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ARCHIE ROACH OPENS HIS HEART AND HOME FOR ‘KITCHEN TABLE YARNS’

There is something uniquely special about finding an artist in their home. It offers a chance to better understand them and their music in an environment they are most comfortable. And that is the motivation behind a new series of online collaborations featuring iconic Australian artist Archie Roach along with a host of the country’s most exciting First Nations artists – ‘Uncle Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns.’

2020 was meant to be a landmark year for Archie as it marked the 30th anniversary of his multi award winning debut album ‘Charcoal Lane’ – considered one of the most important ever produced in this country.

It was also the year that Archie was set to embark on his final national tour giving countless dedicated fans the chance to connect with him one last time. However, when the COVID pandemic hit, it put a stop to that final tour. Not only did this result in a devastating financial loss, it took an emotional toll on both Archie and his dedicated audience.

To fill the void, Archie and his manager Jill Shelton turned to YouTube as a new way to connect with audiences globally. Archie’s kitchen table in regional Victoria – on his mother’s Gunditjmara ancestral lands – became the new stage as he started streaming to the world. From May to December 2020 Archie presented weekly YouTube episodes celebrating the songs and stories behind Charcoal Lane.

Now Archie is getting ready for a different conversation that lies very close to his heart – supporting emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singer songwriters.

In 2021 the new online series will feature 12 emerging First Nations songwriters and musicians from around the country. Connecting through online video, Archie will invite these exceptional young artists to yarn with him at his kitchen table to share stories about their songs, their communities, and their language.

This incredible series will be a story of intergenerational celebration and connection through music with the first two episodes released on August 4 and August 18 with new episodes released for the rest of the year on the first Wednesday of each month.

“When I started off in music nobody had much of a clue about who I was and what I was writing about,” Archie explains. ”I was considered a curiosity. Yarning at my kitchen table with these young artists will help people understand who they are and give them another platform to promote their music. The kitchen table has always been a place of inspiration for me. It’s a place where I’ve written most of my songs, drank many cups of tea, ate meals, played music whilst my children ran around making plenty of noise. It represents family, community and love. We thought it would be a great idea to have a YouTube series and conversation at the kitchen table.”

“It’s important their voices are heard so they don’t have to go through what I went through. They are our future and when the time comes for us older singer songwriters to finish up we know it’s in good hands.”

The first featured artists are:
Allara Briggs Patterson Allara is a Yorta Yorta, musician, composer, filmmaker, and involved in the climate justice movement. Using a double bass and loop station at the core, she is inspired by ancient oral traditions and is a natural storyteller. Allara harnesses hard-hitting spoken word taking the listener on a journey reflecting cultural, spiritual and environmental empowerment. Gently lulling audiences into a united chorus of unadorned melodies, her sound is unique and soul-stirring.

“The kitchen table series is super exciting and such an amazing opportunity for emerging artists to chat with Uncle Archie about music, life and culture. Even when gigs seem to be cancelled over and over again, this series creates something deadly, ongoing and humbling in a time when there is no stability as a musician. Big love and thanks to Uncle Archie for the opportunity to yarn over a cuppa tea and a Monte Carlo.”

Marlon X Rulla burst onto the Australian music scene in under a year. The two played football together at the Glenelg FC in Adelaide, SA but In the past year have gone from kicking footballs to kicking down doors and performing on some of the biggest stages in this COVID era. From opening for Midnight Oil at WOMADelaide to rocking the stage at the Bass in the Grass Festival in Darwin, the two are backed by an all First Nations band to bring you a sound so compelling it makes you want to dance, with lyrics that make you want to think. Rolling Stone has labelled Marlon X Rulla as an act to “…undoubtedly need, to pay attention to as their careers rise”.

“To be able to share a yarn with Uncle Archie means more than we can put into a small sentence or to even try and summarise. It’s beyond an honour. It’s a moment in time I have no doubt we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives. Uncle Archie means so much to us individually but also collectively to all people. Uncle Archie epitomises the essence of a true authentic storyteller. His being will transcend for generations, long into the future.”

Lydia Fairhall is a Worimi woman respected nationally as a theatre and film producer, a community arts and cultural development practitioner, a writer, an artistic director, a musician, songwriter and more. She has programmed and produced countless shows, for the likes of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Brown Cabs, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Footscray Community Arts Centre while also producing a run of incredible albums including her most recent – ‘True North’.

“Uncle Archie’s music has got so many of us through hard times and been the soundtrack to our joy and belonging. It is an honour of the highest kind to be joining him at his kitchen table.”

The first Kitchen Table Yarns episode featuring Allara is set for release on August 4 and can be streamed on Archie Roach’s YouTube channel.

And Archie Roach continues to take his music and message on the road, set to play a run of shows through regional NSW this August as part of his ‘Tell Me Why’ tour. Tickets are on sale now from https://www.archieroach.com/tour

ARCHIE ROACH ‘TELL ME WHY’ NSW TOUR DATES

FRI 06 AUG | ARCHIE ROACH IN CONVERSATION AT BYRON WRITERS FESTIVAL, BYRON BAY NSW | Tickets available here

SAT 07 AUG | NORPA, LISMORE NSW | Tickets available here

SUN 08 AUG | SARATON THEATRE, GRAFTON NSW | Tickets available here

WED 11 AUG | JETTY MEMORIAL THEATRE, COFFS HARBOUR NSW | Tickets available here

THU 12 AUG | GLASSHOUSE THEATRE, PORT MACQUARIE NSW | Tickets available here

FRI 13 AUG | CITY HALL, NEWCASTLE NSW | Tickets available here

SAT 14 AUG | ANITA’S THEATRE, THIRROUL NSW | Tickets available here

TUE 17 AUG | BATHURST MEMORIAL ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BATHURST NSW | Tickets available here

WED 18 AUG | DUBBO REGIONAL THEATRE & CONVENTION CENTRE, DUBBO NSW | Tickets available here

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