Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Cosmic Country / New Music

ALBUM REVIEW: Henry Wagons – South Of Everywhere




He’s a bandleader, a radio and TV host, a raconteur and one hell of a singer, songwriter and performer. The third solo album for Henry Wagons, who originally came to fame as the frontman for the band Wagons, finds him focusing his lens on his home country. The songs reference the landscape, towns (from Dover Tasmania to Orange NSW), Wagons’ own domestic world plus imagined characters and their stories.

Most impressively, Wagons has concocted a sonic canvas that perfectly balances traditional instrumentation with contemporary production and Americana meets indie rock swerves. He’s no purist and that’s the listener’s reward.

From the shadowy Nick Cave meets hip hop gothic sound of ‘Cover My Eyes’, to the playful twang-laden tale of ‘Felix Granger, The Finger Pickin’ Boy’, the raucous upgrade of 80s Dylan on ‘Everything Is Broken’ and the heartfelt and soulful slow dance of ‘Don’t Give Up (Just Yet), there’s a real stylistic range that dips into a number of corners of countrified music, both light and dark.

Wagons boils it all down to the essence of songwriting and minimal instrumentation on the late-night bar lament ‘It’s Time To Go Joe’, a song that Waits and Nilsson would be proud of. The album is a concise listen too, 11 songs in not much more than 30 minutes, all the more impressive for the varied terrain it covers. 

South Of Everywhere thrillingly places the mercurial artist somewhere between Elvis, Paul Cauthen, Jonny Fritz and the aforementioned Cave. Fine company indeed.



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