Spend some time with Harry Coulson’s music and you’ll quickly get a sense of an authentic, unvarnished voice and an artist with no patience for over-produced sounds or overwrought lyrics. While earlier album Harry Coulson’s Rain Dogs was an engaging set of jazz instrumentals, the new album titled Harry Coulson’s Blue Dogs is chockfull of larrikin poetry, brass driven soul and R’n’B, and Harry’s take-it- or-leave- it vocal delivery.
Coulson has done some serious study in the musical arts, including a VCA Bachelor of Music Performance, Honours at Monash University, and stints at prestigious jazz workshops at NYU and Canada’s Banff Centre. He’s put that to good use, playing gigs tirelessly around the country. Himself and The Blue Dogs were the backing band for Adam Hills at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Opening Gala and have graced the stages of the Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival, Eltham Jazz and Blues Festival, White Night (Melbourne and Ballarat) Turning Wave Festival, Mornington Jazz Festival and the Adelaide Fringe plus numerous live-to- air performances on ABC radio.
Coulson happily plays off his impressive guitar chops (he cites Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell as inspiration) against the rougher edge of his vocal style. A fan of hip-hop from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Mos Def he weaves stream of consciousness lyrics that explore the ebb and flow of suburban life, frustrated ambitions and the fierce drive to not back down. Think Courtney Barnett or The Streets’ Mike Skinner with an Australian accent backed by a top notch R’n’B band.
It’s the stuff of the blues alright…..
Harry & band will perform at 11:15am on the Bendigo Bank Stage #1 (Gamon St. near Charles).