DIARY - 5 NOVEMBER 2009 - ADAM HARVEY
HARVEY AND MR BOJANGLES
him in a cell in New Orleans, I was down and out/ he looked at me to be
the eyes of age/ as he spoke right out/ he talked of life, talked of life,
he laughed, clicked his heels and stepped." - Mr Bojangles - Jerry
Harvey was shocked when he saw the legendary Jerry Jeff Walker play
a large Austin bar and not perform career song Mr Bojangles.
So when the singer-songwriter, born at Leopold near Geelong, returned
from Texas he enlisted expatriate Nashville based guitarist Tommy
Emmanuel to join him on a new version.
And, unlike the iconic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's hit version song he
had the right lyrics.
"In Jerry Jeff's book, Gypsy Songman, he says he gave
this lady from the record company a demo and it laid in the band's
car in the spare tyre well that was full of water and crap,"
Harvey, 34 and father of two sons, told Nu Country TV.
she asked the band to record the song they rummaged through the boot of
car, found it and played it but got the lyrics wrong because of the crappy
speakers. They quickly scribbled down the words and got a few of them
no such problem when Harvey and Emmanuel cut it for his duets disc Both
Sides Now (Sony) - his eighth album.
"I was at Tommy's birthday party in Nashville having a drink,"
"He said 'what are you up to?' I said 'I'm thinking of doing a duets
album.' He said 'if you want me to play guitar on it let me know.' Twelve
months later I made the call and he emailed me his guitar parts from Nashville."
GEELONG TO NATIONAL TV
He said his
name Bojangles and he danced a lick across the cell/ he grabbed his pants
for a better stance/ then he jumped so high he clicked his heels/ he let
go a laugh, let go a laugh/ shook back his clothes all around/ Mr.
Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles, dance." - Mr Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker.
former Geelong peer Adam Brand, harnessed roles on national TV shows to
reach a wider audience way beyond a music genre ignored by the local commercial
radio corporate chains.
"I met both Wendy Matthews and David Campbell on It Takes Two
and they were natural duet partners for the album," Adam said.
"David Campbell wanted to do a Hank song and chose Move It On
Harvey's strategy worked - he premiered the Campbell duet on Seven Network
show Sunrise and his album debuted in the Top 20 on ARIA rock charts
and is still the #1 country album.
The singer's makeover was complete when he scored a feature in Women's
"I thought I was getting stale," Harvey explained.
"I had 10 or 12 songs written for another solo album but felt I needed
to do something fresh."
The singer took inspiration from North Carolina born singing actor Randy
Travis's duets discs Heroes & Friends.
"I saw him when he toured here and also on the George Jones 50th
anniversary special concert DVD," Harvey recalled.
"He had everyone from George Jones to Clint Eastwood and Roy Rogers."
When Harvey and Troy Cassar-Daley recorded the Troy Seals penned Willie
Nelson-Ray Charles hit Seven Spanish Angels they used a choir.
"Producer Rod McCormack hired a gospel choir in Sydney, the same
choir that does the carols up there. We were downstairs in Sony building
when the receptionist had a bunch of people in the foyer. I thought it
was the choir. I said follow me down the hall and gave them sets of headphones,
music charts and song lyrics. I said when 'you are ready we'll do a take.'
A lady looked at me strangely, put her hand up and said 'we're here for
the Damien Leith song competition. We won a free CD.' Luckily the real
choir tuned up later."
indebted to his tour as support for the legendary John Fogerty for the
duet with Leo Sayer on a Creedence song.
"When I was doing the Fogerty tour I met Leo Sayer backstage at one
of his gigs," Harvey revealed.
didn't realise he's a real diehard Creedence fan. He was out the back
to meet John - a really nice guy. John used to come out and chat with
us before the show. So Leo sang and played harmonica on Down On The
Corner. It was a similar thing to Guy Sebastian. Guy invited me to
see him at one of his concerts in Newcastle. I met Steve Cropper -
someone gave him one of my albums. So we chatted about country. Steve
said here's my phone number, come and see me in Nashville. He loves
to sit around and talk country. Guy did a duet with me on Stuck
In The Middle."
covers were Easy with Matthews, Have I Told You Lately with Renee
Geyer and Bobby Womack song It's All Over Now with Shannon Noll.
The McClymonts joined Harvey on Joni Mitchell's title track, Beccy Cole
on Johnny Cash hit Jackson and Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson on the
Jimmie Rodgers classic In The Jailhouse Now.
Harvey plans a national summer tour with Cassar-Daley and Cole to showcase
BOY OX TONGUES ON OXFORD STREET BEAT
it was the filming of the video of the Roger Miller hit King Of
The Road with Mallee Boy John Williamson that resonated with Harvey.
"We did the video in Oxford St in Sydney at the Supper Club,"
"John said 'I'll go downstairs and get a beer.
He came straight back up and said 'there's blokes down there with
their tongues in other bloke's ears. I said 'you never know John until
you give it a go.' He got a bit of a shock"
But filming went on with no invasion by roadhouse Romeos. "The
band were all in tuxedoes, so was the dance group and we were also
in tuxes," Harvey explained.
It was a vast contrast to his support roles on tours by Texan Don
Williams and superstars Brooks & Dunn and chart topper Dierks
of seven Golden Guitars, kicked the dew off the glass before and after
the concerts on the eve of them quitting the road after almost 20 years
was obviously tension between the boys (Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn,)"
Harvey revealed but no cash crisis.
"One of my best nights was their last night in Brisbane, sitting
up in the bar of hotel and singing old Merle Haggard songs until 4 am.
I don't know what they were drinking but it was $120 a round. Luckily
I wasn't paying. Ronnie is one of the greatest country singers of all
time. I sang Silver Wings and they all joined in."
Harvey will spend the next year promoting Both Sides Now and celebrating
Geelong's second premiership in three years.
It was a joint celebration for Harvey and father Len, 64, subject of Way
Too Fast from previous album I'm Doing Alright.
Len, a rigger at Alcoa in Geelong for more than 20 years, had a brush
with death a few years ago.
Adam wrote the song after he spent a week visiting his father during his
three-month stint in intensive care at Geelong Hospital when knee surgery
led to septicaemia.
The Harvey patriarch survived to enjoy his retirement.
"Dad's on fire, he's still smoking 50 cigarettes a day but he has
landscaped the front garden and came up and went fishing with me."
passed on another recording suggestion from Genie In The Bottle
writing partner Kev Bloody Wilson.
"Kev, God bless him, wanted me to do Adam Harvey Sings Kev Bloody
Wilson," Harvey revealed.
"People would be horrified but he wants to get together and write
But it's another comedic writer who collaborated with Adam for his next
album of country originals.
"I've written some on my own and some with Matt Scullion," Harvey
said of the writer who has landed five songs on Lee Kernaghan's ninth
album Planet Country.
"Matt was living in Tamworth and called to say he had moved to the
NSW Central Coast, just around the corner from me. He called and said
he wanted to get together and write. I thought 'this will be a waste of
time' but we clicked and wrote some good songs. Now he's over in America
for three months trying to get a publishing deal."
Meanwhile Harvey is promoting Both Sides Now (Sony).
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