It was recorded over three years using some of the best musicians around. It’s a really collaborative work, for a solo record, but if you have players and singers like that, you need to cut the reins and let them at it.
I recorded with the simple aim of getting shows. I hadn’t actually considered that I would even press copies, until I talked to my friend, Chris McGirr, about doing the cover art, when it occurred to me, “the cover of what?”
Then Stanley Records intervened and professionalled the ass out of it.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
I’m listening to Skylar Gudasz’s new record, ‘Oleander’. It just takes my breath away. Liz Stringer’s ‘Warm In The Darkness’ is a record I’d love to make. And Jimmy Dowling’s song, Sunken Glass, which is pretty much a masterclass in how to write a song.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
I’d like to think it’s comfort food, with the occasional shard of crushed glass. Why? Because you should never be too comfortable.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Isn’t that supposed to stay on the road?
What, or who, inspires you?
I’ve worked with, and know, a lot of wonderful artists. It’s pretty hard not to be affected by their work. As much as it’s the pat answer, I’m just trying to create work that pays its respects to these people.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Wow, you could answer that question differently every day. Today, I’ll nominate That Much Further West, by Lucero. It’s the perfect alchemy of mystery, sentiment, edge and melody.
What’s next for you?
Taking this show on the road. I’ve got an ace band, a killer act and the itch to accumulate more road stories.
What’s your scene?
I’m pretty happy with my little milieu, though my friend’s might snicker at the idea it’s a ‘scene’. I live in the inner west of Sydney. It’s a pretty good place for the type of music I do and like. Most artists of substance have to traverse this patch to sing for their supper.
Elementary Carnival Blues was released on Stanley Records through MGM on Friday, February 12th.
The Sydney album launch is taking place at the Marrickville Bowling Club on Saturday, March 19th. National launch dates will be announced soon.