In 1994, Joe began touring with multi Aria award winning artist Wendy Matthews and the legendary Joe Cocker throughout Australia. Tours continued with Sarah MacLaughlan with Joe performing on several albums and single releases. In 2001 Joe Remixed the Lead Single Beautiful View off the album with the same name.
The High Tides of Wendy Matthews
By Morbid Molly
An unwavering, unexplainable urge to create, to muse, to convey…the musician, true musician, that is holds these values to the core placing fan and show at top priority when they share their talents with the world. This is why we are privy to such a vast, rich culture within the music industry and why we are able to connect with incredibly talented musicians, like Wendy Matthews.
With an extraordinary wanderlust and spirited, gypsy vibe to her life Wendy seemingly has done it all, and then some. Jingles, voice overs, firsts, lasts and everything imaginable in between and yet she is down to earth, real and one Hell of a talent! It is hard to believe with a friends list of the who’s who of a vast array of genres, like Cher, The Little River Band, Sarah McLachlan, Rod Stewart and more. But Wendy knew as an old-soul of four years old that music was her calling, a simple, divine truth that resonates in her life and music today.
“…It’s taken time to push through some personal barriers, I’m not a natural exhibitionist; I just loved music and singing.”
Heading into decades (with a plural) within the industry, a magnificent feat in itself, Wendy has progressed with the grace, humility and passion to grow as an individual and artist. With more than humble roots, drawing from her passion for the Beatles in her toddler-hood, Wendy was almost pulled into the music industry from first step into the world and spurned on by her adventures of busking and travelling.
“Music is my form of expression so I don’t have much choice…” Wendy’s globe-trotting, musical mission led her straight into the arms of the industry, even if the path was slightly twisted and detoured along the way, or if you ask Wendy, “They were great adventures.” Even so, she was torn by her love for the freedom and experience and her desire to find the path that would result in a pure, unadulterated happiness from within.
“I left Canada at 16 and a music ‘career’ was not on my mind at all. After busking for a year, I ended up in Los Angeles where I lived for 7 years and although I had some weird and wonderful adventures and worked with some amazing people, much of that was not what I wanted either.”
Whole picture, Wendy is a fairly open book but one that could take on a life of its own, requiring volumes instead of simple chapters. From busking to LA and beyond, Wendy has done massive touring dates with some of the hottest in the industry, had many an accolade, headed some major bands (Models & Absent Friends), hit the ARIA charts and become a nationally treasured artist, met and worked alongside Japan’s treasure, Hiroshi Sato, as well as Aussie legend Glenn Shorrock (The Little River Band), been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, toured with Sarah, Rod and Cher…and this was still not even close to being within the prime of her career with her career still in full stride!
Wendy has also never been a slave to the genre machine, choosing to utilize the incredible diversity of the encompassing music community to enhance and transcend, bringing to light amazing collaborations in all niches, and creating under a different umbrella of sound and soul with her acoustic album and works since. With the whispers of the song origins, Wendy says, “”To keep creative you have to break down your own personal barriers. With this record that meant moving away from pop and crafting something instrument-driven, something that feels like me playing live.” With the likes of U2 and Massive Attack as inspiration, and Wendy’s phenomenal voice you simply couldn’t get any better!
Wendy’s mentality is that she will continue to grow and evolve with the industry and within the vast scope of her music. She has never firmly held to stylistic confines, with her career spanning a multi-faceted range of genres, but she truly holds value to her own vision of true music and the dynamic of her band…and the curtain hasn’t fallen yet. Amazingly Wendy also spearheads an important facet of the industry and fosters new talent and makes music her own way with her independent label and brain-child, Barking Bear…there truly is no limit!
If depth of character comes from experience, then I do believe that Wendy Matthews is a textbook definition if I have ever seen one. Make no mistake that Wendy has worked her ass off in her career and in her life, but she has seen and experienced what others can only dream. The 80’s were fantastic, heading up what has become decades worth of memories, the 90’s collaborations, change and growth, and the opportunity to form her own solo career… and now the evolution and culmination of everything that she has worked so hard to achieve.
“One can always think of a purely utopian life and feel you’re missing out but I don’t feel that… Of course it changes over time, but I feel I tell stories and we’re all in this together so I just have to hope there are people who can relate. For me, music heals and helps and moves the maker and the listener.”
With a close-knit relationship with her friends, bandmates, peers and fans, there is a rather utopian vibe to her life and career, and the melodic expression that is her voice. “Extraordinary, crystal-clear vocals […] a soulfulness that was the mark of a truly gifted singer” says rock historian Ian McFarlane, and I cannot agree more! As for the future? Wendy has lead a charmed life of sorts, living the dream of doing what she loves, on her own terms so whatever the future holds, there is a magic on the horizon and she is “Super Excited!”. The Sydney Opera House, collaborations, touring and a passion that Wendy has chosen to share with the world, “I’ve had a love of silver, mostly Navajo jewelry, all my life so I’ll be putting out a WM collection.”
Could it get any better from this lovely example of passion, strength, talent and …well kick ass women? Sure, and we are lucky enough to be able to support her every step of the way. After all, what are fans for?