ANNA'S COUNTRY MUSIC NOTES: An Easter treat at Hartwood

WHAT have you got planned for the Easter weekend? There’s plenty of great country music happening within a stone’s throw of Tamworth at Paul and Hele McCloud’s Hartwood property, near Tambar Springs.

The annual Hartwood Campfires and Country Music Festival has grown from a modest little country concert to a hugely successful event that’s a must on most country fans’ calendars.

Gates to the property open at 8am on Monday, April 14 so any earlybirds can get in and stake their claim before the place fills up closer to the Easter weekend.

On the Wednesday, April 16, earlybirds are in for a real treat when Peter Horan presents a magical night on the piano. If you haven’t heard him play before, you don’t know what you are missing out on. Peter can just about make that thing talk.

Tamworth’s favourite balladeer, Tommy Maxwell, kicks off the campfire singalongs with walk-up artists and surprise guests at the campground stage from Thursday evening through to Sunday.

Then on Good Friday, Paul McCloud and Friends crank up the music on the main stage – and Paul has some pretty handy friends.

Tania Kernaghan, Wayne Horsburgh, Rodney Vincent, Royden Donohue, Lindsay Waddington, Marie Hodson, Charley Boyter, Jamie Davis and Laura Downing are just some of Paul’s mates on the 2014 roster.

Marie and Royden will present their Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline tribute show on Good Friday at 1pm.  

Hartwood is located 160km south-west of Tamworth. Turn 20km south of Tambar Springs on the Coolah Rd, or 40km north of Coolah and follow the signs to Hartwood.

For the full weekend it costs $110 per person and camping is free.

It’s pretty basic bush camping with no power or showers, but there’s lots of firewood on the property and drinkable bore water.

Day visitors (non-campers) are charged $30 per day for Friday, Saturday and Sunday only and children are admitted free.

There’s plenty of food, snacks, tea and coffee available during concerts and the place is pet-friendly, just so long as your four-legged friend is on a leash. 

Visit the website www.paulmccloud.com and check out the full Hartwood program.

AROUND town this weekend you can catch the delightful Kellie Cain at the Goodies tomorrow night, the Courthouse Hotel, Gunnedah on Saturday night and the Longyard on Sunday at high noon.

It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Kellie Cain perform in this town.

She’s a great guitar player, kicks the hell out of her stomp box and has a beaut repertoire of covers and originals.  

I HAD a beaut night last Saturday out at the Central Hotel, Tamworth.

There was a real party atmosphere for the final “band night” at the centrally located pub, operated by Gary and Belinda Burgess.

Over the past 20 years, the Burgos have delivered some sensational entertainment and helped nurture the local live music scene all the year round.

Last drinks will be called on Saturday afternoon with the pub shutting its doors at 4pm. 

Happy landings to Gary and Belinda. Enjoy your break and we look forward to seeing you at lots of gigs in town in the future – now you’re no longer chained to the wheel.    

MY MATE Flash caught the Foggy Mountain Jam tour last weekend at Renmark’s Chaffey Theatre featuring Kasey Chambers, Ashleigh Dallas, Harry Hookey and Busby Marou.

It was the first time Flash had ever seen Busby Marou and she was extremely impressed with what she saw.

This was only the second concert of their Foggy Mountain Jam tour, but they really cut loose for the country crowd.

“I was blown away by Jeremy’s guitar playing,” Flash said. “Of course, Ashleigh gave a top performance as usual. They were all excellent and I just loved the concept of the show.”

The Foggy Mountain Jam started out as a small, boutique concert where artists and musicians became jamming mates in front of a small crowd of lucky punters on a private property in the NSW Hunter Valley.

It’s now grown into a full-scale entertainment extravaganza of wandering minstrels where artists play their own hits and jam along with their friends on stage to their favourite songs.

They’re winding up the first leg of the tour in Victoria this week. Keep an eye out on Facebook for further tour dates.  

HERE’S a handy date for your diary for those who are keen on the great outdoors, good food and good music.

Sunday, March 16 is the date set down for the Nundle Country Picnic, an event that’s been six months in the planning.

It will be held in the grounds of the Nundle Woollen Mill and will also feature a winter fashion parade by Nundle Woollen Mill and Sacs on Jenkins, market stalls by Picket Fence Produce, Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, Nundle Public School Kitchen to Garden to Kitchen Again program, Nundle Craft Co-operative and more.

Live music at the event will be swing, blues, country and rockabilly raunch by Katie Lou and the Southern Stallions, and Irish folk songs by Jeff Gibson ahead of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

This year’s event is part of The Sydney Morning Herald NSW Food and Wine Festival Spotlight on the State.

Committee member Toni Swain of catering business Picket Fence Produce said last year’s event was a sellout and this year ticket numbers had been increased to 200, but she has urged guests to pre-purchase their tickets through www.nundle.com. au or at Sacs on Jenkins.

Tickets, adults $35 (pre-purchased by close of business March 15, $40 at the gate), includes two courses and complimentary drink on arrival. 

Children $10, includes kids’ pack of a sandwich, slice, jelly snake, cheese and juice, and free kids’ activities area. 

DON’T forget the pre-St Patrick’s Day party at The Pub from 6pm on Sunday, March 16 featuring Mulligan’s Stew. Plenty of Irish tunes and laughter to herald the start of St Patrick’s annual day of celebrations.

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