Hey there beautiful people, welcome to the party that never ends! It's been a hectic and fun filled month or so since last I scribbled some ink to bark. Easter has come and gone, clocks are wound back, some nice rains have given our Mother Earth a much deserved and needed drink and winter fashions are welcomed back with open arms. Where the hell does time go man?
Can I start by first thanking you all for the feedback received since my last post. The "Days For Girls" project certainly touched us all and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support shown and in some cases "literally" given to this wonderful and real cause. Beverley and Peter de Meur were incredibly grateful for the support shown from their country cousins and their fundraiser in Sydney turned out to be a massive success. Big THANK YOU!
As you all well know by now, I roast coffee! I make a living from my caffeine addiction. At Art of Espresso, we roast, we Direct Trade with growers, we make, sell and teach all things coffee. Simple. Having said that, at Art of Espresso we also have another just as addictive lifestyle and that my beautiful friends is... you guessed it... music! And preferably on vinyl records.
So, where is this leading I hear you ask?
Well, some Art of Espresso caffeinds will know that we created a blend called "Revolution" (as in 33 and a third RPM), a combination dedication to records and to the roots of coffee (and the Blues)... Africa. This beautiful blend of Ethiopian, Kenyan, Rwandan and stunning guest backing harmonies from Tanna Island, Vanuatu, not only captured our passion and palates but went on to win a bronze medal at last month’s Sydney Royal Fine Foods show in the Cappuccino Class. A great effort for a coffee blend so raw and full of explosive flavour, capturing the chocolate notes best describing coffees from the Africa's.
And still on music... (and raw), so to speak, whilst in Sydney working last month with the beautiful Arrowfield Stud people at the Easter yearling sales, I had the pleasure of catching some downtime and getting myself some live music action. One little surprise gig particularly grabbed me one Tuesday night in Marrickville. I went to see live for the first time an Aria Award winning Australian Blues artist from Victoria. Her name...Mia Dyson. Some of you may not have heard of Mia Dyson but I seriously suggest you make her a part of your playlist somewhere. I've personally been a fan of Mia Dyson since 2003 when she released her first record 'Cold Water'. I own all 4 of her albums, but never had the chance to catch her live. Man, can this lady sing and goodness, can she play a mean guitar! I thought I was a fan before but now I am a dedicated disciple... and even Mario could agree on this.
Mia Dyson's second album, 'Parking Lots' also won "Best Blues and Roots Album" at the 2005 Aria Awards. She toured the world over and supported Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, Ani Di Franco and joined Frank Zappa's band 'The Mothers of Invention' on stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. She is best described as a blend of Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt. Josh Cunningham of another personal fave Aussie Indie band, The Waifs, says it perfectly. "The sensitivity and passion in Mia's stellar vocal and guitar performances outshines the often times weighty subject matter, reminding us that not only is music am important vehicle for revealing the injustices of life but also a primary means for providing comfort from them." Perfect Josh, you nailed it brother! Rolling Stone Magazine and The Boston Globe both agree on her "grit and gravel voice" and "very spare, very bluesy guitar picking and strumming" with the SMH saying that "skinny young white girls aren't supposed to sound this smoky, big and soulful".
Well people, Mia Dyson, only last month came in at 21 on the "Top 25" list of Australia's best guitarists! She's in great company with the likes of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC, Ian Moss, John Butler et al.
I had the absolute pleasure that rainy night in Marrickville to hook up with Mia after her gig. We chatted and I got a signed copy of "The Moment" record on vinyl and I gave her a nice little ART OF ESPRESSO love pack of coffee and locally produced goodies. Mia was so humble and thankful.
After this meeting, Art of Espresso Sessions and Human Beans For Peace Foundation are proud to announce that Mia Dyson is coming to Young and will do a live and intimate electric acoustic solo gig at 35 Main Street later this year! I am so incredibly excited to be writing this and as we are only limited to a maximum of 50 patrons for our bar gigs, I am offering to you cool cats, as members of our mailing list, the opportunity to put your name down for a chance to pre purchase tix before they are officially announced via a return email.
Now, as an added bonus, Art of Espresso is going to give away a signed copy of Mia's brand new CD on the night of the gig to a lucky member. Those who reply via this blog for ticket reservation will only go into the draw to win the new album. Remember, only 50 tix will be available so the first 50 replies will get this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the amazing artist live and intimate. We anticipate the dates to be announced soon for either October or November later this year. Gig date and ticket prices will be posted to all who receive this blog as soon as they are confirmed.
In the meantime, treat yourselves and check out Mia Dyson's website www.miadyson.com for a taste and check out this youtube link. iTunes is a great start if that's how you like it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
So there you have it. May you be warm in winter, cool in summer and healthy all year round.
Keep smiling, breathe and be thankful.