Australian performer Anni Piper’s sultry vocals have attracted significant worldwide interest and she secured a deal with USA label Blues Leaf Records in 2008. Piper’s latest CD was recorded at Showplace Studios in New Jersey, USA and was released in February 2013. ‘Split Second’ features Piper’s bass playing talents throughout and she shares vocal duties with talented Florida based Nicole Hart. The blues songstresses beguile listeners with butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your-mouth harmonies and heart-rending ballads of love gone sour. But as well as showing their sweet side, there’s a little spice with diverse originals and covers from Janis Joplin to Ronnie Earl.
Anni Piper began playing electric guitar at 12 years old, but became a devoted musician when she was given her first bass at age 14. She quickly discovered an affinity with the instrument, preferring to lay down a groove rather than scream out a solo. Piper’s musical ability and strong focus led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Contemporary Music) at Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW, at only 19 years of age.
Piper remembers with clarity the first time she heard the blues back in her school days (“It was Paul Butterfield Blues Band playing ‘Born in Chicago’ - I knew straight away this was the direction I was heading.” she says).
In early 2004 Piper made the decision to record ‘Jailbait’, her debut CD. The album was an immediate success, winning the category of ‘Best New Talent’ at the 2005 Australian Blues Music Awards, plus making finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’. Piper also achieved first place in the 2004 ABC Radio ‘Fresh Air’ competition. These weren’t the only accolades for ‘Jailbait’ and Piper went on to become a top 5 finalist in the blues category of the 2004 MusicOz competition, and 2nd place winner in the blues category of the 2005 Australian National Songwriting Contest.
To promote the album Piper toured Australia extensively, particularly the east coast. Festival appearances include the Woodford Folk Festival (QLD), Optus National Music Muster (Gympie, QLD), Wangaratta Jazz Festival (VIC), Echuca Blues Festival (VIC), Backwater Blues Festival (SA), Bruthen Blues and Arts Festival (VIC), Queenscliff Music Festival (VIC), and the Australian Blues Music Festival (Goulburn, NSW).
Piper’s second album ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ was recorded in early 2007. It was a much ‘rawer’ recording, and represented Piper’s live sound at the time more effectively than her first album. Already acknowledged as being an accomplished bass player and singer, this album showed that Piper had blossomed into a songwriter of distinction; her songs having a blues sensibility whilst still addressing the issues of today.
Piper’s USA debut, titled ‘Two’s Company’ was released in January 2009 and hit #1 on the Australian Roots music charts and # 21 on the USA ‘Living Blues’ chart.
Her CD ‘Chasin’ Tail’ was launched in February 2010 at the Australian Blues Music Festival, NSW. ‘Chasin’ Tail’ has also been released by Blues Leaf Records throughout the rest of the world to rave reviews. For this album, Anni chose a tougher sound, influenced by the blues / rock idols she enjoyed in her youth.
Other career achievements include nomination as a top five finalist in the 2010 Musicoz Awards in the Blues / Roots category, and finalist in the 2009 APRA Professional Development Awards. Piper was also a finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’ at the 2008 Australian Blues Music Awards and received a nomination for the ‘Rudy Brandsma’ award at the 2007 Australian National Songwriting Contest.