The Blues Preachers

10th Annual Acoustic Song Nominee
9th Annual Social Action Song Nominee

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Record Label: Soapbox Records

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*9th Annual IMA Sing Out For Social Action Nominees*

The Blues Preachers are… Brother John and Captain Bluetongue

Home Base: Sydney, Australia.

Genre: Acoustic, Blues, Roots.

Category Entered: Acoustic Song

Work Submitted: “The Free Train Agreement”

Label: Soap Box Records

Main Site:

Influences: Mississippi John Hurt, Ali Akbar Khan, Jimmie Rodgers, The Beatles, Sonny Terry, Robert Johnson, The Reverend Robert Wilkins, Bob Dylan, and The Everly Brothers.

What’s the meaning of your band name? The name refers to the fact that we strive to bring forward a message of hope and meaning in a world ruled by the blue dragons of hopelessness and depression. The Blues can go either way. It can be the deep dark blue of melancholy and sadness or the dawning of a bright blue sunny day.

Describe your nominated work: ‘The Free Train Agreement’ as opposed to ‘The Free Trade Agreement’ refers to those amazing things in life that are free- friendships, family, love, peace and forgiveness; They are all there and available to us if we want them. Get on board the free train. If we don’t change, if we refuse to let go of the baggage that weighs us down even unto death, our planet will cease to exist.
The nominated Track is available on our latest release: Dead Catz Can Bounce

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 10th IMA’s? We submitted to the acoustic category believing that “The Free Train Agreement” is a genuine acoustic song played in a traditional style with a very contemporary message. As a result of having had some success with “Divine Justice Coming Down” in 2009 we were well aware that a winning nomination in the IMAs is a great way to promote our music.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? We used traditional finger-style guitars made by Gilet Guitars in Sydney, Australia. Also we used a 5 string banjo, a big foot stomp box, standard diatonic harmonicas and a huge bass harmonica which was used to create the drone effect on many of our tracks.

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? The entire album is full of happy accidents. Harmonica solos, slide guitar solos and vocal harmonies seemed to appear from nowhere.

Did fans help you fund this project? No.

Who’s sitting in your audience? Our audience on one hand is made up of ‘baby boomers’ who love the traditional folk and blues tunes that make up a large part of our repertoire. On the other hand at least 50% of our audience are the 20 to 30 year old sons and daughters of baby boomers who love acoustic music and recognize that it is the source for many forms of contemporary music. They connect in a big way to our social action and protest songs.

What makes your fans unique? They think… They also don’t drink that much.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote? No. Songs are like children. They decide who their parents are and we are very thankful that we have been in the right place at the right time when a song has attached itself to “The Blues Preachers”.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? The Mamas and The Papas, Feist, and Tuvan Throat Singing.

What is your dream show lineup? Enter the Dearly Departed. George Harrison, Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt, Rory Gallagher, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson and many others.

Do you have any guilty pleasures on the road? None … we try and eat and sleep well and generally stay healthy while on tour to keep stress levels under control.

Any close calls or mishaps while on tour? The Narooma Blues Festival 2009- The rain was relentless. Captain Bluetongue was on one side of the stage and Brother John on the other performing Deep River Blues when the tent opened up slightly just above the stage allowing a torrent of water to pour down from 6 meters up. It hit the stage between the two performers and missed large power amps, generators and expensive guitars. A potential disaster was miraculously transformed into an exciting visual effect. The audience loved it.

Do you have any backstage rituals or routines before you go on stage? We sing a few scales. We throw back a beer or maybe a medicinal glass of port and if it’s a big gig ….. we pray.

Should music be free? Not completely …. musicians have bills to pay and children to support but we don’t believe that musicians should be paid obscene amounts of money.

How has digital affected your career? It has opened pathways to audiences around the globe that would be unavailable to us under the old regime.

Are digital singles vs. full albums the future of music? Yes

Finish this sentence: The music industry is… a blood sucking corporate monster.