Thursday, December 30, 2004

Thanks to Gil again for alerting me to yet another radio treat over Summer. Radio National is playing The Blues, hosted by Keb' Mo' every night from 8.35pm. Until 27th Jan, it started Monday night.
New links aded to the Music section, left. Aaron Fox's book Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture is published by Duke University Press and looks to be a ripper. I will let you know when I get to read it. Unfortunately the blog doesn't seem to be updated regularly but there is plenty of good stuff anyway. I particularly like the slice of life photo essay on the main site (no internal link, click on Photos.)

Nice segue to two of my Chrissie pressies: Smokey Mountain Memories by Willadeene Parton, sister of Dolly. A collection of anecdotes, family history, mamma's recipes, alot about God. Some very poignant old photos, barefoot children and one room shacks. Dolly has written some of the best songs about your classic depression-era impoverished upbringing. Perhaps the ambivalence alot of people would feel are best summed up in her In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad):

No amount of money could buy from me
The memories that I have of then
No amount of money could pay me
To go back and live through it again

Working class culture of a different kind now. I was looking forward to spinning one of my LP gifts, The Soviet Army Chorus directed by A.V Alexandrov featuring the toe-tapping "Song About Lenin" and "Song of Anxious Youth. " However further investigation revealed the actual disc inside was Liza Minnelli Live At The Winter Garden. Same same, but different.

I do like Liza-With-A-Zee so its all good. A treat to see her turn up as the Buster-lovin' Lucille 2 in Arrested Development. Channel Seven in its wisdom has dumped this masterpiece late on weekday evenings, check it out if you are not hooked already.

I know she’s a brownish area. With points. And I know I love her!

Now I Have Seen Everything Moment #2657

Ad for Tim McGraw in Mojo magazine.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Question. If you receive Christmas pressies and your first thought is "Great! This will be so cool for the blog!" -- are you a bad person?

Anyway, I return from my longish break with a great load of Flop Eared Mule-related blogging material. I hope everyone had as relaxing and enjoyable time as I did.

More later, but let me leave you with this tantalising sneak preview of things to come ....

Friday, December 24, 2004

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Do a Good Thing This Christmas

After praising dig yesterday, let's save another ABC musical treasure. I know many of you will be fans of Lucky Oceans' The Planet, Gil Onyett has alerted me to its impending axing! Inconceivable! The Deep End is all very well but its just your average general ABC yaartz programme, the Planet's dedication to fabulous music and only fabulous music must be maintained at its current level. Perhaps we are so spoilt we don't realise what we've got.

Anyway, to the barricades!

After Radio National's Summer Season, the Daily Planet - presented by Lucky Oceans and Doug Spencer, and broadcast 3 - 4 pm weekdays on ABC Radio National - will be axed, to be replaced by a re-located Deep End slated for 2 - 4 pm (currently 8:30 - 10 pm weekdays).

The Nightly Planet will be broadcast from 11:20 pm - 1 am (currently the Daily is repeated 11 pm - midnight, plus a fresh hour midnight to 1 am).

The Daily Planet has been running for over ten years!

This email asks you to protest this change. Post feedback directly at the website (you will not receive a reply to anything posted here), and also email your comments to requesting a reply. (Snailmail to ABC Radio National GPO Box 9994 in your capital city).

Do this as often as possible over the next six weeks.

Together we can let ABC Radio National know we are not happy with the downgrading of the best roots music show on Australian radio.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Should have alerted y'all to this days ago. dig is back on the ABC radio nationally (I think, the important states anyway) over summer weeknights from 6.30pm AEDST. This is Brian Wise (editor of Rhythms) and Michael Mackenzie talking about and playing music, be it rock, folk, pop, country, blues, soul, whatever. It's ALL GOOD. They have talkback, quizzes etc as well. It's also possibly those unfortunate enough to live overseas can tune in via the net.

I have hogged my share of air time. On Monday night the talkback topic of the day was what album you would give to someone whose only knowledge of music was through Australian Idol. I got on and suggested Ryan Adams Gold as being catchy pop but also sophisticated enough to be a gentle entry into the world of real music. I was pretty nervous and might have babbled stupidly. I remember confessing to listening to Bros when I was 12. Oh well.

They are also taking suggestions for a poll on Iconic Albums. I left a note in the guest book as Flop Eared Mule suggesting they needed a country album in their selection, and mentioned At Folsom Prison. So last night the old Mule got a mention (as a "he" but if gonna adopt a stupid nom de fan you have to cop that) and they played 25 Minutes to Go.

Not since Blue Hills has there been a better reason to restructure your life around a radio show ....

PS To the person Google keeps referring here looking for post mortem pictures of Bonny Lee Bakley. Sorry, dude, no can do.

Monday, December 20, 2004

"It doesn't matter what anyone says to me, because Johnny Cash recorded one of my songs," he said, adding with a laugh: "So you can all get f---ed."

Nick Cave

Saturday, December 18, 2004

New Solomon Burke album to be released on March 10. I choose to overlook the involvement of Don Was and still be happy.

Burke interprets songs such as Bob Dylan's "What Good am I?," the Band's "It Makes No Difference," Hank Williams' "Wealth Won't Save Your Soul" and the Rolling Stones' "I Got the Blues."

Among the artists contributing new material to the project are Van Morrison ("At the Crossroads") and Dr. John (the title track).

Burke at the Metro earlier this year was a sensational show. I still have the long stemmed rose, personally kissed, he handed out to [sexy soul voice] all the beautiful ladies in the audience. [/sexy soul voice] I set my elbows to work and got one anyway.

Typically terrific review of Charlie Robison.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Hoyt Axton Sailin' Away Disappointingly ho-hum classic country sound. Average songs. The most interesting thing was seeing one of the songs was written by Ronee Blakley and thinking she was the late wife of Robert Blake. That's Bonny Lee Bakley actually so not that interesting after all.


While doing the Lazy Grammy Roundup, this nom in the Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album category caught my eye:

  • Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
    Minister Timothy Britten & Professor James Roberson, choir directors; Shabach Praise Co.
    [JDI Records, Inc]

  • There are others on the blogosphere who could have some fun with that, but I of course have too much taste.

    Lazy Grammy Roundup

    Hot on the heels of the early Steve Earle CD/DVD release in the New West Live from Austin, TX series comes news of three new ones:

    John Hiatt
    Delbert McClinton
    Dwight Yoakam

    Via the New West website I see Buddy Miller's Universal United House of Prayer has been nominated for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album at the Grammys. I suppose getting nominated is an achievement but I wonder how much chance it would have against the other more conventional gospel nominees.

    On that topic, other relevant categories. Ripped off using View Source at the Grammy's homepage, commentary by me.

    Best Female Country Vocal Performance
    (For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

    You Will Be My Ain True Love
    Alison Krauss
    Track from: Cold Mountain - Soundtrack (Various Artists)
    Yay !

    Miss Being Mrs.
    Loretta Lynn
    Track from: Van Lear Rose
    [Interscope Records]
    Yay !

    In My Daughter's Eyes
    Martina McBride
    Track from: Martina
    [RCA Records Nashville] Dunno, probably

    She's Not Just A Pretty Face
    Shania Twain
    Track from: Up!
    [Mercury Records] You know, it's an OK song as far as pop goes. I saw her do it on Oprah. But it gets a Gag! for taking up space in a country category.

    Redneck Woman
    Gretchen Wilson
    Track from: Here For The Party
    [Epic Records] Shrug!

    Category 37

    Best Male Country Vocal Performance
    (For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)
    Engine One-Forty-Three
    Johnny Cash
    Track from: The Unbroken Circle -The Musical Heritage Of The Carter Family
    (Various Artists)
    [Dualtone Music Group] Yay! I had a dream last night, I met Johnny Cash on a bus. He was making a film somewhere. We talked about politics and hung out and did stuff I can't remember now. He died at the end of my dream and when I woke up I thought, wouldn't it be spooky to go into work today and find out he died overnight. Then I remembered.

    In My Own Mind
    Lyle Lovett
    Track from: My Baby Don't Tolerate
    [Lost Highway Records] Yay !

    Live Like You Were Dying
    Tim McGraw
    Track from: Live Like You Were Dying
    [Curb Records] Gag!

    You Are My Flower
    Willie Nelson
    Track from: The Unbroken Circle - The Musical Heritage Of The Carter Family
    (Various Artists)
    [Dualtone Music Group] Yay !

    You'll Think Of Me
    Keith Urban
    Track from: Golden Road
    [Capitol Records Nashville] Gag!

    Category 38

    Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
    (For established duos or groups with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

    New San Antonio Rose
    Asleep At The Wheel
    Track from: Asleep At The Wheel Remembers The Alamo
    [Shout! Factory] Yay !, I guess.

    Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)
    Big & Rich
    Track from: Horse Of A Different Color
    [Warner Bros.] Shrug!

    You Can't Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl
    Brooks & Dunn
    Track from: Red Dirt Road
    [Arista Nashville] Gag!

    Top Of The World
    Dixie Chicks
    Track from: Top Of The World Tour - Live
    [Columbia] Yay !

    It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day

    The Notorious Cherry Bombs
    Track from: The Notorious Cherry Bombs
    [Universal South] Yay !

    Category 39

    Best Country Collaboration With Vocals

    (For a collaborative performance, with vocals, by artists who do not
    normally perform together. Singles or Tracks only.)

    Hey Good Lookin'
    Jimmy Buffett, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith & George Strait
    Track from: License To Chill
    [BNA Records] Hmmmm. Dilemma. Probably a

    Creepin' In
    Norah Jones & Dolly Parton
    Track from: Feels Like Home
    [Blue Note] Yay !

    Portland Oregon
    Loretta Lynn & Jack White
    Track from: Van Lear Rose
    [Interscope Records] Yay !

    Pancho & Lefty
    Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Toby Keith
    Track from: Outlaws And Angels
    [Lost Higwhay Records] Dilemma again. I saw this on DVD and it wasn't that good but Willie is a yay, Merle is a yay and TK is a gag so the Yays ! have it.
    Coat Of Many Colors
    Shania Twain With Alison Krauss & Union Station
    Track from: Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton
    [Sugar Hill Records] Yay !

    Category 40

    Best Country Instrumental Performance
    (For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals.
    Singles or Tracks only.)

    Billy In The Low Ground
    Asleep At The Wheel
    Track from: Asleep At The Wheel Remembers The Alamo
    [Shout! Factory] Yay !

    Puppies 'N Knapsacks
    Sam Bush
    Track from: King Of My World
    [Sugar Hill Records] Yay !

    Luxury Liner
    Albert Lee, Vince Gill & Brad Paisley
    Track from: Heartbreak Hill
    [Sugar Hill Records] Haven't heard it but it is on Sugar Hill so Yay !

    Earl's Breakdown
    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Featuring Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Vassar
    Clements & Jerry Douglas

    Track from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken "The Trilogy"
    [Capitol Records - Nashville] Yay !

    Mark O'Connor, Chris Thile, Bryan Sutton & Byron House
    [OMAC Records]

    Category 41
    Best Country Song

    (A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category
    #3. (Artist names appear in parenthesis.) Singles or Tracks only.)

    It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day

    Rodney Crowell & Vince Gill, songwriters (The Notorious Cherry Bombs)
    Track from: The Notorious Cherry Bombs
    [Universal South; Publisher: Vinny Mae Music.] Yay !

    Live Like You Were Dying
    Tim Nichols & Craig Wiseman, songwriters (Tim McGraw)
    Track from: Live Like You Were Dying
    [Curb Records; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane Publishing/Big Loud Shirt.] Gag!

    Miss Being Mrs.
    Loretta Lynn, songwriter (Loretta Lynn)
    Track from: Van Lear Rose
    [Interscope Records; Publisher: Coal Miners Music.] Yay !

    Portland Oregon
    Loretta Lynn, songwriter (Loretta Lynn & Jack White)
    Track from: Van Lear Rose
    [Interscope Records; Publisher: Coal Miners Music.] Yay !

    Redneck Woman
    John Rich & Gretchen Wilson, songwriters (Gretchen Wilson)
    Track from: Here For The Party
    [Epic Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing, Hoosiermama
    Music & WB Music Corp.] Shrug!

    Category 42

    Best Country Album
    (Vocal or Instrumental.)
    Van Lear Rose
    Loretta Lynn
    [Interscope Records] Yay !

    Live Like You Were Dying
    Tim McGraw
    [Curb Records] Gag!

    Tift Merritt
    [Lost Highway] Haven't heard it, probably Yay !

    Be Here
    Keith Urban
    [Capitol Records Nashville] Gag!

    Here For The Party
    Gretchen Wilson
    [Epic Records] Shrug!
    Category 43
    Best Bluegrass Album
    (Vocal or Instrumental.)
    The Bluegrass Sessions
    Lynn Anderson Yay !
    Twenty Year Blues
    Nashville Bluegrass Band
    [Sugar Hill Records] Yay !

    Brand New Strings
    Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
    [Skaggs Family Records] Yay !

    Carrying On
    Ralph Stanley II
    [Rebel Records] Yay !

    A Tribute To Jimmy Martin "The King Of Bluegrass"
    Various Artists
    Ben Isaacs, producer
    [KOCH Records] Yay !The folk category is interesting. Best Contemporary Folk is an odd category where they shoehorn whatever roots music they couldn't fit in elsewhere. These are all Yay !

    Category 66
    Best Traditional Folk Album
    (Vocal or Instrumental.)

    Gitane Cajun
    [Vanguard Records]

    The Morning Glory Ramblers
    Norman & Nancy Blake

    My Last Go Round
    Rosalie Sorrels & Friends
    [Red House Records]

    ...And The Tin Pan Bended, And The Story Ended...
    Dave Van Ronk
    [Smithsonian Folkways Recordings]

    Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs Of Stephen Foster
    Various Artists
    Steve Fishell & David Macias, producers
    [American Roots Publishing]

    Category 67

    Best Contemporary Folk Album
    (Vocal or Instrumental.)

    Educated Guess
    Ani DiFranco
    [Righteous Babe Records]

    The Revolution Starts...Now
    Steve Earle
    [Artemis Records/E-Squared]

    Land Of Milk And Honey
    Eliza Gilkyson
    [Red House Records]

    Impossible Dream
    Patty Griffin
    [ATO Records]

    The Unbroken Circle - The Musical Heritage Of The Carter Family
    Various Artists
    John Carter Cash, producer
    [Dualtone Music Group]

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Lazy blogger update

    Instead of blogging about country music, I have been reading about it.

    Plus, only 83 more sleeps til this!

    From Real Country Music:

    The long out-of-print documentary "Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music" will be reissued March 8 on DVD via Sanctuary. The Bob Elfstron film -- which includes interviews with the late country music legend conducted in late 1968 and '69, as well as footage of him on stage, in the studio and at home with his family -- has been remastered in Dolby Digital Stereo for the release.

    Among the performances are duets between Cash and his wife, the late June Carter Cash. Also included are appearances with Bob Dylan, Carl Perkins and the Carter Sisters. Bonus features on the DVD include a photo gallery and an essay by Cash expert Colin Escott.

    Fans looking to get a preview of the DVD can watch the documentary Dec. 12 on the Ovation television network.

    Here is the "Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music" song list:
    "Ring of Fire"
    "Land of Israel"
    "Daddy Sings Bass"
    "Folsom Prison Blues"
    "Five Feet High & Rising"
    "Blue Suede Shoes"
    "Remember the Alamo"
    "The Walls of a Prison
    "Great Speckled Bird"
    "Orange Blossom Special"
    "Ballad of Ira Hayes"
    "Big Foot"
    "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord"
    "Cisco Clifton's Fillin' Station"
    "One Too Many Mornings"
    "Big River"
    "Long Black Veil"
    "You're All I Need"
    "The Devil To Pay"

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    Musical Deathmatch



    Let me give you some advice, grasshopper. Never let your walkman fall under the wheels of a taxi. It will make you sad.

    Pics nicked from

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Spent chunks of the weekend making a mix tape for my sister (she reads this blog hardly ever so I can tell you about it without spoiling the suprise), only for it to be chewed up on replay. As Clive Hale used to say, boo-jerry. A few notes arising however:

    The purpose of the tape in the first place was to showcase the freaky stylings of Claudine Longet.

    I bought her album Colours (Billboard peak #155) off Ebay because it features Flop Eared Hero Randy Newman playing piano on Claudine's rendition of I Think It's Gonna Rain Today.

    Claudine is best known for being married to Andy Williams and the death of her boyfriend, colourful skiing identity Spider Sabich. As the linked fan website delicately puts it, a gun she was holding discharged into Sabich's stomach.

    D'oh. I hate it when that happens.

    While the world mourned for Spider Sabich, few tears were shed for the acting and singing career of Claudine which ended just as abruptly as Sabich's life that night. And that's a shame, for Claudine left behind a small legacy of film and TV appearances as well as a catalog of under-appreciated albums which embody the same lethal magic for which Spider Sabich paid so dearly.

    Ah, oui. The lethal magic of Mme Longet. The Stones wrote a song about it.

    Her *cough*unique*cough* singing is difficult to explain. A cutesy little girl voice, strong French accent and extremely disconcerting lisp. Skies stweaked with gwey It would make a kick-ass soundtrack for some spooky southern gothic mood piece. Otherwise it has a strange compel-repel effect. Mostly repel after a while.

    FYI, she still lives in Aspen, where the fateful gun discharged and is married to her defence attorney. Not everyone is happy.

    "I've always known she shot Spider Sabich and meant to do it," said Frank Tucker, the district attorney who prosecuted the case. "She was an over-the-hill glamour puss, and she was not going to lose another man. Andy Williams had already dumped her, and she was not going to be dumped again, thank you."


    PS She isn't country, in case you are wondering.

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    Norm Blog takes on country music Momma 'n' Daddy songs.

    Bruce Elder Watch #254

    Now I know he just does it just to annoy. On the influence of the Carter Family in today's Herald:

    Without them, for example, Bob Dylan would not have been able to plagarise his "boots of Spanish leather" line (he took it from the Carter Family's Black Jack Davey.)

    It's shoes anyway, in that song, not boots and it is a traditional song not written by A.P or any other Carter. Get over it, dude.

    Friday, December 03, 2004

    Willie Nelson dates 2005:

    Saturday February 19th Perth Moonlight Music and Wine Festival
    Tuesday February 22nd Sydney Entertainment Centre
    Thursday February 24th Brisbane Convention Centre
    Saturday February 26th Melbourne Myer Music Bowl
    Sunday February 27th Melbourne Myer Music Bowl

    I am a Finnish Spitz

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Et Tu, Cletus

    Country Music Features Cheating Hearts, Honkytonks and . . . William Shakespeare?

    When Dr. Robert Sawyer, associate professor of English at East Tennessee State University, was asked by the Shakespeare Association of America to get together papers and a discussion about Shakespeare and the American South to present at a conference in New Orleans, he began taking a closer look at the Bard's influence below the Mason-Dixon line.

    The resulting paper, "Country Matters": Shakespeare and Songs of the American South, investigated ways the Bard of Avon has appeared in country music. Sawyer found numerous instances when Shakespeare or his works are referenced in song lyrics, from Dolly Parton's "Romeo" to Diamond Rio's "This Romeo Ain't Got Julie Yet" to Lucinda Williams's "Little Brother, Little Angel." The result, Sawyer notes, is a sort of "deep-fried Romeo" in the Parton song, an inside joke in the Diamond Rio tune, and a cultural signifier in the Williams work. He also discovered instances of country music artists performing Shakespeare, including Jerry Lee Lewis playing Iago in a stage production in the late '60s and Garth Brooks spoofing Romeo and Juliet on television's The Muppet Show.

    CMT article for World AIDS Day. You might think an article about AIDS and country music would make for a very short word count indeed, but there has been at least one moment worth mention. The article focuses on Reba McEntire's She Thinks His Name Was John, a sort of musical Grim Reaper ad.

    Happily they also mention one of my favourite albums of all time, Rodney Crowell's The Houston Kid:

    Two songs in the collection focus on the disparate lives of twin brothers. "I Wish It Would Rain" is the ramblings and self-recriminations of the brother who has been "turning tricks on Sunset," a "cracker gigolo" now dying of AIDS. "Wandering Boy" is the response of his once-homophobic brother who has remained in Texas and now stands ready to accept and comfort his prodigal twin. While Crowell's songs are as direct and uncompromising as "John," they haven't enjoyed nearly as much airplay.

    Crowell's songs are far more "direct and uncomprimising" but them simply getting a shout on CMT is a victory. Those songs are painfully real stories of people whose humanity you have no trouble believing in.

    There are some fun rocking songs too like Telephone Road and You Don't Know How Much I Hate You, plus the tribute to his ex-father in law on I Walk the Line (Revisited).

    Yes, it is Bush Week

    Bad Cobbers news. Jacket found, no album.

    The cover:

    The back. A larger version is here, so you can more closely admire that Eureka shirt.

    The Eliza page:

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    Solid gold Top Ten at the Other Side of Country. Especially check out The Gourds if you haven't already.

    Lying Back, and Thinking of Lomax

    It was stinking hot last night and unable to sleep my thoughts turned, as they do, to Australian bush music. I think it is fair to say it has a bit of an image problem. Most people are probably too scarred by memories of the Pride of Erin at school, I sure know I am. Scratchy tapes echoing shrilly through school halls and the clammy-dry hand of a 12 year old boy. Slide! Slide! Slide! That's Australian bush music.

    Daggy patriotic doggerel. Tedious sermons from weirdos with big beards about all the stuff that made Australian history so boring at school.

    I finished high school in a town which was not only the self proclaimed Celtic Capital of Australia but also hosted the Australian Bush Music Festival. I have some dim memories of it. I am standing in the mud and rain outside a marquee eating roast beef in a damper roll. Every time I take a bite, the flour falls in drifts onto my clothes.

    So, it's a hard sell to alot of people in a way that the Celtic-derived folk music of eastern USA is not. Alot of these songs, if they were tweaked a bit as bluegrass or Guthrie-esque ballads you'd pack out The Basement at $60 a ticket. This is where the obvious "cultural cringe" observation comes in, but I resist. I actually quite like that aspect of national neurosis and, frankly, some other cultures could do with a bit more cringing themselves. That said, sometimes it goes too far and sometimes taking our own stories more seriously could be a good thing.

    A digression: the author Sharyn McCrumb has a thing in her books, set in the mountains of east Tennessee and North Carolina, about a certain strain of minerals which runs through that area, skips the Atlantic and is only found again in the slopes of Scotland, Ireland and northern England. This, she says, is part of the reason immigrants from those areas stopped and stayed in Appalachia (and it's pronounced Appa-latch-ia, you condescending Yankee) and built a culture there. I don't know the geologic fact of it, but it's a nice idea. Surely someone has written a scholarly tome on the obvious (and not so obvious) connections between Australian and American folk music? Is there an Australian "Invisible Republic"?

    I'm going to continue chasing up the Cobbers. The album I have been informed was actually called Portraits of Australian Women, and getting the name right has meant finding a bit more info. This lists a number of Cobbers albums between the mid 70s and mid 80s, and gives a track list for Portraits:

    Bonnie Jess
    Girls of Our Town (about Newcastle girls)
    Bush Girl
    Daisy Bates
    Leaving Nancy
    Mary Called him Mister (" ... and the idiot called her Miss." Repressed romance Bronte-style.)
    Farewell to Greta (the Ned Kelly one)
    Reedy River (tragic dead wife/baby one)

    Moving on. Up there with Portraits in this genre of bush music inflicted on us as children (but of course we are grateful now for such a rich musical education, aren't we? Aren't we?) was Man of the Earth, which contained "The Sandy Hollow Line" referred to in the comments of the Long Black Veil post. This was the work of Warren Fahey and may I just say: God bless you, sir. There is a special place in cyberspace heaven for people with informative, easy to navigate, updated websites. I think anyone interested in the area will find plenty of enlightment within.

    Last night on the phone mum came up with a tape she had made of Man of the Earth and it's awesome stuff. When I can get a copy, I'll write more but apart from The Sandy Hollow Line it includes songs like:

    When You Give That Tuppence back, Charlie Dear.
    This is a union song with a noble history. It concerns the bitter 1911 strike where Charles Hoskins, the mine operator, responded to the union request for an additional tuppence a ton by reducing their rate by tuppence. This was an old style battle that went on for months and ended when the strikers attacked the scab labourers who were keeping the mine operational. Hoskings new T-Model Ford was burnt to the ground and the police thrown in the nearby water slush pond. The tune was designated as 'When the Sheep Are In The Fold, Jenny Dear'.

    Norman Brown.
    I had forgotten I had recorded this stirring ballad from the Hunter Valley struggles. It was written by the late Dorothy Hewitt, in 1959, and also included on Man of the Earth. The struggle dates back to 1929 and was one of the fiercest confrontations between government and labour. Norman Brown, a twenty-eight year-old miner, died from wounds to the stomach after the police fired on the strikers by order of the government. Several other miners received serious injuries.

    The early Larrikin albums seem to be long out of print but Fahey has a couple of compilations available from Folkwax.

    A PS, I came across lyrics to The Banks of the Condomine, I don't know what album it was on but I can hear it clearly in my head.

    Oh hark, the dogs are barking love and it is nearly day
    The boys have all gone mustering and I must be on my way
    And I must be gone by morning light before the sun does shine
    To join the Roma shearers on the banks of the Condamine

    There was no planning in this little rediscovery of bush music during the week of the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade (about which Ozblogistan has produced much crunchy goodness), just a happy accident.