Totally Biased Fan Review: Golden Roads Tour: Luke O’Shea and Amber Lawrence with Dana Hassall at The Basement, Sydney. Saturday, 28th November, 2015

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Amber Lawrence won the Golden Guitar for Best Female Vocal at Tamworth this year. Luke O’Shea won the Golden Guitar for Best Male Vocal at Tamworth (along with other awards) this year, so it was kind of appropriate that these two would get together for a tour and a successful song (which is up for a Golden Guitar in 2016).
After going all points North, South, East and West, (just about) in Australia, together and with separate tours: Amber with Aleyce Simmonds, Christie Lamb and Lyn Bowtell and solo tours and Luke with Adam Harvey (surely brothers from another mother) and solo tours, this golden pair are winding down for the year before Tamworth.
The Basement is arguably the best intimate music venue in Sydney. It suits Country, Blues, Jazz and folk music best. Luke and Amber could play any place, anywhere and be great, but this really suits their style.
Dana Hassall, who was one of the three finalists in Toyota Starmaker this year, was their support act and she sang some cool tunes and one with Lukie, which was the pick of the bunch. It was a nice surprise to see and talk to Dana, she is one of the up and coming artists in this country and I am looking forward to hearing her album.
Backed by a pretty hot band, Amber and Luke alternated with their own sets of their old and new songs and they did some tunes together as well, including “Catch You”. This tour is not the first time that the two have worked together, they have often appeared on each other’s shows and have toured with Aleyce as well.
They have a certain chemistry, though Amber does the age jokes etc. They are a good team. They are both a bit cheeky, both have big hearts and great talent. It works. Luke seems to be mellowing a bit, probably a wife and 3 growing daughters and long overdue official recognition for a great career.
Amber is just full on energy and never puts in a bad performance. It is not hard to see why these two are the Golden pair of 2015. What is harder to try and understand is why it took the judges so long to realise it.
With a show that blends energy, great music, humour and songs with heartfelt messages and fun themes, as well as two of the best in the country, then you have a great night. To add a cherry on the top, you have Dana.
The Basement is a terrific venue that supports country music and other kinds of music that don’t get as much exposure in the big city. The staff are friendly, the food is good and atmosphere is perfect for this kind of gig.
Thank you for the music.
Read other reviews of Luke O’Shea and Amber Lawrence’s music on A Country Hattitude.

Totally Biased Fan Review: Harvey’s Bar – The Backyard Sessions: Adam Harvey

 

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The only way to review this album properly is to have a few glasses of what Beccy Cole calls “Mummy’s Medicine” or a James Boag’s or a Gin and Tonic in your hand. Friday nights help and the love of Adam Harvey’s smooth as cognac voice add to the experience. I have spent half my life on the Central Coast and half of it in Tamworth, what Harves calls the two Hillbilly Heavens, so that helps too.
Felicity played the album on Saturday Night Country last week and that gave me a little taste of the full menu, but it was always going to be good. Adam Harvey just makes you feel good, much like his twin sister in country music and in crime, Beccy Cole does.
Harvey’s Backyard Bar is written by Adam and the guy that is his brother from another mother, Luke O’Shea. If ever there was a country music brotherhood match, then these two form it. Typical Aussie words with the mates standing with their mates and the gals hanging with the gals!
Alcoholaday: Another song with Clint Creighton, no doubt it will be anthem and a singalong song at Harve’s concerts.
Whose Arms You Think You’re In: this song melted me more than the 40 degree heat today in Sydney. Written by Australia’s adopted son, Jerry Salley and Don Simpson, this is a beauty. What Adam does best.
Yeah i like Beer: Well der, who doesn’t? A great singalong song and up there with some of Adam’s other beer songs. Sam the dog even sings along to this one.
A Little Less Lonely: perfect for Adam’s smooth as silk voice.
Party at the Harveys: Written by Adam and that bloke Rod McCormack. Okay, Troy, Larissa, Lynne and I are rocking up next weekend, boyo, warn Miss Kathy!
Paper and Pen: Another Jerry co-write. Beautiful song, I can see why it is Miss Kathy’s fave song. Oh boy, Mr Melt at his best.
King of the Bar Room: Greatest guitarist in the Universe co-wrote this with Adam in a slightly tweaked version of his song with with Lee Forster on their album. Perfect fit for this album too.
Bartender Blues: Written by my favourite artist of every genre, James Taylor, this song is a classic every time that it is sung, whether it be on the original with James and the legendary Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood and George Jones or this wonderful take from Adam and Lyn Bowtell, the woman who just lights up the room whenever she enters it.
Just another player in the band: Stuie has the best line on the album, but I won’t spoil it for you. Adam penned this on his lonesome. Who needs a book, he’s written it all in this song….rather modestly.
Misery and Gin: Can’t have songs about drinking without Merle Haggard or Gin. Great song.
The Nips are Getting Bigger: Only Adam Harvey would be able to make one of Australia’s classic rock songs sound like a country song. Harveyesque, I think that he called it the other night. Awesome.
Tonight the bottle let me down: This album craved for this Merle Haggard song. It had to be.

Adam said that it wasn’t the perfect album, it wasn’t technically sound, but it was so natural that you felt like that you were in his backyard. I have played it four times in the last few hours and I reckon that it is something that I could keep playing all weekend without any problems.
Harves does not do this alone. He is backed by some of Australia’s best: Brendan Radford (one of my personal faves) , Jeff McCormack, steve Fearnley, Stuie French, Michel Rose, Vaughan Jones, Hughie Curtis and two of the greatest chicks in Australia, Camille Te Nahu and Lyn Bowtell.
Never stop being you Harves, you make my days on earth so much more fabulous.