So when someone says 'Australia', what do you think of musically speaking? AC/DC? Men At Work? INXS? Midnight Oil? The Wiggles? Would you think about country music at all, specifically the alt/outlaw variety? No? Well, Henry Wagons is about to change your mind about that.
Henry Wagons normally spends his musical time fronting his killer namesake band, Wagons, who specialize in countrified rock n' roll of the highest order. On his new solo album "Expecting Company?", Wagons, the man, takes a step away from the rock world to go down the more traditional country path. Sure, songs like "Unwelcome Company" and "A Hangman's Work Is Never Done" have more in common with say Drive-By Truckers than Johnny Cash but the overall vibe on this record is one that hearkens back to the heyday of the Outlaw Country movement. To be perfectly honest, Henry Wagons may in fact be Australia's answer to Waylon Jennings.
Like many great country performers Wagons delivers an album almost completely full of duets. While all of the performances of his female counterparts are well delivered, two in particular are exceptional. His performances with Jenn Grant on "Giving Things A Chance To Mend" and alongside Gossling on "Give Me A Kiss" are duets that float in the same spheres as Johnny Cash - June Carter and Gram Parsons - Emmylou Harris. Not only does Wagons prove his own mettle with this album but he manages to shine a very bright spotlight on some very talented ladies as well. If you're a fan of anything that falls under that broad "alt country" banner, whether it's a band like Son Volt or an artist like Jason Isbell you're going to be hard pressed not to like this album.
Listen to tracks off "Expecting Company?" at Henry Wagons' official website.
Henry Wagons performs at Black-Eyed Sally's in Hartford, CT on March 1.