The Rhythm of my soul: a tribute to Bart Willoughby
Bart Willoughby is noted for his pioneering fusion of reggae with Indigenous Australian musical influences, and for his substantial contribution to the growth of Indigenous music in Australia. Through his early work with the legendary band, No Fixed Address, Willoughby has been described as, ‘the tip of the spear of contemporary Aboriginal music’. No Fixed Address inspired an entire generation of Aboriginal musicians. Following recent health issues, Willoughby’s supporters have rallied to support their old friend with a concert to celebrate his outstanding work and achievements.
The lineup included Archie Roach, Dan Sultan, David Bridie, Shane Howard, Tiddas, Peter Rotumah, Amy Saunders, Sal Dastey, Kutcha Edwards, Ross Hannaford, The Grenadines, Tjudin, Tjimba Possum-Burns, The Bart Willoughby Band And More.
MC duties were handled by Kutcha Edwards, who also did a couple of songs. Shane Howard also helped out by introducing a couple of bands.
The day was handled really well, with the first part being a song each from most of the performers. Archie Roach came out with his son on guitar and sang a song he wrote last year about living on the mission. It was very moving.
After the break Archie's son Amos and his wife performed some traditional dances, accompanied by their young son in one of them.
The second half was the ensemble in various configurations including David Bridie & Shane Howard (with Mal Webb on trombone) singing a new song called "Unity". Archie Roach, sitting on a chair, led everyone in a couple of songs. A highlight was one of Bart's biggest songs, "Aboriginal Woman".
It was a lovely celebration of Bart's life and music which will hopefully lead to his speedy recovery from heart surgery.