Album Review: Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier | Everybody’s Begging

The mesmerising singer-songwriter Deborah Conway and her husband, guitarist Willy Zygier are travelling north again from their Melbourne base launching their new album, Everybody’s begging.

On a recent week night in Byron Bay, the couple played to a sold out venue full of fans – with a large portion no doubt seeing Conway thirty years prior at the Piggery across the railway tracks – but this time sitting sedately in tiered seating without the sweaty dance moves and Tooheys spillage.

Having purchased the Conway/Zygier collaborative catalogue over the years; Stories of Ghosts, Summertown, Half man half woman, My third husband – we are given another musical treat just by glancing at the quality of musicians and production within the album sleeve.

Like the concert, the album transports you from your daily grind to a creative and thought provoking place.

With Vika and Linda Bull, plus Syd, Alma and Hettie Zygier on vocals, Zygier on steel and acoustic guitar and Conway’s huge howling voice, you are shaken straight up with the album’s title song Everybody’s begging; “…nothing like an earthly hell/to bring out all the self-styled angels/but the ones who spell it out can’t spell/ you give them something and they want something else.”

Each lyric is mindfully mastered – of note the track Blessed, with tongue firmly in cheek this is a compilation of self-messianic Leonard Cohen lyrics.

Deborah Conway is an iconic singer, playing with a musician who can make a one stringed instrument sound like a mandolin, a banjo, a country steel guitar, with a band selected from the hallowed Melbourne jazz club Bennett’s Lane.

Songs; As Sweet as Battles Won, Life’s a Curse and This Song Has Got Me, subtly stand out due to the clarity and groove of double bassist Simon Starr, the super fine jazz style drumming of Niko Schauble and piano dramatist Hue Blanes.

 

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