Pat's New Album
At last, The new album has finally arrived!
After almost two and a half years, The long awaited follow up to the award winning "Laughter Like a Shield" is to be officially released in Sydney on Thursday October 24th at the Eastwood Hotel. I hope many of you will be able to join us for what will be a tremendous celebration for us all. It will be my first Sydney gig after being in Queensland and Northern NSW for about two months.
"Of Wheels and Wires" continues the tradition of true Australian storytelling songs and, as with "Laughter" , it has been special to me because of the people who have worked on the project. My brothers Ron, Steve and Danny return with their gutsy blend of harmonies which were so much a hallmark of our previous albums.
Peter, my second son, better known these days for his powerhouse drumming behind the Bushwackers and as Yamaha Australia's youngest ever 'A' grade endorsee, drives the rhythm section on this album with country bass legend, Jeff McCormack (The Wheel, Bullamakanka}. Pete also contributes Piano and Acoustic Guitar tracks and teams up on some harmonies with Kasey Chambers.
My eldest son, Matthew shares the lead guitar credits with hot country sideman Stuart French (Gina Jeffries James Blundell). Matthew, whose wonderful designs for "Laughter Like A shield " set a whole new standard in independent album graphics, two years ago, has been joined by talented young artist and designer, Jonathan Hairman, on "Wheels and Wires". Together they have produced an equally beautiful cover and 24 page colour lyric booklet .
Add to the family mix, the resident harmonica genius of Jim Conway (The Backsliders /Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band} and the soaring fiddle and string arrangements of Marcus Holden (everyone from Jimmy Barnes to Jimmy Haynes); stir in the formidable production and engineering talents of Nash Chambers and the odd appearance of his father Bill and sister Kasey (Dead Ringer Band) on Backing Vocals and you have recipe for a great acoustic music event. Recorded at The Beach House in Avoca, NSW; home now to many of the Australian Country Music fraternity; the album has a much stronger Country Music feel than my previous offerings. Every album has it's own particular flavour. It derives from the people you are working with and who are your influences at the time. 'Wheels and Wires' is certainly musically, a very country sounding album. It came out of the growing association between the Chambers and Drummond families which began in Barmera, SA, in 1992.
By most artists standards, my albums, have varied extraordinarily in style over the years. When you consider the full on Rock-opera of 'Skooldaze' or the anarchic Pub songs of 'The Age of Rage" and then compare them with, say, the staunchly nationalist folk/rock of 'The Local Rag;' or the more romantic approach of "Laughter Like a Shield", "Wheels and Wires" should come as no real surprise. I think some of the elements on 'Laughter' were pointing in this direction. 'The Old Time Country' show is a good example and I know that "The Honky Tonk from Hell,' which I wrote for The Dead Ringers 'Homefires' album, raised a few eyebrows in the Folk fraternity; but I have never believed that artists should be frozen moments or that songwriters should actively seek to restrict the genres in which they work.
The real constant in the songs is the storytelling factor. Since I was a child I have been fascinated by what makes the world 'tick'. It has been through the powerful medium of story telling that I have tried to interpret and give meaning to the chaos around me. In the process, if it gives some measure of recognition and respect to the dignity of the lives of the people about whom I have written; then I think that is an important thing to have achieved. To me it is the essence of what great folk music of any time or place should be about; and country music is, in the end, a form of folk music.
Why "Wheels and Wires"?
Primarily, Wheels and Wires is an album of work songs. If 'Laughter Like a Shield' was about the things that we, as Australians, believe then this album is about the things that we actually do; about the ways in which we choose to spend the precious years of our working lives. Written between 1994 and 1996, the songs were based on interviews with transport workers, writers, timbermillers, dancers, officeworkers, farmers, nurses and others. They focus on the way in which work may give, or fail to give, meaning and dignity to our existence.
The songs as a group deal thematically with the lines and circles that dominate our existence. The cycle of the seasons and the linear span of our years, dealt with in 'Good Morning Josie' , 'The Certainty of Miracles' and 'Let It Go', are set against the way that those patterns recur in the nature of the universe around us.
The Songs include some of the most requested numbers of the last few years,
In The Grain, The Cable and the Wheel, Vertelli's Wire, Robbie's Got A Gun, The Toilet Paper Line Dance, One of These Days, Bad Pennies, Let It Go, David's Watch, Certainty of Miracles, Good Morning Josie, Somewhere Down The Line, Colours of The Cross.