Bob Barford has been a resident of Central Australia for 30 years. Bob has performed throughout Australia and overseas with the band Bloodwood and as a solo artist. A full time musician in Alice Springs, Bob entertains a wide variety of visitors and locals within the town and out in the bush. Bob plays guitar as well as many other instruments and sings a wide variety of songs from the Australian tradition, local contemporary writers as well as his own compositions.
Bob Barford Where I Belong
CD review by Tony Smith
TN023-4 – $20
TN157 Aug 23
In this ‘wrapped up’ production from Alice Springs, Bob Barford, of the famous band ‘Bloodwood’, showed exactly where he belonged, personally, geographically and musically.
The fourteen tracks which include some originals, and an ‘Aussie Medley’, two versions of Waltzing Matilda, Click Go the Shears, Botany Bay, made it clear where Barford’s heart belongs.
He covered Hugh MacDonald’s ‘Diamantina Drover’, John Williamson’s ‘Raining on the Rock’ and Ted Egan’s ‘Drover’s Boy’.
Barford commented that ‘I am Australian’ by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of the Bushwackers, would make a good national anthem.
His arrangement of Henry Lawson’s ‘Freedom on the Wallaby’ was very good.
He wore his republican heart on his sleeve in this one.
Some tunes Barford wrote are ‘Sail Away’ for the Todd River yachties, ‘Benchmark Cafe’ about a good tree for boiling the billy and ‘Jassara’, a lullaby for his granddaughter.
Bob and Lesley Bradford collaborated on the title track ‘Where I Belong’ and ‘Old Bamboo Chair’ by Alan Hughes is covered.
So was Cook’s ‘Go Tell Your Father’, which is about a bushranger, and Steve Smith’s ‘Handy Camel’, clearly a song from Central Australia.
From the other side of the world, Barford included the Alice Springs string group playing Jay Ungar’s ‘Ashokan Farewell’.
Barford thanked numerous contributors: Scott Balfour, Mick Cafe, Ella Carmichael, Dave Evans, Barney Foran, Peter and Nicola Gilham, Isaak Hartley-Richards, Alan and Jayne Hughes, Anne Jaquiery, Dave McCall, Kate and Ross Muir, Colin Monroe, Therese O’Brien, Toddy Shilton and Barry Skipsey.
Where I Belong is a straight, honest declaration of Bob Barford’s love for the land and the characters who help to make Central Australia unique.