Delta blues and gospel soul will take centre stage at Bond University, with acclaimed musician Karl S Williams headlining the next free 'Live at Bond' concert on May 29.
Williams, who is the reigning Gold Coast Artist of the Year, has performed across Australia at Byron Bay Bluesfest, Woodford Music Festival and the Queenscliff Music Festival, as well as supporting national treasures such as Tex Perkins from The Cruel Sea, Busby Marou and Darren Middleton of Powderfinger fame.
Williams' signature sound is influenced by the blues of the Mississippi delta, country gospel and 'swampy' soul, delivered in the form of beautiful ballads and Appalachian banjo tunes.
His debut album 'Heartwood' was released in August 2015 to rave reviews, calling him Australia's answer to The White Stripe's front man, Jack White.
Williams said for the past few months he had been living in the Gold Coast hinterland, writing music and working on new material for his next album.
"Recently I have been taking some time out from touring to work on my next record, and there are a few of the new songs I have been rehearsing with the band to play for the Live at Bond crowd," he said.
"With this next album I'm aiming to make it more cinematic by trying out a lot of new ideas to make this next release even bigger and better than before.
"I have just relocated to Melbourne so Live at Bond will be like a homecoming for me, and it's really nice to be able to bring the band out as well and to perform for a home crowd."
Williams' performance will be supported by up-and-coming young talent, Deena, a former Bond University student who was recently named Queensland's 'Most Promising Female Songwriter' at the Queensland Music Awards on March 22.
Self-styled and self-taught, Deena's unique sound and performance has wowed audiences across the world in the USA, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Japan.
Deena's music is inspired by legends such as Johnny Cash, KT Tunstall and Jeff Buckley, and with the help of a fully-fledged band, her performance at Live at Bond will be bigger, grittier and darker than ever as she dives deeper in the direction of indie blues-rock.
"I just love musicians who wear their heart on their sleeve and I draw inspiration from artists who are raw and brutally honest in their writing - people like Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and Dallas Green of City and Colour," said Deena.
"Recently I have been writing for my third EP, really shaping the entire concept of the release. Since bringing my band members onboard, my music has evolved from the 'singer-songwriter' feel of my first EP to a fuller 'band' sound.
"The new direction is a better reflection of who I am and what my music is. The band is a huge part of my music and I can't deny that.
"Live at Bond is a very exciting show for me as it will be the first time I play my new material for an audience - the Live at Bond crowd will be amongst the first to hear the new songs from the EP.
"It will be a special show for me as I graduated from Bond University in 2014 and have kept a lot of friendship from my time there, so I'm excited to come back and play for them and catch up with old friends."
The Live at Bond concert series has built a strong following of fans and music lovers from the wider community and showcases a combination of professional headline artists and emerging musicians.
The free, all-ages gig on Sunday, May 29 will take place in Bond University's ADCO Amphitheatre, opening with Deena at 3.00pm and Karl S Williams to take the stage at 3.45pm.
Guests are invited to bring a chair, rug or picnic blanket and enjoy an afternoon of free music and entertainment, with two bars serving beer, wine, champagne, drinks and snacks, plus an on-site coffee van.