(Australian 1971 - Present)
Dave made the point that with the 'Colonials' band there was a desire to be proud of their Australianness and to look in keeping with the era from where the songs had derived, from that golden age before World War1 and where the lyrics were all about the Bushmen–shearers, bushwhackers, drovers and so on. They bought the finest made moleskins, long leather boots and the best vests.
The new Bushwackers Band (without the h – The Original Bushwackers & Bullockies Band) had formed in Melbourne in 1971. Shirley Andrews related to me these new ‘bushwackers’ had individually been either members or attendants of the Bush Music Club or Victorian Folk Music Club (VFMC). Jan Wositzky clarified this point by saying Dave Isom had been a member of Captain Matchbox and ran the La Trobe Uni Folk Club, but neither Dave nor Bert Kahanoff, the third initial founder with himself, were hanging out with the VFMC. As far as he knew he was the only one who went there, though all were associated with the VFMC via the Nariel Creek folk festival. Jan learn't the dances at VFMC dances and at Nariel Creek, and so became the band's dance caller. Through the VFMC Shirley Andrews work shopped and taught the folk dances shead profiled through ‘The Tradition’ and Take Your Partners so Jan certainly had good experience with dancing and then calling.
After the Bushwackers formed they published ‘The Bushwackers Band Song Book’ in 1978’ and ‘The Bushwackers Band Dance Book’ in 1980. Both were excellent publications and although ‘bush dance’ doesn’t seem a term they then used, the connotation was certainly there in well-presented illustrations with Australian themes and bush style settings. [extract from 'Evolution of ‘Bush Dance’ part 5' ]
Perhaps it's because we're a young country that appreciation of our folk heritage has been slow to develop. The emergence of groups playing "bush music" over the last few years has led to a greater awareness of the rich legacy brought here by our primarily English, Irish and Scots ancestors and the distinctly Australian bush ballads developed by succeeding generations.
The Bushies have been instrumental in keeping this tradition alive and developing on it — this album was recorded in 1974 and is full of the excitement and vigor of accomplished young musicians drawing on a rich cultural stream. Surprisingly and shamefully Australian folk albums are not numerous and this one can lay claim to being important for its influence.
Rollicking and brash, the line-up features bush bass — extremely hard to record but certainly more authentic than acoustic or electric bass. Soon after recording the album the band toured Europe to great success and the LP release was delayed until their return. Originally pressed on a picture record (now a collectors item - Picture Records PRF 1007) it has been through several mutations and has at various stages been hard to obtain.
The Bushies have themselves changed line-up, name and sound; recording the music for TV's "Cash & Company" and a further album — "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". They have toured Australia and returned to Europe to spread the word on our music. "The Shearers' Dream" is a landmark album which will be kept in print as part of our efforts to record Australian music [Linear Notes by Keith Gisss]
This post consists of both FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my 2nd hand vinyl copy. Having found it at my local flee market, it was not in the greatest state and restoring this classic album to a listenable state was no mean feat. After many hours of removing pops and crackles, this album is finally ready for your next 'bush dance' in the comfort of your own home. Full album artwork is included along with a multitude of band photos thanks to Dave Isom, sourced from his Blog
01 - South Australia
02 - Red Hot Woodstove
03 - Maranoa Drovers
04 - Ned Kelly Was Born in a Ramshackle Hut
05 - Swagless Swaggie
06 - Drops of Brandy
07 - Rye Buck Shearer
08 - Woolloomooloo Lair
09 - Holy Dan
10 - Bullocky Oh
11 - Jim Jones At Botany Bay
12 - Bush Girl
13 - Denis O'Reilly
14 - Shearers' Dream
At the time of recording the Bushwhackers were:
Davs Isom: Guitar, Five string banjo, vocaJs.
Mick Slocum: Accordions, Angla, Concertina, vocals.
Tony Hunt. Fiddle, Viola, Five string banjo.
Jan Wositzky: Harmonica, Bodhran, Bush bass, vocals, spoons.
Dobs Newton: Lagerphone (or Murrumbidgee River Rattler), whistle, vocals.
The Original Bushwackers FLAC Link (269Mb)
The Original Bushwackers MP3 Link (107Mb)