Arts & Entertainment

Archie Roach Joins YouTube

Photo: Jo O'Keefe

By Jarrod Wolfhunter

Australian music legend and cultural icon, Uncle Archie Roach (AM) has released his latest extension to the Archie Roach Foundation; Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns.

Kitchen Table Yarns is available for viewing on Roach’s YouTube Channel and is a 12 part series involving Archie sharing conversations with emerging Indigenous Artists.

The first episode is with Yorta Yorta woman, musician, composer, filmmaker, Allara Briggs Pattison, who is also involved in the climate justice movement. Allara’s performances are a combination of jolting spoken-word, and haunting soul that tells stories of cultural, spiritual and environmental empowerment.

Watching Uncle Archie and Allara talk music, culture, and the future is very touching in a personable and sincere way. Allara’s awe of Uncle Archie is obvious, knowing exactly what his contribution to Australian music, and Australia itself involves. Uncle Archie is a doting figure in the engagement; obviously very proud to be sharing a space with such an enormous, emerging Indigenous talent.

Allara’s performance of Rekindled Systems leaves Uncle Archie almost speechless; his pride towards her is palpable, and the entire scene is very moving.

Uncle Archie has cancelled his planned final Australia-wide tour including an August stint throughout Regional NSW because of the pandemic.

Despite this obviously devastating setback, the Australian icon has instead turned to the digital world to recapture Australian audience attention with his yarns about his seminal album, Charcoal Lane, which he has recently re-recorded. This is also available on his YouTube channel, Archie Roach: Back to Charcoal Lane Series.

As Uncle Archie battles with Chronic-Obstructive-Pulmonary-Disorder, he finds himself permanently on tank oxygen to supplement his waning oxygen levels.

This, however, has not slowed him down. Instead it has seemingly caused Archie to double-down on his efforts to give young Indigenous artists a leg-up to break into a very competitive industry, in what is the hardest time in history for Australian musicians and artists.

In Archie’s words, “I hope to be a signpost for others, to walk alongside and empower them to tell their story through the arts to point them in a deadly direction; in particular young people within the youth justice system.”

Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns comes at a time when we’re all struggling with isolation and uncertainty. Archie waxes lyrical on the importance of storytelling as a means to pass on experience, wisdom, and knowledge. And how storytelling allows us to feel a strong sense of belonging.

Tune in to lay witness as an Australian legend passes the torch on to future Indigenous household names, and support the Archie Roach Foundation.

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