The Ap­ple Don’t Fall Far From the Tree

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

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.

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