The Humpback Highway & Other Roads, Tracks, & Trails
Do You Remember - Blokes Like Me - Big Fight At Dolley's Pub - It's A Long Way Home From Here - Down Gospel Lane - Hot Wind Blowin' - It's None Of My Business - Caught In The Crossfire - That Man Called Jack - The Humpback Highway - Hot Wind Blowin' instrumental
Rod Brandt makes his home in Margate, Queensland, Australia, and he made the long journey to be with us at the LeMars Festival this year (2016). For several reasons, one to be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, but also to receive a Rural Roots Music Commission "CD of the Year" award for his wonderful original songwriting ability. This particular CD I'm listening to was forwarded to me by a mutual friend Michael T. Wall, a Newfoundlander now ensconced in Australia. These two gentlemen are fine friends, and I enjoyed meeting both of them at the LeMars Festival this year (always the week before Labor Day), and doubly enjoyed hearing their music done so well. It's somewhat different than America's 'country' music, and far far different than America's so-called 'country' music of today. All of that soul and feeling in today's country music writings just simply doesn't exist anymore. Story songs are a forgotten element of country music in America today. BUT, that is not the case in Australia. Artists like Rod Brandt still rely on good songwriting technique and content. This particular CD is devoted to the humpback whale, among other topics, and Rod does them all in the same jovial light-hearted style he has. He's a very proficient guitarist as well as songwriter and vocalist. These songs are all originals that he recorded after many hours in the studio and features 10 originals of a very interesting nature. Rod's voice is very adaptable to the songs he sings, his melody lines, and his guitar leads lend authenticity and pleasure to all he records. Even his whistling sounds great, very unlike anything we would hear in America these days. Over the years he has become a multi-award winning singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and certainly displayed all of those talents at the LeMars Festival this year. The only comment I might make about this particular CD is that Rod is a true Australian, so sometimes he uses words I don't understand, and in that case I wish his voice was a little more up front, the better to hear what he is singing about. All in all however, this is one of his better projects, and certainly brings to the front the Humpback Highway that sounds exciting.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART: President NTCMA for Country Music News International