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Dutch Tilders (VIC)
Dutch began performing blues around Australia in the early sixties starting with a home-recorded album, and eventually working with blues legends like John Mayall.
His mother in the Netherlands called him Matthew, but everyone in his adopted homeland called him Dutch.
Born in Nijimegen, Holland, 29th August 1941, Dutch sang in church choirs between the ages of seven and twelve years old, then his voice broke. At the age of fourteen, his family immigrated to Australia and settled in Frankston, Victoria.
Dutch bought his first guitar at 19 from a friend for five pounds. It was from listening to records such as Big Hill Broonzy, Blind Blake, Brownie McGhee and Lightning Hopkins, that Dutch taught himself to play. For the next few years Dutch performed the rounds of the folk clubs and coffee lounges, horrifying the folk purists with an electric guitar.
Some of the most recognised blues artist collaborations to his credit include those with Phil Manning, Broderick Smith, Jim Conway and Kevin Borich.
From folk blues through to blues rock, Dutch Tilders talent and abilities stand the test of time. Dutch won a swag of awards including The Australian Blues Music Heritage Award, Blues on Air Best Blues Recording, three Best Australian Blues Performer crowns, two Australian Blues Artist Critics Award at the Gold Coast Blues Festival, and VIC/TAS Best Song of the Year for his song Imagination Blues.
Dutch was the backbone (and later patron) in the establishment of the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society and the subsequent development and growth of various blues societies and associations throughout the country. Dutch influenced the careers and music of Lloyd Spiegel, Geoff Achison and Matt Walker.
Dutch was an integral part of national tours that have contributed greatly
to establishing his legendary status. Almost too numerous to mention, some
of his most memorable national tours were with:
Dutch Tilders voice had the clarity, depth and richness with the maturity to play his thoughts, sensitivity and knowledge of ones unique gifts of guitar and song.
Dutch was a prolific songwriter over the years, but was stubborn-minded about political statements in his songs. "I write songs about just about everything, but I never make political statements. I prefer to write little social comments about issues of smoking, drugs, alcohol or the way people treat each other."
After 45 years of performing, Dutch's voice still had depth and richness, maturity added the thought, sensitivity and knowledge of his unique guitar style. He was one of a few gifted musicians that can truly get into a note. He occupied a quite unique place in Australia: his music is as fresh and modern and very firmly in the Blues tradition.
Dutch's music truly mirrors his experience, environment and feelings. It has been said that this is the true definition of Blues music, so it may be said that 'Dutch' Tilders was a true Blues man.
Dutch won the Australian Blues Music 'Chain' Awards in 2006 for ALBUM OF THE YEAR (for 'Mine & Some I Adopted') as well as MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (for 'Smoking Women').
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Dutch Tilders featured at the Australian Blues Music Festival in 2005, 2004, 2002, 1999, 1998 & 1997. He returned for a special pre-Festival food, wine and blues event at Lerida Estate Winery (at Lake George) on Sunday 4th February 2007 as a once-off performance leading up to the big 2007 Festival weekend.
Sadly, Dutch passed away in April 2011 after a prolong battle with cancer. RIP Dutch.
Visit Dutch's website at: www.dutchtilders.com.au