FORMER builder Trevor Keilar turned his hand to music at the age of 57 and he’s been making up for lost time ever since.
Fittingly, his latest album — his sixth in just eight years — is titled Time’s A Wastin’.
“That’s what you think when you pass 60,” the Warrnambool musician laughed.
Now aged 65, Keilar is one of the south-west’s busiest cover artists.
His country repertoire, in particular his Johnny Cash covers, have seen him become an in-demand performer at country music festivals.
“It’s getting bigger every year for me,” Keilar said.
Performances in Ballarat and Colac have led to his inclusion in the line-up for country festivals in Horsham and South Australia, as well as many requests for his Cash tribute show.
“There’s not a lot of people that do Johnny Cash,” he said. Time’s A Wastin’, named for a song popularised by Johnny Cash and June Carter, features Keilar covering eight Cash songs and six by Charlie Pride.
While his previous album, Living Country, saw Keilar diversify and cover the likes of Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, Tom T Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Don Williams, Keilar said he keeps coming back to Cash.
“I’ve always been a fan of Johnny Cash,” he said.
“I don’t try to sing like him, I just sing songs and apparently I sound a bit like him.
“It’s all tied up with seeing Walk The Line.”
That film, which starred Joaquin Phoenix as Cash, inspired Keilar to pick up the guitar which had sat long-dormant in the corner.
Despite his career growing, Keilar said he’s content playing other people’s songs.
“The Johnny Cash thing is working for me,” he explained.
“I don’t believe I’m a songwriter — I had a bit of crack at it but it didn’t turn out too good.”
Keilar will launch Time’s A Wastin’ tomorrow at City Memorial Bowls Club in Warrnambool from 8pm.
He’ll be backed by bassist Don Holland and former Ghostriders drummer Gill Everard.
The support acts will be Bill Gray and Robyn Gleeson, with Gleeson to join Keilar for a few songs later in the show.