|21 × 15 × 1.5 cm
Texas – A rollicking faux country ballad of love on the road
God Bless America – A snapshot of 21st Century America — “Detox boys watch botox girls…”
Seven Ways -Wry musings on a year spent as a house husband in Washington DC
So Much Crime – A soul style polemic on the Iraq folly
Don’t Dig My Grave too Deep – The Civil War deathbed crie de couer of one of Quantrill’s Raiders
There – A meditative sweep from the streets of New York City and upwards — “Barak Obama, go tell your mama, he’s come to save us all from a lot of bad karma”
Puppeteer Lament for a fallen musical colleague — “Some say that Nashville broke his heart” -Mississippi John Hurt style country blues pastoral from a week down on Mary Frances’ farm in southern Virginia
Song of the Open Road – Lessons from the American road — freedom, luck, and self-discovery
Deep Deep River Hick Louisiana blues from before the water overflowed.
Takoma Park – Comic portrait of a soft left suburb on the outskirts of Washington DC, with Glockenspiel solo
American Guitar- A bitter sweet farewell note to America’s highways and musicians
Fred Smith – Texas by Ian Dearden
Here’s something delightfully counter-intuitive – one of Australia’s most intelligent and quirky songwriters, Iain “Fred” Smith, writes and records an entire album of songs, about the good old USA. Well it’s almost a full Fred Smith album- there is one cover, “Don’t Dig My Grave Too Deep”, a song about the Civil War, written by contemporary US songwriter Rich Deans. It sounds like Fred could have written it, and to me it’s the centrepiece of the album, tapping that deep well of sadness and contradiction in the American psyche. The other songs on this album range from the quirky “Texas” to the pastoral “Lazy Dazy”, from folk-rap “God Bless America” to political “Deep Deep River” and finishing with reflections on the life of the travelling musician in “American Guitar”. Faced with the complex tapestry of the USA, Fred has delivered both homage and a thoughtful critique voiced through his varied narrative voices (will the “real” Fred Smith please stand up)! Superbly played and recorded at studios in the USA, Canada and Australia, this is a standout album by one of Australia’s musical treasures.
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