It's a little liked the battle with the law in the Wild West in the 1860's with historic outlaws Jesse James and The Younger Brothers.

Except this Younger brother Phil, ninth of 12 children, is a British born baritone and takes no prisoners in his battles with the Australian country music establishment.

Phil Younger may be a minnow in Tamworth but has won the plum role performing the Melbourne premiere of the latest Johnny Cash movie Walk The Line.

Younger & his band Country Brew recently headlined the historic Red Hill Country festival.

The singer's cowboy combo performs in the foyer of the Nova Cinema in Carlton from 6-7 p m on Thursday February 2 to prime celebrities for the acclaimed movie.

Younger beat an enthusiastic posse of country artists and refried rockers in the bid to entertain movie fans - many of whom were reared here on hits and memories radio.

Cash won airplay on commercial radio from the fifties and sixties on rock and pop stations and 3UZ in the seventies and eighties on its eclectic country format.

Since then his major exposure has been on the ABC and community radio specialist country shows.

Cash and fellow outlaws diverse as Waylon & Willie, Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe, and Hank Williams Jr were also featured on Nu Country FM in its nine-year reign.

The man in black was a prolific writer but covered songs by major artists such as Tom Russell, Rodney Crowell and John Prine before Rick Rubin revived his career.

Although Cash's voice was ravaged by then, Rubin helped him pick songs that won airplay on Americana radio in the U.S and rock shows on community radio here.

There are no such problems with Phil Younger whose voice has a three-octave range.
Younger, 6 ft 6 in the old currency, towers over rock peers who leaped on the Cash bandwagon after he became cool.

Phil followed sister Kay to Australia after she strutted her stuff with the Yarra Yarra Jazz Band.


He wrote 12 original songs for his album Concrete Jungle Cowboys album that made the English country charts and received exposure here on ABC and community radio.

His song Seven Years was played at the funeral of his mother who raised her kids in England.

Younger eulogised unsung heroines - jillaroos - on his debut single Sweet Jillyroo and highway honky tonkers in Long Distance Truckie.

His music embraces rural and urban themes with the bluesy belter Rear View Mirror, Be Proud Of Who You Are and Stuck In Prison.

Among guests on his album are violinist Jen Anderson, Git singer Sarah Carroll, Ian Collard on harmonica and Ed Bates on pedal steel.

"Concrete Jungle Cowboys' took a year to record, financed completely by us," says Younger.

"We are very proud of it."

The Cash movie performance is a welcome break for Younger who has been fighting a vitriolic battle with the Australian country power brokers in the CMAA.

The singer resigned from the CMAA and claimed on his web page he was snubbed in the annual Golden Guitar awards and ignored by Gympie Muster and Mildura country festival organisers.

"Country music to me is a passion and a love," says Younger.

"Wherever we perform, we get great responses, if we didn't we would have packed up years ago. Our album is now fully licensed by an American Company, we are signed to a UK record label with distribution throughout Europe."

Nova Cinema has given Nu Country TV members' 20 free tickets for the Walk The Line preview on Wednesday February 1.

CLICK HERE to win your tickets and movie details on the Members' page.

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