In years gone past, songs were the form of documenting our stories – telling the stories of those who had gone before, our histories, our tragedy’s and our hopes. And music accompanied, being the one thing that could transverse those feelings that could sometimes not be voiced. This is at the very heart of The Soldier’s Wife.
The past 4 years has seen a small group of Queensland songwriters go on a truly remarkable songwriting journey – to tell the stories of women whose partners have served in conflict over the past 60 years. To tell the stories of Soldiers Wives and their families and of their personal sacrifice.
The songwriters have talked to almost 100 women – aged from 25 to 104 years old. From varying backgrounds and conflicts, from remote and regional areas to inner cities, their personal journeys all have similar themes of love, of loss, of existence and most of all of resilience.
The artists use their voices and their muse to hold legacy to these stories and to share them on stage – these are not just stories of incredible women – they are stories of our history and of the new generation.
The artists involved represent a mix of vast songwriting experience and community experience and talent. Australian Music Prize nominee and vocal powerhouse Jackie Marshall; North Queensland based Roz Pappalardo (best known as one half of Women in Docs); fast rising new talent Emma Bosworth, country blues artist Kristy Apps, Melinda J Wells and Deb Suckling (Lucy Star Satellite).
Now these stories have been documented into a double album and a book – giving further voice to these women and families and creating a way for the wider community to listen and learn from these experiences.
Deb has been a singer songwriter for the past 15 years. She cut her teeth with rock band Brindle through the early noughties and released two albums, 4 Ep’s and toured both here and overseas relentlessly for a number of years. She then moved onto quieter more atmospheric country music with Lucy Star Satellite. In 2006 she set up Sugarrush Music and started releasing albums from Australian artists all over the world.
Deb has been involved with a large number of community songwriting projects over the past 8 years including The Songs of Roma House, Indigenous Songs of Applewood, Sisters Inside and the Songs of the Surat Basin.
She started producing shows a few years ago and has produced a number of sell out performances including three seasons of the Long Player Sessions and Murder Ballads. The Soldier’s Wife is her latest production.
Emma cut her teeth from an early age playing in garage bands and howling with the rock’n’roll best of them. November 2014 marked a turning point towards a new sound with the release of her first solo album “Coming Up For Air”.
A long-brewed album of contrasts: a call-to-fun with the first drop of soul-inspired Penny, a call over the Brisbane backyard fence with My Town, and a yelping party-down on the skint side of lovin’ with Save Me, never apologising to express her comforts taken in picket fence platitudes reminiscent of The Lucksmiths, or even Brisbane’s own The Go- Betweens. A stand-up first solo album from Emma, aka Emma Carton, ere of Brisbane indie exponents J-Pan Fan, and earlier, The Flying Chimnees.
“A strong voice of her own… (defying) easy categorisation.” Courier Mail, March 2015
“A cracker of a debut album from Brisbane local with superbly crafted songs sung with heart and soul, it’s not hard to see why she is one of the great hidden treasures in the music scene today…probably not for long” 98.9FM, May 2015
Emma can be heard on “Rain on the Mountain”, a song taken from Paddy McHugh’s album “Trials and Cape Tribulations”, out through Arrest Records, and her songs have appeared on television series Slide and 2014 feature film, Predestination. She was a finalist in the Blues and Roots Category of the 2015 Queensland Music Awards and “Coming Up For Air” spun as album of the week on ABC 612 in November 2014.
Renowned for her gutsy but tender vocal style (which Jackie has jokingly referred to as ‘Dolly Parton meets Patti Smith’), Jackie has twice been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. Jackie performed for iconic QLD concert series Women In Voice at the QLD Performing Arts Centre and featured on SBS Television’s much-loved ‘RocKwiz’ dueting with Australian music legend Colin Hay. And it’s not just Australia that’s fallen in love with her, over the past few years Jackie’s performed extensively throughout Europe, the UK and Japan.
In the clatter and noise of the Australian singer-songwriter set, it can be hard to find a voice that really grabs you. But when you listen to Kristy Apps, you know you’re hearing something really special – it’s worth noting to the self,“This is not music as wallpaper”
Kristy Apps delivers her songs, as if she was hand delivering you a telegraph wrapped in a powerhouse voice, written for you or someone you know. It’s a craft she has honed over a decade of writing and performing, carving her niche in the Australian songwriter community, while winning plenty of fans around the globe.
“One of the top three shows of 2010” – Rhythms Magazine
She’s performed with artists like Deborah Conway, Jen Cloher, and Pete Murray at venues and festivals all over Australia – including the Woodford Folk Festival. And she’s hit the road across the USA, chalking up sets at numerous venues including the Philadelphia Entertainment Centre, Eddies Attic and the Susquehanna Folk Festival.
Soaring and committed slide guitar, smooth upright bass, rocking drums, mad keyboard, a vintage Fender guitar and a sassy front woman who rocks even when she sings a ballad.
This is Roz Pappalardo. Roz Pappalardo has spent the last 20 years with reknowned duo Women in Docs. She has explored most of the Australian landscape including spending numeruous stints in the red centre and across regional Australia sharing her unique songwriting skills.
She’s rocked Woodford Folk Festival (2008, 2009), Gympie Muster (2009), Tamworth Country Music Festival (2010), Festival Cairns (2009, 2011) and Urban Country Music Festival (2010) with this act and has left numerous stages across Queensland and Australia wondering what’s just happened. A few choice supports in Tim Finn, Collard Greens and Gravy, Chocolate Starfish and Vika and Linda, a nomination for Best Country song in the inaugural Qld Music Awards and it’s clear that Roz has lefther mark on the scene.