Click on this image to
download an interview by the very generous Nick
Charles for his "Musician" column in
this January's issue of a Rhythms, Australia's
most widely read roots magazine.
are a some very kind reviews of "Out of
Down Under, Australian Hi-Fi Sept/Oct
"It almost took me
longer to read the 'thank-you's' on the back
of the CD than
it did to listen to Out of the Shower. Ealey's
contralto voice is a superb instrument, her lower registers are almost tenor and so superbly
earthy you can smell the humus. At times when
she sings, she sometimes seems to 'dual pitch',
with her voice briefly catching the upper octave
(or second octave!) before regaining the 'real'
note, which I found quite fascinating. It's also
lucky she's singing her owns songs. No Right
Way is so fiendishly difficult I don't think
it'll every be covered. Her songwriting abilities
are demonstrated by Child of My Heart, easily
the finest lyric I have heard in a long time,
and Wendy is so obviously singing from the heart
that it will stick in your memory."
Julia Irwin, Northcote
Leader May 07
"When Northcote resident Wendy Ealey wrote
to Grammy Award winning US singer-songwriter
Janis Ian describing herself as an insignificant
songwriter who wanted to do a version of her
song 'Jesse', Ian replied saying there is "no
such thing as an insigificant songwriter".
She said she was welcome to record the song.
Ealey does the song justice with her faithful
rendition, but it is some of the songs she
has written herself that can move the listener
to tears or laughter. This is an intensely
personal folk roots album from a seasoned musician.
Standout tracks include the title 'Out of the
Shower', an optimistic song about gaining confidence
with age, and 'Child of My Heart', about Ealey's
longing to have a child afer the biological
clock passed midnight. Ealey's 82-year old
mother Mary Stentiford performs backing vocals
on one track. 'Out of the Shower' is well worth
a listen. It is available at Wendy's gigs."
John Williams, Trad & Now December - January
"In the cover notes
to this CD Wendy says she wrote to Janis Ian
asking permission to sing the classc song 'Jesse'.
The reply was, "Wendy, there is no such
thing as a singer/songwriter of little consequence."
After listening to this CD many times I am surprised
that Wendy thought of herself in this way as
this CD is a beauty.
The review took quite a while to write as I had
to keep stealing the CD back from my wife who
took a real liking to it. Everyone I played it to also thought it was terrific.
There are thirteen tracks ten of which are written
Wendy can write very powerful lyrics.
Her song, "Bigger Than This"* about
our government's attitude to refugees deserves
wide airplay but probably won't make commercial
radio. That's why we have the ABC.
Another political and thought provoking track
is "Riding on Uncertainty".
Wendy also shows her abilities with many highly
"Cautionary Tale" shows what happens
to a partner who cheats.
"Child of my Heart" has such a sense
of longing it could easily move you to tears.
"Walls" is about a relationship break-up
and getting over it.
My favorite track is the very amusing "Dancing".
This song will sure fill the halls of Australia
with willing dance participants! At the very
least you are guaranteed a good laugh.
The title track, "She's Out of the Shower" is
If this is the case then Australia has gained
a great singer/songwriter who has the ability
to construct meaninful lyrics and perform them
with great vocal talent.
There are many other fine tracks on this CD.
You won't be disappointed if you purchase it.
And I'll bet Janis Ian will be pleased with
Wendy's cover of 'Jesse'."
* To avoid any confusion, Bigger Than This was
not written by me, but rather by Mary Caruana,
in conjunction with Brent Parlane. I thank them
for their permission to record the song and for
their contribution to the recording. Mary and
Brent both sang backing vocals, Mary's daughter
Belle is that angelic voice of youth at the end
of the song, and Brent also kindly played guitar
on the track.
By jools • Feb 14th, 2009
Wendy Ealey has a voice that
takes me back to smoke filled folk venues of Melbourne 30 odd years ago. With
good reason, she has been a performer on the folk scene both in Australia and
in Britain since the 70′s.
Hers is a big beautiful voice that resonates
with passion as she sings songs penned by herself and others accompanying herself
on guitar. Political songs nestle comfortably with love songs to form a quilt
of human experience.
A song written by Mary Caruana with Brent Parlane called “Bigger Than
This” can be found on on her MySpace site, is a ballsy dig at the treatment
of “illegal” immigrants. “Child of My Heart” is the
story of grief felt by an infertile woman.
And to be scrupulously fair, a less enamoured assessment of
Michael Scott Cain, Rambles.NET 11 October 2008
There's no doubt Australian singer-songwriter Wendy Ealey can
sing. She has a huge contralto and the technique to use it appropriately for
whatever song she's singing at the moment, at a boom or whisper.
I have is with what she chooses to sing. Like many contemporary songwriters,
Ealey is fond of the direct statement. As an example, consider these words
from "Walls," a song about
the aftermath of being dumped:
And yet I continued to function
I worked and sometimes I would play
For sometime I felt no compunction
in nursing my heartache, in hiding away.
I've had those feelings, so I know what Ealey is singing about. The problem
is she's telling me about them, rather than making me feel them. Surely, an
image or a pattern of imagery is available that will make the point without
just talking about it.
In "Out of the Shower," a song about a woman
finally taking control of her life, Ealey uses the metaphor of taking a long
shower to signify hiding from life. But after constructing the metaphor,
Ealey returns to direct statement, writing:
She thought there was no rush
Had not anticipated the people who would crush
Her dreams and aspirations
With a few well chosen words.
I'm aware there are many people out there who respond to what a song is saying
rather than the way it is said, and many of those people will like this CD
-- but as far as the art of songwriting goes, good messages don't necessarily
make good songs.