NOBODY ever really owns the Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton, but every set of hands the notorious pub passes through joins a long list of brave caretakers.
One of those sets of hands belonged to boy from the bush, Lee Kernaghan, who's just released his 15th studio album Backroad Nation.
"It's the only pub in Australia with its own indoor rodeo arena," Kernaghan said.
"There were always interesting characters and events, one night I was at the bull ride and one of the big bulls opened the gate, escaped into the crowd and onto the streets of Rockhampton.
"You really start to question your public liability at that moment."
It's been several years since Kernaghan released an album of original material.
Backroad Nation is a nod to the country that exists off the beaten track, and remains true to the sound of Australian country music Kernaghan became famous for.
Out in the dry, thinly populated red Earth of the Pilbara in Western Australia, a station owner told Kernaghan what he and his wife did for entertainment.
Mustering cattle 24/7, when the river went up and the storms rolled in the pair would turn the generators off at the homestead and sit and watch the lightning.
"It was so poignant and moving it had to inspire a song," Kernaghan said.
"There's a song called The Trucks Came Through about the hay runners, the generosity of spirit from the farmers down south trucking up the hay and supplies to drought-stricken farmers out west.
"That sort of thing touches my heart."
Growing up Kernaghan often rode in the front of his father Ray's truck where he worked in the Snowy Mountain Scheme.
His first job was playing in his father's band and all he ever wanted to do was follow in his footsteps.
"My grandfather was a drover of sheep and cattle in the Riverina, it's in the DNA somehow and for me it had to come out in the form of writing songs about Australia and singing," Kernaghan said.
Five years ago Kernaghan spoke with the Sydney Morning Herald about the dire state of the country music industry.
A decline in album sales meant recording artists were expected to make more material in shorter time frames, inspiration expected to strike every minute.
Now, Kernaghan said the situation has flipped on its head, with country music working its way onto mainstream radio.
"I'm seeing the incredible growth and acceptance of country music right across the country," he said.
"People who aren't traditionally country are being exposed to the best country for the first time.
"The whole recording industry has been turned on its head, there was a time when artists had to be signed to record labels and be in the studio for months to make an album.
"Now kids are making hit music in their bedrooms, international hits - there's no limits and anything is possible."
Kernaghan will be back in Tamworth next January with his Backroad Nation tour that's billed for about 50 shows across all state and territories.
He'll be back with trouble-making trio and four time Golden Guitar winners The Wolfe Brothers next year.