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Country Music Notes,
Saturday, July 1, 2006

Tamworth debut: The Huckleberry Swedes will play their first “official” gigs in Tamworth next weekend as part of Hats Off to Country.

THE countdown is on now, folks. Only six more sleeps and it will be midyear festival time – Hats Off to Country.
And haven’t we got a great lineup of artists coming to our fair city to warm the winter nights with their cool country music?
If you haven’t already got your program, they’re at the Visitor Information Centre, selected venues, or you could ask your friendly local newsagent.
Two of the biggest names in the business – Troy Cassar-Daley and Lee Kernaghan – will bring their brand of country to the capital, along with a stack of other great acts.
All you have to do is get out there amongst it. The majority of shows on the program are free admission, while some carry a door charge ranging from $4 to around $50 a ticket.
What you spend is up to you – but there’s enjoyment out there to be had, so don’t sit at home wondering what you’re missing out on – or you will have done exactly that – bigtime.

WHILE we’re welcoming visitors to town – a big Country Music Capital welcome to the Tamworth Camerata Class of 2006.
Twenty-two young people today begin a six-day intensive course in all aspects of country music performance and delivery where they learn from the best in the business.
Welcome to the tutors, students and parents. I hope you have a great week in Tamworth.

IF you’re thinking of getting along to Troy’s Up Close and Personal concert at The Pub and don’t already have your ticket, there’s not much good news I can tell you. The concert sold out two weeks ago.
On Friday night if you’ve got a few bucks in your pocket, you might fancy dinner with Pixie Jenkins at Tamworth Services Club’s Hot Rocks Down Under restaurant.
For $45 you can dine out at the city’s only eatery that boasts cooking on hot rocks (it’s supposed to be very healthy for you) and when you add Pixie into the picture it’s bound to be a big night out.
Tamworth Town Hall is a venue where you’ll find a real value package – artists on a mission.
They plan to entertain you in an effort to raise funds for the proposed Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Staged by the Australian Country Music Foundation, this show has stars coming out of its stars – with Clelia Adams, Rex Dallas, Alex Watt, Jodie Crosby, Keri McInerney and a virtual cast of thousands!
If you’re a fan of quantity and quality – don’t miss this gig. Tickets are on sale at Tourism Tamworth.

BILL Chambers has been touring these past few weeks with a group of musicians from South Australia bearing a distinctively veggie-like name – The Huckleberry Swedes.
Well, I suppose you could think they were a cross between a Mark Twain character and something you’d find at the bottom of the garden – but after just one hearing, you’ll be a Swede fan too. Bill most certainly is.
The Swedes arrived in Tamworth in January without a gig, and found themselves out at The Pub at a Bill Chambers/Trev Warner Session.
They were invited on stage and the audience couldn’t believe their ears. Who were these people no-one had heard of? They were awesome.
Consequently, when Bill hit the road to promote his latest solo offering, Frozen Ground, he invited The Swedes along for the ride.
The Swedes will make their official Tamworth “debut” in the late night spot at The Pub – after the sold-out Troy Cassar-Daley concert, from 11pm.
They’ll back up the next evening in the eight o’clock shift to keep The Pub patrons enjoying their midyear country feast.
Bill will present his very popular “sessions” on Saturday and Sunday in the 4pm timeslot, when you never know quite who will be his next special guest.
Mind you, with this new album recorded on son Nash’s Essence Records label, you might just want to hear more of Bill than anyone else. It’s a beauty.

SATURDAY night is a biggie – and Lee Kernaghan is leading the all-star cast at the town hall, as part of his Beaches to the Bush tour.
Not only do you get to hear one of the biggest and most rewarded names in Australian country music, with a whole batch of new songs from The New Bush – you also have the bonus of Lee’s talented sister and award-winning sister, Tania.
If that’s not enough to entice you to part with your money – throw in the gorgeous and harmonious McClymont Sisters – Brooke, Samantha and Mollie.
Now Lee is big on bands – and loves to be surrounded by a driving rhythm section and hot players and he uses the best in the business.
Entertainment runs in the Kernaghan veins, so make sure your seat is reserved for this show.
Tickets are selling quickly, so hop on the phone (6767 5300), jump on the internet (www.visittamworth.com) or walk right in to Tourism Tamworth, on the corner of Peel and Murray streets, Tamworth.

BUSH ballad fans are in for a real treat next weekend when Ernie Constance and Tom Maxwell combine their talents in a show at Butler’s Auditorium, at LBS Studio, on the highway.
Out at the Oasis Hotel, Des and Joyce are offering plenty of entertainment with Brian Howard’s Wire Strainers and Graeme Doubleday providing the music for Hats Off. Elsewhere you will find The Young Balladeers – and some excellent bush ballad performers.

TOMORROW (Sunday) at SouthGate Inn’s Scully Room, Howdy will convene a panel for the Tamworth Camerata Bush Ballad Forum – and the public is warmly welcome to attend.
It starts at 1pm and Howdy has enticed some special guests who know a thing or two about the story songs that fair dinkum Aussies can relate to so well.
Brian Young and Rex Dallas, together with Rex’s son, Brett, who picks a mighty fine guitar, will share their knowledge and love of bush ballads, with Camerata students, parents, and the public.
Admission is free and apart from the graduation concert on Thursday night, this is the only Camerata event open to the general public.


 
Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh
 
100 not out: Congratulations to Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh of LBS Music in Tamworth, on the impending release of their 100th album on the independent label.

A MOST significant milestone will be achieved on Sunday, July 8 for Tamworth’s LBS Music.
Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh will release the record label’s 100th album in a special ceremony and concert at their Goonoo Goonoo Rd studio.
To notch up 100 albums is fairly special for an independent label, but when you consider every one of them was produced by Lindsay Butler, this is no small feat.
Buts produced his fledgling company’s very first album in 1988, for The Man From WA – Brian Letton – and several albums later, Letto is still recording with his old mate.
This album was recorded at the now defunct Hadley Studio, with Lindsay pushing the buttons and Letto will be on hand for the big “century” bash during Hats Off.
Album number two for LBS Music was a Brian Young outing, recorded at Beat’n’Trak Studio (also no longer operational) and Youngie will be there too for the do.
The following year Lindsay opened the doors of his own studio at Kootingal, which was another notable year in LBS history.
In 1990 Brian won a Golden Guitar for Thistles on the Hillside and Lindsay won his first Producer of the Year gong for making the disc.
Youngie, the veteran entertainer, who has brought his package show to remote outback Australia for more than a quarter of a century, returned to the recording scene this year with LBS releasing The Best of Brian Young. A new collection of songs will be released by Youngie on LBS in January 2007.
In 1991 Lindsay collected his second Producer of the Year Golden Guitar, being the first to achieve this back-to-back feat.
A young lady by the name of Shaza Leigh debuted on the LBS label, with her contemporary country rock album, Walking Through My Mind around this time.
A few years later Shaza and Lindsay married and began marketing LBS in earnest – with Lindsay at the control panel and Shaza in the office.
Since that time LBS has become a much sought after production house, turning out between 14 and 17 albums annually.
Some of these albums were released on other labels, as LBS also produced tracks for independent artists and labels such as Selection, Drover and Pindaroo.
In ensuing years many LBS artists have won awards at places such as Mildura, Bungendore, Kempsey and other events around Australia, ensuring the LBS name was out there – and a label to be reckoned with.
In between producing albums Lindsay, Shaza and Letto took their shows out to the people, touring extensively.
You’d wonder really how he had the time to breathe – in between all those albums, tours and festival appearances.
All up Lindsay has released eight albums, Shaza seven, Brian Young four and Brian Letton 18.
Specialist bush balladeers like Tom Maxwell and Jeff Brown launched their careers on the label securing nominations in the Golden Guitar Awards.
They are among the many LBS winners of The Australian Bush Ballad Awards including Ernie Constance, Rick Aitchison, Ashley Cook, Corinna Cordwell, Rick & Cathy, Barry Thornton, plus multi-award winners Brian Letton, Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh.
Tom is still going strong with LBS having established himself as one of the most popular bush balladeers on the circuit and is currently recording his sixth LBS album.
In 2000, LBS expanded into Queensland securing a property in Robina and in tandem with the Moonbi studio continued to grow their national operation.
In 2004, the Butlers finally found the site for their third studio and intended resting place for the company, on the highway, in the heart of the Country Music Capital. All three studios are still operational today.
The Tamworth studio features a boutique auditorium, appropriately called Butlers.
On the walls of the lounge you will find various national industry awards and personal memorabilia. This is opened up to the public during the festival in special morning tea concerts, which include a studio complex tour.
According to Shaza, the Goonoo Goonoo Rd studio is still very much a work in progress as the Butlers are determined to preserve the history of the company and its associates.
It’s going to be quite a do – the 100th album concert and celebration – and will feature the talents of Lindsay Butler, Brian Letton, Shaza Leigh, Brian Young, Ashley Cook, Naomi Therese, Lindsay Waddington and special guests.
It will also include the launch of Tom Maxwell’s sixth album on the LBS label.
Congratulations LBS – on a century – not out!

TWO late entries you won’t find on the official Hats Off to Country Festival program are in two very different venues – an airport and a shopping centre.
Paul and Don Costa, aka the Costa Brothers, will present shows on Friday and Saturday, July 7 and 8 at Tamworth Shoppingworld and Huey Stone and his musical mates are offering the mic to all comers in a walk-up show from 4pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Tamworth Aero Club.

I WAS out at The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Complex this week and Wendy and Caroline were busy little bees, I can tell you.
Caroline was putting the finishing touches to her Hats Off display, which features the recorded product of all artists coming to Tamworth for the midyear Festival.
So if you go somewhere and hear somebody you like, there’s every chance their album or single will be out at The Big GG – now that’s organisation!
On the Sunday morning of Hats Off, around 10.30, you can enjoy an acoustic concert courtesy of the gorgeous and harmonious McClymont Sisters in the forecourt, after which you can “meet and greet” them in person.
Make sure you congratulate them on their stunning new CD and the success they’re enjoying on tour with Lee Kernaghan.

NOT long to go now folks – the midyear festival is only 12 sleeps away.

NEEDLESS to say, it’s a national day of mourning for all female fans of Keith Urban. Another good one off the shelf! Lucky Nicole. Just hope she appreciates what she’s got.
 
Country Notes Friday, 16 June 2006 10:42 AM
. Photo: Nicole Rogowski, The Advertiser, Cessnock.
Unearthing young talent: Rex Dallas, in coal miner mode, with Dennis Jeffery, one of St Patrick’s
students, keen to learn more about our coal mining heritage.

MOONBI’S own country music legend Rex Dallas went back to school this week – to footy star Andrew “Joey” Johns’ old alma mater, in fact.
The multiple Golden Guitar winner and much lauded rugby league star have quite a bit in common as it turns out, which led Rex to penning a tribute song to Joey.
When Rex chased the leather ball around Lithgow High School oval as a young bloke, he too wore the number seven jersey and was captain of his team.
And coincidentally enough, Rex’s father and grandfather were both coal miners, as is the case with the Newcastle Knight.
Joey wasn’t at the school on Wednesday, although Rex suspects his father may have been, but they didn’t have the chance to meet.
Falling on the same day as State of Origin II meant Joey was otherwise engaged, so he didn’t get to hear Rex’s Tribute to Joey Johns, accompanied by the St Patrick’s School choir, in Cessnock on Wednesday.
Lucky for him the kids had been rehearsing for a recording of the song, which will be completed next week and sent to Tamworth, where Rex and son Brett will add the finishing touches to the CD, before it’s released for sale.
The CD will also have a Tribute to The Knights song, also written by Rex, and proceeds from sales will go towards the purchase of musical equipment at St Patrick’s, Cessnock.
Rex’s sons Jeff and Colin accompanied him on bass and drums, and the youngsters had a ball, some even getting up on stage and yodelling with Rex, which went down a treat.
Regarded by many as one of this country’s finest yodellers, Rex learnt the art from his grandfather, growing up in the coal mining town of Wallerawang, near Lithgow.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and we had a ball,” Rex said yesterday.
“The kids loved the yodelling lessons and they all dressed up in their Newcastle colours and sang the chorus of the Joey song with me.
“I also gave them a bit of a talk on coal mining and on the Australian outback and they seemed to really enjoy it.”
Rex and wife Adrienne live in the foothills of the Moonbi Ranges, where they own and operate a country music-themed ranch, Gully Park, which has a replica coal mine as one of its attractions.
During the January Country Music Festival, Rex and Adrienne host a series of concerts, with a variety of guest artists performing in the leafy setting.

HATS Off to Country, from July 6 to 9, is shaping up as one of the coolest festivals in regional Australia and if you’re lucky enough to live in Tamworth – or can get here for the four-day feast, you’re in for a real treat.

RICKY Waugh at the Locomotive Hotel is offering a real “January” experience in July, as he’s hired Mick James (the Camel Man) to entertain on the Saturday night.
As Ricky says, anyone can put a band in a corner, but you’ve got to give people something extra to attract and hold them, which is why he’s putting on a camp-oven style cookout to accompany Mick’s outback, laidback humour.
It should be a super night for those looking for something that’s a little different from your average concert experience.

TAMWORTH Services Club is also bringing some familiar festival faces back on the Friday night, with Pixie Jenkins starring in a dinner show at Hot Rocks Down Under.
For a superb meal and entertainment from the one and only Pixie, it will be $45 well spent for those seeking adventure in their Friday night out in the Country Music Capital.
Another wonderful act the Services club is hosting for Hats Off is Blue Heeler Band lead vocalist Luella, who’s appearing free in the upstairs lounge on Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday night, after you’ve been thoroughly entertained by Luella, stick around at the Servies for the Col Finley Band.

ANOTHER club in town getting into Hats Off mode is Tamworth City Bowling Club.
The centrally located bowlo in Napier St is featuring value for money concerts from their festival favourite, Terry Gordon.
Terry will present a couple of shows there with his partners in music – Owen Blundell and Reg Poole – aka The Gunbarrel Highwaymen.
And an absolute bonus is the Sunday afternoon gig at the bowlo, with Melbourne’s famous singing siblings, The Howie Bros.
John and Graeme haven’t been to Tamworth for some time, so if you haven’t caught up with the boys lately, your ears are in for a treat. They’re singing better than ever.

GARY and Belinda Burgess have a big “blokey” lineup for Hats Off to Country, with hunks like Rod Dowsett, Dan Mureau, Jason-Lee and Alex Watt bringing their collective bandpower to the Central Hotel during Hats Off.
The Bronco Bar cranks up one weekend a month at the Central, with a quality country act featured. The Burgos know the value of a country crowd and are great supporters year round.
But when it comes to a festival, you’ll catch both Gary and Belinda right into it – boots and all. They love it – in January, July and every month in between.
You’ve gotta love your country. More next week on what’s happening around town for Hats Off.
In the meantime, check out the websites – www.visittamworth.com , www.tamworthragepage.comwww.country.com.au, www.thepub.com.au  and www.wtlc.com.au  where you’ll find full programs and stories on the coolest midyear festival around.

Country Music Notes Saturday, June 10th, 2006
To Russia with love: Felicity Urquhart is Moscow-bound – and can’t wait to showcase her unique Australian music to the world at Russia’s largest trade fair.

TAMWORTH’S most prominent musical export, Felicity Urquhart, is rugging up for her coldest summer ever.
Felicity has been invited to represent her country at Australia Week in Moscow, where it is now summer.
Felicity will perform during Australia Week in Moscow, which takes place at the Manezh Exhibition Centre, to an audience of business people from around the world.
Australia Week is the most important trade event for Australian businesses exploring growth opportunities in Russia.
To be held from June 11 to 18, 2006 it aims to build on the success of last year’s event, which led to the generation of almost AUS $80million worth of new business.
It offers a full conference program with a trade exhibition, one-on-one meetings, networking receptions and cultural events.
Felicity is one of the chosen few to be invited to be part of this prestigious event. Australian roots music band The Audreys will also be performing in Moscow, and will be featured at the gala concert on Thursday, June 15.
Felicity’s new album, My Life, has been earning some very favourable reviews in the press Australia-wide.
Beat Magazine music writer Dave Dawson described the album in these glowing terms: “The singer is a melancholic maestro of mood swings from morose Big Black Cloud to sensual swagger of Breathe and paralysis of love in No Mistakes. She explores fragility in A Little Joy, retreat in Lonely Girl and yearning for love that escaped in Take Me Back …. beg, steal or borrow to find this gem.”
Find out more about Felicity by visiting her website: www.felicityurquhart.com

WELL the countdown’s on for our fabulous winter festival folks – Hats Off to Country – and there’s only 25 sleeps to go.
Isn’t it great how much this intimate little midyear event has evolved over the past six years?
It started with such a bang with the Hats Off to Slim concert and although some of the ensuing festivals have been a little quieter, this one’s a keeper.
Just look at who’s coming this year – two of the biggest names in the business – Lee and Troy – and some wonderful people we’d normally only catch up with in January.
Thank goodness the Country Music Association of Australia put so much into it for those formative years, or we wouldn’t be about to enjoy four days of heart-warming country – so Hats Off to the CMAA!
This year Tourism Tamworth has taken an active role promoting Hats Off far and wide, realising the potential this cosy little event really has.
Hats off also to the venue operators who stick their necks out paying big money for acts in the hope the people will come out to see them and buy a meal and a few beers.
It’s a bit like that baseball movie, Field of Dreams – if you build it, they will come. So thanks to the publicans, club boards of directors and independent operators filling the busy four-day program.
If you haven’t already got your copy, visit Tourism Tamworth and pick one up – or check out www.visittamworth.com .
There are programs on the CMAA website, www.country.com.au , Helen Mitchell’s site, www.tamworthragepage.com  and www.thepub.com.au , which are easily downloadable.
A venue-specific program can be found at www.wtlc.com.au  for shows at both Diggers and Wests.
Once you get hold of it – study the form. This is excellent training for the January festival, only not so fast or furious. By all means plan your agenda, but don’t resist the temptation to do something spontaneous – or you might just miss something really special you didn’t know existed.

WESTS’ Festival discovery, The Pigs, return for two shows at Diggers, while that early morning favourite, Jim Haynes will be back saluting bush poetry in two shows in the Chillingworth Room at Wests.
Add in local bands The Baileys, The Rockerfellas and another festival fave, Buckshot, and you’ve got a pretty good roundup of midyear fare.
A late addition to the Hats Off agenda, which you won’t find on the official program is Evelyn Bury’s concert on Saturday night in Blazes.
Selection Records’ boss Eric Watson has put together a beaut show, featuring his favourite stable star and her producer, Tamworth’s own “Music Fella” – Ross McGregor and his band.
Ross, who lives at Oxley Vale, is a keyboard player and before he came to Tamworth operated Axent Recording Studio at Kogarah in Sydney.
Being blind has been no obstacle for this musical maestro, who has made Evelyn’s new album, Let Me Take You There With A Song, Selection’s most popular album yet.
According to Eric, he’s never seen such response to an album before as he has with this latest masterpiece of Evelyn’s, which literally takes you “around the world with a song”.
If you haven’t got the plane fare for an around the world trip, it seems $15 is a pretty economical alternative. Tickets are available from Wests, so don’t forget to factor this one into your plans.
While you’re buying tickets from Wests, consider taking your family along to the Tamworth Camerata Graduation Concert, on Thursday, July 6.
At this event you’ll find 22 students, pumped from six days of tuition with some of the best in the business, ready to entertain you.
This year’s Camerata intake is composed of young people from Australia and New Zealand, ranging in age from 10 to 18, with the average age 15.
After six days of study they will be more than ready to put on one very special concert, so make sure you’re there.
Tickets can be purchased from Wests’ reception, phone (02) 6765 7588 or via their website, www.wtlc.com.au . It’s $15 for adults and $5 for children.

IN coming weeks I’ll feature some of the other venues around Tamworth presenting shows for Hats Off to Country. In the meantime grab your program and study the form – it’s the only way to be prepared for big four days of the hottest country at the coolest festival around.    Click here Felicity Urquhart Artist Report Page
Country Music Notes Saturday, June 3rd, 2006
IT’S a pretty amazing weekend in Tamworth for live music when you think about it. I reckon we’re spoilt really.
From Friday through to Sunday there’s more than 20 live acts performing at venues all over town – so there’s no excuse for staying at home with nothing to do.
Get out and warm yourself up with some great live music.
While it may not fall into the country category, there’s a rare musical opportunity tonight at SouthGate Inn, where Mike Vee will present his much celebrated Whispering Jack Show as part of the hotel’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
Tamworth audiences rarely see Mike in his John Farnham persona, as he’s usually performing the show at clubs and corporate events in Sydney.
Quite timely too with the NCHA Futurity wrapping up this weekend and Farnham is usually in town with his beloved cutting horses.

A GIG of an entirely different flavour is tomorrow night (Sunday) at North Tamworth Bowling Club. In fact it’s a genuine Turkish delight!
Andrew Clermont has been bringing international acts to Tamworth for the past eight years in this unique Supper Club format, where you can go along, warm yourself with home-made soup and goodies, and listen to some of the best music around.
An Armidale-based, all-girl, high school band, Turkish Delights, has come to the Supper Club, via the world, to perform for you.
In December 2005 they were selected from 1400 applicants to be part of the Woodford Folk Festival’s Emerging Artists program, Chrysalis.
Then in January 2005 they were featured at the Steps In Time international recorder and movement conference in Armidale as part of Macedonian Gypsy band, Crivo, led by Lindsay Pollack.
As The New England Singers, they toured England and France with Sirocco in May/June 2004.
Then at the last January festival, Turkish Delights enchanted audiences at Andrew’s Supper Club Fiddle Night as support act for Totally Gourdgeous.
The band is popular with younger as well as older people and totally involves its audience in the music through infectious and joyous dance melodies and rhythms.
Recently the 300-strong Rotary International Conference audience in Armidale rose to their feet in acclamation, calling repeatedly for encores from this amazing combination of young musicians – and they’re still in high school.
The lineup is Arlene Fletcher, double bass; Jhana Allan, violin; Lauren Meredith, clarinet and saxophone and on darabhuka and percussion is Jessica Stocker.
Turkish Delights has an infectious charm and their enjoyment is contagious.
They will be joined by Taiwan’s beautiful and emotive Pu Yu Macleod on jazzy flute and classical piano, along with Tamworth-based didgeridoo master, Mark Atkins and of course, Andrew Clermont – who can and does play anything and everything capable of making music.
Factor in some belly dancers for additional atmosphere and you have one totally “delightful” program.
It all starts at 5.30pm at North Tamworth Bowling Club and admission is just $25 adults or $20 concession with school children admitted free.
Tickets can be pre-booked at the club by phoning 6766 1987.

TAMWORTH Services Club is becoming renowned for hosting some excellent country music throughout the year and this coming weekend is no exception.
Luke O’Shea and Medicine Wheel, one of the hottest bands of the Festival, are doing a big double-header at the Marius St establishment next Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10.
I had the privilege of being in the audience the last time the band played the Servies (out of Festival time) where they previewed several songs from the disc they released in January – Listen To The Words.
It’s become one of the favourites in our household, with all songs penned by the mild-mannered schoolteacher/Superman on stage, aka Luke O’Shea.
Ragged Bloody Heroes is a song all Australians with a sense of patriotism should at least listen to – isn’t that the idea of the album?
Get along to the gig next Friday or Saturday night and Luke’s bound to have a copy he can personally autograph for you.
And his band are no slouches either, with the delightful David Sleishman on drums, Phil Doublet playing everything with strings and keys and Steve Kelly’s steady bass, they’re a treat to the ears and the eyes, ladies!
If you’re not in the audience, you’ll never know, will you?

NEXT weekend we will be treated to another rare musical treat – Graeme Connors performing his exquisite solo show in Blazes auditorium at Wests.
Graeme’s annual concert in January at the town hall is always a sellout, so make sure you get in early for this one, if you haven’t already bought your tickets.
With his massive repertoire of original gems and jewels, it’s got to be one of the most intimate concert experiences you’ll see all year, particularly the “request” segment in the second half of the program. A must for all Connors devotees.

ALSO next weekend on Friday night at The Pub, you can enjoy the sounds of The Baileys, Aaron Bolton and Katrina Burgoyne in an “unplugged” environment. Why would you live anywhere else when all this great music surrounds us 52 weeks of the year?
 
Country Music Notes Saturday, May 27, 2006
Digging the didge: Audiences around the world love the way Mark Atkins plays his didgeridoo.

DIDGERIDOO master Mark Atkins has been home in Tamworth for a three-week break before flying back out of the country for a three-month tour.
For the past 16 years Mark has made a living from his craft, conducting workshops and presenting concerts all over the world.
When he started playing drums in country and rock bands 35 years ago, he had no idea his musical journey would take him so far.
Sixteen years ago he began his international touring and would be away from home for long periods of time, but now he’s in as much demand as ever, only the tours are shorter.
“Over the last three to four years the jobs are becoming bigger and more prestigious, so it’s allowed me to make a good living doing something I love,”
Mark said.
“Instead of working 10 months, I’m now working three months for the same income. I’ve had a lot to do with different embassies around the world so they tend to think of me when they want an Australian performer, and either send me an e-mail or give me a call.
“I’ve made some really good friends from all different fields of music and this has also helped to establish my name overseas.”
One of those great friends is New York-based classical musician, arranger, writer and producer, Phillip Glass, who has introduced Mark to some of the biggest names in showbiz.
Phillip owns and operates Looking Glass Studios, on Broadway, where Mark has recorded with many of these illuminaries. A proposed future recording project involves legendary US songwriter Paul Simon, whom Mark met through Phillip Glass.
Mark was honoured to accept a role in a new motion picture on Glass’s life and times in which he will have a speaking part and show his skills on the didgeridoo.
In Jordan, on June 12, Mark will record a piece of music with Phillip Glass, so he’s looking forward to catching up with him then.
“It’s been great to be able to build up a network of great contacts all over the world,” Mark said.
During his three-month tour Mark will visit a virtual atlas of destinations – Ireland, Holland, Brittany, Sweden, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, London, Korea, Jordan, Africa and Austria
One of the choice gigs on this adventure is in late July, where Mark will meet up with plenty of fellow Aussies at the Festival Inter-Celtique Lorient (FIL), in Brittany, France.
This event, staged annually in France, is the world’s largest Celtic festival and will honour Australia in this year’s staging from July 28 to August 6.
Performers for The Year of Australia – The Australian Spotlight, gala concert and Australian Pavilion – have been programmed and hosted by leading Australian folklorist, author and bush singer, Warren Fahey AM.
Featured artists at the 36th FIL include John Williamson, Dave de Hugard, Fiddlers Feast, Mara, Descendance, Claymore, Mark Atkins, Brother, Martyn Wyndham-Read and Iris Bishop, Christina Sonnemann, Tantallon, Murphy’s Pigs, and three of Australia’s most celebrated pipe and drum bands, The City of Adelaide Pipe Band, The Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band, The Queensland Irish Pipe and Drum Band.
The FIL attracted more than 700,000 people last year, and because of its Aussie focus, is expecting an even larger attendance for the Year of Australia.
Catching up with Aussies when you’re far from home is a rare treat, but it does happen in the most unexpected places at times, Mark said.
“I live about a mile from Andrew Clermont’s place at Moonbi but we rarely get to catch up because of our busy schedules.
“Not so long ago I was staying at a hotel in Germany when I got a call to say there were a few Australian musicians playing at a bar nearby.
“When I walked in he had his back to me but you couldn’t mistake Andrew. We laughed at how we had to come halfway around the world to say g’day.
“It’s always good to get news from home and catch up with the footy scores,” Mark said.
When Mark goes to Korea in coming months to work at two large festivals and do some recording, he’ll catch up with another two familiar faces – Parris Macleod and his wife Pu Yu, who regular attendees of Andrew Clermont’s Supper Clubs would know well.
In fact when Andrew hosts his next Supper Club, which is next weekend at the North Tamworth Bowling Club, it will be your last chance to catch up with Mark in town for some time.
It’s rare that he plays in Tamworth, considering he’s so much in demand on a global basis.
Andrew’s June 3 Supper Club has Turkish flavour this time, so it should be “delightful”.
Mark will have his didge primed and ready to go, so if you’d like to check out this internationally acclaimed musician, you’d better head up to the bowlo.

WHO watched Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope last Monday night and thought Troy Cassar-Daley had had a sex change?
I tricked you in last week’s column, because Andrew’s guest on Monday night was actually Marcia Hines.
The Troy interview will be screened on June 26. I was only about a month out – but what’s a month or two between friends?
I’ve got another Troy telly tip for you and it’s Sunday, at 6.30pm on Channel Seven.
It Takes Two has been widely previewed on air, but I hadn’t seen Troy’s face in the teasers, so this is a real treat.
He will be one of the singers who will attempt to teach a celebrity partner to sing a duet with them, with viewers given their chance to vote for their faves.
Among the other singers offering their mentoring services are Glenn Shorrock, Paulini, Wendy Matthews, Dave Gleeson and Guy Sebastian, so Troy’s in some fine company on the box. Check it out and see if I’ve got my dates mixed up again!
 
Country Music Notes, Saturday, May 20, 2006
Going global: Lorin Nicholson is spreading his message of hope and inspiration to a much wider audience, thanks to his recent American sojourn.

FORMER Tamworth-based guitarist, Lorin Nicholson, who’s now living and working in sunny Queensland, has had a busier year than he planned.
Last weekend he and father-in-law Trevor returned from a 16-day trip to Dallas, Texas – their first overseas venture.
See Sharp, Lorin’s company, takes inspirational musical shows into schools, teaching and inspiring children and teachers alike, but the US was uncharted waters for the Aussie pair.
Their first hurdle was getting through US immigration without a fully signed work visa but a chance meeting in the immigration lounge at LA International Airport sorted out any potential problems before they began.
“It must have looked rather ominous, two guys, two guitars, a box full of fresh CDs and an immigration document that had a big YES under the question: Do you intend working in the US, have you ever been involved with terrorist activities, have you ever been convicted of drug offences and do you have any thoughts of blowing up the USA?,” Lorin reports.
“We must have seemed like a couple of thugs answering YES to this question. After being shunted to the next supervisor and with the strong prospect of us both being flown home on the soonest flight out of LA, I found myself praying, shaking and mumbling to myself in the rather stark sitting area. This was not the welcoming I'd been expecting.
“Finally we were shunted into the senior supervisor’s office where we were interrogated some more. Thank goodness Trevor had brought all of our visa application documentation with us which proved that our application was currently in the system and that we'd had our
interviews with the US consulate in Sydney.
“We were merely waiting for the final paper work which had obviously been delayed. The truth was that the immigration officer in Dallas that Trevor had been talking to advised us to come on over anyway and that the final paper work was merely a formality.
”The supervisor then realised that we were honest and not there trying to rip off the US government and said he’d try to do all he could to let us work over in the US for the two weeks.”
That’s when fate – or something else – stepped in and saved the day.
Lorin said there was a group of six people, including a couple of Afro Americans, in the office and they started asking him about the show.
Of course Lorin them he was legally blind and played guitar for school students and was there to talk about acceptance of people who were disabled or different in some way.
The Afro American woman jumped in and said: “You mean this is about diversity?”
”Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and I knew then that we were in. They also realised that we would only make enough money out of this trip to cover our airfares and expenses,” Lorin explained.
“This shed a whole new light on the situation as they were then immediately able to give us
a temporary business visa because we weren't actually over there working and making money.
“The Lord must have heard me mumbling earlier and answered my prayers, as the supervisor then personally escorted us through customs where we wouldn't be questioned further regarding the guitars and CDs.
“The only thing the Lord didn't do was prevent us from being frisked by the two security guards in the private interview room. They were polite and friendly and we could tell that they were simply doing their job.”
The Aussies had made it through, but by now had missed their connecting flight to Dallas. The girl at the American Airlines desk was extremely helpful and made sure they were on the next flight to Dallas free of charge. Things were looking up.
Their first show soon told them that kids in the USA were no different to the kids back home in Australia – and they didn’t have too many worries with the accent, thanks to Lorin making a few slight changes to the show’s dialogue.
Within three days Lorin’s school show became the talk of Texas, and emails were flying left, right and centre between schools, with everyone wanting to have “the best show we’ve ever seen” at their school.
Back in Australia, their website phone number was ringing off the hook with schools from
all over Dallas wanting to know when Lorin was coming back to visit them.
That will be early January, 2007 – but next time Lorin and Trevor plan to arrive with a fully stamped work visa!
The trip home was reasonably uneventful, apart from being one bag short when they arrived in Brisbane – and it had to be the bag with all the presents for the kids in it – but it arrived the next day via a McCafferty’s coach.
After a few days’ rest back home catching up with Lisa and the children, Trevor and Lorin hit the road again – for a two-week tour in the Sydney/Newcastle region.
Another bonus of the Newcastle trip was the completion of Lorin’s new CD, which is now in the hands of the manufacturers and should be ready for release early June.
The long awaited CD of guitar instrumentals has been 14 months in the making. Check out Lorin’s website, www.seesharp.com.au for all the latest on his continuing adventures.

COUNTRY music fans should tune in to Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope program on Monday night. Andrew’s interviewee is multiple Golden Guitar winner Troy Cassar-Daley.
Troy is always on for a chat, so you never know quite what he’ll come out with next. Check it out.
Also – if you’re hoping to get a seat at Troy’s concert at The Pub on Friday, July 7 (Hats Off to Country Festival), you’d better move quick. Tickets are selling fast, according to Tourism Tamworth.
The opportunity to share an evening with Troy “up close and personal” obviously has a lot of appeal to many people. Tickets are $25. Troy’s support act is the delightful Aleyce Simmonds.
Gleny Rae Virus and Her Tamworth Playboys
The Albert - Tamworth 12- 5 06
Gleny Rae Virus was joined on stage by the one, the only -Wanita!
 
Gleny Rae Virus and Her Tamworth Playboys called into The Albert in downtown Peel St, Tamworth, last Friday night – and got the joint jumpin’!
Lawrie Minson, Brett Tomlin and Ben Hoare are all Gleny fans and
wouldn't have missed the gig for quids!
 
The audience was littered with musos including Lawrie Minson, Andrew Clermont, Brett Tomlin, Leigh Ivin (and several other Re-mains), Ben Hoare (Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music), John Lee (aka Fatman) and many others too numerous (or intoxicated) to mention.
Currabubula’s honky tonk queen Wanita wasn’t about to let a chance go by and jumped up on stage, cigarette in hand, to do a couple of songs with Gleny and the boys.
The grateful Wanita bought the band a round of beers later in the night and in hindsight, perhaps should have bought them a tad earlier.
Her coordination wasn’t the best, and as she did a dramatic twirl of the dancefloor, complete with tray and five beers, one beer came adrift and the drummer, poor little Grant Bedford, was left with the contents of the tray!
Ever the diplomat, Wanita promptly reordered another beer for Grant, who didn’t have to resort to tray-drinking!
It was a super night – and quite reminiscent of the vibe you get during the annual Festival. Guess that’s what Gleny does – creates that vibe, wherever she goes.
Lethal Leigh Ivin with his brand new Gibson. Not only does it sound
great - but he can play it really fast. Maybe because it's red???

Who me have a good time? Not half, says Lethal Leigh Ivin,
guitarist with The Re-mains.
 
Dougie Bull on bull fiddle was sensational and guest pickers like Lethal Leigh Ivin playing his brand new red Gibson, made the night one to remember.
The rock’n’roll dancers had a great time too – and were lovely to watch in action – even though they did play havoc with some of my photos. There’s nothing like a great big head or flying hair taking up a full frame, that should have had a drummer, bass player or lead player in it!
Thanks to Peter and Sharon Mulcahy – publicans at The Albert, for being such great supporters of live music and bringing that little taste of the Festival to punters in between January ‘06 and ‘07.
 
Marty, left, and Dougie, right, were simply cooking last Friday
night at The Albert.
Andrew Clermont and Cheryl Byrnes - Chezzie packed in two gigs
Friday night - The Tributes @ The Pub and Gleny @ The Albert.
 
Judy Smith, Tess Johnston and Rhonda Sinclair had a great night
listening to Gleny and the boys.

Anna Rose caught in front of the camera, rather than behind it.
Nobody in their right mind would have missed Gleny's gig if they were
breathing in and out.

 
Country Music Notes Saturday, May 13, 2006
MY Festival #6 comes from the pen of West Australian editor of Groove Magazine, Paul McCarthy. Paul made his first trip to Tamworth in January, bringing one of the hottest bands this town has seen in a long time – Peter Busher and The Lone Rangers.
Although Paul was a “festival virgin”, Busher is no stranger to the Country Music Capital.

I SWEAR to God this is true. It was Australia Day, we were at The Pub on the outskirts of Tamworth, Peter Busher and The Lone Rangers were preparing for their first gig of the festival and due on stage in around 20 minutes when a woman approached me somewhat gingerly and asked, “Excuse me are you the band’s manager?”
“Yes,” I replied, she appeared reluctant to continue, which in hindsight isn’t that surprising given that her next sentence was “Your sound engineer’s fallen over and his legs have come off.”
I should explain that Ray, our sound engineer, has prosthetic legs; consequently I wasn’t as horrified as that poor mortified woman. We just put his legs back on; picked him up and put him back to work, he was fine. They build them tough in Western Australia.
Ray “Mondo” has been Peter Busher’s sound guy for over 25 years and there’s no way a little thing like having no legs was going to stop him from coming to the Tamworth to mix the band.
Likewise, bass player Phil Morgan has played with Peter for 30 years and drummer Brian Booy actually played drums in Peter’s dad’s band so obviously they go back a fair way. Keyboard player Peter Stone went to primary school with Peter whilst “the newcomer” to the band, guitarist John Short, has played with the guys since he emigrated from England and that was well over a decade ago. These guys are family but curiously this was the first time they’d been to Tamworth as a band.
You see the truth of the matter is it costs a damn fortune to bring a band from Western Australia to Tamworth. By the time you’ve booked air flights, secured accommodation, freighted the stage gear and hired vehicles there’s not much change left from $15,000.
So in the past Peter Busher would come across to Tamworth by himself and pick up a band in town. Obviously that had worked well with Peter establishing an enviable reputation amongst “those in the know” and obviously it doesn’t hurt if the band that you usually “pick up” happens to be the Feral Swing Katz.
Nonetheless Peter had understandably always wanted to bring his own band to Tamworth. This year that’s what we did, it cost a damn fortune but it was worth every penny.
After the very first song at that first gig the band received what amounted to a standing ovation, and things just got better from there. I had goose bumps all night.
Every song was greeted by rapturous applause and cheering, the dance floor was packed and I couldn’t keep up with people who wanted to buy CDs and T-shirts. What more could a band ask for? It was truly overwhelming. It was my first time in Tamworth and I was blown away by just how musically literate the audiences were.
The next day we received a phone call from the Tamworth council asking would we play at Bicentennial Park during the live broadcast of the Golden Guitar Awards. We said yes, then we asked about the money. Mental note, must remember to ask about the money before saying yes; still it was a great experience. Friday night’s gig was another killer as was Saturday’s.
Somewhere in amongst all that I got to see The Feral Swing Katz, superb; we got to see The Flood the day after they picked up their Golden Guitar, again truly superb, and if all that wasn’t enough I got to see Kasey Chambers sing a set of covers with her dad.
I could listen to her singing the telephone directory so to have the honour of being there whilst she performed some of her favourite songs was indeed a real bonus.
I could go on and on about things I saw and did in Tamworth but apparently I’m supposed to keep this down to 500 words and as I’m currently approaching 700 I don’t have the space so let me cut to the chase.
Peter Busher and The Lone Rangers and those associated with them have all known each other for around 30 years and to be able to come across the country together and do what we do to such appreciative audiences was a privilege that won’t be forgotten, and so to everyone who had anything to do with it we say thank you. We had a ball. One final note, Ray and his legs remain firmly attached.

Shaun's last Tamworth gig: Re-mains' banjo player Shaun Butcher is
taking a break from the band and their gigs in the next few weeks will
be his last with them.
 
IN LAST week’s column I gave you all the drum on Gleny Rae Virus and Her Tamworth Playboys performing at The Albert. Well – the Mulcahys have done it again – they’ve scored the weekly double.
Next Friday night The Re-mains will return to The Albert for a sensational night of country rock’n’roll – and the final night in town with Uncle Burnin’ Love Shaun Butcher on sizzling banjo.
Uncle’s hanging up his banjo for the time being to concentrate on his family life, which would have been tested after four years of consistent touring and gigging with The Re-mains.
Not about to let that well honed sound fade into their musical past, the boys plan to do a live recording on May 26th at Durrumble Hall, 5kms out of Mullumbimby on the far north coast of NSW.
Those punters lucky enough to be in the audience will have the tasty appetiser of the premiere screening of The Re-mains’ documentary, shot during two of the band’s Northern Territory tours in 2004 and 2005.
To find out more and for their full gig guide, check out the website, www.re-mains.com.

DON’T forget Monday night at 6.30pm is the ACMF’s Country Energy-sponsored Country In The Courtyard meet and greet in Brisbane St, Tamworth, opposite The Northern Daily Leader.
Autumn has been magical in the Country Music Capital with warm sunshine-filled days followed by freezing cold nights, where the temperature drops to zero and below.
Hence, the ACMF volunteers have taken the courtyard concert indoors to the warmth and cosiness of the Smoky Dawson performance room.
Mr Smooth, Craig Giles, is this month’s special guest, as he’s passing through and couldn’t miss the chance to stop and say g’day to his friends and fans with a smile and a song.
For just a gold coin donation you can come in from the cold and enjoy the company of friends with Australia’s country music past surrounding you on the walls and in the display cases.

 
Country Music Notes, Saturday, May 6, 2006
Photos and Notes from Caboolture
Nice to see you: Aleyce Simmonds and MC Jim Haynes
caught up backstage for a cuddle at the Urban Country Music Festival.
 
They heard her, alright: Down the hillside and right across the showground,
Melinda Schneider came through loud and clear.
Handy: Greg Shaw on his two-wheeled chariot.
 
Big crowd: The big fella, Adam Harvey, was one of the headline acts on the huge concert.
 
Talking music, no doubt: Jake Lardot, Rod Motbey and Mitch Farmer backstage at Caboolture showground.
 
Surrounded: Laurel Edwards is flanked by Adam Harvey’s manager, Skip Beaumont, left, and superb bassman, Ian Lees, right.
 
In demand: Crystal Bailey, Charlene Bailey, Lindsay Dallas, Kurt Bailey and Daniel Conway, signing everything from photos to hats and more.
Too much fun: Felicity Urquhart had a ball on stage at her show at Caboolture RSL, pictured here with Glen Hannah on lead guitar and Scotty Hills on drums.

Felicity fans: Sue and Colin Reynolds, who now live at Maryborough,
Queensland, wouldn’t have missed Felicity’s gig for the world
 
TOOK my first trip the QUT Urban Country Music Festival last weekend and it was a little beauty.
A four-day event, from Friday to Monday, it was the third year and in just that short time has attracted some big names to its main event.
Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Melinda Schneider, Paul Kelly, Aleyce Simmonds and The Baileys starred on the enormous showground stage with an amazing light and sound setup.
Tania Kernaghan was to have performed, but a throat infection gave the young Tamworth band a chance to play to a different audience – thousands of them.
Backstage two hours before showtime it was pretty clear running an event like this was no mean feat.
Greg Shaw, one of the most respected names in Australian country music, coordinated the task and it ran like a well-oiled machine, as Greg had the help of some wonderfully skilled operators – all from the saddle of his trusty steed.
A large black Yamaha motorcycle proved a far preferable option to Shanks’s pony, and Shawie had a ball derbying around the large site on it.
Some of the busiest and most popular backstage personnel were the drinks and ice bearers, who kept the artists and crew well lubricated in the hot Caboolture sun.
The heat was almost like Tamworth in January.
All artists received a magnificent welcome from the estimated 10,000-strong audience sitting on chairs, blankets and grass of the
main show ring.
It seemed almost unbelievable looking at that bare show ring an hour or so before the gig that it would fill up with people, happy to sit in the hot Queensland sun – but they did just that – exactly when Jim, one of the operators, said they would.
Aleyce charmed the socks off them when she took the stage, accompanied just by Daniel Conway on guitar.
After her 45-minute set, she was kept busy in the merch tent, signing copies of her single, which were snapped up by the fans, as well as hats, shirts, autograph books and programs.
Then it was time for The Baileys to take their place on stage. Would the fans be disappointed that they weren’t Tania Kernaghan, as no announcement had been made that she wasn’t coming?
When MC Jim Haynes introduced them, and they let fly with one of their fast-paced originals, they received a huge ovation. After all, Daniel was a Caboolture boy – and they love to support their own.
They too were besieged by a long line of fans, queueing up to get an autographed photo – or have their shirt, hat or body part signed by the youngsters.
Troy Cassar-Daley had a ball on stage – almost as much fun as his children, Jem and Clay, were having backstage, watched over by mum Laurel.
For a couple of brief moments, front of house sound was lost – but the trouper played on, until the fault was quickly rectified by the capable team of soundies.
Adam Harvey worked the crowd well, presenting a selection of hits from Can’t Settle For Less, his latest album.
By this time the showground audience was almost at capacity, with it seems, every available space occupied by a fold-up chair or blanket.
The food and drink stalls lining the edge of the ring, were well patronised by the hungry hordes.
Then when Melinda Schneider burst onto the stage singing Can You Hear Me Down The Hillside – everyone certainly could.
If I’d had half the stamina of Gleny and Dougie, I might have stuck around to watch Paul Kelly and Lee Kernaghan, but the eight-hour drive to Caboolture the day before had taken its toll.
I was a tired little camper and needed to catch some Zs, so I reluctantly left the showground and headed for home.
The weekend was capped off for our little group with a Sunday noon concert in Caboolture RSL’s Banksia Room by Felicity Urquhart.
Felicity’s hot band, led by Glen Hannah (lead), Chris Haig (bass), Brendan Radford (guitar) and The Flood’s Scotty Hills on drums, were on fire.
After the audience was entertained by a set from 2003 Tamworth Camerata graduate Claye Middleton, they were treated to 90 minutes of pure entertainment – Felicity style.
The Tamworth-born songstress was having a great time on stage and it flowed through to every audience member.
After Felicity’s concert finished I wandered into the lounge of the RSL to find former Tamworthian Pam Spencer, up on stage singing alongside Queenslander Michael King. Now that was a nice little combination.
Catching up with the club’s manager, Stephen Bunz, and wife Vivienne, was another touch of home for me.
Then, continuing the climatic similarity to Tamworth in January, the rain came down around 4pm Sunday, as I packed the car and headed for home.
It was a lovely weekend and I’d love to get back there to explore some of the other activities on offer – the Songwriters’ Café in Town Square, Bush Poetry Breakfast at the Caboolture Historical Village, the talent quest in Town Square, the cloggers and line dancers (from a spectator’s viewpoint) and all the other exciting things on offer at the QUT Urban Country Music Festival.

 
Country Music Notes, Saturday,
April 29, 2006
Bobby Cash's Launch at The Basement
 
From the heart: Bobby singing songs from his new album,
State Of My Heart.
A way with words: Songwriters Lawrie Minson, John Martin and Matt Scullion
at Wednesday night’s launch at The Basement.
Cash fans: Patti McKinnon and broadcaster Kevin Walsh.
 
Host with the most: John Doyle’s dry humour was the perfect entree
to Bobby’s performance at the launch.
Industry support: Colin Bromley, Bobby’s manager,
with Artist Network Australia boss Marius Els.

THE BASEMENT in Sydney, that famed jazz establishment, was transformed into honky tonk heaven on Wednesday night when Indian cowboy Bobby Cash launched his new CD, State Of My Heart.
Among those in the audience was a fair contingent of Tamworthians – including Cheryl Byrnes (Country Music Capital News), Lawrie Minson (album producer and songwriter), Mark Henry (don’t know what he does – but he’s everywhere!), and songwriters Matt Scullion and Kootingal’s John Martin. (And me too – I was John Martin’s pilot).
Former Tamworth musician Ollie Agostino was there also, as was Alan Scott, a sound engineer and son of Wests’ TAB owners, Pat and Alan Scott.
The Scotts have been great supporters of Bobby since he first came to Tamworth in the company of his managers, Gerry O’Leary and Colin Bromley.
In fact, they introduced Bobby to John Martin, a retiree from Kootingal, who loves writing songs – and playing bowls.
When Bobby learnt of John’s interest in songwriting, he asked if he had any material that might suit his Indian Cowboy style.
John produced the lyrics to a Johnny Cash tribute he’d written and within a very short time Bobby decided he liked the words so much – and the sentiment behind them – that he would write the melody, so John Martin’s Tribute to Johnny Cash became track 10 on the new disc.
It wasn’t only Tamworth that visited The Basement that night either. Some of the television world’s elite were present, including master of ceremonies John Doyle (of Club Buggery and Roy & HG fame), Libbi Goor (Elle McFeast) and a host of other stars I was too embarrassed to poke my camera at.
Sydney booking agent Marius Els and Horace Bevan were there, along with a throng of Bobby Cash devotees.
That was evident from the moment Bobby took the stage. The place erupted.
I don’t quite what it is about a Bobby Cash concert, but it appears to me there’s always a lot of love in the air. Real, raw emotion and it emanates from the man on stage in the big black hat.
He’s such a genuine person, with a real appreciation of how Australians have taken him into their hearts and made him one of their own.
Bobby paid tribute to those Aussies who have helped him build his career. People like Roy Eykamp, Colin and Gerry, and the writers and musicians who have accepted him as one of their own.
And the band was none too shabby either as Bobby had enlisted the A team to accompany him.
The man of steel – Michel Rose (my cousin, from the Mauritian side of the Rose family); Clare O’Meara, the little flower who fiddles and pushes buttons (on her piano accordion) like no other; Rudy Miranda – no relation to Carmen, but a red hot drummer all the same; and that gorgeous and gifted bass player Ian Lees, made up the tight little combo.
They shared a set of 10 songs with us, which had the joint jumping, hands clapping, and smiles all round. And he left us wanting more. Bobby agreed to one encore, but as another act was booked for later in the night on that same stage, he retired to the Blue Room, where he was able to catch up with his friends and fans in a one-on-one situation.
If John and I hadn’t had to hop in the car and return to Tamworth, we would have still been there, enjoying the company of Bobby, the band and all those lovely people.
While he’s in Australia this time around (John Doyle said it was Bobby’s 12th visit to the land down under), he is certainly going to be a busy boy.
On Monday make sure you tune in to The Today Show, as Bobby will perform between 8.30am and 9am.
Last night (Friday) Bobby was scheduled to play Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL, then today he’s at Charters Towers.
Next week, in between media commitments, he’ll be all over the countryside – from country and metropolitan Victorian venues, and on Thursday, May 11, he’s at Twin Towns on the Gold Coast; Caboolture RSL on Friday, May 12; Sawtell RSL on Saturday, May 13; Tuncurry RSL on Sunday, May 14 and two WA dates on May 19 and 20 – at Inglewood and Fremantle – before he completes this tour.
Go out and hound your favourite music store for Bobby’s new album. There’s not a dud track on it, from the flamenco-style Marty Robbins-inspired Spanish Rose and the Brenda-Lee Heathcote toe-tapper, One Good Night, through to Baby Baby – possibly the world’s first country song that combines English and Hindi lyrics. It’s absolutely beautiful when you read the translated words on the CD slick.
Bobby wrote that song with his late mother and dedicated it to her – and to all mothers everywhere. In fact, with Mother’s Day coming up, it would make an ideal gift for your mum.
Visit Bobby’s website, www.bobbycash.com.au  for all the latest news on what he’s up to, where he’s going and where he’s been.
 
Country Music Notes, Saturday April 22, 2006
Indian experience: Performing to 10,000 people at Jaipur’s Albert Hall isn’t
everybody’s idea of a holiday, but it is for Lawrie Minson.

Albert Hall, Jaipur
 
Tamworth-Dehradun connection: Lawrie at St Stephen’s School, with some of the students
who are benefiting from the generosity of Tamworth people.

St Stephens School, Clement Town, India
 
AFTER a hectic Tamworth Festival and prior to that, many long hours spent in John Lee’s Fat Track Studio at Moore Creek recording Bobby Cash’s new album, Lawrie Minson needed a break to recharge the batteries and renew his energy levels.
The idea of a holiday in India, catching up with Bobby and old friend, Salil Bhatt, whom he’d met on an earlier trip there, had much appeal.
Musical ties: Salil Bhatt, VM Bhatt, Lawrie Minson and Rankuman
 
True to form, that holiday developed into quite a musical adventure for the Tamworth-based multi-instrumentalist.
When Lawrie arrived in Jaipur, armed with his Maton acoustic guitar, how could he resist the temptation to perform two shows with good mate Salil Bhatt, and Salil’s father, VM Bhatt (India’s most famous classical musician).
Salil plays the satvik veena, a version of the mohan veena, a guitar-like instrument with 20 strings, invented by his father.
One of those concerts was at Jaipur’s Albert Hall, where they performed to an audience of 10,000 people, while the other was at the Jaipur Sheraton Music Festival, held in memory of Salil’s grandfather.
Coming from a musical family, Salil introduced Lawrie to his brother Saurabh, who owns Swarnidhi recording studio, which Lawrie was keen to check out.
While there, Lawrie contributed musically to seven tracks for Salil’s new album. Also involved in the recording was Mahendra Dangi on tabla (drums).
Before leaving Jaipur, Lawrie took a few lessons in Indian classical ragas, from the master – Salil’s famous dad.
Reluctant to leave Jaipur and his friends, but pleased to be leaving behind the 40 degree days in the desert, Lawrie returned to the much friendlier climes of Dehradun, where Bobby lives with his family.
Since Bobby first came to Australia four years ago a real Tamworth connection has been established with Dehradun, and in particular St Stephen’s School.
Two Tamworthians, Bev and Tony Simpson, organised a fundraiser which directed funds to St Stephen’s School and Lawrie was delighted to inspect the results of those efforts.
New classrooms have been built, and new furniture, including benches and chairs, have been purchased with the money from the fundraiser.
Always pleased to help out a good cause, Lawrie performed in an outdoor concert with Bobby, playing to 1500 people at Doon School.
The audience was predominantly school children, with little or no knowledge of country music, but after the first couple of songs, Bobby had them clapping their hands and singing along. They were certainly converts by concert’s end.
Proceeds of the concert were directed to a hospital that treats patients with HIV AIDS.
Lawrie spent the remainder of his “holiday” songwriting with Bobby, creating songs for his next album.
Bobby will launch his new album, State Of My Heart, at The Basement in Sydney on Wednesday night so I hope to have a report on that for you next week.
While in Australia Bobby will perform at venues ranging from Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL on April 28, to Charters Towers in Queensland, Hallam, Braybook, Hawthorne, Churchill and St Kilda in Victoria, Twin Towns on the Gold Coast, Caboolture RSL, Sawtell RSL, Tuncurry RSL and two dates in Western Australia before completing this tour.
For a full itinerary visit Bobby’s website, www.bobbycash.com.au


Travelling man: Lorin Nicholson performing on The Pub Group on Target
stage during Festival 2006.

 
ANOTHER globetrotter worth mentioning in this column is former Tamworth guitarist, Lorin Nicholson, who’s now living in south-east Queensland.
Lorin and father-in-law Trevor left during the week for their first overseas tour to America.
They will spend two weeks in Dallas, Texas, working in schools, where Lorin will inspire students with his workshops, which incorporate music, motivation, life lessons and story-telling.
What makes Lorin’s presentations so inspiring is the fact that he has retinitis pigmentosa, which has left him blind since birth. This apparent disability doesn’t interfere with Lorin’s lifestyle, but appears to make him stretch to achieve higher goals as he goes through life.
Before leaving Tamworth where he had a massage therapy practice, Lorin had only ever dreamt of performing and recording. He’s now chasing all those dreams and so much more.
During his fortnight in Dallas, Lorin will present a couple of evening concerts organised by the Dallas Guitar Society, the group responsible for managing acts like Slava Gregorian when he tours the States.
Lorin is being sponsored for this trip by one of the biggest music chain stores in the US, The Guitar Centre.
They are providing him with all the sound gear for the tour and have invited Lorin to do a special master class in their Dallas store.
Visit Lorin’s website, www.seesharp.com.au  to find out more about this amazing musician.


Country Music Notes, Saturday, April 15, 2006
Birthday girl: Tracy Coster will celebrate her 40th birthday in Manilla tonight with family and friends. She’s pictured here at Mildura last year, after winning Independent Album of the Year. Photo: Lorraine Pfitzner.

THERE’S been a fair bit of water flow under the Manilla River bridge since Tracy Coster released her first single in 1985, Why Do I Feel Like Crying, to last year’s mammoth achievement of her first Golden Guitar.
Tracy’s heartfelt speech in tribute to her late mum and dad left not a dry eye in the house when she and Anne Kirkpatrick were announced winners of the Vocal Collaboration of the Year for Back To The Saltbush Plains.
Having been on the road with her dad, the late and great Stan Coster, since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, and Anne, parallelling that same path with her famous dad, Slim Dusty, it was a moment destined to happen.
Following the release in 2004 of Coster Country, singing the songs her dad made famous, resulted in another string of awards coming Tracy’s way.
These included Australian Independent Country Music Awards Album Of The Year; NSW Golden Medallion Awards Female Vocalist Of The Year; Stan Coster Bush Ballad Awards Album Of The Year Stan Coster Bush Ballad Awards Comedy Song Of The Stan Coster for The Loaded Dog.
Her new single, I Don’t Want To Talk About Rain, is enjoying extensive airplay on all good country radio stations around Australia and Tracy is continuing to tour and take her music to the people, just like her dad did before her.
Congratulations to Tracy, who will tonight be guest of honour at her 40th birthday party in Manilla, among family, friends and colleagues.
It’s bound to be a very musical celebration. But then again, what else could it be, for the girl who lives to sing and entertain, continuing the Coster family tradition.
Many happy returns, Tracy, from Country Music Notes readers, and your friends all over Australia. If you’d like to keep updated with Tracy’s latest adventures, visit www.tracycoster.com.au

FOR The Love Of My Country is the latest offering from 2006 Roll Of Renown recipient Reg Poole.
This is album #24 for Reg, who has just launched his own label, Matildaroo, with distribution by One Stop Entertainment.
The first single released to radio, A Tribute To Slim, proved the inspiration for the new disc.
The song was written by WA songwriter Barney O’Donnell and it received such a great response at Reg’s live shows, it provided the incentive for Reg to return to the studio and record it for his new album.
Apart from being the 33rd Roll of Renown inductee, Reg was honoured to accept the Order of Australia medal, prior to heading back out on the road with touring mate, Owen Blundell.
The dynamic duo’s live performance has now been captured on DVD, and is appropriately titled Live. It was filmed at Kyabram’s Plaza Theatre, in Victoria.
For The Love Of My Country includes originals, old favourites and a touch of comedy. How could Reg stay serious for a whole album?
It showcases his style to perfection. When Pooley’s in your neck of the woods, catch his show. He’s a champion.


COUNTRY music fans are in for a feast this Easter long weekend, with Nick Erby presenting four big nights of Country Music Radio, broadcast live from Tamworth from the 2TM studios.
Last night Nick got a little nostalgic, featuring classic songs from the recently released live performance DVDs of Slim Dusty, Johnny Cash, Stan Coster and Willie Nelson, with Ray Charles.
Tonight he’s taking another trip down memory lane – only not so far back. Relive the excitement and emotion of the 2006 CMAA Golden Guitar Awards, as the 13 winners are presented with their trophies.
Tomorrow night hear music icons Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and EmmyLou Harris discuss their new duets album, All The Road Running, which will be available in stores next week.
Then on Monday night, sit back and enjoy a replay of an extraordinary night in the 2TM studios. It was the end of the 2005 Tamworth Country Music Festival and Troy Cassar-Daley popped in, armed with his guitar, and sang listeners’ requests – live in the studio.

IF YOU fancy a little overseas journey, why not consider venturing to the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival, from May 21-27.
People have been raving over Norfolk for years, and now this festival gives you even more reasons to explore its beauty and attractions.
Headlining the festival this year is New Zealand instrumentalist, Gray Bartlett, who has received an MBE for his services to music.
His support act is Joy Adams, who has a natural flair for songwriting and the ability to touch your heart, tickle your funnybone, taking you through the whole gamut of emotions in one performance.
Special guest artist is Stephen Pride, all the way from the USA. The youngest brother of country legend Charley Pride, Stephen grew up surrounded by music.
One of Australia’s premier singer-songwriters Graeme Connors will present his one-man show at Norfolk this year. In A Different Light, Graeme’s new solo show, made its debut in Tamworth in January 2005 and this appearance on Norfolk will be the final leg of this current tour.
Supporting Graeme is the delightful Felicity Urquhart, who will be accompanied on guitar by the very talented and versatile Glen Hannah.
The 2005 Trans Tasman entertainer of the year winner for 2005, Victoria Baillie, will return to the island to showcase her new single, Lord Don’t Take Me Yet.
The 2006 Norfolk festival gives you the chance to meet the established stars, watch stars of the future in the 12th annual Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year Quest, and enjoy the Pacific Famous Hoedown, which returns to the festival calendar this year.
If you’d like to know how to get there, contact your travel agent or e-mail Jacquie Pye at nicma@norfolk.net.nf.

Happy Easter to one and all. Hope the bunny finds you.

 
Country Music Notes, Saturday, April 8, 2006
CAPTIONS:
Ticked off: Luke O’Shea shares his checklist of Tamworth Festival “must do” experiences.
Gifted writer: Karl Broadie won the prestigious ISC, with his stunning single from the album of the same name, Black Crow Callin’.


MY Festival #5 comes from Medicine Wheel frontman, Luke O’Shea. When I asked Luke to put into words some of his thoughts on the Tamworth Festival, he summed it up in one word – GREAT! Thankfully, though, he did elaborate.

I DON’T know about you but I’m discovering I’ve got this invisible list of things that I have to do, see, hear and experience for Tamworth to be ... Tamworth.
For example, unless it floods or until it cracks 40 degrees and the tar on Peel St starts to melt, well, for me, it’s not really Tamworth.
This year, as in most, box number one was well and truly ticked!
Catching up, staying with and sharing a delicious baked dinner with our lovely landlady and great friend Robyn O’Rourke, who really turns into the band’s mother whilst we’re away and spoils us all rotten ... BIG tick!
Rocking up to the awesome Tamworth Services Club, having a beer with Kristian and the hardworking (party people) aka bar staff, then getting to play our music in the beautiful “cooooooool” surrounds of their auditorium, which is a great sounding room with a real intimate, family vibe. These were extremely enjoyable gigs for us this year as we were able to showcase our slower, lyric-based songs, and personally, as a performer/songwriter, to have an audience really listening to the words and connecting with the tale of your song, it is a truly rewarding thing … a humbling tick!
Watching The Flood play at the Tamworth Hotel as day turns to night and catching up with the beautiful collection of friends and country artists, all slightly left of centre, that religiously gather at their shows. Tick!
Buying throat lozenges, iodine gargle and Beroccas. Tick
Playing cricket on Australia Day with the VB ratbag, Mark Henry and his motley crew of musos, crooks, thieves and lord mayors! A reluctant tick! (Good thing John Farkas and John Nutting have been around to control the event as it does get ugly!)
Playing our yearly gig at one of The Pub Group pubs, this year t’was SouthGate Inn, and really every muso jumps at the chance to be in any one of these rooms ‘cause basically they just sound so goooood and people go there to listen. Tick.
Must have beer (or rum) with Shot By Jake …true Tamworth legend and as mad as a cut snake … buy his book. Tick!
Each year finding that “one” artist or band that just blows you away with their songs and delivery. Previously it has been the likes of John Wibberley and The Vibe but this year it was a Texan named Drew Womack, huge in the USA but relatively unknown here … but I’m guessing not for long! So tick again!
At Pickers’ Night out at The Pub it is amazing how close you become with your fellow musos and this is always a great catch up night as well as hearing the absolute cream of traditional pickers. Tick!
Pizza at 3am. Tick, tick, tick, tick, etc.
Catching up with The Baileys and like most people, remarking on how much they have all grown up and just how cool, natural and bloody skillful they all are on stage. Tick! (Although I did miss out on my curry this year! Not happy, Jen!)
Rocking out on the huge Court House Hotel stage, with one of the biggest and best sounding PAs in town, late at night to a packed house of partying people! This probably goes down as one of my personal highlights this year as we are deliberately phasing out the ‘party hardy’ midnight to 3am time spots that Medicine Wheel is kinda known for, in order to focus in on the listening audience … but man, do we still love working a room up and rocking de-ouse …and when that pack of people up front are letting go and singing along to your songs …GOLD! …tick!
Finally, and it never ceases to amaze me …being totally awestruck by the surreal beauty of each and every Tamworth sunset! It must be something in the air or in the geography of the place but I have been to Bali, Byron, and Galway Bay and the Tamworth sunset truly equals them all. They are incredible and I don’t know what it is … but there’s got to be a song in there somewhere? Tick! Tick! And tick!
Gee… on reflection I’m really missing it now! Bring on 2007 and I sincerely hope to see you at one of our shows soon! Best regards, Luke 

Michael Bryers, Kim MacKenzie and Karl Broadie
 
CONGRATULATIONS to that gorgeous Scottish-born singer-songwriter Karl Broadie, who won the Roots/Americana category of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.
The song that stood out from 15,000 entries received from songwriters worldwide, was Black Crow Callin’, the same single that went directly to the #1 spot on the Americana UK Charts and remained there for July and August, 2005.
Black Crow Callin’ also made #8 on the European Americana Airplay Charts, reached #20 on Australia’s own ARIA Country Chart and also earnt Karl a Golden Guitar Award finalist’s berth in the 2006 New Talent category.

FIDDLE fans take note: The Hawkesbury National Fiddle Festival started yesterday at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds, near Richmond, NSW, and runs until tomorrow.
Featured artists include George Washingmachine, Martin Lass, Ian Cooper, Nigel Maclean, Daniel Weltinger, Jess Randall, Andrew Clermont, Mark Oats, Clare O’Meara, Marcus Holden and many others. Check out www.fiddlefestival.com  for details.
 
Country Music Notes Saturday, April 1, 2006
Peter Busher
Fast and furious festival:
Jerry Chambers, mild-mannered taxi driver and country music fan.
Best from the west: Hearing Peter Busher, with his hot band The Lone Rangers, made Jerry Chambers’ festival complete.

MY Festival #4 comes from Mullumbimby taxi driver Jerry Chambers, who didn’t come for a long time – but he sure had a good time at the 2006 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

I ARRIVED in the early hours of the morning following Australia Day and had the unenviable task of setting up a tent in the dark.
It was 3am and my spot in Ted and Jenny Tilbrook’s backyard was not exactly floodlit but I did the deed and got ready for my third Tamworth Festival.
I’d been to my first festival in 1999, and back again in 2005. I had such a good time last year I jumped at the chance to come back in ‘06, if only for a day or so.
For me, it’s a great chance to catch up with friends while enjoying the musical smorgasbord that’s Tamworth in January.
After a quick sleep at Ted and Jenny’s, we took a stroll down Peel St, to test my heat resistance.
One of the first people I caught up with was my Mullumbimby neighbour, Clelia Adams.
Peel St was as I’d remembered it – a combination of intolerable heat and cacophony of sounds. After melting down for a while in the CBD I met some North Coast friends at SouthGate Inn for Leslie Avril’s noon gig.
I’m a total Leslie fan so this taste of honky tonk and pure country, from one of the best bands around, was just what I needed to begin my festival ‘06 experience.
We planned on catching Johnny Green’s Blues Cowboys at Diggers, but a slight technical hitch put paid to that.
The Detonators at The Albert was our next stop and it was a top gig. The band was sweaty, the crowd was sweaty, but the music was totally hot.
Holloway Street at The Family was a quieter turn of events, with a small but appreciative audience catching this Queensland band’s Tamworth debut.
Back to Ted and Jenny’s for some rehydration and the kitchen table proved a great spot to sit and catch up with old friends.
As it turned out, Tamworth’s hotels and clubs weren’t the only musical venues that night. The kitchen choir joined the backporch pickers at Ted’s and they made some mighty fine music together.
Kyogle’s Chris Cook, who sings a great country song – most of them his own – was one of the star acts around the table. I found it hard to drag myself away, but I couldn’t resist the urge to check out Kasey Chambers’ free concert in the park.
It’s amazing how many people can fit in that park – and they were all there to enjoy the show.
A much cooler night-time walk along Peel St was in order after Kasey’s gig, and the allure of the music coming out of the Court House Hotel was too much.
Ray Hoff, The Re-mains and a far too many punters made for a crowded, and slightly less than comfortable, although enjoyable, experience. Lucky the music was so good.
Last stop of the night was a date with Clel and some mates out at The Pub for the late night special – Peter Busher and the Lone Rangers. Seeing this amazing band, who’d come all the way from WA, totally made my festival.
Another quick sleep and after unsuccessfully trying to find a park in town (it was Cavalcade morning), we headed back to The Pub for the Bill Chambers Sessions, only to discover we were a day late.
There was this tiny Sir Lankan girl on stage singing Stand By Your Man to a packed house. It wasn’t Bill Chambers, but that little kid sure could sing.
Home for lunch then my friends and I made the reluctant decision to make an early start for Mullum.
There were so many old friends, so much good music happening means my mind’s made up. I’ll see you again in Tamworth next year – and hopefully this time I’ll be able to stay a little longer to take it all in at my leisure.

ONE of the finds of the 2006 Festival – The Pigs – will return to Wests’ Diggers for one show only – and tonight’s the night.
The gig kicks off around 9.30pm, so make sure you get along to the new-look club in Kable Ave, Tamworth, and check out the band everybody’s talking about!

THE Wolverines are back with what the critics are calling their “finest album to date”, Good Times.
Recorded at the Gold Coast by respected Nashville hitmaker, Louie Shelton, Good Times showcases a number of songs that reflect the raw energy that is The Wolverines in concert.
The songs range from their original Wolverines country rock sound through to the subtle ballads.
Released through ACMEC, the CMAA Independent Record Company of the Year, it’s a fine 12-track album featuring standout tracks Up And Done Died, This Tattoo, The Man I Used To See, The Ballad of Young Bobby Dale, and the Dale Juner-penned Bundy Haze.
The first single is Angel Eyes, a strong ballad written by Louie’s son, Matt Shelton. Lyrically it explores the regrets of true love left behind and musically it epitomises fresh, modern country.
Good Times is the Wolves’ fifth album and from previous accolades including a Golden Guitar, ARIA Gold Record, three ACE Awards and four MO Awards, you can see why the phenomenon of The Wolverines shows no signs of slowing down.
Check out the April issue of Capital News, which has a feature article on Darcy LeYear, John Clinton and Chris Doyle.
You can keep up with all the latest Wolverines news by visiting their website,
www.wolverines.com.au
 
Country Music Notes Saturday, March 25, 2006
Jon Farkas and Jodie Crosby
 
CAPTIONS: The newlyweds: Jon Wolfe and Jodie Crosby-Wolfe. Photo: John Elliott.
At the coalface: The Re-mains packed a whole festival’s worth of excitement into four big gigs presenting country rock and roll at its finest.

WHEN I congratulated Jon Farkas and Jodie Crosby on their nuptials two weeks ago, I had no idea Jodie was marrying Jon Wolfe.
Lucky for me, they’re one and the same person, as Jon F is now Jon W, due to a recent surname change.
The tiny St Michael’s church at Westdale was packed to the rafters – a full house – just like any great country act wants to see at their gig.
And what a gig it was. Music from start to finish – with the bride and her sister, Kelly, singing, with other musically inclined guests joining in, including Kelvin and Linda Nolan.
Also on the program was a Randy Travis song, Deeper Than The Holler, and a Patsy Cline classic, True Love, and Close To You, by The Carpenters.
Sadly Patsy, Randy, Richard and Karen couldn’t be there for varying reasons, so their recorded versions had to suffice.
On behalf of all Country Music Notes readers, every good wish to Jodie and Jon.
Their wedding was captured photographically by John Elliott. Here’s one of his not so shabby pics of the happy couple.

MY Festival #3 comes from The Re-mains’ pedal steel guitarist, Leigh Ivin. The primarily North Coast-based band members are pioneers of country rock and roll (CR&R) – and proud of it.
Here’s part of The Re-mains’ My Festival experience – from Leigh’s viewpoint.

THE 2006 Festival was so good – good for The Re-mains and good for the Coalface Coalition.
First up, The Re-mains only played four shows; one in acoustic mode at The Family Hotel and the other three in full assault mode at the Court House.
While we’d played the City Tavern for the past three years, it wouldn’t have mattered where we were at the end of the day because the fans of CR&R want to get it on and that they did.
The front bar of the Court House for all three shows was a pressure cooker. We now hear the stories of how many people couldn’t/wouldn’t come in due to the intenseness of the atmosphere. It was chockers.
The band was in fine form having warmed up with a few shows in Sydney. We hit the ground running playing two sets per night over a three-hour slot.
In the breaks and before and after the shows, it was a serious mission to get a drink or even a legible conversation, so dense was the throng.
Too much happened over the course of the festival but here are some of the highlights:
We had a few guest stars: Sarah Carroll, that rocking spunk from ex-Melbourne coalfacers GIT; Tonchi McIntosh, he of the subtle word and powerful intent; and Neville Anderson, possibly the only legit cowboy singer in the business.
Sarah was staying at Camp Re-mains and while making that particular location a lot more fun and gorgeous she managed to find time to perform her own brand of country-flavoured sass around town. Resplendent in a variety of colourful dress and other habiliments she charmed the arses off way too many people. No doubt she will be back in Tamworth next year with gigs of her own.
Tonchi got up on the final night to lead us through one of his more rockin’ tunes, Evolution – a real highlight of the set, with its catchy “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!!” chorus and slippery, mutant 12-bar feel. Neville Anderson showed the gathered coalface congregation how to really sing a country song. It’s hard to put a finger on what Nev does
but he is bona-fide and a real gentleman to boot. He could croon to a rabble such as we had assembled or to a flock of lamington-scoffing grey nomads. It wouldn’t matter.
Our song, Don’t Go Back, towards the end of the last show brought to the stage Tonchi, Sarah and Georgina Savic, who has graced the stage with us on a couple of occasions.
Other guests were up for the count also: Gleny Rae Virus injected her patented brand of oestrogen-charged fiddle to the fore, she and the Owl exchanging many tossy solos to and fro.
On the last show another stellar fiddler, John Kendall from Melbourne, got up and came on like some sort of countrified Jean Luc Ponty. Amazing to see and hear.
Also worthy of a mention was our new tune, Country Rock and Roll Is No. 1, that the audience took to heart by singing along with the chorus, led by the irrepressible Den Hanrahan, whose beaming mug could be spotted with ease above the heads of the massed believers. To quote Den, “it was gold”.
That was how our shows unravelled – more of the same from previous years but in a truly electrified setting and mood. It was the best you can hope for from our angle.
I know we were all on the stage looking back at the audience thanking the good Lord above that we were not out there in the crowd.
Thanks to the Courthouse for the CR&R-friendly timeslot and a prayer that in hindsight the outdoor marquee will be a more suitable venue for us next year.
Other festival highlights were Gleny Rae Virus’s Tamworth Playboys gigs at SouthGate Inn. Along with Grant Bedford, Dougy Bull, Marty Moose and Ray “The Pres” Cullen, Gleny put forward a facet of the country sound that is woefully under-represented at the fest – or anywhere for that matter.
Swing was the order of the day and her retinue of guests was a thing to behold – Wilson Dixon with his dry comedy, the awesome Lairy Farmers, clearly honed into a seriously sharp act following their European touring exploits, Sarah Carroll and many more.
Cheers to Gleny for presenting a show like this and cheers to the SouthGate Inn for taking it on. There is no doubt there'll be more stuff like this to come.

Country Music Notes Saturday, March 18, 2006
All aglow: Jeanette Wormald felt the Tamworth heat but loved the reaction from her audiences.
NUMBER two in our series of My Festival experiences comes from South Australian singer-songwriter Jeanette Wormald. Jeanette had a great time in Tamworth and will be passing through on a regional tour of NSW with Peter Pratt in September. Jeanette and Peter tour regional SA in August. Check out Jeanette’s website, for the full touring schedule at www.jeanettewormald.com . In the meantime, here’s Jeanette’s Tamworth dancecard:
THEY say horses sweat, men perspire and ladies just glow. Well if that is the case then I was glowing like a light bulb at Tamworth this year.
I'm a Mallee girl and while we might be tough – able to split stumps, kill snakes and withstand 47C heat waves in mid-summer – we’re no match for the humidity of Tamworth in January.
Armed with a new single, DVD and the re-release of two earlier albums as Reflections, I was determined to make my mark at the annual festival.
So, supported by able husband Dean and musician Pete Titchener we bravely faced 17 gigs in seven days on top of my commitments as a host of the Tamworth Country Music Train.
What I didn’t count on was the Tamworth heat wave!
Despite this, the crowds were fantastic and it was incredibly gratifying to receive such a wonderful response from a growing legion of fans.
Some highlights? My first appearance at the Golden Guitar Meet and Greet, which I shared with artist Peter Pratt, attracted well over 100 people.
However, I discovered an important fashion tip for ladies. Industrial fans and lip gloss do not mix! I spent half my performance trying to dislodge my hair from my mouth after it was blown onto my lips and stuck to the lip gloss like glue.
That night, I sang to a full house at Diggers during the One Stop New Generation Showcase, grateful for the air conditioning.
On the Wednesday we enjoyed playing a special Up Close and Personal concert over an a la carte meal on board the Country Music Express.
Wednesday night was another full house at the Buttercup Showcase in the Town Hall.
At Peel St on Thursday while performing on The Pub Group's stage, I experienced the curious sensation of being drenched by my own “glow” as rivers of sweat started running down my back during my performance.
I felt so wet I was convinced at one stage that I might electrocute myself if my sweat connected with the electrical equipment on stage.
Thursday night we performed to one of the biggest crowds in years at the SA Showcase.
Friday was an absolute treat to be featured at the Bryan de Gruchy Showcase at The Pub and to share the stage and play music with such fantastic musicians as Rod McCormack and Stuie French.
Early Saturday afternoon I performed to another full house during the Craig Giles show.
However, the best was left ‘til last where a show I organised at The Family on Saturday afternoon, featuring myself and Peter Pratt, attracted a full house.
It was enough to make me glow with happiness!

AWARD-winning LBS recording artist Shaza Leigh will put on her hosting cap this Monday night (March 20) for the monthly Country in the Courtyard concert at the Australian Country Music Foundation.
Located in Brisbane St, Tamworth, diagonally opposite The Northern Daily Leader building, the foundation conducts these monthly get-togethers for a number of reasons.
Firstly it’s a great opportunity for locally-based artists to get together in friendly, intimate surrounds, and it’s also an ideal chance to raise some much needed dollars for the foundation’s grand plan – the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
There’s a sausage sizzle, music, mingling and more, all adding up to a great night out in the Country Music Capital. It starts at 6.30pm.

TAMWORTH’S John Muller sends some great jokes via e-mail, and here’s one that fitted this column to a tee.
I may have related some of these song titles to you in a previous column way back in time, but they still make great reading – even second time around.
John actually sent me 17 Country Song Titles but I’ve chosen to run with 16. After all, this is a family column.
So here they are – from 16th to first:
 
16. It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass Out All Day Long
15. If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You
14. If The Phone Don’t Ring, You’ll Know It's Me
13. How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?
12. I Liked You Better Before I Got to Know You So Well
11. I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Getting’ Better
10. I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dog Fight ‘Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win
9. I’ll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let’s Honeymoon Tonight
8. I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Like You’re Still Here
7. If I Had Shot You When I First Wanted To, I’d Be Out Of Prison By Now
6. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Sure Do Miss Him
5. She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
4. You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly
3. Her Teeth Was Stained But Her Heart Was Pure
2. She’s Looking Better After Every Beer
And the #1 country song title is . . . . I Ain’t Never Gone To Bed With An Ugly Woman But I’ve Sure Woke Up With A Few.
 
Country Music Notes, Saturday, March 11, 2006
Jamming with mates: Troy Cassar-Daley, far right, had a ball singing Trains in duet with Adam Harvey
at Stuie French’s VB Pickers’ Night and again at Adam’s show later in the week.

THE Festival is many things to many people. In coming editions, with a little help from some friends, I’ll share with you some unique My Festival experiences.
I’ve invited musicians, fans – anyone who’s willing to share their dancecard with Country Music Notes readers. Everyone’s got a story to tell, so why not share yours?
Shoot me an e-mail to annarose@thepub.com.au , with My Festival in the subject line. If you have pics, all the better. Alternatively, my postal contact is Box 7068 NEMSC 2348.
First cab off the rank in the My Festival series was penned by Troy Cassar-Daley, who added four Golden Guitars to his trophy cabinet this year.
Troy got waxed, had some very special guests on his and Sara Storer’s sellout gigs at TREC, picked some mighty fine guitar, and sang some tunes on mates’ stages. Here’s Troy’s My Festival experience.

FROM my point of view the 2006 Tamworth Country Music Festival was a great one – and not just because of the Golden Guitars.
On the last Friday of the festival I got back to something that has always been very important to me – doing little guest spots with friends.
Some of my favourite memories as a kid going to Tamworth were sitting in an audience and some artist you don’t expect just jumps up out of the blue.
So on the Friday I went and did two songs at Kasey's show in the park, then trotted off to Adam Harvey's show for a rendition of Trains at his show. Then, by default, I ended up at the Imperial ‘cause Laurel wanted to see Drew Womack with the Vibe (who are good mates of ours).
I did an old Steve Earle song called Some Day which we have both recorded on our albums.
Then it was off to my all time favourite band at the Tamworth Hotel – the now Golden Guitar- winning band, The Flood.
I got up and sang a couple of songs and had a few festival wind-down drinks before the awards. It was a top night and I hope the people in the crowds all over town enjoyed the shows as much as I did. Best wishes, Troy.

THERE’S been some great coverage on the Festival in lots of places. On the net, magazines and newspapers, radio and TV reports.
You might like to check out www.tamworthragepage.com  for Helen Mitchell’s photographic journey around Tamworth 2006. Fair dinkum. She must wear roller skates to get around all those venues. Go you good thing!
Then there’s an excellent report on Sydney DJ Ken Date’s site, http://users.tpg.com.au/krd/the_program.htm . Very interesting reading from someone who knows his way around Tamworth.
Country Music Capital News and Country Update are both jam-packed with post-Tamworth news, pics and views, and pay TV viewers should keep an eye on CMC for lots of Tamworth-shot footage of shows and interviews with all your favourite stars.
 
SOUTH Australian singer-songwriter John O’Dea
SOUTH Australian singer-songwriter John O’Dea realised a dream with the release of his debut album, If Stones Could Talk.
As the title track suggests, John is one of those people who’s driven past old houses and buildings wondering who lived there. It was then he posed the question, “if stones could talk” and came up with the brilliant opening track and title for his first ever CD release.
It was very well recorded utilising some great session players including Golden Guitar winner Trev Warner, who plays some mighty fine banjo and dobro throughout.
Harmony vocals contributed by Eliza Moulten and Susie Jarrett enhance John’s easy to listen to voice.
Each of the songs tells a tale all its own – and each one is totally Australian, giving a refreshing view on everyday topics and events.
Track two, about the Carrieton Rodeo, paints a real word picture and makes you want to make sure you’re headed that way “the last Saturday in December”.
Take My Hand deals with the emotive issue of a family’s loss of a mother, leaving just the father and daughter to deal with their grief.
Rain is a song the man on the land can identify with, and highlights the difference a day can make, noting the transformation of dry, barren land after the rain has come.
Track five is a shearing song, and you can almost feel the sweat coming out of that shed, as the shearer counts down the Five Days To The Weekend.
An unforgettable meeting with a woman in Wilpena is the subject of track six, while track seven, An Hour In The Mall, is sure to make any father smile.
It’s the story of a dad waiting to collect his daughter from an hour’s shopping in the mall, with surprising results.
Track eight is a tribute to Uncle Pat, obviously a truly great Australian and much loved by those who knew him.
The Aussie “she’ll be right” attitude, along with a look back at the bullocky days, holding on through the tough times, and reflections on ageing are the subjects for the remainder of the 15-track disc, which really is a breath of fresh air on the Australian music scene.
Given the right prominence, this album serves as a solid introduction to a man who could easily become one of our finest songwriters.
Let’s hope John O’Dea is recognised for the huge talent that he is.
If you visit his website, www.johnodea.com.au  you can buy the album online.
It’s no ordinary disc. It’s a pearler and one that’s set to become an old friend for many years to come.

HAPPY wedding day to Jon Farkas and Jodie Crosby who are tying the knot in Tamworth today. Best wishes to you both.

BEST WISHES also to all those teams (close to 100) participating in The Cancer Council’s Relay for Life in Tamworth today from 10am. You are all absolute champions.
 
Country Music Notes - Saturday, February 25, 2006
Al Tomkins and Redd Volkaert on stage:
 
Loving the moment: Al Tomkins and Redd Volkaert played up a storm
as part of Travis List’s hot band for Festival 06.
 
Redd Volkaert lends his expertise to help out the littlest MacDonald sister, tune her mandolin.
Now that’s better: It’s smiles all round, as the mando is tuned like a dream.
 
CANADIAN guitarist supremo Redd Volkaert made lots of new friends in Tamworth at the Festival.
Redd was invited to Australia by longtime friends Allan and Barbara Tomkins, who own and operate Tomkins Guitars.
Redd was spotted all over town playing his Tomkins axe at gigs with Travis List, Travis Collins, Alby Pool, at Stuie French’s VB Pickers’ Night at The Pub and also the Tomkins Guitar Showcase at Wests.
Al said Redd had a great time in Tamworth, as it was more like a holiday than anything else.
“He’s a really good guy. He’s been a friend of ours for about 11 years now and when I asked him to come out here, he jumped at it.”
Fans and fellow musicians enjoyed watching Redd’s mastery of the instrument and one of those “festival moments” occurred at the Tomkins Guitar Showcase at Wests.
The littlest MacDonald sister from New Zealand – Anna’s sibling – was on stage at the Tomkins showcase playing her mandolin.
She was having some challenges tuning it when big Redd stepped in to lend a hand. And my good mate, Wendy Broome, was there with her camera to capture the moment. Priceless.
I snapped Al and Redd on stage in Legends Bar at one of Travis List’s gigs and they were having a ball, as you can see from the photos.
If you’d like to know more about these fabulous, Australian-made instruments, visit www.tomkinsguitars.com
You’d be quite surprised just who plays a Tomkins.
******
HEARTY congratulations to Victoria’s dynamic duo, Carter & Carter on their latest awards success.
David and Merelyn took out the daily double at the Victorian Country Music Awards, winning the duo category in both the national and Victorian sections.
Their hit single, God Didn't Make Mistakes, was the song that found favour with judges in the event, held during the Whittlesea Country Music Festival.
“We had an absolute ball at the awards and were thrilled to win the two duo awards,” David and Merelyn said.
“There were lots of winners on the night and the bluegrass band HardDrive kept everyone well entertained and dancing all night as well as backing a host of artists later in the night after the awards.
“It was a fantastic start to a great festival weekend. Thanks to everyone who continues to support us and to all those people who come up to us at our shows, e-mail us or call us and let us know that they are enjoying our music.”
The winning twosome paid special tribute to their friends in the media, thanking all the radio presenters and others who have supported the release of this country gospel favourite.
*****
SYDNEY-based duo, SweeneyKilleen had a fabulous Tamworth Festival, drawing large crowds to their shows at Wests’ Diggers leading up to the golden night of nights.
Partners in music and great friends in life, Nikki Sweeney and Tracy Lee Killeen were rapt to arrive in town with a finalist nomination in the GGs under their belt, as well as an ACMLA People’s Choice finalist nomination for Group or Duo of the Year.
The delightful pair were thrilled to be in such fine company in the New Talent of the Year category with The Sunny Cowgirls, Paul Costa, Karl Broadie and eventual winner, Samantha McClymont, the 2005 Toyota Star Maker.
It was the girls’ latest single, Running, from their album, Along For The Ride, which was produced by Roger Corbett at his Blue Mountains studio.
It was at the 2000 CMAA Australian College of Country Music that Nikki, originally from New Zealand, and Tracy, from regional Victoria, met each other, and Roger, who was a college tutor.
At the 2005 Akubra Hat Cedar Awards the girls took out the prized Duo of the Year, so perhaps a GG is on the cards for them in that category in the future.
Keep an ear to your favourite radio station for Running, which followed the success of the album’s first single, The River Rose, achieving top 10 success in the airplay charts.
********
GREAT news for fans of expat Taswegian, now a California girl, Audrey Auld Mezera.
Aud has two new CDs to release this year, one of which was a double live CD recorded in California with Nina Gerber and the other, a studio album, recorded in Australia and produced by Bill Chambers.
The live double album, In The House, should be out very soon, with the studio CD to be released later in the year.
Audrey has plans to come home to Australia in September for a tour, so keep an eye on her website, www.recklessrecords.com , for further details of this event.
 
Country Music Notes,
Saturday, February 18, 2006
A love made to last: Robyn and Bill McIntosh.
THERE’S sadness emanating from the South Australian township of Renmark with news this week of the passing of Wilton (Bill) McIntosh.
Bill was the much loved and adored husband of Renmark-based country music photographer and columnist, Robyn McIntosh.
When Bill and Rob married in Paringa, SA, on August 25, 1977, it was third time round for them both, but this was most certainly the match made to last for all time.
And it did. At 12.35pm on Valentines Day, Bill slipped quietly away listening to his favourite album, Peter Pratt’s Ever True, with his loving wife holding his hand.
Wilton McIntosh was born in East Ballarat, Victoria, on February 17, 1926.
He was a fiercely determined and tough old bird right from the start, joining the RAAF on February 7, 1945 after being knocked back by both the army and the navy.
Bill attained the rank of corporal and before coming home was with the Occupation Forces in Japan, straight after the bombs fell. His role was to dismantle guns and check tunnels.
He turned 21 on the ship home and was discharged May 15, 1947. Returning to civilian life, Bill farmed in the Gippsland region, raising poddy calves and pigs. He wasn’t afraid of a hard day’s work and operated heavy machinery constructing roads in his home state.
Bill later worked on the construction of channels at Kunnunurra on the Ord River project until he arrived in Renmark for the Chowilla Dam project, which didn’t get off the ground.
Instead of dam building, he picked oranges at Waikerie and became resident manager of the Renmark Caravan Park on the banks of magnificent Murray River. While at the park, Bill was involved in establishing the Viscount Caravan Yard in Renmark.
With his soul mate Robyn by his side, they worked the caravan yard until it closed, then picked oranges and grapes, and Bill completed vinyl repairs in SA’s south-east and south-western regions.
Bill managed and later bought a photographic business in Renmark and took over the school bus run when Rob’s father retired.
They tried their hand at speedway photography for some years and met one of the Mildura Country Music Festival originators, Max Thorburn, at this time.
For many years Rob and Bill were familiar sights at Mildura, with Robyn capturing as many faces and events as physically possible with her trusty camera.
Bill’s health deteriorated so they closed their photographic business, but boredom wasn’t on the McIntosh agenda.
The couple helped some friends on their farm at Curramulka seeding, reaping, and baling, and then helped out when the same friends bought a chook farm at Lobethal.
Bill really enjoyed the traditional style of country music and together, he and his mate made countless friends in Tamworth, Mildura and other smaller festivals.
Eventually Bill became too ill for long trips, and the couple stayed fairly close to home in recent years.
With his health failing, neither fancied the idea of going into a nursing home, so with assistance from domiciliary care nursing staff, Rob was able to nurse him at home, until he was ready to go.
Although not wealthy monetarily, Bill McIntosh was one of the richest men on earth, living a full and honest life, and dying peacefully, with the love of his life by his side.
Never one to make a fuss, Bill was privately cremated at Berri, SA, on Thursday, and when his lady love departs this earth (not too soon, either), their ashes will be scattered together from a plane over their property where they spent so many happy years working side by side.
Rob said this week although she’d lost her husband and her best friend, she would never be alone, as Bill had left her with so many precious memories.
“I could never have achieved what I have in the country music industry without Bill’s encouragement and support,” Rob said.
 
**********
 
WITH the goal of a new multi-million dollar Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth, the Australian Country Music Foundation has enlisted a powerful ally.
Country Energy is the organisation’s new sponsor and has come on board to sponsor the foundation’s monthly Country in the Courtyard concerts.
Backing country music and what it means to Tamworth is nothing new for this energy authority.
A decade ago the authority gave its support to the Slim Dusty exhibition, the foundation’s first major public display.
Country Energy has also provided regular assistance to other foundation activities and assisted the Capital Country Music Association and bush poetry competitions.
Staged on the third Monday each month at the foundation’s headquarters in Brisbane St, Country in the Courtyard provides another regular country music activity for Tamworth and a focal point for promotion of the new Hall of Fame concept and fundraising for the project.
It starts at 6.30pm and runs through until 9 and when a rarity like inclement weather intervenes, it moves to the intimate Smoky Dawson Room within the country museum.
On Monday night, February 20, Tamworth singer Patti Morgan will play host, introducing other local and visiting artists who will entertain those present.
For just $2 you can enjoy a light supper and even put your hand in your pocket again for a raffle ticket or two during the night.
Foundation president Bob Kirchner said he was delighted to have Country Energy back on board again as a sponsor.
“As the Hall of Fame project kicks into gear over the next few years, we’re going to need as much support as possible,” Bob said.
“To have a major organisation like County Energy getting involved at such an early stage is very positive and encouraging.”
Country Energy regional general manager northern Paul Brial said he was delighted to be in on the ground floor of such a worthwhile and important historical initiative for Tamworth.
If you’d like to know more about the foundation, or the Country Music Hall of Fame, visit the website, www.acmf.org.au.
 
Proud moment: Heritage and Light Horse Murrumburrah troupe member Peter Pratt
won an award with Eric Bogle’s classic song, As If He Knows,
a tribute to the waler horse. Photo: Shot By Jake.
 
Country Music Notes
Saturday, February 10, 2006
ILLABO- based singer songwriter Peter Pratt literally climbed straight out of a header in the South Australian Mallee to reap the harvest of his multiple award nominations at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Two songs from Ever True, his stunning debut album, drew another two awards during the Festival – a TIARA for best bush ballad and his second ACMLA People’s Choice gong for heritage song of the year.
It was Where I’m Longing To Go, the chocolate-voiced farmer’s own composition that secured Pete’s first TIARA and his take on the Eric Bogle-penned waler horse tribute, As If He Knows, won the People’s Choice.
As a member for the past three years of the Heritage and Light Horse Murrumburrah troop for the past three years, imagine Peter’s pride walking up to the podium to receive that award. No wonder you rarely catch him without a smile.
He and South Australian wheat farmer Jeanette Wormald (it was Dean and Jeanette’s harvester Pete was operating pre-Tamworth), will be touring later this year so do yourself a favour and go along. They’re quite a combination.
Peter was absolutely rapt at the response he received in Tamworth this year.
“These awards were such a thrill,” he said.
“I never expected the album Ever True to do so much for me. I am just so grateful to my fans, radio DJs and music industry people for their support.”
And he was equally delighted with the audience reaction at his shows during the festival.
Peter and Jeanette will release a single and music clip later this year, Out Here and Peter plans to record his second album.
“Ever True’s success has been a dream come true,” Pete said.
“It makes me more determined than ever to deliver the best possible follow up album I can for my fans.”
Pete now has a website, www.peterpratt.com  where you can keep up with his latest news and tour dates.
HOW about our Keith winning his first Best 2006 Male Vocal Grammy this week.
And did you see his date? Funny how he and Nicole are still so close.
Just recently several media outlets reported they were Splitsville.
I suppose the old motto stands firm – you never let the truth get in the way of a good story. It would be a lot better for the happy couple to be left to their own devices – but I daresay that’s not about to happen.
All the magazine covers and front page headlines are just too much of a drawcard for a public wanting to know more.
That’s the price of fame, I guess. Nevertheless, I’ll say what I’ve been saying for years – go Keith. You little beauty.
LOTS of people missed Andy Baylor bigtime this year at the Festival.
Andy, with his Cajun Combo, is now a Tamworth Festival institution in the Gate Bar of SouthGate Inn each day at high noon.
Late last year Andy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was forced to cancel his Tamworth Festival residency. His good mate, fellow Melbournian Leslie Avril and her fabulous band of merry men kept Andy’s spot warm at the Gate Bar in preparation for his triumphant return to health – and to our festival – in 2007.
A day didn’t pass without someone asking how Andy was, and Leslie, who’d been in constant contact with him, kept the folks updated on his progress.
The man must have more friends than anyone else in Australia, I reckon, and at times like this, he’d appreciate every single one.
A group of Andy’s friends and fellow performers have organised a benefit in his honour on Saturday, March 4.
It’s being billed as The Rhythm and Roots Shakedown, and features the cream of Melbourne’s musicians, on three separate stages, in the Noise Bar of the Railway Hotel in Brunswick.
Andy’s brothers Donal and Peter Baylor are featured along with Hard Drive, The Moonee Valley Drifters, South of the River Community Gospel Choir and a host of other great acts.
Entry is $10 per person and it starts at 1pm and goes through ‘til 1am – a 12-hour musical marathon. Further details can be found at www.baylormusic.com
All Andy’s friends north of the Victorian border would join me in wishing him all the very best as he jogs along the road to recovery.
HANK Sasaki, the Japanese Cowboy, was featured on a TV news bulletin this week singing on the streets of Newcastle.
Hank is now a familiar sight in Tamworth each festival, but he would have caused quite a stir among the Novocastrians.
Tamworth City Bowlo was Hank’s main haunt, where he performed daily on Terry Gordon’s package shows.
Then there’s Bobby Cash, the Indian Cowboy, who’s also a Tamworth favourite. He’s one in a billion, to be precise.
Bobby’s new album was recorded at John Lee’s new Fat Trax studio, just out of Tamworth so we should see the results of those musical labours in a few months’ time.
But did you catch up with the Cement City Cowboy – Danny Mack – from Canada?
Danny opened several shows for Clelia Adams during the recent festival, and was Steve Gibson’s special guest at one of his gigs.
Danny’s an absolute gem – and so is his wife, Bonnie. Bonnie was originally a Sydney girl before moving to Canada, where she and Danny lived until just recently packing up and moving to our wide brown land.
Bonnie reckoned it was a bit too chilly in Canada – so they’ve made their base in Australia’s national capital. Go figure that.
I’d imagine Danny will get to do lots of day trips and treks further afield, as the word gets out that the Cement City Cowboy has entered the country and he’s open for business.
You’ve just gotta love cowboys, folks. See you next week.
Anna Rose is now Nanna Rose
  Carly had a baby boy on Monday night 19th December 2005 at 8.19pm. He’s absolutely gorgeous, as you would imagine. Cameron Wayne John Banyer, born to Anna's  daughter,  Carly Rose-Smith and Laine Banyer He’s a delight. Made my Christmas!
Nanna Rose.

August 4, 2005
New gig should take some getting used to … not !

DECIDING what to pack for the Toyota National Country Music Muster is one of the toughest tasks on my “to do” list when I join Joan Douglas and Sarah Caskey at The Pub Management on Monday, August 22.

What a chore! How on earth will I manage to get around one of the best events you could go to in this country and pretend it’s work? I’m so excited, I can’t wait. My final day at The Leader is August 19.

While researching the Muster, I’ll more than likely have to socialise, catch up with friends and watch my favourite Australian artists and overseas guests at the biggest party you could have in a Queensland rainforest.

Aleyce, Aaron, Katrina and The Baileys are all performing there so make sure you come along to the shows and say g’day.

Since my predecessor, Cheryl Byrnes, left The Pub Management to work for Capital News in January, Joan has been flat out doing the work of two people (or should that be 10?) managing five very exciting young acts, marketing three hotels and arranging Tamworth Camerata and the day-to-day running of the Douglas business interests.

Having been walking in and out of the front door of The Northern Daily Leader for the past 17 years, I’m sure I’ll find some challenges along the way in my new life at The Pub Management, but it’s going to be fun.

I feel really privileged to be leaving a job I love to go to one I believe I'll love even more. I'm just so lucky.
I still intend to write a country music column for The Leader, as I’ve done for the past five or more years. This column is updated weekly and can be viewed online at http://www.thepub.com.au/html/anna.html

In the next few months, some very exciting things are going to be happening with several of The Pub Management artists, so watch this space.

If there’s anything I can do to assist you with your inquiries about The Pub Management artists, or the three hotels – SouthGate Inn, The Family or The Pub – please feel free to call me at the office on 6765 4875 from August 22 onwards.

I may not have a clue what you’re talking about, but it won’t take me long to get up to speed. Cheers!
My new contacts at The Pub Management are: annarose@thepub.com.au  and my new mobile is 0428 413 809.
Prepared by Anna Rose, August 4, 2005, for and on behalf of Joan Douglas and Anna Rose @ The Pub Management, Tamworth.

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