Musical mates and sisters-in-song, Hussy Hicks return from touring Europe and the United States with their stage performance finely-tuned for their appearance at 2019 Bluesfest.
Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz have taken Hussy Hicks from scrambling in country pubs aside dusty Australian highways to winning over the discerning listening crowds of Europe with their distinctive songcraft. “I think people generally like the Australian approach,” Julz says.
“Because there's still that thing in Australia where the traditions of music are so rooted in pub culture, we can really attack or dig in and win people over. So when you get a listening crowd like in Germany, they're really happy when you give them that energy you had to use back when you were trying to win over pub crowds.”
Hussy Hicks have been touring extensively off the back of their latest album 'On The Boundaries', an album that was deliberately produced as more of a studio record than a live performance as with previous albums. “If you've listened to all of our stuff it's a different-sounding album,” Julz says of 'On The Boundaries'.
“It's much more of a studio album because we've always been a live-sounding band and we've tried to capture that in past releases. Being that it's out fifth album we thought we could be free to go into a studio and play and see what came out.
“What happened was when we did our first album ten years ago ['Life Plays Out' 2008] as an acoustic-based duo/ trio, a recording can go so many places. Since we had no identity established yet we thought we'd keep it really simple – we did that album with Bill Chambers and it's not a live album but there's not much added, it just sounds like what we play.”
Hussy Hicks play a number of shows at the end of the year, including Woodford Folk Festival. But the highlight for Julz is their return to Bluesfest in Byron Bay for the fifth time, a stage that feels like a home-town crowd.
“Especially being Gold Coast/ North Coast-based, it's so nice because you get to play a world-class stage in front of your home-town audience, so any time we get to play Bluesfest we're always stoked,” she says.
The release of 'On The Boundaries' earlier this year marks the ten-year milestone for Hussy Hicks, with Julz saying the most important aspect of their journey so far has been her productive relationship with Leesa and the people who keep them on the road year after year.
“You blink and you've done ten years of playing together, and I think the fact it has seemed quick is because we've kept enjoying it,” she says.
“We're still a really grassroots band and the people all over the world we work with are friends and people we trust, and these relationships just strengthen [over time]. It really feels cool that we're still loving it and people are still interested in coming and seeing what we do.”
Hussy Hicks Tour Dates9 Dec - Pirate Park (Palm Beach)
14 Dec - Dusty Attic (Lismore)
15 Dec - BBQ Bazaar (Burleigh Heads)
27 Dec-1 Jan - Woodford Folk Festival (Sunshine Coast)
18-22 Apr - Byron Bay Bluesfest