How nice to have a few shows on the horizon for no other reason than it’s a good feeling to get out and play occasionally. The line-up of the Roving Commission seems to be consolidating nicely with Michael Hubbard on the bass and Dave Folley on the drums. Joining us on banjo, guitar and vocals for these shows (and hopefully a few more down the track) is Ayleen O’Hanlon from the Low Road and the Goin’ Back project.
We have actually been pretty busy in the studio so far this year. Firstly we went out to Matt Walker’s studio in Upwey and did six tracks: the first two were, (mine – as opposed to Courtney Barnett’s) Aqua Profonda and a nice new version of the WPA tune Peggy and Col which are available as a 7” single (or download) if you want to head to the merchandise page. Then we tackled new versions of Rambling Girl and I’ll Remember along with Ricky Nelson’s Garden Party and a duet with Ruby Boots on Dylan’s Most of the Time. These four are all going to be on the Mick Thomas Best Of that is scheduled to appear in April 2016. The album is likely to be called ‘All’ (songs) and will be accompanied by a new song/story book called ‘All’ (stories). The book will also include the two long out of print WPA songbooks as plain text appendices. It’s been a lot of work getting it together but the end is in sight.
After that we went into Audrey Studios with Craig Pilkington to do a bunch of tracks for a National Trust permanent installation at the Hobart Gaol (!!!). A song I feel particularly happy with from this session is one called Four Months Gone with Liz Stringer singing lead vocal and Bruce Haymes playing Calliope. The other is a rip roaring convict bushranger ballad called The Luck of the Draw featuring Hubbard on the dobro. The main two will be coming out as a 7” single (or download) as soon as we get word on when the exhibition will be opening.
And so with those tracks in limbo we have been inTFS Studios in Fitzroy with Dan Luscombe working on some new things – there are a couple finished and mixed already (Damo’s Working in the Mines and First Night in South East Asia) that will be seeing the light of day later this year as 7” singles (or download). All these tracks feature Ayleen, Brooke Russell and Jemma Rowlands on backing vocals. And so to finish off we are going into my backyard bungalow set up early June to do a few B-sides – in particular our new-live-favourite Aqua Profunda (Courtney Barnett’s – not mine) and a few other things including a tune for a Roaring Jack tribute record. Cat Canteri is going to play the drums for this session as Dave has other stuff to attend to.
Beyond that the ABC have promised us the live soundtrack and DVD from the Death or Liberty film will be out sometime soon pending some contractual stuff.
And I think that should do.