NEW REVIEW For CJ Shaw’s Album ‘ALL SORTS’
Nominated for a 2020 Music Teacher of the Year ARIA, CJ Shaw is an unadulterated, unashamedly Australiana rather than Americana singer-songwriter, sort of Shane Howard meets Fred Smith if you will. Shaw keeps it all pretty simple too, two and three chords at most as he spins his stories, some aimed at younger listeners – as you’d expect from a teacher – rambling, cheeky ditties full of whimsy – others serving more mature musical tastes with tales that ponder life as it’s lived in this wide brown land. “We would all do a lot less harm,” he suggests in ‘Choose to Chew’, “If we ate our Coat of Arms” – which makes sense of the recipe card for CJ Shaw’s Fair Dinkum ‘Roo Bolognese included! Obviously one of his children’s songs, but hey, we all need a bit of fun once in a while. ‘Werewolves’ straddles the generations, delivered straight-faced yet obviously not to be imbibed in that spirit. The seraphic Hannah Czaben takes the vocal spotlight on ‘Full on Heart’, another gentle two-chord stroll, a rumination on separate lives that could have been more lived more happily together that, along with songs like ‘Lonely Road’, is proof that when he allows himself, Shaw is quite the poignant singer-songwriter.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lennie Gwyther’s story is no exception. A 9 year old boy who, along with his horse Ginger Mick, traversed 1000 kilometres of Australian wilderness to arrive in Sydney for the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.
Along the way he became a celebrity, admired for his bravery and determination. He even met with the Prime Minister of the time on the ride north. This was during the depression years and heroes were in demand. This unassuming boy was an unlikely icon that united the country as a symbol of hope.
This song was written to teach Australian history to primary aged students (and curious adults alike). The storytelling lyrics allow students, the same age as Lennie, to imagine his courageous three month journey to witness a momentous moment in Australian history. One taken without parents, cars, electricity and, most unbelievably, mobile phones.
The stop-motion music video to accompany the song is made by award-winning animators ‘Eleanor & Giovanni’ and features 3D felted puppets who play out the historical story of Lennie Gwyther. These meticulously hand-made puppets and backdrops create a child-like physicality to captivate the audience – drawing them into this inspiring Australian story.
As the song says – “There ain’t many like Lennie”.
Checkout the Video on todays excellent Premiere courtesy of Scenestr Magazine
Ain’t Many Like Lennie
Back to folk with this true to life story song. Mid-tempo, acoustics, banjo, mandolin, drums and bass.
Armed with a guitar and a swag full of harmonicas, singer-songwriter CJ Shaw’s intricate finger-picking, word play and storytelling never fails to captivate his audiences. CJ Shaw’s music is distinctly Australian in style, influenced by Paul Kelly and Slim Dusty. His lyrical storytelling and musicality lends itself to audiences of all ages.
In 2020, CJ Shaw was nominated for an ARIA Award for ‘Music Teacher of the Year’ with Jimmy Barnes as his official ambassador presenting him with the nomination. This prestigious music industry acknowledgement recognised his dynamic and poignant songwriting for primary-aged children. These celebrated songs are woven through his performances and albums, played alongside satirical and storytelling Australiana folk songs.
In 2021 CJ Shaw released his album ‘All Sorts’. Combining the best of his children’s songs with his unique brand of contemporary Australiana, Shaw has dubbed ‘All Sorts’ “the ultimate Family Album”. With over a decade experience touring and performing at music festivals in Australia and Timor-Leste, CJ Shaw is an exciting Canberra musician at the top of his game.
CJ Shaw – Ain’t Many Like Lennie is out NOW December 3rd through Foghorn/MGM
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“As I get older I care less and less about chatter, bitchiness. And I know that conditional love is not love at all. I wrote it with a good friend in mind who was copping it from people that claimed to care.” – Jack Nolan
A hidden gem on Jack’s new album, Gabriel. Don’t let the title dissuade you, there’s a great message here in the lyrics. Up-tempo and full band through-out, this one is a foot tapping sing along.
Jack will be performing live at Link N Pin Woy Woy Friday Dec 10
Jack Nolan is a singer songwriter based in Sydney, Australia, who’s s been performing and releasing music and albums since the mid 90’s. Along with a five-album solo catalogue Jack also fronted The Kelly Gang, with Rick Grossman, bassist for The Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus along with Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst and guitar player Martin Rotsey. Their 2004 album Looking for the Sun was critically adored along with their energetic live shows of the time.
Within Nolan’s music, mysterious and shimmering chords unite his sound with that of the Americana genre, once quaintly described as ‘Darlinghurst Country’ uniting elements of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and ambient atmospheres fusing Nolan’s passion for intensely charged electric guitar and finger-picked acoustic guitar.
Having caught the Tennessee bug while finishing his 2018 album ‘Our Waverley Star’, Jack returned to Nashville in February 2020 for two weeks of recording and mixing with his friend and multi-instrumentalist Justin Weaver, known best as the Dixie Chicks’ guitarist. After the most intense and enjoyable fortnight possible, Jack headed home in March 2020, a day before a hurricane wiped out Nashville, and less than a week before the world changed forever, if the word Wuhan rings a bell.
And so it is, Jacks latest album, Gabriel, released October 2021, keeps the wheels moving on the meaningful passion of this writer and performer.
Written by Jack Nolan
Recorded at ‘Welcome to 1979’ in Nashville TN 2020
Produced by Justin Weaver
Engineered by Chris Mara
Mixed by Chris Mara & Justin Weaver
Mastered by Ryan Smith, Sterling Sound Nashville TN
Jack Nolan – Vocals & guitars
Justin Weaver – Electric Guitars, slide, banjo & backing vocals
Jimmy Paxson – Drums
Chris Autry – Bass
Chai Chatter is OUT NOW Quay Records/MGM.
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