Doctor Baz Projects (8)

Heaven & Hell : the Friendship of the Big O & the Man in Black

The Story of Two Music Legends

One of rock music's most gifted singers, Roy Orbison grew up in Texas and worked in the oil fields, dreaming of music success. He was gifted with a clear tenor that soared into an angelic falsetto, later adored the world over. After a chance meeting with Johnny Cash, he was introduced to Sun Records by this new friend, and went on to enjoy a string of hits from the late 1950's through the mid–1960s. He moved between two music styles –– up-tempo rockabilly songs . . . and dramatic ballads of isolation and longing. He was a shy, staid, almost motionless performer, his mouth barely seeming to move as he sang his songs’ poignant and often painful lyrics, with his swept back pompadour (his almost white hair was always dyed black) and a mysterious aloofness behind his trademark black, thick-lensed dark glasses Just weeks before his death on Dec. 6, 1988, Roy Orbison told Rolling Stone magazine that he couldn’t sum up his life in a paragraph, but might be able to do it through his songs. "Parts of Crying, parts of Pretty Woman, too, and Running Scared. . . . Pieces of my songs would tell the story." After his career waned he made a huge comeback with the Supergroup "The Travelling Wilberries".

Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, was a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose prolific music innovatively mixed country, rock, blues and gospel influences. Born in 1932 in Arkansas, Johnny Cash grew up on a poor cotton farm and joined the Air Force in 1950. He co-founded a band following his discharge, and within a few years Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two had scored hits with songs like "Walk the Line." Cash's career was nearly derailed in the 1960s by a serious substance-abuse problem, but his marriage to June Carter and acclaimed album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) put him back on track. In later years, Cash joined the country supergroup the Highwaymen and went on to release a series of award winning barebones solo recordings with producer Rick Rubin. He died of complications from diabetes on September 12, 2003.

Roy Orbison first met Johnny Cash when they both performed live to air at a small Texas radio station - Roy was the lead vocalist with a rising local band who had won a resident spot on the show, while Johnny was in Texas with Carl Perkins to promote his first chart success "Cry Cry Cry". Johnny heard Roy sing and was so impressed he offered to help him get in front of legendary Sam Philips, the head of the iconic Sun Records, with the aim of securing a record contract. It was the beginning of a lifetime friendship, as the two men embarked on their unique individual wild ride to music stardom. For over a half a century they experienced a parallel journey through the highs and lows, the pressures of celebrity, personal tragedy, incredible success, disappointments and falures, come-backs and Super Groups, each attaining legendary status as towering figures of popular music, remaining close friends to the end.

Both these wonderful musical talents have left us now, and, in this fantasy show, we meet our two legends in the Waiting Room at the Pearly Gates, where they discover that they each have serious misgivings about how they will be received by Saint Peter ... ...and they begin to recount stories of their lives, both men concerned at how the excesses of their youth will be measured in the Great Big Ledger of Life...

Johnny Cash was a wildman in his youth and with a deep, dark voice and a penchant for women, drugs and drinking there is no doubt he had a devil to deal with. Roy, with the voice of an angel was a different kind of man, and that contrast in singing style and lifestyle makes for a fascinating story. It is not widely known that, at the time of Roy Orbison's greatest personal tragedy - two of his three young sons were killed when his house burnt down while he was touring the UK - Johnny stepped in to help his friend who could not face returning to the scene of his loss, and he bought the property from Roy and preserved it as a tribute to these lost innocents.

In a macabre twist, Johnny later built another house on the property and it too was consumed by fire. Thus this highly entertaining show weaves together two fascinating life stories and a series of wonderful songs which are amongst the most widely know and loved hit songs of popular music history. With both performers strong vocalists and possessing unique gifts as multi instrumentalists, this show can be presented with a cast of just two - with live musical backing (no fake backing tracks) - Slim plays double bass to Barry's highly skilled guitar in the Johnny Cash songs, and Barry plays drums & keyboards to Slim's guitar in the Roy Orbison songs.

Byron Bay based musicians Barry Ferrier and Slim Pickens met in 2002 at the weekly open mic night at a hotel in the quaint rural town of Bangalow and immediately forged a friendship and creative partnership that has endured 15 years. Throughout these years they have been performing their Ry Cooder style blues and roots music together as "Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz" and in this format they have played at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, Blues on Broadbeach Festival, the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Gympie Music Muster, as well as hundreds of shows in pubs and clubs up and down the eastern seaboard and have released two albums, "Cactus" and "Next Time".

In 2005 and 2006 they travelled to Norway to perform at two festivals and clocked up over 60 gigs there as well as performing in London and touring Northern Ireland. They have also worked together in the rockabilly showband "the Purple Drippers" performing at the Coolie Rocks Festival and the Gympie Music Muster.

For the past few years Slim and Barry have enjoyed great success with a stage musical written by Barry on the life of Johnny Cash entitled "I Hear That Train a-Comin' : the Johnny Cash Story" which has recently returned from a sell out mini-tour, including shows at Darwin & Alice Springs Entertainment Centres, and acclaimed performances at some of the biggest venues in Sydney, (and also features their talented friends Ilona Harker as June Carter and Mark Heazlitt as Luther Perkins). Barry's ability to emulate the unique deep voice of Johnny Cash is mirrored by Slim's powerful tenor that soars effortlessly to the vocal range made famous by Roy Orbison. When they discovered that Roy and Johnny were life-long friends, it was just too tantalizing not to try to put together a new show that showcased this great story and their own friendship and equally contrasting voices.

Thus was born a new musical tribute show that weaves together the amazing story of these two legendary performers in a fascinating journey through their epic lives and their repertoire of famous and widely loved songs. 

"We became like brothers, right from the start..... and it stayed that way right to the end." 

Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash Tribute Show

The Australian Johnny Cash Tribute Show

Country Superstar Johnny Cash was a music industry legend for half a century with an instantly recognisable voice and style. The hit movie "I Walk the Line" introduced his dramatic life story and his unmistakeable, tough music to a younger generation of music lovers. Johnny Cash fans now cover three generations.

Even people who might secretly confess to hating Country Music are nevertheless fired up with enthusiasm about his legendary up-tempo hits such as Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, Get Rhythm, I Walk the Line - there are just so many great and unique songs in the Johnny Cash repertoire.

Those familiar with the highly successful bio-pic will know of the enduring love story between Johnny Cash and June Carter. A member of the iconic country music group The Carter Family, June grew up in showbiz and became an accomplished comedienne. singer, and song writer - a true music professional and star in her own right. Together they were a towering force in American Music.

Vocalist & writer Barry Ferrier has brought together a team of talented performers to create an immersive music theatre show based on the Cash Story and interaction between these two gifted and unique music artists, told in the first person with insights into Johnny & the Tennessee Two's wild ride from obscurity to stardom. 

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Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz

Cajun Cowboy Blues

Blues music has a feeling of authenticity because it grew spontaneously out of life experience - as a release from the grind, an outburst of joy, a beat you could dance to.  Blues music continues to play a big part in popular music history: look back and you'll find the blues is one of the authentic roots of most contemporary popular music styles. It is this sense of authenticity which gives blues and other genuine folk music styles a sense of timelessness.

Fast forward to the era of digital music. Technology has changed our relationship to music and influenced the music we hear on the airwaves. Digital sound "sampling" has produced a revolution in popular music making and pop has become a kaleidoscopic melting pot of musical genres. The commercial sheen of this ocean of digital music can ultimately make music seem bland, and authentic forms of folk music like the blues become increasingly attractive to musicians of all kinds, as they mature. To seek that nostalgic, quirky magic of authenticity becomes the passion.

Australian acoustic music duo Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz have been making that journey back to the sources of their favourite popular music styles for many years now and from these explorations have distilled their own unique musical vision that is an affectionate and whimsical tribute to the early delta blues masters - those enigmatic pioneering guitarists and amazingly versatile songwriters and story tellers.

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Academic Career & PhD Abstract

ACADEMIC CAREER

 Barry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts form the University of Sydney majoring in Psychology in 1974. He completed a Diploma of Music Composition under Dr. James Penberthy and Richard Mills at Southern Cross University in 1984. He began lecturing in Music Business and tutoring in guitar at Southern Cross University in the mid eighties and graduated with  Bachelor of Letters (Honours) from Deakin University in 1987. In the 90s  Barry Ferrier was appointed Assistant Professor of Multimedia at Bond University on Queensland's Gold Coast, where he also lectured in the School of Film and TV in Video Production and Music Video. He has held lecturing positions in multimedia and music at Griffith University at Southport, Southern Cross University in Lismore  and for three years at Central Queensland University. He has also taught multimedia and graphic design at Kingscliff TAFE for five years and the School of Audio Engineering  in Byron Bay. He began studying for his Doctor of Philosophy in music and Southern Cross University but two years work on his thesis was destroyed in a housefire in 1994. He later began a new PhD project focussing on the emerging multimedia art technology which he completed through Southern Cross University in 2007.

Multimedia as Meta-Art:

The processes and aesthetics of interactive digital art. A folio of Original Multimedia and Supporting Documentation

© 2004 Barry Ferrier, B.A., Dip. Music (Comp.), B.Litt. (Hons.).

A dissertation presented to the School of Contemporary Arts, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW, in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. June, 2004.

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Pete C. & Dr. Baz

Since the Doctor was asked to fill in for John Hill in the Byron Bay soul band "The Propellers", Doctor Baz has found a great connection with their frontman and highly respected Byron Bay based blues singer and guitarist Peter Claydon who is known widely as Pete C., (also frontman to the local legends "The Soul Shakers") . They hit it off so well they have gone on to form a unique blues duo and begun perfroming locally after a debut gig at the legendary Railway Froiendly Bar in Byron Bay.  With diverse and mature music skills,  powerful blues feelfeel and  is a classy, and full bodied gritty sound they immediately shone with all the hallmarks of a classic blues outfit . They have now begun a residency at Mullumbimby ex-Serviceman's Club billed as "Acoustic Lounge Adventures" - every second Thursday of the month.

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Kobya & Dr. Baz - African beats, World Music & Classic Reggae

“KOBYA” (aka Carlos X Panguana) grew up in the African township in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, a country gripped by war for many years. He became the youngest member of Xingombela youth dance troupe at age of 7.

 After playing professional soccer as a teenager, he packed his bags and headed to Gauteng, also known as Johannesburg or city of gold, in South Africa, to join his other family members. As he had damaged his knees playing soccer, he joined the fashion world and studied photography. The struggle for the right to be recognized as a human being intensified as the South African government imposed a state of emergency. KOBYA had no other choice but to join the struggle as freelance photojournalist and reporter. He was later forced to flee as a political refugee.

Music remained his lifeblood through out the journey. He is evolved into a gifted performer singer song writer and versatile multi-instrumentalist, In his unique and vibrant music he mixes roots (Marrabenta Mozambique Popular dance Music) & classic reggae, occasionally throwing in some lovers rock, to create his own original blend of contemporary world msic and pop. He tells his story with grace and ebullience, covering social and environmental issues, love, war and the despair of his fellow Mozambicans... while celebrating life.

The salt of the Earth journeyman, KOBYA learnt how to abstract his craft turning pain to joy. This amazingly down to earth, warm character combines his sense of humor with powerful soulful and rich tenor voice, to reach out his young and old fans across race, age and culture.

In recent years he moved to he musical Mecca of Byron Bay, Australia and at a local anti-CSG rally he met a kindred soul in the fellow musician and celebrated local character Barry Ferrier, aka Dr. Baz.  Their instant rapport led to a spontaneous musical chemistry and firm friendship that set them on a path to create ecstatic fusion music together. Dr. Baz has a pedigree of top level music credits and brings soarng lead guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics and a soulful musical feel to their exciting shows. These two men from such different worlds demonstrate through their obvious affinity and camaraderie how music can be a bond that transcends cultural barriers.

Their music puts a smile on your face and makes you want to sing and dance! Kobya continues to explore and express his soul on this musical journey, he is currently working on a new album 'MoFyah' dedicating his work to the Highest Force, giving thanks through his lyrics as a free man & advocate of Truth, with the collaboration of Dr. Baz's wizardry on soaring guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics. 

This fascinating World Music and reggae duo  performer with a dynamic rhythm section of Slim Pickens on bass and Neil McCann on drums who bring their awesome vocal talents to create a spine tingling harmony sound. In bigger shows they invite dynamic guest players, drawn from the impressive ranks of the Byron Bay music community.

 

TWO SONGS ARE AVAILABLE AS A SAMPLE (ABOVE IMAGE) .PLEASE CLICK MP3 player.

Kobya and Dr Baz

 

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Johnny Cash Tribute Show

The Australian Johnny Cash Tribute Show

Country Superstar Johnny Cash was a music industry legend for half a century with an instantly recognisable voice and style. The hit movie "I Walk the Line" introduced his dramatic life story and his unmistakeable, tough music to a younger generation of music lovers. Johnny Cash fans now cover three generations.

Even people who might secretly confess to hating Country Music are nevertheless fired up with enthusiasm about his legendary up-tempo hits such as Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, Get Rhythm, I Walk the Line - there are just so many great and unique songs in the Johnny Cash repertoire.

Those familiar with the highly successful bio-pic will know of the enduring love story between Johnny Cash and June Carter. A member of the iconic country music group The Carter Family, June grew up in showbiz and became an accomplished comedienne. singer, and song writer - a true music professional and star in her own right. Together they were a towering force in American Music.

Vocalist & writer Barry Ferrier has brought together a team of talented performers to create an immersive music theatre show based on the Cash Story and interaction between these two gifted and unique music artists, told in the first person with insights into Johnny & the Tennessee Two's wild ride from obscurity to stardom. 

Read more...

Dr.Baz Pianoman

Dr. Baz is a dazzling guitarist but in addition, through his desire to write songs at the piano, has gradually moulded himself into a very accomplished piano player, adding an extra string to his musical bow, and over the past ten years he also has begun to perform regularly as a pianoman entertainer in clubs, hotels and weddings across the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast. He has entertained at literally scores of weddings and corporate functions, delivering his smooth renditions of a wide range of ballads, pop classics, fun swing tunes and dynamic cover songs.


He has the versatility to cross over between genres and serve up the great jazz standards, swing blues, and the hits of the great piano songwriters such as Billy Joel and Elton John with a warm, sophisticated sound.

His extensive repertoire includes soulful interpretations of Leonard Cohen, upbeat country from Johnny Cash, and stirring versions of many of the great songwriters and singers, contemporary hits, but also travelling back in time to the fifties rock of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, 60s classics by the greats such as Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and some great Aussie pop songs... it’s all great entertainment.  His piano style really swings and his voice has a texture and deep authority.

It’s just a lot of fun! Requests can be written on a fifty dollar note!

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