They have received the type of breathless international recognition that normally only arrives after heavy record company investment and corporate marketing, but the Bluehouse have achieved it through pure hard work, will and abundant talent.
Of course the Melbourne trio are excited about the release of their debut album, Big. Of course they are. But it's all a matter of relative judgement, really!
How does the event rate against the other achievements the band has notched up in the recent past? How does it measure against their major berths at the Edinburgh Festival, the Sydney Mardi Gras, Woodford Folk Festival, WOMAD New Zealand, and the benefit concert bill they shared with Neil Finn, UB40, Cowboy Junkies, Elvis Costello and The Stranglers?
"A combination of wickedly mouthy humour with drop-dead gorgeous singing" is how The Scotsman described them. The Sydney Morning Herald recognised the band's essential eclecticism, terming the music "delicious folk-pop ... tinged at time with sweet gospel soul, before plunging into raucous guitar riffs."
Singing beautifully, playing hot, and thinking clever have been the keys to the success of the bluehouse. Their independent self-titled EP, released in 1997, sold well over 7000 copies, and was quickly followed up by an equally successful live EP.
So strong is the band's fan base that a mail-out offering advance orders for Big produced enough response to actually fund the project - an extraordinary result.
For Samantha, Jacqueline and Bernadette, the Bluehouse is a font of constant enjoyment and ceaseless work. Whether in Australia or overseas the Bluehouse have been touring almost constantly for the past two years, honing their performance skills to a level which guarantees that no one - but no one - ever walks away from a gig unimpressed.
'Big' hit all major record stores on May 17th 1999 and is proudly distributed by Shock Records (one of the few local bands picked up by Shock for local distribution this year)
Born in New South Wales on the border of the first National Park, Bernadette started her singing career with hymns rather than ballads. A self-taught guitarist and singer, she left the "joys" of school teaching behind her and moved to Melbourne to seek out like musical minds, becoming a waitressing wiz in the process. A chance meeting set the stage for the formation of The bluehouse. She's still a dab hand at an excellent coffee
A definite "late bloomer" Jacqui, one of five children, has a varied background including Real Estate, aerobics instructing and body piercing!!! A dedicated shower vocalist who fancies herself as an opera diva, she met Bernadette in a pub in Melbourne-whilst belting out bawdy Christmas carols, and hasn't stopped singing since.
Samantha J. Harley
Born within diving distance of the local pool, this waterbaby windsurfed her way around the world, received a degree in philosophy in the U.S, became a University lecturer in Melbourne and took up the guitar as a hobby before the Bluehouse beckoned. While the lure of the water remains strong, Sam has fine-tuned the art of lead guitar and has traded in the wetsuit for the pursuit of music.