14 January, 2023
Being frustrated and held up by the pandemic, I am relieved to have at least finished and released my John Shaw Neilson album, ‘The Walking of the Moon-Woman’, during 2022 and to be nearing completion of my Henry Lawson album, ‘Cinderella’. I was of course hoping to release the Lawson album last year as this was the centenary year of the poet’s birth in 1922 but the endless delays due to lockdowns have made this impossible. All that is needed now is the addition of harmonica and percussion to the audio (postponed due to the musician getting Covid) and some extra female vocals. Then of course is the mixing and production of the album, CD cover and booklet.
After the disappointment of my major album launch of the Neilson album being sabotaged by Scott Morrison when he made my chosen date federal election day, I am delighted to be allocated a one hour concert at Port Fairy Folk Festival this year. This will be at 5 pm on the Saturday of the Labor Day long weekend in March, as part of the spoken word programme. However, although the concert will be advertised as ‘The Walking of the Moon-Woman’, I will also be launching my upcoming Lawson album ‘Cinderella’ at the same time. So I must now select six or seven songs from each album to be performed at this festival. Hopefully, I will organise at least a couple more launches of each album during this year as well. Both these Australian poets were contemporaries, with John Shaw Neilson born in 1872 and Henry Lawson in 1867, although Neilson outlived Lawson by twenty years, dying in 1942, while Lawson died in 1922. However, their poetry differed enormously, with Lawson mostly adhering to the more traditional bush ballad form and Neilson exploring a range of forms and styles – from rather mystical verse to simple, almost childish limericks.