A couple of months ago, I was listening to Buy a Gun or Go To Memphis by Gary Hunn and the Wayward Angels that made me stop and say “Who is that?” out loud to my computer:
I’m not sure if the question of “Death or Graceland?” has ever been posed in quite that way before, but in any case, I did go and listen to the rest of the record to see what other gems might be lurking. And there are several; I especially liked Broken Lives are Mended Here and Breathe As You Go, but in general, if you like old-school honky tonk music with piano and pedal steel, this is a record for you. The biggest surprises came when I went to find out where Hunn was from and what else he’d done. I had somewhat arbitrarily filed him under “Tennessee” because of both his accent, musical style, and the Graceland reference, but it turns out he’s actually from Magnetic Island, which is five miles offshore of the city of Townsville in Queensland, Australia. Furthermore, this is his first country record, though not his first musical venture; he has previously spent some time in the world of blues and garage rock.
“I know I was being influenced by other changes in my life on a fairly deep and personal level at the time of writing all these songs”, he explains from his Island idyll. “There were transitions and changes going on that I either didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand. I wanted to remember how I felt but I don’t keep a diary, It’s just not my thing. That’s why I write songs. I write from a place where I’m not sure what I’m referring to so that months or years down the track I can hopefully look back and go “ah, that’s what I was actually thinking and feeling back then!” DL