Most people who know me – country music wise – know that Aleyce Simmonds is very special to me. I call her little buddy and she is one of my country music daughters. However, despite some extreme, intense non-objective opinions about my fellow Tamworthian, the gal has more talent in her little finger than a hall of fame from Nashville has in their vast hoard of veterans.
A couple of years ago, she cleaned up at Mildura but rarely gets the recognition that she deserves. Why? Hell knows. Heaven probably does too. If this album doesn’t get her a nod somewhere then I will give up this caper.
Life and country music isn’t really about awards though. It is about endurance, hard work and perseverance. The quality of the music and those who deliver it with emotion, heart, soul and honesty are the ones who will still be around and will still be loved in 50 years time.
I predict that Aleyce will be one of those.
Aleyce has done a lot of the work for me on this one, giving me lots of liner notes for the songs, but some of it is between you and her when you read them, so I will take a leaf out of that book and put my own spin on it.
Aleyce always takes you on a rollercoaster ride with her albums. She writes from the heart, there is a piece of her in every line.
Defeated: (A Simmonds/J Edwards) –‘ This song is about domestic violence, addiction, anything or one that tries to keep us down’ but it should be called We won’t be defeated….as it actually urges people to rise above it and fight. The first single released and quite a powerful one.
Rejected: (A Simmonds/M Cole) – a real yee haa song, which is unusual for Aleyce, but it sounds great. Quite an up tempo song for Aleyce, but it is a beauty.
Stop the World: (A Simmonds/M Carpenter) – A song close to Aleyce’s heart and mine and all the friends and fans of Karl Broadie. Beautiful song written with one of Australian Country Music’s biggest rising stars, Michael Carpenter.
Just Like the First Time: (A Simmonds/Bleu) – This has finally made it to a record. Aleyce wrote this 10 years ago. It was worth the wait. Awesome song.
Learn To Sleep: (A Simmonds/KBeare) – The tale of a muso travelling alone.
Anchor: (A Simmonds): Up to track 6 and I have found my favourite song already. There are a couple of co-writes with Sir Allan coming up, so it may be usurped. Incredible song. Showcases Aleyce’s voice beautifully and I love the melody. The message in this song is important. Live, love, learn.
Only on my terms: (A Simmonds/A Caswell) – Yee Haa! I did some bootscooting in my living room. First time without my walking stick. The no more tears philosophy and the fiddle did the trick. I think that I might have to make this my theme song!
Last Word on My Lips: (A Simmonds/A Caswell) – Might have to change my mind again. What an extraordinary song. For Karlee, when she married Michael. Such a beautiful song. Aleyce, they need to bottle your voice. How amazing.
Some Things Never Change: (A Simmonds) – This album is packed with great songs. This is another one, written when Aleyce was staying in a backpackers in London.
More than meets the eye: (A Simmonds/K Broadie/K Pope) – I will let you read the liner notes for this one, but safe to say that Aleyce was asked to finish off a song that Karl had started to write with Kate Pope at the Academy. What a tough assignment, a truly lovely song and one that Karl would be smiling down on. Great job, kid. I can hear Karl between the lines.
As Above, So Below (A Simmonds/S Nicholson) with Shane Nicholson – I knew that I was going to like this song before I heard it. I loved the title, it features two of my favourite people in Country Music and it is written by two of my favourite songwriters. It is a little dark, but that is Shane….and it is communicated gently.
Whiskey Talking (A Simmonds/M Cole) – This can be applied to any alcoholic beverage but you get the idea. I think that we have all been there. Vocal gymnastics on this one!
You Come Back ( A Simmonds) – What a way to end a splendiferous album. Oh, my word. Wowzers.
As Karl would say, I count my blessings every day that I know this beautiful lady. She is a gifted, incredible performer and songwriter and one of the most generous, caring people that I know and I am not the only one who feels that way. I have all of her albums, I have been to countless concerts, but this is her best work yet. Bravo, Little Buddy.
Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Dobro – Michael Cole
Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Piano, Organ, Programming, Percussion – Jared Adlam
Drums and Percussion – Reece Baines
Piano, Organ and Keyboards – Andy Schravemade
Piano on Last Word on My Lips – Jordan Huxley
Acoustic Guitar on Learn to Sleep – Kym Beare
Fiddle, Cello, Mandolin, Banjo, Percussion, Electric Guitar – Tim Crouch
Dobro – Josh Swift
Dobro and vocals on ‘As Above, So Below’ – Shane Nicholson
Double Bass and Pedal Steel – Ben Franz
Backing Vocals – Karlee Simmonds, Aleyce Simmonds