Troy and Adam keep the faith singing their great­est coun­try song­book

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

SOME­TIMES a song isn’t just a song. There’s a deep emo­tional res­o­nance, and not just in a glib ‘‘sound­track to my first pash’’ kind of a way. Some­times it can be pro­found. So to sing such a song isn’t a claim of own­er­ship. It’s stew­ard­ship.That’s a re­spon­si­bil­ity Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley and Adam Harvey (pic­tured) take very se­ri­ously. The coun­try stars have just re­leased The Great Coun­try Song­book, a 20-track col­lec­tion of some of the great­est coun­try songs ever recorded, from Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line to Hank Wil­liam’s Hey Good Lookin’ and first sin­gle, the Slim Dusty clas­sic Lights On The Hill, plus tracks from Merle Hag­gard, Glen Camp­bell, Ge­orge Jones, Wil­lie Nel­son, John Den­ver and many more. And they didn’t mess with any of them. ‘‘I’ve heard peo­ple record clas­sic coun­try songs and they try to rear­range them and change them all around, but to me that’s sac­ri­lege,’’ Harvey says. The pro­ject grew out of a deep re­gard the pair had for the songs and a shared need to play them on stage. So they did a few shows to­gether over the years, but that just made fans hun­grier. ‘‘Peo­ple’d say, ‘Can we have a T-shirt?’ and ‘Where’s the al­bum?’ so I fi­nally said to Harvs, ‘Mate, we’ve gotta do this’, ’’ Cas­sar-Da­ley says. ‘‘So we started to put a list to­gether on the back of beer coast­ers and sud­denly we had 127 songs.’’ Back­ing up the al­bum, Cas­sar-Da­ley and Harvey are tour­ing to­gether. ‘‘I first saw Adam sing when we were both on the same bill with Don Wil­liams,’’ Cas­sar-Da­ley says. ‘‘I re­mem­ber think­ing to my­self, ‘Wow there’s hope for all of us if a young bloke can sing like that’ be­cause it sounded so tra­di­tion­ally coun­try. As we got to know each other, we’d sit in a cor­ner to­gether at re­hearsals for award nights or what­ever, and when you’re do­ing re­hearsals for stuff like the Golden Gui­tars there can be a lot of sit­ting around, so you might as well grab the gui­tar,’’ he says. ‘‘And back­stage at fes­ti­vals we’d do the same, just hide in a cor­ner singing our favourite songs, so that’s where that came from. We even­tu­ally thought, ‘Why don’t we do a show?’ ’’ Harvey says. Each song is pre­cious to them, as they are to the mu­si­cians who played on the al­bum and tour with them. Col­lab­o­ra­tion and stew­ard­ship are key to the coun­try way. ‘‘Un­less you re­ally love the mu­sic and be­lieve in it, you can’t go out and just pre­tend,’’ Harvey says. ‘‘With coun­try mu­sic, we’ve all paid our dues, we all started out by busk­ing on the street and I think that’s be­cause in coun­try mu­sic, you don’t have those TV shows where bang, sud­denly you’re an in­stant su­per­star.’’

Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley plays to­mor­row (at the Gympie Muster, which runs from to­day un­til Sun­day. Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley and Adam Harvey play Twin Towns on Novem­ber 9.

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