NOTHING says Australia Day more than The Bushwackers – and lead man Dobe Newton has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year.
Dobe Newton will receive an OAM for services to the performing arts as an entertainer and advocate.
He said it was a big surprise and wondered who nominated him for the prestigious honour.
“It would be really nice to know who it was because it was a lovely thing for them to do and my wife is pleading innocence,” he said.
His advocacy work for Australian music began in the early 1990s when he was the inaugural CEO of the WA Music Industry Association when they were setting it up and he went to Victoria to take up a similar role with the Victorian Rock Foundation.
Then there are also the 18 years of teaching music business at TAFE and travelling to promote Australian music at the Americana Music Festival in the US.
“It’s just doing stuff you love and sometimes you even get paid,” he said.
Dobe will receive his honour at Government House in Melbourne in May.
Fellow country/folk performers Reg Poole and Ted Egan already have OAMs.
Dobe has also been performing for decades in the Bushwackers (they have been together for 42 years) and Tamworth festivalgoers love them.
Today they have their special Australia Day concert at The Longyard and tomorrow they’ll farewell the festival in traditional style with The Chardonnay Show, also at The Longyard.
The band launched their new album, Songbook 3, yesterday and today – it’s all about celebrating what’s great about Australia.
Songbook 3 includes songs they’ve wanted to record for a long time and a few new tracks they’ve written about people they’ve met. Fiddle player and pianist Clare O’Meara also makes her vocal recording debut on Songbook 3.
Dobe will premiere his Australia Day outfit at their concert today and later at the CMAA Country Music Awards.
It’s been tradition for diehard festival fans to farewell the music with the Chardonnay Show and this year the Bushwackers will have a few special guests joining them for the farewell.