John Stone has become a regular at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Over the last decade, the recording artist from Nashville has played at more than half the festivals in that time.
“I think it’s a great festival,” Stone said. “I tell everyone back home when they ask me what I’m doing, I tell them that Tamworth is Australia’s country music capital and it’s kind of like of CMA Fest that we have back home.
“But one of the very cool aspects of the Tamworth Country Music Festival is you walk down Peel Street, and see all the folks busking.
“I tell everybody, you’ll see some really great, talented people, and you’ll see some that are not so talented, but they’re having a great time. And then you’ll see some people that just make you scratch your head, like what in the world is this, but it’s still entertaining,” he laughed.
“It’s really cool that all the bars and all the shops everywhere has stages and music going on. That’s a lot like our festival back home in Nashville, there’s just stages everywhere. I think if anyone from the States got a chance to come here, they would really enjoy it.”
Stone’s own rollicking style of country music has again been popular during the festival, where as well as appearances on the Honky Tonk Heroes and Country Under The Vines concerts, he has played his own shows at Moonshiners.
Stone recalled that he was playing at the iconic Nashville venue, Tootsies Orchid Lounge - where he performs regularly - when he first heard about the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“I’d met a guy from Australia, he was in Nashville for a songwriters convention, his name was Paul Bonner Jones, a good Aussie songwriter and great singer,” Stone said. “I got him up to sing at Tootsies and he said ‘would you be willing to come to Australia if I could line it up for you’, and I said ‘absolutely’, I’ve always wanted to come here.”
Stone’s first time in Tamworth was in 2008, and he played his first Tamworth gig at Diggers.
“The first show I played, no one knew who I was. At the second show there was twice as many, and by the third show it was just standing room only, it just grew and grew.
“Every time I’ve come to Tamworth the crowds have been really receptive and just showed up in droves, I’ve been really lucky that way.”
Stone’s final concert for the festival will be at Moonshiners Bar on Saturday from 6pm. Tickets are available from the Longyard bottleshop, or online at oztix.com.au.