About Us

Cubby House Studio is located in Garran in the ACT (phone 02 62815381).

John McCarthy, guitarist and songwriter/composer, performed with various bands during 1960s and 70s and also performed folk and blues as a solo artist.

More recently, John joined with vocalist Mike Lyons to perform jazz and original music. Together with various third members they comprise the “Mike Lyons Trio”. The repertoire includes jazz classics from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s and original compositions by John McCarthy. The group has performed at the Wagga Wagga and Moruya Jazz Festivals, Canberra Floriade, Tamworth Country Music Festival, The Adelaide Fringe Festival and various Canberra venues.

John was a founding member of the Canberra based contemporary folk/country rock band Tarr ‘n’ Feather which released its CD of original music ‘First Brew’ in December 2004. Tarr ‘n’ Feather performed at various venues in and around Canberra and also performed at Floriade, Groovin’ in Garema and the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

John, together with the flautist from Tarr ‘n’ Feather, formed the duo Diversité. Both shared a fondness for jazz and blues and provided a jazz/blues interlude between Tarr ‘n’ Feather sets. These interludes, which provided a contrast to the contemporary style of Tarr ‘n’ Feather, were well received by audiences and they were encouraged to perform their set independently. Diversité released a CD of jazz standards during 2006.

Diversité performed at the Wagga Wagga Jazz Festival and the Canberra Festival of Wine, Roses and all that Jazz where they were enthusiastically received by audiences. Diversité also performed in and around Canberra and NE Victoria.

John and Mike formed ‘The Other Side’ to provide live performance opportunities for Performance and Composition students and to showcase and promote their performance and song writing talents. Over the last few years The Other Side has earned a reputation for the quality and diversity of its music which has folk, country, jazz, rock and blues influences depending on the preferences of current members.  As well as cover versions of popular songs, the repertoire includes many original songs written by students and by John McCarthy.

The Other Side has performed in venues in and around Canberra including; Beyond Q, Bees and Co, A Bite to Eat, The Lerida Estate Winery and has appeared at Floriade every year since 2005.  The Group has appeared further afield at The Tamworth Country Music Festival, The Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Moruya and Wagga Wagga Jazz Festivals and The Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival. 
John has a Diploma in Music (Performance and Composition) and is a member of the Australian Songwriters Association, The Tamworth Songwriters Association, The Country Music Association, The Illawarra Folk Club and APRA. John teaches guitar in Canberra and is an accredited member of the Music Teachers Association.

Mike Lyons came to the contemporary music scene after teaming with John McCarthy. Having taken singing lessons for 5 years, his performing background is mainly in musicals. He spent five years singing with the Canberra Philharmonic Society Singers, a year with Rhythm Syndicate (jazz choir) and performed in several musicals and reviews.

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