SUSAN MURANTY Unconquered Sun ‘Unconquered Sun’ (indie) AUST
Feature rarity: TANNAS 1. Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn / The Lochaber Badger 2. Illean A I 3. Bi Falbh O’n Uinneig 4 Air A’ Ghille Tha Mo Run ‘Suilean Dubh (Dark Eyes)’ (KRL) Scotland, 1999
THE TIMBERS Things To Come ‘Lawless’ (pre-release) (indie) AUST local
HALFWAY TO FORTH Hold Me Now ‘Run For The Hills’ (indie) AUST local
THE SHAMBOLICS Pogue Mahone ‘Pogue Mahone’ (indie) AUST local
Interview with ADRIAN EDMONDSON
Music: 1. THE BAD SHEPHERDS Gary Gilmore’s Eyes ‘Mud, Blood & Beer’ (Monsoon Music) 2. BONZO DOG DOO-DAH BAND Beautiful People ‘Pour l’Amour Des Chiens’ (Storming Music) 3. THE BAD SHEPHERDS Going Underground ‘Mud, Blood & Beer’ (Monsoon Music) 4. THE BAD SHEPHERDS God Save The Queen ‘Yan Tyan Tethera Methera’
The Bad Shepherds play The Gov, Tuesday April 22. The interview is now in the Interviews section of this blog.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Just Like Fire Would ‘High Hopes’ (Columbia)
BRILLIG Seizure Of The Cyprus Brig at Recherche Bay, Aug 1829 ‘Most Unlucky Of The Lucky Deer’ (indie) AUST local
OWLS OF THE SWAMP Shapeshifter ‘Atlas’ (SGC Media) AUST
STEVE KILBEY & MARTIN KENNEDY Inner Country ‘White Magic’ (indie) AUST
Steve Kilbey & Robyn Hitchcock play the Gov, Friday April 25.
THE TIMBERS Sailing My Way ‘Lawless’ (pre-release) (indie) AUST local
VINCENT’S CHAIR Step On My Memory ‘The New Vibe’ (indie) AUST local
LITTLE WISE Look Up ‘Sweet Rain Falling’ (indie) AUST
SAM LEE Phoenix Island ‘More For To Rise’ (pre-release)
KEPA JUNKERA 1. Fasioren Martxea 2. Galizako Muiñeirak / Trikitixa Martxa ‘Galiza’ (Fol Musica)
Big news – on the show this week will be an exclusive interview with the legendary ADRIAN EDMONDSON (Young Ones, Bottom etc) who will be in town on Tuesday April 22 to play the Gov with his band THE BAD SHEPHERDS. Adrian talks about the band, the current state of comedy, his new hybrid mandolin / mandola, the demise of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band of which he was also a more recent member, and plenty more!
DRAWN FROM BEES Calling You Out ‘Web of Thieves’ (Pricewar Music) AUST
Feature rarity: HERON 1. Yellow Roses 2. Car Crash 3. Lord & Master 4. Goodbye ‘Heron’ (Dawn) UK, 1970
HALFWAY TO FORTH Not Alone ‘Run For The Hills’ (indie) AUST local
SERENDIPITY Wildman ‘Run With Me’ (indie) AUST local
VINCENT’S CHAIR This Room ‘The New Vibe’ (indie) AUST local
CROOKED FIDDLE BAND Game Of Thrones theme demo AUST
TREVOR LUCAS & THE BUSHWACKERS Bold Jack Donahue live Canberra 1983 (unreleased) AUST
WOMEN IN DOCS Tin Roof ‘Carousel’ (+1 Records) AUST
RUSSELL MORRIS 1. Dexter’s Big Tin Can 2. Van Dieman’s Land ‘Van Dieman’s Land’ (Fanfare) AUST
THE SHIVERING TIMBERS Chasin’ Chickens ‘Eight Days At Sea’ (indie) AUST
THE WINTER SUNS Rainfall ‘Fires Of The North’ (indie) AUST
OMNIA The Raven ‘Alive!’ (PaganScum)
WILSON & SWARBRICK My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose / No Woman No Cry ‘Lion Rampant’ (Shirty)
CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN COLLECTIVE 1. Dandelion Flower 2. Maybe I’m Burning ‘Christopher Coleman Collective’ (indie) AUST Interview call did not come through as organised.
HALFWAY TO FORTH Johnny Appleseed ‘Run For The Hills’ (indie) AUST local
JUSTIN BERNASCONI Winter Pick ‘Winter Pick’ (indie) AUST
SUZANNE VEGA Portrait Of The Knight Of Wands ‘Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles’ (Cooking Vinyl)
CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN COLLECTIVE Stages Of Love ‘Christopher Coleman Collective’ (indie) AUST
WENDY RULE Black Snake ‘Black Snake’ (indie) AUST
A note to artists, publicists, managers etc wanting to arrange an interview on the show. Generally speaking, I’ll probably be happy to do so but after one too many no-shows, it will be with the following provisos:
From now on, the only live to air interviews I do will be in the studio. Phoners will only be pre-recorded and will be done at home so as to not adversely affect a live show if the call doesn’t come through, and will only be advertised once the interview has happened. This will remove the increasingly too common scenario of advertising an act’s appearance and getting silence in return.
This still only relates to a minority of acts, and most do understand the importance of reliability, but my main priority needs to be the smooth flowing of the show. I’m sure you understand!
In the second hour of this week’s show, Christopher Coleman from Tasmanian band THE CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN COLLECTIVE will be calling in for a chat. Their self-titled CD is a highly impressive example of the songwriting craft, and they will be in town soon for a couple of gigs.
Fri 11 April
The Singing Gallery
133 Main Rd, McLaren Vale SA
With guest Marlon Williams (NZ)
From 7pm, $20
Sat 12 April
A Music Warehouse Project
Presented by Jam Room Presents
Tenth & Gibson, Bowden Adelaide SA
With guests Marlon Williams (NZ), Jess Harlan (NZ), Iluka (NSW) & Aidan’ Jazzy’ Jones (SA)
From 7pm – 10pm $10 + BF
THE HARE & THE MOON The Bard Of Eve ‘No Dead Seas, No Red Seas’ (Bandcamp)
Feature rarity: MEIC STEVENS 1. Left Over Time 2. The Sailor And Madonna 3. Dau Rhosyn Coch 4. Yarric ‘Outlander’ (Rhino Handmade) Wales, 1970
LITTLE WISE 1. My Pocket ‘Sweet Rain Falling’ (indie) 2. in-studio interview with Sophie Klein and Megan Bernard including live to air songs Then Again / The Muse / Moments Of Clarity 3/4. Let You In / Look Up ‘Sweet Rain Falling’ (indie) AUST Live to air tracks can be heard at http://rootsandbranchesaustralia.wordpress.com/live-to-air/little-wise-2014/
RUSSELL MORRIS 1. The Witch Of Kings X 2. Eureka ‘Van Dieman’s Land’ (Fanfare) AUST
THE TIMBERS Shepherd Of The Seas demo (indie) AUST local
BRILLIG Assorted Fate ‘The Red Coats’ (Black Rain) AUST local
WILSON & SWARBRICK Lads A-Bunchum Medley ‘Lion Rampant’ (Shirty)
THE BAD SHEPHERDS Going Underground ‘Mud Blood & Beer’ (Monsoon Music) Playing the Gov, April 22.
THE GOOD SHIP You Didn’t Understand Why ‘The Seven Seas’ (indie) AUST
SONS OF MAY Up Before Your Eyes ‘Sons Of May’ (indie) AUST
THE SHIVERING TIMBERS Seven Seas ‘Eight Days At Sea’ (indie) AUST
CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN COLLECTIVE Go Home ‘Christopher Coleman Collective’ (indie) AUST
On the show this week, Melbourne duo LITTLE WISE will be in the studio for a chat and a live song or two. They’ll be in town for a string of gigs (see their website for details).
It will also be a full 2-hour R&Bs, despite being the first Thursday of the month.
CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN COLLECTIVE Dandelion Flower ‘Christopher Coleman Collective’ (indie) AUST
Feature rarity: DANDO SHAFT 1. Coming Home to Me 2. Sometimes 3. Waves Upon the Ether 4. River Boat ‘Dando Shaft’ (Neon) UK, 1971
JONI IN THE MOON 1. Yellow Moon 2. L’il Star ‘Sorrow Trees’ (indie) AUST
VINCENT’S CHAIR 1. One Door Closer 2. The Gift ‘The New Vibe’ (indie) AUST local
RUSSELL MORRIS 1. Loch Ard Gorge 2. Lucy McBride ‘Van Dieman’s Land’ (Fanfare) AUST Pre-release.
ELEANOR McEVOY Lover’s Chapel ‘Stuff’ (Moscodisc)
WILSON & SWARBRICK 1. The Fish Gutters Song 2. Red Rose Medley ‘Lion Rampant’ (Shirty)
1. KELLY OLIVER Grandpa Was A Stoker 2. THE BLUE PIG ORCHESTRA Gallows Hill ‘Passing The Baton’ (pre-release of forthcoming EP featuring Dave Swarbrick guesting with young UK musicians)
SERENDIPITY 1. Snowflakes 2. Run With Me ‘Run With Me’ (indie) AUST local
GEORDIE LITTLE Nine And Loose Ends ‘Where The Walls Once Were’ (indie) AUST local
OYSTERBAND The Wilderness ‘Diamonds On The Water’ (Navigator)
GAWKEY Arrival Of The Archway Road ‘Sing An Honest Song’ (indie)
WENDY RULE Ereshkigal ‘Black Snake’ (indie) AUST
LITTLE WISE My Pocket ‘Sweet Rain Falling’ (indie) AUST
Feature rarity: FOLKAL POINT 1. Scarborough Fair 2. Sweet Sir Galahad 3. Victoria Dines Alone 4. Edom O’Gordon ‘Folkal Point’ (Midas) UK 1971
WILSON & SWARBRICK 1. Among Proddy Dogs & Papes 2. Ballad Of Jack McLaren ‘Lion Rampant’ (Shirty)
DAVE WELLS 1. Carrington Street 2. The Caravel ‘Carirngton Street’ (indie) AUST
ANDREA TOMASI Birdflower ‘Hurricane Dream’ (Team Love)
LANGHORNE SLIM & THE LAW The Way We Move ‘This is the Way We Move’ (Ramseur)
SAM BAKER Feast ‘Say Grace’ (indie)
ONE TIME SYNCOPATED CODPIECE 1. Play With Fire 2. Portland Town ‘Once More With Feeling’ (John Hassell)
MEGAN BERNARD Bulldozing single (indie) AUST
GAWKEY 1. If I Had My Time Again 2. Henry O’Brien ‘Sing An Honest Song’ (indie)
OYSTERBAND Once I Had a Sweetheart ‘Diamonds On The Water’ (Navigator)
SUZANNE VEGA Crack In The Wall ‘Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles’ (Cooking Vinyl)
CAT DOG BIRD Landslide ‘Headfirst Into The Riddle’ (indie) AUST local
SIMON BASEY Square Mile ‘SCALA – Higher Ground’ (indie) AUST local
ELLIOT THE BULL Colourblind ‘Dazed’ (Pumped Up Kids) AUST
WILD ZINNIAS COLLECTIVE Love Is The Sharpest Blade ‘Wild Zinnias Collective’ (indie) AUST
YHAN LEAL Sail Home ‘Sail Home’ (Foghorn) AUST
SUN KIL MOON Ben’s My Friend ‘Benji’ (Caldo Verde)
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN Get Direct ‘The Classic’ (PIAS)
Reviewed by Michael Hunter
I’m afraid I must start with a controversial statement – this is an album of no great surprises. Quite predictable, in fact. Please let me explain, though…
When two acknowledged “masters of their game” come together, you just know it’s going to be intriguing. Jason Wilson, Canadian reggae star, and Dave Swarbrick, legend of English folk and folk rock have played live and recorded the occasional track together before, but now present their first full-length album, in the form of ‘Lion Rampant’. They both care about the music they play, be it their usual style or as here, an amalgamation of the two and then some. So you see, it’s predictably high quality, well-produced music with intelligently considered arrangements.
The collection of guests that help out on various tracks do nothing but add to the listening experience as well. No shocks there either. Although the recording locations are spread throughout the world – for example, Swarbrick, Jerry Donahue, Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick recorded at Swarb’s studio in Coventry / Pee Wee Ellis (ex-James Brown and Van Morrison saxophonist) in Bristol, and The Bevvy Sisters in a Scottish studio – the overall sound quality works together so well that a listener would be unlikely to pick any difference in tone or fidelity. It’s all just so predic…
Actually, I don’t think I can carry this “predictability” shtick any further! This s a great album, that despite combining what some may consider music from disparate cultures, works entirely as its own concept. It is certainly not a novelty, or an amusing diversion for anyone involved, and is easily worthy of repeated listens.
Jason Wilson has always been interested in reggae and Scottish music, so both elements are naturally strong here. This includes a few Robert Burns pieces, such as the unusual combination of My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose with No Woman No Cry. There is no reason this pairing shouldn’t work musically or thematically, and Wilson’s emotive vocals along with Swarbrick’s beautiful fiddle lines ensure it is so. Backing vocals on this are by The Bevvy Sisters, who also provide lead on The Fish Gutters Song (one of many earworms from the CD). Not that extra “folk cred” is needed but the addition of Peggy Seeger on banjo on this track inevitably provides it anyway!
Wilson provides the lead vocals otherwise, while Swarb is content to provide fiddle and mandolin throughout. A few tracks are familiar from his earlier repertoire – though John The Gun for example has never had a reggae beat before. The “Fotheringay 2” version had Jerry Donahue’s father Sam on saxophone; here it is Pee Wee Ellis with his own distinctive take.
Following on from a smooth brass-led soul version of Richard Thompson’s Why Must I Plead, Swarb contributes the beautiful Playford tune Jamaica – well, which other one would be more suitable for this project? From the repertoire of the late Alistair Hulett comes Among Proddy Dogs And Papes in an outstanding brassy, rock arrangement. An earlier version has appeared on a Hulett tribute album, but the ‘Lion Rampant’ track has extra added Swarbrick missing on the original. One could imagine Roaring Jack having done it somewhat like this.
Speaking of rock, The Ballad Of Jack McLaren (a Wilson original) has what must be the first Dave Swarbrick punk rock violin solo, reminding us all why he earned the title “demon fiddler” all those years ago! Quite astonishing playing. The song itself has several tempo changes but all to good effect.
The same can be said of Damascus, which is roughly based on Burns’ Tam O’Shanter. It’s a long track that passes through various musical stages including reggae and hornpipe, to a tender fiddle solo, a circus feel, through to a jazz-rock ending. These twists and turns, far from disconcerting, keep the listener intrigued all the way along, and are perhaps indicative of the diversity of the album as a whole.
The Lads-A-Bunchum Medley is possibly the most unique of the tracks – I certainly haven’t heard Morris tunes in reggae style before. This also features Carthy and Kirkpatrick as guests, and with the Jason Wilson Band behind them, almost sounds as if Brass Monkey had been formed in Kingston! It not only works musically, but is quite captivating each time one hears it.
The album finishes with a soulful version of Dick Gaughan’s Sail On, with some excellent lead guitar from Jerry Donahue. Special mention needs to be made of the adaptability of all musicians, particularly Wilson’s own four piece band comprising saxophone, bass, trombone and drums effectively on each track, no matter the style. Wilson himself supplies guitar, keyboards, accordion and powerful vocals. Another special mention also goes to Jill Swarbrick Banks for the impressive cover art.
Bottom line – this music works because it is in exactly the right hands.
Available from Swarb’s website – http://www.folkicons.co.uk/swarbnew.htm (a few track excerpts can also be heard here).