"the Preston Years"
"The Butterfly Effect"
"the bush is full of ghosts"
"Andy Baylor's cajun combo"
brunswick old time string orchestra
fiddlin at the front door
review of Banksias album 2012
Andy Baylor – Down Where The Banksias Grow www.andybaylor.com.au On his tenth independent release, Andy Baylor furthers his reputation as Australia’s answer to Ry Cooder – an inordinately talented musician whose years of experience enable him to effortlessly straddle almost the entire spectrum of roots music. This is one of those albums that could justifiably be reviewed in the country, blues, folk or world sections and yet it’s not deliberately or overtly diverse – it just organically mingles Baylor’s interests and experiences as guitarist, mandolinist, fiddle and viola player, singer, and listener of great music. To oversimplify things for the purposes of abbreviated description, you can point out three manifest tones to Down Where The Banksias Grow: there’s the Americana side to it, informed by blues, bluegrass and country music; there’s the Celtic and African influences; and there’s the distinctly Australian tone that draws on both Indigenous Australian and bush balladeer traditions. Of course, there’s plenty of crossover and intermingling. From the Americana side of things, immediate standouts are: ‘Fear Of Music’, a lilting ballad about, in Baylor’s own words, “fearing what you most love,” featuring some stunning pedal steel from Garrett Costigan (also featured prominently on ‘Down The Valley To The Sea’); the bluegrass flavoured ‘Hard Travellin’ Newell Highway Blues’; and gently waltzing album closer, ‘Mystery Waltz’. African and Celtic flavours inform the cyclic instrumentals ‘First Light’, ‘The Red Grevillea Grows Round My Front Veranda’ and ‘East Brunswick High Life’. As a singer, Baylor has taken on the weathered, unaffected tone of Australian story-teller, wise and gentle on songs like the title track, ‘Bush Medicine’ (which draws on Koori inspirations), and the melodically elegant ‘I Gaze Up At The Skies’. While Baylor traditionally likes to organise releases and bands around more specific genres or focal points, Down Where The Banksias Grow assembles a versatile collective of musicians (aptly referred to as the Wandering Minstrels) to showcase the breadth of Baylor’s talents and interests (including his own paintings in the sleeve art). Interestingly, it could be his most coherent statement yet. By Martin Jones
lomond thi sat night
“DOWN WHERE THE BANKSIAS GROW” ANDY BAYLOR AND THE BANKSIA BAND Sat 23 Feb ,Lomond Hotel Brunswick, free show Melbourne’s musical journeyman and roots maestro, Andy Baylor, is performing songs,tunes, music from his latest CD album, Down Where the Banksias Grow, at the famous Lomond Hotel , Sat 23rd Feb ,with the Banksia Band. Down Where The Banksias Grow is the culmination of music-making and songwriting which stretches back over thirty years and is Andy’s most mature work to date. The album presents a sensual string orchestral sound which encapsulates the essence of the Australian bush and draws on Andy’s extensive knowledge of grassroots U.S.A styles including Country Balladeering, Folk, Cajun, and Blues. Andy’s interests in West African High-Life guitar picking and Celtic fiddle traditions are also explored. The result is a totally original, authentic musical experience. In short, Andy has distilled from diverse sources an evocative, brilliant and unique Australian musical voice, which takes the listener on an intimate journey through a contemporary Australian cultural and emotional landscape. Lyrically, the songs speak of: lost and found love; lost and found identity; the power of place; the power of music and art; a’travellin’ down a lonesome highway with a song in your heart; bush medicine; the moon; and most importantly, the shoreline where the river meets the sea…and more Andy Baylor’s long-lasting and deep contributions to Australian music have been acknowledged and championed by many diverse artists, critics, journalists and music fans over the years. He pioneered “roots” music styles with his bands The Honeydrippers, The Dancehall Racketeers, Banana Oil, The Baylor Brothers and The Cajun Combo. He has listened and learned from indigenous musicians in Richard Frankland’s Charcoal Club. He has collaborated, inspired, and guested with a who’s-who of Australian music and has released a string of original CDs which have become favourites amongst Australian music fans. “Andy Baylor’s music floats on air with blissful melodies and flowing dance tunes”…four stars …Jeff Glorfeld, the Age 2012 “Melbourne’s perennial favourite roots rock musician”…the Age EG Feb 2012 “Andy Baylor has opted not to play the glamour card. His blues is poetry of the back verandah kind, citing John Lee Hooker above John Donne, with a come-as-you-are feel set to the rhythm of the Melbourne suburbs.” Michael Dwyer Review, The Age, Feb.2012 He’s performed in everything from orchestras to string bands, and, on his latest release, Andy Baylor has combined lessons learned from the lot. The cover art, drawn by Baylor, shows the artist in shadow, a look of wistful reflection on his face. His music is likewise thoughtful, speaking of life’s gentle joys but also it’s disappointments. Opening with a pair of Celtic-tinged instrumentals, Baylor builds a string band ensemble of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and viola. The music floats on the air, light but tinged with melancholy. Sidemen include Sam Lemann on guitar, Sharkey Ramos on drums and Garrett Costigan on exquisite pedal steel guitar. Baylor sings of love and loss- the title track and Down the Valley to the Sea- balanced by the primal rock of Bush Medicine, the bluegrass shuffle of Hard Travellin’ Newell Highway Blues, some blissful melodies and even some flowing dance tunes. The album was produced by Andy and mixed and mastered by the legendary Barry “Fats” Stockley at Fatsound in West Melbourne…..Jeff Glorfeld Review, Capital News ,March 2012 In searching to find the accurate terms to describe this, Baylor’s tenth independent release, I must admit, I have hit a wall. The fact is there is no one descriptor which would adequately do justice to this entire body of work. Throughout the course of 14 inspired tracks, the talented Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist adopts a myriad of styles, including folk, blues and country. In parts he even plays with indigenous sounds to create the sonic landscapes. The album comprises a mix of stirring instrumental tracks and inspired storytelling. It is most certainly an album that will need repeat plays to get the full picture. Baylor’s playing, especially on the mandolin and fiddle, is of note throughout the album, in particular on the instrumental tracks. The album is intended to be a limited edition and will only be available from Baylor himself. The cover features Baylor’s works of art. This is definitely an album for those requiring a little bit more from their music……Matt Lawrence Down Where the Banksias Grow is Andy Baylor’s 10th independent release and represents a further deepening of expression of one of the country’s most important musician. The album is a limited edition collection which features not only Andy’s music but also his drawings and paintings. The only point of sale is from Andy himself, who delights in the age-old tradition of meeting the public and signing copies from the side of the stage. ANDY BAYLOR AND THE BANKSIA BAND Featuring KATE CONNOR,VIOLIN SOPHIE DUNN, VIOLIN, SHARKEY RAMOS, DRUMS, ANDY BAYLOR VOCALS, GUITAR, VIOLIN, MANDOLIN ANDY SCOTT, DOUBLE BASS DENIS CLOSE,PERCUSSION
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Donal, my brother, plays bluegrass and hot swing fiddle,flatpick guitar and mandolin.
review of latest cllection of songs and tunes from Andy
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