The best applause is silence

I WAS delighted to be able to catch the final set-and-a-half of Karl Broadie’s gig last Friday night at The Pub after I finished work.

MAIN: RARE TREAT: Karl Broadie was in fine form last Friday night at The Pub. He’s pictured here at The DAG in the final songwriter showcase. Photo: Robmac. INSET - LEFT: MUSICAL GENES: Ethan Crosby-Wolfe is the latest member of the family to follow the musical tradition, as he’s about to enter the recording studio and put down some original songs. INSET - RIGHT: FAMILY TRAIT: Music’s in the blood of Tamworth’s Crosby family. Here’s Janice and Glen in action during Hats Off to Country at the South Tamworth Bowlo. Photo: Garry Coxhead

MAIN: RARE TREAT: Karl Broadie was in fine form last Friday night at The Pub. He’s pictured here at The DAG in the final songwriter showcase. Photo: Robmac. INSET - LEFT: MUSICAL GENES: Ethan Crosby-Wolfe is the latest member of the family to follow the musical tradition, as he’s about to enter the recording studio and put down some original songs. INSET - RIGHT: FAMILY TRAIT: Music’s in the blood of Tamworth’s Crosby family. Here’s Janice and Glen in action during Hats Off to Country at the South Tamworth Bowlo. Photo: Garry Coxhead

I’ve been a KB fan for the past decade or more. I think the first album of his I heard was Nowhere Now Here (cute title) – and it contained some wonderful songs.

Some are still “old friends” today, like Paperback Book, which was included in last week’s non-setlisted gig.

It must be pretty cool for an artist to get up and do three 45-minute sets of all-original material – not one cover. I suppose with five albums to draw from, that wouldn’t be too difficult a task, though.

I also enjoyed hearing Yesterday Man from his most recent album, A Side B Side Seaside, which was a finalist in the 2014 Golden Guitar Awards.

A songwriter first and foremost, Karl was one of the tutors at John and Belinda Krsulja’s Singer-Songwriters’ Retreat at The DAG Sheep Station just prior to and during Hats Off to Country earlier this month.

I was fortunate to get to The DAG for the final songwriter showcase over Hats Off, and caught up with Karl and his fellow tutors and songscribes Roger Corbett, Tamara Stewart, Allan Caswell and Luke O’Shea.   

It’s quite a privilege to be in the audience when a songwriter is in full flight.

A very intimate experience, it can feel like you’re the only person in the room and that writer is speaking directly to you about something unique they’ve created.

When you get the chance, get along to a songwriter’s gig and pay them the biggest compliment – listen – don’t talk among your friends while they sing. You’re missing the best part if you do that.

IT SEEMS like John Krsulja has just wrapped up the Singer-Songwriters’ Retreat at The DAG and he’s already in planning mode for the next event on the agenda – On the Sheep’s Back – the Shearers’ Festival on the October long weekend.

You can find the full itinerary at www.thedag.com.au

It’s on October 4 and 5 and just to cement those dates in your mind, I’ll share with you a poem my dad used to tell me about Billy the shearer.

The writer is that famous fella known only as anonymous.

The Shearer’s Nightmare

Bill the shearer was notified to hop the train next day

He had a pen in Mungindi, an early start in May

So he rolled his swag and packed his port and then went straight to bed

But sleep, Bill couldn’t sleep a wink to ease his aching head

He heard the midnight train pull out, he heard the crowing cock

He heard his missus snoring loud, he heard the ticking clock

At last Bill in a stupor lay, dreaming now was he

They’d loaded up and drawn for pens, he was shearing No. 3

He grabbed his missus in his sleep and shore her like a ewe

The first performance soon was o’er and up the neck he flew

And then he turned to longblow her, like a demon now he shore

With his mighty knee upon her and a grip upon her jaw

He turned his missus around and down the whipping side he tore

She dare not kick or wriggle; she’d seen Bill shear before

He was chasing Jack the ringer, he was 

leading Mick the brute

When he called for tar and dumped her like a hogget down the chute

And then all excited, he reached to pull the Lister out of gear

And the electric light was shining and all was bright and clear

He gazed out of the window, now awakened from his sleep

And there upon the footpath, lay his missus in a heap

Blimey! I’ve had some nightmares from boozin’ up a treat

I’ve even walked without me trousers to the pub across the street

But this one takes some lickin’ and it’s one I can’t repeat

For I dare not tell me cobbers how I shore me missus in me sleep!

– Anonymous

THERE’S something decidedly musical flowing in the veins of Tamworth’s Crosby family.

Until recently, we all thought it came from dad Glen, who at 73, is still out there performing and having a great time in his golden years.

During the Hats Off to Country Festival that belief was shaken about when matriarch Janice made her stage debut at the youthful age of 69.

Janice showed she’s got the genes, too, as well as the jeans, when she joined her husband in duet on the Buddy Williams song, Let’s Grow Old Together, at the CCMA’s tribute to the late, great country star at the South Tamworth Bowlo.

“It was a fairly appropriate song for them to sing,” daughter Jodie Crosby said.

“They’ve been married for 53 years. Mind you, mum surprised all of us when she started singing along with dad when he was rehearsing a few weeks out from the show.

“All those years she’s been around the family, and most of us sing and play – and she 

hadn’t let on she could sing until now.”

Glen and Janice’s grandson and Jodie’s son, 20-year-old Ethan Crosby-Wolfe, is the latest family member to follow the musical pathway.

EJ, as he’s known, has been writing songs, singing and playing guitar, and is about to record some original songs with former Tamworth musician Rusty Crook, in Goulburn.

It’s fair to say EJ’s an all-rounder, as he can not only sing, play and write songs, he’s a pretty slick dancer and actor, too, having cut his teeth in several Tamworth Musical Society productions over the past five years.

Look out, world, there’s another talented Crosby on the way up.

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