CDs SENT TO HALF A COW

September 2007

RYAN STERLING Never Really There

myspace
ryansterling76@hotmail.com

For my wife's birthday a few weeks ago, we had a bbq in the backyard, lots of friends chowing down on kebabs with the 6-disc cd player dragged out again for its 'random' function - perfect for a long, cruisy afternoon. Sitting amongst Jim Croce, Nick Drake, the Youngbloods (live), Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison was a recently received album by Melbourne country star Ryan Sterling.

And it was perfect music for a Saturday afternoon. An acoustic guitar is beautifully and carefully picked while a pleading, plaintive vocal comes in, making observations about himself and those close by. It’s a little bit country, a little bit folky singer-songwriter and then even a little bit more country. Sort of like how Townes Van Zandt is a little bit country and a little bit folky. Ryan reminds us of Townes, too. Underneath the sadness is a smile, a knowing nod that he is onto something good here.

Yep, perfect for a Saturday arvo, Sunday morning, any morning or afternoon, just maybe not Friday night unless being at home on your lonesome, drunk, jumping around to ‘Crosstown Traffic’ is your thing.

Ryan hails from the suburb of Northcote in Melbourne and has stepped away from his usual raucous rock sounds of Red Rattler and a duo with Shane French to head in a new direction that has produced Never Really There. Ryan adds just the right amount of instrumentation on the twelve tracks – banjo, dobro, flute and the saddest sounding harmonica you’ll hear this side of the Atlantic. There are three instrumentals which don’t detract from the whole; in fact, they seem to offer a pause, a chance to reflect on the feeling of loss and isolation spread throughout the album. In ‘Blowing Cold Winds’ there is a wonderful flute – the happy peak of the affair.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Never Really There ends on a positive note with ‘Shot Up With Love’ that features that harmonica again and the loosest yet most endearing collection of backing vocals. Wonderful.

It’s been a few weeks since the birthday bbq and the Ryan Sterling album is still getting a lot of regular plays. And Ryan launched the album in mid-September, so it's not a demo! Might have to change the 'Demo Of The Week' heading to something else. - ND



other demos...
THE SOLOMONS - October 2009
DAVE SEASIDE - October 2009
AFXJIM - October 2009
THE MAGUS - September 2009
THE REFLECTORS - September 2009
HARVEY SWAGGER BAND - August 2009
BAMBINO KORESH - August 2009
KATE RAE - August 2009
UNTHINKABLES - July 2009
CABARET CALLADO - June 2009
THE SAGE EVOLUTION - April 2009
CAPITAL - March 2009
LINE DRAWINGS - March 2009
THE LIGHT BRIGADE - February 2009
GROTS VEGAS - February 2009
THE CHELSEA DRUGSTORE - February 2009
LIONEL LEE - January 2009
MAGIC ROB - December 2008
PETER STEIN - November 2008
LARMO CUSACK - November 2008
PAUL DAVIES - November 2008
PORTAL WINDOW - November 2008
THE ISLE OF MAN - October 2008
NELL WEBBER - October 2008
THE CHARLES MANSON EXPERIMENT - October 2008
THE BATASCOUTS - September 2008
KENT EASTWOOD - September 2008
LOLA FLASH - August 2008
BENJAMIN SHAW - August 2008
BAMBINO KORESH - July 2008
THE LEED FIENDS - July 2008
THE WELLS - June 2008
KATE BRADLEY & the Goodbye Horses - June 2008
WE GROW UP - May 2008
THE LOVE EXPLOSION - December 2007
LINDSAY PHILLIPS - November 2007
It’s a tie! IGOR ALEINIK + MAXIM BATOV - October 2007
RYAN STERLING - September 2007
EVA POPOV - August 2007
TEMPO DE NAUGHTY - June 2007
CLAUDIA WOODS - April 2007
ARON ATTWOOD - March 2007
THE SIESTAS - February 2007
IVONA - January 2007
THE STICKS - December 2006
ELLE SKIES - November 2006
THE FLYING COLOURS - November 2006
ARTICHOKE HEART SOUFFLÉ - September 2006
ANDREW KEESE & THE ASSOCIATES - July 2006
LUCY LEHMANN - May 2006
LUKE RUSSELL - April 2006
Where Are They Now? - April 2006
RUNNING WITH HORSES - March 2006
WINDOW - January 2006
PIP SMITH AND RED STAR - January 2006
PAPER PLANES - December 2005
SHOOT THE GENIE - November 2005
The Magus - November 2005
The Codebreakers - October 2005
Khancoban - September 2005
Stuart McGuane - August 2005
She'll 'B' Apples - July 2005
The Wellingtons - July 2005
Sugarhit - July 2005
The New Black - June 2005
BeOmega - June 2005
Old Nick - May 2005
The Triangles - May 2005
Jon Duncan - December 2004
The Honeyriders - December 2004
Larry Parkinson - December 2004
Stress Of Leisure - December 2004
The Cliffy Davis Goodtime Band - November 2004
it's a tie! Lyceum and Wade Jackson - November 2004
Arty Del Rio - November 2004
Amundsens Flag - November 2004
Mark Taylor - September 2004
Remington super 60 - July 2004
the MP3's - July 2004
Cycle Of Fifths - July 2004
Follow The Vann - June 2004
The Avenues - June 2004
Wons Phreely - June 2004
Halfway - June 2004
The Jennys - May 2004
Diana - May 2004
Wont - May 2004

 

 

Half A Cow
Half A Cow Records
PO Box 1100 STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012 Australia
Email: haclabel@mpx.com.au
Phone: +61-2-9705 7014
ABN 93 300 971 980