At Tamworth, I went to the launch of this project. I am not inventing the wheel again when I say that Mike Carr is my Australian Country Music hero. Anyone who knows my taste in music or reads my posts, will not be surprised. Yes, my reviews are biased but I do hope that I actually have an idea about what I am talking about. I do like Matty a lot too. If anyone read my review of Matty’s album, you would know that I am quite a fan of him too. But Mike and I…..well, we go way back.
They have worked together before on the Outlaws project with several other well known Aussie country music artists and the subsequent tour. Their music backgrounds are quite different, they are from different generations, but to say that they don’t go together like scones and jam is silly. These two were meant to work together. Their harmonies, their obvious chemistry on stage and on record and a certain sock and slipper comfort between these two make this pair “meant to be”.
I like the fact that they are all original songs. I was afraid that they would go down the road of some others and sing covers. Both artists are fine songwriters….Mike the best in the country, so why do that.
I somewhat jokingly referred to this combo as God and his Apprentice, but now that I think about it and I have seen them on stage together, I don’t think that I am far wrong.
To see these two work together on stage was pure joy…they were having fun and so were we. The songs – 7 of them, which technically makes this an EEP, not quite an album in oldspeak, are solid. Beautifully produced by the magician, Matt Fell, it is polished, slick but not too slick and technically faultless.
There are songs here that will stick. I can imagine crowds singing them loudly and proudly. I am also glad that they didn’t go poppy or rocky. They are warm ballads and some power tunes but not too far from the roots of what matters in country music. The guys switch leads occasionally, with others both of them in it together.
It is very hard to pick a favourite. I really like them all. There are no two songs that sound the same, they have different qualities and all songs have meaning, which is very important to me.
This is a carefully crafted album. It was not just slapped together for a bit of fun. The songs are written with great care and heart. There are songs here that are almost anthem like. “We go way back” is a great way to start, “When you think you know somebody” is a great way to finish. “Be In The Band” was an obvious choice for first single and I can see why they did it.
If I had to pick, I would have to say “If you could only see me now” is a song that will be heavy on rotation for me. “Things I Leave Behind” is my other favourite. Two exceptionally beautiful songs.
I love all of them, though, truly. 7 great tracks by two of Australia’s best. It does my heart good to hear Mike recording again, not just writing and co-writing some of Australia’s best country songs and appearing at Tamworth each year. Matt is a great partner in crime and I love these two together.
It is quite simply…….magic.
We go way back
Be In The Band
A Town Like This
If you could only see me now
Things I leave behind
When You Think you know Somebody
All songs by Matt Cornell and Mike Carr
Matt Cornell: Vocals /Bass guitar on A Town Like This
Mike Carr: Vocals/Piano
Matt Fell: Bass/Keys/Percussion/Uke/ and all sorts of other things…
Glen Hannah – Electric Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/ Mando
Josh Schuberth – Drums
Scott Aplin – Piano
Produced and mixed by Matt Fell at Love Hz studios Sydney