|Cathy Bell & Dan Grant
Jeremiah - The Leaving
Order Number IND132
Retail Price from indie-cds.com site A$25.00:
IMPORTANT Please note no orders will be despatched now until Dec 14th - we are having a holiday! If you don't mind waiting until then you can order now. Wholesale Price A$15.00:
Putting CDs into categories is sometimes one of the least appealing parts of this job. One is constantly coming across recordings that don't sit neatly into the categories that make catalogues work. The duo Jeremiah, based in the Brisbane area of Queensland, make a fair claim to be "... both traditional and contemporary. The music is comfortably familiar yet completely fresh, combining a respect for the past with a desire to say something new, continuing the best story-telling tradition of the singer-songwriter. Their sound is stripped back and intimate, making use of fiddle, accordion, mandolin and threadbare acoustic guitar. It's a kind of back verandah folk/country/roots music inspired by the likes of Gillian Welsh, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash and Townes Van Zandt."
Their debut 11 track CD The Leaving was released in May 2004. It features all original compositions written by Daniel Grant; songs that explore timeless simplicity in contemporary life (because times may change but people don't). For Dan it represents a very personal journey "They all connect with our lives over the past couple of years. Whether happy or sad whether told from my eyes or the eyes of an imaginary character, we're in there somewhere."
Jeremiah recorded with the help of a few friends in a studio set up like a living room. The result is an intimate, informal sounding CD. "We recorded live over the course of the Australia Day weekend of eating, sleeping and drinking and generally having a blast. The leaving really was the hardest part" says Dan.
The band say of their musical style "WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO WE PLAY??
It's the most common question we get asked when doing media interviews howeverit is also the question that we dread. The reason is that it is difficult to put into one succinct sentence the eclectic mixture of musical influences that contribute to our
style. Our answer has been 'Urban Roots Music' because the songs are about urban, everyday life (poetry of the ordinary) and the music is raw and rootsy. However, the overseas media has recently been spouting another term 'Americana' which, as a genre, seems to most accurately represent Jeremiah's style. So what is Americana and why is it causing such a fuss? It has been described as "progressive roots/country music which offers an alternative to mainstream country, an alternative to slick videos and fancy marketing ploys."
Remember '0 Brother Where Art Thou?'; the movie soundtrack that sold zillions of copies and won loads of Grammys? With much of the music industry losing sales
and hemorrhaging profits, many lean and hungry Americana labels such as Rounder,
Sugar Hill and Vanguard doing relatively well these days. Similarly many artists suc has Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams as well as Australians like Kasey Chambers, The Waifs, John Butler Trio and Xavier Rudd have been selling albums and packing concerts for years without the benefit of hit singles or much airplay. In fact, that's what most Americana labels and artists have in common is that mainstream radio doesn't play their music."
At indie-cds we find this acoustic music close to the mainstream of traditional guitar plus instrumental plus vocalist material that has given us generations of great material. We aren't really convinced that Americana is much more than a new label for old wine - but the fact remains the old wine is a great vintage. This is fresh sounding quality music, in a long tradition - check it out. - Malcolm Fielding, indie-cds.com
Review by Anne Infante written for "Folk Rag" 2004.
"Cathy Bell is a fine singer and fiddle/mandolin/accordion player. She was a founding member of Spot the Dog. Daniel Grant writes ?Americana? songs, an evolving ?urban roots? music that combines a familiar country sound with an urban slant. His voice is strong and earthy (honed by his rock music background) and he underlines his stories of modern city life with minimalist acoustic guitar.
Together Cathy and Dan are Jeremiah. Their CD is The Leaving, eleven of Dan?s original tracks whose lyrics are sensitive, intimate, poetic and absorbing.
The Leaving is fresh, addictive music, excellently recorded ? it?s hard to believe it was a living room production. Jeremiah has successfully invested a very traditional story-telling country style with a new and exciting flavour and Cathy?s ethereal, sliding fiddle and sensitive harmonies enhance Dan?s profound and powerful lyrics (just listen to her swinging in My Favourite Band or Where You Are or This One. Go Cathy!
I enjoyed everything about this CD. The cover is excellent (I know, it doesn?t affect the music, but it definitely decides if you choose to pick it off the shelf). The lyrics are included, which are almost unnecessary, the presentation is so clear, and they are ingeniously presented to take up the least space and fit superbly with the design. All the songs have something to say and all will strike familiar, evocative chords in the minds and hearts of listeners.
For they are songs from the heart: about the trials and hopes, the dreams and successes of everyday life. From the opening Better Than Nothing, about the need to compromise until dreams come true, through the driving beat of The Leaving and the troubled Jesus Don?t Love Me, the heartfelt My Favourite Band, a song of unforeseen loss, the pounding rock?n?roll rhythm of the joyous This One, the gentle ?waltz country? Square Pegs, with a powerful message of hope, to the final track Anywhere But Here, Anyone But Me, The Leaving is a CD that demands and deserves not just one but many hearings.
With Fingers Crossed, Jeremiah can well write their dreams up in the sky. They deserve to go far. They are currently on tour in South East Queensland with Spot the Dog and Nadia Sunde. Later this year they'll be in Victoria. If they come your way, don't miss them.
Jeremiah was a biblical prophet of apocalyptic doom. It seems a strange title for a duo that is bringing a very different message - one of a powerful new and exciting music. Perhaps in this sense its emergence is apocalyptic, as in 'a revelation'." - Anne Infante, 2004