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Subversive home-spun bluegrass
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April 20 2013
Marrickville-based band The Lurkers are the winners of this year's 'Songs for Social Justice' Award, presented by the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund.
The Award, now in its second year, continues the legacy of Alistair Hulett, one of Australia and Scotland's leading political songwriters and performers, who passed away in 2010.
"The intention of the Award is to encourage more Australian musicians to use their skills to make progressive change in our society", said Alison Hulett, Secretary of the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund in Australia.
The Lurkers' entry was a unanimous pick of the judging panel, made up of Australian folk luminaries Judy Small, Kate Fagan and Peter Hicks. The judges' report said, "This winning song, 'Mining Man', buzzes with the energy of activism and resistance. Perhaps most importantly, like the best folk music it's transportable; it could be sung by any number of people, anywhere and still retain its power and punch."
Banjo player from The Lurkers, Mithra Cox, said "We are truly honoured to win this award. The support from the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund will help us us to write, sing, and perform music that gets more people involved in campaigns that can win a better world. We hope the award will grow in stature each year and encourage more Australian music makers to make positive changes through their art".
"Like all good folk tunes, we hope that Mining Man will be a song that's shared and sung when we aren't around. When we get a couple thousand people in room singing "Lock The Gate, Lock The Gate" in unison… well, you know people power can overcome the greed of the few."
"Music can help people realise they've got power and sometimes they need to use it," Ms Cox said.
Entries for the 2014 song award are already open, and submissions can be made at http://www.alistairhulett.com. Award winners receive a grant of $1000 to assist in further disseminating their song.