|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
For Queensland-based The Leaping Lizards, Australia’s musical heritage is far more than a bunch of clichéd old tunes trotted out on Australia Day. The Leaping Lizards have already picked up a swag of awards finals nominations for the album, including three in the Golden Fiddles, two in the recent Blue Shoe Awards, two in the ASA Awards and two in the Victorian Country Music Awards. Their first single, ‘Lorelleveous’, has already attracted a lot of attention, and the new release, ‘Silver Eyes’ – featuring Donna Reynolds on vocals – is sure to make many more people sit up and take notice. Other original tunes include several wonderful instrumentals — ‘Crawling From The Wreckage’ and ‘Scutterby Slip’ as well as ‘Lorelleveous’ and ‘Doona’s Lullabye’. The album’s title track, ‘Shedding My Skin’, is one of those amazing songs that arrives fully formed – in this case, just a few days before recording sessions for the album were scheduled. “It’s a song about liberation, about being content with who you are and making the most of it,’ Donna said. Other highlights include the Lizards’ version of ‘Good Old Days’, written by Graeme Connors and Mike Kerin, the powerful ‘Beauty And The Bush’ – the Lizards’ environmental protest song – and their fresh and appealing versions of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘Poor Ned’. The Leaping Lizards are in that rare position of being able to perform at upmarket corporate functions, in community halls and at country music festivals – they transcend folk, country and roots music and are loved everywhere. The band even organises its own community events – in fact, Donna and founding member Ron Dimmick feel passionately about saving Australia’s community halls. They organise the venue, the marketing, the catering and of course the music. They even happily get their crowds – corporate or country – up for a rollicking bush dance. “It’s an industry where you have to make your own opportunities, so we’ve developed a whole new model of performing,” said Ron who also plays the banjo, mandolin, guitar and sings. “It’s our way of bringing communities together, and taking our music to a wide range of people. There’s a void in the entertainment industry for what we do.” With ‘Shedding My Skin’ now available, it is likely that The Leaping Lizards will be in even more demand – and will have the chance to present Australia’s musical heritage, both past and present, to an even wider audience. To us, those songs –and new songs in the same tradition – carry a large part of our history,” Ron said. “The important thing is the essence of the music, and our goal is to capture that and convey it in a way that’s fresh and relevant to the 21st century.” As far as Ron is concerned, that essence lives within The Leaping Lizards –the other members are Ron’s wife Donna (who plays bass) and fiddler Hugh Curtis. “That’s why we can seamlessly combine our interpretations of old songs and new ones in our shows and on our albums,” Ron said. “The essence of that heritage music is part of us, and it just erupts in the songs,” he said. According to Donna, the basis for all of The Leaping Lizards’ music lies in the Celtic rhythms of the songs, their colonial feel and their celebration of life. After 26 years of performing, The Leaping Lizards were recognised at this year’s Golden Fiddle Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “It was very gratifying to have that kind of recognition, particularly when we’re beginning a whole new phase of our career. “We’re delighted to be working again with Hugh Curtis, who’s played with us before, and there are lots of exciting things planned for 2011,” Donna said. Spearheading that new era is The Leaping Lizards’ sensational new album, ‘Shedding My Skin’, which they produced in conjunction with award-winning guitarist and producer Michael Fix. The album is a mixture of old and new songs and is available from the Trad&Now Catalogue
CD Review by John Williams
This band of accomplished musicians has been performing for twenty seven years so the CD is as good as you’d expect from a group with this much experience.
The Leaping Lizards are a three piece band whose current make-up comprises Donna Reynolds (bass, acoustic guitar and vocals), Liam Kilpatrick (fi ddle, mandola and vocals) and Ron Dimmick (banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin).
The CD is recorded to a very high standard with great musicianship to the fore.
The Leaping Lizards won a Tamworth Golden Fiddle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 coupled with The Victorian Country Music Awards Best Band and were finalists in the 2011 Queensland Country Music Awards.
The Tamworth Award was shared by a number of fiddlers who have been part of the Leaping Lizards line-up over the past quarter of a century.
This will give you an inkling of the quality of the performers on this CD.
Legendary folk rocker John Schumann recently said of the Lizards “They have a way of singing old and well known songs that bring them to life effortlessly.”
I look forward to catching a live performance of the Leaping Lizards somewhere down the track.
4 in stock