Yearlings recorded Ian Kippax Matthews' new record "Street Hymns"
They were Ian's band for the project and it's a bewdy, Check it out here
Check out this review

Much like I’ve always wanted to be a professional baseball player, I’ve always wanted to be a musician. I’ve just never wanted to learn to be a musician. Every time I try, I lose my patience.  I’m a writer, which isn’t something I remember first learning, so perhaps that’s why I don’t remember losing my patience in that learning process.  I’ve spent most of my life working on that craft, and even published in a few modest places, but I have a fantasy of what my life would be like if I could play piano or guitar and sing along with my writing:  a perfect life.  Of course, this assumes that learning to play an instrument automatically comes with a knack for lyricism.  Wrong.  

It takes a specific kind of writer to compile the magic words that will fit perfectly with music, just as it takes a specific kind of musician to write the music in the first place.  There are many examples of this talent, but sadly, not many of late.  Most of the attempts sound to me like…well…what my own attempt would be like:  a good try and ultimately a bad song. The best of the best not only master the composition and words, but also the delivery, pacing, and overall energetic journey of the album. Ian Kippax Matthews’ and his most recent album Street Hymns is a solid home run, with a few great moments of excitement, like a slide into home plate right before the ball sails into the catcher’s mitt. 

Street Hymns is exactly as it title suggests, this compilation of scrappy, down to earth folk and blues tunes seem to worship the most ordinary aspects of life, and the mysterious, beautiful musical instrumentation and melodies most certainly invite us to join in the worship, to be swept away.  Matthews pulls at music’s strongest roots through his exclusive use of acoustic instruments that have seemingly been around since the beginning of time:  piano, strumming guitar, banjo, light drums, strings, bass, even organ.  I admit to loving this combination of instruments more than almost any other, but I’ll also admit it’s not always used in an original enough way to warrant lack of instrumental experimentation.  Matthews and his band experiment in other ways—track order, lyrics—and even if they didn’t, the beauty of these compositions might just carry this album along anyway.  

Guitar slides and light guitar picking create the gentle, harmonized opening to the folky first track “Riding On.” Matthews lets the sandpaper aspect of his voice to rise to the surface, wonderfully juxtaposing the sweetness of the instrumentation, which continues with guitar that mirrors and expands on the melody in the background.  The instrumental vs vocal timbre structure also appears in the more country tinged  “Rattling Rail” and “Love Letter” toward the end of the album.  This contrast combined with his skill for poetry in this tune sets the perfect tone for the album—textured and gorgeous and ever fascinating: “Years like days in love unfazed/Just like men that dream/Fish and bread without an end/And mountains cast in the seas.” 

He follows the beautiful opener with “Slaves,” which shocks the listener with a very different vocal timbre, less like Tom Waits, more like Cat Stevens, complete with that slight lilt at the end of the first few phrases. The instrumentation doesn’t feel very different from the first track, as it’s also quite mellow, but in fact guitar is far from alone in the background.  “Slaves” features the softest, most delicate organ background I’ve ever heard, percussion which sounds like a tambourine joining along with drums, and a lovely, low, melancholy electric guitar solo. 

“White Boy Singing Hymns” is where the instrumentation noticeably shifts roles from background to an almost chorus role, equal placement within the multiple vocal harmonies.  The tune begins with a steady, prominent drumbeat and possibly maracas, a rhythm which banjo and acoustic guitar later echo when they arrive.  Tiny moments of banjo solos rise from the thick sound, as do larger electric guitar solos. A vocal chameleon to be sure, Matthews blends the Cat Stevens essence and Tom Waits essence in this tune, a perfect base vocal for the smooth, layered harmonies.

This talent for highlighting specific vocal characteristics continues in “Long Boats,” which is easily my favorite song on the album—a ballad, beginning with only ‘oooos’ in unison vocals and a heartbreaking piano melody.  Then, Matthews enters with his voice—not just Waits, or just Stevens, or just a combination, but adding a little hint of Joe Cocker! He echoes the instrumentation of this track in the later, more bluesy tune “PS,” and he echoes the Joe Cocker addition to his vocal blend in the (much darker, much angrier) piece “Wealth.”  

These vocal shifts are not impersonation, either.  They’re almost imperceptible changes of depth and delivery that work so perfectly for each song it’s mind blowing.  Also, along with the stunning piano melody, tambourine joins up again, and later long, electric guitar drones as well.  And the end of “Long Boats,” well…its shift is so layered and deepened there’s no point in trying to explain how fantastic it feels to hear it.  So, go hear it!  

The tracks “Move It” and “Adeline,” while very different in mood and vocals, they both experiment with style and featured instruments.  “Move It” features that Tom Waits essence again, but this time highlights the banjo more prominently than the guitar, except for a few electric guitar slides that rise like smoke from seemingly dark, mysterious places in the tune.  “Adeline,” another favorite of mine, starts with piano again, and I’m tricked into thinking its going to stay lovely and lilting along, like a combination of the styles of “Slaves,” and “Long Boats,” then…it morphs into a full on country waltz.  In fact, so does the second to last track, “Sweet Release,” though “Sweet Release” is more of a bar waltz, one sung by a tipsy crowd.  

“Adeline” is wonderfully sweet:  piano chords, 1,2,3,1,2,3 drum pattern, and harmonizing vocals in the chorus.  It’s happy: “Your sweet sassy smile transfixed me a while/You knew that I looked at you more than I should/When you lifted your bow, you let me know/it was fine it was understood.”  It could be play at a barn dance.  And though I’ve never been to one, some days I can’t imagine anything more fantastic than a barn dance. 

The last track, “Red, Black, and Blue” is another piano ballad to end the album with the power of melancholy, tenderness, and Matthews’ brilliant, image based lyrics.  The naturalness of his voice in this tune is breathtaking—it wavers a little, trails off at the end of phrases, the piano fading not too far behind every time.  It feels traditional, this duet.  Heartfelt, sad, and full of texture and color.   

Back to the whole ‘home run’ thing.  Not only is Street Hymns a solid hit with a slide or two of excitement, not only is it scrappy and celebratory of every human emotion, but it’s also nuanced.  It’s not just the action of the ball field, but the grass, the smell, the sound of the ball against a bat, a ball into a glove. Ian Kippax Matthews has revealed a world of his own, reminiscent of a different era, a simpler, more genuine time. It’s one of those ‘everything’ albums that you can get lost inside and put on repeat for days so you never really have to come out. I still haven’t.  This is, from all angles, a gorgeous smash hit.

Artist:  Ian Kippax Matthews

Album: Street Hymns

Reviewed by Alice Neiley

Rating:  5 stars out of 5.  

usa feb 2012

Debut Album Revisited


Sunday August 2nd, Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide.


The Yearlings will perform their first, self-titled album in its entirety for the first time since releasing it in January 2003.

It’s an anniversary of sorts, being 12 years old now and the album has been unavailable for many years, so there will be a limited number of CDs pressed, repackaged and exclusively available at the Wheatsheaf Hotel show.

Recorded in 8 hours on a stinking hot day, live to 2-inch tape at Mixmasters Studios in the Adelaide Hills on 23 November 2002, their eponymous record was released on the Reckless Records label, run by Bill Chambers and Audrey Auld.

With support from Tara Carragher with Richard Coates.

$10 at the door

Doors 4pm.

Bluebird cafe, Nashville 28th feb 2012

promo shots high res

The Yearlings will be on tour through April May with Wisconsin USA's Hayward Williams. They will open these shows and then join Hayward as his band on stage as he launches his latest record "Haymaker".

"Williams' is the voice of maturity and  restraint, and by voice I mean not only his deep resonant singing, but his approach, attitude, songwriting - the whole deal."

Check the SHOWS page for details.

The Last Sunday Sessions @ Wheatsheaf

Featuring very special guests and friends sharing the stage with us on the last Sunday of each month.
Each one of these shows will highlight a special guest or two and to be able to play our songs in a unique way each month is something we are very excitied about indeed.
Last Sunday is a chance to see some world class musicians on stage together, playing songs in a unique way, with each gig promising to be one of a kind. 

Check shows page for details

xmas show @ the wheaty

Xmas extravaganza featuring The Yearlings, The Baker Suite, The Chaps and The Flaps.
The Yearlings and The Baker Suite join together to play a set of songs.
The Chaps (Chris Parkinson, John Baker, Jim Redgate, Duanne Degruchy and BJ Barker), play some high voltage covers.
Tha Flaps (Di, Bob, Gayle,Suzie, Leah, Kim and Mel), join forces to try and outdo the Chaps, will they suceed?, Probably.........

The Last, Last Sunday Session @ Wheatsheaf

30th December 2012

It's been a blast doing the last sundays of the month this year at our favourite venue to play, The Wheatsheaf International hotel, right here at home in Adelaide.
These gals do it best, give it their all and really help the Adealide music scene by creating a space that everyone in Australia want to play in.

Anyway all good things come to their end and so it goes that our last, last sunday session is on the 30th dec, and as they have all been through the year we will be featuring a special guest who will open up for us and then play some tunes with us in our set. There have been a couple of times this year that our spec guest didn't want us to divulge their identity until the day before the show (because they were playing at the wheaty the night or two before our show together), but this time we really can't tell you who it is you'll just have to come along and hope that they are ok.

So we would just like to give a HUGE shout out to all our Last Sunday special guests for the year for playing with us and keeping us up way too late and drinking all our stocks.
Cheers to

BJ Barker 
Steve Ped Pederson
Mick Wordley 
Jesse Dean Freeman
Sean McMahon
Allison Ferrier
Tim Murphy
Marcel Borrack
Sarah Carroll
James Henry
Matt Walker
Suzannah Espie
Chris Altmann
Liz Stringer
Grant Cummerford
Heath Cullen
Jim Redgate
Snooks La Vie
Lyndon Gray

"HOWL THE MOON" Adelaide Fringe Show


This will be an intimate show in the magical outdoor night garden 'Howl The Moon'. We will feature a sprinkling of special guests, tied together by the delicate thunder drumming of BJ Barker. 2 sets.

Howl The Moon is a seductive Fringe-dwellers​ paradise, bringing an eclectic mix ​of music, food and wine​ while sprawled in a​ luminous open air garden.

Dunstan Grove Linde Reserve, Nelson St, Stepney 8pm

Click on the pic for tix.
Check shows page for more details

hey thanks

 To everyone who supported us Yearlings throughout 2012

Everyone who bought our music, enjoyed our music, came to a show, helped us get to Memphis and Nashville, played with us, encouraged us, enlightened us and inspired us. To loved ones lost and new friends found, we thank you all and we will see ya all out there in 2013.

As long as things go to plan, (ha?) looks like we will start recording our new album in February so should have it out later in the year, i'tll be a "My Sweet Mule" production.


RIP Jimmy Little

I was lucky enough to share the stage with Jim for over 5 years. We began as a duo for 8 months in 1999, i would pick him up from his home in Balmain and we would go out on the weekend travelling and playing in clubs, pubs, RSLs and such.
We would play to the old folks at an RSL somewhere in the afternoon, then go play in a trendy nightclub somewhere at night to the young folks, they loved him.
It was an amazing time, hearing Jim's stories and playing guitar with him.
Rob and I even met at a Jimmy gig in Tamworth, so us Yearlings have much to thank Jimmy for.
A gentle spirit and a great man.
What I learnt I will keep forever.

There will be a service for him on May 3 at the Sydney Opera House which I will be performing at in the house band and will include a list of great people (keep posted for more details).
The Yearlings have been invited to play now also. Which we are honoured to be a part of.

Chris Yearling

Our tour with HAYWARD WILLIAMS may be a distant memory, but we had the best of times, made new friends, met old ones and laughed ourselves silly.
Here's some footage to keep us hangin for the road again. From the Northcote social club in Melbourne town on Anzac day.

That's all folks....

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