A joint release by China Pig Records and Half a Cow Records!
CD available from Half a Cow's website.
"I’m a guitarist and a singer and
I guess I’ve always known
that it’s a hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a hard row to hoe and all I’ve got to show
Is my songs and a liver that you couldn’t give away"
To Sydney audiences, Bernie Hayes is a local hero, cause celebre, a trusted translator of human experience. He is the master of the domestic miniature that says everything that need be said about who we are, why and how we succeed and fail, who we love and why. With an acoustic guitar and a seductive voice that can whisper confidentially or soar to emotional precipices, and the judicious use of a supple rhythm section, Bernie Hayes is here to break your heart.
"But when I woke up this morning, I did my best to shine
You think I’m a hard man to know
I’m not a hard man to know, my feelings are on show
With my songs and my records
that you couldn’t give away"
If he’s a local hero, a name shared between inner-westies with a knowing nod or sigh, his fourth album (his first in eight years!) Slow Fix reaffirms his stature as a treasure of Australian songwriting, in the same league as Paul Kelly or his mate Perry Keyes. His songs provide an irresistible combination of contemporary perspectives with Brill building classicism (Carole King, Laura Nyro) and the height of ’70s singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and John Martyn. It’s doubtful you will think of any of these artists when you hear this record though - Brendan Gallagher’s production is immediate and transparent, allowing the illusion of an old friend sharing stories over a few brews.
"Let’s just pool whatever we’ve got
Treat it like it’s our last day on earth . . ."
Bernie keeps busy, playing solo shows and occasionally with a trio or quartet doing his own stuff, but also with Dead Marines alongside Gallagher and Front End Loader’s Bow Campbell, and as bassist for Dog Trumpet with the brothers O’Doherty/Mombassa. Meanwhile he writes these top shelf songs and every now and then makes a record of them - Every Tuesday Sometimes Sunday (1999), Domestic Departures (2003), Homebody (2007) and now Slow Fix. He doesn’t seem to have an ambitious bone in his body, beyond the need to get these songs out to people who might get something from them. So it’s up to us, and you, whoever you are reading this, to spread the word.
released April 27, 2015
All songs written by Bernie Hayes.
Produced by Brendan Gallagher and Bernie Hayes.
Recorded and mixed by Brendan Gallagher at GPHQ.
Mastered by Rick O'Neil at Turtlerock.
Organ and piano by Steve Junor.
Drums by Lachlan Dengate.
Vocal, guitar, bass guitar and percussion by Bernie with a few notable exceptions:
'Wanted To Cry' slide guitar by Brendan.
'Let You Let Me Go' slide guitar by Reg Mombassa and bass by Peter O'Doherty.
'Goodnight, Mrs Tracy' vocal harmonies by Julia Richardson.
'Treading Water' bass by Pat Hayes
'My Misunderstanding' bass by Peter O'Doherty.
Photography by Joshua Morris
Design by Sally Keane