2018 CD REVIEW
THE MASON BOYS
FEELS LIKE HOME (INDEPENDENT)
THE MASON BOYS DISMOUNT AT UNCLE NEV'S TRAIL RIDES
“Milk and mail box, post rail gate way/ line of cypress trees showing me the way/ half buried cattle grid, the dusty drive way/ the pothole may change but the road is still the same/ this is the road into my past/ just like a dream that fades too fast.” - Feels Like Home - Huc Richards - The Mason Boys.
When Victorian quintet The Mason Boys needed a locale to film their video for their nostalgia fuelled album title track they didn't have to look far.
They chose the historic rural retreat - Uncle Nev's Trail Rides north of Melbourne at Upper Plenty - with its rustic charm.
The popular equestrian ranch - replete with post rail gate way and long line of cypress trees entrance - has been in lead singer Clint Stubbs family for three generations.
As gateway to the Peachey patriarch's property at 1115 Wallan-Whittlesea road, it's hard to miss with scenic views of the Mount Disappointment State Forest.
Not all of the 60 horses stabled at the trail ride HQ are featured in the vivid video but the historic still shots of the pioneer and family add to the charm of a farm with closest neighbours - freedom loving kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and echidnas.
The title track leads into the equally nostalgic love lament Missing You and Back In The Saddle that is more akin to the sentiments of the 1941 Gene Autry song and movie of the same name than Aerosmith's tune that was also covered by recent Anglo-American guitarist and recent Australian tourist Albert Lee.
Playing Country borrows sentiments but not lyrics from the David Allan Coe song Take This Job & Shove It that was a hit for late fellow convict country star Johnny Paycheck.
It inspired a 1981 movie that featured Paycheck, Art Carney, Robert Hays, Barbara Hershey, David Keith, Coe and Lacy J Dalton as his singing spouse.
BYRON BAY BANK ROBBER BILLY
“Billy was a young man with a life rougher than most/ took off from the city where his innocence was lost/ met up with some bad men in a bar at Byron Bay/ well they robbed the local Westpac and they tried to get away/ Billy won his freedom but his mates were just too slow/ Billy beat the road blocks and he took off with the dough.” - Ballad Of Billy M - John Cairns-Mason Boys.
The self-explanatory Whiskey Time leads into the romping John Cairns- Mason Boys penned narrative The Ballad Of Billy M - that echoes the sentiments of country outlaw staples where the male lead promises his bride this will be his last robbery.
But there is a country caveat - if the outlaw is taken out by his pursuers the nest egg from previous robberies is stashed on their land.
In this case the young male lead is led into a Byron Bay Westpac bank robbery by a bunch of older bandits he meets in a local bar.
Billy's buddies are caught by the law but he escapes the road blocks with the loot.
But, like many modern outlaws, Billy spends most of the proceeds and is tempted to commit a final robbery on a steel car money train to provide for his wife and new baby.
I won't spoil the song climax for those who should buy this CD.
Yes, shades of Travis Tritt's 2000 hit Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde where singing actor Billy Bob Thornton rode shotgun in the video getaway car.
And, of course, Tom Pacheco's Robert & Ramona and Robert Earl Keen's The Road Goes On Forever.
The quintet chose rocking love song Hot As Lava as their fiery fitting finale but no plans have been made to shoot the video in Hawaii .
They may film closer to their homes on the outskirts of Melbourne in Gisborne, Seymour, Kinglake, Upper Plenty, CBD and Erica.
Clint Stubbs - Vocals/guitar;
Huc Richards – Guitar/vocals;
John Cairns – Guitar/vocals;
Peter Wade – Drums/vocals;
Shayne Lynch - Bass guitar/vocals
You can catch them at Glenmaggie Country Rock festival on November 3 and Manchester Arms in Bendigo on November 10 and December 1 and New Year's Eve at Victoria Falcon Hotel Motel in Tongala.
Further info - https://www.facebook.com/TheMasonBoysMusic/