RHYECE O’NEILL is a songwriter, poet & novelist born in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Solo or with his band he has played pubs and bars in the outback and cities all over the Australia and toured and performed with The Beasts of Bourbon, The Ape, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spencer P. Jones and more. Steeped in the desert blues, garage rock & roll and outlaw country O’Neill’s influences range from Iggy Pop, Rowland S Howard, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Bad Seeds, Stanford Clarke, W.H. Auden, Arthur Rimbaud, PJ Harvey, Sylvia Plath, Patti Smith, Henry Miller, Townes Van Zandt, Dostoyevsky, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker & Dylan.
O’Neill’s trade is the written word. In 2017 he collected his poetry and songs into his first album “Übermensch Blues”. A prolific poet, novelist and songwriter he has completed several novels from which “Run To The Dust” is based on his experiences as a union delegate leading an industrial dispute working on a huge construction project in the desert. Around the time also large parts of his second album “Death of a Gringo” was written. He also finished his first collection of poems, “The Condition Report 45”.
2018 saw the him and his former band The Narodniks release the “Death of a Gringo” album on Beast Records in France. Following this release the band embarked on their European tour playing over 41 dates across the continent including 3 shows at the legendary Binic Blues festival in France. While in the Czech Republic they recorded at Sono Records studios with legendary engineer and producer Milan Cimfe who has worked with David Bowie, Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson. This collaboration resulted in 2019 in a prophetic album “Los Diablos”, while in between at home Australia he recorded an acoustic album “Junk In The Valley” with Hannah Jane.
In July 2019 in Melbourne’s Cactus Room he paid homage to the Australian cult classic film “Wake in Fright”. With his band he presented a live, original soundtrack which both shocked and thrilled the sold out auditorium. The gothic blues guitar, driving bass and boogie near psychotic drums provided a truly stunning context for the film’s dialogues and subject matter.
In 2021 upon receiving a vision in a dream O’Neill packed his life in his car and headed out of his native Victoria the night the state was locked down amidst the pandemic. Since then he has traversed the entire east coast of Australia from his home in South Gippsland to the windy shores of Cooktown in far North Queensland. Upon returning to Brisbane he formed a new band as his band mates were stranded in Melbourne.
On the begining of 2022 he released EP Road To Damascus (Journey to Bunya), which will be followed by a new full album.
“Think Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds meets the old school sounds of The Veils meets Mark Lanegan… Filled with tension and drunken swagger with a deliciously complementing haunting violin: Australian singer songwriter Rhyece O’Neill impresses us with “The Fire in You.” Gobsmag.nl
“Ubermensch Blues” grabs you first time and you’ll be returning over and over. It’s a sound investment, if not essential. i94bar.com
Christmas, Jesus, and modern visions of hell: we chat with Rhyece O’Neill, Happy Mag
The Wanton Bishops, though a band by every definition of the word, is actually the vision of one very eclectic man – Nader Mansour. A cultural anomaly, considering the fact that he was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Nader as lead singer is the very epitome of a howling blues man, but as Muddy Waters once sang, “the blues had a baby and they named it rock ‘n’ roll.” Well, when that birth happens in Beirut, the baby comes out wailing a kind of rock the world has never heard. The Wanton Bishops’ successful debut album “Sleep With The Lights On” won the Beirut band accolades and opportunities, including opening for The Who, Guns N’ Roses, and Lana Del Rey, and paved the way to many major 2016 festival performances including Glastonbury, Solidays, and Nova Rock.
Their new EP Nowhere Everywhere is a creative musical leap forward, taking The Wanton Bishops’ blues induced rock and roll down an ethnic electronic highway. To quote Nader, “we’re finally getting to the core of the music we want to create, a scarily confused but oh so enticing musical concoction that is much like our own identity as Lebanese people living in Beirut, the cultural crossroad of the world.” Find a way to see them as the band takes their new sound and brazen attitude on the road in 2017. It’s an experience like no other.
THE WANTON BISHOPS /LBN
9.4. 2017 20:00
Café V lese, Krymská 12, Praha 10
“My favourite Australian band, they have a raw Australian bush sound.” – Brian Ritchie, Violent Femmes
Graveyard Train are a six piece collective from Melbourne, Australia. The initial idea was for six men to sing in baritone about Werewolves, Vampires, Ghosts and the like over frenetic foot stomping country music. A wacky idea that worked and instantly collected fans across the globe.
In a song writing sense Graveyard Train are storytellers who revel in the dark or macabre. Like a virus, Graveyard Train’s music evolved into something much richer, forceful and potent. Banjos, dobros as well as their untraditional hammer and chain have carried the intensity of their notorious live shows through the US, Canada, UK, Europe and of course all over Australia.
Graveyard Train are not a country band; they are not a folk band; they are not punk band; they are not a vocal harmony band they are not a psychedelic band. They are all of those things and more; genuinely a band like no other that you have seen.
Over a few short years the band had morphed from a bunch of mates getting drunk and playing small dive bars to a band trying to maintain some semblance of the professionalism needed to play international festivals and headline major theatres. Their 2nd album Hollow swiftly pulled 5 stars from several big Australian media, filled a space in PBSFM’s Top 10 and Mess+Noise’s Top 20 Albums Of The Year and the lead single I’m Gone was the #1 most played song on Australian Community Radio. After headlining the Forum and selling out consecutive Hi Fi shows in Melbourne, getting the coveted audience-approved Golden Boot at Meredith Music Festival, playing to inmates in a prison, seducing 25,000 punters on the main stage at West Coast Blues N Roots, touring the world and then having some redneck write a song about how they ruined Tamworth, in a lot of ways the band felt they accomplished more than they set out to do.
Then someone wrote a song. The band reconvened to inhabit a studio space. More songs came quickly and they walked away from the desk with a new record and realisation that when they were writing, recording and putting on some of the finest live shows around, they were unstoppable. That reinforcement is tattooed on record opener, lead single and title track, Takes One To Know One. It encaspsulates both a childish insult and a driving sound of classic Graveyard Train. Repeated listens of the entire LP reveals gems and oddities buried in a sublime, sometimes tortured marriage of country music, stoner rock, classic Graveyard gang vocals, haunting storytelling and the stellar musicianship that dyed-in-the-wool fans of the band have come to expect. With their new record under their arm, and their own label, Black Hat Rackets, GT have paired up with revered European label Cargo Records to release the new record to a worldwide audience.
NO Blues is the crossroad where Folk, Blues and Arabic music meet, it’s an Arabicana.
You will not find the word ‘Arabicana’ in any encyclopedia except in combination with the band NO blues. What started as experiment became a full blown musical genre. They called their unique mix of Americana (folk, blues and country) and Arabic music; ‘Arabicana’.
Oh Yeah Habibi (2015): ten years and up-to-date
If you look up the word ‘arabicana’ you find a music genre and its inventors; NO blues. Even after ten years the band that combines Oriental roots music and American folk blues is still unique in the world.
On the new album Oh Yeah Habibi, NO blues bridges the gap between east and west and changes the Nile and the Mississippi in one meandering musical delta. Even though the band has been together for ten years, the new album Oh Yeah Habibi sounds direct and fresh like a debut album. Oud player Haytham Safia: “We went back to the core of guitar, oud, double bass and percussion.” Different from the previous albums, NO blues chooses to use current events as topics for their songs. Songs like Exodus and The World Keeps Turning refer to people that seek refuge and Two Trains and Gods Move refer to religious themes. ”It struck us that our music seemed to have a different energy after the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo,” says bass player Anne-Maarten van Heuvelen. “NO blues has always been a political statement in music, we had to follow that up with our lyrics.” Guitarist Ad van Meurs: ”We’ve never been a political band, but we definitely don’t look the other way either.”
Oh Yeah Habibi is more on topic than previous NO blues albums and the critically acclaimed arabicana from this Dutch based top team that has been working together for ten years, still has great impact. In twelve new studio tracks the band reaches a next level in their musical embrace between east and west.
In 2004 Rob Kramer – artistic director of productiehuis Oost-Nederland – invites three string virtuosos for a three-day session that should result in one joint concert. The spontaneously developed synergy between Anne-Maarten van Heuvelen (bass), Ad van Meurs (guitar) and Haytham Safia (u’d – Arabic lute) lead to hundreds of shows and four NO blues albums. Vast Arabic scales mingle with tight blues schedules. In 2007 NO blues becomes a quintet with the advent of percussionist Osama Maleegi and vocalist and producer Ankie Keultjes. Meanwhile, they also conquer the world music lovers in France, Greece, Mexico and in many Arab countries.
NO Blues discography
Farewell Shalabiye (2005)
Ya Dunya (2007)
Hela Hela (2010)
Kind of NO blues (2013)
Oh Yeah Habibi (2015)
Australian CASH SAVAGE & THE LAST DRINKS are coming back to Europe to promote their new album “One of Us” which will be released in Europe on 4th November by Beast Records and distributed by Cargo Rec. The tour will start on 4th November too with their showcase at Nouvelle Prague festival in front of festival promoters and will continue with shows in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and France.
4/11 – Prague / CZ, Nouvelle Prague
5/11 – Blatna / CZ, U Datla
8/11 – Berlin / D, Auster Club
9/11 – Jablonec n.Nisou / CZ, Na Rampě
10/11 – Vienna /A, Fluc Club
11/11 – Znojmo / CZ, Na Věčnosti
15/11 – Žďár nad Sázavou / CZ, Batyskaf
17/11 – Saint-Germain-En-Laye / F, Le Clef
18/11 – Lorient / F – Le Gallon
19/11 – Rennes / F, Salle de la Cité
20/11 – Binic / F, Le Chaland Qui Passé
“Savage sings like salvation depends on it – though not hers.” The Guardian
“Savage is a hypnotiser, she’s got me and she’ll get you.” 5/5 – The Herald Sun
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating and heart-swelling live band in this country.” – The Music
Hypnotising audiences worldwide with their signature brand of country, blues and indie rock plus irresistible authenticity, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks are an award-winning six-piece with a live performance hailed among Australia’s best. Cash Savage’s heart-pumping live shows are backed by the devastating honesty of her lyrics and the raw talent of the band behind her.
Following on from 2016’s hugely acclaimed album One Of Us, 2018’s Good Citizens raises the stakes and signals the ascent of Cash Savage and the Last Drinks as one of the heavy hitters of Australian music’s new era. An incandescent live band at the height of their powers, led by mighty frontwoman Cash Savage, whose potent lyrics and impassioned delivery articulate the personal-political issues of these times with all her heart, guts and grit. Having towered over festival audiences at Golden Plains, Boogie and Sydney Festival, selling out The Corner in her hometown of Melbourne, and earning rave reviews for her recent packed-out Sydney show, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks are on a mighty roll. The band has also made serious inroads in Europe, playing to huge crowds at festivals such as Binic Festival (France), Colours of Ostrava or Rock For People (both in Czech Republic). Good Citizens begins and ends with a thought. “I’m thinking violence is the answer”, Cash Savage sings as the Last Drinks rally behind her.
Of course, it’s just a thought. And this is just a song. But the music Cash Savage is making is informed by real life — her own, and those of the people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, is inescapably real. The human beings who are called minorities and treated as though their lives matter less than others. The women and children on whom domestic violence is enacted, and those in the LGBTQ+ community for whom violence is an implied or overt threat behind the rhetoric of “family values” and “good citizens”.
The album opens with “Human, I am”, ringing out with a phrase that resonates in the #NotAllMen era: “It’s okay, you’re not one of them”; a disclaimer that many minorities feel they need to use when articulating the oppression they experience. The lyrics that follow call “time’s up” on the need to apologise; “I know what I am, I’m not yours / Not a leader / Not a follower / Not brave / Not yours / I am human”. “We’re all humans,” Cash affirms, “which means we’re all part of the problem. And we’re all part of the solution.”
The first two singles released to date, “Better Than That” and “Pack Animals”, both bear witness to the damage that prejudice inflicts, in the form of hurtful scrutiny or mindless mansplaining. The title track was inspired by disbelief of the warped representations of “mainstream” Australia portrayed in the TV commercials screened during a sporting event. “You don’t need a job to be a good citizen,” Cash insists. “You don’t need to go to church to be a good citizen. You don’t need to be married to be a good citizen. But a little bit of empathy could go a long way.”
The album comes to a devastating conclusion with “Collapse”, a song Cash wrote for her daughter. “I hope she understands that the world is a violent place,” Cash explains. “She’s growing up in a world where there’s violence everywhere, but our privilege allows us to believe that violence is someone else’s problem. The wars that are fought are at a distance. A non-violent life is a privileged life, and fewer and fewer people are living that privilege.”
The politics of Good Citizens hit home all the harder for their juxtaposition amongst songs that are deeply, passionately, personal. The ache of missing a partner (‘February’), the heady highs of falling in love (‘Sunday’), and the triumph of knowing that love is indestructible (‘Found You’). Even as it peers into the abyss of the anger and brutality that rock our times, Good Citizens burns with a fierce flame of belief in the goodness that may yet prevail.
In 2020, the band planned another European tour, but the worldwide coronavirus crisis changed their plans and the tour was postponed several times. However, in a time of total lockdown and streamed concerts, the band recorded a live album Live At Hamer Hall, which captures the band’s vivacity and unbridled energy in this strange time, at a concert without an audience.
“…But it’s live that Savage and her Last Drinks come into their own. This was one hell of a powerful, confident and intense show.” FBi Radio, Sydney Festival
“…country punk’n’roll coming out of the blackness with more power than the wind.”
Rolling Stone Australia
“One of Us – Album of the week” Beat Magazine
“Savage comes at us with gruff, dirty-fingernails country-rock like her life depends on it” 4/5 Herald Sun
“There’s a pain that rattles the core of Cash Savage’s third album… full of blues grunt and country groove that holler badass one minute and banjo tinged mellow the next” 4,5/5 – The Age
“The Hypnotiser is as assured and as compelling as anything released by an Australian artist this year… you know you are hearing a major new talent.” 4/5 – The Courier Mail
“Savage and her band trade in spooky gothic folk blues, the cry of fiddle strings and bite of a banjo redolent of beer and smoke. It’s a tense, sultry sound, staring down the fear that lurks on dusty, bloody, delta back roads, proselytising the gospel of rock’s own truth, ripe with a sense of theatre and omens while embracing the simple pleasures of a little love song.” 4/5 – The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
“The Hypnotiser is a melancholy, frank recording by an artist who has the ability to stick to her guns, yet be as chameleonic as she needs to be to get the job done. No mean feat.” Mess + Noise