Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bottom of the River

Two of Australia’s most eclectic acoustic roots performers,
Leah Cotterell and Jamie Clark have recorded their first originals album,
‘Bottom of the River’.

One by one these songs floated up from the bottom of the river.

The river meanders past the shipwreck on the riverbed, past the promenade of the midnight flower, and past the reverie of childhood. The river is a guide for the lost souls flying above. It’s the fluid spine of the richly composted life of the river city. The songs on Bottom of the River that aren’t about the river might as well be. They are about recollection, reminiscence and the river of time.

While their love for spirited musical performance brings these two together, time is the element that bonds them. In twenty years they’ve built many musical vehicles together, performing at major venues, at open air union meetings, at clubs in the Valley and ritzy functions on the Coast. Having clocked up over two hundred performances together (Jamie keeps a journal) performing country, jazz, gospel and folk, now for the first time Jamie Clark and Leah Cotterell have written an entire concert of original music for themselves.

Immersed in, and inspired by the work of giants like Mississippi John Hurt, Chet Atkins, and Bert Jancz, this is a collection of styles that showcase Jamie’s quiet mastery of accompaniment across DGAD folk, jazz and blues, bluegrass and gospel. Leah has sought to match Jamie’s clarity with words that sing themselves, language that sits flush to Jamie’s melodies, phrases full of rhythm and rhyme. For inspiration she drew on every classic song she’s ever learned, from writers like Jimmy Webb, Hank Williams and Cole Porter and of course, drawing from the well spring of traditional folk.

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