Araya takes part in the GOOYG night to kick off Bobby Jack's Festival

Alana Norman is just one of the acts getting out of their garage the Friday night before the Bobby Jack's Festival next Saturday.

She will play under the name Araya alongside Earth Device, Cilantro and The Briny Sea who also all write and play their own music and call Armidale home, as well as Joe Dabron (Tamworth) and Keelan Butterick (Walcha) .

"The 'Get Out Of Your Garage' (GOOYG) stage will be in full swing again this year," said curator Hugh Cook.

"It is being staged in the geodesic dome on the Friday evening before the main festival to give maximum exposure to the artists.

"We think this will also create a great atmosphere to kick the festival off - particularly for those camping for the weekend."

The idea behind GOOYG was to offer a platform for original artists to perform their music to an audience in a festival setting. The bar will be open and performances will run in 30 minute sets between 5pm and 9pm on Friday, April 12 in the dome at the Walcha Showground.

Check out the six acts, their musical style and their inspiration below:

Harris Thornton aka Cilantro

Harris Thornton aka Cilantro

Cilantro

Harris Thornton aka Cilantro is 17-years-old and in year 12. He has lived in Armidale is whole life.

How long have you been making music?

I have been writing music for as long as I've been playing guitar so about four years.

Is anyone else in your family musical? 

One of my brothers and my sister are both amazing guitarists and singers. They think it'd be great for me to be in the music industry, but my mum still wants me to have a backup plan.

How would you describe your music?

I would describe my music as sad mostly, it's very raw in lyrical content and very simplistic with the musicology side of things.

What/who are some of your musical influences?

My main influences are a lot of hardcore and punk bands. There are two Australian lead singers who have solo projects that make me want to cry every time I listen to their EP's.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?

The first time I played in front of an audience I think was with my year 10 music class and we were performing for people in stroke recovery.

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?

There is a lot of opportunity to play in this region, you just have to look for it, like these opportunities won't just jump out at you, you have to meet people and talk, get the word out and apply for stuff.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

Bobby Jack's Festival seems like an amazing opportunity for young and up and coming artists to showcase what their talents are and also develop those talents further.

I'm so glad I've been given this opportunity I need some performance practice before my HSC so this will help. I'm also really excited to see what else our community has to offer in our music scene.

The Briny Sea at rehearsals

The Briny Sea at rehearsals

The Briny Sea

'The Briny Sea' is a four member band, established by Matt Knights, originally from Sydney area, now living at Saumarez Ponds near Armidale. Mark Fisher (formerly Central Coast), Matt Benham (formerly Central Coast) and myself, Michael Croft (Uralla / Walcha local) are all old enough to know better. We all live and work in the Uralla / Armidale area.

How long have you been making music?

'The Briny Sea' has been going for a number of years, however our current configuration has been together since 2016. Playing together as a band brings a lot of joy, as we write, arrange and perform original music.

For the band, family and work life carries on in parallel to our music. member work involves teaching, weeds authority, surveying and administration at a local church. We all have supportive families, with fledgling musicians coming through the ranks also.

How would you describe your music?

We get asked this a bit...after some deliberation we're going with Folk Grunge.

What/who are some of your musical influences?

There's a range of influences and inputs to the music we write. Some members are Paul Kelly / Powderfinger wired, while others bring in undertones of Nirvana / Smashing Pumpkins.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?

'The Briny Sea' has been really well supported to play at Black Dot Music (2016 in Armidale) at their regular 'Red Rug Sessions'. Tony Elder is a great encourager of local music. We also played at the Black Gully Festival in 2016.

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?

We are fortunate to live in rural NSW. The opportunity and encouragement to play music is increasingly present. Bobby Jacks Festival is an exciting inclusion to the district, particularly seeking out original music (instead of cover bands). Other opportunities have been awesome - Seasons of New England (Uralla), Black Gully Festival (Armidale), Musicians of Armidale Showcase (Armidale), Black Gully Festival (Armidale), Red Rug Sessions (Black Dot Music - Armidale) providing great exposure for locals to hear new music, and musicians to perform.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

We were really excited to be a part of the 'Get out of your garage' section of BJF. This was a major part of encouragement for us to move our music out of the weekly practice 'in the shed' to perform live.

We are feeling particularly privileged to return this year to play at BJF, and are anticipating another really great festival for Walcha and the district. The BJF organisers should be commended for their foresight in bringing this festival to the region.

Earth Device

Earth Device

Earth Device

Arnold Drielsma is 18 and plays with the band Earth Device which also  includes: Alex Elder aged 18, Ella Thomas aged 18, Ethan Simmons  aged 18 and Hamish Watson  aged 21. All were born and raised in Armidale.

How long have you been making music?

I have been making music as long as I can remember really. My parents were always playing music, and we were always travelling to festivals and what not. Always falling asleep to my dad playing the guitar as a kid.

Earth Device has been together now for about a year. We have all played together in different bands throughout high school, but now have ended up with solid group and have been writing heaps of music and playing heaps of gigs together. All our families are music lovers.

How would you describe your music?

Lots of our music is upbeat and energetic with aspects of punk and funk.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?

Our first gig as Earth Device was at Black Gully Music festival last year

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?

I think there is plenty of opportunities Around this area, I think gigs are like anything, you just gotta go out and get em, I'm personally very happy living in the New England area. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

I wanted to get involved in Bobby Jacks Festival because I heard good things about it last year from my parents and friends. I have been looking forward to it for a while now, plus we all just love getting out and getting involved in music

Joe Dabron

Joe Dabron

Joe Dabron

Joe Dabron is 46 and has been making music for 36 years. He now lives in Tamworth again which is where he grew up.

Is anyone else in your family musical?

My grandmother was a classical pianist, my mum sometimes sings and plays ukulele. Yes, they gave me lessons in classical piano from the age of seven.

How would you describe your music?

I describe my music as 'hard folk' - I like the direct intimate nature of acoustic music, but I also mix it with all kinds of other influences - mainly rock, blues, classical.

What/who are some of your musical influences?

My main musical influences are Jeff Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Radiohead, with some folk, blues and country thrown in.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?

At an eisteddfod in Tamworth - I was probably eight years old.

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?

There need to be more opportunities, especially for original music.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

It has an original and diverse lineup, two things which I think are extremely important in fostering a healthy local scene. Plus it sounds like a lovely grass roots event.The artists on the main lineup are absolutely amazing, so I'm looking forward to seeing them all play.

I'm also hoping that everyone comes to see the Get Out Of Your Garage stage the night before to hear exciting Australian emerging music!

For me it's a case of 'Get Out Of Your Living Room' - a horrible case of carpal tunnel has stopped me performing for two years so it will be great to get the chance to be on stage again. I'm thrilled also to be getting some of the band members from Syntax Error, who are playing the next night, to get up with me.

Keelan Butterick - Photo: Mark Morawitz

Keelan Butterick - Photo: Mark Morawitz

Keelan Butterick

Keelan Butterick is 29 and grew up in Walcha. Recently he moved to Newcastle.

How long have you been making music?

I started writing music when I was young, maybe 12 or 13? But before I was writing I was always singing. I've released one record with my band Stare at the Clouds, with a second album underway, and recently a new project which I'll be sharing at BJF.

Is anyone else in your family musical?

I've been incredibly blessed to grow up in a family full of musical talents. I grew up singing with my mom. At the age of 4 or 5 she taught me how to sing harmonies with her and we would sing hymns and country songs and dance in the kitchen at home. Her mother, my grandmother, played piano, My uncle the guitar, and on my Dad's side my Grandpa played harmonica and was a singer in the Rowland Gregory Orpheus Singers, a men's choir based in Orange that competed nationally and toured the UK. All of my family are incredibly supportive of me.

How would you describe your music?

The songs that I'm going to be playing at BJF are from my new project that I've recorded under the name of Silent Eyes. Working with my good friend Alex Wilson of Sleepmakeswaves, who is an incredibly gifted producer and amazing performer, I wrote and recorded most of the instrumentation of the songs with the exception of drums and strings. The songs are full, layered with harmonies, acoustic guitars, and other instrumentation, but I'm excited to be performing them in a stripped back intimate way, as they were written.

What/who are some of your musical influences?

There are so many and too many to name but when I was younger, the first musician who I latched onto was Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, etc). He recorded every instrument on the very first Foo fighters record, and self admittedly, he could not read music. I could always hear things way faster that I could ever read them, so it made me feel that it was ok to keep doing what I was doing. That also inspired me to learn how to play multiple instruments.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?

The first time that I played in front of an audience was Presentation day at Walcha Central.School That was the first time that I decided I was going to sing in front of people.

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?

I think there are probably more opportunities than people realise to play shows in rural towns in NSW. As opposed to Sydney where people are spoiled for choice, I think that there is a real hunger from people in rural areas to see live music and different acts. You just need to get out there and book a show somewhere.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

I wanted to get involved because I have wanted something like this event to happen in Walcha since I was young. I think it's such an encouragement for younger people to be exposed to events like this, to be encouraged, to see how much joy it can bring people, and to sow seeds in their minds that maybe they too could perform one day at BJF

I'm really looking forward to sharing these songs with people, I've chosen BJF to share perform them for the first time. I'll be looking to release these songs under the name Silent Eyes, so be sure to look me up on facebook and Instagram.

Alana Norman aka Araya

Alana Norman aka Araya

Araya

Alana Norman grew up in Canberra and currently lives in Glen Innes.

How long have you been making music?

As a child there was always music playing in my house so I learnt from a young age to appreciate its value. My friends and I would often sing and put on performances for our parents and for fun we would rewrite lyrics to songs to make them funny. The first song I wrote was when I was 16.

Is anyone else in your family musical? 

My parents were very appreciative of music though were not musicians themselves. I was the first in my family to sing or play, with my brother taking up guitar thereafter and becoming quite a talented player. My family would be supportive of anything that I wanted to do.

How would you describe your music?

My music is colourful, full of contrast and drama. I try to capture whatever mood or feeling I am experiencing when I write and thereafter the songs tend to take on a life of their own which I love because there is something outside of me in every song, something that even I as the writer can discover.

What/who are some of your musical influences?

I could not even begin to write this list as I would inevitably leave someone important out. I love music in most genres from most decades and I am a fan of everything from TOOL to Katie Noonan and just about everything in between.

When was the first time you played in front of an audience ?:

My first public performance was at a talent show on a pony club camp when I was about 10 years old. I actually won the contest which I believe won me some sort of sugary reward but certainly was an amazing feeling.

Do you think there is much opportunity to play live in Australia/ NSW/ rural towns?:

I think more and more we are craving live music and venues are striving to provide it. The opportunities may not be massive in a career-building sense but there is a lot of support out there in rural communities.

Why did you want to get involved in BJF?

Festivals are definitely where the music industry lives nowadays both for artists and fans alike. As an emerging artist with a developing bio it is difficult to make it onto a festival line-up and Bobby Jack's is an excellent opportunity to reach a larger audience. I am also very excited from a music fan perspective that we now have a music festival in the region where we can enjoy a lineup of live music without having to travel too far and I hope that it thrives.

I am looking forward to sharing my music and putting on a great show. I am excited to enjoy an amazing weekend filled with live music and loads of fun.

This story Glen Innes girl will get out of her garage next Friday: photos first appeared on Glen Innes Examiner.