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The Discreet Charm of Bushwahzee
self-produced (

Bushwahzee are a trio from Melbourne, Australia. With guitars, fiddle, bodhran and vocals, they present a mix of Australian-focused material in a country folk and Celtic style. Formed two decades ago, they have honed their style with thousands of concerts, festivals, dances, weddings and performances of "The Bush Cabaret" in schools. These latter events are more than concerts, but full-day educational happenings where children learn bush dances and colonial ditties and then perform them for their parents that same evening.

This CD includes 15 tracks, a half dozen of them traditional with the rest being band originals and contemporary pieces including Shane MacGowan's "Sally McLennan" and a reworking of Priscilla Herdman and Henry Lawson's "Empty Pockets." Traditional tracks include an easy-going, countrified version of "Whiskey in the Jar," which leads off the CD. Other highlights include the Australian classic, "Flash Jack From Gundagai" (wedded with the Irish jig "Behind the Haystack"), with its broad powerful vocals, a full chorus, and jaunty instrumental backing. There is some solid guitar finger picking on "Danny Boy" and a bright version of "Waltzing Matilda," called "Waltzing the Shears." The Discreet Charm of Bushwahzee showcases the band's central mission of celebrating the rural culture of Australia. - Ivan Emke

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