Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Hickey, Murray All Set to Hit the Road; Collaboration Unites Prodigy with Harlem Shuffle Frontman

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Hickey, Murray All Set to Hit the Road; Collaboration Unites Prodigy with Harlem Shuffle Frontman

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Hourigan adam.hourigan@dailyexaminer.com.au

GRACE Hickey has already established herself in the past few years as a local singing and songwriting prodigy.

However, she said when she talked to locals, news of her latest collaboration with a familiar face to the area has come with great excitement.

Hickey has combined with Hugh Scott Murray, known to local audiences as the frontman of Harlem Shuffle and half of the Duelling Pianos phenomenon. The talented pair have created an album and are taking it on the road. Next week the Clarence Valley gets their chance to check it out live.

"Everyone seems to know Harlem Shuffle up around this way, and they're so excited to hear I'm working with him," Hickey said.

"He sure made quite an impression as a frontman."

The collaboration started when Murray watched Hickey perform locally, and invited her to do some session singing with his current swing outfit, The Big Ole Bus Band.

"From there we just started writing together, and eventually decided that we'd want to put the stuff down," Hickey said.

The result is their album of originals, titled Grace + Hugh, and like many creations, what started small has ended up bigger than first expected.

"It was just going to be vocal/piano arrangements, all done by Christmas," Hickey said.

"And then... I don't know what happened. We started recording the songs, and this could use a bass line, or a horns section. Suddenly we've got B3 organ parts being sent over by Nashville as well. It wasn't done by Christmas, but it's a big sounding record."

This influence is instantly recognisable on the track Night Swimming, which is available for free download as part of their contribution to the local plunge festival. Starting as a tight vocal motif with a soft funk feel, it has interludes of brass, organ, vocal harmonies jutting in from all sides, before the smooth funk feel kicks in to round out the sound. …

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