A few years ago, prolific and legendary Australian Country Music singer/songwriter, Allan Caswell entered his extremely country album in the Alt. Country category in the Golden Guitar Awards. I am not letting out any secrets here, Allan later mentioned this on Saturday Night Country on ABC radio, but he told me and SNC that the reason that he did it was because he thought that his music didn’t sound like any of the music nominated in the country sections.
Alt. Country or Americana, as it is known in the U.S.of A, is more traditional than a lot of the more pop country that is going on these days, but then, Allan has always been ahead of his time. Many of the artists that are featured on this 3 cd set (featuring 47 tracks and 47 artists) have co-written or performed with Mr Caswell. In fact, Lachlan Bryan and some of his Wildes, Jen Mize, The Weeping Willows are on his current album with him.
This album just scratches the surface of alt. country in Australia. Many could be on another album of 3 cds….and perhaps another 3 cds.
Even this mad alt. country listener, could name at least a hundred that are not on here and there are ones on here that I didn’t know. Dan Brodie probably started this genre for me, though, technically, James Blundell probably did, we just didn’t know what to call it at the time.
Dan, together with Adam young, William Crighton, Michael Carpenter, The Weeping Willows, Jen Mize, Den Hanrahan, Peta Caswell (yes, Allan’s awesome niece), Matt J Ward, Rich Davies, Lachlan and The Wildes, Not Good with Horses, Bill Jackson, Cruisin’ Deuces, Sam Newton, Katie Brianna, Peasant Moon, Mitch Power and Belle Harvey and Bill Chambers and Helen Townsend are all ones that I know and have had the pleasure of seeing LIVE and/or I have their albums. That still leaves a lot of artists on here that I hadn’t heard of or I hadn’t heard their music.
Of the ones that I hadn’t heard, there are many here to want to hear more of. Special mention to James Thomson and the Strange Pilgrims. Love the track on here, I hope that is an indication of other stuff that they play.
Lachlan Bryan has tried to explain Alt. Country a few times. I guess that it basically comes down to a fusion of a few types of country music. (we all know that there are 79 types, hey?)……I guess that it is a mix of my favourite types: traditional, folk, bluegrass and Cajun. In moments, there are some that get a bit rocky or bluesy and that’s okay too.
To be honest, I tend to stray away from compilation albums, mainly because I tend to buy albums rather than singles and I have so many of these wonderful artists’ albums that it is doubling up. For those uninitiated with the genre, ones eager to learn more or those who can’t afford to buy the thousands of albums that I buy instead of paying the electricity bill, this is one for you. It is indeed, an eclectic mix and a great introduction to the genre.
One of the reasons that I moved to Victoria was because of the awesome alt. country music scene down here. It is hard to pick a favourite track. I love David Garnham and The Reasons to Live – Worst House in The Best Street, and obviously all of the ones that I have already mentioned.
There really isn’t a track that I don’t like. It is probably the best value album of the year, not just because of the amount of tracks for your buck, but the quality and variety of them. I will definitely be looking up some of these folks that I don’t know much about and hopefully, I will hear much more of.
It takes a while to play all three cds, but it is worth every minute. A rippa of a collection…I am already listing the songs to put on the next three…..