Most of what I went to see at Tamworth this year was calculated. I went to see my faves and those that I don’t get to see very often during the year. I am, however, always on the lookout for folks who I have heard about but don’t know a great deal about or a surprise act that I find out about for the first time. In the latter category, it was Fred Smith. In the former, it was Natalie Henry. She stunned me. This woman is a wonderful entertainer but it is more than that. Her songs were right up my alley – slow, poignant songs which had so much heart and soul that my own heart literally broke and danced with joy at the same time.
I knew a bit about Natalie’s personal story on the way in but her songs tell the whole truth. How you want to interpret the truth and how you want to embrace the adventure and combined heartache and discovery and true north of the songs, is up to you, but I found the beauty and the honesty in every word and in every note.
Natalie has obvious similarities to one of my favourites, Melody Moko, and I applaud that, for if you are going to follow anybody in music tracks, then our MM is a good one to follow.
The best songs, like stories, are those which are part of the fabric of one’s life. A true and honest account of what is real and what means something, not only to the writer and the singer but to the fan listening in.
The songs fit like the proverbial glove, country in every groove, heartfelt and pure. It is hard to pick favourites on this album, they are all fine songs, beautifully delivered and easily writing themselves into Australian Country Music folklore, not only for their words, wisdom and melodies, but for the simple way that they touch one’s heart as you play them.
Enjoy – this is truly a magnificent album. Classy and essential.
01 – Apple and Pride
02 – Water over Wine
03 – If We Said Goodbye
04 – Who I Am Today
05 – If You Love Me
06 – Mona Lisa (feat. Dean Ray)
07 – Souvenirs
08 – Down South
09 – Think Before You Speak
10 – Lonely