Totally Biased Fan Review – Back Being Blue – Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis has worked on a couple of projects with her husband over the last eleven years but this is her first solo project in that time. She now has four children under 17 and she has been busy with other projects.

It is so good to hear her back again, one of the sweetest country voices in America and a talented songwriter. Under the banner of Americana but really, Americana/Alt. Country often sounds more like country than what is posing as country these days, which is something that Kelly feels strongly about too.

There are a couple of covers on here but mainly it is Kelly’s writing. She borrows wisely, including Rodney Crowell amongst the mix.

The songs are undeniably country but they are a mix of shades. The musicians are polished and they are perfectionists. Kelly doesn’t try too hard, she doesn’t need to. This is one of those albums that just sounds effortless.

It is smooth where it needs to be and country rocky where it wants to be. Kelly has always had this charming little lilt to her vocals and the vocals do dominate, despite of, or inspite of the technically spot on musicianship.

Kelly has a similar kind of voice to our own Anne Kirkpatrick. She can mix it up and it all comes out not sounding disjointed or convoluted. It just is. All of the usual subjects are covered in a number of guises.

It is a real relaxing album with the vocals being the hero. Let the fiddles flow over you, and enjoy the voice that has been practicing quality over quantity for nearly 3 decades.

So glad to have you back where you belong, Kelly.


Back Being Blue

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 3:48


2 Only You

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 2:38


3 Fool’s Paradise

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 3:19


4 Modern World

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 2:27


5 Freewheeling

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 2:40


6 Afternoon’s Gone Blind

Karl Straub

Kelly Willis 3:17


7 What the Heart Doesn’t Know

Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis 2:42


8 I’m a Lover (Not a Fighter)

Ronnie Light

Kelly Willis 3:03


9 We’ll Do It for Love Next Time

Rodney Crowell

Kelly Willis 3:12


10 Don’t Step Away

Jeff Rymes / Randy Weeks

Kelly Willis 4:22



Gina R. Binkley Art Direction, Cover Art, Package Design
Joshua Blue Drums, Percussion
Rodney Crowell Composer
Geoff Queen Dobro, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Lap Steel Guitar, Pedal Steel
Ronnie Light Composer
John Ludwick Bass
Steve Mazur Engineer
Dave McNair Mastering
Trevor Nealon Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Wurlitzer
Cover Photo   Amy Robinson

Bruce Robinson Harmonia, Mandolin, Producer
Jeff Rymes Composer
John Michael Schoepf Bass
Mark Spencer Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Karl Straub Composer
Jim Vollentine Mixing
Randy Weeks Composer
Bonnie Whitmore Harmonia
Eleanor Whitmore Mandolin, Strings, Vocal Harmony
Kelly Willis Composer, Harmony, Primary Artist, Vocals
Todd V. Wolfson Inside Photo

Hats Off Tamworth, 2018.

program current as at 23 May 2018.

Show Title  Venue Time  Ticketed or Free?
Wednesday 11 July 2018
 CCMA Jam Night  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:00pm  Free
 Thursday 12 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum Opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Opening Night Acoustic Session – Anthony Taylor, Sandra Humphries, Alby Pool  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Albert’s Muso Jam  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Friday 13 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum Opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Anthony Taylor  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Howdy’s Hoedown  The Pub, 99 Gunnedah Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Goldheist  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Finnian Johnson  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Missy Lancaster  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:30pm  Free
 Saturday 14 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  9:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Gallery of Stars Wax Museum Opens  Big Golden Guitar, 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth  9:00am
 Songwriters Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 ABBA Bronze Bust Fundraiser for Frank Ifield  Southgate Inn, 16A Kent Street, Tamworth  10:00am  $10 Donation at door
 Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) Songwriters  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urqhuart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 Kora Naughton ‘Ride or Die’ Album Launch  Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar at The Family Hotel, Bridge & Belmore Streets, Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Michael Bryers  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Tamworth Live & Local Acoustic presented by 88.9FM Jodie Crosby  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm
 Aleyce Simmons and Brad Butcher  The Welder’s Dog, 37 Dowe Street, Tamworth  5:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Sandra Humphries and Jared Scott  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  6:30pm  Free
 Luke O’Shea Dinner Show  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  7:00pm  $35 Tickets includes 2 course dinner – Buy tickets from the club
 Hurricane Fall  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  8:00pm  Free
 Adam Harvey  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Simply Bushed  Tamworth Services Club, 199 Marius Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 The Cartwheels  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 Sally-Anne Whitten & the Rumour Mill  Tudor Hotel, 327 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:30pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  8:45pm  Free
 The Beau Hatch Country Band  Post Office Hotel, 8 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth  9:00pm  Free
 Rachael Fahim  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:00pm  Free
 2018 Toyota Star Maker Brad Cox  The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel Street, Tamworth  11:15pm  Free
 Sunday 15 July 2018
 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Opens  561 Peel Street, Tamworth  10:00am  Adults $7/Children (Under 12) Free
 Songwriters’ Live on the Deck  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  10:00am  Free
 Songwriters’ Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds & Jeremy Edwards  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  11:00am  Click here to buy tickets
 TSA Songwriters Over Lunch  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  11:00am  Free
 Songwriters Show featuring Michael Bryers and special guests  North Tamworth Bowling Club, 20-26 Bligh Street, North Tamworth  12:30pm  Free
 CCMA – Hats Off Tribute to the Dallas Family  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  1:00pm  Free
 Lawrie & Shelley Minson  West Tamworth League Club, 58 Philip Street, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Jonny Taylor  West Diggers, 4 Kable Avenue, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Ryan Morris  Longyard Hotel, 10/12 Ringers Road, Tamworth  2:00pm  Free
 Songwriters’ Retreat Showcase featuring Shane Nicholson, Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Aleyce Simmonds, Jeremy Edwards and artists from the 2018 Songwriters’ Retreat  DAG Sheep Station, Crawney Road, Nundle  4:00pm  Click here to buy tickets
 Alby Pool and Pals  South Tamworth Bowling Club, 11 Margaret Street, South Tamworth  4:30pm  Free


Totally Biased Fan Review: Girl Going Nowhere – Ashley McBryde

This is one of my favourite albums of the year so far. I came across it by accident, on the way to looking for another album. Then I started reading reviews and they came thick and fast, commenting on her “no bullshit album, free of fat and frills”. The songs are lyrically amazing, her voice is totally unashamedly country, sent soaring at times, mellowed out and twangy at others. She can blues it, soul it, rock it but the roots are firmly entrenched in country.

The tunes are great too. The lyrics hit me with a sledgehammer though, first. The lines are so original and clever. They are songs about everyday life but the imagery that Ashley creates is quite stunning and the pictures that she creates are so firmly imprinted on the brain.

The songs are story songs, which are the best kind of songs. They are all like little movies. They will be easy to make videos of as they will make the film maker’s life easy. All the information is there.

Ashley is one of a small new gang bringing country back to country music. The influences are strong but they are varied.

The title track hits home with me as it will with a lot of people who were basically told that they would never be anybody special. That bit of information can either make you or break you…it can make you want to strive for that “Look at Me Now” statement.  Great song.

Like Kacey Musgraves, Ashley is not frightened to tell it like it is. A lot of the songs make strong statements, either subtly or in your face. Ashley gives you a reality check.

I adore every song on this album. Andy, (I can’t live without you) is spot on. It is about loving someone despite all of their faults. Radioland is a great shower song and it could be my theme song when I get back behind the wheel. American Scandal is a different kind of love song. Tired of Being Happy is also a different kind of love song.

Garth Brooks is apparently a big fan and I can see why…..Ashley would have fit in very well to that 90’s country when there were some great women country music artists who sang songs that meant something but they delivered them in such a way that you accepted the parcel with a bow on it.

This album covers every beat of country, true country. It also covers all the subjects that country songs do, just in a new dress. I think that there maybe some spurs on those cowgirl boots.

There are some fired up guitars and chunky drum beats as well as songs to have a merlot with. You’ll be about to laugh then you may want to cry in your beer or cheer the gal team on.

Thank God for Ashley McBryde…..and Thank God I’m a Country Girl.



Totally Biased Fan Review – Luke O’Shea and Damian Howard at The Hotel Lomond, East Brunswick.

Anybody who knows me, knows that this review is going to be totally, totally biased. Yes, Lukie is very high up on my playlist and one of the main people who I admire on and off the stage and record in country music.

So, of course, this review is going to be dripping with superlatives, which could have been the name for Luke and Damian’s back up band but Marty Stuart already pinched that name!

I could have gone to The Noojee Hotel tonight which is sort of closer to me but harder to get to by public transport or I could have gone to Helen’s place on the Thursday night, but I don’t think that they would have accepted Lukeitis as an illness from me on Friday. So, Melbourne it was, and I made it after work by the skin of my teeth, but what a night it was. I knew Lukie was going to be great, he always is, but Damian Howard was fabulous too. I am more familiar with his brother, Shane’s songs, but he sang a couple and I thought…ahhh, of course I know him!

He did a few covers of some pretty awesome songs and some originals. Damian took it in turn to sing songs with Luke. They, of course, harmonised and played on each others songs, like old hands.

Considering that Luke, Damian and the boys hadn’t had any rehearsals, they all played together well. I am getting to know a lot of the musos about Melbourne now, so they were familiar faces.

Luke sang some of his well known songs like Three Brothers, The Drover’s Wife and many others as well as some newer material.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Luke O’Shea show without a few laughs. Damian has a sense of humour too and they fired off each other. With a short break, they played for nearly 3 hours.

They tried to fit all 5 of them on a small stage with all of their equipment. I really don’t know how they did it, but they did.  No room for dancing though.

Luke did an impromptu performance of Rod Stewart’s  Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? Which was almost a dance but the least country thing that he’s ever done and a crack up.

It is impossible to do all of Luke’s songs on one night, particularly when you are sharing the stage with someone else, but he did a good variety, though he forgot some of his own words….sometimes due to laughter and other times he covered well, only a professional Luke O’Shea supporter would have noticed the gaps.

It was a light hearted intimate evening, with us all packed in to the Hotel like sardines. Some diehard fans were in the crowd as well as some new ones.

The good news is that Luke has new songs coming out later in the year. It was a great way to end the week.

Well done, Luke and Damian and thank you to the band.


Totally Biased Fan Review: Mr Jukebox – Joshua Hedley

There is a massive buzz around and about country music circles for this wonderful artist. This is Joshua’s debut album (he previously had an EEP out). The moment that your eyes hit the cover of this album, you are in two minds. For people like myself who love covers, liner notes and the vintage look, you pick up on that effect straight away. The titles in top corner, a picture of the artist (and nothing obscure) in a full on shot; the said artist in a cowboy hat and a suit (despite the modern twist) and a border. Very typical of vintage records.

Aside from the fact that tatts are slightly revealed and the suit is rather garish, this is a classic cover.

There is a classic cover on this album, the only non-original track, When You Wish Upon A Star, sung slightly differently to the original.

These days, I rarely write reviews on American Country Music Artists these days, because there aren’t that many good ones in the new breed. However, I have about 8 on my plate at the moment and frankly, I am very glad.

Joshua is one of the ones who are leading the pack. What Joshua does differently, is that he takes you back in time. When I started playing it, I thought that I had one of my Dad’s records on. It has that 50’s/60’s feel. He has that wonderful old time voice. It is rich, melodic and very, very, country.

There’s no mistaking this Florida boy for an FGL member, that’s for sure. The songs all sound familiar, to someone of my vintage or older. They would make Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Rich, George Jones and co. very excited.

The cover song, apparently is a nod to Joshua’s father. This guy is just the bee’s knees. He’s a shining light for all of us who like the old style with a fresh coat of paint.

A lot of my muso friends urged me to buy this album and I am so glad that I listened.

There are a lot of crying, hurting songs. This session player and popular fiddle player shows the big guys how to dance with a special formula. I think that I will make Weird Thought Thinker my new theme song. I absolutely love that one.

All of the songs are fabulous. I am interested in what direction Joshua will take. He has been quoted as quoting the famous quote: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I hope that he stands by that. He has a little edge to him with his quirkiness in attire and tattoos, but his songs are like vintage specials in a new suit themselves.

Counting my tears is terrific, These Walls and This Time are beauties too. It is interesting to note the amount of songs that have the word tears in their titles. That should give you a bit of an indication on the subject material.

A lot of this album is classic bar room stuff. There will be so many old country fans and crooners clapping their hands and stomping their feet in jubilation. I have played it 6 times already. It only takes half an hour. Like a lot of old country songs, the songs are brief. They all have an impact though.

I reckon if you played it in the background at home, and people walked into your living room, they would think that they were back in the 50’s. What a trip.  Thank you, Joshua. I absolutely love it.


Counting My Tears

Mr Jukebox

Weird Thought Thinker

Let’s Take a Vacation

These Walls

I Never (shed a tear)

This Time

Don’t Waste Your Tears

Let Them Talk

When You Wish Upon A Star


Totally Biased Fan Review: Blake O’Connor – Self titled EEP

Sadly, there is very little information available on Blake O’Connor. I was told that he was on X Factor (not a show that I watch for political and personal reasons) and I was told that he was one to watch by my fellow country music tragics.

The latter, I totally agree with. What an amazing voice for one so young. He sings with the maturity of a 30 year old.  As I only have the Itunes download at this point, I don’t have any credits for the songs, though I have a feeling that there are a couple of covers here, amongst some originals. All of the songs are very playable.

There is quite a buzz about this teenager from New South Wales. He is unmistakably country, though the shades vary slightly from song to song.

I particularly love Won’t Be Missing You. He does a wonderful job on this song. I love Six String too. There are some great twangy guitars on this one.

There are a couple of songs where the guitars are at full throttle and they sound almost Bryan Adamsish….and there is nothing wrong with that.

Believe in Love is probably my favourite, with some bluesy guitars and Blake follows suit, getting into the bluesy vibe.

If this is the type of stuff that we are going to get from Blake and a launching pad for future projects, then we are in for lots of treats. Definitely one to watch.

Turn your ears on.


Travelin’ Man


Won’t Be Missing You

Six String

Life On The Road (E)

Believe in Love

Vale Phil Emmanuel

The outpouring of emotion on Facebook yesterday for Phil Emmanuel was immeasurable. It was a shock, but it was also deeper than that. Phil was one of our finest guitarists. With his brother, Tommy, the duo became just about the most famous musical brothers in Australia, and certainly amongst the most talented. They let their guitars do the work. Individually, Phil and Tommy did some great stuff too.

I was very fortunate to see Phil on many occasions, not just at Tamworth but in Sydney. I saw Phil and Tommy support America at the Sydney Entertainment Centre back in the 80’s. It was an amazing gig. There were people who strangely, hadn’t heard of Phil and Tommy before, and they went away thinking that they were just as great as the headliners, who were awesome too.

One of my favourite memories of Phil was at a 3 hour gig that he did virtually by himself at Tamworth Showground in the early 2000’s. I took my ‘nephew’ Elliott, who was learning the guitar to it. It was the most amazing gig. In a stage that had more hay bales on it than musicians, Phil took us on a very big journey through his guitar playing, featuring all styles of music. Elliott was quite young then and he was just as enthralled as I was.

For someone who has been struggling to learn stringed instruments for years – a combination of stubby fingers, not sure whether to play left or right handed and just total frustration – I dips me lid to this magnificent guitarist, who not only set fire to a guitar with his fast fingers and his slow hands, but he was a genuinely good bloke who was loved my many.

My heart goes out to his brothers and sister and to his wife and kids. He lost his other sister not long ago. It must be a very hard time for the family. Ironically, Elliott’s mother, my best friend of 44 years, also suffers from Asthma. If anyone can find a cure for it or do anything to alleviate their suffering, please help.

The photos are of Phil, Phil and Tommy and Phil and Stuie French, another fine guitarist. We are very lucky in this country to produce such fine musicians. Tommy may have had more world wide acclaim but Phil never sought it. He was just an ordinary person with an extraordinary gift and it came wrapped in a big bow.

Thank you for the music Phil. We will play it forever.


Totally Biased Fan Review: Dawn of the Dark – Tori Forsyth

I have been lucky enough to see Tori LIVE, quite a few times now. Most recently, I saw her at The Spotted Mallard in Melbourne. With Aleyce Simmonds and Shane Nicholson in her team, the girl can’t really go wrong, but to have such illustrious company in the first place, you have to be just a little bit talented.  After the fabulous Blackbird EEP (please see review), you knew that she had to keep going and she has gone from the EEP to the LP and it is a bottler.

The Alt. Country Artist, who could easily crossover, like Kasey Chambers did, and Imogen Clark probably will, still has her music firmly grounded with rich country influences. There are references to Stevie Nicks in some reviews,  and though I can hear a bit of that Bella Donna album kind of stuff, I think that Tori has a sound of her own, or at least a mixture of several styles and artists.

The songs are rich melodically and the lyrics are multi-layered. I was a fan from the first time that I heard her. You can hear the influences of Shane Nicholson and Aleyce Simmonds in her songs, but also the influences of 60’s folksters and there is a lot of blues in there.

There is sufficient torch and twang and  all of the instruments that make country strong, like fiddles, country guitars and even a bit of banjo. Tori’s voice has a purity to it. It drifts over rollicking tracks that are like wheels going smoothly over a bumpy country road.

There have been a few singles lifted off the album already and there will be more to come. This is the polished album that you would expect from a fine young artist and a team of amazing musicians and one of our finest producers. Shane is like those directors of awesome movies in Hollywood who know actors because they were great actors themselves. Shane is the same with musos, he knows what makes them tick and he makes them tick tock.

There are songs to stomp to, songs to hum to and songs to sing along to.

I love Heart’s On the Ground, Grave Robber’s Daughter and Violet Town the best. They are all wonderful tracks from a young artist who just goes from strength to strength.

This has been a long hoped for album. I am glad that it has finally arrived.



  1. Grave Robber’s Daughter
  2. Broke Machine
  3. Snow White
  4. Redemption
  5. Heart’s On The Ground
  6. Fiddle
  7. In The Morning
  8. Hell’s Lullaby
  9. War Zone
  10. Violet Town
  11. White Noise
  12. Kings Horses

We heard it on the radio…..or was it the wireless….or was it streaming……

This is just a little ditty about some community radio folks who play your songs and play them proudly. They tell people who normally would have only heard about you if they went to festivals, LIVE music venues or knew you as a support act for the support act at some big gig. These are the people who genuinely love you and your music unconditionally and volunteer at community radio stations to play your music because they genuinely believe in you. They spend hours planning programmes, organizing interviews, buy their own music (for the most part) and go to gigs and festivals and follow you like a stalker……well a nice stalker. It is done out of passion. They do not expect anything from you, but we all get something from you – the artists – that money can’t buy….your appreciation. You include us in your musical family. This is a fun look at some of us. I can only judge on people that I have listened to….transmission is not always great. These are only community radio people and most of them are my friends.

Leonie: Awright! Let us take you to the Tamworth Country Music Festival on 2RRR, (the pirate station)…..Awright! Here’s Ben Ransom with a double….Awright…..and after that we’ll have a double from John Stephan…..we have an interview with Phoebe Jay…..coming up….Awright!

Bob Browne: What about this guy, Leonie? He’s had hit after hit after hit, after hit….

Kaz: Bob…..Bob….he’s only had one song out….

(Bob falls off chair)

Kaz: Here is one of my favourites….

Bob: They are all your favourites, Kaz.

Kaz: Yes, but this is a sista from another mista….

Bob: Not a brother from another mother?

Kaz: No, he’s coming up later….

Beth: Is that a brand spanking new one, Kaz?

Kaz: Um, no, um a classic Beth.

Beth: Fiddledeediddledeedum…, just trying to find the updiddledeeuptum album. Hmmmm. Yes! There it is.

Susan Lily: Giggles

Vickiree: We’ve got car races on at the Nambucca Raceway and it is 25 degrees, freezing here in Northern NSW……here’s some rockin’ country for ya!

Kylie Adams-Collier: Here’s some sunshine for you, Vickiree….it’s only 5 degrees here in wherever I am broadcasting from this week but there’s always sunshine and rainbows for you here….(little butterflies fly out of your radio, wireless, computer and an animated Snow White sings)

Beth: It’s cold at Yass but I am warm inside of the studio….here’s Rick Hart and Col Finley to warm you all up a bit more……

Jen Mize: What are y’all going on about…..we’re a serious radio program tackling the big issues and playing intellectuals.

Paddy McHugh: What Jen said.

Terry: Sooze, I have an old bloke on the phone requesting Slim Dusty…..can’t find the record, could you sing Duncan for him….

Susan Lily: I’d love to have a beer with Kaz, because Kaz’s me mate….giggles.

Kaz: I think that you’ve already had one, Sis. I’m here with Bob Browne and Country Onnnnnnnnnnnn  How’s everybody out there in radioland?

Bob: Hello to Gayle and Kerry-Jane and Melissa Robertson….Hey Kaz, ain’t she your Sister from another Mister?

Kaz: Yes she is. Here’s Sir Allan Caswell with my favourite trees, The Weeping Willows….

Leonie: Awright! Renee Jonas is coming in soon…..she is caught in traffic…in the meantime, here’s another song from Ben Ransom! Oh, it’s not working…nevermind…here is Kora Naughton, LIVE in the studio with Ben Ransom!

Beth: Fiddledeefumdiddy  I love this song….coming up an is an interview with Angus Gill… here is a song from the young man after these messages….

Bob: No. 10 is…

Kaz: We’re up to no. 3, Bob.

Leonie: Awright! Renee is here. Let’s get goofy on Facebook! Hello Kaz!

Kylie Adams-Collier: The sun is still shining here….we have some Anthony Baxter to take you to news time….have a lovely day everybody!

(Part one of a bit of Community Radio silliness)




Totally Biased Fan Review – Album Launch – Cathy Dobson Tales From A Suburban Housewife – The Village Green, Mulgrave, Victoria, with Gradual, 20th May, 2018

Firstly, let me make an unpaid political announcement. I have to say right off the top how wonderful John Dobson was yesterday and how he was the star of the day….tongue in cheek, he made me write it….

Seriously, though, we had a wonderful afternoon of entertainment, starting with a very tight and clever band, Gradual, who are having their own gig on Saturday night at Upwey. We all reckoned at our table that the band should be re-named, Musical Chairs. I have never seen a band change positions so much. Either Cathy put Whoopee cushions on their chairs or they just like to play different things. Brian produced Cathy’s album as well, so it was a natural choice, though the music stylings are different. Good music is good music. They also formed Cathy’s band for the day.

Cathy Dobson is a very well respected songwriter amongst her peers, as my friend, Bruce and I were discussing earlier, she is a writer’s writer. Like Michael Waugh, Mike Carr, Wendy Wood, Darren Colston, Craig Stewart, Michael Carpenter, Luke O’Shea and Lachlan Bryan and the like, she gets inside our heads and writes down what we are thinking, feeling and doing. Her songs may be about her life, but they are also touching on our own thought processes and moments.

There were many singer/songwriters in the audience, some older, some younger, and others in between. They all got what Cathy was trying to say and they were there to support her and cheer her on. I had two songwriters to cheer for because they couldn’t be there. I was sitting at a table with Lloyd Clarke and Rick Hart, two of Victoria’s best singer/songwriters. Nia Robertson, Andrew Swift and many others were there too. The place was packed. There was even a cocktail named after Cathy’s album. I would have had one but I probably would not have remembered the gig if I had tried one.

The album (please see the review) is awesome and Cathy performed each song on stage. It takes many turns. Blues, folk, country torch and twang, a little bit funky, a little bit of soul and other twists and turns. She did a cover for the encore, the classic, Midnight Special which made her family get up and dance and most of us sang along to it.

I first saw Cathy at a gig at The Dag a few July Hats Offs ago. I had seen her sing one song somewhere else and I asked Allison Forbes about her and Kalesti Butler and they both told me a few things. The people near me asked about her too and I told them what I had been told. One bloke with his hat still on said to me: “She’s the real thing, hey?” I nodded.

When it came to the release of “Ball and Chain” I had to get a hold of it, having heard some tracks off it. I went to a gig of Cathy’s at Southgate Inn at Tamworth in the January and heard her sing, then as she was about to go to the merch counter, I had to leave to go to another gig. When I got home, I tried to order it twice, and once it got lost in the mail and the other time, my order didn’t go through. Since, I have seen Cathy a couple of times at other people’s gigs, something that she does very well as a fan and a supporter of her fellow artists. I didn’t get a chance to ask her for the album. This time, I gave her a heads up and I now have it in my cd player and nobody is allowed miles within range of it.

I think of all the songwriters in Australia these days, Cathy and Wendy Wood probably get the closest to my life or my way of thinking through their songs. There are a few guys who come close, but for obvious reasons, and the fact that Cathy and Wendy are my vintage, they hit a few chords that others don’t quite manage….that is not a criticism. I love a lot of other music even when it doesn’t paint me a familiar picture. I just find myself in the same photo album as these two.

Cathy is a straight shooter. She is a great supporter of other’s work and she knows how to get an audience thinking.

Kaylene Pittaway was in the front row, Cathy was singing her stories and all was right with the world.

It was mentioned a few times during the breaks that Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs played there a long time ago. I could feel it.

Now where is that recipe to that cocktail…….

Thanks to Darren Clarke for this pic. I think that it tells a story.