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The Australian Road Crew

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Wendy Matthews LIVE at Mudgee RSL 1991 and Bunnemah Estate 1994

Wendy Matthews LIVE at Mudgee RSL 1991 and Bunnemah Estate 1994
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Wendy Matthews

LIVE at Mudgee RSL 1991 and Bunnemah Estate 1994 tape to be dropped 1st May

Wendy Matthews LIVE at Mudgee RSL 1991 and Bunnemah Estate 1994 is the 14th release of the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.

Wendy Matthews 1500

The successful ARCA Desk Tape Series was created by ARCA to raise funds and resources for Support Act’s Roadies Fund to provide financial, health, counselling and well being services for roadies and crew in crisis.

The tapes are released on ARCA’s Black Box Records through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.

Thanks to Wendy Matthews for the photos, Nprint for the cover artwork, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering and Wendy Matthews for supporting roadies and crew.

Wendy Matthews is the 14th artist to throw her support behind ARCA's Desk Tape Series which provides assistant funding for Support Act’s Roadies Fund. Wendy donated two tapes from the era when she made the transition from highly-respected backup singer to multi-platinum solo artist.

The live tapes are made straight off the mixing desk and made by a road crew member, in this case her sound engineer Jim Blackfoot.

The Wendy Matthews LIVE at Mudgee RSL 1991 and Bunnemah Estate 1994 live tapes and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series recordings are available through:   (Please paste into browser if it fails to work)

Apple Music / iTunes
Black Box Records
YouTube Music

The first show was at the Mudgee RSL (NSW) in April 1991, a year after her debut album Émigré went platinum and won her ARIA awards for best female singer and best newcomer (single).

Her hit singles included ‘Token Angels’ (inspired by a tragic school bus crash in Grafton,NSW), ‘Woman's Gotta Have It’ and ‘Let's Kiss (Like Angels Do)’.

It was one of the first shows her band did after just three weeks of rehearsals. Already they were red-hot, quickly adapting to Wendy’s mix of soulful ballads and funk-jazz slammers.

By the time of the second tape, recorded three years later at Bunnamah Estate in Margaret River (WA), she had international tours under her belt, and her stage confidence had soared.

The second album Lily, which reached #2 and certified triple platinum, yielded more hits as

‘The Day You Went Away’, ‘Friday's Child’ and ‘If Only I Could’ and even led to her making her acting debut as a nightclub singer in the 1993 movie Flynn about actor Errol Flynn.

“It was a very prolific time for me, very creative and magical,” Wendy recalls that era. “But it was a bit nerve-wracking because I wasn’t prepared, as a human being and as a dreamer.

“I was used to being in the back line, singing backing vocals as my chosen profession, and it took me a long time to feel more relaxed out in front. So I was still figuring out who and what I was.

“But listening to it now, I seem to have had a strong idea of what I wanted to do musically and what I wanted to say.

“I do marvel at that young voice, I remember in those days thinking I wish I had more depth, age and soul in my voice. Now that I have that depth, age and soul, I’m thinking ‘wow, listen to that clear young high voice.”

Wendy Matthews Live 1991/1994

13/4/91 Mudgee RSL
Mick King              Guitar
Paul Abrahams      Bass
Mark Meyer           Drums
Amanda Brown      Violin, oboe, acoustic guitar
Mark O’Connor      Keyboards

Jim Blackfoot         FOH sound
Davros                   Monitors
Simon Smithers     FOH rigger
Adam Zak              Lights
Yan Jamieson        Stage
Adam Burbury       Stage
Pat Pickett             Truck driver

1994 Bunnamah Estate, Margaret River, WA
Mick King               Guitar
Chris Sweeney      Drums
Ron Francois         Bass
Amanda Brown      Violin, oboe, acoustic guitar
Mark O’Connor      Keyboards
Lisa Maxwell          Backing vocals

Jim Blackfoot
Charlie Zarb
Yan Jamison
Adam Burbury
Adam Zak
Simon Smithers

Many of the band and crew are still with her today. Jim Blackfoot, her front-of-house and tour manager for five years – who recorded Wendy Matthews Live 1991/1994 – remembers how the singer ran her touring party as a family.

“She was absolutely lovely, she was like a mother hen, concerned about every single person in the tour party that they were OK.

“Onstage she has a great time. Off stage, she never complained. In fact she couldn’t get to sleep after a show, so she and guitarist Mick King would come into my room when I was doing the post-show finances and serenade me until 3 in the morning!”

Wendy Mathews and her songs celebrate being a free spirit and outsider and lover of nature. She’s been these all her life.

 Wendy Matthews1      d072bc19c41729900b8527a8f8c5070f

Born in Montreal, Canada, her art school parents split when she was 14. Two years later she left school and went busking across North America with friends.

At 18 she was in Los Angeles busking, making jewellery and working as a session singer.

She did backup vocals on Little River Band co-founder Glenn Shorrock’s solo album, and he invited her back to Australia to sing on tour.

She stayed, singing backup on albums by Jimmy Barnes, Richard Clapton, Tim Finn, Icehouse and Cher, and joining bands as The Models and The Rockmelons (where she first started working with Jim Blackfoot) and Peter Blakeley and The Resurrection.

In 1989 she was part of the supergroup Absent Friends, which included members of INXS and The Models, who had a Top 5 hit with ‘I Don't Wanna Be With Nobody But You’ (which is also on the ARCA live tapes) before going solo.

The nature of her relationship with her audience came from her childhood idol Joni Mitchell.

The legendary fellow Canadian said in interviews it was important for her fans to see themselves, and not her, in her songs and that how they responded was uniquely theirs and made them understand themselves better.

“I’ve kept that quote with me for years,” admits Wendy. “If you think a song is totally about me, and if you don’t see yourself in its lyrics, you’ve missed the point entirely. It’s about us all.

“People come to my shows not to headbang or jump in the moshpit or drop acid, but they dance, and they form conga lines. And if they start crying, which often happens, then I’m so honoured because they’re cleansing and expressing their inner relationship with the song.

“As that old quote goes, some people will love you and some people will hate you, and nothing of it has anything to do with you. It’s entirely their own reference in life. That’s a beautiful thing, and I feel honoured to be a catalyst in that.”

She has lived for the past 20 years on a 10-acre spread on a mountain top outside Coffs Harbour on the NSW in a mud-brick house. Her only companion is her six month half border collie half kelpie Odo, whom she got after her long time border collie companion Bear moved into her next universe.

Wendy is bemused by how strangers she meets insist that she lives in a teepee, is vegetarian, abstains from alcohol and meditates every day. It isn’t the case but she doesn’t worry: “they project on to people they don’t know but have accessed through lyrics or photos.

Wendy is currently writing her next album, to release through her own Barking Bear record label.

Two people in her life intensified Wendy’s living her life according to her own rules.

One is her mother, another free spirit, a one time art student who taught special needs children and, now at age 89, conducts eight classes of yoga a week.

The other is late US modernistic painter Georgia O’Keeffe, who left her husband and New York City to live in the desert by herself in a once-abandoned hacienda in Abiquiú, painting the New Mexico landscape and animal skulls.

Wendy who still has a photo of O’Keeffe on her table for inspiration, and who made regular pilgrimages to her home and museum, wrote the song ‘Georgia’s Song’ which is also on the tapes.

“In the song I tried to convey her love of the desert and her single-mindedness (she had trouble being a wife in the city of New York, which I could relate to), her independence, her strengths, and how you can be different from the crowd and still be inspiring to many others.

“I live very remotely up in the mountains and I couldn’t care less what people think of me. I’ve taken aspects of her life and made them my own.”

ARCA would like to thank the following sponsors of The Desk Tape Series:-

Sponsor                 Industry Roles
Showtech                Rigging                            
CMI                         P.A and Production                      
Clearlight                Lighting                                     
DSE Trucks            Transport                                   
Scully Outdoors      Outdoor Production           
Gigpower                Crewing and Staging                             
Lock and Load        Crewing                           
Chameleon Touring  Production and Lighting                         
JPJ                          P.A and Lighting                                             
Novatech                 P.A and Lighting     
Phaseshift               Lighting                                     
Show FX Australia   Pyrotechnics                     
Event Personnel Australia   Crewing                           
Norwest                  P.A and Lighting Production
Nprint                     Artwork

Ian Peel and Adrian Anderson
ARCA Co-founders and Directors.

Note from founders:-
"ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honor for us to be able to present these memories to all."

All Hail Roadies and Crew

"Looking after OUR OWN with FEELING and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE"

All enquiries contact :

          Adrian Anderson     0409 789 440
          Ian Peel            0415 667 221


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