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Russell Morris

RussellMorrisVan Diemen’s Land
Ambition Entertainment

One of the big surprises of the last 12 months has been the resurgence of Russell Morris. His blues-based record, Sharkmouth, which drew on this country’s history, sold truckloads and became his most successful charting album, and all of this without the help of any commercial airplay in this country. Morris hasn’t moved too far away from that successful formula with his latest, Van Diemen’s Land.

A well-seasoned songwriter, Morris again looks at the notorious characters of Australia’s past for his inspiration on this outing. Breaker Morant was court-martialled after the execution of nine prisoners, and now has a Russell Morris song to add to the film that commemorates his name. Morris gets help from an unlikely companion as The Living End’s Scott Owen adds weighty double bass to the compelling tale.

Burning Rodney has plenty of barroom swagger with a Morris’s raspy voice being aided and abetted by Vika and Linda Bull with some tasty slide guitar from soap star heartthrob, Rick Springfield. With a host of guests, a plethora of fertile subjects to draw from and Morris’s art for crafting a story, Van Diemen’s Land is set to build on his success.

This latest offering from Morris is rightfully being billed as the sequel to Sharkmouth, and deserves every bit as much success as that predecessor. Van Diemen’s Land is the real thing.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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