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The country artist finds inspiration in the Great Southern Land

If there’s a lead character in Adam Harvey’s 15th studio album, it’s surely Australia. Inspired by his experiences travelling its highways over decades of touring, Songs From Highway One is rich with references to the Great Southern Land. On “16 Summers”, Harvey’s “stuck on the Hume Highway”; in “Darwin Nights” he’s “drinking Bundy” among the “cowgirls and the crowds at the Noonamah rodeo”; in “All for Rum” he sings of “Hill Street” where you’ll find the “Bundy Rum distillery”; his cover of Slim Dusty’s “Angel of Goulburn Hill” features a cameo from the much-missed Dusty himself.

That Harvey does all this with his no-nonsense Aussie baritone and honest-to-goodness toe-tapping country grounds the album in the no-fuss, no-worries ethos Australia is renowned for—it is a distinctly Down Under experience. Nestled amongst the romantic visions of the Outback are moments of genuine emotion, with “16 Summers” reflecting on the fact that one day your kids will be grown up and gone, so make the most of your time with them, while “Lindeman Again” is a tribute to Harvey’s father, written with Graeme Connors in Mackay, Harvey’s dad’s favourite place. As with the rest of the album, they are songs as down-to-earth, honest and beautiful as the country in which they’re set.

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