Phil and Trudy Edgeley

Phil and Trudy Edgeley play recently at the historic quarry on Chaucer Street in Helena.

Thom Bridge, Independent Record

The next few days offer a fleeting chance to catch the music of two visiting Aussie musicians, Phil and Trudy Edgeley.

Some folks already caught them at Out to Lunch in mid-July or at a Free Ceramics Solid 15 concert, where this writer got to enjoy a show.

Friends of Helena musician Max Hay (who has a definite case of world wanderlust), the Edgeleys met him at a concert in Australia and they all hit it off.

This is their second visit to Montana, and this time they came for six weeks.

Their upcoming shows include:

  • Aug 5 - Philipsburg Brewing in Philipsburg - 5 p.m.
  • Aug 6 - Jester’s Bar in Helena - 10 p.m.
  • Aug 9 - Bert and Ernie's in Great Falls - 7 p.m.
  • Aug 10 - Legal Tender in Clancy - 5:30 p.m.

And if you’re heading to Spearfish, South Dakota, in August, look them up.

On a recent Wednesday morning, they met at a local quarry to play a couple of their original tunes and talk about music.

“We play a lot of blues clubs and folk clubs, and restaurants and bars that are music venues,” said Phil of their Australian gigs, as well as a few house parties and a lot of festivals.

Phil’s been doing shows for years, but in the past decade or so Trudy quit her day job at the University of Sydney and joined him.

How do they describe their music?

“Well, that’s a complicated question,” replies Phil, who migrated to Australia from England 26 years ago, bringing some Brit music traditions with him.

“We like to push 65 to 70 percent originals,” he said.

You just might hear tinges of brass band, folk, Celtic and Delta blues influences. They’ll also venture into traditional music and interpretations of music they like.

Phil trained formally on trombone and played in a local town band his grandfather led, he said. Lately, you’re a lot more likely to hear him play a Weissenborn-style lap slide guitar -- as well as a fingerstyle guitar.

Phil’s inspiration for writing a song is often a feeling, he said, like songs about lost love, while Trudy tends to write songs about the human condition, domestic violence or racism.

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Trudy’s musical heritage traces to her family roots -- the Solomon Islands, as well as Australian Aboriginal, Jamaican and Irish. She also likes gospel music. “My dad was in a choir. And he and his brothers used to sing gospel music in the streets.”

Her favorite instruments are the cajon and ukulele.

“She’s probably the lead songwriter right now,” said Hay.

Her inspiration is “basically through life experiences and people sharing their stories with me,” she said. “Some of it is from my heritage,” frequently oral histories.

“I like the dynamic between them … on stage,” said Hay, who may add a little electric guitar and harmonica into the mix.

“They work together like a team -- not to mention their instruments and style. You don’t get that music around here.”

For more information about them and their music, visit

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083



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