Maurie Nicholson's back with Mad Hat McGrinny

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FORMER Vagabonds frontman Maurie Nicholson is back after a 10-year absence from live music with new band Mad Hat McGrinny.

The Agnes Water blues rockers are establishing a reputation for an energetic stage performance and an up-tempo brand of bluesy rock.

This weekend the band will venture to the Bundaberg region for two performances at the Avondale Homestead Tavern and the Baffle Creek Tavern.

Nicholson performed with Sydney band the Vagabonds between 1986 and 1998, supporting well-known bands such as The Angels, The Radiators, The Head-Hunters, Phil Emmanuel and the Party Boys.

His influences range from the Blues of American artists such as Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf to the rock of Robert Plant and Paul Rodgers.

Nicholson said it was good to dust off the cobwebs and return to his passion.

"It's really reignited within me," he said.

"I just wanted to get back out there and do it all again.

"Playing live is what it's all about - playing your music."

Nicholson said the new band's first performances around Gladstone suggested there was still plenty of rock in the old dog yet.

"We've been putting in a lot of work with rehearsals and I've been working hard to get my vocals going again but it hasn't been too hard," he said.

"It's like anything I suppose - once you get going you fall back into it."

The band normally performs with four of five musicians but will play with three for the Avondale and Baffle shows.

"You do get a bigger sound but we still pack a punch as a three-piece," he said.

"We're hoping people come out and support live music and live businesses."

Nicholson plans to release an EP of new material later this year.

His son Jackson, 22, has been filling in for the band on drums.

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