Totally Biased Fan Review – Reflection – Ashleigh Dallas

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The Dallas Family are Australian Country Music Royalty, particularly where I come from – Tamworth. Ashleigh is the third generation of the family to win Golden Guitars and to produce fine albums.  Even at her young age, she has already notched up a number of huge achievements and gained much respect and praise from critics, fans and her peers.

As a person, she is much loved also, and that makes reviewing her work so much more pleasurable. She has a stunning gift, which is part inherited and mostly naturally developed. She has worked hard and nothing has been handed to her. As they say, she has paid her dues.

Her life has gone through a fair amount of changes in the last few years and a maturity is present on this album at full throttle. Every album she releases is even better than the last one, and they are all super albums.

There is no mistaking Ashleigh’s roots or her style. She gives a modern twist to traditional country music and bluegrass.

Ashleigh Dallas is always true to her style and her presentation. Her music is always heartfelt, personal and quite frankly, beautiful. A lot of the titles of her songs over the years have reflected a feeling of floating, sailing, drifting, guiding gently or just a laid back feeling, like she is quite content to stop and watch the world turn and relax.

I find it very easy to mellow out to Ashleigh Dallas’ songs, but that doesn’t mean that they are frivolous or bubblegum tunes. Quite the contrary, they are easy fits, like a comfortable old slipper on your feet.

There are some subjects that are sad and deep and others which are just sweet and uplifting. Ashleigh reaches a lot of generations, showing that country music has a broader audience than most folks think. She can make you twist and shout or slow dance or just relax in an easy chair.

The addition to her family of young Harriet, perhaps the fourth generation of the Dallas family to win a Golden Guitar, has obviously had some effect on some of her songs, as it should.

Ashleigh Dallas’s albums are always a joy. There’s never a bum note or a bad song. The musicianship and production is always top notch and they always make you feel something. There are always tears and always laughter and there are always songs that get in your head and stay there.

I am proud to be a Tamworthian when I hear this young one sing and play. She’s a wonderful representative of the new generation of country musos and she always puts 100 percent into everything that she does.

She could quite possibly make it big in America, but I am selfish. I don’t want to lose her and her spirit to a land far away.

Bravo. Ashleigh just keeps getting better. Spread the word and the love.

 

 

Tracks:

01 – In the Water
02 – Slow Motion
03 – Settling Down
04 – Catherine Hill
05 – Floating on the Breeze
06 – Vacation
07 – Candles Burning
08 – Life on Repeat
09 – Childhood Diary
10 – Two Sides
11 – Harriet’s Lullaby

 

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Totally Biased Fan Review: Everything I Feel – Blake O’Connor

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Blake O’Connor won the Toyota Starmaker Award this year and he was a well deserving winner. The fresh faced young man can belt out a song with the gusto of a much more seasoned and mature performer.

His songs offer up a variety of styles from funky, to soulful to blues to acoustic country. This guy is 18. Yes, not 40 or 50 or even 30. His songs are lived in and real. There’s nothing plastic or fake about this young fella, he’s the real deal. He has been in the good hands of Adam Eckersley and that McClymont Sister, wife, Brooke, which would be a good thang.

This album is very polished and offers up something for just about everyone who likes good music. He has been on the road a bit, which would help his delivery, you can hear the performance quality on here, it is not just a singer singing songs.

Worth a little more, Nobody Else, Keep Rollin’ and If that’s what you need are my favourites, but they are all good quality songs.

It is a big ask to produce an album of this standard at such a young age, especially when it is your first. Having the variety, the voice and the musicianship of Adam and his band and some fine tuning from Nick DiDia, a Grammy award winner, no less, who mixed the album was a smart move as well.

Blake, of course, produced an EEP last year which was high quality, too and made my ears prick up and ready for more. It will be interesting to see what direction he takes in country music over the next few years, as he could go a few ways.

We are blessed in Australia, right now, with lots of young performers and producers who are making the future in country music very exciting to think about and look forward to.

Blake is one to watch.

His album will be launched at the Hats Off Festival in Tamworth this weekend.  Enjoy.

 

Tracks:

Let Me Be

Beautiful As You

If You Wanna Get To Heaven

Worth A Little More

One Way Street

Learn How To Love

Keep Rollin’

Nobody Else Can

Ain’t So High

If That’s What You Need