Country music call too strong for grey nomads
WHILE many "grey nomads" chase the sun for Grafton couple Tess Bloomer and her husband Ron the call of the road has more of a country twang.
Tess and Ron spend a lot of their year since retiring heading off to country musical festivals around the country. Though even before retirement the duo's love of country music saw them pack up their caravan and head out on the road.
"We use to always go to Tamworth twenties years ago - even when the children were little," she explained.
However when Tamworth became more about country rock than the bush balladeers that they love the duo took a Tamworth hiatus (only returning last year). But that doesn't mean you haven't been able to find them at festivals all over the place.
In fact they are just back from Nanago and getting to pack up the caravan and head to gearing one of their favourite festivals - The Clarence Valley Country Muster at Ulmara from 22-28 October.
"We enjoy the camaraderie and catching up with friends made through these festivals," Tess said.
"Wendy (organiser Wendy Gordon) is a welcoming hostess and together with Terry, Ken and Kerry run one of the largest festivals around.
"We have watched their Muster grow from 120 Caravans 6 years ago to a record year last year. "Even though we live in Grafton we spend 10 days relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere with like minded retirees listening to top class entertainers including bush poets, singers and musicians. The opportunity is also given to amateur singers, poets and musicians to show their skills with Suburban Country as a backing band.
"We have watched Wendy's gardening skills create a beautiful setting on her property."
This year Tess said she is looking forward to seeing Beccy Cole for the first time.
"Who is my favourite artist?" she pondered quietly.
"I would have to say Troy Cassar Daley our local boy. My husband Ron enjoys Jeff Brown as he is a truckie."
Country music fans like Tess and Ron know what they like, which is why at least 400 people booked their space for the sixth annual Clarence Valley Country Muster before they left the site last year.
This year's line-up includes Beccy Cole, Digger Revell, Wayne Horsburgh, Col Finley, Kiara Rodrigues, Charmaine Pout, Samantha Bellamy and Ray Pratley, Owen Blundell, Terry Gordon, Jeff Brown, Justin Standley, Craig Giles, John and Christine Smith, Dale Duncan, Graeme Hugo, Laura Downing, Lindsay Waddington, Anthony Baxter and bush poet Bill Kearns and friends.
To secure a place at the 2018 event, go to cvcmuster.com.au or phone Wendy on 0432741947.