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Aussie music great Paul Kelly performs live in studio

JOHN STANLEY

When it comes to great Australian music, you can’t go past Paul Kelly.

The singer-songwriter has dug his heels into a range of genres from bluegrass to folk, but his core remains his iconic Aussie rock style.

His songs capture the vastness and culture of the Aussie landscape, chronicling some 30 years of his life.

“The good thing about those old songs is I think about the people I’ve played with on those records, it’s sort of like carrying my friends with me,” he tells John Stanely.

“Not all my song are stories, but quite a few of them are.”

WATCH | See Paul Kelly perform ‘A Bastard Like Me’ live in the studio

Paul tells John his music often starts with an image, particularly his most famous track ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’.

“That started with a picture of Gough Whitlam pouring dirt into the hands of Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji. That’s a really striking photo taken by Mervyn Bishop.

“I don’t really sit down and think I’m going to write a song about this event or this person. It’s usually some other thing that starts it.

“In the case of the song I’m doing today, ‘A Bastard Like Me’, it starts from the title of his autobiography… Charlie Perkins’ book.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Paul Kelly’s new album Nature has just been released and is closely linked to the natural world.

Five of the songs are poems written by a number of incredible poets and novelists.

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