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Ed Kuepper's Honey Steel's Gold

Ed Kuepper’s history as a rock pioneer with The Saints and Laughing Clowns means that his albums of the early 1990s represent a remapping of the singer-songwriter concept. His classic Honey Steel’s Gold shares a looseness with blues and folk recordings of the 1940s and 1950s, capturing performances that take detours, stretch and contract, wax and wane, such as the album’s hit “The Way I Made You Feel." Honey Steel’s Gold is a landscape to be immersed in, to get lost in. It provides a space not where questions are answered but where we might stop and get a drink; an environment that provides solace, but not platitudes; where we can share a wry smile about the downsides of the human condition rather than attempt the illusion of blocking them out completely.


This study incorporates a consideration of Kuepper’s iconoclastic career, at odds with the music industry and the grunge era into which the album was released. Beyond the apparent facts, though, there is interpretation, speculation, and attempts to meet Honey Steel’s Gold on its own terms in some imaginary place.

Ed Kuepper's Honey Steel's Gold

  • John Encarnacao

    A look at how Australian music legend Ed Kuepper dissolved the boundaries between independent and mainstream sectors, and between folk, rock and ambient musics, with his transcendent 1991 album Honey Steel’s Gold.

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    Chinese Simplified rights represented by ANA Beijing

  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 07-09-2023
    Format: Paperback | 5 x 7 3/4 | 136 pages
  • About the Author

    John Encarnação is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, improviser and composer with over thirty releases to his credit. He is the author of Punk Aesthetics and New Folk (2013) and co-editor of Teaching and Evaluating Music Performance at University (2020). Recent essay subjects include Throbbing Gristle, Courtney Barnett, Pink Floyd and Angela Carter. He lectures in music at Western Sydney University, Australia.

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