Saturday, October 25, 2008

by Pilgrim Jake

Summerhaze (1987)

Below is an album i've not come across anywhere on the web and thought it well worth sharing.
The first (self titled) album of the band Summerhaze was released on Larrikin records in 1987 in Australia. Largely the work of Cathie O'sullivan, its front woman, its quite an unusual album. Her voice is clear,high and striking and is accompanied by her on harp on at least some traditional songs folk songs (eg cruel sister) with the other band members on percussion, strings and a sax. The sound falls somewhere between folk,folk-rock classical and elements of jazz. Many of the songs are written by Cathie. There is even a hint of psych-folk in some songs, especially on a few tracks of the second album. It was distinct then, and even today hard to pidgeon-hole. Part of a great fusion sound coming out of Australia at the time. I first heard on a wonderful radio program - Sunday Folk on ABC fm. Summerhaze did for folk what australian bands such as Sirocco did with world music- Play with a myriad traditions to breathe something new and distinctive of our landscape and intermingling of roots into music.

None of the Larrikin collection has ever been rereleased to my knowledge, and while this album was on both Vinyl and Cd, it has longs since been out of print. If folks like it, i'll put up their second album up.

And artwork here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG. I have been looking for material by Cathie O'Sullivan ever since I heard the band Mara cover her "Song of the Artesian Water" many years ago. More would be *** VERY *** welcome.


26 October, 2008 13:59  
Anonymous Gonzo said...

You found a winner there, this is one of those un-pidgeon-holeable albums, thats for sure, your description is perfect. There is so much beauty in the songs and arrangments that I've spent most of today listening to and editing it to remove the surface noise, my guess is the CD would be amazing, the LP after cleaning is pretty impressive.

More Please!!

Now I must get on with Mara!'s Images album, having been prompted by "RTJ"

28 October, 2008 00:52  
Blogger Pilgrim Jake said...

Hi Gonzo,

hey mate i'd love to know what tools you are using to clean the songs. I havent played enough and the software i've tried does a poor job. I'll put up the 2nd album soon, plus some other bits and pieces. If you have some super deluxe utilities i'd rather put up the cleaned files. Give me an email if you like. Add. is
Jak.OPilg... (as above name with O) at the Gmail.


29 October, 2008 05:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is just that I am an old geezer with hundreds of LPs, but I would accept the tradeoff of some surface noise for more high frequency content in the music. I have only had time to spot-listen to the Summerhaze files but they sound pretty good to me.

Each to his or her own taste, etc, YMMV, etc...

Gonzo: Mara's "Images" is a magnificent album. Especially if your vinyl copy lacks the bad crunchy sound mine has always had, in the quiet song "Past Caring." ("Song of the Artesian Water" was from a later Mara album though. At the moment I am not remembering which one.)

Again, thanks and appreciation to all.


29 October, 2008 11:04  
Blogger pawlyshyn said...

I've loved this album since I bought a copy when I was travelling and living in Australia in 1987. Much later, I found Summerheart too, although I can't find it anywhere now.
I also have a cassette of an earlier, more traditional recording by Cathie O'Sullivan and Cleis Pearce called High Places, which I could digitize and share if you like. It would be great if gonzo could share his cleaned-up version too.

09 November, 2008 03:09  
Anonymous Gonzo said...


I tried all sorts of combinations for your email address, all have been returned as invalid.

11 November, 2008 09:23  
Blogger Mike Bull said...

Thanks so much. I had this as an LP, now lost, and have been looking for it for years. I even emailed Cathie herself, but Larrikin was bought by Festival (from memory) and it was all vaulted.

Made my day. Please, more.

12 January, 2009 20:46  

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