AUSTRALIA - Various Artists (Putumayo)
Australia features exceptional musicians whose songs reflect the broad diversity of cultures and international music that have influenced the country. Known by affectionate nicknames such as “The land down under” and “OZ,” Australia is home to surreal landscapes, unique flora and fauna and mystical indigenous cultures. Its fertile pop, country and rock music scene has bred scores of international stars. The compositions on this collection represent some of the cultural songlines connecting the people of Australia and the rest of the world.
The laid-back atmosphere of Australia’s beach and surfing communities proved fertile ground for international sounds such as reggae, ska and even African soukous, which influenced The Beautiful Girls’ opening track “Spanish Town.” A longtime boat captain and pearl diver, Queensland native Seaman Dan blends the sounds of American blues with traditional folk music from the Torres Strait where he was born. Seaman Dan named the first song he ever wrote, “T.I. Blues,” after his home, Thursday Island.
Australia has produced a number of worldwide stars, among them, Men At Work. The group’s 1980s pop hit “Down Under” became a de facto anthem for Australia. Here, their frontman Colin Hay reinterprets that iconic song with acoustic instrumentation. The Waifs achieved international popularity in 2003 with the album Up All Night. Their original song, “The Waitress,” describes a slice-of-life for a musician struggling to make it in Sydney. Multi-instrumentalist and activist Xavier Rudd has developed a wide following both abroad and at home with his unique, solo live-shows and compassionate, socially conscious songs. “Hope That You’ll Stay” appeared on the Torquay, Victoria native’s 2008 release Dark Shades of Blue.
Details1 The Beautiful Girls - Spanish Town - (Australia)
2 Seaman Dan - T.I. Blues - (Australia)
3 The Waifs - The Waitress - (Australia)4Outback - Desert Rain - (Australia)
5 Colin Hay - Down Under (Acoustic Version) - (Australia)
6 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Marwurrumburr - (Australia)
7 Bobby Alu - Changes, Changes - (Australia)
8 Xavier Rudd - Hope That You'll Stay - (Australia)
9 The Lucky Wonders - Home - (Australia)
10 Colin Buchanan with Lee Kernaghan & Sara Storer - Song of Australia - (Australia)
11 Archie Roach with Paul Kelly - We Won't Cry - (Australia)