New album Louisa Wise
‘All of These Things’
By Rob Dickens
I’m kinda thinking I’m living in a special neighbourhood.
Northcote is an inner northern suburb of Melbourne and recently has featured heavily on the new album City’s Calling Me from Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission (the album cover in fact was shot from the suburb’s most prominent natural feature Ruckers Hill). You can read more about that release HERE.
Now here’s a collection of songs from another Northcote local Louisa Wise.
It’s a celebratory folk music event, not just for Northcote either. But indulge me for a moment, please. “Merri Creek In The Morning” is a joyous exclamation of walking round the local verdant waterway and the aforementioned elevation “Ruckers Hill” recounts of warm meetings on New Year’s Eve where the view of the city is stunning.
But it is not just familiarity that breeds my lasting respect for All Of These Things.
This a wondrous folk statement vividly capturing our lives, traditions and recollections. “Jessie Gardener” is a lament for a grandmother who lost her first family at sea with glorious harmonies and searching violins. “Convict Quilt” lovingly tells of convict women making a quilt on the way to a penal colony and “Delia Fay” working barefoot in a Massachusetts textile mill. “Black Dog” is a tender and exquisite ode to mental battles and our treatment of Australia’s offshore refugees is covered in the strident “We Have Run From Your War”. But you can also enjoy the whimsy of “Feather” and “Teapot Song”.
All Of These Things was released in April 2020 and nominated as Best Folk Album in the Music Victoria Awards. Comprising an impressive seventeen new songs recorded over two years, they are performed by Louisa with family and friends – in particular, Wise plays dulcimer, guitar, fiddle, piano, mouthbow and teapot(?). Collaborators all worthy of mention are Luke Plumb (mandolin, bouzouki), Mischa Herman (piano accordion, Irish whistle), Jim Green (lead guitar), Nick Thorpe (double bass), The Wise Women (Louisa’s three daughters Ruth, Lucy and Rowena), with Niroshan Sathiyamoorthy (ghatam) and Justin Marshall on percussion.
It’s a special neighbourhood, alright when wonderfully-talented artists like Louisa Wise live nearby.
New album Louisa Wise