Trinity Church 318 Goodwood Rd Clarence Park SA
Triple ARIA winner Shane Nicholson is widely regarded as a major player in the Alternative Country field, not only in Australia where he is the current CMAA Alternative Album of the Year recipient, but also in the USA, having been nominated multiple times at the Americana Music Awards in Nashville.
A little distance can be a good thing for any songwriter. Physically or emotionally. It can also be the hardest thing to get for anyone living a creative life when punching the clock at 5pm is hard to do.
But Shane Nicholson found some distance and it has been good for him. You can hear that in the bones of Hell Breaks Loose, the sixth solo album from the Australian singer-songwriter, songs written over several years and during a period of personal change. Four stars from both Rolling Stone and Sydney Morning Herald.
The distance can be traced back to his first visit to the town of Hermannsburg, south-west of Alice Springs, home of his friend, the great indigenous songwriter Warren H. Williams.
Near the end of his stay Nicholson sat beside the old mission church and songs started to pour out of him, including Hermannsburg: “That town, and Warren H. Williams, made a big difference to me in just a week”
Hell Breaks Loose is Nicholson’s first recording of original material since the breakdown of his marriage to Kasey Chambers, with whom he recorded two ARIA Award-winning alt-country duet albums, Rattlin’ Bones (2008) and Wreck & Ruin (2012).
Several songs address his new circumstances directly, including the superb ballad Single Fathers and the starting-over honesty of Secondhand Man. Others range across topics from the decline of a once-great city (Irons and Chains, about Detroit), living with depression (Weight of the World), to learning to choose which battles are worth the fight (Bury My Guns).
Nicholson’s career began as a teenager recording his own songs in his bedroom in Brisbane. He first made waves with rock band Pretty Violet Stain and released his debut solo album It’s A Movie in 2002. Since then he has explored everything from folk to country, bluegrass and rock, picking up 8 Golden Guitars, 2 APRA awards and 2 ARIA Awards along the way.
“I don’t feel compelled to prove anything. I know with Hell Breaks Loose we came up with something that I loved. That’s all that has ever mattered to me, really. The weight on your shoulders certainly feels greater when you are younger, and these days I’m just happy to be doing what I do, the way I like to do it.
“There was something relaxed and natural going on as we made this album. When that happens, you often find that something intangible gets in the grooves, and people can feel it.’’
Special guest Tara Carragher; a lover of poetic storytelling, soul-searching, and universal themes. Her songs evoke a feeling of longing, self exploration and a fearless intensity which is unmistakably her own
Tickets $30/$25 Music 7.30pm (doors 7.00pm)
Licensed bar and food at interval by Little Seeds Catering