Like static on the dial, a look comes back in style, The Black Sorrows are back!
One of Australia's most-loved bands who have sold more than one million albums and released classic singles such as Chained To The Wheel, Harley & Rose and Hold On To Me returns with their first new studio album in eight years.
And Roarin Town sits comfortably alongside the band's best work. The album even features a song that's a sequel of sorts to Harley & Rose. 'I look upon Levi as the son of Harley & Rose,' Joe Camilleri smiles. 'If they had a baby, it would be Levi.'
With its intoxicating mix of joyous, uplifting music and heartbreaking songs about love gone wrong, Roarin Town recalls the Sorrows' best work. But it's no nostalgia trip. The album is a bold step forward for an artist who's never been afraid of change.
As he sang 16 years ago, 'You know we all can change direction, ain't nothin' to it, just relax.'
'I think we're changing all the time, there's no stopping it,' Joe says. 'You have to keep going forward because your body's changing, your mind's changing, situations around you are changing. You either resist the change or you go with it. For me, I like the idea, 'Well, I'm going with it.''
With Roarin Town, this masterful musical chameleon is taking us on another unforgettable trip. Just check out the bluesy swagger of Best Thing, the twisted Indian interlude in Comfort Me, and the cacophony of sound that closes Word To The Wise (featuring special guest Wilbur Wilde).
Joe wrote the songs with long-time collaborator and one-time Black Sorrows member Nick Smith (with whom he's written most of the Sorrows' classics, including Chained To The Wheel, Harley & Rose, Hold On To Me, Mystified, Daughters Of Glory and The Crack-Up).
'Nick is the opposite of me,' Joe smiles, 'I wake up early, he wakes up late; I'm interested in African-American music, he likes white pop music. But somehow what we have seems to work really well. And he's a real sweetheart.'
Bringing the songs to life is a stellar Black Sorrows lineup, including James Black (also the leader of SBS' RocKwiz Orchestra), Claude Carranza, Steve Hadley and Tony Floyd.
'The essence of playing with really great people is to try to extract the feeling, not their technical brilliance,' Joe says. 'You're trying to find that magical moment that you think the song deserves.'
And Roarin Town, the Black Sorrows' 10th album, excluding compilations and live releases is an album of great songs; A-grade songs, as Joe calls 'em. On the album's opening track, Lonesome Road, Joe sings about the 'struggle just to be heard'.
'Every day can be a struggle, especially if you're artistic and different things are stopping you. But occasionally you have a win.'
Roarin Town represents a remarkable victory for a guy who joined his first band 42 years ago.
'I don't want to have to compete against all the things I've done in the past,' Joe says. 'It's impossible, it's like shadow boxing. I see this as the beginning of something else for me.'
Explaining where Roarin Town sits in the Sorrows history, Joe says: 'After Harley & Rose, I started moving in a different direction with the band,' Joe explains. 'It was still going well, but I became disenchanted. We had nine people on stage, and it wasn't about the song any more, it was about the spectacle. And I was writing songs and performing those songs as a spectacle. Now, there's value in that, but it wasn't what I signed up for.'
Eight years after the last Sorrows album and 22 years after their debut, Joe Camilleri has got his mojo back.
Yep, The Black Sorrows are back. Welcome to their Roarin Town.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF AUSTRALIAN RECORDING ARTISTS - click here
TAGS: The Black Sorrows, How to book The Black Sorrows, book The Black Sorrows, event bookings for The Black Sorrows, Booking agents The Black Sorrows, book The Black Sorrows for corporate event, singer The Black Sorrows,