Blue King Brown - Over Land and Sea

With countless shows and spots on festival circuits both here and abroad, as well as earning radio play and critical acclaim in the meantime, Blue King Brown are apparently just getting warmed up. In fact, just a glimpse of their history since their inception in 2004 suggests a work ethic perhaps unrivalled by their blues and roots contemporaries. Fans and those as yet unacquainted with the band will be able to get in on the action, Blue King Brown having recently embarked on a new string of dates. Founding member Natalie Pa'apa'a is excited to be back on the road again.


"We love (touring) and the tour has just started... we have dreams and goals and we are very passionate about performing live and very passionate about connecting with our global community and sharing the music and the message and the positivity," she declares enthusiastically. Found in the chilly surrounds of Toronto, Canada, however, Pa'apa'a concedes the weather has been tough going. "We almost got snowed in yesterday! It was really cold."


It's surely a shock to the system for a band familiar with the milder climate of their hometown Melbourne, Blue King Brown also professing strong ties to Byron Bay. Fortunately, the cold has not supressed the obvious joy Pa'apa'a exudes, having just hopped off stage., Blue King Brown's positivity and passion is evident in everything they do - the exact attitude necessary given their schedule of late. After playing a number of festivals in Australia including Falls, WOMAD, East Coast Blues and Roots Festival Byron Bay and the Big Day Out, the band are currently tripping their way across the globe. Blue King Brown recently made an appearance at Austin's infamous SXSW festival also, the experience of the event often seen without equal. However, any time spent on the road is a huge opportunity for the band to promote their craft.


"We are just trying to get our name out and about in the world and perform for as many people as we can and make as many connections as we can, so that we can keep coming out and do what we are doing," Pa'apa'a says.


It's business as usual for the sextet, who have enjoyed great success off the back of three albums - their most recent being last year's Worldwize Pt.1 North & South. It would be the 2006 release of Stand Up that would set the course for the band, however, Blue King Brown suddenly earning immense airplay from the likes of Triple J, a wealth of support offered up for their endeavours. But fast-forward to the present day and there's good news in spades for local fans: not only are Blue King Brown taking their music around Australia as of May, the band have recently released new material. The single is titled Gathu Mawula and marks a collaboration with well known Aboriginal artist Garrumul.


"We did a version of one of (Gathu Mawula) and it's a song that we had heard and we had really loved and we had connected with on a number of occasions. Garramul was interested in getting up and playing with Blue King Brown," Pa'apa'a explains. "We played it a few times and we thought 'Why don't we go into the studio and record a version of it?' We just really enjoyed working with each other - in the wider sense and it was very natural for us to get into the studio and create this really beautiful version of this song that we really love."


It's no surprise then that Blue King Brown and Garramul have kept the lines open, particularly where their artistic endeavours are concerned. "We have met on a number of occasions. He is pretty shy to start with - he is quite a funny guy and he is really free," reveals Pa'apa'a, before disclosing a new venture. "Basically I just called him up and said ‘How do you feel about getting together and doing a film clip for Gathu Mawula?' and he was like ‘Yeah!'"


It's another feather in Blue King Brown's cap, having earnt the praise of some big names, including Michael Franti and Carlos Santana. Heading upward and onward, it seems the band can only snare more frenzied love for their brand of roots music.

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