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Dan Sultan :: Blackbird

Written by on June 16, 2014


The New Sultan of Swing

Album review by Angela Madden


Blackbird is Dan Sultan’s third album in eight years, and was released on April 4th this year. Music reviewers around the country appear to be heralding this new offering as a large leap forward for the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter.

This must be a true relief for the artist, who by all accounts has been working hard on his song-writingsince 2009’s acclaimedGet Out While You Can. After that release, Sultan hit a difficult period; he stopped writing, split with his management and generally lost faith in the musical process for a time. He appears to be coming out the other side of that grey-coloured cloud.

Blackbird was named after the studio in Nashville where it was recordedover a two month period.Some high-calibre background work on this album, in the form of producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Buddy Guy, Kings Of Leon), certainly hasn’t hurt the sound, or the advertising, for Dan Sultan.

A little bit Rock ‘n’ Roll, a touch hip-swagger and a gulping dose of soul combine here to deliver the solid, possibly career-changing, release that is Blackbird.

Dan Sultan is well-known for his engaging live performances, be it as part of the incredible Black Arm Band collaborative, touring alongside Bruce Springsteen, or as front-man to his own band complete with rock-soul vocals and Elvis-esque dance moves.

Next on the cards for Dan Sultan is an extensive Australian tour, including a few regional dates, that kicks off in June and is set to last for two months.

In exciting news for Territorians, Dan Sultan is headlining the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) this year, as part of The Darwin Festival, on August the 15th 2014.  Sultan has performed at these awards before, but this is his first time as headliner for the event.

For any Goveites planning on heading over to Darwin in August, tickets for the NIMAsare on sale now from theDarwin Festival website: You can also nominate an Indigenous musician for the awards at

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