By Kaz Johnson at Cowgirlup Blog
Before I reviewed Ian’s last album, I was told by friends and musos to listen to this guy…go and see him if you can, you will love him. The rest, as they say, is history. Ian has become a favourite of mine, on and off record. He is one of the most genuine guys that you could meet and I love his music.
This has been an eagerly anticipated album. As a teaser, one of my fave songs of last year was the duet that he did with my Sista from another Mista, (Melissa Robertson) and they even performed this song for me in Tamworth. It was a highlight of my festival.
I knew that Ian’s album would be a beauty, and it hasn’t let me down. With a great line up of musos and a wonderful producer in my “cousin” Simon Johnson, it is hard to go wrong.
I did get to hear a few of these songs in Tamworth and that served as an nice entrée to actually hearing the album. As most folks know, I love singer/songwriters best. I totally appreciate a craftsman, much like in any field, whether it be a builder who builds, a baker who bakes, a painter who paints….you get the idea. Ian wrote all of the songs on this album and that makes me feel closer to him as a fan, and as an admirer of his talents.
The beauty of being an indie artist is that you can have more control over your songs and how you want them produced. I dips my lid to Mr Burns. His songs are my style, lyrically enpointe and easy on the ear and you can feel the messages of the songs whether they are easy to relate to or whether they go a bit deeper.
His last album was pretty damn good, and it was a hard act to follow. I think that this one, though a bit different, is a pretty good match. As a songwriter, I think that Ian has taken another step up. This seems just a bit more of a confident work. He is growing as an artist. I have some new favourites, and that is always a good thing.
Best Friend is Whiskey and George and Jack are definitely two stand outs. Superhero is definitely a change in direction and maybe he is channeling his mate and my Country Music daughter, Amber Lawrence, and I love it. It may be on my list of shower songs for this year. Definitely a song that gets into your head…and your toes. Say Goodbye is a beaut song too. I love the fiddle and Mick (one of our best) Albeck is awesome on this track.
Ian is very well respected by the Indie Country Music family. He gets up on that stage and really enjoys his music and playing for you. I love sharing the joy that country music artists have for their music. You can tell from the moment that Ian plugs his guitar in that he loves what he does. He is very sincere and genuine and it comes through in his music.
I think that this album is probably more country than his last album. I really loved that album, but in many ways, I think that this is much more Ian and more true to what he wants to do. It is a step up, and the steps were already pretty high.
He likes to mix things up. The tempo changes, the moods change and everything has its place. The River picks thinks up with fiddles and a steady drum beat.
Love Don’t Live Here is an interesting song. There are a few layers to this song.
Ian has a soft, lilting voice. It is easy on the ear and uncomplicated. I haven’t heard Kelly Hope’s voice before, but I do like this duet – “If I Said I didn’t love you”. I am a sucker for this kind of song, and it is a rippa.
What would a country music album be without a drinking song. I am not sure that you could really call it a country music album! Ian finishes the album with Beer Drinking Song. With a slight Celtic feel, this will be a crowd favourite. A nice way to end a very welcomed album and a cool addition to any Aussie country music fan’s collection.