Mic Conway’s National Junk Band – Tin Can Alley


Tin Can Alley – Mick Conway’s National Junk Band.

CD review by Hugh Worrall

Mick Conway is one of those ‘national treasure’ kinds of acts.

He’s been playing for so long and we’ve seen him in so many different formats, playing crazy junk music, and doing magic and comedy.

The National Junk Band on this CD was his medium for many years.

I saw him at the Troubadour on the Central Coast NSW in 2019, playing in a duo with a mountain of props and magic tricks, and Robbie Long on guitar.

It was a really entertaining evening and a lot of fun.

There’s lots of original Mic Conway funny songs on this CD and the production qualities and musicianship are great.

Some elite musicians like Bob Brozman, Lucky Oceans, Jim Conway and Azo Bell are featured playing a variety of styles; lots of cabaret, cha cha, various types of blues, old timey jug band and New Orleans jazz.

There’s some hot funk tuba playing by Carolyn Johns on the classic Ian Drury song, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, and the tuba is really great on several other tracks too.

Because he mucks around so much you forget Mick Conway has a really great singing voice.

He gives us some nice bursts of his lovely baritone crooning like in the song, “The Unmusical”, which has lots of funny patter in it too, and he gives us some blues grunt in the Tracy Chapman cover of “Give Me One Reason”.

Judy Backhouse, aka Ukulele Lola, provides lovely cutsie vocals as a contrast on several tracks like the cover of “Illusions” which reminds me a bit of Blossom Dearie.

In “Cliché Blues” he crams in as many blues phrases and riffs as he can, which is a funny inside joke.

Of course, Monty Python’s, “Galaxy Song”, is a natural for the National Junk Band and they do a great job of it; “Pray there’s intelligent life somewhere out there in space, because there’s bugger all down here on Earth!”

You get all the different fun sounds of the jug band like the singing saw, jug bass, ukulele, Hawaiian steel guitar, gum leaf and kazoo, whistling, various junk percussion (including the kitchen sink, phone book, garbage bin and boomwhacker), bongos, harmonica, mandolin, phono fiddle, and piano accordion.

This would be a great CD to have on at a party or when you want to sit back, relax and listen for all the gags, like in “The Story of Cowboy Jesus”, or if you just want to own a bit of genuine Oz music history.

In the cover notes Mick Conway gives a nod to other great jug band music he’s been inspired by such as the Hoosier Hotshots, Monty Python, Ian Drury and The Gutbucket Jug Band.

6 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: TN122-25 Category:

Additional information

Weight .200 kg
Dimensions 22 × 16 × .50 cm


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