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REVIEWS FOR BY THE WAYSIDE
Tracey Bunn will be familiar to many as a member of Toe Sucking Cowgirls (with Gleny Rae), as well as her own outfit Tracey Bunn & The Bareback Riders et al. The Cowgirls broke up and Bunn and her partner were divorced around the same period leaving her shattered and uninterested in making music for a while. But great music can come out of heartbreak, especially when you’re dealing in country music. Which explains why By The Wayside is a whole lot more serious than the Toe Sucking Cowgirls (well, pretty much anything is a whole more serious than that outfit’s music). After meeting Anne McCue in Darwin, Bunn packed up her life and headed over to Nashville to record a bunch of songs she had written. McCue produced the album and used her contacts to enlist some impressive musicians – Bones Hillman from Midnight Oil, Eamon McLoughlin (ex Greencards), Mark Moffatt as guest guitarist on ‘Wishes’. The songs are rich with plaintive reflections on people and places and some intensely personal moments. That doesn’t mean the music itself is fragile though. Indeed, opening track ‘Adelaide’ presents reflections on that city in robust, jangling guitar pop that’s a little reminiscent of that great Falling Joys/Hummingbirds era. The influence of McCue is apparent (her guitar playing is everywhere), but Bunn’s voice and, more importantly, personality stand out compellingly.
Martin Jones RHYTHMS MAGAZINE April 2011
By the Wayside is the solo debut of TRACEY BUNN, formerly of TOE SUCKING COWGIRLS and considered one of the Northern Territories hardest working musicians. Recorded in Nashville and produced by fellow Aussie and stable mate ANNE MCCUE, By The Wayside is a collection of commanding songs.From the earnest opener Adelaide, the imagery of Tracey’s song writing takes listeners on a journey influenced by her years of touring Oz and overseas. Her powerful and emotive vocals are none more evident than on Shutup and Let Me Breathe and the heartfelt paired back version of the RICHARD THOMPSON’S Keep Your Distance, which is one of the many highlights on this album. Melancholy Mood successfully captures country swing, but it is Tracey’s unique style and blend of Aussie country and rock that is evident throughout By The Wayside and is enhanced by players, Anne McCue, BONES HILLMAN, EAMON MCLOUGHLIN and MARK MOFFATT. This album is sure to garner Tracey interest from industry and fans alike.
Ray Montana CAPITAL NEWS April 2011
Tracey Bunn is a Darwin native, a singer-songwriter best known for her work with the Toe-Sucking Cowgirls. Recorded in Nashville by label-mate (and kindred spirit) Anne McCue, her first solo album is lean, direct, and no-nonsense, testament perhaps to twenty hard-scrabble years on the road. A blend of a rootsy rock, country swing, and 60′s-flavoured guitar pop, the songs express mixed feelings of desire, regret, and wanderlust, leavened with a healthy dollop of good humour. Melancholy Mood is old-timey and infectiously bittersweet, a big bouquet of melody floating on a one-two, one-two rhythm. On Shutup and Let Me Breathe, Bunn seems to be channelling Patsy Cline and Martha Wainwright as the song builds to a big chorus, her voice hitting high swooping notes with a thrilling vibrato. “We had a love that set the night on fire,” she sings on Running, a light-footed paean to bad romance, “Tight as a drum as strong as fencing wire.” Anne McCue’s arrangements are spare, defined by characteristically strong guitar work and quirky little touches like the guiro and shaker on Running.
****Brian Yatman – ALTERNATIVE MEDIA GROUP
“Darwin diva Tracey Bunn bit the bullet to join the huge expatriate Aussie posse in Nashville. The former Toe Sucking Cowgirl enlisted another ex-pat Anne McCue to produce her latest ten-song disc By The Wayside in Music City. Bunn kicks off with nostalgia-fuelled Adelaide - imagery is her strong point while her gypsy wanderlust, pain of found and lost again love, is echoed in biographical Wishes. Running - the salient signpost to the damsel's demise - drips with rural roughage as her beau flees. "We had a love that set the night on fire/ tight as a drum, as strong as fencing wire." Not even fencing wire can withstand nature or human desire to flee as our floods and fires remind us. Bunn's imagery reigns as her character primes her pathos with lovelorn lava as she reaches her finale - the title track.”
Dave Dawson – NU COUNTRY, BEAT MAGAZINE
“If Shania is the painted, pouting, princess of country then Tracey Bunn is the no-nonsense tomboy of the genre… her honest heartfelt songs convict her of the heinous crime of being a fine writer, observer and teller of tales. She is a woman who demands we listen and then delivers.”
Michael Mee – MAVERICK MAGAZINE UK