Archie Roach Announces New Album Tell Me Why To Coincide With Long-Awaited Memoir + First Single 'Open Up Your Eyes' Out Now
Not many have lived as many lives – from stolen child, teenage alcoholic, seeker, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, to social advocate and First Nations leader – but it took almost a lifetime to find who he really was.
He is Archie Roach.
Now comes Roach’s highly anticipated memoir, Tell Me Why (published by Simon & Schuster), and the 18 track companion album of the same name. Both will be released on 1 November.
The album re-imagines eleven songs which have defined his extraordinary thirty-year musical career, alongside two songs that have never-before-been recorded, two songs of early-influence, and three brand new recordings. Tell Me Why re-unites him with celebrated and multi award winning composer, arranger and producer Paul Grabowsky.
The new single ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ is the first song Roach ever penned, but it has never been recorded until now. It was written in the late 1970s, during a stint in rehab at Galiamble, a Men’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Centre in St Kilda. Archie says, “I was about 19 or 20 years old. During whatever free time I had outside of our chores and the AA meetings, I would have with me a guitar, a pen and a notebook. One time, as I started writing what I thought was a poem, having always loved poetry, I looked down at the words: ‘At fifteen I left my home, looking for the people I call my own, but all I found was pain and strife’. I realised then that writing and words, poetry and prose, has a rhythm to it. I picked up the guitar and started strumming and – bang – it just came, the melody and the rhythm and everything, all at once.”
A keen observer and soulful poet, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his life’s journey through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved and respected by fans worldwide.
Some songs shine a light on dark subjects: the consequences of the forced removal of children from family in ‘Took The Children Away’, ‘Tell Me Why’, and ‘Lighthouse (Song For Two Mothers)’, and about life on the streets, on ‘F Troop’ and ‘Down City Streets’. Others connection to self and family: ‘Small Child’, ‘Always Be Here’; to country on ‘A Child Was Born Here’, and ‘Nopun Kurongk’, and of LOVE: love of family, culture, country and of each other echoes through ‘Let Love Rule’ and ‘Little By Little’.
‘Rally Round The Drum’ was co-written with Paul Kelly on tour in New Zealand in the early ‘90’s after the release of Charcoal Lane. Now, these two giants of Australian music re-unite to record it together for the very first time.
Tell Me Why producer Paul Grabowsky says, “I’ve known Archie since the mid-90s. He is an inspiring man: deep, thoughtful, taciturn. His songs ring with clarity, his voice richly textured; it is extraordinary to witness the magic he casts over an audience. Everything he says is deeply considered. This album is my response to the enormity of his story and its resonances, and to the quiet pride and generosity of this remarkable man.”
Tell Me Why, the memoir and the companion album, both make a critically important contribution to the Australian story for us all.
The album will be available to fans digitally, as an individually numbered deluxe CD, and for a limited time, on 140g double vinyl. The double CD comes in a stunning textured and embossed hardcover book, with 32 pages of extensive notes, lyrics, and exclusive photos.
Tell Me Why Archie Roach Album out 1 November 2019 through Bloodlines Available to pre-order here
Tell Me Why tracklisting: 1. Took The Children Away 2. A Child Was Born Here 3. F Troop 4. Nopun Kurongk 5. Just A Closer Walk With Thee (feat. Emma Donovan) 6. Lighthouse (Song For Two Mothers) 7. One For Each Person, And One For The Pot 8. Little By Little 9. Down City Streets 10. Rally Round The Drum (feat. Paul Kelly) 11. Small Child 12. The Jetty Song 13. Always Be Here (feat. Sally Dastey) 14. Tell Me Why (feat. Sally Dastey) 15. Let Love Rule 16. One Up Your Eyes 17. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry 18. Place Of Fire