The 25th (we think) album for Penny and Roger. The duo have lovingly written songs, found songs, and, taking months in the studio, crafted the best versions of the songs that they can. It is truly a labour of love.
Roger sees the album as a whole story of life's ebb and flow. “We go through hardships when we are young (looking for our Blue Sky) and we realise that others are suffering too (Victor Jara , This World is Rich , Sleeping Child on Christmas Eve), but that there is beauty all around us. If we are lucky, we learn not to be disheartened and to find the uplifting experiences in the things that happen to us as we live. As older humans we inevitably look back through our Back Pages and go Looking Out at Mountains in the distance, and we see that, though we thought we knew a lot when we were young, it takes a long time (and a long life) to get perspective.”

There is beauty to be found in simple things and there's riches all around us. There's poverty, tragedy and sadness too. This album looks at the world in all its faces.Penny says “We have been incredibly fortunate in our lives. Firstly, to have a love of music from an early age, and then to meet each other and find love and musical synchronicity – to find the gold in the rising sun and the Silver in the Moon . We have had our dreams (John O'Dreams) and we have used the gifts we were given as well as we are able; learning along the road, singing for people wherever we could, writing songs and making a record of the songs we have sung and written as we have travelled along. Some of the places where we have performed are extra special, and have a song to remember them by, like The Woodford Bell .

Songs, like birds, are strange and rare… and we have been blessed to have some of them land on our hands and in our hearts over such a long, sweet time. We raise a Parting Glass to them all.” BACK TO SHOP

Roger and Penny got together in 1976. On the 23 albums they have made since their first in 1983, they have written and recorded many songs highlighting issues such as the injustice still facing our First Nations people, the plight of refugees, the crises we face in our communities and on our planet caused by greed, and the challenges faced by those who find themselves on the fringes of society. A selection of these songs, recorded between 1984 and 2022, appear together here for the first time.
Penny says "Our albums have always included songs of justice and peace since we began singing together in 1983.
It feels like the right time to bring a few of them together in one collection, to make a loud noise about the place we find ourselves in today. We are writers and singers of songs and if our voices can help to change the world we want to sing as loud as we are able."

A selection from the Complete Book of Australian Folk Lore compiled & annotated by BILL SCOTT, 1972. Bill's book was never intended to be the definitive collection of Australian traditional music – folk music itself is an ongoing, living tradition. Though the Australian “folk revival' of the 1950's had brought many songs into the light, the focus was on men and their occupations, trials and tribulations. The stories of women were largely neglected. Over the last four decades we have created songs that tell some of those stories - our album, Backbone of the Nation – the Women of Australia (RM035 1992) was recorded to fill in the many gaps in the “tradition”. The catalyst for this collection was a commission by the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia to record a number of folk songs for educational purposes. We've added a few more songs and tunes from Bill's book to complete this selection.

In this crisis-ridden world, the love of family, friends and the natural world is very much at the forefront of our minds. This album is enriched by the contributions of our extended family of musicians and songwriters in Australia and further afield. The songs on this album take us from Pyramids Road (close to home) to places and people far and wide.
We are joined by our son, Jordy, on pedal steel, Dobro, guiitar and vocals, and by Roger's brother Tony on bass and vocals. They also co-wrote some of the songs with Penny. A live recording we made in Maine, USA, with another co-writer, Gordon Bok, is also featured. Closer to home, local musician Andy Wilmott (drums) and Lee Williams (bass) appear on two of the tracks. The internet enabled Louise Kelly (piano) and Jemma Armstrong (flute) to add their dashes of magic to a two other songs.


"It all began with our recording of Bill Scott's song,
Hey Rain!
back in 1986 – it was the beginning of a long friendship and a musical collaboration that would
change our lives."
When Penny & Roger moved to Queensland in 1987, one of their first visitors was Bill Scott, who had moved to the next town not long before. Thus began a beautiful friendship, a creative time for them all, and a collaboration that would result in an album of songs written by Bill, many with music by Roger. One of the most well known is Where The Cane Fires Burn a paean to the magic of north Queensland. In 1999 Restless Music released OPAL MINER - The Songs of Bill Scott. Penny & Roger's version of Hey Rain! had been already recorded and released on their third album Birchgrove Quay, and was subsequently played constantly on Ian MacNamara's Australia All Over programme on ABC Radio.

Since the release of OPAL MINER - The Songs of Bill Scott, Penny & Roger have recorded many more of Bill's songs and, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Bill's first collection, Restless Music is excited to announce a brand new album THE SONGS OF BILL SCOTT - Opal Miner 2 - which collects together these songs. In addition Roger has discovered three new sets of lyrics in the archive and has set these to music. Together with three poems, one read by Bill himself, this new collection shows the diverse range (and the humour) of Bill's writing. With Roger's trademark acoustic arrangements and instrumentation, Penny's warm voice and Bill's words - what more could you want?

Notes to some of the songs.......
LIGHT ACROSS THE SEA, There are millions of children and adults around the planet dispossessed by war, jailed for political reasons, struggling to survive in refugee camps, or facing discrimination. The “light across the sea” is the light of our empathy, the light of hope going out to them as we all work to make their lives better
– to make their lives matter.
TENTERFIELD and SHOPPING ON A SATURDAY- Gary Shearston's love songs to his hometown.
THE ROUND WOOD "When I was a child, my family lived in a council housing estate in Nottingham, England. Our street was so new that the old farmhouse, which was still inhabited, the barns, hedges, fields and stiles - even an elderly carthorse - were just over our back fence. My mother was super-protective, but sometimes I would go running free in the fields with the other kids in the street - and up on the hill was the ancient and enigmatic Round Wood which looked down over all our adventures." (PD)
CHIMES OF FREEDOM LAY DOWN YOUR WEARY TUNE and TURN! TURN! TURN! We include three timeless songs from The Byrds' canon of 1965 - Chimes of Freedom, Lay Down Your Weary Tune, and Turn! Turn! Turn! "These songs are as relevant today as they were when I first heard them as a 14 year-old more than half a century ago.
The call for peace, justice, and freedom for the oppressed is as strong now as it ever was." (RI)
ISLE AU HAUT LULLABY We've recorded many songs Gordon Bok has given us over the years – this is one of his earliest. Gordon made the tune after a shipmate challenged him to write something “as simple as that island” (Hay Ledge). The words were written for a disgruntled teenage crew member who was missing the beauty of the world. First recorded by Ann Mayo Muir in 1964.
WHITEHAVEN COAL The environment and cultural history don't seem to matter when big money is involved. Written in in 2013 when this story broke, this song was first recorded by the Barleyshakes on their 2015 album, Fringe Dwellers.
RIVER "There are times in all our lives when we look for ways to skate free of hard decisions or difficulties. If we keep the river in our hearts, with patience we can flow through the troughs we experience and see our troubles as wind-blown wrinkles on the water.
The song is by Joni Mitchell." (PD)
SUMMER-WINTER PHASE. Between 1984 and 1986, we produced four compilation albums at our Restless Music studio in Balmain. The albums featured musicians from the Sydney folk scene. Singer-songwriter Les McKinna was one of the many artists we recorded during that period. His song captures the almost riotous mood of the changing seasons.

PENNY DAVIES & ROGER ILOTT got together in 1976, when Roger was playing guitar in the Sydney-based folk/country rock band, Rusty Dusty Bros . Both Penny and Roger had been performing in the folk music scene during the early 1970's, Penny with Oak Road String Band , Roger with Southern Road Band . Roger's artistry on guitar and banjo saw him backing many other artists in the folk clubs, and performing on numerous recording sessions at the ABC studios in Sydney.
In 1982, PENNY DAVIES & ROGER ILOTT created the folk music label, Restless Music in Balmain,
New South Wales, and in 1983, recorded and released their first album, Restless . Their first three LP albums – Restless, The Proud & Careless Notes , and Birchgrove Quay , acclaimed as Australian folk music classics, have become much
sought-after collector's items around the world.
From 1983 till their 1987, when the couple relocated to Storm King Dam, near Stanthorpe, south-east Queensland, their 8 track recording studio was the hub of folk music recording in Sydney. Since its inception in 1982, the studio/label Restless Music has recorded and released almost 200 albums of mainly Australian folk music, including the last four albums by
the legendary Australian folksinger, Gary Shearston .
Over the last 30 years PENNY DAVIES & ROGER ILOTT have released 20 albums of exceptionally high quality Australian contemporary folk music. “Carefully crafted lyrics, narrative impetus, and beautiful close harmonies
are strong features of their overall sound.”
(Lonnie Martin, Folk Rag)
Bush Baroque – 30 Year Retrospective , collects together some of their career-defining recordings, including Bill Scott 's classic Hey Rain! from their 1986 landmark album, Birchgrove Quay . Ian McNamara ( Australia All Over ): “When I first heard ‘ Hey Rain! ', I was trying to come to grips with producing an Australian radio programme. The light bulb went on.
‘That's it', I said to myself, that's the sort of song that will help to make a successful programme!”
Hey Rain! , along with Where the Cane Fires Burn (from the duo's 1999 CD Opal Miner – The Songs of Bill Scott), Beside a Railway Line , Ridin' on the Fruit Train , The Monkeys Sing Soprano , and Nightfire have all featured on the ABC's bestselling Australia All Over series of albums.

In 1982 we established our folk music label and recording studio, Restless Music, at our rented cottage in Balmain, NSW, where we recorded lots of Sydney folksingers and songwriters. We moved up to Storm King, Queensland, in 1987 and kept the music coming. TIMELESS LAND features many songs about Australia's history, such as the iconic Ballad of Eureka and Ballad of 1891 both written by Helen Palmer & Doreen Bridges in the 1950's . Other featured songwriters are Phyl Lobl, Vince Brophy, John Dengate, Bill Scott, John Broomhall, Gary Shearston, Jill Stevens and Craig Edmondson. Over the lifetime of Restless Music we've met, recorded, performed and worked with many Australian songwriters and singers who have introduced us to some wonderful songs. We've cherry-picked a some of the best for this album.

When Roger was in his first band, Southern Road Band, in 1971 he wrote some instrumental music for an environmental poem, "Wineglass Bay". written by his friend Judi Major.
In 1984 he developed the music into a suite of instrumental music for Alec O'Halloran's Personal Achievement Kit - an album recorded in our studio in Balmain for Alec in that year.
In May, 1992, Roger combined that suite with some instrumental versions of our songs for a Meditation and Yoga album for our friend Lynn Alexander to use in her classes.
This collection combines those instrumental recordings, and an excerpt from Wineglass Bay Suite, with two instrumentals from our first album RESTLESS, plus a 2012 recording of an instrumental he recorded for the wedding of young friends. This album is ideal for quiet time, for meditation, or for times of stress when words get in the way.

Singing and sharing songs has been at the heart of our lives together,” says Penny. “Whether a song is about political or social issues, historical tales, or home truths – we have sung ‘em all. The point of it all is to share joy, ideas, hopes and dreams. That's why we keep on doing it.” |
WINDFALLS, their 23rd (ish) album since their very first vinyl release in 1983, brings together just some of those songs they want to share.

These songs are gathered from writers such as Phyl Lobl, Kevin Baker, Gary Shearston and others, and and create a windfallen tapestry of colours and flavours of the country in which they live, and of the world beyond.
Craig Edmondson's 200 Years, recorded on his 1987 album Bondi Road (on Penny & Roger's Restless Music label - RM019) is the first track. Written about the Australian bicentenary of the arrival of the First Fleet, it is a protest song still relevant today.

A poem, written by Mary Hannay Foott caught songwriter John Broomhall's imagination, and he wrote a tune for Where the Pelican Builds Her Nest on his 1987 album In the Days When the Anzacs Were New (produced by Penny & Roger for the Sandstock label SSM04). Penny says, “When we were walking by the Warrego River in Cunnamulla in November 2021, we saw a sign quoting the poem (the poet used to live nearby). Two pelicans drifted by and we had to sing this song! There's even a YouTube clip to prove it!”

Wollongong songwriter, the late Kevin Baker, is remembered here by two songs, Superstar and Aunty Roony's. “Roger and I have always shared music wherever we have gone - at kitchen tables, around the fire in someone's backyard, under the trees at a summer picnic,” says Penny, “Kevin Baker's Irish family obviously loved and shared music whenever they were together. This pastime is sadly unknown to many of today's talent-show consuming families.”

Penny & Roger built their first studio and began their record label in an old run-down cottage in Sydney's Balmain. “We were lucky to live near the old wharves, where we walked along the waterside, watched the ships come and go and absorbed the history of the old “town”. Phyl Lobl's Old Sydney Town takes us back there in a moment,” says Penny. Gemma Armstrong's soaring flute adds an ethereal quality to the track.

Former Byrds member, the late Gene Clark wrote Silver Raven. “It's a bit mystical.” says Penny, “It was written in the 70's but foresees the changing rivers, the crying seas, the trials of a planet in trouble.”

Penny wrote the lyrics for The Lost Boys (Roger composed the tune). “It's such a difficult issue, but it's so important to talk openly about youth suicide. Knowing a few young men who have taken this tragic path I focused on them, although I know that depression is a universal issue. Boys and young men find it so difficult to show vulnerability and ask for help. They can be gone before anyone knows they are in trouble,” says Penny.

Roger's brother, Tony Ilott *who plays bass on the album) wrote the lyrics to Long Time Waiting and Roger came up with the tune. The Wave Hill walk-off of 1966 (where indigenous station hands went on strike for fair pay) resulted in the handing back, nine years later, of some of their stolen land to the Gurindji people. “As for the rest … still waiting,” says Tony.

For the Children
is a “letter to an old friend”. “It was the last song Gary Shearston wrote - the one he was due to record in our studio on the day he had a fatal stroke. We promised Gary we would get his songs out into the world. I had the lyrics, but no tune, so wrote a melody for the song,” says Roger.

Penny & Roger live in a fruit growing region in Queensland. “At picking time,” says Penny, “the town fills up with young people from all over the world. Their youthful energy enlivens the town, while the district shares its beauty with these Windfalls, who are blown in from everywhere.”

In 2021 Penny and Roger were involved in an outreach programme run by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. “We were doing a songwriting workshop that day and Dave Kerrigan, the Project Coordinator, came out with the phrase ‘you still need Good Bait to catch a yellow belly' (that's a kind of freshwater fish),” explains Penny. “So between Dave, Roger and me, we came up with the rest of the song one afternoon at RFDS HQ in Thargomindah, Queensland.”

Penny first heard Crossing the Bar sung by some beautiful voices in Maine, USA. “It stayed in my head and would pop out from time to time until Roger noticed me singing it to myself and suggested we should record it,” says Penny. “A.L. Tennyson wrote the poem in 1889 and Rani Arbo has written this gorgeous tune in more recent times.”