ARIA nominated Mustered Courage breathe new life into the Australian roots music scene with a diverse sound that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike. Since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2011, the Melbourne based outfit have been described as “the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons,” (Music Australia Guide) and have become the torch bearers for string band music Down Under.
The progressive folk-rock quintet blasted onto the national music scene when their sophomore album, Powerlines, garnered two Golden Guitar nominations and a live performance at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards in Tamworth. This led to a collaboration with Kasey Chambers on the song “Rosa” which was included on the album’s American release.
Mustered Courage’s steady rise and insatiable work ethic caught the attention of Lost Highway Records (Universal Music Australia) who went on to sign them to a worldwide record deal. While the ink dried, the two celebrated their new relationship by releasing a rootsy cover of Seal’s iconic “Kiss From a Rose” with the original instrumental B-side “Candle Creek.” These two tracks showcase the best of a sound that has Rhythms Magazine raving, “The four-part harmonies are right on the money. And the string picking, whether lightning fast or mellow and relaxed, is incendiary.” While the former received praise from Seal, himself, “Candle Creek” further cemented the band’s place in the alt-country music scene by bringing home the Golden Guitar for Instrumental of the Year at the 2015 awards.
After a heavy touring schedule of headlining club dates and festival appearances in Australia, these down-home pickers set their sights on the United States where they were invited by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) to perform at its weeklong 2014 World of Bluegrass conference and festival. This invitation turned into a full-blown tour that included 60 shows in 70 days across 43 U.S. states. The glowing success of the 2014 tour created a demand for a return trip to America, and the quintet travelled back to the U.S. in 2015 for a two-month tour of club and festival dates during the American summer. This tour included the band’s biggest show to date – a slot on the main stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival – where they performed alongside some of roots music’s biggest names including Béla Fleck, Punch Brothers, Kacey Musgraves, and fellow Aussies the John Butler Trio.
Back home in Australia, and with no signs of slowing down, Mustered Courage keep the momentum at a fever pitch with the release of their third long-player White Lies & Melodies (Lost Highway). Their most ambitious album to date, White Lies & Melodies pushes the boundaries of what a progressive folk-rock album can be. “There was definitely a maturing that took place in the album’s symbolism, its instrumentation and its production,” says lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Keeling. “We didn’t feel constrained by any style or genre for this one.”
With White Lies & Melodies, Mustered Courage prove that they “have a knack for tempering the rough and raw roots edges of their twang foundation with hooky-as-hell melodies and rich harmonies. Bill Monroe would be proud of his Aussie brethren-in-arms.” (Folkadelphia, USA)