• My name is Scott Bird. My friends call me Birdy.
  • I grew up in Tasmania, Australia, in a cool little town called Penguin.
  • My mums family are the Smiths and have Koori Ancestry.
  • My Dad was from England and his ancestors came from Limerick in Ireland. My grandad was always singing.
  • My Uncle Reg was a singing drummer and he passed this arcane knowledge onto me.
  • I founded my first band when I was 12, played on local TV and became addicted to songs, music and rock'n'roll.
  • I ran away to the mainland and joined the rock'n'roll circus when I was 18 and have been on the run ever since.
  • I love this land in all its incarnations, it gives me a sense of peace and belonging.
  • I love my wife Trudi, family and friends; they give me a sense of peace and belonging.
  • I love the fact that I have always had music in my life. It is my constant companion.
  • I love the fact that I live in a free, democratic country. Gondwana you little beauty.
  • A pale rider, a long rider, a journeyman, a brother to my sisters and a man from earth. Well met my friends.

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Scott Bird is an Australian singer/songwriter with a rich Aboriginal/Irish ancestry who describes himself as a 'Jedi Knight' in training. Instinctively following his heart and expressing his experiences, reflections and observations in song, Scott's spiritual/musical journey began at an early age. From his beginnings as an 11 year old drummer vocalist in Tasmania, from the age of 18 when he ran away to the mainland and joined the rock'n'roll circus and until now, he has always walked a musical path. A 'Long Rider', a 'Man from Earth' performing, recording and teaching. He is self taught, an autodidact who in his own words says, "I am very grateful to have had music in my life, it is my constant companion."
Up until 2001 Scott had always been in a band and as a result has either toured, recorded or collaborated with some truly inspiring musicians. He was a founding member of Pale Riders who were at the forefront of the re-emerging Australian roots scene incorporating washboard, harmonica, acoustic guitars and stomp box. When asked about that time he says. "It was exciting because at the time we were doing something different and it was developed live without a safety net, forged in the uncompromising Sydney live scene. I was listening to a lot of John Lee Hooker then and a part of his sound was the clacking of bottle caps on the bottom of his shoes. I loved that. I did a show with Rick and John Brewster around the time that they reformed the 'Moonshine Jug and String Band' and played Ricks washboard. Halfway through the show I started booting an acoustic guitar case and from that fortuitous moment developed the rhythm section for the Pale Riders sound. To the best of my knowledge we made the first professional electric stomp box in Australia. Whilst on tour with the Oils Rob Hirst would often be side of stage listening. He was pretty intrigued by the band and we gave him a washboard at the end of the tour. I recently saw him playing it on a clip of an interview with the Backsliders on Radio National last year. Very cool. It was exciting, frustrating, rewarding and challenging and at the end of the day it was always about the songs...and still is."

Photo to right and above by Wendy McDougall
Through the 90's Pale Riders recorded and released three albums and two EP's and held the stage with major rock acts up against legendary vocals, guitars and drums; three guys with a couple of acoustic guitars, a harmonica, a box and a washboard. During a national tour with Midnight Oil in 98 John Butler opened for the Riders at a small bar in Freemantle. When Pale Riders disbanded in 2001 John slipped through the crack they had been chipping away at and blew it wide open. They had called it a day just as their music had been on the verge of gaining broader market appeal. Pale Riders always seemed to be either before or ahead of their time; listening to their records now I realise that their music was timeless.

Soon after Pale Riders disbanded Scott was introduced to the 'Aloka Meditation Centre' where he befriended the spiritual teachers, Venerable Mahinda (Bhante) and Sister Sumitra. As a consequence of this meeting he spent much of his free time for the next few years, building and tending the gardens at Aloka and laying stone; lots of stone. He refers to it as 'Zen Gardening' and Bhante and Sister; in their brown robes conjure up the image of Yoda and Obe Wan Kenobi gently instructing a young Luke Skywalker about the ways of the force.

Every stone he placed was done so with careful consideration and intent. This care and consideration is mirrored by the careful placement of every word in every song on the Riversong Album. "It's about synchronicity; about being in the moment and applying that to every aspect of your life. I find that with song writing, in order for the conduit to that place within to be open, you need to quiet the mind and let it flow. If your mind gets involved and tries to seize control the moment is lost, it gets scrambled and something gets lost in translation. If something is simple we tend to discount it as being invalid, we have been conditioned to believe that something is only worthy if a great struggle has been taken up and conquered. I think as a consequence we tend to over complicate things. The challenge for me has always been to find the true essence of the song and dress it in the right parts. I would like to think that one day I will find that note. This keeps me excited about making music."
Riversong Album available through Riversong Music.  |  Cover art and photograph by Trudi Bird  |  www.riversongmusic.com

Riversong Album available through Riversong Music. | Cover art and photograph by Trudi Bird | www.riversongmusic.com

Riversong is Scott's first offering as a solo artist, an album which he has lived, written, performed and produced. Now a Pale Rider the music is still strongly song focused, and he continues to explore his deep relationships with nature along with the personal insights which underpinned many of Pale Riders previous recordings. Breathe captures the moment when Scott was first introduced to meditation and his subsequent realisations which have been nurtured through his ongoing work with Bhante, Sister and the Aloka Meditation Centre. Hell or High Water is a love song which defines the commitment that he made to his wife after saving her life. Little by Little was inspired by a friend who had tried to end her life and Cradle to Grave came into being through his friendship and experience with Wiradjirri Elder Minmia. Whilst the Riversong album offers personal insights into Scotts life, the songs themselves can be easily accessed and bear relevance to aspects of everybody's story. When asked about why he chose to record and perform everything on Riversong himself he says, "Because I could and because I wanted to take full responsibility for the outcome. No escape clause, nowhere to hide." When he walked into the studio he had his friend and engineer Russ Pilling and his wife Trudi for guidance and support, a bunch of songs which were a simple guitar part, lyric and melody and a blank canvas. Everything went down spontaneously, track by track. "It was mentally exhausting and I learned a great deal from the process, not only about the music but about myself."
When asked about the future he says "Well I'm not sure what the future has in store but I do know that it will be determined by my present actions. The challenge for the future is to try and be in the present. I would love my little songs to go out into the world and find a place where they can touch peoples hearts."

"I'm not real sure how it all started. Maybe it was the stack of 45's that got handed down from my mums mob. Maybe it was the stories my dad would tell about the cavern and seeing the Beatles when the Mersey was discovering it's beat. Maybe it was all of this and everything else besides. I guess it makes no never mind anyhow. What I do know is that I have had a life long dedication to songs. I love them with a passion; they are my friends. Getting to know songs and learning to speak their language has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life. I love the way they feel, their textures, their stories and their colours. Music is a way of life and has been one of my greatest teachers. The greatest lesson has been that it is in your heart, not your head. Thanks for taking the time." Scott