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Jeff Strong
Filling out his 2006-2007 tax return will be a difficult task for one Jeff Strong. Those twelve months saw the purveyor of 'city and western' take his music to most of Australia in one form or another. You could have caught him touring north- west W.A with the Birds of Tokyo or south-west W.A with Little Birdy. He did spots nationally with The Panda Band and opened for M.Ward in Fremantle. But most likely you spotted him playing solo or with his band any night of the week in Perth City.

His most notable achievement so far is via his just released self titled debut album which has been praised by all who've dared spin it and even been named Album Of The Week by The Drum Media Perth .The album features 10 songs recorded, mixed and mastered entirely on an 8-track in a musty old study in the Perth suburb of Yokine. The record features Jimmy Rogers' (The Fault, Harlequin League) ambient surf-guitar licks and Jarrad Carr's (The Slaughterhouse Five) solid-like-a-train brushstrokes and although it was recorded in true garage style, the album captures Strong's raw and spontaneous country sound without any bells and whistles to obscure the feeling. Track highlights on the new album include the incredibly catchy "Hangin' Round", laced with Rogers' Cash-style guitar hooks and some of the most solid lyrics you're likely to come across these days. As well as "Eternal Darkness", a short but sweet ballad, co-written with Carr about the bitter ironies of life and death. "If I Were Treated Like an Alien", co-written with his father, Les, is another standout, and perhaps the closest Strong gets to being political with its subtle comment on immigration in this country. Overall, it's a great listen with a surprising range of textures for such a simple recording. As a debut, the record definitely does justice to Strong's extraordinary songwriting and presents his unique and eccentric style without overdoing it and clearly proves that independent musicians can produce fantastic records.

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