Tasmanian Band Tearing Up Local Scene
Published: September 25th, 2009
By: Tyler Murphy

Tasmanian band tearing up local scene

NEW BERLIN – From the Australian outback of Tasmania, a group of culturally-inspired musicians will now add Unadilla Valley to their roster of adventures which includes London, North Africa and even parts of Asia.

Lindsay Campbell, the group’s guitar, vocal talent and songwriter, teamed up with Steve Ray 26 years ago and began The Craggs.

“We tend to play a lot of songs, not just about Tasmania, but about all our experiences in traveling abroad. When I think back to my own personal experiences, I’m not just telling the story of actually being there. It’s about creating an atmosphere for the audience through music - which I think does the job very nicely,” said Campbell.

Ray has spent the last 25 years as a professional bard and plays the mandolin, bouzouki and accordion. He’s played in a number of popular Tasmanian folk bands, including The Cockies and Tallow.

“Our trip here has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve hit people very hard emotionally. They’re hearing something I don’t think they’ve ever heard before,” he said.

Since the two founded the group, it has slowly grown over the decades and now is a five piece ensemble.

Australian percussionist Kevin Regan has also played in a countless number of bands over the years such as the Hobart blues band, “The Blue Flies.”

He compared the terrain of Chenango to the group’s small hometown of under 900 people, Cygnet, located in the Huon Valley of Tasmania.

“It’s remarkable landscape, like little hamlets tucked into the forest with valleys and fields of corn growing in them. It reminds me of home, actually.”

“Especially at this time of year, I just love it,” added Campbell, noting the changing colors of autumn.

Rick Griffiths joined the group 10 years ago and plays the bass. He’s also a professional musician who’s played through several major bands on mainland Australia and in Tasmania.

“How would I classify our sound? That’s something we’re always trying to figure out. I find it really difficult to box, honestly. I’d say contemporary acoustic, since I’m the only one on an electric. Our music is very transportable from a concert hall to a much smaller stage,” he said.

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