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Charcoal Lane

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 29, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Guitar-driven folk songs backed by a beautifully minimal of keys accordian and strings Charcoal Lane is exemplary narrative songwriting from Archie Roach. Took The Children Away is a stand-out on this album of heart-wrenching socially-guided songs. Essential.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Native Born
  2. Charcoal Lane
  3. Muntana
  4. I've Lied
  5. Down City Streets
  6. Took The Children Away
  7. Sister Brother
  8. Beautiful Child
  9. No No No
  10. Summer Of My Life


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 29, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • ASIN: B0000005PS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Archie Roach is not only unknown in the US (see last reviewer comments), but also not terribly well known in mainstream Australia. He is one of several Australian singer-songwriters to be associated with Paul Kelly, (who deserves a lot of credit for lending his name and influence to artists who have a great deal to contribute but scant opportunity), and shares some of Kelly's uncomplicated, storytelling songwriting style. I bought Charcoal Lane years ago after I saw Roach perform at the Royal Derby Hotel in Brunswick St., Fitzroy - an inner suburb of Melbourne where Roach spent a great deal of time in his youth - and was immediately affected by the pure emotion in "Took the Children Away", an autobiographical piece that draws on the experiences of both Roach and his wife. Roach has trodden a hard road, among other things beating alcohol, prejudice and the experience of being removed from his family at a young age, part of the infamous "stolen generation" of koorie children removed from their families in Australia in the 50's and 60's under the then government's reprehensible "White Australia" policy. Other songs, such as the title track and "Down City Streets", tell of life in Melbourne's inner city, while "Native Born" details the depth of aboriginals' connection with the land and nature.
The wonderful thing about Roach's art is the straightforward manner in which he talks about his heritage, his experiences and his struggles without surrendering to bitterness or hatred.
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Format: Audio CD
Archie Roach is, as near as I can tell, virtually unknown in North America. That is a shame, because he is one of the most life-affirming singer-songwriters I know of. All three of his albums are terrific. He, perhaps, can be characterized as having a voice that is cross between Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. I wouldn't exactly call it pretty, but it is a powerfully effective vehicle for some of the most gut-wrenching songs around. I will only mention one from CHARCOAL LANE, "Took the Children Away." I suspect this is a mostly autobiographical indictment of Australia's anti-aboriginal racist policies that took Roach from his parents as a young child, ending with a word of hope, "I came back."
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Format: Audio CD
Archie Roach is not only unknown in the US (see last reviewer comments), but also not terribly well known in mainstream Australia. He is one of several Australian singer-songwriters to be associated with Paul Kelly, (who deserves a lot of credit for lending his name and influence to artists who have a great deal to contribute but scant opportunity), and shares some of Kelly's uncomplicated, storytelling songwriting style. I bought Charcoal Lane years ago after I saw Roach perform at the Royal Derby Hotel in Brunswick St., Fitzroy - an inner suburb of Melbourne where Roach spent a great deal of time in his youth - and was immediately affected by the pure emotion in "Took the Children Away", an autobiographical piece that draws on the experiences of both Roach and his wife. Roach has trodden a hard road, among other things beating alcohol, prejudice and the experience of being removed from his family at a young age, part of the infamous "stolen generation" of koorie children removed from their families in Australia in the 50's and 60's under the then government's reprehensible "White Australia" policy. Other songs, such as the title track and "Down City Streets", tell of life in Melbourne's inner city, while "Native Born" details the depth of aboriginals' connection with the land and nature.
The wonderful thing about Roach's art is the straightforward manner in which he talks about his heritage, his experiences and his struggles without surrendering to bitterness or hatred.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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