Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Gleny Rae -- what a singer! Ramblin' Girl (video above) takes my breath away. Last Saturday (June 12th) I went with friends to glam/country band The Junes CD launch at Bella Union Bar (Trades Hall, Carlton) Great venue -- towering columns, sandpapered walls, grand ceilings, cold, wide staircases. It seemed to suit the winter mood. I wore a heavy, black woolen jacket and still stood shivering by the bar. The layered harmonies, cajun dance, and touch of Junes glamour soon warmed my cold journalists blood however and the suspended union/protest flags and red lamplight above me were stirring. The room had a fabulous sound.
The CD launched was The Junes: 12 Golden Greats (their first full length album, recorded with Craig Pilkington at Audrey Studios) and there are several heart-breakingly beautiful songs on this album. Slow dance, Blue Baby is a favourite, as is Hopeless and Ramblin' Girl (see video above) though I think this may be on their previous recording. The jumpier numbers like Stampede in the Begerkery (complete with chicken stomps, raised shins and sudden whoops) have a raucous hillbilly energy to them and are loads of fun. As per usual, there was a lot of innuendo and onstage banter to get the crowd laughing: Gleny Rae bemoaning the plight of chickens who are armless and without opposable thumbs; Sarah Carol teasing the all male rhythm section about their matching shirts and colourful on-stage bonding ;) etc. The fiddle and accordian solos by Glenny Rae were stunning, and Suzannah's singing was haunting and full of subdued passion. The rhytmm section (Dougie Bull and Chris Tabone) were very lively yet able to pull it back for the quieter numbers and let the beautiful, complex harmonies sing out.
As part of the evening's entertainment the 100+ or so crowd were treated to Cajun dance lessons (care of Emma Bee) and it was cute watching the, perhaps, dozen couples get up to left-foot, right-foot-it round the dance floor (and, yes, slightly dishearting to see that all the willing blokes were over sixty). My fellow lady friends and I stood slumped up against the wall slurping gin like lemonade as if we were abandoned prom nerds in a country barn. Once Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo started up however (see video below) we flung our boyfriend-needy inhibitions aside and toe-tapped our way onto the dance floor, swept up by the jaunty rhythms & melodies of the expert Cajun music. With such seasoned musicians as: Andy Baylor, Rick Dempster, Sam Lemann, Andy Scott, and Lenny Ramanauskas, what can I say? Brilliant. We danced the night away.
Needless to say it was a great gig. It all ended with a crammed ride in the cabin of a ute, gear stick vibrating madly at my calves, ashtray attached unwittingly to my bag stuffed under the dash, butts all over the floor -- cigarettes, that is ;) -- and several laughing heads growing out of my shoulders (or so it would have seemed to bemused pedestrians). This inane happiness I attribute to the fabulous Junes of course and the Cajun Combo -- not just the booze!
For more information on The Junes and to buy the CD visit their myspace page here. For Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo visit his website. H