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After travelling abroad for the better part of three years, North East Victorian bred musician, Rick Steward has been living on the road and riding motorcycles through countless countries throughout Asia, the Middle East & Europe. Armed with only his guitar and back pack he’s played his music from the streets of Burma, across the Islands of Cambodia, on mountain tops in Thailand, busking his way through India and rocked music bars across Israel.

Back from hiatus Rick will be joined by good mates Tim Wooltorton & Callum Robinson aka ‘The Greensmen’ to deliver a bunch of energetic fat pole dancing blues riffs to showcase a bunch a new tracks that will feature on their upcoming release.

Don’t miss a very special homecoming show at The Workers Club on January 5th with very special guests; Ezekiel Ox + Sarox.

Rick’s impressive 2012 single release was recorded at The Lair Studio in Santa Monica by legendary producer Eric Sarafin and featured Juan Nelson (Ben Harper – bass), Adam Topol (Jack Johnson – drums) & Eric Caplinger (Eric Clapton – fiddle / banjo). Over Steward’s career has supported and played alongside the likes of Dan Sultan, Ash Grunwald & Dallas Frasca.

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Folk, Rhythm And Life 2016 Mini Documentary

What an amazing festival it was, here is a little doco I spliced together, I hope you enjoy it and have a laugh!

Thank You Marg, Tony, Bill, Hamish & Jack Skermer, the crew, every band, every volunteer and everyone who came along for making this such a special weekend!

Italian Alps Motorcycle Adventure

A five day adventure on a BMW GS 800 through the Italian Alps from East to West. Covering Lake Sirmione, Riva D. Garda, Madonna Di Campiglro, Bormio, Passo Stelvio, Tirano, Sondrio, Bellano, Lecco, Lake Como & Finishing in Milano.

Special Thanks to HP Motorrad Milan, R.M. Williams & Draggin Jeans

Israel, From A Real Perspective & Comparison To Australia

Before I departed Melbourne, en route to Tel Aviv, I found it quite profound that so many people I told where I was headed were shocked and clearly had a false perception of Israel. I feel some Australians are not aware about how life in Israel actually is, so I felt the necessity to give you a comparison from my perspective, living in Tel Aviv. Not what mainstream media makes out this beautiful part of the world out to be. Firstly, I was told I’m crazy for coming here by various people because they believed that ‘terrorist walk the streets and bombs are being detonated on the daily’. For me, having Israeli friends who speak about how amazing their homeland is, the culture, the music, the art, the surf, the motorcycling, the landscapes and the great lifestyle; I certainly knew who I believed. Yes, terror happens here but terror is happening everywhere in the world, you can’t live in fear of terror because before you know it, you will wind up with fear controlling your life, never do, see or experience anything out of your comfort zone.

I’ve walked through the Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, day and night, immersing myself in the Israeli culture. During the day, the beach is flooded with happy people, surfing, playing beach volleyball and skating along the coastline, very reminiscent of St. Kilda in summer to a degree, just not as chaotic, very calm. The city centre is buzzing, buskers on every corner, bicycles everywhere you look (electric bicycles are definitely a trend here), motorcyclist ripping monos on superbikes just showing off in front of their mates. Fresh food markets are packed, everyone stocking up on fruit and vegetables straight from the farm and eating delicious local cuisine. Everyone is friendly and happy to help out a long haired blonde Aussie; the first shop I entered when I landed was a little surf shop that stocks Australian made boards, caught my eye, the owner offered to give me a lend of a secondhand surfboard and skateboard for free, so generous!

As the red sun sets in the West over the Mediterranean, the nightlife heats up, bars are thriving, live music is prominent, walking through the city, queues forming for the best burger shop, restaurants and surroundings that makes you feel like you are in up market Europe. It’s shocking in a great way, walking the streets at night, I feel safe, in fact, far safer than walking through Melbourne or Sydney at night. I cannot recall how many fights i’ve witnessed whilst touring Australia that are caused by drug and alcohol induced morons. In Israel, everyone is out at night to spend time with friends, make new friends, have a few drinks, see a band and call it a night. It’s not hard to see countless people in Australia on amphetamines and behaving like a cat on acid trying to catch a strobe light which is scary, no doubt. Not the case here, people are cool, calm and collected even after a few too many drinks late into the night, I’ve not witnessed violence in any form.

The local food is what you want, it’s healthy, clean and full of delicious flavour! It was refreshing for me, to see a country that boycotts McDonalds & other American chains alike, independent restaurants pumping out great healthy food, speaking to locals, the comparison is humorous, Israeli’s consider falafel junk food. “We never go to McDonalds because that shit kills you” – a friend told me, which makes me wonder why companies producing such unhealthy addictive food that cause death and all kinds of physical and metal problems in Australia aren’t forced by the Australian government to have graphic warning images on packaging and raise taxes, as they do with cigarettes to cover hospital fees in later life. The drive though lanes are getting bigger, the independent restaurants are becoming fewer and for some reason the fruit and vegetables at the supermarket is coming from America, Europe and costing a fortune, bizarre. Here, for example, avocados cost next to nothing, not $4 for one, healthy eating is cost effective…

The infrastructure here is one of very high quality, the roads are perfect, the quality of the buildings is so high they have quite literally lasted well over 1000 years. To this day Israelis maintain the same quality & method of building, solid homes, apartments and skyscrapers built by stone masons, a dying art, there’s no doubt. When I think of  brand new ‘home and land packages’ that are selling rapidly in Australia, I think unexperienced tradesmen producing cost effective cardboard houses where the sink falls off the wall after 6 months and water comes through the carpet, hey, at least it will water the astroturf nature strip… Not here, there’s pride in craftsmanship and quality buildings everywhere with solar panels on every roof as far as the eye can see, built to last.

Geographically speaking, Israel is tiny in land mass but what is packed into such a small area is mind blowing, considering that this part of the world is so close to the birthplace of humanity, the history is ever so rich. Simply getting lost is an amazing experience in itself, seeing touristic places like The Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) and floating in the sea with the highest salt and mineral content in the world, the dome of the rock in Jerusalem along with countless other hot spots there, The Sea Of Galilee & Nazareth just to name a few. The location is a perfect place to travel from, Egypt, a hop, skip and jump away, Jordan, next door and Europe, a short & cheap flight over the Mediterranean and you’re in Rome eating a pizza and pasta in 4 hours for around $150AUD.

In conclusion, the cost of living here is somewhat the same as Australia, although, the one thing that stands out is the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, far cheaper here, as it should be. Israel is a thriving metropolis filled with amazing people, food, music, beaches, history, art and the culture is very unique, I recommend it to anyone travelling through Europe or Asia to fly over and experience it for yourself as opposed to being scared off by the news or other mainstream media because the journalists are straight up reporting on a place they have never been. Life in Israel is a good one, that’s the truth.

The Music. The Adventure. The Life.

Well, well, well, after nearly 1 year of traveling throughout Asia, with three of my best friends, I must say that it has been my most amazing experience to date. I cannot thank everyone enough, so many new and great friends I have met along the way and many more to come, i’m sure. It’s crazy to think about what I have experienced over the past year, starting out in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we were 4 guys with one goal; to ride a motorcycle halfway around the world to Paris. Now, we’re 4 guys and better friends than ever. I’ve been thinking about the next chapter of this adventure, because this ain’t over, not by a damn sight. Personally this trip has taught me what really matters but more importantly what doesn’t, which is why i’m taking a break from the ‘Saigon To Paris’ team to focus on music, writing and playing shows. Spending day after day on a motorcycle for up to 15 hours to cover ground before our Visas expire in whichever country we’re crossing has made my career as a musician difficult to maintain. Although i have penned plenty of new lyrics, I need time to turn them into songs and cannot wait to play them live.

I’ve said my fair wells to the guys and given them a big hug for the time being and will rendezvous with them in a few months after they have conquered the Middle East, starting in Kyrgyzstan. I’ve sold my beloved Royal Enfield Shiva to a great Slovenian friend I met in India; Marko who is now away on his own adventure, i’m happy she’s in good hands…

I know people have been wondering what’s happening with the trip as we haven’t been posting much on social media or updating the website and it’s because unfortunately my laptop was destroyed in India. It was only a matter of time, considering the lifestyle, a computer octopus strapped to a motorcycle for the better part of a year in rain, hail, and shine, doesn’t do it any favours obviously. Thankfully the hard drive containing all of the footage and photos is ok, so in the coming months we will get back to work on video editing and we’ll have plenty of new and old episodes to release. This being said, there’s not much that can be done with a Macbook in India so I decided to fly home to get a new one and pickup my favourite old touring guitar. Peter at Big Foot Stomp Boxes was kind enough to build me a beautiful custom stomp box from Australian hardwood in a matter of days that i’m sure will shake down venues around the world & Mark at Woodskin sorted me out with some super portable foot percussion, thank you guys! I also needed a new pair of trusty R.M. Williams boots, a massive thank you to Pat and Courtney at R.M. for endorsing me for hiking Mt. Everest in their boots (apparently a first & I now hold the record for destroying for their boots the fastest). Please take a look at their social media sites for publicity shots coming soon.

Yet again, i’m packing my bags full of drums, strings, riding gear, a few clothes and of course my guitar and I’m en route to Tel Aviv, Israel to see my girlfriend, write, play shows and as it’s coming into to summer of course have a surf! I’ll be announcing shows in the near future so for my friends in Israel & Europe, it will be great to catch up with everyone again and of course when the guys make it down to Turkey they will be headed across the Mediterranean to rendezvous before hitting Paris.