|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
About the artist: Eric is one of Australia’s most prolific and respected songwriters whose songs have been covered by many artists including Joan Baez, Mary Black, Donovan, Slim Dusty, Billy Bragg, The Pogues and The Furies, to name just a few. Eric is a literate and thoughtful songwriter who can cut to the heart of the matter with a few well crafted lines. He’s also a warm and engaging performer who, with his sharp, often self-deprecating wit and shrewd common sense view on the world, communicates well with the audience and draws them in to his performance.
The Dreamer is Eric Bogle’s 15th album and is released as Eric prepares to hang up his ‘touring boots’ and embark on a final round of touring. As always, Eric will be accompanied by his long-time buddy John Munro, who has produced this and other Eric Bogle albums. A compulsive, almost obsessive songwriter for most of his adult life, Eric has written some songs that have pretty much become Australian (if not world) classics of their particular genre. Possibly his best known song is The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, which confirmed its status by appearing as a question in the Australian version of Trivial Pursuit! Some of his other songs – No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France), Leaving Nancy, Now I’m Easy, Shelter, If Wishes Were Fishes – are now beginning to rival Matilda in the icon stakes. Eric’s songs have been recorded by Joan Baez, Mary Black, Jean Redpath, June Tabor, Donovan, John Williamson, Billy Bragg, The Pogues, The Fureys and The Corries – to name just a few. Eric was born in Peebles in Scotland and says he was “destined to be a politician or a folk singer of protest songs… And so one of these prophecies came to pass…” In 1969 he emigrated to Australia and in 1980, after various jobs, he embarked on the perilous career path of a professional musician. Together with his touring partner John Munro, Eric has literally taken his music to the world. He has toured extensively over the last 25 years or so, and this includes 8 tours of North America, 10 tours of Europe and many tours of Australia. He has appeared at every major folk and Country music festival in Australia and around the world. He has won many awards along the way, including the Order Of Australia medal for services to the entertainment industry and a Peace Medal from the United Nations for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony. In Scotland he was recognised by the Scots “Trad Music Awards and has been placed in their Hall Of Fame. This is yet another fine clutch of songs from Eric, plus one by John Munro. The songs are thought- provoking as always and bound to move the listener. With John Munro (acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, vocals), Emma Luker (fiddle, cello, backing vocals), Phil Cuneen (piano), Pete Titchener (acoustic guitar), Trev Warner (dobro) and Damien Steele-Scott (electric bass) providing excellent backing. Bringing Buddy Home deals with coffins of young American soldiers being shipped home from Iraq. Nothing Worth Saving is for those willing to stand up and be counted for what they believe in. The Dreamer – Eric says “I admit it, I’ll hold up my hand”. Someone Else’s Problem is about the great Murray River slowly dying. Lost Soul deals with the disgrace of the Australian Ngarrindjeri people not being regarded as Australian citizens in 1916, and John Munro’s excellent contribution Snowdrop is a song about homelessness. The last song on the album is aptly titled The Last Note, and Eric states simply in the sleeve note – “Indeed it is”.
Eric Bogle – The Dreamer
by Ian Dearden
Lets start with a few disclosures. Eric and I once lived in the same city and frequented some of the same folk clubs (long since lost to memory).
I have seen innumerable Eric Bogle concerts, in solo, duo, trio and band formats and felt privileged to have witnessed each of those concerts.
I have most of (but shamefully, not all) Eric’s recorded output, including a number of vinyl discs (for Gen Yreaders, they’re big, black and you get to play both sides!).
And finally, I firmly believe that he is one of Australia’s National (naturalised) Living Treasures, to whom all Australians owe a debt of gratitude for his decision to emigrate to this country, and to stay!
So when this latest CD dropped in my letterbox for review, I was delighted.
The delight has continued through repeated listenings.
Like all of us, Eric is not getting any younger, but the heart on his sleeve still beats strongly and burns brightly.
Immaculately produced by long time collaborator John Munro (who delivers on this CD a solo performance of his chilling song Snowdrop about a homeless Moscow man who dies a frozen victim of a “new” Russia), this album has you in its grasp from the outset.
Many of Eric’s perennial obsessions are here: the futility of war (Bringing Buddy Home, Lost Soul); the Aussie battler (Nothing Worth Saving); the environment (Someone Else’s Problem, Australian Prayer for Rain); the endless complications of human and family relationships (Canadian Christmas Song, Flying Away); and his mother Nancy (Standing In The Light).
And best of all, he is not ashamed to follow his dreams (The Dreamer).
As Eric and John so beautifully sing in a paean to the power of music on this album’s fi nal song, “it gives me hope and feeds my soul” (The Last Note).
In addition to his production duties, John Munro provides his usual immaculate musicianship, playing 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo and backing vocals.
He is well supported by a range of other superb musicians, most notably his Colcannon compatriot Emma Luker on fiddle, cello and vocals.
If you haven’t gathered by now, I believe this CD is up with the best of Eric’s work and as the latest album from one of Australia’s finest songwriters, you should do yourself (and all Australians) a favour, by going and buying a copy, immediately.
14 in stock (can be backordered)