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BLACK CROW MEDICINE SHOW
On the second day of recording his second album, Nigel Wearne
was struck by a "minor catastrophe". The hard drive crashed,
just before everything was backed up. The day's recording
was lost - about one-quarter of the album. "It was far from
ideal and pretty stressful," Nigel recalls. But there was
a happy ending. "We recorded the songs again the next day
and they sounded even better, which was a huge relief."
The results can now be heard on Black Crow, which Nigel
is launching at the Thornbury Theatre on Sunday. The album
puts Nigel at the forefront of Australia's roots scene.
"Les Thomas from the Unpaved music website did a feature
about me earlier this year with the title, 'Keeping the
Craft Alive', which is pretty much what I'm about," says
Nigel, who grew up on a farm in Ellerslie in Western Victoria.
His songwriting heroes are Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Tom
Waits, while vocally, a few songs remind of Neil Murray.
"I appreciate the compliment. I've been aware of Neil's
work, but I haven't had the chance to become closely acquainted
with his songs. As a fan of Paul Kelly, Shane Howard and
Eric Bogle, I'm sure I would gain a lot from his music.
Thanks for the tip!"
"I'm just a gleaner," Nigel sings, which he says "is a fairly
apt description of me, I guess - I find myself paying attention
to detail when travelling and interacting with people."
The album features a song called Cast Iron Promises, which
is also the name of Nigel's band. He wrote the song in Canada.
"My wife and I had been travelling for about five months
and we were both very tired and drained from our nomadic
lifestyle. Cast Iron Promises speaks of soul searching and
acceptance of one's faults … I'd been thinking of getting
a band together, and The Cast Iron Promises sounded like
a good name."
Black Crow is split into two sides. "The tendency with a
CD is to start from track one all the time and neglect the
end of the album. I arranged the album in sides to encourage
people to occasionally start from track seven. Side one
is country and side two is more of a folk narrative. I'm
really hoping to press the album to vinyl, but it's pretty
costly, so I hope to sell a few CDs and downloads first."
Ross Wilson turns 65 on November 18, but he's not retiring.
And why would he when he's writing some of the best songs
of his career? Joe Cocker has done a cover of the title-track
of Ross' 2010 album, I Come In Peace, which Ross wrote with
Rick Brewster. It's on Cocker's new album, Fire It Up, out
BOOM, BABY, BOOM
Popboomerang Records is turning 10, and Sydney Morning Herald
critic Bernard Zuel has joined the party, calling the label
"a brand you can trust" in his four-star review of the double-disc
retrospective, Aches and Shakes, which is being launched
at the Tote on Sunday, 18 November. Howzat! asked label
head honcho, Scotty "Pop" Thurling, to rank his three favourite
Popboomerang albums. For part two, he lists the label's
64th release. "Howzat! has heard me utter the words, 'I'm
not signing anyone at the moment' many times," Scotty laughs.
"Perhaps a bit like the boy who cried wolf, as it turns
out. But I was sticking to my guns that year  until
the promo pack arrived containing the third Underminers'
album, Heart Part Of Your Mind. What can you do when you
hear an album that feels like it was written just for you,
at times about you? As beautiful, brooding, moody and gloomy
as anything The Smiths ever released (check out the Smiths
homage on the cover)." And Scotty's second biggest mistake
in the past decade? Call it Murphy's law. "If you're an
ambitious fella, like myself, and you're tired of working
a dreaded day job, you dream of bigger things. After four
or five years of Popboomerang, I felt that maybe it might
be wise to step outside the critically acclaimed pop/rock/twee
and jangle tunes I had been releasing and work with an act
a little more commercial. So the artist in question was
signed and the discs were pressed, and then I heard the
fatal words, 'I wanna go on Australian Idol.' To cut a long
saga short, our contract had to be torn up to make this
happen. The 'famous last words' the act uttered before entering
the Idol house were, 'Trust me, I'll look after you.'"
Guy Sebastian's Battle Scars has spent three months in the
Battle Scars GUY SEBASTIAN (number five)
Wish You Were Here DELTA GOODREM (16)
Rock Star REECE MASTIN (24)
Boom Boom JUSTICE CREW (30)
Delta's run of number one albums is broken, with her fourth
album landing at two.
Child Of The Universe DELTA GOODREM (number two, debut)
Atlas PARKWAY DRIVE (three, debut)
The Abbey Road Sessions KYLIE MINOGUE (seven, debut)
I Awake SARAH BLASKO (nine, debut)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (10)
Beautiful Nightmare REECE MASTIN (12)
Spring & Fall PAUL KELLY (14)
Beautiful Noise LEE KERNAGHAN (15)
The Sapphires soundtrack (25)
Lonerism TAME IMPALA (34)
The Rubens THE RUBENS (35)
Bless This Mess LISA MITCHELL (40)
Something To Talk About LAUREN BRUCE
Cast Iron Promises NIGEL WEARNE
Let Me Live JACK HOWARD
Bend Not Break NICK BARKER AND THE REPTILES
Happy Ending CHRIS WILSON
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