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Monthly Archives: March 2013

BYRON BAY BLUESFEST – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC MARCH 28 2013

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Tony Hillier heads south this Easter long weekend for the Byron Bay Bluesfest http://www.bluesfest.com.au/

It began life as the East Coast International Blues & Roots Music Festival back in 1990 at the Arts Factory in Byron Bay – it’s now established as a major drawcard for Australian and international blues and roots performers.

This week, Tony Hillier’s World of Music features some of the acts appearing at Byron this year, starting with far north Queensland brother & sister duo The McMenamins. They hail from Cairns – they’re much loved for their delicious blend of country and folk, sweet harmonies, violin and mandolin. It’s story-telling music, sometimes intimate, sometimes high energy folk.

They released their first album to wide acclaim in 2005. The McMenamins have been successful on the Australian festival circuit and have toured the US several times in recent years.

http://www.themacswebsite.com/page/page/1920798.htm

Ben-Harper

Ben Harper juggles blues, folk, soul, reggae and rock in an eclectic but engaging musical mix. He has a couple of Grammy awards on his shelf and has been commercially successful in the US, Europe and Australia.

Ben hails from Pomona, California, where he picked up guitar as a kid. His grandparents owned a music store – its customers included Leonard Cohen and Taj Mahal. Ben played his first gig at age 12, and drew heavily on the slide style of blues legend Robert Johnson as an influence.

http://www.benharper.com/home

carlos-santana-Carlos Santana is one of those musicians who defies the labels that plague the music industry. He drew on Latin American music to create his own unique style of rock – and his prowess on guitar has inspired generations of teenagers to pick one up and reach for the stars.

Carlos hit the big time with his band Santana in the late 60s & early 70s. He wove his bluesy guitar lines into the band’s solid Latin & African rhythms, driven by congas and timbales. The Santana rhythm section was a mighty engine room and Carlos showed an uncanny knack for knowing when to go for a blistering solo or the subtle couple of note runs. Carlos Santana remains one of the most influential guitarists of the modern era. Which is interesting, because guitar is his second instrument. He learned violin first, at the age of five. http://www.santana.com/

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear this week’s episode pf Tony Hillier’s World of Music

TRACK LIST

Way Out West from The McMenamins brand new album Sand & Stone

Steal My Kisses from Ben Harper’s 1999 album Burn To Shine

Oye Como Va from Santana’s 1970 album Abraxas

TONY HILLIER CAST

Tony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/ .

Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php

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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, PODCASTS, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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GET TO KNOW THE WORLD’S OLDEST RAINFOREST – AT THE DAINTREE DISCOVERY CENTRE FNQ

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One of the main reasons people visit far north Queensland is the chance to see rainforest areas – and we have the world’s oldest rainforest just 90 minutes drive north of Cairns in the Daintree. The Daintree rainforest grows right down to the sea between Mossman Gorge and the Bloomfield River. It’s Australia’s largest area of continuous rainforest. It’s named after Richard Daintree, the Queensland Government’s first geologist for north Queensland and a pioneer photographer.

The first time most Australians heard of the Daintree was in the early 1980s when construction of a road in the recently declared Cape Tribulation National Park sparked one of this country’s biggest environmental protests – the Daintree blockade. http://www.daintreeblockade.com.au/

Not long after that protest, Pam and Ron Birkett visited the Daintree and went away disappointed – not by the rainforest, but by the lack of information available to visitors. They remember people frustrated that there was no way to experience the rainforest close up or to understand its history and biology. It was possible to get in to the forest on man-made walking trails, but Pam & Ron say this caused significant damage to the fragile environment and disturbed the wildlife. They campaigned for interpretive information and an environmental centre allowing controlled access to the rainforest. The Government of the day liked the idea but didn’t want to spend the money, so Pam & Ron stepped in and set up the Rainforest Environmental Centre in 1989 – it’s now known as the Daintree Discovery Centre. It welcomed its one millionth visitor in mid 2010. http://www.daintree-rec.com.au/

You can get right into the rainforest on the aerial walkway and the canopy tower, without trampling through the sensitive under-storey or having an unfortunate encounter with a stinging tree. There are great views to be had, and plenty of information to help you understand what you’re seeing. And there are some amazing things to see – the view across the Alexander Range is worth the climb to the top of the tower, and you’ll see one of the world’s most popular palm trees — the Alexandra Palm – this is its home country. And there’s the king fern – a plant that hasn’t changed in hundreds of millions of years. There’s plenty of bird-life – and there’s a reasonable chance of sighting the usually reclusive cassowary.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to take a tour of the Daintree Discovery Centre with our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen

When you’re in the rainforest, there are fruits and plants that may look good – but should never be eaten. Such treats as the cassowary plum, stink horn and idiot fruit. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Abi Ralph & Martin explain.

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2 martDr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. He’s on my radio program Wednesdays at 4.45pm. Read more about Martin at http://www.wildaboutaustralia.com/

 
Comments Off on GET TO KNOW THE WORLD’S OLDEST RAINFOREST – AT THE DAINTREE DISCOVERY CENTRE FNQ

Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, tropical weather & climate, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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ONE OF THE GREAT BLUES MEN HEADING FOR CAIRNS TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC FRIDAY MARCH 22 2013

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Taj Mahal is heading for far north Queensland to play a gig at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns on Thursday March 28.

He’s a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist  – one of the most prominent and influential figures in contemporary blues and roots music. And he’s a musical explorer – you’ll hear west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Hawaiian islands in his music. Taj Mahal was soaking up musical influences as a child growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts – where musicians from all over the world visited the family home to make music with his jazz pianist father. Taj was born Henry St. Claire Fredericks &  studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, where he formed his first band. He took the stage name Taj Mahal around that time, inspired by a dream. He had two passions then – farming & music. He chose music, met Ry Cooder and formed a band called Rising Sons. met blues legends Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes.He’s been making albums in his own right since 1967, giving us music so diverse it defies labels. It’s the blues and so much more.

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Tony Hillier talk about the many and varied sounds of Taj Mahal.

TRACK LIST

Bassekou Kouyate

Bassekou Kouyate

Poye 2 – Taj Mahal & Bassekou Kouyate from the latter’s 2013 CD Ngoni Ba

TAJ LIKE NEVERCakewalk Into Town from Taj Mahal’s 1991 CD Like Never Before

The Calypsonians from Taj Mahal & The Hula Band’s 1998 CD Sacred Island

Read more about Taj Mahal at http://www.tajblues.com/

TONY HILLIER CAST

Tony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/ .

Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, music, rd on the road, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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RED TAILED BLACK COCKATOOS SEEN IN SOME UNUSUAL PLACES

DSC_0605Far north Queensland is home to all manner of birds – their presence or absence can tell us a lot about our changing seasons, the weather and environment. Lately we’ve seen red tailed black cockatoos in parts of the far north where they would not usually be seen. They’ve even been seen in significant numbers in down-town Cairns. They’re more often seen in drier parts of our region, but given the below average wet season and above average temperatures this summer, maybe they’re looking to find cooler conditions on the coast.

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen talk about cockatoos, the red tail black, and why they’re turning up in some unusual places.

The red tail black cockatoo is thought to have been the first eastern Australian bird illustrated by a European –  Joseph Banks’ draughtsman Sydney Parkinson sketched a bird taken at Endeavour River, Cooktown in 1770.

The northern subspecies of red-tailed black cockatoo has a wide distribution and is not considered endangered. The Western Australian inland red tail is more frequently seen than was once the case, but loss of suitable nesting trees in southern Australia has adversely affected populations.

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Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. read more about Martin at http://www.wildaboutaustralia.com/

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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LISTEN UP 2! NEW INDIGENOUS MUSIC FROM FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

LISTEN UP 2This Thursday afternoon, ABC Far North helped launch  a new CD of indigenous music from tropical north Queensland. Listen Up 2 is a collection of music by emerging indigenous musicians – and we launched it with a concert at the Union Jack pub http://www.thejack.com.au/ in Cairns. Thank you to everyone who turned up, & who gave their time and talents to make it a wonderful afternoon of music and stories. The CD is available from the ABC Shop in Cairns.

This is the second Listen Up collection – the first was released back in 2008. It helped launch Cairns band The Medics on to the national music scene. http://themedics.com.au/bio#

We hope that kind of good fortune awaits the musicians on Listen Up 2. There’s 21 year old Danny Bani from Thursday island, who grew up on his father’s church music and  the big ballad style of  Aaron Neville and Lionel Richie. http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/01/11/3668391.htm

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Danny Bani & his band perform at the Listen Up 2! launch

Cold Water Band come from the Wujal Wujal area between Cairns and Cooktown. They’re a five-piece outfit blending reggae and R & B – they love to get an audience up and dancing.http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/09/26/3326199.htm

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to listen to Cold Water Band at the Listen Up 2! launch.

The members of Cairns-based rock band Phoenix Rising started out making music in primary school in two different bands – now they’ve formed a “super band” before their 18th birthdays. http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/02/14/3690367.htm

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to listen to Phoenix Rising in action at the Listen Up 2! launch.

Hopevale’s Ivana Gibson began singing at age 10, inspired by her grandmother. She says she’s a country musician at heart, loves a good story and lifting people’s spirits. http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/02/13/3689720.htm

Sister and brother duo, Colina and Nicholas Wymarra are also in the line-up. The pair from Murray Island had strong country influences as children and have now developed a contemporary reggae style.

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to listen to Colina & Nicholas perform at the Listen Up 2! launch

Listen Up 2! was produced by three champions of FNQ indigenous music – Nigel Pegrum, Will Kepa &​ Karl Neuenfeldt. Karl’s the man who first recorded Torres Strait music legend Seaman Dan. Karl is an associate professor at Central Queensland University http://content.cqu.edu.au/FCWViewer/staff.do?site=1829&sid=NEUENFEK

Will Kepa hails from Torres Strait, plays many instruments, he’s an audio engineer, in-demand session musician and producer.. Will has worked with many FNQ bands and has been working on his own first album. And Nigel Pegrum is at the epicentre of the far north music scene. He played drums in the legendary British folk-rock band Steeleye Span, met the love of his life on an Australian tour and settled in Cairns, where he runs Pegasus Studios http://www.pegasusstudios.com.au/

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Nigel talk about Listen Up 2!

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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Aboriginal, arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, music

 

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DR GERRY BULGER’S ANTARCTIC SUMMER

Dr Gerard Bulger (right) in Antarctica

Dr Gerard Bulger (right) in Antarctica

I’ve been fortunate to have travelled all over the world – but there’s one place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I was a kid. The Antarctic. I used to read everything I could find about the southern polar region – accounts of the early explorers, memoirs by people who’d been there, anything. Antarctica captured my imagination and it still hasn’t let go. But so far, my only direct connection to the icy region has been as a supplier of news. In the 80s, long before the Internet, I was an editor at Australian Associated Press. One of my tasks was to compile the daily Antarctic bulletin, a digest of news that was sent by telex to Australia’s Antarctic bases. To date, that’s the closest I’ve got to the Antarctic.

This week, I got to meet someone who has been there – Cairns-based doctor Gerry Bulger. He hails from England, and has travelled the world practising medicine. Along the way, he’s developed a specialty in providing medical care in remote and isolated settings. Gerry has just returned from a summer posting to Casey Station, one of the bases maintained by the Australian Antarctic Division. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/

MAP OF ANTARCTIC TERRITORY CLAIMS & BOUNDARIES

MAP OF ANTARCTIC TERRITORY CLAIMS & BOUNDARIES

Australia has been involved in the Antarctic since Douglas Mawson took an expedition south from Hobart in 1911. Australia’s pioneering role and long association with the region is the basis of the Australian Antarctic Territory – the  largest territorial claim over the continent – more than 5 million square kilometres. The other nations with Antarctic territory are Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Casey Station http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/casey was built to replace the U-S Wilkes station, which Australia took over in 1959. Wilkes was being slowly buried by snow drifts, so work began to build a new station nearby in 1964. It opened in 1969 and was named Casey after the Australian Governor General, a keen supporter of Australia’s Antarctic presence. Casey station is located in the Windmill Islands, just outside the Antarctic Circle. And that’s where Dr Gerry Bulger spent the summer, providing medical care for the station team.He went there by sea, and returned on an Airbus jet that can operate from the nearby Wilkins ice runway during the short Antarctic summer. That jet flight puts Australian hospitals within reach for a couple of months each year, but Gerry says the Casey medical facility still has to be completely self-sufficient – even stocking malaria remedies, just in case. He says the Antarctic hadn’t been on his bucket list, but it was a great experience – especially the Australia Day swim, and the cricket match complete with a streaker.

LISTEN  Click on the red arrow to hear Dr Gerry Bulger talk about his Antarctic summer.

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ANTARCTIC PICTURES BY Dr GERRY BULGER

 

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MEET DEREK WALPO – THE MAYOR OF AURUKUN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

AURUKUN MAPThe first Europeans known to have walked on Australian soil were Dutch sailors. In 1605, they steered the Duyfken into the Gulf of Carpentaria and landed at Cape Keerweer on western Cape York, south of Aurukun. Their plans to build a city there did not eventuate, and the area is still much as it was all those years ago.

In 1904, the Presbyterian church established the Archer River Mission station on the western Cape, and over the next few decades, Aboriginal people were moved to the mission from a very large area of surrounding country. The mission is long gone, but the town of Aurukun remains on the site of the original mission. It’s home to about 1900 people, from five indigenous clan groups. Aurukun shire includes much of the traditional country of the Wik, Wik Way and Kugu people. The Shire was created in 1978, with the Aurukun Shire Council granted a 50-year land lease. It is stunning country, about 100 kilometres south of Weipa and about the same distance from the main Cape York Peninsula road.

Mid-way through last year, Derek Walpo became mayor of Aurukun Shire. Mr Walpo had been a health worker in the community before entering local government. He knows it will take hard work and a long-term view to put Aurukun on the road to a brighter future. There have been law and order problems in recent times, and Mr Walpo’s support for a continued ban on alcohol in the community won’t please all his constituents. Mayor Walpo believes it’s the right decision, and says people who smuggle alcohol into Aurukun face heavy penalties. He says training and job creation is crucial – real training that leads to real jobs for indigenous people. Mr Walpo is hopeful moves to develop bauxite mining will create jobs. Bauxite mining rights in the area were first granted in 1975 but have never been exercised. The Queensland Government and Aurukun Shire Council hope mining rights will be awarded by the end of this year.

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to listen to my interview with Mayor Derek Walpo.

Read more about Aurukun Shire at http://aurukun.qld.gov.au/

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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, community, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, People

 

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