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Country Music Notes Saturday, January 6, 2007

Thanks for coming: Felicity Urquhart loved the opportunity to bring some memories of home to the Aussie troops in the Solomon Islands over the New Year period.

OUR gorgeous home-grown star, Felicity Urquhart, had a life-changing experience to begin her new year. Fliss returned from the Solomon Islands, where she and her band – Rudy Miranda, Simon Johnson and Brett Wood, performed a series of New Year’s Eve concerts for Australian troops and federal police officers. They were joined by funny fella, Dave Proust, who could make the grumpiest old man’s face break into a smile, rock band Night Train, and the RAAF Central Band, from Melbourne. As you’d expect, the troops were delighted to have our Aussie contingent bring a touch of home to their remote location, but not one of the 12 Aussies left the Solomons the same person they were on arrival. “I’ve always been a proud Aussie, but I can’t begin to tell you how indebted I am to those guys and girls over there, who are really doing it tough, away from their family and friends,” Felicity said. “Seeing what I saw over there, and actually talking to those real people in their army gear, makes your chest puff out with pride to know that they’re our Aussies – our people.” What really put things into perspective for Felicity was a simple trip to the showers. Hanging next to her towel on the rack was a huge gun. “We were so well looked after though. If any performers out there have had any hesitation at going overseas to do this type of thing, they shouldn’t think twice,” she said. “The fact that they were so respectful of us giving up our family time to be with them, the comments you receive and the gratitude, makes every bit of it worthwhile – and absolutely unforgettable.”

WELL folks. Only six more sleeps ‘til the Countdown begins to the biggest and best party in the world – or at least, that’s what I like to call the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The only thing is, it goes so quickly once it’s here that if you’re doing something stupid like sleeping – you could easily miss out on something totally wonderful that may never happen again. Magic moments – the festival is full of them, but you must be prepared to do the hard yards and the secret is in the planning. You can start your planning today if you like, as the Official Guide is now hot off the press and available at newsagencies in the Tamworth region and also at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre and of course, Wendy and Noel Bennet’s Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre. What a mammoth task it would be to put a publication such as this together. Just imagine trying to marry up all the dates, times and places you receive from artists and venue operators, create the ads and make sure they all go in, write the stories and present the facts and figures to make it an interesting read. It’s beyond me how they do it year after year. Hats off to the team at Rural Press Events for this mammoth undertaking, which is essentially the bible for most festival goers. Sure – it’s printed quite early and some things change from the time they’re submitted, but you then have The Leader’s daily updates to keep you on the move and totally informed of all the latest changes. Venue operators should note too, that The Leader’s day by day program is the only vehicle you can use to get your program changes in print form out to the general public. Radio does a great job too, particularly with up to the minute changes, but you’d have to be listening at the right time, wouldn’t you, whereas you can read your paper any time you choose. So plan ahead – and savour every moment, as it goes all too quickly.

A SHOW I’m personally very excited about was only pulled together mid-week – and it involves a very famous name in international country music circles. I’m delighted to announce that John Rex Reeves – nephew of the late, great Gentleman Jim Reeves, will perform in the Scully Room of SouthGate Inn for one night only – Wednesday, January 24 at 8pm. Who could forget the mega hits that a lot of us grew up listening to, like He’ll Have To Go, Four Walls, I Love You Because, Distant Drums and Welcome To My World. You’ll be thrilled to know that Jim’s super smooth voice was passed on to his nephew, John Rex, who pays tribute to his uncle and performs his own hit songs as well. John Rex hails from Panola County, Texas, and his uncle, and the late, great Hank Williams, were John Rex’s biggest musical influences. Growing up listening to the famous Louisiana Hayride, in Shreveport, Louisiana, John Rex’s musical talents were evident by the time he started elementary school, where he sang in school plays and church activities. John Rex was also a keen and proficient sportsman, and later entered the military, serving with the US Army Military Police as a member of the White House staff. These days John Rex hosts the annual Jim Reeves Day in Carthage, Texas, each February, and he’s been invited to return for a third season presenting the Jim Reeves Tribute Show in Branson, Missouri. From April through to November, he does more than 145 shows for thousands of tourists, at Branson’s God and Country Theatre. His new album release is titled The Legacy Lives On, and is a fitting tribute to the man who inspired John Rex’s musical career – and very handily passed on those all important genes! Tickets for the show will be on sale at the door on the night, so you’d better not muck around if you want a seat. Get yourself organised and make sure you’re there an hour before showtime to secure your ticket. At just $15, it’s a steal.
Country Music Notes, Saturday December 30, 2006

Leading the way: Melinda Schneider has been brushing up on her tour guide skills to take a group of travellers from Australia to Nashville from June 1 to 14.

IF YOU are a diehard country music fan, you’ve probably dreamed of going to Nashville – America’s home of country music, and visiting Fanfair, where all the stars come out to play. I know I have – dreamed of it, that is! If you’d like to do more than dream, there’s a beaut tour being organised by a lovely man I met in Tamworth a few months ago, John Cruwys. John’s company, Elite Special Event Tours, has invited one of Australia’s leading ladies of country music – Melinda Schneider, to be tour guide for a two-week trip that’s really the stuff dreams are made of. You leave Australia on June 1 bound for LA International Airport. See. Even from the start it’s a real country music experience, just like Susan Raye sang about all those years ago. When you arrive in Los Angeles, you check in to the Hacienda Motel where you meet all the other passengers at a welcome dinner. If you energetic and coordinated, you might even like to try line dancing in the hotel’s famous Western Bar. Day two is full of choices – and they’re all kind of appealing – shopping in Beverly Hills, a day trip to Catalina Island, a tour to Disneyland, or perhaps Universal Studios. The choice is yours. Day three you board a plane bound for Memphis, home of the blues and the birthplace of rock’n’roll. Spending three nights in Memphis, you’ll see plenty of what the city has to offer. There’s the famous Beale Street, a tour of Graceland, Elvis’s family home, then on to Sun Studios Museum. Sun Studios was where Sam Phillips recorded such illuminaries as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash (I just saw that in Walk The Line – a DVD Santa gave me for Christmas), Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Your third day in Memphis is an optional occasion, where you can either chill out by the pool and recharge your batteries for the days ahead, or visit attractions such as Peabody’s Ducks, Mud Island, or you might care to sample some of the famed Memphis cuisine at local restaurants. On day six you really get down to business, taking a coach from Memphis to Nashville checking in to the Gaylord Opryland Motel, which looks bigger than Texas in the brochures, and prepare for four big days at Fanfair. There are opportunities to see some of Nashville’s historic landmarks, such as the Ryman Auditorium where you will enjoy a matinee session of the Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that’s been part of the American country music culture for more than 80 years. You can catch up with your favourite star at one of the autograph sessions at the Entertainment Centre, or pull up a piece of grass and watch all the action at the Riverfront stage, take a stroll along Broadway, or perhaps whoop it up at the late night venues. Now day 11 is my kinda day. It’s when you get to tour Lynchburg, where my old mate Jack Daniel’s distillery is located. Wonder if they give out free samples? This is the final night of the trip and you farewell your fellow travelers with drinks before packing your bags for home. Day 12 you check out of your hotel and transfer to Nashville International Airport and head for home, arriving at Sydney Airport on June 14 at 6.15am – a nice early start after a country music experience you’ll never forget. John tells me that Melinda is very excited about the tour, and will take a real hands-on approach in her role as tour guide. If you’d like to know more about the trip, contact your nearest Harvey World Travel outlet and ask them about the Elite Special Event Tour to Nashville. Phone 1300 884 891 if you’d like to know more. Prices begin at $6799 (ex Sydney and Melbourne) twin share, or $7999 single. John also has some other great tours to America, which I’ll tell you about another week.

TAMWORTH’S Salvation Army, located on Goonoo Goonoo Rd, is an organisation that’s known to have helped countless people in need over the years. The Sallies also aim to help a whole heap more people when they raise sufficient funds to establish the Hope Centre, a counselling unit for people affected by drugs, alcohol and gambling. You can help them along the way to achieving Hope and also assist those affected by the drought, by attending a concert on Saturday, January 13. The Sallies’ favourite neighbours, Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh, lead an all star cast which includes Mike McClellan, Merelyn Carter (both in town tutoring at the CMAA Australian College of Country Music), Lynnette Guest, Paddy Ryan, Sharnee Fenwick, Tom Maxwell, Melissa Bajric, The Sidies and Tamworth’s Salvation Army Band. Compering the event is the host with the most, Jim Haynes, and showtime is 7.30pm. If you’re chasing tickets, which are priced very reasonably at just $15 for adults and $10 for children/concession, visit the Salvation Army Family Store at 186 Peel St, next to Viaduct Park, any time from Wednesday on. They’re open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm and Saturdays from 8.30am to noon. Light refreshments will be available, however, this is an alcohol-free event. How often do you hear of the Salvation Army helping those in need? Well, this is your chance to help them help others – and you’ll have the added benefit of seeing a super show at the same time. It will be held at the Salvation Army Hall, located right next door to Lindsay Butler Studios, on Goonoo Goonoo Rd. You know – the studio without the brick wall at the front (it was knocked down in the severe storm we had here a few weeks’ back). I quite like the new look, sans wall.

HAPPY new year to all Country Music Notes readers. I hope and trust 2007 is full of wonderful adventures for you – and lots of great country music. Cheers!
Country Music Notes Saturday December 23rd 2006

Music in the genes: Brett Dallas (Rex’s son), with daughter Ashleigh,
who sings and plays music, and Brett’s wife Lynnette.
Dirtwater band: Colin Dallas (Rex’s son), Lindsay Dallas (Brett’s son),
Jeff Dallas (Rex’s son) and Brett Dallas.
Where the music came from: Rex Dallas, Golden Guitar winner, Roll of Renown inductee and all round good bloke.

FOR the Dallas clan of Moonbi, country music is a real family tradition. This has been recognised by the Combined Rotary Clubs of Tamworth, as they’ve chosen Golden Guitar winner and Roll of Renown inductee Rex and his family to appear on their heritage-themed float in the annual Country Music Cavalcade. Three generations of the Dallas family are now actively performing country music, and this will be showcased to perfection during the festival at Rex and Adrienne’s Gully Grub Barn shows. Along with the three generations of the Dallas clan, there will be special guests joining them each evening, from Wednesday, January 17 through to Saturday, January 27. For just $23 per person, you can enjoy a sausage sizzle, dessert, tea and coffee, entertainment and drinks are available for purchase. Alternatively, you can bring your own drinks. These concerts have been very popular with coach companies in previous years, so if you’d like to ensure your place at the Dallas dinner table, it might be an idea to get in early by phoning Rex or Adrienne on 6760 5347. What a great Christmas gift idea! Tickets to the Gully Grub Barn shows. Now that would be handy to find in your Christmas stocking, wouldn’t it?

KRISTIAN Brooks at Tamworth Services Club is a very happy man – and why wouldn’t he be? Check out the club’s country music festival program at www.tamworthservicesclub.com.au  and you’ll see what’s making the young fella smile. Their festival program begins on Friday, January 12, with Kerry Kennedy and from there on in, it’s country all the way until Johnny Green’s Blues Cowboys play their last set on Sunday, January 28. There are two venues within the club – the main lounge and the Downunder Bar. Both venues run from morning til the wee small hours with some great acts down under, including my pin-up boy, Eric Bogle, who’s doing two shows there – on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25, both 10.30am starts. Other great acts to be found down under include Peter Denahy, Sovereign, Jonah’s Road and club residents – The Wolverines. The Wolves are set for a howling good time at the festival, with 14 shows lined up in the Downunder Bar. There are two Wolves’ family shows – 2pm Monday, January 22 and 2pm Thursday, January 25. Kids just love these country rockin’ outlaws, almost as much as their parents and grandparents. A highlight of the program for Kristian, which he believes will become a highlight for many over the 10-day music feast, is the Bundy Bar, late night venue. Col Finley will perform the grand opening of the Bundy Bar Downunder at 11.15pm on Friday, January 19. Throughout the festival you’ll find Col’s band, along with Sovereign and Southbound taking turns on the late shift. Kristian said the Services Club’s Writers in the Round concert schedule was one of the best lineups ever, with Thursday, January 25 set to be a real high point of the week – Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett and Sam Hawksley – will swap tunes from 9am ‘til 11.30am. How good will that be? Kristian is also excited about the introduction of Jetty Road to the Services club program, the return of Luella and the Heelers and his favourite band in the universe – Luke O’Shea and Medicine Wheel. When you see him smiling now, you’ll all know why.

ANOTHER website well worth a visit is www.wtlc.com.au  where you’ll find the full festival and countdown program for the Wests Entertainment Group. All the shows for Wests’ Diggers and West Tamworth League Club are featured for your perusal. And peruse, you should. Planning is vital with an event like the festival, as there are so many things on, you don’t want to hear your favourite act was on AFTER the event! The famous bluegrass brekky returns to Legends Bar from Friday, January 19 with The Davidson Brothers – Hamish and Lachlan – supplying the slick picking. And who could go through a festival without catching at least one Finn MacCool concert? These are the naughtiest boys – but so very, very funny to watch. Their shows are daily at 11am in Legends Bar. On the other side of the bridge at Diggers each day at 11am is Chris Callaghan and his Outback Idle Band, featuring the very tasty Kirk Steel, Tim Rickards, Scotty Dawson and Tamworth’s own lagerphonist extraordinaire, Stewie Hawthorne.
The Pigs – that band everyone is talking about – are spread evenly at both Diggers and Wests, so check the program for your preferred viewing times. A highlight of Wests’ opening night is the Ladies of Country Show, hosted by that Tasmanian devil, Gina Timms. Gina returns from the Apple Isle each year to present some of the finest female talent on offer and this year is no different.
Gina will be joined by Briana-Lee, Sandra Humphries, Carol Donovan, Joelene Mandrakas, Shandell Tosoni and Katrina Burgoyne, backed ably by the Gentlemen of Country band, also known as The Palmer Brothers.
If someone tells you to go to Blazes during the festival, they’re not being rude – they’re simply pointing you in the direction of some hot shows with some of the biggest stars around – Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, the John Butler Trio, Fargone Beauties (try saying that quickly), Melinda Schneider, The Topp Twins, Adam Brand, Travis Collins and John Williamson. New Zealand’s Topp Twins will also feature in Diggers’ Showroom, along with the Sunny Cowgirls, Felicity Urquhart, Don Walker, Anne Kirkpatrick, James Blundell and Jim Haynes’ Big Bush Brekky shows. What a jam-packed program. If only there were more hours in the day …

HAVE yourself a real country Christmas by tuning in to CMR this weekend. From tonight (Saturday) until Tuesday, Nick and the CMR team will present some major specials among their great selection of country music. On Christmas night CMR will broadcast Keith Urban’s preview of the 40th CMA Awards followed by America's major annual Country Music Awards – the CMAs. On Boxing Day CMR will showcase the biggest hits of 2006 and there are some fabulous songs among the 50 big ones, ranging from Beccy Cole’s Poster Girl and Lee Kernaghan’s New Bush through to Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off (Joe Nichols), Twelfth of Never (Dolly Parton and Keith Urban) and The Flood’s Hello Blue Sky. Tonight Nick continues his series of interviews with three more CMAA Golden Guitar finalists – Allan Caswell, Travis Collins and the Sunny Cowgirls. Tomorrow night Nick’s star finalists are Felicity Urquhart and Glenn Jones. Then onn Boxing Day evening, six-time 2007 CMAA Awards finalist Lee Kernaghan is Nick’s special guest. CMR is broadcast live from Tamworth across the Super Radio Network to stations all over NSW and Queensland.

HAVE a safe and happy Christmas – and don’t overindulge in too much of what’s good for you. Cheers!
Country Music Notes Saturday December 16 2006
IT’S that festive time of year, just perfect for giving the gift of music to those you know and love – and what better present than a country CD.   There are some fabulous albums around, so here’s just a few you might like to consider on your Christmas shopping list.

JOHN Nutting has been presenting Saturday Night Country for nearly 14 years on ABC Radio. Johnno was named CMAA Media Achiever of the Year so you’d have to believe he knows a thing or two about great country country music. He’s put together a terrific collection of songs titled ABC Local Radio Saturday Night Country – Hottest Hits Volume 3. On the disc are 20 tracks, selected from the thousands he’s featured on his highly popular program over the past year. Johnno has chosen a range of Australian and international talent, some well known, and some yet to be known. Names like Donna Boyd, Allan Caswell and Drew McAllister, Anne McCue, Jeanette Wormald, John Schumann, Sunny Cowgirls, Don Walker, Katie Brianna and the Stormwater Boys, John Williamson, Felicity Urquhart, Fargone Beauties, Melinda Schneider, Matt Scullion, Tracy Coster, Greg Champion, Peter Denahy, Anne Kirkpatrick, Bob Pigott, Adam Brand and Lee Kernaghan will be familiar to most, and quite a few of them have achieved recognition in the form of one award or another for their talent. Tamworthian Matt Scullion is possibly one of the acts “yet to be known” to most, but his Golden Guitar finalist nomination in Vocal Collaboration of the Year (with Lawrie Minson) for Hard Earned Money deserves its place on the album and should ensure he’s known to many more music fans. One Quiet Day, written and sung by Peter Denahy, is another gem from Pete’s superb self-titled album, which is one of my favourite discs this year. And who doesn’t love the Fargone Beauties? When they performed Stairway to Heaven on the Gympie Muster stage earlier this year, the whole place went off. The final track on Melinda Schneider’s beautiful new Stronger album, Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman, is a cracker and is included on this disc. Katie Brianna, a Tamworth Camerata graduate, teamed with Paul Kelly’s hot band, The Stormwater Boys, to record Jindabyne Fair. The song was featured in the Aussie movie, Jindabyne. Katie has earnt herself an awards berth at the 2006 Country Music Awards of Australia, presented by Jayco, in the New Talent of the Year category. Desert Child, by John Williamson, is another corker of a song from John’s amazingly beautiful Chandelier of Stars album, and this has also been included on Johnno’s latest collection. Do yourself a favour and pick up this album for someone you love when you’re out and about. They’ll love you for it on Christmas morning.

JOHN O’Dea is a bloke from a South Australian town called Orroroo, and Old Rusty Ute is the title of John’s second album. His first, If Stones Could Talk, was featured in this column after its release, and John has not disappointed with album #2. He’s a storyteller, with a voice that’s travelled many miles, and he’s about as Australian as a dirty blue singlet soaked in truck driver sweat. There’s something about John’s writing style that appeals to me, and has obviously appealed to lots of others, as the title track and first single from the new album is gaining airplay all around Australia. If you happen to see John’s name on the program for the 2007 Tamworth Country Music Festival, get along and have a listen. He’s a ripper. The fact that he recorded As If He Knows, one of my favourite Eric Bogle songs, makes this album that much more special. If you’d like to know some more about this bloke who I’m quite convinced will be a name people remember for years to come, visit his website, www.johnodea.com.au . In the meantime go to your favourite music outlet and pick up Old Rusty Ute. It’s an album for all true blue Aussies to enjoy at Christmas and throughout the year.

HOW could I give you the drum on awesome albums without mentioning My Life, Felicity Urquhart’s stunning new release, launched in Peel Street almost 12 months ago. In the past year, since the album’s release, Felicity has gone from strength to strength, winning one award after another, for the excellent material on this disc. Skilfully produced by Glen Hannah, this finely crafted piece of work is Felicity’s most honest album and shows the rare talent she truly is. How could you be a Tamworthian and not be proud of what she’s achieved? Felicity is in contention for three Golden Guitar finalist berths – Album, Female Artist of the Year and Video Clip of the Year for Big Black Cloud – her great new single that’s currently sitting at the #1 spot on the Country Music Channel chart. I’m not the only one who loves Big Black Cloud, co-written by Felicity’s collaborator in the States, Grammy award winner Randy Scruggs. It’s the most requested clip on CMC and has been making its way up the charts for the past month or so. Anyone would be happy to find My Life in their Christmas stocking, I’m sure. Happy shopping, folks.

YOU will find plenty of great music to purchase at the Australian Country Music Foundation, Tamworth, if you happen to pop in on Monday night for their Christmas Country in the Courtyard. This is a monthly event and is an ideal opportunity to socialise, hear some great live music and browse around the museum that’s dedicated to preserving Australian country music history.
Country Music Notes Saturday, December 9, 2006
Transcontinental: Wayne Horsburgh is back in Australia for now, but will return to the
State in March for another six months of work before heading home again.

HE’S a transcontinental sort of bloke, but that’s just how Wayne Horsburgh loves to spend his time – half the year in Australia and half in America, building up his base of fans all over the world. This is the 23rd year Wayne has returned from America, where he performs to thousands of people at events such as the International World Festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri; the Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and more. Next year upon his return to Branson, Wayne will perform at the 30th annual Hodag Festival – a gig he’s happy to be returning to for the eighth time since his first appearance back in 1989. In October Wayne ventured to the UK, where he was kept busy for a full month, performing at country music clubs from Suffolk to Nottinghamshire, and all points in between. Wayne said the country music scene in England was quite different to Australia and America, and many British fans turn up to gigs dressed in full cowboy/cowgirl regalia, right down to their replica six guns in holsters. For the next few months Wayne will work solidly at venues in Sydney and surrounds, but before heading back to the States, he’ll visit New Zealand for a month-long tour. He’s also performing at several festivals and will be back in Tamworth in January as a special guest at the 10th annual TIARAs. Wayne was on the very first TIARA show so this 10th anniversary is one he didn’t want to miss. In Tamworth Wayne is also a special guest on the 30th annual Buttercup Open House concert on January 24 but if you want to have the full Wayne Horsburgh experience, you’ll have to get along to either the Scully Room of SouthGate Inn at 2pm that day, where he will reunite with old friend Deniese Morrison for their Together Again show, or catch him at Tamworth City Bowling Club on Thursday, January 25. Always highly entertaining and totally underrated, this amazing entertainer has been taking his music where few would dare to venture for more than two decades, leading the way for others to follow. You can find out lots more about Wayne by visiting his website,

Biggest crowd yet: Lorin Nicholson will be playing guitar before an audience of millions on
Christmas Eve at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.
JUST when Lorin Nicholson thought his year was winding down, a telephone call from the Nine TV network changed all that – in a big way. Last week Lorin was asked to send a copy of his new CD, Only You, which led to an offer the mild-mannered guitarist couldn’t refuse. Lorin has been invited to appear at the Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Christmas Eve. He will play Silent Night on his Cort guitar, alongside Australian Idol runner-up 2005 Anthony Callea, who will lead the singing. “I was blown away, and when you get to connect with people like John Foreman, who is the musical director of the event, it makes you realise what fine company you’re in,” Lorin said. Lorin, who has been legally blind since birth, has retinitis pigmentosa, which means his vision is narrowed or blurred to the stage where he can only distinguish large objects. He visits schools right around the country, performing his music and speaking to thousands of students about his experiences, and challenging them to accept people who are different in some way. Carols by Candlelight, staged annually in Melbourne’s Kings Domain Park, attracts an audience of 20,000 people. For the past 69 years, Vision Australia has been the beneficiary of this wonderful event, which has an estimated television viewing audience of 2.5 million people. “I don’t know if the people from Vision Australia pulled some strings to get me there, but I’m absolutely delighted to be doing the gig,” Lorin said. “I’ve had a really hectic year, just coming off the road after seven months travelling around the country and thought I’d get a good break over Christmas, but I don’t mind interrupting that in the least for this important event.” If you would like to know more about Lorin Nicholson, visit his website, www.seesharp.com.au  or phone (07) 4667 1022.
Click here Lorin's Artist Report Page

Territorial return: Sara Storer returns to the Northern Territory and shares the experience
with viewers in a documentary on ABC-TV at 3.05pm Sunday.
IF you’ve ever wanted to visit the Northern Territory but haven’t got there yet, take a loungeroom visit with Sara Storer on ABC TV at 3.05pm tomorrow (Sunday). Sara returned to the Territory – the place it all began for her some six years ago – to shoot a film clip for Since I’ve Gone, a track from her hit album Firefly. There she met up with Ted Egan AO, the Northern Territory’s Administrator, who was only too happy to advise Sara on locations and introduce her to some of the characters now featured in this documentary. During the doco you will see places such as Fannie Bay Gaol – the historic facility where country music legend Tex Morton was once an inmate; the Mary River, where Sara fishes for barramundi, while keeping an eye out for the Top End’s famous crocs. She also takes us to the Tiwi Islands, an indigenous community where the culture, arts and crafts have been wonderfully preserved. Along with a visit to a traditional burial ground, Sara gets a chance to join the local kids for a swim at a secret water hole, which she finds inspiring. You’ll also get to explore the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets – an eclectic array of produce, foods and people, all illustrating the proximity of Darwin to Asia. Sara investigates some of Darwin’s colourful history by talking to a number of the city’s long-time residents including Norma Grant, a Cyclone Tracy survivor, and World War II gunner, Hughie McIntosh. Qantas will screen an edited version (to suit in-flight time limitations) of the documentary in Q Music entertainment from December 18. The Territory Calling is also a companion DVD to Sara’s much-acclaimed album Firefly.
Sara's Artist Report Page
Country Music Notes Saturday, 2nd December 2006
Hanging up the apron: Tom Maxwell’s days of working at The Leader press site are over, with a huge schedule of festival appearances keeping him on the road for the next 12 months at least.

THINGS are really heating up for Tamworth-based bush balladeer Tom Maxwell – and it has nothing to do with the rising mercury. Tom has just returned to his home base at Moonbi after an extensive tour – but he won’t have a lot of time to get too comfy. The road is calling. At the recent NSW Gold Medallion Awards at Hexham, Tom walked away with two major awards – Bush Ballad of the Year and Touring Artist of the Year. “We do a hell of a lot of miles, and next year we’ll be doing a lot more, with more festivals coming on board, so it’s going to be a pretty big year for us,” Tom said. “Lynne [Tom’s wife] organises the tour from home before we go, then I get out there, open the mouth and make the money.” They hook up the caravan and leave the Moonbi foothills behind for another adventure. This year their travels took them to Tasmania for the very first time. “Tassie was great. They’ve got an excellent country music following down there, and we were made very welcome,” Tom said. “Life on the road can get a bit hard sometimes, but once it’s in your blood, you’ll find yourself out there again.” Tom spent more time on the road this year than he did at home, and he’s regretfully had to put his part-time job as a printer with The Northern Daily Leader on hold for now. From Tamworth the Maxwells take the road north to Queensland, this year going up as far as Townsville, then cutting across to Mt Isa for the big rodeo. Tom also enjoyed returning to Camooweal, where he was a featured act at the big drovers’ reunion. This event is growing annually, and John Williamson was the headline act.
With Anne Kirkpatrick secured for next year’s event, Tom believes the festival will grow even bigger. He was delighted to have been presented with life membership of the droving camp up there, as this is an event he rarely misses. From Camooweal, the Maxwells headed to South Australia, where Tom did a number of shows in and around Adelaide. One show – a huge Slim Dusty Tribute concert, drew a capacity crowd, and was one of the many highlights of the tour. From Adelaide they made their way south to Victoria, and eventually headed for home, exhausted but exhilarated after another successful outing. Tom’s new album, Sing Me Another Bush Ballad, was launched in Tamworth during July’s Hats Off to Country Festival and has been lapped up by Tom Maxwell fans right around the country. If you’re lucky, you might catch up with Tom in Tamworth during the festival, as he’ll be performing every second night at the Oasis Hotel, on Armidale Rd. He’s also going to be on deck for the LBS open day at the Moonbi studio, and at the morning tea sessions LBS hosts at the Goonoo Goonoo Rd studio, as well as selected shows in City Plaza. Most people tend to catch up with Tom on Peel St doing what he loves – busking – and enjoying that one-on-one experience with his fans. “You get right up close to your fan base and get a chance to say a personal g’day to all of them,” Tom said. ”If you’re working in one of the big clubs or other venues, it’s sometimes difficult to establish that personal contact with your fans, but Peel St is great. ”Also when people come here during festival time, it’s often their one chance a year to catch up with you, so I like to take the time and say g’day when I can.” Straight after the Tamworth festival, Tom will head to Bungendore, where he’s in contention for Album of the Year at the prestigious Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Awards.
Bungendore is the biggie for those in the bush ballad world – and has become increasingly popular with performers, right up to the top shelf. “It’s starting to attract some major artists – people like John Williamson and Tania Kernaghan enter the Bungendore awards, so if you’re up in that class, you’ve got to be doing something right.”

Festival launch: Aaron Bolton will provide the music, getting us all in the mood for
another fabulous country music festival
OKAY Tamworth – the festival is almost upon us once again, so who’s counting down the sleeps? If you’re one of the sleep counters, like me, you will want to be at the local launch of the festival on Thursday out at TREC. It starts at 5.30pm and will be hosted jointly by Tourism Tamworth and the Country Music Association of Australia. Aaron Bolton will provide some musical atmosphere and the event will incorporate the announcement of finalists in the 2007 Country Music Awards of Australia, sponsored by Jayco. What are you waiting for? It’s an open invitation for all to attend. If you’re one of the few locals who haven’t yet ventured out to TREC, this is a great opportunity to see the venue where it all happens on country music’s night of nights. See you there. By the way – there’s 48 sleeps to go – and only 41 ‘til the countdown begins.    Click here more photos of Aaron Bolton

Country Music Notes Saturday, 25th November 2006
On the road: Anthony Taylor, Sarah Taylor and Alby Pool relaxing at The Pub in Tamworth prior to their extensive tour of Queensland.    Click here Alby Artist Report Page

KURRI Kurri-based singer-songwriter Alby Pool has just returned from uncharted waters having toured Far North Queensland for the first time in his career.
Previously he’d never been further north than Caboolture, but with two of his travelling companions North Queensland natives – Anthony and Sarah Taylor – Alby didn’t have any navigational hassles.
You Can’t Walk This Road Alone is Alby’s latest album. Released in time for the tour and his Tamworth shows in January, Alby has put together one of the best country collections you could care to hear.
Co-produced with Rob Wilson, the album is dedicated to all the musicians and artists who have worked with Alby on his musical journey to date.
You Can’t Walk This Road Alone says thanks to Rob Wilson for his production and recording ability; Anthony and Sarah Taylor for their friendship and awesome talent, Brad Bergen for his mateship, musical multi-talents and undying commitment to country music and to expat Aussie Travis List, who’s now living in the States, and who found some great songs for the project.
Session musicians Mick Albeck, Tomi Grasso and Yianni Moratidis were also on Alby’s thankyou list.
The month-long tour started out in Tamworth in October and headed north to Brisbane, Bribie Island, Maryborough, Charters Towers, Home Hill, Townsville, Ingham, Kurrimine, Cardwell, Clermont, Bundaberg and back through Maryborough, Bribie Island and Brisbane to Maitland and the Central Coast.
It was unlike any experience Alby had encountered visiting some of the most beautiful areas of the tropics through Mission Beach and in the south around Bribie Island.
“The tour was fantastic,” Alby said. “We were received very well. Unfortunately a number of acts had been through the areas just prior but that’s not what this tour was about. It was about making ground for the next one.”
“Working with Anthony and Sarah Taylor and Andy Toombs was a pleasure. The Far North is Anthony and Sarah’s home territory so we’ll be back on the road and tour there again, that’s for sure.”
Watch out for Alby’s name on the 2007 Tamworth Country Music Festival program. You will find him at selected venues around the city – and that lengthy tour was a great warm-up for the heat of Tamworth in January.

ANOTHER great show on the 2007 Festival program is on Australia Day at Tamworth Town Hall at 9.30am.
Multiple award-winner Arthur Blanch, who’s been in the music business for a massive 53 years, is singing better than ever and has devised a show that’s sure to entertain the socks off anyone in the audience.
Arthur has managed to entice Norma O’Hara Murphy back to Tamworth for this event, so it will be great to see Norma performing again on the town hall stage.
Then factor in legendary pedal steel man, Kenny Kitching, and fiddle master Mick Albeck and you have the makings of an amazing band to enhance the performances of the featured acts.
As you would imagine, it wouldn’t be an Arthur Blanch show without some special surprise guests – so you never know who might appear on that stage.
You can be guaranteed though that the event will be absolute value for money, priced at just $20 per person.
Don’t delay purchasing your tickets from Tourism Tamworth, as they are sure to be strong sellers. How about slipping a couple of tickets into the Christmas stocking of someone you love? They’ll love you for it.

TONIGHT (Saturday) in Tamworth country fans are in for a real treat with the arrival of Sydney band, Chet Romero, who will perform at The Albert.
The name may not be familiar to diehard country fans, but for this band of musicians it’s the culmination of 11 years of performing, song selection and refining their act to get to this point.
Chet Romero will be in Tamworth for the festival, but if you’d like a preview, head on down to The Albert tonight. You’ll love ‘em.
KEITH Urban’s critically acclaimed fourth studio album, Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing, has debuted at #1 on Billboard’s American Country Album chart and #3 on the mainstream album chart.
In Australia, the album debuted at #1 on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country Chart and at #5 on the mainstream albums chart.
Capitol Records Nashville’s Bill Kennedy said the fan support for Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing has been tremendous, as first week sales figures reflected.
“This, along with Keith's third consecutive (Country Music Association, America) Male Vocalist of the Year Award and the #1 position for the most downloaded album at iTunes, underscores Keith's very solid place in the country music world.”
Co-produced by Keith with Dann Huff, the new album has received wide critical praise.
“So far, Keith Urban shows no signs of running out of exhilarating ways to declare life is grand, or finding dizzyingly uplifting guitar riffs that echo that sentiment,” an AAP reviewer said of the disc.
Billboard said: “Few artists have the vision to see that country music isn't simply defined by fiddles and steel guitar (although this album has both), and even fewer have the talent to fulfill that vision. Urban does.”
The first single from Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing, Once In A Lifetime, made chart history by debuting at #17 on the Billboard Hot Country Song Chart. It marked the highest debuting single in the 62-year history of that chart. The album's second single, Stupid Boy, was released to radio this week.
Following Keith’s voluntary admission to the Betty Ford Clinic, a Tamworth fan emailed Keith’s website with a message of support and encouragement. She was delighted to receive a reply within 24 hours.
If anyone would like to do the same, you can visit his website, www.keithurban.net  and follow the prompts.
Country Music Notes Saturday, 18th November 2006
TAMWORTH’S very own country music star is on a roll. And it’s going On and On, just like the gorgeous song Felicity Urquhart wrote for her new album, My Life. On Tuesday night in Sydney Felicity was named The Country Music Channel Best Country Artist at the 2006 Musicoz Awards. Musicoz is Australia’s premier music awards for unsigned artists, and she won the award with her very personal and moving tribute to mum Trish and dad Rex, titled The Flood. It’s been quite a year for the girl from the bush and her winning ways look set to continue, with the reception Big Black Cloud, her latest single from My Life, has received from country media. It’s current sitting at #5 on the CMC video chart and is at #27 on the Country Tracks Top 30, just beginning its climb – which will hopefully end at #1. Felicity is not one to stay idle, and her busy schedule on any given week can entail TV commitments (she’s a regular presenter on the Seven Network’s Sydney Weekender), festival appearances, touring with fellow artists, corporate gigs or a myriad of other activities – but that’s just how she likes it. This year Felicity has racked up an enviable collection of trophies that would enhance any star’s mantelpiece – CMAA Achiever Award Best Independent Artist; Australian Independent Country Music Awards Female Vocalist, Album and Single of the Year; and the Australian Songwriters’ Association named Felicity Country Songwriter of the Year. If you happen to be in Tamworth on Monday night, get along to John Muller’s Billabong Clubhouse Jazz Concert, in Blazes at Wests, as Felicity is one of the headline acts set to perform on the impressive list of artists. She may not be in country mode at this gig, but you can bet your bottom dollar she’s sure to sizzle. John has given me the tip on another highlight of the night, which is Patrick Kelly’s tribute to Peter Allen – The Boy From Oz. “I don’t know anyone who could have pulled off this tribute other than Patrick,” John said. “He’s an absolute gem and this will be a real show-stopper.” Factor in class acts such as Marie-Cecile Henderson and Jane Robertson, Those Gals, Ben Hazell, Sally Anne Whitten and Claudia Byrnes and the stage is set for a night of fabulous entertainment. Good seats are still obtainable by phoning Wests on 6765 7588. Felicity loves the chance to return to Tamworth and play to her hometown crowd so make sure you get along to the show and say g’day. If you’d like to keep updated on Felicity’s latest adventures and accolades, visit her website, www.felicityurquhart.com  or www.myspace.com/felicityurquhart .

On and on: Felicity Urquhart is on a roll and has added another
 impressive trophy to her mantlepiece.  Click here Felicity's Artists Report Page
ANOTHER Tamworthian kicking goals of late is the truckies’ mate, Dale Duncan. Nine months ago Dale bumped into an old friend, Brian Clarke, in Peel St. They hadn’t seen each other in years. That fortuitous reunion has become a real turning point in Dale’s burgeoning career. You will soon see Dale Duncan’s name, face and voice splashed across newspaper ads, TV and radio promoting Tamworth’s newest housing development Calala Park Estate. Brian, who is based on the Central Coast and a regular visitor to the north and north-west, is a property developer, accountant and avid country music fan. He’s also taken on a management role with Dale, resulting in this wonderful opportunity to enhance Dale’s profile and sell a few blocks in this new subdivision on the outskirts of the Country Music Capital. Just recently Dale performed in Newcastle Foreshore Park at the 13th Annual Road Transport Awareness Day. The event was designed to raise funds for the Hunter region Westpac Rescue Helicopter and was hailed by organisers as an outstanding success. Among the thousands in attendance was Dale’s father, Dave Duncan, who was on hand to hear Dale sing Malabar Mansion, the song penned by Dave 25 years ago. This new single is heading up the Country Tracks Top 30 chart at a rate of knots, so keep an ear out on CMR for the Countdown this weekend, for the latest update.
Management plus: Brian Clarke with Dale Duncan at the Road Transport
Awareness Day in Newcastle.  Click here Dale's Artist Report Page
Family matters: Dale Duncan, pictured with his dad, Dave,
at the Newcastle Road Transport Awareness Day.
HAD an email from that crazy poet, who thankfully keeps his clothes on each January – Murray Hartin, of Naked Poets fame – or should that be infamy?? Muz said the NPs have a beaut show cooked up for their January 2007 shows at the golf club called Where’s Ya Buccaneers? The poets – Muz, Marco Gliori, Shirley Friend, Ray Essery and singer-songwriter Pat Drummond, will do all things piratical during the evening and their daytime concert is a best of compilation called Rawhide. I do hope that won’t entail nudity. Won’t be a pretty sight, in the case of our Muz. If you’re into madcap skits, stand-up comedy and hilarious poems, best make sure you get in early for your tickets by phoning the golf club on 6765 9393 – or you could well miss out. These shows are always sellouts and seats become harder to come by as the time gets closer to festival. The Naked Poets shows commence at the club on Monday, January 22 and continue through until Saturday, January 27. How about making someone’s Chrissy by popping a few tix in their Christmas stocking?

Thankfully – not naked: Murray Hartin, Marco Gliori, Shirley Friend, Ray Essery and at front, Pat Drummond.
HAVE you been wondering what’s happening behind those boards in downtown Brisbane St, Tamworth? It’s something very special, I can tell you.
Country Music Notes Saturday, 11th November 2006
Go Gals: Wendy Wood, Kerry Walsh and Carolyne Morris are on a roll and plan to promote the heck
out of their new disc, So Far So Good.

TAMWORTH trio Those Gals could be due for a name change – to Go Gals. The harmonious threesome, comprising Kerry Walsh, Carolyne Morris and Wendy Wood have a new album to share with their fans called So Far So Good. On the disc you’ll find songs from the pen of each of the Gals plus a couple of old standards people love to hear. The ladies recorded the CD at Gary Brown’s Hilltop Studio in Tamworth, enlisting the services of Mark Moulynox, Lawrie Minson, Wayne Goodwin, Ross McGregor, and the affable studio owner, to contribute their musical gifts to the project. Fans wanting to update their CD collection should take note that the disc will be released mid-November. Perfect timing to be stuffed in the stockings of Those Gals’ fans for Christmas, and just in time for that magical time of year – Festival. Yee-ha!
Wendy, Kerry and Carolyne are very excited Gals this week too, having received news that they are to contest the finals of Australia’s Got Talent. Heats were staged right around Australia earlier this year, so keep an eye on the box in 2007 for the show on the Seven Network – and cheer on our three Go Gals.

THE world of advertising can be a very daunting place. There’s always the challenge to come up with something that little bit different that will make people sit up and take notice. Well Marlene and Graeme Manvell have done the trick, I reckon, with their new ad for SSS BBQ Barns, featuring the dulcet tones of that big, gorgeous Adam Harvey. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long time. Marlene sent me an mp3 the other day and the whole office cracked up listening to it. It features his hit single, Think I Want My Rib Back, and it’s VERY cleverly done. More power to the SSS enterprise for such an innovative campaign utilising the talents of our country music artists. Go you good things. If you’d like a preview before the ad hits the airwaves, check out the new website, http://www.tamworthcountrymusic.com.au/  where you can download it and have a chuckle. You can also visit the SSS website on this link: http://www.sssbbq.com.au/  and the jingle will greet you as you arrive at the home page.

I JUST happened to mention that new site rather casually, but there’s nothing casual about it. It’s only new and has been very thoughtfully put together. There’s all kinds of information about the country music side of Tamworth, compiled by a couple of people – Alison Windmill and Tim Blakely. Alison is the editor and Tim is the website designer. There’s stuff on there about all the country music tourist attractions, the festival, artists based in and around Tamworth, a gig guide, places to stay, how to get to Tamworth, venues, awards and talent quests and lots more. Check it out when you get the chance and if you have anything to contribute you can email editor@tamworthcountrymusic.com.au . You’ll even find this column up there on the site. Congratulations to them both on this great concept. And you’ve just got to love the website address. Right on the money. Imagine the hits it will get coming up to January.

WITH his trademark beat-up hat, eye patch and wild stage antics Ray Sawyer became the perfect image for Dr Hook – the band that achieved international superstar status in the 70s and 80s. Their worldwide hits included classics like Sylvia’s Mother, Sharing The Night Together, When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Cover Of The Rolling Stone, Only Sixteen, Sexy Eyes, and many others. Years later this amazing entertainer is still inspiring audiences with his harder edged and more soulful music. He sings with an intensity and sense of conviction that truly moves an audience. Now, Lennard Productions is bringing to Australia Dr Hook: Featuring Ray Sawyer, for a series of concerts throughout November. The tour begins on Friday, November 17 at Lismore Workers Club and winds up on Saturday, December 2, with a finale at Rooty Hill RSL. Between those two points the tour takes in shows at Twin Towns Services Club (November 18); Ipswich Civic Hall (November 21); Palms @ Crown Casino Melbourne (November 23); Fairfield RSL (November 25); Burwood RSL (November 26); South Sydney Juniors (November 30) and Woonona Bulli RSL on Saturday, December 1. An Alabama native, Ray Sawyer lost his right eye in a car accident that left him wheelchair bound for a year and upon his recovery he moved to Los Angeles and travelled to the East Coast where he met Dennis Loccorriere. The two formed the band Dr Hook and played their first serious gig in the Dustin Hoffman movie, Who Is Harry Kellerman, and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me. They soon signed with CBS Records and began releasing a string of hits. In the early 80s, the group members went their separate ways, and Ray Sawyer signed with Mel Tillis' publishing company and began a solo career as a country singer-songwriter. The whole band was Dr Hook, yet frontman Ray was considered its namesake – and the moniker stuck. Sawyer began touring again in 1989 as Dr Hook Featuring Ray Sawyer, and continues to be welcomed around the world, by fans longing for some of that crazy old medicine from the good doctor. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in April 2005. With an abundance of stage energy, a prankish sense of humour, an unmistakable voice and image, and a unique ability to reflect his good times in good music, Ray Sawyer is definitely a song stylist of the first order. Get along to a show near you and relive some of that Dr Hook magic.
Country Music Notes Saturday, 4th November 2006
IT’S BEEN a hectic week in and around the Country Music Capital, with lots going on in the entertainment world. Bill Gleeson’s fabulous new musical, Dorothea, has been playing to huge houses at the town hall, with the season ending Saturday night; several hundreds of youngsters from public schools around the region have converged on Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre for CAPERS – a fabulous celebration of excellence in performing arts; and Sunday is D Day when Dwight Yoakam comes to town. He and The Baileys should get TREC well and truly rocking on Sunday night, as they’ve been having a ball on tour so far. I slipped in an extra gig or two this week, just before I turn another year older. Who knows – maybe one day soon I could be too old and frail to get along to a midweek gig during a hectic week of engagements. One patron at The Albert, David, told me how surprised he was to see an “older” woman out on her own – but what else do you do when you want to catch a gig midweek and haven’t made plans to take anyone? (How did he know I was having a birthday on Saturday? Were my wrinkles showing?) No David. I wasn’t being brave. Just doing what I’ve always done. Go to gigs. Check out the acts. Write about them and in some cases – if they’re really crook, don’t write about them. And I don’t mind my own company. On Wednesday night at The Albert I caught The Distance, who’d come all the way from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular en route to the Mud Bulls and Music Festival at Jimna, Queensland. Thank goodness they had a destination like that in mind, too, as it could have been a very disappointing night otherwise. Obviously music lovers sitting at home didn’t have a friend to go out with either, as they stayed away in droves. It’s a shame, as The Distance were booked for eight gigs during the 2006 Festival at Wests where they reported huge, responsive crowds at each event. This Festival check out the Regent cinema, where you’ll find The Distance performing with some good mates. The cinema complex should be a handy venue in January, with its air-conditioned comfort luring many a hot and bothered punter in from the heat.

Family matters: ‘Blondie’ (Tony) Bennett (KB’s brother), Mat Talbott
(KB’s nephew) and KB in a quiet family moment.
ON Thursday night, Cheryl Byrnes and I braved the wet, wild and windy weather to catch Melinda Schneider and The Flood at Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club. Note to self: Need a new Leader umbrella. My old one died just outside the club as Chez and I laughed and giggled our way through the puddles nursing a seriously injured brolly in the downpour. It was great to see such a good turnout at the club, with few seats left in the upstairs auditorium that’s hosted many a fine concert over the years. The Flood, or at least one version of it – with Ian Lees ably deputising for James Gillard on bass and Rudy Miranda more than capably filling Scotty Hills’ position on the drum stool – didn’t disappoint. Kevin Bruce Bennett – the lead vocalist of the Golden Guitar-winning and ARIA-nominated group, was in fine form playing to what almost constituted “a hometown crowd”. KB (or should that be KBB?) is from a small place near Baradine, and his brother Blondie, who lives in Gunnedah, was there with the family. On this tour with Melinda, the boys have skirted all around KB’s home turf, so he’s having a ball on stage and off. His storytelling, sharing personal glimpses of his life to date, is adding another dimension to the shows, as he explains why he wrote certain songs – and who inspired them. When Melinda burst onto the stage after interval, she proved emphatically why she won two ACE (Australian Club Entertainment) awards – for Country Female Performer of the Year and the overall Most Outstanding Performer of the Year at the recent ceremony in Sydney. We heard songs from Stronger, her gorgeous new album with not a dud track on it; and her previous releases, Family Tree and Happy Tears. Melinda’s band – Tim Wedde, Rod Motbey, Ian Lees and Rudy Miranda, helped the star faithfully reproduce an album-quality concert that didn’t disappoint anyone who ventured out on that rainy night in Gunnedah. Do you think now that Melinda has teamed with The Flood, they might hire themselves out as “drought breakers”? Chez and I were delighted we made the effort of hopping in the car after a hard day at the salt mines, to see one of the best concerts going around the traps. Do yourself a favour if they play at a town near you. Get off the couch and get into it. You won’t be sorry you did.

Star quality: Melinda was highly entertaining and very natural with the large and appreciative audience at Gunnedah.
A mighty fine instrument: Tim Wedde can make that accordion talk.
Catching up: Groovy bass man Ian Lees and 2YOU-FM’s Noel Victor had a yarn at the end of the gig.
Beautiful sales technique: The delightful Victoria Baillie proved to be a gorgeous addition
to the merch desk. And she was kept pretty busy for most of the night selling product to Mel fans and Flood victims.
Keen as: Judy Walmsley and Lorraine Pfitzner don’t miss too many country shows in and
around Tamworth – and they loved this one.
Just good friends: Drummer Rudy Miranda and Cheryl Byrnes caught up after
 the show. Rudy’s playing was sensational.
Sizzling lead: Rod Motbey sure knows his way around that fretboard.
Mel fans: Cheryl Johnson and Helen Thompson, from Moonbi, were pleased they made the effort to get to Gunnedah.
NOW – roll on Sunday. We’ll be very pleased to see The Baileys light up the TREC stage before a big hometown crowd – and of course, welcome Dwight to our fair city.

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