While Neesy Smith isn't a name you may have heard, it's likely you've heard her work. Smith has worked as a backing vocalist for the better part of 40 years with some of Australia's best known artists like Kate Ceberano and John Williamson, appearing on some 24 albums.
As well has mixing with Australian music royalty, Neesy has had a number of personal projects including Fats Wah Wah, Through the Roof and Girls 2 with Michelle Chandler. These bands featured members of Men at Work, Mondo Rock and Goanna.
Neesy has appeared at major festivals including Bluesfest Byron Bay, Folk Rhythm and Life, The Apollo Bay Music Festival and Thredbo Blues Festival and opened for the likes of Vika and Linda, Jojo Zep and The Falcons and Archie Roach.
A local to the Victorian Dandenong Ranges, Neesy has been a driving force in her local music scene, mentoring up and coming artists, hosting a long running community radio program and managing local festivals and music events.
1976 BV's Album 1 - A Buker at Heart for John Armstrong (Cobbers)
BV's Album 2 - Memories of Australia for John Williamson.
Formed Trio 'Small Talk' with Michelle Chandler and Wayne Chadwick
1977 Still with 'Small Talk'
1978 Joined 'The Mike Oliphant Band' for approx 1 year.
1980 Joined 'Through the Roof' with Ian McLennan (Mondo Rock) and Robbie
Ross (Goanna) approx 1 year.
Started Duo 'Girls 2' with Michelle Chandler. This proved to be a
successful venture lasting over 30 years, performing at most Music
Festivals and in many venues in Victoria and eventually a small tour
in the US. We supported Archie Roach, Vika & Linda, Tidas and JoJo Zepp.
1982 Joined 'Sha Bang' approx 1 year.
Kept performing with 'Girls 2'.
1983 BV's Album 3 - Blessings for John Royal. Album features Ross Hannaford
(Daddy Cool) and Russell Smith (Kate Ceberano, Renee Geyer and Vika &
Kept performing with 'Girls 2'.
1984 Joined 'Pet Rock' with John Rees (Men at Work) approx 2 years.
1987 Started working in the office for Kate Ceberano as her Personal Assistant.
Remained here for 6 years.
During this time I performed several times with Kate including a Benefit Show for Mi-Sex Lead Singer Steve Gilpin at the Palace in St. Kilda filmed by MTV.
Performed with African Singer/Percussionist Jean-Paul Wabotai (Managed by Kate Ceberano Productions) at a few venues and at the Byron Bay Blues Festival.
Still doing performance with Michelle Chandler as 'Girls 2'
1995 Joined 'Groove Zoo' with Boris Falovic (Dugites) and John Crosby (Grace Knight) and Michelle Chandler. Lasted about 1 1/2 years.
1996 BV's Album 4 - 'Breathe' for Sue Sears.
1997 BV's Album 5 - 'Raw Spirit' for Richard Cooke
Joined The Richard Cooke Band and stayed 5 years performing at a variety of Venues and Festivals.
1998 BV's Album 6 - 'Storyteller' for Matt Stonehouse.
Recorded Album 7 - 'Waking' by Girls 2. This was the first album I did lead vocals on and co-wrote half the songs with Michelle Chandler.
We launch the CD at the hightly acclaimed venue 'The Continental' in
Prahran to a full house. Richard Cooke also launched his CD Raw Spirit
on the same night.
1999 BV's Album 8 - 'Raze the Roof' with award winning singer/songwriter Phoebe Timmermans. I performed with her for about 6 months.
Co-Ordinated 'The Mighty Handful Road Show' for the Melbourne Fringe Fest
performing as Girls 2 joined by Mal Webb (Oxo-Cubans and ), Penelope Swales, Jan Preston, Richard Cooke and Riley Jordan.
BV's Album 9 - 'Inside Out' for Michelle Chandler Solo Album.
2000 Still performing with Richard Cooke Band and duo Girls 2.
BV's Album 10 - 'Candy for my Ears' for Sue Sears.
BV's Album 11 - 'Michelle Chandler & Friends Live' at Frankston Guitar Fest.
2001 BV's Album 12 - 'Positive Steps' with a variety of Female Performers to help raise awareness and funds for Women with AIDS.
BV's Album 13 - 'Songbirds Live' with Monica Weightmann, Michelle Chandler and myself sharing the vocals.
2002 BV's Album 14 - 'Animals have Souls' for Richard Cooke. My second album with him.
2004 BV's Album 15 - 'Daylight Screams' for Richard Cooke.
Joined 'Dogma Free Gospel'(DFG) a reggae band that lasted 3 years.
Still performing with Girls 2 and Richard Cooke Band.
2005 Bv's Album 16 - 'Long Gone the Day' for Dogma Free Gospel (DFG)
Joined 'South of the River Gospel Choir' and stayed for 3 years.
Joined 'Fats Wah Wah' and stayed with them for 9 years performing at long standing residencies at The Rainbow, St.Andrews Hotel, The Baha Bar and The Scarab Bar along with many other Venues and Festivals. (Mordialloc Food and Wine Fest, Appollo Bay Fest, Thredbo Fest, Folk Rhythm Life)
At this point I went into overload as Fats Wah Wah were far to busy so I stopped working with Girls 2 and Richard Cooke.
2006 BV's Album 17 - 'South of the River Choir' self titled CD, Launched to a full house at Chapel off Chapel with special guest Geoff Atchison.
South of the River Choir come 3rd in the 'ABC Australian Choir of the Year' aired Nationally by the ABC.
BV's Album 18 - 'Fats Wah Wah' with Fats Wah Wah.
2007 BV's Album 19 - 'Fats Wah Wah Live' with Fats Wah Wah. (Soundvault Records and JB HiFi)
BV's Album 20 - 'Dreaming' for Indigenous Rapper/Singer Warrenn Foster through the ABC.
2008 Completed Cert 4 in Small Business. Started Sargasso Singing School.
2009 BV's Album 21 'Surf's up in Gembrook' with Fats Wah Wah. (3rd Album)
Started at souther Cross Primary School as Specialist Teacher (Singing, Rhythm and Performance to year 5/6 students and running the School Choir.
Stayed for 2 years.
Formed a Jazz Trio called 'Cabin Fever' who also ran a weekly Open Mic at Kellys Bar in Olinda.
Completed Cert 4 in Training & Assestment of Music.
Started performing again as Girls 2 preparing for a tour of the United States.
2010 Re-Released the 'Waking' CD then went to the United States and performed and promoted the CD in Boston, Nashville and San Francisco. We also did a 1 hr live show on Berkeley Radio KPFA 94.1 FM - San Francisco.
2012 Started my own Radio Show called 'Now and Then' on Radio 3MDR (Mountain Distric Radio) 97.1 fm. I'm still doing the show 2017.
BV's Album 22 - 'Monterio Deli....' Fats Live at St Andrews 4th Album
2013 BV's Album 23 - 'Black Soul White Heart' for Dan Licht.
2014 Became a Board Member of 3MDR - Finished with Fats.
Started and Open Showcase to support up and coming musicians at Forest Edge Restaurant called 'Groovin on the Edge' Ran for 2 years.
Started Co-Running the 'Leggacy Sessions' and joined 'The Alex Legg Memorial Foundation'(ALMF) supporting musicians.
Performing regularly with Girls 2 and in Jazz Duo/Trio with Stewart Kohinga.
2015 Joined band Ziah Ziam, stayed for approx 1 year.
Started performing again in duo with Michelle Chandler.
2016 Joined 'The All Stars Disability Choir'.
Performed with Stewart Kohinga at the Karralyka Centre for the 'Maroonhah Mayors Ball'.
BV's Album 24 'Unravelling' for Michelle Chandler.
Joined 'The Skylarks' a 9 piece Jazz/Soul Band, Houseband for new Venue The Skylark Room.
Started Recording EP with Luke Sassafras - 4 tracks. Still in progess.
2017 Preparing for my first EVER Solo Album !!