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Encyclopedia entry for 'Martha's Vineyard' LETTER:

Formed in 1986
StyleFolk rock
 Original line-up: Peggy Van Zalm (vocals), Anthony Best (guitar, vocals), Norman Parkhill (guitar), Lisa Jooste (violin), Catherine McAuliffe (bass), Aidan D'Adhemar (drums)
 Martha's Vineyard albums: For A Small World (mini-album, Monkey, 1987), Old Beach Road (rooArt/PolyGram, 1989); Peggy Van Zalm solo albums: Shine (Creative Arts, 1994), Revival (Red Dirt, 1999).

History
Martha's Vineyard shared a similar sound and outlook to that of fellow Perth, Western Australia, bands like The Triffids, The Honeys and Chad's Tree. The band's brand of reflective folk rock mixed melancholy vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, gentle percussion and spacious arrangements to arrive at a harmonious and intriguing whole. Peggy Van Zalm's strong vocals drew comparison with the likes of Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde and Joni Mitchell.

The band took its name from the famous holiday resort off the coast of Massachusetts, in the New England area of the USA. Not long after forming in May 1986, the band issued a self-titled cassette and shared a single `Our Day' with Errol H. Tout's `Sounds of Swimming'. The mini-album For a Small World followed in October 1987. Stuart Fenner replaced Lisa Jooste on violin, and Phil Kakulas (ex-Triffids) took over on bass. The line-up of Best, Van Zalm, Kakulas and D'Adhemar re-located to Sydney in 1988. In 1989, the fledgling rooArt label signed up Martha's Vineyard alongside The Trilobites, Crash Politics, Tall Tales & True, Hipslingers and The Hummingbirds. Martha's Vineyard contributed the track `Unravelling' to the first of rooArt's Youngblood compilations (September 1988).

RooArt issued the debut Martha's Vineyard album Old Beach Road and single `Old Beach Road'/`Trying Too Hard' in June 1989. There was a second single on rooArt, `More of the Same', before the band disappeared from view in 1990. Kakulas joined The Blackeyed Susans. At the end of 1994, Van Zalm launched her solo career with the release of the album, Shine.

In June 1999, Peggy Van Zalm issued her second album, Revival, on her own Red Dirt Records label. Produced by Buzz Bidstrup (ex-Angles, GANGgajang), it featured Van Zalm’s trademark folksy, jazzy pop. Van Zalm (vocals, acoustic guitar) toured with a line-up of Michael Currie (double bass) and Paul Grade (drums).



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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