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LOUISA’S REVIEWS

PERFORMANCE-LOUISA WISE SOLO

“Louisa’s voice and her lyric writing have a combination of innocence and sophistication which evokes some of the McGarrigle Sisters’ classics. These songs perfectly convey their writer’s joy and enthusiasm for what she does, and they get right to the guts of why those lifers among us are passionate about acoustic music….” Steve Barnes, Artswest Magazine

“Louisa’s musicianship is a powerful mix of multi-instrumental fitness, a haunting singing voice, and outstanding composition and songwriting talent.” Donnybrook-Bridgetown Mail

“Louisa’s American influence comes through, especially in her strong fiddle and dulcimer accompaniment.” Lesley Silvester, Cornstalk Gazette, Sydney .

“’It’s not fair that anyone should be so nice and have so much talent!’ said Lesley Sylvester of Louisa (Wise), whose workshop on the history of American folk music proved highly entertaining and enabled her to display her virtuosity on a large collection of early instruments.” Wendy Evans, Stringybark and Greenhide Magazine

”Louisa, who continues to give generously to the Perth folk scene, led us around America with a wonderfully varied look at the traditional instruments---mouthbow, dulcimer, fiddlesticks as well her usual fiddle, guitar, etc.. Many people experienced a vocal and instrumental richness they didn’t know existed in the American tradition.” Christine Boult, Stringybark and Greenhide magazine

“Louisa Wise sang her own haunting composition, based on the true story of an Aboriginal massacre…” Augusta-Margaret River Mail (International Women’s Day Concert)

“…. celebrates Louisa’s control and tone on the slower fiddle tunes such as Faraway, and her rhythmical drive on Cottoneyed Joe and the Swedish-influenced Hope Amidst the Rubble.” Ken Ferguson, The West Australian

“This one takes my breath away! It had a profound effect on me when I saw Louisa perform it….Louisa, who comes to us from far away in the USA, has brought with her delightful elements of traditional American music, which blend perfectly with the Australian idiom. So just when I thought I’d heard it all---this Australian traditional thing-along comes Timbertown and kick starts my flagging interest.” Murray Jennings, Town Crier Magazine (WA Folk Federation) (Karridale Woman’s Song-Timbertown Project)

SONGWRITING

“The highlight was Louisa’s intriguing and moving song about the talented but unsung (until now) female companion of the sculptor Rodin.” Ken Ferguson, The West Australian (Camille Claudel)

“Her songs are melodically, structurally and vocally adventurous and densely satisfying…a unique blend of Appalachian, Anglo-Celtic and Australian music ….Her song about Scott, ’Renaissance Man’, sidesteps potential embarrassment through humor and the total avoidance of cliché. ….Her songs have always been personal and internal in the way people tend to associate with the likes of Joni Mitchell. There is no sloganeering or jumping on the latest political bandwagon.” Ken Ferguson, The West Australian

“I heard a few of their songs at their Sunday evening concert spot and was captivated…by Louisa’s glorious setting of Karen Keely’s poem ‘Karridale Woman’s Song.” Artswest Magazine

“Many could identify with the songs which took you from the carefree to the careworn but always with great humanity and joy.” Alister Wilson, The West Australian (Taking the Plunge-Songs of Parenthood presentation)

“…Lyrics subtle enough to offer listeners the opportunity to think and interpret for themselves. An unusual experience, really. The love songs are not sentimental, the social comments are not ‘protest’ songs, the tunes are not just reels…. The Fremantle Song expresses pure delight rather than enthusiastic parochialism. Also, it is refreshing to be offered lyrics that do not say ‘Look at me!’ or ‘Poor me!’…The range of (backing) instruments is wide but they are selected with taste, not displayed from ego.” Beth Hurford, Town Crier Magazine

“’The Lancer’s Flying Ladies’ is Louisa’s delightful waltz in praise of centrifugal force, recounting some air traffic control problems at a timber town dance!.....Her ‘Widow’s Song”, the first of two that deal with the tragic side of life in the forests and mill towns, tells of the apprehension of the timber town wives as they hear the warning whistle on the log train that broadcasts a death in the forest. It also delicately suggests the supportive sub-culture of the women in the towns….

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“‘Karridale Woman’s Song’ is a stunner! It avoids mawkish sentiment by the matter-of-fact tone of the wife and the authentic detail of the timber cutting. The tune alternates between major and minor with a minimal piano accompaniment that leaves the sensitivity of the vocal to wind up the emotional clock and leave your eyes prickling…

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“The title track is an instant winner. Not many songwriters can turn early morning masochistic plunges into the Indian Ocean into such a zestful, bluesy stew of seaweed and goosebumps.” Ken Ferguson, The West Australian (Winterbeach).

“Winterbeach is a personal statement in which we get components of Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, traditional Appalachian string band music, country blues, and a unique melodic twist which is all Louisa’s. Combine this with a pervasive sense of place in the Australian bush and you get a highly individual creative vision……

“’Renaissance Man’ is that most elusive of achievements: a love song which is sincere without being syrupy. A lovely twist of humor at the end, too…Louisa writes complex and distinctive tunes, and she sets herself some daunting vocal challenges, but she comes through the challenges unscathed.” Steve Barnes, Artswest Magazine

PERFORMANCE-SCOTT AND LOUISA

“Margaret River-based Scott and Louisa Wise kicked off the show in lively style…” Ken Ferguson, West Australian ( Jez Lowe support)

“Of the locals on show, Scott and Louisa Wise were in blistering form with complex, passionate songs with Southwest historical and personal themes.” Ken Ferguson, West Australian Today Magazine

“Scott and Louisa Wise, the acclaimed duo from Western Australia… …We are most fortunate in scoring a Sydney concert from these two very talented musicians. This isn’t the usual Loaded Dog night. It’s a special one-off concert so tell your friends…I promise you won’t be disappointed.” Margaret Bradford, Cornstalk Gazette, Sydney.

“The Australian duo of Scott and Louisa Wise took up the challenge and mesmerized the gathering with incredible fiddle, mandolin, guitar and voice stylings.” Bon Henderson, GAL Magazine. (performance at Guild of American Luthiers’ Convention in Tacoma)

“They will still be one of the best things that ever happened to Western Australia, possibly the most talented husband and wife team… certainly in the music and musical instrument field…Music and instruments are Scott and Louisa’s lives and livelihood… ..the bass rounds out this team into the most polished and professional trio that it has been my fortune to see.” Southwest Folk Festival program

“Their musicianship, singing, songwriting, arrangements and generous explanations of the contexts of each song provided a wonderful evening that left the crowd calling for more….This was really a night to remember…” Warwick Fox, Hobart Folk Arts Club, Tasmania.

“Outstanding…they were professional, well organized and presented a varied and extremely competent program. They had a natural empathy with the audience, and had lots of energy. We would welcome them back at any time for a performance.” Juliet Partridge, Chalmers performance venue, Launceston.

“Two of the best folk musicians working in Australia…the Wises show a formidable creative as well as technical accomplishment. Above all, the pieces are played with great feeling and pass the emotion direct to the listener…Together they produce music which is a bit of a nightmare for those who like to tie these things up in neat little boxes. It’s a unique blend of Appalachian country influences-Louisa’s fiddle, dulcimer, guitar and singing-and Scott’s love of the blues, and the feeling for traditional things Anglo-Celtic and Australian that they both enjoy.” Ken Ferguson, The West Australian.

THEATRE

“The original music by Louisa Wise was delightful. With shifting moods it connected the stories and added moments of dramatic excitement.” Lynn Fisher, Lowdown Magazine, (Spare Parts Puppet Theatre show “Sing A Rainbow”)

“The music, composed by local musician Louisa Wise, was a wonderful mixture of ‘folk’ tunes using Asian instruments, and was the perfect backing for the stories.” Fiona Coombes, Music Circle Newsletter of Parents For Music. (Sing A Rainbow)

“ …in three sell-out performances of The Shoreline…the play opened and closed with the mother’s spirit, the ethereal Sea Dragon, free-dancing to Louisa Wise’s improvised violin music, with a recorded voice-over wafting through the hall…With so many creative minds with a common goal, the teamwork paid off handsomely.” Augusta-Margaret River Mail (“The Shoreline”, Loose Group Productions)