Vale Phil Emmanuel

The outpouring of emotion on Facebook yesterday for Phil Emmanuel was immeasurable. It was a shock, but it was also deeper than that. Phil was one of our finest guitarists. With his brother, Tommy, the duo became just about the most famous musical brothers in Australia, and certainly amongst the most talented. They let their guitars do the work. Individually, Phil and Tommy did some great stuff too.

I was very fortunate to see Phil on many occasions, not just at Tamworth but in Sydney. I saw Phil and Tommy support America at the Sydney Entertainment Centre back in the 80’s. It was an amazing gig. There were people who strangely, hadn’t heard of Phil and Tommy before, and they went away thinking that they were just as great as the headliners, who were awesome too.

One of my favourite memories of Phil was at a 3 hour gig that he did virtually by himself at Tamworth Showground in the early 2000’s. I took my ‘nephew’ Elliott, who was learning the guitar to it. It was the most amazing gig. In a stage that had more hay bales on it than musicians, Phil took us on a very big journey through his guitar playing, featuring all styles of music. Elliott was quite young then and he was just as enthralled as I was.

For someone who has been struggling to learn stringed instruments for years – a combination of stubby fingers, not sure whether to play left or right handed and just total frustration – I dips me lid to this magnificent guitarist, who not only set fire to a guitar with his fast fingers and his slow hands, but he was a genuinely good bloke who was loved my many.

My heart goes out to his brothers and sister and to his wife and kids. He lost his other sister not long ago. It must be a very hard time for the family. Ironically, Elliott’s mother, my best friend of 44 years, also suffers from Asthma. If anyone can find a cure for it or do anything to alleviate their suffering, please help.

The photos are of Phil, Phil and Tommy and Phil and Stuie French, another fine guitarist. We are very lucky in this country to produce such fine musicians. Tommy may have had more world wide acclaim but Phil never sought it. He was just an ordinary person with an extraordinary gift and it came wrapped in a big bow.

Thank you for the music Phil. We will play it forever.


Totally Biased Fan Review: Dawn of the Dark – Tori Forsyth

I have been lucky enough to see Tori LIVE, quite a few times now. Most recently, I saw her at The Spotted Mallard in Melbourne. With Aleyce Simmonds and Shane Nicholson in her team, the girl can’t really go wrong, but to have such illustrious company in the first place, you have to be just a little bit talented.  After the fabulous Blackbird EEP (please see review), you knew that she had to keep going and she has gone from the EEP to the LP and it is a bottler.

The Alt. Country Artist, who could easily crossover, like Kasey Chambers did, and Imogen Clark probably will, still has her music firmly grounded with rich country influences. There are references to Stevie Nicks in some reviews,  and though I can hear a bit of that Bella Donna album kind of stuff, I think that Tori has a sound of her own, or at least a mixture of several styles and artists.

The songs are rich melodically and the lyrics are multi-layered. I was a fan from the first time that I heard her. You can hear the influences of Shane Nicholson and Aleyce Simmonds in her songs, but also the influences of 60’s folksters and there is a lot of blues in there.

There is sufficient torch and twang and  all of the instruments that make country strong, like fiddles, country guitars and even a bit of banjo. Tori’s voice has a purity to it. It drifts over rollicking tracks that are like wheels going smoothly over a bumpy country road.

There have been a few singles lifted off the album already and there will be more to come. This is the polished album that you would expect from a fine young artist and a team of amazing musicians and one of our finest producers. Shane is like those directors of awesome movies in Hollywood who know actors because they were great actors themselves. Shane is the same with musos, he knows what makes them tick and he makes them tick tock.

There are songs to stomp to, songs to hum to and songs to sing along to.

I love Heart’s On the Ground, Grave Robber’s Daughter and Violet Town the best. They are all wonderful tracks from a young artist who just goes from strength to strength.

This has been a long hoped for album. I am glad that it has finally arrived.



  1. Grave Robber’s Daughter
  2. Broke Machine
  3. Snow White
  4. Redemption
  5. Heart’s On The Ground
  6. Fiddle
  7. In The Morning
  8. Hell’s Lullaby
  9. War Zone
  10. Violet Town
  11. White Noise
  12. Kings Horses

We heard it on the radio…..or was it the wireless….or was it streaming……

This is just a little ditty about some community radio folks who play your songs and play them proudly. They tell people who normally would have only heard about you if they went to festivals, LIVE music venues or knew you as a support act for the support act at some big gig. These are the people who genuinely love you and your music unconditionally and volunteer at community radio stations to play your music because they genuinely believe in you. They spend hours planning programmes, organizing interviews, buy their own music (for the most part) and go to gigs and festivals and follow you like a stalker……well a nice stalker. It is done out of passion. They do not expect anything from you, but we all get something from you – the artists – that money can’t buy….your appreciation. You include us in your musical family. This is a fun look at some of us. I can only judge on people that I have listened to….transmission is not always great. These are only community radio people and most of them are my friends.

Leonie: Awright! Let us take you to the Tamworth Country Music Festival on 2RRR, (the pirate station)…..Awright! Here’s Ben Ransom with a double….Awright…..and after that we’ll have a double from John Stephan…..we have an interview with Phoebe Jay…..coming up….Awright!

Bob Browne: What about this guy, Leonie? He’s had hit after hit after hit, after hit….

Kaz: Bob…..Bob….he’s only had one song out….

(Bob falls off chair)

Kaz: Here is one of my favourites….

Bob: They are all your favourites, Kaz.

Kaz: Yes, but this is a sista from another mista….

Bob: Not a brother from another mother?

Kaz: No, he’s coming up later….

Beth: Is that a brand spanking new one, Kaz?

Kaz: Um, no, um a classic Beth.

Beth: Fiddledeediddledeedum…, just trying to find the updiddledeeuptum album. Hmmmm. Yes! There it is.

Susan Lily: Giggles

Vickiree: We’ve got car races on at the Nambucca Raceway and it is 25 degrees, freezing here in Northern NSW……here’s some rockin’ country for ya!

Kylie Adams-Collier: Here’s some sunshine for you, Vickiree….it’s only 5 degrees here in wherever I am broadcasting from this week but there’s always sunshine and rainbows for you here….(little butterflies fly out of your radio, wireless, computer and an animated Snow White sings)

Beth: It’s cold at Yass but I am warm inside of the studio….here’s Rick Hart and Col Finley to warm you all up a bit more……

Jen Mize: What are y’all going on about…..we’re a serious radio program tackling the big issues and playing intellectuals.

Paddy McHugh: What Jen said.

Terry: Sooze, I have an old bloke on the phone requesting Slim Dusty…..can’t find the record, could you sing Duncan for him….

Susan Lily: I’d love to have a beer with Kaz, because Kaz’s me mate….giggles.

Kaz: I think that you’ve already had one, Sis. I’m here with Bob Browne and Country Onnnnnnnnnnnn  How’s everybody out there in radioland?

Bob: Hello to Gayle and Kerry-Jane and Melissa Robertson….Hey Kaz, ain’t she your Sister from another Mister?

Kaz: Yes she is. Here’s Sir Allan Caswell with my favourite trees, The Weeping Willows….

Leonie: Awright! Renee Jonas is coming in soon…..she is caught in traffic…in the meantime, here’s another song from Ben Ransom! Oh, it’s not working…nevermind…here is Kora Naughton, LIVE in the studio with Ben Ransom!

Beth: Fiddledeefumdiddy  I love this song….coming up an is an interview with Angus Gill… here is a song from the young man after these messages….

Bob: No. 10 is…

Kaz: We’re up to no. 3, Bob.

Leonie: Awright! Renee is here. Let’s get goofy on Facebook! Hello Kaz!

Kylie Adams-Collier: The sun is still shining here….we have some Anthony Baxter to take you to news time….have a lovely day everybody!

(Part one of a bit of Community Radio silliness)




Totally Biased Fan Review – Album Launch – Cathy Dobson Tales From A Suburban Housewife – The Village Green, Mulgrave, Victoria, with Gradual, 20th May, 2018

Firstly, let me make an unpaid political announcement. I have to say right off the top how wonderful John Dobson was yesterday and how he was the star of the day….tongue in cheek, he made me write it….

Seriously, though, we had a wonderful afternoon of entertainment, starting with a very tight and clever band, Gradual, who are having their own gig on Saturday night at Upwey. We all reckoned at our table that the band should be re-named, Musical Chairs. I have never seen a band change positions so much. Either Cathy put Whoopee cushions on their chairs or they just like to play different things. Brian produced Cathy’s album as well, so it was a natural choice, though the music stylings are different. Good music is good music. They also formed Cathy’s band for the day.

Cathy Dobson is a very well respected songwriter amongst her peers, as my friend, Bruce and I were discussing earlier, she is a writer’s writer. Like Michael Waugh, Mike Carr, Wendy Wood, Darren Colston, Craig Stewart, Michael Carpenter, Luke O’Shea and Lachlan Bryan and the like, she gets inside our heads and writes down what we are thinking, feeling and doing. Her songs may be about her life, but they are also touching on our own thought processes and moments.

There were many singer/songwriters in the audience, some older, some younger, and others in between. They all got what Cathy was trying to say and they were there to support her and cheer her on. I had two songwriters to cheer for because they couldn’t be there. I was sitting at a table with Lloyd Clarke and Rick Hart, two of Victoria’s best singer/songwriters. Nia Robertson, Andrew Swift and many others were there too. The place was packed. There was even a cocktail named after Cathy’s album. I would have had one but I probably would not have remembered the gig if I had tried one.

The album (please see the review) is awesome and Cathy performed each song on stage. It takes many turns. Blues, folk, country torch and twang, a little bit funky, a little bit of soul and other twists and turns. She did a cover for the encore, the classic, Midnight Special which made her family get up and dance and most of us sang along to it.

I first saw Cathy at a gig at The Dag a few July Hats Offs ago. I had seen her sing one song somewhere else and I asked Allison Forbes about her and Kalesti Butler and they both told me a few things. The people near me asked about her too and I told them what I had been told. One bloke with his hat still on said to me: “She’s the real thing, hey?” I nodded.

When it came to the release of “Ball and Chain” I had to get a hold of it, having heard some tracks off it. I went to a gig of Cathy’s at Southgate Inn at Tamworth in the January and heard her sing, then as she was about to go to the merch counter, I had to leave to go to another gig. When I got home, I tried to order it twice, and once it got lost in the mail and the other time, my order didn’t go through. Since, I have seen Cathy a couple of times at other people’s gigs, something that she does very well as a fan and a supporter of her fellow artists. I didn’t get a chance to ask her for the album. This time, I gave her a heads up and I now have it in my cd player and nobody is allowed miles within range of it.

I think of all the songwriters in Australia these days, Cathy and Wendy Wood probably get the closest to my life or my way of thinking through their songs. There are a few guys who come close, but for obvious reasons, and the fact that Cathy and Wendy are my vintage, they hit a few chords that others don’t quite manage….that is not a criticism. I love a lot of other music even when it doesn’t paint me a familiar picture. I just find myself in the same photo album as these two.

Cathy is a straight shooter. She is a great supporter of other’s work and she knows how to get an audience thinking.

Kaylene Pittaway was in the front row, Cathy was singing her stories and all was right with the world.

It was mentioned a few times during the breaks that Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs played there a long time ago. I could feel it.

Now where is that recipe to that cocktail…….

Thanks to Darren Clarke for this pic. I think that it tells a story.


Totally Biased Fan Review: Cathy Dobson: Tales from a Suburban Housewife

My creative writing lecturer at university told us “You are what you read”, meaning that often what you read, you either consciously or subconsciously mimic in your writing, in part, in big chunks or in style. The same can be said in life for most things in life. We are often followers of the things that our parents followed, or we go in the opposite direction. Painters paint like their heroes, sportsmen and women take in what their heroes acted out, actors follow their mentors, students follow teachers and songwriters definitely absorb like sponges their favourite songwriters and Singers.

It is not plagiarism, it is actually, in many ways, an act of admiration and a mark of respect.  Sometimes it is just that we are products of our environment and genetics. Sometimes it is giving a fresh coat of paint to an historic monument and other times it is just by accident. The Greeks invented a lot of things, began a lot of things, and The Romans took these concepts and improved them, enhanced them or just made them different.

What has this got to do with one of the best written albums of 2018, so far? Well, when you give it a listen, you can hear Cathy’s influences, whether they are accidental or on purpose.  Sometimes, she takes what the “Greeks” invented and gives them a “Roman” treatment, giving that fresh coat of paint to an historic monument.  You can hear lots of musical legends in Cathy’s songs. Well, Kaz can.  I can hear a Bruce Springsteen touch on one song, an Aretha Franklin gusto on a couple of others, There are some 70’s and 60’s bluesy, rocky vibes and some peaceful, easy, feelings on some others. There is absolute torch and twang in some songs and a folky feel in others. The words are Cathy’s, the melodies are Cathy’s but you can hear your own story or the stories of many in these songs. I am not a suburban housewife, but I can relate strongly to many of Cathy’s lyrics.

The other thing that my Creative Writing Lecturer told us was write about what you know. Cathy certainly does that.

Cathy has always been an inspiration to many fellow singer/songwriters. I have heard many stories of admiration and respect from her peers and those who she is mentoring, sometimes without her knowledge.

Cathy doesn’t pull any punches in her songs. I think that she has reached a point where she doesn’t mind baring her soul so much. Younger writers can get a little bit scared of doing that.

Dobson has won many songwriting awards for her songs over the years. Commercially, she probably hasn’t had the success that she deserves. She hits the nail on the head in more ways than one. Her songs are gutsy explorations of the truth and she just tells it like it is. Like Michael Waugh does with his songs, she takes and ordinary, every day tale and makes it extraordinary.  Some of these songs must have been difficult to write, as they are extremely personal. I think that makes them even better.

Some songs will make you want to get your air guitar out or your pots and pans drum kit out or make you dance like no one is watching and then others will make you sit back in an easy chair and absorb their nuances and the history of your own family.

Cathy has put her washing out to dry on this album and the sun is shining on it. It is a brave and courageous album in many ways. For women of my generation in Australia, and no doubt other places in the world, we can relate intensely.  It is not just an album for women of a certain age though. There is something for everybody here.

It is a beautifully crafted and produced album. The musicianship is top notch and reflects the life of woman who is inspired and inspiring.


A Break In The Clouds: This song is probably my favourite. It has a lot of wonderful imagery and it is a sad reflection on the lives of many women.

Down in The Boneyard: Cathy said at her album launch that this was the song that started this album. I can see how that came into being.

Jericho Rose – “Her mamma struggled from the start with this life she hadn’t planned, said it sometimes crossed her mind, God must be a man” – Cathy comes up with some great lines, lines that you wish that you had come up with yourself.

Nobody’s Business – People often presume, assume and put life together like a jigsaw puzzle but often the pieces don’t fit. When the pieces don’t fit, they make things up to make them fit. The hurt that it causes and the ignorance that they display is in the end merely gossip that can ruin people’s lives.

No More – Everybody has a point when they have had enough. The line has been crossed, the straw has broken the camel’s back and they say…No more.

A Moment Like This – This is a favourite as well. This is Cathy’s song, but like all of the songs, you can see a part of yourself or someone that you know. in them. I too, believe that all we go through in life leads to the best moments, the moments that are meant to be.

Tequila Romeo: Every Victorian should have a song with Tequila in it. I think that it is pretty much mandatory for those south of the border. A song which has more layers than a french pastry.

The Borderline: The opening line says it all really….it sets it up for the lines that are to come….they left town in a cloud of dust.

On the Corner of Hope and Devine – Another favourite.  This reminds me of an episode of “Brides of Christ” when a Catholic mum in the 60’s was caught between the old ways and the new and she wasn’t sure whether to have more children or not. Personally, from a nostalgic point of a view, this song had me from the first line, ‘children racing billy carts up and down the hill’.

Hurricane Child: I think that Cathy said this was about her great niece at the launch. It is quite a wild sounding tune, which goes with the title.

Think my Mamma loved my Daddy: A great way to finish the album and to close a book with this chapter. I think that a lot of people of our generation can relate to parents like this. Some of these lines totally resonate with me…’like so many in the fifties, daddy  wore no wedding band’ and ‘Think my daddy loved my mamma, once heard him tell her so’ from a time when people didn’t publicly show their affection. Some stayed together and things changed, others didn’t.

All songs written by Cathy Dobson

Produced by Brian Baker


Cathy Dobson: Vocals/Backing Vocals/Guitar

Brian Baker: guitars/Slide/Bass guitar/Keys/Backing vocals

Leanne Koska: Backing vocals

Hamish Davidson: Fiddle/Mandolin/Banjo

Mark Smith: Guitar

Steve Wells: Drums


Totally Biased Fan Review: In The Meantime – Brendan Smoother

I think the secret to the best artists in country music is to be prepared to try different styles within the boundaries of country music and to tell a story….a good story. This will open the doors to longevity and it will present something to please everybody…..well almost everybody!

Brendan Smoother has already released several songs from this new album, all of which made the country charts. The album is a great mix of country styles with some awesome guest co-writers and musicians.

Brendan’s voice adapts easily to different styles and songs. Some people know him as a bush balladeer, some know him as singing bluegrass, the blues, straight up country or a little rocking country.

Brendan has slowly been releasing singles and getting ready for this album. A lot of it you will have already heard and loved but there are some other songs on here that are just top notch and that are sure to be singles.

Produced by Rob Mackay, Michael “Hands in everything” Carpenter and Larry Marrs, it is a great mix of cool songs and songs that you can relate to, one way or another.


Gypsy Girl – Brendan Smoother – a lively, blues/rocky song to start the album off, heavily featuring Michael Carpenter.

Behind The Seen – Brendan Smoother – A song that Bob Browne and I flogged on ‘Countryon’ and a song that was close to both of our hearts, given the subject…that old Black Dog. One of Brendan’s best songs and a favourite with the fans. Features Garry Koehler on harmonies.

Campfire Conversation – Brendan Smoother, Brendan Nawrocki, Emma Dykes, Kevin Bennett – features Garry Koehler and Pete Denahy.  Easy to see the connection between songwriting sessions at The Dag and a campfire. With these co-writers, you can’t really go wrong.

Stretcher Bearer – Brendan Smoother – quite possibly my favourite. What a great song, originally featured on an EP. With Brendan being a Paramedic, it was an obvious song subject when coming to a “war song”. There have only been a handful of songs that have been written about those who carried the wounded – this one is a beaut one.

Burrumbuttock Hay Runners with Pete Denahy – Brendan Smoother – multi award nominated song about ordinary Aussies helping out farmers.And who better to do a song of this nature with than Pete.

A Schooner Too Much – Lola Brinton/Brendan Smoother – What’s a country music album without a drinking song? A catchy, singalong song that is even better to listen to with a schooner in your hand.

Big Black Car – Lola Brinton/Brendan Smoother – The video  is very cool and the song is even cooler. It sounds a bit different to most Smoother songs and you can hear the Carpenter sound in this as well.

Love Street – Brendan Smoother – A very country song, lots of cool fiddle and banjo and mando. A cool bluegrass number. Toe tapping and shoulder shifting.

Old Chimney – Brendan Smoother – I relate to this song on many levels. I often wondered the same thing about those crumbling old houses and the stories behind them. It is also about Gundagai, where a lot of my Dad’s cousins live and where I spent a lot of time when I was a kid. Great song.

Stranger – Brendan Smoother – A beautiful song, lots of lovely fiddle. Brendan says in his liner notes – i’s a hybrid of fact and fiction and that it was the first time that he had written a song with tears rolling down his face. I can relate Brendan, I had a few tears and I could relate to a lot in this song…..I have a mum in a similar boat.

The Last of the Riverboats – Andrew Durant with The Bobkatz – I have always loved this song. It is an old Stars song, written by the late, great, Andy Durant. The Bobkatz add a lot to this song.

Feels like coming home – Brendan Smoother/Jeremy Edwards – This is a good song to go out with, Songs about home, generally are. It also feels like a song to sing when you are driving on a country road or a coastal road.


Totally Biased Fan Review: The Heggarties – The Heggarties

I went to a gig recently (see review) in Melbourne with this band as the Headliners. I had heard them being interviewed on several radio stations and I had heard a couple of their songs. What stood out for me in the line up was that my favourite country band, The April Family were in town performing. Matt J. Ward from South Australia was also there. All three acts turned out to be Aces and it was a beaut afternoon.

The Heggarties have many influences from the obvious to the not so obvious. They are a fun band to watch and listen to LIVE, but I do enjoy to spin some tracks before and after to get acquainted or re-acquainted with the act.

There are bluegrass moments, like Ramblin’ (Till My Dyin’ Day), beautiful ballads like Wayside Chapel and Leaves in the Fall, The obvious echoes of Paul Kelly in Shannon and a catchy song with some other undertones, Rollin’ Ma Rollies. Their are folk influences, especially on one of my favourites, the last song, Wish Upon A Star.

Their sound is a big sound. All members contribute to vocals and they play a variety of instruments. This is a polished production. There is a song for every mood.
I look forward to hearing more from them.

The Tracks:

Never Be Fine (W. Heggart)

Chrome Plated Tragedy (W. Heggart)

Kentucky Post (T. Bodman)

Leaves in the fall (S.Lennox)

Wayside Chapel (W. Heggart)

Rollin’ Ma Rollies (W. Heggart)

Evelyn (W. Heggart)

Shannon (M. Tulysewski)

Marylou (S. Lennox)

Ramblin’ (Till my dyin’ day) (P. Heggart)

Wish Upon a Star (P. Heggart)

The band:

Wren Heggart: Lead vocals on Chrome Plated Tragedy, Wayside Chapel, Rollies and Evelyn, backing vocals

Max Tulysewski: Lead Vocals on Shannon, drums and percussion, keyboards, backing vocals

Tim Bodman: Upright bass, backing vocals

Steve Lennox: Lead vocals on Never be fine, Leaves in the Fall and Marylou, electric guitars, cigar box guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar on Wayside Chapel, backing vocals.

Paul Heggart: Lead vocals on Kentucky Post, Ramblin’ and Wish Upon a Star, acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, harmonica, backing vocals

Paul Cooper: Banjo and Mandolin

Produced by The Heggarties and Mick Wordly.



Totally Biased Fan Review: Allan Caswell – Mexico

 Most people know that I worship the beer that Allan Caswell walks on. We are rarities in life, we love all codes of football and we love our country music. We both love the Blue Mountains and we both have a great love of Victoria and Victorians. The line that is in the first song, and the line that is repeated in the credits is that: “They do it for the music down in Mexico”. Victoria has often been called Mexico by New South Welshmen, because it is south of the border, but also added to this is that the Caswells have a rather infamous Chihuahua, called Big Kev, who is nearly as famous as Allan now.
Today is a kind of sad day in Melbourne Alt. Country Music circles, as we had the funeral of one of our family, Tom Fauvette, a member of the Rick Hart Trio and a fine guitarist. It is apt that we celebrate the beautiful and talented musicians of Victoria….Allan could do a part 2 and 3 of this Mexico gig.
Allan refers often to his friends in Victoria….they often start a chain. Catherine Britt introduced me to Lachlan Bryan, Lachlan Bryan introduced me to his Wildes, (including Damian Cafarella), Lachlan and Kate Naylor introduced me to The Weeping Willows, The Weeping Willows introduced me to Jen Mize. Keith Potger was my first love at 3 and James Gillard has been one of my music heroes since I was a teenager. Most of these guys feature on this album. Manfred Vijars. continues his association with Allan, writing songs that will always feature in heritage songs awards at Tamworth.
Jen Mize, along with Brad Butcher and Paddy McHugh would fit in well with the Victorian culture. I am now an honorary Victorian, and I know how many wonderful artists are down here, it is one of the reasons that I moved here.
I think that this album is one of Allan’s best. Lyrically, Allan has always been one of the best, but on this album, instrumentally, Allan goes to a new level, influenced strongly by all of the wonderful co-writers and the producer behind him, it is much more varied and he goes to a whole new level.
There are drinking songs, of course. An Allan Caswell album wouldn’t be an Allan Caswell album without drinking songs. Allan mentions on the credits that he personally feels that No Longer My Best Friend is his best ever song. DCaf and Sir Allan wrote this one together about his life with Marian. It is hard to argue, though Allan knows my favourite song of his and that is always hard to top.
Knowing that you’re there is one of my favourite songs on the album and it was written with a whole bunch of people, including Renee Jonas, who I personally think will be one of the next big things in Australian country music.
People will not be surprised when I tell you that the top ranking single, The Roses Fall is also one of my faves. It of course, features my little Sister from another mister, Laura Coates and her hubby, Andy Wrigglesworth.  This is such a poignant and beautiful song, and I am so glad that the Aussie public has embraced it.
 I love Why Everything’s So Pink…it is very Australian…how one masculine male contrasts with an  obviously feminine female. Great song.
Allan thinks that his song, co-written with Damian and an obviously autobiographical song about his life with Marian is one of his finest. I love it but it is hard to top my fave, which Allan knows so well
Losing Hand in A Dying Town, is so strongly influenced by Andy Wrigglesworth…you can almost see the tumbleweeds and swinging doors..
I love the last track. Lachlan Bryan is always best when he is playing the piano and I just love this song and all of its meanings.
Damian does a fine job producing this album with Allan. He is a musician who knows all of the elements of compostion and performance. Allan has always been lyrically strong, but on this album, the variation of  instrumental creation and the heart in each song which is so obviously strong and fruitful, is delivered with soul and poignancy.
Thank you, my dear friends. I look forward to sequels.


1. Mexico (A and M Caswell (3.37)
2. Life Imitating Art (A Caswell/J Mize) (2.27)
3. Powerful Thing (A Caswell/D Cafarella) (3.43)
4. Knowing That You’re There (A Caswell, R Jonas, R Gray,
E Usher, J Tsartsaflis, G Stephens, C Tanaka, C Turner, M Peagam)
5. If Life Gives You Lemons (A Caswell/K Potger) (3.50)
6. That’s Why Lonely People Drink (Featuring Jen Mize) (A Caswell/L
Robinson) (3.53)
7. The Roses Fall (Featuring The Weeping Willows) (A Caswell/A
Wrigglesworth) (4.16)
8. Why Everything’s So Pink (A Caswell/C Stefl) (3.13)
9. Taken By The Wind (A Caswell/K Potger) (3.22)
10. No Longer My Best Friend (A Caswell/D Cafarella) (3.09)
11. Sucking My Darling Dry (A Caswell/M Vijars)(3.06)
12. Drunks Like Charlie (A Caswell/M Vijars) (3.25)
13. Losing Hand In A Dying Town (A Caswell/D Cafarella/A
Wrigglesworth) (4.14)
14. It’s Not Nearly Time (A Caswell/L Bryan) (3.04)
The Band
Allan Caswell: lead and backing vocals
Damian Cafarella: electric, acoustic and nylon string guitars, bass, drums
and percussion, banjo, lap steel, mandolin and backing vocals
Pete Fiddler: Dobro and mandolin
Lachlan Bryan: piano, organ and backing vocals
Andy Wrigglesworth: acoustic guitars, banjo and backing vocals
Laura Coates: lead vocal duet on The Roses Fall
Jen Mize: lead vocal duet on That’s Why Lonely People Drink and backing
vocals on Powerful Thing
James Gillard: stand-up bass and backing vocals on Taken By The Wind
Chihuahua Chili Company Choir: Allan Caswell, Marian Caswell, Damian
Cafarella and Andy Wrigglesworth, crowd vocals on If Life Gives You
Produced by: Damian Cafarella and Allan Caswell
Mixed and mastered by: Damian Cafarella
Recorded at: End Of The Road Studio, Edithvale Victoria

Totally Biased Fan Review – Brad Cox: Brad Cox

The boy from Jindabyne, a beautiful spot in NSW’s south, releases his debut album to huge fanfare, and deservedly so. Appropriately,  Brad’s longtime friend, fellow 23 year old, Imogen Clark has released her new album in the same week. There must have been something in the water about that time because the amount of 22 and 23 year olds who are making a big splash in country music waters at the moment are coming at us in waves.

Brad won this year’s Toyota Starmaker in Tamworth this year, a prize which offers huge exposure and opportunities and a great helping hand. Some of the best in Australia’s country music history have won this award, and some of the best have been runners up.

Brad deservedly won this year, with his big voice and a real earthy country feel to his work. It was one of the most popular wins in recent years with the fans.

I don’t like comparisons, because I like to look at the individual traits of an artist, but you can pick up a little bit of Tracy Byrd, Travis Tritt, (the best of) Brad Paisley and maybe a bit of a Chris Stapleton feel.

I think that he is something that Australian Country Music hasn’t had in male vocals in recent years. His voice is really big. It is powerful. We have had some lovely gentle voices but this guy’s voice is big and strong. He can really belt out a song, without trying to be a rock god or a heavy metal country rocker. He has some great purity to his voice.

This is a slickly produced album and it is good to see that someone so young is writing his own stuff. He mentions Garth Brooks and the late great, Chris LeDoux, and that is fitting too. He would probably fit well with the likes of our own Adam Eckersley too.

I really like this guy, I think that he has a very big future. I shall watch his progress with great interest. He has something very special in his make up. Every song is a gem. There are some great power ballads and some very unique tones for an Australian album. His style fits very much into the 90’s American Country Music scene, which I loved very much.

Well done, Brad, I can’t wait to hear more.



Drinking Pioneer

Red Light

Water on the Ground

Water on the ground

Somewhere like Cheyenne

Too drunk to drive

My Showcase


Found my way home

Take Me Higher

Lake House


This is who I am

All songs are written by Brad Cox, apart from Towels which is written with Joe Mungowan.