A lot has happened since
singer/songwriter Ange Takats left Sydney back in 2000. She
joined a folk rock band in Thailand, interviewed Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma,
fell in love with a Romanian Canadian, published a travel memoir and has
just released her second album Arva.
“I’ve had a
rather unusual path into the world of music – via Bangkok. I went there to
work as a foreign correspondent with Reuters and landed a second job as a
singer in a Thai band,” the National Folk Festival Award Winner said.
Ange, who now calls the Sunshine Coast Queensland home,
says her overseas adventures have inspired many of the tracks on the new
“I happened to fall
in love with a young man from Ontario whilst trekking in Laos and ended up
moving to Canada to be with him. The title of the album was inspired by a
very long walk I did down a highway to a town called Arva, and my ability to
find happiness in the most unlikely of places,” Ange said.
With three-part vocal
harmonies, lush string arrangements and ragtime jazz instrumentation, the
11-track album is a departure from Ange’s folkie roots and was recorded in
Gippsland by Australian music institution J. Walker (Machine
Translations) who produced Paul Kelly’s latest album Spring
And Fall. “He’d just finished
composing the music for the ABC TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
which is set in the 1920s, so he was in the perfect ‘old world’
headspace to work on my songs. We recorded most of the vocals in an old hall
in Gippsland. A few weeks later he was in the same hall, recording Paul’s
album,” Ange said.
produced, mixed and laid down most of the instrumental tracks on the album
– playing double bass, piano accordion, violin, cello, piano, vibraphone,
dulcimer, banjo and percussion. He also pushed Ange outside of her comfort
zone when it came to recording jazz-inspired backing vocal harmonies. The
album is already receiving high praise:
Takats has a bell-peal voice that has the DNA of Judy Collins's tonal purity
and Joni Mitchell's emotionality. Takats also exemplifies contemporary
folk's facility to distil emotion into exact words and chiming melody” -
explores beyond acoustic guitar-based accounts of love’s wins and losses
with added jazz and orchestral settings which highlight the rich quality of
her voice” – The Courier Mail
'syrupy' voice, poignant lyrics, tinges of humour and nostalgia, great
string arrangements and nicely layered vocal harmonies combine to make the
11-track Arva a musical journey worth travelling" - The Road Ahead
Colin and Susan came together as a singing duo in the
Spring of 2004 and became a couple in the romantic sense as well, getting
married on 21st January 2006 at The Musical Village where they first met!
Without doubt, Susan is an undiscovered talent. Her singing voice has been
compared to Judith Durham, Nana Mouskouri and Linda Ronstadt. Their music
has been described as ‘easy listening’ but they have also provided an
up-tempo offering with one of Gippsland’s finest musicians; Terry Cupples
(bass) who probably has no peer in Gippsland, and also Brenden Morris when
Terry isn’t available and Leigh Bechaz on guitar/mandolin.
Colin has been playing guitar and singing since age 14,
learning to play Classical Guitar and drifting into the folk scene at
University. He has a variety of playing styles embracing various styles of
finger picking as well as straight forward rhythm guitar. In England Colin
was part of a duo that performed at Johnny Dankworth’s “Stables” Folk
venue in support to Steeleye Span in the 70s. He has played as a solo artist
and as part of a group of musicians over the past 30 odd years.
Susan began playing flute at the age of 8 and now includes the penny
whistle, the tenor & descant recorder, and guitar in her playing
repertoire. She also has an amazing singing voice – described by many “
as soothing as honey” – and has played in several groups over many
years. Her singing is quite unique. Rarely are listeners unmoved by the
clarity and character of her voice. She works professionally at the Darnum
Musical Village where she and husband Colin entertain the tour groups. Susan
has delighted audiences everywhere across Gippsland & beyond with her
modesty and easy going personality, not to mention an infectious smile!