HAIR OF THE DOG
reviewed by Jim Low
Loaded Dog is a Western Australian band and Hair of the Dog is its latest recording. The band members all bring a wealth of musical talent and experience to the fourteen songs and tunes on this fine CD. The members are Phil Roeterdink, Alan Mann, Dave Mann, Bob Rummery and Phil Gray.
The musical selections on the CD include original music and song, musical settings of poems along with traditional material.
The CD begins with Ray Mann’s rousing musical setting of a Harry (Breaker) Morant poem about droving … A great start to the CD! I enjoyed the very worthy versions of John Broomhall’s musical adaptation of Ted Dyson’s Bullocky Bill and Cathy O’Sullivan’s setting of Henry Lawson’s The Teams.
Alan Mann contributes an intriguing song about a natural disaster and a happy aftermath in Alby’s Guitar. His clever The Plimsoll Line reflects on excessive dependence on natural resources to the detriment of our environment. A slow version of Across the Western Plains allows the reflective nature of the lyric to emerge and the attractive quality of the melody to be fully appreciated. This was a listening highlight for me.
The vocals are shared by the members and are solid, clear and never resort to any distracting, unnatural affectation. The musical arrangements allow for interesting and appropriate instrumental dynamics to occur.
CDs that fit the descriptor of good Australian music are not always that easy to find these days. However, this fourth CD from Loaded Dog has no trouble comfortably fitting the bill. The CD is available from the band’s website.