The Australian Wagons have arrived in the United States with their latest album, Rumble, Shake and Tumble. The foundation of the band is its namesake, vocalist/ guitarist/keyboardist Henry Wagons, who has surrounded himself with a group of multi-instrumentalists including Mark Dawson, Si Francis, Matthew Hassett, Richard Blaze, and Chad Mason.
I don’t know if there is a style known as Australian roots music, but this album fits the lyrical style of American roots well. The music, on the other hand, is basic straight forward rock ‘n’ roll. Everything unites into an unusual hybrid that is as creative as it is energetic.
The lyrics are fairly straightforward. It is the rock music sounds that travel in a number of directions with Wagons gentle growl floating above the mix.
Their new album is an adventure that is rocking and twanging, tough and tender, but always engaging and exciting. Each track is unpredictable but everything adds up to a quirky whole.
The leadoff track, “Down Low,” channels the jangling pop/rock sound of the Traveling Wilburys. “I Blew It” moves in a southern, up-tempo, boogie rock direction. “Moon into The Sun” is a country song at heart with a pedal steel guitar filling in the gaps. The song titled, “Willie Nelson,” continues the odyssey as it features a psychedelic guitar sound which means the song is really not a country song despite its name.
And so it goes with Henry Wagons unique visions of his surroundings and music. The acoustic based “My Dream” is a romantic love ode. The best track is the rollicking “Save Me,” with its inspirational lyrics.
Rumble, Shake and Tumble is an album of well executed and produced music that will make you smile and tap your toes and, in today’s world, that’s not a bad disc to have available for your stereo system.