Lachlan Bryan’s Black Coffee Is Strong and Hot

Read our review of Lachlan Bryan’s new compelling album ‘Black Coffee’




Black Coffee by Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

is a stand-out release


“I’ve been drinking coffee since I was eight years old.  I found it counteracted the valium and always kept me focused.  My grandfather taught me to drink it black as pitch and hot as hell, and I’ve pretty much lived my life by that philosophy” says Lachlan Bryan.

Since emerging in 2009 with The Wildes’ first LP Ballad of a Young Married Man, Bryan has earned a reputation as a serious songwriter with a unique gift for plunging the depths of despair and depravity, only to emerge with a heart full of hope and tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Recently he’s shared stages with legends such as Steve Earle and John Hiatt, and appeared at major festivals from Byron Bay’s Bluesfest to Gympie’s annual Music Muster.

In 2012 Bryan released an acclaimed solo album Shadow of the Gun, and embarked on an epic twenty-three State tour across the USA.  It was on this tour that he wrote most of what would become the new record, inspired by run-down hotels, roadside diners, desert landscapes and cheap, supermarket six-packs.  The title track, for instance, was written at 9am on a napkin at a Mexican restaurant outside of Chicago.

Black Coffee was released late last year.  I’d heard some tracks off the CD but have only listened to it in its entirety in the past two weeks.  I’ve lately been inclined toward the view that the best music often sounds simple to replicate.  Of course it almost always isn’t.  It’s been lovingly written, crafted, sculptured and refined with blood, sweat and tears – it just sounds pure and real.

That’s one thing that strikes me about Black Coffee.  It has a simple and singular finish and it hits the mark like an experienced archer.  The other feature that I found somewhat intriguing when listening to the album is that I cannot recall that many “mainstream” Australian alt. country releases that are this good.  Australia produces a large number (well above it’s per capita weight) of seriously good blues, rock, roots, folk, singer/songwriter albums but not a lot of the alt. country genre that Black Coffee has so brilliantly cornered.  I hasten to add that I am not saying that it is stuck in the mud of one genre alone as it does in fact demonstrate a variety of influences.  While it is not defined by the alt. country genre, it is a glowing Australian example of an album underpinned with world-weary alt. country sensibilities, done with precision.




Lachlan Bryan, with his own ragged group of Melbourne misfits The Wildes (and with carefully selected guests) have concocted a powerful collection of songs, with plenty of dark humour.  Some of the photos on the CD are worthy of serious study – there’s a lot going on in those still shots.

The Wildes – aka Mat Duniam (drums), Shaun Ryan (bass) and Andy Wrigglesworth (guitar) – began playing together again last summer, and immediately embraced the new songs.  On the album they are joined by Bill Chambers, Texan pedal-steel wizard Tommy Detamore, soul-diva Zoë Rinkel and banjo-extraordinaire Rod McCormack.  Special mention should be made of Melody Pool, Bryan’s long time ‘surrogate sister’, who sings backing vocals on seven of the tracks and duets on album-closer “Forty Days and Nights”.

Black Coffee is an alternative-country gem.

Since it was released, the album has performed very well on the ARIA charts and won a first ever Golden Guitar – Best Alternative Country Album, including a stunning Tamworth performance to 11,000 fans at the Opening Concert to a Sold-Out album launch at The Family Hotel.


Via Karen Conrad Publicity


Read our review of Lachlan Bryan’s new compelling album ‘Black Coffee’




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Author: Rob Dickens

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