THE PRAIRIE OYSTERS
Tony Bonnici (Vocals, Bass)
Dave Miles (Vocals, Guitars)
Mick Evans (Drums)
Ed Bates (Pedal Steel Guitar)
The Prairie Oysters have always stumped the Australian country music scene. It’s really hard to pin a label on them as they skirt the edges of the commercial and alternative country circles.
“We wouldn't want it any other way to be honest" , says Tony Bonnici (bass, vocals). “We like the freedom to tell our stories by writing songs that work at the time".
"Each song is written with a life of its own', adds Dave Miles (guitars, vocals). "We don't set out to pitch to a certain style or genre. We just write songs".
The Prairie Oysters have performed and entertained audiences around Australia since 2005 and are described by many as Australia’s favourite “good-time band”. They have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres since 2005 playing to crowds at festivals, pubs and remote communities as far flung as the Cocos Keeling Islands (look it up). They have been a regular feature at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Deniliquin Ute Muster.
The Prairie Oysters is made up of four musicians who have been playing the Australian music scene since the 1970s playing everything from punk through to blues.
Tony Bonnici (Vocals, Bass) and Dave Miles (Vocals, Guitar) make up the bands nucleus and are joined by two accomplished Melbourne musicians; Mick Evans (Drums) and Ed Bates (Pedal Steel).
The band have gained respect and critical acclaim for their original material and live shows with awards including:
Country Music Guild of Australasia Most Popular Group 2007, 2008, 2009.
Best Group Victorian National Country Music Awards 2010
Best Band Album Victorian National Country Music Awards 2011
$10,000 People's Choice Prize Australian Independent Artist Awards Sydney 2011
Golden Guitar Nomination 2013 for Best Single "When The Dust Settles"
The band’s loyal fan base is as diverse as their music. Audiences of all ages are treated to a diverse repertoire of original music and cover tunes by artists who have influenced them over the years.
The band’s musical influences are as diverse as their audiences; from Hank Williams and George Strait to John Fogarty and Steve Earle. Their repertoire of original material consists of songs written about life through the lens of musicians who have driven on a road well-travelled.
“When it comes to country music, The Prairie Oysters are the real deal. There’s no winning formula to the band’s successes. They play what feels right and it works”. – Strat Pavlis Former 3RRR presenter, The Breakfasters.