Acclaimed jewel of dark country blues Cash Savage, and her band The Last Drinks, release their second LP The Hypnotiser on Friday 26 July. This stunning recording balances the soulful confessions of Cash’s compelling tales with evocative strings, triumphant horns, a 45-voice choir and the band leader’s impassioned cries of love, loss and despair.
The album opens with an ode to new love that rises and crashes over an immersive rhythm [‘Let Go’], followed closely by a remorseful companion piece dealing with the darkness of self-destruction [‘Something Better’]. The third song and title track, ‘Hypnotiser’, aches to be played through excellent headphones so the ferocity of Cash’s declaration, and the majesty of a full choir, hold impact over the whispered echo of its instructive lyrics.
Dealing with the unexpected passing of an irreplaceable friend, ‘Howling For Me’ is indicative of the stunning storytelling for which Cash is renowned. Similarly, ‘Five Boys, One Farm’ carries unavoidable farewells on lilting violin and mournful banjo.
Senseless violence fuelled by testosterone and booze overlays the fast-moving, Wild West gallop of ‘Bareknuckle Boogie’. This track is then softened by the tender intoxication of the album’s first, already released, single ‘I’m In Love’. ‘95kms To Sandy Point’ tells the incredible story of the hitch-hiking arsonist who lit Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, the unsuspecting driver who picked him up, and the resulting court case, at which the terrified witness must face his ex-girlfriend after many months of silence.
Concluding with the up-all-night rasp of ‘Early Morning Come Down Blues’ and the divine warmth of ‘Mother’s Lament’ – a hypnotically moving piece inspired by the words of Cash’s mother – the suite of songs on The Hypnotiser is at once beautiful, rugged, reckless, despairing, gentle, desperate, loving and raw.
The cohesiveness of the words and music is a more collaborative effort than on the band’s debut album, Wolf . Having spent the gulf between albums on the road — in country theatres, urban venues, the Famous Speigeltent, Meredith Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and the willow-shrouded Riverboats Music Festival alongside Pete Murray, Clare Bowditch and James Reyne — the once fluid Last Drinks lineup has solidified. Together this group of musicians has created a work that alludes to an undercurrent of drunken kinship polished with hard yards, while still retaining the soul for which Cash is known.
Produced by Melbourne-based engineers, Japanese-born Nao Anzai and Nick Finch from Graveyard Train, Cash commenced recording with none of the preconceptions that framed Wolf. The result is a searingly honest, powerful release of uncompromising heartbreak and unbound love that becomes more alive and personal with each listen.
“There are very few voices in this town that rival Cash Savage. Big, bold, honest and full of the kind of heartbreak and vitriol that makes grown men weep, hers is a voice that cannot be described,
Tristen Harris – RRR 102.7
“It’s almost like watching Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Burning with a violent passion one minute, then self-effacing the next…And it’s somewhat fascinating to watch. It’s like she’s possessed…This band is an institution.”
The AU Review
“Cash Savage And The Last Drinks are one of the few bands to ooze a very unique type of raw, deep-seated emotion through every song, a timeless quality which will no doubt mean longevity in the Australian country and blues scene.”
Madeleine O’Gorman - Unpaved
“The psychedelic country tunes are by turns breezy and hard, evoking a feeling akin to swinging on an old Hills Hoist clothesline in fresh country air.”
The Hypnotiser Album Tour
FRI 26 JUL - Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
SAT 27 JUL - Curtin Bandroom, Melbourne
Support from The Infants
THU 8 AUG - Hotel Steyne, Manly
SAT 10 AUG - GOODGOD, Sydney
Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (9.30pm)
Support from Twincest (8.30pm)
Tickets $10 + bf pre/ $12 door.
SUN 11 AUG - Grand Junction (Junkyard), Maitland
Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (6.30pm)
Support from Eaten By Dogs (5.00pm)
FRI 16 AUG - The Joynt, Brisbane
SAT 17 AUG - Royal Mail, Goodna
Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (5.00pm)
Support from Tim Neilson (3.30pm)
SUN 18 AUG - Café Le Monde, Noosa
Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (4.30 – 5.30pm)
Support from Tim Neilson (3.45 – 4.15pm)
Local support (3.00-3.30pm)
The Hypnotiser: out Fri 2 August via MGM