Producer: Matt Walker
Engineer: Dave Manton
Studio: the 8-Track
Mixed: by Dave Manton
and Matt Walker at Red Rocket Studio, Hawthorn
by Adam Dempsey at Jack the Bear's
Deluxe Mastering, Brunswick
the album at discount price:
Brod writes ...
I've known Matt since he was
He was one of the rare ones that you stumble upon over the years.
The ones who know who they are and play accordingly.
Most folks take a lifetime to find their voice but Matt seems to have
found his from the beginning.
I won't compare him to anybody like you normally do with most musicians
because he's an original and I've heard some young players from the States
who emulate him!
This album took a long time as most of mine do.
Life got in the way for both of us but we finally got it done.
We didn't spend too much time on making it but a lot on talking and
waiting for folks to be available.
What you hear are based pretty much on first takes with the original vocal
and guitar track.
"The Ring for example is one take. That's it. Just Matt n'
As usual with albums there were friendly arguments about parts, production
On one side you had me, a battered old hand who'd done 10 albums as a
solo, six in a band and countless sessions, and somewhat crazy. A
On the other side you had Matt with albums to his credit, as an artist and
a producer, an understanding of the world, a strong vision and the habit
of trying to win arguments by continuously talking at you with no break so
you couldn't get a word in.
Obviously you wait until the end and put in a quick " No."
Most times Matt won.
I enjoy working with Matt because we think alike a lot (not always...Matt
told me he likes Pink ) Hah hah.
And also I consider his family to be my family.
The beginnings of
Unknown Country were a collection of demos I had written with Brod
around 2006. A handful of songs that seemed to be a departure from his
previous work, they kept calling me back…wondering when their potential
would be further investigated. Bad Star and Walk into my Soul
showed a depth and imagery that reminded me why I love working with Brod
so much. He is his own man.
It seemed obvious to me that the album needed to focus on Brod’s
story-telling and his turn of phrase. The voice needed to be featured…It
needed to be taking up a lot of the sonic space…The Johnny Cash albums
produced by Rick Rubin were a huge inspiration to me and that’s how I
wanted to approach Unknown Country.
So a couple of years go by, as they do and Brod and I start getting
serious. “Let’s do this!” In 2008 in the space of a couple of months we
wrote the majority of the album. For something that was sitting on the
shelf for so long, it finally came together in a very short time. I called
in Dave Manton to engineer the sessions and we recorded the album in the
8-Track Shack over five days.
I went over the songs with Shannon Bourne, who had been gigging with Brod.
Shannon slotted in perfectly, his dexterity providing a foil for my lack
of it. Grant Cummerford helped out on a few tracks playing bass. We played
the songs mostly live with Brod in the room. Tapping into the lyrics we
headed into “unknown country” with acoustic guitars, pump organ and
I had written the music to the title track just after reading The Road
by Cormack McCarthy and the weight of the song seemed to bleed into the
whole recording. Brod wandered from place to place within the tracks, but
all the time we were a band of brothers…alone.
As is the way of recording, there were a couple of songs that teetered
from side to side as they found their strength and focus. The powerful ode
to boxing titled The Ring came together as Brod spat the words out
and I slammed an old Les Paul. The contrasts and scope of this album
became more apparent the further we delved.
Around this time Brod and I talked about the idea of asking Garth Hudson
to play on some tracks. They had worked together many moons ago and
through the internet had kept in touch. So after some kind assistance from
Vic Rocks we were able to include Garth on this album. He plays some
atmospheres on the title track and Bad Star, while on Jack
Napoleon from Cape Grim and What Goes Down Garth gets loose on
The album was now frighteningly close! Being careful not to over-ice the
cake, we asked Laurie Ernst to play some percussion and add some
harmonies. That done, it was then off to Red Rocket Studio for the final
Well, now it’s completed. The album I’ve wanted to make for some time is
now finished. I thank Brod for the trust he gave me and the opportunity to
produce this album for him.
click the cd covers
for details of Matt's