Tim and Kiam make up The Mojo Bluesmen, a busking duo whose passion for taking the original blues to people in the street, has seen them travel Australia wide as free spirits promoting their unique musical style. Closer to home the popular pair can be seen performing locally around the Manning Valley. They share their inspiration, achievements, ambitions and dreams with us.
Busking is an entertainment art form that has been around for Centuries, where people perform in public places. You can see people busking everywhere displaying their talents, with a receptacle that comes in many forms, for the public to throw in money in appreciation.
There is no doubt busker’s contribute to the vitality and cultural life of a city or town – usually you find them located in high volume traffic areas giving the passing public, in most cases, a welcome interlude from their routines.
Many famous entertainers have honed their craft on public walkways and streets. Some of our iconic singers, musicians and actors have been discovered while gaining experience and exposure. They sing or play musical instruments, recite poetry, perform acrobatics and still life scenes.
There are hundreds who have started their careers on the streets, including: Eric Clapton, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Huey Lewis and Dolly Parton. More recently the Bare Naked Ladies, Dixie Chicks, The Violent Femmes and Norah Jones all joined the list who started their careers busking.
In Australia, many began their careers performing in public places – entertainers like James Morrison, James Blundell, John Butler and The Wiggles honed their skills, expertise and gained public exposure busking around Sydney.
This region has many buskers. One popular and well received duo is the Mojo Bluesmen, who can been seen playing to enthralled audiences in locations in the Manning Valley, but mainly you can watch them nearly every week in the vicinity of the Taree City Centre.
Musicians who busk mainly play mainstream music however this duo’s music is very unique … they play the original Blues.
Their sound is very much a replica of the original Blues where they pump out the original and old classics in true Blues style, backed by a slide guitar, stomp box, tambourine and harmonica.
Tim Everett and Kiam Adcock have been performing together since they met three years ago on the road – they perform as The Mojo Bluesmen.
The pair are typical buskers who have no permanent base, spending most months performing between Byron Bay and Sydney.
“We busk everyday of the year,” said Tim.
“Our Holden panel van is our home, we are journeyman. We stay with friends and camp, it is a great lifestyle. Guess you could say we are free spirits’.”
The day Focus interviewed Tim was his 33rd birthday. He started his working life as a Plumber, running his own business in Sydney.
“I still carry my plumbing tools. Have not used them for seven years and do not intend too.
We support ourselves, some days are good, others not so good, but we survive.”
Making up the other half of The Mojo Bluesmen is Kiam, 24 years old. He left school seven years ago to play harmonica full time and began by busking mainly around his home town Laurieton and Port Macquarie.
“I think I was born to play Blues, I love it”, said Kiam.
“It has such a deep musical history, people love it.”
The pair have busked their way around Australia, playing everywhere there were people. Some of the interesting gigs they completed were in several strip clubs in Kalgoorlie and mining camps in the remote parts of Western Australia.
“Another interesting place is Sydney, we spent three months busking in Central Railway tunnel in Sydney and the markets at Windsor on the weekend.
There are so many buskers in Sydney … it’s very competitive.”
The boys believe they have the best job in the world and enjoy every performance.
“We have a lot of fun every day. Playing music is one of the great joys in life.”
The duo are keen entrants in busking championships and won the Busking for Change Award. This year they have been invited back to Byron Bay to perform after being runners up last year.
“To win would be a dream. The winner gets to perform at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, one of the best in Australia.
We do Tamworth every year and try to get to all the bigger championships.”
One ambition the boys hope to realise, is to head to America and busk around the country entering competitions.
Their main ambition is to reach the famous Southern part of the United States, where North Mississippi is recognised as the birthplace of Blues, following the American Civil War.
“There is something magical about this music.
We would love play in the birthplace and jam with other Blues musicians.”
The Mojo Bluesmen want everyone to know, Blues is serious and fun music that was influenced by early African styles and springing to prominence through ballads, gospel churches and rhythmic dance tunes.
“People have been listening to this style of music for many decades. In the early 1960s, Blues was a major influence and many songs from top bands were Blues-based.
The Rolling Stones, Animals, Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Canned Heat and Fleetwood Mac all brought Blues to younger audiences.”
The boys have many influences and are huge fans of many solid core Blues musicians like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Chuck Berry, Big Bill Broonzy, Ray Charles, James Cotton and Brownie McGhee.
Apart from performing many classic Blues songs, the duo also perform their own original material.
“Kiam is the singer, and he can write and sing a song during a gig. He is amazing, he has an incredible sense for this style of music.
When we head back to our base, we put the new song down on paper.”
With two CDs now recorded the Mojo Bluesmen are planning to release another this year.
If you want to taste their great music style you can find their songs on www.myspace.com/mojobluesmen where you can download their songs for free.