Bronnie Ware’s songs are tender and gentle, sweet and folky, or toe tapping and country. A collection of thirteen original, refreshing tracks that, with their graceful ease, leave you uplifted.
CD review by Tony Smith
TN679-74 – $20
TN157 Aug 23
This album of 13 tracks by former NSW Blue Mountains singer-songwriter Bronnie Ware showed a subtle grasp of emotional content.
It is no surprise to find then that in her subsequent career, she went on to write several books and to offer counselling about very sensitive, almost taboo, subjects such as palliative care and the end-of-life experience.
The optimistic title Sun Showers is a reminder to look on the bright side of life.
After all, if ‘Words’ fail you, that is because words are not enough.
Sometimes love can be expressed in silence.
Some of the lyrics have a poetic quality.
In ‘Calling Your Name Too’ Ware sang: “The sky has called me home again, always seems to do, But I’m coming back to love you and it’s calling your name too”.
Ware gave ‘Crossing Paths’ an interesting treatment.
The verses are recited but the chorus is sung and the combination is effective.
In ‘What Do You Know’, the fiddle accompaniment is a feature.
Ware is not afraid to deal with extremes of emotion.
In ‘Far Away’ the feelings are out of control: “Oh lover I can’t think straight, I need you here, cannot wait”.
The language is simple and so easily accessible, but certainly does not oversimplify complex emotions.
‘Beneath Australian Skies’ is based on the feelings aroused by seeing some of the outstanding natural features of the country, its ‘hardened beauty’.
There is no need to specify what feelings are invoked at places such as the Nullarbor and the Great Ocean Road, but the term ‘spellbound’ is appropriate.
Other tracks include ‘Having Fun’, ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Nearly Home’, ‘A Dark Day’, ‘Treetops’ and ‘Let Yourself Be Surprised’.
Bronnie Ware (vocals, guitar) was supported on this album by Bruce Reid (guitars, production), Karl Broadie (harmonica, backing vocals), Pete Drummond (drums) and Fiona McVicar (fiddle).
She also thanked Donna Neaves, Louise Cook, Paul Najar and Reesa Ryan for the way the album sounds and looks.
Mostly these songs describe the joys to be found in personal intimacy and the discovery that you want to be close to someone.
But they do not shy away from the fact that such relationships are fragile and possibly transitory.
So they tackle issues such as parting, and the desire to wander and live the ‘gypsy life’.
The final track ‘Dance Little Girl’ encourages the celebration of life and not to be afraid of tomorrow.
This song could be intended for a girl of young age, but could also address the little girl, the spirit residing in every human.
The album ends with the postscript ‘May all beings be happy’.