Monday 8 April 2013
Top music honour for national treasure Kev Carmody
The $60,000 Australia Council Don Banks Music Award
the nation’s most valuable
individual music award
is today presented to singer, storyteller, activist and artist, KevCarmody, for his outstanding contribution to Australian music.
music is about the exchange and passing on of stories, where music is used as avessel for these stories. He writes songs drawing on a unique life experience, with an eye for historical and political narratives. His songs cover land rights and black deaths in custody through toChristian theology, poverty in the UK and celebrations of all walks of Australian life.
Kev Carmody is a talented and distinctively Australian artist, a storyteller of depth and integrity as wellas an extraordinary advocate for the rights and values of Indigenous Australians
, says Professor Matthew Hindson AM, Chair of the
Australia Council Music Board. ‘
From blunt protest songs to poeticballads, he performs with a clarity and grace that has won him fans across Australia and around theworld
Starting as a drover at the age of four in Queensland, Carmody grew up moving across the state withhis family, following the work. At 33 he enrolled at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education,which became the University of Southern Queensland, to study music, then history and philosophy.Having had limited opportunities for schooling, Carmody negotiated to present his essays in song.His first album
Pillars of Society
, released in 1988, was dubbed by journalist Bruce Elder, writing for
Rolling Stone Magazine
the best album ever released by an Aboriginal musician and arguably thebest protest album ever made in Australia
.Carmody has since been a recipient of the 2005 Jimmy Little Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music (The Deadlys), 1993 Country Music Association of Australia Heritage Award for
From Little Things, Big Things Grow
; and 2001 Australian Film Industry’s
Open Craft Award in a Non-Feature Film for an Original Score.Carmody is known for embracing a vast range of styles, mixing folk and country with reggae, funk,traditional didgeridoo and mandolin, hard rock, and gospel;
as well as for his ‘hand
made’ approach to
‘Kev’s music is
an invaluable collection for the nation, but his contribution to music is greater thansongs and stories
says Matthew Hindson.
So much can be learned from his approach to recording.His favourite studio is a converted cold room and fruit packing shed, and i
f he’s searching for a certainsound he’l
l often make the instrument to achieve it, creating unique and beautiful effects.
In 2007 Paul Kelly, who describes Kev Carmody’s work as ‘one of our nation’s greatest treasures’
,bought to fruition a tribute album with many notable Australian musicians recording their versions of
songs. In 2008
Cannot Buy My Soul
became a tribute event at the Sydney Festival. Thecalibre of artists that joined Carmody on stage, including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Tex Perkins, DanSultan and Steve Kilbey amongst others; is a testament to the respect that Kev Carmody hasachieved within the Australian music industry.
Kev Carmody is held in the highest regard by his peers and his fans
ays Matthew Hindson. ‘
Hiscontribution to Australian music and to Australian culture is indisputable. It is a pleasure to award himthe 2013 Australia Council Don Banks Music Award.
The Australia Council Don Banks Music Awardis presented at 6.00pm, Monday 8 Aprilat the Brisbane Powerhouse