RECORDING her new album, Walking On My Way, was a celebration for Tamworth country singer Patti Morgan – a far cry from her previous release.
In 2001, when Patti recorded her previous album, A Single Yellow Rose, it was a rush job, to say the least.
Patti had been diagnosed with breast cancer and didn’t know how much longer she would be around.
“Money’s always the boss, so I thought at the time I’d do it while I could, and the whole thing was over in three days,” Patti said.
“I’d had breast cancer and when they said it would go to my lungs, we had a pretty horrendous 14 months of waiting.
“Then the doctor told me it wasn’t the cancer back at all, it was just scar tissue.
“I was more than happy for it to be a mistake.”
Now cancer-free, and with none of that pressure behind her, laying down tracks for this new disc at Enrec Studios, Tamworth, was a fantastic experience.
“Steve (Newton) is so easy to work with,” Patti said.
“He was so patient and wanted to make sure everything was just right. Some days, when I got tired, we just called it quits and came back to it the next day.”
A wonderful, traditional album, it’s country all the way, from the title track, an old Slim Dusty song, to Joy McKean’s beautiful Old Aunt Eliza.
The song choices, selected by Patti and husband Peter, are quality from start to finish.
She salutes another fine Australian songsmith, Stan Coster, with her faithful renditions of I Hope You’re Satisfied, I’ll Say No More and Won’t Those Memories Let Me Be.
Patti also tips her hat to some of her early heroes, with the inclusion of two songs made famous by Jean Shepard – Your Conscience Or Your Heart and the Bill Anderson-penned Slippin’ Away.
Patti is joined in duet by her long-time musical companion, Lynette Guest, on the Don Williams hit, Lay Down Beside Me.
Lynette’s harmonies and guitar work can be heard throughout the disc.
There’s a touch of Ireland in there too, with Ayla Grant’s Am I Going Crazy and I Knew This Day Would Come, which Mick Flavin recorded on his recent album, Lucky Break.
American songbird Kathy Mattea’s third album, released in 1986, featured the title track, Walk The Way The Wind Blows, and Patti does a top version of this.
She’s a fair bit like that fine wine we all know and love – she just gets better with age.
Patti came to Tamworth in the early ’70s and has been a mainstay of the city’s country music scene since that time.
More than 30 years ago she teamed up with Lynette Guest and the two of them have not only had a remarkable friendship, their musical union has seen them acknowledged as one of this
city’s finest country combinations. Patti and her husband, Peter Summers, known to just about everyone as Bluey, stage a regular monthly concert at the West Tamworth Sports and Bowling Club.
Now in its 10th year, the Makeshift Strictly Country Music Jam at the club will be the launching pad on Saturday night for Patti’s new release.
Patti and Bluey will be joined on stage by Graeme Doubleday, Dally Croft and Linda Jones – and there are always special guests on the bill.
“We never know who’s going to turn up,” Patti said.
“Many of the artists who are passing through Tamworth make a point of coming along to the jam. In the past we’ve had Christina George, Tom McIvor, Des Morgan and lots of others.
“We like to support the local singers, too, and Rodney Walker and Lynette Guest are regulars on the show. It’s always a really good night of real country music.”
The musicians enlisted for the album were the cream of local talent – Andrew Clermont, Lawrie Minson, Randall Wilson, Alwyn Aurisch, Steve Newton, Lynette Guest, Jodie Crosby and Steve Charles.
It’s a fine collection of songs you don’t hear every day, but once you do, you want to hear them again and again.
If you’re a fan of well-produced good country music, you can’t go past this disc.
WHILE Patti is launching her CD in the wild west of the Country Music Capital, there’ll be a big country contingent partying on the other side the bridge.
This weekend there’s a big reunion for local truck drivers.
Someone who’s no stranger to the highway, local record producer, singer and songwriter Johnny Grills, is co-
ordinating the musical side of the reunion, which will be held at Jack Woolaston Oval.
John has a new CD of his own to release this weekend called 22 Wheels, so the truckies’ reunion seemed a fairly appropriate place to conduct the launch.
John spent more than 30 years driving interstate and knows the ins and outs of life on the road better than most, and has put that knowledge into the creation of 11 original songs for the new disc.
John’s enlisted a good selection of local and visiting talent to keep the music flowing for the truckies – Kevin Harris, Truckin’ Stevens, Wendy Wood, Cliff Stein, John Brand, Brian Howard, John Goodare, Carolyne Morris, Mal and Janet Gallagher, Col Taylor, Alf, Rhonda and Kirk Hatch, Graeme Doubleday, Col Behan, Joe and Dally Croft and a few special surprise guests should ensure it’s a beaut afternoon and evening at the footy grounds.
The music starts about 1pm on Saturday, and it’s just a gold-coin entry fee for anyone wishing to go along and enjoy the music, while inspecting the impressive array of big rigs on show.
HERE’S a date for your diary – and it will be here sooner than you think.
Ros Lindsay has been furiously fundraising to erect a statue of her late husband, country legend Reg Lindsay, on the streets of Cessnock.
Her next concert is on Saturday, October 6 at the Cessnock Bowling Club, and there’s sure to be a great line-up of country talent on the bill.
Reg left us on August 5, 2008, and his boots will never be filled.
He was a unique character and certainly left his mark on Australian country music.
Renowned photographer John Elliott has donated one of his impressive Reg Lindsay photo studies to be auctioned on the night, and there will be a heap of other memorabilia and great prizes to bid for.
Phone the Cessnock Bowling Club for more details.