D Caf and I have been talking about doing this album for a couple of years … an album recorded in Melbourne and working with my very talented Melbourne friends. What started as a joke rapidly became the name of the album. Marian felt there should be a song called Mexico … so we wrote one.
A lot of the album is Damian and I with Carlos … the nylon string guitar that Marian bought me from the Salvation Army Shop in Yass for $25. D Caf loves that guitar and insisted that we used it on every track. Beyond that we just kept adding our Mexican friends.
The Weeping Willows (Andy and Laura) came in to work with me on The Roses Fall and Andy stuck around to add to some other songs. Jen was in Melbourne for a few days and recorded That’s Why Lonely People Drink with me. It’s a song I wrote with Luke Robinson that had sat around for years waiting for the right album … and the right singer. She also added killer vocals to a song I had written with Damian called Powerful Thing. I had met Pete Fiddler at the Americana Festival in Nashville in 2015 and was dying to work with him … so I did. Lachlan came to play piano and organ on our song It’s Not Nearly Time and stayed to add sparkle to some others. The legendary James Gillard kindly added some killer backing vocals and stand-up bass.
The other songs came from all over. Taken By The Wind and If Life Gives You Lemons were written with Keith Potger. Keith and I won a Golden Guitar together in 1983 for Song Of The Year. We thought 35 years was long enough to wait to write some more. Andy and I had written Losing Hand In A Dying Town and loved the idea but felt something was missing. The first rule of recording is never write a song while you’re recording in the studio … yeah right … we completely rewrote the song with Damian … that worked.
I wrote Drunks Like Charlie and Sucking My Darling Dry with Manfred Vijars and Life Imitating Art with Jen Mize in Canada (sorry Queensland). I wrote Why Everything’s So Pink with Charley Stefl in Nashville (the real one).
No Longer My Best Friend is, in my opinion, the best ever Caswell song. Damian and I completely wrote and recorded it in a single day. The rest of the album fell together around it. The song is fiercely autobiographical and is really a song about my life with Marian.
The day before I left for Mexico to record the final tracks for the album, I ran a master class on my back deck in the Mountains … we wrote Knowing That You’re There in a couple of hours. Thanks to Renee, Elizabeth, Jim, Richard, Glenn, Catherine, Cliff and Mark. The 10-track album that had blown out to 13 had now become 14.
So that’s the album. Mexico is as much D Caf’s record as it is mine. He ploughed all his skill, creativity and hard work into something he really believed in. A big thank you to Damian, Marian, Lachlan, Jen, Andy and Laura, Pete, James, Bill and Nia McMartin, all the other writers … (Marian, Damian, Lachlan, Charley, Manfred, Luke, Keith and the back deck team Renee, Elizabeth, Jim, Richard, Glen, Catherine, Cliff and Mark), Carlos and Big Kev, Aleyce Simmonds, Michael Carpenter, Allan Tomkins (Tomkins Guitars and Basses) my Mum Jean McGrath, David, Kim, Zoe, Georgia, Shannon, Dan, Ash, Georgia, Sam, Em, Dale, Tyler, Tom, Brian and Marlene, Steve and Sue … and our grandkids … Parker, Ivy, Reef, Jed and Laney … and to my 2 fathers Harry Caswell and Mick McGrath
… They do it for the music down in Mexico.