fall or fly


Appropriately as my pet Galah squawks madly in the backyard (‘Mr Cash’ for those playing at home), Craig Atkins’ new release Fall or Fly features a lone feather on the album cover, very striking and appropriate for the title.

Opening track ‘Open Road’ is a well suited number to start things with – a dark and droning sound with a great burst of energy half way through that immediately showcases Craig’s superb musical ability.

With the exception of a couple of guests, all instruments on this recording are played by Craig; along with vocals he plays …take a deep breath…. guitar, steel body resonator, lap slide, fretless bass ukulele, didgeridoo, stomp, cajon, djembe, doumbek, tongue drum, tone drum, foot tambo, cymbals and shakers. Probably pretty proficient on a triangle, too, I’d imagine.

‘Blessed are the Dead’ had me at hello with title alone, but the song itself is great. Full of slide and almost giving it a sitar feel, the song is spoken word, a tricky thing to pull off especially with the heavy subject matter. Very impressively done.

‘Whiskey River Blues’ opens up with some real classic sounding resonator guitar and as the song gradually has life blown into the honky tonk piano kicks it off to be suitable for any dusty country bar. But wait there’s more! From there it develops into a full blow stomp fest with some awesome distorted vocals yelped over the top. Easily my favourite track on the album; very well constructed and catchy, too.

A great release from Mr Atkins and well worth checking out on CD and a live show soon – the multi instrumental work is even more impressive in the flesh!!



Also printed in Bside Magazine 19 March 2015