Q&A Scene: Track-by- Track: Van Walker ~ RAMBLIN VAN WALKER

Photograph by Shannon MacDonald


  1. Above as Below

Song celebrating the lighthouse, and the old world they represent that is disappearing. I think lighthouses are works of engineering brilliance, aloof but resilient, like any good artist.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Chelsea Stewart - Backing vox l Mitch Dillon – Bass l Dan Musil – Dobro l Sam Davies - Uilleann Pipe 
  1. Spirit World 

This song is a little mysterious. The main character is bereft and playing around with the dark arts, but we don’t really know if they intend to bring back their ‘baby’ from the grave, or the aborted child.

Van Walker - guitars and vocals l Jeff Lang – Dobro, bass and backing vocals
  1. Nobody Knows

A song about wilful blindness, on both sides, and the natural worlds demise due as much to the apathy and naivety of ‘good people’ as it is those driven by darker instincts.

Van Walker - guitar and vocals l Chelsea Stewart - backing vocals l Mitch Dillon – bass l Nick O'Mara – mandolin l Dan Musil - Dobro
  1. Long Night’s Journey to Day 

A cry of forgiveness and regret, but also vigilance and survival.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Jeff Lang – Bass l Shane Reilly - pedal steel l Brendan McMahon - piano
  1. Borderline 

Another wishful thinking song about resolve and repair that belies the harsh truth that the only way really forward is alone.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Mitch Dillon - bass
  1. Crystal Ball

A map of the interior world, a dreamscape wherein images abound and symbols promise an answer if translation is possible.

Van Walker - guitars and vox l Mitch Dillon – Bass l Caz Gannall - Cello
  1. Land of Shades 

Rimbaud said, ‘If you think you’re in hell, you are.’ Churchill said, ‘If you think you’re in hell, keep going.’ Dante called Hell the Land of Shades. The albums second centrepiece, this is a song of deep descending, and the effort to, not just survive, but to keep one eyes open during the horrific experience, so that the journey may be reversed and worth the pain for the rare lessons found there like jewels on the ocean floor.

Van Walker - Vox and acoustic and Poly Octave Octave Generator l Mitch Dillon – Bass l Dan Musil – Dobro l Nick O'Mara - Electric guitar
  1. To Be Sure

This is an embarrassed admittance of holding on when nothing remains

 Van Walker - guitar and vox l Mitch Dillon – Bass l Sam Davies - Pipes
  1. When You Were Mine 

A song of memory and its bitter chains 

Van Walker - guitars and vox l Mitch Dillon - bass
  1. Drifting Too Far From Shore 

A song about the sometimes invisibility of depression, trauma and illness that leads to further isolation and abandonment.

Van Walker - guitar and vocal l Jeff Lang - Bass and lead guitar l Matt Walker - Harmonica
  1. Long Gone

A song of forlorn acceptance and ultimately gratitude and good wishes 

Van Walker – guitar and vox l Mitch Dillon – Drums, bass and harmonica l Dave Walker – Electric guitar l Chelsea Stewart – Backing vocals

  1. The World Goes on Without Us

This is a resigned song of love and loss, regards the individual and the greater world. If the world was one day old humans have only appeared in the last few seconds and already we’re wiping ourselves out. It’s not a matter of ‘saving the world’, the world will be fine, without us.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Mitch Dillon - Bass
  1. Closing Time 

Knees up coming to a close, drink low, party over, drunken determination to keep festivities going.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Mitch Dillon – Bass l Matt Walker - guitar and harmonica l Dan Music – Dobro l Dan, Matt, Van & Dave Walker - percussion 
  1. I Remember You

A love song about memory and aging, the inevitability of loss, and thus the genius of generosity. 

Van Walker - Vocals and guitar l Mitch Dillon - Bass, drums and guitar l Dan Musil - Dobro 
  1. You Know Who You Are 

A very personal song about the loss in question, but overall the deeply felt gratitude and final acceptance.

Van Walker - guitar and vox l Jeff Lang - bass

Grab your copy of GHOSTING here:



Van Walker Ghosting pre-save link:                       www.ditto.fm/ghosting-van-walker

Connect with Van Walker: http://ramblinvanwalker.com/ 




It’s been a long time, a decade in fact, since much admired singer-songwriter Van Walker released an album under his own name.   Thankfully, that’s about to change with the release of ‘Ghosting’, out August 28.  From the first lines of opening track ‘Above As Below’ – you realise how great it is to hear Walker out front and centre, singing possibly his most personal songs to date in intimate, stripped back format.   That warm, gruff and knowing voice is still there; along with those acclaimed songwriting chops. The master songsmith has lost none of his edge; even if life, love and other catastrophes have taken their toll on this talented artist in the past decade.

Although he’s been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Oscar Wilde, Walker referenced another literary legend in DH Lawrence while in the process of putting together the press kit for ‘Ghosting’.  “…One of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers. But this is only appearance. It is really only the mechanism of the re-assumed habit. Slowly, slowly the wound to the soul begins to make itself felt, like a bruise, which only slowly deepens its terrible ache, till it fills all the psyche. And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible after-effects have to be encountered at their worst.” 

As Walker explains “Ghosting began around 2015 with Jeff Lang, not long after my long term relationship suddenly ended. And not long after we started the album I had what might be called a breakdown, an episode of extreme exhaustion with an immediate need for deep rest and recuperation. I’d run myself into the ground with work and self-recrimination, and although I thought I’d been through the worst of it, I eventually came to realise I hadn’t even got near the worst part.” 

“So I was more profoundly wounded than I realised and I’d been self medicatingmore than usual (and not sleeping) and one night on the road it just all shut down and I couldn’t go on. I officially burnt out, and there wasn’t a light there again for a while. I mean, the actual breakdown probably only lasted a couple of weeks but the recovery took years and it wasn’t until 2019 that I finally could finish the album with Dave Walker.” 

A work of stark beauty and bracing, oftentimes painful honesty, ‘Ghosting’ is a mature and cathartic collection of songs welcoming the listener into an intimate, warm-hearted and ultimately redeeming musical journey from one of Australia’s most talented singer-songwriters

About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.