Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Inbox Update: Colin Hay, Maia Sharp

My inbox runneth over (of course!), so why not spill some of it here?

Colin Hay to Celebrate ‘Down Under’ 30th Anniversary with global re-release

Newly recorded version of iconic anthem ‘Down Under’ to be used as the centerpiece of Telstra’s Olympic Games Advertising Campaign

Singer-songwriter Colin Hay
A newly recorded version of the iconic Men at Work song “Down Under” will be released globally on Compass Records in celebration of the song’s 30th year anniversary. Colin Hay re-recorded the song without the “Kookaburra” flute line which is the subject of a drawn out and embittered lawsuit in Australia. The track will be released as part of an EP (available on iTunes July 31, 2012) which will include three versions of the song: the newly recorded studio version, a solo acoustic version and a live, solo, story-song version in which Hay humorously describes how he wrote song. The three track EP will be released exclusively through iTunes with the single "Down Under 2012" available through other digital outlets including

Marketing executives at Telstra, the Australian network provider, tapped the track as the theme for their Olympic games advertising campaign. "Down Under" has been the unofficial anthem of Australian sports since it was adopted by the Australian team during the 1983 America’s Cup which Australia won. Telstra chose "Down Under" as the centerpiece for their campaign in recognition of its unparalleled representation of the Australian national spirit. The campaign features Colin Hay in a series of 30- and 60-second commercials singing the song with groups of various sizes, ranging from people on the street to a children’s chorus up to a football stadium of 60,000. In addition to their TV campaign, Telstra is promoting the song through broadcasters Bigpond, Ninemsn, and worldwide via a social media campaign on Youtube, Facebook, Flikr, and more. Australian TV Channel 9 will also air a 3-minute ‘making of’ video during the Olympics. Compass Records Group will be promoting the release of the digital EP with a “Down Under” trivia contest and social media campaign targeting Hay fans.

In 2009, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed by Larrikin Music Publishing against EMI Music Publishing and co-writers Colin Hay and Ron Strykert for allegedly plagiarizing the folk melody “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” Despite overwhelming popular support for Hay, the court ruled that the two-bar flute line did infringe on the original copyright, though ultimately the claimant was rewarded a fraction of what they were seeking. The media attention surrounding this was further heightened this year with the death of Greg Ham, Men at Work co-founder, saxophonist and flute player who played the melody off the top of his head while recording the song.

The current re-release of the song and the simultaneous media campaign will serve as a vehicle for illustrating the integrity of the song. Comments Hay: “Fortunately on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the song Telstra, the communications company, have decided to license "Down Under" and are about to show it on the telly, as well as the cyber-world to hopefully inspire our athletes at the upcoming Olympics. I was happy to help, and along with my friend Dorian West, created a spirited version of the song featuring footballers, pub goers, sailors on the Thames, school kids in Sydney, and, well, you get the idea. This led me to the idea of re-releasing "Down Under 2012" (without the so-called infringing flute line), to re-establish the song in the consciousness of the public, and in so doing, highlight that the power and strength of the song lies in its original words and music. It speaks for itself.“

"Me After You," the lead single from Maia Sharp's Change The Ending, is the most added at Triple A Radio

Change The Ending is out Aug. 28 on Blix Street/Crooked Crown Records

Maia Sharp set to tour with Bonnie Raitt, who guests on two tracks

“Me After You," the poignant first single from acclaimed singer-songwriter-producer Maia Sharp’s upcoming album, Change The Ending, was Most Added at Triple A radio behind Killers, Green Day and Alabama Shakes. “Me After You” is available now at all digital retailers. To hear the song, click on the link below:

On August 28, Blix Street/Crooked Crown Records will release Change The Ending, which features guest vocals by The Rescue’s Adrianne Gonzales, Garrison Starr, Dawn Thomas and Bonnie Raitt. Sharp will be touring with Raitt in October and can be heard on the nine-time GRAMMY® winner’s new album, Slipstream. Maia has been previewing songs from Change The Ending on her current tour, which includes a series of dates with Gonzales and Starr. See below for itinerary.

Change The Ending follows Sharp’s 2009 album, Echo. Produced by Don Was, it contained the Top 10 Triple A radio hit “John Q. Lonely” and “Death By Perfection,” which featured Raitt and was tapped by NPR as “Song of the Day.” The new album reaffirms Sharp’s gift for capturing the subtleties and shades of gray that characterize relationships.

Sharp grew up in Los Angeles, where she started playing local clubs while she was still in her teens. She gives a sly wink to her hometown’s biggest industry with the new album’s cover art – which fans can get a sneak preview of at or Filmmaking provides the perfect metaphor in the title track, as the narrator considers how a romance might have fared with a little rewrite. “It’s a beautiful story,” she observes ruefully in the chorus. “If you change the ending.”

During the recording sessions, Sharp admits, “We did change the ending a few times – and it was always for the better.” After producing Edwin McCain’s latest album, Mercy Bound, as well as two songs for Art Garfunkel’s upcoming double album, The Singer, she elected to produce Change The Ending herself. She assembled a notable crew of musicians to back her, including guitarist Linda Taylor (Tracy Chapman, Edwin McCain), who often accompanies Sharp on the road, drummer Matt Chamberlain (The Wallflowers, Fiona Apple) and bassist David J. Carpenter (John Doe, Toni Childs).

“I had been working with several other artists on their albums and I was just hooked on that whole feeling, so I decided to produce this album alone,” says Maia. “I had to learn to be my own sounding board because I’d finish a vocal and come out and there was nobody else there to go ‘yeah, that was great’ or ‘you really need to do that again.’ But it was a great experience and I learned a lot.”

“Sharp always leads with her heart and comes across as a performer worth getting to know,” said USA Today in a three-star review of Echo while NPR’s “All Things Considered” hailed her as “a songwriter set to arrive” and The Washington Post called her “a sterling up-and-coming talent.”

In addition to her string of acclaimed solo albums and numerous production credits, Sharp is also a sought-after songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Keb’ Mo’, Terri Clark, Cher, Trisha Yearwood and many others.

Maia Sharp – Change The Ending - Track Listing

1. Me After You

2. The Middle

3. Buy My Love

4. I See Cecelia

5. Standing Out In A Crowd

6. Rising

7. Change The Ending

8. Sober

9. Your Stepping Stone

10. The Bed I Made

11. Buy My Love (Remix)

Maia Sharp – Upcoming Tour Dates

8/02 Ann Arbor, MI Acoustic Café

8/02 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark

8/04 Boston, MA WXRV Music Matters Festival w/Scars on 45, Meiko and more

9/08 Los Angeles, CA Room 5 Lounge w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/19 Annapolis, MD Rams Head Tavern w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/20 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/21 Oil City, PA Clarion University-Venango Campus

w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/22 Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/23 Columbia, MD Concerts at the Historic Cooper’s House

w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/24 Vienna, VA Stage-it Show! Live from Vienna, VA

9/25 New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/26 Vienna, VA Jammin’ Java w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/28 Decatur, GA Eddie’s Attic w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/29 Charlotte, NC The Evening Muse w/AG & Garrison Starr

9/30 Asheville, NC Stage-it Show! Live from Asheville, NC

10/2 Boston, MA Berklee College of Music/Lawrence and Alma Berk Hall

(songwriting seminar)

10/3 Cambridge, MA Club Passim w/AG & Garrison Starr

10/4 Ogunquit, ME Jonathan’s w/AG & Garrison Starr

10/5 Crystal Lake, IL The Nashville Backstage Pass

10/18 Clearwater, FL Clearwater Jazz Holiday Fest opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/20 Live Oak, FL Magnolia Music Festival opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/21 Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheatre opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/23 Melbourne, FL King Center For The Performing Arts opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/26 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/27 Columbus, GA RiverCenter Heard Theatre opening for Bonnie Raitt

10/28 Nashville, TN The Ryman Auditorium opening for Bonnie Raitt

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