Former singer with Australian alt. country band The Wildes is releasing Shadow Of The Gun under his own name. He hasn't strayed too far from that path here. It is produced by stalwart of the alternative country scene Rod McCormack and has a full and warm sound. Whistle and Waltz is a duet with Kasey Chambers and those who are familiar with her work wouldn't go amiss in checking this album out. I'd Rather Sing In Churches speaks of the passing of a friend and how the singer would "rather sing in churches" because he's "sick of singing in bars". This is delivered over an uptempo beat and mood.
Bryan's deep voice is well used on songs like the ballad Lily Of The Fields which has the sombre lyric noting that "lilies love you when you're gone" the mood is enhanced by the guitar and accordion refrains. Many of the songs are painted in darker hues with titles like Secret I'll Take To The Grave, Home of The Blues, The Sweet Or Bitter End which ends the album in a more acoustic mode.
A fan of writers like Guy Clark and Townes van Zandt it shows that that kind of story telling and intriguing back stories are not just limited to Texas or Nashville and that Bryan has an affinity with that body of crafted writing that tends to improve with age and understanding. The songs are infused with life's little ups and downs and occasionally the very deep downs.
The production as expected is excellent and Bryan is joined by vocalist Catherine Britt on 3 songs. The musicians include Bill Chambers, Glen Hannah, Jeff and Rod McCormick all well known names on the Australian roots music scene. The songs are memorable and strong and Bryan has the kind of world weary voice that is entirely suited to the job at hand. Which is being believable and thoughtful. Not a voice of elegance but one that is efficacious.
This is an auspicious debut and marked Lachlan Bryan a name to watch and this an album to savour.