Final Sketches of a Country Town
A fictitious country town... 13 characters at different points in their lives and outlooks. Rule One: Third person narrative Rule Two: Names to be two-syllables ending in 'ee' Rule Three: Each song must start with characters name Rule Four: Keep it simple and let the characters tell the story. Betty wonders about leaving the town. Billy just returns after a mysterious absence, troubled but appreciative. Timmy is a young boy enjoying the freedom of the country life. Jimmy is the town star who has just found out that his girlfriend, Betty, is walking in the park with another. Sally takes advantage of Jimmy but gets hurt, as is the nature of 'innocents'. Frankie is the troubled and abusive father and husband wishing for it to be easier. Jamie is Frankie's teenage son starting to harbour the same anger. Jenny is Frankie's wife, battered and wondering. Tracey is hiding from her life by saving the world. Katie is a young strong woman getting pinned down by the country town. Henry is the devil, the evil in every town. Maggie is the one who helps and misses out. Davy is an old man who has lost his wife and is contemplating his departure from the world. Each of these characters came to me and I wrote their song. Their lives were interesting and still are in my head as they develop further and further. However, as with anything artistic, the parts of these characters lay on the surface and in the depths of myself, and probably all of us. I was brought up in a country town in the Western districts of Victoria and as I wrote these characters I wandered through the farms, past the rusted tractors and sheds, through the botanic gardens, along the tracks to the footy club and past the pub. Things that seem simple are never really quite that simple; city folk don't always get that. I worked very hard to get this album up to a standard that would impress you and although 99% of the work is mine, I would like to thank Jess Weichard for her vocals on Timmy, Jamie and Maggie. I would also like to thank Chris Scholten (the maestro) for his piano work on Timmy, Katie and Maggie. I hope you enjoy and please leave a comment (honesty is the only thing that is worthwhile). Shane Katzer.