Tamworth – Thoughts on Cancellation.

Hats Off a few years ago – Tamworth Railway Station arrival.

People have been asking me what I feel about Tamworth being cancelled. As someone who grew up there and who has only missed a few Tamworth Festivals, it is pretty devastating. I understand why.

Living in Victoria, our borders are closed anyway and it is doubtful that they will be fully opened come January anyway. As my annual leave is dwindling, it may have been hard for me as well. Despite that, I was going to do my best to get there.

As you can imagine, going to Tamworth means more to me than just music, it is going home. Apart from that, my role has shifted from being a fan to being a fan who writes about artists and music, so it is extra busy for me. I am lucky enough to have friends who take care of me accommodation wise, but I don’t take that for granted.

As for the festival being cancelled, it is another thing in the long run of major events to be cancelled or postponed. The Golden Guitars are still going ahead in a virtual sense and there are rumours that some of the smaller venues will be having something on.

My friend, Leonie, is arranging to have a Faux Tamworth in Sydney and I am trying to get some Victorians together to do some link ups and an online festival from down here. The other states are keen to do the same. We can have our own Tamworth on air. Not quite the same as the real thing, but better than nothing. If you are interested in playing at any of these things or wanting to help me with the technical bits and venues, then please let me know. Of course, Covid will dictate a lot of things, and we have to understand why and be prepared with a plan B.

For those who have never been to Tamworth, when things get back to normal, go and experience it. There will always be knockers, but it is one of the few festivals that allow 79 types of country music. It is more than music. It is something really special. I will miss it, but maybe we can do something to ease that pain of not being there in person.

Countryversial Corner -YouTube not to or youtube to

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Thank you for your response to my last Countryversial Corner about hard copy vs streaming.  One of the posts that led to me writing that blog post brought up YouTube. Now, I feature YouTube heavily in two of my blog posts here, Country Connections – where I match an Aussie Country Music Artist to an overseas one and thus I have to show clips of them singing and playing and the Mini Gigs that I did for a while where I feature an artist and their music in a virtual gig.

I also use it for chasing up old tv shows and movies that I can’t watch on real tv or dvd anymore.

I usually only use official channels and official videos. I don’t like using songs recorded by fans at gigs as they are not good quality and they usually have people talking and stuff in the background. I think also, that it is an insult to the artist, especially if they are perfectionists, as most of the musos that I know are and I wouldn’t want to embarrass them.

I don’t look at YouTubing like I look at streaming music for a collection. To me, my collection is permanent and that is a totally different ballgame. YouTube is a way of promoting an artist and exposing their music to someone who doesn’t usually listen to that kind of music. They can then, we hope, go out and buy an album or go to a gig when we can go to gigs. 99.9 percent of the music that I extract from YouTube, I already own in hard copy, I just want to share the visuals.

A lot of the LIVE gigs are on YouTube at the Moment. I have been watching the Grand Ole Opry ones through Circle and they are great. Some other gigs through YouTube have a tip Jar. I also watched a few of the Golden Guitars through YouTube LIVE. I have watched LIVE gigs through YouTube where they have a virtual tip jar for the artists.

The artist who brought up doubts of YouTube is a legend and a great singer/songwriter and yes, I own just about all of his albums, and three books. I also go to his gigs regularly, when I can. I respect his opinion and therefore wanted to explore the situation a bit. I understand where he is coming from. I guess that with YouTube, there is a right way and a wrong way to use it. Like many things in life, it has its wonderful side and its dodgy side.

When I do computer internet search and safety classes with the kids at my work, I point out that they are always best to go to official sites, as they are more than likely to have the correct and up to date information. Amateurs can put up incorrect info and old stats and facts. I guess the same thing goes with YouTube, you have to pick and choose. Make sure that you go to official and quality entries, not just anything.

I also use YouTube for my ‘real job’, it has a lot of good craft pages for kids and science experiments etc. It has authors reading their stories and things like that.

I understand it has a few things to watch for, (pun intended) but generally speaking, I find it a useful tool. When I was doing my Bluesandrootsmusicradio blog posts, it was a great way of backing up what I was saying about an artist.

So, no, I don’t put YouTube in the same category as Spotify and all that streaming stuff. I understand some of the concerns, but you just have to use your judgement when using it.

 

Countryversial Corner – Tell me, Where do the Musicians play?

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The above ways are the ways that I love listening to music most. Obviously the last one is the way that I love to hear music best. Unfortunately, in 2020, we can’t do gigs LIVE, unless we, fortunately, in all of this mess, are blessed by some wonderful artists who are going LIVE on Facebook.

I have been alive long enough to enjoy many forms or recorded music and still one of my most favourite ways of listening to music – the radio. Having spent a great part of my life around musicians, I just want to do everything that I can do to support them and give a little something back for all the joy that they have given me.

I buy 90 percent of the music that I review. The generosity of many musicians has allowed me to become a small part of their lives. They do give me more than material stuff and quite frankly, their music has helped me through some of my darkest hours and enhanced my happiest moments.

It is the least that I can do to buy a recording, go to a gig, buy a hat or a shirt or even a scarf! I like to help.

I do, on occasion, buy an album from iTunes, and I mean buy an album, I do not just stream or just get a single or two off a future album, I buy the whole thing. This is usually because I can’t get my faves at a music shop or I can’t get to a gig. I usually end up buying the hard copy somewhere down the line.

This post, this blog, are not about me. This post is about the artists who I try to support. Streaming is not for me. I would rather save up and buy an album or go to a show than provide money to those who are ripping off my favourite artists.

I understand that at the moment, artists are having a struggle to produce more than a single or two, and that an album is a fair way into the future. I am happy to pay the 1.60 or whatever for each song and then buy the album when it comes out.

As an amateur reviewer, I prefer an album, it tells the whole story, not just parts of it, and I like the hard copy as it gives me all the information – lyrics, songwriters, musicians, producers, and sometimes some very cool and descriptive liner notes.

Music is a very personal thing. It is a passion and it can also be a major way of life. It is a big part of mine, even though I can’t sing and I can’t dance and I can’t play a note.

Streaming doesn’t do it for me. It is ripping off those that I care about. It was stated recently that musicians don’t work hard enough. I come from a working class background and I paid my own way through university 3 times and TAFE twice and I have worked hard for what little that I have and I know hard working people when I see them.

Musicians are not only passionate people, they are hard working folks who spend a lot of time away from home (usually), away from their loved ones and their homes. They drive for hours, sometimes sleep in their cars or some pretty rough places. They play to crowds that amount to a handful who aren’t always respectful. It takes a lot of time, being in the right place at the right moment and a lot of sacrifices and practice to become a good musician. Mainly, it takes passion and hard work. It is not always glamourous, though there are probably some moments that make the whole thing worthwhile. If you love something enough and persist, then dreams can come true.

It is sad when all of this hard work and passion is not rewarded how it should be. I want to thank my music family from the bottom of my heart for making my life richer. It is not about money or fame, it is about talent and passion and credit for a job well done and admired. It is not about a cheque for 79c for an album that was made from blood, sweat and tears…..and love.

So for all of those who doubt it, I am proof of the pudding. I am one of millions who still appreciate the work and talent of a musician and all that goes into it producing the perfect song or at least a bloody good one. I will never stream music. I will always buy an album, preferably one that I can place on my stereo.  There’s nothing quite like the scratch of vinyl in the morning……or evening, for that matter.

N.B. An important footnote. 2 points that I forgot to mention which are important. Most of the musos that I follow are independent artists. They either work at ‘real’ jobs so that they can make their music or complement it and/or have worked for a very long time and can now try and go into producing/playing their music with perhaps a supportive partner or savings. On top of this, they often write/produce/record their own music and the music of others. There are many advantages to being an Independent artist, creatively and for future avenues, but if this is not displaying hard work, then I don’t know what is.

Countryversial Corner – Episode 2

duelingguitars

Countryversial Corner attempts to tackle subjects that are raising their ugly or pretty heads in Country Music – specifically Aussie Country Music.  I will try and state both sides of an argument, and then you cowboys and cowgirls can battle it out. Please don’t use swear words that are of the four letter kind, though crap and shit are ok. This is for healthy discussion and hopefully, we can come up with some solutions and positive alternatives.

COLD CHISEL to perform at Tamworth Country Music Festival

Undoubtedly, the topic of the week, which has drawn both furor and favour on Social Media. Cold Chisel have announced that they will be performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January, 2020.

Okay, so here I go. As a Tamworthian and Country Music Fan, I am also a general music fan and I have my heroes outside of the genre. Cold Chisel are arguably Australia’s finest ever Rock Band, or at least up there with ACDC, Hunters and Collectors, Powderfinger and Midnight Oil and others. However, is it appropriate that they perform at Australia’s biggest and most famous country music festival.

Jimmy Barnes has actually won a few Golden Guitars and he has been nominated more than a lot of country music artists. Ian Moss and Don Walker have been involved with country music and have been to Tamworth before. The beauty of Tamworth is that it welcomes all types of music, and all types of country music. I understand, however, why some folks are upset. Chiefly, I am thinking of the huge amount of country music artists in Australia who can’t get a spot at Tamworth because, despite the fact that there are over 160 venues and thousands of events, the demand is huge and the spots fill quickly. Enter the iconic Cold Chisel and they get shoved out or overshadowed. After all, Cold Chisel are a big deal. They are an awesome LIVE act and I do have most of their albums. There is also an upside to this. Having Chisel at Tamworth may draw folks who would not normally go and they may decide to check out some other acts while they are there and see just how amazing country music really is, and how varied. They may also see how willing we are to try different things and how broad our horizons are. It is my understanding that they are only doing one gig. There are plenty of other acts to see on the same day and at the same time and for the rest of the official and unofficial days of the festival. I am of the belief that a lot of rock and roll songs have their influences and roots in blues, soul and country songs.  If you listen closely to some of Ian, Don, Jimmy and Chisel songs, you will hear those influences. Flame Trees (my favourite Chisel song) is a perfect example of that. Mossy’s Tucker’s Daughter is definitely there too. Troy C-D has done a lot of work with Jimmy.  I also think that with the general festival movement in New South Wales being toned down or shut down due to new laws, that this is a subtle way of including some other genres. As long as the Country in Tamworth Country Music Festival remains dominant, I can’t see any real problem. Country Music in Australia is evolving and it is stronger now across the ages and all 79 types than it has ever been. I grew up in Tamworth and some of the early years were pretty woeful. There were only a handful of good artists and songs. It was dominated by a certain age and a certain gender. Now it is much better and the songwriting is chiefly Australian with some collaborations from overseas.

This is only my opinion. I don’t want to see Tamworth Country Music Festival shut down or go totally outside the Country Music genre, but if it is minimal and it is good quality, then let us embrace it.

Over to you.

 

 

Countryversial Corner Episode 1

 

Figured that a picture of duelling banjos would be a good way to start the first installment of Countryversial Corner.

This new blog regular will feature things in country music (particularly Australian) that are controversial. Things that cheese you off, as the old Hey Hey It’s Saturday show used to do.

79 different types of Country Music vs Country and Western

Why is Mildura Country Music Festival finishing?

The problems/good things about Tamworth Country Music Festival and Deni Ute Muster

Qld vs South Australia vs NSW vs Victoria Country Music Scene.

Downloads vs hard copy

Ageist angles

Women vs Men in Country Music.

Exposure vs payment

Crazy fans writing blogs about her favourite artists

You name it and I will explore it. I welcome your input, whether you are a fan or a muso. Bring it on. Suggest it, Tell me your opinions and I will share them.

Love Kaz.