As a family we travelled to Memphis Tennessee and to see where soul music was born. We visited with Reverend Al Greens Soul Singers, Sun Studios and Graceland; in my opinion never did we hear anyone with such a soulfully melodic voice like that of Mahalia Barnes. Yet another great credit to Australian music!
You may recognize the last name – Barnes. That’s right; she is the eldest daughter of iconic Australian rock singer-songwriter Jimmy Barnes. Mahalia has been obsessed with soul music since her teens. About eight years ago she started doing her own gigs in soul and jazz clubs around the Sydney area. Those club shows have established her own unique style and bought together the Soul Mates.
They have worked with some industry heavy weights to put together their first EP, reviewers say its “honest, organic and the band is incredible” “Tracked live to tape, just like the old school soul/rock albums that we all love, the EP has great energy” In Pearl’s opinion it’s a warm sounding, organic, tough and soulful record. You certainly can close your eyes and imagine you are sitting in Beal Street listening to one of the headline acts at BB Kings diner over a plate of ribs. What a thought, what a sound, what a great memory just listening to the Mahalia’s voice – so soulful.
If the EP is anything to go by; seeing the band perform live you will be in for a treat. Some music written by Mahalia’s and her husband “Little light” a song written about their baby girl, “Counting on You” an Al Green flavoured number to “Don’t Hold Back” a fun, lively number reminiscent of the Rolling Stones.
If you too want to hear what Memphis feels like to me – you can see the band at the Mornington Park, Australia Day, 26th January from 8pm. I have been told not to expect a quiet, polite, restrained gig or a gimmicky soul show with costumes and scripted banter – this band covers the full range of the soul music spectrum. Expect dynamic, organic, raw and exciting.

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