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Cookin Oil 2011

This album was recorded live in Matt’s Elsternwick living room in Melbourne, in Spring 2010, on the weekend of the famous drawn AFL Grand Final.

We five Pluckers got in a circle around good microphones and played our songs. This is our fifth album in 13 years, our first in 5, and our first that is 100% self-penned.

But what you will hear in this recording is the enjoyment of the Pheasant Pluckers in playing their music, the fun, the warmth, the sound. It took some cooking. A lot of time (years for some tracks) has gone into Cookin’ Oil’s writing, arrangement and production.

Matt juggled his singing and guitar with engineering and production. Keith played percussion, harmonica and sang his guts out all weekend. Dan was very happy in his chair and delivered sweet guitar lines for the two days. Peter not only played great banjo & some dobro, but was our professor of harmonies too. Rod played rock-solid bass, thought we’d lost him when he went red singing paint-stripper high harmony, but he came down OK.

Thanks to the generosity of Paul Cumming, Moana Kerr and Brian Fitzgerald, Dan and Matt played guitars far superior to their stage instruments, Gibsons and Martins mainly, all country approved. Thanks to Bron Burton and her two clones for the backing vocals on Under the Water. Thanks also to Tony Hargreaves for the accordion on The Daze.

So here is our newest. We hope you enjoy it.

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Play Something We Know 2008

After 10+ years since the band’s birth, three predominantly original albums, several line-up changes and an ever-evolving live set, it was time for another album. We tracked this CD mainly on weeknights in Elsternwick, part by part, starting and stalling a number of times and putting it on ice as other things got in the way. The studio was rebuilt, the studio broke down, the studio was rebuilt again, rooms were renovated, families grew. Plaster dust and a crying baby made pre-production rehearsals of new material ‘technically challenging’, and thus our next original album shuffled off to the back burner. This is a collection of songs by other artists that have avoided the flick from the Pheasant Pluckers’ song list. Our many unrecorded originals and their stories are lining up for the next release.

This was supposed to be a ‘quick & dirty’ to keep the ball rolling with no fussing and tweaking - it slowly became a much loved project that was a truck-load of fun to do. It’s almost a shame that it’s over.

To all those people who took a deep breath at gigs over the years and roared, “Play something we know!”…


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Bird Dog (0:48)
Blanket of Sorrow (1:02)
I Shall Be Released (1:40)

Take Me There, 2003

We think this review from Jeff Glorfield of The Age sums it up :

These four blokes make western swing music that's so fine, it must make the king of swing, Bob Wills, smile in heaven. There's some country, some bluegrass, some folk, maybe a hint of zydeco, some things that probably don't have names, but what comes out through the stereo is pure joy. The pheasant isn't native to these shores, but the Pluckers are as local as one can get - their latest disc was recorded in Anglesea and mixed in Brunswick. It contains nine original songs and one cover (Driver 8, by REM), and songwriting is shared between the four. Each song is an adventure: Matt Campbell whips up an acoustic guitar solo or maybe shimmers with some slide; Keith Ludekens dives in on harmonica or mandolin; Paul Jonas takes over on fiddle; and Rod Boothroyd keeps everything going on electric and upright bass. They all sing and do little percussion things, and those four-part harmonies are superb. It's uptempo, up-out-of-your-seat stuff, and songs such as Cirrhosis of the Lover, I'm Thinkin' Texas and Firebelly will have even non-dancers reaching for their partners. Contact to order.

Jeff Glorfield
The Age
Friday 25 July 2003

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I'm Thinkin' Texas (0:49)
One Good Reason (0:50)
Prelude To Bronny (0:56)

Live at the Rising Sun Hotel (North Carlton), 2000

This set of live music relives the Friday 3.5 year residency that was the Rising Sun Hotel. There's the sticky red carpet to look at. The lungs of 150 fans including some horsing around. If you want to revive that wonderful experiment that was The Sun, here it is. If you never made it, serves you right but this is pure DNA of the The Pheasant Pluckers live at their Mecca.

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Beautiful Barbed Wire Canoe (1:31)

For Mabel Bond (1899 - 1997)

Recorded & mixed at Fortissimo Studios, Melbourne, 1998.

This is the first, some may say debut recording. But the jacket cover lyrics speak of material much deeper than a first effort. These songs have a life that's been initiated by experience. Growing up, working, travelling and partying, this CD establised the Pheasant Pluckers as a live act with heart, mind and a big country soul. All grown in Melbourne.

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Sweet Frustration (0:57)