Mexico

D Caf and I have been talking about doing this album for a couple of years … an album recorded in Melbourne and working with my very talented Melbourne friends. What started as a joke rapidly became the name of the album. Marian felt there should be a song called Mexico … so we wrote one.

A lot of the album is Damian and I with Carlos … the nylon string guitar that Marian bought me from the Salvation Army Shop in Yass for $25. D Caf loves that guitar and insisted that we used it on every track. Beyond that we just kept adding our Mexican friends.

The Weeping Willows (Andy and Laura) came in to work with me on The Roses Fall and Andy stuck around to add to some other songs. Jen was in Melbourne for a few days and recorded That’s Why Lonely People Drink with me. It’s a song I wrote with Luke Robinson that had sat around for years waiting for the right album … and the right singer. She also added killer vocals to a song I had written with Damian called Powerful Thing. I had met Pete Fiddler at the Americana Festival in Nashville in 2015 and was dying to work with him … so I did. Lachlan came to play piano and organ on our song It’s Not Nearly Time and stayed to add sparkle to some others. The legendary James Gillard kindly added some killer backing vocals and stand-up bass.

The other songs came from all over. Taken By The Wind and If Life Gives You Lemons were written with Keith Potger. Keith and I won a Golden Guitar together in 1983 for Song Of The Year. We thought 35 years was long enough to wait to write some more. Andy and I had written Losing Hand In A Dying Town and loved the idea but felt something was missing. The first rule of recording is never write a song while you’re recording in the studio … yeah right … we completely rewrote the song with Damian … that worked.

I wrote Drunks Like Charlie and Sucking My Darling Dry with Manfred Vijars and Life Imitating Art with Jen Mize in Canada (sorry Queensland). I wrote Why Everything’s So Pink with Charley Stefl in Nashville (the real one).

No Longer My Best Friend is, in my opinion, the best ever Caswell song. Damian and I completely wrote and recorded it in a single day. The rest of the album fell together around it. The song is fiercely autobiographical and is really a song about my life with Marian.

The day before I left for Mexico to record the final tracks for the album, I ran a master class on my back deck in the Mountains … we wrote Knowing That You’re There in a couple of hours. Thanks to Renee, Elizabeth, Jim, Richard, Glenn, Catherine, Cliff and Mark. The 10-track album that had blown out to 13 had now become 14.

So that’s the album. Mexico is as much D Caf’s record as it is mine. He ploughed all his skill, creativity and hard work into something he really believed in. A big thank you to Damian, Marian, Lachlan, Jen, Andy and Laura, Pete, James, Bill and Nia McMartin, all the other writers … (Marian, Damian, Lachlan, Charley, Manfred, Luke, Keith and the back deck team Renee, Elizabeth, Jim, Richard, Glen, Catherine, Cliff and Mark), Carlos and Big Kev, Aleyce Simmonds, Michael Carpenter, Allan Tomkins (Tomkins Guitars and Basses) my Mum Jean McGrath, David, Kim, Zoe, Georgia, Shannon, Dan, Ash, Georgia, Sam, Em, Dale, Tyler, Tom, Brian and Marlene, Steve and Sue … and our grandkids … Parker, Ivy, Reef, Jed and Laney … and to my 2 fathers Harry Caswell and Mick McGrath

… They do it for the music down in Mexico.

Allan Caswell has, for a number of years, been considered one of Australia’s most successful and most recorded songwriters. He is the go to co writer for many of Australia’s top Country Artists. He brings a wealth of experience, skill and craft to every writing session and in recent years he has been drawn more and more to passing on the knowledge, principles and tricks of the trade to new and established writers around the country in his songwriting workshops.

“I can teach you things in 5 minutes that took me 35 years of trial and error to learn and I can also teach you things that I learned in 5 minutes from someone else who had put in the 35 years … it’s about sharing and passing things on … and I’m passionate about it.”

 Allan Caswell’s performing, songwriting and recording will, in no way be compromised by the workshops. His album Carpenter Caswell with Michael Carpenter has been very successful and has already garnered them 4 Top 10 singles and his 50 YEARS IN OZ album, which has already produced the hits Golden Days (featuring The Weeping Willows) and the Number 1 single Nothing Left For Them and Hero Just The Same. He still has a huge writing and co writing schedule, which in 2016 achieved 64 recordings and in 2017 55 recordings of his songs in a single year.

His songwriting workshops have changed the balance of his touring schedule though. On a recent tour of Queensland, instead of the usual 5 shows and a workshop he did 4 workshops and 2 concerts.

“No two workshops are the same … my workshops are very question driven and always involve lots of ‘hands on’ songwriting. His Old Piano, which is one of the favorites from 50 YEARS IN OZ, was written as an exercise with 7 students at a songwriting workshop I ran in Theebine, Queensland.” A workshop in the Blue Mountains produced the song “Knowing That You’re There”, which will feature on his soon to be released album “Mexico”

 

Caswell loves the time he spends writing with the students at the Senior and Junior Academies of Country Music and the more formal songwriting workshops but the model that has evolved recently of  (the almost House Concert style) of find 10 enthusiastic songwriters … of any age, a comfortable room and do it … works really well. Caswell has already taken his workshops to a number of towns in Queensland, NSW and Melbourne and hopes to build on this in 2018.

TESTIMONIALS 

Great workshop on Saturday, I took a lot away from it, I can start on getting a few songs finished now. Jeff Hill

Thank you Allan for your great hospitality and your willingness to share your talents. It was a fantastic and enjoyable day with great people. Friendships were made but best of all everyone had so much fun. You are truly gifted. Mark Peagam

Had a great day. Well worthwhile and a lot of fun. Paul Crowder

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

 WIDGEE (Q) …                                      MARCH 17TH 2018

BLUE MOUNTAINS    …                       APRIL 7TH 2018

 TAMWORTH …                                     APRIL 14TH 2018

 CRANBOURNE WEST (VIC)               APRIL 21ST 2018

ALL ENQUIRIES: allan@allancaswell.com 0419218988

 

 

 

 

 

It’s 50 years since Allan Caswell and his family arrived in Australia from England. In that time Caswell has established a huge reputation as a singer/songwriter and almost legendary status in Country Music.

He is one of Australia’s most recorded songwriters with well over 600 of his songs being released around the world by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, Patti Page, The Irish Rovers, The Living End, Slim Dusty, Barry Humphries, Ricki May, James Blundell, Jasmine Rae, McAlister Kemp, Graeme Connors, The Wolfe Brothers, Anne Kirkpatrick, Chad Morgan, Lynne Hamilton, The Delltones, Jade Hurley, Ella Hooper among dozens of others.

Caswell has also built a big reputation as a writer of children’s songs as, among other projects, the cowriter and co-producer of the hugely successful Don Spencer albums.

In 1979 Caswell wrote the theme for the Australian television series “Prisoner” (Cell Block H in England) … “On The Inside” was a number 1 hit in Australia and New Zealand in 1979 and later reached number 3 in the UK and the Patti Page version made the country charts in the USA. After the success of “On The Inside” he went fulltime and has made a living writing and performing ever since. Recently rising star Seleen McAlister took the song to Number 1 on the Australian Country charts.

The plan is for Caswell to go back to as many of the places he has played over the last 50 years as he can. This is no easy task given that Caswell’s performing career has taken him to virtually every town in NSW to every state of Australia, New Zealand, LA, New York, Nashville, East Timor, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

A glittering career in Country Music in Australia has netted Caswell 7 Golden Guitars (Country Music Awards Of Australia) from 31 finalist nominations … he has also been awarded 10 songwriting Awards from the Tamworth Songwriters Association, including The Songmaker Award … a virtual Hall Of Fame for country songwriters. He has won 4 Awards at the Independent Country Music Awards (Southern Stars) including Album Of The Year for his last 2 albums. For the last 3 years there has been hardly a week when there hasn’t been at least one song (often 2 or 3) on the Australian Country charts. He is the go to cowriter for many of Australia’s top country artists.

2016 is off to a flying start with 2 nominations for the Golden Guitars and winning the coveted Golden Guitar for “Bush Ballad Of The Year” with good friend Manfred Vijars. He also scored a Top 10 record with “Shelly’s Song”

 To celebrate his “50 years in Oz”, Allan Caswell is also planning to make a long overdue return to his country of birth and plans to mark the occasion by performing a series of concerts to showcase the writing and performing abilities of this iconic Australian artist.

If you would like to be part of 50 Years In Oz, contact Allan Caswell on 0419218988 or 02 47881060, allan@allancaswell.com or go to  www.allancaswell.com