Dave Arden – Kookatha/Gunditjimara Clan


I’m not familiar with the music of Dave Arden at all. However doing a bit of research – and this time not on the net because my internet connection has been down for a fortnight – I found that he’s been around the music scene for a number of years, appearing on recordings of Shane Howard, Tonchi, Ruby Hunter, Archie Roach and Tiddas.

As far as I can make out this is first recording and it’s an admirable effort. He has written all the 11 tracks or co-written several with other musicians such as Andy Alberts, Kutcha Edwards, A. North and J. Reece.

Arden has a warm voice, and throughout it is restrained, laidback, although because of the sympathetic production, his voice is always out front, and not buried among the instruments. Shane Howard and David share the production duties.

Almost all of the songs are about Arden’s relationships with his family, tribe and clan and being a Gunditjmara Man. The strongest track is probably the title track which leads off the album. It is a gently rollicking shuffle. “So Young” is a ballad, “I see I Hear” is a slow number featuring the swell of an organ played by Bruce Haymes. Track 4, “Live in two Worlds” is almost upbeat and gradually builds up to a musical climax, and features Arden’s almost soulful voice. Another strong song from the album, is the reggae-ish “One Step Forward”; “For this is Life” is written in a country vein, while “Don’t Say it Isn’t So” begins with a piano solo and later features an acoustic guitar solo!

Unfortunately some of the latter songs on the album get a bit lost, sounding a bit the same. It’s an interesting challenge to find out where some of the stellar backing musicians appear: names such as Bart Willoughby, Shane Howard playing mandolin; Rose Bygrave, Ewen Baker on fiddle, and Helen Mountford on cello.

An impressive debut.

6 in stock

SKU: TN756-75 Category:

Additional information

Weight .175 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1.5 cm