"Screw everyone in the industry/ throw up my food to make me real skinny/ jump on the alcoholic bandwagon/ be told I'm a wanker but I'll do it all again." - That's How You Get Famous - Kirsty Akers-Melody Pool.

Hunter Valley vamp Kirsty Lee Akers dropped more than her guard when she cut her third album at the age of 23.

First there was her second Christian name - there's no Lee on the front of the CD slick.

There's no costume either in Jesse Anderson's photo of Akers naked in a tranquil forest setting.

Gone also is any pretence of civility towards rock, rap, disco, techno and pop peers prancing lemming like in that mushrooming heretic herd of oft-milked heifers.

Akers punctures pomposity of reality TV twerps and face book bovines in her version of AI - artistic insemination by managers and marketeers.

The singer and Melody Pool, collaborator on seven songs, have drawn their line in the gland.

Yes, they have lampooned Hollyweird harridans force-fed to the media by their puppeteers.

High profile suspects nailed to that crass cross of consumerism include Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Osbornes, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and others whose names never invaded my memory bank.

And let's not forget Kylies and Kyle with diverse degrees of talent but lethal doses of trash rashes that make them fertile phone hackers' fodder.

Ironically, as the Akers parody burst from the sales chute another femme fatale and exploited angel of the airwaves, Amy Winehouse, went to God as her meal ticket punchers shed crocodile tears for the cameras.

Your reviewer can't claim historical innocence here.

In a previous life he was employed to write about dubious droogs - Boy George, Wham, Bay City Rollers, Adam Ant, Johnny Rotten and vocally challenged locals Midnight Oil, Rose Tattoo, Nick Cave, INXS and others drowned in the mists of time and taste.

Luckily, the wolves have now decamped my door and I write for pleasure - not pain.

And this is about the spiritual rebirth of Akers who traced her ancestry to the indigenous Wanaruah clan who have called the Kurri Kurri environs home for centuries.


"I'll make my own dirty video, walk around naked like a skanky ho/ there's no doubt I'll have the most views/ when I post me kissing Taylor Swift on Youtube." - That's How You Get Famous - Kirsty Akers-Melody Pool.

Akers discovered her roots while climbing the family tree after the recent death of her grandmother.

Whether the Wanaruah clan can protect Akers from targets of her artistic satire is in the lap of local taste tsars.

First, in this commercial radio backwater, artists need mainstream airplay.

That's not an easy task when airwaves are clogged with disposable dross and comics whose next funny joke will be their first.

Akers, who won Tamworth Starmaker and a Golden guitar as a teenager, took a 12-month hiatus after being rejected by a Nashville label.

It's not clear if the label was the same that signed Novocastrian neighbour Catherine Britt as a teenager but dumped her after six years.

But, like Britt, the singer-songwriter boomeranged with new producers.

Britt enjoyed studio tutelage of her embryonic producer Bill Chambers and Shane Nicholson for her fourth album.

Akers has chanced her muse and vocals on Olympian middle distance runner Paul Greene, also a revered singer-songwriter, and Matt Fell.

She recorded her album at Green's Red Shelf studio on the NSW south coast and Fell's Love HZ studio in Razor city where his clients include Sara Storer, McAlister Kemp, Graeme Connors, Tracey Lee Killeen who also dropped her Lee, Lianna Rose, Sam, Hawksley and Victoria Baillie.

Despite Green's distinctive harmonica, banjo, mandolin and banjo and bassist Fell's guitar, banjo and keyboards Kirsty sounds like none of the above.


"My face were the colours of a rainbow/ purple blue and yellow/ he took the better part of me/ when I fired that shot that set me free." - Where The Lonely's Found - Kirsty Akers-Melody Pool.

Melody Pool
Akers kicks off her disc with affirmation action in Where The Lonely's Found - her character avenges domestic abuse with summary justice from the barrel of a gun.

She mixes and matches the plight of two marriage victims in a pair of doomed unions and rhymes San Antone with "own" despite an errant I being added to the spelling of the south Texas city where Davy Crockett also suffered collateral damage.

Akers punctuates that angst-fuelled entrée and a jezebel ignited cheating Pool tune Blackbird with a cover of the historic John Prine-Iris De Ment duet In Spite Of Ourselves.

The latter was released as a single, replete with video and cameo by Bob Evans, in the hope of leaping the radio moat with crossover familiarity.

Ironically, the highlight of Prine's sole Australian tour in the eighties was a gig on a unseasonally cold day in February at Hanging Rock racecourse - now back in vogue.

Meanwhile back to Akers whose affirmative action returns in the sin and gin cheating daily double The Axe Song and jailbreak mystery Sweet Ol' Jackson.

Yes, the prisoner was sentenced for breaking hearts and is still on the run from the law and lovers.

She scores a mood swing with positive love song Has Anybody Told You - penned by Ashley Monroe, better known as writing partner of Britt and more recently member of The Pistol Annies with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley.

Now, if the names of Monroe and Presley are familiar check out Akers previous discs.

Presley, a prolific writer in the publishing stable of expats Barry & Jewel Coburn, wrote title tracks of Akers albums Little Things and Better Days.

She also penned Akers single Knocked Up - not the Loudon Wainwright movie song - and customised The Territory.


"Lay me down on the river bank/ wash me clean in the water/ drown away these loveless sins/ of this dirty farmer's daughter." - Dirty Farmer's Daughter - Kirsty Akers-Melody Pool.

But here it's Akers who takes the reins in It Gets To Me - the tale of a vanquished victim who forgives her cheating charmer - reprised from her debut disc.

And no country album is complete without an adulterous male spreading his fertile seed into the loins of a sister of the soil and decamping.

Like so many reality rooted rural requiems from days or yore the victim in Dirty Farmer's Daughter is forced to give up her child for adoption.

That song is a distant descendant of another Prine tune Unwed Fathers, once cut by the late Tammy Wynette.

And, of course, a sibling of Sweet Bobby Ray who also flees the arms and charms of a decimated damsel.

Akers adopts the persona of a guilt ridden guitar picking man who flees the bed of his sleeping spouse in Satan's Game - third of a trilogy and reportedly inspired by Tommy Johnson in the Coen Brothers movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Akers dynamic disc is a refreshing attempt to break her embryonic muse from the mainstream mould.

But, here in the unlucky radio country, that's a tough task.

Sisters in song - Kasey Chambers, Catherine Britt and Suzie Dickinson - chanced their soulful music in the shrink-wrap market.

I suspect Akers might need to prolong her Americana invasion this year and emulate mentors diverse as Matraca Berg, Marshall Chapman and new age outlaw Jamey Johnson.

Sadly, exposure for her Hallam Hotel gig on August 22 with Jace Everett fell between the media cracks.

But that may change at the Gympie Muster where a captive audience goes with the territory.

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