Made up of Tex Perkins (The Cruel Sea, Beasts Of Bourbon), Don Walker (Cold Chisel) and well-known guitarist Charlie Owen, the trio’s last album was ‘All Is Forgiven’ back in 2005, and Charlie says that gap in releases was far from intentional.
“Every time Tex, Don & Charlie play together there’s this magic that happens,” Charlie says, “and I know it took a while to get around to making this record, but that was due to unforeseen circumstances, deaths in the family.
"It’s been a busy time in people’s lives. We started preparing this album several years ago really, but things held us up.
“For some reason there’s a thing that happens between the three of us when we play together that’s slightly different to everything else we do. Even if we’re playing the same songs, when the three of us get together there’s a certain mood and I think it’s our differences rather than our similarities that create this.”
‘You Don’t Know Lonely’ is an album all about mood and storytelling, weaving a narrative between vignettes of dark characters and devious deeds. Charlie says the style of songwriting the trio employs is entirely different to anything else the famed musicians do, making it a special project for Charlie. “We’re not constructing songs,” Charlie explains, “they’re all moments in time and they’re all basically live performances.
“We know what we like to do and we go and play it, and that is also part of the pleasure of Tex, Don & Charlie. We don’t want Tex, Don & Charlie to be constantly around and become a thing we’re always doing.
“It is meant to be special, it is meant to be an occasion; we like the shows to be an occasion and we want to maintain that mood. We probably will make another record, but I doubt it will be another 12 years this time,” he laughs.
The new album’s lead single, ‘A Man In Conflict With Nature’, captures the duality Charlie says has come to define and characterise the band’s work as unique among the members’ collective output. “The great thing about Tex, Don & Charlie is it can be sly and serious one moment and then funny the next moment,” he says, “and humour is sometimes the best way to get across a strong point anyway. That’s part of its value, is that it can be funny without being a joke.”
With a national tour planned throughout August and September, Tex, Don & Charlie will enthral audiences with a captivating album that has a twist in its tail. “There’s no real rocking, up-tempo numbers, so putting together the order of the tracks has to flow so you don’t notice whether the songs are fast or slow,” Charlie says.
“The vignettes take you from one step to another, to another, to another, to the final ironic statement of ‘look around and see how great life is’. After all these miserable characters and devious deeds, suddenly at the end there’s this deeply ironic piece of work: ‘how good is life?’."