Saturday, 12th March, good people, Steve Boyd is back – Healing and Howling for your pleasure and mine at the Rainbow Hotel from 9.30, no cover charge.
Flashback to the late nineties/early noughties when Boyd was fast gaining a reputation as a singer, songwriter and performer of considerable substance.
Borrowing largely from the classic American roots music forms, his band Steve Boyd and The Preachers were festival circuit regulars sharing stages with the likes of Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. Their wildly impassioned performances drew a large, loyal crowd and their recordings were heard on American College radio and mentioned in prestigious UK music bible ‘Mojo’.
Changing the core line-up and the group’s name to The Steve Boyd Revue did not slow things down in the slightest. In fact, as the sound morphed into a bigger Gospel-Soul affair, complete with Hammond organ, percussion, brass and backing singers, the group’s credentials only grew. Steve was seemingly poised to ease into a long and successful career in music.
So what happened next?
A series of life-changing events, unexpected challenges and personal tragedies occurred and Boyd was hurled into an inward journey of epic proportions.
Through this period of soul-searching and healing, he established a new relationship with music.
For over ten years Boyd ran music and song writing groups for VincentCare Victoria. Primarily working with marginalised members of the community, He discovered music’s power to ease the hearts and minds of those struggling with poverty, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
Running song writing and music therapy groups, Boyd discovered he had a talent for drawing out the creative spark within a broad range of participants from all walks of life. Under his guidance these groups performed at various community festivals and even most memorable time at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout at Etihad stadium.
Upon occasion, Boyd enlisted additional music mentors to assist him. At one time none other than Spencer P Jones caught the bug and got on board Steve’s plight to soothe, challenge and inspire some of the folks who would otherwise miss out on the opportunity to make music altogether.
In actuality the entire process was cathartic not only for the participants but for Boyd himself. Over time he rediscovered his muse with a vengeance and began considering the next chapter of his musical odyssey. Now was the time to recommence writing and rehearsing new material for his own project. It simply felt right.
Time had done its job healing old wounds but a creative void desperately needed filling.
Enter Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie.
Essentially the brainchild of both Steve Boyd and Paul Fiddes (long time friend and musical collaborator), the project came about over many nights of shared musings, quaffing of shiraz and listening to vintage vinyl records.
Much the same as Boyd, Fiddes had taken an extended excursion from music whilst focusing on exclusively on photography. It became apparent that both shared a yearning to return to the fold.
At the end of the day it was agreed that nothing else quite compared to the wild high of bashing out original tunes in the sweating bars of Melbourne. Both agreed it was time dust off the drum kit and restring the guitar.
There was new music to be made.
The influences are primal and instinctive; perhaps not schooled and certainly not slick. Initially starting out as a two-piece, the core group of Paul on drums and Steve on guitar and vocals was eventually augmented by upright bass and brass. This process occurred through many writing and recording sessions: Steve and Paul allowing the music to dictate what should happen next.
The sound is heartfelt and raw.
With a punk brain, a gospel soul, a blues heart and even hints of jazz trickling through its veins, Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie may be something of a musical Frankenstein’s monster.
It’s a monster that will hoot, holler, growl and grind with all it’s might.
Check out the new EP and first single ‘Papa Likes It’ at this downloadable link: