Joe Cool

Published in Billboard Magazine

 

The Australian rock act Eskimo Joe struck gold when it came across an ancient Armenian/Turkish wind instrument—the zurna.

Impressed by its distinctive, strident sound, the band used it in the opening bars of its April single, “Foreign Land.” The snake charmer-style intro mesmerized Aussie radio programmers, who put the track in heavy rotation and helped it pick up synch deals on a slate of TV shows Down Under, including “City Homicide” and “Home and Away.”

That across-the-board exposure paved the way for the band’s fourth album, “Inshalla” (Warner Music Australia), to debut at No. 1 on the June 8 Australian Recording Industry Assn. sales chart. The album was certified gold (35,000 shipments) in its first week. The act’s previous album, “Black Fingernails, Red Wine,” topped the chart in 2006 and is now certified four-times platinum (280,000 copies).

Warner Music released “Inshalla” June 26 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. “Things are looking good for them in Central Europe,” says the Perth band’s Melbourne-based manager Catherine Haridy. “We’ve put a lot of time and energy into that territory and we’re talking to labels in other parts of the world presently.”

After playing Switzerland’s Gurtenfestival July 17, the band kicks off an extensive Australian tour July 29. European headline shows will follow in October.

Eskimo Joe is published by Mushroom Music for Australasia and booked in that region by IMC. The act is booked by UTA in North America and by ITB for the rest of the world.