RAISED in a mission with Bowraville's Indigenous community, Graham Howle understands what it's like to see community come together.
His new single Keepers of the Land is a nod to the communities that put up a fight against gas drilling companies in the state's north west.
"I've put a character into the song, 'with fists like nine pound hammers and hands like open dinner plates,' and that represents the community," Howle said.
"There was a certain amount of emotion because of my background in farming, with that emotion I put the body of the song down in two hours.
"I was taken in by how the towns around Boggabri, Narrabri, the Pilliga and the Aboriginal and farming communities came together to put up a stand against the drilling companies."
Howle has lived in Tamworth for nine years, where he raised his children, and is a regular at the country music festival.
Growing up he experienced both racial tension and calm with the Aboriginal community.
"I'm quite passionate about the Indigenous people and what they're up against in our world," he said.
"There has been a lot of racial tension so I thought it was cool that there could be a common goal between them and the white community.
"I had a lot of Aboriginal friends, we all played football together and went to school, some days you got along and others you didn't - the conflicts would stir up with the older generation every now and then but it was a great upbringing and good to be raised around that culture."
When Howle writes songs, he doesn't always need to be inspired by personal experience, but it certainly helps.
Keepers of the Land has a distinctive sound, but purposely isn't straight country.
"Some people say it sounds country and to some extent it does," Howle said.
"It's got a certain amount of attitude attached to it which it's supposed to, so I don't know where it fits.
"I write my music so it doesn't get boxed in anywhere, contemporary country folk is closest to where it sits."