:: The Darling Downs ~ Simple Pleasures: an introduction ::
This sampler containing 2 songs from each of the three albums so far by The Darling Downs.
Sometimes the most powerful music is the simplest: The Darling Downs is two men, one mission. A duo with the power of a band, with Ron S. Peno’s majestic vocal beautifully complemented by Kim Salmon’s expressive playing.
The Darling Downs is two artists who need no introduction: Kim Salmon (Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon, the Surrealists, Salmon, The Business, Precious Jules, Antenna with Dave Faulkner, and Runaways with Spencer P Jones) and Ron S. Peno (Died Pretty, Ron S. Peno and The Superstitions). Two artists who refuse to rest on past glories, continuing to plough the fields, creating new material.
Kim and Ron have been friends for more than three decades. They met in Sydney in 1982 when the Scientists were doing a residency at the Vulcan. Years later, after a Surrealists show, Ron greeted Kim backstage. “Kim,” he suggested, enthusiastically, “we’ve got to make a country record together!”
“I wasn’t sure if he was just drunk, or if it was just something to say,” Kim recalls, laughing. But when Ron relocated to Melbourne in 2003, Kim got in touch. “Maybe it’s time we made this country album?” The result was The Darling Downs’ acclaimed debut, How Can I Forget This Heart Of Mine? “The experience mesmerises,” declared The Age. Ron and Kim donned suits and ties – “The Louvin Brothers meets GQ,” laughs Ron, who dubbed the sound “country-politan”. A second album, From One To Another, followed in 2007, and was described as “Appalachian jazz”.
The third album, In The Days When The World Was Wide sees Ron and Kim’s work augmented by contributions from Mike Stranges and Julitha Ryan. This time around, Ron says, The Darling Downs have moved on in time and space, from Appalachia of the 1940s to Greenwich Village of the ’60s. The record was produced by Ron, Kim, Mike and Soundpark Studios’ Idge (Andrew Hehir), and funded by “benefactor” Barry Williams, a fan who urged Ron and Kim to return to the studio.
“It’s a songwriting cliché to say ‘the songs come from somewhere else’,” Kim says, “and I normally refute that idea. But I cannot explain why writing with Ron works; it’s mysterious. And because it’s mysterious, it seems quite magical.”
These are simple songs that stir the soul. A potent mix of folk, bluegrass and indie rock. The Darling Downs take you to another place.
The Darling Downs:-
Ron S. Peno – voice
Kim Salmon – banjo, guitar
How Can I Forget This Heart Of Mine? (2005)
From One To Another (2007)
In The Days When The World Was Wide (2013)