Tori Forsyth & Carl The Bartender

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Sunday 29th July, 3pm. Free entry.

Tori Forsyth

It may be a little more than two years between writing her first proper song and the release of her debut album, but Tori Forsyth would tell you it's not exactly right to say her dreams are coming true.

Sure, the success of her early singles, including hitting #1 with more than 2 million streams on the Spotify most viral chart with New Walls, and her continuing work with award-winning producer Shane Nicholson, is exciting.

And she loves the sound and feel of this album which can spin from traditional, almost homespun sounds in Grave Robber's Daughter to rock-splashed guitars in White Noise and beautifully arranged strings in Hell's Lullaby.

However, there are some dreams Forsyth wouldn't admit to herself for a long time, growing up first on a rural property on the Central Coast and then a 62-acre spread near Congewai, a tiny Hunter Valley village where "literally the town is a street" she describes with an affectionate laugh. Poetry and songwriting was stuff other people did, not this farm kid.

There's plenty of that truth in her storytelling, with its characters looking for ways to make sense of the world, and her voice, which can be languid or strong but always straight to you.

Not surprisingly, Tori is honest about where she sits musically. While happily seeing herself as a country artist – there's no denying it in the pretty, chiming loneliness of Heart's On The Ground - Tori isn't restricted by it.

See for example how the deliberately "dirty" vocal sound and frank examination of religion in Redemption draws on a modern rock band like Pretty Reckless as much as old time music.

There's plenty more where that came from says Tori. "I love the ethos of country music, but I do think I can float into to other parts of music which is why alt.country is a good title for what I do."

And she's only just begun.

Carl The Bartender

One hundred years ago carl the bartender would have jumped freight trains or stowed away on tramp steamers.

He would have written novels in the heart of darkness, painted portraits of exotic womanhood and been a guide through the jungles at the furthest outposts of civilisation.

In this day, carl the bartender uses songs, his voice and a guitar to travel a road from city to country, sharing his simple songs about complex things: love, family
and home.

Phrases turn, emotions connect, melodies soar.

You sing along even though you've never heard the tune before.

Carl writes from a perspective of distance and interludes of life on the roads that lead from small towns to big cities.