Totally Biased Fan Review: Weeds – BBU (Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart)

BBU Weeds

When you get three of this country’s finest singer/songwriters together, it will always be magic. The second question that people were asking was when are you guys going to do it again. There was never any question. These three dynamos had to make another album. Whenever a chunk of gold lands on your door, you always have to wonder if the next one is going to be another chunk of gold or a chunk of coal or somewhere in between. Can the magic be repeated, can the gem that was their first effort together be replicated, hmmm. Let’s see, shall we….or should I say, listen….

Generally, I am a girl who likes surprises, but not when it comes to certain things….like when I am going to listen to a BBU album. I expect great harmonies, gentle strumming, maybe a song that you can clap to, a song that may have appeared on another album and well crafted songs with thoughtful lyrics and maybe a lesson or two. Yay, I got all of that here. I didn’t want to be shocked by a heavy metal song or a Sex Pistols tune. Not that there is anything wrong with those sorts of things but when it comes to a BBU album, you really don’t want to hear it. There is only one real surprise on the album and it is a poignant one, and I must confess that I shed a tear or two when I heard it, but more on that one later.

One of my favourite songs from last year was the song that Kalesti Butler sang on her album called Just Down the Hall, penned by Kevin Bennett and Lola Brinton so you knew that it could possibly turn up on this album. Both are great versions.

Kevin, Lyn and Felicity are all different kinds of musicians. They have their own stories and delivery. Separately, they have had great success and they have their own dedicated audiences. I could listen to Lyn sing all day. Felicity has so many different ways of singing and writing that you wonder as a solo artist, which way she is going to go next and of course she has had great success as a presenter on ABC’s Saturday Night Country. Kevin is a legend. He has been a part of one of the best bands to come out of the Australian Country music field with The Flood and he has co-written songs for many Australian artists. Bringing the three together in the first place was probably not a trio that a lot would expect to hear together. While they are all very brilliant in their own right, it is not an obvious fit. When they do come together, it is like magic.

With this album, they probably went with the adage “when you’re onto a good thing, stick to it” and it was a good idea to do so. Why mess with perfection? Each song brings one of the three to the lead, much like they did on the last album.  I think that most folks in life want this kind of formula. It is not to say that this one is exactly the same as the last, it just follows a path that is tried and tested and it works.

The last track includes our beloved late and great Karl Broadie and it is a lovely touch. Had he still been alive, it could have well been a quartet, BBUB, as he would have been a perfect 4th member. Of course, we carry him with us wherever we go. It is a nice tribute and a beautiful song to round off proceedings.

I am glad that they went with another album. It would have been a bit sad to leave it at just one. I am looking forward to seeing them soon in Victoria. This album is a collection of beautiful songs that your ears will enjoy and your heart will remember.

 

Tracks:

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Totally Biased Fan Review: Philosophies – Bec Hance

Bec Hance Philosophies

Bec Hance has been around for a while. She is firmly entrenched in trad. country in Australia. I finally got to see her LIVE several times in Mildura a few years ago. She keeps the old style going with a fresh coat of paint and a twist or two. From what I have heard and seen of Bec, I think that what you see is what you get, which is not only a country thang, but it is a very Aussie thing.

The opening track to this album is a good way to start that theory, with a no holds barred study of reality tv shows. I think that we will all have a few nodding moments when we listen to this. Luckily, a lot of us can remember when tv was very different in Australia.

A lot of Bec’s songs are about characters, characters that we run into down the street and in the pub or just in the neighbourhood. We get bang for our buck on this album with 15 tracks, a lot of them which we can easily relate to.

Size 10 is partly amusing and partly a bit too close to the truth. I think that I was a size 10 when I was 2. I often think that women are more likely to write songs about their size than guys. You  look fine, Bec.

Philosophies are generally the wise interpretations of life. They are often different and sometimes the same or similar to others. Bec covers a lot of viewpoints on this album, it is aptly named. Philosophies can be complicated, intellectual or simple and sweet.

We all tend to have an elder who has been a mentor. Most likely, it is a grandparent. Things stick. Generations remember.

The Seekers’ classic has been countrified. I’ll never find another you has always been one of my favourite songs, I even have been known to say that if I ever got married, I’d have it at my wedding. Folk and country a short step from each other….this works.

You can’t get more Aussie than How do you say it Mate? We were only discussing this the other day, considering that I am a New South Welshman living in Victoria. Every state has a different way of saying things….I can definitely relate to this song. I have been all over Australia and I totally understand this song.

From the fun of one song, to the sadness of another. Again, all too true. It happens every day. A lot of dog lovers will feel this one. It Breaks Their Heart will touch a lot of hearts.

Everyone’s moving to Melbourne – I’m not sure where Bec lives, but I have moved from NSW to VIC, and I don’t have any regrets. I live in the country but I am under 2 hours via the train to Melbourne. I guess that I have the best of both worlds. I am from Tamworth, originally and I grew up on farms, so I know what she means.

Barcoo Bridle Memories is typical of what Bec is best known for, her Bush Ballads. All bases are covered on this album.

Dancing in The Rain is very much in the Bluegrass vein, and a very apt at the moment. One of my favourites on the album.

Nothing like the hurt – An interesting lyrical work comparing different kind of hurts to the biggest kind of hurt. Very clever.

Drink Like A Man – Not what I thought it was going to be about, but much better!  Certainly a different philosophy! Awesome song.

From the opening bars of this song, you get the feeling that it belongs in an old dance hall with oldtimers dancing around the floor. A beautiful and sad song, which will be a favourite for many listeners, The Love of My Life.

Bush land Boogie is exactly what you expect it to be….with a bit of yodelling too! Get up on the dance floor and do your fancy steps and your awkward ones.

Now I’m Easy – As country as they come. A sad song in many ways, a story and a half. You may need a hanky or two for this one.

A fine album, Australian to the core with more than one philosophy on life and living. I knew that I was going to like this album before I listened to it, I just had that feeling. Give it a spin and you will want to spin it again. It is as comfortable as a hat on your head and a beer in your hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks

 

1. Everyday TV Reality Shows
3:35 $2.19
2. Jelly Bean Man
3:51 $2.19
3. Size 10
3:34 $2.19
4. Grandma’s Philosophies
5:32 $2.19
5. I’ll Never Find Another You
2:40 $2.19
6. How Do You Say It Mate
2:48 $2.19
7. It Breaks Their Heart
5:00 $2.19
8. Everybody’s Moving to Melbourne
4:06 $2.19
9. Barcoo Bridle Memories
3:02 $2.19
10. Dancing in the Rain
2:37 $2.19
11. Nothing Like the Hurt
3:19 $2.19
12. Drink Like a Man
4:32 $2.19
13. The Love of My Life
4:24 $2.19
14. Bush Land Boogie
3:15 $2.19
15. Now I’m Easy
4:19 $2.19

Totally Biased Fan Review: Great Aunt – A Mess That I Left EEP

Great Aunt A Mess That I Left.jpg

In June, I attended Country Rocks the Black Dog and I heard two gals sing who left quite an impression. This EEP is what was promised to us and it has now been delivered.

It opens with a few seconds of an almost “Welcome to My Church” moment. Once seated, we get into a mixture of songs that lead us down a folky, Americana (Alt. Country) road that is not a mess at all…just a blend or fusion of styles and influences that are natural and beautifully delivered.

I wasn’t surprised to read (briefly) that this was an “at home” production. It feels like they are sitting on a verandah playing to the passers by and just having a cool jam session. This is particularly evident in “Diggin’ Holes”. One moment you feel like you are on a Native American Reservation, the next up on a mountain top and the next down on the Bayou or in a church in Memphis. My mind tends to wander a bit as I listen to music….so maybe it is just my interpretation and vivid imagination but this small but quality offering takes you to a few places.

The girls blend so well with each other. They have a great collaboration going. Wonderful harmonies and they seem to be in sync with each other’s rhythms. This is an easy EEP to repeat over and over….it is easy to listen to at any hour and you will be tapping your toes or humming the songs quite instantly and constantly.

A truly beautiful sound. Now get a full album out girls, I need to hear more.

 

1.
Refrain
2.
Head Up
3.
We Need To Start Again
4.
Diggin’ Holes
5.
Part I (They Came)
6.
7.
Oh, Cruel World