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MusicNT presents Purple Patch

ALICE SPRINGS LOCAL, and Berklee College of Music graduate, Darcy Davis wears many creative hats – producer, sound engineer, lyricist, jazz pianist and now, front man of Central Australia’s newest blues/funk fusion band Purple Patch. MusicNT caught up with Davis to find out more about this new project.

How would you best describe Purple Patch?
Purple patch literally means a series of good luck or an elaborate piece of writing. Purple Patch as a band is a proliferation of blues, rock and funk created by four “Desert Rats” from Central Australia.

The sound is full of groove, grit and attitude that has an audible “purple” feel to the vibe we create together. Drums, Hammond organ, electric guitar and bass make up our ensemble.

You recently released a new single ‘Know 2 Well’ – can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
The song is about the struggles of being an artist/musician/student, and having to survive on the smell of an oily rag while staying committed to the dream. The film-clip opens with lead guitarist Simo King hitching a ride into town from Larapinta Drive – anybody who lives in Alice would have witnessed his stoic daily pilgrimage into the CBD to busk and sell his original music CDs, living the true lifestyle of a hungry artist.

Andre Sawenko did a fantastic job at capturing our vision of the storyline and the epic rugged outback landscapes. It’s the first time any of us have made a video clip and we are beyond stoked with the results – we would love to make more clips for future releases.

Your EP is launching at Araluen Art Centre this month – can Darwin fans expect a gig anytime soon?
We would love to play some gigs in Darwin! Alice Springs has a small but dedicated music scene and punter-base, but we would be super excited to share some of the desert rock ‘n’ roll vibes with the mob up in the Top End. We plan to head up that way once we’ve got CDs and merchandise to travel with.

You’ve spent time living in the US – what is it that drew you back to the Territory?
One of the most influential places I visited in the US was New Orleans. There is something very special about the swamp, bayou and voodoo that permeates from the town, and there is literally live music everywhere! Something seeped into my soul after visiting New Orleans and I think it’s where the blues sound of Purple Patch started developing originally – I encourage any musician to visit in their lifetime.

You’re collaborating with some other NT songwriters as this month’s Desert Sessions songwriter retreat at Ooraminna Homestead. Any artists you’re keen to work with?
I cannot wait for this retreat – it’s so easy to get caught up with life and jobs and neglect your own writing. Having the opportunity to take several days off where this is the main objective is a dream!

I would love to collaborate with Xavia as I have been a big fan of her work for a while. I am sure there will be some familiar faces and some I have never met, but I relish the opportunity for a creative retreat amongst such a busy life in Alice Springs.

What’s the one piece of advice you’ve received that you’d like to share with the world?
When I was at music school in Boston, we had a masterclass with world-renowned bass player Victor Wooten. His message was to make your band mates sound as good as possible by being a supporting player – it’s not about you being a ‘monster’ musician and being considered the best – it’s about playing what is necessary for the overall groove and making your fellow musicians sound and feel awesome. These are the guys who get the gigs.


Photo: L-R: Jeffrey Klarenbeek, Darcy Davis, Simeon ‘Simo-King’ Shepherd & Joey Klarenbeek. Photo by Rhett Hammerton

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