And the Riverbird Cries
The silently ageing wreck of a Murray River paddle steamer calls to mind the hardship, adventure and romance of those long-gone days, when riverboats plied their trade on Australia’s inland waterways. Written by Peter Harris and featuring his unique dulcimer style, this opening track sets the pace for the new Welder’s Dog album, “Off the Chain”.
The Shores of Botany Bay
Feeling exploited and unappreciated? Board the good ship Ragamuffin and reinvent yourself in a new land. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Michael Moore – Vocals and Percussion, Peter Harris – Bass, Descant Recorder, Dave Moore – Guitar
A staple of the band’s live act, this heart-felt new version of a much loved tale of poverty and loss features the Irish harp and three-part vocal harmonies. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Michael Moore – Vocals, Peter Harris – Irish Harp, Dave Moore – Guitar.
Duelling bowl-backs…Born of late-night sessions spent honing the band’s signature mandolin-mandola interplay. Channelling the restless energy of a human race constantly in motion, this original instrumental piece draws inspiration from eastern European modes and Irish traditional music. Peter Harris –Mandola, Bass, Dave Moore Mandolin.
The Prospector’s Song
Not quite five feet high in his gumboots, old Vic started prospecting somewhere down in Victoria just after the Great War. Eventually he made his way to the “Lunatic” – an old goldfield on the NSW Northern Tablelands – and spent a lifetime discovering her secrets. Hermit, humourist and occasionally hospitable host, he’s gone now, and the world is a lesser place. This song by Peter Harris boils the billy and reflects on a life of toil and optimism. Peter Harris – Vocals, Bass, Guitar and additional Mandolin and Recorder lines, Dave Moore – Guitar.
Droving songs were inland Australia’s version of the old world’s seafaring songs; filled with adventure, loss, longing and – as is the case here – more than a little mischief! They are particularly beloved by Welder’s Dog. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Dave Moore – Vocals and Guitar, Peter Harris – Bass, Mandolin, Michael Moore – Percussion.
Castle Hill Patriots
“Death or Liberty” they cried… A ragtag band of Irish political prisoners – many of them veterans of the 1798 uprising – took on the colonial establishment of New South Wales in 1804. The results were predictably tragic and the consequences brutal. Written by Michael Moore, this song opens with guest vocalist, John Francis Moore’s rendition of the anthemic “Boolavogue” and takes us back to that desperate time, when the spirit of freedom fell beneath the heel of hard labour and the lash. Michael Moore – Vocals and Percussion, Peter Harris – Bass, Mandola, Dave Moore – Guitar. (Trad. Air)
Hideously scarred by flogging, the aging rebel reflects upon the rashness of his youth, and finds a second chance at life and a new concept of “home” in the arms of his love. Another powerful piece of song writing by Michael Moore, putting a human face on the horrors of the convict system. Michael Moore – Vocals, Peter Harris – Bass, Classical Guitar, Dave Moore – Steel Guitar. (Trad. Air)
Industrial Relations, 1890’s style… in Australia’s only recorded case of inland piracy; striking shearers captured and burned the Paddle Steamer Rodney, which was carrying non-union labour up the Darling River. It was near revolution in the outback, with all the passion, drama and larger-than-life characters generated by such times. Written by Peter Harris, this exciting narrative breathes new life into this period of our history. Peter Harris – Vocals, Bass, Guitar and Recorder, Michael Moore – Percussion, Dave Moore – Mandolin.
The Streets of Forbes
The Bushranger Ben Hall – a name that looms large in Australian history and folklore. Hard working, quiet-spoken, and an outstanding bushman, Hall was driven into an outlaw existence by corrupt police and an unfaithful wife. Deservedly recognised as one of Australia’s greatest folk songs, The Streets of Forbes is also that rarest of things among traditional ballads – a song that may have a known author. Many believe it was written by Hall’s brother-in-law and mate, Jackie McGuire, upon seeing Hall’s bullet-riddled corpse paraded through the town like a hunting trophy. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Dave Moore – Vocals and Guitar, Peter Harris – Bass, Mandolin and additional Recorder line, Michael Moore – Percussion.
Tread the Lonely Path
A haunting Peter Harris composition, skilfully drawing threads of world music together into this plaintive song of the loneliness that lies at the heart of our human condition. Peter Harris – Vocals and all instrumentation.
While You Sleep
Night falls and we enter the land of dreams… gorgeous acoustic guitar lines dance their enchantment around us and draw us into the darkened, living, breathing landscape of the Great Dividing Range by night. In the live setting, this Peter Harris original has been known to induce a palpable stillness on a listening crowd. Peter Harris – Vocals, bass, Guitar and additional String lines, Dave Moore – Guitar.
Pass the bottle ‘round, boys, don’t let the pint-pots stand there… more droving madness and mayhem – and a crowd favourite in venues where the selling of drink is attended. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Dave Moore – Vocals and Guitar, Peter Harris – Bass, Mandolin and additional Recorder line, Michael Moore – Percussion.
That a life-long partnership of love, a soul mate, might act as the one true reference point on our journey is at the heart of this gentle reflection. Written by Michael Moore – a song for those who have known a real connection with another, and those who still believe in the possibility. Michael Moore – Vocals, Peter Harris – Piano, Dave Moore – Mandolin.
Once she plied Australia’s inland waterways, but now she is permanently grounded, and the children who play on her aging timbers know nothing of her glory days – at least, that’s how it was until the grand old lady was gloriously restored. Written by Peter Harris, this is the story of the Paddle Steamer Ruby in her neglected days. Peter Harris – Vocals, Piano, Bass and additional Recorder line.
Whiskey in the Jar
Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and sing along if you’re able – never was there a song of betrayal and despair that could stir up joy and chaos in a live audience like this one. Traditional, arranged by Welder’s Dog. Michael Moore – Vocals and Percussion, Peter Harris – Bass, Mandolin and Recorder lines, Dave Moore – Guitar.