|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.0 cm|
The overwhelming impression this album gives the listener is that this is highly professional music.
Mick Thomas’ composing, arranging, playing and singing is nothing short of awe inspiring.
Perhaps it is not surprising that these 15 tracks come across as polished.
In a previous stage of his impressive musical career, Mick Thomas wrote many of these songs for the band, Weddings Parties Anything, and reprises them here with the benefit of mature hindsight.
He also uses to the full the advantage of assembling a stellar line-up of backing musicians.
Jen Anderson plays beautiful fiddle, mandolin and whistle.
Jeff Lang is a master with any plucked strings and here the dobro, lap steel and chumbush add power and variety to Thomas’ already impressive guitar work.
Stuart Ralph Speed on upright bass provides a fine rhythm throughout.
Thomas acknowledges Kavisha’s influence and harmonies and her accordion adds to the sunny outdoors feeling of the final track.
There is plenty of variety in the moods of these pieces.
A few stand out because of their powerful lyrics.
In most the words dominate and the melodies provide unobtrusive support.
In ‘Father’s Day’ – Every Saturday is Father’s Day … I’ve got one who calls me Dad – there is pride tinged with yearning, there is also some expressive slide guitar.
‘Houses’, opening with splendid fiddle, is full of hope – ‘if you lived with me’, yes we might add, if only.
‘Step In Step Out’ has lovely fiddle intro again – Get up get out to work, a dance that’s wearing thin, you step in when I step out … can’t find time for talking but can to shout.
‘The Lonely Goth’ has fine dobro – what possessed the boy to dress that way, lonely Goth in a country town – or any other odd person out.
‘Hard Currency’ has an exotic sound with its fiddle and chumbush intro.
It certainly evokes the atmosphere of travelling in the Orient.
‘For a Short Time’ expresses the paradox – that sometimes you can get across in a drunken hour or so – more than in a lifetime.
This is a very folky sort of love song in which the instruments, as always, blend beautifully.
On ‘Tilting at Windmills’ Jen’s whistle provides bright intro and the voice harmony is a feature.
Lovely chord progressions are a feature of ‘Our Sunshine’ as is some sweet mandolin.
For country music fans, ‘Man Crazy’ might top the bill.
It concerns a middle aged couple, a man taking it out on the garden, while his younger partner shoots through, they always said she was … man crazy.
‘A Tale They Won’t Believe’ is a departure in style.
It tells of six convicts escaping from Macquarie Harbour and their misadventures on the way to Hobart.
Closing track ‘I’ll Remember’ has a happy go lucky feel, sweet fiddle and accordion.
Mick Thomas gives warning to ‘Monday’s Experts’ who are wise after the fact and tell you what you should have done.
There is no chance that anyone will be offering advice to Thomas and co-producer, Craig Pilkington.
It is difficult to see how this album could be any better.
2 in stock (can be backordered)