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Producer: Matt Walker

Engineer: Dave Manton

Studio: The 8-Track Shack

Mixed: by Dave Manton and Matt Walker at Red Rocket  Studio, Hawthorn

Mastered: by Adam Dempsey at Jack the Bear's Deluxe Mastering, Brunswick

Released: by Liberation Music on: (soon)

  
Track Listing

1 Unknown Country
2 The Devil and the Boy
3 Buddy Bolden
4 I'm the Same as You
5 Bad Star
6 Crazy Mary
7 Jack Napoleon From Cape Grim
8 Mary the Larrikin (Joe Byrne's Ballad)
9 God May Not be With Us
10 The Ring
11 Smashman
12 Walk into my Soul
13 What Goes Down

 

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 - words by Broderick Smith, music by Matt Walker

Tracks 4, 7 - words and music by Broderick Smith

Track 8 - words by Broderick Smith, music by Kevin Bennett

Personnel
Broderick Smith - vocals, harmonica, banjo, tenor banjo
Matt Walker - guitars, lap steel, keys
Shannon Bourne - guitars
Laurie Ernst - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Garth Hudson - keys, accordion
Grant Cummerford - bass
David Manton - keys
Andrew Rigby - Celtic harp

 

Song sample: click here (6.43MB)

 

To be released September, 2009

 

Buy the album (pre-order at discount price): click here

 

 

A quick response from Brod about each track

 

Unknown Country

Based loosely on the medieval  morality play Everyman, and the search for redemption ..…I think.

 

The Devil and the boy

Colonel Tom and Elvis. A dark troubled story.

Thank you Link Wray. 

 

Buddy Bolden

Written after reading Coming through Slaughter then a lot of research. I thought I heard Buddy Bolden, etc, came from an old  New Orleans street poem. Jelly Roll Morton used the line for his song Buddy Bolden’s Blues but it actually comes from an older street poem that went I thought I heard  Abe Lincoln say he’s come to take the slaves away. So I figured it was okay to take 2 lines and change them and then go off into my own fantasy New Orleans street scene.

 

The Same as you

I wrote this the day of the Bali Bombings. My initial reaction was a dad's reaction I guess. What on earth were you doing in a sleazy club? Then instantly this huge sadness came over me. 

We tend to forget things when they are no longer "newsworthy" but some things need to be burned into all of us forever.

 

Bad Star

Written from a very bad hotel room on a rainy day 2 floors up.

 

Crazy Mary

Memories and names changed and a collage of  old sayings and lost youth.

 

Jack Napoleon

Jack Napoleon was a Tasmanian Aborigine who was brought over in the 1840’s to my state, Victoria, which was settled later than Tassie. His job was to tell the Victorian Koories that white people were ok. He told them the truth, formed a gang and terrorized the colony for a while. Some of the words in this are his. I’ve used his white name here, not his real name. A real freedom fighter.


Mary the Larrikin

Joe Byrne has interested me for a while. His relationship with Aaron Sherritt was like a Greek tragedy. He also came across to me as the smart one of the Kelly gang. The one who had the best command of reading and writing, a fluency in the Chinese language, and a fondness for opium. Mary the Larrikin was Mary Jordan, a barmaid who liked Ned and the boys. Rock 'n Roll will never die. If you're in Benalla, Victoria, take the time to pay your respects at Joe's grave in the local cemetery.

 

God May Not Be With Us

Written during G Dubyah's and John Howard's reigns. Both sides started talking about God or Allah if you like, and I started thinking God has probably got nothing to do with this.

It's kind of like a love story between Australia and the USA but then like some love affairs doubt starts to creep in. Politician heal thyself.

 

The Ring

The words in this come from the mouths of boxers, As Larry Holmes said, Boxing is the sport that other sports aspire to be. Ritualised combat. There is also a strong similarity between boxing and musical improvisation, in particular,  jazz.

 

Smashman

I had a accident one night and spent from midnight to dawn with a tow-truck operator and he told me his story.

 

Walk into my Soul

I do self analysis.

 

What Goes Down

No matter who you are, the truth eventually comes out somewhere. You can lie and cheat and have wonderful things said about you but someone out there knows the truth and at some point it appears.

I'm scaring myself.

 

 

The Players

Broderick Smith - vocals, harmonica, banjo, tenor banjo


 

Matt Walker - guitars, lap steel, keys


Shannon Bourne - guitars


Laurie Ernst - drums, percussion, backing vocals


Garth Hudson - keys, accordion


Grant Cummerford - bass


David Manton - keys


Andrew Rigby - Celtic harp

 


 

Brod talks about the Garth connection
 

I first met Garth Hudson back in the days with The Dingoes when we lived in San Francisco around, say, 1977. We were recording an album at His Master’s Wheels Studio in San Francisco. It was a funky place with Star’s Guitars, a real good store, at the front on the left of the building. Upstairs, Lane Poor would take mind-altering substances and spend a long time building weird guitar electronics, like LED lights in Nils Lofgren’s guitar neck, or 4 pickups that ran down the neck of a bass guitar.
 
Across the road from the studio was Red Power’s HQ in San Francisco. This was about the time that Leonard Peltier and other Sioux were on the run from the FBI for having a shootout with them, so the studio and the Red Power building were under surveillance, especially when later on we were recording with Buffy Saint Marie. While Buffy was there different Plains Indian guys would come in like Floyd Westerman, who was in Dances with Wolves, and Buffy’s husband, Sheldon Wolfchild. Their son Cody would occasionally play on the floor with my son Perry. They were just little guys.
 
I can clearly remember two FBI agents with short hair, sunglasses and in grey suits sitting in a grey car that was so unobtrusive it really stuck out . They’d be there for days and they’d just sit there. I felt like making them a cuppa and taking it out to them but I figured they wouldn’t appreciate it.
 
Anyway, I digress ...


We were making this album and a track wasn’t working right so we got in Mal Logan, the NZ keyboard player, to put some organ on it. He did a fine job and helped knit the track together. But something was missing and Elliot Mazer, the producer and owner of the studio suggested that maybe Garth Hudson would do a great part.
 
We sat there stunned and said, “ Okay”.
 
Garth came into town and spent a few days with Elliot and the band and did some great work. I got on well with him I guess because it was a little guy/big guy thing (classic pal set-up) and we both shared a love for archaic words so we would be throwing words around like curmudgeon, or rapscallion, etc.
 
He also intimated to Elliott that he would be interested in coming on the road with us as The Band had broken up. We went into a huddle and felt that we’d be looking at him in awe rather than the audience, plus in hindsight, because of certain folks’ “lifestyles“ it wouldn’t have worked anyway. The Dingoes was one of those bands where some members cheerfully tried to destroy as much as they could while having as much fun as possible.
 
So thirty years later here we are with Garth on the new cd and quite happy to work on any future tracks I do!
 
All I need to do now is win the lottery so I can get him out here!
 
That’s about it.

 

Check Garth's website

 


 

Some words about Garth and Maud from Hirth Martinez

 

Maud and Garth

Maud I've known since time began - back in the day we sang many of my songs on gigs and on recordings at my house. This came easy. I met Garth when I was recording my first Warner Bros. record, Hirth from Earth, produced by Robbie Robertson at The Band's studio - "the ranch". When Garth and I played together, I got the sense that I'd known him, too, since time began. As things go, I brought Maud to the ranch one day to record her singing on one of my songs. Garth was there. I introduced them. And the rest is history. Maud's singing comes from deep down and Garth's creative genius always makes beautiful. A perfect combination. Maud and Garth. I love'em madly. 

 

 

Check Hirth's website

 


 

 

Words from Matt

 

The beginnings of Unknown Country were a collection of demos I had written with Brod around 2006. A handful of songs that seemed to be a departure from his previous work, they kept calling me back…wondering when their potential would be further investigated. Bad Star and Walk into my Soul showed a depth and imagery that reminded me why I love working with Brod so much. He is his own man.

It seemed obvious to me that the album needed to focus on Brod’s story-telling and his turn of phrase. The voice needed to be featured…It needed to be taking up a lot of the sonic space…The Johnny Cash albums produced by Rick Rubin were a huge inspiration to me and that’s how I wanted to approach Unknown Country.

So a couple of years go by, as they do and Brod and I start getting serious. “Let’s do this!” In 2008 in the space of a couple of months we wrote the majority of the album. For something that was sitting on the shelf for so long, it finally came together in a very short time. I called in Dave Manton to engineer the sessions and we recorded the album in the 8-Track Shack over five days.

I went over the songs with Shannon Bourne, who had been gigging with Brod. Shannon slotted in perfectly, his dexterity providing a foil for my lack of it. Grant Cummerford helped out on a few tracks playing bass. We played the songs mostly live with Brod in the room. Tapping into the lyrics we headed into “unknown country” with acoustic guitars, pump organ and harmonica.

I had written the music to the title track just after reading The Road by Cormack McCarthy and the weight of the song seemed to bleed into the whole recording. Brod wandered from place to place within the tracks, but all the time we were a band of brothers…alone.

As is the way of recording, there were a couple of songs that teetered from side to side as they found their strength and focus. The powerful ode to boxing titled The Ring came together as Brod spat the words out and I slammed an old Les Paul. The contrasts and scope of this album became more apparent the further we delved.

Around this time Brod and I talked about the idea of asking Garth Hudson to play on some tracks. They had worked together many moons ago and through the internet had kept in touch. So after some kind assistance from Vic Rocks we were able to include Garth on this album. He plays some atmospheres on the title track and Bad Star, while on Jack Napoleon from Cape Grim and What Goes Down Garth gets loose on the accordion.

The album was now frighteningly close! Being careful not to over-ice the cake, we asked Laurie Ernst to play some percussion and add some harmonies. That done, it was then off to Red Rocket Studio for the final mix.

Well, now it’s completed. The album I’ve wanted to make for some time is now finished. I thank Brod for the trust he gave me and the opportunity to produce this album for him.

Matt Walker
 

Broderick's photo-shoot by Cat Brennan


 

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Unknown Country

 

 

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