Songman Perry Keyes has been referred to as “Redfern’s answer to Bruce Springsteen”, while Peter Garrett has said, “Peter is the real deal; songs from the heart, from the Aussie street. He is a rare talent.” The Sydney Morning Herald, meanwhile, said “Perry Keyes is a Sydney romantic who can see the battered beauty beneath the gloss.” Yet, despite this, his name is not as familiar as many Australian songwriting greats, though it probably should be. Keyes’s dad was a part-time SP bookie and full-time streetsweeper, while his mum worked at the WD&HO Wills cigarette factory in Kensington. His first band was the Stolen Holdens, originally dubbed Leb Zetland because three of the band’s members were Lebanese. Throughout the ’90s he remained largely absent from music, later picking up work as a taxi driver. In 2002, Bek-Jean Stewart and Grant Shanahan of Sydney band Eva Trout helped him break out of his musical hibernation. On his fourth album, Sunnyholt, the songman paints a picture of life in Sydney’s western suburbs; a life he knows from growing up in Redfern. The Eastern, Ballarat – July 24. Sunnyholt is the first of a two albums series, with part two, The Great Western Highway, also due this year.