Mia Celeste Dyson (born 1981) is an Australian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She has released six studio albums, Cold Water (May 2003), Parking Lots (April 2005), Struck Down (August 2007), The Moment (August 2012), Idyllwild (June 2014) and If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back (March 2018). Parking Lots won the Best Blues & Roots Album category at the 2005 ARIA Awards. In 2009 Dyson relocated to Boston and then moved to Los Angeles in 2010.
Performing at The Gum Ball, Hunter Valley, April 2013
|Birth name||Mia Celeste Dyson|
|Born||1981 (age 37–38)|
Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
|Origin||Torquay, Victoria, Australia|
Life and careerEdit
Mia Dyson was born in 1981 in a mud brick home built by her parents near Daylesford. Her father, Jim Dyson, is a blues guitarist and luthier, the family moved to Torquay when she was eight. For secondary schooling she attended Matthew Flinders Girls High School, Geelong. When queried by The Sydney Morning Herald's reporter on how she went from a settled family life, in the Victorian beachside resort town of Torquay to playing and singing blues and roots music, Dyson responded:
"I don't know either, it's a testament to the power of music and how that whole childhood of being played what I consider incredible music seeped into my bloodstream. My parents were always playing the records of Little Feat, Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, everything. Torquay is devoid of any artistic pursuits and had I only had that culture I'm sure I would not be playing music. I might have had more luck with the alcohol if I'd been left to the surfing culture."
"I went through my early teenage Nirvana, Pearl Jam obsessions and then I came back to the roots of this stuff and picked up the guitar. And I knew how to play these songs that I'd never learnt because I'd heard them so many times as a kid."
She described her father's hand made guitars:
"I guess now people are impressed how lucky I am to have a dad who makes such beautiful instruments," Dyson says. But as a child she was unaware of their potential. "It was only, 'Oh, don't they look beautiful' when he finished one," she says. "It was only around 16, 17, when I was able to think about the sounds and the different sounds I could get out of the guitars, the amps and pedals, that I got excited."
Dyson played her first gig at a party in Modewarre and followed with shows at the Barwon Club and at the National Hotel in Geelong. She then relocated to Melbourne, where her first residency, in November 2000, was at the Dan O'Connell Hotel, Fitzroy with her backing band comprising Dean Addison on bass guitar and Carl Pannuzzo on drums.
Her first album, Cold Water, appeared in May 2003 via Black Door Records and distributed by Shock Records. It was produced by Dyson with Lloyd Barratt – her audio engineer and sometime domestic partner. For the album she provided lead vocals, guitars (acoustic, baritone, electric, lap steel) and piano. Her backing band were Daniel Farrugia on drums and Lucas Taranto on bass guitar. The Age's Patrick Donovan opined, "[she] blew audiences away with her powerfully emotive voice and dynamic guitar playing on her debut album Cold Water. But the songwriting was a little one-dimensional."
She supported the album by touring both Australia and internationally: East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival, West Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Falls Festival, Womadelaide, NXNE (Canada) and Edinburgh Festival (Scotland). At the ARIA Music Awards of 2003 it was nominated for Best Blues and Roots album.
Dyson released her second album, Parking Lots, in April 2005. She produced the album with recording partly occurring in a back yard shed at her grandfather's home in Moonee Ponds. Nick Launay mixed the album and studio musicians included Renée Geyer and Matt Walker. The Sydney Morning Herald's reporter described her sound as "strongly into soulful rock, folk and country." Donovan reflected, "she demonstrates the maturity to let her voice and playing soar. Dyson puts her newfound maturity down to experience and confidence gained from two years on the road, playing everywhere from women's prisons to three months overseas as a solo artist." At the ARIA Music Awards of 2005 she won Best Blues and Roots Album and was nominated for Best Female Artist.
The following year (2006), Dyson toured the United States and Canada, she performed with Frank Zappa's band, The Mothers of Invention, on stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and supported Ani Di Franco in New York's Central Park. In August of that year she was invited by Deborah Conway to take part in the Broad Festival project, with three other Australian female artists, they performed their own and each other's songs. With Dyson and Conway were Melinda Schneider, Kate Miller-Heidke and Ella Hooper. They toured the mainland state and territory capital cities.
In 2007 Dyson supported Eric Clapton during his Australian tour in February to sell out crowds. She also had a guest appearance on Australian hip hop artist Urthboy's second album, The Signal. For her third album, Struck Down (August 2007), she used Angus Diggs (Jeff Lang, Monkeyboy) on drums and James Haselwood on bass guitar. She co-produced it with Barratt, it peaked at No. 74 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Em of Soulshine observed, "The result is a superb album with Mia's classic husky roots sound, this time featuring a defining rhythm. Mia has evolved not only as a musician, but as a songwriter too, drawing inspiration from just about everything around her, and this album is sure to please old fans and convert new ones." The artist followed with a tour from September to November.
In 2009 Dyson relocated to Boston to try to break into the American music scene. She toured continuously, playing clubs and festivals across the country and in 2010, moved to Los Angeles. She briefly worked with Dave Stewart (ex-Eurythmics), she felt, "Dave is sort of an eccentric genius character, but we didn't have the same ideas and weren't really on the same page so it wasn't ever going to work, I think." They recorded a track together, "You and Me", which was part of an extended play released in the US in April 2011.
Dyson opened for Stevie Nicks at the Santa Barbara bowl and Lake Tahoe in late 2010 and then opened for Chris Isaak on his national tour. Dyson worked on her fourth studio album The Moment from late 2011. It was produced by Erin 'Syd' Sidney and Patrick Cupples, and was recorded in Ojai, California. A track from the album, "Tell Me", was released in April 2012 to her mailing list. The first single and its video, "When the Moment Comes", was issued in July. The Moment followed in August, which debuted at No. 51 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It was nominated for Best Blues & Roots Album at the ARIA Music Awards of 2012, and provided two more singles, "Pistol" and "Jesse".
The artist's fifth studio album, Idyllwild, appeared in June 2014. Matthew Fiander of PopMatters felt it was "another solid album from Dyson, and further evidence that the Australian singer can be both comfortable in her own skin and restless enough to push her boundaries." The AU Review's Salmond rated it at 8.8 out of 10 and explained, "another beautiful album full of fun rock tunes as well as returning to her roots with slower bluesy ballads. Despite being her fifth record, she has created another stunning album that reflects her musical integrity and musical talents... [and has] the freedom to explore and challenge herself musically which has created an interesting array of upbeat bluesy-rock songs that intertwine effortlessly with slower bluesy soulful ballads. Her lyrics are more honest and reflective in nature, and this album could be argued to be her most honest yet."
- Cold Water
Black Door Records/MGM Distribution
- Parking Lots
Black Door Records/MGM Distribution
- Struck Down
Black Door Records/MGM Distribution
- The Moment
Black Door Records/MGM Distribution/The Co-Op
Black Door Records/MGM Distribution
- If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back
Single Lock Records/Cooking Vinyl
- You and Me
(April 2011 – US Only)
- Right There (12 February 2016)
- Australian Blues Project - "Rock Me Baby"
- noise: Future of Music - "Precious Thing" ABC Music (October 2003)
- Triple J Blues, Roots and Beyond - "Lonely" ABC Music (July 2004)
- Look Both Ways - "Lonely" Mana Soundtracks (July 2005)
- Like a Version 2 - "Can't Let Go" ABC Music (2006)
- Songs That Made Me - "Fruits Of My Labor" Kin Music (2015)
Song appearances in other mediaEdit
"To Fight is To Lose" from The Moment is featured in the 2012 Bones episode "The Partners in the Divorce."
"When the Moment Comes" is featured on "Saturday Night Football" on Sky Sports as the intro song. It is also featured on the 2014 recruitment television commercial for the Australian Army.
- "Mia Dyson – About". Red Room Poetry. Red Room. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Dawson, Dave (12 January 2006). "Mia Dyson from Surf Coast to TV". Dave's Diary. Nu Country. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Sounds of the Maturing Minstrel". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 21 June 2005. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012.
- Tyler, Bethany (8 October 2014). "Mia Dyson returns to where her musical journey began". Geelong Advertiser. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Dwyer, Michael (January 2004). "Mia Dyson – Australian Poet". Red Room Poetry. Red Room. Archived from the original on 24 September 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Dyson, Mia (2003), Cold Water, Shock Records [Distributor], retrieved 30 October 2017
- "Releases :: Cold Water". Australian Music Online. Australia Council for the Arts. Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Mathieson, Craig (25 September 2014). "Mia Dyson's Move to US Harder - and Sweeter - than She Expected". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Donovan, Patrick (22 April 2005). "In Gear – Music". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2003: 17th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Dyson, Mia (2007), Parking Lots, MGM Distribution, retrieved 31 October 2017,
Parking Lots, was recorded with Mia's live band – Lucas Taranto (bass) and Daniel Farrugia (drums), mixed by Nick Launay, and features a number of special guests inc. Renee Geyer and Matt Walker.
- "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2005: 19th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "Broad 2006". Broad Festival. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Elliott, Tim (19 August 2008). "Lady's night at the beckoning microphone". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Em (19 August 2007). "Mia Dyson Struck Down Release". Soulshine: Australian Independent Music. Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Wallace, Ian (3 September 2007). "Week Commencing ~ 3rd September 2007 ~ Issue #913" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (913): 2, 6, 12, 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Fallon, Naomi (6 September 2012). "Mia Survives Moment of Truth". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Who's Opening for Stevie Nicks". StevieNicks.com. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "New Mia Dyson Video". TheMusic.com.au. Street Press Australia. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Wallace, Ian (27 August 2012). "Week Commencing ~ 27th August 2012 ~ Issue #1174" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (1174): 2, 5, 8, 13, 15, 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Fiander, Matthew (17 June 2014). "Mia Dyson: Idyllwild". PopMatters. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Salmond, Kimberley (6 June 2014). "Album Review: Mia Dyson – Idyllwild (2014 LP)". The AU Review. Heath Media. Retrieved 31 October 2017.