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Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips sat down with Joe Camilleri to chat about the origins of The Black Sorrows and also to discuss the band’s wonderful new album Citizen John.

Citizen John is the work of an artist who refuses to live in the past. With 49 albums in total of musical wisdom behind him, Camilleri is still experimenting with ideas and pushing boundaries, yet never lowering the quality control bar even a millimetre. The new album covers many genres of music, tapping into Joe’s extensive bank of influences. Claude Carranza (guitar), John McAll (keys) Mark Gray (bass) and Angus Burchall (drums) are all on top of their game, adding tasteful and complementary licks, bringing Nick Smith and Camilleri’s lyrics to life.

Wednesday’s Child, a country-flavoured mood groove opens the album, establishing that high quality Black Sorrows sound we’ve come to know and love over the last 20 albums from the band. Camilleri brings the past and present together, not only musically but in the lyrical content too. Storm The Bastille, set during the French Revolution also mirrors what’s happening in modern day Paris with the yellow vest protests. Featuring an unusual chord progression, the song immediately begs your attention, building in energy before heading into a rollicking chorus, a song which is sure to go down a treat live on stage. In the album’s title track Citizen John, Joe sings about a shady, self-serving character, the type you can find anywhere in society today, even at the highest level of politics and business. Brother Moses, Sister Mae is a New Orleans style trad-jazz number that draws you into yet another character-driven tale. A cover of Bob Dylan’s Silvio is straight out party material. There’s much to love about The Black Sorrows rockin’, soulful new album and the more you play it, the more you’ll discover.

The Black Sorrows are currently on tour throughout Australia before heading to the UK and Europe.


Friday 29 March
The Palms At Crown | Melbourne, VIC
On sale soon

Sunday 31 March
Royal Hotel | Meredith, VIC
Ph: 03 5286 1100

Friday 5 April
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre | Mandurah, WA

Saturday 6 April
Bridgetown Hotel | Bridgetown, WA

Sunday 7 April
By The C | Cottesloe Beach, WA

Thursday 11 April
Camelot Lounge | Marrickville, NSW

Friday 12 April
Dee Why RSL | Dee Why, NSW

Saturday 13 April
Belmont 16s | Belmont, NSW

Sunday 14 April
By The C | Wollongong, NSW

Thursday 18 April
Byron Bay Bluesfest | Tyagarah, NSW

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