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.


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)




The Long and Short of It – Mantra Studio Kitchen and Bar and a chat with David Baird

A few months ago, before the opening of this brave and ambitious venture, I met up with talented country music duo, Patsy Toop and David Baird, better known as The Long and Short of It at their new project, The Mantra Studio Kitchen and Bar at Yarraville. Patsy and David kindly took me on a tour of their combined function centre, cafe, bar and studio in the arty and trendy little village of Yarraville. They told me about the history of the place, part of a factory that once housed the famous Dickies Towels, as iconically Australian as Vegemite and Holden Cars….

Other than their musical talents, Patsy and David have had, like most Indies, other careers. With Patsy’s legal background and David’s work in signwriting and painting, they did a lot of the basics in this joint venture. There are some stunning Asian pieces, from doors to furniture and the green wall feature and modern design make you wonder about the massive transformation from the historical building to the modern highly functional and aesthetically pleasing structure.

There is a lot of blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this labour of love. The menu has evolved in the kitchen, with beautifully presented, pleasing to the palate meals which cater for people with all tastes and food preferences. The staff are musos and artists which fits into the character of the venue and into the ideas of the people who created the place.

Independent Musicians from all genres have appeared at the venue already, which holds about 65 people comfortably in the “music area”. People can eat in one area and venture into the other. David and Patsy are eager to host other acts that would like to appear there. The modular stage holds solo artists, duos and trios. Contact the Mantra or David or Patsy for details.

I caught up again with David yesterday at the now opened venue and the cafe was pretty full. Everyone was enjoying brunch or coffee and the place looks fantastic. There are still a few things to do in the recording studio, but once that is fully operational, it will be a great place for Indies to record their music.

The Long and Short of It have been attending music festivals and have been doing gigs at The Mantra and elsewhere, with upcoming dates at Dubbo, pending confirmation and Music in the Mulga.  With these gigs and running and constructing the venue, they have been too busy to put down some new tracks but I am sure that in the near future we will be hearing more from this talented duo.

If you are in Melbourne, head off to Yarraville and catch up with David and Patsy and enjoy a meal and a beverage and some music at one of the most unique venues that you will find.  Thanks to David and Patsy for your time.


Poppy and Rosemary by Kaz Johnson

I am a 60’s Aquarian Child

I believe in peace and love and beauty

But I understand the need to fight for what is right

And a soldier’s sense of duty

A great man once wrote: As long as there are men, there will be wars

Sometimes, we all wonder what they are fighting for

They went off into the great unknown

A sense of adventure and into chaos they were thrown

Australia and New Zealand lost their innocence

On the shores of a far off land

And it has happened for years, again and again

So what do we learn from all of this?

As we farewell our soldiers with a hug and a kiss

What will end all of the wars

We dance around the reasons

And the whys and wherefors

All of the destruction and tears

As we pray for peace

And dream of a day

When all the fighting will cease

With a poppy in my hand and rosemary pinned to my collar

I hope for the day when the heart is mightier than the dollar

And I listen to the words of those who wish for love and peace

When we lay down our guns and shake the hands of our enemies

Wouldn’t the world be wonderful

If our children could run free

No fear of bullets and bombs

Only love and good memories.

Lest we forget those who tried

To make our world a better place

And hoped that one day there would be no divisions

We would just be called the human race


Calling all Australian Country Music Artists – all 79 types!

The last few years it has been tough picking the Kazzie Awards….even when it just comes to nominations. This year is shaping up to be just as big…already, I have reviewed quite a few albums and gigs. I hope to get back on Community Radio soon so that I can play and promote all of these wonderful country music artists, especially the Indies. Bob Browne and Therese have shown me a lot, I want to be on there helping people as much as I can. What I want the artists to do is to keep producing the fabulous music that you produce, keep putting on these awesome gigs that you put on and keeping making all of us Aussie fans proud. I also want you to know that we are behind you all the way, us genuine fans who are so in awe of you and your talents and so grateful for your friendship and your dedication to your craft.

Keep going strong guys and gals and show the world just how awesome you are……I sure will through this blog, through my blog on and anyway that I can.

Thank you from the bottom of the well….as some awesome country music songwriter wrote….


Those 79 shades of country music! Well, 57 of them!

About 10 years ago, I received an email with a survey on it from an official Tamworth Country Music Festival faction after the festival was over. One of the questions asked me to tick the boxes of any of the  79 different types of country music that I had heard at Tamworth. The email was replied to and deleted long ago. I did write some of them down at the time and debated these types on facebook with musos and fans at the time on the list’s merit. If anyone has kept the full list after receiving the same email, please let me know. These are the ones that I scribbled down at the time, 55 of the 79 types, some that I am still trying to work out!

  1. Country and Western
  2. Bush Ballads
  3. Alt. Country/Americana
  4. Country Folk
  5. Country Rock (Hard)
  6. Country Rock (Soft)
  7. Country Celtic
  8. Country Blues
  9. Country Instrumental
  10. Country Comedy
  11. Steam Punk Country
  12. Bluegrass
  13. Newgrass
  14. Children’s Country
  15. Country Soul
  16. Spoken Country
  17. Country Pop (Female)
  18. Country Pop (Male)
  19. Classic Country
  20. Yodelling
  21. Appalacian Country
  22. Country Punk
  23. Country Funk
  24. Country Traditional
  25. Country Swing
  26. Texas Swing
  27. Country Waltzes
  28. Home Sewn Country
  29. Hillbilly Country
  30. Rockabilly
  31. Australian Country
  32. American Country
  33. New Zealand Country
  34. Country Reggae
  35. Country Gospel
  36. Island Country
  37. Plains Country
  38. Northern Country
  39. Southern Country
  40. Heartland Country
  41. Fusion Country
  42. Dance Country
  43. Disco Country
  44. Country Romantic Music
  45. Country Love Songs
  46. Thread Country
  47. Blues and Roots Country
  48. Orchestral Country
  49. Country Strings
  50. Country Brass
  51. Country Steel
  52. Latin Country
  53. Mexican Country
  54. Outback Country
  55. Bar Room Country
  56.  Thrash Country
  57. through to 79 – I can’t remember…or scraps of paper have been lost. Again, if anybody has the original list via email from 8-10 years ago from Tamworth, let me know….and/or let me know what some of these mean!   In the end, it is all just good music, no matter what you call it.

Kaz’s Top 50 – final bit! 20-1!

20- Light in the window – Tania Kernaghan

19 – Unbreak my heart – Matt Cornell

18 – Little C Word – Michael Waugh

17 – High Hopes – Carpenter Caswell

16 – Patsy Cline x 2 – The April Family

15 – Anchor – Aleyce Simmonds

14 – Slaughterhouse Blues – Gretta Ziller

13 – Inasmuch – Darren Coggan and Felicity Urquhart

12 – Wanda – Stuie and Cam

11 – Just Down The Hall – Kalesti Butler

10 – 4.35 – Paul Costa

9 – Where My heart Used to Be – Sandra Humphries

8 – The Wreckage – Melody Moko

7 – Bury Me Sane – Melody Moko

6 – Judgement Day – Christie Lamb

5 – Queen of Boomtown – Gretta Ziller

4 – You’re Someone that I never knew – The April Family

3 – Last Word On My Lips – Aleyce Simmonds

2 – From the bottom of a well – Brad Butcher

And number one?

  1. To The Grave – Rick Hart

Kaz’s Top 50 part 3 – 30 -21

30 – Take my hand – Michaela Jenke

29 – Garden of Needs – Matt Henry

28 – He’s a Writer of Songs – Melissa Robertson

27 – Nowhere Else to Fall – Arna Georgia

26 – February Sky – Lloyd Clarke

25 – Before we say goodbye – Angus Gill

24 – Well Dressed Man – Brad Butcher

23 – Hazel Eyes – Amber Joy Poulton

22 – Bad Weather – Kelly Cork and Jen Mize

21 – Mark my words – Brad Butcher

Kaz’s Top 50 part 2 – 40-31

40 – Beautiful Silence – Carter and Carter

39 – Roll On – Fanny Lumsden

38- All the Rivers In Between – Pete Dawson

37 – Waltzing Australia – The Bushwackers and friends

36 – That’s Not Me – Kerry Kennedy

35 – Far Away – Lyn Bowtell and Damon Morton

34 – Wide Brimmed Hat – Ashleigh Dallas and Rex Dallas

33 – As Above, So Below – Aleyce Simmonds and Shane Nicholson

32 – Want that back again – Carpenter Caswell and Felicity

31 – As Memories Fade – Emma Jene


Kaz’s Top 50 for 2017 – Part One!

Hey folks, this is my top 50 Aussie Country Songs for 2017. It was hard to get it down to 50 and hard to put them in order. There will probably be others later that I think of, but it basically gets down to these.  They are a very mixed bag! They didn’t necessary have to be singles, but they had to be off albums from 2017 or on albums coming up….or just singles brand new (not off 2016 albums).

Here goes nothing – 50 to 41

50 – Safe – Shane Nicholson

49 – What You Mean to Me – Davidson Brothers

48 – Wrong – Kora Naughton

47 – City Bound Trains – Paddy McHugh

46 – Trouble with Drinking – NeillyRich

45 – Thousand Different Pictures – Sharon Heaslip

44 – Boxes – Amber Lawrence and Travis Collins

43 – Let’s Go Drivin’ – Ben Ransom

42 – Somewhere in the middle – Clelia Adams

41 – Coal Town – James Stewart Keene