The Yearlings were coming up to the top of their set in the gloaming chill and they sounded very different.
Rob Chalklen had let the steeltrap precision of the old Martin dreadnought go to return to the softer wood and honeyed sweetness of a big old Gibson, whilst in the US tour Parks found a vintage Gibson archtop with voodoo wiring that replaces the old honey fuzz of the Danelectro with pure golden syrup. Parks is wallowing! Shit it's sweeeet. They're so sweet. The Yearlings just changed gear. I wonder who their new songs will be? Can't wait.
And I must reiterate: I reckon Rob's as good as rhythm guitarists get anywhere on Earth. She plays like a geological epoch. Masterly. Not even going near that haunting voice. Which only haunts when we need haunting. Love youse.
An excerpt from http://drinkster.blogspot.com/
For some time now, The Yearlings have been calmly carving out a giant piece of real estate in the Australian alt. country landscape. Their latest album, ‘All the Wandering’, is another gem to add to an already glittering catalogue.
Their fifth studio album ALL THE WANDERING, released in May 2014 ended up on many top album lists of the year including a spot on Rhythms magazines Top 10 by Marty Jones and a Top 50 spot on ABC Radio National’s Inside Sleeve with Paul Gough.
Since they met back in 2000, Robyn Chalklen and Chris Parkinson have been making music that exudes raw beauty, honesty, intimacy and passion, have made numerous festival appearances across Australia and internationally and supports include Steve Earle, The Punch Brothers and Justin Townes Earle. The Yearlings give a new strain of acoustic music, distilling Americana alt. country through the filter of distinctly Australian life.
With Parkinson’s signature tones and Chalklen’s hypnotic prose they deliver tunes with a confidence that carries an addictive fragility.
Quiet, intimate, raw and powerful.
Robyn Chalklen Guitar and vocals Chris Parkinson Guitar and vocals
In top 10 Records of the year for Basement Discs (Melbourne)
#14 on Post To Wire Chart http://posttowire.com/2014/12/05/ptw-favourite-au-nz-releases-of-2014/
ABC Radio National "The Inside Sleeve" with Paul Gough, song 'BLUE SKY BOY" came in at #44 http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/insidesleeve/
#8 in The Courier Mail's top 10 from Noel Mengl
The Courier Mail - Noel Mengle
Some records arrive on a wave of hype.
From the other end of the spectrum is this new album from Adelaide duo The Yearlings, which arrived on my desk without fanfare inside a plain-looking cover.
But when you open up the package you find a richly detailed booklet inside the sleeve.
It looks great and feels beautiful in the hands as you flick through. Veteran Australian bassist Harry Brus uses 30-year-old La Bella flatwound strings, it informs us. The people who care about such things, and that the album was recorded on a 24-track tape machine in an age when most people use digital, will find much to reward them when they play the music.
It has the same feel as the cover: a little stark at first, slowly opening up to reveal the same kind of loving attention to detail. And one of the best roots rock records I’ve heard from Australia, or anywhere, this year.
The core duo is Robyn Chalklen, who plays acoustic guitar and shares vocals with Chris Parkinson, who plays most things with strings on (and ’50s Fender amps, the booklet notes).
The album opens with the lonesome title tune, with lines like “Every sinking sun going down/Every lucky star, each candle blown/All the wishing I have ever done’’.
Parkinson’s stinging electric guitar lines nestle in close to Shane Reilly’s slow-mo pedal steel swells.
It’s an extraordinarily powerful song, and of course any artist would want to put something that good first. What the casual listener might not be expecting is that they have another nine songs of a quality to back it up.
Parkinson takes on the lead vocals for Heart of It All, which might be addressing the same defeated character as the opening tune.
Heart of It All is one of several tracks that feature brass, the kind of arrangements which could have once graced a record by The Band. Full of regret, yet somehow reassuring to hear something so solid, so timeless, amid all this uncertainty and sorrow.
The horns are there, suitably enough, on Blue Sky Boy, since it’s a Memphis story, complete with a gospel-charged backing choir. It could be The Sweet Inspirations on an Elvis Presley record, although in this case among their number are Chalklen, Taasha Coates and Sara Tindley.
Things take a darker turn on Way Out East, sung by Parkinson, with room for a lengthy electric guitar solo from him. Here’s something you don’t see in record reviews anymore, but that solo is great. Think Cortez the Killer and you’re in the ballpark.
Oh, and Valley of Souls, as tender and bruised and beautiful a song as you will hear in 2014.
If you’ve loved any of the country-rock records I’ve reviewed this year, from Halfway to The Mastersons, trust me on this. You should hear All The Wandering.