The Queensland Tiger is an Australian musician, who started his music journey later in life when he learnt to play piano in his 50’s. He has a life long love for traditional folk music and classic Australian poetry which he gained growing up as an Australian.
About five years after he started to play, The Queensland Tiger took to the studio to record his first track, a rendition of ‘Andy’s Gone with Cattle’ (words by Henry Lawson, tune by the late Hugh McDonald). Many other recordings of traditional folk songs followed.
‘Convicts and Bushrangers’ is his first album. The Queensland Tiger plays keyboards and sings, and is joined by various talented accompanists. The album is a fond reminder of Australian stories written at a time when poems and songs were widely circulated, and performed by locals. This is an album of fourteen mainly traditional ballads, but some of the arrangements are original e.g. ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’. The Queensland Tiger attempts to breathe new life into these old ballads and this will appeal to modern listeners.
What makes this album more interesting is that the songs are arranged chronologically, and the listener may take a tour through the past. The opening track, “Jim Jones at Botany Bay” refers to the first convict settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788, and the final three songs are about the Kelly gang, the last of the famous bushrangers. The Kelly’s were at large in the 1870s, and Ned Kelly was hanged in 1880, so the whole album covers a period of nearly 100 years of colonial era history.
The Queensland Tiger has been influenced by such folk artists as the Bushwackers, Chris Kempster, Shirley Jacobs, Gary Shearston, Hugh McDonald, and Penny Davies and Roger Illot, to name only some. The Queensland Tiger is passionate about keeping folk music alive and passing on this rich tradition to future generations.
This is the first of many traditional folk albums to come from this artist, with the second album currently in the works. Future albums will feature Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, and other poets.