|Dimensions||14 × 12.5 × 1 cm|
Eric is one of Australia’s most prolific and respected songwriters whose songs have been covered by many artists including Joan Baez, Mary Black, Donovan, Slim Dusty, Billy Bragg, The Pogues and The Furies, to name just a few.
Eric is a literate and thoughtful songwriter who can cut to the heart of the matter with a few well crafted lines. He’s also a warm and engaging performer who, with his sharp, often self-deprecating wit and shrewd common sense view on the world, communicates well with the audience and draws them in to his performance.
Review by Ian Dearden
At a time when two legends of the Australian folk music scene, Gary Shearston and John Dengate, have recently passed away, we can all be inordinately grateful that the inimitable Eric Bogle remains a living legend!!
Eric’s back catalogue includes a stunning array of masterful contributions to the noble art of songwriting.
I’m pleased to report that ‘A Toss of the Coin’, featuring long time collaborator (or partner in crime, as I’m sure Eric would prefer to call him), John Munro, demonstrates that Eric has lost none of his touch as one of Australia’s best contemporary songwriters.
One of Eric’s great gifts as a songwriting craftsperson, a gift shared with other greats including Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon, is the ability to step into the shoes of, and articulate through song, the life and experiences of others.
On this album, Ashes is a tribute to the heroes of Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday fires, heard through the “voice” of a firefighter, while By the Arafura Sea sees Eric adopting (delightfully and romantically) an indigenous persona.
Other songs find Eric in his incisive observational mode – Reg Evan’s Cradle, Home Is The Hero (written for disabled UK war veterans) and Roll Call (a heartrending meditation on the senseless loss of young innocent lives in the US Sandy Hook school massacre.)
Elsewhere on the album, Eric continues his fascination with the Great War by putting the famous WWI poem, In Flanders Fields, to music, and (with angelic harmonies from Maggie Rutjens) presents a beautiful reading of bassplayer/recording engineer Pete Titchener’s Don’t Throw Away Your Dreams.
Collaborator John Munro, as well as providing his usual exquisite instrumental (guitars, ukeleles, mandolins) and harmony vocal expertise, steps up to perform two of his own originals, Absolution and Glory Days, the latter featuring fabulous backing vocals from Liz Frencham.
Eric (and John) remain in fine voice throughout this album – age has not wearied them, and may they continue to cast light in dark places by the magic of song.
A delightful, charming and moving album.
6 in stock