A storm, a baby, an album
A tornado that ripped through the village of Dunoon two and a half years ago was the starting point for the debut album by local band Red Belly Black, Smile on Your Face.
The tornado completely destroyed the church, blew away two school classrooms and ripped the roofs off dozens of houses.
For singer/songwriter Andy Parks it was also the weekend that his second daughter was born during a torrential downpour. The two events found their way into the album’s opening track, Storm Came to Town – a brooding, menacing blues/rock tune.
“Writing that song was the beginning of a purple patch for me in terms of songwriting,” Andy said. “It sort of opened up the floodgates. Within a few weeks I had a bunch of new songs, had rediscovered some old ones and had the urge to put a band together.”
Recruiting Matt Hill (Amphibian) on keyboards, Julian Smith (Thrillbilly Stomp) on double bass and Nick Fisher (The New Christs, Louis Tillet) on drums, Red Belly Black has been gigging around the North Coast for a year-and-a-half. The album was recorded at Meridian Receiver, a studio tucked away on the edge of the Nightcap National Park.
The band describes itself as ‘roots rock ‘n roll’. I reckon add to that a strong folk element, a good dollop of blues, a precision back beat, and you have the distinctive sound of Red Belly Black.
Red Belly Black will launch Smile on Your Face at Whian Whian Hall (with Bassix and Snug) this Friday, March 19, from 8pm, $10/8; The Rails in Byron this Saturday, March 20, from 7pm; and the Lismore City Bowling Club (with Snug and Damien O’Dwyer) on Saturday, March 27, from 8pm.