Friday, January 19, 2024

Check Out These Great Deep Purple Tribute Albums from Australian Musician Cameron Hons



There are not 1 but 3 Deep Purple Tribute albums, made by Australian Independent comedy rock musician Cameron Hons. Now in his 20th year of making original & independent music. Back in 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic & lockdowns, you were not allowed to go out much and global music touring grinded to a complete halt. "I really thought that was the end of it" said Cameron, reflecting on those earlier times of COVID lockdowns. "I saw two great concerts in 2020, Dr. Colossus and Okilly Dokilly and in February , Scorpions & Whitesnake. Then, about a few days later, lockdowns were announced." During lockdowns, things went pretty crazy and everybody had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do with music making, recording & performing. The whole world and entertainment district was at a halt.

It was during this time, Cameron thought of doing a tribute album to his favourite band, Deep Purple. A band he's idolized since he was a young child and in very early school years. "I used to listen to songs like Child In Time on long road trips over & over again when I was about 5 years old,"  said Cameron.

Although the covers that Cameron does on this album are not 100% exactly the same as the original to match note for note, why would they be? What would be the point in that? Just listen to the original track if you want note for note. "The main goal of these albums were to make not replicas or copycat versions of Deep Purple songs, but to make my own versions of them." Cameron explains. 

There was a lot of time, money and effort spent on making all these volumes of the tribute albums. From finding guest musicians, to getting the album produced, and to make the cover art. It was going to be released on Digipak CD but cancelled after the last minute due to a printing error, but the Digipak design was kept for the regular CD version. 
"I found it really hard to find different singers. The first cover I did was the Strange Kind Of Woman song with my Italian bassist friend Alberto Rigoni. Originally I wanted to re-record the Machine Head album in it's entirety, but when I asked Alberto what song did you want to do, he instantly said "Strange Kind Of Woman" without arguments, I thought that was a great idea, and expand the album into just a regular Tribute CD". Said Cameron.

But finding a singer was very hard. "I remember the first guy I asked rejected me and disappeared entirely, and I thought 'well that's the end of this project then". Cameron explains. "But I found a great guy on Fiverr, Lucas was his name, he was great and really helped me out when I needed it. He was really easy and fun to work with, no egos , no complaints or nothing. Alberto mixed the track for me when it was done. I enjoyed it very much."

The first album's opener is of course, Cameron's own version of  Smoke On The Water - which features him playing on a Olympic White Fender Stratocaster. That's his friend Harris Stamos on Vocals. "I still don't know how I was able to get him to do those songs on this album, that and (Black Night), I was helping him out with another project and he said he'd be happy to jump on this album with me so that was great." 

Though there were one or two doubters, and some rejections and other disappointments, the Tribute album went on surprisingly well when it started getting picked up. "I remember I had some ego problems with one or two people that I chose to not work with so I had to find somebody else to fill in some instruments for me." said Cameron. "I found this great guy, once again on Fiverr, called AEONIX Productions, he's a good friend of mine from Singapore. He basically helped save this album, I wouldn't have been able  to do Highway Star without him, and he nailed it. I liked him so much I used him 2 more times, on 'Fireball' and 'Stormbringer'"

Cameron's band, Pirate Party The Band also help out a lot on this recording. "Those versions were a lot of fun because they were just so different, wacky and very spontaneous." Cameron explains. From Smoke On The Water, to Space Truckin' and a very frantic & chaotic version of Speed King. James T Kaiser, Pirate Party The Band's other half, said he really enjoyed singing Space Truckin' especially. 

"I also have fond moments of 'Demon's Eye' and 'Hush' which was performed by lounge singer extroadinaire 'Dick Nipples'. "We've recorded When A Blind Man Cries about 100 times. So we did a version on this album. Pictures of Home was very fun to re-arrange as well, bass solo and all."

"Never Before was good too because I brought over my friend Zadyd , who worked with me on the 'Whole Lotta Nothing - Best Hits Re-Recorded' album from 2017. He engineered the drum recording in my room for the song. That was before I got my current recording equipment I still use today."

These albums have been met with much praise from listeners, and Cameron's fans alike as well. He decided to put the tag "Cameron Hons & Friends' at the beginning of the album because all of the people he worked with on it ended up being good friends of his. There were musicians used from all around the world, from Australia, to Italy, London & Singapore! Check out volume 1 here!

Cameron Hons & Friends - A Tribute To Deep Purple

Released - May 28 2020 

01. Smoke On The Water (Feat. Harris Stamos)
02. Strange Kind Of Woman (Feat. Lucas Shady & Alberto Rigoni)
03. Black Night (Feat. Harris Stamos)
04. When A Blind Man Cries (Feat. Justin Patford)
05. Never Before
06. Smoke On The Water (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
07. Demon's Eye
08. Space Truckin' (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
09. Black Night (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
10. Pictures Of Home
11. Speed King (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
12. Hush (Feat. Dick Nipples)
13. Highway Star (Feat. AEONIX & Jason Meekins)
14. Fireball (Feat. AEONIX)
15. Stormbringer (Feat. AEONIX)

In 2021, Cameron returned with not 1 but two Deep Purple tribute albums. "The first one was a lot of fun.' said Cameron. "I wanted to do a second one with a lot of songs that didn't fit on the first album. I did a recording of "Wring That Neck"' that lasted for about 11 minutes and couldn't fit on the disc!"  Volume 2 opens up with Cameron performing the classic MK 1 track "And The Address." "And The Address is a great instrumental, and it opens up the debut Deep Purple album, "Shades of Deep Purple" from 1968. I thought it would be cool if I open up the second Deep Purple tribute album with 'Address' as well." It is a smashing take on the tune. Next up, is a great version of the fan favourite "Knockin' At Your Back Door'. featuring friend of Cameron Hons, Tom Adamson on vocals.
There is a massive cover of Perfect Strangers on here featuring Alberto Rigoni, Siddhant Sharma, Marco Minnemann, and Albert  Marshall. with Cameron on keyboards. It is truly a great version and sounds highly professional, thanks to the production of Alberto Rigoni as well. You can check out a music video from the track which features an alternate singer, Stefano Stex Sprignadello, another good friend of Cameron who he found from Alberto in the video below.

Cameron performs "Mary Long" and "Maybe I'm A Leo" as he explains, "Maybe I'm A Leo is probably my favourite cover i've ever recorded." "Mistreated" features the wacky shenanigans of "Pirate Party The Band" and there is quite a unique take on the MK 4 classic "You Keep On Moving" which was re-arranged by Cameron entirely and features another Utopia Records friend Geoff Towner on acoustic guitars, vocals & tamborine.

Another original take of the MK3 song "Might Just Take Your Life" & MK2's Woman From Tokyo featuring the chaotic Pirate Party The Band (She makes me feel like a river, wet) "Bloodsucker" features Justin Patford on Guitars, and there is an absolutely mental Pirate Party The Band version of the Deep Purple masterpiece "Child In Time" that Cameron is surprised Police weren't called to James T Kaiser's place after the recording of the track due to the amounts of screaming.

Lastly for Volume 2 is Cameron's own version of "Burn" which the original album celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Played on a Spongebob guitar & all. A bonus track is of the Stefano Stex Sprignadello version of "Perfect Strangers".
Check out Volume 2 here!

Cameron Hons & Friends - A Tribute To Deep Purple Vol. 2

Released June 9 2021

01. And The Address
02. Knockin' At Your Back Door (Feat. Tom Adamson)
03. Perfect Strangers (Feat. Siddhant Sharma, Alberto Rigoni, Albert Marshall, Marco Minnemann)
04. Mary Long
05. Maybe I'm A Leo
06. Mistreated (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
07. You Keep On Movin' (Feat. Geoff Towner)
08. Might Just Take Your Life
09. Woman From Tokyo (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
10. Bloodsucker (Feat. Justin Patford)
11. Child In Time (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
12. Burn
13. Perfect Strangers (Feat. Stefano Stex Sprignadello, Alberto Rigoni, Albert Marshall & Marco Minneman)

Originally expected to release in 2022 but pushed forward a month, Volume 3 was recorded around the same time as volume 2 and featured a wide variety of Purple oddities re-recorded by Cameron & friends, such as 'No No No', 'Bad Attitude',  'No One Came', 'The Mule', etc. "I made a third volume because these were a lot of songs I recorded with volume 2 at the same time, and I knew they wouldn't fit on the one disc." 

"There were 2 songs I really wanted to cover, but I just couldn't find a singer for them, which were "The Cut Runs Deep" from the underrated MK 5 album "Slaves & Masters", "I just love the riff of it" says Cameron - and "Wrong Man", a more modern Deep Purple track from the 2005 album Rapture Of  The Deep. Those 2 track were partially or near completely recorded, but were not finished or added to the final product. 

Volume 3 starts off with a new version of "Smoke On The Water" featuring Lucas Shady. "Lucas came back and sung this for me which was great." says Cameron. Next up is an absolutely blistering version of Black Night by Pirate Party The Band. "This is probably the best version of the song we've ever recorded." There is another version of "When A Blind Man Cries" with Justin Patford but this one is a bit updated with alternate solos. "No No No" is another wacky Pirate Party The Band cover, and Cameron admits he had never played the song on guitar before he ever recorded it. There is another blistering version of Lazy which was recorded on Cameron's Spongebob guitar. "Bad Attitude" is quite a funky version of the song. Next up is the finally released 11 1/2 minute long version of Wring That Neck, and then "No One Came" - "I wanted to make it feel like it was the live version that I remember." said Cameron. Same with "The Mule", that includes the mid-section Drum Solo similar to Made In Japan. "Wasted Sunsets" is a good one that features the return of Geoff Towner to sing it. Anyone's Daughter was probably the most difficult song for Cameron to record in this entire project. "I'm not good at Acoustic. It's a very different Deep Purple song, it's probably the most difficult song for me to play on this album." It features country legend superstar and Pirate Party The Band guest Dick Cunt on vocals. Lastly is a Pirate Party The Band version of Into The Fire, and the album ends with Cameron's own version of "Place In Line" a classic but underrated song from the "Who Do We Think We Are" Deep Purple album.

Cameron Hons has enjoyed working on these Deep Purple tribute albums. There was certainly a lot of blood, sweat & tears put in place for all of them. But in the end, the results turned out fantastic. Well, at least Cameron thinks so anyway!

Check out volume 3 here


Cameron Hons & Friends - A Tribute To Deep Purple Volume 3

Released December 19 2021

01 Smoke On The Water (Feat. Lucas Shady)
02 Black Night (Feat. Pirate Party The Band)
03 When A Blind Man Cries (Feat. Justin Patford)
04 No No No (Feat Pirate Party The Band)
05 Lazy
06 Bad Attitude (Feat Pirate Party The Band)
07 Wring That Neck
08 No One Came
09 The Mule
10 Wasted Sunsets (Feat Geoff Towner)
11 Anyone's Daughter (Feat Dick Cunt)
12 Into The Fire (Feat Pirate Party The Band)
13 Place In Line (Bonus Track)

Cameron Hons & Friends - A Tribute To Deep Purple Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are all out on Bandcamp, and 3 Disc CD or individual sets!

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