October 16, 2017

Fiona Boyes, one of the world’s best fingerpicking blues guitarists, had wanted to record an album with engineer and recording alchemist “Professor” Keith O Johnson for ages.

She didn’t expect it would involve rubber chickens.

Boyes, who was born in Mount Waverley in east Melbourne, had been asked by Reference Recordings, the renowned audiophile label co-founded by Johnson in the 1970s, if she wanted to record with him in the US at the famed Skywalker Sound studios. She jumped at the chance.

“I walked in there being very formal and reverential, going into this hallowed studio with this revered engineer, and [Johnson] is running around with a squeaky chicken,” Boyes says.  “He was running around this huge space with a squeaky rubber chicken that was dressed like Elvis, and I was like, ‘Um, this is not what I was expecting.’”

The pair recorded 16 songs in two days.

The result? That album, Professin’ the Blues, has just won best acoustic album for 2017 at the Blues Blast music awards in the US...

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