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.

Tracks:

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)
(4.09)
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
Lemons
Produced by: Damian Cafarella and Allan Caswell
Mixed and mastered by: Damian Cafarella
Recorded at: End Of The Road Studio, Edithvale Victoria

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