Monday 27 May 2013 – Lateral Love Australia Song of the Week
Song to Sing … by Archie Roach
ARCHIE ROACH – ‘Song To Sing’ is taken from the new album INTO THE BLOODSTREAM
Into The Bloodstream represents a triumphant return for a man who has suffered profound loss.
On the verge of giving up, he dug deep and found the inner strength to lift up both himself and others through the power of song.
A note from Archie
While making this album I have learned to look at Pain differently. I know that Pain can make you sick, very sick!! My recent bouts of illness I’m sure, are a result of the Pain of being removed from my family at a young age and more recently the loss of someone I loved so dearly.
But Pain can also bring about change in one’s life for the better, we can choose to ignore the Pain until it becomes unbearable or we can do something. I used to think that letting go of the Pain was the only way of getting better but that may not be necessarily so. You see some events in my life I will never truly get over and the Pain will always be there but I can do something about it.
I can write songs, songs about making it to the Top of the Hill no matter how far, songs about not being alone so don’t cry, songs about all of us having a song to sing and songs we can dance to.
Even though we may be suffering with some sort of chronic Pain we can learn to live with and manage it with the right attitude to life and some good medicine. Doing this album has been good medicine for me! I hope listening to it will be the same for you!
Archie Roach Biography
Archie Roach, Australia’s beloved Aboriginal singer and songwriter – the voice of his people and the voice of many other people too – has a new lease of life. Literally. And it has manifested in his new songs, this wondrous new album and the accompanying live show.
In 2010 Archie suffered immeasurably. Most will know by now that the venerable and dignified performer, who captured the hearts and minds of a nation in 1990 with Charcoal Lane and the landmark song Took The Children Away, lost his partner and soul mate Ruby Hunter. It was February 2010; she was only 54.
Archie’s grief was immense. Later that year found himself up in the Kimberley, at a place called Turkey Creek, 800 km or so east of Broome in amongst the Bungle Bungles when he himself suffered a stroke.
He was taken by Flying Doctor to Broome then Perth and went into heavy rehabilitation, which left parts of his body, including one of his hands, inert. In mid 2011 Archie was diagnosed with the early stages of lung cancer. He got half a lung removed and again went into heavy rehabilitation.
It could be said that through his long and distinguished career Archie has sung of suffering, pain and injustice in a manner more effective than most. But that’s not what has happened in the aftermath of his horrible year in 2010. Instead he has turned to joy and hope and the idea of lifting himself and others up through song. As his body recovers so too does his mind.
The brand new album Into The Bloodstream – and the life affirming live shows of the same name –is about, he says “finding strength” and then expressing it.
“Overcoming difficulties,” he says, “and singing more uplifting songs that are not so much about suffering and pain but rising above that. Going through what I have has made me realise that a big part of people getting sick has to do with holding onto pain and not letting it go. That was the inspiration behind it all. Letting go of the pain and the bad stuff and holding onto something good and strong.”
The live shows – infused with good doses of uplifting gospel and soul stirrings – are also in many ways the story of Roach’s life, spanning his childhood, his stolen years and his long love for Ruby.
There will be a star-studded thirteen-piece musical ensemble under the direction of Craig Pilkington (Audrey Studios), who has produced and arranged the album, plus a ten-voice gospel choir headed by Lou Bennett from Tiddas and the Black Arm Band. Lighting and visuals will be curated by the accomplished Tim Cole.
Liberation Music’s Managing Director Warren Costello says: “We set out to help Archie create a landmark album in what has already been an amazing career. Michael Gudinski and I have drawn incredible strength and inspiration from Archie Roach and from Ruby Hunter over many, many years. It is once again our pleasure and privilege to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Archie to launch this new album which we truly believe is amongst his best work.”
Archie says the album – and these majestic shows – are his good medicine, Straight Into The Bloodstream.
Into The Bloodstream was released through Liberation Music on Friday October 19th, 2012.