Genre-blurring duo Hussy Hicks hit the South West

The Hussy Hicks will travel the region extensively on The Decade Tour, starting with a gig at Settlers Tavern. Image supplied.
The Hussy Hicks will travel the region extensively on The Decade Tour, starting with a gig at Settlers Tavern. Image supplied.

Fresh from Boyup Brook Country Music Festival, genre-defying musical gypsies Hussy Hicks will continue their regional roam with a series of South West gigs.

The shows are a part of The Decade Tour, celebrating 10 years since Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz released their first album and ventured on their first national tour.

The tour is also the WA debut of their brand-new sixth studio album, On the Boundaries.

The decade has seen the duo circumnavigate the globe, playing countless gigs in the US and Europe as well as pretty much every festival and town in Australia.

Gentz said 10 years was pretty special, given their formation was an accident.

”We didn't even mean to be a band,” she laughed.

“We met through our bass player, started hanging out and playing music for fun.

“Julz and I ended up touring together, writing together and then at one point realised we were a band, we were just having fun and we haven’t stopped.”

The Hussies have been welcomed with honorary memberships into the blues, folk, country and jazz circles thanks to their array of influences.

Their inspirations are drawn from family record collections of old school blues and country, and from their travels, combining a distinctly Australian roots edge with European gypsy guitar and Arabic rhythms.

Parker is regarded as one of her country’s finest guitarists, while Gentz is most recognised for her soaring vocals and joyful, endearing stage presence.

The duo embarked on a vastly different creative process for their sixth offering.

They travelled to London to work with producer Raphael White and spent up to 18 hours a day recording layers upon layers of grooves and sounds.

Eventually, they walked away, leaving the record in the hands of White to mould.

What followed was months of skyping between Australia and London, re-recording elements and mixing.

The result is a much more produced album compared to previous records.

Gentz said converting the sound to touring format was an exciting challenge.

“There is a lot of experimenting and it is really fun,” she said.

“I think the way we are playing these very produced songs in a broken down way is a nice introduction to the album – we are still just a bunch of girls playing acoustic instruments just with a bigger sound.”

The Decade Tour includes a ‘pilgrimage’ to Nannup Music Festival – the first festival the pair ever played.

Gentz said it was a full circle moment and touring WA was always a highlight for the band.

“We were extremely happy to be accepted in to Nannup Music Festival 10 years ago and are always happy to return,” she said.

“We’ve played the festival six out of the 10 years – it if one of our favourites and always will be.

“We’ve gathered so many friends in WA, from punters to fellow musicians. Everyone is just happy to be there, it’s a beautiful feeling.”

HUSSY HICKS SOUTH WEST SHOWS

  • MARGARET RIVER: Settlers Tavern, Thursday, February 22, from 8.30pm, free.
  • BUNBURY: The Crooked Carrot Cafe – South West Blues Club event with Bret Mosley and Matty Rogers, Saturday, February 24 from 4.30pm, tickets are $25 online or $30 at the door. To book, visit trybooking.com and search Hussy Hicks.
  • NANNUP: Nannup Music Festival, March 2 to 4, tickets and information at nannupmusicfestival.org.
  • DUNSBOROUGH: Clancy’s Fish Pub, March 4, from 7pm, free.