The unusual music of A P D'Antonio
We had a very special night at Blarney last night, with Anthony D'Antonio taking to our stage. He came recommended to us by the kind people who used to run Warrnambool's live music venue, The Loft, and he was also a very strong contender on last year's reality music show The Voice. Revered muso Boy George called him, "Australia's Bob Dylan". We didn't quite know what to expect, but were blown away with the performance. He's a slight guy with a humble manner. It's almost like he doesn't want to take up space. He steps around the microphone like a little bird pecking at a worm, or like he's doing a very slow dance with it. But his voice. It's a rich, clear voice which can hit the gravel and sustain the rough. He says he doesn't follow a set list, but just goes with how the room feels on the night. He's a little bit folk, a little bit cowboy and a little bit alt-indie. His guitar work is impressive - he makes it sound like there's more than one instrument on stage. At the end of the night, someone asked about the sound, and he responded with, "Did it sound like a voice and a guitar? Then the sound's just right." He covers a few songs, and in doing so makes them his own. He's modest. He played Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" with the foreword that he plays it at every venue because he stuffed it up on The Voice (we're not even close to being convinced that's the truth). He talks a little about his musical influences, two of them being 'The Mayor of MacDougal Street', the late Dave Van Ronk, and Rambling Jack Elliott, who chose to chase cowboys instead of pursuing a career in surgery like his father. D'Antonio is funny and warm-hearted, and with his music he fills the room with a kind of magic. He talked about how at a previous venue, he and the gathered crowd had played a spontaneous prank on a punter - they all hid in another room after she'd gone to the bathroom. She might have found her return to the show a bit confusing with an empty room before her! At Blarney last night, he made the place feel so comfortable that he even managed to get a Port Fairy local to yodel for the crowd! There's definitely something magic about him - if you get a chance to see him, don't let it pass you by. You can follow him on Facebook here.