Country stars can't miss with classic hits

BEING “brainwashed” on the same type of country music while growing up, it seems inevitable Troy Cassar-Daley and former Terang resident Adam Harvey would eventually collaborate on a covers album.

And now that its happened, it’s even less surprising that it would be one of the highest-selling country albums of the year.

“It’s been a fantastic response — it’s almost platinum,” Harvey said of The Great Country Songbook, which debuted at #1 on ARIAs country album chart and #2 on the Australian album chart.

“One of the reasons (Troy and I) became friends is because we both love classic country music. 

“We were raised on the same stuff — we were brainwashed, you could say. When we got together we’d find a corner out of the way and sing songs together.”

A suggestion that they could do a few shows together playing their old favourites soon took on a life of its own. 

The fans loved it. Perhaps more importantly, Cassar-Daley and Harvey had a ball.

“We were like kids in a lolly shop,” Harvey said.

“The audience was saying, ‘you’ve got to record these songs’.”

The pair took the idea seriously. Not only was it another excuse to work together, Harvey said, but it also let them pay tribute to their heroes.

“We track the history of country music — the songs off the album are some of the biggest hits,” he said, listing Hank Williams, Slim Dusty,Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, to name just a few of the hitmakers that inspired them. 

“I love playing these shows. 

“The songs take you back to when you first heard them — it’s a trip down memory lane.

“It’s different to doing our own stuff — it’s a breath of fresh air. 

“Sometimes you need to get out and do something out of the ordinary.

“I have found I’m writing a hell of a lot more. 

“It’s reminded me of the power of the great old songs. 

“They’re all about stories and trying to keep it simple. 

“There’s a reason those songs are still popular, even though some are 50 years old.”

The Great Country Songbook is a chapter in the careers of Cassar-Daley and Harvey that is unlikely to close any time soon.

“What started as a couple of shows of a weekend turned into something over 12 months,” Harvey said.

“We’re on the road until the end of May or something. 

“The Country Music Awards are in January and we’re nominated for a few of those (as well as) playing at the opening concert in the park at Tamworth. 

“There’ll be 10,000 or 12,000 people when we play there. 

“Then we’ve got the Opera House next year and a whole bunch of dates.”

In among the current run of gigs will be the ARIA awards. 

Harvey laughs at the idea that it might be a case of fifth time lucky for him.

“Every year (I’m nominated) I’m up against Keith Urban or Kasey Chambers or Troy Cassar-Daley — I thought if I team up with one of them my chances will have doubled,” he joked.

“Fingers crossed, it would be lovely to get one.”

Cassar-Daley and Harvey are on their way to perform at the Lighthouse Theatre in Warrnambool tonight, which will be a great opportunity for Harvey and his wife to catch up with friends and family.

“My wife and I had a little house over the road from the golf course in Terang,” Harvey said.

“We were there three years or so.

“My wife’s originally from Camperdown (so) it’s always nice to go down there and catch up with the inlaws and outlaws.”

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