I was very lucky to have been to a preview of Luke’s album at Tamworth at Diggers and have the album before most folks did. However, it was like a coin burning in a little kid’s pocket, holding on to the right time to review it. Luke asked me to hold off until the launch at Young, and so I have. I don’t know if he was worried about how I would review it, but if his lovely fiancé had a word in his ear, he would know that I have excellent taste and only ever do good reviews.
Luke has kept us waiting a long time before releasing a new album. Life has got in the way, as Rose Carleo would say. I would say, it has been worth the wait. This album is just awesome. Consider the co-writers of the songs, for a start. Jay Collie, the late and great, Jasper Somerville-Collie, Luke Austen, Bill Chambers and Sam Hawksley amongst others.
Then there are the amazing musicians and Jeff McCormack…how can you go wrong? Luke is in his prime, right now. He is in a good place in his personal life, all the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit into place and he has obviously worked hard on writing the right songs for this album. I have never heard Luke sound better, and the songs are just so well crafted and produced. There is something for everyone here. I really love the Sam Hawksley penned The Right Guy, where vocally, Luke is at his best. He has that bluesy, soul driven voice that suits this song so perfectly.
Bad Seed is a great way to open the album. It is pumping and upbeat. It will get you up on the dance floor and grooving. Nothin’ on You gets the shoulders shifting and has a real catchy back beat. Get down and dig it! Luke and I are both from small towns. It is a funky and toe tapping song. I am not familiar with the writers of Let it Burn, but they fit Luke’s style. There are a lot of catchy songs on this album and this is one of the catchiest. I am a 60’s Aquarian child and a soul queen at heart. This song, What If, is pretty much that kind of vibe. Luke belts this one out with gusto. I am not familiar with Nyssa but it is always great to hear new wonderful voices. The most “country” song on the album is Hung Up on You, appropriate, considering that Bill Chambers co-wrote it and Adam Harvey features. No guesses as to what song will be featured heavily in the Kazzies this year! Awesome stuff. The Big Bad Wolf strikes me like a male version of Peggy Lee. Wow…love this song, unconventional on a Country album but right up this gal’s alley. Radio Man is a great road song. I can imagine playing this really loudly down a long dirt road and tapping my hand on the window…the title track, After The Rain is one of my faves on the album. I am unashamedly a ballad girl. This is a cross between Jimmy Barnes and Paul Kelly. I really love this song. Forever Road is another favourite. I have always loved Jay Collie’s writing. This song is a beauty. Probably the most unusual track on the album is Snake Woman. I think that Luke said at his gig that this was his son’s fave. I like the rhythm but any song that mentions a mouse is a bit icky for me. It is an interesting song though. I have already mentioned the last song. It is just fabulous.
Thanks Luke. It was totally worth the wait. Just magnificent. Very proud to be a fan and so pleased for you all. A gem.
Bad seed (Bonnie Bishop/Al Anderson)
Nothin’ on you (Luke Dickens/Jay Collie/Jasper Somerville-Collie)
One Small Town ( Luke Dickens/Luke Austen)
Let it Burn (Travis Meadows/Tent Summar)
What If – featuring Nyssa Ray (Luke Dickens/Phil Barton/Bruce Wallace)
Hung Up On You – featuring Adam Harvey (Luke Dickens/Bill Chambers)
The Big Bad Wolf – (Luke Dickens/Luke Austen/Jay Collie)
Radio Man – (Luke Dickens/Luke Austen)
After the Rain ( Luke Dickens/Matt Ross)
Forever Road (Luke Dickens/ Jay Collie)
Snake Woman (Luke Dickens)
The Right Guy ( Sam Hawksley)
Jano Rix – Drums and percussion
Steve Mackey – Bass
Rob McNelley – Electric guitar
Sam Hawksley – Acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and lap steel
Luke Moller – fiddle
Mike Webb – Piano and B3 organ
James Farrell – Piano (What if)
Dan Dugmore – Pedal Steel
Backing Vocals – Sam Hawksley, Jeanne Peterson, Joanna Janet
Nyssa Ray – special guest vocalist on What If
Recorded at the parlor by Matt Legge
Mixed by Paul Lani
Mastered by Jeff McCormack