Uke Queen and ‘musical brother’ in heartfelt gig

Sarah Carroll and Shannon Bourne. (Supplied)

By Luke Voogt

Bellarine Ukulele Queen Sarah Carroll and long-time “musical brother” Shannon Bourne are set for a heartfelt show at the Potato Shed next Friday.

The duo will play songs from their six-track record Medicine, which they recorded together last year in tribute to Carroll’s late husband Chris Wilson.

“That was a very personal and profound experience,” Carroll said.

The record features namesake track Medicine, dedicated especially to the Clifton Springs blues icon, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in January 2019.

“It was a song about how I was going along in the wake of losing Chris,” Carroll said.

“I was aware that a lot of people were experiencing pain from his loss, apart from me, the boys and our closer circle.

“It’s called Medicine because it has been working as a healing force on me, and I hope it will do the same for anyone, whatever their sorrow or trouble might be.”

Wilson had played with Bourne at festivals across Australia for two decades, Carroll said.

“He will always belong in our family, as a dear friend and a musical brother.

“He’s a very heartfelt, warm and loving person. And an extremely good guitar player.

“Normally when we play together, we both use acoustic guitars – it brings us more together sonically.

“But it really doesn’t matter what instrument he plays, it’s always astoundingly good.

“Shannon plays with the skill of a lifetime drenched in sound; his music combines muscular dexterity with pin-drop finesse.”

A 30-year veteran of the music biz, Carroll has performed solo and with various bands at high-profile Australian festivals and many pubs.

She launched progressive country album Star Parade in 2017 with a national tour and her fifth trip to the USA, appearing in the Australian contingent at Americanafest.

She also teaches music at Bellarine Secondary College, which has become difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Doing the remote teaching has been hard and I completely worship and respect all the teachers who have lifted their game … to keep kids learning online,” she said.

“Playing instruments and singing together online is almost impossible.”

But she and sons Fenn and George Wilson, gifted musicians themselves, had been playing live-stream gigs and working on other musical projects during the pandemic, she said.

She looked forward to joining Bourne behind the guitar for a selection of songs from their respective careers.

“There’ll up-tempo and light-hearted stuff too, with lots of laughing, so it’s got a bit of everything.”

Bourne shared her yearning to get on stage together for the live-streamed gig.

“As long as I’ve known Sarah and seen her play in all of her bands, there is one thing that sticks in my mind: she shines something so beautiful out into a room of people,” he said.

“I look forward to playing a special show with her and feeling all there is to feel.”

Carroll and Bourne will play a live-stream concert at the Potato Shed from 4pm on July 17.