BEN LEECE NO WONDER THE WORLD IS EXHAUSTED

The solo debut from onetime Delta Lions member Ben Leece is a suitably patinated window on the soul of a beleaguered poet. Produced by Shane Nicholson, it’s an album alternately charged with raw and ragged romance (opener ‘Rebel Alone’) and chafing with understated disquiet. The carousing ‘Highway Not the Dream’ captures the swagger of the […]

RUSTON KELLY DYING STAR

Kelly moved to Nashville at 17 after a childhood living everywhere from Belgium to his home state of South Carolina, spending time in a jam band, devouring Johnny Cash and scoring songwriter cuts for the likes of Tim McGraw. His first EP, Halloween, made healthy headway but it’s on this debut LP, Dying Star, where […]

MANDY BARNETT STRANGE CONVERSATIONS

It’s been five years since Mandy Barnett released new music. Audiences last heard from Barnett when she played the title role in the stage production of Always… Patsy Cline or listened to her 2013 tribute LP to singer-songwriter Don Gibson. This return from that musical hiatus reflects Barnett’s self-identification as a torch singer, or someone […]

VARIOUS ARTISTS AFTER THE WAR

Initiated by Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, and recorded at Rancom St Studios in Sydney with Garth Porter (Producer); the same team that worked on the highest selling album of 2015, Spirit of the Anzacs. This album commemorates and honours servicemen and women and coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the […]

KAREN CRAIGIE MOUNTAINS OF GOLD

This lustrous third studio outing from Sydney-raised Karen Craigie, sees the master songwriter step out of the shadows bathed in a warm and winning glow. It’s an album veined with compassion and brimming with keen, hard-won insights into life and love. Produced by the incomparable Matt Fell, Mountains is a glorious showcase of Craigie’s deft […]

KATHY MATTEA PRETTY BIRD

One of the finest individual voices country music has thrown up, returns after surgery and being subjected to significant retraining over the years. The material found on Pretty Bird — including a sultry take on Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ and Mary Gauthier’s soul-wrenching ‘Mercy Now’ which seems so perfectly apt — continues Mattea’s […]

WILLIE NELSON MY WAY

Willie Nelson and Frank Sinatra are both defining avatars of American popular music. Hearing Willie’s freewheeling roadhouse rave-ups and Frank’s smoky, cosmopolitan songs, one may assume they sat on different sides of the fence—but they had an enduring friendship and great respect for each other’s craft. My Way explores his admiration and connection to Sinatra’s […]

AMANDA SHIRES TO THE SUNSET

Over four albums Shires has cemented herself as a deft lyricist and a Grade A purveyor of melancholic, fiddle-heavy folk, but this collection marks an adventurous move with an edgier sound and attitude from the fiddle-maestro wife of Jason Isbell. It is a compelling collection of narratives often from a female perspective. The themes range […]

TAKE ME TO TOWN AN AUSTRALIAN ALT COUNTRY COMPILATION

Over the past decade, the local alt. country scene has undergone something of a renaissance. An ever-expanding, increasingly diverse melting pot, its hallmarks have long been stellar songcraft and timeless instrumentation. Once uncommon sounds – pedal steel, Dobro, banjo – now jostle shoulder-to-shoulder with synths and distorted guitars, rippling through the shaded streets of inner […]

GOOD WILL REMEDY SILVER LINED

Americana, Country-esque, Southern Fried Rock four-piece juggernaut – If the Heartbreakers and the Stones had a sleazy relationship…(they said that; not me) Abounding with rich, raw energy and gaspingly good musicianship, there are songs about Mondayitis, the void at the end of relationships, political apathy, reassessing priorities to slow the world down, not letting the […]

COLTER WALL SONGS OF THE PLAINS

I was unfamiliar wth the work of Colter Wall and have included this album as fans of bush ballads would love it and it bears praiseworthy nods to many cornerstone pioneers of the balladeers’ genre, inc some a throwback swing rhythms and even a turn at yodelling from the baritone singer. In addition to seven […]