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Perth, Western Australia, Australia | SELF

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | SELF
Band Blues Reggae


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"SLEEPTALK - Fri 3rd Sept 2010"

"It's a gifted singer-songwriter who is daring enough to remain this raw. It's the same reason why Toby's audience has found such a home in her music" - THE WEST - Ara Jansen

"SLEEPTALK LAUNCH- Friday, September 10, 2010"

"Blessed not only with a pair of powerful pipes but also a wicked sense of sonic humour, popular local roots chanteuse Toby made her much anticipated return to the WA circuit on Friday night, inviting old and new fans alike to trek down to the Fly By Night in Fremantle to celebrate the launch of her fourth LP Sleeptalk.

Toby took to the stage complimented by a steady stream of musicians who flitted on and off the stage throughout the set, filling every nook and cranny of the venue with her engaging, enjoyable tunes and serving as a delicious instrumental counterpoint against the talented songstress¡¦ powerful choral whisperings.

Starting her campaign to hypnotise punters with an achingly-heartfelt ballad Fly, Toby¡¦s songs broadcasted their emotional content - anxiety, melancholy, resilience - with a refreshing straightforwardness rarely heard outside the folk/roots genre which only served to intensify the in-depth storytelling present in her lyrics of love, life and loss.

Luckily, her minimalistic lyricism didn¡¦t detract from the ample melodic and textural pleasures, with every backing vocal, lilting string, trumpet line, brushed drum texture and hovering piano run, being meticulously crafted and scripted into her invigorating musical architecture, proving particularly successful in adding an infectious groove to the combustible banjo funk of Smile and slinky saxophone-riddled Little Man.

Playing through new album Sleeptalk in its entirety demonstrated that Toby¡¦s songs are subtler and richer this time around, as layers and textures, both musical and emotional, revealed themselves in the live setting with shimmering ease.

A refusal to settle on one style served Toby well, allowing her to mine a mix of folk, pop, roots, rock and reggae styles to suit her needs, thus ensuring that fans of her quietly powerful, reassuring music were aptly satisfied.

Less about the surface, than what lies underneath, Toby¡¦s songs gently hooked their way into the subconscious of listeners, as her honest and compelling tunes left her reverential crowd of followers with warm hearts and more than proved why local audiences have found a home in her music."


"A great band can really lift an artist's live show to a new level – normally the addition of a few extra musicians helps to fill out songs and add rhythm and texture. So what happens when you take one of West Aussie's blossoming songwriters and add an extra thirteen musicians? You get Toby's CD launch at the Fly By Night. The third LP for the Perth local (and her first studio release as a stand alone artist) Renaissance was produced by Nicky Bomba who flew over from Melbourne to Fremantle especially for the task. Obviously a young lady who doesn't believe in doing things by halves, Toby's launch with its hoard of onstage guests and big punter turnout was no less impressive. . .

Moving through the motions, Toby appeared outwardly excited yet remained focussed to produce one of the better performances of her career. Backed by the Code Red regulars along with a transient mixture of the extended backing team, the sounds were impressive. With selections of tracks from both the new and old plastic, the songs (which seemed generally based around relationship themes) built the dancing numbers with a steady intensity. . .

The backing band slowly built over the course of the evening (including both Maera and Mo Wilson) – the Code Red in name gone, but the band still flying their red colours strong. An impressive end to the second Toby set with all 13 members of the accompaniment on stage brought the night to a stand still, but no doubt she will look back at this climax as the clear beginning of the next stage of her career."
- Brad Treeby/

"Album Review"

"The band's fourth and latest release Renaissance is a genuine, accessible and striking album which sees sassy young songstress, Beard at her best. Beard's honest, storytelling lyrics; matched with her raw, unpretentious vocals create a compelling collection of feel-good tunes delivered to listeners straight from the heart. Indeed, for me personally, Beard's strongest point is her innovative lyrics that steer clear from trite word rhyming and clichéd analogies, and conversely paint vivid pictures of travel experiences, everyday observations and of course, love.

Stand out tracks include the jazz-oriented Gossip and Lies, the sweet reggae tune Hammock, Goodbye Baby and of course my two favourites: Blue and Safe. Both of these latter tracks involve a poignant violin accompaniment with sultry, soothing vocals that will warm your spirit on chilly winter nights.

Kelly Griffin : PBS 106.7 FM
- Kelly Griffin : PBS 106.7 FM


"It is a near sold out gig at the Fly By Night Club (a difficult thing to do since it is a fairly roomy venue) and Toby is up on stage with an even larger fourteen piece band than usual, belting out some pretty brassy vocals and strumming a mean guitar. Having met her weeks earlier, I am not the least bit surprised with the strength and passion of both her vocals and personality that she omits on stage, as these are the qualities that warm her to people and her audience.

The crowd have certainly warmed to her and are dancing and gently cajoling each other to a blend of rock, reggae, latin country, jazz and blues inspired tunes. There is a familiarity in the audience with the songs, which suggests she has quite a following and adds to the vibe of the show.

It is amazing how well the night pans out considering Toby has organised everything down to the very last details and albums sell like hot cakes at the door on the way out. There is something very personable about her lyrics and the music, which draws people on to the dance floor with so much energy and spirit.

The Toby of today has grown from the Toby of yesteryear, hence the self-explanatory title of the new album and the band's name change to just 'Toby'. Yet it is the global fusion of musical genres that make this album so exciting and innovative to listen to. There is a French style influence in some of the songs, but still with an underlying folk theme. The end product is much more full sounding, with an emphasis on the string section and the brass.

We will undoubtedly be invited to participate in Toby's life and her music for a long time to come."
Anjela Bignel, Groove Magazine June Edition 2006
- Anjela Bignel, Groove Magazine June Edition 2006

"Renaissance CD"

“Toby Beard sounds like a roots veteran, her slightly husky but powerful voice delivering feelgood, swingout sounds with real depths of emotion. Renaissance is a joyous ride through blues and roots, with a dash of latin and reggae. With soaring strings and great beats, it’s original material is bound to make you want to kick off your heels and dance.” Julie Hosking, Editor of Scoop Magazine, Winter 2006 - Scoop Magazine, June 2006

"Renaissance Album Review, June 2006"

“Local songstress Toby Beard has certainly covered a lot of new ground with Renaissance, her first full length studio release. Unlike her debut release, the live album Indi Live On The West Coast, which covered mostly blues and country tunes, here Beard has explored into the world of Latin, reggae and European roots, still with the feel of the known Toby and Code Red sound. Using that same tight band with this release, Beard has also found herself with a great line of musicians to help put together this release, including Nicky Bomba (who also helped produce the album) Mo Wilson and Dave Mann. Renaissance delivers some finely polished tunes that have been heard on Beard’s last tour, like ‘Hammock’, ‘Flow’ and ‘Breathe’, three of a handful of standout tracks here.

An almost Arabian influence comes across on ‘Blue’ with a fiery vocal delivery by Beard, accompanied with one of the more enjoyable violin pieces. Mixed with sassy trumpet and raging harmonic, this is a track that is far from what Beard has previously delivered. At times, you could almost mistake it for a cabaret ala Moulin Rouge number, which fits nicely amongst the musical ideas on this release. Throw in a bit of jazz (‘Gossip and Lies’) and some strong lyricism focus (‘Goodbye Baby’), along with Beard’s notable vocal work, Renaissance is an interesting release which covers some well discovered new territory for Beard, but still touches on all the little things that many have grown to admire from this young songwriter.” Renae Powell, Rip-In Magazine, June 2006

- Rip-In Magazine

"Perth's most powerful Voice"

"Toby has undoubtedly one of Perth 's most powerful voices... Toby whos voice seems to know no bounds fronts the one part orchestra, one part bonfire jam, one part circus with ease...Just how does Toby arrive at such a swirl of delectable musical chaos on stage?" - Megan Smith (Out in Perth , June 2008)

"Toby CD Review"

"Love Underground" is my first introduction to Toby and may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Vocalist Toby Beard has a naturally soulful and earthy voice, sounding full and mature, belying her young age. The overall feel is joyous, free and soulful, making good use of the harmonica and horns. Very highly reccommended!" - ( Perth Woman, June 2008)

"Violent Femmes and Toby"

"Toby Beard is a superb singer/ songwriter and guitarist who not only plays and sings well, but has a fine flair for drawing in an audience and keeping them entertained and delighted with her songs and inviting spirit...She's a gas!" - Victor DeLorenzo (VIOLENT FEMMES)

"De Groene Zwaan in De Rijp, 2007"

"The audience is treated to beautiful songs about funny situations, heart-ache, desire and intimacy. On paper it may all seem a bit soft, the singer/songwriter concept. However, the combination of bass, guitar, vocals and the overwhelming performance keeps the audience spellbound throughout the entire two 45-minute sets. The voice of the Australian Toby is exceptionally powerful. Full and loud at moments, raw and sharp where necessary, yet sometimes sweet and dark. There really is no reference material; she is the reference herself."

Where: When: November 24, 2007

- Translation from dutch: Nausikaä de Blaauw -

"Trailblazer Toby..."

"Trailblazer Toby....a gutsy rock chick living on the creative edge. Toby is an acoustic musician who layers rootsy riffs with a serene yet powerful voice"
- Geraldton Guardian October 2008


"Sleeptalk" - full length studio album recorded in San Fran, USA

"Live at the Fly" - DVD/live album.

"Love Underground" - studio album. Roots/reggae/rock

"Tu Es Belle" - french single. French/cafe/lounge style

"RENAISSANCE" - 12 track studio album. 14 Musicians. Reggae/blues/roots/rock/latin stylings. Brass and string sections. May 2006

"On Second Thoughts" - 13 track studio album. Acoustic, ballads and folk. Piano, guitar, didgeridoo, mandolin. July 2005

"GiddyUp" - 3 track studio EP. Country and blues. Great fun! Sax, fiddle, harmonica. Full band. November 2004

"Indi- Live On The West Coast" - 18 tracks, live album. 8 piece band. April 2004

Receiving airplay on Triple J, RTR and local radio stations.



Energetic. Raw. Feisty.

These three words tell you everything you need to know about Australian roots artist Toby on stage.

Toby is a stand out performer - and this is why she is making her mark touring the world - with seven Canadian tours up her sleeve, she also tours throughout Europe, America and Australia playing major festivals, and performing her own headline shows.

For an audience, these live shows are a deeply emotional and joyous experience. For Toby, she wears her emotions, thoughts and adventures on her sleeve as clearly as the delighted smile she sports while playing. It's that chemistry and connection – in between plenty of dancing and jumping from both sides – that makes each performance so strikingly unique and deliciously unpredictable.

Passionate and known for her unwavering commitment to her craft Toby is willing to take the risk and be vulnerable with her thoughts and emotions committed to song.

Perth born TOBY’s new album "SLEEPTALK" is the album you should be listening to! Why?

This album was recorded in San Francisco, California, where TOBY worked with co-producer Carey Williams. They met when TOBY played alongside Etta James (managed by Carey) at a festival in Milwaukee in 2009.

This is TOBY’s fourth full length album and is the culmination of years of touring endlessly throughout Australia, four tours to Europe, eight tours to Canada and memorable performances in the USA.

This album showcases TOBY’s insightful, honest and poignant song writing. It is an invitation to explore her mind and her soul. This critique of the human condition is both personal and broad.

It has captured TOBY’s best songs to date - with a full mature sound, and an incredible line up of musicians!

It tells stories across emotions and continents, yet never loses track of it's Australian roots, giving it a sense of place and time.
But best of all, it is simply full of great songs that people want to hear.

TOBY’s songwriting skills are honed enough to make her radio-friendly, and her voice is naturally soulful, earthy and dynamic enough to appeal to all kinds of music fans. The songs themselves have some seriously infectious hooks and draws in European flavours, some gutsy blues, slow, chilled out reggae and some soulful acoustic ballads.

Half of SLEEPTALK was recorded at Decibelle Recording in San Fran with JJ Wiesler, and the other half in Berkely at San Pablo Recorder with Jon Evans. One track was recorded at Couch Studio with Shaun O'Callaghan, North Fremantle, WA (John Butler Trio)

Carey put together an amazing team of musicians to record the album . Jon Evans played bass on several tracks. Jon has toured and performed with Tori Amos for twelve years. He has also worked with Linda Perry and Paula Cole. Other musicians include Dawn Richardson on drums (4 Non Blondes, Tracy Chapman), Julie Wolf (Ani Difranco, The Indigo Girls, Maceo Parker), David Matthews (Etta James), Claytoven Richardson on backing vocals (Kenny G., Michael Bolton, Elton John, Peabo Bryson, New Kids on the Block, Ricki Martin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole), Sakai (live performances with Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, and Chaka Khan), Marcie Brown (She has performed with Lucianno Pavoratti, Andreas Bocelli, Dizzy Gillespie, Itzak Perlman and Ray Charles. She has been a member of the Cirque du Soleil.)

TOBY has pulled together experiences from travelling the world, performing her music. She has supported the likes of Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Paul Kelly, The John Butler Trio, Brandy, The Indigo Girls, Gomez, Donavon Frankenreiter, Luka Bloom and Pete Murray. TOBY has performed at major festivals worldwide including Summerfest (Milwaukee, USA), PrideFest (Milwaukee, USA), Big Time Out Fest (Canada) and WA Blues and Roots Fest (Australia)

By not deviating from her fiercely independent origins, TOBY keeps this album real and untamed as she criss-crosses the globe connecting with audiences, injecting them with the passion she feels for music and turning each performance into a memorable party.


Summerfest – Milwaukee , USA
Pride Fest - Milwaukee, USA
Big Time Fest – Vancouver Island , Canada
Kaslo Jazz Fest - Kaslo, BC
Cowichan Folk Fest - BC, Canada
Womens Red Rock - Red Rocks, Utah
Tribal Funk Fest – Salmon Arms, Canada
Evolve Fest - Nova Scotia, Canada
Blue Skies Fest - Ontario, Canada
Girls Got The Blues Festival - UK
WA Blues and Roots – WA, Australia
Day On The Green - WA, Australia
Bridgetown Blues Festival - WA, Australia
Fairbridge Folk Festival - WA, Australia
Nannup Music Festival - WA, Australia
Vintage Blues Festival - WA, Australia
Broome Blues and Roots - WA, Australia
Ravenswood Blues and Roots Festival - WA, Australia
Warm Up For Winter Festival – Victoria , Australia