Just one look at the beautiful cover photo on The Waifs’ new album Ironbark says a lot about who they are and what they are about; friends and family bound together by their love of music, of performing and of Australia.
It’s 25 years since West Australian sisters Donna and Vikki Simpson (now Vikki Thorn) joined forces with Josh Cunningham to create one of the country’s best-loved bands. That cover shot, taken near Cunningham’s home on the NSW south coast, marks The Waifs’ quarter of a century together, but it’s also a nod to Australia itself, its nature and its people, essential ingredients in the extraordinary body of work The Waifs have created in that time.
One can’t imagine a better way to commemorate this significant landmark in the band’s career than with a double album of 25 original songs, one for each year, all of them recorded in the kitchen of Cunningham’s home near Moruya, where he grew up. That’s the amazing _ and unexpected_ harvest from a couple of weeks of recording late last year, when the trio assembled with regular collaborators David Ross McDonald (drums, percussion) and Ben Franz (bass, dobro), not really knowing what they were about to record, other than maybe some covers of other artists’ material.