26 September 2023

Last Night and Us, and When The Flood Comes

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Audreys, ABC Music 2006/2008.

This review is a tribute to the late great Tristan Goodall who died earlier this month at the age of 48 and was one half of the wonderful song writing duo who created The Audreys.

The Audreys are an Australian blues/roots band that began in Melbourne as a duo involving Taasha Coates on vocals, ukulele, melodica and harmonica, and Tristan Goodall on banjo and guitar.

They met while at university in Adelaide and relocated back there in early 2004 adding Tristan’s brother Cameron on bass and backing vocals and Michael (Mikey G) Green on violin and lap steel guitar and backing vocals.

They self-released a five track EP, You and Steve McQueen (2005), which caught the attention of radio DJs around the country with two tracks, Oh Honey and the title track, gaining airtime.

Their fortunes really took an upturn with the release of their debut album Last Night and Us (2006) which featured their first two singles plus the follow-up single Banjo & Violin.

The album won the ARIA award for Best Roots And Blues Album (2006) and many of its tracks were used in the TV series Rain Shadow.

This success was replicated with their next album When The Flood Comes.

It also won the ARIA for Best Roots And Blues Album (2008) and the tracks Small Things and Lay Me Down have been used in television shows and soundtracks both in Australia and the USA.

What made the Audreys so good was their ability to seamlessly blend country, folk rock, and roots/blues into a package that was melodic but not cliched and syrupy.

It’s territory that many other performers have explored, some with great success and others less so, however few did it better than The Audreys.

Another reason, and perhaps the major one, for their success was the strong friendship and symbiotic relationship between Tristan Goodall and Taasha Coates.

Tristan’s wonderfully expressive and understated guitar playing complimented Taasha’s fantastic vocal delivery.

Each provided what the other needed for the chemistry to work and Taasha’s loss of writing partner will be painful for her on many levels.

Taasha had released a solo record, Taasha Coates and Her Melancholy Sweethearts, in 2016 which had a harder edge than most of the stuff released by The Audreys.

It’s a great album and she has indicated that The Audreys will continue with a new line-up but there will always be a space where Tristan should be.

If you haven’t heard any of The Audreys songs I strongly recommend both of their breakthrough albums.

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