Linked index:-
Nigel Pegrum:- drums, co album producer
Will Kepa:- bass, guitar, keys, vocals
Kirk Steele:- keys, piano accordion
Andree Baudet:- keys, saxaphones
Larry Cash:- bass, vocals
Craig Arblaster:- keys, guitar, uke, vocals
Stu Forbes:- guitar, vocals, luthier, tutor
Marilyn Davison:- Quirkette
Tamzin Laredo:- Quirkette
Angela Zammataro:- Quirkette
Danny Ross:- special guest
Libby Brockenshire:- vocals
Mikelangelo:- special guest
Raymond James Molloy:- special guest


Such are today's economics of the music industry that budgets do not exist for most independent artists like me to be able to afford a full time permanent band that travels with me within Australia let alone overseas!  Having said that I do have a collection of favourite support artists, most of whom are accomplished artists / session musicians in their own right, who are willing and able to make the move out of standard chord progressions that most of the music I perform demands.  In general my commercial arrangement with these artists is “ad hoc” but I try to work with them as often as I can.  There's also a collection of artists around the globe that musically I have had one night stands with and had a lot of fun doing so – they may or may not be listed on this page.  There's also those I hope to connect with as I tout my shows / gigs around the place. Working with different talent does mean every performance has a hint of a different flavour, as it were.  So in no particular order here are some of the artists I've worked with, some I rely on especially those in far north Queensland Australia where I live.

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Image of Nigel Pegrum, Pegasus Studios, Cairns, Australia


Nigel.  Well, he's very special to me and what I do.  Not only is he a world class drummer of international fame but he's a respected, similarly world class, music producer too and happens to live nearby.  Lucky for me Nigel decided to take me under his wings and mentor me, as he has with many, applying his vast music skills base and wisdom my way.  His attention to detail both as a performer himself and as a music producer is outstanding.  Every time we're together my own musical prowess grows.  I can't thank him enough.  When he can Nigel joins me on stage and is master at keeping us together and entertained with his drumming skills and keen observational humour.  More often than not Nigel provides all the percussion in the studio for my albums (as well as mixes, masters and produces them for me) and has also supplied wonderful flute backing for me.

Pegasus Studios
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Image of Will Kepa, musician, Cairns, Australia


For me Will has appeared in my Quintessential Quirk shows and By Request album launch (The Clink Theatre, Port Douglas) and played on all my albums to date, "Quintessential Quirk 2009" (live album), "By Request" , "Naughty, but Nice!" and “In These Shoes?” but has recently moved to the Canberra area to study; we all miss him around Cairns and look forward to his return visits, even occasionally managing to take advantage of one of those visits by getting him to play guitar for one of the tracks on my album currently in production!  We all wish him well with his studies but hope he’ll return to us eventually.

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Image of Kirk Steele, musician, Cairns, Australia


With Kirk it's almost the case as who has Kirk not been on stage with (in Australia) - he just seems to know everyone and everyone knows him.  Kirk always puts colour into what I do, whether he's playing keyboard or his piano accordion and, with my other band members, he walks through the none standard chord progressions and often convoluted lyrics.  Having seen Kirk performing with various friends for some years, our first collaboration was in 2007 when I was honorary musical director for "Songbirds in Port" (a tribute to Burt Bacharach) at the Clink Theatre, Port Douglas - Kirk was our keyboard player; since then he made a major contribution to my two studio albums "By Request" and "Naughty, but Nice" and joined me on stage at the Clink again for the "By Request" launch; he also managed to return from holiday in 2016 just in time to add some piano accordion to the final track on “In These Shoes?” – “Fairytale of New York”.  I don't think there's anything he can't do on a keyboard!

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Image of Andree Baudet, musician, UK, Australia


Born in England, Andree began playing music at the age of six.  Later Andree moved to Switzerland to attend the Swiss Jazz School in Bern; during the next four years she played there with several bands in various resorts and at numerous festivals.  She called Cairns home for 20 years or so and played in many local bands, always in high demand as a session musician for both live performances and recordings.  Andree was part of all my Quintessential Quirk shows, in particular being the musical arranger for the 2010 shows; playing keyboard and saxophones, although not at the same time, she can be heard on the "Quintessential Quirk 2009" live CD and, specifically on saxophone, on my "By Request" studio CD.  In addition to her various musical performances Andree teaches saxophone privately and has the rare skill of being a qualified repairer of saxophones.  She is now living and working in the UK and is sorely missed.

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Image of Larry Cash, musician, soundman, Australia


Prior to moving south to be near family back in 2016, Larry was a major part of the Port Douglas music scene including, alongside co-host Craig Arblaster, hosting the infamous Muso's Nights every Thursday at the Central Hotel in Port; when I finally plucked up courage to try performing in public Larry's support and encouragement at Muso's was invaluable.  Larry and I have participated in numerous shows together over the years since then; in particular he was both a 'special guest' on double bass and then band member on electric bass for my 2010 Quintessential Quirk shows and plays both instruments on my studio album "By Request".  His visits back to Port are always riotous affairs!

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Image of Craig Arblaster, musician, Australia


Craig is one of those who keep live music live in Port Douglas and surrounds.  As well as being an accomplished guitarist, keyboard and ukulele player Craig teaches guitar, from beginners to competent players who need to hone their skills; I count myself very lucky to have had a year of guitar tuition from Craig, he certainly helped me expand my knowledge and understanding of the instrument.  Craig can be found most Thursday evenings in Port's Central Hotel hosting the Muso's Nights.  It was Craig who first designated me "Quirky" - he introduced me to a visiting American musician as "This is Karen ... she's our quirky one!".  The label has stuck!  In general my song choices are very different to Craig's preferred style but he has embraced accompanying me at Muso's with gusto and we do have fun with 'my three songs'.

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Image of Stu Forbes, musician, tutor, luthier, Australia


Stu, now semi-retired, is an accomplished musician, teacher and Luthier (founder of Cloud Nine Guitars, Australia).  Indeed I’ve been lucky enough to have had guitar lessons from Stu, performed on stage with him and have him craft especially for me a beautiful “Cloud Nine” guitar - Stu and my husband John conspired behind my back for Stu to build for me a custom guitar as a surprise wedding anniversary present; 10 years later, almost to the day, I fell in love with another one of Stu’s hand-made guitars, this time a 12 string, and so used the excuse of another wedding anniversary to purchase it.  Apart from those two beautiful guitars I will fondly remember Stu for forcing me (and all of his students) to perform in public without a safety net - a music stand and book; I quietly cussed him for this at the time but it was his determination for me to perform from memory that’s helped me improve my performances and of course connect better with my audience – I remain eternally grateful for his persistence and encouragement!

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Image of Marilyn Davison, singer/songwriter, Australia


Marilyn has been a full time professional musician and performer and retains a wonderful voice and enviable talent for harmonising.  She and I met at one of those infamous Muso's Nights at the Central Hotel in Port Douglas - I was awestruck with her beautiful voice, singing a capella; since them, she and I have become great friends.  From the start we have loved singing together, and do so at every opportunity, whether in public or just sitting round one or other's dining table.  When I started hatching plans for my Quintessential Quirk shows Marilyn was the obvious choice for me as backing vocalist and, with her deep understanding of music she was able to take charge of arranging the harmonies for herself and the other 'Quirkettes' and I believe the results were fabulous.  Marilyn is now successfully taking on the challenge of singing Opera, but we still have our little 'sing-alongs' whenever we can.

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Image of Tamzin Laredo, singer/performer, Australia

Tamzin Laredo …

Tamzin was an amazing singer and performer and a simply adorable human being.  Difficult to hold down she was born to entertain whether solo or as part of an ensemble.  We performed together in various shows at the Clink Theatre in Port Douglas and would help one another out, given half a chance, at the infamous Muso's Nights in Port - I would give Tamzin some rhythm guitar for her songs, she would give me backing vocals - and a whole lot off extra sass, for mine!  Tamzin became my number two Quirkette backing vocalist and added a whole new dimension to my Quintessential Quirk shows, both off and on stage, until she fell victim to cancer and quickly left us for another place.  Her passing has put my Quintessential Quirk shows on hold, at least whilst our hearts heal.

Tamzin (1965 – 2012), rest in peace, dear friend, we miss you so much.

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Image of Angela Zammataro, singer/songwriter, Cairns, Australia


Angela has been a professional musician on and off for most of her life.  Like Marilyn Davison (and indeed Larry Cash) she has the, to me, amazing and enviable ability to harmonise with anything she hears - she tells me she grew up humming in harmony to the lawn mower, the washing machine, the dishwasher ... harmonies are second nature to her!  Since settling in FNQ Angela and her partner Segundo have formed their own band "Los Caracoles" and they write and perform songs in English as well as in various regional versions of both Spanish and Italian; they are regularly joined by various other musicians, including their son who, of course, has grown up with music in his soul, and are highly accomplished and very popular locally.  Angela became my third Quirkette for four of the songs in the inaugural Quintessential Quirk show, songs that 'needed' an extra layer of vocals - Angela was the perfect choice to perform that layer.

Los Caracoles
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Image of Danny Ross, singer/songwriter, Australia


Danny is an outstanding singer, songwriter and guitarist who, like me (but even more so!), has his own inimitable style.  I first encountered Danny at an open mic night in the wilds of Julatten and his talent shone out immediately.  From there he was tutored by Stu (Sonnyboy) Forbes and quickly outgrew the FNQ region and hit the road in search of bigger and better things.  He duly found it - Danny is probably best know currently for being a finalist on "The Voice" (2013) on Joel Madden's team.  That success was very well deserved and those who know Danny and have performed with him look forward to enjoying watching his path to stardom.  Danny writes his own songs and also puts his own esoteric spin on a range of covers.  I count myself very lucky that Danny was able to join me as a 'special guest' in my first Quintessential Quirk show, adding his extraordinary musical talent to the show.

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Image of Libby Brockenshire, singer, songwriter, Australia

Libby Brockenshire …

I first met Libby when she used to occasionally (and then regularly) sing with the wonderfully named bands Bettathana Chook Raffle (it makes sense if you’re Australian) and the Pistol Knights (ditto).  I had been told that I would enjoy her performances because she has a great voice – and how!  Another one of these brilliant vocalists who can hear a tune and immediately sing any number of harmonies to suit, she is amazing as a lead singer and as backing vocalist. We have performed together in the past, once when I did a handful of songs with the Pistol Knights at a local charity event and again in “Songbirds in Port” (a tribute to Burt Bacharach).  When Nigel and I were discussing artists to include on my album “In These Shoes?” I specifically requested Libby to sing the backup vocals – she was perfect for helping me put on the ‘layers’ of different harmonies that remain such a focal point of Kirsty MacColl’s recordings.

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Image of Mikelangelo, singer, songwriter, guitarist, Australia


I had never heard of Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen until, in 2007, a friend instructed me (really, he did!) to book tickets to see them at their one and only (still to date) Cairns appearance; I remain eternally grateful to that friend.  Since then John and I have attended many of Mikelangelo’s performances, with the Gentlemen, with the Tin Star, and solo; over the years we have become friends with this sexy crooner with the magnificent baritone voice.  Imagine my utter joy, then, when I invited Mikelangelo to sing the duet “Fairytale of New York” with me on my Kirsty MacColl tribute album “In These Shoes?” and he said he’d love to!  What’s more, he suggested that I organise us a couple of gigs together to help pay for his travel expenses – I didn’t need to be told twice!  That resulted in two fun Music & Mayhem shows in July 2016, followed by an afternoon in the studio that finished off the album recording, giving me a rendition of The Pogues’ enduring, classic Christmas number to be proud of.  I’m not sure if Mikelangelo was quite so proud of our joint rendition of his own song “A Formidable Marinade” during a show he did in Brighton, England in July 2017 – I was dragged up onto the stage (not quite literally) to play his guitar so that he could molest the audience during his singing of the song (as always) … it was fun, though!

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Image of Raymond James Molloy, singer, songwriter, guitarists, recording artist, Australia


As his photo suggests, Raymond was a character, ever popular with his Irish roots flavouring his performances. His repertoire mostly comprised his own and traditional songs and over his career Raymond produced several albums which now are a legacy to his life.  Sadly he passed away early at only 57 Years old in 2013.  I think I am safe in saying there's been nobody like him.  Raymond appeared in one of my Quintessential Quirk shows, sadly it was one of his last public performances.  We used to sing together as often as we could, my soft voice and English dialect being a contrast to his celtic vocals, Mandolin and Mandola.  Today I occasionally pull out one of his songs to enchant my audience - I know Raymond is listening when I do ...  and that gives me a big smile!

Raymond (1955 – 2013), rest in peace, dear friend, we miss you so much - leave some Guiness for us!

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