what’s on: The Voice’s Mr Nice Guy, live and lo­cal

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Per­ci­val (pic­tured) has a sur­prise for fans when his Happy Home tour lands at Twin Towns to­mor­row. As well as per­form­ing songs from the run­ner­sup al­bum, which he recorded af­ter his time on TV tal­ent show The

Voice, the singer/song­writer and fa­ther-of-two will road-test a hand­ful of songs from his new Ray Charles trib­ute al­bum ahead of its expected re­lease next month. Per­ci­val says he has been a long­time fan of the Amer­i­can singer/ song­writer, whose ca­reer spanned decades and mu­si­cal gen­res, in­clud­ing boo­gie woo­gie pi­ano, rhythm, blues, soul, jazz and even coun­try mu­sic. Frank Si­na­tra called Charles ‘‘the one true mu­si­cal ge­nius’’ and some say Charles was a big­ger influence on con­tem­po­rary mu­sic in the US than Elvis Pres­ley. ‘‘I first heard the mu­sic of Ray Charles as a child,’’ Per­ci­val says. ‘‘My grand­fa­ther used to play his records . . . through all the bands I played with and fol­lowed through the 1980s and 1990s, I still loved to lis­ten to Ray Charles.’’ The com­ing al­bum fea­tures Per­ci­val per­form­ing 16 songs by Charles just as they would have been recorded by the mu­si­cian. ‘‘We’d go into the stu­dio, the band, a drum­mer and me, I’d count ev­ery­one in and we’d record each song as if we played it live, from be­gin­ning to end.’’ The songlist in­cludes Charles’ hits

Hal­lelu­jah, I Love Her So, Ge­or­gia on My Mind and Hit the Road Jack as well as some of his lesser-known songs. ‘‘Ray Charles was a great mu­si­cian who per­formed across all sorts of mu­si­cal gen­res, in­clud­ing coun­try mu­sic. Some of those coun­try songs – Drown in My Own Tears is one of them – are among my per­sonal favourites,’’ Per­ci­val says. Per­ci­val launched his Happy Home tour at Crown Casino, Mel­bourne, on the week­end and lands at Twin Towns to­mor­row ahead of dates that play out over com­ing week­ends all across Aus­tralia. He says his new A Trib­ute to Ray Charles al­bum was due for re­lease the same he week he per­formed at The Stu­dio, at Sydney Opera House. ‘‘As a mu­si­cian, just say­ing Sydney Opera House, is a like a dream come true,’’ he says. ‘‘The Ray Charles trib­ute al­bum too. It’s a project I thought I wouldn’t

DAR­REN get up for maybe an­other 10 years, but I sup­pose that’s an in­di­ca­tion of how The Voice has changed my life,’’ he says. ‘‘I spend most week­ends on planes fly­ing to gigs that fill rooms and even au­di­to­ri­ums,’’ he says. Per­ci­val is joined on his Happy Home tour by five mu­si­cians he has known for 20 years. His set list will in­clude orig­i­nals and soul clas­sics from his al­bum Happy Home, in­clud­ing the sin­gle In The Blow­ing Wind, au­di­ence favourites from The Voice and his con­tri­bu­tion to the hit The Sap­phires movie sound­track – In The Sweet Bye and

Bye. He re­turns for the Mul­lum Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, from Novem­ber 22-25, where he will per­form and men­tor students.

– LISA SIMMONS

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