Kimberley’s voice in Perth
COUNTRY singer John Bennett does not get writer’s block.
Making music for him is as easy as sitting under a tree with a guitar and letting the rhythm flow.
Everything he needs is at his doorstep in his remote and redearthed hometown of Bidyadanga in the Kimberley region.
His lyrics speak of the mud crabs he hunts, the landscape he wanders and the characters he loves.
Bennett’s new album, Country is Calling, honours his younger brother Garrad, who died two years ago.
“I taught him how to play drums: he was my drummer,” the singer-songwriter said. “I would look back over my shoulder and have my brother there, but that’s all gone and it’s very sad.”
Inspired by WA band The Pigram Brothers, Bennett picked up a guitar at 15.
“Music just came naturally to me I guess; I was good at it straight away, teaching myself how to play just by listening,” he said. “Before that, I was in a band and playing drums but I didn’t want to be a drummer anymore, I just wanted to be the front man.”
Dubbed ‘the voice of the Kimberly’, Bennett said he was often humbled by the reaction his music had on fans.
“You never realise what you can do with music and your storytelling,” he said. “It can touch people, it can make people cry and think back on their past.
“I get amazing feedback. It makes me want to do this more and more.”
John Bennett, of Bidyadanga.