If you’ve never heard of The Dirty Three, you won’t know who Mick Turner is. You should be hung drawn and quartered, but you won’t know who he is, and it’s your loss.
The contemplative and always left-of-centre guitarist for the Melbourne-based post-rock legends, Blue Trees is a compilation of rarities from Turner, featuring some songs with his Dirty Three bandmate and drummer Jim White.
The album is a wonderfully meandering journey through an airy space filled with the breezy tones of country and folk music, yet building and building like a wave of sound, showing Turner’s close lineage to bands like Mogwai, Mono and, at the same time, The Birthday Party and The Drones.
I had the good fortune to see him live in a tiny warehouse in Marickville called The Cad Factory, and watching this maestro effortlessly construct soundscapes from mouth organ and guitar loops was sublime.
The album also features his Chagall-inspired artwork on the cover. Live, he projects a suite of his work on a screen behind him, along with pieces of film, and you get the feeling that Mick is a man heavily inspired by what he sees.