ABOVE THE CREEK BED
CD Review by Col Johnson
Producer/Presenter Kaleidoscope Cairns FM 89.1
We are told that the age of the solo singer/songwriter has passed. I am happy to report that this is not entirely true. Filling this niche is a healthy group of artists of this calibre contributing a wealth of fine music. One of these is Jim Low with the release of his album Above The Creek Bed. Jim is one of the too few who sing about their love of Australia.
Jim is primarily a balladeer and every song tells a story. With the exception of the verses of Myall Grove all the words and music are original. This reviewer enjoys compositions that are based on truth and this album fulfils this aspect very well. Some titles are quite revealing as to the content. The Country in Me expresses Jim's passion for his country of birth whilst Fields of Eldorado tells a true story of an event on the Victorian goldfields in 1895. Sailing Through History goes back even further and gives the listener a rare insight into the personal life of medical practitioner George Bass who landed in Sydney in 1795 when he was just twenty years old. Outlaw Ned Kelly and the great artist Fred McCubbin both get a mention in At Stringybark Creek in a clever use of lyrics. At the same time Folksinger is a dedication to someone still living. Those of us who know and like the artistry of Gary Shearston can only endorse the lines written here. Negatives of Glass is about the William Corkhill collection of photographs that illustrate the history of the Tilba district of NSW in black and white.
I have seldom felt the compulsion to investigate a subject as much as the sentiments expressed here urge me to. Chloe and Jason Roweth provide the back up instrumentation. Chloe plays the mandolin with backing vocals whilst Jason plays the fretless bass and electric guitar. Jim is on the acoustic guitar and harmonica. I have not had the privilege to attend a live performance by Jim Low but this album tells me I should make the effort. This is an album for listening enjoyment and quiet contemplation. There is a total of 13 tracks and whilst I have my favourites I leave it to the listener to decide.
Accompanying the album is a 20 page glossy colour booklet which includes all the lyrics. No credit is given for the beautiful camera work but I happen to know the photographer was Jim himself. If you have a music loving, astute relative whose intelligence is above average you could do no better than to obtain this album for them as a gift.
The CD is available at www.jimlow.net