WHEN the Bushwackers look out at the cheering, toe-tapping crowd at one of their shows, they often see "three or four generations" of families.
That's what happens when you've been around for half a century.
The Bushwackers have spent 50 years bringing Australian history to life, standing up for the "little bloke" and belting out tunes about life on the land.
The legendary group will mark the milestone in Tamworth this week, with a COVID-safe crowd unlike any other across the decades.
Front men Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett have each been part of the band for more than 40 years.
"The music we play is timeless," Corbett told the Leader.
"It's encouraged lots of people all over Australia - millions of people - to be familiar with Australian songs which may have died unless people started playing them and keeping them alive."
The Bushwackers Band has not only seen huge changes reshape the world, but have been loud and proud about what else they believe needs to be done.
"We've been pretty vocal about things over the years, but mostly we sing about sheep and cows," Corbett said.
"We've always been standing up for the little bloke against the big bloke ... we basically just stand up for the man in the street and the ordinary Australian and that's what we're all about."
Political debates have sparked songs like Marijuana Australiana Rehashed, advocating for the medicinal use of cannabis, along with Leave it in the Ground, which is about moving towards a cleaner future.
Since the Bushwackers started as a "hobby" for "hairy young hippies" in Melbourne in 1971, there's been 25 albums, four books - with another on the way - and more than 100 band members throughout the years.
The Bushwackers Band will continue their long history with the Tamworth Country Music Festival - despite the cancellation this year - and play at Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar on Friday night, at the Golden Guitar Awards on Saturday and at the Australia Day concert in Bicentennial Park.
The road trip to Tamworth be a heartfelt reunion for mates Newton and Corbett, who have been separated by border closures since March last year.
"There's a debt of gratitude that we owe to Tamworth ... we've had a very long relationship," Corbett said.