By Kaz Johnson
G’day folks !
I had a jam packed weekend with Australia's greatest entertainer, Beccy Cole and her wife and very talented muso Libby O'Donovan and the girls and guys of twang. It was my 47th Beccy Cole concert and she is still at the top of her game. On Saturday it was quite a marathon with the Melbourne launch of the 3cd album set of 47 acts in the Australian Alternative Country scene, 13 acts entertained us in Melbourne including the always marvellous Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes and The Weeping Willows as well as some awesome music by Bill Jackson, Katie Brianna, Ben Leece and Peta Caswell among others. It was a huge afternoon/night. Ben Leece launched his album as well and there will be a review of that one on Cowgirl Up shortly. Definitely a young fella to watch and I am extra proud because he is from a little town not far from where I grew up in Tamworth.
On Sunday, I went to an awesome house concert in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, on the Mornington Pen. Marie Hodson who is from Werris Creek, not far from my hometown either and she was originally from New Zealand. Marie is one of the finest exponents of traditional country. The reviews of all these gigs and Ben's album, will be on Cowgirl Up in the next few days.
Something that really annoys me is when an Aussie comes up to me and says that they don't like Australian Country Music, they prefer American. Now I love American Country music from the 90's, 70's and 60's and some of the earlier stuff. Occasionally something comes along these days (this year has probably been the best for a while, but generally it is older artists coming back to record), however, I am in shock that people say these things about Aussie Country. Now, when I explain to them about the 79 types and mention about 100 artists in 3 minutes, they say, "I don't know them...." I have to say in return, well, how can you judge when you haven't heard them. We have a bit of a "class system" when it comes to Australian Country Music, (not one that I agree to) and it is very sad. The Media, in general, does not help. It tends to promote a lot of the same artists and it forgets about the songwriters and a lot of the wonderful Indie folks that we have in this country. I could put up about 50 clips a week of all the wonderful variety of country artists that we have here. Beccy Cole often says at gigs that she was offered a life and a start in Nashville, but decided to stay in Australia and write Australian songs. It is one of the many things that I admire about her. Many of our Aussie artists will never be heard overseas. We have a very rich singer/songwriter culture here that a lot of people will never know about. It is varied and amazing and I am very proud of our guys and girls.
Until next time,