Album of the Week – ‘After the Rain’ Hat Fitz & Cara
‘After the Rain‘ by Hat Fitz & Cara is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week. Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson are an Australian-based blues and folk duo who have gradually built a great reputation both on stage and on record for their authentic and organic approach to the form. Their history might be seen as a legend, beginning in 1822 when Robert Fitzpatrick (Hat Fitz’s ancestor) was sent to a life time for hard labour in recently colonised Sydney. He was forced to leave his homeland but also the one great love of his life, a young lady called Ruby Mulholland. Robert never arrive in New South Wales, dying on the boat, but Ruby knew in her heart of heart that one day they would be reunited and never gave up hope to see him again. In 2008, Hat Fitz make his way to Cara Robinson’s show at the TF hall on one of his colleague’s advice and is instantly mesmerised. Cara also felt a strong connection, and after several hours of conversation, they realise that they are the descendants of Robert and Ruby. On this day, a new band is born, Hat Fitz & Cara.
Hat Fitz is a ‘veteran’ wild man of the blues scene in Australia. He has a record of 18 straight appearances at Byron’s East Coast Blues and Roots Festival , a record that is not likely to ever be broken, and one which bears testimony to his amazing live performances and popularity with festival goers. Cara draws on her soul background (she’s toured Europe and the United States with singer such as Jamiroquai and the hugely popular Corinne Bailey-Rae) and although blessed with a sensational voice she was not content to be labelled as ‘just a singer’. She has taken to drumming duties as well as washboards, flute and tin whistle, sometimes all at once.
The couple proposes us in their new album ‘After the Rain’ an “engaging album and an antidote to over produced Nashville pop”, as described by Michael Hingston. Both artists have a vast experience behind them and have been able to gently influence each other without taking control. Everything starts with ‘Going Home‘. A slightly distorted electric guitar, the sound of a drum, quickly joined by the powerful voice of Cara. The scene is set, and now the Beauty and the Beast, as the call themselves in their first album, just make what they know to do best : proposing a strong and authentic blues and country music. Cara will lead the dance most of the time, singing with a velvet voice. But on ‘Tank Man’, Hat Fitz takes the power, and sing with a deep, gruff Howlin’ Wolf-esqe voice, for what’s probably one of the record’s best track. He will sing once again on the tonic blues ‘Won’t Bow Down’. In the middle of the album, to balance all the energy we can find on both sides, Cara sings the melancholic ballad ‘Rosie Hackett’, before returning to a solid and powerful blues. Finally, they’ll unite their voices on the last song of After the Rain, ‘Keep’n On’, as a last goodbye where they’re both waving at us, listeners, from the dusty roads and open spaces where we’ve travelled all along the album.
The blending of pre war hill country and delta blues with early Australian folk and traditional Celtic styles has produced a truly unique sound and has enhanced their reputation as one of the world’s most interesting and musically appealing combinations. “Hat Fitz and Cara have the songs, the musical ability, the drive and the self belief to offer something refreshingly vibrant and new”. In such words is described that new album by Pete Feenstra from Get Ready To Rock, an opinion shared by all. Recorded in a converted rain tank on the Gold Coast, it captures Hat Fitz and Cara’s unique, powerful sound, offering us an album of a rare quality that will delight the hears of every blues and country lover.
1. Going Home
2. Doing It Again
3. After the Rain
4. Tank Man
5. Rosie Hackett
7. Won’t Bow Down
8. Running Man
9. Keep’n On
You can follow Hat Fitz and Cara’s career at hatfitz&cara.com or via thier FACEBOOK page. For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Paul Goupille. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘After the Rain’’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. You can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG