Ease into the weekend and celebrate everything Sydney has to offer – long days, warm weather, good food, cold drinks and great live music.
Courtyard Sessions’ free gigs at dusk have become a staple in the city’s live music scene, known for the diversity and energy of programming – the perfect space to support young musicians and discover the next big thing… or just your next favourite band.
Courtyard Sessions gives you the prime chance to discover new bands in an intimate setting, as Sydney’s most talented up-and-coming musicians are showcased. The 2017 season will feature diverse and energetic performers from around the Sydney area.
Courtyard Sessions at sunset feature a bar, BBQ, vintage games and more. Family and pooch friendly.
Come and join us from 6pm on Friday nights throughout January, February and March.
IMOGEN CLARK - January 13th
In the last few years, Imogen Clark has been touted as one of the most promising young songwriters in Australia. Now, with a CMC nomination for New Oz Artist Of The Year in her back pocket, she’s on the cusp of converting those accolades into wider critical acclaim with the release of her debut album, Love & Lovely Lies.
The industry and fans began to realise the natural talent and potential of Imogen’s songwriting with her third independently released EP Stories from a Porcelain City (2013). The EP’s lead single Ceaseless Goodbye was shortlisted for APRA’s prestigious Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition and received an Honourable Mention in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. Her breakthrough single While Women Wait (Jan 2015) was given significant airplay and charted on CMC in Australia, which led to it being picked up by AC radio in the United States and cable TV giant Great American Country, with a reach to over 59 million US households. Her success hasn’t stopped there with Imogen representing Australia for the second time at last year’s Americana Music Festival in Nashville. Imogen played her own showcase and captivated the audience at the world famous Bluebird Café, where so many great country artists have been discovered and left their mark.
Late last year, Imogen signed with Lost Highway Records/Universal Music Australia (Shane Nicholson, Ruby Boots, Mustered Courage, Catherine Britt), further recognition of how her songwriting has quickly gained respect in the alt-country and Americana music field. Since her signing, Imogen has also been recognised with major awards at the Australian Songwriters and Tamworth Songwriters Awards.
Imogen’s music inhabits a place where different roots-based genres intersect and blend into her own distinct sound. There is the self-confessed nod to the folk influence that Joni Mitchell has had on her music, yet fast forward quarter of a century and the modern Americana styles of songwriters such as Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch have clearly also had a strong impact on Imogen’s own writing. That ability to absorb the old and the new is what forms the timeless quality of Imogen’s music.
Lyrically Imogen paints evocative stories without the need to bury the listener in detail. Simple observations and perfectly formed lines are key aspects of her songwriting. “I’m not coming home, I’m just coming back”, she sings in Things You Never Had. It’s just one of many lines on the album that cut right to the core of her songs and establish their emotional tone so effectively.
The range and conviction throughout her songs is what has already drawn many to Imogen’s songwriting and will capture the hearts and minds of new fans once they hear Love & Lovely Lies.
LEROY LEE - January 20th
TODAY’S EVENT FEATURING LEROY LEE WILL HAPPEN RAIN OR SHINE! IF IT’S RAINING WE WILL BE MOVING INDOORS TO THE SOUND LOUNGE. WE’LL KEEP YOU POSTED. SEE YOU AT 6PM! ENTRY IS FREE, ALL AGES ARE WELCOME – HOWEVER IF WE DO HAVE TO MOVE IT INDOORS, WE WON’T BE A POOCH FRIENDLY EVENT SADLY. FOOD AND DRINK WILL BE AVAILABLE IF INDOORS.
Enchanting songsmith and acoustic guitarist, Leroy Lee creates hypnotic lamp-lit tunes, drawing the listener into his unique world. From driving guitar riffs to intricate finger-picking melodies, Leroy is reminiscent of English folk legends like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch. Intricate melodic textures, surprising turns of phrase and sonicly rich guitar landscapes lead us on an intimate journey of surprise and intrigue.
“Window Sill” (Live at Music Feeds Studio): http://youtu.be/ELepS5ABm1U
Leroy Lee – Mountain Song (Music Video): http://youtu.be/o4QC_B8SQ0U
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LeroyLeemusic/
JORDIE LANE - January 27th
Regarded by many as one of Australia’s finest musicians, Jordie Lane recently returned from America with his first full length studio album in 5 years, GLASSELLLAND, (pronounced Glas-Sell-Land). The album was written and produced by Lane himself, with co-collaborator and in demand LA based Songwriter/Producer Clare Reynolds (Timbaland, Haley Reinhart, Greyson Chance).
They also took on the insane task of building tear down transitory studios in several spaces in North East Los Angeles and engineering and playing every single instrument and sound on the album. The record is a personal account of the way Lane sees the world with an at times tragic and vain or facetious delivery of heavy social themed lyrics, lathered with lush and sometimes frightening sonic landscapes.
Get ready for a night of songs new and old as the Courtyard Sessions welcomes the one and only Jordie Lane to our outdoor stage.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jordielanemusic/
BUOY - February 3rd
Sydney based artist BUOY (Charmian Kingston) takes listeners on a musical journey that traverses the realms of ethereal pop through to the darker shades of ambient electronic music. Set to a backdrop of intricately textured synths & sampling, BUOY’s music makes exceptional use of vastness & space to highlight her striking vocals amidst a haunting instrumental soundscape.BUOY’s debut EP Immersion is out now.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BUOY.LAND/
FRANK SULTANA - February 10th
Tipping his hat to the great Mississippi delta bluesmen of the 1930s as well as the reckless abandon of the 1960s, Sydney’s indie bluesman Frank Sultana is a musical force to behold. Don’t miss your chance to see one of Australia’s finest Blues musicians in action.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FrankSultanaAndTheSinisterKids/
TOP OF THE WORLD PRESENTS "IN THE ROUND" - February 17th
Inspired by the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the Courtyard Sessions is proud to present a singer/songwriter night featuring a group of talented female artists from different genres who will be singing their own songs, collaborating on each others and covering some of their favourites.
The sessions will be recorded for the Podcast series “Top of the World”. Set to feature in this special evening will be the show’s host, alt-folk/Americana artist Taryn La Fauci, Rythmic Pop guitar prodigy (with heart) Sabrina Soares and Country Pop singer/songwriter Melanie Dyer.
More will be revealed in the lead-up to the event!
AMBER RAE SLADE - February 24th
Born in Detroit, Michigan to a musical family and raised throughout the United States, Amber Rae Slade’s introduction to music came early.
As a result of her family’s Capo business, which claims to endorsees such as James Taylor, Vince Gill and Sugarland, the family constantly travelled on tours and festivals across the country.
From her first visit to Nashville in 2005, a place she would soon call hang her hat, Amber found her musical home and heritage. She shelved deep into the music of her idols such as Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly (to name but a few) and through their sound discovered her own.
After a few years gigging around the music mecca that is Nashville, Amber’s sonic journey took her halfway across the world, where she formed a professional and marital relationship with Australian producer and Golden Guitar winner Matt Fell (Sara Storer, John Williamson, Graeme Connors etc.). This new partnership, in her new home of Sydney, has exploded into an exciting and distinct musical force.
Currently halfway through the recording of her debut album, Amber and Matt have created a live performance far from the standard acoustic, two guitar, two singers set up. Through the use of down and dirty baritone guitars, looping and an array of percussion and drums, the music coming through the speakers sounds like the work of a band rather than a duo.
THE CRUISIN DEUCES - March 10th
The Cruisin’ Deuces were born out of a love of traditional Honky-tonk, Western Swing and Rockabilly music. Hailing from Sydney’s Inner West, the boys blend the southern twang of Telecasters with crying steel guitars and driving bass. The Rev. Dr. Z’s (lead guitar) soulful voice and burning solos blend with the mournful wail of the pedal steel and bring the sounds of Texas, Memphis and Nashville to Sydney for a hootenanny you’ll never forget.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cruisin-Deuces-1566195940294393/
GOLDHEIST - March 17th
Where words fail, music speaks – a mantra which is encapsulated in the work of GOLDHEIST (aka Hester Fraser), charming audiences as a Finalist for two years running in the Toyota Busking Championships at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and Winner of the prestigious People’s Choice Award in 2016.
But it’s not all singing in the streets for GOLDHEIST. Her songs tell stories of love, life and adventure, painting vibrant pictures of the Australian bush, current affairs and events, not to mention a few broken hearts. In early 2014, she toured NSW with her debut release Dust, raising funds and awareness for drought in rural areas. This lead to further drought relief performances through Centacare New England North West, followed by appearances at the Quirindi Music Festival, RAW Visionary Melbourne, and a mini-tour to Byron Bay and Murwillumbah. She was the winner of BalconyTV Producers Pick for her live video performance of Wild Things on the rooftop of Sydney Harbour YHA, and in 2015, two GOLDHEIST songs were included in the soundtrack for independent feature film Beijing Being, which was selected for the 39th Montreal World Film Festival and the NYC Independent Film Festival.
Following the death of her grandfather, the late Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, she wrote and released The Camellia Tree, a musical tribute to his life and legacy. The subsequent media campaign, widespread radio play, and performance on The Morning Show helped to raise funds and awareness for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. This is an ongoing project to which GOLDHEIST lends her voice and her art, contributing to the call for changes to Australia’s controversial policies towards displaced peoples seeking asylum.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GOLDHEIST
SKYSCRAPER STAN - March 18th
The son of a novelist and a filmmaker, Skyscraper Stan (Stan Woodhouse) was raised with an ingrained appreciation for language. Formative years were spent pouring over volumes of collected poetry and short stories while his father’s record collection provided the soundtrack. Stan’s introduction to performance came from these early years too. His mother, a former actress and a renowned New Zealand author would play Paul Simon tunes on their upright piano. His father would entertain guests with an acoustic guitar, favouring songwriters like Loudon Wainwright and James Taylor. It was his father who first showed Stan how to roll his thumb and play a fingerpicked melody.
At eighteen, while working as a busboy in a late night Auckland music venue, Stan was overheard singing to his mopbucket. The proprietor booked him to play between sets every weekend for the summer. “Maybe it was just good business” Stan says when asked about these early performances, “he was already paying me to wash dishes.”
“He never asked what I wanted to be billed as. He just wrote ‘Skyscraper Stan’ up on the board and it stayed there”
Two years later Stan left New Zealand. Live performance had changed his way of thinking. Under the pretence of finishing his zoology degree (which he says he did) Stan moved to Melbourne, the long reputed Australian capital of live music. He hit the pub scene, he met people, he started picking up shows. Then he left. He bought a car and drove to New South Wales, living in the boot with a young woman for months until a chance encounter with Melbourne musicians at Tamworth Country Music Festival convinced him to return. He hit the pub scene again, this time with a band behind him. Then he left. He bought a plane ticket and flew to America.
He doctored his information to gain access to the USA and set off on a musical odyssey. “I had no money, it was foolish. It was great though. I slept under bridges and learned to hop trains. All the cheesy American Dream stuff”
After a year the luck ran out and Stan returned to Australia. He established a new backing band “the Commission Flats” and recorded his debut EP “Tall Stories”. Relentless gigging on the local scene built Stan and his band a reputation as one of the more exciting live acts on the block. After being picked up by the Sydney based Harbour Agency, Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats began touring nationally. Late in 2014 they began production on their debut album. Last Years Tune, released in March 2015, showcased Stan’s songwriting ability over eleven disparate yet beautifully unified tracks.
The band which includes Stan’s younger cousin Oskar Herbig, Oskar’s partner Lia Sharard and Lia’s older sister Gemma Sharard, has received impassioned accolades for the sonic template it brings to his songs.
Currently Stan is maintaining a relatively constant touring schedule, performing in major centres, regional venues and at festivals nationwide. Movement is a prominent theme in his music and this seems to be reflected in his own motions “It’s a comfortable state of being for me. I like the constant bouncing around. It makes me feel like I have a job to do”
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/skyscraperstan