The Sound Cafe
Melbourne's Bill Jackson Releases Second Song From Forthcoming Album 'The Wayside Ballads Vol. 3'
A chance meeting between an ARIA Hall of Famer and a much respected but little known Melbourne songwriter ended up in the production of two new records during the grim months of Melbourne’s lock down during 2020.
Kerryn Tolhurst had always been on Bill Jackson’s radar, not only because of his place in Australian music history with Country Radio and The Dingoes; but also because of his stellar work in producing independent local acts like Jeff Lang, Cyndi Boste and The Pigram Brothers.
For Jackson it felt like a natural fit with Tolhurst’s experience, sublime playing skills and natural bent towards folk, country and rock music. Also Kerryn was a great writer - this had to help.By June 2020 and countless file transfers/emails/phone calls later ‘The Wayside Ballads Vol 3’ had been completed and still they pushed on, also completing an as yet unnamed follow up.
Vol 3 is folk music as Jackson sees it and a natural ending to the trilogy he envisioned with his brother and co- writer Ross back in 2014 and recorded in Australia (Vol1) and the US (Vol 2). Aside from a few special guests, ‘ The Wayside Ballads Vol 3’ is essentially Bill and Kerryn playing the songs as they were written...it’s all about the song.
Bill Jackson has firmly established himself over the past few years as one of Australia’s finest Singer/Songwriters. ‘Steel & Bone’ was awarded Folk Alliance Australia ‘Radio Presenters Album of the Year’ in 2008 and his 2011 album ‘Jerilderie’ was enthusiastically received in the marketplace, so much so that the song ‘Something in Blue’ was covered and released on legendary Americana artist David Olney’s most recent album ‘When the Deal Goes Down’.
Jackson writes primarily with his brother Ross. The content is eclectic but never obvious – from love to war and everything in between. They also have that rare ability to entwine folklore into a folk/country/roots setting. Songs like ‘Kate’s Pretty Green Dress’, ‘Joe Byrne’, ‘Jerilderie’, ‘Honeymoon Gully’, CSS Shenandoah’ – extraordinary stories about ordinary people.