THE BLACK SWANS of TRESPASS are a versatile electric banjo quartet (that can also play as a trio if the need arises) that is the vehicle for the ground-breaking, iconoclastic Australian banjo player, CC THORNLEY.
The focus of the BSoT is electric banjo. CC felt that traditional paradigms of banjo were inhibiting the innovation and evolution of banjo. Most people have forgotten the era of the great Australian Banjo clubs of the pre-60’s era, and Australia’s own native banjo language has been lost, driven to extinction by foreign species that took over.
CC had a dream to return the banjo to its position as a relevant contemporary instrument. Heavily influenced by CC’s research into non-bluegrass banjo forms such as Jamaican mento, old-timey blues, modern jazz and many other genres, the BSoT create music that is soulful, funky, energetic and rich. And often irreverent and hilarious.
Joining CC in the BSoT are some of Hobart’s top musicians.
EMILY WOLFE is an accomplished fiddler. She is a musical director of the community mentoring group the Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble. Like CC, she’s won the Folktas Tune Writing competition twice in a row. She is a sought after session musician, with a huge list of recording and live performance credits. She is probably the only contemporary, folk-based fiddler that can keep with CC’s trailblazing iconoclastic ambitions. Often playing the “straightman” to CC’s cheekiness, she adds a beautiful feminine balance to the band. Not only does she have complete mastery of her instrument, she has a beautiful voice.
PAUL SHARP is one of the most prolific bass players in Hobart and one of the most heavily employed. His quite yet staunch reliability and charming easy going nature makes it easy for the BSoT to build great performances. Chances are if you have been to see live music in Hobart you would have seen Paul Sharp. He regularly plays with the pantheon of Tassie Music icons such as CA Taylor, The Reuben Reeves band, and many others.
Newest & youngest member of the band, NICK “Teen Heart throb” MACHIN is on the cusp of a great career. A dedicated percussionist, he has stepped up to meet the challenge of the mission statement of the BSoT, and done it with diligence and dedication. Much the CC’s chagrin, after every gig the BSoT’s inbox is filled with requests for Nick’s phone number and relationship status.
The BSoT is a quartet, but can downgrade to a trio – either Banjo/Bass/Fiddle or Banjo/Bass/Drums as the need requires.
The BSoT will record their 3rd studio album after CC completes some pending recording projects. In the meantime, here’s some shots of the band doing there thing:
And here’s the band playing Bonny Ship The Diamond at one of their regular shows:
Here’s the bandcamp: