Well, here I go, LATE AGAIN with the newsletter! Life on the road becomes so busy at times; started our tour mid-May, the first stop being the Barham Balladeers’ Festival, which is always a good weekend – this year bringing in a record attendance for the festival and it is certainly becoming very popular on the festival circuit. At the completion of Barham, we then headed down to Warrnambool to do a show at the Warrnambool City Bowls Club, having a couple of camp-outs along the way – have to say it was not the best weather for camping – very wet and cold; would have been nice to hear that some of the rain could have made it to those in desperate need, though. Thanks to Pat & John Anscombe for helping to promote the show, we had a very successful show. It has been a few years since I last showed at Warrnambool, so it was good to return and catch up with the many fans and friends we have made down there over the years. With cold and wet weather still with us, we then headed down to Rendelsham SA where Lyn & Len Brooks organised a show for us at the Rendelsham Hall. Thanks to Lyn & Len, we had another very successful show and without the support of the likes of these people who work at organising and promoting the shows, I doubt if the shows would go on. The cold and wet continued to follow us as we made our way down to Moonta for a show at the Moonta Town Hall; again, another very successful show, thanks to Lorraine Darling for organising and promoting the show. From Moonta, it was then up to Port Pirie for an afternoon show at the NCMA Clubroom – a good afternoon, with thanks to Mary for organising and promoting.
From Pirie, hoping to leave the cold behind, we headed west. Not having any shows booked for the next three weeks, I hit holiday-mode, enjoying some wonderful camp-outs along the way with friends, Jack & Liz Wallace. Jack was not only a great ROADIE, helping set up and pack up after shows, but he also made sure the fire was going early mornings. I have no doubt that after getting into holiday-mode, this certainly has played a big part in the delay of this newsletter; must admit we thoroughly enjoyed the break. We managed to spend a few days out at the little opal field town of Yowah, Qld. What a top little spot! I ended up playing at the community club there, which turned out a great night, as some unorganised gigs often do. Lots of fun; great people- can’t wait to go back and try my luck at finding some colour.
As all good things come to an end, it was time to get back into real work mode, heading out to Thargomindah for their first Channel Country Muster. It was a great little festival, organised by Ged & Trudy Hintz, which we really enjoyed. Congratulations on a job well done, Ged & Trudy. I certainly know what it’s like organising such events; around 200 vans and I’m sure the flies outnumbered festival goers by a thousand to 1!! Man, were they bad! Otherwise, as I said, a great weekend. As this letter goes to print, we are currently up here at the Daly Waters Pub NT doing a show nightly through to 18 August. Surprisingly, there are still a lot of caravanners out on the road at this time of year, making up a good crowd each night here at the Pub.
After finishing at Daly Waters, we will then head back to Camooweal for the Drovers’ Festival to be held over the weekend of 24-25 August. This year, Camooweal will also be holding the Bronco Branding Championships over the festival weekend. The festival includes a great line-up of entertainment over the weekend, featuring Neville Anderson, Bruce Lavender, Laura Downing, John O’Dea, Tim & Christine Middleton, the Eppernara Community Band and yours truly, along with popular Bush Poet, Jack Drake, and world champion Whipcracker, Nathan (whippy) Griggs; should be a good weekend. I’ll also be doing a show at the Camooweal Pub on Thursday 22 August.
After Camooweal, we’ll then head across to Townsville for a show with fellow Balladeer, Bruce Lavender, on Friday 30th August at, believe it or not, the venue TOM’S TAVERN, Aitkenvale, then on to Mackay on Sunday 1st September at the Senior Citizen’s Hall, followed then by Rockhampton on Tuesday 3rd September at the CDCMA Hall. With those shows behind us, it will then be down to the Nanango Country Muster on 13-14 September. Following on from Nanango, we then head for the hills of home for a short break before travelling down to Mildura for their annual festival. With the year closing in, I’ll still have a couple more festivals to attend at Ariah Park on 19-20 October and the Leeton Country Roundup on the weekend of 2 November. Busy times ahead still!
Update on the New Album – REFLECTIONS is selling well, along with some positive feedback, and the new website is all good, at last. A reminder to those wanting to purchase the album, you can order online or print out the mail order form. Simply go to the website www.tommaxwell.com.au
Well, folks, I hope this has bought you up to date with the latest happenings. Once again, I must apologise for the delay in getting this newsletter to print. I’ll look forward to catching up, somewhere, sometime soon in the great outdoors.
Well at last I’ve managed to find some time between other things and get the first Newsletter for 2019 off to print. Sorry for the delay, but since the
Tamworth Country Music festival and a few other shows in-between plus preparing for Hartwood (which is now done and dusted for another year), it seems like time waits for noone. Hard to believe we are into the fifth month of the year already! It certainly has been a couple of hectic months - have to say, although I’ve been kept busy, it’s all been worth it: another successful Hartwood, my new Album “REFLECTIONS” making the deadline for release, as planned, and I can now relax for a week. As this letter goes to print, we have just arrived home from Weethalle, where they held their very first festival - turned out to be a great weekend. I’m now in the process of getting ready for this year’s run starting off at Barham (NSW) on Fri 24 to Sun 26 May, then Warrnambool (VIC) on Sun 2 June at 1.30 pm (City Memorial Bowls Club), Rendlesham (SA) on Sat 8 June (Town Hall), Moonta (Mon 17 June, 7.30 pm (Town Hall), Port Pirie on Fri 21 June, 1.30 pm (NCMA Clubroom), Thargomindah (QLD) on Sat 20 & Sun 21 July then up to Daly Waters (NT) from Mon 29 July onwards, followed by Camooweal (see below).
Just prior to the Hartwood festival, we were hit with severe IT issues that resulted in us having to build a brand new Hartwood website, which is now up and running. I’m also hoping within the next few days to have my own personal updated website ready to be uploaded. Upon mentioning Hartwood, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all volunteers who again this year have done a marvellous job. Thank you one and all. I would also like to say thank you to everyone for turning up and supporting the Festival, as your support is very much appreciated and valued. Anyone who has photos of this year’s event and would like to share these on the website, please email photos to [email protected]
As you can see by the list above, I have a pretty busy year ahead. A full list of dates, shows, etc, will be uploaded to my new website in the coming days. The new Album will be available also. Over the past couple of years, I have been emailing the Newsletter out in PDF format. I have now decided to switch over to using MAILCHIMP so here’s hoping you all receive your electronic newsletter!
At home I have a small stash of wood behind the shed, so I’m sure the pot belly is going to get a warm-up or two before we hit the road. It was nice to see some welcome rainfall in very needed areas over the past couple of weeks, and I’m sure no-one’s going to complain if we’re lucky enough to get some more!
Camooweal this year will be hosting the Bronco Branding Championships and to coincide, we have a great line-up of artists this year, including Laura Downing, John O’Dea, Neville Anderson, Bruce Lavender, Bush Poet Jack Drake, World Champion Whip Cracker Nathan Griggs, Tim Sheed, Christine Middleton & myself. So, if you’re crossing the Barkly on 23-25 August, we’d love to see you there.Another must-mention is the Channel Country Music Muster on 20-21 July at the Thargomindah showgrounds. Artists include: Ged & Trudy Hintz, Rob Breese, Laura Downing, Rob Walters, Trevor Tolton and myself, so if you’re looking for an outback experience this year, here’s a couple for the diary!
Well, folks, I hope this brings you up to date with what’s happening and where we are heading. I look forward to catching up sometime, somewhere, in the great outdoors. Just another reminder: the new Album “REFLECTIONS” is available now (click here to purchase online, or click here to print a mail order form).
Well here we are once again, putting the final newsletter for 2018 to print with Christmas only days away. Where has the year gone I keep asking myself. It is nice to be back in the comfort of home as this year has probably been one of the longest we have spent away at any one time, in saying that it has been worth it. The festival circuit, keeping me busy along with my own shows. I like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your valued support throughout the year and look forward to doing it all again in 2019. Lyn has already started putting entries into the diary so they’ll be no chance of slow 'in down as the song says.
As the last newsletter went to print we were getting ready to hit the road again which turned out to be a great little tour joined by some friends, who have now passed their Roadie Apprenticeship with flying colours. Thankyou one and all your helpmuchly appreciated. Our tour started at Gilgandra, Lyn’s home town, so we enjoyed catching up with friends and family, also chancing to drop into the local FM Station for an interview, all in all a good night. Next day in a scorching 41 degree heat , we headed up to Narrabri, and special thanks to 91.3 Max Fm for there promotion we had a very successful show with a very appreciative, crowd in attendance at the Narrabri RSL. We decided to stay in Narrabri for the Melbourne Cup and believe it or not enjoy a little win, enough to shout the roadies Pizza anyway.
From Narrabri we then headed up to Moree to play at the Amaroo Tavern playing to a small but very appreciative, crowd, then onto St George(STILL STINKING HOT) had planned some campouts, but much to warm so we booked into the van park and got the air cons running full blast. It was nice returning to St George as it had been a long time since there last and playing on the town Hall stage where I sang in a talent quest some 30 odd years ago, if only I’d have felt as young as I was then. Surat next stop where we camped on the Balonne River, enjoying a few days relaxing before doing a show at the pub which turned out a good night. A little set back leaving Surat as tour managers wife Liz was admitted to hospital and having to spend four days in the intensive care ward. Making a speedy recovery Kerry and Liz managed to catch up again with us at Bourke. After leaving Surat we then made our way up to Morven for a show in the Morven Community Hall which over the past decade have driven past many times and wondering what it would be like to play in. Have to say acoustics not the best, but managed to draw people from Augathella, including one old bushie I've met up with several times at Camooweal who certainly kept me on my toes with his requests. A good night had by those who attended also a lovely supper provided by the Morven CWA Ladies.
It was then time to make our way back down to Bourke via Charleville and Cunnamulla enjoying the drivealong with dodging Kangaroos and goats through the endless miles of Mulga. Even though some areas did receive welcome rain it wasn’t enough to put and end to several dust storms we travelled through. From Bourke we then took a few days to get down to Nyngan enjoying a couple of good campouts even managing to find a cement slab to park the van on in the middle of the scrub. We also had a couple of nights at a good stopover opposite the pub at Girilambone before heading down to do a show at the Nyngan RSL Club. A great night at the club with a very appreciative crowd once again. Next morning it was farewell to the crew, and with foot down headed back home. Caravan now parked up for the year with the new one just around the corner.
Now at home I’m getting ready for the Tamworth festival which will be here before we know it. Looking forward to catching up with those who are coming to festival. Festival gigs will be uploaded to my websiteover the next week. Also I will be returning to the studio to put down the last beds for my new album. The first single “Dust of Australia” from the album was released to radio a few weeks ago entering the charts at number 37 and climbing its way to sit at number 5. Following on from Tamworth I head down to do a show at the North Albury Bowls on Sunday 10th February starting at 2pm. thence onto Barooga Friday 15th /16th and 17th and then returning home to prepare for Hartwood
Well folks , that’s it the final newsletter for 2018. Lyn and I would like to extend a special thankyou to all for your valued support throughout the year and take this opportunity to wish you A MERRY CHRISTMAS and PROSPOROUS NEW YEAR and look forward to catching up somewhere sometime I 2019. Sorry folks no fancy recipes this year but thought you might like this one
The Christmas Angel
One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip ... but there were problems everywhere. Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her mother was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More stress. Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.
So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.
Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cursed on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
All radiant and smiling; the angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas Santa. Isn't it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?"
Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
Well, here we are, three quarters through another year already. As this newsletter goes to print, we are currently in SA enjoying the last week of our holidays, exploring the beauty of the Flinders Ranges. We have had a fantastic time over the past six weeks, highlighted by my fishing charter trip out of King Ash Bay (Gulf of Carpentaria) and, believe it or not, I did manage to land a few into the boat, bagging out on snapper and landing a good size Queen fish.
As the last newsletter went to print, we were still up at Daly Waters, which again turned out to be a very successful tourist season, where we caught up with many fans and made several new ones. We will be returning to Daly Waters in 2019, starting in late July and going through until mid-August. From Daly Waters, it was back down to Camooweal for the Drovers’ Festival again this year, which was a good weekend –I met up, and shared the stage with, fellow balladeer Bruce Lavender. Whilst at Camooweal, a service was held for the late Jeff Simpson, who was very instrumental in erecting and setting up the Drovers’ Camp Heritage Centre. Sadly Jeff passed away earlier this year.
From Camooweal, it was back out across the Barkly and across the Tableland Highway HENCE THE NAME - one of the worst roads I’ve travelled on in many years - up to Cape Crawford, then on to Boorooloola, then up to King Ash Bay - a dream come true. Although I was on holidays, news spread and I ended up playing two nights at the Fishing Club. Our plan of a five night stay ended up being ten! Following on from a day out on the fishing charter boat, Doddsy decided to drop the tinny in with us both keen to catch the monster Barra that had managed to elude us every day. Maybe if we were chasing crocs we would have been in luck, as there were plenty around. Thanks to the generosity of some other fishermen, we left King Ash Bay with fridges full of Barra!
Slowly we have made our way back down the Centre, enjoying some great campouts and campfires along the way, not forgetting to mention the sunrises and sunsets. As the holiday nears an end, it will be back to work starting at Port Pirie Festival on Saturday night 13 October, then on to Rosewood festival the following weekend on 20-21 October. From Rosewood, we’ll head home and into the studio for a couple of days to do some more recording for the new Album. At this stage, all is coming together and the first single from the Album has been released to radio, “Dust of Australia”, so keep your ears to your local FM Station if they air a country music program.
After a couple of weeks at home, November sees me on the road again, starting off at Gilgandra Bowls Club on Friday, 2 November; Narrabri RSL on Sunday, 4 November; Amaroo Tavern, Moree on Friday, 9 November; St George Shire Hall on Sunday, 11 November; Surat Hotel on Friday, 16 November; Morven CWA Hall on Saturday, 17 November; Port of Bourke Hotel, Bourke on Saturday, 24 November; Cobar RSL on Friday, 30 November; Nyngan RSL on Saturday, 1 December. A full listing with starting times is available on my website www.tommaxwell.com.au -should you require further details give us a call on 0456 780 824.
Well folks, that’s the latest happenings; hope to catch up down the track somewhere, sometime soon.
An elderly lady said to her friend, “I wore something today that I haven’t worn for 5 years, and it actually fitted!”
“What was it?”
“A scarf.” she replied.
Well, here we are, almost halfway through another year already. As this newsletter goes to print, we are currently up at Daly Waters NT doing my nightly show, and have managed to spot a few familiar faces in the audience some nights. All is going well here and we’re enjoying the top end weather - I’ve had reports of some pretty cold and frosty conditions back home.
In April, I appeared at the Illabo Country Music weekend and sadly this was the last festival for Illabo - it was always a very well organized and run weekend. From Illabo, it was then on to Ardlethan for another enjoyable weekend, where I did a couple of guest spots and managed to watch some of the young talent performing in the talent quest. Congratulations to Neil and Rellie for the countless hours they put into nurturing these young artists and encouraging the young ones to keep Country Music alive. Next show on the agenda was at the Young Bowling Club, with thanks going to Bonnie and the crew and Radio 2YYY for again organizing another successful show. After Young, we then headed back to Leeton for the Deaton’s weekend which again was a lot of fun, especially dress up night with some attendees going to extraordinary detail with their dress up costumes. Don’t know how it happened but I went from being a bookmaker to a marriage celebrant, though the marriage didn’t last long from all accounts. Lots of fun and laughter, though! It was then onto Wagga Wagga for the music festival there - was good to catch up and do a show with mate, Rodney Vincent, as when working with Rodney, you never know what’s going to happen! From Wagga it was then down to Barham for the annual Barham Balladeers’ festival. A good crowd was in attendance at this year’s festival - one of the biggest I think I’ve seen, so it’s pleasing to know the Ballads are still alive and going strong.
With the festival circuit completed, it was then time to make our way up here to Daly Waters. Once again, we enjoyed the trip up the Centre, managing to have a couple of very enjoyable nights camping out, star gazing and having a night cap by the campfire. We have now settled in at Daly Waters and going into our third week, with all going well, and plenty of tourists visiting.
Well, folks, as I mentioned in the last newsletter, I‘d bring you up to date regarding entertainment at Camooweal for this year’s Drovers’ Festival - pleased to announce fellow Balladeer, Bruce Lavender, will be returning along with myself, Chicko and The Breakaways Band from Cloncurry, The camp oven cooks will also be returning so you’ll be able to brush up on how to cook the perfect damper, using your camp oven - dates for this year’s Drovers’ Festival are 23rd, 24th & 25th August. I also mentioned in the last newsletter that I’d bring you up to date with the trip over to WA. Sorry to say we have cancelled the trip for this year and certainly hope to organise something in 2019. On mentioning 2019, the Hartwood Festival artist lineup for next year has been confirmed and flyers are now out and circulating. Listing is also available via the website www.hartwoodfestival.com.au. For those of you receiving this newsletter via email, just click on the blue text which will direct you to the website.
No doubt next quarter’s news may be a bit light on but I’ll bring you up to date on future events planned, as well as the November adventure then. I’ll look forward to catching up somewhere, sometime soon.
Well here it is –the first newsletter for 2018. It’s a little late, due to being at Hartwood. It sure has been a hectic past three months which kicked off with the Tamworth Country Music Festival. This was a busy 10days with some extremelyhot weather but,overall,it was successful,along with the couple of solo shows which had good attendances and appreciative audiences. The show I shared with Graham Rodger again this year was a sell-out,as well as my annual visit out to the Dag Sheep Station at Nundle,where I managed to have a packed house once again. Graham has already confirmed we will be teaming up again to present another show in Tamworth 2019.Lady luck did manage to drop by me this year, picking up a Brumby Award for Bush Ballad of the Year with the song,“Behind the Boundary Gate”although she didn’t stay long,as my nomination at Bungendore for the Male Vocal was unsuccessful. I think I have to say the album itself has been one of my best to date, making it hard to follow up on what do fo the next album.
On mentioning albums,I managed to get into the studio to start a new oneand am hoping to have it ready for release in April 2019. With the touring schedule mapped out for this year and a new venture taking place in early November,finding time to get into the studio is a difficult task, so fingers crossed it will all come together on time.
Early February,I headed out to Hartwoodto start preparing for this year’s festival and in the last few days have just got home from a successful Hartwood-now trying to catch up on things before hitting the road for this year’s tours. It was great to catch up with many fans again at Hartwoodand I would like to send a sincere special thanks to a wonderful team of volunteers who have got behind us to continue the success of Hartwood Campfires and Country Music-must say there weren’ta lot of campfires this year,as the weather was still quite warm into the late evening. It’smid-April and we’restill getting temps up into the mid 30’s!
Touring, our first stop this year will be atthe IllaboCMF on Saturday 21st& Sunday 22ndApril (performance times to be confirmed). Following on from Illabo,I’ve been invited back to Ardlethan for their music and talent quest weekend on Saturday 28th& Sunday 29thApril. On Sunday 6thMay,I’ll be returning to the Young Bowling Club to do a show,then over to Leeton for a private function.On Friday 18th, 19th& 20thMay, I’ll be appearing at the Wagga Country Music Festival, before heading down to Barham for the Balladeers’Muster on 25th, 26th& 27thMay.
From Barham,we will then start our journey headingfor Daly Waters NT, where I have a nine week stop-over,performing nightly from 10thJune. New management has taken over operations up there so I guess I can say I’ve been lucky to get invited back. No one night is ever the same so you never know just what the night isgoing to bring -most of all,a lot of fun,with the serious side as well.
AfterDaly Waters,we’ll make our way back to Camooweal for the Drovers’ Festival in late August and hopefully in the next newsletter,I can bring you up to date with the entertainment line-up for Camoowealthis year. From Camooweal,we’ll makeour way back toNT again,heading for Western Australia. Details for shows over there arestill in the planning phase,but rest assured,I’ll be doing something.
Well folks, that’s the news for this quarter. Due to being in Daly Waters, the next Newsletter may be delayed a little, asinternet and phone receptionis poor, so don’t worry if you don’t receive the June newsletter until July. I’ll look forward to catching up with you somewhere, sometime, soon.