I don’t have much information on this album, just released, but I will tell you my thoughts. I do know that Justin is from Orange, NSW, just up the road from where I went to Uni at Bathurst, so I know the area pretty well. Right now, the weather would be similar to where I live in Moe in Victoria, which is about 5 degrees in the middle of the day, and it could even be lower and snowing. I also know that tonight, Justin and another excellent muso, Andy Penkow will be warming everyone up at Justin’s launch of this album.
I was reading through Justin’s influences and it is pretty clear that they are present in this album, though all of the material is original, which I love. I am not sure who is playing on this album, as Itunes doesn’t provide such information, but if it is at the Hillbilly Hut, then I can have a bit of a guess….but I won’t do that. I am sure that Simon Johnson probably has something to do with it.
The songs are just as you would expect from someone who loves George Strait, Alan Jackson and co, and if you like your country the one of the 94 types that is classed as traditional or honky tonk or country ballads, or country waltzes, then this is a goer for you.
We start with a Waltz, A Campfire Waltz, which is a rippa to begin with. The fiddles are flying, the feet are doing the 1,2,3 and it is by a campfire, how can you beat that? Something about this song reminds me of Troy Cassar- Daley. That ain’t a bad thing, hey?
I can’t drink you off my mind – You can’t get more country than this song, drinking, heartbroken, whiskey, you get the picture! Lots of twang but it is also a toe-tapper, sort of a bit of the old Texas swing in there. I am not sure if an old country music writer would use the word closure but there is the twist!
The Corner Store – a familiar site these days, good old fashioned corner stores from our childhoods closing down or pulled down. Lollies and a bit of everything shops. Took me back to my childhood, I am sure that it will take others back to and compare the olden days with the new.
Our Little Love – This is a beautiful song, probably a familiar love story for many, and certainly one of the best on the album. Slow dance or mellowing out to song.
My Old Man – I think that I have heard Justin sing this before, not sure if it was a single or just one that they played on the radio. To be honest, anything with a billy cart in it has my vote anyway! This is a real story song and you may need a box of tissues. Wonderful stuff. Life’s simple lessons.
Head over Heels – Members of the one and only club……you have to love that line. Very George and Alan, love it.
Always Kiss Her Goodnight – A funny song, I think Adam Harvey would love this song. It does have a serious message though. I always remember my Mum saying, don’t go to sleep on an argument. I feel that sentiment here.
How ‘Bout this Weather? – A lot of double entendres in this song. Cleverly used cliches and subtext.
Free Time and Money – I always love it when an album either begins or ends with the title track. A toe tapping, get up on the dance floor kind of song.
There’s a bit of Roo Arcus about Justin too, which fits, because he follows the Strait and Jackson style too. Both add something Australian to their songs and styles, but there is definitely a touch of the famous pair there.
There is a good balance of uptempo and mellow songs here, all beautifully delivered with a strong thread of country through them and rich in all of the ingredients that a country song requires.
This is a wonderful album. It will be at home in Australia or overseas and wherever there are lovers of country music.
A Campfire Waltz
I Can’t Drink You off my
The Corner Store
Our Little Love
My Old Man
Head over Heels
Always kiss her goodnight
How ‘Bout This Weather
Free Time and Money
All songs written by Justin Landers
Produced at Hillbilly Hut ( I guess by my ‘cousin’ Simon Johnson)