WITH ADAM HARVEY - 14 JANUARY 2002
WORKING OVERTIME ON VICTORIAN RADIO
"Well, late last night a little late, I missed the driveway and drove
the car right through your flower bed at least I picked a rose out of
the headlight and now you swear it's me or drinkin' can't I get it through
'I'll Drink To That'
Adam Harvey-Rod McCormack-Matt King.
Former Geelong truckie Adam Harvey has played the famed Grand Ol Opry,
sung to 60,000 country fans at a Wisconsin fest and written with some
of the best tunesmiths in Nashville. But here in Harvey's home state the
lanky larrikin is almost unknown - except for hard core country fans.
So the sardonic singer-songwriter bit the bullet and drove north on Highway
One from his Terang home to the NSW Central Coast. He financed his music
driving trucks and dozers in Geelong but moved to support his wife Kathy
and son Conway, named after the late Conway Twitty. "You have to
be near the record companies, management and booking agents and go to
the industry functions which are mainly in Sydney," Harvey, 26, told
Nu Country. "Terrigal is really central, only an hour from Sydney,
and it gives me more time to be with Kathy and Conway. It was a three
hour hike from Terang to Melbourne with air travel on top of that. I was
flying up every weekend so we moved."
He did a three week Queensland tour with Kasey Chambers to promote fourth
album 'Working Overtime' and played the Hallam Hotel on Sunday October
30 with Beccy Cole and headlines the 13th annual Bunyip Country Music
festival on Sunday February 24.
The singer penned seven of the 13 songs with Central Coast neighbour,
producer and multi-instrumentalist Rod McCormack. Co-writers included
recent Australian tourists David Lee Murphy, Dean Miller (son of Roger),
Sonny Tillis (son of Mel), Jerry Salley, Matt King and Rick Price. "It's
pretty awesome when you walk in the room and realise they've written some
of the best country songs of recent times," Adam revealed, "especially
songs I've always loved. Next thing I know I'm sitting there writing songs
with them, it's amazing."
And, one of those songs 'I'll Drink To That', was inspired by an accident
in Terang in his trusty Ford Falcon. "It was loosely based on that
real incident," Harvey joked, "back in the old days when I was
playing up there used to be parties, late nights and drinking that makes
me tired. I had a car prang and Kathy got upset with me. Kathy was working
night shift and I decided to go and see her. It was really late and sure
enough I crashed the car. I took the front end off. It was a tow job.
I hit a couple of rubbish bins and a school crossing sign. It hurt my
pride more than anything. Now my insurance premium is about $2,000 a year.'
Harvey's creativity soared, but not airplay, in the unlucky radio country
where his major exposure is on community and ABC stations. "There
has been no breakthrough in commercial radio," says Harvey, "but
touring with Kasey helped a lot. A lot of stations play her stuff - they
don't know it's country. They won't play mine because they don't play
country. Folks would dig my music if they only got a chance to hear it."
The stone country message is important for Harvey - the cover of 'Working
Overtime' carries the warning "This album contains 100% genuine country
Harvey's previous disc Sugar Talk - featuring the Red Rivers penned title
track - was produced by Joe Camilleri at his Woodstock Studio with no
Harvey originals. This time he rejected a raft of covers - American and
Australian - including one from a fellow artist who criticised his album
in a review. "There are a lot of cheating and drinking songs on this
record," Adam says proudly, "that's country music, mate. I think
the country music fans are starved for real country music. A lot of young
acts want to be Shania Twain and crossover artists. It happened in the
U.S until Randy Travis came along. That's why I recorded real country
- much more country and much more me. I love performing live, better than
I ever have."
They include a revamp of the Chuck Wagon & The Wheels hit Beauty's
In The Eye Of The Beerholder, Two Steppin' Fool, One & One & One,
The House Jack Built, Harlan Howard's She's Gone, Gone, Gone and evocative
Chris Wall penned finale I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight.
Harvey says he resisted the trend to target specific niches in the music
industry. "A lot of artists, including myself, tend to worry about
appealing to a certain market," Harvey revealed, "record companies
are really big on that. They say you've got to appeal to this market,
young people, people in utes. They spend time worrying about how you are
going to appeal. If you just do what you really want to do they'll come
to you. Kasey Chambers is the perfect example - she has done what she
wants and people are coming to her."
Adam will be appearing at the Bunyip Country Music Festival on Sunday
February 24, 2002.
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