2013
02.04

OMG! Was it really June 2012 that I updated the news feed? Bloody hell!

I have been doin’ stuff. Musical stuff. Really. I’m serious, I have.

Oh, and I got married too. December 30, 2012. Yesiree, I did! I tied the knot. With a Sheepshank. Or was it a Round-Turn-Two-Half-Hitches. I like the SheepShank; it looks like a canoe. I love knots, have since my Scouting days. (I hear my Rock cred plummeting as I type) But I digress… Yes, I married my beautiful Natalie.

I even recorded a song for her. It might just hit your ears very, very soon. (Hint, hint.)

So, anyways, thought I should probably mention that I’m heading interstate next month for my DEBUT at the illustrious Adelaide Fringe Festival. Yes, yes I am!

I’m a bit excited as this will be my first interstate tour as an Original artist. And my bestie Bass player, Grant is coming with me! We’re working on the show big time. I want to have the biggest, fattest sound two people can possibly make.

So, if you’re native Adelaidian, get your tix quickly because I do believe they are actually selling steadily. (Link at end of post)

If you can’t get there, you can still support me big time by sharing the link and letting others know. That, dear friends, would be mucho appreciated-o.

Thanks heaps and heaps and heaps.

K  B-)

Kristian JacksonAdelaide Fringe is an annual open-access arts festival run over four weeks in Adelaide, South Australia during February and March.

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2012
10.06

Been having a blast on Google+ of late. So many people who love Music, Photography and the Arts in general. Been gaining some brilliant support from pages like Artists In The Plus and Musician and Band Public Database to name just two. Someone else who is making a name for himself is Canadian Billy Wilson who runs weekly Hangout variety style shows. If you haven’t tried a G+ Hangout, do so. You get to meet some amazing people from all around the globe. I’ve done a couple of Hangout shows and interviews and they’re so much fun. On a professional level I get to play to and connect with a whole bunch of new people who might like what I do. I won’t lie, I’ve been in a bit of a lull this year and so the past few weeks have really helped with my confidence to keep going. In any case, I did a live Hangout (known as Hangouts On Air) today for That Show With Billy Wilson and got to chat with some amazing people and play a few songs at the end. As always, the greatest appreciation if you can share it amongst your own networks.

Enjoy, K.

 

TSBW #27: Speedpainting, Photography, Pinterest, Live Music and More!

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2012
03.16

Couch Potato!!

Those of you who keep abreast of the Music Industry would be familiar with the goliath that is the SXSW conference. Delegates from around the globe converge on Austin, Texas for a few days of networking, conferencing, and, most importantly, check out as many bands as possible. Sounds great, hey. Thing is, the event has become so big that many believe it’s losing its charm. Many bands sell the farm to get over to perform only to find they’re on a nondescript stage at 3.30am. Sure, they can check the “Played at SXSW” box, but for many that’s a far as it goes. Enter CXCW. CXCW stands for “Couch By Couch West “. The brief is as follows:

“Too broke to go to Austin? Can’t get out of work? That pesky thing called “life” getting in the way? Try Couch by Couchwest!

CXCW is the slackers alternative to SXSW. During the week of March 11-18, 2012 musicians from around the world submit videos recorded on a couch, porch, bathroom…anywhere but the stage…for our enjoyment from the comfort of our living rooms. We hope to bring together as many people as possible who are stuck home while all their friends are stuck in the crowds of Austin, TX. So crack open a beer, crank up the volume, and enjoy the couch!”

Or in short, “CXCW: Where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.”

What can I say, I love it! And I was stoked when my good friend, fellow Penrithian and Podcaster, Erk invited me to participate in this year’s event. So I rallied the troops (well, Grant and Laura, at least), dusted off the upstairs couch and then had an absolute blast doing what I love, playing music with friends for an appreciative audience.

So, without further ado, allow me to present my contribution to the festival that is CouchByCouchWest. You can find it HERE! :) Please enjoy, “like” and most importantly, share.

Thanks for sticking with me,

K

P.S I did two songs, one is a little different to normal. Both tracks on YouTube here.

2011
11.29

I’m very happy and honoured to share with you a glowing review I recently received  from the highly regarded music journalist, Annie Reuter.

So without further ado…

 

Kristian Jackson’s debut release, Blood Eyes Sunrise, demonstrates his immense talent. A versatile album, the Sydney based singer-songwriter flourishes during his emotional ballads and leaves his mark on the more upbeat, jazz infused numbers. Eleven tracks of heavy-hitting percussion, powerful vocals and striking musical accompaniment, Blood Eyes Sunrise has much to offer the listener. Never quite sure what he’ll do next, the LP remains exciting and captivating.

Blood Eyes Sunrise begins with soothing vocals accompanied by light piano and fitting percussion on album opener “Time Will Heal.” The driving beat blends well with delicate guitar strumming and his deep vocals. Soon after, aggressive percussion and his lively singing style join in with fast paced electric guitar. Singing about the hope of a second chance in a relationship, Jackson talks of moving on, a common theme throughout the 11-track release.

Next song, and title track, “Blood Eyes Sunrise” begins with a seductive percussion beat and an enticing piano part. An ear-grabbing combination, Jackson’s whispered vocals follow suit before wavering electric guitar is heard in the background. A steady beat throughout the track, the music soars and crescendos at the most opportune spots. A multi-instrumentalist, Jackson recorded vocals, guitars, piano, saxophone and additional features himself. With a killer guitar riff mid-track and an impressive piano interlude, the standout number showcases Jackson’s talent.

What first sounds like a ballad, Jackson picks up the pace on “Blood Eyes Sunrise.” Two minutes in, however, the emotion fueled ballad quickly turns into a full on rock number combined with Jackson’s high pitched, soaring vocals. With aggressive percussion and electric guitar after Jackson’s wavering vocals, the listener is pleasantly surprised.

“Set You Free” follows and grabs the listener’s attention with heavy hitting percussion before Jackson’s eased vocals enter. With a soaring saxophone feature mid-track that is reminiscent to that of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band member Clarence Clemons. Additional horn features three minutes in, provides a distinct Motown vibe. As a result, the upbeat number continues to impress with striking piano and Jackson’s energetic singing style.

Next track, “More Than This” follows suit with introspective and relatable lyrics. The song goes on to tell the tale of a woman searching for meaning in her life. Not content with her job or current relationship, Jackson begins to question her hunt for the “superficial and shallow world.” With striking piano, powerful harmonica, and energetic percussion features amid his deeper, yet eased singing style, Jackson once again demonstrates his versatility. An impressive, upbeat scat feature is apparent midway through and at the song’s close, and while there is no concrete resolution, the listener is left optimistic that the woman in the song figured it all out.

Never one to shy away from something new, Jackson’s “Run Away” slows the pace of the LP with delicate strokes of the piano and his soothing vocals. With a full orchestra showcased within the last two minutes of the song, Jackson proves he’s not the average singer-songwriter.

No doubt a hard track to follow, “Portrait” falls flat in comparison to the impressive “Run Away.” A light drum beat lulls the listener into a trance while Jackson’s masked vocals are hard to hear. While perfect for a lullaby, “Portrait” seems misplaced on the album.

Not all is lost, though. “See Your Face” picks things right back up with solid guitar and percussion interludes while the edgy “A Hundred Ways” captivates with a solid bass beat. Never quite sure what to expect next, Jackson continues to impress on the Billy Joel-esque “U Without Me.”

“Wonder Where” closes the LP with light acoustic guitar and Jackson’s familiar soothing vocals. Reflective, he ends his debut release similar to how it began. Wondering where a former love is and if it is possible to rekindle this relationship, the soft track leaves listeners wanting more.

With the goal to make interesting music, Jackson succeeds on his debut release, Blood Eyes Sunrise.
“There’s no reason why popular music can’t be both interesting and accessible. I’m trying to make music with enough depth to sustain the interest of the most discerning listener while simultaneously capturing the heart of a mass audience,” Jackson says.

Lucky for him, he accomplishes exactly this on Blood Eyes Sunrise, a solid first release.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Review by Annie Reuter

Annie’s website: you sing i write

Follow Annie on Twitter

 

2011
11.08

Here it is, my first ever Music Video.

My good friend, and international award winning photographer, Kirsten Flavell and I thought we do something to show off our home town of Penrith. In doing so we discovered that we really do live in a beautiful city, one that looks as cool on film as anywhere in the world. Hope you enjoy.

www.kirstenflavell.com.au

kristianjackson.com

 

 

 

 

 

2011
10.04

2011
07.05

Think Global, Sing Local.

I live in a town of 185,000 people. Sounds like a decent sized population, doesn’t it. Penrith is a city, by definition. A comparable city in the U.S is Salt Lake City . Yes, I know that SLC’s metro area extends to incorporate around 1.2 million people, but that’s still well below Sydney’s metro area of 4.5 million, of which Penrith is a part of. In fact, for those who don’t know, Penrith is only 50kms away from the CBD of Sydney. Based on those numbers, you’d expect that Penrith is a thriving, cosmopolitan place to live with Art galleries, Theatre companies and a killer music scene. Well, two out of three ain’t bad, I guess. Well, that’d be okay if I wasn’t a musician. But I am. Let me go back a couple of steps in the story.

I grew up in this town, my dad is also a musician. I used to delight in giving him a hand with packing his gear into the car, watching him drive off to a venue somewhere to rock the socks off the people he played for. As I got older, I’d spend the time learning a new riff on guitar to show him when he returned at some stupid hour past midnight, until eventually I got to share the stage with him as well. When I think about it, it was a real rite of passage. When I turned 20, I left home, travelled North about 800kms and went to university in a little town called, Lismore. It was there that my musical osmosis really began. Lismore is in the middle of nowhere (from a big city perspective) with numerous pubs and a university. A university that just happened to boast one of the most exciting Music departments in the country at the time. So I guess it was a given that if you throw a heap of musicians in a place miles from anywhere, with a stack of pubs, a thriving music scene would germinate. I remember Lismore at the time (early-mid 90s) being called the Seattle of Australia. If you look at some of the amazing artists that were cutting their teeth at the time, you’d see that it’s true. Sam Hawksley, Darren Hanlon, the members of Grinspoon, Kieran Glasgow, Martha Baartz, Adam O’Connor, Rebecca Henry, The Simpletons, Cartoon, The Hottentots, Skunkhour and to be honest, a stack of others I can’t think of right now. Never mind that our lecturers were the members of Crossfire and so catching Jim Kelly giving Friday night guitar lessons from a stage as he accompanied whatever international act was passing through town. I vividly remember (surprisingly, it was a big night) a John “King” Cleary gig out at Byron Bay. Superb. But I digress. The point is, we would roll out of one pub and into another, and another, and another, and be treated to top quality musicians playing an eclectic range of genres. Seriously, you’d catch a mate’s Jazz Fusion set, hop across the road and watch another mate’s Metal set, walk out of that pub and check out the Funk band playing next door. Yes, Lismore is university town. But wait, Penrith is home to a university too.

After my Lismore experience, I headed further north to Brisbane. Now, while the Brisbane couldn’t match the Lismore experience, it still has a vibrant live original music scene. From what I’m told, this wasn’t always the case . From my understanding, before the 90s, the school of thought in Brisbane was that you headed down to Sydney or Melbourne if you were to make it big. This began to change when bands like Regurgitator, Custard and Powderfinger decided that they wanted to base themselves in their hometown rather than uproot their whole life to the Big Smokes (Sydney and Melbourne) down south. I guess it was a case of a critical mass of Brisbane acts being noticed by the industry and collectively (either deliberately or coincidentally) deciding that they’d play the game on their terms, from their place. Whatever happened, I can tell you that there are plenty of successful Brisbane acts who are succeeding on the world stage and doing it from their home town. Can you see where I’m going with this?

The Western suburbs of Sydney, I’m talking from Parramatta westward, are home to many talented songwriters and performers that cover the gamut of genres (I know there are even a few small record labels out this way too.) And yet, if we want to connect with people in a live performance setting, build our fanbase, we have to travel into the city. Now, I don’t have an issue with travelling into town to play at some of the great venues in there, but here’s the catch. The way things are at the moment, an act has to bring its own audience. In days gone by an act would play it’s best to win over a venue’s clientele, but very few venues have a regular clientele to win over these days and so, in order to have a successful gig, the pressure falls on the act to supply the audience. And boy, there is pressure. I can tell you that many bands play to 10 people or less at many gigs. Now, combine that pressure with having to drag your audience 50kms away from their couch. You get my drift? There are 185,000 people in this town, they shouldn’t have to always drive for an hour to see a good band. Now, I know many bigger acts on larger promoters’ books play Panthers, but Chuggy won’t have a bar of me yet and so unless I hire out  the Evan Theatre myself, the chances of me playing there anytime soon are slim. Besides, one venue doesn’t make a live scene. As the song goes, “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”, so we’re going to start small. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month I’m going to be playing from 11.30am- 1.30pm down at Pep’s Coffee Bar, a local cafe who are big supporters of original music (and of course big fans of mine). As we go along, I’ll be bringing along some other very talented artists to share the gig and introduce them to my home town and vice versa.

Next step, find a local venue for my 11 piece band to play in :)

2011
03.29

The disorder of things

I really have to get better with keeping everyone up to date. I was diagnosed with Perfectionist Procrastination Disorder a while ago now and unfortunately it’s taken hold severely of late. It’s not like I haven’t been doing anything, it’s just that, to sit and write up that newsletter, to get that blog post up, well, it takes me forever to do because, “I want to do it properly”. I think that’s why I love Twitter so much, I’m restricted to a 140 characters. Can’t get too picky about content. Type and hit send. Done. And yet, I can dribble on for ages like I am now and not really say anything at all. Have I made a single point yet? Hmmm, yes, that I procrastinate about doing things right. Right, well, I’m just going to have to get over that, quick smart.

So, what’s been going on? Well, the audio we captured from the launch has been in the capable hands of Sean Carey to be mixed. He sent me the final track today and it sounds great, flaws and all. I don’t mind telling you, there are some corkers (from me) in there. But hey, that’s live performance for ya. Grant keeps reminding me that most live albums are recorded over a series of performances and by bands that had far more rehearsal than we did. In actual fact, we had a mere two. So when you hear it (in the very near future) I think you’ll be impressed.

Which reminds me, I have to check to see how the video footage is progressing…

2011
02.03

Now that the dust has settled a little from Monday night’s brilliant launch, and my brain is functioning again a few people need to be thanked and acknowledged for their massive effort in helping me get to this point so far.

First up, my sensational band.Andrew Taylor & Simon Figliuzzi for putting their hands up to play guitar and learn a whole album in only a couple of weeks. My good friends, Grant Young & Toby Forage, a good rhythm section is hard to find, great ones even harder.You guys are incredible and blow me away every time. To top it off, as friends, you rock.

Now let’s talk about that horn section. Craig McGown, Victor Tuballa, Dave Bannon Did we ever think at school that’d not only would you guys play on my album, but we’d end up launching it at The Basement together? So glad to have you guys on board. And to newcomers Luke Stephens & Tim Coggins, you have a spot on my team anytime.

My musically schizophrenic twin, Matt Vassallo, you’re a legend, that is all.

My extremely talented producer Sean Carey, dude, I could wax lyrical for days about your amazing talent and the fantastic human being you are. We missed you there last night, but newborns bring unscheduled challenges and sacrifices have to be made. If you’re half as good a dad as you are producer/musician, the Jean Genie is a very lucky kid.

Have to also send a big thank you to the video production crew, led by the hard-working (even though he never looks like he is) Wayne Grech. You took a lot of pressure off me by just being so professional and keeping me up to date where things were at. Wish more people in the biz were like you. Looking forward to seeing the footage.

A big shout out too to Matthew Lee for hopping up and pretending to know how to work lights. I think you’ve found a hidden talent.

I know that this seems like a long-winded post, but I want you to be aware that events like Monday night don’t just magically happen on their own. And while my name may be on the door, it’s definitely not a solo effort. My band haven’t been paid a cent for their time, as much as I’d like to, it’s simply not possible while we’re at the beginning of this journey. I’m lucky to just break even. They play because they believe in me and think that I’m worth the investment of their time and energy, and that, is extremely humbling. Hopefully I can repay (and pay) them properly in time.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me from the beginning, through the middle, and who will stick with me to the end. It’s your support that keeps me ploughing on, and it’s the smile on your faces when I play that inspire me to go further. Friends, family, fans, you know who you are. All I can say is, “Thank You.”

Love, Peace and Rock’n”Roll

Kristian

2011
01.17

Kristian Jackson Album LaunchWell, what can I say, it’s finally here, my official album launch. While I know the album’s been available for a few months now, nothing can dampen the excitement that comes from doing a big live show with a full band. Being able to play your songs live is, and always has been, what gets us musicians excited. While I love creating in the studio, nothing beats being on stage with a bunch of your mates and just cranking the tunes out. It gets even better when the audience is into what your doing and the vibe just grows. I hope that people walk away inspired after seeing me perform, and that, for that short period of time they’ve been able to escape “real life” and simply enjoy being immersed in the sound and the words. I’ve got a pretty big show planned with my new powerhouse band and, for the launch, a 6 piece horn section provided by the awesome Turtle Search Big Band.

Details as follows:

When: Jan 31, 2011

Where: The Basement, 7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay. NSW

Time: 8pm

Tickets: $12 from Moshtix or $15 at the door.