Album Guests

Karen Anderson - Singer

Karen is one of Brisbane's best known jazz and blues vocalists. Her live performances are a wonderful treat for devotees of soul, jazz and blues. Karen's repertoire comes from the greats, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Etta James. Her ability to entertain and deliver astounding versions of classic songs combine with a repertoire of original compositions to make for an unforgettable musical journey, whether it be in a live set or disc. Karen's own Fuchsia Blue recording should be a standard inclusion in any music lover's collection with outstanding original songs plus a version of "Ball and Chain" that will leave you breathless. Her performances on Life Gets Better (highlighted by a thrilling blues performance on "A Minor Blue in William St" plus stunning harmonies on "Hold Back", "Bus Driver", "Love is Such A Thrill" and "Where Do We Stand"), is absolutely wonderful - Karen's voice is always the soul of any music she sings.


Karen Anderson - Fuchsia Blue- EWMACCD 0004

visit Ewan's web site to discover more about Karen @


Nadia Sunde - Singer

Nadia first came to the attention of audiences Australia wide through her work with the contemporary folk group, Spot The Dog (who also feature Keith Megson on drums.) Nadia sang on Spot's first two albums, and then embarked on a solo career writing and performing her own material. When Nadia sings accompanied only by her guitar or with some of her many friends in the Australian folk world it is unforgettable. Her ability to weave her stories through musical delights and her natural style make each performance unique and a sheer delight. Nadia released her first solo album, The Spark to wide acclaim from all sides of the "biz." The songs on it are some of the most beautifully crafted compositions in Australian contemporary music. Nadia's golden voice is a major part of "Life Gets Better", she takes on lead vocals in duet with Tony on "You Asked For That" as much for the melody as the magic. Nadia also features on "Henrietta Shapely" and "Never Be The Same".


Nadia Sunde - The Spark - NS20574


Anje West - Singer and Percussionist

Anje sings melodies of exotic flavours and creates fascinating rhythms with such feeling that you feel you've been carried away to a beach in Brazil or a mountain in Peru. And in a way that is just what has happened. Her ability to work with any audience in any situation is always a treat to watch and hear. Anje also performs as part of the legendary female vocal group "The Flannelettes" who really are more of an event than a group. Discovering Anje's amazing vocals and percussion on "Eimeo Song" is like unwrapping a Christmas present, sheer delight. The comparison to that bright star of Brazilian jazz Flora Purim is purely intentional on the part of the writer, the incredible ability to make it such a perfect moment in music is all Anje West. Anje features on "Bus Driver" and "Eimeo Song"


The Flannelettes A Night with The Flannelettes

The Flannelettes -Tropical Frish Frash

Worldly Women (compilation of Brisbane performers)

Blues Benefit Three (compilation)

Qwired - Things Go Round

The View From Madeleine's Couch- Self Titled.

Visit the web site @


Rose Broe - Singer and Accordionist

Rose sings and plays with the traditional folk group, "The Pirate Brides". She also coordinates and hosts the weekly Mad Ass Acoustic Club showcasing many Australian writers and performers in an intimate live setting at Brisbane's Broadway Hotel. Rose has a voice, a smile and a wicked sense of humour that guarantee an evening of brilliant entertainment every time everywhere. The "Pirate Brides" are famous for their stunning harmonies and exceptional playing and Rose's unique voice and musicianship are a huge part of that. Their live performances are fabulous and fortunately they have a recording to help you get through the time 'til you can see them again. Rose features on "You Asked For That".


Rose Broe - The Pirate Brides- Walking The Planxty

Email to Rose or Ryk @

Matt Towers - Keyboards

Matt is a player and teacher of incredible talent. His uncanny ability to find that perfect run, or a chord inversion that is just right for the feel of the piece is a wonder for the ears. When it comes to a session musician, any producer could not ask for more. Matt is an extraordinary live performer as well and performs with Ewan Mackenzie on recordings and on stage as well as many other Brisbane luminaries of contemporary rock, jazz and blues. "Life Gets Better" because Matt came and lived in it. Matt features on all tracks except "Noisy Neighbours".

(Matt plays on Ewan Mackenzie Band - Patch of Blue - see details under Ewan Mackenzie info)

Matt Moline - Harmonicas

There are harmonica players and there are blues harp players and then there is Matt Moline. As a player in the country blues outfit, "The Johnson Stompers", (with Michael Tully on double bass Matt gives the audiences something absolutely unique. His melodic style flows through the music like a cool blue river of sound and then just as you are about to float off, his percussive harmonica rhythms take you right into the heart of the groove. Matt also composes, produces and records for his own label, "7th Dimension" (which has some amazing music in its catalogue) where he plays superb finger picked acoustic guitar alongside his harmonica delights as well as engineering and producing for other artists both live and in the studio. A man of many talents, Matt also designed the cover art for "Life Gets Better". Matt features on "A Minor Blue in William St" and "You Asked For That".


Matt Moline - One - 7DCD018, Johnson Stompers - Bush Telegraph 7DCD022

Visit the web site @


Ewan Mackenzie - guitar

The man - that epithet is applied far too often but sometimes it really is the only one appropriate. Ewan is the man - and anyone in town will tell you. His recordings, his live performances and his compositions are unique and unforgettable. Ewan has played jazz, blues, folk, country and more lately the gypsy rhythms of the European Jazz Age (Aah Paris in the 30's - described by those who were there as a glimpse of heaven) - and no matter what the style any description of his playing would be understatement. Ewan has played with Rob Stewart in many live situations - they have been friends and musical collaborators from the start of their careers and "Life Gets Better" is another stunning chapter in their collective book of musical accomplishment. Ewan features on many albums and is a recording artist and producer in his own right. He has two solo albums, Turquoise and his latest offering Patch Of Blue (also featuring Rob on guitar and composition, Matt Towers on keyboards and Gary Buckley on saxes), took out a Sunnie Award for best Blues / R&B album.

Ewan features on "Eimeo Song" and "Where Do We Stand"


Turquoise - EWMAC CD0002

Patch of Blue EWNAC CD0001

Visit the web site @


Gary Buckley - Saxophones and Brass arrangements 

Gary 's name is synonymous with great horn playing in Brisbane . He has played as a session musician with some of the best known national and international entertainers in the biz. Gary is constantly sought after for his sweet solos, his fat riffs and superb arrangements. His sound and musicianship give Life Gets Better that swing that only a great sax can give. His credit list needs a web site to itself and his inclusion on the recording is an absolute flash of brilliance. Talk about style and class, Mr B you got it.

Gary features on "Never Be The Same" and "Bus Driver".

Gary can also be heard on Ewan Mackenzie's recordings - see details under Ewan's bio notes or visit the web site @

David Goulding - Euphonium

At just ten years of age, David was the youngest (by far!) performer on Life Gets Better. "You Asked For That" needed that special something and David's euphonium is definitely it. His understanding of the sound and the feel and performance in the studio show his dedication and musicianship far beyond many adult players, let alone a young chap like David. There's not much more to say about David except watch this space, and many others for a fine young performer with it all in front of him. David features on "You Asked For That"

State Secret thanks all our special guests for their friendship, the wonderful gifts of music they gave so willingly and the enthusiasm they brought to the songs.
You are all the greatest.