|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
An Australian Family Bluegrass Band www.odonnells.com.au
After venturing into the Qld country music festival arena, “The O’Donnells” won the 2009 QLD Country Music Festivals Champion of Champions in the Overall Senior and Open Group sections. In December 2010, they released their debut album, with a range of original and classic bluegrass, gospel and country tracks.
John and Wendy met in the US in the mid 80’s. Married and settled in John’s home town of Cairns, they were founding members of the showband, Snake Gully Ensemble.
After moving to Brisbane in early ’91, they played around the local bluegrass scene with the Sunshine Mountain Bluegrass Band. With this lineup, they played in Tamworth, Gympie Muster and the first Redlands Bluegrass Convention in 1995. As their children grew, they were added to the band, now known as “The O’Donnells.”
Band Members: John O’Donnell Banjo & Vocals Wendy O’Donnell Guitar & Vocals Johnny O’Donnell (18) Bass & Vocals Jacqui O’Donnell (16) Mandolin & Vocals Katelyn O’Donnell (13) Vocals
The O’Donnells – Self Titled
CD Review by Lindsay Mar
In the Southern United States, it is not uncommon to see and hear family bands sing and perform Bluegrass and Southern Gospel, not just as a performance music but as part of a cultural tradition and family way of life.
In Australia, it is easy to imitate the sound without reference to meaning, so it becomes very heartening to witness Australian family bands like the O’Donnells of Logan City QLD sing together because “it is what they do”.
All the O’Donnells contribute their vocals to the family harmonies: parents John and Wendy and children Johnny, Jacqui and Katelyn.
In addition, John plays banjo and Wendy guitar while Johnny is picking up bass guitar and Jacqui mandolin.
Their new release simply called ‘The O’Donnell’s’ features 12 tracks engineered and mastered by Brendan Radford who also plays guitar on the album with a number of guests including Michele Rose on dobro and pedal steel.
Five tracks are originals (with lyrics in the liner notes) including ‘Back to the Brisbane River’ and ‘Drover From The Outback’ with the remainder of the tracks mostly traditional or standards such as ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and ‘Rocky Top’ and for good measure a couple of contemporary songs such as Jerry Salley’s ‘John In The Jordan’.
Just over half the album consists of Gospel or sacred numbers.
Production is good with a very respectable eight pages of liner notes and family pictures.
Australian Bluegrass fans will find this debut album a neat snapshot of The O’Donnells at the start of a hopefully successful and long-lived family tradition.
4 in stock (can be backordered)