So much has happened this quarter it is difficult to know exactly where to start.
Early in March and just as we were preparing to start the new album, we received a phone call from a terrific lady by the name of Jodie Hammond, whose Public Relations company Write Away specialises in putting together unusual events. She asked us to consider producing an album with a very unusual brief. Her client was Frank Hackett Jones, a successful European businessman who had grown up in, of all places Canowindra, NSW.
As a way of repaying the town in which he had spent an apparently very happy childhood; he had decided to sponsor a party- come Hot Air Balloon festival in Canowindra in an attempt to spark a little tourist interest in the area. To go with the festival he decided to build the biggest Hot Air Balloon that Australia had ever seen in the shape of an enormous kookaburra and had comm-issioned an amazing fireworks display. Now he had asked Jodie if it would be possible to produce an album of songs about the area along the lines of his favourite song, which was, of all things, on an album that his pilot had brought back to Europe from his last visit to Alice Springs. The song was Shoalhaven Man! The brief was to produce a seven track album about the history and the ambience of Canowindra, to use six top Australian country/bush singer songwriters, to produce an eight page full colour booklet , to record, master, manufacture and deliver finished product.......in three and half weeks!!!!!!
On top of that he wanted the songs to be performed live with the full band at the festival on Apr il 20th. I am sure there were times durng the next month when Allan Caswell, The Dead Ringer Band, Norma Murphy, Rob Fairbairn and Colin Buchanan must have thought I was off my head for agreeing but against all the odds we made the deadline for production at the Sony factory three minutes early. Huge thanks go to Gerard Andrews at Sony, to all at 301, The Beach House and at Big Media for an amazing effort - probably some sort of record!
The Festival itself was wonderful and the climax a Balloon Glow with all 40 burners creating various patterns in a mass display and the best fireworks I have ever seen. Thanks to Judy Lynne and Peter Vizzard for the superb organisation! It was a great thrill to be the headlining act with my entire band. The album 'Canowindra means Home' is now available at the gigs for $15.00. It has seven tracks including two new tracks by Yours Truly.
Needless to say, my Album was put on hold and in order to fit in with Nash's working schedule, I am working only a few weekend gigs during July and August in order to complete the new album "Wheels and Wires" by early to mid August.
We will be accepting mail and telephone orders from 22nd July and as a special offer for those on the mailing list, until 31st August, we will be selling both 'Wheels and Wires' plus 'Canowindra Means Home' for a combined cost of $40.00 including packaging and handling. From September all orders will include $3.00 P. & H. for a single and $5.00 for multiples and the price will revert to $45.00 for the above package plus P. & H.
The gig with the Ringers and Brent Parlane was also a great success and The Dural Country Club has asked back again soon.
NB. The SPECIAL NOT TO BE MISSED gigs this quarter include a Colonial Ball at Wiseman's Ferry with Colin Buchanan and band. Tickets are $29.95 per head and as well as the show include a full 3 course meal, bushdancing and various colonial re-enactments throughout the night - Bookings available from The Wiseman's Ferry Inn.
A return to Blacktown Workers. but unfortunately, The Bushwackers had an offer to perform at a Festival in W.A. and will therefore not be with me. This date will also feature Colin Buchanan and band. I will have the advantage of performing my section of both these shows with the band as well.
I will also be appearing at the Australian Folk Festival in Kiama over the June Long Weekend.
All The Best