Passenger performing ‘Hearts on Fire’ with Stu Larsen LIVE on BalconyTV Brisbane
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The brainchild of 26-year-old Brighton born singer/songwriter Mike Rosenberg, Passenger is redefining the troubadour for the 21st century. Formerly a five-piece band, Passenger has now pared back to basics, quite literally bringing music to the streets on a series of lengthy busking journeys across Australia, America and the United Kingdom. A classic journeyman musician, cut from the same mould as Van Morrison, Neil Young and John Prine, Passenger has the unique ability to move from the humorous to heartbreaking with every song.
After six months spent crisscrossing the UK with his debut album Wicked Man’s Rest, Passenger’s markedly stripped down and soulful second album Wide Eyes Blind Love was brought to the public as it was created: on the road. Setting up on street corners across the UK and Australia, Passenger halted passers by in their hundreds; all connecting to the mellifluous tones and powerfully hewn lyrics emanating from this lone figure and his guitar. This is music as Passenger means it to be, unvarnished and honest, just pure talent and powerful tunes that tap straight into the crowd.
Struck by the dynamic freedom of the troubadour life, Passenger developed the grass roots method of Wide Eyes Blind Love into the germ of a new album. Impressively and entirely funded by monies pooled from busking, Passenger set about recording a series of collaborations with musical friends met along the way. Flight of the Crow is the remarkable result of Passenger’s intrepid journey, with Australian artists Lior, Josh Pyke, Katie Noonan, Boy & Bear, Kate Miller Heidke, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Brian Campeau and Elana Stone, Matt Corby, Jess Chalker and Dead Letter Chorus all lending their voices to this serendipitous creative venture. Flight of the Crow was recorded in Sydney’s famous BJB studios over February and March of 2010, and co-produced by Berkfinger (AKA Simon Berkleman from Philadelphia Grand Jury).
As a second album born of the road, Flight of the Crow speaks to the compelling quality of Passenger’s music and the striking sincerity of his lyrics, both of which are matched by his dedication to this grass roots style of craftsmanship and collaboration. How utterly remarkable that a lone musician can travel the globe, and literally from the street, connect with some of Australia’s finest musical talents to produce a self-funded album. This is the stuff of legend, with Passenger clearly evoking the humble, hardworking creativity of the troubadours of old
Stu Larsen has no fixed address, no job, few possessions and little money – just a lot of generous friends who seem to let him sleep on their floor or couch, or in their spare room as he ventures onward. He appears to be on a journey of sorts, perhaps searching for something greater than can be found in one’s own backyard. The last months have seen him exploring & wandering all over the world. Through Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, road tripping with friends, playing unexpected shows in unexpected places, staying in the homes of old and new friends all along the way. Somewhere amongst all that, there was time for the recording of a new EP affectionately entitled RYEFORD. Stu Larsen flew in good friends and fellow singer/songwriters Luke Thompson (New Zealand) and Tim Hart (Sydney / Boy & Bear) to Brisbane and headed west to an old farmhouse where they met up with engineer Caleb James (Leo Nine / Rhubarb) to spend the week in isolation, recording five new tracks for the EP.Stu returns to Australia for a national tour with PASSENGER this November.
Tune in again soon to Balcony TV Brisbane