Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates
Centro CBD (Wollongong, NSW)
Saturday, 7 August 2021 6:30 pm
Mahalia Barnes was born into the Australian music industry. The daughter of Australias most successful vocalist Jimmy Barnes, Mahalia has her own firm ideas about her own music - and much of it revolves around old school soul. At age 15, Mahalia began her career touring and recording as a backing singer for her Dad. Since then she has worked for and alongside many artists, both Australian and international, including Roachford, Mica Paris, Sweet Pea Atkinson (Was not was), Disco Montego, Diesel, David Campbell, Blue King Brown, Kid Confucious, The Hands, Jackie Orszackzy, Tina Harrod, Tim Rogers (You am I), Guy Sebastian, Gary Pinto and many others. Mahalia also began singing clubs and doing her own original shows with friends such as Jade MacRae with whom Mahalia wrote the track Its A Shame from the Soul Mates albium, as well as Gonna take some time a top 40 single from Jimmy Barnes Double Happiness album. She also co-wrote Feel, a song which featured on Jade MacRaes Debut album. In 2008, after years singing back up for many artists and fronting her own groups, Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates released their first studio EP Its A Shame followed by the debut album Mahalia Barnes + the Soul Mates - Volume 1. The album was recorded with her band the Soul Mates (Dave Hibbard - drums, Ben Rodgers - bass, and Clayton and Lachlan Doley - keys, with Mark Lizotte guesting on guitar), it was co-produced by Mahalia and James Freeman. The album also features special guests: Darren Percival, Gary Pinto, Juanita Tippins and Tina Harrod on vocals; Matt Ottignon, Andy Bickers and Anthony Kable on horns; Jak Housden (The Badloves/The Whitlams) also plays guitar on one track, and the percussionist on the album is none other than Jimmy Barnes! Its a Shame is backed with another original, Wasted, plus a version of Aretha Franklins I Never Loved A Man and the standard You Are My Sunshine a duet with Mr Percival. Theres so many different versions of that song, she says. I found all these different versions of the song by Aretha, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina, so I thought Id do my version. It was really fun. The album features a mixture of old soul songs, including the crowd favourite Proud Mary, Ann Peebles How Strong is a woman, Were still friends - featuring Gary Pinto, So Fine with Juanita Tippins and Tina Harrod, and Steppin in Her I Miller Shoes and more, as well as a handful of stand out originals, including the ballad "Is This A Love" penned with Ben Rodgers, Never Walk Away, Good Friend (and more!). The live band varies slightly from the album players, but includes some of Australias finest musos - Dave Hibbard and Ben Rodgers are a permanent fixture in the soul mates, but are joined on tour by Rob Woolf and Jonathon Pease, as well as special guests whenever available! Mahalia has been part of several national tours supporting the likes of Lionel Ritchie, James Morrison and the Roots – to give you an idea of the diversity in her show. She has also been singing with Jimmys band and squeezing in Soul Mates club shows - which often turn into old school soul revues. She has played at festivals such as Byron Bay Bluesfest, Point Nepean, and featured on several Day on the Green concerts. In 2008 The Soul Mates opened up for Jimmys Out in The Blue theater tour, as well as making many trips around the country to do shows of their own. In 2009, The Soul Mates sold out their show at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, where Mahalia also featured in the acclaimed Dad n Dave Show which sold out 2 nights. After almost 2 years of constant touring with the band, Mahalia recently took a little time out to have a baby. (Ruby was born on september 18 2009). But she is back performing and writing for the Soul Mates second album which they plan to record in the very near future. Mahalia most recently performed alongside Tim Rogers, Paul Dempsey, Bob Evans, Jade MacRae and Gin Wigmore at the Opera House Concert Hall for two nights as a part of Happy X-mas War is over / A Gift for you - a christmas show with a twist featuring the Phil Spector xmas album from start to finish. In 2010, Mahalia has big plans. Lots more touring, including doing BVs for the Motown 50th anniversary tour in February, getting married to her partner Ben Rodgers, and co-writing/collaborating with numerous artists here and overseas to make a brand new Soul Mates album.