Raised By Eagles – Reaching Great Heights

Read our glowing review of Raised By Eagles’ self-titled album

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The self-titled album by Raised By Eagles was launched July 2013.  It is simply brilliant and I’ve found it strangely refreshing for even the vibrant and eclectic urban Melbourne scene.

Why so refreshing?  Well, I find using music genres in a descriptive sense highly misleading and frustrating.  Like never before, pure genres have extended, cross-hatched, revitalised and morphed into something else.

The hardest thing I find some times is trying to answer the simplest of questions: ‘What sort of music is it?’

A little while ago (I’ll get to the point of this article soon!), I reviewed Lachlan Bryan’s excellent album Black Coffee here’s the link).  In it I proffer the view that, while Australia’s urban centres boast a wealth of great performers across the myriad of genres, Alternative Country is not as well represented in the top-notch stakes.

The traditional country music scene – Tamworth and the Hunter Valley are thriving, but highly localised.  Between it and the urban music landscape is a considerable space (both musically and geographically).  One example of this is the fact that acclaimed Nashville legend Jim Lauderdale has toured the “country” circuit in Australia, but he has to my knowledge never played in Melbourne as part of his visit to our shores.

I’ve seen Lauderdale perform in the U.S. and am aware of his considerable standing there.  He’s not really regarded as traditional country in his homeland, more “alt. country” or (now the hottest of genres) Americana.  Maybe he needs to be more ‘country’ in Australia than in America purely to attain a financially viable audience.

Where is this ramble leading to?  Well, the Raised By Eagles album is so good that it simply crashes down musical borders that people like to construct.  Are they alt. country, country, Southern rock, country soul, Americana? –  (if English folk rock legend Richard Thompson can get an Americana award, then maybe anyone can).

Raised By Eagles debut, self-titled LP was released on in July 2013 through Vitamin Records.  The album has since received national acclaim and was nominated at The Age Music Victoria Awards for ‘Best Country Album’ 2013.  A collection of interwoven tales covering the undulating territories of regret, hope, home and distance from which the first singles ‘Green Ginger Wine’ and ‘Penny Drop’ were selected for national airplay on Triple J’s ‘Roots ‘N All’ program.

Raised By Eagles formed in early 2012, and includes some of Melbourne’s finest talent in Luke Sinclair (vocals, guitar), Nick O’Mara (lead guitar), Luke Richardson (double bass) and Johnny Gibson (drums) – all well established musicians and songwriters in their own right, sharing a common love of honest music and a deep respect for good song writing.

And that talent is highly visible on the album.  “Penny Drop” opens proceedings and is a beautiful introduction.  Sounding loose, but is anything but, the band gels together beautifully in a Southern rock format.  Nick O’Mara’s accomplished playing setting the scene for the rest of the album over which he casts a considerable shadow.  “Watching You Fall” is more gentle, showcasing the strength of the material and the harmonies.  “Great World Atlas” is more country, featuring some tasteful slide guitar and with a melancholic theme of absence and distance apart, with the track demonstrating Luke Sinclair’s vocal prowess.  Proceedings are ramped with “Old Stones”, cymbals and guitar leading the way, the lyrical imagery again highly evocative.  Finger picking “Green Ginger Wine” is a more traditional outing with a superior hook – serene and patient, with soaring harmonies.

“Travelin’ Bone” tells of a thought-provoking trip back to a childhood, rural hometown and the costs of being a rambler – – ‘honey won’t you break my travelin’ bones’.   Next up is “Take Your Time”, harmonica-infused, precise arrangements and even more evidence of the combined singing power of this outfit.”  “Waiting For Ghosts” is the closing track, a lonesome-whistle classic, which probably even surpasses what has come before.  Eight tracks and it’s all over.  For me every time I hear the last track fade, I just want more.

This is as good a release as any Australian artist has offered up in recent years.  And the exciting thing is… I suspect they are just going to get better.

I’m not going to describe their music, but wouldn’t it be great if they backed Jim Lauderdale at a Melbourne gig – what a thing that would be!

 

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Photo by Tajette O’Halloran

 

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photo by Tajette O’Halloran

Now the band has been touring extensively, but there are a few dates to go:

  • Apr 12, 2014
    Union Hotel
    Brunswick, VIC
  • Apr 18-20, 2014
    Golden Horseshoes Festival
    Beechworth, VIC
  • Apr 25, 2014
    Ararat Hotel Redroom
    Ararat, VIC
  • Apr 26, 2014
    The Post Office Hotel
    Coburg, VIC
  • May 23, 2014
    Spotted Mallard
    Brunswick, VIC

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photo by Tajette O’Halloran

“Raised By Eagles’ songs are the kind you fall in love with at the first listen and then endlessly trawl bars and venues across Melbourne to be near again. This is no crush. This is a great, enduring romance” – LIZ STRINGER

 

Read our glowing review of Raised By Eagles’ self-titled album

Read our glowing review of Raised By Eagles’ self-titled album

Read our glowing review of Raised By Eagles’ self-titled album

 

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Author: Rob Dickens

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