The Wilson Pickers will release their third album You Can’t Catch Fish From a Train on August 26th through ABC Music / Universal Australia.
Recorded in the round at Church Farm Studios in Billinudgel, NSW over three days in February this year, the album returns The Wilson Pickers to the bluegrass instrumentation and five-part harmony singing that propelled this side project to centre stage in 2009. This album is more than a reunion for five of Australia’s finest singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalists. It’s a god damn miracle.
The ten songs on “You Can’t Catch Fish From Train” feature the raw ebullience for which The Wilson Pickers are known, alongside heartfelt reflections on some of what life has thrown at this band of deft musicians and close friends.
This is not a bluegrass album. The project holds something closer to The Travelling Wilburys at its heart – songwriters and players coming together, each bringing their own talents and perspectives to the table while keeping their individual voices.
Ben Salter, Sime Nugent, Andrew Morris, Danny Widdicombe and John Bedggood formed the fabled Wilson Pickers as a side project in 2009 and went on to record two ARIA nominated albums, The Land Of The Powerful Owl (2009) and Shake It Down (2010).
With the momentum of their two albums, the group’s skill and eagerness to have a great time playing music together made them favourites at major festivals across the country. The group’s ability to straddle multiple genres saw crowds responding wherever they went. The fact that they’ve played everywhere from Tamworth to sharing the stage with The Black Keys is testament to their broad appeal.
You never know what’s around the corner. The 2011 leukemia relapse of beloved member Danny Widdicombe saw the band on immediate and indefinite hold while he undertook treatment.
The hiatus saw the individual members return to their own projects. Salter released two critically acclaimed solo albums; Nugent formed the Melbourne duo Sweet Jean who have made two highly regarded albums; Morris continued to work with Bernard Fanning and Bedggood worked with Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson amongst his numerous projects. Meanwhile, Widdicombe was a total champion and continued to make music, even from his hospital bed.
By 2015, with Danny’s recovery, The Pickers took their first steps back to the live stage and by the beginning of this year the band where raring to get back into the studio with unfinished business.
Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine, Bernard Fanning) mixed and mastered the album and has brought this passionate and powerful recording to brilliant fruition. There are guest appearances by Bernard Fanning (Powderfinger) and Rod Coe (Slim Dusty) making this highly anticipated release a very well credentialed recording with a lot of heart.
You can hear the church rafters heaving on “You Can’t Catch Fish From A Train”.