Sassy Sydney-sider Cass Eager is an artist whose reputation has been forged on passionate live performances and a voice to die for. Having earned the well-deserved plaudits of critics and peers, her uniquely soulful vocals have elicited comparisons with the greats, with respected folk-blog ‘Timer and Steel’ describing her as ‘Janis Joplin and Ben Harper’s love-child – high praise indeed!
Musically she traverses roads steeped in a unique hybrid of blues, soul, roots and alt-country, which she claims as distinctly her own, and her shows are renowned for their authenticity, passion and her ability to both carry the night with her voice alone, while also regaling and engaging those present with her wit and warmth.
And local fans can rejoice as Cass, together with her trusted backing band, The Velvet Rope, will shortly be performing here as part of this year’s Blues on Broadbeach Festival lineup in May, where she’s also guaranteed to win over many new converts.
Here’s what Cass had to say in the lead up to her upcoming Queensland shows:
Congratulations on being part of the bumper line up for this year’s Blues On Broadbeach Festival. Are there any artists on the bill that you’re particularly looking forward to checking out?
Thanks! Yeah I’ve been fortunate to play Blues on Broadbeach Festival a few times now. But each time is unique and always better than the last, so hopefully 2019 will keep the tradition going! I’m really looking forward to seeing Internationals Cedric Burnside, and Eric Bibb, as well as Aussie acts The Bamboos, Rhythm X Revival and Lachy Doley. So many though I can’t mention them all! (OK…Hussy Hicks, Kate Lush band, Marshall, Minnie Marks, Geoff Achison…I’ll stop now).
Can you tell us a little about your backing band, ‘The Velvet Rope’?
The band and I have been together for around 10 years now! Actually I liked the drummer so much I married him. We’re like family, with years of being on the road and in the studio. They are Jonathan Dallimore (guitar), Ryan Van Gennip (bass) and Howler (Jon Howell – drums/husband)! And Howler and Ryan are two thirds of the band Chase The Sun so they lock in so good together.
I see you’ve played here on the Gold Coast a few times, including a show at the Currumbin Soundlounge, together with local legends Hussy Hicks. Do you have any endearing memories of playing here previously?
I like it so much I moved here! Well, almost…we moved to Byron Bay a few months ago from Sydney, so hopefully I’ll get to create some more local memories. But yes the Soundlounge was a great gig, but the most memorable part of that tour was Howler blowing up two hire vans – one near Kempsey in NSW and the other on the way to the The Soundlounge show. Don’t tell the hire company but he couldn’t drive a manual.
Performance wise, what can we expect from you when you step on stage at Blues On Broadbeach in May?
I’ve been writing a lot of new stuff lately, so it will be the first time we’ll be playing a bunch of those new tunes! We’ll have keys with us as well which always fattens out the sound and gives it the soul that I love.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?
I just got back from LA where I am working sometimes, so I’ll probably head back there again later this year. It’s been a while between albums as I made some humans instead (two kids with the aforementioned drummer) so the plan is to get that out in 2019! It will be the collection of new tunes including the ones we’ll be debuting at Blues on Broadbeach!
Cass Eager, together with her band The Velvet Rope will be one of the highlights of this year’s Blues On Broadbeach Festival, taking place between 16 – 19 May. Other acts already announced include Canned Heat, Eric Bibb, Bahamas, Charley Crockett, Cedric Burnside and more. Visit bluesonbroadbeach.com for the lineup so far.
This free festival has rapidly become one to the must-dos of the Gold Coast gig calendar, so be sure to get along.