Share

2013
| BS 179
$10.95

Stranger In My Land

LP is a Limited Edition of 500 - Includes Digital Copy plus a nifty insert of Jon Langford artwork

Features guest vocals and instrumental performances from Bonnie Prince Billy , Kelly Hogan, Dave Alvin of the Blasters , Sally Timms ,  Andre Williams and Charlie Louvin. All this star power is backed The Pine Valley Cosmonauts and the Sadies

Powerful and moving material, heartbreaking and hilarious, downtrodden and uplifting, suffused with longing, alienation, resilience and hop. Humor, resignation and outrage stalk a superficially familiar musical landscape that’s been re-populated with stockmen, bandicoots, wallabies, porcupines, grog-drinkers, pelicans and policemen.

Full Description

Look, dammit, not only is this one of the BEST records we've ever released, it's one of the most important.  It's speaks to the universality of music, the amazing possibilities  of cross-cultural pollination and the simple power of one musician strumming a guitar. It's political, yes, but above all, it's a humanistic triumph and a joy to listen to. If we here at Bloodshot have acheived nothing else in life, we were able to say we were able to release this record.

Stranger In My Land is a collection of songs originally written by Aboriginal artists who were Knox’s peers and predecessors; some tunes were previously recorded but difficult to find as well as several unrecorded, handed-down folk songs (which, without this recording, could have been lost forever). It is powerful and moving material, heartbreaking and hilarious, downtrodden and uplifting, suffused with longing, alienation, resilience and hope; universal themes arising out of largely unexplored context. It possesses the urgency of a Alan Lomax field recording, but with a spirit that remains relevant in today’s world.

Features guest vocals and instrumental performances from Bonnie Prince Billy ("Scobie's Dream")Kelly Hogan ("Blue Gums," "Took The Children Away,") Dave Alvin of X, Blasters ("Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards"), Sally Timms ("Home In The Valley"),  Andre Williams ("Stranger in My Country") and perhaps the last known recording from Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers ("Ticket to Nowhere").  All this star power is backed The Pine Valley Cosmonauts and the Sadies.

Also included in a album is a lovely insert by Langford that gives an apt history of the songs, artists, and people behind this fragile, yet empowering music. This is an album about a man and a people’s struggles in their own place of origin, and the experiences in a journey that such a complex life path can take. Knox is the conduit for these stories and these songs, but this isn’t ancient history and these songs are not museum pieces.

The place names and characters are different, but the humanity remains common. In making Stranger In My Land, Roger Knox closes the circle on a strange journey that takes the music and stories of his people all the way around the planet and back to America.

Short Description
  • It acts as an incredibly important historical document; it almost perfectly marries the whitest of American music with indigenous Australian culture; it’s some of the finest country music you’ll hear all year.

    — Mess + Noise
  • Down-under civil-rights songs addressing feelings of racial alienation and making pleas for justice, all couched in the plainspoken language of vintage Nashville.

    — Chicago Reader
  • When it’s released in early February, this will become the most important country music release of 2013. Why?…This is country music wrought bruised and aching from the dustbowl that is Australia’s Outback.  This is Roger Knox bringing an Aboriginal voice to what amounts to Jimmie Rodgers, Lefty Frizzell, Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson gathered at the billabong singing protest tunes. These are down-under songs of racial alienation, displacement, the march to civil rights and a collective voice in the wilderness proclaiming that they will not be moved. It is vintage Nashville sung like it should be; honestly, matter-of-fact and evocative as hell...

    — OCanada.com
  • Most of these songs are upbeat, but the subject matter is anything but light. The lonesomeness of American country music is amplified tenfold by tales of the struggles of the Aborigine people and the bitter condemnations of white invasion…[There's] a longing for home that manifests itself in bursts of unexpected optimism. This yearning makes each song more poignant, and never cloyingly so.

    — The Aquarian
  • Knox is something of a legend in his homeland and surrounded by the Chicago-based Pine Valley Cosmonauts, he runs through a dozen classics from the Aboriginal C&W cowboy songbook. It’s got pain ('Took the Children Away'), honky tonk dances ('Scobie’s Dream') and al points in between. Killer.

    — The Province
  • Stranger In My Land is a powerful collection full of pointed commentaries on the state of life for Australia’s Aborigines. Its true brilliance, however, is that these commentaries are presented in such an ear-pleasing manner, within songs that would be enjoyable no matter what their topic. And with a Shakespearean understanding for the timing of comic relief, there are moments of frivolity and nostalgia interspersed throughout, making it an even more entertaining experience. There’s no doubt that  Stranger In My Land is an important album, but it is also just a great listen that no fan of country music—no matter which hemisphere he or she calls home—should miss.

    — NoSurfMusic.com
  • The best music is border music, the sound of cultures colliding. In the late 20th century Black Australians assimilated Country & Western, that whitest of American musical forms, to tell the story of their physical subjugation, spiritual stoicism and eventual political awakening.

    — Jon Langford, Liner notes
  • Part travelogue, part National Geographic special, and part crash sociology course, Stranger in My Land is surely to be the most important album you will listen to all year, and might just be the most important album of the decade... a five on a five scale listen.

    — Cool Album of the Day

Track List

  • 1. The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards
  • 2. Stranger In My Country
  • 3. Blue Gums Calling Me Back Home
  • 4. Took The Children Away
  • 5. Arafura Pearl
  • 6. Brisbane Blacks
  • 7. Wayward Dreams
  • 8. Scobie's Dream
  • 9. Ticket To Nowhere
  • 10. Warrior In Chains
  • 11. Streets of Tamworth
  • 12. Home In The Valley

Listen

You May Also Dig…