Our next band show will be at one of our favourite venues, The Retreat Hotel, where we'll be playing with support from Rachel Caddy. You can catch us bringing the music there on Thursday April 20th from about 8:30pm.
What a fun time we had up in Sydney and Maitland playing some shows and getting up to mischief. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us play, and to the Camelot Lounge and Grand Junction Hotel for being such wonderful hosts. We'll be back up that way again before the end of the year.
The band and I are on the road and playing in the Sydney region for a couple of shows in March, presented by Mother Hen Touring. You can find us at:
It might be a big year this year, you never know. There's a few things on the cards already, and something worth noting is that the boys and I will be heading up to Sydney/Maitland for a couple of shows in March. We'll be playing Django Bar in Marrickville on Friday March 17th, and then heading up to play The Junkyard in Maitland on Saturday March 18th, so if you're in the area I hope we can catch you there.
In other news, bass player extraordinaire for the Chris Pickering Experiment, James O'Brien, has his own rather excellent musical project called Darling James, and he's launching a new EP called 'Theory of Mind' on Thursday February 11th at The Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne. Get along to it, because he's great, and the music is also really great.
In case you also weren't aware, CD Digipack copies of the new album, 'Canyons', are now available to purchase over at the CP store on this website. If physical product is your thing, we've got you covered.
Well, what a jerk of a year 2016 turned out to be. Although, having said that, I think if you look at all years, they all contain some good and some bad, so it's important do have some perspective. So, maybe let's wrap it up:
2016: A Summary.
- A lot of people that were cared about died, a lot of which were heroes of mine: special mention goes to David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, Merle Haggard, and Leon Russell. Rest in Peace, everyone.
- Some people won elections, which a lot of very rational and sensible people that care about each other and our planet didn't want to happen. You know what I'm talking about. Let's just hope that the sanity in humanity ultimately prevails.
- There also seemed to be a lot of craziness in the world with terror attacks, war and aggression. Again, let's hope the compassion and common sense prevails on both sides of any conflict. Just look after each other, everybody.
- I also seemed to go through a lot this year. As my good friend Emma Swift said to me recently, "2016: no-one gets out unscathed".
- A notable mention should be made in that great strides were made in medicine towards Alzheimer's prevention and treatment, which is something very close to me.
- I know, it's sport, but the fact that the Footscray Bulldogs won the AFL grand final, and the Chicago Cubs won the 'World Series' after some extremely long years in the wilderness is something to cheer about.
- Apparently Tiger numbers have also risen for the first time in a century, which is awesome news. They are still low, and there's a long way to go, but that's still something to be thankful for. Now, let's just save all the Orangutans and start bringing them back from the brink - stop buying food with Palm Oil in it, people. The Palm Oil industry is responsible for destroying huge areas of Orangutan habitat, so do your bit by not supporting it - buy products free of palm oil. Check the ingredients when you next go shopping.
- I also released a new album this year, which you've probably all heard about, and it's got some great reviews so far. You can check it out over on the sounds page.
- I was also involved in a great compilation project with a bunch of other Melbourne musicians called Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings, which featured each of us performing songs by another contributing songwriter. You can order a copy of it here.
We'll see you again in 2017, and we've got a show coming up on January 8th at The Standard in Fitzroy. Come along!
'Canyons' just got a four star (out of five) review in The Australian today, which is awesome! Here it is in full:
Canyons - Chris Pickering
Between the guitar-drenched peaks of Canyons and The Wash, Melbourne-based Chris Pickering has constructed a richly detailed, one-man journey. A Morricone-esque guitar line at the beginning of the opening title track suggests the scope of Pickering’s vision and his impressive skill. He is capable of almost single-handedly creating captivating music in a variety of styles. His influences are impeccable: Neil Young comes to mind when his guitar goes into overdrive, Paul McCartney when the melodies get under your skin, Big Star with his DIY pop sensibility and even Rufus Wainwright at times. Recorded at Joshua Tree and Nashville in almost equal measure and separately co-produced by Adrian Mauro (Machine Age) and Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), there is much space to highlight the playing. On Snowflake his fingerpicking is pitched against the steel of Michael Flanders. Savannah Jo Lack’s strings add a touch of class to Andalusia and when Pickering brings it down to voice and guitar on Broke My Own Heart the results are no less engaging. The album culminates with the 12-minute The Wash. It has a slow and casual build as if the end of the world has come after a heavy lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. “After all, it all comes out in the wash,” Pickering sweetly intones as Chloe Turner’s wordless chorus acts as a siren call. Flanders’ steel suggests a growing wind before Pickering’s powerful electric guitar dumps on everything like a tropical storm. A remarkable end to a remarkable recording.
Glad you liked it, Polly! Thank you!
I'm playing my final show for the year next Thursday December 15th at The Retreat Hotel in Brunswick, with the band and with special guest Greg Cathcart from Silent Feature Era kicking off the night with a solo set. It's totally free and I'll also have fresh new copies of Canyons on CD available to purchase. 'Tis the season for giving, apparently...hint hint. You can also get Canyons from the online store part of this website.
Just got a four-star review in the Sydney Morning Herald for the 'Canyons' album, so I'm pretty stoked about that. You can check out the full review here, but here's the text:
Chris Pickering CANYONS [Resuscitation Records] ★★★★
Recorded in Joshua Tree, California, and Nashville, Tennessee, Melbourne-based Chris Pickering's fourth full-length release resonates with the musical nous these places are known for. A melding of warm desert-rock with tinges of old country define his nine songs, heavy on the guitars, floating vocals, pedal steel and a smattering of strings. There's a shimmer to songs like Canyons, which opens the record, its guitar line carrying a subtle '60s surf motif as the steel moves in the background like heat-haze off bitumen, Pickering's voice swirling with it. Some psych bounce defines others, like Circles, which brings to mind a slightly less free-wheeling Chris Robinson Brotherhood, while others are stripped and acoustic (Andalusia, Broke My Own Heart), with the focus on Pickering's voice. The sealer is The Wash, which closes the record, a behemoth of a track that builds and builds, churning, finally fading out on simple picked guitar, quiet as the atmospherics simmer down and die. Co-produced by Adrian Mauro (Machine Age) and Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), Canyons is Pickering's finest work to date: Americana taken to a glorious new level. SAMUEL J. FELL
If you haven't got it already, you can head over to the store page to purchase a copy, and now also available is the CD version if you would prefer a hard copy!
Our next show coming up is Dec 15th at The Retreat in Brunswick. We always have good shows there, and this should be no exception. Joining us will be our friend from Brisbane Greg Cathcart of Silent Feature Era, and he's going to sing you some of his tunes. It's free entry too, so what more do you need to get the holiday season into full swing? Not much, I reckon.
The Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings project is also entering its final stages, with a launch gig planned for The Gasometer Hotel on Dec 8th. It's not to late to pre-order a copy of the new vinyl (and it's going to really help pay for costs, so please do so if you can), which you can do by heading over the project's Pledge page here.
Last month, I had the pleasure of heading down to Red Hill to perform at Music on the Hill, and they captured some video of it, so here's me and my friend Erin Lisk performing 'Howl' from that show.
If you haven't already pre-ordered vinyl of the new 'Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings' compilation album (featuring me), then you can do so over here. It's a great project filled with great music and I know you're going to love it. Please support it if you can.
Next week on Friday October 7th, I'll be playing a solo acoustic show at Music On The Hill, down in Red Hill on the Mornington Pensinsula in Victoria. You can pre-book tickets on their website here, and also playing are Tinpan Orange. Should be a good night of music, so I'm looking forward to that one.