Richard Frankland describes the Charcoal Club as music for burnt out blacks and singed whites.
The Charcoal Club is based around the idea that Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians can come together, play some music, tell some stories, laugh at the silly things, get sad at other things and generally have a good time.
Since forming in 1990, The Charcoal Club has been delivering a unique mix of blues and folk music with a repertoire that covers the occasional love ballad to a fist pumping activist anthem and represents the vast inspirational experiences of Richard’s life. Richard’s lyrics are poignant and, at times, raw reflecting his pride and love for his family, heritage and land. The Charcoal Club has released three CDs titled The Charcoal Club (2002), Cry Freedom (2005) and Hearts Full of Rust (2010).
The Charcoal Club members are:
Richard J Frankland (Vocals and Acoustic Guitar)
Richard wrote his first song when he was 13 years old. Since then he has written and recorded over 100 original songs about Aboriginal culture, deaths in custody, stolen generation, voice, land rights, falling in love, culture, family and life. His music has been extensively used in his stage and movie projects.
Monica Weightman (Vocals and Guitar)
Monica is a girl with a style of her own. She successfully melds folk, blues and soul in her songs. She has a voice that is easily recognizable by it warm and husky tones and her guitar playing skills are both natural and masterful. Monica has worked with Richard in his Stage Shows. Monica’s passion about her Aboriginality and the handing on of the culture to a new generation has seen her work as a mentor to a variety of groups.
Kavisha Mazella (Voice, Guitar, Mandolin and Piano Accordion)
An accomplished and multi award winning musician, songwriter and performer whose roots are firmly planted in her Italian folk heritage .Kavisha has created her own fusion of folk by melding a west meets east sound. Victoria Laurie from The Australian says of Kavisha “She sings with the voice of a heartbroken angel”. Kavisha is an ARIA awarded artist and with nominations and awards for her Music, Writing and Theatre work and is one of Australia’s most versatile contributors to our art scene. Visit Kavisha at her website www.kavisha.com
Aurora Kurth (Vocals) NOT PERFORMING THIS BOOKING.
Aurora has been singing with the band since 2004. She is an established singer, teacher, facilitator, director and award winning theatre maker and actor. She commenced her formal vocal training at age 12 and has since performed extensively as a singer and actor throughout Australia and New Zealand. In 2005 she played the role of Amber in Richard Frankland’s stage adaptation of Walkabout. In 1999 she won the Melbourne Fringe Best Theatre Award for her self devised show Finding The River. Aurora’s web address is: www.aurorakurth.com
Andrew O’Grady (Double bass)
The man with the big double bass and nimble fingers Andrew has been playing with the band since 2003. The breadth of the versatility of Andrew’s talent is showcased by his involvement in bands such as Belle Musette, featuring the music played in Paris music halls during the 20’s and 30’s, his stage work on The She Sessions and his work with the Blue Strings whose repertoire is firmly wedged in the acoustic roots and blues genre.
Michael Havir (Keyboards)
Works as a composer, musician, arranger, performer, musical director and sound designer. He has worked in numerous productions across many genres including theatre, dance, film and TV, theatre spectacles, community arts, interactive technology and world music.
He has recently completed a solo residency at Victoria University exploring improvised soundtracks with projections.
Michael’s website is http://www.michaelhavir.com/index.html
Anthony “Tok” Norris
Anthony has recorded and performed with International and local Australian artists for more than 35 years, and has established himself as a significant contributor to the Australian Music Industry.
Anthony is a Victorian College of the Arts Graduate (Performance) and has recorded and performed extensively with both International and local Australian artists, including 12 years recording and touring with the Black Sorrows. Awards received by projects upon which TOK has worked include: 6 ARIAs, 3 AFIs, 1 Platinum and 2 Gold Records.
Anthony’s website is http://tokwerx.com/
Sharky Ramos (Drums)
Sharky is a musician who has been playing the drums for around 35 years and for the past 8 years has been busily concocting and composing a bunch of tunes. Listen to some of Sharky’s music at htpp://soundcloud.com/sharky-ramos