Cyndi Boste
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Cyndi Boste

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
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"'Tell it like it is'"

Cyndi Boste was raised at the foot of the Dandenongs, a eucalypt-covered mountain range that surrounds the sprawling city of Melbourne. As she grew up, her hometown underwent the transition from semi-rural community to commuter suburb, and, she says, “as soon as I turned eighteen, I was outta there.

“Ever since, I’ve mixed with city people — the wrong kind of people, according to the country music establishment. But I’m not really traditional country music’s kind of dude; I don’t go to church on Sunday, I don’t sing about being a wife, and all that ma, pa and the kids stuff.

“All those big boys and girls,” she says, with a laughing shake of the head, expressing both wonder and repugnance for the Australian country-starmaking machine. “I don’t get it. Every now and then I think, I could make some money here by writing that formula crap; these guys at the top are so tragic! But y’know, I couldn’t do it. Once you wear your jeans that tight and tuck the T-shirt in, there’s no turning back.”

Boste has reasons to renounce young country artists running headlong into empty commercial careers. After all, she’s running, too. It’s just that she’s running in the opposite direction; she jettisoned a lucrative career as a solo covers singer on the pub circuit, and set out on the more arduous path of singer-songwriterdom.

Her debut solo album, Home Truths, was a self-financed affair that has had a slow-burn effect. A trickle of positive reviews and modest sales over the past year has gradually gathered force and generated its own quiet but noticeable ‘buzz’ in the States and Europe.

Having recently turned 40, Boste is gratified by the response to her newfound career as recording artist. “I’ve done thousands of shows over the years, and I don’t want to be an entertainer anymore; that’s not where I’m at,” she says. “Entertainment brings everything down to the lowest common denominator; it’s about pleasing everyone at once, and that’s where it goes wrong.”

Home Truths is a shining example of the rewards that can be reaped from following one’s convictions. An intensely personal album with sometimes harrowing lyrics borne out of Boste’s painful and traumatic childhood, Home Truths lives up to its name with songwriting that is unrepentant, hard-won, and brave. The emotions run deep and dark, yet the spirit and strength of Boste’s muscular alto voice, along with strong melodies and stunning instrumentation, make the record anything but an oppressive listen. “I didn’t set out to write a meaty album about abuse,” she says, “but it just came out — and it worked.”

Boste is now working on the follow-up, which will again be produced by Kerryn Tolhurst, a founding member of seminal Aussie country-rock act the Dingoes. Tolhurst’s many stateside and Australian production credits include Paul Kelly, the Black Sorrows, Jeff Lang and Bruce Henderson.

“I’m gonna throw everything at this one,” Boste says. “I’ve got a real hunger now for songwriting. I used to love the challenge of bursting open a barroom door and setting myself up onstage to sing to a room of drunk men. But once I started writing and creating music of my own, I’ve never been able to turn back.”
- No Depression


"'Tell it like it is'"

Cyndi Boste was raised at the foot of the Dandenongs, a eucalypt-covered mountain range that surrounds the sprawling city of Melbourne. As she grew up, her hometown underwent the transition from semi-rural community to commuter suburb, and, she says, “as soon as I turned eighteen, I was outta there.

“Ever since, I’ve mixed with city people — the wrong kind of people, according to the country music establishment. But I’m not really traditional country music’s kind of dude; I don’t go to church on Sunday, I don’t sing about being a wife, and all that ma, pa and the kids stuff.

“All those big boys and girls,” she says, with a laughing shake of the head, expressing both wonder and repugnance for the Australian country-starmaking machine. “I don’t get it. Every now and then I think, I could make some money here by writing that formula crap; these guys at the top are so tragic! But y’know, I couldn’t do it. Once you wear your jeans that tight and tuck the T-shirt in, there’s no turning back.”

Boste has reasons to renounce young country artists running headlong into empty commercial careers. After all, she’s running, too. It’s just that she’s running in the opposite direction; she jettisoned a lucrative career as a solo covers singer on the pub circuit, and set out on the more arduous path of singer-songwriterdom.

Her debut solo album, Home Truths, was a self-financed affair that has had a slow-burn effect. A trickle of positive reviews and modest sales over the past year has gradually gathered force and generated its own quiet but noticeable ‘buzz’ in the States and Europe.

Having recently turned 40, Boste is gratified by the response to her newfound career as recording artist. “I’ve done thousands of shows over the years, and I don’t want to be an entertainer anymore; that’s not where I’m at,” she says. “Entertainment brings everything down to the lowest common denominator; it’s about pleasing everyone at once, and that’s where it goes wrong.”

Home Truths is a shining example of the rewards that can be reaped from following one’s convictions. An intensely personal album with sometimes harrowing lyrics borne out of Boste’s painful and traumatic childhood, Home Truths lives up to its name with songwriting that is unrepentant, hard-won, and brave. The emotions run deep and dark, yet the spirit and strength of Boste’s muscular alto voice, along with strong melodies and stunning instrumentation, make the record anything but an oppressive listen. “I didn’t set out to write a meaty album about abuse,” she says, “but it just came out — and it worked.”

Boste is now working on the follow-up, which will again be produced by Kerryn Tolhurst, a founding member of seminal Aussie country-rock act the Dingoes. Tolhurst’s many stateside and Australian production credits include Paul Kelly, the Black Sorrows, Jeff Lang and Bruce Henderson.

“I’m gonna throw everything at this one,” Boste says. “I’ve got a real hunger now for songwriting. I used to love the challenge of bursting open a barroom door and setting myself up onstage to sing to a room of drunk men. But once I started writing and creating music of my own, I’ve never been able to turn back.”
- No Depression


""Come on in my kitchen""

"Come on in my kitchen"
...where the eggs are scrambled and the sounds are intimate and engaging. Join a select group of Melbourne's musicians as they gather with Boste at a Rose Street abode to record a collection of her favourite songs. Kitchen, back porch, living room? Here is a musical space where voices, lap steel, banjo, acoustic guitar, dobro, violin and accordion coalesce beautifully. Scrambled eggs? This is more like an exquisite omlette, down home style! The ingredients? The musicianship of Linda and Vika Bull, Mia Dyson, Dave Steel, Garrett Costigan and Tonchi McIntosh ... all gelled by the Boste psyche. Yes come on into Boste's musical space ...where the listening is melodious, mournful and captivating.
>Those slurring, raspy and haunting vocals of hers on the opening track, "Oh my country" offer a lamentation of what our dear home land has become. This mood of lament continues into Track 2's "Never look back", an Andy Cowen song featuring Mia Dyson on electric guitar. >Track 3's "Ride on" drives you down that lonely road connecting country and alternate. Ride on? ...many times ...any time ...especially with that beautiful dobro playing of Dave Steel's!



" SA Roots 'n Blues" features this track on its Audio Clips page. Have a listen to it ...it's a gem. Radio stations should be picking up on it and giving it some air play! Track 5 is a highlight (among many) for me! "Bridges" is a haunting anthem to that bridgeable rift that exists in our rural and urban psyche.
Here is a collection of songs that has beauty, breadth and depth. This CD offers the uninitiated an introduction to the song writing prowess of Viki Simpson (The Waifs), Dirty Lucy, Andy Cowen, Suzannah Espie (Git) Tiffany Eckhart and Barb Waters. "Scrambled Eggs" offers the listener an opportunity to tap into one of the richest veins of contemporary Australian Roots Music. Stake your claim now!
Visit www.chaosmusic.com and get yourself a serve of "Scrambled Eggs".>
Hope Boste finds her way over to Adelaide for a few gigs ...if not it will sure be worth a trip over to Melbourne to catch her there! ...must track down some of her earlier material.
David Stoeckel
- SA Blues & Roots


""Come on in my kitchen""

"Come on in my kitchen"
...where the eggs are scrambled and the sounds are intimate and engaging. Join a select group of Melbourne's musicians as they gather with Boste at a Rose Street abode to record a collection of her favourite songs. Kitchen, back porch, living room? Here is a musical space where voices, lap steel, banjo, acoustic guitar, dobro, violin and accordion coalesce beautifully. Scrambled eggs? This is more like an exquisite omlette, down home style! The ingredients? The musicianship of Linda and Vika Bull, Mia Dyson, Dave Steel, Garrett Costigan and Tonchi McIntosh ... all gelled by the Boste psyche. Yes come on into Boste's musical space ...where the listening is melodious, mournful and captivating.
>Those slurring, raspy and haunting vocals of hers on the opening track, "Oh my country" offer a lamentation of what our dear home land has become. This mood of lament continues into Track 2's "Never look back", an Andy Cowen song featuring Mia Dyson on electric guitar. >Track 3's "Ride on" drives you down that lonely road connecting country and alternate. Ride on? ...many times ...any time ...especially with that beautiful dobro playing of Dave Steel's!



" SA Roots 'n Blues" features this track on its Audio Clips page. Have a listen to it ...it's a gem. Radio stations should be picking up on it and giving it some air play! Track 5 is a highlight (among many) for me! "Bridges" is a haunting anthem to that bridgeable rift that exists in our rural and urban psyche.
Here is a collection of songs that has beauty, breadth and depth. This CD offers the uninitiated an introduction to the song writing prowess of Viki Simpson (The Waifs), Dirty Lucy, Andy Cowen, Suzannah Espie (Git) Tiffany Eckhart and Barb Waters. "Scrambled Eggs" offers the listener an opportunity to tap into one of the richest veins of contemporary Australian Roots Music. Stake your claim now!
Visit www.chaosmusic.com and get yourself a serve of "Scrambled Eggs".>
Hope Boste finds her way over to Adelaide for a few gigs ...if not it will sure be worth a trip over to Melbourne to catch her there! ...must track down some of her earlier material.
David Stoeckel
- SA Blues & Roots


"Holden On"


The Sydney Morning Herald
Holden on
Author: BERNARD ZUEL
Date: 16/05/2003
Words: 666
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Metro
Page: 23
Sometimes as a journalist you have to shut up and get out of the way. Trying to find a way to describe what ticks under the donk of singer/songwriter Cyndi Boste you'd be hard-pressed to say it better than she does herself on Holy Waters, the opening track of her second album, Push Comes to Shove: "I have long been a believer/I have searched for something deeper/'Neath the neon and the brightly coloured sky/ And I'm often just mistaken/Caught in mysteries of our making/And prone to lose myself for any length of time."

A roots/country blues singer with a mix of both growl and soul that is so rarely heard in the pristine pop and country scenes in Australia, Boste is not given to flights of fancy. In the old days she would have been called no-nonsense. She likes a smoke, a drink and until recently drove a rusting, battered '64 EH station wagon.

Now in her early 40s, she's been singing professionally for nearly 30 years but only recorded her first album a couple of years back after a long apprenticeship in cover bands. It's the kind of past some of the cooler rock singers would disavow, but not Boste.

"Well, it is my history," she says. "Just the way I came into my music it was always for the work, a way to earn a living. Even 20 bucks for playing in a coffee shop was a big deal at 15.

I got paid reasonably well back then."

She chuckles: "It was just too easy really. I got sucked in a beauty."

Judging by the quality of songs on those two albums - adult concepts, sturdy melodies and a sense of a life tangibly lived rather than read about - it wasn't time wasted. However, there are some practical problems spending many years singing other people's songs: sometimes you aren't always sure where you come in.

Boste was in her early 30s before she started seriously writing songs. Was it lack of confidence?

"I don't think the songs were there yet," she says. "And I think I was lost in what kind of songs to write. Because I came from a background of being able to sing anything, for survival purposes, it meant I didn't have my own voice.

"I was really good at mimicking, getting the vibe of somebody else's singing across. That was really handy back then. But when it came to finding my own voice, it was like, well, which one is it?

"I thought, what's a world that would suit who I am and what I am and that led me to country blues and folksy rootsy stuff?"

There's something to be said for waiting a bit longer. It's no cliche that you can't really sing soul or the blues until you've been hurt a few times.

"The old adage about pain and songwriting is true," she says. "But I think if I had the chance to do it all again, I would. There is a bit of pleasure in some of that pain.

"It gives you an excuse to do bad things. One of my lines is 'misery has been a friend of mine because it has kept me company many times'."

Kept her company even longer than the EH did. Are you wondering why an EH?

"I always wanted an EH station wagon," says Boste. "It looked good and the music played loud."

The EH once came with a bench seat, not those silly, unromantic bucket seats. The day they went from bench to bucket seats marked the end of an era for romantic parking.

"Unfortunately [my EH] did have the silly bucket seats," she says with a laugh. "But fortunately or unfortunately for me, when that happened [teenage sex] had all finished, anyway. I couldn't get any, so there were no songs coming. The story of my life."

You know, she may not be this week's pop ingenue. She may not be next week's paragon of cool. But Cyndi Boste may be sticking around a bit longer - because the flaws are at least as interesting as the perfections. - The Sydney Morning Herald


"Holden On"


The Sydney Morning Herald
Holden on
Author: BERNARD ZUEL
Date: 16/05/2003
Words: 666
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Metro
Page: 23
Sometimes as a journalist you have to shut up and get out of the way. Trying to find a way to describe what ticks under the donk of singer/songwriter Cyndi Boste you'd be hard-pressed to say it better than she does herself on Holy Waters, the opening track of her second album, Push Comes to Shove: "I have long been a believer/I have searched for something deeper/'Neath the neon and the brightly coloured sky/ And I'm often just mistaken/Caught in mysteries of our making/And prone to lose myself for any length of time."

A roots/country blues singer with a mix of both growl and soul that is so rarely heard in the pristine pop and country scenes in Australia, Boste is not given to flights of fancy. In the old days she would have been called no-nonsense. She likes a smoke, a drink and until recently drove a rusting, battered '64 EH station wagon.

Now in her early 40s, she's been singing professionally for nearly 30 years but only recorded her first album a couple of years back after a long apprenticeship in cover bands. It's the kind of past some of the cooler rock singers would disavow, but not Boste.

"Well, it is my history," she says. "Just the way I came into my music it was always for the work, a way to earn a living. Even 20 bucks for playing in a coffee shop was a big deal at 15.

I got paid reasonably well back then."

She chuckles: "It was just too easy really. I got sucked in a beauty."

Judging by the quality of songs on those two albums - adult concepts, sturdy melodies and a sense of a life tangibly lived rather than read about - it wasn't time wasted. However, there are some practical problems spending many years singing other people's songs: sometimes you aren't always sure where you come in.

Boste was in her early 30s before she started seriously writing songs. Was it lack of confidence?

"I don't think the songs were there yet," she says. "And I think I was lost in what kind of songs to write. Because I came from a background of being able to sing anything, for survival purposes, it meant I didn't have my own voice.

"I was really good at mimicking, getting the vibe of somebody else's singing across. That was really handy back then. But when it came to finding my own voice, it was like, well, which one is it?

"I thought, what's a world that would suit who I am and what I am and that led me to country blues and folksy rootsy stuff?"

There's something to be said for waiting a bit longer. It's no cliche that you can't really sing soul or the blues until you've been hurt a few times.

"The old adage about pain and songwriting is true," she says. "But I think if I had the chance to do it all again, I would. There is a bit of pleasure in some of that pain.

"It gives you an excuse to do bad things. One of my lines is 'misery has been a friend of mine because it has kept me company many times'."

Kept her company even longer than the EH did. Are you wondering why an EH?

"I always wanted an EH station wagon," says Boste. "It looked good and the music played loud."

The EH once came with a bench seat, not those silly, unromantic bucket seats. The day they went from bench to bucket seats marked the end of an era for romantic parking.

"Unfortunately [my EH] did have the silly bucket seats," she says with a laugh. "But fortunately or unfortunately for me, when that happened [teenage sex] had all finished, anyway. I couldn't get any, so there were no songs coming. The story of my life."

You know, she may not be this week's pop ingenue. She may not be next week's paragon of cool. But Cyndi Boste may be sticking around a bit longer - because the flaws are at least as interesting as the perfections. - The Sydney Morning Herald


"Clever Enough"

The Sydney Morning Herald
Clever enough
Author: Bernard Zuel
Date: 29/06/2002
Words: 394
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Metropolitan
Page: 11
The major record companies don't know what they're missing, writes Bernard Zuel.

CYNDI BOSTE

Push Comes To Shove (Black Market Music)

LISA MILLER

Car Tape (Raoul/Inertia)

Record companies can't understand why more people aren't buying their product and think that dropping the price on singles may do the trick. Fools. That may work with the kids, but Cyndi Boste and Lisa Miller are two key examples of why the major companies just don't get it. Melburnians Boste and Miller are grown-ups making music for grown-ups. Their gutsy, emotionally direct songs fall somewhere between country and folk and blues. It's not the same, but not all that far off, from Kasey Chambers' music, and look how many albums she has sold in a country supposedly not interested in roots music. Yet no major record company has signed either of them. Fools.

Boste has the kind of deep, dark voice that can imply gospel as easily as hard country. She has lived in it and knows how to bend it to give both the toughness and softness that comes from someone who knows emotions can hurt, but they're the only things you've got to play with.

Listen to her handle, with equal conviction, the rough-hewn soul of To My Left and the weary country blues of Run, and then sink into the leather seat of the pick-up truck that is the jaunty Take My Hand. By that time, you will have signed up for the full journey: slide guitar, dobro, wurlitzer, Cyndi and you.

If it's true that someone may be judged by the company they keep, then it also must be true that a singer may be judged by the covers she keeps. In that case, Miller is class. Since her debut six years ago, Miller has shown she knows how to pick quality songs and apply her finely cut, born-to-sing-country voice to them.

The pick of the album may be her light-as-air take on Tim Rogers' Words For Sadness and a Gram-and-Emmylou sashay through Doug Sahm's Give Back The Key To My Heart. But her version of Townes Van Zandt's No Place To Fall is heartbreaking, and Toussaint McCall's Nothing Takes The Place Of You sweeps it out the door. And somehow she brings something new to a personal favourite, Lyle Lovett's Nobody Knows Me.

Buy both these albums

and stick it up the dumb record companies.

Like these?

Try these

Lucinda Williams, Sweet Old World; Allison Moorer, The Hardest Part; Kasey Chambers, The Captain - Sydney Morning Herald


"Clever Enough"

The Sydney Morning Herald
Clever enough
Author: Bernard Zuel
Date: 29/06/2002
Words: 394
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Metropolitan
Page: 11
The major record companies don't know what they're missing, writes Bernard Zuel.

CYNDI BOSTE

Push Comes To Shove (Black Market Music)

LISA MILLER

Car Tape (Raoul/Inertia)

Record companies can't understand why more people aren't buying their product and think that dropping the price on singles may do the trick. Fools. That may work with the kids, but Cyndi Boste and Lisa Miller are two key examples of why the major companies just don't get it. Melburnians Boste and Miller are grown-ups making music for grown-ups. Their gutsy, emotionally direct songs fall somewhere between country and folk and blues. It's not the same, but not all that far off, from Kasey Chambers' music, and look how many albums she has sold in a country supposedly not interested in roots music. Yet no major record company has signed either of them. Fools.

Boste has the kind of deep, dark voice that can imply gospel as easily as hard country. She has lived in it and knows how to bend it to give both the toughness and softness that comes from someone who knows emotions can hurt, but they're the only things you've got to play with.

Listen to her handle, with equal conviction, the rough-hewn soul of To My Left and the weary country blues of Run, and then sink into the leather seat of the pick-up truck that is the jaunty Take My Hand. By that time, you will have signed up for the full journey: slide guitar, dobro, wurlitzer, Cyndi and you.

If it's true that someone may be judged by the company they keep, then it also must be true that a singer may be judged by the covers she keeps. In that case, Miller is class. Since her debut six years ago, Miller has shown she knows how to pick quality songs and apply her finely cut, born-to-sing-country voice to them.

The pick of the album may be her light-as-air take on Tim Rogers' Words For Sadness and a Gram-and-Emmylou sashay through Doug Sahm's Give Back The Key To My Heart. But her version of Townes Van Zandt's No Place To Fall is heartbreaking, and Toussaint McCall's Nothing Takes The Place Of You sweeps it out the door. And somehow she brings something new to a personal favourite, Lyle Lovett's Nobody Knows Me.

Buy both these albums

and stick it up the dumb record companies.

Like these?

Try these

Lucinda Williams, Sweet Old World; Allison Moorer, The Hardest Part; Kasey Chambers, The Captain - Sydney Morning Herald


Discography

'Home Truths'
'Push Comes to Shove'
'Scrambled Eggs
'Foothill Dandy'
'Little Boats' (single)
'Nowadays'

Photos

Bio

Cyndi Boste is a Melbourne based, independent Australian singer songwriter who started writing songs playing live shows at the tender age of 15. By 16 she was a weekly guest on The Early Bird Show (with Marty the Monster) on Channel 10, which spanned a 2 year period.

By 18 she had started playing in bars and clubs around Victoria, averaging 250 shows per year. In 1995 she joined her brother Rory in Steve Boyd and the Preachers and recorded the album A Shroud of Treason which was released in 1998, and produced by Kerryn Tolhust (Dingoes/Country radio).

In 1999 she left The Preachers to pursue who own recording ambitions and has never looked back.

Her debut album Home Truths (also produced by Kerryn Tolhurst) was an instant success with music critics and fans alike and secured her a place at the following years Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Featured on the front cover of Rhythms magazine that year, a ‘new’ singer songwriter had emerged on the Australian roots music scene.

Her follow-up album Push Comes to Shove was released two years later, with the beautifully haunting Holy Waters eagerly picked up and recorded by Vika and Linda Bull on their album Love is Mighty Close ... and another invitation to play at Port Fairy Folk Festival, Melbourne Music Festival and The Brunswick Music Festival that year.

Next came ScrambledEggs, a tribute to independent Oz songwriters and recorded live in Cyndi’s kitchen, with a variety of guest artists including, Mia Dyson, Vika and Linda Bull, Dirty lucy, Dave Steel, Tiffany Eckhart, Kerri Simpson, Tonchi Mc Intosh and many more...

Less than two years later she has released her fourth album of original country / soul / blues songs entitled Foothill Dandy.

Cyndi’s outstanding abilities as both singer and songwriter have wowed audiences in Australia and in Europe, where she toured with Barb Waters in late 2003. Cyndi’s shows are delivered with warmth, wit, humour and humility, whether it be fronting her band or in intimate solo mode.
Melbourne contemporary singer songwriter, Cyndi Boste, has just released her fourth CD. The oddly named Foothill Dandy takes it’s name from the foothills of Melbourne’s Dandenong ranges where Cyndi grew up. It’s a return to her formative years in those foothills, the intensity of childhood experience and the doors that it opens and shuts. In these foothills, trannie to ear, Cyndi absorbed a wide range of musical influences from Fleetwood Mac and Janis Joplin to Jim Reeves, Peggy Lee and Patsy Cline.

Band Members