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Songs from the South

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Editors’ Notes

Australia’s Paul Kelly, a superstar in his own land, has never made a similar impression on U.S. listeners. It’s a shame, as his writing is witty and insightful. This generous offering combines his two “greatest hits” packages, featuring 40 songs recorded between 1985 and 2007. Fans of classic rock songwriters like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mellencamp and pop groups such as The Byrds, The Flamin’ Groovies, The BoDeans, and even Dire Straits will surely find much to sink their ears into. There’s a Byrds-like pop to tracks such as “Leaps and Bounds,” “Look So Fine, Feel So Low,” and “Before Too Long.” The electricity gets turned up for the arena-rock sounds of “Darling It Hurts.” But Kelly’s more in true form on the story songs. “Bradman” links Dylan and Springsteen effortlessly. “Everything’s Turning to White” and “From Little Things Big Things Grow” recall Dylan’s wind-whipped sensibility. There are jewels throughout. “They Thought I Was Asleep,” “You’re 39, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine,” and “Deeper Water” are highlights. Kelly’s a major talent waiting around in broad daylight to be rediscovered.

Customer Reviews

Paul Kelly

Kelly is one of the most prolific and talanted musicians I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and listening to. My journey with the man goes back to 1987, living in Sydney and going to shows at The Tivoli just off George Street. Great live performances and wonderfully insightful words. The voice compliments the music superbly.


Neil Finn turned me on to Paul Kelly... Very, very glad for that.

Some of the best songs ever!

I'm an American who first discovered Paul Kelly's music blasting from my neighbor's apartment circa 1990. I still remember sitting down outside on a wall while "Dumb Things" played. I couldn't focus on anything else that night. Paul's songwriting was (and still is) powerful.


Born: January 12, 1955 in Adelaide, South Australia, Austra

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Songwriter singer Paul Kelly captures Australia in his songs the way Bruce Springsteen or Ray Davies of the Kinks have encapsulated their homelands, and he does it with the musical energy and diversity of Elvis Costello. The sixth of nine children, Kelly was born in Adelaide in 1955. After school he wandered around Australian for a few years, working odd jobs, writing poetry, and thinking about a career as a short story writer. Somewhere along the line, already in his late teens, he picked up a guitar....
Full Bio