SAT 4 – 12:00PM – 1:00PM
John Makey (Vocals)
John was born in England, and migrated to Sydney, Australia with his family whilst very young. A big-voiced singer who grew up with a penchant for soulful blues-rock a la Paul Rodgers and Frankie Miller, John also sites influences as diverse as B.B.King, Otis Redding, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. John is a natural and committed vocalist who started out with northern Sydney band ‘The River Rats’ (1984-1987), followed by ‘Black Label’ (1988-1995), and ‘Mudcrab Soup’ (1995-1997). It was with Mudcrab Soup that John was booked to open the show for Mal Eastick and his Band in December 1996 Mal was immediately taken and asked John to sing with him on his forthcoming tour. John became the vocalist in Mal’s band in March 1997, and a great musical combination was bornBetween his duties with the Mal EastickBand, he is the frontman of Rivershack Blues Band.
Chris Waller (Guitar Lead/Slide)
I started playing guitar at 15yo using my brothers accoustic. Being left handed I changed the strings around on this right handed guitar while my brother was out for the day but when he returned he was not very pleased about the change. So I decided to try and play this guitar strung right handed and kept
practicing it this way for a few years. I bought my own electric guitar and, a few more years later, started looking for a band. Tried out for various bands and ended up in a few garage type bands who went no further than the garage. In 1982 I decided to look further away from my local area and found an ad for a lead guitarist in a band called the River Rats. I went along and the band was good so we rehearsed 3 times a week for a month and then we started gettinggigs in the Hornsby area. As this was my first time playing before an audience I was full of nervous and excited energy and we were gigging 2-3 times a week. I played in this band for 4 years and did many great supports including the Choirboys, OL55, Chris Turner band etc but eventually we broke up after our lead singer moved away. I stopped playing in bands for a good while and then met a band called Null & Void at a mates party in 2002 and jammed with them that night which led to them asking me to join.We are still gigging to this day and have had many successful nights. In 2010 I got a call from a good friend who wanted to start a Blues/Boogie roots.
Dave Clews (Bass)
Dave started playing guitar at the age of 16, but didn’t find it to be the instrument he was destined to play. His brother Russell was teaching him to play acoustic guitar and as they were both into Led Zeppelin at the time, Dave started to listen closer to what was going on in the music.Dave discovered the unique sound and style of John Paul Jones. It was the song “the crunge” from the “houses of the holy” album which inspired Dave to change to bass. John Paul Jones is still one of Dave’s major influences.In 1985 Dave moved to the NSW high country from Sydney where he played with a couple of local bands and raised his family.In 1992 Dave moved to the central coast of NSW where he got a gig playing in blues rock band “Black Label” (the original). After black label split in 1997, Dave went on to play in other central coast bands and formed many close friendships one of which was student of Dai’s and gave him Dave’s name as a prospective bass player for the “Dai Pritchard Band”.
Richard Adams (Blues Harp)
My muso friends have nicknamed me “Blind Dicky Boy Adams” lol. I have grown up with the blues thanks to my Father, influenced by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold and Junior Wells. I got my first blues harp at 10 and tried to play along. As I grew older I jammed with friends and got some lessons, finally finding my style. I played in a few bands in the 90’s but the kids changed things for some time. I have been right in the thick of it for the past 3 years playing at festivals, pub gigs, fundraisers and loving it and finding my mojo. I have jammed and played with the likes of Di Pritchard, Mal Eastick and Karise Eden but do my best work as the blues harp player for “The Rivershack Band”. Long live the blues.
“BLIND BOY” Bruce Johnson Guitar (Rythmn/Slide/Lead/Cigarbox)
I’ve been playing guitar for 35 years, worked in Film & TV for 25 years(Audio Director).
I’m good friends with Kevin Borich & Mal Eastick & have jammed with them many times & they have always said I should start a band so 3 years or so I started Rivershack Blues Band named after my favourite Hotel in New Orleans where I played a number of times. I was guitarist in Cop This with Cary Sweet & a bunch of TV mates I love to play slide guitar, Cigar Box guitar.
Together Rivershack has a combined talent that is a force to be reckoned with.