Paul Kelly has released the fourth album in his ongoing series of themed ‘mix tapes’.
People is an 18-track masterclass on Kelly’s signature narrative songwriting style, focusing on star athletes, politicians, outlaws, artists and fellow musicians whom Kelly describes as “truly remarkable.”
From outlaw Ned Kelly to former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, People reflects upon historical figures and influential personalities from throughout Kelly’s illustrious 35-year career.
Beginning with previously unreleased track “Light On The Hill”, a Casey Bennetto song from Keating! the musical, Kelly explores everything from the story of notorious 19th century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in “Our Sunshine” to Irish folk song “Arthur McBride”, which Kelly describes as inhabiting “the borderland between legend and history.”
Kelly pays tribute to a pair of his favourite painters, Queenie McKenzie and Rover Thomas in “The Ballad of Queenie and Rover” before offering a dramatic retelling of the late-19th century Indigenous uprising in The Kimberley on “Pigeon/Jandamarra”.
People isn’t entirely serious, though. “Shane Warne” is a classic example of Kelly’s sense of humour and a hilarious ode to the fallen cricket legend.
Other athletes lauded on People include cricketer Sir Donald Bradman in “Bradman”, former AFL star Eddie Betts, whose experience of racism is explored in “Every Step of the Way” and Adam Goodes, the former Sydney Swans player who was profiled in documentary The Final Quarter, for which Kelly penned the track “Every Day My Mother’s Voice”.
The album also includes previously unreleased track “Laughing Boy”, as well as two brand-new live tracks recorded at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl last year: “Our Sunshine” and “From Little Things Big Things Grow”, which was most recently released as a charity single last September.
People follows previous themed compilations Time, Rivers and Rain, and Drinking. More of these specially-curated ‘mix tapes’ are slated for the year ahead.
“Light On The Hill” *
“Laughing Boy” *
“Stephen Foster’s Last Waltz”
“Every Step Of The Way”
“Charlie Owen’s Slide Guitar”
“The Ballad Of Queenie And Rover”
“Rally Round The Drum”
“A Bastard Like Me”
“Anastasia Changes Her Mind”
“Every Day My Mother’s Voice” [Live at Sidney Myer Music Bowl 2019]
“From Little Things Big Things Grow” [Live at Sidney Myer Music Bowl 2022] *
“Our Sunshine” [Live at Sidney Myer Music Bowl 2022] *
*Denotes previously unreleased recordings