From Bavaria to Byron and back again: Hussy Hicks on the year ahead

Julz Parker is exchanging emails with Blank editor Samantha Morris over a Bavarian breakfast. White sausage, bretzel and weisbier. She only answers half the questions and says she’ll get back to us, but we know better. She lets slip that she’s going skiing on Monday, after the shows they’re in the country for.

“Hopefully we make deadline,” she said. Yep. Told you we know better. Julz and bandmate Leesa Gentz jetted off just days after the video for That Old Heartache was launched, following the single which came a month or so earlier. She said the response has been great. Everyone seems to love it.

“It’s a simple little song that Leesa wrote in about 15 minutes but it seems to strike a chord across a whole bunch of different crews,” she said, adding that it’s her mum’s song favourite song. Which is awkward seeing she didn’t write it.

The video is simple, but effective too and Julz said it happened with ease.

“Our friend Hazel just moved from London to Burleigh with her husband Schrav (who recorded the London Sessions and plays keys with us),” Julz said. “Her background is more in graphic arts and design but she’s recently moved more into video stuff.”

Hazel suggested they do a clip and the next day they were in Justin Lane (then Cavalier) with a bunch of family and friends as extras before Hazel spend the next few weeks editing the clip in New Zealand.

“When she got back I looked after her little son and her and Leesa hit the beach on a fortunately-timed full moon to shoot the final scenes.”

Julz said the hardest thing was to not look too happy. “It’s a heartache song, after all.”

Helping sustain those happy faces is news that Hussy Hicks have been added to the Bluesfest lineup. They first played the event in 2010 after winning the busking competition and have played there a bunch of times since, including with Marshall O’Kell and Kristy Lee as well as presenting their Circle of Friends format.

“It’s always such a great lineup so it’s an honour to be involved in any way,” Julz said. “But we’re extra happy to be able to do two full Hussy sets this time ‘round.”

When I ask Julz who she’s most like to share the stage with from next year’s lineup, she of course, has the whole thing mapped out.

“Tedeschi Trucks,” she said. “Derek Trucks is definitely one of the greatest guitarists of our generation and Susan is a monster singer. So I reckon trading licks with Derek while Leesa sang in harmony with Susan would be a pretty ultimate musical bucket list moment.”

“Otherwise D’Angelo ‘cause we both spent a good part of the last 15 years listening to his music.”

The pair will warm up for Bluesfest with a heap of local shows too. First cab off the rank is Southport Sharks, where they’ll perform on 9 January.

“It’s great to see such a big club making the move away from cover bands,” Julz said of the venue. “They have been having some great acts lately so we’re looking forward to getting up that way.”

“We’re pretty stoic southern Gold Coaster’s so it’s been great getting a few gigs up the northern end.”

“We played the Nightquarter just before we left and wow that is such an amazing space too. I guess we’re gonna have to spend a bit more time north of Miami in 2016.”

2016 will be a big year for Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz. They’ll hit the road mid-February to tour their new release Lucky Joe’s Wine and other tales from Dog River. They’ll be in Sydney and Melbourne as well as the West Coast for some festivals before Bluesfest rolls around.

“And after that we’ll be disappearing for a few months and playing a bunch of festivals and club shows in Europe.”

Hopefully also in that time we’ll be recording another record and swimming in the ocean and growing some veggies and drinking whiskey and listening to music with good friends.”

Julz signs off her email by saying she’ll touch base after hitting the mountain. We all know how that worked out.

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Hussy Hicks play Southport Sharks on 9 January before touring the nation and landing at Bluesfest Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend.

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