Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope

“… down the end on a small stage in a patch of light under a mass of wild curls, a girl sits, cradling a big-bodied guitar, like a still from The Bottom Line in ’68. And that voice, mixing Memphis soul and delta blues, is husky from a thousand melodies with a touch of Bobbie Gentry. And that voice, with a simple guitar strum, throws to images of a girl in a faded floral dress standing in the dirt by a house near the coast watching a storm roll in from the ocean. Those songs of hers take you somewhere, where good songs always take you.” • Greg Perano

Named by folk-blog Timber and Steel as ‘Janis Joplin and Ben Harper’s love-child’, Cass Eager’s mix of raw soul, husky blues and light-hearted ditties are all punctuated with her unique whisky-soaked vocals. Emotive, slightly raspy, at times tender and at times powerful, Eager’s authentic voice is always the driving force of her music.

Internationally renowned but defiantly grassroots, Cass Eager is one of those rare artists that’s mastered everything from the foot-stomping blues to a sensual slow burner. She’s been called ‘one of the best female singers in Australia’ by Richard Glover (ABC), ’The girl with the golden voice’ (Daily Examiner), and Diesel claims ‘she has a voice so sweet she could sing the phone book and you wouldn’t get bored’.

“One of Sydney’s most gifted singer-songwriters, whose refreshingly honest, almost Joplin-esque like voice is hers alone, and whose songwriting will spellbind the listener.” • The Music

Eager’s music has taken her to some of the world’s most far-flung places. Performing in diverse locations from CBGB’s in NYC to the beachfront huts of Dili has given Eager a depth and richness that comes from experience. She’s done several ‘tours of duty’ for Australian troops, from Egypt to East Timor (with Paul Kelly and Peter Garrett), the Middle East to the Solomon Islands. She’s toured through North America and Canada – alone with her acoustic guitar; alongside Ash Grunwald; and with US musician Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo; ex-Wilco). She performed for Prince Harry during his Australian visit, and after being invited back for a repeat performance, ended up giving the prince guitar lessons.

More recently, Cass supported Michael Franti & Spearhead on their 2015 Bluesfest tour, sat in with Alabama-native Kristy Lee’s Bluesfest sideshows and played alongside G. Love & Special Sauce and JJ Grey & Mofro. 2016 saw her perform with Canadian artist Irish Mythen at Bluesfest and national dates.

A finalist for Best Group and Best Female Vocalist in the Australian Blues Chain Awards and Best Blues/Roots Artist in the MusicOz Awards, Cass’ EP ‘Down On My Knees’ was voted ‘Top 10 Album’ of the year in Rhythms Magazine.

Festival Highlights – Australia

Bluesfest (NSW) • Sydney Blues and Roots Festival (NSW) • Blues On Broadbeach (QLD) • Blues at Bridgetown (WA) • Echuca Winter Blues Festival (VIC) • Festival Of The Sun (NSW) • Mitchell Creek Rock ‘n Blues Festival (QLD) • Peats Ridge Festival (NSW) • Blue Mountains Music Festival (NSW) • Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival (NSW) • Caloundra Festival (QLD) • Australian Blues Festival (NSW) • Gympie Muster (QLD) • Gum Ball Festival (NSW) • Wignalls Vintage Blues & Roots Festival (WA) • Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival (VIC) • Australian Music Week (NSW)

Festival Highlights – International

Canadian Music Week (CAN) • North by Northeast (CAN) • South by Southwest (USA) • Crankworx Festival (CAN) • Pemberton Music Festival (CAN) • Millenium Music Conference (USA)

HOMETOWN

Sydney – New South Wales, Australia

LISTEN

Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope

Cass Eager – vocals, guitar
Jono Dalimore – guitar
Ryan Van Gennip – bass
Jon Howell – drums

Category
2016