Reviews: Fortune

MusicOz Blues Award 2003

A contemporary blues album encompassing soul, jazz, gospel, funk and world music, loops and sound effects, and featuring the spectacular voice of Sydney (ex-Chicago) singer Doug Williams. Two songs from the album have already won awards – the 2003 MusicOz Blues Award for “Tell me Blues” and second prize in the 2004 ISC International Songwriting Competition for “Strong Medicine”. BB King was among the judges for this award. Fortune  was reviewed in Rhythms magazine as  “one of 2003’s outstanding releases” and given 4 stars by both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Sun Herald.


With a little help from the soulful voice of Doug Williams, Peter Gelling’s bristling imagination has blown apart any strait-jacketed preconceptions of the blues without losing the music’s beating heart. This is an album of constant surprises … tied together by the sumptuous sound quality, by Gelling’s stinging guitar and superbly crafted arrangements, and by the smoky vocals of Doug Williams … Includes one of the best versions of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ you will ever hear … Among Gelling’s originals, blues still feature prominently, as does some crunching R&B.

★★★★ John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 January, 2004.

Adelaide guitarist virtuoso Peter Gelling breaks new ground with one of the most musically adventurous albums of blues-based music ever recorded in Australia. Fortune … incorporates loops, samples, sound effects, hip-hop and techno as he redefines the blues with musical surprises that enhance every track … one of 2003’s outstanding releases.

Billy Pinnell, Rhythms, November 2003

A cerebral approach to the blues … that brings with it a heart and soul that is firmly in tune with the history of the genre … a significant landmark on the contemporary blues landscape … Lennon/McCartney’s ‘Eleanor Rigby’ … will leave you breathless … Leonard Cohen’s … ‘Bird on a Wire’ … and the traditional … ‘Nobody’s Fault but Mine’ … are gospels of alienation … and  wonderful vehicles for the beautiful soul voice of Doug Williams … [The original] ‘If it Wasn’t for the Blues’ continues Gelling’s lesson in song about the history of the blues. Lessons like this I can take! ‘Strong Medicine’ is a nice bit of New Orleans tonic that’s easy to swallow … [while] ‘Too Late’ and ‘No Tomorrow’ dish up a hearty serve of Memphis-type soul

David Stoeckel, Blues News,SA Blues Society, February 2004.

…In short: the teacher proves he can play what he says.

★★★★ Melbourne Herald Sun, 25/1/04