HUSH HUSH BIZ SINGLE REVIEW
Drive The Highway
At the intersection of Australia’s lively folk scene, Charlie Powling steps forward with his newest track, Drive The Highway. This engaging journey interlaces heartfelt storytelling, emotional sincerity, and dynamic musical energy. Over the past decade, Charlie’s experiences in Darwin’s live music scene have solidified him as a talented storyteller, highlighted by his appearance at the prestigious 2019 Darwin Festival. Drive The Highway unfolds with a blend of rhythmic elements, deliberate dynamics, and a variety of sonic layers, including atmospheric backing vocals and a striking guitar solo. Charlie’s vocals shift between vulnerability, restrained power and a deep connection to his lyrics. His songwriting, rooted in life experiences and personal encounters, combines rock, folk, and country, first showcased in his 2018 self-titled debut and later expanded upon in 2019’s Traveller in the Storm. As Charlie says about his inspiration, ‘My experiences of hard times, mostly caused through wrong choices, some just bad luck, have influenced my desire to write songs about hard times. Most of my songs are written from my own life experiences and people I have known.’ As Charlie was born into a politically active family, his artistic approach is influenced by Australian folk, American civil rights icons, and legendary musicians such as Pete Seeger, The Beatles, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen. Channelling the essence of John Schumann, Paul Kelly, and Bruce Springsteen, Charlie’s vivid narratives come to life. Drive The Highway, featuring The Black Pepper Band and long-time partner and collaborator Melanie on backup vocals, explores life’s fleeting moments, the impermanence of young love, and our desire to embrace the present, moving beyond past difficulties toward new adventures. Drive The Highway stands as a worthy addition to the Australian folk and country music scene, its genuine nature and diverse musical nuances serving as a guiding light for listeners to follow.