Women in Docs, the Brisbane-based folk, country, pop duo, has been a popular fixture on the Australian festival and gig circuit for many years. Influenced by other female vocal groups such as the Indigo Girls, the Dixie Chicks and The Waifs, Roz Pappalardo and Chanel Lucas, are a breath of fresh air at any music festival and have sold around 30,000 CDs independently. Roz Pappalardo was kind enough to endure a Q&A for us.
What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was an acoustic steel string Daion. Flogged from my father’s collection as he had upgraded to a Tommy Emmanuel Maton, which is still going strong. I think I’ve since given the Daion to my nephew. it was a good guitar. Started me on my guitar playing way.
What’s your main guitar now?
Stage Maton with an AP5 pick up. After a few years of settling in like an impetuous, gawky teenager – snapping strings at the drop of a hat, expensive set ups, once the guitar settled it has never let me down. Bought it in Townsville at Buzz Music, asking for the most expensive acoustic guitar in the shop – 1999. It’s sturdy, always sounds good live and settles really well when travelling.
When I play electric guitar, it’s either my American Telecaster or my original Fender Jag (about 40 years old). To be honest I only use my Jag when I’m in the studio. It’s a great grandaddy and doesn’t like to travel much.
Through what amp and why?
I don’t use an amp when I play my acoustic. I use a LR Baggs DI which Women in Docs were sponsored with when we attended SXSW some years ago now.
When I play my electric I use a Fender, Blues Junior. Can’t go past it for the Tele I think. A marriage made in heaven!
Which pedals are your standards?
Don’t use pedals. In my line of music, if the guitar’s good enough and the amp’s good enough (when using an amp) then the story of song is supported by the instrumentation.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Latest recording is Women in Docs’ latest album, Carousel. It was a two year project, which occurred between tours and between individual life situations. It took its time but it’s something that we are quite proud of. I am back in the studio now, working on a solo EP with Nigel Pegrum from Pegasus Studios in Cairns. I can’t be sure when I’m going to release the record, but it will be in down time between Women in Docs work.
What gigs have you been playing lately?
I’ve been playing Women in Docs gigs lately, particularly as it has been the release of our new album, Carousel. We toured extensively late last year and have been playing festivals across Australia over the last few months, including a particularly memorable show as part of Adelaide Fringe at the Paradiso Spiegeltent. We’ve got a “By Request” Brisbane Fringe Festival show coming up, Tues Aug 19 and The Village Festival in Yeppoon, Rockhampton – Aug 23 and 24
Most memorable gig?
Ever? That’s a hard one. I immediately go back to a) Shanghai Spring Music Festival where the entire crowd sang along with one of our songs even though they didn’t speak English and b) our first show at Port Fairy in front of approx 3000 people, being recorded by Radio National and the extreme pressure that goes with that.
Worst stage nightmare?
Blowing a string and not having any replacements.
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Women in Docs
Thursday 31 July, The Wesley Anne, Northcote, 8pm
Tuesday 19 Aug, The Skukum Lounge, for Brisbane Fringe Festival, Ashgrove, Brisbane, 8pm
Sat and Sun 23 and 24 Aug, The Village Festival, Yeppoon
Fri 12 Sept, Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse
Sunday 10 Aug, Black Mountain Uplugged (near Cooktown)
Saturday 16 Aug, Rock the Yacht, Port Douglas Yacht Club
Sunday 21 Sept, Livespark, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane
A guitar tip for the kids?
Don’t’ give up – especially when it comes to bar chords. Buy a capo and learn the chords up the neck and you’ll continue to find hours of pleasure! Years actually!