Gravel Bend Music is the label of Rick Keam, an Australian singer-songwriter exploring the sounds of alt-country and folk

gravel bend Music

Gravel Bend Music is the label of Rick Keam, an early winner of Port Fairy Folk Festival's Lawson-Paterson Award for Australian songwriting. His work appeared in several printed collections and was recorded by Judy Small and other folk performers. He also won the traditional section of Tamworth Country Music Festival's Bush Poetry Recitation Awards, unfondly remembered by participants as the year of the Fried Chicken Car Park Thermal Massacre.


Rick spent many years away from the music scene, but never away from the music. While undergoing a hospital MRI scan during the second of two rounds with 'The Big C', he was asked if he'd like some FM radio. The first song was Dylan's 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'. Next time, for preference, he took Fats Domino on CD. During long months of chemotherapy, he found himself reflecting and re-focussing on his own songwriting. Five years later, he has returned to peak creative power with Ordinary Stories. The collection draws on alt country, folk and country influences to deliver an individual voice both deeply Australian and deeply universal in its themes. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Hugh McDonald (Redgum), and with supporting vocals from Heidi McDermott, the album features Dave Folley (Killjoys, Tex Perkins & The Band Of Gold) on drums, Dave Blight (Cold Chisel) on harmonica, Garrett Costigan's expressive pedal steel guitar and James Clark (Syncopators, C.W. Stoneking's Primitive Horn Orchestra) on tuba.


Ordinary Stories is available in traditional physical form as a CD, or by digital download from Bandcamp, in a wide range of format and quality combinations from MP3 right through to lossless WAV. Gravel Bend suggest that if you first opt for download, and you like what you hear, you consider also buying the CD. It includes a superbly designed full-colour 16-page booklet of lyrics and evocative photography, allowing you to revisit the leisurely pleasures of the pre-CD era, but without the disadvantage of maximum 22-minute sides. For full spiritual benefit, switch off mobile phone/cell phone and follow the recommended sequence: (1) Brew coffee; (2) Evict cat from couch; (3) Put on disc; (4) Occupy couch; (5) Experience whole 50-minute package of words, music and images. Keep supporting independent artists and independent record stores!


Listen to the album Ordinary Stories here >