1. Never Throw It Away I wrote this song back in 1992, in my lounge room in Penrith, Sydney, whilst rehearsing with my band “Wannawong”, I virtually made it up on the spot. It was first recorded live as a demo at 3rd Ear Studio with the band the following year. We then recorded it at Sound Barrier Studios in 1995, the late Harry Slee produced and arranged it. We then re-recorded the song at Pegasus Studios in 2009 for this album, using the same arrangement but with a more contemporary approach and using a different band. The song is all about holding on to a relationship that has endured so much to date so why end it now?
2. Roadhouse Of No Return I got the idea for this song whilst looking at a painting of a scene by the same name. It was a surreal style of painting that I found inspiring, so the song describes what I saw in the painting. I was very fortunate to have Matt Taylor from Chain play harmonica on this recording.
3. Alone At The Local This song dates back to 1989. Playing many gigs in the Sydney pub scene, I saw the invasion of card machines, followed by the pokie machines. This song tells it how I saw things at the time. In some respects I still see things the same.
4. Galleries Of Pink Galahs This is a John Williamson song that I love very much. I have performed it at every gig that I have done and I believe the song says it all. It really expresses the feeling of our vast Australian outback.
5. I’ll Live In This Country I wrote this song in 1989 and it was originally called “Wannawong” which is an Aboriginal word that means “coming down from the hills to the water”. Wannawong was the name of my duo, and later my band. Wannawong is also the name of the Ryde boy scout district in New South Wales where I was involved as a young lad in Eastwood.
6. Dreamtime View I wrote this song in 1992 after a day at Koala Park in Sydney with my three (then) young children – Sarah, Joshua and Jessica. As we walked through the wildlife park, I noticed the full-sized concrete replicas of giant ancient marsupials, which were very big compared to the marsupials of today. I wondered how the ancient aboriginals dealt with these creatures back then.
7. Ancient Land Most of this song was written in 1987 whilst I was driving between Cairns and Darwin when on tour with John Williamson. When I got back to Sydney I played it to Pixie Jenkins. We finished writing the song at his house in Sydney one afternoon. This is one of the few songs that I have written with someone else. We then recorded the song at Pixie’s home studio in Sydney in 1993. We added some keyboards, strings, classical guitar and percussion at Pegasus Studios, Cairns when putting this album together.
8. Not a Day Goes By I wrote this back in 1989. I don’t remember anything significant about the inspiration for the tune. It is a little different to most of my material from that time, and has a very easy feel, with some Jazz type influences.
9. Lost At Sea I got the inspiration for this song whilst I was sitting on the beach at Terrigal in the New South Wales central coast in 1985. This song is straight from the soul. I was going through a difficult patch in my life and I felt very isolated. It was first recorded at the Alberta Studio sessions 26-27 February 1992 with just drums, bass, keyboard DX7, guitar, lead vocals and harmony by Chris Ransome. 16 years later we recorded the rest at Pegasus Studios in 2009.
10. Lonely Midnight Road This song came into my head driving home from a gig on the Old Northern Road near Camden, New South Wales in 1989. I was heading for Penrith, just before midnight. Everything that’s described in the song was there. I finished off the song later that night when I got home.
11. If We Believe I wrote this song in 1990 after talking to my Dad on the phone. He suggested I write a song for the Labor party. I got off the phone, picked up my guitar and wrote what I thought was an “anthem” about Australia in general. Since I was not in to politics, it took me about twenty minutes to write the song. I performed it live the following night at a gig in Sydney. Harry Slee heard the demo version in 1995 and suggested that it could be used as the theme song for the Sydney Olympics. Harry Slee has been very active in raising money for the Queensland Cancer Fund and unfortunately he died prematurely. I donated the royalties from this song to the Queensland Cancer Fund in memory of Harry. The song was re-recorded in 2004 as the title track for a compilation album of tracks by local Cairns’ musicians that was sold with all proceeds going to the Queensland Cancer Fund. Gerry Mier and I have performed the song every year at the Queensland Cancer Fund’s Relay For Life fund raiser for the past 5 years.
12. For So Long I am a little embarrassed about the inspiration for this song. I wrote the song after seeing the movie “Twister”, starring Helen Hunt. I had a bit of a crush on her, as she reminded me of someone special from the past. I wrote the song the following day after I saw the movie, as a nice little love ballad.
13. It Just Pours I wrote this song in Sydney on a rainy day back in 1989 during “the recession we had to have”. I think this song pretty much says it all. It refers to the world economic climate at the time and humanity in general. The theme words are to me still, if not more relevant today. We did an extensive “rework” of the original 1992 recording for this album, with Libby Brackenshire adding some great harmony vocals. I “double tracked” the lead vocals and we “beefed up” the instrumentation, adding bass, electric guitar, mandolin and keyboards.
14. Paint On Your Brush This tune was written in January 2008 whilst I was painting my flat at Yorkeys Knob, just North of Cairns. At the time I was also listening to the Tony Bennett album “Duets”. I got his kind of swing / jazz tune in my head so I immediately picked up my guitar. Initially I only had the verses, but no bridge or middle eight until January 2009. I thought the whole idea of the lyric “paint on your brush” was a weird metaphor, however I couldn’t get it out of my head. Now it’s your turn to judge.
15. And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda I have performed this wonderful Eric Bogle song for many years. The song brings so much emotion to the audience. It is about a young volunteer soldier who goes off to Gallipoli in the First World War.