Here's what the media have to say...
Somewhat small in stature, but incredibly tall in talent! If having been given this description, and asked to nominate some whom it fitted I would automatically select Eric Bogle as the recipient. Eric himself would most probably agree that he is not built to pack into the front row of either State Of Origin team, but his ability as a tunesmith, and songwriter stand second to none. His so very popular, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, told in Bogle's “straight from the shoulder” delivery, set the benchmark, for songs of war, and he has, “chinned the bar” at the same height from then on.
His latest CD, “Voices”, features twelve tracks and is released through “Rouseabout Records”, with eight coming from Eric, two from John Munro, one from Peter Titchener, and the other one from the pen of Simon Wilkins. The opening track is Eric Bogle's tribute to long time friend and musical compatriot John Munro, and from then on Eric deals with various thoughts ranging from fantasy through his own type of philosophy, and his memories of Scotland. The song, “Ballad For Billy”, sent to Eric from Simon Wilkins deals with a tragic accident.
Born in 1944 in Peebles in Scotland Eric started writing poetry when he was eight years of age. He packed his bags in 1969 bound for Australia. Among his first written songs was “Leaving Nancy” written for his mother when he left Scotland, which was the last time he ever saw her. The aforementioned “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is probably his best known song in Australia, but his best known internationally would have to be, “No Mans Land” also known as, “The Green Fields Of France”, (recorded by the Fureys) the song makes reference to the traditional Scottish song, “Flowers Of the Forest”. He has also written some great comedy songs, including “Aussie Bar-B-Q, “Little Gomez”, “Nobody's Moggie Now”, and the hilarious, “Do You Sing Any Dylan”. None of these songs have anything to do with his new album, “Voices”, and I must ask forgiveness for getting a bit, “off the track” here, but this is so easy to do when looking back over the life of a very gifted man. Sufficient to say that this is well up to the standard that is to be expected from an Eric Bogle release, and a must for his fans. If you don’t include yourself as member of this fraternity, grab a chance to have a listen to “Voices”, and you well may be by the end of track twelve. (Burt Everett, Country Pickin’s, Bundaberg Guardian)
Just got home to find our copy of Eric Bogle's new album ‘Voices’. We’re looking forward to promoting this album and letting the listeners have a listen to these great songs. Eric and John work well together and we’re sure the listeners will enjoy the new songs.
(Joy & Pejay, Country Roads)
Eric Bogle’s songs have assuredly tugged heartstrings through the years. Known far and wide as the man who wrote And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, an epic that stands tall in the pantheon of anti-war anthems, the expat Scot continues to pen cogent commentaries expressing his vehement opposition to armed conflicts. It’s no surprise, then, that the outstanding cut on his latest album alludes to the harrowing bloodshed in the Middle East that monopolises current news bulletins. As Bogle intones gravely in a characteristically powerful chorus: “Once again the dogs of war have been unmuzzled and unleashed and once again we’ll wallow in the belly of the beast.” An insistent dampened acoustic guitar riff, later reinforced by drums and a cello solo, underscores the potency and poignancy of the master songsmith’s First the Children. Another heart-rending work, Once Upon a Time, refers to the refugee calamity and the “legions of lost” that “trudged on by”. Elsewhere on Voices, Bogle makes space for tracks that showcase the talents of long-time accompanist John Munro and other local songwriters, Pete Titchener and Simon Wilkins.
(Tony Hillier, The Weekend Australian)
Tony Hillier, The Weekend Australian, December, 2016 (PDf Format)
“When I asked him how he rated himself as a singer and as a guitarist, he replied, in his thick Scottish brogue and with enormous gusto, something along the lines of: "Ooooh, I've never been much of a singer, laddie, and I'm a piss poor guitar player, but you know what: I'm a f*#king GREAT songwriter". And so he is!”
(Tony Hillier, Appearance, 1986)
It would be harder to find someone more in tune with the Aussie ethos than Scottish-born Eric Bogle. Voices is a beauty that delves into the true heartland in everyone’s makeup with some great new songs. Eric’s somewhat time-worn vocals have endeared him to millions of fans around the world and he is as unique as… well, he’s just unique! Nine of the songs feature Eric up front and two feature his long-time musical collaborator John Munro – who, in fact, takes the lead on the title track – and there’s another featured vocal by guitarist Pete Titchener. Highlights are A Fork In The Road, Ballad For Billy, Freedom Lost, When I’m Dead… well, every track actually, so get two copies – one for yourself and one to put in someone’s Christmas stocking.
(Judie Crosby, New England Home & Lifestyle)
New England Home & Lifestyle (PDf Format)
“One of Australia’s most renowned folk singer songwriters.” (Trad&Now)
Trad & Now Feature:
Eric Bogle at the Gallipoli Centenary (JPG Format)
'A Toss Of The Coin'
Country Music Capital News Review (PDF Format)
Trad & Now Review (PDF Format)
Northern Daily Leader (PDF Format)
Eric Bogle and John Munro combine in their new album as they have for thirty years…and with the same care and tenderness. As well as their theme of war and waste of young lives, this release has a surprise. This album was conceived in the holocaust of the ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires in Victoria in February, 2009.
Ashes was written after visiting Strathewen, just north of Melbourne, ten weeks after the fire front passed killing 173 souls; it’s dedicated to Fire Captain Dave Magahey. Reg Evans Cradle is the about the accidental saving of a memorial baby’s cradle from the fire. Everyone thought it was lost.
What is it about these two performers? They’re boofy blokes, but when they sing any normal person melts. And then there’s Song for James about a young man hit by a truck in the middle of an Irish night, and his father’s attempt to keep his memory alive.
John Munro contributes Absolution and Glory Days as original pieces…and they lift the whole CD.
With a formidable line-up of instruments and supporting musicians this is a CD which shouldn’t be missed.
(Rob Durbridge, Australian Options)
Bogle fans will find plenty to love on this magnificent new gem of a disc, including two songs not written by Eric, and another two songs where John Munro takes the lead vocal on his own compositions, Absolution and Glory Days.
When An Angel Appears, the Mike O’Callaghan song, sounds as if it could almost have come from Bogle’s pen.
It was the nice, melancholy, reflective tone of Pete Titchener’s song, Don’t Throw Away Your Dreams, that made Eric want to put it down on this record.
There are plenty of gems from Eric as well, including Ashes, Song For James, Reg Evans’ Cradle, Home Is The Hero, Roll Call, A Toss Of The Coin, By The Arafura Sea and his own moving version of In Flanders Fields.
It’s a no-brainer. When Eric Bogle is in town, do anything you can to get there. His music will make your heart sing.
(Anna Rose, Northern Daily Leader)
At a time when two legends of the Australian folk music scene, Gary Shearston and John Dengate, have recently passed away, we can all be inordinately grateful that the inimitable Eric Bogle remains a living legend!!
Eric's back catalogue includes a stunning array of masterful contributions to the noble art of songwriting. I'm pleased to report that 'A Toss of the Coin', featuring long time collaborator (or partner in crime, as I'm sure Eric would prefer to call him), John Munro, demonstrates that Eric has lost none of his touch as one of Australia's best contemporary songwriters.
One of Eric's great gifts as a songwriting craftsperson, a gift shared with other greats including Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon, is the ability to step into the shoes of, and articulate through song, the life and experiences of others.
On this album, Ashes is a tribute to the heroes of Victoria's 2009 Black Saturday fires, heard through the "voice" of a firefighter, while By the Arafura Sea sees Eric adopting (delightfully and romantically) an indigenous persona.
Other songs find Eric in his incisive observational mode - Reg Evan's Cradle, Home Is The Hero (written for disabled UK war veterans) and Roll Call (a heartrending meditation on the senseless loss of young innocent lives in the US Sandy Hook school massacre.)
Elsewhere on the album, Eric continues his fascination with the Great War by putting the famous WWI poem, In Flanders Fields, to music, and (with angelic harmonies from Maggie Rutjens) presents a beautiful reading of bassplayer/recording engineer Pete Titchener's Don't Throw Away Your Dreams.
Collaborator John Munro, as well as providing his usual exquisite instrumental (guitars, ukeleles, mandolins) and harmony vocal expertise, steps up to perform two of his own originals, Absolution and Glory Days, the latter featuring fabulous backing vocals from Liz Frencham.
Eric (and John) remain in fine voice throughout this album - age has not wearied them, and may they continue to cast light in dark places by the magic of song.
A delightful, charming and moving album.
(Ian Dearden, Trad&Now)
"Eric’s new album arrived yesterday and I’ve already played it so often that it’s now wafer-thin.... I love Eric; I love John Munro, thanks immensely."
(Jan Nary, Acoustic Harvest)
"Many thanks for the "The Dreamer" album provided to us from AMRAP. I am another volunteer announcer and my Friday evening audience are thoroughly enjoying this masterful work from Eric Bogle."
William Welsh, Radio NAG 91.3 FM, Capricorn Coast Community Radio Yeppoon Qld
“Bogle’s songs are what so strongly define this master songsmith. His latest (and 15th album) The Dreamer is again testament to this consummate communicator – incisive, eloquent and masterful. It’s what stands him apart from the crowd, yet brings him close to his audience”
Mike Smith, Capital News, April 2010
"Eric’s 15th album is an excellent mix of what we come to expect from a man who seems to understand the Australian ethos better than most. He is capable of bittersweet reflections on loyalty, love and important issues like no one else. If you haven’t seen him live, put it on your to-do list and immerse yourself in the majesty of Eric Bogle and his music."
Jon Wolfe, Cap News, September 2009
"A new collection of songs from Eric Bogle is always a rewarding, listening treat and this CD is just that. Bogle’s songs are always passionate and honest responses to the world in which we live. The Dreamer is another superior collection of songs appropriate for our time and I feel sure the listener will return to experience the songs many times."
Jim Low, Simply Australia
“One of Australia’s National Living Treasures, to whom all Australians owe a debt of gratitude for his decision to emigrate to this country, and to stay!
When this latest CD dropped in my letterbox for review, I was delighted. The delight has continued through repeated listenings.
The heart on his sleeve still beats strongly and burns brightly. This album has you in its grasp from the outset.
I believe this CD is up with the best of Eric’s work and as the latest album from one of Australia’s finest songwriters, you should do yourself (and all Australians) a favour, by going and buying a copy, immediately.”
Ian Dearden, Trad & Now, June 2009
"Australia’s premier poet of song"
Bob Crimeen, Sun Herald Sun
'Live at Stonyfell Winery'
“When Eric Bogle and his long time touring partner John Munro grace a stage – magic happens. What a joy it was to sit and watch a concert where every word that is being sung can be heard clearly above the music. That is what I enjoyed when watching the Eric Bogle DVD titled Live at Stonyfell Winery. From the intro The Sound Of Singing to the last song Singing The Spirit Home this brilliant wordsmith takes his audience on a journey with songs he has written over the past 25 years. Eric’s lyrics can make you think, make you laugh and even make you cry, such is the craftsmanship of this Scottish born legend, who has lived in Australia for 40 years.”
(Robyn McIntosh, The Murray Pioneer)
'Other People's Children'
"As a songwriter, Eric Bogle remains a genuine luminary. If nothing else, this first new collection in four years proves the man's potency with words is as sharp as ever. The set covers weighty matters pertaining to life and death, mostly the latter. The title track (about helpless civilians who get killed in "the myriad of nasty little wars") and 'Thou Shalt Not', which was written in the wake of the Beslan school tragedy, also hit the mark in what must rank as this great songwriter's best work for some time."
(Tony Hillier, Rhythms)
"Bogle has composed another intriguing and challenging collection of songs on subjects about which he continues to be intensely passionate. This is not a CD to be greedily devoured in one sitting. Most of the subject matter demands serious reflection to appreciate fully the writer’s intentions. Bogle’s songs more than deserve this, considering his willingness to be so honest, personally revealing and unflinching in expressing his insights and opinions. This is a fine collection of songs for our time."
(Jim Low, Folk Australia)
Thank you for sending out a copy of Eric Bogle's latest album. Great to hear some new songs from the man. The CD impressed me so much it was immediately promoted to the top of the pile and became my "featured album" on 22 January. It's a winner.
(Bruce Cameron, 2MCE)
"He writes words that are illuminated by simple but powerfully evocative melodies to stir the most inanimate soul."
Bob Crimeen (The Age)
"A Fresh sensitive take by a master songwriter and performer."
R. Warr (Sing Out)
"Eric Bogle can send you through a whole gamut of human emotions from deep pathos to gut busting laughter."
Russell Hannah (Trad & Now)
In short: Another classic collection from Australia’s premier story-telling folkie. THE man is a musical marvel. He has written hundreds of heart-wrenching, poignant, sentimental and hilarious songs, but Eric Bogle’s prolific pen continues to produce words and music so profound the ear is riveted to the loudspeakers from which they emanate. And almost every song on this new disc connects that ear to a heart bleeding with emotion. Other People’s Children is an essential acquisition for Bogle devotees.
4 Star Review, Bob Crimeen, (Sunday Herald Sun, 05/02/06)
'At This Stage'
"Bogle's songs sing of the real Australia and pull no punches even when he tickles the funny bones."
"The finest live folk music recording to come out of this country".
(Warren Barnett, Australia's leading independent mastering technician)
"Although any "best of" releases are cop-outs, At This Stage is not. It is a fresh, sensitive take by a master songwriter of his best songs, all in one tidy package, with worthwhile, sometimes humorous, commentary on the discs. It also reminds you he's a master performer."
"The importance of this particular two-CD set is that for the first time it offers Eric's witty and thoughtful introductions to each song. Anyone who has seen Eric in concert will recognise the hilarious, usually self-deprecating humour that brings so many of his songs alive. All the big ones are there including 'Matilda', 'Now I'm Easy' and even those cat and dog songs! This is vintage Eric Bogle live and kicking!"
(Trad & Now)
"At This Stage has just arrived - many thanks, a corker of a set - it'll get its first airing tomorrow on a brand-new Acoustic Harvest show!"
(Jan Nary, Bay FM)
"I love the Eric Bogle live CD! I'm working on the Queenscliff Festival. Can you send me back a contact to book him to play?"
(Richard Moffatt, 3RRR)
"Excellent. I really like the way the talking and music are separated. Thank you for supporting Community Radio and I will certainly be playing tracks regularly on my Show."
(Laurie West, Equilibrium Radio Show - 3RPP, www.equilibriumradio.info)
"Eric is one of our favourites, the personal introductions are great and will make our show more interesting I'm sure."
(Barry Parks, Northside Folk)
"Love It & Play It"
(Keith McGowan, Magic 693)
"Thanks for the copy as Eric goes down so well on many of our programs."
(Tony Bates, 3WBC)
'The Colour of Dreams'
"The CD is packed with sixteen songs which explore and try to make some sense of the world in which we live. Eric Bogle’s willingness to tackle challenging subject matter and re-explore old song writing territory are to be admired. A thought-provoking, if at times disturbing, collection of songs that demand attention."
(Jim Low, www.folkaustralia.com)
"One of our most respected songwriters, Bogle's new songs are some of his most politically charged, touching on terrorism, world peace, drug abuse, global economy and more. As heavy as these subjects are, Bogle has an uncanny ability to temper them with his unique humour and wit."
"One of the best albums that Eric has done - a great mixture of humour, political commitment and raw emotion."
(John Funnell, 3WYN-FM)
"70 minutes of unalloyed folk music pleasure."
(Bob Crimeen, Sunday Herald Sun)
Country Music Capital News, April 2010 (PDf Format)
Other Reviews (PDF Format)
Sun Herald Review May, 2009