About February: Kelly Menhennett / Anna Smyrk
Fresh from her performance at WOMADelaide, Kelly is a national award winning singer songwriter of the soul/roots/alt-country variety, a captivating live performer and a voice once compared to a cross between Erma Franklin and Etta James.
Kelly won the national Telstra Road To Discovery award for her songwriting, has independently released 2 full length albums and performed at iconic national and international festivals both solo and with her band. Most recently Kelly was the recipient of the inaugural “Ryan Freeman Live Music Award” at the 2015 SA Music awards and won the ARBA best roots album for 2014/15 with her latest release, Small Dreams.
In late 2010, Kelly released her debut album “World Of Mine”, named one of the top 10 albums for 2011 by Rhythms magazine’s Sue Barrett.
Her tireless national touring, both solo and with her band (Richard Coates on keys/accordion, Shireen Khemlani on bass, Tim Irrgang on drums and Steve Pederson on pedal steel/electric guitar/lap-slide) has seen her developing a reputation around the country as a unique and charismatic performer. She has been invited to support some great Austrialian and International musical acts (Charles Jenkins, Steve Poltz, Anne McCue, Patty Larkin, Sandi Thom, Monique Brumby, The McClymonts), shared the stage with her idol, Paul Kelly, in Nashville and graced the stages of some of Australia's great venues and festivals such as WOMADelaide, Woodford Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival and Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as the Americana Festival in Nashville.
“A unique and captivating live performer with songs that that carry effortlessly on smoky, gritty vocals. Divine.”
Anna Smyrk has come a long way since growing up on a lavender farm in Central Victoria. With her sun-drenched voice and songs about far-flung corners of the world, Anna paints stunning pictures of places she’s lived- from the sapphire waters of the Solomon Islands to a dusty city in Cambodia.
In 2016, Anna released her first solo EP, “Song of the Silver-tongued Magpie.” The debut was applauded by critics; Rhythms Magazine described as “a slow-burning gem”, while ABC Radio National called it “exquisite.”
Anna’s sophomore EP will be out in November 2019. The first single was premiered on Double J, featured in Folk Radio UK magazine and spun on BBC, ABC and community radio. The EP is a collection of songs inspired by her time living in wild places. It evokes images of turquoise oceans, dreamy tropical heat and finding yourself in circumstances where you have to throw your assumptions out the window.
Anna has performed at Port Fairy Folk and Dorrigo Folk Festivals, and recently supported Dave Graney in Melbourne. She won the Queenscliff Music Festival Foot-in-the-Door competition and competed in the Telstra Road to Discovery competition. She’s had songwriting mentorship from some of Australia’s finest, including Henry Wagons, Jeff Lang and Abbie Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride).
“A glorious piece of musical storytelling…haunting, almost folkloric.”