Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Doreen in the nude
Doreen in the nude, as performed by Al Ward on 21 September 2008 at the Balmain Rowers Club Balmain. The song is co-written by Al Ward himself and Lee Williams. The song was recorded in 1979 by Al's band, the Hokum Ensemble, then featuring Alan Meadows, my brother-in-law, on lead vocal. I don't have a copy of this song in it's original 1979 incantation. I'm awaiting digitisation of the vinyl EP they recorded and released back then, during the wonderful Balmain-year of 1979 and I look so forward to hearing Alan Meadows singing 'Doreen in the Nude' again from that EP. He performs the song with a delightful comic theatricality, full of little adlibs. The soundtrack is replete with kazoos, mandolins, washboards. In short it has that classic, authentic jug'blues sound.
I believe Doreen in the Nude, written by Al Ward & Lee Williams, to be one of the greatest Australian songs ever written, post-European settlement.
That may not be overtly evident here. I suspect Al hadn't performed this song in a very long time yet he pulls it off suavely and admirably. It's a way more laid-back delivery of the song compared to the original, more Australiana John Williamson in style, almost country.
Notice the audience becoming more animated with their laughter as the song progresses. :) Alan Meadows chimes in with the harmony on the line '...moonlight on your knees'!
The supreme magic of the song nonetheless exudes. Doreen in the Nude is stirring and uplifiting, and will make you laugh and smile. Enjoy!
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