Totally Biased Fan Review: Meg Doherty – LIVE at the WGAC

Every so often in this country music life, people tell me about an artist and they don’t just tell me, they rave and say, Kaz, you just have to listen to this person. The fact that this person is from the same neck of the woods that I live in now – must be something in the water around here – makes it even more special.

I trusted the sources, my mate and fellow music tragic, Bruce “Bruber” Speirs and one of my all time faves, singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Luke O’Shea. Meg, to the uninitiated, has a sound that is a cross between Sara Storer and Patty Loveless. If you don’t know who they are, then God help you.

Meg played a live streamed gig during Covid at West Gippsland Art Centre. When I say LIVE, it was not in front of an audience, for obvious reasons, but she played the gig anyway. This was recorded and here it is, played with no less passion than what she does normally.

If you love folk music, storytelling songs and Americana /Alt Country Music, then you will love this.

Just a girl and a guitar. And wow, what a girl and what a guitar. This album is so raw and powerful and it is only those elements. Matt Fell guided the project, but Meg is the pilot and she gave it wings.

For those unfamiliar with Meg’s work, this is a great way to start. I can see why Luke can relate to her music. As a human being, they are similar, counterparts, if you will. Meg doesn’t pull any punches, and neither does Luke.

The difference is from the perspective of gender, though Luke with a wife and three daughters can appreciate a female’s point of view. Meg’s album is even more powerful today after we have learned of the loss of Australian music icon, Helen Reddy. There are elements of Meg’s songs that mirror Helen’s songs and what she stood for.

It has been a while now since Bruber introduced me to Meg and her music. We are so close and yet so far. She is in a different place now to when she wrote a lot of these songs, but that drive is still there to tell the truth through her words and music.

There is an edge to her music, but somehow, she softens the edge and makes the songs as appropriate to just relax to on the couch as giving us food for thought.

I love Flowers, Molasses, Still Rolling , Lemonade and Catch best, but all of the songs are worth a listen.

Meg and I have had quite a journey with this album, going back and forth with technical issues, and I bought the cd, which will probably tell me a little bit more of the story, but really, the stories are in the songs and I defy you to listen to them and not be moved and not to wonder why you haven’t heard or listened to her before.

A lot of her songs are a battlecry for women, but it is amazing how many men that I know who get her music too. Such is the power of music and the lyrics that speak volumes.

You can hear the stillness in this album, but you can also hear the vital essence of “you go girl”.

Track Listing

Had to be you

Flowers

Keep it Up

Tennessee

Molasses

Burnt

Catch

America

Still Rolling

Lemonade

Recorded by Spectrum Productions, Brett Tippet, James Jones-Ellis, Jayson Bowles,

Recorded at West Gippsland Arts Centre

Mixed at Love HZ Studio by Matt Fell

Mastered by Colin Leadbetter

All songs written and performed by Meg Doherty

Tamworth – Thoughts on Cancellation.

Hats Off a few years ago – Tamworth Railway Station arrival.

People have been asking me what I feel about Tamworth being cancelled. As someone who grew up there and who has only missed a few Tamworth Festivals, it is pretty devastating. I understand why.

Living in Victoria, our borders are closed anyway and it is doubtful that they will be fully opened come January anyway. As my annual leave is dwindling, it may have been hard for me as well. Despite that, I was going to do my best to get there.

As you can imagine, going to Tamworth means more to me than just music, it is going home. Apart from that, my role has shifted from being a fan to being a fan who writes about artists and music, so it is extra busy for me. I am lucky enough to have friends who take care of me accommodation wise, but I don’t take that for granted.

As for the festival being cancelled, it is another thing in the long run of major events to be cancelled or postponed. The Golden Guitars are still going ahead in a virtual sense and there are rumours that some of the smaller venues will be having something on.

My friend, Leonie, is arranging to have a Faux Tamworth in Sydney and I am trying to get some Victorians together to do some link ups and an online festival from down here. The other states are keen to do the same. We can have our own Tamworth on air. Not quite the same as the real thing, but better than nothing. If you are interested in playing at any of these things or wanting to help me with the technical bits and venues, then please let me know. Of course, Covid will dictate a lot of things, and we have to understand why and be prepared with a plan B.

For those who have never been to Tamworth, when things get back to normal, go and experience it. There will always be knockers, but it is one of the few festivals that allow 79 types of country music. It is more than music. It is something really special. I will miss it, but maybe we can do something to ease that pain of not being there in person.

The Single Life – 26 September, 2020

LOT 10  Vintage Vinyl 7 inch 45 Records for Crafts Decoration MAN CAVE FAST SHIP

It is a single world this year. This week, we have:

Sandee Facy with Last Time – a broken heart, a moving on song. Catchy and contemplative.

Another up tempo track is William Crighton with a more alternative alternative rather than his alternative country. Very guitar and drum driven.

Jamie Lindsay has a more laid back approach….more soulful. Start Again is classified as contemporary country. Reminds me a bit of the old Lean on Me song.

Blaze (Live Acoustic) is the new song from Dani Young. She is releasing another version as well, but I am an acoustic girl. One of the most pro positive forces in Country Music today, we should be all proud of our songstress.

Brad Cox, the big man with the big voice is keeping things going with Remedy, an awesome song which will feature on his new album coming soon. He has such a great bluesy voice. It features Adam Eckersley, so they are two great guys in sync.

My Melbourne buddy, Dom Italiano has a new song, She’s Gonna Tell You, which is such a deep and mellow song. Take it for face value or look deeper. So proud of Dom. He does so much and is very often looked over. Listen and take heed.

Totally Biased Fan Review: 3 Minute Movies – Angus Gill and Seasons of Change

3 Minute Movie by Angus Gill & Seasons of Change on Amazon Music -  Amazon.com

People who read my blog and my posts on Facebook know that I adore Angus Gill. I call him my country music grandson, so you get that this is not going to be a trashy review….not that it deserves one or that I write those. They are called Totally Biased Fan Reviews for a reason.

There are a few things that add to my love for Angus and his music. I like the way that he is always age appropriate. He is still a young fella, but every album and EEP since he started recording has matched his age and his life. He doesn’t write about things or sing about things that are above his experiences or his age of interpretation and experience. There are only a handful of young artists who do that, and he does it well. For instance, when he was 16, he wasn’t writing about being a grandfather. He wrote from the point of a view of a young man.

With each album, Angus has evolved. He is maturing and so is his subject matter and how he produces it. He has been well respected by Country Music Legends in Australia and in America from a young age. He does it all, writes, produces, engineers, plays, the lot.

The fact that he is working with members of Paul Kelly’s band on here and some other rock legends as well Steve Earle, is an incredible feat for someone so young and they obviously think that the boy is pretty special too.

All of Angus’ albums are a bit different. They are pretty much all concept albums. They are a story from start to finish. All of the songs have a connection to each other without being the same. I love Skin Story. It is just so real and a story within itself.

Angus has the guitars ploughing through this album, whether they be gentle or wild. His duet with Steve is pretty speccy, but all of the songs have their appeal.

You and me and Monopoly has some of the best lines on the album. Acquainted with the Night has a Paul Kelly feel, and reveals a darker side. Take note, Kevin Sullivan, it has a sax or two on it.

Angus is forever experimenting and this album is totally different to his last album as that one was totally different to the one before and so forth. Temporary Fix has some similar sentiments to Alan Jackson’s Hole in the Wall, though it is totally different in sound. There are some clever metaphors, something which Angus always does so well. It is a great song.

There is no escaping Angus’s country sound, even when he ups the rhythm and beat. His voice is so Australian and so country that fans will always be able to connect the dots in the country music landscape with him. Also, the subjects are the basic elements of country songs. Angus just tells the stories a bit differently.

The fact that the title track (minus the s) is first and last, makes it feel like a movie or a story. Each of the songs, bar the reprise are about 3 minutes long which is either accidental or on purpose, telling a story in 3 minutes. It is also about the time of a traditional country music song. Just an observation, I may be totally off track (pardon the pun)

As you can imagine with this mob of musicians, everything comes naturally, which is how Angus works. It is like second nature to him to just play and let it flow.

Every album of Angus Gill’s is well crafted. He has control of the plane. He covers all the bases and he knows exactly where he is going with it. Or at least it always seems that way. Another winner, Angus. An excellent album.

Tracklist:
1. 3 Minute Movie
2. Hey Underdog
3. The New Old Me (feat. Steve Earle)
4. Almost Alright
5. Coming of Age
6. Skin Story
7. Daylight Robbery
8. Acquainted With The Night
9. Temporary Fix
10. You and Me and Monopoly
11. 3 Minute Movie (Reprise)

Produced by Angus Gill
Mixed by Angus Gill
Engineered by Lucas James at Hot Bias Studios.
Mastered by Jeff McCormack at The Music Cellar.

Steve Earle appears courtesy of New West Records, LLC.

Angus Gill & Seasons of Change are:
Peter ‘Lucky’ Luscombe – Drums
Bill McDonald – Bass
Ashley Naylor – Electric Guitar
Dan Kelly – Electric Guitar
Cameron Bruce – Hammond B3, Piano, Farfisa and Fender Rhodes.
Angus Gill – Acoustic Guitar and Background Vocals.

Additional Overdubs:
Susie Ahern – Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6)
Lorne McDougall – Bagpipes (Track 6)
Max Abrams – Saxophones (Track 8)
Jaron Mossman – Percussion (Tracks 3, 4)
Mark Lizotte – Background Vocals, Bass, Mandolin, Percussion, Acoustic and Electric Guitars (Track 7)

Totally Biased Fan Review: Daydream – The Buckleys

The Buckleys - Daydream (2020)

The talented young Buckleys call their music Hippie Country, and that is about the size of it. The music is groovy. These very young siblings have been playing music “from the womb”. Their Dad is a muso, and their house has always been full of music.

It is easy to hear and see their influences, which are broad and varied. There is definitely a 60’s feel, which is extremely obvious on a few of the tracks, but there is also a bit of Fleetwood Mac there, and to be honest, in a world where so many get it wrong, they have got the country rock and pop thing right. The album is fun. It is funky, rhythmic and just plain cool.

They recorded this album in the U.S., though the family is from Byron Bay on New South Wales North Coast. They co-wrote with some of Country’s best writers in America and the album was produced by Chad Carlson, who has produced Trisha Yearwood, amongst others.

They have already had 4 hits from the album and there are more to come. Sarah, Molly and Lachlan are no overnight sensations, despite their young ages, they have been playing for a long while.

Their popularity is not confined to Australian shores. They have quite an overseas following as well. Their musicianship is polished and pretty much self taught. They have done the hard yards, busking and learning their craft, writing and working together. No doubt, their Dad taught them a few tricks and gave them a few warnings about the business.

Their music is refreshing and they obviously have a passion for it, it is not just a job. The fact that they basically saved up their pocket money so that they could go to Nashville is proof enough of that.

Get your sha na na nas out and ready your toes for tapping, but it is more than that. There are some groovy beats, some folky moments, some nostalgic moments and some funky moments too. Sarah can be a soul sister too. There is a bit of everything here, sometimes in the one song. It works.

Having listened to a lot of their influences, I can detect bits and pieces in their songs. No doubt, their Dad’s album collection was listened to a few times, because they are way too young to know most of these bands and artists that were in their prime a long time before they were born. Despite the fact that you can hear the echoes of those legendary stars, it is all original music and it is almost a homage to those who walked before them, but not in a sad way, in a very happy and loving way. Woodstock 69 is an obvious one. There are others that are a bit more subtle.

The name of the band may not be as familiar as their sound. When you start hearing their songs, you know that you have heard them on the radio.

This is the kind of album that we need right now. After teasing us with singles for most of the year, the album is finally out there in all of its glory. It is a feel good album which will have you dancing in the aisles or at least have you singing in the shower.

Gees, how good will they be in 10 years…….

Track Listing

1.DAYDREAM

2.GLAD YOU DID

3.WOODSTOCK69

4.CRAZY LIKE YOU

5.FEELING THE LOVE

6.I’M COMIN’ FOR YA (LOVE)

7.WILD HONEY

8.’TIL YOU CAN’T GO BACK

9.BREATHE

10.LEAVE ME HANGING ON

11.VIBE

12.MONEY

The Single Life – 20th September 2020

45 45s: The 7" singles that changed the world - Long Live Vinyl

Gunnedah gal, Katrina Burgoyne is up first with 25 cents in the ashtray, a Morgan Evans/Keith Urban chick sound that is catchy and contemporary. Katrina has been working hard over in the USA, it is good to see her release something to the masses again.

The Swiftster, Andrew, has a new song out, Right On Down which is a very clappable shower song that I am sure my pal Kaylene will be line dancing to shortly. It has a train feel too….we all remember what the last song with a train beat did for the bearded wonder! Gold.

My Country Music grandson, Angus Gill, is pumping out the singles of late – Album Coming soon – The New Old Me is with some up and coming star called Steve Earle. A bluesy, gritty, down in the swamp tune. Onya Gus! Hit!

Kevin Sullivan has new music too, Against the Tide. It is a real toe tapping number….can see me singing and dancing in the shower to this one too. Stomp on, groovers! Kevin gets down and gets back up again with this top notch single.

I Just Wanna Hold You is the new song from Courtney Keil (pronounced Kyle) – equal parts hummable and shoulder shifting. Lovely voice, awesome tune.

I saw Vixens of the Fall in Tamworth this year and they have been doing well with The Long Game. Nice harmonies and a lot of potential with these girls – they are gathering quite a big fan base.

One of the main tunes in my head the last couple of weeks has been Justin Landers’ Be a Little Kinder. I think that it is partly because it is so timely. As Bo Ness wear on their t-shirts – Be Kind.

If that song has been in my head, then Benny Allen’s Lady Luck and Me has been in my feet. Water has definitely been splashing in the shower. I think that it is a top notch Bluegrass tune and may just be Benny’s new direction! Cool song.

Sharon Heaslip has always been one of my favourite traditional country music singers in this country. Her new song only confirms my opinion. A Country School. I went to one myself, actually, I went to two, one at Tinonee (which is now huge) and one at Somerton, but they were a bit bigger – two room school houses. I have gone back to visit both recently and it is definitely interesting after nearly 50 years. My Ma went to one at Parklea near Blacktown (when it was country) and she would have been able to relate as well. A fine song, can’t wait for the new album.

Lots more new music a’comin’ stay tuned

Totally Biased Fan Review: Two kids and a radio – Melody Moko

Weekly Singles Roundup | POST TO WIRE

My hard copy is on the way, and do prefer to do a review with the cd in hand – credits, liner notes, sometimes song words. It all helps write a more thorough review, however, I have waited since the release of one of my favourite albums of all time, The Wreckage, for this one, and I just had to download it and at least start the review.

I have been lucky enough to hear some tracks off it already, by going to a gig at Tamworth and by watching Melody and husband Michael’s shows on Facebook

Three songs have been released already as singles, Last Cigarette (co-written with Catherine Britt), possibly Melody’s best work ever, Benjamin, a wonderful song about an old boyfriend and just this week, Like Hank Would, which rounds off a great trifecta.

However, there are 12 songs on this album and they are all terrific. When you release such an amazing first album, it is sometimes, a very hard act to follow. I think what makes this album easier to review is that it so different to The Wreckage. As much as I loved that album, it is like comparing apples and oranges. They are very different. This album is more country, more introspective, and, to be honest, more consistent. The Wreckage had a few genius songs on it. Absolutely memorable songs that will be forever on my playlist and the other songs were fantastic. This album is all genius songs. Truly.

I think that this album hits a bit closer to home. I think that in the last few years, Melody has grown as a songwriter and she has become a bit more courageous with her thoughts and words. The stories are more honest, more about her and what she values and believes in. In some ways, the songs are more gentle, less angry, agressiveness has morphed into assertiveness.

Marriage, 2 kids and a move to Queensland are only some gradual changes in perspective. As a woman, she is standing her ground a bit more, not afraid to say what she thinks and feels but not with a sledgehammer like some do, she almost does it with a gentle pat on the head.

The Wreckage nearly wrecks me everytime that I play it, it really puts you through the ringer, in a good way. This album is more of a perfumed steamroller. There are anthems and love songs and some songs of protest.

There is definitely more torch and twang on this album and I like that. I am from Tamworth, after all. Melody is the mistress of the metaphor and these songs have a lot of lines that reflect that.

The constant juggle of being a musician on the road, a mother, a wife and a woman in an ever changing world, are all images portrayed in these songs. Coupled in a couple with one of Australia’s best musicians and producers, her husband, Michael Moko, this pair with a thousand names produce an honest portrait of all the elements of that make up the 21st century partnership.

Michael and Neilson Hubbard co-produce this album. Catherine is still involved, but she is busy with her own projects and family.

There are familiar names attached to this recording (I don’t have the credits yet) I can guess that Natalie Henry who had one of the best albums last year, and a few American songwriters are in there.

The tempo changes, the mood changes on these tracks, but there is a constant theme and and strings which bind them all together. Like all good stories, there is conflict, angst, sadness, tears,love, loss, irony, reflection, and a little drama. There is also beauty.

The album has an E next to it, because there are a few words dropped and a few subjects that may be hard to explain to the kiddies. To me, it just adds colour and truth to the songs.

So in case you didn’t notice, I kinda dig this album. It does not pull punches, but at the same time, when the punches come, they let you land on a soft mattress.

It is hard to pick favourites. The three singles, mentioned are all great, and I am usually more of an album person, so great choices were made there. I guess Coming Up Roses, Save Me Rock and Roll (which is ironically one of the most country tracks here) and Tornado are others that stand just a fraction taller than the others.

Melody tackles things that most would avoid, tiptoe around or subtly mention. She does it with that beautiful, haunting voice and exquisite delivery. It is a polished album without being too polished. It is raw where it needs to be raw and smooth where it needs to be smooth.

Please don’t make me wait so long for the next one. I am getting old. Bravo, Encore, stand up and be counted.

Track Listing

Last Cigarette

Better than this

Never Get High

Mama

Benjamin

Tornado

Easy Way to Die

Like Hank Would

Coming Up Roses

Woman So Mean

Save Me Rock and Roll

stick with me kid

Totally Biased Fan Review – Another Death in the Family – Clint Wilson

Clint Wilson - Another Death In The Family - KKBOX

Like Gareth’s album, I have heard most of the tracks off this album LIVE in various versions. Most people in our country music family know what Clint and his music mean to me, so you will not doubt guess that I am going to kinda like this. He has released a few singles off the album, but it all comes together here, the songs, the stories, the wonderful co-writing talents of some of Australia’s best and a few not so shabby musos and producers here.

Clint has a uniquely Australian sound, but his songs cross hemispheres and borders with incredible words, music and arrangements. (Even though he physically can’t at the moment, his music does).

High School Sweethearts was a favourite of mine from the first time that I heard it, but it has been enhanced here with Gretta Ziller singing it with him (given the subject, I always thought that it should have been a duet) and the amazing Newmarket Collective. Holy Moley. Just when you thought that you heard the perfect song, it gets better. It was always powerful, but this has just gone up through the clouds now.

I have listened to this album 9 times today, while I was working from home and after work. It is pretty much faultless. I knew that it would be special, but I am just blown away.

The songs are all very different. When I heard Darren Colston, Mike Carr, Luke O’Shea and Michael Bryers, Michael Waugh and Brad Butcher a few years ago (cough) now, I felt the same way. Clint and I know each other pretty well, now, but this is just mind blowing. I knew that it would be good, his last album was speccy, but this is just, well it is just….

The song that he wrote with Brendan, Rest in Peace, has an amazing background story, but I won’t spoil it for you. Although Clint tells most of it here, there is more. You will just have to go and see him LIVE when we can.

Clint is like a bush balladeer mixed with Alt. Country, mixed with Blues, mixed with traditional folk. It is great that he can break boundaries and sing and play his heart out.

On this album, Clint has amazing musos and songwriters marking time with him, but it is his heart and soul on the line here, and though it is clearly a great collaborative effort, he is the star and he shines.

He kills me softly with a lot of his songs, the subject matter makes and breaks you, but in a way that is not offensive or without a sensitive and careful touch. He knows the topics to write about, to sing about and like the guy from another generation who I often compare him to, Darren Colston, he has a unique and definitive delivery.

His turn of phrase, like the lines in Sons and Daughters, for example, are just so en pointe. Couldn’t Promise You Rain in two versions here (there are about 12!), is very 2020.

I feel like I am going Down The Mine, the way Clint sings it.

Family Tree is a song that a lot of people will relate to, as most of Clint’s songs can be read and heard. A line from this is the title to the album.

Even though Clint tackles some tough subjects, he doesn’t make a lot of his songs sound like songs to kick the bucket to, he sometimes does it in an upbeat way and other times he just makes you think and feel.

I remember when he first sang Teeth In Me, I thought what in the Hell is this going to be about, but it is actually not about a tiger chasing him through a jungle. Clint does that, he ropes you in, gives you a hint and then turns the tide.

One of my favourites is Road to Grantville. It is one of those songs that gets in your head. Yes, I think that I have the lyrics down already.

There are touches of Paul Kelly here, and that is fair enough, like me, I know that Clint is a big fan, and our influences often come through in our work.

I am very proud of Clint, and I will be shouting Wilson! Wilson! more than Tom Hanks. This is just awesome. Well done, son!

Track Listing

Sons and Daughters

Down The Mine

Couldn’t Promise You Rain #4

High School Sweethearts

Family Tree

Teeth in Me

I Remember Too Much

Road to Grantville

Rest In Peace

Couldn’t Promise You Rain #3

  1. Clint Wilson/Gretta Ziller
  2. Clint Wilson/Gretta Ziller
  3. Clint Wilson /Kevin Bennett
  4. Clint Wilson/Gretta Ziller
  5. Clint Wilson/Kevin Bennett
  6. Clint Wilson/Gretta Ziller
  7. Clint Wilson and Jeremy Edwards
  8. Clint Wilson and Kevin Bennett
  9. Clint Wilson and Brendan Nawrocki

Musos

2,5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10

Produced by Damian Cafarella and Lachlan Bryan and mixed by DCaf

Clint – Vocals, Guitar

Zac Watson – Bass

DCaf – Lap Steel, Drums, Guitar

Lachlan – Keys, Guitar, Harmonica

John Bedggood – Violin

Backing Vocals – GZ, KB, James Gillard, Lachlan Bryan

Tracks 1, 3

Produced by Clint Wilson and Zach Jacobs at Stoney Creek Studio, Mxed by Callum Barter

Clint – Vocals, Guitar

Zach – Guitar

Beau Hutchinson – Drums

GZ – Vocals, Piano

Ben Franz – Pedal Steel, Bass

Olaf Scott – Hammond

Track 4

Produced by Guus Hoevenaars

at Newmarket Studios

Clint Wilson and Gretta Ziller vocals

Zach – Guitar

The Newmarket Collective are:

Sarah Curro – Violin

Jenny Kafagi – Violin

Ceridwen Davies – Viola

Michelle Wood – Cello

Kylie Davies – Double Bass

Arrangement by Caerwen Martin

Totally Biased Fan Review: Trigger – Gareth Leach

Gareth Leach - Trigger (2020)

Reviewing two albums today and they both involve Gretta Ziller. She has great taste as a solo artist and I think that I can end the review right there because it says enough about the calibre of artist that Gareth Leach is.

Don’t worry, I am not going to end the review there, but it says a lot. Living in Victoria, we are lucky enough (in normal times) to be able to go to a lot of gigs by some of the best singer/songwriter/performers in this country. Gareth is one of those whom I have been able to see and hear a few times now. His passion and enthusiasm comes across in his performing and it certainly comes across in his recorded music.

Gareth has released a few singles already from this album, and as I have said, I have been lucky enough to hear a few LIVE as well.

Gareth has an amazing band behind him and the special guests are pretty awesome too. His music is a mixture of Louisiana, Bon Jovi and Mountain Music. He also has a bit of the Soul Man in him too.

There is a definite country backbeat. His music will get you foot stomping on the dance floor, playing the air fiddle and give you a huge desire to get behind a wheel or a drum kit.

I have been waiting for this album for a while and I am glad that it is finally here. He pretty much covers the 79 types of country music here….or at least 75.

The band and the special guests provide a polished and extraordinary gift on this album. They are a tight knit group and they know each other well.

Michaela, Great Aunt and Gretta (writing) have been amongst my favourites for a long while and their contributions here are amazing.

My Crime the duet with Michaela is sensational and it will have you on your feet and playing your air guitar in no time. Their voices match perfectly.

I love all the tracks, which are all so very different. I have heard most of them, but ironically enough my favourite is the title track which is fairly new to me. It has a little bit of a Mexican/Spanish touch to a very country song, I feel like I am in a Western movie with Trigger, which of course has a number of meanings. You choose which one feels right for you.

Oh My Devil sounds like he had rubbed shoulders with Charlie Daniels before he went to that Grand Ole Opry in the sky.

Jon Bon Jovi and I rode into town with Old Crow Feather. Gareth almost has a growl to his voice and it always gets my shoulders shifting.

Gareth can do the old vocal gymastics without taking a breath and this is particularly noticeable on tracks like Down the Rabbit Hole.

There’s a lot of fine picking here, by some absolute pros, but the thing that stands out for me here is the variety and Gareth’s unique voice which always seems to say – Listen to Me! (please).

The young husband and father has a baby face but his songs can be quite powerful, like his voice. Singin’ Hymns is such a song.

Never Been One is probably my second favourite. This will go down well in Tamworth, when we get back there. Sing it to me, mate.

This album has an E rating, I guess there are a couple of songs with a couple of words that would be hard to play on the radio. That’s a shame, because they are damn fine songs.

A lot of songs here sound like a rebel rounding up the baddies and putting a bullet in them, with a few colourful phrases. Tough guys wouldn’t say golly gosh though.

Gareth has something here to please everybody. Certainly all of the songs please me. It is gutsy, catchy, wild, crazy country music with heart and a lot of roar. The musicianship and the writing are brilliant. One of the best of 2020.

I have danced to a few of these in the shower, already and the old soap and a rope has helped me to belt out a few shower songs too. Whether Gareth has you singing along with him up high on a mountain or down in the swamp, he’s a winner.

Power on, Gareth.

Tracklist:

01. Oh My Devil
02. Old Crow Feather
03. Fire in the Hole
04. Honey
05. My Crime with Michaela Jenke
06. Trigger
07. Down the Rabbit Hole
08. Singin’ Hymns
09. Never Been One
10. Black Swamp

All songs written by Gareth Leach apart from Old Crow Feather (G. Leach/Z Leach), Singin’ Hymns (G Leach/G Ziller) and Black Swamp (G Ziller)

Performed by Gareth Leach and the Narratives of Hope (Chelsea Allen, Ewen Baker, Anthony McCormick, Shane McGrath and Richard Neville

Special Guests; Megan LeBird, Chris Bodey, Michaela Jenke and Andrew McClean

Produced and Engineered by Gareth Leach

Social Family Records

Totally Biased Fan Review: Total Freedom – Kathleen Edwards

Kathleen Edwards Announces New Album 'Total Freedom', Her First In Eight  Years, & Shares "Options Open": Listen - Stereogum

I stumbled upon Kathleen Edwards music quite by accident. Two of her songs appeared on compilations that I bought, and I liked both of them very much. I liked the fact that she did not pull any punches and she did not seem to be frightened about writing and singing about things that people felt but didn’t voice.

I bought her 2005 album, Back to Me on the strength of that and it remains one of my favourite albums. She has a voice that haunts, which matches her topics. She doesn’t leave many stones unturned.

It is not all about speaking about society, it has a lot of introspective and autobiographical moments.

Kathleen took a break in 2014 and stepped away from releasing an album til now. However, her music is often used on soundtracks in tv and movies.

Many have stepped up to review her album and her peers and newer artists, like Maren Morris whom she co-wrote a song with, have waxed lyrical about her. She has a cult following, but maybe because she is honest and broadminded, her works aren’t snapped up by the public as much as they should be.

The critics have described Canadian as ‘a songwriter who demands no more and no less, honoring her own spirit.’

“the sound of an artist with a second wind”, “a woman with strength and a subtle grace” “affectionate but unaffected”, “Adventurous and effortless”.

I have read about 20 reviews, these are just some of the amazing things said. It is true to her character that she quit music in 2014 to open a cafe called “Quitters” and this album is a slow brew of songs which reflect on her time out and look forward to what will come next.

When I first heard her, I thought, I haven’t heard a voice like this before. Others have tried to emulate her, some have succeeded, some have failed, but all have tried. One of those songs was One more song the radio won’t play, and that probably sums up a lot of the attitude towards Kathleen Edwards and her music and why people don’t get to hear a lot of her amazing music.

These days, her songs may seem mild compared to a lot of music now. The fact that she sings these powerful songs with such peace and beauty may disguise their meaning a bit, if you don’t listen too intently.

This album catches a lot of the magic that “Back to Me” held. It is a stunning return and hopefully, there will be many others.

TracklistHide Credits

1GlenfernAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Kathleen EdwardsAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Banjo – Jim Bryson (2)Backing Vocals – Jill AndrewsBass Guitar – Darcy YatesDrums, Percussion – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Blair HoganElectric Guitar, Slide Guitar – Gord Tough
2Hard On EveryoneAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Percussion – Jim Bryson (2)Bass Guitar – Darcy YatesDrums, Percussion – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Gord ToughPedal Steel Guitar – Aaron Goldstein (3)
3Birds On A FeederAcoustic Guitar – Kathleen EdwardsBass Guitar, Percussion – Ian FitchukElectric Guitar, Piano, Effects – Jim Bryson (2)Guitar [Nylon Strings] – Todd Lombardo
4Simple MathAcoustic Guitar – Kathleen EdwardsBass Guitar – Darcy YatesDrums, Percussion – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Gord ToughKeyboards [Wurlitzer] – Ian FitchukPedal Steel Guitar – Aaron Goldstein (3)Piano, Electric Guitar, Organ, Synth, Backing Vocals – Jim Bryson (2)
5Options OpenAcoustic Guitar – Todd LombardoBacking Vocals, Guitar – Daniel TashianBass Guitar – Ian FitchukDrums – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Gord ToughGuitar – Jim Bryson (2)
6Feelings FadeAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synth – Jim Bryson (2)Backing Vocals – Jill AndrewsBass Guitar – Darcy YatesDrums – Peter Von AlthenPedal Steel Guitar – Aaron Goldstein (3)Violin, Viola – Kinley Dowling
7Fools RideAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Kathleen EdwardsBass Guitar – Phillippe Charbonneau*Drums – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synth, Effects – Jim Bryson (2)
8Ashes To AshesAcoustic Guitar, Banjo – Todd LombardoBacking Vocals – Courtney Marie AndrewsBass Guitar – Jon HynesDrums – Peter Von AlthenPiano – Ian Fitchuk
9Who Rescued WhoAcoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Kathleen EdwardsBass Guitar – Darcy YatesDrums – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Gord ToughOrgan – Jim Bryson (2)
10Take It With You When You GoAcoustic Guitar – Todd LombardoBass Guitar – Jon HynesDrums – Peter Von AlthenElectric Guitar – Gord ToughHarmony Vocals, Effects – Jim Bryson (2)Piano – Ian Fitchuk