Bill Jackson

Bill Jackson

 Prahran, Victoria, AUS
SoloAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

About Bill Jackson: '...his music has that certain dust on it that songwriters like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt bring/brought to their song...(Frank Gutch Jnr - acousticmusic.com)

Biography

Bill Jackson is fast becoming known as one of Australias finest songwriters within the country folk genre. Think Dylan, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt all wrapped up in his most recent release the critically acclaimed Jerilderie. His previous full-length release Steel & Bone was awarded Folk Alliance Australia Radio Presenters Album of the Year in 2008 and he was invited to tour the US alternative country hotspots later that same year with his Acoustic Orchestra (Peter Fidler / Ruth Hazleton).

Most of his songs are co-written with his brother Ross and have been described as engaging, plainspoken and articulate songs about Hank, Morphine, High Country Lovers and our shared common experiences. His music hints at country folk fringe roots with sparse arrangements, darkly-drawn images and lyrics that cast deep impressions.

Jackson was invited back to showcase at the International Folk Alliance Convention in Memphis in 2010/2011 and to play gigs at selected venues like The Bluebird Caf in Nashville and the WDVX Blue Plate Special.

He returned home in early 2010 to support internationals Eleanor McEvoy and Chris Smither as part of the Brunswick Music Festival and to work the EP he recorded in Nashville with Peter Fidler and Nashville friends The Nashville Session.

Jackson was nominated for an APRA Professional Development Award (Songwriting) in February 2011 and completed a third tour to the US that same year where he recorded Jerilderie, released on Laughing Outlaw Records in September 2011 and launched at Melbournes Caravan Music Club in February, 2012.

Jackson has spent most of 2012/2013 touring the country heavily with Pete Fidler and Ruth Hazleton in support of Jerilderie, as well as immersing himself in the rich country folk singer/songwriter scene in Melbourne.

Recent highlights have included working and touring with Nashville legends David Olney, Sergio Webb, Kieran Kane and David Francy and playing Festivals such as The Brunswick Music Festival, Newstead Live, The Maldon Folk Festival and The National Folk Festival in Canberra, as well as being invited to record tracks on tribute albums for Bob Dylan, Eric Bogle and Bruce Springsteen. He has also been writing and road testing many new songs to be recorded for a new album later in 2013.

Coming to a venue near you soon

Recent Performances include:
'Jerilderie' Album Launch - The Caravan Music Club
Roberts (Broadway - Nashville, 2011) with Will Kimborough & Otis Gibbs
The Bluebird Cafe - In the Round with David Olney / Eric Brace / Danny Schmidt (2011)
Blue Plate Special - Knoxville (2011)
Memphis (International Folk Alliance 2010/2011)
Moonlight on the Mountain - Birmingham AL (2011)
5Spot - Nashville (2011)
The Family Wash - Nashville (2011)
Browns Diner - Nashville (2011)
Norms River Roadhouse (Nashville 2010)
'In the Round' with David Olney & Irene Kelley (Nashville 2010)
The Brunswick Music Festival (2010/2013)
The Troubadour Weekend (2009)
US Tour Sept 2008 (LA, Austin & AMA Conference / Gigs in Nashville)
US Tour (2010)
US Tour (2011)
Maldon Folk Festival (2012)
Newstead Festival (2012)
Port Fairy Festival - Victoria, AUSTRALIA (2008)
National Folk Festival - Canberra, , AUSTRALIA (2011/2012)
Tamworth Country Music Festival - NSW, AUSTRALIA (2008)
Cygnet Festival - Tasmania, AUSTRALIA (2008)
Mossvale Festival - Victoria, AUSTRALIA (2007)
Meeniyan Hall - Victoria, AUSTRALIA (2008)

Lyrics

Long Way From Water

Written By: Bill Jackson

Long way from Water

I was born a long way from water
And I was raised in a one-horse town
A joint on Sunday’s and a young boys freedom
In a land of plenty where the wheels went ‘round

My mother said that he drank too much
Smoked tobacco way too much
She always said she didn’t mind too much
He was the soul of this workin’ land

I don’t know when I first felt love
I’m thinkin’ now was that cold dark night
Four children and a mother shivering in terror
Entombed by alcohol and a bare street lamp

Bein’ born the youngest I was left alone
Two sisters and a brother flyin’ outa home
Left me helpless, weak and torn
Lookin’ for love in the eye of a storm

I was born a long way from water
And I was raised in a one-horse town
A joint on Sunday’s and a young boys freedom
In a land of plenty where the wheels went ‘round

Red Sandy Bed

Written By: Peter Cole

Red Sandy Bed (Peter Cole)

See that clear water fallin – fallin out of the sky
It darkens the ground and dampens the sound
Of the heat and the dust and the flys

At night we lay there just dreamin and we sang like a hillbilly choir
Come morning thats wher you’ll find us
Coaxin some heat out of the fire

Nothing seems to matter so sorry
I just wont be home when I said
Cause tonight thats where you’ll find me
Layin in my Red Sandy Bed

Ive seen it so cold in the desert – my fingers were chilled to the bone
Ah but nothing seems worse than the cold and the hurt
And the heartbreak I left back at home

But always the desert keeps callin and sometimes I answer the call
The pubs and the tracks I never will look back
The city – no answer at all

Nothing seems to matter so sorry
I just wont be home when I said
Cause tonight thats where you’ll find me
Layin in my Red Sandy Bed

Bring 'Em On Home

Written By: Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson


Bring Em on Home (Bill Jackson / Ross Jackson)

It begs to reason almost absurd
To go where command is a nod and a word
Sanctioned by money supplied by us all
To kill or be killed that’s a hell of a call

So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home
They don’t have to be gone one more second too long
They know how to fight we know they are brave
The whole world’s full of their forefathers grave

The strength that she feels during daylight
Is all wept away by the cover of night
She hears people screamin’ see’s fire and smoke
Death and destruction surroundin’ her bloke

So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home
They don’t have to be gone one more second too long
They know how to fight we know they are brave
The whole world’s full of their forefathers grave

Ther’s talk of rain here soon my child
You don’t have to be where the climate is wild
You raised me to know wrong from right
And its wrong to be fighting when it’s not your fight

So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home
They don’t have to be gone one more second too long
They know how to fight we know they are brave
The whole world’s full of their forefathers grave

So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home
And five years in Cuba was way too long
So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home
So Bring Em on Home - Bring Em on Home

Tex (Steel & Bone)

Written By: Bill Jackson

Tex (Bill Jackson)

Tex woke up this morning with that same familiar stare
He decided at that moment he weren’t ridin’ anywhere
He had the strangest feelin’ as the herd pulled outa sight
Been thirty years since he lay prone in the mornin’ light

Well he stayed in that position for what must have been a week
Dreamed about his mothers arms and how she used to speak
Like the gun inside his holster made from the finest steel and bone
Memories sparkled in the light and he longed to be back home

Steel and Bone, Steel and Bone
Tex got a gun made of Steel and Bone

Dust and wind and heat and floods and flies and mud and rain
Just become a way of life and it kept him on the train
He always knew that a woman was just around the bend
He could always say that he had to ride - he’d be seeing her again

Close your eyes and picture this- a classic bar room fight
Cards and beer and whisky…and a cheatin’ dealers spite
He lost his whole months wages…he was tired and drunk and stoned
Tex got challenged from behind so he pulled out the Steel and Bone

Steel and Bone, Steel and Bone
Tex pulled out the Steel and Bone

Tex woke up this morning with that same familiar stare
In a room with a bed and a bible and no signs to anywhere
He had the strangest feelin’ as he heard the house wake up
‘Cause he had 30 years in a prison cell to wind the whole thing up…

Steel and Bone, Steel and Bone
Tex lives in a house made of Steel and Bone

Auld Lang Syne (We Had Time)

Written By: Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson

Auld Lang Syne (We Had Time) - Bill Jackson / RossJackson

Shine on shine on star in the sky
Your faded love put’s a tear in my eye
Cry on cry on lonesome last train
You hurt so much and I feel the pain
We had time we had time
Auld Lang Syne

Ride on ride on there’s shadows to meet
And a dead man is ridin’ on the cold back seat
An angel of mercy on a lost highway
With the honky tonk blues on New Year’s Day
We had time, we had time
Auld Lang Syne

Outside the ocean is rolling on in
Washin’ away the original sin
The ghost of Hank Williams hung in the air
Drinking our whisky with a cold, cold stare
We had time, we had time
Auld Lang Syne

Along For the Ride

Written By: Bill Jackson / Ross Jackson

Along For The Ride

Women and children to the lifeboats
Every man here for himself
Cling to anything you think will float
And deal with the hand that you’re dealt
I got nothing to hold on to
Nothing to lose or to hide
I don’t know where we’re going to
I guess I’m just along for the ride

Hold on tight to me darling
This is going to be some ride
We’re heading for hell or to heaven
Depending on what we decide
Leave nothing on the table
This is going to be do or die
I don’t know where I’m headed to
I guess I’ just along for the ride

Neon lights don’t phase me
I’ve never been one for a plan
I don’t need nobody to save me
I’m happy just where I am
One more round for the jukebox
One more for living a lie
I don’t know here I’m headed to
I guess I’m just along for the ride

Honeymoon Gully

Written By: Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson

Honeymoon Gully

When the spring hits the hills on the Gibbo across Trolley Wheel Gap
The wild flowers bud in the Nariel Valley and along the Wild Boer Track
Across Stacey’s Bridge past the old Mill the wind hints of a frost
While at Willow Crossing the word went out two young lovers been lost

They took to the hills in an August shiver - the Romeo ‘n Juliet of the Snowy River
Away in the moonlight hand in hand - just bein’ alone was the sum of their plan

When winter hits the hills and silvers the bush across Sassafras Gap
Warm is the bed of old gossip long dead up around Simpson’s Track
The road still winds into Corryong Town where memories still prevail and…
At Willow Crossing where the creek runs clear they’re still tellin’ the tale how…

Up in the clouds they camped for a week - made love by the moonlight and the sing of the creek
While the whole town searched gut sick with worry - till a small hang of smoke led to their Honeymoon Gully

They took to the hills in an August shiver - the Romeo ‘n Juliet of the Snowy River
The years have passed on, the story’s long gone – they still call it Honeymoon Gully

Three Sheets to the Wind

Written By: Bill Jackson/Ross Jackson

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND

I’ll be home on the night train the day I fly in
With my brand new plan to start over again
I think I found me a way to try and make amends
But I’ve crashed before on her curves and her bends

You can’t trust that whisky, the beer, wine or gin
If you’re drinkin’ to forget her she’ll just front back again
You’ll end up just sittin’ there right back where you been
Starin’ down a big hangover three sheets to the wind

The blue sea the hot sand the sun through the shade
The dancin’ shadows when the palm fronds sway
Ain’t nothin’ here to think about this hot summer day
Except that same old heartache one stray thought away

The cruel wind, cold rain the debt that he paid
For comin’ back home with that plan that he made
She’s gone in search of the sun - up north they say
To the blue sea ,the hot sand where the palm trees sway

I’ll be home on the night train the day I fly in
With my brand new plan to start over again
I think I found me a way to try and make amends
But I’ve crashed before on her curves and her bends

Something in Blue

Written By: Bill Jackson / Ross Jackson

Something In Blue

Ain’t got no silver ain’t got no gold
Just this one dollar to hang on to your hold
Go out and buy something in blue
It’s the only thing left to do
‘Cause blue - blue looks good on you

Ain’t got no bullion no treasure chest
Just this one dollar and the cold wind from the west
Go out and buy something in blue
It’s the only thing left to do
‘Cause blue - blue looks good on you

Ain't got no diamonds or ruby’s to hold
Just this one dollar, the wind, the rain and road
Go out and buy something in blue
It’s the only thing left to do
‘Cause blue - blue looks good on you

I was born like a restless wind
But lovin’ you changed everything
Go out and buy something in blue
It’s the only thing left to do
‘Cause blue - blue looks good on you

Discography

Solo:
Bill Jackson: JERILDERIE (2011) Laughing Outlaw Records
Bill Jackson:THE NASHVILLE SESSION (2010) Soundvault Records
Bill Jackson: STEEL + BONE (2008) Soundvault Records
Bill Jackson: DIGGIN' THE ROOTS (2006) Soundvault Records
Collaborations:
Bill Jackson/Mark McSherry: THE HURTING SESSIONS (2003)
Urban Nomads: LONG WAY FROM WATER (2002) Double Diamond
Urban Nomads: INVISIBLE (1999) Double Diamond
Urban Nomads: THE CIRCLE OF LEAST CONFUSION (1995) Double Diamond
Tribute Album Tracks:
Eric Bogle (2011
Bob Dylan (2012)
Bruce Springsteen (2013)

Set List

Prefer 45-75 minute set length. Mostly perform originals, as heard on my albums. Very occasionally include covers, where appropriate.