TRACK BY TRACK
COME FIND ME This is an invitation to me; a waltz with a Celtic flavour written on a train rocking along from Winnipeg to Churchill, Manitoba in Canada, going to see Polar bears. Warning: do not play this song to polar bears.
JUST LOVE A beautiful love song, being my husband Mez's first co-write. He sent me a very romantic email one Valentine's Day, thus the first verse was created. I say "just love" to my rescued dog, Gypsy, and stroke her to calm her when she's fearful or aggressive. I think it helps her trust in love. I think it's helped me too as I never used to write love songs!
TASMANIA Acoustic mountain music - Mt Wellington that is. The Apple Isle is the home that's in my bones. I'm so fortunate to have grown up in a land that boasts more trees than people, in a house filled with music and enquiry. I'm a proud representative of Tasmania all over the world.
FORTY A swinging jazz song that will keep me forever young. I could add a verse every decade. This trackfeatures a very cool studio band, including Michael Ramos on piano. He’s toured with Lucinda Williams, John Mellencamp and Patty Griffen. His playing moves me because it reminds me of my Dad’s style – under-played and groovin’.
PETALS (for Jon Dee) An Aussie rap song for a Texan icon. Jon Dee Graham is an Austin legend; he's a unique writer, singer, musician and entertainer. He's a cat with 99 lives who can't kill himself no matter how hard he tries. He survives drugs, booze, car wrecks, falling off ladders, ruptured organs and busted hearts. He roars through it all with poetry and passion.
ORPHAN SONG (for Mary) A pure a cappella song for Mary Gauthier. Sydney writer Terry McArthur gave me the lyrics after meeting Mary, hearing her story and listening to her songs. I read the lyrics and immediately it came to me as an entire song. I feel a to-the-bone yearning and an open-heart-calling when I sing this song.
BEAUTIFUL GARDEN This is a gentle ballad for the midnight hour. It was inspired by a garden in Austin which is also a private music venue, the Rock Garden. It's a labour of love, sweat and beers and literally grows more beautiful as nature prevails and the magic of music imbues the stones. Gardens, given the time and opportunity, offer solace, meditation, peace and answers.
YOU WISH Nothing beats exorcising a bad mood like writing a rock song. This one came from a sleepless night, a troubled mind and a search for the truth. As a writer, it's good to lean into the feeling, embrace the hurt and create a jewel out of a tough situation.
TREE A pretty song with a '70s country feel, some pedal steel and the lovely voice of Anne McCue singing harmony. A few years back the TV news covered major flooding in India. One shot depicted a woman huddled on a rooftop with flood water up to the eaves. The shot was framed by a massive tree. I thought, "I'd like to be the tree in that situation." This song is influenced by the Buddhist philosophy. Plants and animals are so very un-self-conscious. Humans, on the other hand, with the advent of mirrors and cameras, have become very self-focused, whereas thinking of and helping others is what ultimately serves us well.
NAILS In my head I'm Johnny Cash when I sing this song and I hear Luther Perkins picking guitar. It’s country music - three chords and the hard-won truth.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT The power of groove, the power of standing your ground. Since relocating to Nashville I've delved into the black history of the South; a story of suffering, greed and cruelty giving rise to faith, courage and solidarity. A great American trait is the belief that the individual can make a difference and effect change. This song celebrates the courage and conviction of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King to speak up in the face of bigotry, racism and fear, to simply hold firm and change the course of history.
BREAD AND ROSES (for San Quentin) This acoustic folk song was inspired by an impending visit to San Quentin Prison, made possible by the Bread and Roses organisation in California. One of the various rules laid down by the prison was to not give anything to inmates. I realised I could give the inmates a song, and it was extremely moving to sing them this song and witness their responses. Music connects us all and lifts the spirit.