Allan Caswell is a national treasure in Australia, particularly in country music circles. Michael Carpenter has the potential to be a national treasure. Split by a decade or so in birth years, Allan and Michael are kindred spirits. I have seen that chemistry with them in a room, on a stage and even on posts on Facebook. They don’t always agree on everything but there is that connection and that bond between brothers that usually takes a lifetime to develop. Musically, they are on the same page and there is a mutual admiration between them.
The fact that Sir Allan is doing a whole album with another artist must be a first and definitely an honour for Michael. Allan has co-written with and mentored most country music artists in Australia and some in New Zealand. He has introduced us to many fine talents. However, he to my knowledge, this is the first entire album that he has done with another artist. Michael Carpenter is no slouch. He is in the top 5 Country Music producers in Australia. There are not many artists (especially in NSW), who haven’t worked with Michael in some capacity. He has worked as a guitarist with many bands, including two of his own, Michael Carpenter and the Cuban Heels and The April Family. He has produced some of our finest albums.
These two men are very passionate about their music and producing a quality product. They are two of the most generous and unselfish artists in this country. They have both been very good to me. I have known Allan a long while now and I have only known Michael for just over 12 months. What I do know about these two, is that separately, they are champions and brilliant at their music. Together, quite frankly, they are magic.
Back When I was Older – One of the singles released from the album and it has the sound of a single. It has that Travelling Wilburys’ feel. Some great lyrics and a real toe tapper.
Til You Come Around – This song has a similar feel to the first track. My only criticism is that I would have probably put the third track here and switched things up a bit. Some good lines.
That Ain’t What It Is – One of my favourite tracks on the album, a beautiful ballad with a great feeling of melancholy.
Life Like It’s A Trainwreck – A budding dj’s tongue twisting title nightmare but a great song. Rollicking and in your face – I almost thought that Elvis and Johnny were in the building. You’ll wear out your shoes on this one.
Bourbon Every Time – I have played this song five times already and it has made me cry into my black coffee every time. Pure genius.
High Hopes (with Kylie Whitney) – If the last one made you cry, this one will make you soar. One of the feel good songs of the year. It is my pre-interview warm up song and it always makes me feel “up”. Watch the video (on this blog), you will spot some very familiar faces.
Want That Back Again (with Felicity Urquhart) – A very sweet combo. When I listened to it the first time, I thought, that voice is very familiar. I think that is Fliss. I checked on Google and sure enough, it is. This song has a touch of the cheekiness about it. I was almost blushing listening to it. Nice change of pace too.
Too Young Too Cute Too Pretty – Nothing like a bit of bluegrass in the afternoon. It will get everything tapping. Obviously this young lady was not at the gig where Allan and Drew wrote The Billy Joel Song! A good fun song.
After It’s Gone – A bluesy, guitar twanging, easy over brandy song. My kinda song.
The Boys In Black (with Kylie Whitney) – a tribute to the boys (and girls) who set up and pack up. These guys know better than anybody else in the music business how amazing they are. Most of us genuine fans know how important they are. Long time co-writer pal of Allan’s, Manfred Vijars co-writes this one with Allan and Michael.
The Big Daddy: A surprise addition….a little instrumental. It sounds like a jam session that we’d all like to be invited to. I will bring my triangle and air guitar, fellas.
Wherever you are (with Kylie Whitney) Some of the best lyrics on this one. Love it to bits. “two weeks in Texas and thinks he’s a cowboy, two months in Hollywood and thinks he’s a star, spent 6 months in Nashville and thought he was country…..”. Yup.
This is a gem. Buy it, play it, treasure it. Play it for friends with a bottle of something good and enjoy.
Produced by Michael Carpenter
All songs written by Allan Caswell and Michael Carpenter except The Boys In Black by Allan Caswell, Michael Carpenter and Manfred Vijars