Naked in the Woods 2September 1, 2010, East Brunswick Club, Melbourne.
Naked in the Woods 2 is the CD produced by the FReeZaCentral Mentoring Program graduates in 2010.
In February 2010 55 young Victorians were paired with music industry professionals in the areas of performance, event management, marketing and publicity, technical production and music business. As a part of the mentoring program, participants worked to produce a compilation CD.
Six months later Naked in the Woods 2 has been released. It features songs by mentees and their mentors in the performance stream, including accomplished artists such as Clare Bowditch, Angie Hart, Monique Brumby, Jess Harlen and Deborah Conway with Willy Zygier.
The highly anticipated launch of the CD was held at the East Brunswick Club on September 1 2010. Mentors and mentees returned to the venue where they initially met to listen to live performances from the CD. The stage was set against a backdrop of black curtains with two white skeletal trees standing on either side.
The first musician on stage was Izzy, an incredibly talented piano player from Geelong with an amazing voice. She played songs from her pre-released demo and "The Legacy", which features on Naked in the Woods 2. Her performance was beautiful and she received a warm reception from the crowd.
Next on stage was Yelka and her acoustic guitar. Her sweet voice and mellow guitar tunes were offset by the light melodies of a glockenspiel. To the delight of the audience her mentor, ARIA award winning Clare Bowditch, joined her on stage to sing back-up vocals. Clare gave Yelka "an official 10/10 for being a great mentee".
Courtney Barnett played next, having just returned from a tour of Brisbane. She played guitar and was accompanied at times by a glockenspiel, drum, harmonica and tambourine. Her tunes were simple but lovely and her distinctive Australian accent was delightful to listen to. By this point, many in the audience had sat down on the ground next to the stage. The atmosphere was laidback and the audience was laughing along to Courtney's humourous banter between songs.
The lively Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier played songs from their new album Half Man Half Woman. An accomplished Australian musician since the '80s, Deborah proved to be every bit as effervescent and charismatic as she's ever been. She added a touch of blues and country to the night.
After a very quick changeover Jess McAvoy graced the stage with her guitar and soulful lyrics. She had just recently returned from a tour of the U.S. and Canada, and had been compiling an album based on her travel experiences. She treated the crowd to a preview of her new songs, which were well received.
The last performance of the night was Melbourne four-piece The Little Stevies, with vocalist Sibylla Stephen being the mentor to Courtney Barnett. They filled the room with their bright indie-pop songs and were rather funny onstage. Their bubbly set included new songs that will be recorded in Los Angeles.
The performances at the CD launch provided a live preview of the tunes featured on Naked in the Woods 2. Gems on this compilation include electronic pop by M.C.K., orchestral violins combined with a rap breakdown from Tyla Bertolli, steady soulful piano by Monique Brumby, and a wistful piano ballad by Jessie Upton. The home-grown compilation is fresh, honest, ambitious, and musically beautiful.
Congratulations to all the graduates of the FReeZA Central Mentoring Program in 2010. To find out more information about the mentoring program, check out www.freezacentral.vic.gov.au (new window).
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