Thanks to Al Riebau of the Western Australian Folk Federation for this review.

Live picture Scarborough Australia

Winter Wilson in WA

By Al R

Just what is a muse and how do you get one? It seems everyone else but me

knows. But the one thing I think I do know is how to tell when somebody has one.

Passion and an un-relenting itch to create seem to give it away. I reckon Winter

Wilson must have several muses on a continuing consulting basis.

Last month Winter Wilson made it to WA on their “Ashes and Dust” Australian tour.

The muses and Kip and Dave were working hard, east coast then west coast

Australia (Okay, some time in Kiwi land too). Lots of Great Southern Land

adventures reported on their blog and a huge list of admirers gained. In Western

Australia they played in Lesmurdie, Bindoon, Joondalup, Warwick, and Freemantle.

They did a radio show and played a few songs on air. But those are only the facts.

The reality was that their muses were doing over-time. What we got here in WA were

great gigs featuring songs about us, cutting right to the core of us, delivered with a

good-humour and kindness. By “us” I am referring to our human condition. A state

Winter Wilson expresses with often startling insight.

I got to travel a bit here in the northern suburbs with Kip Winter and Dave Wilson and

learn about them. Kip and Dave have been creating as musicians since their

twenties or before. They got together as a couple through song about 25

years ago, which tells you something profound about them. They stick to

accomplishing things, together. Dave says he writes the songs, but Kip completes

them. The songs Dave writes are stories about sometimes very hard-hitting aspects

of human life. Kip then sings those stories alive. Together they turn these living

stories into drama or comedy or slightly off-kilter observations carved out of emotion

using guitar, accordion, flute and their harmonies. Take for example the fact that

Dave and Kip both lost jobs and then changed their lives completely to be full-time

folk musicians when other grandparents just gave-up and retired. They expressed

that very human experience in the lyrics of their anthem to not growing old, ever:

Still Life in the Old Dog Yet

Thirty years I'd given them when I was shown the door.

The boss never got to say goodbye;

They gave him the push just a fortnight before.

And I can't deny it crippled me; it all came as such a shock.

No matter how I tried, I couldn't help but cry,

The last time that I punched the clock.

Ten thousand pounds redundancy; they said I could re-train.

I blew the whole lot on a college course,

I was trying to get back to work again.

50 grand a year they said, but it all came down to naught.

“It's a young man's game and you're past your prime”

No-one said it, but I know what they thought.

CHORUS But there's still life in the old dog yet.

The wiser you are the older you get.

Shout out every day when you get out of bed,

There's still life in the old dog yet.         (copyright David J Wilson 2011)


I was fortunate enough to hear Dave and Kip in Bindoon and Joondalup. At Bindoon

there was quite a group that assembled (see the photo of Kip and Dave surrounded

by Bindoon ‘groupies’). Bindoon is a sweet old place and the people who came out

were a lovely group of true-blues. First there was a curry supper put on by the

country women’s association. Kip and Dave then preformed a large part of the new

“Ashes and Dust” CD with the audience demanding at least one encore. Having

listened to them on YouTube, I was sort of ‘pre-disposed’ to like their music live. I

must admit that I am one of those people that when I hear unfamiliar songs, I don’t

usually get into them on first listen. But Winter Wilson songs are crisp and poignant,

delivered with such good spirit and joy, I found they fit my ear like the preverbal old

shoe (Ha! Mixed mangled metaphor! Got one in!). We had maybe 80 folks at

Bindoon then a few nights later in Joondalup close to 30 (thanks to Mags and new-
scooter guitar Bill, blessed good as those two are). Each listen to their songs, the

songs got better, dearer, closer. Three days later I was still having them playing in

my mind. Kip and Dave got on the plane back to the UK on a Saturday. I listened

finally on the Monday to their CD, then wished we could do Joondalup and Bindoon

all over again. I’ve heard variations of the same story from people who saw them at

the Hills Folk Club (Lemurdie) and Wanneroo Folk Club (Warwick). Kip and Dave

plan to come back to Australia in 2019 and I think everyone who saw them will be

bringing their friends along on the next tour they do.

So... Winter Wilson and their consulting muses, whom I hope all got good seats on

the plane back home. Songs that are cracking-good stories about us humans.

Songs of the spiritual in the broadest sense. Songs of the human heart. Struggles

and victories. Tears and joys. Glories and failures. Pregnancy tests, job retraining,

motherhood, relationships, heroic yarn-spinners, camper vans.... Ashes and Dust.