21st Century Reviews

You liked Roaring Jack, you might like some of the recent releases reviewed here!

06 May 2009

Murrumbidgee Jones - The Same Joke Twice (Gecko Records, 2008)

Murrumbidgee Jones is Sydney poet, storyteller and singer-songwriter Warwick Irwin, backed by a talented bunch of multi-instrumentalists called the Rivercats. Irwin has been around for decades but always under my radar. It’s a treat to discover ‘new’ artists of this calibre coming out of Sydney.

‘Cold Black Night’ kicks off the album with an eerie moan of banjo and dobro over a shuffling beat while the Jones boy drawls out a story of restlessness, impatience and desire. He sings in a likeable growl that matches perfectly the roughness of his tales and the rawness of his music.

‘Somebody Followed Me Home’ displays Jones’s talents as an observer of life, linking a bunch of random and unrelated events and coming up with a great summary of a typical Australian day. Ostensibly a piano ballad, this one’s greatly enhanced by the winning combination of fiddle and harmonica. ‘Brown Champagne’ is an ode to pub talk. It alludes to that fine line between celebrating one’s life story and talking a load of complete bullshit (‘I was born at sunrise the day Les Darcy died’). Jones gets a western swing groove going on this one, and the harmonica, mandolin and Tex/Mex-style accordion make it soar. I love the immortal line that begins and ends this song: ‘Well I’ve been drunk with Wally Lewis / Ah we talked about the Blues’. A clever Aussie sporting reference that may well be lost on an overseas audience!

Another highlight is ‘Never Say Never’, a rollicking tune where the fiddle, mandolin and harmonica are going hell for leather: ‘Never go drinking with a football team / Never drop money in a poker machine / But if you do and the bells all ring / Never say never’.

The Same Joke Twice is a fine amalgam of country, folk and blues, resulting in a sound that’s stripped back, down to earth and very Australian. Fans of artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Fifty Million Beers, the Malkies, Tom Waits and Weddings Parties Anything are bound to find something of interest in Murrumbidgee Jones.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home