MANY of you would have already noticed the beautiful tribute to the late Audrey Auld at The Pub, with the naming of the restaurant area Audrey’s Café.
What many people wouldn’t know is the reaction it’s eliciting from people seeing it for the first time.
One story really touched me. I was told of a man who walked into The Pub the day after Audrey’s Café was launched.
He stood staring up at the photographs along the café wall and turned to bar staff, asking when it had been installed.
Finding out it was only the day before, another patron who had been at The Pub the previous day offered the information that Bill Chambers, Mez Mezera (Audrey’s husband) and Audrey’s sister Nukee Kunoth had scattered Audrey’s ashes along the garden outside the music room.
Upon hearing this, the man immediately burst into tears.
Apologising, the woman politely inquired if he had been close to Audrey.
“No,” he replied. “I’m just a fan.”
This story moved me so much I shared it with some friends at a barbecue just after the festival.
One of those friends was Stan Heuston, a former school teacher and prolific songwriter.
As Stan got up to leave, I suggested to him that there had to be a song in that story – and to my delight, just a few days later, he had written one, appropriately titled Just A Fan.
Stan said it was possibly the closest he’d ever come to a co-write – as he doesn’t usually write songs with other people. I’m just pleased he found the words to honour a woman he’d never met, yet who touched so many people.
Stan and his good mate, guitarist Lindsay Henderson, put together a YouTube version of the song, which you can watch by visiting the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHB7XqC8mdg
Just A Fan
You’re so beautiful tonight standing under those house lights
Singing that sweet old song and the band so tight and strong
And there’s that smile to the lead guitar
Saying ‘solo please, for 16 bars’
Still you’ve got an even bigger smile for me
Which I find a most delightful mystery
Because I’m just standing here in a trance, enthralled
Doing nothing at all, I’m just a fan
That a little Tassie devil was thought of so very well
Would inspire anyone her happy tale to tell
How for years she charmed ol’ Nashville, Tennessee
Then found a final home in California
How success and fame no toll could ever take
Of her loving most to strike that joyful spark
In those hardly thinking they to her were grand
But music to her, I’m just a fan
So is it all a lie if I never say you play
With the praise of you so high, what did I need to see
I know the keyboard, too, would get a smile
Because that sunny nature was your style
And I easily imagine my surprise
When then upon me would alight your eyes
With your very brightest smile of them all, how come
I’m your number one, I’m just a fan
© Stan Heuston 2016
Thanks, Stan. You’re a gem.
IF YOU head out to The Pub tomorrow night, you’re in for a rare treat.
The Crosby Sisters, complete with a full band, will be on stage in the Bill Chambers Room from 8pm, right after The Pub Angling Club raffles.
Even though the Golden Guitar-winning siblings live in the Country Music Capital, you don’t see them performing very often, so make sure you get along to this gig for some superb harmonies and great country music.
You might even like to arrive a little early and book a table for dinner in Audrey’s Café. Phone 6765 5655 to reserve your table.
IT WAS heartening to see the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association pick up the baton and run with the concept of maintaining the regular monthly songwriters’ night in the Country Music Capital last night.
Wendy Wood announced earlier this week the TSA could not let Lawrie Minson’s 20 years of supporting local songwriters lapse, so she has created the Songwriter Sessions, held on the last Wednesday of each month upstairs at the Tudor Hotel, in Peel St.
It is an open-mic, walk-up night, with all genres of music welcome, not only country.
From 7pm, patrons can take the lift up to the first floor (or the stairs), and enjoy a delicious meal from the bistro, and refreshments from the bar. Well done, TSA.
LAST week I gave you the good oil on Wendy Gordon’s Clarence Valley Country Muster, but that’s only the half of it.
There’s so much more to this event than meets the eye – or the tummy, as the case may be.
Wendy believes an army of muster fans moves on its stomach, so food is once again a priority.
“There will be three tucker outlets this year and master chef Peter Watters has returned from a two-year culinary stint in London to oversee a feast of flavours,” Wendy said.
“We want to ensure that nobody goes hungry at a Clarence Valley Country Muster.”
On the entertainment side, the popular Poets’ Breakfast returns and there’ll be a comedy night to tickle the funny bone. Kross Kut Records of the Gold Coast will offer a $2000 recording contract for the winner of the walk-up artist competition and there’ll be live muster broadcasts from the Kix Radio Network.
Over the past few years Wendy has worked hard to involve the local community, giving the valley a real sense of ownership of their festival.
“In keeping with the country theme, the local blacksmiths, who were a great drawcard last year, will again be belting out their products,” Wendy said.
“There’ll be plenty of orange overalls, too.
“Members of the district’s State Emergency Service will help with parking and general direction-
finding for travellers and locals.”
From now until the muster, which runs from Monday, October 24, to Sunday, October 30, travelling billboards will herald the event from the back of Grafton’s Bloomer Transport company trucks on daily trips between Sydney and Brisbane.
For bookings and prices, ring Wendy Gordon on 0432 741 947.