Ah, songs about boozy nights, bad decisions, broken hearts and the best intentions – sounds like a recipe for success. Many of us would have our story to tell about at least one of the above, which makes connecting with Brooke Russell and the Mean Reds’ county/blues/folk/swing tunes so easy. The band is inspired as much by swing, alt-country and traditional jazz as they are singer-songwriters including Ryan Adams and Tom Waits. 2013 was the year that gave us their debut album, Poor Virginia. Co-produced and mixed by Neil Thomason (Wagons, Augie March, Jen Cloher), the album found a spot in Basement Discs’ Top 10 Australian Albums of the Year as well as Unpaved’s 50 Best Albums of 2013. The Bridge, Castlemaine – June 27 & The Main Bar, Ballarat – July 12.