The Colemans
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The Colemans

Band Folk Acoustic


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"The Colemans Album Review"

The vibrant, orange poppy unfurling across the cover of this self-titled debut album gives a perfect clue to the beauty and vitality that imbues the music of Tasmanian family band The Colemans.

The Colemans are John and his three grown children Susannah Coleman-Brown, Jonno and Chris and together they create a musical fusion full of energy and the genius of simple story telling.

Drawing richly on the theme of journey, the album weaves through 12 songs with Susannah, Chris, Jonno and John variously taking the lead vocals to reveal their talent as experienced singer-songwriters in their own right.

Lively and playful in one track, reflective and poignant in the next, their music defies classification as it traverses a variety of styles and moods. Yet each track conveys true empathy and the intimate sense of being in the company of good friends.

Masterful acoustic guitar and percussion set an ever changing pace, with mandolin, electric guitar, bass and one celebratory harmonica piece bringing powerful light and shade.

Uniting their work is an intuitive blend of harmonies and melodies finely honed through many years jamming around the huon pine kitchen table of the family home in the Lenah Valley north of Hobart. Their joy and sheer exhilaration in creating music together is palpable.

Susannah breaks free with “Going, Going, Gone” bringing the full impact of her vocal range to bear, combining a soulful vulnerability with glorious strength and passion. Chris takes another direction with a cheeky pub ballad, “Sailor’s Love Song” about young love that weathers the storms of life. The mood shifts with “Keep Driving”, an intense, yearning piece by Jonno. Then John takes up the lead with a reflective guitar ballad, “Trouble With My Diary”, which builds gradually with a steely resolve to move on in life with self-acceptance.

The song-writing is superb with memorable lines like “I left my in-tray full for the bright sunlight” and the off-beat brilliance of “If God Said”. Images of the natural beauty so beloved of Tasmania flow, especially in John’s poignant masterpiece “Sharpening My Pencils”. A power rock track about a friend’s tragic road accident bears the tender repetition of the words “and I’ll hold your hand till it sits still”.

As the songs progress they each explore many sides of life and loss, finding original expression for our common human longings for love, freedom and forgiveness.

With a debut offering of such fine quality we can only hope to keep hearing more from The Colemans.

Annie Patterson Duke
- Annie Patterson Duke


The Colemans (Self Titled) - Album 2009



The Colemans is a band made up of four distinct characters and songwriters – John, Susannah, Jonno and Christopher. Together they create lushly layered emotive folk songs which tell their individual tales in a multi-generational performance that raises neck hairs, brings tears to the eyes and fills the dance floor. The decades of bonding through music has infused an intuition with each other that is rare and incredibly exhilarating to watch live. An audience is drawn into their live performance as The Colemans share their stories and inspirations. The Colemans write songs of great depth which foster strong imagery and sensory engagement within the mind's eye of listeners. They blend styles reminiscent of Paul Kelly, The Waifs, and Crowded House.

Monique Brumby
Little Stevies
Trial Kennedy

Cygnet Folk Festival