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  • Writer's pictureGuy Hornsey

Kev Carmody tribute album released, featuring Electric Fields and Kate Miller-Heidke

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following content in this article may contain images of people who are deceased.

‘Cannot Buy My Soul – The Songs of Kev Carmody, 2020’ has been released today, featuring songs from Australia’s 2019 Eurovision artist Kate Miller-Heidke and Australia Decides 2019 runners up Electric Fields. Accompanying the album, a video for Electric Fields’ version of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ has also been released. 

Kev Carmody is an Indigenous Australian singer song-writer of the Murri People in Northern Queensland. He is known for his impactful and provocative song-writing, which covers historical events and issues, including racism, inequality and black deaths in custody.

‘Cannot Buy My Soul’ was first released in 2007 as a double disc; one of original songs by Carmody, and a second disc of his songs performed by well known Australian acts, including John Butler, The Waifs, Bernard Fanning and Clare Bowditch.

The 2020 edition now features both original discs and a new third disc, curated by Aussie music legend Paul Kelly and his wife Sian Prior. It includes a version of ‘Blood Red Rose’ by Kate Miller-Heidke and ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ by Electric Fields – the song that shot Carmody to fame in 1991 when he released it as a collaboration with Paul Kelly. The re-release also features well known artists Jimmy Barnes, Kasey Chambers and Courtney Barnett.

In an interview on ABC News Breakfast this week, Carmody spoke about the emotion he felt hearing the artists reinterpret his songs.

“You get emotional my friend. It’s just amazing to see the young ones in that genre of oral history, reinterpreting it and putting it into their musical genre”.

Describing the Electric Fields recording, he goes on to say “On that particular [track], you can hear the old man talking - that’s spirit stuff”, later going on to say it has inspired him to consider writing again.

Speaking on Australian radio station Double J, Electric Fields’ Michael Ross spoke about the song and the process behind their contribution.

“Most people who know that song, just know the chorus, but don’t realise it happens to be about the longest protest in Australian history. An eight year protest by Vincent Lingiari. It’s an honour to be able to cover the song and hopefully spread the story further, because it’s a story we can never forget”.

He also spoke about being in the car with Zaachariaha (the other half of Electric Fields) and listening to footage of Vincent Lingiari on his phone and coming up with the idea to feature his voice on the track. Once they recorded the demo, they sent it to Lingiari’s family to ask permission, which was met with an enthusiastic ‘Yes’. They also shared private photos and video footage of Freedom Day celebrations held annually on Gurindji Country to commemorate the day that the land was handed back to the Gurindji people, as a result of Lingiari’s protest.

In a recorded message to Electric Fields from Kev Carmody on the Double J interview, Carmody said “We’ve just seen the video – it’s unbelievable. Congratulations. They will be playing Electric Fields’ music out of the vault in 50 years, 100 years time, my friend. Makes us so proud as black fellas – thank you very much”.

Kate Miller-Heidke also spoke to The Australian newspaper about the project this week, saying:

“The songs speak for themselves. He’s a national treasure. And I’m sure this record will lead to a wider audience digging into his back catalogue, because the rewards are there.”

The full track listing for the album is:


Black Bess – Kasey Chambers, Jimmy Barnes

Rider In The Rain 2020 – Mo’Ju, Trials, Birdz

Blue You – Alice Skye

From Little Things Big Things Grow – Electric Fields

Blood Red Rose – Kate Miller-Heidke

Just For You – Courtney Barnett

Black Bess – Kev Carmody

Rider In The Rain – Kev Carmody

Blue You – Kev Carmody with Andy White and Liam O’Maonlai

From Little Things Big Things Grow – Kev Carmody with Paul Kelly and Tiddas

Blood Red Rose – Kev Carmody

Just For You – Kev Carmody


I’ve Been Moved – Dan Kelly

Thou Shalt Not Steal – John Butler

Elly – Bernard Fanning

The Young Dancer Is Dead – The Last Kinection

From Little Things Big Things Grow – The Waifs

River Of Tears – The Drones

On The Wire – Troy Cassar-Daley

Cannot Buy My Soul – Archie Roach

Moonstruck – Sara Storer

This Land Is Mine – Dan Sultan

Darkside – Tex Perkins

Blood Red Rose – Clare Bowditch

Comrade Jesus Christ – The Herd

Images of London – Steve Kilbey

Droving Woman – Augie March, Paul Kelly and Missy Higgins

Eulogy For A Black Person – Pigram Brothers


I’ve Been Moved – Kev Carmody

Thou Shalt Not Steal – Kev Carmody

Elly – Kev Carmody

The Young Dancer Is Dead – Kev Carmody

From Little Things Big Things Grow – Kev Carmody with Paul Kelly and Tiddas

River Of Tears – Kev Carmody

On The Wire – Kev Carmody

Cannot Buy My Soul – Kev Carmody

Moonstruck – Kev Carmody

This Land Is Mine – Kev Carmody with Paul Kelly and Kelton Pell

Darkside – Kev Carmody

Blood Red Rose – Kev Carmody

Comrade Jesus Christ – Kev Carmody

Images of London – Kev Carmody

Droving Woman – Kev Carmody

Eulogy For A Black Person – Kev Carmody

‘Cannot Buy My Soul – The Songs of Kev Carmody, 2020’ is available now to buy on iTunes and Google Play, and available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

You can also see Electric Fields perform their version of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, joined by Missy Higgins, Jessica Mauboy and John Butler on ‘The Sound’ this Sunday 23rd August at 5:30pm on ABC and iView.


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