Beccy Cole is one of Australian music’s great entertainers and, as such, highly underrated – I always wonder why she isn’t better known, because she has a wonderful voice and an extraordinary stage presence (yes, the superlatives are flying thick and fast – she deserves them).

Perhaps Live at Lizotte’s will enable more people to understand this live-performance powerhouse, because (unlike some live CDs) it is representative of what a Beccy Cole gig is really like: a range of musical moods and a great deal of genuinely funny on-stage banter – even after several spins round my CD player, I was still holding my sides laughing at some of her lines. It’s also a chance for fans like me to get their hands on some new songs, including ‘Lifeboat’ and ‘Opposite Prayers’, plus some covers – Carole King’s ‘Natural Woman’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Say You Love Me’ and 4 Non Blondes’ ‘What’s Up’. There’s also tested Beccy favourites such as ‘Blackwood Hill’, ‘Men Don’t Dance’, the always-funny ‘Sorry I Asked’ and what I think is one the cleverest songs ever written (and she wrote it): ‘Lazy Bones’. Those who have seen Beccy live will know what she does in the coda of this song – recorded on this CD for repeat-play entertainment.

Beccy is joined by Kasey Chambers for a truly lovely rendering of ‘Those Memories of You’ , and by Gina Jefferies and Sara Storer for a cover of John Williamson’s ‘Galleries of Pink Galahs’. The latter is probably the only song that I didn’t out-and-out love but this album really is a worthwhile purchase for Beccy’s existing fans – in true country-music fan-friendly style, she has included enough old and new material to keep them happy. Live at Lizotte’s is also the best possible introduction to the Central Coast songstress for those who have heard the odd song – probably ‘Poster Girl’ – and are wondering whether the rest of her work is any good. It is. She is fabulous, and one of the best assets to the Australian music industry (not just country music). Now – where is her ARIA?

Beccy Cole: Live at Lizotte’s (ABC/Warner Music)