Martha's Vineyard (band)
|Origin||Perth, Western Australia, Australia|
|Labels||Monkey, rooArt, Polygram|
|Associated acts||The Triffids, The Blackeyed Susans|
|Past members||see Members list below|
Martha's Vineyard were an Australian rock band, formed in Perth in May 1986 by lead singer, Peggy Van Zalm. In June 1989 the group issued their debut self-titled album on rooArt, which was produced by Nick Mainsbridge. It peaked in the top 100 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their sound as "reflective folk rock [which] mixed melancholy vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, gentle percussion and spacious arrangements to arrive at a harmonious and intriguing whole". They shared a similar sound and outlook to that of fellow Perth bands like The Triffids, The Honeys and Chad's Tree. Van Zalm's vocals drew positive comparisons with Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde and Joni Mitchell. The group had toured nationally supporting Simply Red, INXS, Eurythmics, The Go-Betweens, Paul Kelly, The Triffids, Mental as Anything, The Saints and Weddings, Parties, Anything, before disbanding in 1990. By 1994 Van Zalm had launched her solo career.
In May 1986 Peggy Van Zalm (ex-Distant Carnival), on lead vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica, co-founded Martha's Vineyard with Anthony Best (later known as Bhante Sujato) on guitar, harmonica and vocals, Lisa Jooste on violin, Norman Parkhill (The Scream, Matinee Idols, Photoplay, Scant Regarde) on bass guitar and vocals, and Aidan D'Adhemar on drums, percussion and vocals. The Perth-based band took their name from the holiday resort island off the coast of Massachusetts, United States. Van Zalm had grown up in Cowaramup, a small farming and vineyard town, before studying Fine Arts at Curtin University. The band's first performance was on 21 May 1986 at the Red Parrot nightclub supporting The Saints, three weeks after forming. Soon after they issued a self-titled five-track cassette, recorded at Northlake Studios in Fremantle with James Hewgill, which was followed with a shared single, "Our Day", with Errol H. Tout's "Sounds of Swimming" on Lizard Records/Monkey Music. "Our Day" was written by Van Zalm. Catherine McAuliffe joined on bass guitar and Parkhill switched to guitar.
In the following months the band played support performances for Paul Kelly, Weddings, Parties, Anything, The Go-Betweens and Mental As Anything. Martha's Vineyard also supported Eurythmics and INXS at the Perth Entertainment Centre.
In October 1987 a six-track mini-album, For a Small World, followed on the Monkey Music label. The title track was written by Best. Soon after Stuart Fenner replaced Jooste on violin and Phil Kakulas (ex-The Triffids) replaced McAuliffe on bass guitar. In late 1987 the band went on an Eastern States tour supporting The Triffids on their Calenture tour. In 1988 the line-up of Best, D'Adhemar, Kakulas and Van Zalm re-located to Sydney. The following year they signed with the rooArt label alongside The Trilobites, Crash Politics, Tall Tales and True, Hipslingers and The Hummingbirds. Martha's Vineyard contributed the track "Unravelling" to the first of rooArt's compilations, RooArt Present Young Blood (September 1988), which was "a collection of newer indie acts". "Unravelling" was written by Van Zalm. The band were one of four selected from the compilation which were signed for a three album deal. In 1989 Toby Creswell, the editor of Australian Rolling Stone named them as one of five 'new' bands that he thought most deserve to succeed on the charts.
In April 1989 The Sydney Morning Herald's reviewer John O'Donnell caught their performance at Harold Park Hotel, he praised their "lilting, well constructed arrangements, van Zalm's assured voice and the intelligent, minimal use of volume all combined to provide ... the ambience of a folk club. Fortunately, tidy folk tunes are not all that M. V. play". Martha's Vineyard recorded their only album at Planet Studios in Perth, which was produced by Nick Mainsbridge (The Triffids, Tall Tales and True). In June 1989 rooArt issued the self-titled album, Martha's Vineyard, and a single, "Old Beach Road", which were distributed by PolyGram Records. The album received favourable reviews nationally and abroad. It peaked in the top 100 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. "Old Beach Road" receivied airplay on both commercial and community radios stations, including 2JJJ, 3RRR and Triple M, reaching No. 86 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. It was co-written by Best and Van Zalm. The record company negotiated Martha’s Vineyard as opening act with Simply Red on their national tour throughout Australia as part of the promotion of the band's album. Early the following year, "Old Beach Road" was also issued as a four-track 12" extended play of the same name for the European market.
A second single, "More of the Same", was released on rooArt; before pressures from both within and outside the band led to its split in 1990. RooArt nevertheless released the album in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, under the title Old Beach Road taking advantage of the success of the single. The band attracted much critical acclaim and shared stages on tours with Simply Red, INXS, Eurythmics, The Go-Betweens, Paul Kelly, The Triffids, Mental as Anything, The Saints and Weddings, Parties, Anything. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their sound as "reflective folk rock [which] mixed melancholy vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, gentle percussion and spacious arrangements to arrive at a harmonious and intriguing whole". He felt that they shared a similar sound and outlook to that of fellow Perth bands The Triffids, The Honeys and Chad's Tree. He drew positive comparisons between Van Zalm's vocals with Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde and Joni Mitchell.
Post Martha's Vineyard
In 1989 Kakulas had formed a side project, The Blackeyed Susans, with David McComb, Alsy MacDonald (members of The Triffids), Rob Snarski (Chad's Tree) and Ross Bolleter. Following the break-up of Martha's Vineyard, Kakulas worked with Grant McLennan (ex-The Go-Betweens) on the latter's solo project before Kakulas rejoined The Blackeyed Susans as that band's bass guitarist. The Blackeyed Susans' have released seven studio albums and a live album, a number of which were produced by Kakulas.
Van Zalm launched her solo career, at the end of 1994, with the release of the album, Shine. In June 1999, she issued her second album, Revival, on her own Red Dirt Records label, it was produced by Graham 'Buzz' Bidstrup (ex-Angels, GANGgajang), and featured Van Zalm's trademark folksy, jazzy pop vocals. She then released two albums with co-producer Geoff Nant, Different World in 2001 and Light Diamond in 2006.
Best became disillusioned with the alternative music scene and moved to Thailand in 1992, where he became a Buddhist monk, Bhante Sujato. He returned to Australia in 2003 and set up a religious community, Santi Forest Monastery, outside Sydney. He resigned from the post of Abbott in 2012 and current resides at Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia.
Parkhill went onto manage acts including Frente, Nikka Costa, The Badloves and Leonardo's Bride. In 2005 he established inSYNC Music, which provides specialist music services for film, TV and advertising. He has produced the soundtracks for a number of Australian movies (including Somersault, Candy, Kenny, The Black Balloon and Tomorrow, When the War Began) and television series (including Packed to the Rafters, Top of the Lake, East of Everything and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries).
- Anthony Best aka Bhante Sujato – guitar, harmonica, vocals (1986–1990)
- Aidan D'Adhemar – drums, percussion, vocals (1986–1987, 1988–1989)
- Lisa Jooste – violin (1986–1987)
- Catherine McAuliffe – bass guitar (1986–1987)
- Norman Parkhill – bass guitar, guitar, vocals (1986–1989)
- Peggy Van Zalm – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica (1986–1990)
- Stuart Fenner – violin (1987)
- Phil Kakulas – bass guitar (1987–1990)
- James Elliot – drums (1990)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|For a Small World||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Our Day"||1986||—||shared single
(with Errol H Tout's "Sounds of Swimming")
|"Old Beach Road"||1989||86||Martha's Vineyard|
|"More of the Same"||1990||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- RooArt Present Young Blood – RooArt (1988) ("Unravelling")
- The ARIA Awards Album - Winners And Nominees – CBS (1989) ("Old Beach Road")
- Life without Post Modern ("Old Beach Road")
- RockArt: The History of rooArt Records – BMG (2001) ("Old Beach Road")
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Martha's Vineyard'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Holmgren, Magnus. "Martha's Vineyard". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Gerard, David (October 1986). "Martha's Vineyard". Party Fears (PDF) (5). David Gerard. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Official website for Peggy Van Zalm
- "Peggy Van Zalm biography". ReverbNation. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- "'Our Day' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Martha's Vineyard (1980), For a Small World, Monkey Music [distributor]. National Library of Australia, retrieved 7 May 2013, "Music Publisher No. MONK 3".
- "'For a Small World' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Mathieson, Craig (2000). "1990". The Sell-in: How the Music Business Seduced Alternative Rock. Allen & Unwin. p. 17. ISBN 1-86508-412-3. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
- 1313 Mockingbird Lane; Trilobites; Faith; Martha's Vineyard; Who's Gerald?; Violet Town; Tall Tales & True; Crash Politics; Hipslingers; Sundogs; Souls in Isolation; Hummingbirds (1988), RooArt Present Young Blood, RooArt, PolyGram Records. National Library of Australia, retrieved 7 May 2013, "Notes: Rock music from Australia; various artists. Program and biographical notes and portraits on inner liner. RooArt: 836 109-1".
- "'Unravelling' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- O'Donnell, John (6 April 1989). "The Game Breakers". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- O'Donnell, John (April 1989). "Harold Park April 1989". The Sydney Morning Herald (Peggy van Zalm Reviews Page). Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Holmgren, Magnus. "Nick Mainsbridge". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Martha's Vineyard (1989), Martha's Vineyard, rooArt. National Library of Australia, retrieved 8 May 2013, "Music Publisher No. 838 210-2".
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
- "'Old Beach Road' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Old Beach Road (extended play cover). Martha's Vineyard. rooArt, PolyGram Records. 1990. rArt 112, 876 891-1.
- Martha's Vineyard (1989), "More of the Same", rooArt. National Library of Australia, retrieved 8 May 2013, "Music Publisher No. 872 960-7".
- Western Australian Folk Federation (WAFF) (1 December 2010). "Folk and Roots @ Perth Cultural Centre" (PDF) (Press release). Western Australian Folk Federation (WAFF). Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2013. "Peggy Van Zalm is a well known regular to Perth and a driving force behind folk/pop "Martha's Vineyard" who toured with the likes of INXS, The Saints, Weddings Parties Anything, Paul Kelly, The Triffids, Mental as Anything, the Go Betweens, Eurythmics and Simply Red. Peggy has released a number of successful albums – 1994's Soul Magic, and 1998's Revival (co-produced with Buzz Bidstrup of Gangajang/Cold Chisel) and earned rave reviews for her live performances".
- Gerard, David (April–May 1991). "Perth News". Party Fears (PDF) (13). David Gerard. p. 1. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "About Santi Forest Monastery". Santi Forest Monastery. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- "The Scope: Are We Happy Yet?". Sydney Festival. 24 January 2010. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Lectures by Australian monk in Kandy and Colombo". Daily News, Sri Lanka's National Newspaper. Retrieved 2014-01-16.