***NEW VIDEO RELEASE*** for 'REAL PEOPLE' CLICK HERE - Filmed and edited by Zac Agius

BIOGRAPHY

Linda Mizzi is a singer songwriter based in Katoomba NSW in the Blue Mountains. Seamlessly blending folk, jazz and blues, she draws on influences as diverse as Rickie Lee Jones, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Doris Day! Much to the delight of some, Linda refuses to fit comfortably into any one musical niche – instead weaves all her musical influences – along with life experiences, melodies and lyrics into her songs. 

She is joined by band members; Alexander Keller on bass guitar, Stefano Cosentino on lead guitar, Ian Neil Morrison on drums and percussion, Sonja Keller on violin, and Simon Crosbie on harmonica. Linda and the band recently performed at the Blue Mountains Music Festival in March, have been accepted into Folk by the Sea in September this year and have also performed at the Maldon Folk Festival in Victoria and the Gulgong Folk Festival in 2017.

Linda’s new album titled REAL PEOPLE was released in May 2018 – and launched at three separate venues in NSW and the ACT.

pic by Victor Zubakin

ALBUM REVIEW

Posted: May 27, 2018 (wordsaboutmusic) linked at end

by John Hardaker 

Like many communities outside the main urban centres, the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, has long had a thriving and self-seeding music scene. Artists as diverse as hip hoppers Hermitudeand DIY roots wizard Claude Hay have sprung from the Mountains musical melting pot.

Linda Mizzi is a Blue Mountains singer-songwriter who, over a relatively short time, has come to the attention of festival audiences local and interstate. Her debut album, Real People, will doubtless expand her audience with its honesty, charm and simple gifts.

These twelve songs are written and sung very much from the heart. They are songs of everyman’s (and everywoman’s) blues – songs of longing, pain, joy and going down that road again.

Beautifully captured by Alexander Keller, who also plays bass (and sundry incidental instruments), the songs are allowed to breathe in their own atmosphere, rollout under their own sky. The musicians Mizzi has assembled have perfectly realised the nuances of her melodies and stories with intuition and balance, never cluttering or cloying the performances. Keller and Mizzi have gone for a widescreen Americana palette here – desert moods and lonesome highways, the guitar of Stefano Cosentino painting the rangy vistas with reverb, tremelo and just plain good taste, and drummers Lindsay Tebbutt and Ian Morrison kicking things along with just the right amount of boot-heel.  

Players are added where needed – harp player Simon Crosbie breathes blues into ‘Crooked Man’ and ‘Mademoiselle”s rock’n’roll; Vince Pace‘s ethereal electric piano shimmers on ‘Qiqihar’ and his acoustic playing grounds the album closer ‘The Kind’ in gospel solemnity.

But it is Mizzi’s songs and her voice that make Real Peoplesuch a pleasure. Her vocal has the country of Patty Griffin and Alison Krauss in it, but when the emotion rises, a honeyed burr enters the edge of it, to tell some low down Lucinda Williams tale. The album’s only cover, a measured and delicate reading of The Choirboys‘ (drummer Tebbutt’s old band) ‘Run to Paradise’ reminds of The Cowboy Junkies‘ hazy 1988 take on Lou Reed‘s ‘Sweet Jane’ – a ballad-like interpretation of a rocker, that turns the lyrics around to mean quite something else.

Real People is an impressive debut – especially considering Mizzi’s relative newcomer status. Doubtless it is that freshness that has her never second-guessing her listeners but speaking clear and pure from the heart. 

Real People is real. And you don’t have to do much to be convinced, other than taking a listen. I think you should.

https://wordsaboutmusic.wordpress.com/tag/linda-mizzi/

LITTLE FISH CHOIR WITH CATE BLANCHETT

Picture with the children, Cate Blanchett, Rowan Wood (Director) and Linda Mizzi

A highlight back in 2005 (and one that she treasures) for Linda - was leading her Cabramatta children's school choir in a rendition of Cold Chisel's 'Flame Trees' for the Australian hit film 'Little Fish' starring Cate Blanchett.

Little Fish was a 2005 Australian film directed by Rowan Woods and written by Jacquelin Perske. It was filmed in and around Sydney, in Cabramatta and in Fairfield. The film was developed and produced by Vincent Sheehan and Liz Watts of Porchlight Films with Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton's production company Dirty Films, receiving an Associate Producer credit.

Little Fish was released on 8 September 2005 in Australia. It received positive reviews from critics.

The movie starring Cate Blanchett was about Tracy Heart, a former heroin addict who is desperately trying to escape her past and achieve her goals and dreams. Tracy lives with her mother (Noni Hazlehurst) and brother in the Little Saigon area (Cabramatta) in Sydney, where heroin is readily available.

How it came about that Linda's choir got to sing for this film is a story she would have to sit down over a coffee and chat about :)

Below is the link to the beautiful rendition of 'Flame Trees' that the children sung - "not pitch perfect" Linda always said, but "perfectly beautiful and honest".  It was recorded on the 'wonky' old piano in the school hall.  Linda was told on the day by Producer Vincent Sheehan that Don Walker had planned to come that day and play for the recording. The kids were so beautiful - Linda helped the kids along with the big chorus with a bit of cut and paste harmonies ;) always keeping it real!

The rendition of Flame Trees played over the airwaves by the kids once brought a truck driver to tears - ringing in saying he couldn't get into gear because he was crying too much :)

LITTLE FISH LINK

Flame Trees written by Steve Prestwich and Don Walker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPPRXQTKbPA

ALEX KELLER

BASS GUITAR/CELLO

Alex’s love of music began at an early age, learning piano at age six, and cello in his early teens. In his late teens he started to dabble with the bass guitar. As a cellist, Alex performed with the Sydney and SBS Youth Orchestras and toured throughout Australia, Asia and the South Pacific region. He was also the cellist for the SBS String Quartet.

Alex began his career as an Audio Engineer in 1996, teaching at JMC’s Academy of Audio Engineers, and opening up his own recording studio the following year with his business partner and friend, Alan James. Alex began working for the Wiggles in 1998 and since then, has recorded and mixed over 20 Wiggle’s albums and toured all over Australia, USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, UAE and Asia. Alex has also been the Front of House (FOH) engineer for the Cockroaches reunion shows, Greg Page and the TCB band (Elvis’s Band, both in Australia and Vegas), Bindi Irwin and the Crockmen for G’day Australia in L.A and New York, among many others. Alex has also mixed albums for Portico, Hobo Grace, The Soul Movers and Jimmy Barnes children’s album, Och Aye the G’nu.

As a bass player, Alex has performed with the Wiggle’s Big Show, Over 18’s, iTunes, with Jamie Oliver and on Rove Live. Other performance highlights have been with The Cockroaches(charity event), Hair Healers (Cockroaches support band featuring Emma, Lachy and Anthony Wiggle ), Graft, The Bagatelles, Bo Ho Soul and with Fabba, which have toured Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and all over Australia. Alex has been The Wiggles session bass player since 2009. Other musician recording credits include The Soul Movers, Jimmy Barnes Och Aye the G’nu, Jodie Gillies, Portico, Hobo Grace and Graft.  

Alex runs a successful mixing suite in the Blue Mountains and composes music for film and television with fellow multi instrumentalist, Vince Pace (Graft Productions).

Alex has performed with Linda Mizzi since the middle of 2016. In such a short time, there have been many highlights including; Hotel Blue (Katoomba), Holly May’s Tea and Coffee House (Windsor), Mesa Barrio (Lawson) and the Maldon Folk Festival. The coming months is looking exciting with a new CD and performing at the Gulgong Folk Festival in December and the Blue Mountains Music Festival in March 2018.

STEFANO COSENTINO

LEAD GUITAR

Stefano Cosentino is no stranger to creativity.  A multi-instrumentalist, growing up playing percussion, singing in choir and more, led him to perform all over the United States and Australia - discovering guitar, bass, saxophone, didgeridoo, banjo and many other instruments. 

It comes as no surprise that each song will be played with respect and justice to the style that ensures Stefano provides the Midas touch to any piece. 

Stefano is also a composer for backing tracks, radio stations, soundscapes and soundtracks for short film, keeping up with the state-of-the-art in musical and recording technology. Always on time. Always in tune. Always sounding great. Always with a smile!

IAN NEIL-MORRISON

DRUMS/PERCUSSION

Ian's first influence was Ringo's water colour drumming with the beatles, but like most drummers he loved the flash and power of Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell.  

For the last 15 years Ian has worked mostly  in acoustic based bands - in particular 'Lime and Steel', a Blue Mountains based band which was predominantly Blue Grass.  'Lime and Steel' recorded 4 albums and played many festivals around the country.

In the folk scene Ian developed his skills on brushes and spoons!  - and became no stranger to some of the late night sessions on the festival circuit!

Ian likes working with songwriters and trying to enhance the song, not just through beats, but textures and colours.  In many ways he has gone back to his first influence - Ringo - working for the song and the lyrics.

Ian and Linda have known each other for over six years and he has always supported her as a singer songwriter. Ian performed with Linda in her earlier bands - playing drums and percussion...and for the odd song.... 'the spoons!'.  Linda recently asked Ian if he would like to join her again on her new venture! 

SIMON CROSBIE

HARMONICA

At a young age, Simon was inspired by harmonica players, Larry Adler and Max Geldray, and was given his first harmonica for his 9th birthday. Before car radios were common, he would play all the popular show songs of the day on holiday drives with everyone singing along.

In his 20’s, he started dabbling in blues harp, but it was in The Blue Mountains in the early 80’s that he started playing more Blues, initially casually with a few friends, “Los Trios Chokos” and then, along with John Stuart, Greg McClain and Dave Crestani, formed “The G Men.” They toured Australia for 15 years, played at the Byron Blues Festival, and released their popular CD of original music, “Red Dirt Blues.”

Simon played with the band “Hobo Grace” back in  2013 and 2014 and more recently sits in with the “Mountain Jazz Trio,” - having played at the Merimbula Jazz Festival now for 3 successive years. He currently performs with Linda Mizzi and her band - and has recently recorded on her album, “Real People.”

SONJA KELLER JOINS THE BAND ON VIOLIN

We were joined by SONJA KELLER on violin for the first time at the Gulgong Folk Festival in Decemeber.  Since then, it has been a beautiful thing! Sonja will be collaborating with us more in 2018 and I am so happy about this.  She has also been in the process of adding  string parts on some of the tracks on the REAL PEOPLE album.

LINDSAY TEBBUTT RECORDS DRUMS/PERCUSSION FOR THE 'REAL PEOPLE' ALBUM - THANK YOU TO A GOOD FRIEND AND A GREAT MAN!

LINDSAY TEBBUTT

Lindsay Tebbutt is a drummer/ percussionist and vocalist - who occasionally likes to pick up a guitar!  As the long time drummer for The Choirboys – (the Australian hard rock band from Sydney who formed in 1978) – he is no stranger to the Australian music scene. The band whose set-up saw many changes went on to release 8 studio albums from 1983 to 2007. Their 1987 single 'Run to Paradise' remains their biggest commercial success.

Lindsay is based in the Blue Mountains and is well known amongst musicians in the mountain music scene - performing with many bands, tribute outfits and guesting at various events.

Lindsay has known Linda Mizzi for nearly 8 years and has been performing with her on and off for the last 4 years.  He has recently been collaborating with her and other band members on the songs for her upcoming new album – recently having recorded drums and percussion on all tracks. 

LULU LEVINS-SKEHILL GRACES US WITH HER BACKING VOCALS

The  album just got 'Realer!'. We had Lulu Levins-Skehill and Simon Crosbie come into the studio this week to add to the album.  Simon Crosbie put down some great harp parts for four of the tracks.  It was so nice to have him on board with the album.

We then had Lulu come into grace us with her amazing vocals.  There were two specific songs that I always heard Lulu's backing vocals on.  I was honoured that she agreed.  I had a listen to the mixes again two days ago, and it is truly beautiful stuff.

UP COMING EVENTS/GIGS AND A BIG THANK YOU!

BAND PIC GALLERY