In his final national tour ever, legendary songwriter, “voice of the Stolen Generations” and 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year Archie Roach AM will take his Tell Me Why show to capital cities May through September.
This spectacular live concert will celebrate Roach’s eponymous memoir and companion album. Audiences will hear seminal songs from his back catalogue alongside influential music from his youth and three new autobiographical songs written since completing his memoir.
With well documented health challenges, including a stroke and lung cancer, Archie Roach is by most measures not a well man, but once he takes to the stage a certain majesty takes over and the stories and the songs are as compelling as the voice that sings them.
Roach will be joined onstage by his five-piece band, including award-winning jazz composer and improviser Paul Grabowsky, and special guest vocalist Emma Donovan.
For Archie announcing this as his last national tour has not been an easy decision to make. “Releasing my debut album, Charcoal Lane back in 1990, was the most amazing experience in my life. I never imagined that I would be here three decades later still recording and singing on stages in Australia and the world. Music has kept me going, kept me alive. It’s something that I have come to love, especially the relationship I have with those who come to my shows. I am also most grateful to all the people that I have worked with through the years.”
Thirty years after the release of Roach’s two-time ARIA Award-winning debut album Charcoal Lane (1990), Tell Me Why is a compelling account of resilience, strength of spirit, and great love. Through stories of the iconic songwriter and activist’s life, this is an intimate, moving and often confronting musical journey as Roach searches for a deep sense of belonging.
The much lauded Tell Me Why memoir and companion album have shown how inseparable are his life and his songs, with the first single from the album ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ already shortlisted for the prestigious 2020 APRA Song of the Year, the largest peer-voted music award in Australia.
From a stolen child and teenage alcoholic to seeker, lover (with his life partner the late Ruby Hunter), father, musical icon, social advocate and First Nations leader, not many have lived a life as compelling as Archie Roach.
It has been 12 years since then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the Australian Government’s National Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Roach’s story shows how his extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal is a testament to the healing power of music.
Roach has also received a Human Rights Achievement Award for his iconic Stolen Generations song, ‘Took the Children Away’; a first for any songwriter.
Tell Me Why – The Final Round 1990-2020
Accompanied by his band: Musical Director Paul Grabowsky, Guitarist Stephen Magnusson, Bassist Sam Anning, Violinist Erkki Veltheim, and Drummer Dave Beck
Saturday 9 MayLlewellyn Hall | Canberra, ACT
Friday 15 May
Arts Centre Hamer Hall | Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 23 May
Perth Concert Hall | Perth, WA
Friday 26 June
Theatre Royal | Hobart, TAS
Saturday 27 June
Theatre North, The Princess | Launceston, TAS
Friday 3 July
Dunstan Playhouse | Adelaide, SA
Friday 10 July
State Theatre | Sydney, NSW
More dates to be announced