In between listening to albums, occasionally I’ll pause for a single song … currently this track by Sean McMahon and the MoonMen is capturing my attention.
I meant to post this days ago but work got in the way … still, there’s six hours to go to get behind this great project:
‘This bold country concept album will re-imagine Willie Nelson’s cinematic outlaw classic Red Headed Stranger, from the perspective of a mother fighting to protect her child in the wild west. The music will be recorded at Portland’s beloved Type Foundry Recording Studio, giving work and income to some of the finest roots musicians in town. Contributing to this Kickstarter will support a seasoned independent country musician who is keeping the spirit of this American art form alive.’
Support Mamma Coal on Kickstarter here.
For no reason other than this is one of my favourite songs from an album I can’t stop playing – Small Town Big Shot – I’m posting the video for ‘Land of Gold’ by Fanny Lumsden. There’s another reason, though: when I listen to this album it makes me want to drive some country roads that I know well but haven’t seen in a while, and this video features some of the spectacular countryside of western New South Wales, in all its hues.
Small Town Big Shot is out now.
Sometimes when I’m writing a review I wonder if it’s really worth saying much about an album. No doubt the artist would like to read more than a couple of words, to prove that I’ve properly listened to their work. Perhaps their existing fans would too. But people who are unfamiliar with their work might not have the interest or patience for a lot of words. They might just prefer a simple review that helps them make up their minds.
So, if you aren’t Sal Kimber or one of Sal Kimber’s fans, I’ll do the short review first: this album is seriously, truly wonderful. Buy it right now and enjoy it for years to come.
For those still reading, I’ll say that I was already a fan of Kimber’s but, for the purposes of reviewing (even when I’m reviewing The McClymonts, for whom I have always declared a bias), I keep an open mind. Southern Light, Kimber’s third album and the second with her band The Rollin’ Wheel, is a musical progression from her self-titled second. It has enough elements of country music to keep it in that genre but it slips towards ‘alternative’ rock/pop of the type that is hard to define – that is, the song structure involves verses, chorus and a bridge, so it looks like it might be rock, pop or country, but it’s not any one genre in particular. The songs are just really great.
There are several songs that are achingly beautiful enough to stop a person in their tracks, including the opener ‘Stumble in the Dark’, ‘Cool Breeze’ and ‘Burrawang’. The pervading mood of the album is upbeat, which means it’s impossible not to smile while listening to it. The songs and stories they contain also show that Kimber is a confident, versatile artist who sounds like she’s released exactly the album she wants to. For me, as someone who listens to a lot of music, this kind of assurance is both exciting and a relief – I can hand over my time to Kimber and know she’s not going to waste it, and I can get excited about what she’s offering. I have no doubt you will feel that way too.
Southern Light is out now.
Sal Kimber is on tour: dates at salkimber.com.au
If you need a reason to buy Spinning Wheels, the new album from Queensland artist and 2015 Toyota Star Maker grand finalist Dana Hassall, it comes in the first song, ‘Fit Somewhere’, in which Hassall’s voice is immediately captivating. She sounds direct yet vulnerable – singing straight to the listener instead of commanding them to listen.