This is the official website of The Field, Australian down home slide guitar jazz outfit
founded by Bruce Reid from the Blue Mountains. Make your self at home.


Latest News

Sista Mary features The Field today on her Mystery Train Program on Bayfm. Check out bayfm.org 

Big Thanks to BayFM's Sista Mary for her feature today on The Field. I loved being compared to the likes of Ry Cooder and Bill Frisell. Check it out at bayfm.org 

A wonderful photographer, Peter Karp, put together a great slideshow from the photos he took of our launch of Merle Takes A Holiday at the Presbyterian Hall in Springwood a few weeks ago. Just beautiful work!


The fun, finely tuned instrumentals continue with the Field's third CD, Merle Takes a Holiday, with a fine new batch of guitarist Bruce Reid's compositions and a guest appearance from singer Tina Harrod.

Catholics' founder Lloyd Swanton contributes originality on double bass, as does Hamish Stuart on drums and percussion and his brother, new member John Stuart, who plays electric guitar and congas. The group continues to find original shared ground between country music and jazz and works very well with intertwining textures.

A Review of The Field's Launch of Merle Takes A Holiday at Venue 505

Live @ 505 with The Field - Aug 15, 2012 |

Last Thursday The Field put on a brilliant show at the 505 venue, playing plenty of smooth and warm tracks from their new album ‘Merle Takes A Holiday’. The audience was also treated to the smoky vocals of the brilliantly talented Tina Harrod who gave a captivating and magnetic performance over the evening.

The Field – consisting of founder and slide guitarist Bruce Reid, guitarist John Stuart, bassist Lloyd Swanton and, drummer Hamish Stuart – played a diverse series of songs throughout the night. From ‘Light on Your Feet’ (An aptly named light-footed track.) to the title song ‘Merle Takes a Holiday’, evocative of palm trees and road-trips into brightly coloured sunsets.

Early in the performance Bruce Reid introduced us to the BanSitar, a new instrument combining the exotic sounds of the sitar with the playing techniques and tuning of the banjo. This odd marriage made for a playful and striking sound in tracks such as Bansitarra Waltz.

Overall the evening was a wonderful ride on the full spectrum of The Field’s talents. The 505 staff were welcoming and attentive and the atmosphere was idyllic and cheerful.

The Field  on Radio National's The Inner Sleeve music show with host, Robbie Buck- Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012

Robbie Buck started off his show today with Golden Slumber, the closing track on The Field's new album, Merle Takes A Holiday. It features the wonderful singer, Tina Harrod, who co-wrote the song with me. I love you Radio National! Here's the link to listen to the show.


Review of Merle Takes A Holiday by Tony Hillier, in the Sept edition of Rhythms Magazine




World-infused jazz or jazz-infused world music … take your pick! Semantics aside, The Field’s third release offers as classy a selection of roots flavoured instrumental creations (and one song) as the group’s previous albums, again delivered refreshingly free of ostentation with genre boundaries blurred. You’d expect nothing less from Canada-born slide maestro Bruce Reid and his band-mates from the catholics (double bass go-to man Lloyd Swanton and drummer Hamish Stuart).


Reid colours his self-compositions with a well-balanced combination of national steel, dobro and electric guitar, working in tandem with John Stuart’s electric guitar. The guitarists’ dialogue reaches a peak in ‘Light On Your Feet’, a quirky tune that harks back to old-time folk dancing. They duet again on the Scottish-slanted air ‘In The Evening’ before drums and bass return for the Irish-flavoured second half of the medley ‘Celticism’, the latter evoking memories of Reid’s brief partnership with Fairport Convention’s legendary fiddle player Dave Swarbrick in the late 90s’ trio Eureka.


The Field’s engine-room lays down an understated bossa nova cum Caribbean counter rhythm on the jaunty swing thing ‘Merle Takes A Holiday’ with Reid’s country-informed lead electric guitar work alluding to Merle Travis (or perhaps Merle Watson — maybe both). Later, ‘The Neighbourhood’ also exhibits a subtle Brazilian influence. The opening ‘Anoure and Akbar’, on the other hand, is imbued with a gentle Middle Eastern inflection. Likewise, ‘Country and Eastern’. ‘Floyd Cramer’ has more of a Nashville feel, as befits a tune named after one of the architects of the Music City sound. Tina Harrod adds sultry vocals to ‘Golden Slumber’, the closing jazz ballad that she co-authored.

Merle Takes a Holiday is officially launched! We had two great nights, one in Sydney at Venue 505 last Thursday night and a Blue Mountains launch in Springwood on Saturday night. Lots of folk turned out for both gigs and The Field along with our very special guest Tina Harrod played all the right notes. Eastside FM sponsored Thursday night and the second set was broadcast on their 89.7 band. They were also filming most of the night so I'm hoping to get a hold of some of the footage and the recording to post up on this site. 
The Saturday gig at the Presbyterian Hall in Springwood up here in the Blue Mountains and was part of the Live@theVillage series. I'm part of that group so I had a hand in planning the night which included a screening of One Night the Moon, a film directed by Rachel Perkins and produced by Blue Mountains residents, Kevin Lucas and Aanya Whitehead. It's a beautiful film, tragic and sad, but captivating. It was a perfect mix, The Field and The Film. 

On the weekend we performed twice on the ABC to promote the two launches for Merle Takes A Holiday happening this week. First up was Andrew Ford's " The Music Program" on Radio National. Had a fine time and played Merle Takes a Holiday and Floyd Cramer. Then we hustled over to Simon Marnie's Weekend show and did a spirited version of Merle as a trio as Lloyd had to head to Canberra. Here are the links if you want to have a listen. I can't find the hyperlink, sorry.



That's right two launches. The first launch, presented by Eastside Radio, will be on Thursday, August 9, at Venue 505, 280 Cleveland St, Surry Hills, one of the best listening venues in Sydney. We will have special guest, Tina Harrod sitting in with us on both nights. Tina is undeniably one of this country's finest singers and has collaborated as a writer and been a featured vocalist on both Merle Takes a Holiday and News from Home, our second CD. We are honoured and extremely happy to have her as our guest on BOTH nights!

On Saturday, August 11, The Blue Mountains Launch of Merle Takes A Holiday will be at the Presbyterian Hall 160 Macquarie St, Springwood, and is presented by Live@the Village, the wonderful community based group which has hosted some of the country's most interesting ensembles including; The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, The catholics, Tina Harrod ( our guest on the night), Michelle Nicole, Jonathon Zwartz, Mara, The Sandy Evans Indian project, Kristin Berardi and Gary Daley's fantastic Sanctuary project. We're very proud to be part of the LATV series. The evening will include a rare screening of One Night the Moon, the acclaimed 2001 Australian musical, directed by Rachel Perkins and starring Paul Kelly

These will be two special nights! See you there. 

It's all Here Man. 

A tree change to the Blue Mountains helps produce a new CD by The Field, their third, entitled, “Merle Takes a Holiday.”

Slide guitarist and the founder of The Field, Bruce Reid, has teamed with noted guitarist, producer/engineer and long-time resident in the Blue Mountains, John Stuart along with The Field’s legendary rhythm section, bassist Lloyd Swanton ( also a recent Blue Mountains immigrant) and drummer Hamish Stuart ( alas, still in Sydney) to create a soulful return to form.

The Field’s stylistic mix of Celtic, Country, Jazz Blues are strongly in evidence along with strains of the sub continent on the CD’s opening track, Anoure and Akbar. There is a calypso meets country bounce on the title track Merle Takes a Holiday and Reid continues to revel in his Celtic heritage on In the Evening and Celticism

While the lightly swinging Light on your Feet evinces Ry Cooder’s “Jazz” album, his great tribute to trumpeter Bix Beiderbeck, Country and Eastern melds second line funk with Middle Eastern motif . The album closes gracefully with Australia’s great soul diva, Tina Harrod featured on an achingly beautiful lullaby, Golden Slumber, which she co-wrote with Reid.

Lloyd Swanton’s playfully melodic bass drives The Field throughout, and his solo’s on Merle, Floyd Kramer and Golden Slumber provide some of the album’s most scintillating moments. Hamish Stuart is clearly one of Australia’s most sensitive and innovative percussionist’s. His work on Merle is appropriate and unpredictable at the same time.

John Stuart, in his multiple-roles, as co-producer, guitarist and engineer has facilitated some serious fun and the weave of the Stuart/Reid guitars is a prime element on the album. Finally, on Merle Takes a Holiday, Bruce Reid has produced some of his most engaging song writing in the Field’s ten years of existence.