The Bushwackers’ 25th Jubilee

cover, 25th JubileeEarlier this year I had the pleasure of reviewing The Bushwackers’ Australian Song Book album. This marked the 30th Anniversary for The Bushwackers, established in 1971. However, the 25th Jubilee album slipped through my grasp until just recently. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation recorded this album live in the Longyard Hotel, Tamworth, on Australia Day 1996.

What a concert it must have been; the album boasts 16 tracks of the favourite songs from the band featuring their specially invited guests, some of whom have been members of the Bushwackers at some time or other over the years. The banter in between the songs has been left on as they introduce each guest in turn. The band at the time of recording was: Dobe Newton, lead vocals and Lagerphone etc.; Roger Corbett, bass and vocals; Mellanie Williamson, accordion and vocals; Mark Oats, fiddle & backing vocals; Tim Gaze, electric guitar & vocals; and Pete Drummond, drums & vocals.

Their special guests on that evening include Slim Dusty, Lee Kernaghan and Tommy Emmanuel on the song “When the Rain Tumbles Down in July,” Graeme Connors singing “Beneath the Southern Cross,” Shaney Dell singing “Past Carin’,” Broderick Smith singing “Battlers Ballad,” Greg Champion singing “Wooloomooloo Liar,” Ted Egan singing “Billy of Tea,” the Crosby Sisters with Michael Fix singing “1-2-3-4,” and Mark O’Shea singing “When Britannia Ruled the Waves.”

Add to this old favourites like “Poor Ned,” “Flash Jack from Gundagai,” “Limejuice Tub,” “Ned Kelly’s Tunes” and even “Waltzing Matilda” and the album is complete. I must have heard these songs literally hundreds of times over the years, but it is amazing how the band can make them sound brand new and full of life each time I listen to them.

I calculate this must have been the 15th out of the 18 albums they have made over the years. If you are like me, and you appreciate live albums, get this one – you will not be disappointed. It really is superb.

(EMI, ABC Music, 1996)


Peter Massey

Born in 1945, Peter Massey, Senior Writer, is now living in the city of Chester, England with his wife Sandra. Now medically retired he worked for 35 years in the shoe business. He has been a semi-professional musician and singer performing mainly traditional / contemporary folk songs for over 38 years as part of the duo (and sometimes trio) 'The Marrowbones'. His musical interest started at the age of 14 with Rock 'n' Roll and by the time his seventeenth birthday came along he was already playing rock 'n' roll and R&B in and around the local dance venues and clubs such as the Cavern in Liverpool. Thankfully he was saved from the evils of rock 'n' roll when he discovered real music and folk clubs. His collection of recordings houses over 3500 folk songs alone. Other interests and hobbies include Computers and Amateur Radio (he has a class A G4 call sign) His latest project is 'The Little Room Studio' dedicated to making 'live' recordings of folk artists and producing their work on to CD using a portable digital recording studio. To date he has written and composed over 12 folk songs and co-wrote with Gordon Morris another 10 that have been recorded on CD. The song writing has continued and they have another 10 songs in the pipeline not yet recorded to CD. Favourite music / bands at the moment are Steeleye Span, The Battlefield Band, Little Johnny England and Fairport Convention, (in that order), and much admires the work of Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Roy Bailey, Vin Garbutt, and Bob Fox, to name but a few! You can visit the crummy Web site here and read about The Marrowbones and how to get your free songbook.

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