You know, it’s easy to forget when battling for a precious car park in Richmond and thus running to catch the beginning of a show that we are in Wurundjeri country. The mania of Swan Street and the insanity of Punt Road were both designed more than a century ago to take away from the mystique of country, roots, lineage and history. Emma Donovan reminded us, she stripped away the years of colonial control and handed us magic: calming, soulful, emotional. Her songs, her stories, her presence, her soul all lulling us into a spirituality, not entirely realised intellectually but able to resonate emotionally.
Donovan has the capability to draw us into her story with an ease and humbleness that has been honed over the years. She grew up with story and song and we are the grateful beneficiaries. She thanked us for coming and told us about her family and upbringing in Nambucca Heads. She acknowledged the cold night and told us that Melbourne, Kulin nation, is her new home. Let’s hope we can lock in more up and coming gigs.
We learned of Emma’s mission raised grandparents leading into the glorious ‘Warrell Creek Song’. Singing about her salt-water people and the plight of Aboriginal women with the majestic ‘So Much Pain’ provided us with the powerful message “Aboriginal woman, she is here to stay.”
Donovan is ably supported by The Putbacks, a talented range of musicians that complement Donovan and have an ease that allow her the time and space to deliver her heart lead creations. Donovan acknowledged all the mothers for their recent special day and ended the night with her beloved ‘The Promised Land’ once sung with her grandfather.
Emma Donovan and The Putbacks will have their next album due in three weeks. And counting…..