Colin Hay at the Palace of Fine Arts

Red Devil Lounge Presents

Colin Hay at the Palace of Fine Arts

Tony Furtado

Sat, April 6, 2013

8:00 pm

Palace of Fine Arts

$25.00 - $60.00

This event is 18 and over

Doors are at 7pm. We will see you soon!

Colin Hay
Colin Hay
Colin Hay may be best known as the lead singer for Men At Work, the platinum selling

Australian band that topped worldwide charts in the 80s with anthems like “Down Under”,“Overkill,” and “Who Can It Be Now?” Hay’s justifiably proud of his place in pop history, but
since moving to Los Angeles in 1989, he’s made 11 solo albums and is confident that Gathering Mercury is the best of the lot.

“These are some of the strongest songs I’ve ever written,” Hay says from his home studio in the hills of Topanga Canyon. “The loss of my father last year brought an unavoidable emotional
contingent to writing and recording. I don’t have a definitive belief in an afterlife, but I do feel like I had his help when I was working on this album, especially alone late at night, in the studio.”

Hay recorded and produced the ten songs on Gathering Mercury in his home studio, with the help of drummer Randy Cooke, bassist Joe Karnes, and guitarist Sean Woostenhulme, from his touring band and friends like bass player Jimmy Earl and pianist Jeff Babko from Jimmy Kimmel’s band, drummer Charlie Paxson, Cuban percussionist Luis Conte (Madonna, Ray
Charles) and his wife Cecilia Noel on backing vocals. The arrangements feature Hay’s quizzical, instantly recognizable tenor supported by acoustic instruments and melodic electric guitar accents. The album was beautifully mixed by longtime friend and composer/producer Chad Fischer.

“Send Somebody,” the album’s first single, was co-written with guitarist/songwiter Michael Georgiades, who provides not only the main chord structure, but the understated solo that sets up
the song’s touching bridge. The hypnotic pop melody is augmented by Chad Fisher’s work on piano, xylophone and drums. The tune was inspired by a late night phone conversation. “You call tech support one night around midnight and actually get a human being on the line,” Hay explains. “The unexpected connection with a stranger is often easier to make than one with people you know. It brings up the longing for connection we all feel.

“Dear Father” is a poignant Celtic folk-like tune with Hay’s 12-string guitar and melancholy vocal taking center stage. Cellist Oliver Kraus overdubbed the burnished string section. “This
song was written and recorded almost instantaneously, a gift from beyond, if you will. The night my father died, I was in Glasgow on the river Clyde, about 20 streets away from where he was born. There’s some kind of bleak poetry in that, very bleak.”

“Far From Home” has the reggae lilt of a contemporary Men At Work tune. Jeff Babko’s Hammond B3, Cook’s inspired drum part, and Hay’s rhythm guitar add to the melody’s hypnotic
feel. “I don’t know if it’s reggae as such,” Hay says. “But when I play electric guitar, the rhythm I feel is on the offbeat. It’s my natural default.”

Other standouts include Michael Georgiades’ “Half a Million Angels,” with sublime performances by all; the darkly humorous “A Simple Song,” which deals with the complexities of long term relationships with Hay on mandola and the buoyant vaudeville tune “Where the Sky Is Blue,” a song Hay imagined his father singing to his mother before they married. “He was asking her to join him and create a life together, which they did.”

The tunes on Gathering Mercury are deeply affecting, but never maudlin. Despite the often serious subject matter, they’re full of optimism. “It’s not a conscious thing and may have to do
with the Scottish mentality. We deal with darkness by shining a light on it. It doesn’t diminish the charge of the feeling, it just makes it easier to deal with.”

Although he’s one of Australia’s best-known exports, Colin Hay was born in Kilwinning, Scotland. “I wasn’t in bands as a boy,” he recalls, “but I was surrounded by music. My mom and

dad had a music shop, so there were instruments everywhere. The Hit Parade list came in every Monday morning, so obviously I knew The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who,
Screaming Lord Sutch, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddie And The Dreamers and, of course, Cliff Richard.

"I started playing guitar when I was 12. “My father and mother had music in their DNA; they passed it on to me. As a teenager, my dad was a singer and dancer on the vaudeville stage. He later became a piano tuner. My mother also could hold a tune, and is a great dancer, and there were many people in my extended family known for their singing abilities. When I heard The Beatles and read (John Lennon’s) Spaniard in the Works, I knew this was a world I wanted to be part of.”

Hay taught himself to play guitar and, when the family moved to Melbourne in 1967, he found himself in the middle of a thriving musical community. “The late 60s and early 70s were remarkable, a golden age for Australian rock music. There were lots of places to play, fantastic bands and lots of great musicians. A lot of them never saw the light of day, but there was uniqueness and brilliance.” One of those musicians was guitarist Ron Strykert. Hay was impressed by his musicality and technique. They started playing as an acoustic duo and Hay
began writing songs. “We liked all kinds of musicians and writers, like Ry Cooder, John Martyn, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and the Beatles obviously, the reggae of Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff to name a few. I’d always wanted to be in a great rock band. So, in the middle of 1979, we were joined by drummer Jerry Speiser, whom I met at university, and sax and flautist Greg Ham, whom I’d known since schooldays. “Men At Work” was formed, and off we went. Bass player John Rees joined a couple of months later.

Men At Work built up a strong local following and got signed by CBS Australia. Their first album, Business as Usual, released in 1981, went 5X platinum within the first year, won a Grammy, topped charts all over the world and ultimately sold more than 10 million copies. Their second album, Cargo, also went multi-platinum and moved five million copies, but inner disputes put an end to the original line up. Hay and Ham finished one more record as Men At Work, 1985’s Two Hearts, then went their separate ways.

“I made a solo rock album for Columbia called Looking for Jack in 1987,” Hay says. “When it wasn’t commercially successful, I got the feeling that Columbia didn’t know what to do with me,
so I took up an offer from MCA Records, and Columbia let me go.” Hay went back to his original musical inspirations for Wayfaring Sons, an album with Celtic folk influences for the
MCA record. They dropped him soon after. “I’d moved to the States in ‘89, and soon realized I’d have to work harder for more modest returns. I started my own label, Lazy Eye Records, and set about building a new audience, through writing, recording and touring.” It’s been hand to hand combat ever since, but nourishing work at the same time.”

Hay has released nine albums since founding Lazy Eye in 1992. Peaks & Valleys(1992), an outing for solo acoustic guitar and voice; Topanga (1994), a rock album that featured “Waiting
for My Real Life to Begin;” Transcendental Highway (1988); the acoustic Going Somewhere (2001); Company of Strangers (2002); a collection of newly recorded Men at Work hits and
some new songs called Man At Work (2003); Are You Lookin’ at Me? (2006); American

Sunshine (2009) and the current Gathering Mercury. Since 2003, Hay has had a partnership with

Compass Records and he’s slowly rebuilt his name recognition. “I went from playing for 50 people a few years ago, to 500 and 1,000 seat venues. I’d like to speed it up a bit, cause I’m
running out of life,” Hay quips in fine Scottish style, “but for the most part I’m happy to be on the road and still making music, and attracting ever increasing audiences.”

Hay and Greg Ham toured with backing musicians as Men At Work from 1996 to 2002, and played to an estimated audience of 2 billion viewers during the closing ceremony of the 2000
Summer Olympics in Sydney. He’s also toured with Ringo Starr’s All Starr band in 2003 and 2008 and took part in the All Starr TV special. Hay and his music, most notably an acoustic
version of the Men at Work hit “Overkill”, as well as more recent works such as “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” and “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get over You”, has been featured on
TV shows including Dawson’s Creek, Judging Amy, and Scrubs.

His song “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” was included on the soundtrack of the Zach Braff film Garden State. Hay also appeared in an episode of the celebrated “Larry Sanders
Show,” in Hay’s mind, a career highlight. Today, he’s equally at home in the studio or on stage, playing with either his band or solo acoustic. “I started off playing acoustic; it’s my natural
game, if you will,” he concludes. “It’s the point I started from and may well be the point I end with. It’s always what I return to.”
Tony Furtado
Tony Furtado
Tony Furtado is an indie record label's dream artist. He has lived primarily on the road for the last two decades. He is gregarious, insanely talented, engaging and entertaining, on and off stage. Granted, he's had places to live, but they've been temporary spaces (to paraphrase George Carlin) "they were places to put his stuff". That is, until he moved to Portland, OR. Now, Tony Furtado, the trouveur, has found a place to call home. And it makes sense that the atmosphere of 'home' would allow him to write and produce his most accessible, engaging album to date entitled Golden.

Early on Tony made a conscious decision to record Golden in Portland. This allowed him to draw on the talents of his hometown musical compadres such as Paul Brainard, Ezra Holbrook, Stephanie Schneiderman, Scott Law, Drew Shoals, Tye North, Johnny Connoly (just to name a few). For his 15 album, Tony decided to produce it himself. He booked time with his friend and engineer, Rob Stroup at his "8-Ball Studio". Furtado found him to be such an intuitive and complementary partner it quickly became evident Rob was not just the engineer, but also co-producer.

While on hiatus from touring, Tony hosted residencies at two Portland venues, The Woods and The Secret Society. These popular weekly events included special guest songwriters and instrumentalists. Sharing these shows with some of his local and national favorites such as Casey Neil, Jeremy Wilson, Dangermuffin and Kenny White was extremely energizing for Tony. During this time, he was also invited by songwriter Adam Levy to take part in a "virtual" songwriting club (including Ari Hest, Garrison Star, and Vienna Teng among others) where each artist was given a title per week to work on:

"We'd get some title on a Sunday night and we would have to finish writing and recording the song and uploading it to a website by Thursday at midnight...it was only a little excercise for us all but I really dug it and even got a few keepers that made it onto Golden!"

Golden is the album Tony has been moving towards making his whole career. Having received international attention at a young age for his banjo work, he began his recording career with a 10-year stint with Rounder Records working with the likes of Allison Krauss, Kelly Joe Phels and Jerry Douglas. During that time, he was drawn to the slide guitar by artists such as Ry Cooder and David Linley. Over the years,Tony continued to broaden his musical palette and began singing and songwriting as well. He co-wrote with the likes of Jules Sheer, Al Anderson and Jim Lauderdale. On his newest release, Tony took on the role of writer, arranger and for the first time, producer. The ease and comfort with which he stepped into this role clearly comes through in the music and you can hear Tony in every note.

He's been called a genius on banjo and slide guitar and his own creative interpretation/hybrid of Americana and indie rock is captivating.
Onstage, whether playing with a band or solo, he owns the room, mixing stories of his travels with musicianship that is off the charts. On Golden, he has not only come into his own comfort zone, but he has surpassed all expectations for this record. From the instantly riveting opening track, Toe The Line, to the poignant Angelina, Golden travels all the emotions of the human heart. Heartbreak, joy, frailty, love of beauty, sadness, etc; all have their place on Golden.

Now, a confident, charming live performer, Tony's newer material reveals a range of topics and emotion far beyond the expected.
Venue Information:
Palace of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA, 94123
http://www.palaceoffinearts.org/Welcome.html