The 23rd Annual Blue Mountains Music Festival is almost here. Archie Roach returns to BMMF joining an impressive lineup of Australian and International musical talent that includes: Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Vikki Thorn (The Waifs), Briggs, Harry Manx (Canada), Steve Poltz (Canada), The Backsliders, All Our Exes Live in Texas and newly announced Roma violin/accordion duo Faith i Branko. The weather forecast is looking good and tickets and program information are available via bmff.org.au so you can start planning your 2018 festival weekend (pack your gumboots just in case)!
In a voice rich with humanity, filled with joy, pain, love and longing, Archie Roach traces the journey of his people, and gets to the heart of what it means to be human. He is one of Australia’s most treasured performers.
When his debut album Charcoal Lane was released in 1990, the impact was immediate. The album’s centrepiece, Took the Children Away, shone a spotlight on the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from their families and brought it to the attention of the global community. The single won an International Human Rights Achievement Award, while the album was certified gold and won two ARIA Awards.
The release of the album also introduced audiences to Archie’s own extraordinary story. As one of the Stolen Generations removed under these government policies, Archie grew up in foster homes and met his partner, Ruby Hunter, while living on the streets. The pair, who shared a deep love of music, formed a lifelong bond.
Over the following decade, Archie consolidated his success with three more albums – Jamu Dreaming (1993), Looking for Butter Boy (1997) and Sensual Being (2002). Looking for Butter Boy and Sensual Being were nominated for ARIA Awards, with Butter Boy winning two. During this period Archie won the Deadly Award for Male Artist of the Year three times (in 1997, 1998 and 2002).
In early 2010, Archie’s life took a dramatic turn with Ruby’s sudden death. Struggling to cope with the loss of his soul mate, Archie suffered a massive stroke that left him temporarily paralysed along his right side, unable to talk, walk or play his guitar.
In 2012 Archie returned with a new album, Into the Bloodstream, the album collected numerous awards and more importantly, the healing effect of that record provided a way for Archie to begin to live again. Archie’s commitment to raising awareness and being a catalyst for change remains undiminished. In 2015, this was formally recognised when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to music and his support of social justice.
Archie will be playing two concerts at BMMF 2018 and joining Heartland Conversations on Sunday morning, don’t miss seeing one of Australia’s most important performers.