The Apple Don’t Fall Far From the Tree
Lo Carmen and Peter Head Independent ★★★✩✩
PETER Head has been around the traps more than most musicians in Australia, from touring with the Rolling Stones in his group Headband in the 1970s to working with artists such as Wendy Saddington, Bon Scott and Glenn Shorrock. His staple for many years was playing the clubs of Sydney’s Kings Cross, gig such as Round Midnight, the Bourbon and Beefsteak and Springfields. That must have been an inspiration when recording this album with his daughter, singer and actress Loene Carmen. On the opening, fragile country lament Old Hands, with the spirit of Hank Williams and Gram Parsons lurking in the background, Head croons: ‘‘ I could never be a banker or a jailer or a sailor or a hired gun / Just trying to make my way and get me some’’. And you believe him — and Carmen — as they interweave their tales of digging graves and waiting tables to make ends meet. The album is a mix of originals and covers. Late Bloomer, cowritten by Head and Carmen’s former bandmate Justine Clarke, is a charming smoky blues romp driven by Head’s bar-room piano. Jason Walker’s pedal steel adds depth and melancholy to old favourites Love Hurts and Funny How Time Slips
Away. There’s a charming world-weariness at the heart of The Apple Don’t Fall Far From the Tree that surely comes from too many late nights in seedy piano bars. The mood is so authentic that by the end you feel like throwing yourself out on to the street to look for breakfast.