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From Port Fairy to One Song, he remained a remarkable performer

I wrote of travelling thus far in a single route you arrive again at your place to begin. I wrote about how, years earlier, I’d been tracing Archie’s life by means of the inner-city streets, following vestiges of Charcoal Lane actually and figuratively, consciously and never so consciously – the identical streets and alleyways Archie as soon as trod. The Fitzroy streets. The Collingwood streets. Archie’s personal songlines contained on that landmark album of his. Archie sang them up. Sang a hidden historical past and broken-tooth romance into these locations.


One Tune is imbued with comparable sorts of splendor and magic. It could possibly be interpreted as Archie crusing full circle. The artist on his manner residence once more to the fireplace fireplace, or to a tranquil river move.

One Tune is sparse, stripped again – Archie’s voice beneficiant and masterful in expression, even youthful in moments, accompanied solely by a cloud shade of guitar and double bass that cycles and drifts, including texture to gentle. It’s prayerful and serene. It’s a Nation tune, although not the style you may count on. It’s a connection to position, a singing up of an historic knowledge from deep time: an beautiful lullaby for humanity.

I wrote that principally, One Tune is straight away Archie: a lifetime of weathered terrain imbued with a 65,000-year backstory. An historic knowledge travelling directly ahead and all through the songlines and blowing alongside the streets. A message from the Previous Individuals to us: “Keep in mind properly what we now have informed you. Oh, don’t overlook the place you come from.”

The subsequent afternoon, he despatched phrase again: “It’s Lethal Jack – you bought it … what can I say – it’s lovely. That’s the gist of One Tune – you bought it. The traditional ones telling us to recollect properly what we now have informed you – it’s as historic because the nation itself.”

Like so many individuals, I’m at all times having these sorts of cosmic conversations with Archie, simply often at midnight, or earlier or later in these crossover hours, the place time slips.

I can take heed to Charcoal Lane on loop, and the best tune ever written about Australia can play again to again for hours. I’ll be shedding tears, shaking fists, elevating fists in defiance, singing in solidarity, excited about my Birpai mob and yarning up with Archie.

As soon as, years in the past, at a degree when it appeared like Archie was near bowing out, I made a decision our Blak media newsroom ought to have the correct form of obituary ready to honour the person.

We made a number of begins, however the job by no means did get achieved. No person needed to contemplate Nation with out Archie in it.

Certainly, the earth is a poorer place with out him strolling (and rolling) throughout it. However everyone knows he’d be cruising together with Ruby once more now, throughout the particular place, their Dreaming river.

And true to the extraordinary genius of Archie, he stays strolling alongside us right here too.

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