Bernard Fanning
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Bernard Fanning

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Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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2006 AWARDS
APRA: Songwriter of the Year WON
ARIA: Tea & Sympathy // Album of The Year WON
TRIPLE J: Wish You Well // Triple J Hottest 100 #1
ARIA: Best Music Video // WON
ARIA: Best Male Artist // WON
ARIA: Best Cover Art //WON

2007 AWARDS
APRA: Most Performed Blues & Roots Work - Songbird // WON
APRA: Most Performed Blues & Roots Work - Watch Over Me // NOMINATED
APRA: Most Performed Blues & Roots Work -Wish You Well // NOMINATED
- APRA, ARIA, TRPLE J


"There are moments when songs wash over, lifting and swelling your heart, somehow tapping into a deeper emotion - whether it's love, sorrow or pain. Bernard Fanning's new songs on 'Tea & Sympathy' penetrate these profound emotions, somehow making the world slow down as the music takes hold. It's an undeniably powerful, moving work - which seems to have poured directly from Fanning's soul"
Christine Sams, - The Sun-Herald, February 2006


If Bernard Fanning's identity weren't so well documented as frontman for Powderfinger (a hard-rocking band popular in it's native Australia for more than a decade), one might suspect it was a pseudonym allowing Ryan Adams to release even more album son Lost Highway. Like the prolific Adams, Fanning combines a yearning vocal reediness with a penchant for country-tinged, acoustic-electric arrangements steeped in the influence of the 1970's. Fiddle, mandolin, piano, lap steel, and harmonica frame his bittersweet balladry, with much of the mid tempo material built around strum of an acoustic guitar. Yet the strength of Fannings songs and suppleness of his vocals distinguish him from the run of the alt-country mill, and Tchad Blake's coproduction gives the sound a homespun shimmer. Among the highlights, the gentle harmonies of "Down to the Rover" build a stirring, electric crescendo, the harder edge of "Which Way Home?" evokes his days in a rock band, and the reflective intimacy of "Watch Over Me" provides a fitting finale". Don McLeese - Amazon.com


"He sings songs of uplifting comfort better than almost anyone in this country. He can express touching sentiment with a warmth that makes listeners nostalgic about the present as effectively as he can belt out a rock song" - Rolling Stone (Australia)


"The melodies on 'Tea & Sympathy' prove as ingratiating as Fanning's vocals are open" - New York Daily News


"Here's hoping the dismal indifference that has greeted Powderfinger in the States doesn't taint this marvellous album's chances for broader exposure Up Over" - HARP, 2006


"If you still believe in honest, heartfelt rock with a rootsy edge, check this out" Steve Morse, Boston Globe - Boston Globe 2006


One of the most anticipated releases of the year, Tea & Sympathy sees Bernard Fanning surpass expectations and deliver a solo debut worthy of a place in the Powderfinger pantheon.
While the unyielding optimism of 'Wish You Well' makes for an obvious first single and the soaring rock of 'Which Way Home' will please fans of his mainstay, don't expect Powderfinger lite.
The front porch appeal of 'Thrill Is Gone', 'Sleeping Rough' and the impossibly infectious 'Songbird' pay homage to Fannings country leanings without booking a flight to Nashville, but it's the personal paeans that infect the listener with a potent addition: see 'Not Finished Just Yet'., 'Believe', the baroque tones of 'Wash Me Clean' and 'Yesterdays Gone'. Introspective, stark and chilling in their effect, 'Down to The River' and the hymnal 'Watch Over Me' are the longplayer's unintended lynchpins, adding a weighty conclusion to an album of express ice maturity.
With his heart on his sleeve and the vagaries of life and love under the microscope, Bernard Fanning fashions Tea & Sympathy into the feeling of a warm, familiar hug. Get, and give one, today. Matt Connors - Timeoff magazine, November 2, 2005


Few records in Australia arrive with as much expectation as the debut solo album from Powderfinger's Bernard Fanning.
And solo albums can be fraught with danger, even for those with the highest of profiles. Some life-long fans aren't aware Mick Jagger made one great solo album (Wandering Spirit), but plenty know his last was one was a dud.
For artists who are strongly connected to a band, it can be difficult finding a space of their own to work in, to establish a clear direction. if it were easy to do, maybe Bono and Michael Stipe would have tired it by now.
But there are no such problems for fanning, whose interest in blues, country and soul has grown even deeper in recent years. There is plenty of heart and soul on tea & Sympathy with its honest emotions, acoustic guitars and harmonies, some occasional sweet fiddle, slide guitar and shimmering Hammond organ.
Not that Fanning is about to go all Nashviille on you, or even all Hank Williams. But he draws inspiration from the emotional heart of that music, in the way that artists like the Rolling Stones and Neil Young do.
The album was mostly recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios in the UK, plus four tracks recorded at Fanning's home studio.
Four of the songs are from the original demos sessions at Fanning's home studio, producer Tchad Blake reasoning there was no way he could improve on tracks like Believe and Not Finished Just Yet. Its hard to disagree with his conclusion.
Tea & Sympathy can rock out when the occasion demands, with songs like the soulful Which Way Home and The Strangest Thing, the towering first single Wish You Well and the potent hybrid of Down to the River, a lullaby with a startling guitar crescendo.
But it's the balance with the quieter moments that will make this one of the best-loved records of the year. There is Wash me Clean with its beautiful finger-picked acoustic guitar and violin; the hints of Led Zeppelin in the fiddle and mandolin part of the soundtrack to summer.
in parting, there is the quiet hymnal, Watch Over me, written after watching the Pope's funerall on TV. And you don't need to have a spiritual bone in your body to feel something of its calming, uplifting effect. Noel Mengel - The Courier Mail, October 29 2005


It could have been called What I Did On My Holidays, given that this debut solo album is the fruit of Bernard Fanning's year-long sabbatical from his Powderfinger buddies. Such a title would suggest some kind of hobby project, however, and this is not, nor is it Powderfinger-lite. he stretches himself here by cooling the force and pace regularly employed in his rock guise. In it's place comes a batch of songs that just occasionally slips into rock mode (Wish You Well, Which Way Home) but most often has a rootsy sensibility. this more acoustic agenda suits his voice incredibly well, especially on the likes of Watch Over me, Songbird, and Yesterday's gone, with plenty of space in the former's moody folk and the latter two's country-ish shuffles for the subtle nuances of his vocals (and harmonies) to shine. The opening Thrill Is Gone is another country-styled standout. Lyrically bleak (much of its being about failed or failing relationships) Tea & Sympathy is nevertheless an infectiously uplifting experience and suggests Fanning's long-term future may lie in his own hands. Iain Sheddan - The Australian, October 29 2005


Discography

May 2013
New Album through Dew Process / Universal Music Australia
Produced by Joe Chicarelli
Recorded & Mixed at Sunset Sounds Studios Los Angeles, CA

30 October 2005
"Tea & Sympathy" Album
Through Dew Process / Universal Music Australia
Produced by Tchad Blake and Bernard Fanning
Record & Mixed at Real World Studios, Bath, England UK

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Bio


With one of the most iconic voices in Australia, Bernard Fanning is perhaps best known as frontman for multi-platinum selling, multi-award winning Australian rock band Powderfinger. In the midst of their 20-year career, Bernard took some time out to write and record debut solo album "Tea & Sympathy". Released to critical acclaim in Australia in October 2005 the solo work debuted at #1 in the ARIA charts where it stayed in the top 50 for 58 weeks. "Tea & Sympathy" was considered only the beginning of Bernard's esteemed solo career. In addition, Bernard Fanning has donated much of his time to philanthropic causes including Youngcare, Reconciliation Australia and Yalari.

Bernard has now entered Sunset Sounds Studios in Los Angeles to record the follow up to 'Tea & Sympathy', this time with producer Joe Chicarelli at the helm.

The album is due for release in Australia in May 2013.

Tea & Sympathy Biography:

(An open letter from Bernard Fanning) 2005.

Hi,

Here's a quick rundown on how the album came about.

When Powderfinger took a sabbatical in February this year I continued writing and adding to songs that I was putting together from the few months prior.

There was a bit of a creative burst from March through May, before setting off to record with Tchad Blake, at Real World Studios in the UK. Charming English countryside and a batch of mostly acoustic songs made for great bedfellows during a summery June in Wiltshire. Jerry Marotta (drums), Keith Duffy (bass) and John Bedggood (heaps) all came along for the ride and we had a ball putting the songs together in a very casual way.

Tchad was twiddling the knobs and, between meals, we managed to get it together and do some recording. The Bristol train was a 6am alarm clock each morning, in an otherwise beautiful studio setting. We laid rhythm beds for a week, tracked for two more, and mixed for a further week before finishing up at the end of June.

In varying degrees we indulged in local beverages, wandered through some stone walled country lanes, played ping pong and drank Bellini's at an English garden party, which was lovely! But most of the time was dedicated to recording.

Ten of the tracks that were laid at Real World are present on Tea & Sympathy with four additional songs, (3,5,7,8) recorded at my home studio in Brisbane , but mixed by Tchad. The band on these songs is a ramshackle bunch of Brisbane musicians that now mostly make up the live band.

It was a fascinating few months, sometimes deeply personal, occasionally difficult but mostly a thoroughly rewarding time which deepened my love for the song writing process. Can't wait to do some more!!

I hope you enjoy the record and that maybe some of you will catch a live show when it rolls through town.

Released through Dew Process/Universal Music Australia on October 30, 2005.

‘Tea & Sympathy' was recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath
Produced by Tchad Blake and Bernard Fanning