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Canberra, Canberra, Australia | SELF

Canberra, Canberra, Australia | SELF
Band Americana Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jazz Corner Interview with Stormcelar"

Australian band Stormcellar blasts through U.S. market with rocking mix of blues and country

Q: Australia doesn't exactly have a long track record for either blues or country artists. How did your interest originate with such American roots genres?

Michael Barry (vocals/harmonica): Hang on a minute, we've got Olivia Newton-John and Keith Urban for country examples. On the blues front we've got Dave Hole and, ok, well, you got me there. My interest in the blues was sparked when I saw Backsliders supporting Leo Kottke way back in the day. From there I went on to some other local heroes such as the Bondi Cigars and then followed the music back to the source, like we all do

Q: Growing up, what artists influenced you the most?

A: Mum was into torch songs so I guess my ideas on vocals came from singers such as Anne Murray, Karen Carpenter, and Bonnie Raitt.

Q: How difficult is it for artists with your musical style attract radio airplay or any form of media exposure locally?

A: It's not a style issue; it's a ‘who plays music and how do they choose it' issue. There seems to be a pipeline for signed or commercial acts that land them on commercial radio. For us, we've been remarkably fortunate that the community and independent radio have supported us in a big way, both locally and overseas.

Q: Have you been able to support yourself as a musician or do you have a day job? If the latter, what do you do for a living?

A: We all do we what we have to do, to do what we want to do. I geek for a living.

Q: How would you describe the rock scene in Australia at the moment?

A: The old days of making your living playing in pubs has largely disappeared; the economics don't work, and the number of acts that get enough promotion to make a living on door deals is pretty low. - Jazz Corner

"Carl's Chair listed in Best not Necesarily the Blues albums of 2011 in Canada"

Stormcellar's live recording on the porch of a farmhouse in rural New South Wales was listed as a top 'not necessarily the blues' album for 2011 by the Blues Underground Network. For the listing, check the link. - Blues Underground Network

"Stormcellar's 2nd studio album, Nuevo Retro debuts at #1 on Australian blues/roots Chart, stays on chart for 4 months"

Stormcellars 2nd full studio album debuted on the Australian Blues Roots Chart at #1 in April 2010 and charted for 6 months - Australian Blues/Roots Chart

"Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory #1 on Australian Roots Charts for 8 weeks, still on the chart at #5 after 3 months!"

Stormcellars 5th Album, 'Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory' entered the Australian Blues Roots Charts at #1 in November 2012 and remained at #1 until January 2013. As of the time of writing, it's still at #5 for January 2013.

1 1 STORMCELLAR Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory
2 3 THE HOT SHOTS Volume 1 Independent/Rob Grosser
3 - STOMPY & THE HEAT Stompy and the heat
6 4 SALLY KING & SAMETRIBE Solid Flesh & Blood
7 7 ANDREA MARR Sass & Brass Independent
8 - PAUL GIOIA Blue Sky Independent
9 18 FIONA BOYES Blues For Hard Time
10 17 JOE ROBINSON Toe Jam Independent/Joe's Garage - Australian Blues/Roots Charts

"Stormcellar, the first band to have 2 albums on the Australian Blues Roots Charts simultaneously"

In February 2011 Stormcellar became the first Australian band to achieve 2 simultaneous entries in the the top 25 for the Australian Blues Roots Chart, with their 4th Album Carl's Chair debuting at #9 and their 3rd album Nuevo Retro re-entering the chart at #25 after debuting on the chart at #1 in April 2010 - Australian Blues/Roots Chart

"Carl's Chair reaches #9 on Australian Blues Roots Charts, remains on the charts for 5 months!"

Sormcellars 4th Album, 'Carls Chair', entered the Australian Blues Roots Charts in Feb 2011 at Position #9 and stayed in the top 25 for 5 months. - Australian Blues/Roots Chart

"Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory #18 in France"

1- Otis GRAND "Blues '65" (MainGate Records)(2012)
2- IMMIGRANTS "Immigrants" (Autoproduction)(2012)
3- Robert CRAY BAND "Nothin but love" (Provogue)(2012)
4- Teresa JAMES & the Rhythm Tramps "Come on home" (Jasi-Lu Records)(2012)
5- MAGIC SLIM "Bad boy" (Dixiefrog/Harmonia Mundi)(2012)
6- MISSISSIPPI HEAT "Delta bound" (Delmark Records)(2012)
7- Beth HART "Bang bang boom boom" (Provogue)(2012)
8- Steve STRONGMAN "A natural fact" (Autoproduction)(2012)
9- Corey LUECK "It ain't easy" (Autoproduction)(2012)
10- Bettye LAVETTE "Thankful n' toughtful" (Anti Inc.)(2012)
11- Benny TURNER "A tribute to my brother Freddie King" (King "B" Records)(2011)
12- Tas CRU "Tired of bluesmen cryin'" (Crustee Tees Records)(2012)
13- THE NO REFUND BAND "The No Refund Band" (Autoproduction)(2012)
14- Ben RACINE BAND "One of a kind" (Iguane Records)(2012)
15- Fred CHAPELLIER "Electric fingers" (Dixiefrog/Harmonia Mundi)(2012)
16- Mark KNOPFLER "Privateering" (Mercury Records)(2012)
17- Shemekia COPELAND "33 1/3" (Telarc)(2012)
18- STORMCELLAR "Hired guns & borrowed glory" (Autoproduction)(2012)
19- Hans THEESSINK & Terry EVANS "Delta time" (Blue Groove)(2012)
20- THE BLUESMASTERS "Volume two" (Direct Music Distribution)(2012)
- Collectif Des Radios Blues

"Nuevo Retro reaches #50 on the US National Blues Chart" - Roots Music Report

"Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory #3 on Blues Underground Network 'Not Necessarily the blues' Albums of 2012"

ues Underground Network's Top 10 Not Necessarily The Blues Albums (Worldwide) 2012

The category of NNTB (Not Necessarily The Blues), is designated to Albums which are an assortment of other genres, which may or may not include the Blues.
1.Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers "What You Make of It" (USA)

2.Soulstack "Big Red" (Canada)
3.Stormcellar "Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory" (Australia)
4.Simon Campbell "Thirty Six" (UK)
5.The Sumner Brothers "I'll Be There Tomorrow" (Canada)
6.Dan Livingstone And The Griffintown Jug Addicts "Self Titled" (Canada)
7.The No Refund Band "Self Titled" (USA)
8.The Blasters "Fun On Saturday Night" (USA)
9.Sean Poluk "Never" (Canada)
10.Tippy Agogo and Bill Bourne "Amoeba Collective" (Canada) - Blues Underground Network

"Blues Underground Network reviews "Carl's Chair'"

There are certainly a lot of unique and creative ideas that lead to not only the names of Albums, but also the way they were recorded. "Carl's Chair", the latest release from the Australian band Stormcellar, is certainly no exception to that rule. You see the title of this Album refers to a chair that is owned by Carl 'Golden Roadie' Silverswaard. The significance of the chair is that it was used as the focal point for the recording of this Album, which was recorded Live "on the porch of 'Burgoon', a 100 year old Farmhouse in Cumnock, New South Wales", June 28th - July 1st, 2010. Carl's Chair, as you might imagine, goes everywhere with Carl and the Band.

Another unique thing about this Album was the fact that Stormcellar created a blog specifically about the creation of "Carl's Chair", from the very beginning sessions and setup at Burgoon, through the remixing and mastering process, right up to the finished product ready for shipping. I have come across a few other bands doing stuff like that to allow their fans to see the whole process of creating an Album, but never in quite as good of detail as Stormcellar managed to do for "Carl's Chair". The link to the "Carl's Chair" Blog can be found on the Bands website,

"Carl's Chair" consists of 12 Tracks, all originals, written by band members Michael Barry (Vocals/Harmonica), and Paul Read (Mandolin/Acoustic Slide/Electric 12 String/Acoustic Bass/Backing Vocals). Other Band Members for this release included Michael Rosenthal (Acoustic Guitar/Backing Vocals), Theo Wanders (Percussion/Drums/Backing Vocals) and Scott Browne (Acoustic Bass). Special Guests on this Album included The Southern Belles (Jo Fitzgerald - Vocal Harmonies, Kate Doherty - Backing Vocals, and Mika Handa - Backing Vocals). The Southern Belles were brought in for the Gospel track called, believe it or not, "Southern Belles".

Stormcellar is not a Bluesy band by any stretch of the imagination, although Track 4, "Half Man Cow" did have a jump blues feel to it, with great harmonica throughout. No they are not a blues band, but what they are is a fabulous Roots/Alt Country band and "Carl's Chair" is about as good of release in that style, so far for 2011.

When I listened to "Carl's Chair", I really got a great out in the woods kind of feel from it, not only because it was recorded outdoors, but because the music and lyrics came across with a nice wholesome down to earth feel. Their were certainly not any technical glitches that I noticed listening to this Album, and Stormcellar did a great job remixing and fixing anything that needed it, via Goose Studios in Leichhardt.

As I continue to follow Stormcellar, I also continue to appreciate the effort, creativity, and musicianship that they all possess. I am also impressed with the great Vocals of Michael Barry and Backing Vocals of Paul Read, Michael Rosenthal, and Theo Wanders, which come across loud and clear on "Carl's Chair".

I found "Carl's Chair" to be an exceptionally good Album, especially with the fact that it originally started at as only going to be an EP, and have no problem at all Highly Recommending it to not only those that love great Roots/Alt Country, but also to everyone else. It ain't Blues, but it sure is worth listen, or two...

Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
- Blues Underground Network

"Roots Time review 'Whiskey Talkin'"

Translated from Dutch (we think) original below

"Whiskey Talkin '" is the debut album by Storm Cellar, six blues / rock musicians from New South Wales, Australia. The band hammering there significant traction with many live performances and the disc is in the Down Under continent therefore particularly well received. On "Whiskey Talkin '" is accompanied in any case a good and tight sounding impressed. The sound is nice and full and is therefore professional. Frontman Paul Read this debut album takes on the slide guitar for his account and is then joined by Michael Barry that the vocals and blues harp accounts for. Besides this duo were also Jim Finn (vocals, drums & percussion), Paul Surani (lead guitar), Michael Lynch (bass & mandolin) and Michael Gubb (Hammond and piano) involved with the recording of this CD. The CD itself is catchy. The guitar playing, which I occasionally reminiscent of Tab Benoit, is also very beautiful and lift the CD to a reasonably acceptable level. The flawless blues harp sounds nice but unfortunately just not 'bluesy' enough to the real blues feel to me across. The CD contains twelve tracks, all written by guitar prodigy Paul Read. Immediately after the first song "Mississippi Meltdown" kick the men the accelerator is pretty with a swinging bluesdamper. Very good! When the two songs that follow, "RU Ready for This?" and "Whiskey Talkin '" - the title track, the pedal back slightly and Read's influence on the band clearly recognizable' High Temperature 'slide sound, except that the songs by Barry's harp work and nice deep bass Lynch all had quite a bit fatter. With "That's Why I Sing the Blues", the beech again properly followed by the jazzy swinging "Yamanote Line (Hi-styin" Women "with great percussion work and the supporting guitar work. Due to the varied choice of instruments, the twelve songs on the CD in any case not to mention monotonous and knows the disc a few nice resting points in songs like "I've Been Down Before". The songs on "Whiskey Talkin '" are stories that bring us from Mississippi to Tokyo and back via Newtown and Dulwich Hill, naughty songs about girls and guys, dangerous poker games, songs like that were heard on a blues label from the sixties. The whole album is a mix of blues, country rock and roots rock in the line of The Allman Brothers, Canned Heat and a little Creedence Clearwater Revival. The production of the band and recorded in the Front Room studio during the last months of the previous year. "Whiskey Talkin '" is certainly a blues album became what I think is appropriate for the general public. For the true connoisseur will debut not really add much


"Whiskey Talkin' " is het debuutalbum van Stormcellar, een zestal blues/rock muzikanten uit New South Wales, Australië. De band timmert aldaar behoorlijk aan de weg met veel liveoptredens en het schijfje is op het 'Down Under' continent dan ook bijzonder lovend ontvangen. Op "Whiskey Talkin' " maakt het gezelschap in elk geval een goed op elkaar ingespeelde indruk. Het geluid is lekker vol en komt dan ook professioneel over. Frontman Paul Read neemt op dit debuutalbum de slidegitaar voor zijn rekening en wordt daarbij vergezeld door Michael Barry die de zang en bluesharp voor zijn rekening neemt. Naast dit duo waren ook Jim Finn (vocals, drums & percussie), Paul Surani (lead gitaar), Michael Lynch (bas & mandolin) en Michael Gubb (Hammond en piano) betrokken met de opnames van deze cd. De cd ligt op zich lekker in het gehoor. Het gitaarspel, wat mij zo af en toe aan Tab Benoit doet denken, is overigens wel erg mooi en lift de cd naar een redelijk aanvaardbaar niveau. Ook de loepzuivere bluesharp klinkt lekker maar helaas net niet ‘bluezy’ genoeg om het echte bluesgevoel op mij over te brengen. De cd bevat twaalf tracks, allemaal geschreven door gitaarwonder Paul Read. Meteen bij het eerste nummer "Mississippi Meltdown" trappen de mannen het gaspedaal al behoorlijk in met een swingende bluesdamper. Erg goed! Bij de twee nummers die volgen, "R U Ready for This?" en "Whiskey Talkin' "- de titeltrack, gaat het pedaal iets terug en wordt Read's invloed op de band duidelijk met de herkenbare ‘High Temperature’ slidesound, met dien verstande dat de nummers door Barry’s harpwerk en de lekkere diepe bas van Lynch allemaal wel een behoorlijk stuk vetter klinken. Met "That's Why I Sing the Blues" gaat de beuk er weer behoorlijk in, gevolgd door het jazzy swingende "Yamanote Line (Hi-styin' Women" met heerlijk percussiewerk en het ondersteunende gitaarwerk. Door de afwisselende instrumentkeuze zijn de twaalf nummers op de cd in ieder geval niet eentonig te noemen en kent de schijf een paar aardige rustpunten in nummers als "I've Been Down Before". De songs op "Whiskey Talkin' " zijn verhalen die ons brengen van Mississippi tot Tokyo en terug via Newtown en Dulwich Hill, ondeugende liedjes over meisjes en kerels, gevaarlijke pokergames, liedjes zoals die te horen waren op een blues label uit de zestiger jaren. De hele cd is een mengeling van blues, countryrock en rootsrock in de lijn van The Allman Brothers, Canned Heat en een klein beetje Creedence Clearwater Revival. De produktie is van de band zelf en opgenomen in de Front Room studio gedurende de laatste maanden van het vorige jaar. "Whiskey Talkin' " is in ieder geval wel een blues cd geworden welke volgens mij geschikt is voor het grote publiek. Voor de échte fijnproever zal dit debuutalbum niet erg veel toevoegen

"Trad & Now Review Nuevo Retro"

I was surprised, but pleasantly so, when I began listening to this CD.
This is the 2nd album from Sydney group Stormcellar.
While the band cite influences from rock, country, folk, blues, jazz and pop, (was there a genre they omitted to mention?) this album is more country blues influenced.
The first track, “Can't Tax Love” is a great introduction to the band.
Bluesy, slide guitar, a bit of boogie, a tasty guitar solo and a vocalist who has a reedy voice compared to say the vocalist from Canned Heat, rather than a deep, black blues voice.
Another surprise was the sentiments of track 3, “Don't Get Around Much” which has an environmental theme, with harmonica and slide guitar assisting.
Perhaps the centre piece of the album is “Roscoe' Boogie” which is a driving boogie, told from the point of view of a friend commenting on his mate going to war.
While it's not an obvious anti-war song, there are sentiments that make the listener question the “excitement” of being in the army, parachuting out of planes and being where the action is!
Another strong song follows - “7 Days” - that has a powerful riff and is fat and bluesy.
It's a love song of sorts as the singer grapples with his love of gambling and that of his girl!
“Last Drinks at Glenrowan” is the band's foray into folk while “Swamp Monster” is appropriately swampy.
The jaunty, bluesy last song, “Drink You Off My Mind” is a male drinking song, which shows the band's sense of humour – vis “ I just need a little time at the bar to drink you off my mind!'

On the strength of this album, I'll be more than tempted to try and have a listen to their first album.
Much more blues than folk, though and there’s nothing wrong with that
- Trad & Now

"Hired Guns reviewed in France"

TRANSLATED USING GOOGLE, original French below

Stormcellar! A bomb shelter storm, a place where one is good, quiet, away from all the miseries of the world. This is what it feels like to listen to the fifth album from this Australian band. Good medicine that makes us forget the passing of time. Blues band, yes, but that does not in the classic and has forged from the first album its own identity, a particular sound with the song ' Hard Times 'is an example. We must add to this (as is the case for this title) videos totally original without forgetting the very website provided. But back to the music. This album is made ??where the modern blues harmonica and dobro are present, certainly, but also you can hear the violin on some tracks to color slightly country. Lot of choirs (hearts?) Female, the Southern Belles, reinforce and sublime voice clear and asked the singer, Michael Barry, who also holds the role of harmonica. The duo bass / drums is his role to open a royal road to both guitarists Mr Wizzard which adds to its strings, banjo and mandolin. This album is uplifting and can be a great companion if you have hundreds of kilometers. To listen again without getting tired. Caesar

Original French

Stormcellar ! Un abri anti tempête, un endroit où l’on est bien, tranquille, à l’abri de toutes les misères du monde. C’est ce qu’on ressent à l’écoute du 5ème album de ce groupe Australien. Une bonne médecine qui nous fait oublier le temps qui passe. Groupe de blues, certes, mais qui ne donne pas dans le classique et qui a su se forger dès le premier album une identité propre, un son particulier dont le morceau ‘Hard Times’ en est l’exemple. Il faut ajouter à cela (comme c’est le cas pour ce titre) des vidéos tout à fait originales sans oublier le site internet très fourni. Mais, revenons à la musique. Cet opus est fait de blues moderne où le dobro et l’harmonica sont présents, certes, mais on y entend également du violon sur certains titres à la couleur légèrement country. Pas mal de chœurs (cœurs ?) féminins, les Southern Belles, viennent appuyer et sublimer la voix claire et posée du chanteur, Michael Barry, qui tient aussi le rôle d’harmoniciste. Le duo basse/batterie tient son rôle pour ouvrir une voie royale aux deux guitaristes dont Mr Wizzard qui ajoute à ses cordes, le banjo et la mandoline. Cet album est réjouissant et peut être un excellent compagnon de route si vous avez des centaines de kilomètres à parcourir. A écouter en boucle sans s’en lasser.

- Blues Again

"No Depression reviews 'Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory'"

Once a hotbed for new rock, Australia has been fairly quiet on the FM radio front for quite a while now. Aside from Gotye and his indie-pop peers, nothing much from the land down under has gripped the American mainstream, which is quite unfortunate considering how groups like INXS, Midnight Oil, and Crowded House were such commercial heavyweights stateside a few decades ago. Stormcellar have the hooks and red meat to pillage Yankee waters if given the opportunity.

On their latest album, Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory, Stormcellar knit together their country and blues influences for a distinctly classic-rock flavor. At times the band sounds like James Taylor fronting the Rolling Stones; that is, if Taylor had a bigger set of balls and the Stones scratched off the AOR polish they were painted with since the late ‘70s. “Same Old Blues” is ironic because it’s a lot less traditional than its title implies; then again, its meaning describes more of an emotional state than a musical style. Slamming drums and big, chunky riffs power the track with bar-band oomph.

Speaking of the Stones, “Suit Yourself” is awash with Keith Richards-fueled riffage; it kicks like a stubborn mule. Stormcellar are equally effective in their relatively mellow efforts as well such as on “Light in the Distance.” Enveloped in layers of atmosphere, there’s a sense of isolation in the song and a feeling of impending doom with just a smoking guitar solo offering any relief. Lyrically speaking, “Hard Times” provides the group’s punchiest two-fisted moment, a political diatribe that sings a working man’s blues with swampy rhythms and a bad-ass harmonica. - No Depression

"Drum Reviews Whiskey Talkin"

‘‘It’s a pity that this debut album by slide guitarist Paul Read and singing harmonica player Michael Barry, with a little help from the guys from Finn, kicks off with the weakest of their songs, because it might stop the casual listener heading deeper into the album. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with Mississippi Meltdown, its just that things get a bit more creative as the record unfolds and Barry’s voice, while it seems a little too clean to deliver the more formulaic gritty blues boogie of the opener (fancy having a blues singer whose throat has not been completely shot by cigarettes and whiskey!) provides just the right cruisey casualness appropriate to tracks like R U Ready For This and the slow burn of I’ve Been Down Before. There’s a lot of Little Charlie & the Nightcats in the hard swing and Elmore Leonardesque spoken/sung Yamanote Line (Hi Stylin’ Women). Read on the other hand has the edginess in his guitar work to recall the best moments of the likes of the late Duane Allman, and the addition of little ‘found sounds’ and voice bites adds a layer of colour and texture on the odd track you don’t normally get on a blues record. In fact, to say this is just a blues album is to diminish the versatility of the songwriters. Rather it’s an album with a blues backbone covering a number of styles informed by a blues sensibility. Shake’em Down Mama, for example, wouldn’t feel out of place on a Bill Chambers or Steve Earle’s album.’.’
Michael Smith
Drum Media
May 6th 2008
- Drum Media


Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory 2012
Carl's Chair 2010
Nuevo Retro 2010
Spacejunk 2009
'Whiskey Talkin' - 2008



Pioneers of the emerging 'Ozicana' genre out of Australia, a down-under take on Blues/Roots/Country and Folk, Stormcellar are described as 'Powerhouse Songwriters', producing 5 albums of original material in five years, with 'innovative and original takes on traditional sounds' and have been compared to Canned Heat, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Credence Clearwater and Little Feat.

Sonically, this 5 piece is a a hybrid mix of Slide, Electric and Acoustic guitars, Mandolin, Harmonica, Upright & Electric Bass, Drums and Percussion, writing and playing across the spectrum of Blues, Roots and Country.

Lead Singer Michael Barry has been described as having a voice that features 'shades of James Taylor' , 'Aaron Neville' and 'Al Wilson' whilst lyrically the band have been compared to Elmore Leonard.

With four charting albums including #1 (Nuevo Retro) on the Australian Blues/Roots Charts, staying on the charts for 43 weeks their follow up album 'Carl's Chair' entered the top ten that same year, making them the first Australian band to have two albums on the ABR Charts simultaneously. Nuevo Retro also made #49 on the US National Blues Charts and received wide airplay in the US, France, Canada and Australia.

Stormcellar's quirky self produced videos have been featured on the TODAY Show and their music featured in online editions of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Update March 2013: Hired guns 2 months at #1, 2 months at #5 on the Australian Blues Roots Charts

Update Jan 2013: Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory reviewed by 'No Depression' (the Roots Authority) and described as Ballsier than the Rolling Stones fronted by James Taylor, with songs that 'kick like a stubborn mule'

Update Jan 2013: Hired Guns & Borrowed Glory took out #3 on the best 'Not Necessarily the Blues' chart for Blues Underground Network in Canada

Band Members