The Rusty Datsuns
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The Rusty Datsuns

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Folk Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Rusty Datsuns: Let It Rain"

The furious deluge that beset Brisbane back at the beginning of 2011 - those were some unpleasant (and soggy) times if you happened to be up here. Yet many people have talked about how the floods brought the people of this little burg together. Collectively digging Graceville out from under a metre of river mud was one way, and the Rusty Datsuns represent another. Sian Evans, Al Skinner and Fern Thompsett were all trapped by rising flood-waters, in a house (a big old Queenslander of course), up the back of that quintessential Brisbane hippie burb, Highgate Hill. Without power or a place to go the (as yet unformed) trio relied on uke, fiddle and vocal chords to pass their time together. The Rusty Datsuns was the result, the name arising from the very first song they came up with. You'll find it tucked away up the end of this little EP of theirs - a tune called Gypsy, in which a heart is illilcitly carried away to Sydney in the back of a dodgy old Datsun. It's a delightful tune, actually, I'm a little uncertain why they hid it back there - the uke driven, 30s jazz-pop of this sweet duet has the whimsical quality of a Noel Coward number. Since the Rusty Datsuns fancy themselves a bluegrass band, I guess the other tunes are up the front because they're more blue-grassy ones. Speaking of which, the EP kicks off with Blood On The Bluegrass, a fast-moving but wistful, old-timey thing about relationship woes. The second tune and the EP's first single is a curiously cautionary tale in it's mournful ode to raw life and 'drinking whiskey in the scorching sun'. My ears pricked up at the almost indecently seductive vocal close-harmony of the appalachian lullaby Lay Me Down, a definite favourite. Things move into more classically folky territory on the EP's other two tracks, beginning with the heartbroken love song of Second Choice Man which adds a cello just to make sure you don't get away without donating a tear or two and then probably the most geniunely happy that the Rusty Datsuns get here with the spirited romance of Song In E. It turns out that the band have been excercising a bit of creative licence, since not any of them have ever even driven a Datsun, rusty or otherwise. Still, if it results in songs full of ol' timey goodness like this, I reckon they can take all the creative licence they like. - 4zzz


The rising floodwaters in Brisbane in early 2011 must have encouraged a heap of local musicians to bond together. Local bluegrass/folk trio, The Rusty Datsuns, which features members of Chocolate Strings, These Dirty Bones and Bessy Lou, have invoked this increasingly familiar creation myth as justification for their debut EP, Let It Rain. Relying on a combination of acoustic guitars, ukeleles, fiddle as well as male and female vocal harmonies, The Rusty Datsuns have concocted a record of enjoyable tunes, managing to retain a sincerity throughout. For a moment, Second Choice Man gets me thinking of Bob Dylan circa Times Are A Changin’, Al Skinner’s understated vocals reminding me of ballad, Boots Of Spanish Leather. I love how Song In E starts with the guitarist fumbling over the chords, pausing briefly for some self-chastisement, before continuing on. It’s a humanising moment that greatly endears me to them. This is like the music I used to hear in rural pubs when I lived in Ireland, music stripped of pretensions and built upon homespun goodness.

DARRAGH MURRAY - Rave Magazine


Let It Rain - December 2011
(singles - Tattoo, Gypsy, Lay Me Down)



The Rusty Datsuns have been winning hearts and inciting hoedowns since their formation during the infamous 2011 floods. It was an extraordinary twist of fate that brought the three respected, prolific and slightly crazy musicians, Sian Evans (Bessy-Lou, Pollysasin), Fern Thompsett (These Dirty Bones) and Alex Skinner (Chocolate Strings), together. Keeping high and dry in an old Queenslander while the Brisbane flood waters rose around them, the Dattos music was forged with no power, some instruments and a few rain buckets of talent, the unlikely combination yielding a rare musical chemistry.

Combining sweet vocal harmonies over a backdrop of deftly finger-picked guitar, banjo, ukelele and soaring fiddle the Dattos live show has crowds dancing jigs and making merriment aplenty with their spellbinding performance, a fresh take on modern folk with a healthy bluegrass twinge.