Veterans of two previous tours of Australia, Canadian bluegrass act Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys are headed down under again with shows in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales throughout March.
From Glastonbury and WOMAD to Celtic Connections, Orkney and Woodford Folk Festival, this electrifying 'Entertainer of the Year'-winning four-piece continue to delight audiences at major international festivals across the globe.
You are heading back to Australia, with the band, for your third trip down under; what have you learned from the previous visits that you will action on this tour?
[Gordie] How wonderful all the countryside is. The cities are beautiful, but it’s also great to get to see a lot of the smaller places as well.
We were able to play Festival Of Small Halls Australia last time, and it was so nice getting to see the smaller places. Coming from a small place our selves, there is something homey about that.
What's the best aspect of touring Australia?
We love all the great outdoor festivals you have. Also for us Canadians, it’s really nice to get away from the cold this time of year.
Australian audiences compared to other countries; how do we rate on the international audience scale?
We have had great crowds in Australia that have always been great.
Bluegrass is most certainly a niche genre down under; what about this style do you think connects to the modern world/ music lover?
There is just something about that driving rootsy sound that gets you going. It creates an energy live like no other.
You have a stack of festival appearances on this tour; do you guys have the time to indulge in seeing other bands/ enjoying each festival's atmosphere?
One of the perks of this job is getting to see so much great music. It’s also so great to get to discover new music.
The festival stage; do you enjoy playing to folks who often are stumbling across the band for the first time?
I love playing to a new crowd, it makes for such a fun time.
The band can play 12 instruments combined… international travel must be a delight with that much cargo to lug around, right?
Oh yes, it can be very tricky. The upright bass alone is hard to transport. We do somehow manage to get all four band members, instruments and luggage into a regular minivan though. Loading is like a game of Tetris, unloading is like Jenga.
The band delight in being on stage performing; what is it about playing to a live, organic audience that brings so much joy to yourself and the band?
We love a live show. Playing and seeing people dancing and having a great time. That's what music is all about.
Past 12 months, what has been an on-stage highlight that still brings a smile to your face?
Getting to share the stage with The Steep Canyon Rangers at Edmonton Folk Festival was a highlight for us this year.
Recorded works; do you have an album on the horizon? If so, how is it progressing?
We are going into the studio in May. This is a lot bigger recording venture than we have ever done before. So we are having a blast writing and practicing lots of new material.
Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys Tour Dates
Thu 1 Mar - Four5Nine (Perth)
Fri 2 Mar - Settlers Tavern (Margaret River)
3-4 Mar - Nannup Music Festival
Wed 7 Mar - The Lost Ones Basement Bar (Ballarat)
Thu 8 Mar - Saints & Sailors (Portarlington)
Fri 9 Mar - Spotted Mallard @ Brunswick Music Festival (Melbourne)
10-12 Mar - Port Fairy Folk Festival
Thu 15 Mar - Illawarra Folk Club
16-17 Mar Blue Mountains Folk Festival (Katoomba)
Sun 18 Mar - Lizottes (Newcastle)
Thu 22 Mar - The Bunker @ Coogee Diggers (Sydney)
Fri 23 Mar - Django Bar (Sydney)
24-25 Mar - Yackandandah Folk Festival (Yackandandah, VIC)
Thu 29 Mar - Mountain Morning Glory (Adelong, NSW)
30 Mar-1 Apr - The National Folk Festival (Canberra)