DAVID HYAMS WITH THE MILES TO GO BAND - KNOWING THE PLACE
David Hyams is one of Western Australia’s most accomplished composers, producers and multi instrumentalists.
Playing acoustic, electric and steel guitars, as well as bass, mandolin, bouzouki and harmonica, David has peformed in a wide range of musical styles from blues, rock and country to the progressive folk of popular WA acts Devils on Horseback and The Press Gang.
David has composed for documentary and feature film and is a respected session guitarist and producer, known for his work a range of Western Australian singer songwriters, including Aboriginal performers Kerrianne Cox and Peter Brandy.
David has also worked as sideman to a number of international artists, and in early 2005 toured Australia and Ireland with acclaimed Irish performer Sean Keane.
In 2000 David emerged as a composer and artist in his own right with the release of his critically acclaimed debut “MILES TO GO”.
The 13 track instrumental album attracted considerable radio airplay across Australia and a string of great reviews at home and abroad.
Live performances were quick to gain similar recognition, the band soon becoming a festival favourite.
"Dave Hyams' Miles To Go Band has become a fixture at many Australian festivals over the last few years. Its not hard to see why with this line up of instrumental talent. But it is really the skill and artistry of his compositions and their power to evoke place - from Ireland to the Fitzroy River - that tantalizes." The West Australian Newspaper
David’s latest offering is “KNOWING THE PLACE”, 11 instrumental pieces that continue the themes first explored on “MILES TO GO”.
From the word go however, the spirited “Flat Out Like A Lizard Drinking...” - a blistering reel which reprises over edgy mariachi style horns, driving bass and didgeridu - lets us know we are embarking on an altogether different journey.
The Miles To Go Band brings together a diverse group of WA’s classiest homegrown talent including ; The 'Waifs’ bassist Ben Franz, classical cellist Jennifer Tingley, multi-instrumentalist Andy Copeman on cittern, guitar and didgeridu, and Dougal Adams and Ormonde Waters on a range of wind instruments, from concertina and tin whistle to highland bagpipes.
The Hyams production touches are once again very much in evidence - searing landscapes of slide and rippling waves of fingerstyle guitar converge with a barrage of pipes and strings and a pumping rhythm section to create his signature 'wall of folk’ effect.
On “KNOWING THE PLACE”, Hyams leads us from the wild Southern Ocean and the spinifex country of the Pilbara to his favourite Dublin watering-hole, before steering us back to his heartland with the final track “The Back Of Beyond”, an atmospheric dobro-led tribute to Australia's wide open spaces.
“ The title came from an experience several years ago when I met a New Yorker on a train in Ireland. He told me of his visit to Australia and his trip to 'see the outback’ - but after a while he turned and headed back to Sydney, because there was "nothing there’...”.
While its roots are deeply planted in Celtic traditions, Hyams’ is a sound that is unmistakably Australian, and his musical narratives are strikingly evocative of the landscapes that inspire them.
Below is an excerpt from a review by Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director Steve Barnes:
"... just about every track has the same rich combination of tasty tunes, fresh arrangements and impressive musicality... “Worlds Colliding” is a particular favourite, drawing on the Donal Lunny trick of having a familiar Celtic tune rhythm emerging out of a seemingly unrelated opening riff, in this case a delicate fingerpicked guitar and mandolin figure. David’s fingerpicking is a prominent feature of several of the more lyrical tracks, particularly the gorgeous “Song for Indigo” and the closing cut “Back of Beyond” (a title inspired by a geographically challenged American tourist) on which cellist Jennifer Tingley shines.
The musicianship, production and recording quality are outstanding throughout, and special mention should be made of Dougal Adams on wooden flute and Ormonde Waters on concertina, pipes and whistle. These two are as impressive a front line as you’ll hear in any Celtic-inspired band in the country.
If you enjoyed “Miles to Go” then you’ll certainly be captivated. The overall theme, like the first album, is an exploration of the confluence between traditional Celtic folk and American-influenced New Acoustic styles, and it succeeds in staking out a patch of ground all of its own.
This is an accomplished, mature and highly enjoyable album from a well-travelled, widely-listened musician and composer whose musical journeys look like taking him onward to some fascinating places."
Oct 3 2005