Totally Biased Fan Review: Happy Days – John O’Dea



I had heard John’s name bandied about before, but I did not actually catch him LIVE until a few Tamworths ago. He seemed to turn up at a few gigs, most predominately at one with Camille and Stuie. John has a nice and easy style to him. He is a no bulldust, what you see is what you get, very Australian artist. I can imagine him propped up on a tree stump with a guitar, checked shirt and a guitar singing a few country ballads or around a campfire. His delivery is as natural and as honest as the land and the people that he writes about.

It is difficult getting a hard copy of this album, but you can off his website or even better at one of his gigs. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I downloaded it, but will get a copy next time that I catch a gig. Put your feet up and chill out to this fair dinkum offering; a step back in time; a sample of what still exists; a slice of Australia.


Fishing:  A bit of the old calypso sound, channelling Jimmy Buffett. ‘a bad day’s fishing beats work anytime’.

Son of a farmer: I would guess that this is autobiographical. Shades of Songs don’t get much more Australian than this. A history lesson.

Everything: A beautiful little love song. Simple and sweet.

Shaney Boy: Interesting choice. This song was written by one of my favourite Australian songwriters, Kevin Johnson. I was lucky enough to see him again recently. He wrote this song for his son, Shane and another for his son, Scott. Kevin has since written a song for his grandchild. It is unusual that someone else would sing a song that is so personal, like someone singing John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy, or Melinda Schneider’s The Story of My Life. Somehow, it works this time.

It’s All I know: A song that many farmers would relate to and daughters of farmers, like me. Enhancing this song even more is the beautiful voice of Camille.

Yesterday: We have all been guilty of the things in this song. It is a fun song with a few harsh realities!

The Patchwork Quilt: A Celtic tinged, Aussie heartland song. Full of imagery and beauty, hum along and tap your toes slowly. A story song.

That’s what I’d do: I can hear my Dad in this song, this is just him all over. A time machine song. A song about times long gone, but not forgotten.

Wishing Tomorrow was Today: This is by far the best song on the album, and that is a big call, because they are all good. A song very firmly entrenched in modern times and current situations. Beautiful, heartfelt song.

Lend a hand: What Aussies are best known for. It is also a good sing a long song and a toe tapper. I know that it will probably be on my shower song list. I think that is the wonderful Kevin Bennett singing with John, I might be wrong, but it sounds like him.

A picture of home: From the first few bars of this song, I figured that it was a Slim Dusty song. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of this one before. You just know. Most of Slim’s songs weren’t written by Slim, they were written by Gordon Parsons, Stan Coster, his wife Joy and many others. Still, there was a feel to them all that was undeniably Slim. A nice tribute to that kind of song and that kind of legend.

Pa’s little mates: I think most grandfathers around the country could relate to this song. Some of the lines in this song are just absolute classics.

Lost the oldies: This is one of the funniest songs that I have heard for a long time. The style is like Bushwhackers and Bullamakanka. I laughed more because I have run into these grey nomads at Country Music Festivals and on my travels. Every word is true. A Ripper.

Happy Days: Nothing like a ukulele goodbye song. A good way to end the album or a gig.

This is a beaut little album. Support true blue Aussie music and grab a copy.

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