Melbourne 1964-70

"Fat" Fred Bond (vocals)
Joe Camilleri (vocals, saxophone)
Gary Collier (guitar)
Mark Dindas (piano)
Colin Graham (bass)
Noel Herridge (drums) 1968-70
Ron Issac (drums)
Mark Kozuch (bass) 1968-70
Paul Lever (vocals, harp)
John O'Brien (vocals)
Broderick Smith (vocals, harp) 1966-68
Doug Stirling (bass)
Kerryn Tolhurst (guitar, vocals) 1964-70


Like their contemporaries, Brisbane's Bay City Union and Sydney's pioneering Foreday Riders, Melbourne's Adderly Smith Blues Band were laying down heavy blues way ahead of their time and they're now recognised as one of Australia's first 'authentic' blues groups, in that they tried to faithfully play the blues in the style and spirit of the original artists, rather than watering the genre down for pop audiences. The band is also notable for the fact that several members went onto to bigger things -- Smith and Tolhurst went on to work variously with Sundown, Carson and Country Radio before forming The Dingoes; Joe Camilleri has carved out a brilliant career both as a solo artist and with his acclaimed bands Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, The Black Sorrows, The Revelators and Bakelite Radio.

Blues fanatics Mark Dindas and Kerryn Tolhurst (ex Blues Merchants, Vacant Lot) formed the group in 1964. Like England's Yardbirds, they were purists, taking their inspiration directly from the original blues of Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf, but alongside the blues standards they also performed some original material written by Tolhurst.

The line-up changed many times. Over the years the membership included Broderick Smith (ex The Maltese Band, Smokey Hollows) who joined in 1966, Gary Collier, "Fat" Fred Bond, John O'Brien, Colin Graham (a future Australian Ballet lighting director), Ron Issac, Paul Lever and Doug Stirling. According to rock historian Ed Nimmervol, Joe Camilleri was sacked for "sounding too much like Mick Jagger and for being too much of a showman"!

Adderly Smith took their music very seriously, seeing their mission as educating audiences about where the blues songs perfomed by groups like The Rolling Stones and The Animals had originally came from. They played regularly around Melbourne, performing at dances, discos and blues clubs. According to the Who's Who of Australian Rock, the band played "a lot of dances in the city and Essendon, a blues club called Chicago and the Queensbery Hotel in Carlton". There was a major interruption when Smith and Tolhurst were both called up for National Service in 1968, but Tolhurst kept the band going (with drummer Noel Herridge and bassist Mark Kozuch) performing whenever he could, until 1970. 

After the demise of the Adderly Smith band, Kerryn briefly joined Keith Glass's pioneering country rock outfit Sundown, while Brod gained national fame as lead singer of ace boogie-blues practitioners Carson. Kerryn left Sundown in January 1972 after successfully auditioning for Greg Quill, joining the 'classic' lineup of Country Radio. He stayed with them until shortly after their Sunbury '73 appearance, when he teamed up again with Brod Smith to form The Dingoes.


The Adderley Smith Blues Band did not release any commercial recordings. However some demo and live recordings are known to exist, including a number of live tracks taped by sound recordist Lloyd Carrick at the Thumpin' Tum discotheque in Melbourne. According to the "Highway 49" website, it's possible that these track might be released on CD in the future, possibly accompanied by five tracks by the Carson County Band that Carrick taped live at the Tum in 1970.

References / Links

Ian McFarlane
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)

Australian Rock Database

Howlspace website

Highway 49

Broderick Smith - Biography

Tony Standish
Letter to the editor in Banana Bender Blues