Most of us have a song that we’d like played at our funeral. Some of us aim for the transcendent: spiritual songs that, we hope, might say something to those we leave behind about our approach to life. Others who take the exercise (and themselves) less seriously prefer a more mordant strain of philosophy: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, by Monty Python’s Eric Idle, is a popular choice. It was while driving to a friend’s funeral with Charlie Owen, one of Australia’s most expressive guitarists, that Paul Kelly had the idea to record an album of such songs. Death’s Dateless Night features 12 bare bones, intimately recorded tunes, with a cathedral-like ambience that echoes the sparseness of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
Paul Kelly has recorded over 21 studio albums as well as several film soundtracks (Lantana and the Cannes 2006 highlight, Jindabyne) and two live albums, in an influential career spanning more than thirty years. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997.