Photo: Dane Beesley

The Painted Ladies take the first Australian black protest album – and make it their own.

Aboriginal music pioneer Vic Simms recorded The Loner in 1973 while serving time in Bathurst Gaol. This album of country soul, regarded by many as a lost classic, has inspired countless artists.

The Painted Ladies project brings the next generation of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists together to revisit and revive Australia’s first black protest songs.

Vic Simms joins emerging singer-song writer Luke Daniel Peacock, passionate performers The Medics and a range of guest artists for a special musical collaboration.

Vic Simms, a background, by Luke Peacock

Recently, I stood at a piece of ground where a rock’n’roll legend was born. “Right here by this gate” he told me. It was a rusted, crooked gate. A kind of back entrance to a home where the occupants priorities lay somewhere away from mowing the lawn and straightening the fence.

The beauty of this place is that it’s probably one of the most sought after pieces of real estate in Australia. Part of a small bunch of houses atop a wide open grass slope, serving as an amphitheatre to the stage of Botany Bay and, in a recent time, the arrival of the first boats. He owns it all, as a traditional tribal elder. It’s his birthright. Bidjigal land, on which he was born, raised and stringently confined, until Bill Haley came to town.

The man’s name is Vic Simms. You won’t have heard of him. I’ll put a fifty on it. Though he is, undoubtedly, a national treasure. He is also my friend and I call him Uncle. We all should. Read full story here..