When people ask me who my favourite singer/songwriters are, it is a bit like saying who your favourite children are. It is a hard thing to do. It would be a good bet to put some money on Michael Bryers though. He is in my top 10 favourites….I have been a Bryers fan for about the same time as I have been a Luke O’Shea fan and the Yin and Yang of Australian Country Music are magic on stage together. It all fits.
One of my fave gigs at Tamworth is a Michael Bryers’ gig. If I can’t catch the whole 3 hours at one time, I try and catch a set here and a set there. Michael has an enormous sensitivity and a great passion for the things that he believes in and holds dear. That is reflected in his performances and in his recordings.
This is a wonderful collection of songs from two of Michael’s previous albums, Somewhere in Between and Frangipani. If I heard Michael right at the gigs, these albums aren’t available anymore, so he put the songs onto one album and he is calling them the songs before the new songs. He played a few other songs at his gigs which aren’t on Sideshow, which is one of my favourite Australian Country Music albums of all time (see my top 100). These songs will go on to another album which will be produced in the next decade…..we had to wait that long for Sideshow. (Mind you, it is a masterpiece).
So that explains the set up. Michael always does things a bit differently. What he always does, though, is produce fabulous albums with amazing songs that cover a gamut of subjects, emotions, opinions and they have enormous depth. Michael is not a lightweight. His music always has meaning and they leave you thinking, re-thinking and of course, they make you feel something.
Michael would have a song to please most audience members. He has a few different styles and delivers everything from different angles. He is a storyteller, like his mate, Luke, but with a different sound to Luke. Michael is more bluesy, he can belt out a ballad, and like Luke, he is a thinking fan’s musician. There are no bubblegum, fluffy throwaway songs here. This is a poet with a guitar.
For old fans of Michael, it is a chance to relive old songs in one hit, for new fans, it is a good way to gain an introduction to the quality music that Michael has to offer. If you buy this and Sideshow, you have the best of Michael and you can look forward to what is hopefully another wonderful recording of new music.
I am very proud to be a Michael Bryers’ fan. If you don’t know Michael, I hope that this helps you get started on a journey that you will never regret.
2 Lost Souls
Fall Like Rain
If I Live
John Prine Said
Look The Other Way
Nothing To Lose
Somewhere In Between
Those Were The Days
All songs written by Michael Bryers
From the albums: Somewhere In Between and Frangipani