Soul Magic


Thanks for being here at Peggy's Muse, a music and inspirational blog.  This music has been my companion throughout my life and I am lucky to be ambassador through music and my travelling is accompanied by this soundtrack.  I hope you enjoy listening and exploring.  Please feel free to come back and check in with new additions here on this page and throughout the blog if you are so moved.





1. Soul Magic 2. Spiral Dancing 3. LIttle Dog Gone 4. Mystery Movie 5. Love Is 6. Dirty Water 7. All Roads Lead Home 9, The Loving Well 10. The Divers 11. Rapscallion 12. Parallel Journeys

Originally recorded by Robbie Rowlands at Mill road Studios Campbelltown . Mixed at 48 Volts and mastered by Don Bartley at studio 301. Released in 1994 under the title "Shine". Re-released in 1999 songs re-ordered and re-titled "Soul Magic"

This was my first solo release after finishing with my band "Martha's Vineyard."  I went with indie label Natural Symphonies and release a bunch of songs, some which were written in Amsterdam with Phil Kakulas (Martha's Vineyard, Triffids, Blackeyed Susans) under the title "Shine". We a did a short promotional run taking in Sydney, Canberra and Blue Mountains. I was 7 months pregnant with my first son at the end of tour, so I was keen to just stop and actually consider where I might be having my baby. Funny thinking back, it was such a great time recording with John Puscas a very talented musician and musicologist on co production plus the helmsman engineer and co-conspirator Robbie Rowlands. These were the early days for Robbie in his sculpting pursuits so we got to see some of his mini installations and macquettes you could say. Well the recording was in an empty warehouse in Campbelltown and we brought in a whole lot of hired equipment to set up for the two weeks we set aside to put down the tracks. I got free range to ask for whatever instrumentation I wanted on the songs so it was rather lush. I knew some fabulous musos and John also had contacts of some others if I couldn't pin down a particular player or instrument I wanted. The guys at Natural Symphonies were really sweet and this was a very fun record to make. "Shine" got some wonderful press and reviews. Later when I went completely independent the songs were re-ordered and the CD took the title "Soul Magic".

"the Mood and Feeling behind the song Soul Magic"

I remember the moment of writing this song.  Sitting in my Leura house called "Moondara" my magic getaway place right next door to the Leura Everglades and playing with the riffs and the words which were inspired by the mountains and of images of rainforest.  Something about rainforest represented for me the absolute ultimate of natural environment, unspoiled and vigorous life-force.  The cooling bubbling white rapid creeks and the ancient ferns and palms like a distant memory and wellspring of the creativity that is the natural world.  It was speaking to me then and years later I would be lucky enough to find myself in the midst of that nurturing nature the most wonderful of gifts for the soul, body and spirit.  This music flows from here and these descriptions emanate a long-standing affinity from childhood of a belonging to this nature.  I feel our heritage as a species is to return to the arms and heart of this in which ultimately we have never ever actually separated from.  Elemental dear Watson 🙂



Click the link below for more on the Soul Magic CD and to download tracks or full digital album - thanks!

Press and Reviews for Soul Magic were very favourable for my first solo release four  years after Martha's Vineyard went off the scene.

Soul Magic
Soul Magic features collaborations with some of Sydney's finest musicians and pivots around multi-instumentalist and co-producer John Puscas. The eclectic all-star ensemble includes didgeriduist Alan Dargin, legendary jazz bassist Steve Elphick, the equally luminous trumpet/flugal horn player Miroslav Bukovsky and Tim Rowlinson from the renowned acid-jazz outfit "Dig". Peggy's compositions encompass "deeply-personal nature poem, environmental protests, oblique psychedelic fantasies, symbolic self-empowerment stories and elliptical self-explorations..."

This was Peggy's debut solo cd and was met with some anticipation and some fine reviews such as the following from the local Sydney press :

Soul Magic's "sophisticated pop surface shouldn't distract you from the muscle beneath, or from van Zalm's cast as a genuine spiritual voyager in music a la Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell. .." Soul Magic "is a black stone, a memory you can't shake, one of those new beginnings won the hard way...and its great driving music as well..." Mark Mordue, Drum Media, Australian Style

"In the age of the return of the Goddess, Peggy van Zalm shines through like the true earth-mother that she is. As the lead singer/songwriter of the former Martha's Vineyard, we were alerted to the fact that she was an artist to watch out for. Now embarking on a solo career after a four year break from the limelight, she has emerged as one of Australia's most enchanting musicians. Her vocals are understated yet streaming with strength. Her songs are totally captivating, reaching deep into the soul and spirit. The eleven tracks on the album cruise from folk to soul to rock, always remaining rich, satisfying and organic." The Planet

"..A confident return for this entrancing vocalist/songwriter. Rather than hover above the instrumentation, van Zalm's alluring vocals swim inside. Delivering many standout moments like the sharp acoustic strum of "Love Is", the breathy spoken vocals of "Mystery Movie", and the mystical "Rapscallion, which was recorded outdoors (with the audible assistance from a cricket colony). If radio programmers have the grey matter to play this it could comfortably reside in both the independent and commercial charts. " Annette Basile ~ OTS

Soul Magic Musician Credits

1. Soul Magic 3:55 wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Sampling and programming: John Puscas, Robbie Rowland ~ Drums: Osama Moustafa ~ Double Bass: Steve Elphick ~ Flugel Horn: Miroslav Bukovsky ~ Percussion: (darrabhuka, shaker, cabassa, congas) Jess Ciampa

2. Spiral Dancing 3:44 wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar & vocals: Peggy ~ Didgeridoo: Alan Dargin ~ Violin: Marcus Holden ~ Electric Bass & Click Sticks: John Puscas ~ Percussion: (tapan, tambourine, shaker) Jess Ciampa

3. Little Dog (Intro) Little Dog Gone Musical Book played over the phone by Geoff Nant(with thanks to Barbara Simpson)

4. Mystery Movie 4:20 wds Peggy van Zalm & Philip Kakulas, music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Electric Guitar: John Puscas~ Double Bass: Steve Elphick ~ Drums: Peter Timmerman ~ Percussion: (ribbon crasher) Jess Ciampa, (aztek drum) Osama Moustafa

5. Love is 6:02 wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Electric Bass, Keyboard Bass & Backing Vocals: John Puscas ~ Electric Guitar: Tim Rollinson ~ Drums & Percussion: ( cabassa, tapan, darrabhuka, bamboo shaker & kit) Jess Ciampa

6. Dirty Water 5:22 wds Philip Kakulas, music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ "Howling" Electric Guitar: Tim Rollinson ~ Electric Guitar, Gong: John Puscus ~ Cello: Sarah Peet ~ Trumpet: Miroslav Bukovsky ~ Percussion: ( aztek Drum) Osama Moustafa, (udu & talking drums) Jess Ciampa

7. All Roads Lead Home (4:02) wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ violin: Marcus Holden ~ Cello: Sarah Peet~ Double Bass Steve Elphick

8. Shine (5:07) wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ vibes: Andrew Wilke ~ Trumpet & Flugel Horn: Miroslav Bukovsky ~ Electric Bass John Puscas ~ Percussion: ( mallet congas, shaker) Jess Ciampa ~ Backing vocals: Charlotte Grace

9. The Loving Well ( 3:07) wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Steel Drums: Bruce McLean ~ Electric Guitar: Tim Rollinson ~ 2nd Acoustic guitar, electric guitar(end), electric bass: John Puscas ~ Drums: Peter Timmerman

10. The Divers (4:46) wds & music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Vibes: Andrew Wilke ~ Cello: Sarah Peet ~ Electric guitar, Electric bass: John Puscas ~ Drums: Peter Timmerman

11. Rapscallion (6:28)wds Peggy van Zalm & Philip Kakulas,music Peggy van Zalm Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Electric Guitar: Tim Rollinson ~ Electric bass: John Puscas~ Drumss: Osama Moustafa ~ Percussion: (congas, woodblock, tambourine, shaker, sticks) Jess Ciampa

12. Parallel Journeys (3:56)wds & music Peggy van Zalm {Recorded Live at Sony Music Studios } Acoustic guitar &vocals: Peggy ~ Piano: Michael Bellmore ~Double Bass: Steve Elphick ~ Drums: Peter Timmerman