Fred Smith will be mixing it up with Jen Lush and her band presenting some new songs as well as material from his rich back catalogue in the intimate setting of Smith’s Alternative.
“It is about time Australia caught up with Fred Smith. This remarkable singer-songwriter – who at various times reveals influences that range from Paul Kelly via Lou Reed to Loudon Wainwright III to Leonard Cohen – keeps releasing amazingly accomplished albums.” (Bruce Elder, SMH).
Now the rest of Australia is catching up with Fred Smith. He was the subject of an Australian Story feature about his work as a musician and diplomat in war zones from the South Pacific to Afghanistan. His album Dust of Uruzgan earned him comparisons with top-flight Australian songwriters Don Walker, John Schumann and Eric Bogle. And he recently wrote a book, The Dust of Uruzgan, published by Allen and Unwin and available in all good bookstores.
Adelaide singer-songwriter Jen Lush writes silver-tailed, starkly modern folk songs spun from the heart. Jen’s diverse musical background coalesces on her recent solo album The Night’s Insomnia, which sets to music twelve poems by contemporary Australian poets. Backed by a stellar band, Lush takes hold of the poetry, threading it through with melodic vocals, acoustic steel string, electric and percussive guitars, drifting accordion and electronic soundscapes.
Poem-songs that speak of bushfires, abandonment, sleepless nights, sympathy with the bedevilled natural world, a jaunty villanelle, a cri de coeur, a quiet sigh.
Stark and spacious, delicately teetering on the edges of folk roots, country and darker pop ballads, each song channels the poets’ disparate and intimate viewpoints into something entirely it’s own.