Stars pan for songwriting gold

INSPIRATION and new songs are flowing out of Nundle’s Hills of Gold this weekend.

INSPIRATIONAL TEACHERS: Karl Broadie, Luke O’Shea, Tamara Stewart and Allan Caswell will tutor up-and-coming songwriters for the weekend and perform at The DAG during Hats Off to Country. Photo: Barry Smith 030714BSC05

INSPIRATIONAL TEACHERS: Karl Broadie, Luke O’Shea, Tamara Stewart and Allan Caswell will tutor up-and-coming songwriters for the weekend and perform at The DAG during Hats Off to Country. Photo: Barry Smith 030714BSC05

As part of the Hats Off to Country Festival, The DAG Sheep Station is running its annual Songwriter’s Retreat.

Tutors Allan Caswell, Tamara Stewart, Luke O’Shea, Karl Broadie and Roger Corbett are in residence outside Nundle teaching up-and-coming songwriters the finer points of the craft.

Legendary songwriter Caswell said he wanted people to love writing songs.

“Everybody is excited, everybody is pumped up and if you don’t love it, there’s no point doing it,” he said.

“I’ll cover techniques, hooks and rhyme, but they’re tools – you need the belief and ideas.”

Golden Guitar winner O’Shea said he wanted to share his enthusiasm and inspiration.

“It’s contagious, not just for them, but for me,” he said.

“It’s impossible to impart inspiration without getting it yourself. As a songwriter, I’m constantly looking for new ways to learn and I know as a school teacher, you never stop learning. I’m as much a student as the class.”

O’Shea said inspiration was something you had to chase.

“With inspiration, you’ve got to chase it, kill it, chew it up and celebrate it and I want to teach them the techniques to do that,” he said.

Stewart also wants to get the retreat participants to be inspired.

“I want to make sure people still want to write when they leave here,” she said.

“I also want to show them the importance of rewriting songs.

“I never used to, but I think it helps me to write a better song, especially if I’m writing for other people.”

Broadie said he hoped each songwriter would show the participants something different.

“I want them to leave here not feeling like they want to be a songwriter, but calling themselves songwriters,” he said.

“I don’t hold back and tell them everything I’ve learned about the depth of lyrics and practices they can put in place to draw from their experiences.”

Broadie said, like Stewart, he wanted them to second guess themselves, and not settle for the first thing that came into their heads, but write their best lyrics and best melody for the message they wanted to convey.

The songwriters will be teaching all weekend and performing at The DAG on Saturday with a lunch show and two shows on Sunday open to the public.

Venues across Tamworth will also be serving up the hottest country music during the coldest time of the year as the city celebrates Hats Off.

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