HILLBILLY HIPPY: Bowen & Clare Track Listing 01: Take Me 02: Cruisin’ with me Kelpie 03: In Your Sleep 04: Green Eyed Devil Monster 05: Hillbilly Hippy 06: Family Tree 07: Let Go 08: Let it Rain 09: Designated Driver 10: The Last Good Bye 11: Convict Track 12: Forever Young 13: Dance of the Bush 14: Only One DESCRIPTION: Bowen & Clare’s debut album ‘Hillbilly Hippy’ is a little folk, a little blue grass, a bit of this and a bit of that, it’s a musical patchwork. These 14 down to earth tracks penned by Lydia Clare and Darryl Bowen have an authentic sound with a raw edge. Catchy energetic tunes and haunting melodic ballads colorfully piece together stories, memories, hopes and dreams. Inspired by the peace of the bush and the pioneer spirit that permeates their home in Wheeny Creek NSW, Bowen & Clare stitch celtic folk and Australian country together in an acoustic chemistry of guitar, mandolin, harmonica & percussion. Adding to the rich fabric of the album is co-producer Bill Chambers on banjo, slide guitar and dobro. Barbara Webb (Frozen, Inland Navigators, Jayne Denham) on violin, viola and mandolin, Kevin Adams (Frozen, Barbwire, Jayne Denham) on bass, and blues harpist Mick Burley. It’s a blend of sugar and spice, she’s soft ‘n sweet and he’s bold ‘n earthy, like home-made apple pie mmm nice! ‘Hillbilly Hippy’ reflects a time when after a hard days work relaxation came in the form of a good old sing along and when less was more than enough and simple folk, simply lived! www.bowenandclare.com ARTIST BIO: An Aussie of Irish decent Darryl Bowen has performed Irish and Australian music for well over a decade, whilst front man for Sydney bush band ‘Barbwire’ He penned a few tracks on their album ‘Come to Dinner’ In 2003 he produced a solo album ‘Just a Sniff’ a mix originals and covers Lydia Clare is a 10 pound pom, with a musical background, her father Norm and brother Gary Clare are well known brass and woodwind technicians. Lydia began performing in the late 90’s as an original member of Sydney folk band ‘Wild Honey” It was then that she began writing songs and hasn’t stopped since! They began performing as Bowen & Clare in 2007 and have been juggling their love of music with a bush property, a business, and a renovation on the coast. Hillbilly Hippy is just the beginning with enough material already for the next album. They may also be seen from time to time dressed in costumes for their shows for kids that teach environmental awareness through interactive songs.
CD Review by John Williams
Right from the start let me say that I really enjoyed this CD.
It consists of fourteen tracks all composed by Bowen and Clare.
After the first few tracks my thoughts turned to Kasey Chambers and John Williamson.
I guess that’s a pretty good comparison but I could see similarities to Kasey with Lydia Clare’s voice in ‘Take Me’ and ‘In Your Sleep’.
As an interesting aside the CD was produced by Bill Chambers (Kasey’s Dad) who also provides a high quality backing with many instruments on the CD.
Barbara Webb (violin, viola and mandolin), Kevin Adams (bass) and Mick Burley (harmonicas) also provide backing to Bowen and Clare.
Darryl Bowen’s ‘Cruisin’ With Me Kelpie’ reminded me of John Williamson both vocally and lyrically. It was a bright, catchy tune.
The title track ‘Hillbilly Hippy’ was also a catchy tune and I found myself singing along to the chorus after a couple of listens.
One of my favorite tracks was ‘Let Go’ which had some good advice coupled with a beaut tune.
I enjoyed all the tracks from the catchy ‘Designated Driver’ through the poignant ‘The Last Goodbye’ to a track called ‘Forever Young’ which is dedicated to a friend of the band and sung with feeling.
‘Dance of the Bush’ was a great listening experience reminiscent to the legendary “The Drover’s Dream’ in some respects.
I had a chuckle at the lyrics and think any listener who didn’t has misplaced their funny bone.
One small criticism was that I found the cover notes hard to read due to the background and the font used. (I know I’ll never see sixty again but I was wearing my new glasses!)
This does not detract from the enjoyment of listening to this CD however it’s just an observation.
This was an enjoyable listening experience and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who likes to support our home grown talent and has an interest in country/folk music. Catch this group if they are performing near you or at a festival.