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THE DARLING DOWNS
In The Days When The World Was Wide
Label: Generic (Australia)
Catalogue No: (DD3)
Format: CD (gatefold cardboard sleeve)
Released: July 2013
Price: $ 22.00
 
The Darling Downs - In The Days When The World Was Wide
"And all was wonderful, new and strange in the days when the world was wide" - Henry Lawson

The Darling Downs: two men, one mission. Kim Salmon (Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon, the Surrealists) and Ron S. Peno (Died Pretty) form a duo with the power of a band, with Ron's majestic vocal beautifully complemented by Kim's expressive guitar and banjo. Two artists who refuse to rest on past glories, continuing to plough the fields, creating new material.

In The Days When The World Was Wide is their third album together, and their first in six years. Friends for more than three decades, they met in Sydney in 1982. Years later, after a Surrealists show, Ron greeted Kim backstage. "Kim," he suggested, enthusiastically, "we've got to make a country record together!" A career-retrospective Kim Salmon residency at Fitzroy's Old Bar reunited the pair in 2012. "We never broke up," Ron says, "we just had a break." As Ron sings in There Were Tears, "the road never ends".

This time around, Ron says, The Darling Downs have moved on in time and space, from Appalachia of the 1940s to Greenwich Village of the '60s; Pet Sounds, country gospel and Burt Bacharach; a potent mix of folk, bluegrass and indie rock. The record was produced by Ron, Kim, Mike and Soundpark Studios' Idge (Andrew Hehir). Ron and Kim's work is augmented by contributions from musicians Mike Stranges and Julitha Ryan. Ron considers the album a career high, one of the finest things he's done. "I don't like everything I do," he says, "but I'm really proud of this record. I can't stop playing it."

These are songs "drowned in the sorrows"; magical melodies mixed with a high lonesome sound. Tales of redemption, longing and lament, joy and searing honesty. These are simple songs that stir the soul. The Darling Downs take you to another place. In The Days When The World Was Wide.

"With Salmon often infusing the guitar lines with deft lilts and melodies, grasping each song is sometimes as difficult as interpreting a smoke signal in a storm, the ever-shifting qualities of the music making it difficult to categorize. The experience mesmerizes..." - The Age
Tracklisting: (50:03 m:s)
  1. Saved
  2. Forever Night
  3. Down To The River
  4. Wish You Were Her
  5. There Were Tears
  6. I Don't Care
  7. Between The Forest And The Trees
  8. Higher When They Fall
  9. Light Of The World
  10. Like Desire
  11. Your Face