“I’m from wheat lands / Sunsets on the lake / Where you don’t need a mountain / To see a long way…” Melbourne-based muso Danny Walsh revisits his country boy roots, injecting urban swagger into this, his band’s third album.
The nine tracks are lovingly laced with measured nostalgia and insight gained with the passage of time. Portraits of lovers, mates, scoundrels and bruised outsiders roll out with appropriate rootsy influences to match. One historic yarn recalls a town preparing for battle. There’s an instrumental lullaby between odes to endless highway commutes and the pursuit of yabbies. Walsh’s lyrics depict each landscape and emotional swirl with the caress of a bona fide bush poet.
Country-folk, some retro rock’n’roll and Hill Country-style blues take the listener on a journey – looking back and yearning ahead.
A cracking take on Matt Taylor classic ‘I Remember When I Was Young’ brings the track list home. Walsh on guitar and vocals is ably backed by ‘the Banned’ with guests Kat Mear (Cash Savage & The Last Drinks) on fiddle, Luis Poblete (Quarter Street) on percussion and aunties (The Walsh Sisters) offering voodoo backing vocals.
The whole presents a distinctly Antipodean patchwork of lives simply yet nobly lived. A timely reminder of the richness beyond our city limits.
The album is out now on CD and LP.
Reviewed by Chris Lambie