I’ve seen local troubadour Timothy Carroll several times now, and on each occasion he’s impressed me more and more with poignant melodies marked by gentle, lingering acoustic guitar and a world-weary yet, somehow, simultaneously reassuring voice. Today proves a kind of watershed moment. The relaxing Sunday-afternoon vibe of the Brisbane Powerhouse amplifies Carroll’s burgeoning songcraft tenfold and more, flipping some internal switch that transforms me from interested observer into raving aficionado.
Along the way I also begin to realise what a stellar list of fellow musicians he’s assembled to help him out. Kate Jacobsen and Corinna Scanlon each step up to duet on Something Else and Sad Man respectively. Doch’s Rebecca Craner cameos several times with warbling gypsy clarinet. It’s wonderful.
I hadn’t realised Jacob S Harris had recently shifted south to try and get more exposure to his alt-country sound, and a sharp set proves that our loss is definitely to Melbourne’s gain. In itself, there’s something riveting in simply watching his long, expressive fingers flicker back and forth across the strings of his guitar and, later, mandolin. His deep haunting tones, playing off that wonderful fingerwork on the guitar, and hitched to the mournful background drone of Jane Elliott’s cello makes closing tune Mountains Of Clover ineffably sad.