Sunday, September 16, 2007

Music Review

Written by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

You know those times when you hear a voice that you don’t recognize but it reaches out and just grabs a hold of you. One of those voices that you can’t get out of your head. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s magic. Sometimes when I’m shopping, checking out the music bins and I don’t have any particular cd or person or group that I’m looking for, I’ll just stroll through the bins, skipping around and looking through names that I don’t recognize or sometimes finding a name that I vaguely remember reading something about. I was at Borders one day, doing just this, when I came across a cd by a group called the Waifs. No idea who they were. Now I do a lot of reading about music and musicians, so I generally have some clue to a lot of names in the record bins, but there are still some out there that for one reason or another has escaped my eye. This group called the Waifs was one of them.

I was looking at a double album, a live album by them called “A Brief History.” They got marks for having a Dylan song on the album. The price was good for a double album. I didn’t have anything else to buy, nothing else reached out and spoke to me, so I decided to give this album a chance. After getting in my car and fighting with the packaging (why do they make cds so hard to open?) I finally managed to get the cd out and in the player. The last time I was so moved by a new voice that I didn’t know was when I heard Joss Stone. The sound coming out of my car stereo captivated me. The voices did more than just reach out to me, they reached out and shook me. I didn’t just like this cd, I feel in love with it. There was something in the music, something in the voices that sang it, that just made me want to listen to it over and over.

The Waifs are Donna and Vikki Simpson and Josh Cunningham. They are from Australia and sing folk rock. The two sisters started singing as a group called Colours. After they met Josh and he joined the duo they changed their name to the Waifs.

In Australia they built up their fan base until the release of their fourth album Up All Night in 2003 which debuted at number 3 in Australia and went double platinum in their home country. Later that year Bob Dylan toured Australia and the band opened for him. Dylan was so impressed by the band that he offered them the opening spot for them on his U.S. tour.

The single for this week is “Bridal Train” and tells the story of Vikki and Donna’s Grandmother, a war-bride of a U.S. sailor during World War II.

After the release of their double live album in 2004 the Waifs have been quiet on the album front. The two sisters have been busy having children and getting on with their lives. But this month so the group releasing a new album entitled Sun, Dirt, Water.

These words are being typed just hours after coming back from a concert by Shannon McNally that was just as good as expected. Shannon was one of the first voices to hear, back before this column had a name. Check out John’s altjiranga mitjina this month for more about Shannon.


Cori@SAHMbles said...

Oooohhhh, thank you for this. Love the voice, very reminiscent of Sarah Harmer, just happier.

Mama Zen said...

I wondered what happened to them!

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