DIARY - 28 FEBRUARY 2004 - WANDONG FESTIVAL PREVIEW
RICH - BUT NOT WORN
Weird Little Guy Rusty Rich has a chance to emulate one of his mentors
Tim O'Brien by performing in an alter ego when he headlines the
reborn Wandong festival on Sunday March 7.
Rich will front the internationally acclaimed Weird Little Guys
as well as doubling up in his honky tonk band Hogbelly Morton Revue.
The jovial jester, who performed at a Minnesota state fair with
a pre-fame Dixie Chicks, is one of the smartest bluegrass archivists
in the unlucky radio country.
Weird Little Guys
spouse of RRR-FM Twang host Denise Hylands, also fronted a bluegrass show
on Nu Country FM in its Beer Can Hill and Paris, Texas, end of Collins
The gregarious buff helped fertilise a nocturnal bluegrass belt with the
late Peter Cresp-Gerrard - an embryonic heart transplant recipient.
WINGS INTO WANDONG
troubadour Felicity Urquhart makes another rare Victorian visit for
the festival that has picked up the slack from the recently deceased
Red Hill festival with its beaut ute contest and truck show.
Felicity and fellow NSW rural refugee Wayne Law are the best-known
interstate artists ensuring the festival cashes in on its exposure
last year on Nine Network show Postcards.
who opened for Willie Nelson, the late Waylon Jennings and The Pope on
one of their Australian tours, is touring to promote her acclaimed swing
album, New Shadow.
She will also showcase songs from her sixth album that she is road testing
at the scenic festival in the shadows of Highway One.
CLICK HERE for an historic feature
on FELICITY from the Diary on June 26.
WAYNE LAW GIVES MERLE A BURL
Law grew up in NSW town Oberon he followed in the slipstream of a vastly
released his debut album on now defunct Sydney roots country label
Massive - also the local stable for Dead Ringer Band, former Asleep
At The Wheel singer Jann Browne, Mississippi minstrel Kate Campbell
and Wylie & The Wild West Show.
Small Down Dreamer won Law ABC and community airplay on stations such
as Nu Country.
One of the highlights was Riding The Wildman Plains - the saga of
Northern Territory bushman Tom Cole.
Other tunes that won airplay included Spare Parts Man, Two Wrongs
Made It Right and I Hear Thunder.
Others included I Wanna Be On Oprah, Love Happens That Way and Harry
The former teacher, now 34 and father of two, who grew up in Lismore
and Werris Creek near Tamworth released second album, Lessons, in
troubadour Steve Doyle makes a triumphant return to his home state after
making the Star Maker finals in Tamworth.
CLICK HERE for Steve Doyle
Diary Story on January 10.
Also on the bill is Natasha Crestani, who has appeared on Nu Country TV,
and Dalton Gang and Breakers who scored lavish Nu Country airplay.
The Breakers, featuring hotshot former James Freud guitarist Peter Cook
and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Peterkin, also played the recent Whittlesea
Leo Dalton's band, fronted by the former Hawking Bros veteran, also features
the Wandong promoter Helen Stewart.
The house band backs solo artists Callum Gleeson and Wandong veteran Eureka
Smith, and is headed by former Vibrants guitarist Mick Hamilton - also
a solo artist with healthy Nu Country airplay.
Hamilton won plaudits from a small but captive Melbourne Blues festival
audience when he performed with country veterans Terry Dean and Gary Caruthers.
Dean, who recorded albums with revered band Bluestone, also released a
version of T G Sheppard hit Devil In A Bottle under his alter ego
of Dean Stewart in a previous life.
trio was thrown together after Mick's Alabama based partner was
stuck outside of Mobile with the Green Card blues.
The older man didn't want to risk the drama of expatriate Adelaide
instrumentalist Kym Warner who was deported from L A airport in
January after playing in Tamworth with singing spouse - Coffs Harbour
chanteuse Carol Young.
Ironically, they play in an Austin bluegrass trio with the apt name
Warner, a mandolinist, and Young disembarked at Los Angeles airport
to discover that, because Kym had filed for a change of status to
his work visa, his passport was missing a necessary stamp from the
was handcuffed and led to a holding cell to await a 17-hour return flight
to Sydney, bassist Young begged the Feds to let her collect her house
keys and credit cards from him.
"They just can't break the rules for anyone nowadays," she sighed,
adding that officials got "a bit of a laugh" from the group's
"I've got my fingers crossed, because he's got my guitar amp,"
Warner was also producer of the riveting second stone country disc Mabelle
by Henrietta born and latter day Austin singer Ben Atkins.
LATE FOR WANDONG
known if Hamilton's other performing partner garrulous Gary Young will
drum in the house band.
But the popular singer-songwriter and RRR Chicken Mary DJ wrote and recorded
the epic Running Late For Wandong on his Mushroom solo album with
the Rocking Emus.
Folks heading north from Melbourne should take the Wandong exit on Highway
31 and follow the signs, trucks and utes to the local footy oval.
There are no big city parking inspectors plaguing the festival but beware
of booze buses and speed cameras.
It's been a long hot summer and revenue from smoking bans on gambling
joints is down since smoking was banned.
The show kicks off at 10 am and admission is $15 for adults, $7 concession,
$5 for kids over 15 and free for micro-boppers under 15.
Support this festival as it gives invaluable exposure to local talent
and avoids the B grade acts at some festivals.
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