DIARY - 24 JULY 2007 - TROY CASSAR DALEY INTERVIEW
CASSAR-DALEY - MAN ON A MISSION
were born to survive outback life/ generations of toil and strife/ we
don't know any other way/ when the sun beats down so damn hard/ and it's
40 degrees in the holding yards." - Born To Survive - Troy Cassar-Daley.
indigenous country music star and TV personality Troy Cassar-Daley
performs in outback and rural areas he exploits his not so secret
weapons of mass distraction to break the cycle of alcohol and drug
abuse and exploitation of young peers.
Cassar-Daley also uses his web page to encourage musical growth of
Koori children by inviting them to perform at his sound checks and
stacks of kids who visit my web site asking for advice," Cassar-Daley
told Nu Country TV while promoting us seventh album Born To Survive on
"If I'm coming through their town I invite them to my sound check.
We ask them to perform when no-one else is around so they feel comfortable.
We test them at sound check and if they're really good I'll put them on
stage at the gig in front of a crowd. Mate, I would have killed for an
opportunity like that as a kid."
Instead Cassar-Daley busked on the streets of Tamworth at the age of 12
"I know how it was when I started out as an indigenous kid,"
says the singer who was chaperoned by his Grafton guitar teacher Leonie
"I didn't have a lot of confidence but by going to Tamworth it gave
me an idea of how you have to be able to stand in front of a crowd and
sing. I was busking. That was not the easiest thing in the world. I thought
if I can get through the busking apprenticeship I'll be alright. I only
knew about 10-15 songs but I learned that people were generous. Even if
they thought you had no talent they would throw you some money."
the boundary of our place for the very last time/ then I was leaving for
Sydney on the mail train I'd made up m mind/ when dad died in June never
seen my mother so frail/ and three months later we had to put the family
farm up for sale." - Family Farm - Troy Cassar-Daley-Colin Buchanan.
star of Seven Network music show It Takes Two only earned $11 for
his first street stint but the struggle paid off.
Cassar-Daley, now 40 and father of two children, has 13 Golden Guitars
on display at the home and the farm retreat that he shares with his singing
spouse Laurel Edwards - a commercial radio breakfast host on Brisbane
And the singer's pro-active support of peers has been honoured with a
Troy Cassar-Daley scholarship at the Tamworth TAFE annual Australian Country
Music College course.
The scholarship funds an indigenous country music artist to attend the
college, now in its 12th year.
"I was pretty chuffed about the scholarship actually, it's not often
you get something named after you," says Cassar-Daley whose career
was fostered by his mother Irene - a teacher - and his grandparents.
"I'm keen to get involved. I'd like to see one indigenous kid get
through and see how they go. The college is important for development
of younger artists on how to tackle it. It wasn't around when I first
started out. But one thing everyone has realised over the years is there
are no short cuts. There's hard work that has to be put in which is obvious.
I want to be there to give them my angle on how I got through and what
I did to achieve what I have so far. The TAFE course is accredited and
serious. People are there for right reasons from young 16 to 17 year old
kids to mature age students up to 35. They don't go there to muck around.
I went through the college as a tutor."
getting ready to say goodbye to this fourth generation farm/ and all that's
left of what we have is right here in my arms." - Walking Away
- Troy Cassar-Daley-Don Walker.
whose mother became a mature age art teacher after working buffet
cars of trains, supports Government initiatives to tackle child abuse
"First of all protection of our children is the utmost importance
right now," he said.
"If it's a way to make sure kids are fed and clothed and not
being abused I'm for all that. If that's the only way to go with it
for a short-term fix I'm happy to go with it.
obviously people who say you can't tell people where they can and cannot
drink but these communities have been destroyed by alcohol over many years.
They have to try to make people self-sufficient and break the cycle. Both
my grandparents worked hard to pay off their commission home. Now it's
different with a cheque posted out every fortnight."
But Cassar-Daley believes there's room for controlled drinking in some
"Some places I have been to people get to go to their canteen for
a couple of hours and have a couple of drinks and it's all controlled,"
"They're not drinking all day and not allowed alcohol at the house.
I have seen that work successfully and have felt comfortable in those
places. I have been there for a week at a time. There is a two-hour window
for a drink - you have a drink and the rest of the time you go out in
the bush and fish for barramundi. That, to me, is an easier way to solve
what is going on."
something's wrong, I don't feel the best/ something cold and heavy inside
my chest/ I say keep driving, you say don't let go/ in this getaway car
on the northern road." - Getaway Car - Troy Cassar-Daley-Don Walker.
and fellow Grafton raised singer-songwriter Don Walker didn't have
to look too far for a locale for the video of their new single,
Everything's Going To Be Alright.
"We shot the video clip at this beautiful old Anglican church
in South Brisbane," Troy revealed of the clip that will feature
on Nu Country TV in August.
"We wanted to capture the whole gospel choir feel so we hired
director Ross Wood and booked St Andrew's Church and a young Samoan
choir for the evening. We also got hold of Wendy Matthews and Paulini,
Dave Gleeson and David Campbell."
The single is one of two new songs on Troy's compilation CD Born
To Survive that embraces the 28-year career of Cassar-Daley that
began as a busker at the age of 12 on the mean streets of Tamworth.
of videos as a vehicle for his songs is a salient signpost to his reliance
on TV as a surrogate radio outlet.
ABC-TV featured Cassar-Daley as the focus of documentaries long before
his leading role on two series of Seven Network TV show It Takes Two.
The singer has also hosted his own shows on PAY TV channel CMC and Nu
Country TV on
C 31 in Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand.
Cassar-Daley had a cameo in the movie Race The Sun and frequently lands
songs in soapies such as McLeod's Daughters and diverse lifestyle
"They use my songs in lifestyle shows, especially the BBQ scenes,"
DINGO VIA THE CAPE
down from the country on a long and lonesome road/ I was running from
some trouble over horses they say I stole/ I never fired a shot in anger,
there is no blood on my hands." - Wanted Man - Troy Cassar-Daley-Don
And his tour
to promote his album dovetails with a high profile role with Ernie Dingo
on another major wildlife show.
"The last thing I did was an indigenous special up through Cape Of
North Queensland with Ernie," Cassar-Daley revealed.
"We saw some beautiful remote places and some walks people didn't
know you could take.
We also discovered some cave paintings over 5,000 years old. They also
used some of my songs in it."
The singer is hoping to add to those healthy royalties by asking his publisher
to pitch his songs for the soundtrack of the new movie Australia, also
being shot in the deep north of Queensland.
"I would love to get my songs in the new Baz Luhrmann film,"
he said of the movie starring Hugh Jackman and expatriate superstar Keith
Urban's wife Nicole Kidman.
"It would be great if they could use some acoustic music from Australia."
And while touring to promote his 20-song disc on Nash Chambers label Essence
he is writing for his new studio album.
you close the back gate behind you/ say goodbye, watch the river running
by you/ hear the whistle blow, you stand to go/ leaving everything behind
you." - Factory Man - Shane Howard
to collaborate with Shane Howard and Andy Alberts during his Shipwreck
Coast visit for the Tarerer festival at Killarney Recreation Reserve on
The festival began 11 years ago in the Framlingham Forest as a small musical
It grew rapidly because of interaction between local indigenous artists
and peers such as Howard and Lake Bolac reared Neil Murray.
Further info - www.tarerer.com.au
"I want to get down there more often," Cassar-Daley revealed.
"The Gunditjmara people there have a wealth of knowledge of their
area - it's also an incredible place to go and let the spirit fly a bit.
I'd like to do some more recording at Shane's studio. Shane is talking
to Nash Chambers about a project he is doing with Archie Roach at the
moment. There is a stack of artistic stuff going on in Victoria that I
get inspired by. Shane was a huge influence on me as a kid. He gave a
lot of young indigenous kids in Grafton a voice with Goanna. We found
where we belong through his music - we felt we didn't have a place at
times musically but his music embedded in us there was music at the end
of the tunnel. There was a future of us."
my home in a hail of blows/ and I went as far as I could go/ in my ears
Daddy's words still ring/ if you walk out now, don't come back again."
- Lonesome But Free - Troy Cassar-Daley-Paul Kelly.
Cassar Daley - Northcote Social Club
of Howard's song Factory Man and a duet with Shane on River
Boy - penned by Fred Carter Jr and a hit for Willie Nelson - are also
on Born To Survive.
"I will also travel around early next year and plan to get together
to write with a lot of artists such as The Pigram Bros in Broome and Paul
Kelly in Melbourne," Troy said.
"I want to collect these new songs on the way around. I want to make
it a have guitar will travel style collection of songs. You tap into something
every time you go into the outskirts of these towns, you pick something
Cassar-Daley has also won many ARIA and APRA Awards and healthy CD and
DVD sales despite being shunned by corporate commercial radio chains.
The singer has landed prestige support roles on tours by major artists
diverse as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Leanne Rimes and
the Dixie Chicks.
Troy also toured the U.S. in 2006 with Emmanuel who duets with him on
the Allman Brothers classic Ramblin' Man on Born To Survive.
His new disc further enriches cross fertilisation on duets with the late
Slim Dusty on The Biggest Disappointment, Jimmy Barnes on Bird
On A Wire and Paul Kelly on I Wish I Was A Train.
CLICK HERE for Anne
Sydenham's review of Troy's launch of Born To Survive at Northcote Social
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