Looks Like Heaven

Kim Cheshire – voice of alt country pioneers The Danglin’ Brothers and Golden Guitars winners The Wheel – reminds us that it’s all about the quality of the songs and the performances on his new album Looks Like Heaven.

Kim’s last record, 2010’s Dead Man’s Shoes, was an artistic revelation for the singer-songwriter. With the support of producer Glen Hannah, Kim trusted himself completely to the integrity of the songs like never before. Like all of us, Kim was shattered by Glen’s death two years ago.

“Glen was about the integrity of the art and the message expressed and how nothing should get in the way of that intention,” says Kim.

The recent death of his mother prompted Kim to release his grip on a fistful of unreleased compositions, entrusting them to his old band-mate Rod McCormack, though they hadn’t worked together for twenty years. Since The Wheel, Rod has become one of the most successful and respected writers and producers in Australian country music. Rod not only loved all the songs Kim sent him, he asked for more!

Kim and Rod spent a working week in the studio that felt “completely effortless.”

“I’d forgotten how musically connected we were and it was a surprise and a delight to discover it again together,” says Kim.

Kim’s voice has never sounded so pure, so invested, and he attributes that to his joy in reconnecting with Rod:

“It was incredibly special and I can hear it in the end result.”

The pair were so happy with their work, they decided to widen the circle. Rod pointed out that a good portion of their US-based associates were sitting around in COVID lockdown. Some of the songs were sent across the world and one-by-one returned more gracefully grown than Kim could have imagined.

That’s What’s Wrong, featuring country’s sweetest sounding couple Shanley Del and James Gillard is all soul and heartache in the tradition of Memphis songsmith Dan Penn. Some of the album’s hottest acoustic picking drives the southern fried country funk of Like A Fool with Newcastle’s Lily Lewis shining on backing vocals, and Nashville’s McCrary Sisters’ gospel inspired vocals take Have Mercy  all the way down to New Orleans; Jeff Taylor’s accordion takes Stoneage Romeo even further – across the Tex-Mex border, and Half The Man would be half the song without Andy Leftwich’s weeping fiddle. There’s even an instrumental, Uncle Jim, on which Kim leaves the playing entirely to McCormack and Leftwich. Tim Crouch, Templeton Thompson, Camille Te Nahu and Kym Warner all make valuable contributions

Kim’s writing on Looks Like Heaven is at its most honest and the song-driven performances make for a timeless and disarmingly uplifting record.

Get Looks Like Heaven here.

1. Looks Like Heaven

(Kim Cheshire)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Banjo, Bass, Percussion, Vocal harmony,
Templeton Thompson: High harmony
Andy Leftwich: Fiddle, Mandolin

2. Another Day Goes Down

(Kim Cheshire/Kevin Bennett)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Dobro, Bass, Percussion, Vocal Harmonies

3. Have Mercy!

(Kim Cheshire/Kevin Bennett)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Banjo, Dobro, Bass, Percussion.
Kim Cheshire, Matt Kendall: Additional percussion
The McCrary Sisters: Vocal Harmonies

4. That’s What’s Wrong

(featuring Shanley Del and James Gillard)
(Kim Cheshire/Kevin Bennett)

Rod McCormack: Guitars, Dobro, Bass, Hammond Organ, Percussion
Shanley Del and James Gillard: Vocal Harmonies

5. Like A Fool

(Kim Cheshire)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Banjo, Dobro,
Bass, Percussion, vocal harmonies
Lily Lewis: Vocal Harmonies

6. Stoneage Romeo

(Kim Cheshire)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Bass, Percussion
Jeff Taylor: Accordion
Camille Te Nahu: Vocal Harmony

7. Uncle Jim

(Kim Cheshire)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Bass, Dobro, Percussion
Andy Leftwich: Fiddle, Mandolin

8. Hole In My Heart

(Kim Cheshire/Carol Young)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Banjo, Bass, Vocal Harmony, Percussion
Kym Warner: Mandolin, Mandola
Templeton Thompson: High Harmony

9. Half The Man He Used To Be

(Kim Cheshire/Carol Young/Kevin Bennett)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Bass, Vocal Harmonies
Andy Leftwich: Fiddle

10. How I Love Them Old Songs*

(Micky Newbury)
Rod McCormack: Guitars, Banjo, Vocal Harmonies
Tim Crouch: Fiddle, Mandolin

* This song first appeared on Micky Newbury tribute album 2018 Country Folk Sing Micky Newbury www.festivalfolk.com

Produced and engineered by Rod McCormack
Mastered by Jeff McCormack at Music Cellar Studios, Erina, NSW
Additional recording:
McCrary Sisters vocals, Dave Sinko at studio 5, Nashville, Tennessee
Fiddle and mandolin recorded by Andy Leftwich in Nashville, Tennessee
Mandolin & Mandola recorded by Kym Warner in Austin Texas
Templeton Thompson vocals recorded by Sam Gay at Dream Shack Recording. Nashville, Tennessee
Camille Te- Nahu vocals recorded by Stuie French at Swinging Doors Studios. Nashville, Tennessee
Accordion recorded by Jeff Taylor at Pruitt Hill Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

Cover Design: Glen Purkiss at Pixel Boy
Photography by Lyn McCarthy at Niche Pictures

Special thanks to Rod McCormack, Gina Jeffreys, Jackson McCormack, Jeff McCormack, Andy Leftwich, Kym Warner, Camille Te Nahu, Stuie French, Templeton Thompson, Sam Gay, The McCrary Sisters (Regina, Alfreda and Ann) Dave Sinko, Dave Pomeroy, Jeff Taylor, Carol Young, Kevin Bennett, Matt Kendall, Glen Purkiss, Lyn McCarthy, Martin Jones, Anna Cheshire, Polly Cheshire, Jonathan Bentz, Leslie @ New Heights Cafe, Erina Heights for the great food, coffee and conversation.

This album is dedicated with LOVE to my Mum Beryl May Wright (1931-2020) and my step father George Stanley Wright (1937-2009); both beautiful souls who gave me the opportunity to be the man I am and to live the life I’ve lived, I will remain forever grateful.