This Album Changed My Life: Brad from Copperline On Neil Young’s Harvest

7 April 2022 | 12:26 pm | Mallory Arbour

We caught up with Brad Christmas from alt-country four piece Copperline and asked him to tell us about an album that changed his life.

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Copperline is a Sydney-based alt-country collaboration between fellow travellers and troubadours Brad Christmas (vocals, guitar, piano), Richie Gosling (bass, guitar, vocals), Paul Handel (guitar, vocals) and Gareth Richards (Drums).

Known for their witty, thought provoking and honest storytelling, their highly emotive new single Lucinda is a dedication to a daughter whose time was all too brief. Produced by Shane Nicholson at his Sound Hole Studio, Lucinda is the first single from Copperline’s forthcoming album. It debuted at #42 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart.

Copperline have had a storied career to date, with the 2018 release of their debut album Rusty Fords and Weatherboards delivering singles Woman’s Touch, King of this Country, Please Don’t Cryand Next Year, gaining new listeners and extensive airplay across the country. Their richly evocative music has seen them receive 7 x Australian Songwriters Association nominations, and 2 x Tamworth Songwriters Association nominations.  

We caught up with Brad and asked him to tell us about an album that changed his life.


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Brad from Copperline On Neil Young’s Harvest:

The album that most changed my life is undoubtably Neil Young’s Harvest. It’s a masterclass in melodic craftsmanship, lyricism and sublime arrangement. Any fan will tell you that. But it’s much more than that to me. It’s also the gateway drug that drew me into the world of country music.

Harvest was the one record I considered worth listening to in my parent’s collection, which was otherwise heavily skewed towards Richard Clayderman and Liberace. From the moment the needle hit the vinyl and the opening bars of Out on The Weekend came jangling out the speakersI was hooked. The gentle, understated acoustic guitar, the mournful harmonica, the yearning lyrics. It’s a blueprint I’ve spent my whole musical career trying to replicate.

I listened to the album religiously every day for what seemed like a year, learning the guitar parts, memorising the lyrics, absorbing the genius. I wanted to be long-haired, strumming troubadour, just like Neil.

Around that time, country music was criminally unfashionable. Admitting you liked it could see your street cred disappear in an instant. So, like everyone else, I mindlessly repeated all the jokes that belittled country. What happens if you play a country record backwards? Your wife and your dog come back etc etc.

I was at a party one night, chatting music with an older (and infinitely wiser) musician. After spending the best part of twenty minutes joking about country music, I then told him my favourite record was Harvest. His face creased with a knowing grin. “You realise that’s country album, don’t you?” he helpfully pointed out.

And just like that my life changed. The rich world of Willie, Waylon, Dolly, Gram opened up before me like a desert horizon. And I’ve never looked back. Thanks, Neil, for setting me straight.


For more of our This Album Changed My Life series, go here.
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