DIARY - 2 APRIL 2006 - KARL BRODIE CD REVIEW
BLACK CROW CALLIN' (UNIVERSAL)
are lucky enough to hear Karl Broadie on the wireless you could be
excused for thinking Steve Boyd or Alex Legg have released new albums.
But the Sydney based Scot, who arrived here in 1997, has 13 originals
on his second album produced by multi-instrumentalist Michael Roberts.
Broadie has a fragile vocal style reminiscent of Todd Snider without
the off the wall narratives.
Instead the singer, who shared stages this year with Canadians Fred
Eaglesmith, Corb Lund and Shannon Lyon, is more esoteric.
erroneously dumped Broadie in the alt-country ghetto but his ruptured
romance requiems have a melodic magic worthy of a wider audience.
Entrée Diamond In The Dark and jaunty The Millar's Daughter
- passionate paeans to foreign frauleins - set the melancholic mood swings.
Rain and tears are wed in simplistic but powerful imagery - "that
rain drop on your face in the photograph/ coulda been a tear, I don't
know, I didn't ask.'
Broadie's character loses the San Franciscan femme fatale in It Lasts
but pain fades fast as it segues into the rollicking bittersweet title
The singer is adept at injecting lachrymose leaving songs with sweet solace.
What Makes A Man - replete with an unfinished novel stanza - has
a haunting beauty, fuelled by Graham Griffith on pedal steel and Roberts'
So does the loping mandolin and banjo daubed Stumblin' Around and
steel drenched uplifting wanderlust anthem On The Road.
Equally accessible is triumphant singalong To The Core with Tim
Wedde's accordion and producer's slide guitar, banjo and dobro driving
the train and Long, Long, Way.
Sequencing is important - the pedestrian but evocative Poor Old Lonely
Me and finale Sad Eyes are punctuated by the seasonal joy of
Not Long For Springtime.
It's no surprise Broadie is booked for international music festivals -
his credible love songs are a palatable package.
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