TESS MCKENNA

TESS MCKENNA

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Tess McKenna is 'A songwriter of class & a singer of tremendous emotive power’. Live Review IN PRESS Swapping easily between acoustic & electric Tess combines with bassist KRUSH & drummer Helena S to produce a beautiful complex mix of folk/roots & 'Uniquely now & Australian' (JUICE MAGAZINE) music.

Biography

High profile fans can often give a very good indication of a songwriter’s influence & reach, so it is worth noting that one of Australian music’s favourite sons, Nick Cave, has been overheard playing a Tess McKenna’s song en route through Europe.
Of course Nick Cave isn’t Tess’ only fan. With an expansive performing and recording career, Tess’ songs have reached a wide & varied audience both at home & abroad.
Tess’ success with audiences has been evident from early on,

‘Two solo songs to open her set really captured the attention of the growing crowd and stamped McKenna as a songwriter of class & a singer of tremendous emotive power’.
Live Review. The Corner Hotel. IN PRESS

So is it the tear drenched alt /country acoustica of MAKE ME WONDER (1993), the sexy blues/roots angst of TAKE ME TO THE PLACE (1998) or is it the folk/rock with a twist of jazz/ pop of BOOM BAM (2003) that we’re likely to hear from Tess in performance? The answer is that it’s all of the above.

Swapping easily between acoustic & electric Tess combines angelic harmonieswith bassist KRUSH & drummer Helena Smart to produce a beautiful complex mix of folk/roots & 'Uniquely now & Australian' (JUICE MAGAZINE) music.

Tess has released three albums & two EPs, & is described as ‘one of Australia’s greatest talents’ with ‘a sublime voice’ [FORM GUIDE]. Make Me Wonder was awarded Best Album & Tess, Best Newcomer by Mike Daly (The Age) & Rolling Stone summed it all up with this review:

‘…It’s five years since McKenna released March, & three years since The One Way...
This is too long for a singer of this talent’.
ROLLING STONE

Take Me To The Place attracted similar accolades:
‘…There isn’t a song here that is less than brilliant’.
JUICE MAGAZINE

And continued with the release of Boom Bam:
‘…The album is the work of a gifted artist’.
THE AUSTRALIAN
On stage and in the studio Tess has worked with some of Australia’s most talented musicians, engineers & producers, including, Chris Wilson, Matt Vehl (Ice Cream Hands), Ashley Davies (Matt Walker), Peter Luscombe (Rock Wiz, Black Sorrows), Barry Stockley (Peeping Tom), Michael den Elzen (Dead Star, Rebecca’s Empire), Nicky Bomba (Bomba), Nick Smith (The Black Sorrows), Peter Jones (Dead Star, Lisa Miller), Mike Letho (Rock Wiz SBS), & Brendan Gallagher (Karma County, Jimmie Little). Tess’ most recent collaboration was with ARIA award winning producer Shane O’Mara (The Audreys, Lisa Miller) as co-producer on her critically acclaimed 2003 release, Boom Bam.

As well as sharing the stage with a diverse list of Australian music luminaries including ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Joe Camilleri, Tess has supported Australian and international artists including Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams, Roseanne Cash, Renee Geyer, Dave Graney, & The Go Betweens

Early band formations were indie rock/pop three piece The Right Furniture, & later alt-country darlings The Western District. Recent outings have seen Tess stretching out with current squeeze, the Shapiros with previews from her fourth album, playing inner city venues & sharing bills with The Vile Reign, Das Musik Man & The Joelenes.

Tess has performed on national radio & television & has showcased her music from as far afield as the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland and the Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW, to The East Coast Roots & Blues Festival in Byron Bay; from the Melbourne Concert Hall to Austin’s SXSW Festival in Texas, USA. Her music can be heard in Australian productions such as Sea Change & Neighbours, in films & documentaries.

Lyrics

FAREWELL TO THIS OLD TOWN

Written By: TESS MCKENNA

Farewell to you farewell to this old town
Meet me in the morn down by the shoreline
Here’s a song to sing a song to be sung
Farewell to you
Farewell to this old town

Farewell to this unguarded post
For all of those we leave are left to toast
Here’s the song to sing a song to be sung
Farewell to you
Farewell to home
Farewell to this old town

Farewell to this familiar land
Meet me at your door
That I may take your hand
Here’s a song to sing a song to be sung
Farewell to you
Farewell to home
Farewell to love
Farewell to this old town

Farewell without a victory roar
Fare thee well to this ungodly war
Hear a soldier sing a battle-weary cry
Farewell to you
Farewell to home
Farewell to love
Farewell to life
Farewell to this old town

Discography

BOOM BAM (STYLETONE/HEAD) CD ALBUM (2003)
PRODUCED BY SHANE O'MARA & TESS MCKENNA

TAKE ME TO THE PLACE (STYLETONE RECORDINGS) CD ALBUM (1998)
PRODUCED BY MICHAEL DEN ELZEN & TESS MCKENNA

MAKE ME WONDER (LITTLE HORSE/ABC) CD ALBUM (1993)
PRODUCED BY BARRY STOCKLEY & TESS MCKENNA

THE ONE WAY - CASSETTE EP (1991)
PRODUCED BY NICK SMITH

MARCH (X-RAY) VINYL EP (1988)
PRODUCED BY NICK SMITH

COMPILATION CDS - Various Artists
In The Flesh (Harry/Stein) Head On 05 (Head Records - 2005) Various artists include Ash Grunwald, Joe Camilleri

It Aint Me Babe (Bob Dylan) The Woodstock Sessions. (2000) Songs of Bob Dylan: Various Artists – Executive Producer Brian Wise. Artists include Joe Camilleri, Chris Wilson, Mark Ferry, Stephen Cummings

Fall To Sleep (T. McKenna/Jen Anderson) Lullaby & Goodnight (1996) Flip Records Various Artists include Paul Kelly Joe Camilleri, Don Walker, Paul Hester, Vanetta Fields, Colin Hay

Loneliest Day In December (T McKenna) The Blue Album Various Artists ABC/EMI (1996) &
Home for Christmas ABC/Phonograph (1994) - Various Artists. Artists include Paul Grabowsky, Slim Dusty, Marc Hunter, Renee Geyer, Grace Knight, Broderick Smith, Doug de Vries

Faded Hearts (T McKenna) Sweethearts of the Radio Various Artists (1994) ABC/Phonogram Artists include Jane Saunders, Shanley Del, Anne Kirkpatrick, Gina Jeffreys, Renee Geyer

The End Of A Rope (T McKenna) The ABC Country Store Various Artists (1994) - Live performance Artists include, Lee Kernaghan Gina Jeffreys Anne Kirkpatrick Jane Saunders Brent Parlane The Kanes Tanya Kernaghan, Colin Buchanan Greg Champion

Gippsland Train (T McKenna) Late Night Café ABC/Phonograph Various Artists (1993) Artists include, Renee Geyer, Kavisha Mazzella, David Bridie, Tommy Emmanuel

Gippsland Train/The End Of A Rope (T McKenna) Promotional Single ABC/Phonogram (1993)

Sincerely (T Mckenna) - ABC/Phonogram (1993)
CD Single

Set List

Concert length set of 23 ORIGINAL SONGS from Tess McKenna's three albums PEPPERED WITH COVERS BY GILLIAN WELCH, BOB DYLAN, THE BAND, NEIL YOUNG..........