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.

Ma – (Janice Melliger Johnson) 28th October 1934 – 26th May 2019


A year on and it is another first. Owing to a youtube problem, I can’t play these songs for you today, but these are the songs that Ma wanted to play at her funeral. They are not all sad and they are not one particular genre. Obviously, we could not play all of these songs. The first few are the ones that we did play and a bonus one that Pa wanted to play.  Music helps me and it helped Ma.

These were songs that I was playing and she would say “I want that one at my funeral”. It almost became a game, midway through her long illness. A sad one, but she loved music and she wanted these songs. So here they are today.

Some days are diamonds – John Denver

You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Lara’s Theme – Dr Zhivago

The Water is Wide – James Taylor

Beyond Rainbow’s End – Daniel O’Donnell (Pa)

I’ll Leave this world loving you – Ricky Van Shelton

Pockets Full of Gold – Vince Gill

Hello Again – Neil Diamond

The Dance – Garth Brooks

Come Around – Mental As Anything

The Blue Danube

My Sweet Lady – John Denver

The Twelfth of Never – Johnny Mathis

When The River Meets the Sea – John Denver and The Muppets

Peaceful, Easy Feeling – The Eagles

The Holy City – David Hobson

Amazing Grace – Judy Collins

The Carnival is Over – The Seekers

Better Man – Clint Black

If Tomorrow Never Comes – Garth Brooks

Edelweiss – Christopher Plummer (Bill Todd)

We’ll love you Ma, forever and ever Amen.




Totally Biased Fan Review – Mini Gigs – Episode 92 – Christie Lamb and Jade Holland

What can you say about these two gals? It all comes across in their music.  Two powerhouse singers who can rock it, roll it and gently smooth it all out for you. Yes, they are both beautiful young women who have something to say. They are strong, sometimes vulnerable, always amazing……and they are ours. Two great young Aussie gals.

Country Music Mums – Thank you

There are a whole heap of country music mums in Australia that I have been lucky enough to meet who have been behind their country music offspring and have helped them, supported them and cheered for them all the way. Some of them are in the business but many aren’t. The support of your parents and the rest of your family when you are more of a creative person than a “logical” and “practical” person is an interesting situation. I always had the support of my mum who also encouraged me to have something solid behind me in case my creative pursuits didn’t come to fruition.

Just as well! However, my love and respect go out to the mums of these wonderful folks that I have met and chatted with, and all the mums, wives and grandmothers of my country music buddies.  The clips are from ones that I know……or whom I have met. I know that there are many others.

Thanks for all you do. I forgot that I had met so many mums!


Prine Time – My tribute to one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived.

Who doesn’t love the songs of John Prine. He survived cancer only to lose the battle for life to a crazy random disease which is spreading across the world. He was the songwriters’ songwriter.  The guy who introduced the world to Iris DeMent….I will be forever grateful for that one alone.
John Prine older pic   John Prine young pic
In a short space of time, we have lost Joe Diffie, Kenny Rogers and now John. We thought 2019 was bad, 2020 is proving to be continuing in the same way.
With amazing musos, we always have their legacy of beautiful songs and in turn,  the way that they have passed on their amazing gifts and lessons to the next generation of awesome singer/songwriters.
My dear friend, Clelia Adams did a beautiful version of this songs, as have many. Bonnie Raitt has done some wonderful duos and versions of John’s songs.
A great song with Iris but many others have covered it including  our own Kirsty Lee Akers and Kevin and Kyra.
I am only scratching the surface here, with some of my Prine faves. The man gave us something that we will never be able to define in a few words or even by singing his songs and playing them over and over on our stereos.
My life has been enriched by John and the other artists who he has influenced and introduced me to. Thank you, Mr Prine for all that you have given us.


Joe Diffie 2 joe diffie greatest pics2014 Watershed Festival - Day 2Joe Diffie younger pic

Joe Diffie was 61. 4 years older than me. I loved his songs. I loved the 90’s Ameican Country Music. It was the best. It is more than that though. Someone said to me on Facebook the other day that they had loved his music but hadn’t hurt anything from him for a while. Times have changed.  The country music that Joe sang is quite different to the way it has evolved in America.

I was sad at work and people asked me why. I told them….usual response about country music – never heard of him. I said to you know a little show called Third Rock From The Sun? They said of course. Well, he sang the theme song.

Oh. The mood changed.

You don’t have to know country music to know Joe.

We lost him this week to the virus that is plaguing the world.

He became a dj and worked for various charity organizations, having a son with disabilities.

Joe produced one of my favourite albums ever in country music: A thousand winding roads. I own several of his albums, but this is my favourite.

He won lots of awards and was nominated for many more. I will always remember his beautiful songs and I am absolutely shattered to see him go.

Thank you for the music, Joe. I will always remember you.