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This recording is dedicated to the late Jacko Kevans. We will always treasure his inspiration, education and friendship.
Thanks to the collectors including:
John Meredith, Rob WiIlis, Alan Musgrove, John Harpley, Chris Sullivan, Mark Rummery, Brad Tate, Ron Edwards, David De Hugard, Bill Scott, Barry McDonald, Alex Hood and others who have tirelessly recorded our cultural heritage.
Thanks to Bob Rummery for sending such fantastic songs our way. The soul of ‘Spring Grove’ was drawn from this material.
A special thanks to Rob Willis for his ongoing help and for introducing us to fantastic material from his collection.
Thanks to the National Library of Australia and to David De Santi of Carrawobbity Press for their work in preserving and publishing collected Australian music.
Special thanks to Roy & Thelma Roweth for allowing us to roam ‘Bellevue’, Springhill NSW for many of these photographs.
(Other photos taken in Millthorpe NSW, including the Millthorpe Golden Memories Museum ore stamp.)
Thanks also to Andy Busuttil for his generosity, skills and good advice during recording.
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The 2005 CD “Daisy Hill" has been re-released as “Spring Grove”,
minus the title track.
Chloë Roweth (Vocals, Mandolin, Bouzouki)
Jason Roweth (Vocals, Guitar, Bass)
Recorded September 2005 by C. & J. Roweth.
Mixed by Andy Busuttil and mastered by Greg Seiler at Blue Mountain Sound.
Running Time: 56 Minutes
This recording was made in our little corrugated iron cottage on the edge of Millthorpe, Central West NSW. The cottage was built over a hundred years ago and moved to its current spot on the back of a dray. No straight walls remain. The collection of songs and tunes contained is borne of a deep love we both share for the music made in the 19th century, by the people of the Australian bush. The words ring as voices heard by a campfire or in a country hall rather than read from a poet's page. Very few straight lines remain - the language is quite at home here within our creaking walls! In quiet moments tunes like these ones seem to float in on the wind from the paddocks next door…along with the bleating sheep, singing birds and occasional train. All of these and more probably made it onto the CD - let us know if you hear something.
The songs are united by their unforgiving nature, a stark fatalism and dark humour. They reveal rebellion - a willingness to fight against injustice and excessive tyranny. They reflect choices - wise and otherwise - with results that must be borne, and the ability to get up off the ground and wade in again if necessary. Above all they show a delight in the simple pleasures when practiced against a backdrop of freedom and fairness.
"The stories run from the perennial favourites of love and courtship (if not always on the smoothest paths) … through the standbys of colonial life (convict era: The Isle of France / immigration: Sixteen Thousand Miles from Home / bushranging: a Wild Colonial Boy … complete with radio era "Outside Broadcast" report on the shoot-out! Kelly’s Farewell to Greta … and the Maryborough Miner / the wandering life: I’ve Been a Wild Boy (one of my favourites, from Sally Sloane), The Broken Down Digger and Reedy Lagoon. The risks of the bush life are well represented with Jack’s Last Resting Place and His Epitaph, while the casual approach to courting we saw in Daisy Hill is the background to the longer version Chloë does of Sally Sloane’s Red Rose Top (Let No Man Steal Your Thyme) and an odd immigrant in The Indian Lass … a song said to have been very popular with indigenous Aboriginal women of the New England region!
In case this all sounds a bit too gloomy (it isn’t – with these singers!) there is also humour, as in You Can’t Change It – their father’s song, which the Baulch Brothers , of Kerang, sang to John Meredith and Rob Willis … and, throughout the CD are sprinkled tracks, or tags, of beautiful instrumental tunes collected from a fine collection of traditional players like Joe Yates, of Sofala (NSW) – Simon McDonald of Creswick (Vic) - Stan Treacy of Limerick (NSW), Charlie Kyle of Nulla Nulla Ck (NSW) and Bill McCoy of Ulverstone (Tas)." - Bob Bolton
"The enthusiasm of Chloe and Jason for the music they play and sing is evident. They expertly play all instruments on the CD, mandolin, guitar, bouzouki and bass. Their thoughtful musical arrangements are a delight to hear. They seem blessed with the ability to ornament their musical settings with wise restraint, giving the song lyric its due importance. The CD comes with an attractive booklet containing coloured photographs, all song lyrics and clear acknowledgement to the collectors of the material. This CD is truly worth a listen … actually, it is deserving of many listens."
- Jim Low