Dean recorded this album, ironically, with a bunch of legendary American pickers who had never heard of this bunch of Aussie classics. Perhaps this was a promotional strategy by Deano, so that he could spread the word that we have the best songwriters and musos down under. I can only imagine what they thought when they heard titles like Cobar Line, Rusty it’s goodbye, Where the Lazy Murray Rolls Along, The Indian Pacific, Sydney from a 747 and particularly A Grasshopper Loose in Queensland. They are such iconic Australian references that they must have been a bit bemused.
The Indian Pacific is a a major classic, and fits into this album like a hand in a glove. It would have been strange to leave it out. My Dad used to sing Rusty it’s goodbye a lot when I was a kid, so that is a bit of an old nostalgia trip. I don’t think that I have heard it since then. Paul Kelly is my favourite Australian songwriter (from all genres), so I was pleased to see Sydney from a 747 there. A lot of Paul’s music lends itself to Bluegrass or Country. After all, he has won a few Golden Guitars too. A Grasshopper Loose in Queensland is a bit of a fun novelty song, and I must say that I haven’t heard of it before, if I had, I would have remembered it! I really like The Water Lilly, it is a beautiful song. Losing my blues tonight is an obvious choice for such an album.
This is Dean’s 15th album and he has recorded a bluegrass album before. He is no stranger to Bluegrass at Tamworth, having participated in Kristy Cox’s gigs which are really a highlight at Tamworth.
His recent albums have had more original material on them, with some classics mixed in and some co-writes. It is good to mix it up and Bluegrass music is riding a new wave at the moment, so it was a pretty natural direction for Dean to take.
There is always something natural about a Dean Perrett recording. I am not saying that it is not well produced, because it is, however, I find that Dean always sings with a certain purity and rawness. He often sings songs that are “old school” or are in “old school style” but with his own take on them. It is not quite what they call a modern twist, but it is a different way of doing these songs.
He has a distinctive voice. No matter what he would be singing, if a song of his came on the radio, I would know that it was Dean Perrett. You can’t say that about a lot of people these days.
I think that Dean could very easily introduce the current generation to this older music (like Kristy has done), and to sceptics who don’t want to be linked to a more traditional style of country music.
Dean is uniquely Australian, and that won’t ever change. Thank goodness for that. I have listened to this album 5 times already. It is very easy to listen to.
Losing my blues tonight
Flower of the west
Rusty it’s goodbye
The Ringing of the Steel
Where the Lazy Murray Rolls Along
Blue days and Dark Knights
Grasshopper loose in Queensland
The Water Lilly
The Indian Pacific
A drifter til I die
Sydney from a 747