COUN­TRY

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

THERE’S an empti­ness about Aus­tralian coun­try artists who set their sights on Nashville, mod­ify their ac­cent and sing about towns you know they’ve never been to, all in the name of the almighty buck. No one could ac­cuse Neil Murray of this poi­son. In fact, he is the an­ti­dote: the man who wrote My Is­land Home for the Warumpi Band, of which he was a found­ing mem­ber. Overnighter ex­presses a love of this land and its peo­ple in a less an­themic, more laid- back way. Vo­cally, Murray sounds like a mar­riage of Bob Dylan and Paul Kelly and, like Kelly’s, the songs are of­ten ro­man­tic vi­gnettes of Aus­tralian life but with a bet­ter sense of hu­mour. The cho­rus of Streets of Bourke calls it ‘‘ the best and worst lit­tle town in the world’’. In­stru­men­ta­tion is kept sim­ple and the record­ing sub­se­quently has a lovely, al­most an­tique warmth about it. The gor­geous Lights of Hay scores the best lyric of the album: ‘‘ I once had dreams more than I could man­age; now all I need is a cof­fee and a sand­wich.’’ Overnighter Neil Murray ABC/ Warner

Ian Cuth­bert­son

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