DIARY - 23/8/11 - DAVIDSON BROTHERS CD REVIEW
REVIEW - 2011
HERE TO STAY (www.davidsonbrothersband.com)
SHAKING BONES SOUTH OF THE MURRAY
into the driveway, walked up to your door/ about to realise things were
different from before/ there was no answer to I headed into town/ I saw
you on the corner, hand in hand with someone else." - My Heart
Can't Believe My Eyes - Hamish & Lachlan Davidson-Jerry Salley.
born bluegrass aces The Davidson Brothers provide a double dose of solace
for their fans after those long hard nights on dance floors.
Or the heavy lifting that goes with the territory for patrons who toil
on farms, factories, building sites and way beyond.
The duo reprieve ruptured romances in original high lonesome heartache
songs My Heart Can't Believe My Eyes and Find You.
And if fans suffer back injuries after 180 beat a minute banjo instrumental
OMFG on this disc there's instant relief at hand.
Fiddling banjo ace Dr Hamish Davidson provides running repairs at his
Bendigo chiropractic clinic.
The good doctor and mandolinist brother Lachlan keep the dingoes from
the door with off stage careers in this unlucky radio country.
They plunder similar wells as octogenarian mentor Dr Ralph Stanley, the
late Bill Monroe and contemporary peers on trips to Kentucky, Virginia
Regular sojourns to the home of bluegrass - and more recently Europe -
have enabled them to soak up the roots of the rich genre and refine their
take on it.
It's a far cry from their Nu Country TV Arts Centre lawn concert back
on January 30, 2005.
The Yinnar raised duo wrote 10 of 11 songs on their turbo charged fifth
album produced at Sidekick Sound Studios at Madison near Nashville by
Mark Thornton and Larry Marrs.
Thornton played guitar for 12 years with the late singing actor-guitarist
Jerry Reed who went to God at 71 on September 1, 2008.
Kentuckian Marrs was a road dog with artists diverse as Texan born icon
George Jones, Randy Travis and former child prodigy Marty Stuart.
This enabled the lads to utilise talents of A team session pickers - fellow
fiddler Aubrey Haynie, guitarist Bryan Sutton, upright bassist Mike Bub
and Randy Kohrs on dobro and resophonic guitar.
There was another bonus - occasional Australian tourist Jerry Salley -
also a prolific co-writer with Australian artists.
Salley harmonised on entrée song My Heart Can't Believe My Eyes
- a song he co-wrote with the brothers.
He also mastered romance and weather metaphors in his song Driving
Into The Storm - the only cover on an album that deserves the critical
acclaim it has already scored.
That delicious song enjoys subliminal theft from the late Keith Whitley
hit No Stranger To The Rain and Garth Brooks Let The Thunder
there were the Kelly boys who never used a shovel/ they just stole from
others and their takings more than doubled/ escaped the law for a couple
of years, you know that's pretty good goin'/ but it came to a sudden deadly
end in a shootout in Glenrowan." - Victoria - Hamish & Lachlan
back to the brothers who launched their CD in Melbourne in August
and appropriately showcased it at the Kelly Country bluegrass festival
Their song is more than just the latest to fertilise the Ned Kelly
They trace their home state's secession - not its settlement - to
the 1851 gold rush.
There's a Kelly gang verse but they also indulge in imagery irrigation
- not the Mississippi that flows through American songs exploited
by pop, gospel and bluegrass artists - but our mighty Murray.
The Davidson boys extol the raging river as their protector until
death - a Murray Dixon line of sorts.
mighty river, won't you guard our northern shore/ I'm not going anywhere
til death knocks at my door."
Maybe now the pipeline has been plugged the duo could offer its song to
the state tourism marketeers - or at the very least - morticians or private
retirement village operators.
Pristine harmonies and slick production ensure the messages are not lost
on this soulful journey.
FEMALE OR MALE
empty mail box, a silent telephone/ feel's like the world's forgotten
me and left me here alone/ nobody knocks upon my door, I'm hanging by
a thread/ this ain't what I call livin', it's messin' with my head."
- Write Me A Letter - Hamish & Lachlan Davidson.
The duo covers
all mood swings in a genre that - unlike mainstream country - is not renowned
for positive love songs.
Agree To Disagree - second tune here - finds the song character
suggesting to the banished lover it's time to grow up - and apart.
It's a vast contrast to reflective regret about the wasted days and
nights and desire to rekindle love in the next song Find You.
By the time the listener reaches the home straight of the album love
is on a roll - down hill.
Rather Be Gone finds refuge in another country staple - booze
- while the protagonists in Down Time are urged to rise above their
"Don't let your down time get you down/ don't let your love run
you around/ you better get yourself unwound/ it'll happen again next
Brothers also provide some sobering social comment in their finale Write
Me A Letter - inspired, they say, by lack of personal interaction
in the age of technology.
They sing about the loneliness of family disconnection borne by failure
to communicate by mail and phone.
They suggest spiritual uplifting by reverting to the traditional pre twitter
But, with ever rising snail mail and telephonic costs, their message may
be lost on facile face bookers.
Maybe they could borrow from the late English beat poet Adrian Henri who
once wrote "I can't communicate with you because the postmen are
on strike. Who do I blame when we're together?"
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