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”.
Had to be you
Keep it Up
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