Bud Rokesky On Tour…

Brisbane’s Bud Rokesky has firmly planted himself in the music scene as one impressive story teller since the February release of his acclaimed country-folk debut album, Outsider. With his rich and resonant voice, reminiscent of Orville Peck and Waylon Jennings, and song writing that has been likened to that of Johnny Cash and Townes Van Zandt, it’s Rokesky’s outstanding live performances that will also draw you in and leave you wanting more.

Already a fixture on the festival front, having performed at Byron Bay Bluesfest, Groundwater, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Dashville Skyline, Gympie Music Muster and more… the singer-songwriter has also supported the likes of Cedrick Burnside (USA), C.W. Stoneking, Tim Rogers,  Meg Washington and Tim Easton (USA). Following a National tour with Matt Corby in May, Bud will take to the road for an East Coast run of dates through June/July. You don’t want to miss, even if “Bud Rokesky will break your soul into a million pieces” (ABC Country). Bud tells Hi Fi Way more about his album Outsider and the tour which starts tomorrow night.

Awesome work with the new album, can you believe how much work is involved with an album release?
Thanks, I suppose I did in some ways. I’ve always been fascinated with the music industry and dreamt of one day releasing an album, so I guess I’ve had the interest and tried to pay attention to all aspects, along with watching friends go through similar.

Were the characters that formed the basis of this album in your thoughts for a while?
I think the characteristics that make up the characters have been with me for longer than the characters themselves. I tend to incorporate aligning traits with characters once the song reveals the story, or vice versa.

Was it mostly the isolation that inspired your song writing?
That could be true. I also think songwriting is my way of processing the world and the human experience a little more deeply. The isolation gave me the time and space to work on this process.

Did the ideas come quickly?
I guess it’s just normal inspiration, like all creatives wrestle with. It can strike at the perfect time and flow freely, other instances it can come at an inconvenient time and require a lot of patience and focus. Other times it can arrive as a foggy cloud with heavy feelings attached to it, begging to be deciphered or clarified even if it drains you of all energy.

To the uninitiated how would you describe your album sonically?
Simple, organic, human, emotive, heartfelt, storytelling. It’s minimal but with incredible musicianship from dear friends, and intuitive and fluid production by Matt Corby and Alex Henriksson.

Were you hands on all aspects of producing the album?
With Matt and Alex being such good friends, I had complete faith in their vision as producers. They know my songs back to front and know me as a person just as fully. As much as I was present during all aspects of creating Outsider, and I always had the final say, I believe this album is as much theirs, and the musicians involved, as it is mine. Everyone poured their hearts into Outsider and I think that love was captured and can be heard on each track.

Did everything go to plan?
Covid lengthened the amount of time it took to complete the album. I live in Queensland while Rainbow Valley Studios is in New South Wales with some musician friends living in Victoria, which made border crossings something we had to take into consideration. Besides that, we kept production fluid by approaching each song without expectation and only building up what we thought necessary.

Who are your biggest musical heroes?
I don’t think I’ve ever been a person who loves a song simply because an artist I have liked produced it. I take it song by song. So to be perfectly honest my musical heroes are artists who worked hard enough to be able to understand themselves, their emotions, others emotions and how to convey those emotions through stories in songs in order to connect with other human beings. I think that’s the main reason I write and play music, for connection. Anyone doing that deeply and purely, especially in today’s world is a hero to me.

You’ve just finished up touring with Matt Corby & Great Gable and are hitting the East Coast for your own run of shows through June. How was that experience, and what can we expect from your own shows?
Unbelievable. Truly. Touring with some of my best friends, playing some of the most beautiful rooms in Australia to Matt’s fans (who are maybe the most kind and loving fans around), also making new friends in Great Gable and the crew, it’s a dream come true. I’m lucky enough to have some special guests jump up for my sets. Hayley Mary who sang the duet Tell John with me on Outsider, along with Jy Perry-Banks aka Steelin’ Hearts on pedal steel for a whole set in Sydney. As for my own shows, we’ve locked in some incredible support artists who will definitely help make a night of it! Very excited to meet everyone and share some stories.

What’s next for Bud Rokesky?
Lots of songwriting, some unbelievable collaborations, recording a few new tracks and plenty more shows. The future is so bright it’s a little hard to make out at this point!

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Bud Rokesky on the following dates…

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