At last, the eagerly awaited debut full-length album from The James Brothers. Think of your stereotypical colonial folk song… and then think again. The James Brothers have come up with a unique and arresting collection, all from Australia and New Zealand, reflecting possibly expected themes in very unexpected ways.
From Aussie Brother James Fagan come songs of the Australian colonial experience – from the epic tale of one of the last the famous bushrangers Ned Kelly to the torrential Queensland rains that produce flooding when other parts of the land lie parched. One of the duo’s favourite songs “The Poison Train” is a riotous arrangement, showcasing the explosive energy produced by these two troubadours every time they perform together.
Kiwi Brother Jamie McClennan flexes his composition muscles to produce new tunes for some old and evocative New Zealand poems including the lyrical “Shearin’s Coming Round” and “The Buffalo”, a wild tale of the Kauri timber trade and one of the ships that carried this magnificent tree back to the British Isles.
The opener, “Run Away Wilder”, is a fast-paced narrative about New Zealand outlaw, George Wilder who was notorious for his prison escapes in the 1960’s.
In the instrumental sets, mostly tunes by the James Brothers, the strong pulse of tradition is set alight like a bushfire by Jamie’s at times incendiary fiddle playing, and James’s strong rhythmic playing.