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Gear, Gadgets, Gossip

Fertile minds abound. Some of those minds are fertilised with bullshit, others must eat a lot of fish or something. This page is dedicated to inventions and projects under way by the fish-eating minds and that come within hearing distance of Blue Ring Records.

City Amp Workshop for all your amp and music 'lectronics repairs.  Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/brian.morrison.50767?fref=ts

Brian Morrison at the soldering iron knows a bit about valve amps. We recommend his work.




 PreviewThe Holy Men have released Two Rats at Tobruk out into the big wide world; previewed on Peter Goers ABC show the tune will appear on a few radio stations around the country and is now available on many digital download stores.

Go here: The Holy Men - Two Rats at Tobruk (2013)




PreviewDon Morrison is working on the tail end of a new CD with some great new tunes and a very rootsy re-visit of some favourites. Release is imminent. Soonish.





PreviewRobby has a release date for her new CD which is also packed with some stunning vocal performances and beautiful songs. Release is scheduled for early July and I would bookmark this if you like smooth contemporary music - not jazz!  - from the amazing performer.





PreviewAmber Joy Poulton has her new CD bouncing around in the mixer too; release is scheduled for June 23 but check Amber's facebook site for up-to-date information on that.




 PreviewNew music from The Nuts

I have in my hand a first mix of The Nuts 6-tracker, thanks to Mr Brett Sody of SodyPop Studios. It sounds good and will probably be released under the title Raw and Salty, for the tunes are both raw and salty.




Gear, Gadgets and Gossip update: June, 2012.

Tuneworks.biz: Tuneworks is a music marketer. Good results have been achieved working with quality artists in the Singer/songwriter, Alternative, Rock and Country genera. Tuneworks can upload your music into more than a dozen international digital stores - including iTunes - and offers a promotion service to get selected tunes onto downloaded playlists. Go to tuneworks.biz for information and/or contact tuneworks by email: quinmon@optusnet.com.au


Gear, Gadgets and Gossip update: Feb 7, 2011.

Gear: This should interest a few guitarists and bass players. Look at the photo below; it shows a collection of aluminium guitars and basses made locally by Alikat. They are beautiful - both visually and tonally, and the craftmanship is exemplary. I have heard two of the guitars in action and they are freakin' excellent. Sweet Baby James Meston has given them a workout under gig conditions and I believe he said there were... wait for it ... Awesome. Here's the pic; the website is in the photo but if you can't make it out here it is in links: www.alikat.com.au.


 Gossip:   Following the highly-successful Tamworth outing of a new country music theatre show - The Queens of Country - Amber Joy Poulton and The Holy Men are putting the finishing touches on a new CD that rounds out the track selection of her current Fringe Festival hotcake - Honky Tonk Angels. Getting it ready for the Fringe will be a tough squeak, though.

The Queens of Country, a 3-hour country music song and chinwag marathon, showcases music by Loretta Lynn, Reba McIntyre and Dolly Parton. Staged with a 6-piece backing band (the Holy Men PLUS!),  the new show in was so well-received (full houses for each of three shows) that it would not surprise a person if they didn't see it getting around to other parts of the country - maybe even to this burg - if the money was offered to bring the other 'Queens' south of the Goyder Line.


Country 'Queens' - Marie Hodson (playing Reba), Donella Waters (Playing Dolly) and Amber Joy Poulton (Playing Loretta.

Amber Joy currently has a duet released from her album and from a new album by co-writer Doug Bruce sitting at number 13 in the national Country Music Charts. It is also rumoured that a couple of hopeful souls are trying to get some Adelaide gigs for Doug Bruce and the Tailgators. The Tailgators are the kings of the Texas two-step and the San-Antonios shuffle.

While Amber Joy is still rolling off the keyboard I feel I should mention that the first of her Fringe shows - Honky Tonk Angels (Friday Feb 25) - has SOLD OUT! If you want to be in the run for some country fun book now for Friday March 4.

Robby - singer/songwriter exquisite, is parading a new show at this year's Fringe Festival. My Favourite Shoes will see the talented lady reprise some favourites from the sell-out 2010 Cabaret Festival Fringe show and will showcase new tunes, some on which she will attack the acoustic guitar. Double bassist Denis 'The Preacher' Surmon and percussionist Jeff Articled Clarke will provide subtle yet vital accompaniment. One show only - get booking!


GPreviewossip:  Amber Joy Poulton and the Holy men will be starting and finishing 2011 on high notes. January has them performimng a new show - Queens of Country - in Tamworth, then supporting Kenny Rogers' Adelaide show and newly arrived on the booking calendar is Music in the Park staged  by the West Torrens Council at West Torrens Memorial Gardens on Sat 29th Jan 2011. Amber will soon be taking the Holy Men into the studio to record an album of tunes from her Queens of Country show and it is rumoured she will be including a new song by The Preacher Denis Surmon.

November 2011 has Amber Joy and the Holy Men on the Cruisin' Country tour to the Islands of the South Pacific. See: http://www.cruisincountry.com.au/about.html

Walking the line - Australia's Number One Johnny Cash Show is also guesting on the Cruisin' Country extravaganza and Rohan Powell, bass Baritone supremo and WTL front man will be sharing the spotlight at the Kenny Rogers Show.

PreviewGossip: Robby is in rehearsals in preparation for a recording session where she hopes to commit four of five songs from her recent and highly commended "Out of the Lounge" show to CD format; and possibly for MP3 download.



Gossip: Double Wammy is still heading in the right direction for recording sessions to make permanent record of some new material and to re-invent some of their older tunes that have evolved through live playing.





in a previous posting on GGG we previewd some new hand-built stomp boxes from local designer/manufacturer Felix - a unity gain device for guitars and a buffer pre-amp for piezo pick-ups.

The news: The unity gain box is in production and has found a disstributor in Adelaide. the device developing a local following of admirers, all of whom say pretty much the same thing: "It doesn't seem to do much but it makes my rig sound better. Now I can't do without it."

It is a fairly simple device that retores line loss due to electro-mechaniacl effect between a guitar's pick-ups and the amp input.  Powered by a 9-volt battery or through a power adaptor, the felix unity gain box has one knob - to find the sweet zone. Whatever the device restores is almost certainly what has been missing but the guitar player didn't know it until he found it. the device was developed with input by Sweet Baby James Meston who will not part with his prototype unit.

PreviewThe second device is a buffer preamp designed for the piezo pick-ups retro-fitted to double basses. The device has been tested on acoustic guitar piezo pick-ups and has minimal effect but double bass users have said that it "seems to smooth out the pick-up response - takes some of the scary thump out of the bottom end and softens the top end. It makes it sound more like a double bass." 



PreviewDon Morrison has gathered a bunch of musicians to roll out his new solo project - Random Notes.The Rank Outsiders are Andy Pryzgonski (drums) Denis The Preacher Surmon (bass) Brian Morrison (guitar). It is rumoured keyboard wiz Jesse dean Freeman will feature in the first round of gigs.



PreviewAlso rumoured is Double Wammy entering a recording studio to make a new CD. It's early days in the life of the rumour but it's got some momentum.





New on the scene: hand built Felix stomp boxes. The first of these is a compensating amp that puts back into your guitar signal the little bit of grunt lost by the electro-mechanics of volume pots, sockets, jacks and leads.  Comes with gain control, bypass switch and two parallel outs to send to different amps or amp/effects and tuner.  First man to try it out was over the moon. Sweet Baby James Meston is a convert after his first taste and helped designer/manufacturer Richard Pak-Poy fine tune the device.  It’s hand built and hand wired so you’re not going to pay ex-China prices. But then, you’re not getting a piece of Chinese junk either. For more information, email Blue Ring Records  and we can pass you on to Felix Amps.
The next device coming out of the Felix shed is a buffer preamp for piezo pickups. Currently in a testing program, the device effect is subtle but use it once and you’ll have trouble going without it. The raw and robust signal from – in this test – a simple piezo pickup jammed in a double bass bridge – gets smoothed and gently limited. Straight into a powered wedge and it sounded dreamy and creamy.  Will keep you posted.


Don Morrison is set to release Random Notes, a new solo project from the man who’s a “Legend in Adelaide”.   Look for launch gigs at the Semaphore Workers Club and The Wheatie.


Robby – singer/songwriter – comes out of virtual obscurity for a one-off show at the  Cabaret Festival Fringe to showcase new material. Worldwide success with her download weeding favourite “Can’t wait to marry you” has given impetus to the outpouring of some fine jazzy, swingy tunes from this little-heard of songbird. June 20 at the Prom is the date to look for.

This one is an oldie but goodie. Brian West at Fretco built for a deranged customer a Deep South Preacher Bass that is 2.5 inches longer that your regular bass and tunes D-G-C-F.  It play a little slower as the strings don’t carry the  equivalent tension of a regular scale guitar but the owner loves it.

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