I'm a poor, struggling musician etc, etc… so appreciate any buying of my stuff. For music you can try JB HiFi, any good record store or order direct through the Head Records Website (or by phoning them on 1800 802 061 Phone Orders Australia; +61 3 9537 7155 Overseas Orders). There, you can purchase CDs, digital downloads (MP3, Flac and so on) or be passed through to the iTunes store. Prices go up, prices go down, so rather than rely on my memory do please check the site yourself.
Lovetown, New Kind of Blue, Wonderful life and Space Travel will all be on Head Records early next year as will Falling Swinger, Escapist and Unguided Tour. Check what's currently on their Basecamp site.
Released 17 February 2012. Initial recording at Atlantis studios, engineered by Dave McCluney. All supplementary recording and mixing at Bil'ls Three-track shack. Engineered & produced by Billy Miller. All songs by Stephen Cummings Publishing Mushroom Music. Cover painting Paul Worstead. Design & portrait painting Jim Pavlidis. Thanks to the musicians who all played for the fun, no money involved and Andrew Walker and Sheena at Head Records.
Billy Miller - all acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, piano, percussion, harmonies and programming. Bill McDonald - bass guitar on All Day, I Can't Stay Mad At You, Stupidity, Not In My Skin, and harmonies on, Not In My Skin. John Annas - drums on All Day, I Can't Stay Mad At You, Stupidity and The Cat & The Coq. Rebecca Barnard - harmonies on I Can't Stay Mad At You and Stupidity. Stephen Cummings - songs, vocals & lead guitar on All Day.
This is my successor to CLOSE UPS, my first retrospective on Liberation Music, which contained the more obvious choices or hits in my career and sold well. These bones are all good songs. I sang HOT DOG and VAMPIRE GIRL at the beginning of the Sports, they appeared on our first EP, which got favourably reviewed in the NME and led to a life in music. Happily, I don't have to gild the lily for you. For the most part it's been fun; I haven't ended up in the nut house. The music business is full of villains. At times, my music has been popular, other times it clicked with a clique. I've wanted to cram as many songs and recordings in to my life as I could. Liberation Music seized the opportunity to capitalize on my desire and set up the GOOD BONES Sessions. This album was great fun to make. Billy Miller and Shane O'Mara are enjoyable companions. There was no balancing of wine bottles or adrenalin filled moments. It was a joy ride; old Gibson guitars, soulful intensity and me gossiping like Gore Vidal. It's all about educating the masses on the music that I've written and has inspired me; the thunderous progenitor. GOOD BONES is hard in the hard bits and soft in the sad songs.
Noel Mengel, Courier Mail CD review / Stephen Cummings 'Tickety Boo' (Head) * * * * STEPHEN CUMMINGS is like that old weatherboard house you always fancied in your street. Architectural fashions and coats of paint come and go but that house is still looking good. And the craftsmanship in the construction is of a kind that's harder to find these days. All of his albums are good but Tickety Boo - his 15th solo studio set - is exceptional. It's a little more detailed in arrangement than some of his recent work but always tastefully so. In guitarist Billy Miller he has found a foil to match Andrew Pendlebury, who worked with him in The Sports and on some of his solo albums. The album is dedicated to Cummings' mum who died this year and he has done her proud. Songs like Here She Comes and Happy City are examples of the vigourrunning through the performances; the country-tinged (as per Van Morrison or The Rolling Stones) Great Stereo could have passed muster as a Sports single. And his love of rockabilly fuels the Buddy Holly wonder of Kiss Me Honey. Eyes Lock: Heart Stops is gentle, jazzy, you could imagine it floating from that house on your street on a summer night. And the thumping Bob Hope: the Death of Vaudeville and Television is another example of Cummings finding interesting subjects in popular culture. Cummings is one of the best singers we have and one of our most under-valued songwriters. Tickety Boo finds him in great form, the house still sturdy while plenty of others around it have been consigned to landfill.
Nobody Ever Could Feel This Way 04:13; It's Raining 03:31; Such Luck to be Alive 04:49; Poor Baby 03:51; Sad to Go 04:14; Shaped Like Love 03:46; Wishing Machine 04:09; The Half Light 04:55; The Night is Singing 05:14; Don't Talk to Me About Love 04:03; Because It's Spring 04:22; Straight to Your Arms 05:24
Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald: Stephen Cummings is a different type of writer to Randy Newman, though I suspect he's a fan. Cummings' humour is more often slipped under the radar, in the foibles of his imperfect characters or in a throwaway line whose pinprick is felt almost as an afterthought. More typically, it is observation and intuition about how we stumble through life that mark his songs. After a couple of busy sounding records, Happiest Man Alive is a more stripped back, almost unplugged album playing to Cummings' strengths: his storytelling ability, his warm voice, his sense of being right there in your life. There's the punchy and sharp-featured Sick Comedian (a title Newman has worn once or twice in his time), but elsewhere Cummings posits you in an anteroom, telling you stories against the background of guitar and occasional flecks of keyboards, the rhythm held back. This is a particular type of soul music, a blend of Texas and Melbourne. It's class all the way too.
This record is dedicated to the Memory of Ricky Nelson. This album has been a group effort from the start. So, I'd like to acknowledge all the participants. Thanks to 'Lucky' for the start-up drum loops. Chris Cheney and Ross Hannaford should definitely take a bow. Thanks to The Brains Trust at W-minc, Steve Miller & Graham Lee. Thanks also to Sebastian Chase and all at MGM. Importantly, thanks to Shane O'Mara who contributed his musical and engineering expertise. Thanks to the 'Lovetown' web-masters David Gilliver & Ross Robinson for their continued help. Thanks to Chris Beck for my promo photographs. And not to be forgettin' Andrew Walker for his help with the live shows and much more.
A live acoustic set with Shane O'Mara, recorded at Byron Bay, Easter 2002. First released as Live 2002 in April 2003. "It was a hot warm afternoon and I had driven for three days in an RV through floods and to get to Byron Bay for the Easter Festival. It was a magical 73 minute set in the big tent before Steve Earle. Shane O'Mara contrived a wall of sound from one guitar and though I was scared to death, I hung on for the ride. Everything was darker and heavier than you thought. Let me state for the record that when we arrived at the end of the set we were both exhausted. The audience danced madly. They looked like listless pink flamingoes. Our buddy Adam Rhodes recorded it. This music is live and raw and emotional. No overdubs! We don't have a problem with that. Never..."