Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cannot Buy My Soul - Story in Song

Myth or otherwise, our Australian belief system includes the idea that anybody can succeed - that we are a land of opportunity. Kev Carmody’s story may embody this belief, or it could be a story about talent always winning out.

There were many things working against Kev Carmody being a successful singer-songwriter. To begin with he is an aboriginal who grew up at a time when aboriginals in Australia were not considered citizens. He didn’t go to school until he was 10 years old. But he had family, he had country and he had stories and music.

At some point he found a book at a rubbish tip – “How to Teach Yourself to Play Guitar”. He dried it out and sometime later he is at university studying music and history.

“Cannot Buy My Soul – The Songs of Kev Carmody” is a tribute concert which should become a legend of Australian music and we were lucky enough to say we were there at the Riverstage in Brisbane.This gathering of Australian artists – Paul Kelly, Tex Perkins, Missy Higgins, Troy Cassar-Daley, Bernard Fanning, John Butler – to name only a few, paid tribute to Kev Carmody, sharing their respect and esteem for Kev Carmody with the biggest concert crowd this performance has had.

I have always loved songs that tell stories. For some people music resonates, I listen for lyrics. Kev Carmody’s music is story.

It is stories I remember, like "The Young Dancer is Dead" performed by The Last Kinection or places I know, like "Darkside" performed by Tex Perkins.

Kev Carmody also tells me new stories, of people and lives with deep roots in the Australian soil - like "Droving Woman" with Missy Higgins singing the last verse with passion.

The ultimate climax is "From Little Things Big Things Grow" the song Kev Carmody co-wrote with Paul Kelly. This is song always makes me cry.

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