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Hamish Anderson tells Jen his favourite albums of all time.



Melbourne’s own roots/rock aficionado Hamish Anderson is gearing up for a massive 2019, with the release of his latest single Breaking Down, a gritty, threatening rock track that must be listened to with the volume knob fully cranked, out now.  Breaking Down is an early taste of the upcoming album from Hamish, entitled Out Of My Head; an eclectic and exciting collection of songs from this young artist who has already blown the world away with his talent, out May 2019.  Hamish will play his first Australian shows since 2017 alongside the one and only Gary Clark Jr. as main support, kicking off in Sydney at the Enmore Theatre on April 18, then moving through Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, and wrapping up at the Perth Concert Hall on April 27.

Hamish’s Fav albums of all time.

ALBUM: Time Out Of Mind

ARTIST: Bob Dylan

I was definitely torn between this and Blood on The Tracks for my favourite Dylan album, but Time Out Of Mind has really had a huge influence on me and my music and was a turning point for Dylan creatively.

This was Dylan’s 30th album so the fact that after so many albums he was still reinventing himself and putting out incredible work is pretty amazing in itself.

The whole album is so dark and vibey, it just immediately drew me in. I was really drawn to it because Dylan was really embracing the blues on this album, but taking it somewhere different. He was taking the feeling of the blues and running with it. There are nods to Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry throughout and even Neil Young (who gets a name drop on “Highlands”).

The songs deal with breakups (“Lovesick”, “Standing In The Doorway”) paranoia (“Cold Irons Bound”) and even Dylan’s own mortality (“Not Dark Yet”). “Not Dark Yet” had a particularly massive impact on me when I first heard it and I was really just starting to try and find my own voice as a writer, Dylan can create such imagery and create these amazing stories with just a few words that it was a massive influence on me.

I recommend this album to anyone who is familiar with Dylan’s classic albums (Blonde On Blonde, Highway 61 etc), but maybe hasn’t explored his later work.

ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

ARTIST: The Rolling Stones

Again, this one was a hard choice between this and Exile on Main Street, but I think I always come back to Sticky Fingers as just a start to finish incredible album.

I love the range on this album, stylistically The Stones go from Rock and Roll (“Brown Sugar”) to the Santana-like outro on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, Delta Blues (“You Gotta Move”) Soul (“I Got The Blues”)  Country (“Dead Flowers)… and “Wild Horses” which I believe is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

The Stones are my favourite band and to me this is them at their absolute peak. Keith Richards’ tone on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” might be the greatest I’ve ever heard, and Mick Taylor’s solo on the outro is the icing on the cake.

ALBUM: Wildflowers

ARTIST: Tom Petty

Tom Petty has so many incredible albums, but I think Wildflowers is his masterpiece. Again, like with Bob Dylan, this was a later album in Tom Petty’s career after he had made so many milestone albums that it’s so inspiring to see an artist grow and evolve throughout their entire career…it’s very rare.

I had never really heard Petty’s music until I was about 20. I was recording my first EP and the producer said some of the songs reminded him of Tom Petty. I wasn’t familiar with his music so I went out and bought Wildflowers, The Heartbreakers debut album and Full Moon Fever. Immediately I was hooked. I heard everything I loved in The Stones, The Beatles and Dylan in his music and I really connected with the tone of his voice and writing.

Petty made Wildflowers with producer Rick Rubin and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and it was a return to the more stripped down live sound of The Heartbreakers after some more produced albums by Jeff Lynne. The producer of my albums, Jim Scott, actually engineered Wildflowers and won a Grammy for his engineering work on it. While working with him, I picked his brain endlessly for stories about the making of that album.

There’s a bit of a theme with the albums I’ve chosen in that they are all very eclectic stylistically..that’s something that really grabs my ear. Wildflowers again explores so many different genres (Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Country, Ballads).

For an example of its range, listen to the Slim Harpo inspired blues rave up “Honey Bee” and then the beautiful delicacy of the title track “Wildflowers”…now that’s range!

ALBUM: Grace

ARTIST: Jeff Buckley

I can’t remember how I discovered Jeff Buckley’s music, but I’m thankful that I did. He was such a huge influence on me particularly with growing a deeper interest in being a songwriter and singer. Its still mind blowing that he only had one officially released studio album, but what an incredible album and legacy he left behind.

Grace is such an amazing album that again shows so much range and mixes influences from Nina Simone to Led Zeppelin and back again.

Everyone always talks about “Hallelujah” and it is undeniably a masterwork but people don’t talk enough about Buckley’s own compositions on the album like the haunting “Mojo Pin”, the melancholy “Last Goodbye” and the absolutely mind blowing masterpiece that is “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”.

The album is a massive influence on me artistically and Jeff Buckley (along with Keith Richards) was definitely an influence on me selecting a blonde Fender Telecaster as my main guitar.

ALBUM: All Things Must Pass

ARTIST: George Harrison

All Things Must Pass is George Harrison’s masterpiece and a testament to how incredible he was as a singer songwriter and guitarist.

After having played second fiddle a bit in The Beatles to John and Paul, this was his moment to show the incredible stock pile of songs he had been writing throughout The Beatles and after their break up in 1970. Everything about this album is amazing, the wall of sound production, the songs and the incredible band which included Eric Clapton (and his new band Derek and The Dominos) Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Peter Frampton, Bobby Keys. You can hear George Harrison coming into his own as a frontman and songwriter and also particularly as a guitarist, it was on this album that he discovered his signature slide guitar sound that sounded like a voice singing or crying like the incredible guitar line on “My Sweet Lord”.

The first track on the album “I’d Have You Anytime” was written by George Harrison and Bob Dylan featuring Eric Clapton on guitar..that’s a pretty great start to an album. There are so many great songs “My Sweet Lord”, “Isn’t It A Pity”, “Awaiting on You All” and the incredible and haunting “Beware Of Darkness” which is still as relevant today as it was in 1970 with lyrics like

“Watch out now, take care beware of greedy leaders. They take you where you should not go/while weeping atlas cedars/They just want to grow. Beware of darkness”.

All Things Must Pass is a true work of art.



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HA poster

On Breaking Down, it’s pretty easy to see why Total Guitar named Hamish Anderson one of their Top 10 Best New Guitarists in 2018 – like a bull at a gate, chugging guitars provide an irresistibly catchy bed for some ripper riffs the track progresses.  This track is overflowing with pent-up frustration and undeniable passion, and it’s a mouth-watering concoction for some killer classic Americana-rock, as Hamish explains, Breaking Down definitely explores the more rock and roll side of my music.  I was sitting around one day playing guitar and suddenly just started playing the riff, all the lyrics came basically at once so it was written very quickly.  I’d had an argument earlier that week with someone I know so I think some of that definitely crept into its inspiration.  I  just wanted to turn the volume all the way up and get out everything that was on my mind.”


While Breaking Down is a superb example of rollicking rock, it is just one of many genres that Hamish dips his toes into on the new album Out Of My Head.  Americana, soul, pop, roots, blues, rock; that’s a lot of ground to cover, but Hamish does it with a natural ease that’s far beyond his years.  The mellow (What You Do To Me, Damaged Goods) and the upbeat (No Good, You Give Me Something) tracks on this record sit comfortably next to each other; all buoyed by a knack for clever, hook-driven songwriting and a clear, burning passion that drives the music from the first strum to the last.  Hamish enthuses, “I really wanted to take my time and write as many songs as I could for this album.  I wasn’t writing to a specific genre or sound, rather I let the songs reveal what they wanted to be… The album explore themes of alienation and defiance, mixed with unabashed love songs and even observations on what’s happening in the world around us.  Certain songs had themes that I hadn’t explored in my writing previously.  I feel I really went a lot deeper in the writing of these songs then I had ever done before.  Most are universal feelings that I feel people can relate to.  Once again, I got very lucky to work with a really great, talented group of people on Out Of My Head including producer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Tedeschi Trucks, Wilco) who I had worked with on my debut album Trouble.  Jim is an incredible producer/engineer and we work in a very similar way — it’s always an amazing experience working with him.”


Anyone who presses play on Breaking Down will no doubt understand that this is the kind of music that is made to be played live to a pulsing, enthusiastic crowd.  Hamish is thrilled to be hitting the road with the legendary Gary Clark Jr., as he gives fans a taste of what to expect, “I’ve been working so much in the US for the past four years that to be coming home to play – and especially these particular shows supporting Gary Clark Jr (who i’m a massive fan of) — is truly huge for me.  Regarding the live shows, people can expect a mixture of blues, rock and roll and soul. I’m playing as a trio at the moment so it allows us to get down to the meat and potatoes of the songs, rock and roll with no frills.  I’ve played so many different type of gigs over the past four years that as a performer I think I’ve become more confident, focused and I’m just having a lot of fun with it.”









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