DATSON HUGHES EPK
Singer Songwriters DATSON HUGHES perform beautiful own-brand folk noir on Datson's hand-crafted Appalachian Mountain dulcimers.
With two albums to their credit, DATSON HUGHES's own-brand folk noir weaves traditional themes of murder and mystery into beautiful tales of misadventure and road-trips-gone-wrong, set to the twanging drone of Datson’s hand-crafted Appalachian Mountain dulcimers - 'the sound of The Velvet Underground jamming with Incredible String Band. '
In 2008 DATSON HUGHES formed to give voice to the songwriting of Geoffrey Datson (Surfside Six, Samurai Trash) and Annette Hughes . The duo released their debut album Flowers & the Axe to high praise in 2017. In the wake of a packed European touring schedule during 2018 /19, DATSON HUGHES is set to release Now & Forever in early 2020.
The pair moved to country Queensland in 2014 where they found time to develop and rehearse their own brand folk noir - “a blend of everything and nothing they’ve carried with them from the inner-inner-city post-punk art-rock demimonde plus a few new things they’ve found up in the hills”. Singing in haunting close harmonies, they weave lyrical folk traditions of murder, mayhem and mystery into beautiful tales of misadventure, road-trips-gone-wrong, love, life and redemption, set to the gorgeous twangling drones of Datson's hand-made Appalachian mountain dulcimers and acoustic guitars.
Geoffrey Datson (Surfside 6, Samurai Trash) and author Annette Hughes began their artistic collaboration twenty years ago in 1997. Three years later they set up their indy Stickylabel to release Datson's poetry and electronica which he had been making since returning from NY a decade earlier. They formed their songwriting partnership and folk duo in 2008.
The songs, some begun in the 1980s, are finally finished and distilled into their Masterpiece double album. Volume 1, Flowers and the Axe is released and Volume 2, Now and Forever, is due for release in early 2020 following their forthcoming European tour. They have packed up their books and clothes, transferred everything to the cloud and intend to be on the road - forever.
Geoffrey Datson and Annette Hughes began their artistic collaboration twenty years ago in 1997. Three years later in 2000 when they set up their independent Stickylabel. Poet and sound artist Datson (Surfside 6, Samurai Trash, Konk) penned SS6’s Hit single Cool in the Tube, and Hughes is a published author (Harper Collins 4th Estate). They formed their songwriting partnership and their performance duo DATSON HUGHES in 2008, playing all original songs on Datson's handmade Appalachian Mountain dulcimers. They first began performing publicly in conjunction with their book projects (Then & Then, Protest Singer and Art Life Chooks) and were consequently invited to perform at various writers' festivals.
In 2012 award-winning record producer Kalju Tonuma turned up in their neighbourhood. Tonuma had spent several years in front of a console mixing some of the biggest bands of his generation. Kal swept in, set up a load of old-school microphones in the livingroom and everything changed. When he presented 'Eve Fooled Yourself' all covered in his magic production dust, what was intended as only a sampler of their live sound morphed into the wildly ambitious recording project -a major studio album.
Towards the end of the recording process, Melbourne guitarist and vocalist Megan Bernard, with her virtuosic musicianship and sublime, etherial vocal arrangements joined Tonuma's production team, and together, they have made a very rare and beautiful record, a masterpiece of the psychedelic folk genre.This is the culmination of Datson's life's work, but only the beginning of Hughes's songwriting journey. Her baby is Now and Forever, releasing 2020.
DATSON HUGHES are currently planning the release of their forthcoming second album Now and Forever, with a national tour in the first half of 2020 - prelude to a 6 month European tour in the second half of 2020.
In 2019 they supported the Sydney launch of Bush Gothic's latest album, and set out on tour in Europe to perform at the OZORA trance/psych festival in Hungary.
Their 2018 Now and Forever tour took them through East Coast Aus and Europe where they played arthouse gigs in Budapest, Assisi, Dublin and the Marciac Jazz Festival and Galerio Sacho festival in Limoges.
Their 2017 Whispering Highway EP Tour saw them play in Sydney at the Union Hotel (with Terry Serio’s Ministry of Truth), Fairlight Folk, Illawarra Folk Club, Annandale Hotel, and Gasoline Pony and the Django Bar with Ben Fink and Dale Caldwell's duo project Close to Forever, with gigs at Fairlight Folk and Illawarra Folk Club.
DATSON HUGHES played in Brisbane on the same bill as the reformed Leftovers - a huge buzz for Hughes who came of age in the Brisbane punk scene and the Byron Bay Writers' Festival, appearing in concert with Paul Kelly.
Single: Poor Time 2015 Masterpiece Records
Single: Thief of Sky (highly commended in the 2016 Q Music awards) with Planet B side, 2016
EP: Whispering Highway. 2016
Single: Sweet Mathilda Waltz 2017
Album: Flowers & the Axe debut released to high praise in 2017.
Album: Now & Forever, (part two of their double album project 2020.
"It's a blend of all of my favourite Folk/Psych records. Plus something more. A step beyond into the realm of truth and beauty... The right balance of love and control. It's dark and evocative, with a bright and hopeful tenderness streaming through in the form of those celestial female vocals and some crystalline guitar sounds that crack and splinter ... rays of light and salvation that break through dark clouds of loss and sorrow.
"If I said there was something of a gobetweensy thing about it I don't mean in any literal way, rather that there just seems to be some sort of unique Queensland feel about it."
Their latest 5 track EP is a thing of great beauty, shimmering it's way into your brain like a jewel encrusted earwig.
"Mountain music, they used to call it. Made by people who lived up in the hills, in the backwoods; people who often made their own instruments, and certainly made their own rules and their own fun. Datson+Hughes live in the hinterlands behind the Sunshine Coast in south-east Queensland, where it’s a lot more lush than it ever was in the Appalachians, and they make their own brand of mountain music. It is appropriately lush, a blend of everything and nothing they’ve carried with them from the inner-inner-city post-punk art-rock demi-monde plus a few new things they’ve found up in the hills and use in that same DIY spirit, most principally an age- and environment-induced stillness that allows for introspection... Datson+Hughes produce songs ... out of their own harmonic system, beholden only to themselves, reflections on lives well lived, on hurdles and loss and regrets surmounted, that end up in the moment, on the spiritual quest on-going… the climb to the top of the mountain…"
PRAISE FROM OTHER ARTISTS
Best stuff now a'comin' out of Aussieland."
Dana Bryant (NY Spoken Word artist and singer)
"Embracing, involving, touching - like overhearing someone's confessions. Great work ..."
Des Wade (Singer Songwriter)
"This is languorous, luxurious after-midnight music. The trance-like instrumentals allow the lyrics to unfurl tendrils deep into the oldest parts of the listener's brain. This is mindful music."
Morgana McCleod (author)
"... really an important work... there is something of the landscape that hints of the terrible pain of Xavier Herbert's 'poor fellow my country'. A stretching of land."
Christopher Barnett (poet)
"It out Rubins Rick in a manner George Martin could only dream of."
Phill Beckett (Singer Songwriter, Musicisan)