Take the time to travel to terrific,timeless tributes

THERE’S nothing quite like the music of Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves to give you a lift and that’s just what you can enjoy at Werris Creek Bowling Club on Wednesday, March 20.

Werris Creek songbird Marie Hodson, renowned for her interpretation of Patsy’s songs, will combine her considerable talents with Royden Donohue to present a tribute to these country greats in a matinee show starting at 11am.

Tickets are now on sale at the club or through Marie on 0421 699 649.

“I’ve heard Royden singing Jim Reeves classics before and thought his style would blend well with the Patsy tribute that I do, so I approached him at a festival where we were both performing,” Marie said.

“He was excited at the prospect and we’re now organising a short tour of NSW and then we head to Victoria in May. After that, it’s wherever the demand is – and we’ll be there.”

During the Tamworth festival Marie combined with Amber Joy Poulton and Sandra Humphries in their First Queens of Country show, which was a hit at Wests’ Diggers and Tamworth Golf Club.

In this format, Marie does her Patsy thing, while Amber is Loretta Lynn and Sandra portrays Tammy Wynette.

“You look out at the audience when you’re up there on stage and it’s lovely to see people watching your every move, and singing along to each of the songs,” Marie said.

“That style of music will take you back to another place and time.

“Next week it will be 50 years since Patsy passed away but her music remains timeless.”

Royden is a regular visitor to Tamworth during the festival and at other times of the year he’s often found singing his heart out at Shoppingworld.

He not only does a fantastic tribute to the music of Jim Reeves, he’s also widely regarded for his Elvis shows and sounds more like The King than most.

Last year Royden performed at the World Elvis Competition in Memphis and was placed 15th – not bad for a young bloke from Nyngan.

And that’s not the only international foray he’s undertaken in recent times.

Royden has performed his Elvis show in Las Vegas, Macau and at the 35th commemoration of Elvis’s death at Graceland in Memphis.

When he’s not on the road he spends a fair bit of time raising funds for the Jean Colvin Cancer Centre in Sydney, a cause close to his heart.

Royden lost his mum to breast cancer and an aunt and uncle within a week of each other to cancer.

“The boss of Jean Colvin was in the audience of a concert I did in Sydney last year before the Prince of Monaco,” Royden said.

“It was a pretty big deal. There were lots of VIPs there as well. He contacted me afterwards and told me what the centre was all about and I’m now an ambassador for the Jean Colvin Cancer Centre.

“Last year I played at their major fundraising concert in Sydney – where more than $90,000 was raised. I’m heading back to Sydney in June for the next concert.”

In the meantime, catch Royden in action paying homage to Jim Reeves with Marie as Patsy at their Werris Creek Golf Club gig in March.

ANOTHER timeless event is happening in Barraba tonight at the Playhouse Hotel.

Bruce McCumstie and the king of the keys, Phil Weaver, will present Stardust at Twilight – Bruce’s fabulous Willie Nelson production show.

In the guise of the Texan-born troubador, Bruce has played to sellout crowds at Melbourne’s Crown Casino and the Burswood Casino in Perth, as well as major festivals and venues across Australia.

At a concert last year in Sydney Willie’s daughter, Amy Nelson, was among the audience and made Bruce’s night when she said: “I was blown away. I thought you were my dad!”

And Amy’s not the only one who loves Bruce’s “Willie”.

“In my opinion Bruce McCumstie is the country music entertainer. I have watched Bruce on stage for the past 20 years and he never fails to deliver the best presentation. It doesn’t matter if Bruce is performing his solo show or with the 4 Highwaymen, the show always lives up to expectations,” former managing director of Warner/Chappell Music John Bromell said.

When it comes to tinkling the ivories they don’t come much better than Tamworth’s own Phil Weaver,who works with Bruce on the Stardust production show.

With his skilful musicianship, Phil recreates those wonderful Stardust memories, as well as a sprinkling of other much-loved hits from across the years.

Willie’s Stardust is still acclaimed as one of the greatest selling albums of all time and this two-hour show is sure to be something special in the intimate surrounds of the 60-seat Playhouse Hotel.

The concert starts at twilight – 6.45pm – in the courtyard (depending on the weather) and there will be a dinner break where patrons can enjoy a selection of curries from the Playhouse Hotel kitchen, starting from $15.

Admission to the concert alone is $25 or $20 for pensioners.

Concessions are also available for school students.

If you’d like to be in the audience tonight, give Andrew a call on 6782 1109. But be quick. Tickets are close to selling out.

THANKS to the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame’s secretary and happy snapper Athol Latham, we have a photo of Karen Williams, daughter of the late, great Buddy Williams, taken with Garry Coxhead at the museum last Thursday. 

While taking a trip down memory lane at Buddy’s display of memorabilia, Karen and Garry were discussing ideas on how to celebrate the 75th anniversary next year of Buddy’s first recording session.

The next Country in the Courtyard at the Hall of Fame on Monday, March 18, will have two very special guests – Dianne Lindsay and Peter Simpson.

The daughter of Reg Lindsay and Heather McKean, Dianne is a real favourite in Tamworth and elsewhere, so mark down that date in your diary, folks.

If you’d like to volunteer your services for a few hours a week at the museum, please give them a call on 6766 9696. They’re always on the lookout for willing hands.

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