Dan Sultan, Falls Festival, 01/01/04

Picture this: 2am. A perfect, cloudless night. A billion stars in every direction. Fifty odd people on a farm. Three dudes on the back of a Ute. This is the scenario I faced after 3 rock n roll filled days partying it up with 10,000+ others at the annual Falls Festival in Lorne, VIC. I was lucky enough to be at the staff party thrown afterwards, to thank all those who had volunteered their time and effort (or been paid for it!) to make the festival the success it is.

Two of the three onstage, er, on the Ute, were Xavier Rudd (To Let and Live at the Grid) and Garrett Dutton (of G. Love & Special Sauce fame). This line up in itself should have been enough to satisfy any self-confessed blues and roots music freak such as myself. The third was up and coming Melbourne performer Dan Sultan. Though it seemed a very surreal experience, it became an obvious reality when I witnessed someone that had such an essence and amazing presence on stage, and some incredible tunes to go with it!

Dan, 20, plays a mix of roots and soul music and grew up in Fitzroy, VIC, amongst many musicians in the arts community. This led to a dream of playing his own shows which has now become reality. While he is very talented, playing a combination of keyboards, drums and guitar, it is his phenomenal vocals that show the rest of us exactly how it should be done.

Dan plays his Maton acoustic in a duo with songwriter/guitarist Scott Wilson playing on his 1964 Gretsch Guitar and, between the two of them, well let’s just say it makes for some extraordinary sounds and inspiring vocal harmonies. Already this year Dan and Scott have supported Xavier Rudd, Dan Kelly & the Alpha Males, played the St Kilda Festival, toured Victoria’s gorgeous West Coast and will be playing The Rip Curl Pro at Bell’s Beach over Easter. Nor does it stop there. Dan plays drums and Scott guitar/vocals in five piece Melbourne band The Roys

It is only the beginning of the road for Dan and Scott, but with some great tracks and the future release of what looks to be an amazing debut album, we should expect to see them popping up all over the joint! See their website for more details.

Upcoming gigs include: 8th April @ Newcastle Uni, NSW (supporting Xavier Rudd);16th April @ The Beachnik CafíƒÂ©, Barwon Heads, VIC; 25th April @ The National Hotel, Geelong VIC (supporting Dave Graney); 29th April @ Northern Star, Newcastle NSW.

With this distinct achievement already and a noticeable impact on fellow musicians, all we can really assume is that we are in for a real treat. Well done boys, you’ve definitely got my attention!