In stepping back for a moment from the cerebral rock that emanates from the genius of antipodean guitar giants Powderfinger, lead singer Bernard Fanning has decided to take this opportunity to venture forth on his own. But rather than continue down a similar road to that which he navigates with the Brisbane-based ensemble, his recent solo venture, Tea & Sympathy, sees Fanning bringing his musical consideration to the front porch set.
Bristling acoustic guitars, chiming mandolins, effervescent strings, and a wailing lap steel flavor the instrumental conjecture that underpins Fanning’s fervently passionate vocalizing. Electric guitars howl in the distance, hands clap in servitude, and cymbals crash in affirmation. If this is nothing but an interlude within Fanning’s more contemporary musical passage, then that would indeed be a shame. For this is much more than a foray in roots music by a rock and roll star.
With Tea & Sympathy, Fanning has staked a legitimate claim upon some sacred musical territory. And in finding residence on the label that also shelters the likes of Ryan Adams and Lucinda Williams, Bernard Fanning is sounding right at home.