Thursday, June 20, 2024

James Reyne’s Toon Town Lullaby

Releasing his first studio album in eight years is Australian icon James Reyne with Toon Town Lullaby on 10th July.

The hits have been flowing for more than 40 years for Reyne. Toon Town Lullaby coincides with the 40th anniversary of Australian Crawl’s classic debut album, The Boys Light Up.  Since then he has had 19 Top 40 hits (nine solo, seven with Australian Crawl, and three as part of Company of Strangers) and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1996.

One of Australia’s most renowned lyricists, Reyne addresses the muses in the title track of his new album, a song about songwriting, inspired by a writing trip to Nashville, the songwriting capital of the world – Toon Town. “I’m gonna leave my room and hand my gloom on to some other guy,” he sings. 

“When you’re writing a song, sometimes the muses will visit you and sometimes they don’t,” he explained. “With songwriting, you’re pretty much sitting alone in your room, not necessarily gloomy but you’re trying to make something out of nothing. You really are relying on your wits, and sometimes you’re at your wits’ end when nothing is coming.”

The album finds him sharing personal memories, with a heartfelt tribute to his best mate, Brad Robinson, on ‘The Tallest Man I Ever Knew’ but not settling to rest on his laurels, singing “That was then, this is now,” on ‘A Little Ol’ Town South Of Bakersfield’, adding “Don’t make the past your sacred cow.”

Produced by Dorian West and Reyne himself, Toon Town Lullaby is the man’s 12th solo studio album, the pairing played nearly everything on the record, with West’s daughter, Asha, adding some backing vocals, while Reyne’s longest-running musical partner, John Watson, played drums. That latter named duo have been playing together for 37 years, having gone to school together and formed Australian Crawl. “It’s almost ESP,” Reyne says of their connection. “He just plays my songs really well, he gets them. He’s a song drummer – he sits inside the song, he’s brilliant.”

The title track is out now as a single on Spotify here and you can watch the video for it right here at RAMzine.

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Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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