Words by Mixdown staff
Award-winning documentary Gravel Road follows The Desert Stars, the world’s most remote Indigenous rock band.
The Desert Stars are famous across Australia for transcending cultural boundaries, with songs infused with rock ‘n’ roll, Indigenous culture and language. Lead singer Jay Minning is a Spinifex man and the community’s traditional songman. He is responsible for creating, performing and passing down songs that connect community to country.
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Dubbed “Blacca Dacca”, The Desert Stars are comprised of lead-singer-songwriter Jay Minning, lead guitar and backing vocalist Derek Coleman, bassist Justin Currie and drummer Ashley Franks. The band’s music reflects on their profound culture as the last true nomads. With songs of hunter-gatherer life and their people’s survival of the 1950’s British atomic testing at the infamous Maralinga site, The Desert Stars‘ fanbase is diverse and rapidly growing.
Gravel Road won Best Documentary Feature at Poppy Jasper Film Festival in California and Best Road/ Tour Movie at Sound on Screen Music Film Festival in South Africa. The film made its Australian premiere in Margaret River, WA at Cinefest Oz on late last year, followed by a surprise live performance by The Desert Stars. The band received so many calls for encores it ran out of songs.