2014 CD REVIEW
WANDERLUST ( www.davidsonbothersband.com )
BROTHERS ESCAPE DEBRIS OF RUPTURED ROMANCE
“Every time I leave it ain't not long enough/ I've grown tired of this love/ you can take your drama wash it down the drain/ I'm not falling for this crap again.” - Every Time I Leave - Hamish and Lachlan Davidson.
The Davidson Brothers break the clichéd cog of positive love songs from strident seventh album entrée Every Time I Leave.
Bluegrass is a genre steeped in the high lonesome pain of death, doom and desolate destiny so the Gippsland born boys are well qualified to push their passion to the limits.
They don't write and sing about the pain suffered by coal mining fire and flood survivors not far from the tranquil rural retreat of Yinnar where they were raised.
This is a pungent parable of escaping a love that has run out of legs and is bad to the bone.
So what do you do when you need to escape?
Well, why not hitch your star to a gravity free means of transport - a Travelling Bluebird .
OK the departure is double edged and replete with wearisome woes of absent partners but it's an accessible segue to rollicking instrumental Transpacific whose title is an apt metaphor for their launch pad for longevity and success.
The swallow in the former flies high enough to avoid worry - hopefully also high enough to avoid KGB surface to air missiles propelled by zombies.
But the Davidson Brothers, like many expat Australian roots musicians, have benefited from a safer flight path.
The rural rooted refugees long ago broadened their musical palette by frequently travelling to the home of bluegrass - the peaks and valleys of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
No point in trying to confine career trajectory to a philistine fuelled commercial corporate chain of radio stations dominated by a cabal of faux comedians whose next funny joke will be their first.
Just keep the canned laughter button depressed.
The duo's 20 year journey has been enriched by tilling green pastures across the Pacific where college, satellite and Americana radio gives exposure to roots music.
Here they're reliant on ABC and community radio and community and Pay TV.
That's the end of the social comment here.
Although they have recorded in diverse locales in the past they inject a hefty dose of their joyous journey into 11 originals on their self-produced seventh album, cut at Sing-Sing Studio - not the prison - in inner eastern Melbourne suburb Cremorne, nee Richmond.
HIT THE TOWN
“When life doesn't go to plan it can get you down/ it can get you down, all I can do now is sing and hit the town/ and maybe tonight turn it all around/ not a care in sight, leave yesterday behind.” - Hit The Town - Hamish and Lachlan Davidson.
The Davidson Brothers excel when they enrich and reflect the passion of the high lonesome sound of the genre they repeat in their escape from to coal mines to love and joy in the rivers and peaks of Take Me To The Mountains .
The other bonus for picking buffs is the instrumental Bottle Cappin', Back Crackin' Blues .
Singer Hamish plays banjo, fiddles and Resophonic guitar and Lachlan also provides vocals and mandolin.
So who else do we credit here?
Well, the brothers plucked upright bassist Louis Gill and acoustic guitarist Jacob McGuffie from the Victorian College of Arts in 2012 as regular road warriors and session serfs.
And there's also guest vocalist Larry Marrs, who helped mix the tracks at Sidekick Sound Studio in Nashville, guitarist Brett Garsed and drummer Gerry Pantazis.
Should the siblings exist off their music?
Well on a level local radio playing field they might.
But luckily their supplementary income in the goldfields city of Bendigo and wild-west of Melbourne replenishes their financial survival.
And even your health if you need a chiropractor - not a John Deere tractor - to ease your pain after weeks in the beer and wine mines of suburbia and way beyond.