Marcia Howard: A voice from the past brings the past to The Voice

Way back in 1982, one of my favorite international rock songs was a track called “Solid Rock,” by the Australian group Goanna.  I loved this song, I played the bejeebers out of it on my college radio station, and I’ve featured it several times in this blog.

You know … this track.

Over time, Goanna had several other international hits, and their music helped influence public policy in Australia – the “Solid Rock” they sang about was the sacred mountain of Uluru.

Goanna broke up and reunited several times, and while lead singer Shane Howard has stayed in the recording studio and at the forefront of social issues, his sister Marcia Howard – who also performed in Goanna – continued with her music career.  She recorded a couple of CD’s, she performed in Nashville a year or two ago…

And just recently, Marcia Howard did something that most artists of the past might not have considered.  She went on a reality TV show – for her, it was the Australian version of The Voice.

You know The Voice, don’t you?  Established musicians listen to performers as part of a “blind audition” – an audition where the artist’s only chance to impress is based on his or her vocal acumen.  The Voice has evolved into an international broadcast juggernaut, with many countries having their own iteration of the competition.

And so, Marcia Howard took the stage on the Australian version of The Voice, and – with just her guitar and her talent – performed a stirring rendition of Sting’s “Fields of Gold.”

And the rules are … if a judge hits one of those red buttons on the front of their console, they get to “select” that performer and guide them toward the next step of the competition.

There’s five judges on the Australian version of The Voice.  Two of them are the Madden Brothers – Benji and Joel Madden, the former members of Good Charlotte (“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”).  The other judges are Jessie J (“Price Tag”, “Domino”), Ronan Keating (“When You Say Nothing At All”) and Delta Goodrem (a whole bunch of pop songs that never made it over to America for some unknown reason).

Okay.  One of the members of a band that I loved for ages, someone whom I interviewed for Goldmine magazine a decade and a half ago… she’s now taking the stage.

At the last moment, in Marcia’s final words before the song reaches its conclusion, one of the judges – Delta Goodrem – hits the red button.  Marcia’s in the competition.

And for a final touch in her audition, she is asked by the judges to perform a bit of that massive hit from 1982, “Solid Rock.”

And she obliges.  That’s on the link as well.

Look, I don’t get to cheer for much when it comes to reality TV.  But here’s the thing.  I can cheer for Marcia Howard.  And I certainly hope she runs the table on The Voice and wins the competition.

She’s got the talent.  She’s got the charisma.

And now it’s time to show everybody else the results.

Good on ya, Marcia.  From a longtime Goanna fan in America.

All the best.

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