BLACK ROCK BAND
Lively and proud, Black Rock Band from West Arnhem land have been entertaining audiences and inspiring communities around the country since their debut in 2015. The band from the small community of Jabiru in the Northern Territory draws on their deep musical family history and incorporates traditional and contemporary sounds with a steady rock style, singing in both Kunwinjku and English. Their songs are a celebration of culture, connection to country, the fight for social justice and the future they want to create for the next generation of children.
With songs like 'Struggle', 'Learning on Country' and their first recording 'Bininj Kunborrk', literally translating to Traditional Song and Dance, the band sing about their families’ cultural richness as well as contemporary social and political issues that reflect their experience as First Nations people.
Their second album called Identity was released in November 2020 and was recorded in the Yarra Valley, Victoria in 2019. Despite this change of scene, Richie Guymala says “with this recording there’s a lot of connection back to home. Every time I’d do a track I’d close my eyes and picture myself back on country.”
This album is the result of Black Rock Band honing their sound while also collaborating with songwriters and musicians including Sam Teskey (The Teskey Brothers) and Jackson Phelan (Rat!hammock). The first single from the album is their rousing track 'Red Black and Yellow'. The song is a comment on January 26 and has energized fans in concerts across Australia and set to be an anthem of solidarity and pride.
Since winning the Best Community Band at Barunga Festival in 2017 the band have grown a diverse fanbase through entrancing live shows. The band make regular Top End appearances including at Mayali Mulil Festival and Mahbilil Festival as well as festivals throughout Australia including MONA FOMA, Nannup Music Festival and Woodford Folk Festival. They were also part of the official BIGSOUND showcase program in 2019 with well attended and reviewed shows.
"No one who has ever seen Black Rock Band play live has any doubt that they are one of the most energetic, passionate, proficient and endearing live forces in the country. If you're not having a good time at a Black Rock Band show, you must be actively trying not to."
"The wide-ranging record reflects the strength and breadth of the band’s songwriting: from the blues and country-infused single “If It Was Me”, to the string-led ballardry of “Moriah”, the reggae-driven grooves of “Yibengwarrbawon”, and the blistering rock riffs of “Highway 21'."