2017 CD REVIEW
WILD & FREE ( www.vanessadelaine.com )
STORMS OF LIFE RING FREEDOM FOR BARANDUDA BELLE
I can see the storm approaching/ I can see the black clouds in the sky/ I can feel the wind is blowing/ strong breeze tonight/ will you be there in the darkness/ shelter me from the rain/ because all I know it's going to get wild again/ I can feel the tension growing as the hail drops from the sky/ I can see it's going to be a long night/ and I need you by my side. - The Storm - Vanessa Delaine.
Vanessa's tune While The Music Plays was also finalist in the international Black Opal Song-writing competition.
Bur that was then and now, 21 years down the lost highway, she has mined the melancholia of her escape from an 18 year relationship to fuel her third album in a 25 year career.
For the first time in years I was feeling renewed enthusiasm and passion for my life, Delaine revealed after she released her indie album Wild & Free.
I was enjoying the sense of newly found freedom and I wanted to express this in my music.
The album traces the journey from Delaine's marriage break up 18 months ago to following her musical dreams.
She recorded 12 original songs in five days with her producer Michael Carpenter at Love HZ Studio in Sydney.
Vanessa exploits powerful weather metaphors and imagery to propel her freedom anthem entrée Wild Wind Blows , Rainy Day and The Storm.
The album's first single Rainy Day was penned on a scorching hot day when Vanessa was craving reprieve from the harsh summer that preceded the tempest that spawned The Storm .
Wild Wind Blows is a song about being free to go where ever your heart leads you and it was intended to rock, Vanessa revealed.
Delaine and her guitarist Michael Barnard, who perform live as a duo, shared studio instrumentation with producer Carpenter who played drums, bass, banjo, dobro, keyboards and organ on the blues laced tunes.
Michael is a great producer, tweaking little aspects of the songs, Delaine explained.
He suggested we repeat a bridge here and there and to rewrite certain lyrics and definitely took the songs to a whole new level. Michael certainly brought out the best guitar playing in Mike and the best vocals from me. It was an absolute pleasure recording with him.
The teaming of Delaine and Barnard began at Baranduda Community Centre in Wodonga where she was teaching piano, singing and guitar and his son Callum started piano lessons.
She was so impressed with Barnard's guitar cameos she suggested they perform live and record together on her 2015 album Runaway that won three Akademia Music Awards.
Delaine and Barnard, who have been on and off the road for almost three years, travel to Tamworth for the 2018 festival in January after a live CD launch in Albury.
FROM HIGHWAY 31 TO ROUTE 66
From Pasadena to Hollywood / I've been to all these places that feel so good/ but I know what I need ain't there/ your loving arms would feel so right/ helping me make it through one more night. - Nothing To Give - Vanessa Delaine.
Delaine, a mistress of melancholia, included Everything To Me - another song about loss on her new disc.
It segues into the self-explanatory freedom anthem Feels So Good - a sibling song of sorts to Time To Let Loose.
The riveting Raw and No Tomorrow are salient signposts to Delaine's romantic resurrection in her roughage on her joyous journey to her beatific border town retreat.
But it was far away from the famed Highway 31 that runs through Wodonga and Albury that inspired wry word play of album finale Nothing To Give .
I wrote Nothing To Give in my hotel room in Pasadena in the U.S.A when I discovered I was staying on Route 66 , Delaine recalled.
I challenged myself to write a song including the words Route 66 and Colorado Boulevard where my hotel was located.
Not so challenging was Wild Child that precedes Live For Today - a song born in sadness with a strong assertive desire to achieve inspired reality rooted dreams.
Wild Child is classic reminiscing love song and was a lot of fun to write, Delaine added.
Producer Carpenter's April Family trio partner Kylie Whitney adds backing vocals and Vanessa's daughter Ella Sunde and Barnard's daughter Tiahn guest on Live For Today.
It was the last song written for the album and is accompanied by a video that will debut on Nu Country TV before their Tamworth festival return.
I wrote Live For Today to cheer myself up and it captured the essence of what was left to be said, Delaine said.
It captures the essence of how much we all crave freedom and wanting to be accepted for who we are.
The song is a fitting reward for the singer who took a seven year break to get married and have children before a spontaneous stage singing return at her 40th birthday party.
Unlike Memphis maestro Jerry Lee Lewis she was no longer Thirty Nine And Holding down south on Route 66.