Gospel Noir is Terry Bradford's bastard child. Begat in a recording studio in 1993, it sprouted from the seed of Terry's desire to makecountry music. Not quite Nashville. Or Texas, for that matter Noteven Tamworth. Terry's vision of country is more a weather- board Anglican chapel in the grasslands outside Penola, where sinners come to contemplate where the hell it is they're goin'in they're lives - somewhere they can raise their voices in exaltation as they ponder the answer.

Of course, it isn't hip to address such lofty issues in song. But Gospel Noir is frighteningly hip. A new branch of new country. Smouldering cocktail jazz piano in bed with a howling pedal steel. A curtain of brushed snare drum and caressed double bass. And voices. A chorus of voices which would make angels weep. It says something about Terry's power as a catalyst to look at the assembly responsible for this noise. Sean Timms: keyboard player extraordinaire, previously with Mondo Rock, constantly in demand for sessions, yet committed to this quirky new sound because it excites and challenges him. Engineer James Clark rises to the challenge of providing a perfect rhythmic foil on bass. Seminal new wave drummer Roy Erzinger (a pioneer of the all-independent sounds of '81) returns for sublime brushwork on the skins. John Hyland adds dabs of distinctive pedal steel which insinuates, doesn't intrude. Denise Alexander-Grieve - the songstress from Adelaide duo Shamrock & Thistle and The Borderers - is introduced as a premiere vocalist, pushing and harmonising with Terry, soaring to glorious heights.

Like all great rock'n roll, Terry is wrestling with the eternal struggle.
He's riding the train between Salvation and Damnation, on an all stops ticket. And he's cool enough not to go preachin'. His characters are steering their own destiny, with eyes wide open. Sometimes frightening, sometimes romantic, always absorbing.


Gospel Noir - Terry Bradford Presents Gospel Noir