Monday, April 21, 2008

Elsie Marley's Mates - Wheeze and Suck Band

The Wheeze and Suck Band is an Australian band, playing a mix of folk music styles. I only saw them briefly at the festival, but it was enough to want to purchase a CD.

  • Elsie Marie is a simply arranged dance tune that brings back such memories of listening to folk music in Melbourne in the 1970's and 1980's.
  • Coal Hole Cavalry is typical of a type of English music we do not hear much of here in Australia and shows the dour nature of this music.
  • The sea shanty Santy Anna is about a mexican general who lost the war with Texas. I suspect the details in the sleeve are a bit incorrect. It is a very depressing piece of music.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Katie Rowe - the Simplest of Things

On one of the occasions, when I was on my own, I wandered into the second half of Katie's performance at the Troubadour. This performance was my first pleasant surprise of the National Folk Festival and luckily I arrived just as Katie was about to sing Fred the Dog. Katie Rowe is an excellent song writer singer, with simple, quite and honest folk songs up there with the best that the tradition has to offer. As before, here are my three favourite songs.

  • Butterfly is a beautiful, heart tugging love song of an offer that is in the end refused.
  • The next song is a very bitter sweet personal tale of the day Katie's and her brothers went to a river near Jindabyne to say goodbye.
  • In the modern era, you can get translations of dog speech; so what happens? A riot of fun in Fred the Dog.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Rainmakers

Well, Visiting the National Folk Festival, of course I purchased some CDs. The Rainmakers (otherwise knows as the rigby thomson family band, being Jane Thompson, James, Maggie, Elsie and Naomi Rigby) was one of the best surprises of the festival. Kate knew them and insisted we all go and watch. Very clever and complex harmonies. The tracks are recorded live. Unfortunately the highlight of the show, money money money, is not on the CD. But all the tracks are of an excellent quality. Here are my thee favourite songs, though they are all very good.

  • My favourite track on the album is It's a Free World. A quirky and satirical song about the endless need for balance between people rights and the need to get along with each other.
  • Hot Water Bottle is a gentle and happy song about everyday life, enough to lighten the heart of all who listen to it.
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow is a different and beautifully harmonic version of the classic musical song about an abused child desiring to escape into a dream world where things are better.

the rainmakers