Three country Artist’s converged on Tomerong Hall last Friday Night, bringing their own version of what lives as Australian Country Music. All shows at this time of the year seem like the wind up into the Tamworth Festival, and Tomerong certainly got a taste of what’s to come.
Benn Gunn was in fine form, opening the night in Duo mode with Mark Thomas, and it was a perfect fit for the old country hall, and the sleepy country town that is Tomerong. The crowd loved it, and Benn’s voice and guitar were warm, and his songs had the crowd singing along, especially his single ”I love Girls who like Beer”.
Den Hanrahan is one of this country’s rough diamonds; he cuts his own path, that’s for sure. If you get him talking, his passion for the truth of a song becomes screamingly obvious. With Al Fisk on drums, fresh back from Canada, which he fell in love with touring with The Remains, and ended up living there for six months, and Dodge Dave provided the perfect backline for the Crazy Horse that is Hanrahan to ramble on. With a new album 8 days away from release, these songs featured in what was a dynamic set. For my mind though, Den played Forth Worth Blues , which I just can never get sick of hearing him play. Better than Steve Earle’s version, hands down. Just don’t tell him I said that!
Chucks Wagon had the pleasure to close the night, and it being the second show with the fabulous David Sleishman on drums, I just wanted to keep it tight. The focus for me at the moment is putting the new album “ I Play County” front and centre, while still keeping the “Lipstick and Sin” songs spinning along to. We threw in Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues”, and “Honky Tonk Nightime Man”, as well as “I’m on Fire” by Springsteen, but our Hillbilly version, which John Wardle shined on all three, paying homage to the finger picking skills of Jerry Reed and Brett Mason , but still making it his own.
Getting a new line up ticking along can take time, melting everybody’s individual talents in the village stew is an art, and if Tomerong Hall was any indication, we are on our way. I was excited to watch today with millions of folks around the world, the live telecast of the Rolling Stones 50th year Anniversary show. They still have IT! At nearly 70 years old. That is incredible. I have thought for ages that the Rolling Stones have changed the definition of what it’s like to get old, forever. There is no going back now. You give it all, or go home. From there anything can happen. Well, I am a foolish man. I share this belief, and on Friday night, in a sleepy little South coast town, that was bathed in a sweet summer drizzle of rain, we came, we plugged in, and we left it there on the boards. It ain’t over yet. Keef Rules!pringsteen