The Wayside Ballads Vol 1

by Bill Jackson

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    Bill Jackson has firmly established himself over the past few years as one of Australia’s finest Singer/Songwriters. His last record ‘Jerilderie’ was enthusiastically received in the marketplace, so much so that the song ‘Something in Blue’ was covered and released on legendary Americana songwriter David Olney’s most recent album ‘When the Deal Goes Down’.
    The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Wayside’ as the edge of the road, figuratively meaning to be set aside or discarded. The Jackson brothers songs have been described as topical, historical and most things in between, populated by characters outside of the mainstream – in many ways somewhat extraordinarily ordinary but always real. Rather than have them fall off the edge they wrote these Ballads to give them a voice and a history.
    The songs making up The Wayside Ballads Vol 1 were handed over to Melbourne musician and producer, Shannon Bourne early in 2014 with a view to making a record that was more electric, eclectic and rocking than Bill Jackson's previous outings. He last worked with Shannon on ‘Diggin’ the Roots’ (2006) and had great respect for him not only as a musician but also as a person who listened widely and who had an instinctive appreciation for the lyric in a song. Shannon continually challenged his pre-conceptions of the songs on this record. As a consequence they were essentially recorded ‘live’ over two days to capture ten performances from a band that had never rehearsed or played together before.
    The other common link on this record was Pete Fidler, Jackson's constant musical companion since 2008. A beautiful musician, Fidler showcased his electric roots and brilliance in a side of him that people rarely get to see. The rhythm section of Dean Addison and Roger Bergodaz was recommended by Bourne and proved to be the perfect foil for this group of songs, both being brilliant and creative musicians in their own right

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Wayside Ballads Vol 1 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

SONG NOTES - ‘The Wayside Ballads Vol 1’

TRY
Information travels fast these days. So much is going on and so many good, hardworking people are trying to stem the tide of so many things that are at risk. The party goes on against a backdrop of confusion. This was written against the backdrop of the ‘Occupy’ movement.

WATTLE ON THE WIND
A tale of love, change and redemption set against the changing Australian landscape. We figured it was time that the wattle made its way into our musical psyche. It is pretty brilliant when it reappears – like someone you love.

SOMEBODY”S DARLIN’
I guess everybody wants to be ‘Somebody’s Darlin’ – we live in insecure times and more than ever people are lost in a search for self-worth, where self-image is challenged at every turn – ‘ …lookin’ at that misty rainbow wonderin’ where it hides it’s soul’.

LUCKY WHEN I LEFT
Recorded for ‘Diggin’ the Roots’ (2006) I have always wanted to reprise this tale of mistaken love set against the angst and paranoia of life in the modern world as we know it. It also gave me a chance to reference and give a nod to Bob.

KATE’S PRETTY GREEN DRESS
Following Ned Kelly’s arrest, his younger sister Kate would often attempt to visit him in prison, as well as raising money for legal fees. She joined the Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, which campaigned for Ned's death sentence to be changed. Too much to write about here but it was an interesting life she had post Glenrowan – read about it!

SILVER BULLET
Definition of SILVER BULLET: Something that acts as a magical weapon, especially one that instantly solves a long-standing problem. But hey for The Lone Ranger it got the bad guys as it does the protagonist in this love gone wrong song.

THEY WERE NEVER HERE
I spent a lot of time around the Angus McMillan homestead at Bushy Park when I was a teenager. McMillan (1810 – 1865) was an explorer and pioneer pastoralist in Gippsland, Victoria. History has shown him in a different light and is he is now often referred to as the ‘Butcher of Gippsland’, due to his involvement in massacres of the local indigenous population.

JUDGEMENT DAY
A tale of love and revenge. It’s how you think when you feel you have been ‘done wrong’. ‘I’m a Witness for the Crown come Judgement Day / You’ll be taken on Down on Judgement Day / In your river of sin you’ll drown come Judgement Day…’

THE LAST BUCCANEER
Throughout his restless voyages for a quarter of a century in the South Seas, William Henry (‘Bully’) Hayes was constantly "exposed" in newspapers on every Pacific shore as a rogue, villain, cheat, swindler, barrater, buccaneer, bilker, bigamist, freebooter, polygamist, seducer, murderer, pirate, slave-trader, robber, rapist, hooligan and bully – Say no more…

WHEN THE WHISKY RUNS OUT
A series of images around the Australian landscape that reflect the coldness of personal betrayal. Winter is never a good time to fall out of love but then again – there is always whisky.

credits

released June 1, 2015

The Wayside Ballads Vol 1 – The Band

Bill Jackson (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar)
Pete Fidler (Lap Steel/Electric Guitar/Dobro/Mandolin)
Shannon Bourne (Electric Guitars/Acoustic Guitar/Piano/ Bass/Backing Vocals)
Dean Addison (Upright Bass)
Roger Bergodaz (Drums)

*Special Thanks to Ruth Hazleton for Accordion on ‘Kate’s Pretty Green Dress’

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Wayside’ as the edge of the road, figuratively meaning to be set aside or discarded. Well our songs have been described as topical, historical and most things in between, populated by characters outside of the mainstream – in many ways somewhat extraordinarily ordinary but always real. Rather than have them fall off the edge we wrote these Ballads to give them a voice and a history.
My brother Ross and I have been writing a lot since ‘Jerilderie’ (2011), as well as before and during that recording. Volumes 2 and 3 shall surface in due course to represent a body of work that we feel compelled to release somewhat as a ‘whole’. We have succumbed to a never-ending love for the process and Ross is a constant source of inspiration to me. The songs on this record were handed over to Melbourne musician/producer, Shannon Bourne early in 2014 with a view to making a record that was more electric, eclectic and rocking than the previous few. I had last worked with Shannon on ‘Diggin’ the Roots’ (2006) and had great respect for him not only as a musician with an eclectic taste but also as someone who had an instinctive appreciation for the lyric and feel in a song. He continually challenged my pre-conceptions of the songs on this record during ‘around the table’ acoustic sessions and conversation. As a consequence they were essentially recorded ‘live’ over two days to capture ten performances from a band that had never rehearsed or played together before. The other common link on this record was Pete Fidler, my constant musical companion since 2006. We have travelled a long road together. A musician’s musician, Pete got to showcase his electric roots and brilliance in a side of him that people rarely get to see. The rhythm section of Dean Addison and Roger Bergodaz was recommended by Shannon and proved to be the perfect foil for this group of songs, both being brilliant and creative musicians in their own right. To all of our families and friends - thank you, enjoy and turn it up! - In so many ways ‘The Wayside Ballads Vol 1’ is a defining intersection between what I have been and who I am - B.J. 2015
Engineered and Mixed by Roger Bergodaz at Tendertrap Studios (Melbourne, Australia) July/November 2014
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering (Melbourne, Australia)
Cover Drawing: ‘Adam and Eve on Tour’ by Peter Cole
Photography: Deb Le Cerf
Design: Deb Le Cerf / Colin Suggett

Produced by Shannon Bourne
All Songs by Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson except ‘Try’ (Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson/Ruth Hazleton), ‘Lucky When I Left’ (Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson/Andrew Denholm) and ‘Judgement Day’ (Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson/Nick Charles).

© billjacksonmusic 2015

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Bill Jackson Melbourne, Australia

' Take a chance and listen to some Roots Music that cuts across Borders...' (Keith Glass)

‘We heard Bill Jackson for the first time at the Unpaved Sessions earlier in the year and he’s up there with Paul Kelly’ (The Melbourne Folk Club)
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Track Name: Try
Try

The gas hub in the Kimberley, dead whales in the Southern Seas
Blood on the Gaza strip, Refugees and one-up-man ship
Razor wire detention Indigi interventions
Baby seals and coral reefs banning bombs and cigarettes

Children in custody shame on my country
Oil spewing out of broken ships lies spewing over leaders lips
The planets getting warmer and we just keep on warring
The Daily News has got us confused

We’re drowning in lies truth and surmise
Because it all comes down to dollars and cents
And of the ninety-nine percent who struggle for rent
They try and they try and they try

Lost touch politicians making’ piss poor decisions
Africa’s still got nothing’ to eat war rages in the desert heat
For the cost of one missile they’d be full bellies and wide smiles
The Evening News is just a dose of the blues

We’re drowning in lies truth and surmise
Because it all comes down to dollars and cents
And of the ninety-nine percent who struggle for rent
They try and they try and they try

Tsunamis and earthquakes gun laws forsaken
Species disappearing genetic engineering
Rorting by banker’s celebrity wankers
If I’m sounding confused its because I’m confused

We’re drowning in lies truth and surmise
Because it all comes down to dollars and cents
And of the ninety-nine percent who struggle for rent
They try and they try and they try
Track Name: Wattle On The Wind
Wattle On The Wind

There comes a time in every man’s life
When nothing comes easy and nothing feels right
You call on your strength but it isn’t enough
You start to sink the weather’s too rough

But you hold on tight lean on who you can
Battle it through till you’re strong again
Then the springtime comes like an old friend
Warmth of the sunshine and Wattle on the Wind

There comes a day or maybe a night
You know it’s wrong when it all seems so right
You take a chance and pray you won’t fall
It ends up all broken at the risk of it all

You sit down in wonder try to work it all through
Come up with the deal the problem was you
Gippsland blue sky sun’s shining again
With the sweet smell of Wattle on the Wind

There came a letter from across the sea
He knew by the hand just who it would be
It said she loved him she needed to know
Before she packed up and got ready to go

If he felt the same way send the news by mail
She’d be on the next ship ready to sail
She missed the sun and she missed him
She missed the sweet smell of Wattle on the Wind
Track Name: Somebody's Darlin'
Somebody’s Darlin’

I’ve spent a lifetime watchin’ out for most things I couldn’t see
Spent my whole life tryin’ to be somethin’ and not me
It’s a simple revelation that I’m free to be myself
Than to be Somebody’s Darlin’ tryin’ to be somebody else

It’s a sharp left at the back road down my lonely highway
Where I’ve squandered and wandered long nights and days
Lookin’ at that misty rainbow wonderin’ where it hides it’s gold
Where you’re Somebody’s Darlin’
Somebody’s Darlin’
And love ain’t bought and sold

Pull back on this chestnut mare let her rest in a cloud of dust
We’re all cowboys in a playground shootin’ straight for love and trust
If you’ll only take a moment to look inside my soul
I’m still tryin’ to be Somebody’s Darlin
Somebody’s Darlin’
Somebody’s Darlin’ and that’s the way I roll…
Track Name: Lucky When I Left
Lucky When I Left

Well people often ask me what makes my heart rock
I don’t have to answer…I just pick up this ‘racket box’
And I think about the hunger
I think about the pain
I think about the melting’ snow
I think about acid rain

And oh I think about Mona and how she stepped that step
I got lucky when I found her she got lucky when I left

Lately I been feelin’ like I’m ridin’ on a train
Speedin’ through the darkness…tied to a ball and chain
So I look for consolation and lessons I have learned
Try and keep it simple
Keep from getting burned

Oh and I think about Bobby and how he talked that talk
I got lucky when I found him he changed the way I walk

It’s a drag to be in prison walkin’ down the street
Heading North, feeling South shufflin’ to some beat
I got snare drums to the left of me I got cymbals to the right
I got Karma crashin’ in my head and Mona’s gone tonight

And oh I think about Mona and how she stepped that step
I got lucky when I found her she got lucky when I left
Track Name: Kate's Pretty Green Dress
Kate’s Pretty Green Dress

You wore that black that sad sad black
To remind you of what you cant get back
Days and nights in that mourning dress
For those who died by the Glenrowan track

Fall to those knees those pretty knees
Dan is dead so beg pretty please
You put on that dress that pretty green dress
To plead for the life of your brother Ned

Your brother Ned your brother Ned
To plead for the life of your brother Ned

She’s there and gone she’s all on her own
With her heart in pieces and a cold wind moan
In a Wild West show she’ll ride tomorrow
Far from Greta where the bitterness still grows

So close those eyes those pretty blue eyes
No more tomorrows no more disguise
Dress her in that dress that pretty green dress
And drown her sorrow in that river of lies

River of lies cold lies
Drown her sorrow in that river of lies
Track Name: Silver Bullet
Silver Bullet

He did not see it comin’ lord it shot out of the blue
That old silver bullet travelled straight and true
He did not see the signposts lord it skidded out of control
That old silver bullet it just dropped him cold

But I guess that’s what happens in the dimness of the dawn
Tippin’ back the bottle ‘til all the whisky is gone

He did not see the sorrow it was written all over her face
That old silver bullet rarely leaves any trace

But I guess that’s what happens in the eye of the storm
When you’re blinded by love spent till it’s all gone

He did not hear the whistle or the bomb drop yesterday
That old silver bullet don’t give you time to pray
But he did not see it comin’ lord it shot out of the blue
That old silver bullet and the bullseye was you

But I guess that’s what happens in the dimness of the dawn
Tippin’ back the bottle ‘til all the whisky is gone
Yeah I guess that’s what happens in the dimness of the dawn
Tippin’ back the bottle ‘til all the whisky is gone
Track Name: They Were Never Here
They Were Never Here

When the pipes droned down Maggie’s Glen
Decent folk never spoke of such things
All was quite and hush about the killing raids
Carried out by the Highland Brigade

They were never here they were never here
By the grace of God they disappeared
The ghost gums stand still in the Haunted Hills
And it’s as if they were never here

Out at Bushy Park in the Laird’s homestead
Angus McMillan never mourned the black dead
Down at Maffra and by Butcher’s Creek
Around Bony Point their spirits still speak

They were never here they were never here
By the grace of God they disappeared
Like saying there’s no sing in a cruel October wind
And it’s as if they were never here

In the Gippsland winter of eighteen forty three
They rode for revenge on a murderous spree
Infants and women the wild and the meek
Made the water run red at Warrigal Creek

They were never here they were never here
By the grace of God they disappeared
We struck their head in bold on the two-dollar gold
And it’s as if they were never here
Track Name: The Last Buccaneer
The Last Buccaneer

The storm wind sings in the riggin’ so shorten sail and run for the coast
We need to find shelter before everything is lost
Hang it high on the mainstay there’s a pirate and rascal around
Try and stay out of his way cause he’ll just try to bring us aground

He’s running rifles and rum - Queensland sugar cane slaves
The Southern Seas aren’t safe from that Yankee Bully Hayes
Talkin’ about a real bastard here - Bully Hayes, the last Buccaneer

In New Zealand and Australia he’s a wanted man amongst men
And in the ports of Oceania he’s wanted all over again
‘Cause Bully loves the women and then he sails away
Gives them treasures and freedom once he’s had his way

He needs swingin' off a yard arm after the cat has cut it’s stripes
For all of the pain and the harm and all the sin that’s stained his nights
Talkin’ about a real bastard here - Bully Hayes, the last Buccaneer

Instrumental

He’s runnin’ rifles and rum - Queensland sugar cane slaves
The Southern Seas aren’t safe from that Yankee Bully Hayes
Talkin’ about a real bastard here - Bully Hayes, the last Buccaneer

Don’t ever imagine him lonesomei n the hearts of men he strikes fear
He’s callous, polite and loathsome - Bully Hayes the last buccaneer
Talkin’ about a real bastard here - Bully Hayes, the last Buccaneer
Track Name: When The Whisky Runs Out
When the Whisky Runs Out

The news came on down through word of mouth
She was headin’ up North he was stayin’ down South
Listen outside to the hard wind cry
And the wild dogs howlin’ at the cold slate sky

The cruel winter wind cut through the plains
Swept down from the hills with howlin’ rain
Cried around the house lashed the window frames
Squeezed through the joints like a dull achin’ pain

Cuddle me closer tell me some lies
Fuel up the fire and watch the old flame die
The old hound dog shivered and there seemed no doubt
Of bleak days ahead when the whisky runs out

The news came down through words that hung
Like posters on trees of the gossips tongue
Spread by the magpie who gargled the sun
In the early mornin’ before the day had begun

The cruel winter wind tore through my clothes
Lashed at my face till the river froze
The ghost gums stood in a silent pose
At the frozen sunset as the cold moon rose

Cuddle me closer tell me some lies
Fuel up the fire and watch the old flame die
The old hound dog shivered and there seemed no doubt
Of bleak days ahead when the whisky runs out