|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
Various artists – NSW State of Play
by Chris Spencer
What a smorgasbord of great music!
Subtitled, “A Snapshot of the NSW Folk Music Scene in 2008”, this double CD provides a great overview of the folk music scene of bands and folk singers originating and performing in NSW.
It contains 30 tracks of different genres of what you’d expect to see at any folk festival.
There’s a distinct lack of blues, with the exception of a throwaway song from Mic Conway (“Cliché Blues”) which perhaps hints at the leanings of the NSW Folk Federation that compiled the collection.
Unlike other various artists’ compilations, this one runs together well, despite the difference in musical forms.
For some reason I found CD one more appealing than the second – no reflection on the artists represented.
We have then: traditional folk (“The Great Northern Line” by Collection, “Old Bullock Dray” by Warren Fahey and “Matt Hyland” by Kate Delaney); Contemporary folk (“Factory Lad” by The Fagans, “Portugual Beach” by Tony Eardley, “The Clay Song” by Selalu [this song sounds so much more distinctive when played among others, unlike on their recent CD I reviewed in Trad & Now earlier this year], “Derby Hall” by Phil Lobl and “Who are These People?” by Pat Drummond.
Also featured on the album: World music (Skorba, Triantan, Kim Sanders and Senor Cabrales); Choirs (Solidarity Choir and The Spooky Men); Singer/songwriters (Damon Davies, Peter Miller-Robinson and those mentioned above).
There are two humorous, light-hearted tracks – the aforementioned “Cliché Blues” and the Wheeze and Suck Band’s “The Day the Virgin Mary Came to Coogee”.
Other artists not covered under the above categories and who are featured here include The Roaring Forties, Wheelers and Dealers, Mothers of Intention, Fiddler’s Feast, Mary-Jane Field, Just a TAD & Moz, Loosely Woven and Sonia Bennett.
There is a good balance between female and male vocals.
The album comes with extensive liner notes that describe the background of each song and indicate where one can find more music from each artist.
The notes writer alludes to other genres not mentioned above: a cappella, Celtic, dance music, Bush music, pioneering ballads and ‘innovative arrangements of veranda music’.
Highly recommended – now if we could only have some state rivalry and for each other state to produce a similar product (by the way, the Folk Federation of NSW has hinted that there might be other compilations… let’s hope so)!
5 in stock