“There is no iTunes category for the type of music Bill Jackson creates and performs. It’s not just folk, or country, or Americana, or blues, yet it contains elements of all those genres. But you’re not likely to hear Bill on mainstream radio anytime soon.
Undaunted, Bill continues on, touring and recording, garnering fans across the country, constantly winning new audiences in Australia, the USA and beyond. Of course he wants people to like his songs but he’s not about to sell himself short for a popularity contest. He’s coming from the grass roots, from the ground up, from the struggle of the 99%, who have to put up with the deceit and conceit of the kingdoms and corporations. His songs are gritty and real and come at you like a hammer, ringin’ in the mornin’.
Take it or leave it, he’s telling it straight up.”
The Wayside Ballads
The Wayside Ballads Project was conceived during 2014 by songwriting brothers Bill Jackson and Ross Jackson. Since Bill Jackson’s last release, ‘Jerilderie’ (2011), they had been writing a lot. A plan was hatched to record 30 songs over a relatively short period of time between two continents under the guise of ‘The Wayside Ballads’.
The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Wayside’ as the edge of the road, figuratively meaning to be set aside or discarded. The Jackson Bros songs have been described as topical, historical and most things in between, populated by characters outside of the mainstream – in many ways somewhat extraordinarily ordinary but always real. Rather than have them fall off the edge they wrote these ballads to give them a voice and a history.
Vol 1 was always going to be a mostly electric record due to the group of songs chosen and production was handed over to talented Melbourne musician / producer Shannon Bourne. It was successfully launched at The Caravan Music Club in Melbourne during August, 2015 before Pete and Bill headed off to the US to tour and record Vol 2 with Thomm Jutz in Nashville, TN.
Everyone is super excited about ‘The Wayside Ballads Vol 2’ – essentially a string band record produced by Thomm Jutz (Mary Gauthier, Nanci Griffith, Otis Gibbs etc.) in Nashville during September 2015 and featuring 11 new songs from Bill and Ross Jackson. Joining Bill and Pete Fidler on Vol 2 are some of Nashville’s finest pickers – Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Daniel Kimbro and Lynn Williams. Essentially recorded ‘live’ in the studio Jutz has created a big, warm sounding record that pays homage to ‘the song’.
And what about Vol 3? Well this is slowly ticking along in the background with some of Melbourne’s finest singer/songwriters recording another batch of 10 unrecorded Jackson Bros songs.
So get on board – we hope you enjoy this ride through ‘The Wayside Ballads Vol 1-3’.
“Bill Jackson is not your typical Aussie folkie. He could be from Austin or Charlottesville or Nashville. He writes songs which transcend place and time and while folk in basis, step beyond. That is partially due to partner in crime Peter Fidler, who ranks right up there with Pat Wictor and Randy Kohrs and a handful of others on my best-of list for resonator guitar and dobro. Jackson and Fidler have this symbiotic relationship not unlike that of Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin, each providing the other with the wherewithal to make good music better. Jackson and Welch contstruct a building. Fidler and Kaplin lay down finishing touches.”Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
“Genuine ground breaking roots influenced music that cuts across borders.”Capital Country News
“Jackson sings about relationships, Vietnam veterans, good food and good company – however it’s his relationship to the people and land in his life that shine through…from a man who should be a household name..”Slow Magazine
“You could be sitting in your Camry, stuck on the Western Ring Road, but pop Bill Jackson’s latest into the CD player and you could be cruising the open road with nothing but time and nowhere particular to be.”Melbourne Age
“We heard Bill for the first time at the Unpaved Sessions… and he’s up there with Paul Kelly.”Melbourne Folk Club