All roads lead to TamworthAll roads lead to Tamworth if you're a country music fan! The Tamworth Country Music Festival is an annual celebration of everything country, from bluegrass and traditional through to contemporary styles. It's also a great opportunity for the NFSA's Indigenous Connections team to talk to musicians and bands from around Australia.
Country music is at the heart of Aboriginal music; a singalong with a guitar around the campfire is where a lot of great songs have started. That's why I attended the festival to record a number of oral histories - in-depth interviews that provide a snapshot of current Aboriginal country music. It's important to capture these stories and put our musicians on the record, and have their stories in the NFSA collection.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary Roger Knox. He told me about his classic songs 'Koori Rose' and 'The Streets of Tamworth', his experience of touring, and the popularity of his music in the United States.
Three of our best (left to right): Roger Knox, Col Hardy, and Troy Cassar-Daley, at the Tamworth Country Music Festival Aboriginal Showcase.
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Initially became attracted to American rap music and formed a group named "Misdemeanour" with schoolmate Peter Shiels. After renaming the group "912" (a combination of their house numbers), they performed a gig in Melbourne with Australian hip hop artist Reason. Briggs later recalled that Reason was one of the first MCs that he had heard rapping with an Australian accent. Upon seeing the 19-year-old Briggs perform, Reason invited him to join an Obese Records record label tour to undertake a role as the established artist's "hype man" (similar to a back-up singer).
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