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There is an immediacy and urgency across the 10 originals (and a folky cover of Ring of Fire featuring Caroline Easther) that helps to highlight the lyrical strengths of key songwriter and singer Barry Saunders, who presents a collage of small stories investigating the foibles, frailty and strengths of various types.
A relatively spare tonal template is augmented by Nick Brown's swooning fiddle, occasional organ and steel guitar, revealing this veteran Kiwi group remains a well-lubricated machine.
• The Warratahs. Runaway Days. Southbound Records.
• Four stars (out of five)
Single download: Mt Victoria Rain
For those who like: Bob Dylan, Paul Kelly
- Shane Gilchrist