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A Gubrun, Kokatha and Mirning man now living and making music in Melbourne, Robert K. Champion performs original compositions, a combination of country ballads and melodic songs. His debut album 1977 is a work clearly in the country music lineage – the instruments used and the way they are played demonstrate that heritage, yet it’s really in the songwriting that Champion positions himself in the genre. These are stories told authentically, with great heart and great vulnerability. Champion is a storyteller who wants to share his tales and has developed them so that they can be heard and understood.

For listeners who love more traditional country music, this album is a must, because it is so evident that Champion loves and understands country music. 1977 also offers something unique within Australian country music while also having that comfort of being in a recognizable genre. But the album has its light to go with the dark, and there are plenty of opportunities to tap your toes as well as to listen closely and think carefully. It’s only ten songs long but it feels like a much longer work – because it’s impressive, not heavy. A grand achievement.