Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Dream twangy double act this week, Mary Gauthier and Steve Young hitting town.

The Metro last week printed a ticket price of $12 which seemed unbelievable to me and for good reason, they are actually $30 which is still exceptional value.

17 Jan - Governor Hindmarsh - Adelaide
18 Jan - The Harp - Tempe, Sydney
19 Jan - Northcote Social Club - Melbourne
21 Jan - Harvest Festival - Red Hill, Vic

Media appearances for Mary Gauthier:
17 Jan - Radio National - pre record will air between 6 & 9AM
17 Jan - ABC Radio Adelaide - 4:15 PM
18 Jan - ABC Radio Sydney - 2:30PM
18 Jan - Acid Country - 3PBS FM - from 3 PM
19 Jan - ABC Radio Melbourne - 11 - 12PM
20 Jan - 3RRR FM - 11AM

I suppose they are being toured together by convenience and I'd rather a full gig by each obviously but if either of them absolutely must share a bill ... it's actually an inspired pairing. There are the obvious similarities of two country-folk (a good Gauthier quote on her style of music, "in Boston they call it country, in Nashville they call it folk") singer-songwriters, but beyond that they are also both deeply Southern outsiders with the gift of depicting intricate internal lives in their songs. I'm intrigued to see how it works together.

I’ve got another song about the south
It's white and its black
There ain’t no banjo on my knee
But that song's on my back

Steve Young was part of that whole landmark country scene depicted in Heartworn Highways and while he's not a name as big as some of those, his 1970s albums, particularly Renegade Picker deserve to be acknowledged with the very best of the that generation's product -- go here and listen to the clips. Raw and tight in the way of the best of the "outlaws" -- think Guy Clark's first couple of albums but with a more cosmic attitude -- and throw in a country song of such rare poignancy as "All Her Lovers Want to Be the Hero" and, my friends, you have lasting greatness.

He soaked up what Greenwich Village folk scene had to offer, hit California where his first album Rock, Salt & Nails featured the likes of Gram Parsons, Bernie Leadon, James Burton and Gene Clark. His songs were picked up by The Eagles (Seven Bridges Road) and Waylon (Lonesome On'ry and Mean) and he recently went as a musical ambassador to India. Co-wrote one of my favourite songs with Tom Russell, Angel of Lyon. Most recent [2000] LP Primal Young is wonderful, heavy on the celtic-country and I listen to his Solo, Live album alot. Both parts of the description "renegade picker" apply, he's a hell of a guitar player too. I saw him back in 1999/2000 and have been hooked ever since.

UPDATE: This is a very good interview with Steve Young from Adelaide, covers lots of interesting stuff.

Thanks to Joe Bonanno for the media list.

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