"Vibrations..." is the polar opposite of what Johnny Casino has done, and does, in bands like Johnny Casino & The Secrets and Asteroid B612, but reflects the reality of eking out a living as a musician in Europe where going solo in small cafes and bars is de rigueur.

There are just four originals on "Vibrations..." with one of them, "Hit the Ground Running", reprised from "Time and Time Again" but significantly re-worked. "Cerca Pero Tan Lejos" is a gorgeous instrumental, a tribute to much-missed Sydney venue booker and great friend to many of us, Sue Telfer. "Postcards" is sentimental yet never cloying, and "Tears in a Town She Calls Home" is dripping with wistful longing.

You may question why a record is so heavy on covers (7 out of 11) but that'd miss the point. Johnny's a fan of songs and the genre someone's pegged to their back isn't important. It's what enables him to nail such a diverse array, and it's the same approach that's enabled Ed Kuepper to keep re-inventing himself. .

The New Christs' "Dropping Like Flies" is tackled incredibly well with the original's heavy blues spite replaced by stark resignation. Chris Bailey's "Ghost Ships" hit single takes on fresh poignancy with keening pedal steel substituting for rock crunch. Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" and Glen Campbell's (via Jimmy Webb) "Wichita Lineman" is an ace song pairing and each is approached with equal parts admiration and care.

Bill Fay's "I Heard You Calling" could easily be mistaken for an original in the context of the album's sound. Songs by Dan Auerbach and Dan Hicks (of San Francisco's Charlatans) receive similar treatment.

But for the Plague, we would have been seeing these songs and plenty others being played live in Australia by Johnny and a band. Solo takes on them will have to do for now. "Vibrations, yours and mine" is out on August 21 on LP (Beluga Records), CD (Golden Robot) and digital (La Vila Nova.) Pre-order here.