The stage was set, the campfire lit, and the opening-night audience was set for the journey ahead.
The debut of First Nation Voices at The Garage International at Adelaide Town Hall delivered on its promise to entertain and evoke familiar and welcome feelings through its combination of personal stories and music.
In front of us were three grounded musicians, each with their own unique style that complements each of the others, tied together with fine musicianship from their supporting band members.
Far from there being any sense of ego, the Indigenous singer/songwriters Vonda Last, Russell Smith and Glenn Skuthorpe effortlessly wove their personal stories into the fabric of the evening, inviting us to honor whatever memories their stories evoked within us. As they spoke about family, of places and events long gone, but living in their hearts, it was warming to experience similar connections rising in my own mind.
From the grace and power of Russell's acknowledgement of Elders past and present at the show's opening, with the ancient tones of his didgeridoo (which he swears is in the key of D!) the scene was set for an evening of stories containing strength, courage and love. The story Vonda shared about her grandmother was particularly striking, and fitting that her song Home should have been inspired by it.
The music is second to none, and I couldn't help but wonder if some of Australia's more well-known musicians might have taken their lead from the stylings on offer in this performance. Energetic acoustic sets coupled with songs of more complex and evocative arrangements on guitar and piano showcased what an expanse of talent this country has.
First Nation Voices is embarking on its South Australian tour and is well worth your time. Check the tour guide at Fringetix for dates near you and get in early.
Listen to my chat with Glenn, Russell and Vonda on That Entertainment Podcast.
You can also read my blog about our chat at my website.