THE BLACK SORROWS ‘Citizen John’ – 2CD collector’s edition


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“I’m on my 49th album. 21st with the Black Sorrows,” says Joe Camilleri. “So there’s a lot of sins I got to repent.”

A staggering 55 years into Camilleri’s career, Citizen John features him working again with long-time collaborator, lyricist Nick Smith and long-time touring companions Claude Carranza (guitar), Mark Gray (bass) and Angus Burchall (drums). For Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, the new album is about perpetual change. “I’m not a heritage act. I’ve never been a heritage act. I’ve always been a constant player. The Sorrows continue to thrive and grow not because we’re an ‘80s band, or a ‘90s band, or any other kind of band. We exist because of the now.”

Citizen John is an upstanding gentleman: sophisticated and classy, though occasionally unpredictable, he takes us on a trip encompassing blues, soul, gospel, jazz and alt-country. Then there’s a surprising cover of ‘Silvio’, a pop gem from one of Dylan’s least-liked albums. This 2-disc limited collector’s edition also includes a bonus 9-track live album Somewhere In The World 2018. Does any Australian artist have a body of work as vast and as consistently brilliant as Joe Camilleri? This is an ouvre that has to be heard to be believed.