Roslyn Louise “Rose” Bygrave is an inspiring singer/songwriter who is renowned for compassionate songwriting which reflects on the land, love, and especially issues of indigenous and social justice. Her voice and musicianship are regarded as among the best in Australian contemporary folk.
Bygrave grew up in Western Victoria and later attended art school in Ballarat and Melbourne. Her musical career began in 1979 with the band The Salty Dogs.
Bygrave was then invited to join The Goanna Band (Goanna), rising to prominence as keyboardist/vocalist alongside Shane Howard and Marcia Howard in the early ’80s. Goanna recorded three albums and toured extensively, performing in some of the remotest areas of Australia and forging strong bonds with Aboriginal people and their culture. Their debut album Spirit of Place won the ARIA Best Album of the Year in 1982, with “Solid Rock” winning Best Single of the Year.
In 1986 Bygrave toured briefly, playing reggae with Australian Diva Wendy Saddington. Bygrave issued a solo single, “Maybe Midnight” in June, 1989 and commenced work on a solo album but nothing eventuated. Bygrave began performing solo in 1991, and has since worked as a sought after session musician.
Goanna released a fourth album, Spirit Returns, in 1998, on which Bygrave contributed three songs. The album was released at the Melbourne Concert Hall as part of the 1999 Melbourne International Festival Program.
Between 1998-99 Bygrave was involved as a mentor in the Aboriginal Song Lines program, which fosters emerging indigenous musicians.
In mid-1999 Bygrave produced and released her first solo album White Bird and in 2001 she released her second solo album Walking Home.
In 2002 Bygrave performed as the support act for Luka Bloom on his Australian National tour. In December that year she organised a major Benefit Concert called ‘Bridges to Bali’ to raise money for the Balinese victims of the terrorist attack.
In 2011 Rose collaborated with long-time friend and Goanna Member Marcia Howard, to produce a CD called Pearl.
Bygrave lives in Queenscliff, Victoria with her husband writer and poet Barry Hill.