Home Read Now Hear This: Backsliders | Bonecrunch

Now Hear This: Backsliders | Bonecrunch

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Backsliders are an award-winning Australian band that have a history of over 30 years recording and touring the music festival circuit. Their riff-based sound blends rural American blues with distinctly Australian lyrical and musical themes.

Slide guitarist, multi-stringed instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Dom Turner is the founding member of the group. Dom’s influences are many and varied — a blend of Delta blues, Piedmont blues, rock, dub and sounds of Asia. As well as playing in Backsliders, Dom has toured as a solo artist with a number of his international music collaborations (The Turner Brown Band, Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner). Drum and percussion virtuoso and songwriter Rob Hirst, an acclaimed name synonymous with the best of Australian music, has been with Backsliders for two decades. As a founding member of the legendary Australian band Midnight Oil, Rob’s work needs no explanation — he stands as one of the world’s great drummers — now drawing on his early jazz and swamp-rock influences to produce a sound that is integral to Backsliders’ 21st century blues grooves.

Their latest release Bonecrunch is the band’s most adventurous recording to date. The 12 tracks represent a band with varied musical influences — swamp-blues feels on Dog in the Fight and Tea & Sugar Train, intense blues riffs on No Know-How and Bad Recruit; surf sounds on Tombstoning; and the eccentric Obake [Ghost], where 1960s Japanese soundtrack music meets dub-reggae.

Joining Dom and Rob are some of Australia’s most innovative and dynamic harmonica players: Award winner Ian Collard (Collard, Greens & Gravy), as well as younger prodigy Joe Glover and the legendary Broderick Smith (Dingoes, Carson, Big Combo). The trio of blues-harp dynamos play alternate gigs, each blazing a trail to the raw energy of the Backsliders sound. It’s a furious ride — with Dom Turner and Rob Hirst doing their thing by setting the grooves, and Ian, Broderick or Joe (you never know who you will get) firing up the amps to fuel the maelstrom. It’s a lineup that carries serious weight, not just on the Australian blues scene, but across genres and styles the world over. The achievements, success and reviews over the band’s 30+ years tell it all.”

Photo by Chuck Bradley.