Track: Henry Wagons’s advice is simple – ‘(Don’t Be) Down And Out’ – a jaunty high stepping ode to resilience.

A welcome return after six long years, Australian troubadour Henry Wagons brings his dulcet tones and eloquent style to his new single ‘(Don’t Be) Down and Out’. While Wagon’s deep sonorous vocals bring to mind those lords of darkness Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, his writing style recalls for me the late and great Kinky Friedman with its razor-sharp sense of humour, a self deprecating air and a world weary whiskey soaked swagger. Add to this a sense of Elvis Presley showmanship and swagger and a Jimmy Webb/Burt Bacharach ear for melody, this is an exciting package.

The term Americana is applied liberally to this dish, but there is more an antipodean sheen reflective of a sort of outback louche attitude: gothic-laced countrified swing with a knowing glint in the eye and an opened bottle of some indeterminate liquor in the hand. And it’s a delicious concoction to consume.

Wagons says of the track:

Like so many, the pandemic had me creatively running dry.  Thankfully, as soon as the world started opening up, there was a strange and swift switch. When I began to hit the stage again, my eyes widened. Seeing the audiences and getting to raise a glass with my fellow troubadours had me wildly inspired. The dam broke, and a torrent of songs started flowing out.

The track is as buoyant as corks tied on an Akubra hat and would melt the hardest of hearts. The self-directed video visually augments the irreverent twinkle in the eye of Wagons:

‘(Don’t Be) Down And Out’ is out through Cheatin’ Hearts Records (the twangy branch of Spunk! Records) and available to download and stream here. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your R.M Williams booted steps.

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