Archie Roach – The Songs of Charcoal Lane
Native Born (30th Anniversary Edition)
Album out 13th November 2020
Music legend, Stolen Generations
survivor and 2020 Victorian Australian Of The Year, Archie Roach AM, celebrates
the 30 year anniversary of his debut album Charcoal Lane with the announcement of The Songs Of Charcoal Lane,
recorded at his kitchen table in southwest Victoria, during the Covid-19
In July, in a year like no other, Archie brought trusted musicians Stephen Magnusson and Sam Anning, along with recording engineer Hadyn Buxton, to his home on Gunditjmara lands on his mother’s country, to re-record the timeless classic songs of Charcoal Lane.
Archie says, “Recording at home, with just the four of us, has been a great experience. There’s an intimacy, a closeness; we have gathered the songs in. I have been so much more relaxed sitting here at my kitchen table with a cup of tea, looking out at my yard, recording the songs, maybe doing 2 to 3 takes. When we listen back to the recordings you can sense that there’s a different feel, a more relaxed approach to the songs, it’s more earthy. Over the past 30 years I have written most of my songs at the kitchen table, when my children were little and running around. Ruby and the children were the first to hear them. As I have matured so have the songs, it’s like they have grown with me. I think I understand them a lot better now than I did 30 years ago… it’s probably how they should have been sung.”
(by John Glennie)
Archie has done justice to his debut album with this acoustic version. The lyrics are amazing and really highlight the plight of our Indigenous Australians and the stolen generation. As with Archie’s comment above, I also have a greater understanding of the songs after 30 years – originally, I really didn’t know about the stolen generation but, over the past decade or so, the awareness has been significantly instilled into all Australians.
These songs capture the emotions and traumas of what the Aboriginal people were subjected to. Personally, I am not a huge fan of country music but I did learn a lot from his heartfelt renditions. A couple of my favourites are Took The Children Away and Beautiful Child – the latter where he sings about the heartache and pain and that he is proud to be black. Says it all really!
1. Native Born 04:54
2. Charcoal Lane 04:01
3. Munjana 10:01
4. I’ve Lied 04:25
5. Down City Streets 05:35
6. Took The Children Away 06:31
7. Sister Brother 05:59
8. Beautiful Child 04:44
9. No No No 04:12
10. Summer Of My Life 04:35