Emma Donovan & the PutBacks


What they say…

“Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer. She’s the real deal!”

Wax Poetics





Emma Donovan is an acclaimed Indigenous Australian singer and songwriter who grew up singing church songs with her maternal grandparents on the North coast of New South Wales. She started her singing career at 7 in The Donovans, a band comprised of her mother and five uncles. In 2000 Emma became a founding member of Stiff Gins, leaving the band three years later to release solo album “Changes” in 2004. She performed with The Black Arm Band, and released a solo EP, “Ngaaraanga”, in 2009, winning throughout this time various awards and even being the subject of the 2005 SBS TV documentary Emma Donovan: Gumbainggir Lady.

Meanwhile Melbourne rhythm combo The PutBacks have established themselves as one of the premier funk outfits in Australia. In their career they have opened for international funk and soul icons The Menahan Street Band featuring Charles Bradley and Aussie heroes The Bamboos and Electric Empire. The PutBacks have released several 45s through HopeStreet Recordings: respectively “The Diamond Cutter” (2009) as a split 7”, and double-siders “Busted”/”Set Me Free” (2010) and “Spanish Harlem feat. Nai Palm” b/w “The Worm” (2014).

When Emma met members of The PutBacks, she finally found a band with the gritty blues soaked tones she had been looking for. She also found, in PutBacks bassist Mick Meagher, a co-writer and collaborator on the the soul songs she had been waiting a lifetime to write and sing. The results are well worth the wait and hopefully, only mark the beginning of this oh-so-right collaboration!


For more:
Emma Donovan’s website
The PutBacks’ website
Emma Donovan on facebook
The Putbacks on facebook
The PutBacks on twitter