Great to be a contender

PROUD Yackandandah resident Peter Denahy has plenty of strings to his bow and so far he has fit plenty into his Tamworth schedule, with a Golden Guitar finalist placing to come.

He first went to the CMAA Country Music Awards 23 years ago to watch and wished he could be part of it.

Neil Butler, Lindsay’s son, a drummer, told Peter that night that he’d be up there one day, and he’s now achieved that.

He’ll also be entertaining the crowds before the awards, compering the red carpet with Colin Buchanan and could take home a Golden Guitar.

Peter said you never knew if you were going to win on the night or not.

“I’ve gone there with five nominations before and not come out with anything,” he said.

“To be honest, I’m not expecting to win this and it’s a strong field. I’m not looking at that and thinking I’m in with a big chance, I’ve got a fair idea who I think is going to win it.”

He said it was great to be in the running.

“Until you actually lose, it’s nice to be nominated,” he said with a laugh.

“I’m very lucky to be in there because my album probably cost the least of anyone’s album in the awards.”

He played most of the instruments on it and recorded it at home.

Peter is a finalist for Instrumental of the Year with Yackandandah 1852.

“Tunes are funny for me because I find it hard to find names for them sometimes and I didn’t know what to call this tune as I was recording it,” he said.

“The reason I called it Yackandandah 1852 was that it was the year gold was discovered here and the album is mostly about Yack, so I thought I’d choose that name. I wrote the tune on guitar and it was going to be just a guitar tune but I’m not a proficient enough guitarist to take three breaks through the tune, so made it a fiddle and it was nice to have a good mando to play on it.

The guitar he used on the album was built in Albury and he used a Grundy banjo, Gallagher guitar, a “good old fiddle” and Gilchrist 

mandolin.

“It’s got three Australian instruments on it and I just wanted it to be an Australian brand of bluegrass,” he said.

He knows a thing or two about bluegrass and has been running the Bluegrass Breakfast at Wests all week with plenty of comedy and his originals thrown in.

“I often leave Tamworth inspired and it’s a bit of a kick in the arse to get me into gear for the rest of the year,” he said.

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