Singer-songwriter Rosa Shiels comes from the 100% pure, clean green and mountainous South Island of New Zealand.
Way back in the '70s, she was in the Australia-NZ Hair tribe and then the original Australian stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar, continuing to live in Australia for some 20 years after that and working in both music and journalism.
Through the years She has guested at various folk, rock, blues and jazz festivals around the country, solo and in groups, including her last concert appearance for the Christchurch International Jazz and Blues Festival, April ’08.
On this, her first solo album, she presents pared-back, mostly acoustic originals – country, folk-rock and jazz-tinged, featuring the finger-style guitar work of NZ steel-string specialist Graham Wardrop (who is also co-producer), with Tom Rainey on piano and bass, and the late Dave Fraser, the former NZ-based international musical director for Rod McKuen, appearing on one track.
The songs are a mix of genres. They include a studio version of Dead Easy, her song about Kings Cross, which is the title track of an Australian movie; The Ballad of Bea Miles, a bio-song about a famous Sydney bag-lady; several love songs; a slow blues and a jazzy blues, Willie Nelson’s Crazy and an a cappella traditional verse.
Someone said: ``Rosa Shiels has a voice like good Bourbon -- full of that sweet sadness of the blues.’’
She says: ``One breath after the next, one step then another, one bar at a time -- such is life and such is music. And whereas songs may not hold the key to life, there’s nothing like them for underlining the love and alleviating the blues.’’