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Carl's Australian Video Page

The following is a list of videos that I've seen on CMT's Australia feed. I based these reviews mainly on judgment of the song's appeal to US audiences. Tunes that we might find especially palatable up here have been given special recognition.

LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO: Carl swears he is not associated with any record label, music group or any other organization. The opinions expressed here are purely his.
(Songs are on Australia's ABC labels unless otherwise noted.)



CMAA Winners 2008 CD

SLIM DUSTY
1927 - 2003

DOUG MANSFIELD
1955-2009


countrymusic.com.au

FLASH: Aussie C&W star LEE KERNAGHAN teamed up with DIERKS BENTLEY for a great tune called "Scars". HERE IT IS:

Mitchell Shadlow: Cool Cow Cafe 
Laid back country-like song about a popular hangout. This is one of those songs that would sound good when you've got a distant station tuned in while driving an 18-wheeler down Interstate 10 out in the desert about an hour before the sun comes up. There really is a Cool Cow Cafe in a town called Montrose.

Fisk & Cristian: Going Out Of Style  (Cherry)
See Best Of The Lot

Keith Urban: Only You  (EMI Music Australia)
This has possibilities as an adult contemporary hit. If released stateside, the lite-rock stations might take interest. Given the fact that he is mainly a country star, and also penned Slim Dusty's Born A Travelling Man, Mr. Urban's versatility as a songwriter is demonstrated beautifully, as he is just as adept at writing pop as he is at country. And some of his material is available to us: he's a member of The Ranch!
UPDATE! Keith appeared on the Tonight Show here in America, on 15 March 2001, performing But For The Grace Of God with his band!

Graeme Connors: Helpless Heart 
A bit softer than Keith Urban's tune, this too has possibilities on US lite-rock stations. Might be a hit.

Graeme Connors: The Road Less Travelled 
Of the three Graeme Connors videos I've seen, this one is the most "country"-sounding.

Graeme Connors: The Great Australian Dream  (The Panama Music Company P/L)
After traveling to and fro in search of his heritage, the video's main character keeps running into the same busload of kids full of American influence. This disillusionment is captured very well in this song. Every time I hear this, I feel a little guilty. Please, teach your children to appreciate their roots.

Red Rivers: Outside Man  (Straight Up/Shock)
One of two songs here that should be on CMT's Jammin' Country. Chris Isaak meets Link Wray in the Outback! Way to rumble, mate! Album is called Hillbilly Heart, which is a good sign. Is this a new video? I've had access to the Aus feed almost 16 months and I just saw this for the first time on March 4, 1998!

Beccy Cole: Big Girls  (Harvestone)
See Best Of The Lot

Brent Parlane: Tex Loves Daisy  (EMI Music Australia)
Bittersweet tale with a man singing about the girl he wishes he'd married.

Amanda Gilmour: Up The Road And Back Again  (Larrikin)
With her strong, enthusiastic singing, this would sound good opening a bluegrass show.
Australian Video Feature (#1): When the guy gets in the truck, notice how he gets in on the right and drives off. (See also #3.)

Rod McCormack and Mick Albeck: Foggy Mountain Breakdown 
See Best Of The Lot

Jane Saunders: The Dream 
A beautiful ballad that would make a pleasant addition to any bluegrass collection.

Jane Saunders/Genni Kane/Shanley Del: Lonely Blue Heart 
Excellent harmonies. If you go to Australia, look under 'S' for Saunders. The CD is called Stranger To Your Heart. Let's hope this doesn't stay a stranger to American airwaves.

Jimmy Nail: Cowboy Dreams 
Not sure if he's from Australia or UK, but this video was played on CMT Australia's feed as well. This is a great ballad for fans of Restless Heart or Desert Rose Band. Flows smoothly; good lyrics. Maybe I should move it to Best Of the Lot section.

Jimmy Nail: Crocodile Shoes 
This video is pretty funny for a sad song. It must be tongue-in-cheek. Or maybe it's a satire of sad songs. In any case, it is very clever.

Saunders, Kane & Del: Bright Side 
Even though it's a "ladies' video", I can't help but get into it. Another "sounds good at 4 a.m. in the desert" song. These three women work very well together, as this song and Lonely Blue Heart will attest. I suppose if you added Alison Krauss you could have Tea For Four. But then again, why change such perfect chemistry?
Hawkesbury River

The Sherrah Family: When The Harvest Is Over 
The third softest song on the list, right after Measure Of A Man and Lonely Blue Heart. Good camera angles and smooth lighting transitions are the highlight of the video, and the silhouetted man-in-the-window "farmer's ghost" is very effective.

Slim Dusty: When The Rain Tumbles Down In July  (EMI Music Australia)
See Best Of The Lot

Slim Dusty: Born A Travelling Man  (EMI Music Australia)
My personal favorite Slim Dusty tune, of the ones I've heard. If I ever hosted a bluegrass show, I'd use this song as my closing theme. Written by Keith Urban, this tune contains a reference to a man named Paul Trumbly and "rain tumblin' down." Stay tuned.
Australian Video Feature (#2): Spellings are slightly different. In this instance, travelling is spelled with two L's, the British way.

Gina Jeffreys: Josephine 
This would make a good US debut for her -- and I'm betting it will. Why? Check out the video. What's this? Shots of Memphis highway signs? CMT banner on the stage? My hopes are high.

Gina Jeffreys: Didn't We Shine 
Canada has Anne Murray; Australia has Gina Jeffreys. Is this record available in the States? I know I've heard this somewhere.

Gina Jeffreys: I Haven't Got A Heart 
The second best ballad on this list, in my opinion (it was close, though.) Since she lost the love of her life, she feels she hasn't got a heart. (But look at the bright side, Gina. At least you've still got a good voice.)

Mark O'Shea: The Dreamer 
This talented young singer-songwriter could find a niche between country and pop if he toured the US.

Clint Beattie: My Love will Follow You  (EMI)
See Best Of The Lot

Mark O'Shea: World Weary Heart 
This would be a good debut country single for Mr. O'Shea.

Lee Kernaghan: High Country 
See Best Of The Lot

Lee Kernaghan: 1959 
See Best Of The Lot

Slim Dusty: Old Time Country Hall  (EMI Music Australia)
Bluegrass with accordion and dobro! What more could a down-home fan ask for? Well, how about several Slim Dusty fans talking about his career! Good place to learn about the man who helped lay the foundation for Aus Bluegrass.

Slim Dusty: Ringer From The Top End  (EMI Music Australia)
Yeah, it's definitely Country and Western! The tune itself might make it in America, but they'd better release the video first so we know what a "ringer from the top end" is. (I think it's a cattle herdsman from the Northern Territories.) I have a new found respect for these men and the work they do (social life? what social life?) after seeing this video.

Slim Dusty with Don Walker: Charleville  (EMI Music Australia)
Although the pretty girl is waiting for him in a city in Queensland, the catchiness of this tune might attract a few of us over here. Some people may think it's Charlottesville, West Virginia or Charlotte, North Carolina (anyone for Charleville Blvd. in Beverly Hills?) For that reason alone, they could probably get away with releasing it. Worth the chance.

Slim Dusty with Rolf Harris: Duncan (EMI Music Australia)
It's great to see ol' Rolf in action again. The last time the US checked in with Mr. Harris, he was singing about tying down a kangaroo. That was, let's see....1963 or so? Well how about it? We're long overdue for another tune from Rolf. He hasn't lost his touch. Best of all, he still has his wobbleboard.

Tanya Self: The Dumaresq  (TS Entertainment)
See Best Of The Lot

Col Elliott/Lee Conway: Gone Fishin'  (Colstal Music)
This has possibilities as a novelty hit in the US because of its humorous lyrics and sing-along chorus. Before you get on the horn with Dr. Demento, he's got a bigger fish to catch. See next song.

Jim Haynes: I Lobster (And I Never Flounder) 
Humorous "fish story" about a guy who lost his girl to another. ("Pretty as Marlin Monroe", to boot.) Sort of like that song about swimming through the gulfstream, only this one is clean. NOTE: This is NOT the original video, but I put it here because Dr. Demento NEEDS to hear the tune. YOU OUT THERE, BARRY?

Troy Cassar-Daley with Tommy Emmanuel: Ramblin' Man  (Columbia)
Remake of The Allman Bros. most accessible tune (like you didn't already know that). Troy does a pretty good job of it, though. Definitely stateside material. You know what's messed up about the system, folks? The fact that this isn't in the regular rotation 'cuz it's not a US release. Otherwise it could be played as part of CMT's Jammin' Country where it belongs.

Troy Cassar-Daley: Dream Out Loud  (Columbia)
See Best Of The Lot

Troy Cassar-Daley: Little Things  (Sony Music Entertainment)
If any other artist's material on this page actually IS released in the United States, Troy Cassar-Daley will probably be next. Why? NOT ONLY is he a good singer, NOT ONLY do his songs speak to our hearts no matter where we live, but on the credits of his videos I keep seeing names like "Sony" and "Columbia". I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he was the next one to break free of the eastern hemisphere.

Troy Cassar-Daley: Ladies In My Life  (Columbia)
A fine ballad, this pays homage to his wife and mother for helping him become the successful man he is.

Chit Conway: Hurt  (Newmarket Music)
Two words: PATSY  CLINE.

Colin Buchanan: Measure Of A Man 
The softest tune on the list, I reviewed it as I watched it. Pleasant ballad; good harmonies. Could be the next Collin Raye. This song has a good message and would probably suit religious stations as well as lite-rock. It's from the CD of the same name. I wonder if he knows Kevin Sharp?

Tania Kernaghan: I'll Be Gone 
Yeah! Pack up and get away from that guy! He'll notice you when you're not there.
Why This Should Be Released In The US: It will give inspiration to many ignored and neglected women (sort of like what I Will Survive did almost 20 years ago). She might receive tons of thank-yous. Remember, guys: a good wife is like a tooth: if you ignore it long enough, it'll go away. Chalk up another winner for the multi-talented Kernaghan Family.

Tania Kernaghan: Leave Like A Man 
Guy not treatin' you right? Throw the bum out!
(For the continuation of this review, see previous entry.)

Shanley Del: I Don't Wanna Talk About Love  (rooArt)
See Best Of The Lot

The Wolverines: Gonna Ride All Night Long 
AHA! So THAT's what happened to our Sharp Dressed Men. They went south, bought some choppers, changed their name and Frank grew a Beard. Didn't fool me for a minute! (Just kidding.)
Australian Video Feature (#3): people tend to be driving on the other side of the road all the time. (Oh wait -- the same could be said for British videos.) And these guys do stay to the left (usually). As they're finishing out the song, you can tell the band lives the life they sing about by the way they keep on playing (unfazed) despite the fact that there's TEN GUYS ON HOGS ROARIN' RIGHT AT 'EM! (Yeah, I know it was rehearsed; just thought I'd have a little fun). Hey, didn't that keyboard get ruined at the end when those bikers kicked up all that dust?

The Wolverines: Howl At The Moon 
A biker ballad, this is a sad tale about lost love. Our protagonist, having lost the woman he cares about, can now only howl at the moon. This looks like it was recorded outdoors in front of a live audience. They liked it, and so did I.
Australian Video Feature (#4): lunar phases are quite turned around on the other side of the equator. "First Quarter" down there means the left half of the moon is illuminated, the exact opposite of what we're used to up here. When the singer says "you turn away", quickly look over to the upper left of the screen. Check out the face on the full moon. Notice how the "eyes" are very small and button-like with a long greyish line below. That's not a stage prop. That's a magnified view of how the southern half of the world sees the man-in-the-moon.
In late March 1995 I had the good fortune of visiting Perth during the moon's waxing-to-waning gibbous period. The night of the full moon I was at once captivated by the change of face. It was at once enthralling, beautiful, foreboding, inviting, sad, fascinating, convicting, mesmerizing. I tried getting video of it, but even with the highest setting on my shutter it was still too bright to show vital detail. To see the same face in the northern hemisphere, you have to tilt your head and then bend to the right so your field of vision is significantly altered (usually about 80-110 degrees clockwise depending on latitude and position of moon in sky.)

Doug Mansfield And The Dust Devils: One More Beer 
See Best Of The Lot

John Williamson: Tropical Fever  (Gum Leaf Recordings)
Vegemite Video with a dash of reggae! Margaritaville Down Under! Queensland. Tweed Heads. Byron Bay. Mango. Sugar Cane. Tropical. Laid Back. And Very, Very Australian.
Tweed Heads           Byron Bay

John Williamson: This Is Australia Calling  (Gum Leaf Recordings)
I don't know if this would make it on the adult contemporary charts over here, but Mr. Williamson will have to export this somewhere if he wants anyone to answer.

John Williamson: River Crying Out  (Gum Leaf Recordings)
At first I thought this song was too serious to put on this web page, but after some soul searching I decided to go ahead and review it. The intent of the song and video is to draw attention to the pollution problem, and the images portrayed here, although simple, are very sobering. Perhaps the most important video of the lot.

James Blundell: This Road  (EMI Australia)
One of my personal favorites. Mr. Blundell's inspired instrumentation and Orbison-tinged vocals could make this a crossover country/AOR hit if it got across the Pacific.

James Blundell: Pride
Another "song with a message" -- and another winner for James Blundell.

James Blundell with James Reyne: Way Out West  (EMI Music Australia)
Another tune that extols the values and rewards of self-sufficiency, not to mention a good beat. If Troy Cassar-Daley makes it across the Pacific, James Blundell is sure to be right behind him.

James Blundell: Down On The Farm  (EMI Australia)
One of his most adaptable crossover tunes, this could be played on country or AOR -- it's got just the right amount of both.

James Blundell: Time On His Hands  (EMI Australia)
I've enjoyed everything James Blundell has done so far, and this is no exception.

Shanley Del: Red Roses  (rooArt)
See Best Of The Lot

Tina Martyn: Wham Bam
Yeah, I'm sure some will say she's too young to be singing a song like this, but hey -- it's simple, catchy and innocent in its own way. With a voice beyond her years, she'd probably face a challenge in the States at first, where comparisons to a 15-year-old girl named Lila (and a 15-year-old woman named LeAnn) are just part of the territory.
                                          Reviewed by Dave "Tilt-A-Whirl" Andrews

Tina Martyn: Lying In My Bed
A song about that awkward transition period between teddy bears and getting to stay out past 10, and who better to sing it than 17-year-old Tina Martyn. This is one of two videos here where color dictates mood, as blue is the principle background in most of the scenes. One thing, though: when she mentions "long forgotten rock stars" we see a poster of No Doubt. A little premature, isn't this?
                          Reviewed by Dave "I Wish They'd Quit Cutting Off The End Of This Song" Andrews

Rough Red: Long Train Runnin'  (Streetwise Music Australia)
Just as the color blue predominates in Tina Martyn's video, a reddish-brown hue is everywhere here. Told in ballad form, this remake complements the Doobie Brothers' version nicely and would make a fine addition to any US Classic Rock or AOR playlist.
                      Reviewed by Dave "Where In Blazes Is Kunkala" Andrews
Railways

Rick Price: Bridge Building Man  (Columbia)
Hmmmmm. The lyrics are definitely Country, but I'm not sure just what kind of music format this fits in. Bluesy jazz maybe? Better let the Aussies tell us before we check it out.
Tamborine Wikipedia entry

BEST OF THE LOT

 

The following tunes should DEFINITELY be marketed in the United States, because they are simply too good to miss:

Lee Kernaghan: High Country
When you think of talent, think Kernaghan. Even though most of us here don't know where Harrietville is, this tune could apply to Montana or Northern Arizona as well. Would make a good debut here.

Tanya Self: The Dumaresq  (TS Entertainment)
First of all it's pronounced doo-MAR-ek (that's MAR as in marry), not dooma-RESK. This tune is about a river in New South Wales, but we could apply it to any river in the American midwest as well. (We're quite good at applying meanings; just look at the success Midnight Oil had in our country). The song definitely rates a big yee-HAW! In fact, she sings with such enthusiasm that it could probably out-yeehaaww Any Man Of Mine. Would it make it in the Lone Star State? The crowd at the Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon sure liked it. Besides: if it bursts its banks, Rick Price can build her a bridge!
Dumaresq Wikipedia entry

Troy Cassar-Daley: Dream Out Loud  (Columbia)
This song features the digeridoo, an Australian musical instrument made of wood that is used mainly by the country's Aborigines. They use a "constant flow" breathing technique similar to the one Kenny G used to set the record for longest-held note. The Aborigines can be seen on the streets of many cities contentedly playing away. Why do I point all this out, you ask? Because the song promotes harmony between black and white. If you don't bring a copy to the US, I will.
Coolum Beach

Troy Cassar-Daley: At The End Of The Road  (Columbia)
Anything I've heard from this man would be suited for US airwaves. This tune just happens to be another one that comes to mind.

Clint Beattie: My Love will Follow You  (EMI)
This one genuinely fooled me. I thought it was an American release! Hopefully the record execs will get together and discuss making it one. Smooth tune. Very US sounding. And don't worry about getting confused with that other Clint whats-his-name -- you've got lots of talent in your own right, guy.

Fisk & Cristian: Going Out Of Style  (Cherry)
US appeal? Without a doubt. Got the right beat, well-organized, catchy refrain, clever rhymes (kinda suggestive, though), and man -- that Donna Fisk sure knows how to belt out a tune! That label really oughta export this to North America, where the Trishas, Terris, Wynonnas and Mary-Chapins of the world would surely take notice.

Shanley Del: I Don't Wanna Talk About Love  (rooArt)
Her best tune, in my opinion. At least out of the ones I've heard. A bouncy little number, this ranks along the likes of Jann Browne and Carlene Carter. Would make a good US debut single and would be a nice way to start off a show because it's easy to play (....every balloon wins.....fun for all.....)
Maitland    Taree    Tamworth    Stockrington    Minmi    Golden Guitar   

BEST PICKIN'  Rod McCormick / Mick Albeck: Foggy Mountain Breakdown 
Yeah! Pluck them strings and rosin up that bow, man! Mr. McCormick and Mr. Albeck do a fine job on this Flatt & Scruggs classic. (I have yet to hear a bad version.) Their CD is called Handpicked. This fiddle/banjo duo loves what they're doing, and if they ever share a venue with Jerry Douglas I'll go out of my way to see 'em.

BEST BLUEGRASS LYRICS   Slim Dusty: When The Rain Tumbles Down In July  (EMI Music Australia)
It's a good thing he's from the southern hemisphere otherwise he'd have to call this "When The Rain Tumbles Down In January" and that just doesn't fit. Good down-home tune; the dobro alone makes it worthy of airplay anywhere. Fifty years in the country/bluegrass business make him the Bill Monroe of Australia! (I'm still looking for information on that Paul Trumbly; when I find some I'll put a link right here.)

BEST SOUTHERN ACCENT  Beccy Cole: Big Girls  (Harvestone)
Actually, it tied with Wham Bam for the southern accent honor, but this could make it in America on lyrics alone. And this combination music/exercise video should be released in the US -- for our own good. So what if we become a nation of BBWs? If it'll save the life of even one bulimiac it'll be worth it. What puzzles me though, is why she "don't mind gettin' fat." There's nothing wrong with her figure; the muscle-man who puts his arm around her in the video seems to like it. (Hope you didn't have to do too many takes on that dessert-eating scene, Beccy.)

BEST BALLAD (MALE)  Lee Kernaghan: 1959
This would make a good follow-up to High Country. In fact, this ballad compares to the best slow tunes of Brooks, Strait, Travis and many other American country stars. Definitely something to bring to the States.

BEST BALLAD (FEMALE)  Shanley Del: Red Roses  (rooArt)
Shot in black and white, this is one of the best balladsATTENTION CMT AUSTRALIA: TREBLE GAIN IS SET TOO HIGH ON THIS SONG. COULD YOU PLEASE TURN DOWN THE LEVEL JUST A TAD? IT'S DISTORTING THE AUDIO. THANK YOU. (Sorry. Let's see, where was I?) Oh yeah, this ties with 1959 as best ballad on the list, and would make a good follow-up to I Don't Wanna Talk About Love, thereby getting her off to a good start in Nashville.

BEST HONKY TONK - Doug Mansfield and the Dust Devils: One More Beer
(W. Minc Productions/Shock Records)
Here it is -- Country Music the way it used to be! Australia's answer to Hank Jr. and the quintessential barroom sing-along song! I've heard the whole CD; tracks like Little Details and One More Drinkin' Song should be considered standards (and should have been hits long ago). The more I listen, the more I like it.
AUSSIE SLANG TRIVIA: when you're "on a sticky wicket" with someone, you're in cahoots with them.
Doug Mansfield's Page
The Winslow Saga

Well, that just about wraps it up! I'm off to search the web for an Australian music store that'll accept money orders in US funds. In the meantime, I've placed links to several other Australia-related sites here and scattered about the page. You really oughta check 'em out, because in the words of our friend Slim Dusty, "There's still so much to see of this great land."

OTHER SITES I'VE FOUND:

Bluegrass in Australia
Words to "Advance Australia Fair"

Dave's Home Page E-Mail me!