“an album that both shimmers and grinds. Something truly special, yet again.” Samuel J. Fell, Rhythms, Sydney Morning Herald – June 2016
Backsliders have been playing, touring the festival circuit and recording for 30 years and are about to release a new album ‘Heathen Songbook’ on August 5 – the band’s fourteenth to date. It is a varied and eclectic mix of 21st Century original blues, as well as a number of versions of songs by artists as diverse as blues legend Robert Johnson, hillbilly banjoist Dock Boggs and swamp-rock icon John Fogerty.
Backsliders originals shine on the album with themes of social injustice in the opening track ‘First World Eyes’, the perils of fast-food outlets in the developing world in ‘Gonna Get Hurt’ and the short-sightedness of architectural overdevelopment of Sydney in ‘Dickhead’.
“The blues as a musical form offers up myriad possibility. About so much more than a mere 12 bars, it’s a genre that allows those with the passion and knowhow to really expand and reinvent, to explore and ultimately rediscover. This is what Backsliders have always done, and what they continue to do with Heathen Songbook. A tough and rowdy record for the most part, ragged around the edges with more brawn under its bonnet than six HK Monaros, this is an album that brings to the blues a uniquely Australian bent. Guitarist and vocalist Dom Turner’s voice is an obvious reason for this, but lyrically too, this record is quintessentially antipodean, imbued with images one can only find ‘Down Under’. In among the bawdy foot-stompers, Heathen Songbook features a number of slower, more melodic numbers – ‘Overtime’, ‘You Are Not Alone’, ‘Sugar Babe’ – ably showing the band’s easy use of light and shade to concoct an album that both shimmers and grinds. Something truly special, yet again.”
Samuel J. Fell, Rhythms / Sydney Morning Herald – June 2016
“A Backsliders show is like no other..” Far from the Mississippi delta, they took us to the water’s edge, ‘til we felt the riverbed beneath our feet” Rhythms Magazine 2015
“It is no wonder that The Backsliders are regarded as Australia’s greatest blues outfit: they consist of four world-class exponents of their respective instruments.” Glam Adelaide 2015
“This is one tightly rehearsed outfit, which may have something to do with the fact that they have been working together for many years and are masters of their respective crafts.” BWW Reviews
Backsliders – ‘Heathen Songbook’ Album Release Tour 2016
Friday Aug 5: Baroque Room, Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday Aug 6: The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Saturday Sept 10: Darwin Railway Club, NT
Saturday Sept 17: Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday Sept 18: Way Out West Roots Music Club, Williamstown, VIC
Saturday Sept 24: ‘Blues in the Bush’ Festival, WA
Sunday Oct 2: Narooma Golf Club, NSW
Saturday Oct 15: Wingham Akoostik Music Festival, NSW
Saturday Dec 3: Wollongong Town Hall, NSW
Saturday Jan 14: Milton Theatre, NSW
Backsliders ‘Heathen Songbook’ – released August 5 via Rocket
Distribution and available on iTunes.