By Ken Paulson –

Colin Hay’s “Fierce Mercy” was one of the best new releases this Spring and he showcased the first three tracks in his set at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville this evening. He said audiences sometimes cringe when an artist says he’s about to do new material, but he was confident this Americana audience would be receptive.

He was right. “Come Tumbling’ Down” and its engaging chorus engaged the crowd early on, and “Secret Love” and “A Thousand Million Reasons” were also well-received.

Hay performed “Overkill,” the one musical tie to his Men at Work roots, but other allusions to his best-selling band were self-deprecating. In explaining why he no longer has a guitar, he noted “That’s the first thing that goes.”

The distinctive voice that propelled gold records is still in good form, as evidenced by his acappella opening. Colin Hay is still going strong.