Re-issues of Bill's own albums, formerly only available on cassette.
Hear Bill sing his own songs and recite his own unique and wonderful poems.




Heard the song on the radio? Want a copy right now?
email us at and we will arrange to send you a copy of the album
BIG WATER which includes When The Cooper's Coming Down

Or click here to go to our shop page and purchase Big Water by PAYPAL or CDBABY.

From the swelling inland channels come the flighting ducks in multitudes......
Bill Scott's breathtaking song about the breaking of the drought.
Heard the song on the radio? Want a copy right now?

email us at and we will arrange to send you a copy of the album
OPAL MINER which includes Rain In The Channel Country
Or click here to go to the shop and purchase by PAYPAL or CDBABY

Heard the song on the radio? Want a copy right now?
email us at and we will arrange to send you a copy of the album
OPAL MINER which includes Where The Cane Fires Burn
Or click here to go to the shop and purchase by PAYPAL or CDBABY

THE MAGPIES SAID - Denis Glover's poem.
Set to music by John Broomhall and performed by

Heard the poem on the radio? Want a copy of the song right now?
email us at and we will arrange to send you a copy of the album
BIG WATER which includes The Cooper's Coming Down

Or click here to go to our shop page and purchase Big Water by PAYPAL or CDBABY.



Restless Music, our small studio based in Stanthorpe in regional Queensland since 1987, has produced 5 of the tracks on the recently released ABC album “ Macca's Top 100” .
Historical background:
‘Song of the Trees (Wild and Free)', written by John Broomhall, was recorded in 1985 for his second album “ Free As the Breeze” at the Restless Studio in Balmain, Sydney. This track was recorded on a 4 track recorder shortly before Restless Music upgraded to 8-track. The song features John Broomhall on guitar and vocal, Roger Ilott on rhythm guitar, John Spillane on tin whistle, Penny Davies & Ann Broomhall on backing vocals. The song was also included on the historic 1985 album “ Wilderness - Songs for Conservation & Environment” (Restless RM005).
‘Free As the Breeze,' the title track from John Broomhall's second album, was recorded on 4-track, then dubbed over to the new TASCAM 8-track machine, where piano was added by Roger Ilott, and additional vocals were performed by Margaret, Bob and Kate Fagan, Ann and Megan Broomhall and Penny Davies. Dave Lambert added fiddle and Jenny Shimmin contributed banjo

‘Hey Rain!, written by Bill Scott, was recorded by Penny Davies & Roger Ilott for their landmark third album “Birchgrove Quay” in 1986, also in their tiny backyard Balmain studio, on the new 8-track machine. The song features Penny on vocals and dulcimer and Roger on vocals, acoustic guitars, bass and banjo. This track was picked up by Ian McNamara and included on the first “Australia All Over – Volume 1” compilation.

‘The Monkeys Sing Soprano (Around Stanthorpe In July)' was recorded in the relocated Restless Studio at Storm King Dam, at Stanthorpe in 1991 for Penny & Roger's album “Down The Track” . It was one of the early (of many) songwriting collaborations between Bill Scott and Roger Ilott (the first being ‘ Trochus Boats' ). The musical arrangement was a tribute to Penny & Roger's friend Lee Williams, and features Roger on vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele and wobble board, with Penny on vocals.

‘Where The Cane Fires Burn' was recorded in 1999 for Restless Music's best selling album “Opal Miner – The Songs Of Bill Scott” . The arrangement features Penny on vocals, Roger on keyboards and Bill Rodgers on Celtic harp. The string orchestration, assumed by many to be an actual string orchestra, is in fact Roger's keyboard work.

The songs produced at Restless feature on “Macca's Top 100” along with songs from The Waifs, Gangajang, The Bobkatz, The Basics, Ted Egan, The Pigrams, Digger Revell, Gary Shearston and many others.

“We're thrilled to have so many songs included”, says Penny. “It's a real boost to know that our music will go out to lots of new people around Australia and the world as a result of this collection.”

“Working on songs with Bill was one of the most rewarding creative experiences I've had in 45 years of being a professional musician,” says Roger. “He was a gifted lyricist and poet and also came up with brilliant melodies for ‘Hey Rain!' and ‘Where The Cane Fires Burn'. It's wonderful that his work has been heard by millions of people around the world.”

Penny and Roger have released 20 albums on their little label Restless since their first in 1983. They are currently working on a new album, “Boomerang Bay”, due for release in 2012.


About Restless Music

Updated April 2016


image link to free hit counters website

Gary Shearston

Gary Shearston recorded his final albums in the Restless studio at Storm King. They are REVERENTLY, PATHWAYS OF A CELTIC LAND and HILLS OF ASSISI.
Gary's hree previous albums, THE BEST OF ALL TRADES, RENEGADE, and THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN GROOVE (released by Rouseabout Records), were also recorded at Restless Music.


Penny Davies and I first met and started working with Gary Shearston in 2005. From then, till his passing on July 1, 2013, we recorded exactly 100 songs together. We put out four of his albums - The Best Of All Trades, Renegade , and The Great Australian Groove (these three released on Rouseabout Records) , and Reverently… (just released by Restless Music) - and became close mates. These eight years proved to be most fruitful and prolific songwriting period of his life.

Gary loved (as he called it) our ‘funky little studio'. Before, after, or during a session we'd sit on our verandah taking in the trees, the birds and the sky, and yarn over endless cups of Billy Tea, accompanied by scones, sandwiches, or cake – and sometimes his favourite Bungawarra Foundation Chardonnay. We learnt about his life and experiences through these chats - and through his songs.

To Gary's great joy, his son, Luke Shearston, played on two of the albums we recorded. Our son, Jordy Davies-Ilott, and our long-time friend, Lee Williams, made numerous significant musical contributions to his albums and, as well, became his close mates.

I'd first heard Gary's music when I was a teenager in the 1960's , but I was quite taken by his non-folky worldwide hit of 1974, I Get A Kick Out Of You – particularly the pedal steel part, the unrestrained violin solo, the pounding drum fills at the end of the song, and Gary's casual vocal. In latter days, Gary dismissed the song as a throwaway, and had no intention of ever singing it again. However, in January this year, he performed it spontaneously, along with some of his other songs, with our band, The Ring-Ins (which includes Lee & Jordy) at a function at our place, Folkstone. This rendition included a violin solo comparable to the original by the Barleyshakes ' Kristin Kelly.

Though Penny and I had performed in the Sydney folk music scene from the early 1970's until our departure to Queensland in 1987, we never connected with Gary as that period coincided with his prolonged absence from Australia. Nevertheless, we were kept aware of his music over the years by way of the ABC's Australia All Over radio programme – he also became aware of our music through that show. We finally met in 2005 when he was doing a stint for a few months as an Anglican Priest in Stanthorpe.

He was due to come over to listen to the final mix of the new album, Reverently…, record yet another song (another two albums of Gary's songs, plus a live album, will also be released sometime in the near future) and sit and enjoy tea and scones on July 2. He passed away the night before.

Gary believed in love, social justice, and peace. He believed the power of song could make the world a better place.

I'll miss him, his cheery, but sometimes world-weary, ‘ Hello mate' – we'll all miss him - but feel privileged to have been able to help him get so many of his musical thoughts, hopes and dreams out into the world.

ROGER ILOTT. Folkstone, Storm King, Queensland, July, 2013.

from PENNY DAVIES (on the way to the UK, July, 2013)

Somewhere east of Bangkok - sun on the clouds below - thinking about Gary and meanwhile listening reverently to his newest songs. These songs have so much life and heart in them - the voices crying in the wilderness are questioning; they are harmonious, sometimes strident, honest, loving and warm.

Gary's songs are folksongs. Gary seemed to be waiting for the light these last few years - putting his songs out in the hope that the light of love would shine on them. He never lost hope - though sometimes his heart was at a low ebb. "Onwards" he would say, and the song flow continued.

Watching the collaboration develop between Gary and Roger was a joy. Their creative ideas came into sync along the way and the rest of us were swept along on the tide. Gary's (Riverina) dreaming fuelled a trove of strong, sometimes dark songs - always seen through a curtain of life-giving rain.

The Last Song

Songman, your guitar is laid away inside its case
We'll hear your voice ring out no more,
We'll no more see your face
The songs you made are breathing hope
Into our wounded hearts
The world is left the poorer when a soul like yours departs.

Songs have breath and heart, and soul,
songs have soaring wings.
Your song will go on living
So long as singers sing.


Check out the Undercover Music website for more information. Most of Gary Shearston's back catalogue is available through the Undercover shop.

Gary also has an official website

And a wikipedia entry.

Photo above shows Gary in the studio during sessions for RENEGADE, 2010.

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First ever Restless Record to be released in Europe!

Back in 1983 Penny Davies & Roger Ilott built their first studio in the backyard of their house in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. The purpose of the studio was to record some demos so that Roger could get work as a session guitarist, however he didn't rate himself as much of a singer in those days, so asked Penny to do some vocals. The album "RESTLESS" came out before they had ever performed together in public. Only 500 copies were pressed and a copy recently sold for almost $200 on eBay. Guerssen Records in Spain has taken an interest in this historic album and has now released"RESTLESS" as a limited edition CD.
Back then they said: "(Restless) succeeds because the album is put together with care and good taste… Penny Davies' voice is warm and natural, with an endearing occasional rough edge. Roger Ilott uses acoustic and electric 6 and 12 stringers, pedal steel and bass, to weave delightful counterpoints to the melody."Stringybark & Greenhide, Vol. 5, No 1, 1983
Now they're saying:
Hay varios discos mágicos para amantes del folk- psych, folk- prog y folk- rock en los primeros 80. Esos álbumes les dan mil vueltas a muchos discos del género en los 70; mientras algunos discos son constantemente sobrevalorados por el simple hecho de ser 70's, muchos otros sufren lo contrario y son infravalorados o incluso ignorados por el hecho de ser 80''s. Guerssen quiere tomar cartas en el asunto y hacer su parte echando luz sobre estos grandiosos, desconocidos y olvidados discos. Primero fue Bob Theil, luego Walti Huber, y ahora es el turno del dúo australiano Penny Davies & Roger Illott. Penny y Roger llevan en activo desde 1983, cuando comenzaron su carrera discográfica con este excelente disco. Se trata de folk- rock de primera línea, con guitarras acústicas, y eléctricas de 6 y 12 cuerdas a cargo de Roger, más la voz femenina de Penny (con alguna ayuda de Roger), a lo que se añade ocasional percusión, pandereta, mandolina.....nada de batería, nada de bajo...sólo desnudas y directas melodías que enganchan a la primera.
16 temas en total, 5 de ellos bonus tracks inéditos hasta hoy y grabados en las mismas sesiones que el álbum!!! Nuevo diseño de portada (a petición del dúo), booklet con fotos y notas escritas por los músicos y, como es habitual en nuestras ediciones, con slimcase. Recomendado!!!
Check out http Guerssen Records by clicking here

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Bill Scott's brilliant song WHERE THE CANE FIRES BURN features on ABC Talking Book SUGAR IN THE BLOOD
When Penny Davies & Roger Ilott recorded Bill's song, Where The Cane Fires Burn, they had no idea how many people would grow to love the song. As Penny says "It's about being homesick, and I guess everyone has had that feeling at some time in their lives".
The song struck a chord with the producers of ABC Talking book SUGAR IN THE BLOOD, by W.S. (Bill) Oliver. The book, read by Drew Forsythe, is introduced by a verse of the song. Many more people have fallen in love with the song since the production of the talking book.
WHERE THE CANE FIRES BURN is featured on OPAL MINER - The Songs Of Bill Scott. Click here for description of the album.


Restless Music was started in 1982 by folksingers, Penny Davies and Roger Ilott, who were living in Sydney. The studio was originally known as Restless Recordings. From 1983 until August, 1987, when Penny and Roger relocated to a 32 acre property at Storm King Dam, Stanthorpe, Queensland, Restless Recordings was the centre of the Sydney folk music recording scene. During that time, Penny and Roger produced 20 albums on the Restless label, as well as albums for other small labels such as Tindola, Sandstock and Crossover. Since moving to Stanthorpe they have continued to produce their own music (see catalogue) and albums for Australian Bush Poets and country performers.
For more information, click here : Studio & Label

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