collaborative, songwriting relationship between Chris and Alan Boyle (singer). "I think it's just luck that it works so well. Meeting someone who is on the same page as you and who is also a great singer is pretty great.
“Alan is not only a great singer, though he has a great range in his voice, which makes it easy to explore all kinds of different facets. We both play guitar but I'm probably a bit more advanced, which works well because we can come up with anything.”
The guys are taking their style of blues to the Blues On Broadbeach
music festival on the Gold Coast next month. Chris explains why the festival is perfect for them. "It's a great festival, it's free and well attended, so it's a great platform for us to expose our music [to a new audience].
“I really like this festival because there are different audiences. There is one where we play to a listening crowd. We aren't playing in a bar where people are drinking. They come to sit down and listen.
"Then there's the festival with a lot of passing listeners and pumped-up people. Both give us a chance to play the music properly. We can present the future of the band. It'll be an amazing festival to play."
Chris talks about the thrill of performing live. "With this band particularly, I get a real energy back from the audience. There is a sense of anticipation from the audience and when we play the reaction they give is amazing.
“Seeing them sing-along to our songs is a major thing; it's gives you a real buzz. It's a two-way thing; the band helps people forget about their daily life for an hour or so and we get to enjoy ourselves and feel the energy, which makes us wanna play even better. It's really like a circle that just goes around."
Chris is open about the band and their future plans. “We have come up with a saying for our band which is 'dirty, infused-blues soul', which describes us to a tee. We are a powerhouse of band; there is not one weak link which is fantastic. Our plans are to keep on keeping on.”Blues Arcadia plays Blues On Broadbeach (Gold Coast) 18-21 May.Click here for the full run of live dates Blues Arcadia have upcoming.