DIARY - 22 NOVEMBER 2007 - BONA FIDE TRAVELLERS
FIDE TRAVELLERS PULL INTO HOTEL KEW
Townsend's Bona Fide Travellers pull into clubs on the Lost Highway they
don't need to flash driving licences or CVS for the guest book.
They are genuine horsemen with the notches on their guns, guitars, drums,
fiddles and holsters.
So it's appropriate they ride into Hotel Kew on Sunday December 16 for
the 13th Nu Country Christmas party.
Townsend's Bona Fide Travellers are a riveting roots band whose members
were in the vanguard of the progressive country scene of the seventies.
The members rode in the same posse as The Dingoes, Greg Quill's Country
Radio, Saltbush, Hit & Run, Dead Livers, Bluestone and many more.
Cyber chappies and chappettes might have called them alt-country if they
emerged in the new millennia.
But back then the Station Hotel in Prahran and nearby Reefer Cabaret vied
with T F Much Ballroom and other north of the Yarra venues in a hipper
Their exploits were chronicled in magazines diverse as Juke and Ram and
bi-weekly Truth before the mainstream dailies discovered the sub genre.
The Wild Beaver Band featured on Live At The Station Hotel 1976 vinyl
album with The Dingoes, Myriad and Saltbush.
They performed three songs - What Am I Don' Here, How Come All You
Dudes Look Like Cowboys? and Messin'Around The Town.
Townsend wrote the first song with guitarist Mick Elliott and the second
with Elliott and second guitarist John Brunell.
The album was released on Lamington in 1976 and reissued by Missing Link
in 1981 - another of the highlights was Dingoes song Marijuana Hell.
I fondly recall writing about Snowy - front person for One Armed Bandit
and Wild Beaver Band, for counter culture bible Digger as J.J. McRoach
booked country artists as a soundtrack for his historic 1977 run for the
Senate as the honourable candidate for the Australian Marijuana Party.
McRoach, maiden name Peter Olszewski, gave exposure to the genre as editor
of street magazines such Australasian Seed, Weed, Greed and Need, Flash
and Ram before he graduated to Truth, Playboy and People where country
was his music of choice.
McRoach, David Pepperell (aka Dr Pepper) and Colin Talbot embellished
support of the genre with books on subjects ranging from dope, politics,
yabbies, Phil Ochs, road trauma, Far East dictatorships and love.
Unlike today where the joys of the Internet ensures freedom of speech
is a given this was an era where Draconian droogs hunted and hated alternative
Meanwhile back to the other party - Nu Country.
FIDE TRAVELLERS - THE PLAYERS
"Snowy" Townsend, known as Snowy Cutmore by some such as
Station Hotel pint-sized promoter Mark Barnes, has played in a vast
galaxy of bands.
The Wild Beaver Band and One Armed Bandit reigned from the seventies
and new recording act The Operators made their mark in the new millennia.
The Operators released an album and The Bona Fide Travellers have
a CD featuring songs such as Willis Allan Ramsey classic North
East Texas Women, It's A Long Way To Nashville and The Ballad
Of Honest Sam.
Snowy was also the creative font for a seventies Bacchus Marsh country
festival where his line-up was truly alternative to the matching shirt
mainstream acts of the day.
and Saltbush headlined the December 30 show at Bacchus Marsh Race Course
where other acts included One Armed Bandit, Dead Livers, Country Ltd,
Hit & Run and Country Grass.
Nu Country technician Rodger Delfos is a member of the Dead Livers and
One Armed Bandit and might have a cameo - by popular demand - with Snowy
at our party.
Admission was a mere $4 at Bacchus Marsh and The Age broke ground with
generous feature story by Alan Attwood - latter day Editor of The Big
Ken Hatton: all things guitar and mandolin, also One Armed Bandit and
The Operators, along with stints with Cash Backman, among many others,
and more recently almost a decade with Dutch Tilders' Bluesicians.
Ken also did his time with Chicken De Ville - a band fronted by acclaimed
artist and music poster trail blazer Ian McCausland - and famed for their
Town Bike song.
Ian, who designed posters and album covers for artists diverse as The
Rolling Stones, Spectrum, Aztecs, Daddy Cool, Skyhooks and Little River
Band performed at a recent Nu Country Christmas party at the Bush Inn,
fiddle & guitar, came from New Zealand with Mike Parker (bass) with
The Slippery Sam Blues Band having previously played in many top line
Ray has played with Headbelly Buzzard and along with Mike were part of
one of Kenny Joe Blake's line-ups.
Ray, ever the traditionalist, participates in many of the bluegrass festivals
and just loves "sitting in" on ad hoc performances.
Mike also graced Melbourne stages with The Operators.
swung from the ropes with Detroit garage and Surf influenced indie outfits
dating back to the late seventies - they included The Remains, The Fermented
Heads, Total Strangers.
"The monikers say it all!", says Shane.
"I've come out of 15 years of drumming retirement to play with Snowy
but my last bands were The Swing Club, an indie pop/rock/surf band fronted
by two female guitarist/vocalists that consistently gained singles of
the week status in Juke, Ram, Beat, and InPress in the mid to late 80's,
and a brief stint in The Badarts (indie pop) both live and recording before
Musicland went bust. The Swing Club's debut album ended up in some tip
in N.S.W! I think that's plenty at this stage!"
IT'S A FREE PARTY
to our party, as always, is free to members, friends, Nu Country TV viewers
and all country music lovers.
The Hotel Kew, replete with new beer garden, is located at 99 High Street,
Table and meal bookings are available - Phone 98538960 - Fax 98531528
Email bookings - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have special prizes including an Akubra hat and autographed CDS by
Kacey Jones, Mike Brady, Lee and Tania Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam
Brand, Adam Harvey, Melinda Schneider, Catherine Britt and Arizona singer
We also have CDS by Texan singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen, Gretchen
Peters and many others.
Guests can renew their membership or become new members at the lavish
Memberships help finance our return to C 31 for Series #9 of Nu Country
TV early in December.
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