Thursday, 28 June 2012 20:00

The Field

The Field The Field

The Field’s music is a meeting place of styles. You can hear jazz, blues, country and Celtic influences throughout. There are hints of Ry Cooder and Bill Frisell as well as Little Feat and the more obscure Celtic leanings of Pentangle and Richard Thompson. Here’s how Sydney music critic John Shand described their sound after hearing them play at the venerable Side On Café a few years ago:

“The Field's music is immediately friendly, drawing the listener in with its obvious warmth and drawling geniality. With greater familiarity we find that, while it is by no means urban music, nor is it quite country. Perhaps it may best be described as Arcadian, given its pervasive stillness and radiant sense of contentment.”

Shand’s comment is unwittingly correct, given that Bruce Reid’s birthplace is the eastern maritime provinces of Canada, the birthplace of Arcadian music. Despite many years in Australia, the influences are still evident. The slide guitarist is The Field’s founder and main writer, as well as being a member of Sydney’s renowned jazz group The Catholics.  He is also guitarist with Oz rock legends, Dragon and worked in that capacity with singer Wendy Matthews for over a decade.  

On bass, Lloyd Swanton - one of Australia’s foremost jazz musicians. Swanton founded and still leads The Catholics. He is also a founding member of The Necks, perhaps Australia’s most successful jazz export.

Guitarist John Stuart is an accomplished jazz guitarist, a respected composer and arranger and also a fine steel guitarist (See the Snaketown Rattlers). John is also a fine percussionist and was a member of the great Jackie Orszaczky Band during their historic 6 year residency at the Rose of Australia in Sydney. He is a producer and engineer (Pugsley Buzzard, Kate Rowe) and  his studio, Sound Heaven, situated in John’s hometown of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, is one of the busiest in the region.

Drummer Hamish Stuart is a legend in this country. He was a mainstay with the late Jackie Orszaczky for several decades. He maintains an incredibly busy and diverse schedule these days, playing with The Catholics, Ian Moss, Lucie Thorne, Tina Harrod, Andrew Robson and Tim Rollinson. His discography is a veritable whose who of Australian Jazz, Rock and R&B.

The Field have two critically acclaimed albums out, a self titled first CD and the second, News From Home, both out on Sydney’s prestigious jazz label, Rufus Records. They have just recorded their third release entitled Merle Takes a Holiday - they are not officially launching it until August so this will be a preview of the new songs.

Listen to a few songs here :