The second of our two-part volumes of Australian songs. The band are:
(Ross Hamilton, vocals, banjo, guitar, mandolin), Emma Hamilton (vocals, accordion, piano), Mark Oats (fiddle), Garry Steel (accordion, keyboards), Darryl Neve (vocals, double bass), Kirk Steel (piano accordion), Stuart French (lead guitar, guitars) and Thomas Hamilton (piano, keyboards, electric bass, drums, percussion).
Produced by Ross and Thomas Hamilton.
1. The album bounces into the opening track with the traditional shearing song “Click Go The Shears”, a vibrant ditty from the latter half of the nineteenth century that celebrates and documents the life of the great Aussie shearer. The solo break features a three-way split between Mark’s fiddle, Garry’s accordion and Stuart’s lead guitar.
2. “Along The Road To Gundagai” is Jack O’Hagan’s sprightly Depression-era song about childhood memories and the romance of the famous small town, half-way between Melbourne and Sydney. A spirited little foot-tapper!
3. “A Pub With No Beer”, Gordon Parsons’ lament made famous in 1958 by Slim Dusty, sees Garry, Mark and Stuart alternating with some expressive licks to embellish the telling of this “sad” song about the pub that ran out of beer!
4. “To The Shores of Botany Bay” is another rollicking member of the “Great Expectations” family of songs, about what life will be like when gold-diggers finally reach Australia and start digging for gold! Features a lively chorus that makes you want to sing-a-long!
5. Emma and Darryl share the vocal duties on Henry Lawson’s famous ballad “The Bush Girl”, a sensitive piece about the hardships of young women living in the bush, far from city life and comforts. Emma’s lilting voice conjures wonderful images of the bush and the era.
6. The song made famous by the television show Burke’s Backyard, “Give Me A Home Among The Gumtrees”, is one of the few Aussie songs that sports its own set of hand-actions by school children to accompany the catchy chorus. Sing-a-long!
7. “The Catalpa” tells the thrilling true story of the rescue in 1876 of Irish Fenian prisoners from the Fremantle Prison aboard the ship The Catalpa, which was rented from America for the occasion! Thomas’ pulsing marching drums are augmented by Mark’s powerful, multi-tracked fiddle solos.
8. “All For Me Grog”, a raucous song with a jaunty chorus, sees the band swing back into jig-time for some brisk fiddling and toe-tapping rhythms.
9. “Ten Thousand Miles Away” starts gradually as an air before coming alive and pouncing into this tale about a convict who is transported from his London home to Australia, where his convict lass-o-love Meg has gone before him.
Roar with us on the rollicking chorus!
10. Kirk Steel joins us again with some wonderful accordion playing on the two great Celtic tunes “St. Anne’s Reel” and “The Flowers of Edinburgh”. Emma tags along with some tasty piano playing. Get ready to dance!
11. “Lazy Harry’s” is a high-spirited warning about the dangers, joys and pleasures of stopping in a sly-grog shop and spending all of your hard-earned shearing cheque on good grog and pretty women! Mark takes a middle-break with the perky fiddle tune “Soldier’s Joy”.
12. “The Drover’s Dream” is a traditional Aussie tall-tale about a shearer laying down to sleep at the end of the day and encountering a parade of bush animals and their shenanigans in his dreams!
A sweet little bush yarn!
13. Emma’s haunting voice concludes our two-volume set with the Australian national anthem “Advance Australia Fair”. Using traditional instruments and double-tracked harmonies, this stirring rendition wraps up the journey through our “Greatest Australian Songs” collection.
We hope you enjoy our “Greatest Australian Songs Volume Two”.