Country music is new to me, but the Haystack Mountain Hermits put me right in the picture: tell me a story, let your instruments sing out, and fill my space with your glorious harmonies.
This is Australian country music at its finest. If you, or someone you know, loves country, this is a perfect present.
Momma Hermit Kerrie Gambley said it’s their debut EP, and was released at Witches Falls Winery on the Mountain (in the middle of a huge storm) earlier this year. Five tracks vary from ‘Wagon Wheel’, upbeat and cheeky ‘Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms’, a bit of gypsy ‘Blue Drag’, some driving bluesy storytelling ‘Our Sunshine’, and the Hermits’ first original song ‘Going Home’. Here’s a tip: if you’re working out-of-state and feeling homesick, don’t listen to the last one; you’ll be packed up and heading back before the day’s out.
The CD is more than its musical parts. The artwork has a story and makes it a physical gift too:
The CD artwork was shot on the family farm, which has been in the family for 111 years so far! It was hot, we were tired and I had knocked myself out getting the bass down from the hayshed top level. The inside photo (which we adore) was the last one taken before we ran out of space on the camera!Kerrie Gambley
But I mean, what were you guys thinking, putting Momma and her double bass up top? Couldn’t you send a young’un up instead? But maybe that’s the price of perfection, because it is the perfect sleeve cover.
The Haystack Mountain Hermits are an award-winning family band. They’ve been Tamworth Busking Champions, Australian National Busking Champions and they were in the ABC series The Recording Studio, which won an ARIA for Best Soundtrack.
I first saw them at the Arts Ablaze festival a few months back, which I reviewed for Scenestr. The Hermits kind of blew my mind, in the happiest way. They were the epitome of acoustic musicianship and I enjoyed everything – even the soundcheck! Because of that I remembered the name of the sound engineer, and I met him at a film festival a month later!