Songwriter and folksinger Gary Shearston would have enjoyed his farewell at the Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday 18th August. The legendary Australian voice died on 1st July and his musical mates, and there were many, came to pay tribute and send him off with song.
Every artist likes a full house and this one was jammed packed including fans that had enjoyed his music for nigh on 50 years, maybe more.
Gary's talents were far-reaching: singer, songwriter, activist, author and humanitarian, and it seemed everyone had a particular story to tell. Spanning almost four hours the evening had been programmed by Rouseabout Record's Stuart McCarthy and thanks also to the wonderful comparing of Jon Wolfe, the pace never slackened so as to give a complete picture of this remarkable man. After a slide show of rare photographs, Shearston's young son, Luke, opened the program with a heartfelt and emotional song showing that he could well carry on his father's guitar and vocal talents.
Rouseabout producer, Warren Fahey, talked about his 50 year history with Shearston and how it had influenced his early interest in bush songs, acknowledging the role of the Bush Music Club in both their lives; he then sang three bush songs from their shared repertoire. Some singers sang one song and others, like Pat Drummond and Jim Low, sang songs that gave a deeper insight into Gary Shearston's musical and spiritual journey. Jack Humphrys from the social activism magazine ‘Australian Options’ came up from Adelaide to celebrate Gary's lifetime interest in social change including the role of his songs. McCarthy and Stuart Heather (who operates the Gary Shearston website) had sourced some amazing film footage of the artist as a young man. Home movies joined with Gary's riveting performance for the Newcastle Earthquake Benefit and a segment from his 1960s television series ‘Just Folk’. When the reel came to an interview with the 'Australia All Over' host and long-time friend, Ian 'Macca' McNamara, the entire audience sang along with 'I Get A Kick Out of You' and 'Shopping on A Saturday', It was an emotional half hour of film memories.
Post film the music continued with Luke Shearston performing two more songs whilst his sister Bonnie sang a dance remix of their father's 'Bonnie's Lullaby'. Eulogies followed by Stuart Heather and Radio host Barbara Morrison. As a final farewell, Terry Darmody & Mic Conway performed after impromptu contributions from Sally Henderson (wife of Gary’s great friend and fellow songwriter extraordinaire Don) and a stellar cameo by the great Jeannie Lewis that brought the house down.
Gary's wife Karen, her children and family had joined an army of fans and friends to make sure Gary Shearston's last curtain call was indeed a classic.
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The wait is almost over as Eric Bogle’s The SMS Tour to support his new LP with John Munro A Toss Of The Coin kicks off next month.
A Toss Of The Coin(RRR61) has already been a feature album on 5EBI, Acoustic Harvest, 5GTR, Tribe FM 91.1, 2MAX FM 91.3 Narrabri, Highland FM 107.1 & RCF-Haute Normandie Radio and is OUT NOW digitally through iTunes and on CD through MGM Distribution or directly from Undercover Music via mail order.
In the meantime, look and listen out for Eric Bogle on ABC Local Radio, 2Maxfm 91.3, 2YOU, Radio Eastern 98.1, 98.9 North West FM, 2CH, 5EBI, 5GTR, CMR, Australian Country with John Nutting, ZFM Country, Power Country Radio 1629am Newcastle and Radio16, TANK FM, 104.9 Sunshine Country, Triple R, PBS-FM, Radio Adelaide, COW FM, 3CR, Hobart FM, Sweet FM, Coast FM 96.3, 2LM, 100.9 ZZZ FM, OPus Music Country Radio Network, 2Bobradio 104.7FM, Highland FM 107.1, mtmfm919, 2BBB, Radio Upper Murray 3RUM, 2PSR, RCF-Haute Normandie Radio and in Trad&Now, Country Music Capital News and Le Cri du Coyote Magazine
Fore more information and interview requests, email Undercover Music
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Jim Low turned on an inspiring performance at the Gary Shearston memorial concert which included ‘Folksinger’ Jim’s tribute song to Gary taken from his Above The Creek Bed album.
As Capital News’ Anna Rose writes if you ever see Jim Low’s name on the bill, grab a front row seat and sit down and take a trip back in time with this wonderful journeyman who’s keeping our history alive for future generations... Jim Low could well be one of Australia's greatest unsung musical historians."
Check out the latest issue of Trad&Now for a feature on Jim Low’s latest album Across The Blue Mountains. Jim was also recently interviewed by Sweet FM’s Merle Scott.
You can listen to a selection of songs from the album at the Undercover Soundcloud.
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Florrie Forde + Russell Morris
War-time starlet Florrie Forde’s ‘Hold Your Hand Out Naughty Boy’ which is included on Is ‘e An Aussie is ‘e Lizzie?(Australian Stars of the International Music Hall Volume 2) (RRH6)and Russell Morris’ ‘The Real Thing’ are being added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Sounds of Australia collection this year.
The list was established in 2007 with the aim of preserving recordings "with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance, which inform or reflect life in Australia." The recordings must be over ten years old.
The selections are submitted by the public, with a panel selecting the ten recordings to be entered into the archive. This year saw the number of entries triple from 2012, making entry into the final ten all the more impressive. (Source: themusicnetwork.com)
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Buddy Williams & Tex Morton
Songs from Buddy Williams & Tex Morton’s album releases that form part of Rouseabout Records’ Yesterday’s Australia series (Australia’s Best-Selling Nostalgia Range) have been licensed for TRACKS, an upcoming feature film produced by London & Sydney based See-Saw Films.
TRACKS is based on the inspirational true story of intrepid traveller and writer Robyn Davidson’s solo trek from Alice Springs through 2700km of sprawling Australian desert to the Indian Ocean, accompanied only by her loyal dog and four unpredictable camels.
This epic and remarkable journey into one of the world's last great wildernesses, which was captured by charismatic National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, taught Robyn to do the impossible, to appreciate the joy of true solitude and that sometimes we have to detach from the world to feel connected to it.
More Information: Tex Morton Buddy Williams