You can get a cd or a digital copy - or both - from Bandcamp HERE.
FEARFUL WIGGINGS is at itunes here. Its a great album.
A very thoughtful review of a show by art writer Chris McCauliffe
Hello Dave. Congratulations on the release of ‘Fearful Wiggings’. That’s a pretty big album (your 28th offering in your career so far). It’s slightly more laid back compared to previous releases, so why the change of pace, and why did you decide to go solo with this album (which is your second solo album, I believe)?
I really loved some recent music by the American artist Bill Callahan. His albums DREAM RIVER and MY APOCALYPSE. Found it fascinating as to how little instrumentation there was and how much room it left for the voice. Still remaining full of power and dynamics. Started recording early last year with my acoustic, knowing I’d be working with Clare’s band the DAMES (in which I play guitar) and HARRY HOWARD and the NDE (in which I play bass) for the rest of that year. Had time to spend on my album. Felt like doing something different. Our 2012 album “You’ve been in my mind” was a real high point for our up tempo pop rock songs. Did it in the same studio as 2011s “rock’n’roll is where I hide” album so I just felt we’d exhausted that tip for a while.
You’re in your 4th decade of writing and performing songs. In an industry where longevity seems to be less common occurrence (particularly with younger musicians), how do you keep challenging yourself to come up with new material, and not burn out?
Enjoy yourself! Play with people who love to play too. What else? Don’t worry about people who think they run the show. Musicians rule! Its good to have being a musician to fall back on! Actually, I really can’t do anything else, there is no retiring in this business. Once you accept that , you can relax and get in a groove.
I love the clip to the first single ‘Everything Was Legendary with Robert’ (the whole séance theme you went with was very cool), but I do have to ask exactly why everything was legendary with Robert?
I did a song called “You wanna be there but you don’t wanna travel” in the 90s. I loved it so much I recorded it twice- in 1990 and 1994. It was about the same sort of character. A legend in his own share house kitchen. Never looking you in the eye, always off somewhere else. Waiting for his real life to start. I’ve been that type of person myself. The video was directed and shot by Donna McRae and Michael Vale. They thought up the whole visual idea. Based around an early French film maker called George Melies.
In 1996, you won the ARIA for Best Male Artist, in which you slyly declared yourself ‘King of Pop’ (referencing 70’s teen magazine, Go-Set’s pop award… I still remember that, by the way – pure brilliance). How relevant do you think awards like the ARIAs are to our music industry in Australia?
Well they’re pretty good if they recognise people’s work . Pity it’s just bought and sold by different TV channels. I always thought it’d be better to be exclusive and behind closed doors- for insiders only. Then the TV channels would have to report it on the News – either fights or gossip. Make it more of a glamorous – forbidden thing. Would be more fun for the players too. I haven’t been near one in decades.
The relationship you have with your wife and musical partner, Clare Moore, is a rare and enviable one. What’s your secret to a happy, creative partnership? How much do you influence each other with your respective musical projects (Clare’s résumé is amazing!) ?
Clare’s playing keys on a lot of these dates though she’ll be behind the kit at the SolBar. We have experienced a lot of stuff. We know what each other is talking about. I love playing with the Dames too and can’t wait to do another Clare Moore album. We do some film and TV soundtrack work together (though not as much as we like) and Clare is amazing with that stuff. Editing and playing keys and organising the pieces for the timing of the film. She’s great with harmony and also keeping Stu and Stuart informed of things. That’s important, communicating with each other. The guys have to leave their lives behind when we go on tour, we take ours with us.
What is the one main thing you want your audience to take away with them after a live Dave Graney performance (apart from a copy of the album, that is)?
Well, we’d like them to think they’ve seen and heard something unique. Something you can’t get anywhere else. We don’t do other people’s songs. It’s all my stuff. I like sensation, goofy stuff. Street language and grooves. So its kind of a balance between throwaway show business foolishness and madly ambitious flights of the imagination. Sometimes the two are the same thing and that’s really great.
And finally, from one hat aficionado to another, how many hats do you actually own?
Not enough. It’s hard to get hats to go with different outfits. I’ve only had one I really liked and that’s really stuffed. I need another one. They’re annoying, they give you an attitude.
The Point - Sunshine Coast
Talking to a young bloke at the paper in Mt Gambier.
Still endeavouring to escape the cloud of controversy, Harris had written a poem in the mid-1950s titled On Throwing a Copy of The New Statesman into the Coorong. Casting his eye along the same quiet country road that had inspired Harris’ poem, Graney contemplated the pre-ordained strictures of country life.
‘‘I was driving down the same road, driving down roads your mother and father might have driven down, thinking of your life, and your mind wanders to things,’’ Graney says. ‘‘Ephemeral and permanent kinds of things – you drive around on roads that are set there, and you can’t really drive off things that are set in your life.’’
Graney’s musings subsequently became Country Roads Unwinding, a song that would appear on his new album, Fearful Wiggings.
AdvertisementIn a departure from previous records with his band the mistLY, Fearful Wiggings is largely a solo acoustic outing, with input from Graney’s wife and long-time musical partner Clare Moore and guest appearances from Lisa Gerrard from Australian ambient dance group Dead Can Dance and British folk-blues artist Nick Harper.
The change in style and tempo from Graney’s previous records was more happenstance than deliberate strategy. ‘‘I had no definite idea at the beginning whether it was going to be with a band or not,’’ Graney explains. ‘‘I really loved the last two albums by Bill Callahan [Apocalypse, from 2011, and Dream River, 2013] – they’re really minimalist and leave a lot of room for the vocal. I really wanted to explore that a bit.’’
He contacted Harper, the son of renowned British folk musician Roy Harper, after hearing he had been playing Graney’s Rock’n’Roll Is Where I Hide in his live set.
‘‘Nick Harper grew up in that avant-garge British folk scene of the early 1970s, which I’ve immersed myself in,’’ Graney says. ‘‘He’s an incredibly talented, shamanistic-type of guitarist – he does things that he does beyond what you can learn in books, when you’ve done the 20,000 hours of tinkling around on a guitar that you’ve got to do. I was quite honoured by the fact he was playing one of my tunes, so I got in touch with him.’’
He is in the midst of a national tour that has taken him to some different types of venue: a chicken shop in Ocean Grove, a book shop in Canberra and a converted bank building in the old centre of Newcastle. For Graney it’s about ‘‘playing a different kind of show, for a different kind of album’’.
Later this year Graney and his band will head to Europe to play some shows (while in Europe, Graney and Moore will also find time to play in Harry Howard’s backing band, the NDE). His Francophile leanings continue to evolve – the title of Fearful Wiggings is taken from the glossary to a book of French short stories. But Graney is particularly impressed by the honesty of French songwriters.
‘‘They have songwriters [who] write about middle-age people, singing about failure and not caring about anybody or anything. That sort of thing is just not allowed in American or English music – there always has to be some sort of corny positivism in English-language stuff,’’ Graney says.
‘‘But the French do not care – they express all sorts of pithy, misanthropic kind of things. Everything’s allowed in an adult way – bitterness, schadenfreude and all those kinds of things. That’s what I like about European lyrics.’’