Late last year, Marco Werman and I picked "Dawn" by Emma Donovan and The Putbacks as one of our favorite music releases of 2014.
Emma is an indigenous singer from the north coast of Australia; The Putbacks are the Melbourne-based band she teamed up with.
On first listen, Donovan sounds like a life-long devotee of funk and R&B. She's often compared to Brooklyn's Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
But Donovan cites a wide range of musicial influences, perhaps none bigger than American country music. She says her mom was a huge country music fan who loved Loretta Lynn and taught her to sing Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man."
Her dad, meanwhile, had a huge vinyl collection of blues and what Donovan calls "blackfella music." That's a term for what we more commonly call Aboriginal or indigenous music.
You can hear all of these influences in Donovan's album, but it's the collaboration with The Putbacks — "an Aboriginal woman meeting Melbourne's funk band," as Donovan puts it — that makes it truly unique.