DIARY - 12 JANUARY 2006 - MIA DYSON
DYSON FROM SURF COAST TO TV
a pretty girl in Gower, only her first time/ I'd been there two years
and had two more in line." - Roll Me Out - Mia Dyson.
raised singer songwriter and guitarist Mia Dyson has a healthy penchant
for including her family in music that has won her national exposure.
There's luthier dad Jim who carved out her distinctive sound in the
slide guitars that he toiled over.
And her mother eulogised in her tune Rivers Wide and a late
octogenarian grandfather who was the source of No Other.
But it was a disparate family who inspired the single Roll Me Out
- a staple on JJJ-FM and community radio.
Dyson sourced her tune after a concert at the Deer Park gaol for women.
She personalised the story of a woman, ostracised in her central Victorian
hometown for being gay, and institutionalised after being gaoled for
a minor crime.
Allan Caswell tune, On The Inside, it hasn't earned massive royalties
as a TV show theme.
these characters at Deer Park when I performed there but used the name
Gower - the prison farm - in the song," Aria Award blues-roots winner
Dyson, 24, told Nu Country TV.
"A lot of women find love in the prison - especially matriarchs who
run prisons and take new prisoners under their wings. I met some incredible
people in there. One grew up in a small town in Victoria. Being a dyke
her sentence was out of proportion to the crime. But when she was in there
she learned her criminal trade. She got an 18 month sentence and then
had to learn how to survive."
organise a reality TV gaol break to publicise her new video shot at home
without her song subjects.
"It's a low budget video clip by a friend of mine who is a film director,"
"It's not going to be story telling - most will concentrate on the
chorus about having a good time. It features a lot of musicians and other
The artist recorded No Other, featuring her dad, in the bungalow
at the Moonee Ponds house her grandparents called home for 59 years.
"We recorded most of the album in the 8 ball room at the back of
their home," says Mia of the house from where her grandfather would
take nostalgia tram trips until he died at 87.
"He trekked across town on trams to places like South Melbourne,
where he grew up, and Glen Iris and check out how things changed. I was
compelled to write the song because my grandmother, who is now 85, never
spent a day apart from him when he was alive. He was a jack of all trades,
brush and furniture maker."
also eulogised her mother's artistic support in Rivers Wide.
"She had incredible taste in music," says Dyson, "she
fed me art, music and literature, was the main bread winner and held
the family together."
But a childhood friend and musical mentor inspired I Meant Something
To You Once.
Dyson and her friend were among a trio of musicians and songwriters
who flew under the radar at Mathew Flinders High School in Geelong
and never became Sweethearts Of Swing.
was incredibly talented," Dyson recalled.
"At 15 I looked up to her and aspired to be like her. We wrote songs
but our music teachers didn't know about that. She went on a bender after
high school and lost her way. She's now an activist, doing incredible
Ironically, Dyson was long unaware of fellow roots musician Xavier Rudd
who lived at nearby Jan Juc when she was on the Surf Coast.
"I had no idea who he was until he followed me into the Cricket Pavilion
at Port Fairy folk festival," says Dyson.
"As I was finishing my solo set for about 50 people the crowd started
flocking in to see him.
He came back afterwards and gave me couple of supports on his gigs."
to release her music in the highly competitive world market but has no
plans to emulate fellow ARIA winner Keith Urban and move overseas.
The singer has performed on three continents but is building a growing
market here in Australia.
"I did some showcases for record labels and booking agents in the
U.S. and Canada," she revealed.
"I played in Toronto, Vancouver, London and Edinburgh."
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