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Overlander

Trevor Lucas: Overlander (Reality RY 1002)

Overlander
Trevor Lucas

Reality Records RY 1002 (LP, UK, 1966)
bootleg CD, same # (CD, 199x?)
Klimt Records MJJ361 (LP, France, 2013)

Trevor Lucas: Overlander (Bootleg CD)

Produced by William Merrick Farran

Musicians

Trevor Lucas, guitar, vocals;
Alf Edwards, concertina;
Cyril Harling, violin;
George Gibbs, bass

Tracks

Side 1Side 2
  1. The Overlander (Roud 9107) (2.32)
  2. Waltzing Matilda (Roud 9356) (3.02)
  3. A Wee One (Roud 357) (3.27)
  4. Lazy Harry's (Roud 10209) (2.56)
  5. It's On (2.42)
  6. South Australia (Roud 325) (2.00)
  1. Shanties By the Way (2.05)
  2. The Shearer's Dream (3.47)
  3. The Flash Stockman (Roud 22616) (1.51)
  4. Bluey Brink (Roud 3317) (2.57)
  5. On the Banks of the Condamine (Roud 8224) (4.10)
  6. Bold Jack Donahue (Roud 611) (4.00)

Tracks 1, 4, 11 trad. adapted A.L. Lloyd arr. Alf Edwards
Track 2 A.B. Paterson
Tracks 3, 12 trad. arr. Trevor Lucas
Track 5 Don Henderson
Tracks 6, 7, 9, 10 trad. arr. Alf Edwards
Track 8 Henry Lawson, A.L. Lloyd

Sleeve Notes

What would an Overlander who looks like a film version of a Biblical saint, the tough sort, be doing in London?

He certainly hasn't been sitting placidly by a billabong, twiddling his thumbs, since he was transported from Australia to England. (In case you are wondering what a “Billabong” is, look at the glossary below - indispensable to any cove or swagman who wants to migrate to Australia with his Matilda on his shoulder and his dewdrop by his side.)

No, he certainly has not. He has been touring this country from end to end, bringing the Australian scene in song to the receptive ears of what is euphemistically known as the Great B.P.

Our Overlander, Trevor Lucas, a red-headed, red-bearded young man from Australia, is one of the finest representative singers of Australian songs to-day. Here is an artist who can accompany himself on the guitar with the consistency of a galeforce wind or the soothing sweetness of a gentle zephyr - a singer who hooks you with his singing, until you just can't stop listening, whose aim is to entertain - and this he certainly does.

Nobody could say that the Australia that Trevor portrays on this LP is a place for weaklings. Witness his singing of Bold Jack Donahue, as tough a character as his American counterpart, if not tougher. But there are two very surprisingly tender moments in this collection, the first being The Shearer's Dream. What Trevor evokes from this song can best be left to the imagination. The second moment is his singing of A Wee One That's None of Your Own, which he sings so tenderly that one is almost conceived that the “wee one” is in reality one of his own.

Trevor has chosen to sing Waltzing Matilda to a tune not so well known as the one you probably know. Well, it is not my intention to write a history of the origin of even the Australian folk-song or even hint which version of Waltzing Matilda came first. Whole books have been written on the subject. But someone did once say that to sing Waltzing Matilda to another tune is rather like singing our national anthem to a different tune, but which version of Waltzing Matilda he claimed came first, I think is safer for me not to say. But in any case, the version that Trevor sings, is a “beaut”.

With Trevor round his metaphorical camp-fire was Alf Edwards, who did the spontaneous arrangements and played the concertina. Alf is considered the best concertina player in the business.

Perched precariously on a swag-bag was Cyril Harling, who fiddled away during a lot of the numbers amazingly like a genuine folk-fiddler, but in others played with fine taste like the excellent violinist he really is.

George Gibbs was the bass-player whom Trevor persuaded to join the boys.

Trevor Lucas is a very young man with the road wide open for him, and this record is a living proof of that fact.

Glossary

duffers: cattle-thieves, rustlers
swagman: tramp or casual bush worker
billabong: a large pool
coolibah: a species of eucalyptus tree
jumbuck: a sheep
squatter: a large-scale grazier
swag or matilda: bundle of belongings rolled up in a blanket and carried on the shoulder
It's on: cry of the onlookers at a pub fight
clean skins: unbranded cattle or sheep
foot-rot and fluke:  diseases of sheep
cove: a man
rouseabout: general handyman
gidgee: short tree, often growing very thickly
dewdrop: an axe
billy: tin fitted with a wire handle, used for making tea