|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
This CD contains 14 songs and tune sets that have appeared on their ten previous albums since their first vinyl recording in 1987. Home Rule was founded in 1984 when Bob Campbell, Sharon Frost, Andy Mortimer and Bob Burns got together in Mudgee where they began twenty two years of more or less regular sessions at Roth’s Wine Bar.
Since then the band has appeared on many TV and radio programs, at festivals and numerous major venues including the Opera House in Sydney and the Gulgong Opera House on hundreds of occasions. They have taken their music overseas, particularly Germany and Ireland and have maintained a cultural presence throughout Central Western NSW from their base in Gulgong where they continue to perform regularly.
Sharon Frost and Bob Campbell are the only remaining original members of the band. During its existence, dozens of musicians from around Australia and overseas have played live and on recordings with the band. A fortunate development for the band was coming together with two thoroughly professional musicians, Matt Gaudry and Rob Long, who continue to have an input into the music. It is no accident that their imprint is on the majority of this selection. Bob Campbell has recently completed a solo CD with Matt and Rob which will be released before the Gulgong Festival at the end of 2008.
CD Review by Chris Spencer
It’s amazing how some facts get under your guard, or how you realise how little you know. The liner notes of this Home Rule cd inform readers that Home Rule have released 10 albums since their first vinyl album in 1987! The notes go on to relate the band was founded in 1984 by Bob Campbell, Sharon Frost, Andy Mortimer and Bob Burns in Mudgee, playing regularly over the past 22 years at Roth’s Wine Bar. This album is a collection of tracks that have already appeared on previous albums. If you’re one of those fans of the band who have every album you may not need this cd! For the rest of us, who need to be educated, this cd would be a good place to start to own some music of the band.
Home Rule are a ‘traditional’ Australian bush band, playing many well known Australian traditional songs. This collection includes “Moreton Bay’, “Carrickfergus”, jigs “Knights of Saint Patrick”, “Haste to the Wedding”, “The Drovers Dream”, “Sharon’s Kitchen Slides” (not the photographic ones!), “Swaggies Passing Through”, “Write me a Letter”.
Two songs are traditional melodies with new lyrics or new arrangements credited to the band: “Paddy Moore” “Write me a Letter”.
I enjoyed their covers of lesser known songs of other Australian writers such as “The Old Pubs” and “The Gulgong Song” the latter written by John Dengate. They have chosen “Pamulwuy” for this collection, a Seamus Duffy poem set to an aboriginal song. “Some Day’ is a Henry Lawson poem read by Bob Campbell, “Sergeant Small” here credited to Brad Tate but more familiar to me is the Weddings Parties Anything version, who credit Tex Morton as the original writer. The liner notes point out Sgt Small was originally recorded by Morton, but written by Tate.
I enjoyed “The Old Pubs” with its electric guitar and rock arrangement. I thought their decision to open the album with their arrangement of “Moreton Bay” was wrong, it sounds lame and limp lacking the drive of many other versions; on my cd player sounds as if the cd is playing at the wrong speed at times. In other songs I also missed the lack of a rhythm section, but this may be intentional as the band may be a more acoustic band live, rather than a dance band. The notes about each song describing some of their background, reasons for selection and information about composers was a welcome feature.
Not having heard nor familiar with any of their other albums, I cannot assess if this collection is a good selection of their previously recorded work. Perhaps someone more familiar with their whole recorded work may be able to provide a better answer to this. For me, the collection has a good range of folk styles, from instrumental jigs, traditional bush songs, contemporary and the Bob Campbell original “Tree Song” describing the loss of Australia’s forests and trees.
8 in stock (can be backordered)