Hunting the Squirrel with Alex Borwick


Slow sliding horns & guitars w Alex Borwick

In the depths of 2020 pandemic lockdown, recording this tune with good friend (+ brilliant musician & producer) Alex Borwick was a consuming distraction, a joy, and a reaffirming way to keeping making music in collaboration – all the way between Ireland to Australia.
I hope you find some slow space & solace in it too.

Alex recorded his mesmerising horns in Dublin, I recorded some slide (and a few impro overdubs) in Morwell (Oz), & Alex smooshed them together.

Massive thanks to Al at Aldoc Productions for putting this beautiful little video together (& to Parvathi & Ananth for first requesting this tune!)

A traditional Irish tune arranged by Dan & Alex (inspired by The Gloaming).
Alex Borwick (Trombone) –
Dan Musil (Slide Guitar) –
Audio recorded by Alex Borwick & Dan Musil, mixed by Alex Borwick.

(Sharing) One World

Sharing a world in pandemic….
It’s been quiet on the music front of late. All gigs have been cancelled & in-person jams pretty much banned (love to all the music/hospo/(all) workers out there doing it tough), and my brain ever-drawn to the terrors of the unfolding news and the thesis I’m supposed to be finishing. So I don’t have any new original tunes to share yet…

But the (privileged) time at home and the need to keep playing has given me a chance to muck around with a song from one of my all-time favourite songwriters & guitarists, John Martyn.
And this song in particular speaks to me in this moment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it unavoidably clear the truth we’ve always known – that we have one world to inhabit and share together, that our wellbeing is ultimately inseparable from the wellbeing of all others here. It’s also highlighted just how unequal and unequally prepared folks everywhere are, to be well. At the same time, the crisis made it hard to know how to act on that fact – how to enact solidarity in (and as) physical isolation… (your suggestions very welcome!).

While I kinda resent it (and beware the risks of endless screen time) I know my mental/emotional wellbeing has definitely been helped by interacting & sharing with people ‘virtually’ of late, AND by playing some music.
So with all that in mind, here’s a little Morwell living room offering from someone grappling with “what it means to find our way in one world”… #justpostsomehing

Link to video of my version of John Martyn’s ‘One World’ here.


Sliding some Snake time

I just had to share this little treat – an experience that really cheered me up after a summer of bushfire destruction & despair. #climatecrisis

Here I was, for a little (too rare) walk & search for trout in the lovely Morwell National Park, not too far off the Grand Strzelecki Track, when I met this stunning little tiger snake, who I think was also on the hunt, probably for frogs(?). Thanks to some welcome above-average January rain, the creek was flowing really well, and this beautiful banded friend was just so mesmerising in its swims up and down the creek and around my feet, I had to capture some on my phone (though, excited Dan did this in portrait mode…saaarry).

And so taken I was by this encounter, at a friend’s suggestion I slapped together a quick take of a slide guitar track inspired by these snake times. I hope you enjoy this snapshot as much as I did, and that it gives you hope like it does me.

Link to video here.

This little part of the Morwell National Park was pretty barren ex-farmland only a couple of decades ago, but thanks to some legendary volunteers (Friends of Morwell National Park) who replanted it (and with Parks Victoria, continue to maintain it), it is now a precious bit of habitat for slippery friends like this, as well as heaps of koalas, lyrebirds,, platypus, wombats, wallabies, echidnas, eels, congoli (and yes, the odd trout), and lots of other mates I often see on my wanders there, and the park connects some priceless patches of remnant rainforest and older bush.

Life has a wonderous capacity to keep keeping on, aided (or not) at times by our efforts no doubt. Here’s to making sure we find ways to exist, that better allow all of us to keep keeping on together.
#Morwell #Tigersnake #CarnTheMightyMorwellTigers #Hope #SnakesRCool #ImprovisedCinematicSlideGuitar

Live ABC Radio Performance & Interview

It was great to be invited in for a chat & a few tunes live in the ABC studio a couple of months ago.
And in case you missed it, I’ve finally got around to uploading the audio! There’s also a live-streamed video of a couple of the tunes.

Hear the full audio here (minus the weather report & and a bit of etc that I’ve edited out).

Had a fair old time talking about music, ‘welcomes’, activism & broken noses, and singing a coupla songs while desperately trying to hold off a persistent cough…

‘All Aboard’, a mashed set of the trad Celtic ‘Jim Wards Jig’ and Merle Travis’s ‘Dark as a Dungeon’ both got a run.
It was also rare outing of the recently named ‘Before Tomorrow Calls’, I song wrote about my time living in Indonesia and the wonderful welcoming friends there – dedicated to rock-star-buddy Jali.
You can hear the individual songs below.

Thanks to the ABC Gippsland crew for having me in, and for the great work they do!



Live at Spectrum

I was luck enough to be a feature artist on the great local music show Live at Spectrum last week, playing a few original tunes and having a chat. It was a lot of fun! Catch up & watch the whole episode here:

Live at Spectrum, now in its second season, is a seriously brilliant community-driven project that gives voice to local musicians, artists & music lovers. I take my hat off to the crew who make it possible every month!
Subscribe to their youtube channel to catch each new episode, and catch up on past ones too.

Thanks also to good mate Beau Atkinson for joining me for a few tunes, and taking a punt on one we’d barely rehearsed!

Irish Slide Guitar??

I’ve long had a deep, hard-to-describe love of traditional Celtic music, and love to romanticise my Irish roots. (‘Musil’ is a Czech name from my Dad’s side of the family, on my Mother’s side is a big Irish mob – hence the sunburn & *in certain light* ginger-tinged beard.)
Despite this love, I’ve only started actually learning a few jigs and reels over the past couple of years.

“Why not learn a bunch of Celtic tunes on the dobro??” I thought. So I did.
And I’m still enjoying noodling out more and more of them, and finding out how lap-slide can (and sometimes can’t) slide right into playing tunes and rhythm in the Celtic sessions I try to frequent close to home.

So here is a set of my current favourites, arranged slightly differently, played roughly…  Given I’m playing slide, I thought I’d blues-up and minor-key a slow version of the first tune, ‘Behind the Haystack‘, which is followed by a Gloaming-inspired version of ‘Rolling Wave‘ and closed with a (very rough) arrangement of the ‘West Clare Jig‘.

I hope you enjoy them! (and feel free to let you know what you think).
Might see you at a session sometime soon….

I’ll post some more at some point soon – like the facebook page to stay in the loop, or get in touch to join the email list.

UPDATE 2021: Here’s another Celtic-Blues mashup – a fuzz stomp frolick of The Ashplant Reel on dobro, with a loop pedal. It feels a little blasphemous for the trad listener, but it was fun…