One of the best things about Australian country music is that it encompasses performers of all ages, backgrounds and musical experience. It is the only genre I can think of that has no requirement that the artists be eighteen when they start and thirty (at the most) when they finish. That means that fans of the genre have access to a range of songs, songwriters and performers who might otherwise never be found.
The Prairie Oysters are a Victorian outfit who have quite a few years of musical experience between them, and that is to the listener’s benefit on their album Livin’ for the Weekend – it’s also taken them around the country performing, including appearances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The tone for Livin’ for the Weekend is set by the opening track, ‘V8 Girl’ – cars, the open road, the wind in your hair … and women. But what this song title suggests – hard-driving rock – is not what is to be found on the album; instead, there is laid-back country rock and blues perfect for driving (appropriately) or a lazy afternoon at home. There is substance in the lyrics and in the music, and there’s entertainment too – and if there’s something that country music artists really understand, it is how to entertain.
The album features a range of lead singers – at a guess, whoever wrote the song is singing it – which allows for a range of singing styles (and harmonies) that showcase that breadth of experience mentioned earlier. The production is clean – which is fitting, as one of the band members is a song engineer – allowing the instruments and voices to be properly heard. It is another hallmark of Australian country music that the producers at work in this country really know how to ‘polish the diamond’, so to speak, and that is the case here too.
I’m a bit late reviewing this album – it came out in 2010 and the band is working on a new album – but I thought it worth writing about anyway, and I look forward to hearing their next album.